Publications of Levine, M.

Defining a standard metric for electricity savings

The growing investment by governments and electric utilities in energy efficiency programs highlights the need for simple tools to help assess and explain the size of the potential resource. One technique that is commonly used in that effort is to characterize electricity savings in terms of avoided power plants, because it is easier for people to visualize a power plant than it is to understand an abstraction like billions of kilowatt-hours. Unfortunately, there is no standardization around the characteristics of such power plants. In this article we define parameters for a standard avoided power plant that have physical meaning and intuitive plausibility, for use in back-of-the-envelope calculations. For the prototypical plant this article settles on a 500-megawatt existing coal plant operating at a 70% capacity factor with 7% T&D losses. Displacing such a plant for one year would save 3 billion kWh/year at the meter and reduce emissions by 3 million metric tons of CO2 per year. The proposed name for this metric is the Rosenfeld, in keeping with the tradition among scientists of naming units in honor of the person most responsible for the discovery and widespread adoption of the underlying scientific principle in question - Dr. Arthur H. Rosenfeld. © 2011 American Institute of Physics.

Defining a standard metric for electricity savings

The growing investment by governments and electric utilities in energy efficiency programs highlights the need for simple tools to help assess and explain the size of the potential resource. One technique that is commonly used in this effort is to characterize electricity savings in terms of avoided power plants, because it is easier for people to visualize a power plant than it is to understand an abstraction such as billions of kilowatt-hours. Unfortunately, there is no standardization around the characteristics of such power plants. In this letter we define parameters for a standard avoided power plant that have physical meaning and intuitive plausibility, for use in back-of-the-envelope calculations. For the prototypical plant this article settles on a 500MW existing coal plant operating at a 70% capacity factor with 7% T&D losses. Displacing such a plant for one year would save 3billion kWh/year at the meter and reduce emissions by 3 million metric tons of CO2 per year. The proposed name for this metric is the Rosenfeld, in keeping with the tradition among scientists of naming units in honor of the person most responsible for the discovery and widespread adoption of the underlying scientific principle in question - DrArthur HRosenfeld. © 2010 IOP Publishing Ltd.

IPCC, Metz B, Davidson O, Barker T, Bashmakov I, Bernstein L, et al. Summary for Policymakers. In: Climate Change 2007: Mitigation. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth AssessmentReport of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 2007.
Levine M, Ürge-Vorsatz D, Blok K, Geng L, Harvey D, Lang S, et al. Residential and commercial buildings. In: Climate Change 2007: Mitigation. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press; 2007. p. 53-8.

Mitigating CO2 emissions from energy use in the world's buildings.

An overview of climate change mitigation opportunities in the world's buildings is presented, based on the key building-specific findings of the Fourth Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change. Buildings and the building stock can play a major role in mitigating climate change in the short- to medium-term, since substantial reductions in CO2 emissions from their energy use can be achieved over the coming years. A significant portion of these savings can be achieved in ways that reduce life cycle costs, thus providing reductions in CO2 emissions that have a net negative cost. There are indications that the building stock has the highest share of negative- and low-cost greenhouse gas reduction potential among all sectors. Based on 80 collected national or regional studies estimating CO2 mitigation potential in five continents, the global potential for CO2 reductions through buildings is analysed and estimated. The co-benefits associated with the implementation of these measures are also substantial, helping policy-makers justify actions even in the absence of a strong climate commitment. Since the barriers to unlocking the high potentials in the residential and commercial sectors are especially strong, no single instrument can make a large impact. Instead, portfolios of targeted policies tailored to local conditions, combined with strong compliance and enforcement regimes, are needed.