The Cost of Energy
Energy use can carry a hefty price tag—and not just in money. The cost to our environment, to national security, and to the prospect of future sustainability is sometimes hard to calculate in dollar terms, but nonetheless very real in practical terms. What factors should we consider as we make decisions about energy options for the future?
Understanding EfficiencyLearn the significance of energy efficiency
The Promise of Better LightingEnergy savings through lighting technology
Our Energy SystemA visualization of all our energy sources
- Carbon Debt
The amount of carbon emissions that exceed sustainable carbon sinks. A carbon debt could be assigned to any entity to which carbon emissions can be attributed, such as an individual, a firm, a group, a country, or an industry. Attribution of emissions and estimation of sustainable carbon sinks are complications to calculating this metric.
Search the National Academies Press website by selecting one of these related terms.
- America’s Energy Future: Technology and Transformation (2009)
- Electricity from Renewable Resources: Status, Prospects, and Impediments (2010)
- Liquid Transportation Fuels from Coal and Biomass: Technological Status, Costs, and Environmental Impacts (2009)
- Assessing Economic Impacts of Greenhouse Gas Mitigation: Summary of a Workshop (2009)
- Coal: Research and Development to Support National Energy Policy (2007)
- Energy Research at DOE: Was It Worth It? Energy Efficiency and Fossil Energy Research 1978 to 2000 (2001)
- Novel Approaches to Carbon Management: Separation, Capture, Sequestration, and Conversion to Useful Products-Workshop Report (2003)