Energy efficiency improvements in the U.S. electric power sector could reduce electric consumption by 7 to 11 percent more than currently projected over the next two decades.
The Electric Power Research Institute and the Edison Electric Institute released the results of its analysis during “Keeping the Lights On: Our National Challenge,” an Edison Foundation conference that examines strategies to meet the growing demand for electricity which is expected to soar 30 percent by 2030, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
At a time when utilities, regulators, and policymakers are aggressively seeking ways to meet growing electricity demand, while reducing the carbon footprint of the U.S. economy, the demand growth projection would be even higher without the implementation of existing building codes, appliance standards and market-driven consumer incentives, the report said.
However, additional efficiency gains could be achieved only by overcoming major market, regulatory and consumer barriers.
“We think a 7-percent efficiency improvement is realistic – and gains of 11 percent or more are technologically feasible – depending on the degree to which various obstacles can be overcome,” said Dr. Michael Howard, senior vice president at EPRI.
In 2007 EPRI said advanced electricity technologies could lower CO2 control costs by 50 percent.