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James Sweeney | Energy Efficiency: The Bad, the Good and the Reality

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Published on Dec 4, 2015

"Energy Efficiency: The Bad, the Good and the Reality"
James Sweeney, director, Precourt Energy Efficiency Center and
professor of management science & engineering, Stanford University
Energy Seminar - November 30, 2015

Energy efficiency -- economically efficient reductions in energy use – supports three goals fundamental to US energy policy: the health and growth of the economy, the domestic and international environment, and domestic and international security. Although barriers still keep the United States from full implementation of energy efficient options, energy efficiency improvements since the oil crisis of 1973-74 have had more beneficial impacts on US energy security and on the environment than any of the increases in domestic production of oil, gas, coal, geothermal energy, nuclear power, solar power, wind power, plus biofuels, put together. Progress has been based on cumulative small changes, broadly distributed throughout the economy, and thus difficult to notice.

The cumulative, broadly distributed growth in energy efficiency resulted from many factors working together, not simply one factor -- energy prices, attitudes, energy efficiency regulations, governmental and utility-based subsidies, governmental organizations and nongovernmental organizations, nudges, managerial changes. For some companies energy efficiency became a profit strategy. Technology innovations and innovations of energy management and utilization have been central. These factors in many cases were mutually reinforcing.

Jim Sweeney is director of the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center, professor of Management Science & Engineering at Stanford University. Recommended reading: https://stanford.app.box.com/s/buieb2...

Stanford Energy Seminar: http://energyseminar.stanford.edu/

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