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Electricity 31 Items

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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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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%.

 

Historic and projected CO2 emissions from the U.S. electric sector, 1990–2050

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-CO2_emissions_from_US_electric_sector
Rocky Mountain Institute’s four scenarios for the future U.S. electricity system ( detailed here ) all have markedly different projected CO2 emissions over the next 40 years.

 

Cumulative new transmission requirements in four scenarios

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-new_transmission_required
Rocky Mountain Institute’s four scenarios for the future U.S. electricity system ( detailed here ) all have very different requirements for an expanded transmission infrastructure.

 

2050 installed capacity by case

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-2050_installed_capacity_by_case
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).

 

2050 generation by case

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-2050_generation_by_case
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.

 

Present value cost of the U.S. electricity system

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-present_value_cost_US_electricity
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.

 

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