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National Academies Press
America's Energy Future:: Technology and Transformation: Summary Edition

America's Energy Future:: Technology and Transformation: Summary Edition


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Energy production and use touch our lives in countless ways. We are reminded of the cost of energy every time we fill up at the gas pump, pay an electricity bill, or purchase an airline ticket. Energy use also has important indirect impacts, not all of which are reflected in current energy prices: depletion of natural resources, degradation of the environment, and threats to national security arising from a growing dependence on geopolitically unstable regions for some of our energy supplies. These indirect impacts could increase in the future if the demand for energy rises faster than available energy supplies. Our nation's challenge is to develop an energy portfolio that reduces these impacts while providing sufficient and affordable energy supplies to sustain our future economic prosperity.

The United States has enormous economic and intellectual resources that can be brought to bear on these challenges through a sustained national effort in the decades ahead. America's Energy Future is intended to inform the development of wise energy policies by fostering a better understanding of technological options for increasing energy supplies and improving the efficiency of energy use. This summary edition of the book will also be a useful resource for professionals working in the energy industry or involved in advocacy and researchers and academics in energy-related fields of study.

America's Energy Future examines the deployment potential, costs, barriers, and impacts of energy supply and end-use technologies during the next two to three decades, including energy efficiency, alternative transportation fuels, renewable energy, fossil fuel energy, and nuclear energy, as well as technologies for improving the nation's electrical transmission and distribution systems.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780309141451
Publisher: National Academies Press
Publication date: 12/14/2009
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 8.00(w) x 10.00(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Executive Summary 1

Part 1 7

1 Context and Challenges 9

The current U.S. Energy System 11

Challenges to Transforming Energy Production and Use 25

The Role of Technology 27

Strategy for Addressing the Study Charge 30

Report Organization 33

References 34

2 Key Findings 35

Finding 1 Technology Deployment Options 38

Finding 2 Energy Savings from Improved Efficiency 40

Finding 3 Options for Increasing Electricity Supplies and Changing the Supply Mix 49

Finding 4 Modernizing the Nation's Power Grid 60

Finding 5 Continued Dependence on Petroleum 62

Finding 6 Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions 68

Finding 7 Technology Research, Development, and Demonstration 73

Finding 8 Barriers to Accelerated Technology Deployment 76

References 79

3 Key Results From Technology Assessments 81

Energy Efficiency 82

Alternative Transportation Fuels 89

Renewable Energy 94

Fossil-Fuel Energy 102

Nuclear Energy 109

Electricity Transmission and Distribution 115

Reference 119

Annex 3.A: Methods and Assumptions 120


A Committee and Staff Biographies 135

B Meeting Participants 153

C America's Energy Future Project 159

D Principal Units and Conversion Factors 163

E Select acronyms and Abbreviations 167

Index 171

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