Timeframe for Completion
I certainly hope ACEEE’s projection will be realized, and will work to be part of the effort. However, it may be too soon to declare that’s going to happen. Not everyone is on board and some fiercely oppose this movement.
The report titled “REN21 Renewables Global Futures Report” shows the stark difference in future renewable projections among different industries and viewpoints. Not surprisingly, large oil companies such as Exxon Mobile project renewable share in electricity production will be still 16% even in 2040. (In this report, DOE target in one of the figures shows similar number). Environmental organizations such as Greenpeace pictures it’s share reaches 61% in 2030 and 94% in 2050.
People and groups who are between those two extremes are increasingly shifting their positions. For example, IEA(International Energy Agency), who used to publish conservative lower projections, started to project higher figure. Their most aggressive projection shows 31-48% renewables by 2035 and 57-71% by 2050.
Building industry is another example. An article in Builder Magazine, “Energy Use Projections for U.S. Buildings are down sharply” explains:
Since 2005, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has published its projections for energy consumption by buildings. Its 2011 projection for residential and commercial buildings, which it released recently, is nearly 70% less than its projection in 2005 (see chart).
Using its latest calculations, EIA estimates that consumers will spend $3.66 trillion less on energy between 2012 and 2030 than EIA projected in 2005 that they would spend over that period. And if the country’s architects and builders adopt the most efficient building technologies, those savings would exceed $6 trillion.
In its 2011 projection, EIA estimates that while building floor area would increase by nearly 39%, ... And if the building sector uniformly applied the best-available technology, energy consumption would actually decline by 9.2% and CO2 emissions would recede by 16.5% (see chart).The article further states that 50% to 80% of a building’s energy consumption can be reduced through design. With all things considered, 25% reduction in 10 to 15 years appears reasonable. That’s enough to eliminate nuclear production. In order to eliminate coal and natural gas as well, we need substantial increase in production side of sustainable energy.