Enhanced End-Use Efficiency



Energy efficiency has been dubbed the sixth source of energy (Fig. 14.1). The other five sources of energy are coal, natural gas, petroleum, nuclear and renewable energy. This chapter is about energy success stories and potential success stories. Since the oil embargo, the United States has reduced its energy-use growth rate from 4.4 % per year (1960–1970) to almost zero, less than 1 % per year. The nation’s appetite for energy rose from 74 quads in 1973 to 100quads in 2004, a much smaller rise than the 1972 Atomic Energy Commission projected 160 quads for 2000. Electric power consumption actually grew by 2 % per year in the 1990s, reaching an average power of 430 GWe in 2012. This growth was also well below the 1972 Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) projection of 2,000 GWe for the year 2000. The reason energy demand didn’t match projections is because of the success of enhanced end-use efficiency. The United States saved 50 % of energy use on new autos (other than SUVs), houses and refrigerators since the oil embargo of 1973–1974. Appliance standards saved the building of 50 large power plants, which would have consumed 3 quads/year. Energy demand could be cut by another 50 % on new cars and houses, as it is being shown that these new-energy technologies are cost effective. Over a 10–20 year period, thicker insulation is cost effective, but it is far cheaper as installed on new construction, compared to retrofitting existing houses.


Heat Pump Spot Price District Heating System Incandescent Bulb Carnot Cycle 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysicsCalifornia Polytechnic State UniversitySan Luis ObispoUSA

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