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

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

Michael Toman
James Griffin
Robert J. Lempert
Copyright Date: 2008
Edition: 2
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 116
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  • Book Info
    Impacts on U.S. Energy Expenditures and Greenhouse-Gas Emissions of Increasing Renewable-Energy Use
    Book Description:

    How could producing 25 percent of U.S. electricity and motor-vehicle transportation fuels from renewables by the year 2025 affect U.S. consumer energy expenditures and CO2 emissions? This report finds that reaching 25 percent renewables with limited impact on expenditures requires significant progress in renewable-energy technologies and biomass production. Without substantial innovation in these areas, expenditures could increase considerably.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-4669-7
    Subjects: Political Science, Technology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
    Michael Toman
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Figures
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)

    Sharply higher prices for oil over the past several years, concerns about energy security, and growing worries about global warming have greatly increased interest in expanded renewable energy in the United States. Renewable-energy sources are those that are inherently nondepletable or that can be naturally replenished in a relatively short period of time, such as wood, waste, wind, hydroelectric, photovoltaic (PV), and solar-thermal energy. Geothermal energy is also usually lumped together with these resources.

    One of the most visible signs of the increased interest in renewables was the proposal by President George W. Bush in his 2007 State of the...

  10. CHAPTER TWO How We Did the Analysis
    (pp. 5-22)

    This chapter describes the basic components of the two market models we constructed to analyze the impacts of renewable-energy requirements (shown in Figure 1.1 in Chapter One) and our approach to addressing uncertainties surrounding key model parameters through sensitivity analyses. A more detailed description of our approach can be found in Appendix A, including the ranges of numerical parameter values we used in the analysis. As noted in Chapter One, the impacts generated by the models are calculated relative to numbers based on the 2025 reference-case projections in EIA (2006b), with discussion later about the implications of higher prices.


  11. CHAPTER THREE Key Findings
    (pp. 23-48)

    In this chapter, we present the key findings that are derived from our analysis of the 25 percent renewable-energy requirements. In summary, we found the following:

    Substantial variation exists in expenditure impacts across different sets of assumptions, especially in the motor-vehicle transportation–fuel market. Depending on the assumptions made, expenditure changes can be minimal or show a very substantial increase.

    The government’s approach to implementation of the policy requirements—particularly with respect to motor-fuel pricing—has important effects on consumer behavior and expenditures. In particular, passing the cost of more expensive renewable fuels to final pump prices will also increase...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR Concluding Remarks
    (pp. 49-50)

    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...

  13. References
    (pp. 51-55)
  14. APPENDIX A Baseline Data and Numerical-Parameter Assumptions
    (pp. 1-32)
  15. APPENDIX B Detailed Model Results
    (pp. 1-10)