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LBNL Studies Find Energy Efficiency Standards Can Affordably Reduce Energy Consumption by 17-19%

27 September 2012: The Super-efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment (SEAD) initiative has released two new studies by researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) on both the technical and the cost-effective potential of minimum efficiency performance standards (MEPS) for appliances in the residential and industrial sectors in 13 major world economies.

The technical potential study develops a best available technology (BAT) scenario using the Bottom-Up Energy Analysis System (BUENAS), which analyzes the maximum potential savings resulting from the diffusion of the most efficient available technologies in the 13 countries under study. The study finds, inter alia, that final energy consumption could be reduced by 19% in 2030 in the residential and industrial sectors compared to a business-as-usual (BAU) scenario, which entails a reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions with 860 megatons (Mt) by 2020 and 1.7 gigatons (Gt) by 2030.

The cost-effective potential study assesses the financial impacts on consumers of MEPS based on the BUENAS. The study analyzes different efficiency target levels to estimate the net present value (NPV) of "cost-effective potential" (CEP) policies, which aim to provide maximum energy savings without financially penalizing consumers. The study finds, inter alia, that final energy consumption can be reduced by 17% in 2030 in the residential sector and 4% in the industrial sector compared to a BAU scenario, which would result in global annual CO2 emissions reductions of 540 Mt in 2020 and 1000 Mt in 2030. The NPV of the policies implementing these reductions is estimated to be 1.5 trillion dollars.

The countries analyzed in the studies are: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, the US and South Africa. [Publication: Estimate of Technical Potential for Minimum Efficiency Performance Standards in 13 Major World Economies] [Publication: Estimate of Cost-Effective Potential for Minimum Efficiency Performance Standards in 13 Major World Economies: Energy Savings, Environmental and Financial Impacts]