June 20, 2016: Energy Matters: Climate

Courtesy of American Energy Society and Eric Vettel

The air conditioning revolution:

   * Of the total electricity used by Americans, 5 percent is used to cool homes and buildings. (This figure does not include cooling of cars, refrigeration, etc.)

   * In just 15 years, ownership of air conditioners in urban areas of China has gone from a small percentage to exceeding 100 percent; each urban household has, on average, more than one air conditioner.

   * India projects to be the fastest growing market for air-conditioning; several-hundred-million people in India will purchase an air conditioner in the next few years.

   * In the next decade, the world will install 700 million air conditioners. (For comparison, adding 700 million new air conditioners is like adding several moderately-sized countries to the world.) 

 - Car-top roof racks increase the amount of fuel consumption in the US by about 100 million gallons of gas each year. AES Premium Members have access to the peer-reviewed article.

 - Millennials are generally not very interested in cars; they prefer, in reverse order: public transportation, bicycles, working from home, and ride- and car-sharing services.

 - The two largest international lenders — the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund — are urging governments to impose carbon pricing to help combat climate change.

 - Cars and trucks make up about 22 percent of US climate pollution and 17 percent of the global total; the US portion is holding steady, but the global percentage is growing rapidly.

 - Global energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are projected to increase significantly, largely driven by increased energy use by countries outside of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). AES Premium Members have access to the International Energy Outlook 2016 Executive Summary.

 - Scientists may have significantly underestimated the amount of sulfur dioxide emissions. a pollutant that harms health and the environment. Sulfur dioxide pollution can come from a variety of sources, including but not limited to: volcanoes and the burning of fossil fuels.