The United States (US) Clean Power Plan established state-specific carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reduction goals for fossil fuel-fired electricity generating units (EGUs). States may achieve these goals through multiple mechanisms, including measures that can achieve equivalent CO2 reductions such as residential energy efficiency, which will have important co-benefits. Here, we develop state-resolution simulations of the economic, health, and climate benefits of increased residential insulation, considering EGUs and residential combustion. Increasing insulation to International Energy Conservation Code 2012 levels for all single-family homes in the US in 2013 would lead to annual reductions of 80 million tons of CO2 from EGUs, with annual co-benefits including 30 million tons of CO2 from residential combustion and 320 premature deaths associated with criteria pollutant emissions from both EGUs and residential combustion sources. Monetized climate and health co-benefits average $49 per ton of CO2 reduced from EGUs (range across states: $12–$390). State-specific co-benefit estimates can inform development of optimal Clean Power Plan implementation strategies.
Rapid global urbanization and the increase of the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect make urban cooling a necessity as well as an opportunity to increase the liveability and amenity of cities. This review is a scoping study of the relevant worldwide UHI mitigation/adaptation...Read more
Industry misconceptions around high cost and poor market interest in energy efficient homes continue to obstruct the mass adoption of low carbon housing. Josh’s House demonstrates that low carbon housing is accessible and cost effective. The Star Performers series showcases how...Read more
Financing the upfront costs of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in buildings can be a significant barrier to the expansion of sustainable, low carbon buildings, despite this being a low-cost option on the carbon abatement curve. Systematic literature on...Read more
Various policies targeting at building energy efficiency have been promulgated by the Chinese government in the past decade. However, few studies evaluate if China is on the right path to meet its energy goals through these policies by providing an assessment of their effect in reducing energy consumption in residential buildings or the feasibility of such policies to catalyze these reductions.
The contribution of buildings to climate change has become widely acknowledged. On 3 December 2015, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) held the first ‘buildings day’ at COP 21 (the UN Climate Change Conference) devoted to the decarbonization of the building stock. There are several forms of negative contributions that buildings make to climate change, but high on the list are embodied and operational energy demands, which largely depend on fossil fuels and result in greenhouse gas emissions.
Evidence gathered by the International Energy Agency has identified six critical factors to guide policy makers in realising potential savings in both new and existing buildings through the modernisation of building energy codes.
China has made energy conservation and energy efficiency one of its top priorities as a means of guiding its economic and social development. In the past three decades, while China’s economy increased eighteen‑fold, energy consumption increased only five‑fold. The energy intensity of China’s GDP declined by about seventy percent during the same period. In the face of resource and environmental constraints, China vowed to make energy conservation a foundation of its economic and social development strategy, as well as its energy and climate change strategy.