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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.

 

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. oil combustion: present and projected

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-US_oil_combustion_transportation
The U.S. burns 13 million barrels of oil a day for transportation. Most of this oil powers cars and light trucks. By 2050, the U.S. is expected to burn upwards of 17 million barrels of oil a day for transportation alone.

 

Estimated health effects from U.S. coal-fired power plant emissions

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-health_effects_from_US_power_plant_emissions
Fossil fuel combustion harms air quality and human health. A 2010 study by the Clean Air Task Force estimated that air pollution from coal-fired power plants accounts for more than 13,000 premature deaths, 20,000 heart attacks, and 1.6 million lost workdays in the U.S. each year. The total monetary cost of these health impacts is over $100 billion annually.

 

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.

 

Estimated water withdrawals in the U.S., 1950–2005

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-Estimated_water_withdrawals_in_US
In 2005, half of U.S. water withdrawals were made by the electricity sector. A “business-as-usual” U.S. electricity future will increase reliance on large thermal power plants and keep water demands high.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Biofeedstock supply curve

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-biofeedstock_supply_curve
The 16 quadrillion BTU of biomass used in 2050 in Reinventing Fire is supplied by agricultural residue, mill residue, dedicated energy crops, municipal solid waste and forestry residue. No cropland or edible feedstock is required.

 

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