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Long-Term Potentials of Rational Energy use - The Unknown Possibilities of Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Jochem, Eberhard
climate change, developed countries, economists, energy efficiency, exergy, greenhouse gas emissions, greenhouse gases, natural gas, nuclear power, recycling
Many energy economists expect a further increase in energy demand of industrialized countries and, hence, a substantial shift to natural gas, nuclear power, and renewables to avoid climatic changes due to energy-related greenhouse gases. The judgement that feasible improvements of energy efficiency are limited to 30 to 40% is questioned by the author. The paper that argues the potentials of rational energy use are higher than 80% in the long term by improving the exergy efficiency (which is today less than 10%) and by decreasing the level of useful energy by reduced losses, substitution of energy-intensive processes, applying new materials, and intensified recycling of energy-intensive materials. Because of the unbalanced perception of the future potentials of rational energy use and of energy conversion technologies it is very likely that the high potentials for reducing the greenhouse gas emissions by improved energy efficiency will be underestimated.