Synergies in Efficiency plus Renewables

The author of today’s post, Sheryl Canter, is an Online Writer and Editorial Manager at Environmental Defense.

When we think about climate change and the burning of fossil fuels, the discussion often centers around alternative sources of energy. But another key element is energy efficiency – simply using less power. A recent report published titled "The Twin Pillars of Sustainable Energy" says the two should be considered together.

When public policy takes both energy efficiency and renewable energy into account, there can be significant synergies. The report is over 50 pages long with many detailed case studies, but you can find a good summary of the findings on the World Business Council for Sustainable Development Web site.

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  1. captainlaser
    Posted August 15, 2007 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    Cheryl, they go hand in hand.

    This year we replaced our fridge and our air conditioner (both about 10 years old). Our 3 monthly energy bill dropped by 30%.

    Buying green energy in Maryland is going to cost me a premium of 20-30%.

    It’s a wash for me financially but without a doubt a big win environmentally. We’re going wind power in our house.

  2. captainlaser
    Posted August 15, 2007 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, Sheryl. S not C.

  3. Posted August 16, 2007 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Way to go, CaptainLaser! :)

    The interesting part of the study was the policy piece – how considering both efficiency and renewables in crafting policy can get much greater results than approaching them separately – 1+1=3. Considering them together lets you time things better, lower and stabilize pricing, smooth geographic bumps, etc. It’s obvious when you think about it, but in practice the two are not usually considered together – e.g. tax credits for renewables don’t take efficiency into account.