No matter how the U.S. energy portfolio changes, an increasing share of future needs will be met by energy-conversion and energy-demand technologies now in the research or development stage. Some will require substantial improvements—or even research breakthroughs—to have a major impact on our energy budget.
Some options are described below. Whether and to what extent any of these technologies ultimately contributes to changing our energy future will depend on many factors, from advances in technology development to the priorities reflected in government policy.
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
The network connecting electricity producers to consumers. The boundaries of the grid can be drawn differently but may include electricity generators, high power transmission wires, lower power distribution wires, and end users such as homes and businesses as well as the regulatory and market structures that impact electricity transactions. The grid is a physical infrastructure transmitting electricity and is also an economic entity that responds to supply and demand communicated through prices.
Search the National Academies Press website by selecting one of these related terms.
- America’s Energy Future: Technology and Transformation (2009)
- Liquid Transportation Fuels from Coal and Biomass: Technological Status, Costs, and Environmental Impacts (2009)
- Review of the Research Program of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership: Second Report (2008)
- Review of DOE’s Nuclear Energy Research and Development Program (2007)