(it is jam band friday – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFzZXvivo4c )
I know, I know…during the winter you can gather all that heat and store in something like a Trombe Wall but then you get into all this summer winter trade offs. You end up having to “shut off” the windows in the summer. There is a natural lighting argument and I am sure that in a work environment there is a health factor in there too. For homes however you can supply the light with light tunnels and avoid the solar load. Again health wise, if you want to feel one with nature – Go for a walk.
Energy Efficiency Could Save U.S. a Whopping $1.2 Trillion
A new report finds that the low-hanging fruit of energy efficiency is the “single most promising resource” in pursuing energy affordability and security.
In addition to the tremendous savings potential for consumers and businesses, the report (pdf), by the global consulting firm Mckinsey and Company , finds that elevating energy efficiency to a national priority could also spur the creation of 600,000-900,000 long-term green jobs and reduce our overall energy consumption by 23 percent.
What are the implications of the above findings? Energy efficiency is an enormous (and enormously cheap) energy resource for the U.S., “but only if the nation can craft a comprehensive and innovative approach to unlock it.”
One of those barriers is seed money; the $1.2 trillion wouldn’t come for free. The investment, according to the report’s authors, would be about $522 billion over the next ten years, not including program implementation. But an investment of that scale could slash energy consumption in 2020 by 9.1 quadrillion BTUs, or 23% of projected demand, potentially avoiding up to 1.1 gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.
Mckinsey and Company found that substantial gains in efficiency could be made by:
1. Recognizing true potential of energy efficiency and prioritizing;
2. Encouraging old as well as new approaches to efficiency at both national and regional levels;
3. Identifying ways to provide the upfront funding for energy efficiency plans and programs;
4. Building collaborative processes with utilities, regulators, government agencies, manufacturers and consumers, and;
5. Fostering innovation in the development and deployment of energy efficiency technologies to sustain ongoing productivity.
Overcoming Significant and Persistent Barriers
To unlock the potential outlined in the report, “significant and persistent barriers” need to be addressed to spur demand for energy efficiency and adopt wide-ranging energy management systems and practices. Sounds easy enough, right? Not so fast, say the report’s authors.
First off, the easiest gains in energy efficiency have already been made and much of the low-hanging fruit has already been picked. Since 1980, energy consumption per unit of floor space has decreased 11% in the residential sector, 21% in the commercial sector and 41% in the industrial sector. But while significant advancements have been made, the report strongly suggests we are not done — largely because of the persistent social, structural and institutional barriers.
I will be on vacation for next week and I may or may not post.