Power Electronics

Study Shows Chips can Cut Energy Consumption

Aggressive adoption of new technologies for the production, distribution and use of electricity could lower total U.S. energy consumption by 2030, according to a study released today by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The study was commissioned by the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), and the complete ACEEE report and a one-page summary of SIA policy recommendations are available at: www.sia-online.org.

“Technology currently available and under development has the potential to revolutionize America's energy picture on a scale comparable to the way the Internet is revolutionizing commerce,” said Brian Halla, chairman and chief executive officer of National Semiconductor and member of the SIA board of directors. “Chip-enabled technologies will soon deliver solutions to the complex problems involved in harnessing solar and wind power and integrating electricity from these sources into the nation's distribution grid.”

The ACEEE study reported that adoption of semiconductor-enabled technologies could lower the demand for electricity by 1.2 trillion kW-h in 2030; a consumption level that is 22% less than the Department of Energy's base case and 11% less than today, even though the economy is about 70% larger. Without such technologies, the U.S. would need an additional 296 large electric power plants, and consumers and businesses would need to spend an additional $126 billion.

SIA has proposed a number of public policies to accelerate adoption of various technologies, including tax incentives for adoption of energy-efficient products, federal support for R&D, and new energy-efficiency standards.

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