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U.S. installed capacity and electricity generation by energy resource, 1949 to 2009

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-US_capacaity_elecricity_generation_by_energy
The U.S. electricity sector has seen tremendous growth in the past 60 years. From 1949 to 2009, U.S. electricity consumption increased by a factor of 13. To meet this rising demand, the U.S has built vast amounts of new electricity generating infrastructure. The total U.S. installed capacity in 2009 was 998 GW, compared with just 65 GW in 1949.

 

U.S. industry energy-saving potential, 2010–2050

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-US_industry_energy_saving_potential
Increased adoption of energy efficient technologies as well as cogeneration and waste heat recovery systems will reduce energy use by an additional 4.7 quadrillion BTUs from business-as-usual. These and other changes (energy changes due fuel switching or transformation in other sectors) can reduce projected primary energy use by 27% in 2050.

 

Building sector energy use, 2009

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-building_sector_energy_use
Electricity is 75% of primary energy consumed by U.S. buildings, but 68% of that electricity is lost in conversion and delivery. Oil and natural gas are almost 10 quads of energy, or 25% of total primary energy.

 

Automotive and oil industry profits

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-Automotive_and_oil_industry_profits
Automakers' profit margin typically hangs around 1% (in the U.S., 0.4%), far below the oil industry’s. The 2007–2008 global financial crisis sharply cut sales of new vehicles and the financial stability of the U.S. Big 3 auto manufacturers (Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler).

 

U.S. natural gas consumption

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-US_natural_gas_consumption
In Reinventing Fire, natural gas consumption in 2050 is reduced by 36% relative to business-as-usual. This reduction is primarily enabled by improved efficiency in commercial and residential buildings and less reliance on natural gas in the electricity sector.

 

Buildings’ energy expenditures vs. other U.S. expenditures as percentage of 2008 GDP

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-Buildings_energy_expenditures_vs_US_expenditures_2008GDP
Americans spent more than 3% of the nation's GDP in 2008 on building heating, cooling, and lighting—almost two-thirds of the entire defense budget and more than federal government spending on Medicare.

 

U.S. biomass consumption, 2010-2050

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-US_biomass_consumption
In Reinventing Fire, non-cropland biomass provides 16 quads of primary energy in 2050. That’s six times today’s biomass consumption and 60% higher than U.S. government projections extrapolated to 2050.

 

Where does the money go

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-where_does_the_money_go
Despite large aggregate expenditures on buildings, average U.S. consumers spend only ~4% of their total budget on fuel and electricity bills. Consumers have little incentive to reduce their energy bills, despite a variety of ways to do so profitably.

 

Electricity scenarios

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-Electricity_scenarios
In Reinventing Fire, Rocky Mountain Institute investigates the implications of four radically different future electricity scenarios - from a “business-as-usual” case to a network of intelligent microgrids powered largely by distributed renewables.

 

Category expenses by building type for commercial sector

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-commercial_building_category_expenses
For commercial buildings, energy and water are 22% of total operating expenses.

 

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