July 18, 2007: Report Examines Technologies for Stabilizing Greenhouse Gases
All the groups agreed on a basic finding of the report - to stabilize greenhouse gases in the earth's atmosphere will require a transformation of the global energy system, cutting fossil fuel use and reducing the growth in demand for energy. All of the scenarios found that greenhouse gas emissions cuts were achieved at the lowest cost by the electric power industry, using such technologies as renewable energy, nuclear power, and carbon dioxide capture and storage. Other sectors of the economy, such as buildings, industry, and transport, could mainly achieve emissions reductions through the use of energy efficiency; biomass energy and biofuels; electricity generated from low-carbon sources; and, when possible, carbon dioxide capture and storage.
Under the most stringent scenarios, greenhouse gas emissions begin to decline immediately or within a few decades, while the less stringent scenarios result in peak emissions late in this century or beyond, causing earth's atmosphere to increase its heat-trapping ability by as much as a factor of 2.5. In contrast, the reference scenario projects the heat-trapping ability of earth's atmosphere increasing by a factor of three to four by 2010 and trending upward, as economic growth outweighs improvements in energy efficiency. The report was coordinated by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
Publication date: 07/16/2007