TABLE 5-10 Illustration of Ranges of Climate-Related Damages for Selected Categories of Energy Use in the United States, 2005


Fuel and Technology

Climate-Related Damages for $10-30-100/Ton CO2-eqa




Coal plants (biomass)b

1-3.0-10 ¢/kWh


Natural gas plants

0.5-1.5-5 ¢/kWh


Nuclear, wind, solar

Much lower than natural gas




Cellulosic E85/car

0.02-(0.15-0.25)-2 ¢/VMT



0.04-0.4-4.0 ¢/VMT


Gasoline hybrid

0.04-0.4-4.0 ¢/VMT



0.06-0.6-6.0 ¢/VMT



0.06-0.6-6.0 ¢/VMT



0.03-0.3-3.0 ¢/VMT



0.05-0.5-5.0 ¢/VMT


E85 corn/car

0.05-0.5-5.0 ¢/VMT


Grid-dependent HEV or EVc

0.05-0.5-5.0 ¢/VMT

Building and Industrial for Heating



Natural gas combustiond

0.07-0.7-7.0 $/MCF

aRounded to one digit, 2007 USD.

bBiomass can be co-fired with coal in quantities up to about 20%.

cRanges based on use of the fuel in a representative group of vehicles. Grid-electric cars are usually smaller than fleet average cars, so their better performance per vehicle mile traveled (VMT) is also dependent on use of smaller cars with lesser driving ranges.

dFuture additions to supplies may include imported liquified natural gas, which will include nonclimate damages outside the United States at the source and will have increased climate damages in the range of 30% or more depending on the gas field and the liquefaction plant details.

ABBREVIATIONS: CNG = compressed natural gas; HEV = hybrid electric vehicle: EV = electric vehicle; MCF = thousand cubic feet.

crucial for decision makers not only to look at singular summary statistics (such as present value marginal damages) but also to understand the magnitude of impacts as individuals will bear them, both across time and at different points in time across regions. This concern is not particular to climate change, but the very long time frames associated with GHG residence in the atmosphere and with thermal inertia of the oceans raise the issue of discounting to a level that is present in few other problems. Nonetheless, the committee also finds that a consistent framework for discounting impacts occurring over similar time frames across all potential policy investments is essential for reasoned policy analysis.

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