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Sigmetnow

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Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« on: February 07, 2015, 02:37:34 AM »
Energy efficiency.  It's not just changing light bulbs and adding weather stripping any more.  Businesses are using high tech (new sensor-controlled heating and cooling systems) and low tech (insulating pipes) and saving money and energy, with paybacks in one to several years.

Just how much savings?

IEA: "The Energy Efficiency Market Report 2014 (EEMR 2014) estimates that investment in energy efficiency markets worldwide in 2012 was between USD 310 billion and USD 360 billion. Investment in energy efficiency was larger than supply-side investment in renewable electricity or in coal, oil and gas electricity generation, and around half the size of upstream oil and gas investment. Investment in energy efficiency is distributed unevenly across countries and energy-consuming sectors (buildings, domestic appliances, transport and industry).

In 2011, energy savings from continued improvement in the energy efficiency of 11 IEA member countries equalled 1 337 million tonnes of oil-equivalent (Mtoe). This level exceeded the total final consumption (TFC) from any single fuel source in these countries, and was larger than the total 2011 TFC for the European Union from all energy sources combined. Energy efficiency savings in 11 IEA member countries were effectively displacing a continent’s energy demand.
http://www.iea.org/Textbase/npsum/EEMR2014SUM.pdf   


"The cheapest energy is the energy you don't have to produce in the first place."
http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20140718/us-ranks-near-bottom-energy-efficiency-germany-tops-list

Investing in Energy Efficiency Pays Off
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/02/06/investing-in-energy-efficiency-pays-off/

Energy Efficiency May Be the Key to Saving Trillions
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/01/business/energy-environment/energy-efficiency-may-be-the-key-to-saving-trillions.html


Since the 1970s, the United States and arguably much of the rest of the world have effectively broken the historical trend of energy consumption increasing in tandem with economic growth. The latter has kept going up while the former has plateaued. That means we’re figuring out how to do more with less; more wealth production for every unit of energy we use.

And because the rebound effect — the tendency of people to consume more energy as it becomes cheaper — tends to be much smaller than the total energy savings, energy efficiency is a crucial tool in reducing humanity’s carbon emissions. In projections IEA laid out for how the world can stay under 2°C of global warming, energy efficiency accounts for 40 percent of the emission reductions — the biggest single contributor.
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/10/09/3578113/iea-new-efficiency-report/   


To save you some typing ;) , here's an ACEEE white paper on the energy efficiency rebound effect:
  There have been more than 100 studies published that attempt to estimate direct rebound effects for specific energy efficiency programs and policies. Many of these are evaluations of individual programs. These studies indicate that direct rebound effects will generally be about 10% or less.
http://aceee.org/files/pdf/white-paper/rebound-large-and-small.pdf
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Neven

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2015, 10:29:13 AM »
Great topic, Sigmetnow, thanks.

About that rebound effect...  ;D

It all depends on your general financial situation, I think. If you really save money, you might be tempted to spend it on or invest it in something that will again cost energy. On the other hand, if your savings go towards covering increased costs, things stay about the same.

I mean, people and companies are mostly interested in saving energy right now, because of the global financial crisis.

But that's just my personal theory. Gas prices have finally gone down here in Austria, so I'm filling that baby up and take her for a spin to the local McDonald's.

Just kidding.  ;D
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Jim Hunt

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2015, 12:40:11 PM »
Great topic, Sigmetnow, thanks.


Hear, hear! My own thoughts on that very topic:

http://econnexus.org/tag/energy-efficiency/

What might it be possible to achieve if the powers that be went all out for greater "energy efficiency" and zero or even negative "economic growth"? My thoughts on that:

http://econnexus.org/tag/energy-efficiency/

You'll notice that there's quite a lot of overlap!

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wili

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2015, 07:32:39 PM »
But whatever the rebound effect is, there is going to be some if you depend on efficiency alone.

Efficiency is great as a part of a larger package that includes caps on total use and incentives or regulations that make it less likely that you will lose some or all of your efficiency gains to rebound, or 'Jevons paradox'-- "the proposition that as technology progresses, the increase in efficiency with which a resource is used tends to increase (rather than decrease) the rate of consumption of that resource."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jevons_paradox

(And of course, there are certainly many cases where increases in efficiency lead to much more use of total energy than before the efficiency gains, hence the term 'Paradox.' Not sure where the not-more-than-10% study came from or what exactly that means here.)

One of the central things to target is growth. As long as we have increased growth, the likelihood that efficiency will lead to lower total use is...diminished.

Again, the take-away line from the above article (first sentence of last paragraph) is:

The Jevons paradox indicates that increased efficiency by itself is unlikely to reduce fuel use
(my emphases)

And finally:
The ecological economists Mathis Wackernagel and William Rees have suggested that any cost savings from efficiency gains be "taxed away or otherwise removed from further economic circulation. Preferably they should be captured for reinvestment in natural capital rehabilitation." By mitigating the economic effects of government interventions designed to promote ecologically sustainable activities, efficiency-improving technological progress may make the imposition of these interventions more palatable, and more likely to be implemented.


I'm with Wackernagel and Rees on this one. They both have long and impressive track records in studying these issues.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2015, 07:45:16 PM by wili »
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jai mitchell

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2015, 05:16:04 PM »
The Jevon's Paradox is a Myth

In the physical world the consumption of material resources is a necessary activity for sustaining physical life.  In the mid 19th century, humanity discovered that the use of mechanical implements allowed for more efficient resource production and material abundance.  In this time, childhood mortality was rampant and the population was food and energy resource-scarce.  It was so resource scarce that real physical population limits were being materially enforced through the mechanisms observed by a period researcher in political science named Robert (bobby) Malthus.  Bobby's theory was that in any given environment a population "check" would occur once the material resource limits were attained in any given region.  Not really difficult to understand, this work was groundbreaking because he applied it with scientific precision to the human species as simply another form of herd animal.

Two specific machines that were created during this time created the impetus for massive population growth by freeing up material resource for consumption.  The first was the implementation of a machine that would plant seeds at the appropriate depth and spacing and in physical rows.  This device was called a "seed drill" and is basically the reason that the plow was invented.  By growing row crops, the greater efficiency of food production allowed for more abundant food supplies for the same amount of invested energy.  Therefore the "efficiency" of food greatly increased.

The second machine that was equally responsible for the explosion of population during a period of time that would later be called the "industrial revolution" is the pulsometer pump created by an engineer named Charles Henry (Chucky) Hall.  Chucky found that by allowing for the expansion and contraction of the volume of steam in metal cylinders one could create sufficient vacuum force and use the power of suction to remove water from accumulating in coal mines.  This machine greatly increased the access of humanity to deeper coal mines and allowed for a much more efficient extraction of coal.

After this invention a schoolboy noticed that the piles of coal being placed in his family chute for the warming of his flat was becoming cheaper and cheaper, so they decided to burn more of the coal to allow for a much more comfortable environment.  Later on, this schoolboy came up with an idea that if any resource is made to be cheaper then the resource would be consumed at a higher level, growing without end.  Of course his idea was revolutionary at the time because nobody else on the schoolyard gave a damn about such trivial pursuits and would rather address their time and energy kicking hard rubber balls on the pitch and pulling girl's pigtails.  Jevons though himself quite a smart little lad!

However, being just a simple schoolboy, his understanding was limited to his extremely myopic period and limited exposure to the world.  His fanciful projection of unlimited consumption increases occurring at increased efficiencies of material resources, or in the case of food, unlimited population growth and increased material resource consumption would always hit a limit. 

In the modern world then, the concept of energy efficiency is often attacked by disciples of Bobby Malthus who wish to assert that in the current world's resource system, we have or are fast approaching a population "check".  They want to assert this kind of "disaster porn" scenario so intently that they make up cute acronymns like EROEI and tend to have invested heavily in wooded land in remote parts of their respective countries where they like to do crafty things like bury schoolbuses as bomb shelters and store canned goods and ammunition.  They also tend to like post apocalyptic science fiction scenarios that usually include zombies and guns.

In the real world, the Jevon's paradox doesn't exist, at least not in the simplistic schoolyard view of a 9 year old boy.  In the real world of energy efficiency, the residential energy efficiency gains for low-income sectors do experience a 'takeback' of energy efficiencies.  This is due to the resource constrained nature of the low-income experience.  This is also the environment that is the most analogous to the mid 19th century school-yard experience of Jevons.  This low-income takeback has been widely studied and can be accurately assessed to be between 15% and 25% of total efficiency gains in a household.

Similarly, in industrial applications, arguments have been made with varying success to indicate that any production efficiency would naturally lead to price reductions and consumption increases, to an unlimited degree so that any increase in efficiency would naturally lead to increased material consumption, without out end.  This, of course is laughable as there are limits to economic growth and consumption.

The physical nature of modern economy is fraught with improvisations placed upon the collective understanding by those who wish to maintain control of our labor and resources.  The most insidious of these falsehoods are those regarding organized religion and modern economics.  Of course these are basically the same thing.  One believes in an invisible entity and the other believes in an invisible hand that will magically balance out the inherent assumptions being made by dimwitted theoreticians.  Similar to the oil-industry myth that oil consumption (or even CO2 production) is a proxy for economic activity, the idea that all energy efficiencies must be met with equal increases in consumptions similarly relies on such magical thinking.  The real-world examples of per-capita annual driven miles under price fluctuations in gasoline and the differences in energy intensity (joules per $ GDP) among different societies are only a few of the literally millions of real-world examples that disprove the Jevon's Paradox's null hypothesis.
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wili

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2015, 05:56:04 PM »
"In the real world, the Jevon's paradox doesn't exist, at least not in the simplistic schoolyard view of a 9 year old boy."

Soooo, in your view, is there a less simplistic version that does exist?

Just to be clear, I don't think it is a phenomenon that has to happen. Just that it can, and there are plenty of examples of it, from more efficient car engines leading to bigger cars, more cars and more vehicle miles driven, to better insulated homes leading to bigger McMansions...

"The real-world examples of per-capita annual driven miles under price fluctuations in gasoline and the differences in energy intensity (joules per $ GDP)"

If you could give a couple of these, that would help me at least understand what you are intending here.

The point, again, is not to dismiss efficiency, but to point out that the real goal is reduction in resource use, and that you can't always depend on efficiency alone to do that for you, just as generally you can't depend on just about any  single 'silver bullet' to achieve whatever goal your goal might be.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2015, 06:04:12 PM by wili »
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Revillo

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2015, 07:41:45 PM »
Hey folks - I'm a lurker and I rarely post but few topics inspire as much fascination in me as this one so I feel compelled to throw in my 2 cents.

Jai's argument appears to rest on the fact that there are limits to consumption and growth, and that therefore people will peak consumption when their needs are met without turning around and consuming more. If my house is fully heated, for example, I will reach a point where I need no more coal regardless of how cheap it gets (assuming I'm in no rush to increase the size of my house).

Commonly this scenario may indeed play out as described, but the flaw in the logic here is neglecting the globalized, "free market" context in which it takes place. There is likely no short supply of poor, cold people the world over who would be quite happy to burn coal for free in order to heat their meager homes. The more efficient and therefore inexpensive the process, the broader an impact it can have in the market.

Dismissing Jevon's paradox is tantamount to saying that, at a certain point, humanity will peak energy usage because it has become so efficient, it simply doesn't need any more energy to carry out its needs. Nothing in our history, or in projections of the future (which include the rapid industrialization of nations such as China, Brazil, and India) could support such a claim. Quite the contrary, improvements in efficiency of some process are often more important then the development of the process in the first place in terms of making the technology economically feasible and therefore accessible to ever-broader markets.

If such an energy-saturation point really is met, even a with static population level, the fact that energy efficiency often reaches important physical limitations (there is only so much energy to be extracted from a gallon of oil) suggests that the energy usage would still be astronomical, unsustainable, and no great victory.

Fueling the machine of global industry with more efficient fuels only helps the damn thing burn longer.


Sigmetnow

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2015, 08:06:48 PM »
The ACEEE Rebound paper is really very good, and very readable.  Give it a go.  :)
http://aceee.org/files/pdf/white-paper/rebound-large-and-small.pdf

Excerpts:

  Q. What is the rebound effect?
A. As the energy efficiency of products, homes, and businesses improves, it becomes less expensive to operate them. The rebound effect is a postulate that people increase their use of products and facilities as a result of this reduction in operating costs, thereby reducing the energy savings achieved. The most extreme position is that rebound can wipe out all of the energy savings caused by the efficiency gains, a phenomenon labeled backfire.

For example, if a 20% improvement in residential space heating actually results in only an 18% drop in natural gas consumption, the rebound effect would equal 10%. The 2% of expected energy savings missing from the total savings realized is the extra energy consumed by the new, more efficient furnace because the household residents changed their habits, such as boosting the setting on their thermostat.

Q. Is there a single rebound effect or several?
A. Different authors have suggested different types of rebound effects, but these boil down to two general types—direct and indirect.

Direct rebound is the impact of a purchase of an efficient product by the purchaser’s use of that product. For example, a car buyer may drive an efficient car more often than an inefficient one or a homeowner who weatherize his/her house may use a portion of the savings to increase the temperature in the house in the winter to increase comfort.
Indirect rebound, on the other hand, reflects the impact of re-spending the money that consumers and businesses save from improved energy efficiency. It can also include the fact that as factories and other parts of the economy get more efficient, production costs may be lower, freeing up funds to expand the factory. Also, if production costs are lower, demand for products can increase. An example of the former is a household that cuts its heating bill and takes back a little of the savings on higher thermostat settings, but then spends the money saved on eating out or buying a new flat screen television. An example of the latter is that efficiency improvements in aluminum smelting can reduce the price of aluminum thereby fostering increased aluminum sales that, requires additional energy consumption in its production.
...
There have been more than 100 studies published that attempt to estimate direct rebound effects for specific energy efficiency programs and policies. Many of these are evaluations of individual programs. These studies indicate that direct rebound effects will generally be about 10% or less. ...


Q. What is the range of estimates on the indirect rebound effect and
which are most plausible?
A. There is substantial uncertainty about the size of indirect rebound effects and more careful studies are needed. From the evidence that is available, the most likely estimate is that indirect rebound effects are on the order of 11%, increasing both energy use and the level of economic activity. This 11% means that if a set of policies reduce a country’s energy use by 10%, after indirect rebound is accounted for, actual energy savings will be only 8.9%.

This 11% rebound estimate comes from a study by Barker and Foxon (2008) that used a sophisticated macroeconomic model to examine the impact of a number of United Kingdom energy efficiency policies over the 2000-2010 period. The study estimated that indirect rebound was 11% by 2010, with higher effects (15%) in energy-intensive industries and lower effects for commerce (5%), road transport (6%) and households (10%). Unfortunately, there are no similar studies of the U.S., although such a study would be useful. 

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Sigmetnow

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2015, 08:09:20 PM »
Some studies use anecdotal data, incorrectly, to calculate Rebound:

  A good example of the use of anecdotes is Owen’s article in The New Yorker (2010). For example, Owen notes that between 1993 and 2005, new air conditioners in the U.S. increased in efficiency by 28%, but by 2005, homes with air conditioning increased their consumption of energy for their air conditioners by 37%.
But as Dr. James Barrett, Chief Economist of the Clean Economy Development Center, responds: “Owen presents this as clear and obvious proof of a [rebound] effect. Case closed. Here is where Owen gets lazy: A few key facts disprove the point.”
Barrett finds that over this period per-capita real income rose 30%, homes got 16% bigger, the proportion of homes with air conditioning doubled and average efficiency of air conditioners in use (both new and old units) increased only 11% (Barrett 2010).
Nadel adds that the cost of air conditioners declined more than 50% over the 1960-2009 period, even after adjusting for inflation (Nadel 2011). Clearly an 11% increase in air conditioner efficiency did not cause all of these other effects. Instead, air conditioning used more energy not because of greater efficiency but despite it.


About Rebound approaching 100% or more:
  We examined claims of “backfire” (100% rebound) and they do not stand up to scrutiny....

Several additional lines of reasoning can be used to reject rebounds approaching 100%. First, returning to the Laitner et al. study, in order for rebound to eliminate all of the savings estimated, assuming 5% direct rebound, indirect rebound would have to increase U.S. energy use by 49 quadrillion Btu.8 If this extra energy use was at the same energy per dollar GDP ratio as the rest of the economy, the U.S. economy would be $25 trillion bigger (2009 $), an increase of 69% relative to the business-as-usual base case. While as energy efficiency advocates we would love to be able to claim that energy efficiency could grow the economy by 69%, such claims are not plausible.
...
Finally, experience at the state level in a state with extensive energy efficiency savings is instructive. For example, in recent years Vermont has had the most aggressive electric and natural gas efficiency programs. As a result absolute electricity use in Vermont peaked in 2005 and has since declined 5% (as of 2010, the last data available). Likewise, absolute natural gas use peaked in 2000 and has declined 11% since then. And there have not been shifts to other energy sources since overall energy use peaked in 2004 and subsequently declined by about 9% (EIA 2012). These changes have not happened at the expense of the state’s economy—Gross State Product increased 12% over the 2000- 2010 period (in 2005 $) (Bureau of Economic Analysis 2012). The economy of an entire state is very complex and these simple numbers cannot be used to calculate a specific indirect rebound estimate.

But these numbers do illustrate that efficiency programs and policies do save substantial energy, and while there could be some rebound, "backfire" [rebound of 100% or greater] is not happening.
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jai mitchell

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2015, 08:45:03 PM »
The misapplication of the Jevon's Paradox

Consider the following:

High efficient residential lighting has produced significant energy efficiencies
the amount of energy saved per household square foot of space is significantly less than what the bulbs should have produced.
it turns out that many homes have purchased new, large high tech flat screened T.V.s

The misapplication of Jevon's Paradox is to say that the new lightbulbs somehow facilitated the purchase of the T.V.s 

The reality is that the T.V.s were part of a technological transformation and a result of behavior and market effects, completely independent of the meager $10.00 per month of electricity savings produced by the bulbs.

Similarly, an economist who espouses the unlimited growth model, (I am looking at YOU Nordhaus!) does not consider that the ONLY effective method to reduce regional populations is to provide education and self-determination to women.  When this happens (see: brazil) the population growth rates naturally decline to a self-sustaining level (See: Sweden and their economic incentives for women to have children in their early 20s).

The Jevon's Paradox does not exist.  Takeback (called rebound) does exist but only in environments as outlined above (low income and some industrial application, with limitations).

To state that the inherent limits to Jevon's Paradox is due to real world limits to unlimited growth models is not exactly stating the reality.  The reality is that the simplistic consumption model outlined by Jevons is anachronistic and a function of the mindset of the early industrial age. 

Any application of Jevon's Paradox to efficiency or carbon reduction strategies is based on this faulty premise.  Again, the multitude of real world examples that prove that Jevon's Paradox doesn't exist are legion.

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Sigmetnow

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2015, 08:46:05 PM »
Hey folks - I'm a lurker and I rarely post but few topics inspire as much fascination in me as this one so I feel compelled to throw in my 2 cents.

Welcome, Revillo.  You make the logical point that developing countries have the potential to add significantly to the world's consumption of energy as they modernize. 

First, however:  Most energy today is consumed by developed countries.  And the IEA shows that efficiency has resulted in absolute reductions of Total Final Consumption (TFC) over the last decade for the 18 countries studied, "larger than the total 2011 TFC for the European Union from all energy sources combined." 

Jevons paradox for a given civilization simply does not apply. 

  Confirming energy efficiency’s place as the “first fuel”

Energy efficiency markets deliver goods and services that reduce the energy required to fuel our economies. Energy efficiency improvements since the 1970s in 11 IEA member countries saved 56 exajoules (EJ) or 1 337 Mtoe in 2011. Avoided energy use was larger than the supply of oil (1 202 Mtoe), electricity (552 Mtoe) or natural gas (509 Mtoe) in 2011; these savings equate to 59% of TFC in the 11 IEA member countries that year. In monetary terms, 56 EJ has a value of USD 743 billion (given an average global price of energy at USD 13.96 per gigajoule [GJ]).
http://www.iea.org/Textbase/npsum/EEMR2014SUM.pdf

  Energy efficiency financing has moved from being a niche to an established financial market segment.

Developed countries will continue to decrease their energy use.

If developing countries are helped to improve their status by using solar and wind, rather than fossil fuels, the net unsustainable energy needs of the world need not increase.  Solar energy hits us continually; we just have to learn how to use (and store) it.

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/10/09/3578113/iea-new-efficiency-report/

http://www.iea.org/Textbase/npsum/EEMR2014SUM.pdf
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jai mitchell

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2015, 09:06:59 PM »

If you could give a couple of these, that would help me at least understand what you are intending here.



ok!

http://www.advisorperspectives.com/dshort/updates/DOT-Miles-Traveled.php





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Neven

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2015, 09:23:55 PM »
I apologize on behalf of everyone who lumped the indirect rebound effect under the strict definition of Jevon's Paradox.  ;D

And thanks to everyone for the interesting reading. I'm a sucker for saving energy, even though saving energy only gets you so far in a GDP growth driven consumer culture. But that's where it all starts.
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Revillo

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2015, 10:20:59 PM »
The misapplication of the Jevon's Paradox

Consider the following:

High efficient residential lighting has produced significant energy efficiencies
the amount of energy saved per household square foot of space is significantly less than what the bulbs should have produced.
it turns out that many homes have purchased new, large high tech flat screened T.V.s

The misapplication of Jevon's Paradox is to say that the new lightbulbs somehow facilitated the purchase of the T.V.s 

The reality is that the T.V.s were part of a technological transformation and a result of behavior and market effects, completely independent of the meager $10.00 per month of electricity savings produced by the bulbs.

It's curious you should use this example, given that the technology which went into the development energy efficient lightbulbs (LED) is the same as that which facilitated the development of large, flat screen televisions. If that's not a perfect example of Jevon's I don't know what is.

For the sake of the discussion, it's also a pretty good example of how rebound effects and Jevon's are closely related, when one zooms out just a wee bit.


Welcome, Revillo.  You make the logical point that developing countries have the potential to add significantly to the world's consumption of energy as they modernize. 

First, however:  Most energy today is consumed by developed countries.  And the IEA shows that efficiency has resulted in absolute reductions of Total Final Consumption (TFC) over the last decade for the 18 countries studied, "larger than the total 2011 TFC for the European Union from all energy sources combined." 

Jevons paradox for a given civilization simply does not apply. 


Of course this rests on your definition of "developed" which could conceivably indicate a country which uses a lot of energy.. and is therefore self evident that developed countries would be energy hogs.

Today the world's largest consumer of energy is China, it is also the country where energy consumption per capita is rising at the sharpest rate whereas in "developed" countries it is typically decreasing (although we'll see what happens in the wake of lower oil/gas prices).
Gains in energy efficiency directly facilitate the growth of so-called emerging economies.

You add that, should these gains be made with solar power instead of fossil fuels, then emissions would decrease. To that I would emphatically agree: we should stop increasing the efficiency of gas-powered cars and coal plants and boilers immediately in order to cap the value of these resources and encourage the adoption of alternatives.
The development of new non-fossil fuel energy sources is probably the only thing we can have hope for, *not* efficiency increases of the predominant hydrocarbon technologies (I'm looking at you, Prius).

Of course if your efficiency gains work hand in hand with solar, improving batteries, manufacturing techniques, efficient appliances, then the solar-panel-to-LED-light seems like a rosy scenario that does in fact reduce an individual's dependence of fossil fuels.

Ultimately though I consider myself to be in Tim Garrett's camp, which states that we can basically always find ways to use more energy to do work and make money, and that efficiency on its own usually increases our energy consumption overall, and in nearly all cases, there will be environmental consequences. Resource limitations are just about the only thing holding humanity back from self-immolation and unfortunately, it doesn't look like they are quite strict enough.





jai mitchell

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2015, 10:44:39 PM »
which went into the development energy efficient lightbulbs (LED) is the same as that which facilitated the development of large, flat screen televisions

Apart from having the same three letters in their label, flat screen LED televisions and LED lamps use entirely different technologies.  To conflate the two is the kind of oversimplification necessary to assert that increased fuel efficient cars is somehow bad for carbon dioxide emissions.  There is a reason that Garrett's work was rejected out of hand by the economics profession.  The reason that it was finally accepted was due to its novelty.

As I stated previously, the concept of a (Joule per $ GDP) or (kg CO2 per $ GDP) as a rule of economic growth is false on its face, a simple analysis of cross-cultural values or even regional values proves this to be the case.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2015, 11:10:37 PM by jai mitchell »
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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2015, 11:54:23 PM »
jai, thanks for the graph, but it doesn't strike me as directly germaine to the discussion as it says nothing about total petrol consumed.

I could go on, but it strikes me that people aren't really likely to be convinced one way or the other. The only source Sig has brought forward is from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy--hmmmm, I wonder why an organization of that name would be dismissive of claims that energy efficiency alone isn't the be all and end all??? :P

jai keeps mentioning gobs of studies that support his view but doesn't site any (that I've noticed).

In an effort to close out (my part, at least) of the discussion with something pointing to areas of agreement: both sig and jai seem to have admitted that there is such a thing as some kind of (perhaps indirect?) rebound phenomena, but think it is limited respectively in strength (10%) and in domain (early industrial society..).

I, at least, agree that there is such a thing as rebound effect and agree that it is not something that necessarily happens in every situation.

So that's (part of) the agreement part, as I see it. Are we all happy now?? ;D ;D ;D

But, on the other hand, I do agree with many ecological economists who see rebound (or whatever you want to call it) happening sometimes in more contexts and sometimes with greater strength than sig and jai.

But let's end on another happy agreement point--I certainly think that efficiency is a very important part of any plan to reduce total ff use; when they first started becoming available, I replaced all the lightbulbs in my and my parents' house with CFCs.

I think it would be a more productive discussion if we could all admit that we don't all know absolutely everything there is to know about this phenomenon and explore in more depth where and when it is an important factor to consider (and what to do when it is) and when it is not so much. But the tone of dismissal I hear does not lead me to believe that we will have this kind of productive discussion here now. So I won't post much more on this thread (unless more nuanced investigations suddenly break out! :)).

"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Sigmetnow

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2015, 12:05:23 AM »

I could go on, but it strikes me that people aren't really likely to be convinced one way or the other. The only source Sig has brought forward is from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy--hmmmm, I wonder why an organization of that name would be dismissive of claims that energy efficiency alone isn't the be all and end all??? :P
...

wili,
Please see the  IEA's Energy Efficiency Market Report 2014, from which I quoted extensively above.
http://www.iea.org/Textbase/npsum/EEMR2014SUM.pdf

It even has graphs!   :P
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2015, 12:33:15 AM »
Thinking about the differences between countries, here's a neat site where you can compare your country to another, on things like electricity and fuel use, as well as life expectancy, employment, and class divide.
http://www.ifitweremyhome.com
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Revillo

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2015, 12:52:24 AM »
I can assure you the rest of the letters are the same as well.

LED lights and LED-backlit displays rely on the same principles of semiconductor lighting (Light Emitting Diode). These are an improvement on the older, less efficient CFL lightbulbs and CCFL backlit displays which were in turn more efficient than incandescent lights (or the CRT in the case of displays). Are there some differences between lamp and tv models, sure, do they "use entirely different technologies?" Hardly, except that you put a cloth lampshade over your lightbulbs and you put an LCD panel over your tv.

There are plenty of examples. Say I save money on gas by buying a hybrid car powered by a lithium-ion battery. What am I going to spend the extra money on? Who knows, but if I buy a smart phone or tablet or laptop, or any sort of portable electronic device, chances are I'll find a lithium ion battery inside it.

Which is all just to say that new technologies that improve efficiency often have widespread impacts on an economy. You save money on the old improved stuff, and you spend money on the new stuff. IMHO, Studies conducted by the IEA or ACEE are just not going to be able to measure these things complexities with any precision.

I do understand your point about energy and economy not being necessarily tied together. A culture is free to assign value to whatever it pleases. I wonder though, how many countries sitting on large reserves of untapped resources can really afford to take Bhutan's approach.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_National_Happiness

And more generally, scatter plots of GDP per capita vs Energy consumption per capita reveal a linear trend.

My training is in engineering, not economics, so I really can't speak for what the 'Economic Profession' makes of Garrett's work. I think it is relevant, even if hypothetically, we could live in a world where it was untrue. In our globalized, capitalistic, industrial madhouse I think it's unfortunately undeniable that energy and wealth are related.

I don't mean to come off as confrontational, I believe this topic to perhaps present one of the most important "paradoxes" in the climate/energy debate, and I love to hear opinions about it.

It's right up there with "Does it cause more CO2 pollution to drive to work or ride a bicycle?" The answer it turns out, depends entirely on what you ate for breakfast.


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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2015, 02:17:30 AM »
I can assure you the rest of the letters are the same as well.

It's right up there with "Does it cause more CO2 pollution to drive to work or ride a bicycle?" The answer it turns out, depends entirely on what you ate for breakfast.


That is an interesting quote, you do realize that burning coal produces almost exactly 150% CO2 emissions by weight right?  What if you had one of these, instead of a bicycle?  what kind of 'breakfast' would you need to eat to be an equivalent?



:-)  I relish all of the wonderful intelligence found on this site.  We certainly come from different perspectives and I think it is a good thing to read each other's thoughts this Sunday afternoon.

I personally believe that the intensive application of energy efficient technology, coupled with intrusive state policies of renewable energy implementation and a cost of carbon tax on fossil fuel emissions is the ONLY way we have a remote chance of maintaining a semblance of modernity for most of humanity in the next 35 years.
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wili

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2015, 06:34:25 AM »
"the intensive application of energy efficient technology, coupled with intrusive state policies of renewable energy implementation and a cost of carbon tax on fossil fuel emissions is the ONLY way we have a remote chance of maintaining a semblance of modernity for most of humanity in the next 35 years."

I think we can mostly agree here, jai. Though I would add intrusive state policies that directly limit the total amount of ff's mined and burned. And I am not as wed to modernity as you seem to be, though our definitions may differ.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2015, 08:37:27 AM »
I personally believe that the intensive application of energy efficient technology, coupled with intrusive state policies of renewable energy implementation and a cost of carbon tax on fossil fuel emissions is the ONLY way we have a remote chance of maintaining a semblance of modernity for most of humanity in the next 35 years.

I totally agree, the 'coupled' should go a long way to reduce the indirect rebound effect, whatever its size.
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jai mitchell

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2015, 09:58:46 AM »
interesting relevant article in Mother Jones:



http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2015/02/four-kickass-facts-americas-energy-use-bnef-renewables


We Have Some Really Good News About How America Uses Energy

—By Tim McDonnell

| Wed Feb. 4, 2015

energy demand is now less tied to economic growth than ever before. In fact, since 2007, electricity demand hasn't grown at all, the report finds. Zero. Another way to say that is that the US is becoming more "energy productive," meaning the US is using fewer units of energy for every unit of GDP. Energy productivity has increased 54 percent since 1990:


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wili

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #23 on: February 09, 2015, 12:05:22 PM »
Thanks for another nifty graph. I wonder how that compares to the total amount of ffs burnt domestically plus those mined here and shipped oversees? (Not to mention the amount burnt overseas to produce goods sent here.)
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Sigmetnow

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #24 on: February 09, 2015, 05:32:52 PM »
Although IEA's full 2014 Efficiency Report is still paywalled, you can download their first report (from 2013) as a PDF for free here:
http://www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/publication/EEMR2013_free.pdf

A quick look showed that their 2013 bullishness on increasing energy efficiency, and decreasing energy intensity by country, is tempered by a concern that the increase in networked energy-saving devices leads to additional energy drain.  (So-called "vampire" energy feeds.)

[Jevons!*  :o ]

Page 76+ :

  Energy efficiency has become a significant driver in equipment markets: standards and labelling policies have transformed appliances and lighting, while information and communications technology (ICT) is positioned to enable energy savings across a variety of sectors and systems. ICT equipment and infrastructure are being deployed rapidly around the world, and appliances and lighting markets are growing steadily in emerging economies; a focus on energy efficiency is key to constraining the growing energy consumption of these technologies.
...
The deployment of network equipment, such as servers and modems, as well as network-connected products, including appliances, computers, telephones, televisions and imaging equipment, is growing rapidly (Figure 4.3). In 2012, worldwide shipments of network-connected devices exceeded 1 billion units, representing a value of USD 676.9 billion and 29% growth year-on-year (IDC, 2013). On average, each US home has four network-connected products today; this is expected to increase to 16 products per home by 2015 (GSMA, 2011).

[* "As the Jevons paradox applies only to technological improvements that increase fuel efficiency, policies that impose conservation standards and increase costs do not display the paradox."  - Wilkipedia].
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #25 on: February 09, 2015, 05:33:47 PM »
More stuff!
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #26 on: February 10, 2015, 02:44:29 AM »
New from the IEA: "The entire global CO2 budget to 2100 is used up by 2040 in our central scenario"
Energy efficiency is a critical tool to relieve pressure on energy supply and it can also mitigate
in part the competitive impacts of price disparities between regions.

http://www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/publication/WEO_2014_ES_English_WEB.pdf
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #27 on: February 12, 2015, 07:09:36 PM »
Want to cut your energy bill? There’s a game for that.

Because so much about energy efficiency relates to human behavior, why not make a game of the concept?  It's being tested.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/02/12/want-to-cut-your-energy-bill-theres-a-game-for-that/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #28 on: February 20, 2015, 08:03:55 PM »
LONDON: A new report indicates 98% of all energy produced globally is wasted through inefficiency. Addressing this issue, boosting energy production would greatly increase the economy and create millions of new jobs.

To visualize this number, the authors explain, consider that when boiling an egg only 2% of the energy consumed goes into actually producing the boiled egg: the rest is wasted in heating the pan, the kitchen air and the water around the egg.

The 2015 Energy Productivity and Economic Prosperity Index, authored by The Lisbon Council, Ecofys and Quintel Intelligence and commissioned by Philips, shows doubling energy productivity improvement to just 3% would reduce the global fossil fuel bill by more than €2 trillion (US$2.28 trillion) by 2030 and could create more than 6 million jobs in the next five years.

http://www.theclimategroup.org/what-we-do/news-and-blogs/report-shows-how-to-turn-energy-waste-into-economic-growth
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #29 on: February 23, 2015, 08:31:02 PM »
Berlin to close its remaining coal plants, and:
...All five political parties, as well as independent experts, have also agreed to renovate all public buildings by 2050, bringing them up to modern energy efficiency standards. Committee head Jörg Stroedter lamented that Berlin lagged well behind its renovation goals, but said, “we have to achieve our aim to become a climate-neutral city by 2050.”

http://www.cleanenergywire.org/news/media-city-berlin-exit-coal-2020
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #30 on: February 24, 2015, 06:04:33 PM »
If this caught on, communities would have no need for residential clothes washers or dryers.  Or laundromats.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2015-02-23/washio-now-the-laundry-startup-adored-by-celebrities
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icefest

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #31 on: February 24, 2015, 10:01:35 PM »
If this caught on, communities would have no need for residential clothes washers or dryers.  Or laundromats.

Would this be more energy efficient? I guess the centralised system would lower the material use and waste production but the increased transport would account for this, I think.

I suspect however, that water-based washing is more environmentally friendly than dry cleaning, which this system seems to promote.

Maybe when subcritical CO2 dry cleaning becomes more used, dry cleaning will be less toxic.?
« Last Edit: February 28, 2015, 07:59:11 AM by icefest »
Open other end.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #32 on: February 25, 2015, 01:23:32 AM »
icefest,
The service does regular laundry, too, not just dry cleaning.  (And I agree with you about the chemicals.)  For homeowners to give up their washers/dryers, regular laundry service is a must -- don't want to dry clean your undies!
The way I envision it, they'd be using electric vehicles, of course! ;D
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #33 on: March 11, 2015, 07:50:39 PM »
As a group, the 16 landing lamps on Solar Impulse 2 use less energy than two small bedside light bulbs.

@bertrandpiccard: All together, #Si2's 16 landing lamps use less energy than two small bedside light bulbs! http://t.co/sq8pmTWGqD
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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #34 on: March 12, 2015, 04:09:16 PM »
The UK's House of Commons Energy & Climate Change Select Committee was bemoaning our Glorious Government's lack of action on energy efficiency earlier today:

http://www.V2G.co.uk/2015/03/fuelling-the-debate-about-the-uks-energy-future/

Unfortunately today the Government is still putting too much emphasis on building new electrical generating capacity, instead of promoting demand-side measures that would improve security of supply and also reduce consumer bills.


Those are the Committee's words, not mine.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #35 on: May 17, 2015, 09:12:28 PM »
New York council member wants city to turn off lights at night.
http://www.denverpost.com/nationworld/ci_28131569/new-york-council-member-wants-city-turn-off
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #36 on: June 06, 2015, 10:17:45 PM »
UNFCC:  Efficient Energy Needs Bigger Priority
Bonn Technical Experts  Meeting
Following on from Wednesday’s expert meeting on renewable energy, experts gathered again on 5 June in Bonn, Germany, for a Technical Expert Meeting on energy efficiency in urban environments. Making our cities more energy efficient is a key factor in finding a lasting solution to climate change. More than 50% of the world population lives in cities, which account for 75% of the energy use and 80% of CO2 emissions.
...
Lambert Schneider, Chair of the Executive Board of the Clean Development Mechanism, said “The key to investment in energy efficiency is policy intervention and incentives. In some cases, a carbon price can make a difference to overcome institutional barriers.”

http://newsroom.unfccc.int/unfccc-newsroom/bonn-expert-meeting-on-energy-efficiency-in-urban-environments-efficient-energy-use-key-to-climate-action/
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Shared Humanity

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #37 on: June 08, 2015, 03:19:23 PM »
Want to cut your energy bill? There’s a game for that.
Because so much about energy efficiency relates to human behavior, why not make a game of the concept?  It's being tested.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/02/12/want-to-cut-your-energy-bill-theres-a-game-for-that/


You are certainly correct about energy efficiency, or more generally use, relates to human behavior. It is my belief that changes in human behavior offer the single best hope for cutting CO2 emissions.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2015, 04:30:10 PM by Shared Humanity »

Sigmetnow

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #38 on: June 26, 2015, 08:27:41 PM »
The City of Dormagen in Germany has achieved energy savings for street lighting of some 50 percent since 2006 by moving to highly efficient bulbs.
http://www.klimabuendnis.org/317.0.html?&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=2438&tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=316&cHash=3532ce07713e81d98c5147f37f80c583
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #39 on: July 29, 2015, 11:38:49 PM »
New York City: 'Shut the Front Door' campaign calls on businesses to keep the air conditioning inside
(Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. have similar laws.)
If just one business closes its doors during the summer time, it prevents the release of more than 2.5 tons of carbon dioxide, saving five barrels of oil, and up to $1,000 on electric bills. ...

http://7online.com/news/shut-the-front-door-campaign-calls-on-businesses-to-keep-the-ac-inside/872693/

(Yes, the video says 2.5 tons of "carbon monoxide."  ::) )
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #40 on: August 15, 2015, 03:07:35 AM »
Largest U.S. grid sees reductions in energy use due to efficiency
The nation’s largest grid, serving more than 61 million customers from Washington to Chicago, is revising its demand forecasts after recognizing that better lighting has undercut its projections. ...

Americans’ energy-conservation efforts, from switching bulbs to upgrading washing machines and air conditioners, have done more to reduce carbon emissions than the increased use of solar, wind and natural gas, according to consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. Efficiency can help meet half of the emissions cuts sought under President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy said.

PJM Interconnection LLC, which manages the largest U.S. grid, will for the first time include the effect of more efficient light bulbs and appliances in its long-term demand outlook, Tom Falin, manager of resource adequacy planning, said at the grid operator’s headquarter in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

The forecast for peak demand, a reflection of supplies needed on the hottest day of the year, will decline in 2016 from this year’s level using a new model, he said. Forecasts will be cut by about 4 percent each year through 2031 in the 15-year outlook.

“Within the last three or four years, our performance model has not been performing as well as it had been,” Falin said. Electricity demand no longer has the same responsiveness to economic growth that it had, he said.

PJM isn’t alone in recognizing the new efficiency. The Texas grid operator revised demand forecasts as growth lagged behind the economic rebound, easing concern about blackouts in the country’s biggest energy-consuming state.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-08-13/the-lowly-lightbulb-outshines-solar-and-wind-on-u-s-power-grids
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #41 on: August 24, 2015, 03:48:34 PM »
Cutting back on wasted electricity is the cleanest power source of all – as our household shows
https://theconversation.com/cutting-back-on-wasted-electricity-is-the-cleanest-power-source-of-all-as-our-household-shows-44968
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #42 on: August 26, 2015, 02:29:35 AM »
Energy suppliers are being paid for industries not using power -- the same as a traditional power generator.  Demand-response suppliers account for almost 7 percent of PJM’s power supply.

How General Motors and Perdue Farms Help Keep the Lights On
Detroit carmaker General Motors Co. and poultry supplier Perdue Farms Inc. now have something in common: They’re both getting paid to use less power.

They’re among the clients of demand-response providers who won contracts this month with the operator of America’s biggest power system. In 2018, grid manager PJM Interconnection LLC will call on them to ratchet down their electricity demand when necessary to keep the lights on across its territory in the eastern U.S.

In return, these demand-response suppliers get paid a daily rate of at least $149.98 a megawatt, the same as a traditional power generator. It’s the most that PJM’s electricity suppliers will collect for capacity in eight years and a surprising boon for demand-side companies such as EnerNOC Inc. whose clients include GM and Perdue Farms. They walked away from an auction earlier this month with contracts representing 11,084 megawatts of PJM’s power supply, a 1 percent gain in market share.

Demand response providers were expected to be losers in last week’s auction results. Analysts including UBS projected a decline in their participation because of stricter rules and a case before the U.S. Supreme Court that questions whether they should be treated the same as generators.
Instead, they’ll account for almost 7 percent of PJM’s power supply in the year beginning June 2018.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-08-25/how-general-motors-and-perdue-farms-help-keep-the-lights-on
« Last Edit: August 26, 2015, 04:24:38 AM by Sigmetnow »
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #43 on: August 26, 2015, 04:42:09 PM »
From May: Forbes on the demand-response case headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

New Energy Economy: U.S. Supreme Court To Decide Demand Response Case
The New Energy Economy is about to get a new legal ruling. As early as October, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether federal regulators have the authority to set the rates, terms and conditions under which major commercial and industrial sites can adjust their energy consumption in exchange for better electricity prices.

It falls under the general category of “demand response,” which are tools that provide all types of consumers with key information on their electricity usage so that they can realign their consumption patterns. By curbing their power use during peak periods, they not only save money but they will also help ease demands on the power system, thereby promoting energy efficiency and overall grid reliability.

Utilities, in turn, can avoid buying expensive power on spot markets or potentially having to generate their electricity — and ultimately avoid capital costs tied to new infrastructure. However, those electricity providers are in conflict with the companies providing demand response. The dispute: whether federal or state regulators are responsible for overseeing demand response transactions and whether demand response should be compensated the same as generators.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kensilverstein/2015/05/05/new-energy-economy-us-supreme-court-to-decide-demand-response-case/
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P-maker

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #44 on: August 27, 2015, 09:34:20 AM »
A rare glimpse of hope...

http://royalcorporatecareers.com/jobs/apply/533933

"This position is responsible for driving overall corporate energy management strategy and coordinating efforts throughout the company to reduce energy consumption and cost.


A key position in an a growing industry with a high energy consumption.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #45 on: September 01, 2015, 04:08:32 PM »
Homeowners Could Save Up to 40 Percent on Electricity by Flexing Their Demand, Report Says
“In the residential sector alone, widespread implementation of demand flexibility can save 10–15% of potential grid costs, and customers can cut their electric bills 10–40% with rates and technologies that exist today."

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/plugged-in/homeowners-could-save-up-to-40-percent-on-electricity-by-flexing-their-demand-report-says/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #46 on: September 20, 2015, 05:18:59 PM »
The "internet of manufacturing" is helping industries cut energy use by as much as 20 percent.
Industrie 4.0’s alliance of companies, academics, and political leaders was launched by the German government two years ago. The idea was to encourage the small enterprises at the heart of the economy—what Germans call the Mittelstand—to embrace new technologies. Then last year, AT&T, Cisco Systems, General Electric, Intel, and IBM set up a similar initiative called the Industrial Internet Consortium, or IIC.

Both groups aim to make it easier for machines in factories throughout companies’ supply chains to communicate with one another. The goal: to reduce downtime by anticipating when a factory will have spare capacity or need replacement parts, for example. Built-in sensors will collect all manner of data to better allocate resources, helping manufacturers cut energy use by as much as 20 percent and labor costs by 25 percent, according to consultant McKinsey.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-18/can-the-mittelstand-fend-off-u-s-software-giants-
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #47 on: November 25, 2015, 02:25:21 AM »
New report:  How Energy Efficiency Cuts Costs for a 2˚C Future
“How Energy Efficiency Cuts Costs for a 2° C Future” shows that the world’s largest energy consuming countries and regions have much to gain from prioritizing energy efficiency in the policy queue. In addition to nearly $3 trillion in savings for decarbonization, such policies bring substantial societal and economic benefits in reducing the cost of energy access, reducing the need for more expensive expansions of energy supply, improving business competitiveness, creating jobs, and improving air quality and human health.

http://www.theroadthroughparis.org/resources/how-energy-efficiency-cuts-costs-2-c-future
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #48 on: December 20, 2015, 03:49:53 PM »
Obama just released the biggest energy efficiency rule in U.S. history
On Thursday... the Department dumped what it is describing as the “largest energy-saving standard in history” and one that “will save more energy than any other standard issued by the Department to date” — a standard governing commercial air conditioners and furnaces. These devices consume a gigantic amount of energy across America because, well, they keep us comfortable in large buildings.

“It’s over 10 percent of all the commercial space energy, it covers heating and cooling for roughly half of commercial space,” said Ernest Moniz, secretary of energy, on the announcement of the regulation.

Accordingly, making these devices more efficient can thus really move the needle, and the new standard, says the department, will translate into $ 167 billion in saved costs for businesses over the life of the standard, as well as 885 million tons fewer carbon dioxide emissions. (That’s just shy of a gigaton, or a billion tons.)
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/12/17/meet-the-biggest-energy-efficiency-rule-the-u-s-has-ever-released/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #49 on: January 14, 2016, 02:42:50 PM »
Sacramento Has the Most Net-Zero Buildings of Any City in America
California is home to more than half of all the net-zero buildings in the U.S., according to a new survey from the Net-Zero Energy Coalition. The survey is the first effort to catalog all of the zero-energy buildings in North America.

California announced last year that it wants to create a self-sustaining market allowing all new homes to be net zero by 2020. The state has been chipping away at market barriers for zero-energy buildings for nearly a decade.

Zero-net-energy buildings produce as much energy as they consume, usually through a mix of high efficiency and clean onsite generation. The definition requires that a home create as much energy as it uses over the course of an entire year, rather than on a real-time basis.

Across the U.S., there are nearly 6,800 net-zero housing units (including apartments and single-family homes) across 3,339 buildings. The coalition defines zero energy buildings as those that produce as much renewable energy as they consume, or could do so with slight modifications.

http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/sacramento-leads-u.s.-in-net-zero-buildings
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