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Hidden Costs of Energy: Unpriced Consequences of Energy Production and Use
FIGURE 4-1 Total U.S. energy use by sector, 2008. SOURCE: EIA 2008b.
The types of damages considered by this committee and associated with end uses of electricity are relatively small compared with those associated with electricity generation.
This chapter provides approximate estimates of damages associated with the use of natural gas for heating applications in the industrial and building sectors. The technologies used in these sectors vary in type, size, and age and are widely distributed, but they mainly burn natural gas. The industrial sector uses some petroleum and small amounts of other primary fuels. The magnitude of associated externalities is strongly influenced by the amount of a particular fuel used and the locations of use.
Most industrial processes and buildings have operating lives of three or more decades, so, in addition to new installations to meet growth in demand, only a few percent of the existing stock is replaced each year. Much