Brattle Group: Energy Efficiency in 2020

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Energy Efficiency — 2020 – “Efficiency pessimists contend that energy efficiency (inclusive of demand response) is unlikely to make much of a dent on energy consumption and peak demand in the year 2020 since all the low-hanging fruit has been harvested. Ergo, the solution to meeting the nation’s future energy needs in a carbon-constrained future is to build more power plants (preferably those that don’t burn coal), transmission lines and distribution systems.

Efficiency optimists, on the other hand, contend that energy efficiency is essentially an inexhaustible well and we have a long ways to go before the bottom is reached. Their viewpoint suggests that enhancements in energy efficiency may eliminate the need to make investments in the power supply system, except for routine maintenance and upgrades.

And finally, efficiency realists contend that the truth is somewhere in between.

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