14 Feb '12, 11pm

Overinvesting in energy efficiency, on purpose

Overinvesting in energy efficiency, on purpose

This opens up intriguing possibilities. Lots of the really big leaps in efficiency – in Harvey’s terms, system efficiency rather than device efficiency — appear too expensive from our current perspective. But if we’re trying to curb the economic growth brought on by efficiency, “too expensive” becomes a virtue! (Chances of that sentence being quoted out of context: 96.8%.) So we can make leaps: not just more efficient furnaces, but passivhaus construction that makes buildings into net energy producers; not just electric cars, but dense, walkable, transit-serviced communities that recycle their water and waste; not just more efficient boilers, but distributed energy sources linked by smart grids into resilient electricity networks. The big stuff. We can spend what’s necessary to help nations with limited access to water and power “leapfrog” over carbon-heavy infrastructure ...

Full article: http://grist.org/energy-efficiency/overinvesting-in-energ...

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