Combining the projections on population development, GDP growth and energy intensity results in future development pathways for energy demand in America. These are shown in Figure 17 for both the Reference and the energy [r]evolution scenarios. Under the Reference Scenario, total energy demand increases by almost 50% from the current 95,000 PJ/a to 143,000 PJ/a in 2050. In the energy [r]evolution scenario, a decrease is expected to 56,000 PJ/a by 2050, half of the projected consumption under the Reference Scenario.
An accelerated increase in energy efficiency, which is a crucial prerequisite for achieving a sufficiently large share of renewable sources in energy supply, will be beneficial not only for the environment but from an economic point of view. Taking into account the full life cycle, in most cases the implementation of energy efficiency measures saves money compared to increasing energy supply. A dedicated energy efficiency strategy therefore helps to compensate in part for the additional costs required during the market introduction phase of renewable energy sources.
Under the energy [r]evolution scenario, electricity demand is expected to decrease. With the exploitation of efficiency measures, an increase can be avoided despite continuing economic growth, leading to electricity demand of around 3,600 TWh/a in 2050. Compared to the Reference Scenario, efficiency measures avoid the generation of about 3,200 TWh/a.This reduction in energy demand can be achieved in particular by introducing highly efficient electronic devices using the best available technology in all demand sectors. Introduction of passive solar design in both residential and commercial buildings will help to curb the growing demand for active air-conditioning.
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