Listed below are all documents and RMI.org site pages related to this topic.
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.
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.
This chart shows why less than 0.5% of the energy in a typical modern auto’s fuel actually moves the driver, and only 5–6% moves the auto. An auto's weight is responsible for more than two-thirds of the energy needed to move it. All told, 86% of the fuel energy never reaches the wheels.
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 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.
Based on Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) technology reports, a number of measures were considered for adoption. This table features a sampling of these measures, with information on each measure’s technical potential, associated energy savings, and cost.
Powertrain efficiency from tank to wheels can't exceed 1.0, and is around 0.17 in a typical modern car or 0.35 in a good "full hybrid," but the energy needed to move the car can be reduced severalfold by making it lighter and more slippery.
Premium-efficiency motors are normally assumed to cost more because they use more and better copper and iron. Yet analysis of all models on the 2010 U.S. market, in this case for 250 hp (TEFC, NEMA Type B) shows this is untrue despite standards’ having knocked the least efficient models off the market.
In the transportation sector, Reinventing Fire affects jobs in oil exploration and production, auto manufacturing, auto parts and auto repair, and hydrogen and biofuels production. The net effect on jobs from these changes is relatively small.
Both building energy use and total square footage have steadily increased in the United States since 1950. Total building energy use has almost quadrupled, due to increases in building number and size, as well as the adoption of such energy-intensive technologies as color televisions, computers, and air conditioning.