Environmental Impacts of Demand-Side Technologies and Strategies for Carbon Mitigation
Energy efficiency and renewable energy are widely recognized as two of the most effective ways to greatly reduce the threat of climate change. But how much do we know about other environmental impacts of a large-scale deployment of these technologies? What are the benefits (or impacts) from a life-cycle perspective? By how much can the gains from energy efficient technologies be multiplied if greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from electricity production are also reduced?
In a special issue, Yale’s Journal of Industrial Ecology aims to advance our understanding of environmental and natural resource implications of energy efficiency technologies. This special issue, “Environmental Impacts of Demand-Side Technologies and Strategies for Carbon Mitigation,” was prepared in collaboration with the International Resource Panel of the United Nations Environment Programme. Several of the studies in this special issue will serve as technical appendices to a forthcoming report on life cycle implications of energy efficiency technologies by the IRP.
It’s no surprise that there are substantial benefits to energy efficiency. Demand-side technologies reduce GHGs as well as many other emissions and impacts—they have co-benefits. However, the size of those improvements vary widely among the technologies and regions considered because of transportation infrastructure, climatic conditions and the energy systems in which they are embedded. In some cases, the energy efficiency technologies may increase resource consumption and even increase GHG emissions.
Articles in the special issue are freely downloadable for a limited time at http://bit.ly/JIE-20-2