Figure 1.6 stresses that efficiency measures are projected to make the largest contribution in climate change mitigation. It is therefore a surprise that the important topic of rational and efficient use of energy is rarely pursued vigorously in national or supranational plans in spite of the fact that study after study has shown that this route provides the most cost effective way to meet sustainability goals.
Cost as % of fossil fuel option 100 200 300 400
Electricity from gas with CCS Electricity from coal with CCS
Electricity from organic wastes Onshore wind Offshore wind Solar thermal (v. sunny regions) PV (sunny regions) dCHP using H from NG or coal with CCS Hydrogen from NG or coal (CCS) - industry Hydrogen from NG or coal (CCS) - distributed
Electrolytic hydrogen - industry Electrolytic hydrogen - distributed Biomass for heat - distributed Bioethanol
Hydrogen ICE vehicle - fossil H (+CCS) FC Hydrogen vehicle - fossil H (+CCS) FC Hydrogen vehicle - electrolytic H
Cost in 2025
Figure 1.5 Unit costs of energy from low carbon technologies: CCS stands for carbon capture and storage, dCHP stands for distributed combined heat and power. (Reproduced from Stern review website, copyright Cambridge University Press)
Contributions to carbon abatement 2025
Abatement 11 GtCO2
Abatement 11 GtCO2
Contributions to carbon abatement, 2050
Abatement 43 GtCO2
Figure 1.6 The distribution of emission savings by technology. (Reproduced from Stern Report, copyright Cambridge University Press)
rise year on year. Energy efficiency must be the linchpin of any future energy strategy because :
Using energy as efficiently as possible is the most cost effective way to manage energy demand, and thus to address carbon emissions. Saving energy is cheaper than making it.
• By reducing demand on gas and electricity distribution networks, energy efficiency will improve the security and resilience of these networks and reduce dependence on imported fuels.
• By reducing energy bills, energy efficiency will help businesses to be more productive and competitive.
• Improving the energy standards of homes has an important role in reducing spending on fuel by those in fuel poverty.
Increasing energy end use efficiency is unattractive for energy companies driven by commercial imperatives to increase sales and profits. It thus falls to governments to implement policies that change these drivers. Regulations can be put in place for example that require utilities to encourage customers to use electricity efficiently. A more revolutionary approach envisages the utility being transformed into a supplier of energy services, owning appliances in people's homes and thus being motivated to maximize the efficiency of these appliances. Whatever approach is finally adopted, the importance of reducing energy consumption should be the cornerstone of any CO2 mitigation programme.
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