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Title: Are cooler surfaces a cost-effect mitigation of urban heat islands?

Much research has gone into technologies to mitigate urban heat islands by making urban surfaces cooler by increasing their albedos. To be practical, the benefit of the technology must be greater than its cost. Here, this report provides simple methods for quantifying the maxima of some benefits that albedo increases may provide. The method used is an extension of an earlier paper that estimated the maximum possible electrical energy saving achievable in an entire city in a year by a change of albedo of its surfaces. The present report estimates the maximum amounts and monetary savings of avoided CO 2 emissions and the decreases in peak power demands. As examples, for several warm cities in California, a 0.2 increase in albedo of pavements is found to reduce CO 2 emissions by < 1 kg per m 2 per year. At the current price of CO 2 reduction in California, the monetary saving is < US$ 0.01 per year per m 2 modified. The resulting maximum peak-power reductions are estimated to be < 7% of the base power of the city. In conclusion, the magnitudes of the savings are such that decision-makers should choose carefully which urban heat island mitigation techniquesmore » are cost effective.« less
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  1. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Urban Climate
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 24; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 2212-0955
Research Org:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22); USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Building Technologies Office (EE-5B)
Country of Publication:
United States
29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY; Urban heat island mitigation; Maximum electrical saving; Carbon dioxide avoided; Peak power reduction; City-wide annual; Cost effective
OSTI Identifier: