Most environmental analyses focus on changing existing processes to use less energy and produce fewer emissions. This report uses energy service analysis (ESA) to examine possibilities for instead changing how a service is delivered. The ESA framework is used to analyze how changes in the provision of two services — news delivery and personal mobility — might reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and suggests other areas in which ESA could be applied.
Energy Services Analysis
An Alternative Approach for Identifying Opportunities to Reduce Emissions of Greenhouse Gases
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- Can energy services analysis lead to reduced energy use and greenhouse-gas emissions?
- How is energy services analysis different from conventional approaches to environmental research?
- How can energy services analysis be applied to specific needs such as news delivery and personal mobility?
- To what other needs could energy service analysis be applied?
This technical report uses energy service analysis (ESA) to identify and evaluate new means to reduce greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions. Most analyses in this area focus on making existing processes more efficient. This report uses ESA to examine possibilities for instead changing how a service is delivered. The report introduces ESA, explains how it differs from conventional approaches and how this type of analysis can be conducted, uses an ESA framework to analyze how changes in the provision of two services — news delivery and personal mobility — might result in reductions in GHG emissions, suggests other areas in which ESA could be applied, and ends with some thoughts on using ESA more broadly. The authors find that technical improvements in any specific sector may not generate per capita reductions in energy use or GHG emissions as large as reductions possible through changing the means by which people achieve the ends currently provided in those sectors (e.g., news, social interaction). However, reductions are constrained by how well the alternative (e.g., e-readers, vehicle sharing) substitutes for the existing means of providing the service.
Energy Services Analysis Can Lead to Greater Reductions in Energy Use and Greenhouse-Gas Emissions Than Conventional Approaches
- Technical improvements in any specific sector (e.g., newspaper production, vehicle manufacturing) may not generate per capita reductions in energy use or GHG emissions as large as reductions possible through changing the means by which people achieve the ends currently provided in those sectors (e.g., news, social interaction).
- Reductions are constrained by how well an alternative (e.g., e-readers, vehicle sharing) substitutes for the existing means of providing the service.
Table of Contents
Energy Services Analysis
Communications: Electronic Delivery of Daily Written News
Personal Transportation: Sharing, Rather Than Owning, Vehicles
Applying Energy Services Analysis to Other Contexts
Energy Consumption Associated with E-Readers
This report was sponsored by the United States Department of Energy and was conducted in the Environment, Energy, and Economic Development Program within RAND Infrastructure, Safety, and Environment, a division of the RAND Corporation.
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