Keywords: climate change, distributed generation, photovoltaics, efficiency, cogeneration
Reduce, reuse and renew: one possible approach to cut carbon emissions
Global climate change has become an increasingly important issue over the last several years. This issue reached a climax at the Kyoto Conference in December, 1997 where the US agreed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 7% under its 1990 levels by 2010. This paper describes how distributed resources could be part of an overall solution towards achieving these reductions. It illustrates how a system composed of energy efficiency, distributed cogeneration, and distributed photovoltaics could reduce fuel consumption by 70% in the residential and commercial sectors. This could be a solution that makes economic sense independent of the climate change debate if implemented over the next 30 to 50 years, a timeframe which is not much worse for the climate system than achieving them in ten years, according to most analyses.