Natural Gas Leaders Say Nation Should Look to Full-Fuel-Cycle to Keep Energy Affordable and Lower Emissions
(Washington, D.C.) Leaders of the Natural Gas Council (NGC) today warned the United States should think twice before spending $520 billion on energy recommendations made in a recent McKinsey & Company study titled “Unlocking Energy Efficiency in the U.S. Economy.” The NGC said the report and recommendations were based on flawed methodology that did not accurately capture energy that is lost during its production and transport.
“While the report highlights the potential to achieve significant savings in U.S. energy consumption, we respectfully submit that its value as a blueprint for a comprehensive national energy efficiency strategy is undermined by its exclusive focus on end-use, or site energy savings, rather than a full-fuel-cycle analysis of the potential to save energy,” said the NGC leaders in a letter to McKinsey officials. The full-fuel-cycle takes into account the amount of energy produced and lost from the point of its production to the final point of use and thus provides a more precise measure of energy efficiency and environmental impacts than the method used in “Unlocking Energy Efficiency,” which only considered energy used at the site.
The Natural Gas Council leaders pointed to a recent analysis by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory that indicated the U.S. can get more energy savings from capturing “rejected energy” – such as waste heat from power plants. If captured, that heat could warm buildings or turn turbines to generate additional electricity, and do so at lower costs. According to the Lawrence Livermore report, 75 percent of the rejected energy associated with the residential, commercial and industrial sectors occurs before end-use applications.