Impacts on U.S. Energy Expenditures and Greenhouse-Gas Emissions of Increasing Renewable-Energy Use: Technical Report

By Michael Toman; James Griffin et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FOUR
Concluding Remarks

While the broad objective of significantly increasing renewable-energy use in motor fuels and electricity appears to be technically achievable, our findings indicate that the resulting impact on consumer energy expenditures is quite uncertain. The wide range of potential expenditure impacts reflects several significant uncertainties with respect to the future availability and cost of renewable energy sources.

Holding expenditure impacts to a modest level requires a number of concurrent significant advances in renewable-energy technologies. Of these, advances in low-cost biomass feedstock provision and improvements in the economic efficiency of conversion rank at the top of the list. While further improvements in wind technology also are very important, as is improved energy efficiency, biomass plays a central role in expanding both renewable electricity and renewable fuels.

Given this finding, a large, inexpensive, and easily converted biomass supply is necessary for significantly increased renewable-energy use to have relatively low impact on consumer energy expenditures. The significant resulting increase in biomass usage would require harvesting various energy crops at a scale that vastly exceeds current practice. Without significant advances in biomass production from marginal lands, greatly increased biomass production could be accompanied by adverse environmental and economic impacts due to land conversion. There is also the possibility that land-use changes engendered by higher reliance on biomass could result in a temporary increase in GHG emissions. Technical advances in the provision of economically and environmentally sound feedstock should be a top priority for R&D programs focused on increasing biomass-based energy supplies.

A renewable-fuel requirement reduces demand for petroleum and lowers the international price of crude oil. This oil price impact from fuel diversification can be seen as enhancing energy security through increased competition with petroleum-exporting countries in a position to exercise market power. While this is a clear economic benefit from increased use of renewables, in itself, it is not likely to be the most cost-effective option, since improvements in energy efficiency and development of other substitute sources also can exert downward pressure on oil prices. Moreover, energy security depends on how vulnerable an economy is to oil price shocks as well as on the level of oil prices. Substitution of relatively costly renewable fuels for fossil-based alternatives at a 25 percent level may do relatively little to mitigate the risk of oil price shocks. In competitive wholesale and retail markets for fuel, the prices of the alternatives will be highly correlated with the price of oil-based petroleum products.

Our analysis also indicated that increasing to 25 percent the share of renewables can significantly reduce CO2 emissions. However, the incremental increase in energy cost per unit of CO2 reduction varies widely depending on circumstances, reaching very high levels unless

-49-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Impacts on U.S. Energy Expenditures and Greenhouse-Gas Emissions of Increasing Renewable-Energy Use: Technical Report
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 54

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.