US Has Gotten More New Energy from Efficiency Improvements Than All Supply Side Expansion Combined: Obama Science Advisor


photo: Green4All via flickr
Yale Environment 360 is currently running an interview with President Obama's science advisor John Holdren where he talks about all the usual suspects: Energy, climate change mitigation and adaptation, the pending climate bill. It's certainly worth a read, but there's one thing that just jumps out at me, in regards to the importance of energy efficiency:Elizabeth Kolbert asks Holdren about what the most important thing the Obama administration could do about energy. Holdren responds by saying that both the demand and supply of the energy equation are important, and then drops this:

When you look at the options for doing that, the cleanest, fastest, cheapest, safest, surest energy supply option continues to be increasing the efficiency of energy end use — more efficient cars, more efficient buildings, more efficient industrial processes, more efficient airplanes. We have gotten more new energy out of energy efficiency improvements in the last 35 years than we’ve gotten out of all supply side expansion put together in the United States. That’s even without trying all that hard. For most of that period, we haven’t had anything that you could call a really coherent set of energy policies supporting increasing energy efficiency.

Think about that for a minute. Simply improving the way we do things so that there is less wasted energy has effectively created more energy since the early 1970s than all the expansion of energy supply that's happened.

Read the whole interview: Obama's Science Advisor Urges Leadership on Climate
Energy Efficiency
Just How Many Trillions of Dollars Can Energy Efficiency Save Us?
Empire State Building Goes Green: Major Energy Efficiency Improvement Retrofit Announced
California Leads the Energy Efficiency Race: American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy Releases 2008 Scorecard

Tags: United States