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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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Historic and projected U.S. electricity demand, 1950-2050

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-US_electricity_demand
While U.S. demand for electricity has risen in all but four years since 1949, the rate of increase has been steadily trending down. The Energy Information Administration predicts an annual growth rate around +1% to 2030 (which RMI extrapolates to 2050). Successfully implementing the energy efficiency improvements in buildings and industry discussed in Reinventing Fire could reduce this to a steady –1%.

 

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.

 

Distribution of U.S. commercial building stock by size

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-distribution_US_commercial_building_stock
Most commercial buildings are small—73% of commercial buildings are less than 10,000 square feet. However, 35% of floorspace is in the largest 2.2% of buildings (100,000 square feet or larger).

 

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