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Time factors in slowing down the rate of growth of demand for primary energy in the United States

Lees, Lester and Lo, Mingin Philip (1973) Time factors in slowing down the rate of growth of demand for primary energy in the United States. Environmental Quality Laboratory Report, 7. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. (Unpublished)

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The purpose of this report is to identify the time scales involved in slowing down the rate of growth of primary energy consumption in the U.S., as one component of an overall energy/environment strategy designed to limit the required volume of energy imports from overseas. Two important energy-consuming sectors of the economy are chosen as illustrative examples: (1) the "automobile" as a total system (25%); (2) space heating, air conditioning and water heating in the residential sector (22%). Efficient, light-weight vehicles are introduced into the automobile population by allocating an increasing percentage of new car production to such vehicles year by year until some fixed percentage is attained. Parametric calculations show that significant reductions in the annual rate of energy consumption by automobiles can be achieved if (a) the fuel consumption of efficient vehicles is 60% or less of "standard" vehicles; (b) the increment in percentage of new car production devoted to efficient vehicles is not less than 8% per year; (c) the efficient vehicles are "frozen" at not less than 80% or more of all new car production at the end of an eight to ten year period. In the residential sector the "turnover" rate is comparatively low, and the calculated reduction in annual energy growth rate produced by energy-conserving measures is modest, as expected, unless a "retrofit" rate of older living units of at least 2% per year can be attained. These two components of an energy-conserving policy taken together would bring the growth rate in U. S. primary energy demand down from its present rate of 4.2% per year to about 2.8% per year by 1985. Reductions in the annual growth rate of the remaining 50% of U.S. primary energy consumption that seem quite feasible would bring the overall growth rate down to about 2.5% per year by 1985. If reductions in growth rate of this magnitude could in fact be achieved, energy imports would peak in the mid-1980s at a level no higher than about 60% above the present (1973) volume of imports. Incentives and disincentives designed to bring about this slowdown in the rate of U. S. energy consumption are discussed briefly.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Technical Report)
Additional Information:© 1973 California Institute of Technology. Supported in part by the National Science Foundation, Research Applied to National Needs (RANN), under Grant No. 29726
Group:Environmental Quality Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Series Name:Environmental Quality Laboratory Report
Issue or Number:7
Record Number:CaltechEQL:EQL-R-7
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Usage Policy:You are granted permission for individual, educational, research and non-commercial reproduction, distribution, display and performance of this work in any format.
ID Code:25737
Deposited By: Imported from CaltechEQL
Deposited On:14 Sep 2007
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 03:08

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