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Climate change may alter building energy demand. Here, the authors quantify changes in residential electricity and natural gas demand in Los Angeles County and find that rising temperatures may increase electricity demand by 41–87% between 2020 and 2060, but improved efficiency could lower this increase to 28%.
Shale gas and oil production and prospective development are increasing, but methods for shale extraction (‘fracking’) have been met with opposition. This study shows that informed discourse around shale development focussed on risks or doubts about benefits in a similar manner across the US and UK.
This Perspective considers the potential mitigation contribution of carbon capture and utilization, such as chemical conversation or to enhance oil recovery. The authors find it will account for a small amount of the required total mitigation effort.
Intermittent renewable sources provide an ever-greater share of electricity, which changes the variability of the net load. This study models different renewables combinations over different timescales for the Nordic power system and shows how the optimal mix depends on the frequency band of the fluctuations.
Large-scale adoption of electric vehicles will only occur if the needs of individual drivers are met. Here the authors present a model of the energy consumption of personal vehicles in the USA, allowing an evaluation of the adoption potential of electric vehicles.
The US Clean Power Plan establishes detailed CO2 emissions reductions targets at state level with a flexible framework for implementation. This flexibility is intended to spur innovation and economic efficiency, but a study finds that it creates vast uncertainties around both the implementation of the rule and subsequent impacts.
For uptake of electric vehicles to increase, consumers' driving-range needs must be fulfilled. Analysis of the driving patterns of personal vehicles in the US now shows that today's electric vehicles can meet all travel needs on almost 90% of days from a single overnight charge.
The framing of funding programmes can sustain existing ways of conceptualizing particular problems, as well as create new ones. Yet, without more prominent roles for social sciences and humanities, the techno-economic conceptualization of energy consumers could hinder long-term low-carbon aspirations.