Dan Kammen comments on new suggested unit for electricity and carbon savings: a Rosenfeld

March, 2010
Environmental Research Web

                  Arthur Rosenfeld.png                                                                                                             Dr Arthur H Rosenfeld, the scientist and energy policy expert who helped turn California into a global leader on the efficient use of electricity, will be honored with a new measurement unit to describe energy savings, under a proposal published in IOP Publishing's Environmental Research Letters by more than 50 leading climate scientists.

The proposed Rosenfeld unit represents savings of 3 billion kWh per year at the utility meter, the amount needed to replace the annual generation from a single existing 500-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant. This is the equivalent of the amount of electricity used by a US city with a population of 250,000 people.In addition to the electricity savings, a Rosenfeld represents 3 million metric tonnes of avoided carbon dioxide emissions annually, ensuring that electricity-savings estimates can be accurately compared with each other. 

Prof. Dan Kammen, editor-in-chief of Environmental Research Letters and a co-author of the "Rosenfeld" paper, says: "I'm thrilled to see this metric introduced through our journal, both because we are an outlet for rapid publication of key sustainability science findings, but also because Art Rosenfeld has been a personal mentor and a source of inspiration.The Rosenfeld unit highlights both how polluting conventional coal-fired power plants are, and how much work is needed to shift that generation to low-carbon, sustainable sources."