Wednesday, April 28, 2010
April 27, 2010
The expected increase in demand for energy in Virginia during the next two decades could nearly be offset by energy efficiency technologies and practices, a new report claims.
Released by Duke University and Georgia Tech, the report examines the energy usage of 16 Southern states, focusing on residential, commercial and industrial buildings.
It found that Virginia's energy demand would increase 14 percent from 2010 to 2030.
Most of the increase — 12 percent — could be negated through energy efficiency, said Etan Gumerman, senior policy associate at Duke's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.
"There are gains across the board to be had everywhere," he said.
The report calls for tougher building codes, appliances that consume less energy and programs that spur property owners into retrofitting their buildings. It also recommends utility upgrades and other improvements at industrial complexes.
Such initiatives are usually led by the federal government, Gumerman said.
The report comes as Virginia, which imports more energy than it produces, tries to expand its energy portfolio.
Gov. Bob McDonnell supports a range of initiatives, including offshore drilling and the construction of what would be Virginia's largest coal-fired power plant in Surry County.
The report was funded by the Energy Foundation, the Kresge Foundation and the Turner Foundation.
For more environment and science news visit the Daily Press blog, The Deadrise, at dailypress.com/deadrise
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