Listed below are all documents and RMI.org site pages related to this topic.
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.
The required generating capacity and its breakdown are very different in each of Rocky Mountain Institute’s four scenarios for the future U.S. electricity system (detailed here
The shift from steel to carbon fiber in the transportation sector reduces steel production. With the rapid adoption of lightweight vehicles, RMI estimates that, in 2050, the auto industry will require one-fifth the steel used in 2010.
Each of Rocky Mountain Institute’s four scenarios for the future U.S. electricity system (detailed here
) will have a very different electricity generation mix.
Projected reduction in U.S. steel demand will reduce the energy required by the industrial sector by 111 trillion BTU/y in 2050.
While Rocky Mountain Institute’s four scenarios for the future U.S. electricity system ( detailed here
) have profoundly different resource portfolios, grid structures, environmental impacts, and risk, all the scenarios have very similar overall system costs.
Reinventing Fire results in 2050 fossil-carbon emissions that are 82% lower than emissions in 2000. The remaining fossil-carbon emissions in 2050 come almost entirely from natural gas consumption.
Energy to manufacture the required carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) used in the transportation sector is 45–120 TBTU/y by 2050. Future reductions in energy intensity and the use of recycled materials could further reduce this.
In evaluating the future U.S. electricity system, Rocky Mountain Institute created capital cost projections for fossil and renewable generation technologies through 2050. Many newer technologies, such as concentrated solar power, solar photovoltaics, and battery storage, are projected to have rapidly declining capital costs in the next 40 years.
Carbon fiber production is more energy intensive than steel production (by mass). However, because revolutionary autos will require less body mass, there are significant opportunities for energy reduction in the auto manufacturing industry.