From the Lab to the Marketplace
The United States consumes about 100 quadrillion BTUs (100 quads) of energy at the cost of $1 trillion each year, roughly 10% of our Gross Domestic Product. This energy is used by the nation's 114 million households, 82 billion square feet of commercial building floor space, 130 million cars, 95 million trucks, other modes of transportation, and by millions of manufacturing establishments large and small, to power the economy, and improve our lives.
Burning fossil fuels to produce energy leads to a variety of well-known environmental and health impacts, such as smog formation, contamination by toxic substances and respiratory disease. Of global concern is the emission of greenhouse gases—the primary driver of anthropogenic climate change.
How might this country, and the others of the world, reverse the growth of these pollutant and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions? The lowest-cost way to reduce GHG emissions and the other impacts of energy generation is to use energy more efficiently—to use technology that provides an equivalent or better level of service (lighting, heating, refrigeration, electronic entertainment, etc.) while using less energy. Since the 1970s, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has developed technologies and new approaches to meet this challenge.
The National Research Council's analysis of the impact of energy efficiency Research at DOE attributed $23 billion out of a total $30 billion of energy saved, in the sample of the Department of Energy-funded energy efficiency R&D examined, to R&D performed by Berkeley Lab in collaboration with industry partners.
Since the National Research Council review, Berkeley Lab has continued a broad program of research on energy efficiency and energy-related environmental topics. This report documents many examples of the resulting technologies, tools, and analyses that have been transferred to the marketplace to save energy, reduce the green house gas emissions, and improve outdoor and indoor environmental quality.