America's Energy Future: Technology and Transformation: Summary Edition

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National Academies Press, Dec 14, 2009 - Science - 208 pages
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Energy production and use touch our lives in countless ways. We are reminded of the cost of energy every time we fill up at the gas pump, pay an electricity bill, or purchase an airline ticket. Energy use also has important indirect impacts, not all of which are reflected in current energy prices: depletion of natural resources, degradation of the environment, and threats to national security arising from a growing dependence on geopolitically unstable regions for some of our energy supplies. These indirect impacts could increase in the future if the demand for energy rises faster than available energy supplies. Our nation's challenge is to develop an energy portfolio that reduces these impacts while providing sufficient and affordable energy supplies to sustain our future economic prosperity.

The United States has enormous economic and intellectual resources that can be brought to bear on these challenges through a sustained national effort in the decades ahead. America's Energy Future is intended to inform the development of wise energy policies by fostering a better understanding of technological options for increasing energy supplies and improving the efficiency of energy use. This summary edition of the book will also be a useful resource for professionals working in the energy industry or involved in advocacy and researchers and academics in energy-related fields of study.

America's Energy Future examines the deployment potential, costs, barriers, and impacts of energy supply and end-use technologies during the next two to three decades, including energy efficiency, alternative transportation fuels, renewable energy, fossil fuel energy, and nuclear energy, as well as technologies for improving the nation's electrical transmission and distribution systems.

 

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Contents

Executive Summary
1
PART 1
7
1 Context and Challenges
9
2 Key Findings
35
3 Key Results from Technology Assessments
81
APPENDIXES
133
Committee and Staff Biographies
135
Meeting Participants
153
Americas Energy Future Project
159
Principal Units and Conversion Factors
163
Select Acronyms and Abbreviations
167
Index
171
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