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Resource efficiency: what are the limits?

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Catherine Pearson.

Concern over the global energy system, whether driven by climate change, national security, or fears of shortage, is being discussed widely and in every arena, but with a clear bias toward energy supply options. While demand reduction is often mentioned in passing, it is rarely a priority for implementation, whether through policy or through the search for innovation.

In this talk, I will draw attention to the opportunity to reduce energy demand across the entire energy system, from fuels through to final services. The analysis extends to the technical options for using energy-intensive materials more efficiently and potential reductions in overall consumer demand for energy and materials.

Using an integrative approach, this work explores the theoretical and practical limits for energy and material efficiency strategies, based on the underlying thermodynamic and engineering operation of energy devices and systems. The result is a consistent basis for comparing efficiency options, that enables future technical research and energy policy to hopefully be directed towards the actions that will make the most difference.

This talk is part of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Flows (IEEF) series.

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