By 2050, the U.S. can phase out its use of oil, coal and nuclear energy by relying on energy efficiency to reduce its energy needs, and meeting remaining the energy requirements with renewables and natural gas.
Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era offers market-based, actionable solutions for our nation’s leaders.
Reinventing Fire used extensive in-house analysis and modeling whose technical details are available on request to rf@reinventingf
Humans have consumed roughly one-third of the planet’s technically and economically recoverable stock of fossil fuels. Projections from resource experts, although quite approximate, suggest that we are approaching peak consumption for oil (some assert the peak has already passed) and perhaps even for coal.
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.
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.
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.
In 2050, Reinventing Fire envisions an economy that uses 71 quadrillion BTUs of primary energy—70% of that energy is supplied by wind, solar and biomass.
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.
The improved efficiency in commercial and residential buildings from implementing Reinventing Fire creates new jobs in the efficiency segment of the buildings sector. In addition, the resulting energy savings increase building owners’ disposable income and induce new jobs in the wider economy as the savings are spent.
In Reinventing Fire, the improved efficiency and increased adoption of combined heat and power in the industrial sector create new jobs.
In Reinventing Fire, the shift toward renewable power generation creates new jobs; however, these additions may be negated, as the sector is required to raise electricity rates.
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.
By Reinventing Fire, the U.S. economy can capture a net present value (2010) saving of $5 trillion. Three fourths of this value is created by changes in the transportation sector and the remaining quarter is driven by changes in the buildings, industry and electricity sectors.
Sector Key Data
Some highlights of the inputs and results of the transportation sector research.
Some highlights of the inputs and results of the buildings sector research.
Some highlights of the inputs and results of the industry sector research.
Some highlights of the inputs and results of the electricity sector research.