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Title: Technology Opportunities to Reduce U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Abstract

The rise in greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel combustion and industrial and agricultural activities has aroused international concern about the possible impacts of these emissions on climate. Greenhouse gases--mostly carbon dioxide, some methane, nitrous oxide and other trace gases--are emitted to the atmosphere, enhancing an effect in which heat reflected from the earth's surface is kept from escaping into space, as in a greenhouse. Thus, there is concern that the earth's surface temperature may rise enough to cause global climate change. Approximately 90% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from anthropogenic sources come from energy production and use, most of which are a byproduct of the combustion of fossil fuels. On a per capita basis, the United States is one of the world's largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions, comprising 4% of the world's population, yet emitting 23% of the world's greenhouse gases. Emissions in the United States are increasing at around 1.2% annually, and the Energy Information Administration forecasts that emissions levels will continue to increase at this rate in the years ahead if we proceed down the business-as-usual path. President Clinton has presented a two-part challenge for the United States: reduce greenhouse gas emissions and grow the economy.more » Meeting the challenge will mean that in doing tomorrow's work, we must use energy more efficiently and emit less carbon for the energy expended than we do today. To accomplish these goals, President Clinton proposed on June 26, 1997, that the United States ''invest more in the technologies of the future''. In this report to Secretary of Energy Pena, 47 technology pathways are described that have significant potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The present study was completed before the December 1997 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and is intended to provide a basis to evaluate technology feasibility and options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These technology pathways (which are described in greater detail in Appendix B, Technology Pathways) address three areas: energy efficiency, clean energy, and carbon sequestration (removing carbon from emissions and enhancing carbon storage). Based on an assessment of each of these technology pathways over a 30-year planning horizon, the directors of the Department of Energy's (DOE's) national laboratories conclude that success will require pursuit of multiple technology pathways to provide choices and flexibility for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Advances in science and technology are necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the United States while sustaining economic growth and providing collateral benefits to the nation.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
885734
Report Number(s):
ORNL/M-6142
TRN: US200617%%160
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
03 NATURAL GAS; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY AND ECONOMY; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; CARBON; CARBON DIOXIDE; CARBON SEQUESTRATION; CLIMATES; CLIMATIC CHANGE; COMBUSTION; ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT; ENERGY EFFICIENCY; FLEXIBILITY; FOSSIL FUELS; GREENHOUSE GASES; METHANE; NITROUS OXIDE; STORAGE; US ENERGY INFORMATION ADMINISTRATION

Citation Formats

National Lab Directors, . .. Technology Opportunities to Reduce U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions. United States: N. p., 2001. Web. doi:10.2172/885734.
National Lab Directors, . .. Technology Opportunities to Reduce U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions. United States. doi:10.2172/885734.
National Lab Directors, . .. Thu . "Technology Opportunities to Reduce U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions". United States. doi:10.2172/885734. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/885734.
@article{osti_885734,
title = {Technology Opportunities to Reduce U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions},
author = {National Lab Directors, . .},
abstractNote = {The rise in greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel combustion and industrial and agricultural activities has aroused international concern about the possible impacts of these emissions on climate. Greenhouse gases--mostly carbon dioxide, some methane, nitrous oxide and other trace gases--are emitted to the atmosphere, enhancing an effect in which heat reflected from the earth's surface is kept from escaping into space, as in a greenhouse. Thus, there is concern that the earth's surface temperature may rise enough to cause global climate change. Approximately 90% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from anthropogenic sources come from energy production and use, most of which are a byproduct of the combustion of fossil fuels. On a per capita basis, the United States is one of the world's largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions, comprising 4% of the world's population, yet emitting 23% of the world's greenhouse gases. Emissions in the United States are increasing at around 1.2% annually, and the Energy Information Administration forecasts that emissions levels will continue to increase at this rate in the years ahead if we proceed down the business-as-usual path. President Clinton has presented a two-part challenge for the United States: reduce greenhouse gas emissions and grow the economy. Meeting the challenge will mean that in doing tomorrow's work, we must use energy more efficiently and emit less carbon for the energy expended than we do today. To accomplish these goals, President Clinton proposed on June 26, 1997, that the United States ''invest more in the technologies of the future''. In this report to Secretary of Energy Pena, 47 technology pathways are described that have significant potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The present study was completed before the December 1997 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and is intended to provide a basis to evaluate technology feasibility and options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These technology pathways (which are described in greater detail in Appendix B, Technology Pathways) address three areas: energy efficiency, clean energy, and carbon sequestration (removing carbon from emissions and enhancing carbon storage). Based on an assessment of each of these technology pathways over a 30-year planning horizon, the directors of the Department of Energy's (DOE's) national laboratories conclude that success will require pursuit of multiple technology pathways to provide choices and flexibility for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Advances in science and technology are necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the United States while sustaining economic growth and providing collateral benefits to the nation.},
doi = {10.2172/885734},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Apr 05 00:00:00 EDT 2001},
month = {Thu Apr 05 00:00:00 EDT 2001}
}

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