New England Can Reduce Its Oil Dependence Through Conservation and Renewable Resource Development

EMD-81-58A: Published: Jun 11, 1981. Publicly Released: Jun 11, 1981.

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GAO hired an energy consulting firm to analyze the potential impact that conservation and renewable energy could have on New England's energy situation. This report, Volume II of a two-volume report, contains the results of the analysis. Itis an assessment of the extent to which energy conservation measures and alternative supply options that are technically feasible and economically attractive could affect the long-range consumption of oil in New England in the 1978-2000 period. The report attempts to point to areas where additional public action appears to be required in order to realize the potential benefits available to the region. The objective was to quantify the conservation and alternative supply potentials which could be attained through new institutional initiatives. The study offers quantitative estimates of the reduction in electricity consumption should these measures be implemented. A forecast based on present trends and policies is made and compared with a conservation case forecast based on the conservation scenario. The conservation case forecast is used to quantify utility sector oil savings and buildings sector oil savings. It identifies the alternative supply sources that hold the most promise as technically feasible and economically attractive options for displacing a portion of the presently planned generation mix and quantifies their potential contribution. The report focuses on alternative supply options that use renewable resources rather than fossil fuels. The report tries to quantify the reduction that could be achieved through additional conservation initiatives if the oil/gas mix in heating fuel use remained constant. The structure of a long-range model for forecasting electric energy consumption is described in detail. A conservation scenario is constructed to explicitly modify several of the input assumptions contained in the business-as-usual scenario. The impact of implementation of the conservation scenario for oil consumption is quantified, an alternative supply potential was identified, and the economic ramifications of the conservation measures embodied in the conservation scenario are assessed.

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