Energy Efficiency to Bring Energy Independence “Back to the Future”
For those of you who were hooked by the title, sadly this is
the only sentence where Marty McFly will be mentioned. But fear not, movie quotes are still in play.
As mentioned in my last
blog entry, commercial building retrofits present a very cost-effective
option for reducing energy consumption and utility costs. Not only are there existing federal, state,
and utility incentive programs available for these energy efficient retrofits,
but energy efficiency also presents America’s best opportunity for energy
independence…and given the state of the economy, perhaps America’s only
opportunity for the foreseeable future.
Clean, renewable sources of alternative energy are becoming
cheaper and more efficient every day.
However, infrastructure is still required to deliver alternative energy
from its generation centers to population centers. The capital investment for renewable energy
technology and its infrastructure can be cost-prohibitive, especially in a
recession. Alternative, renewable
sources of energy are a must for America’s long-term energy
independence, but a “long-term” solution is exactly what they are.
Installing lighting controls or improving building
insulation are simple, affordable, job-creating solutions that can be
implemented right now and help bridge the gap to a renewable future. While energy efficient standards are in place
for new commercial buildings, a recent
report by Next 10 in California
estimated that “those standards don’t apply to…more than 97 percent of the
state’s inventory of commercial space.” According
to the International
Energy Agency, energy efficiency will deliver 1.21 Gigawatts “65
percent of worldwide carbon cuts in the energy sector by 2020, and 54 percent
by 2030. This means that in 2020 energy
efficiency could have almost twice the impact of renewable energy, nuclear
power, and clean coal combined”
If we reduce the energy we consume, we’ll need fewer
distributed generation resources to meet our demand and diminish the
infrastructure and capital investment required for renewable energy.
looks to develop its renewable energy portfolio, it should look to complement
it with energy efficiency. Neither by
itself is a stand alone solution to America’s energy needs, but
together they can deliver us from a fossil-dependent today to an
For more information on incentive programs and lighting
upgrades, hop in your Delorean and visit enLIGHTen America at www.nemasavesenergy.org.
07-22-2010 2:12 PM