Estimating the potential CO2 mitigation from agricultural energy efficiency in the United States
Energy efficiency in agriculture is an underanalyzed aspect of a potential climate change mitigation strategy. According to the Fourth Assessment Report, experts report only medium agreement and medium evidence that energy efficiency can provide substantial reductions (Smith et al. 2007). This paper estimates the CO2 mitigation potential achievable through improvements in energy efficiency in the US agriculture sector. The data are presented in three formats: the cost data or break-even points of each technology, a marginal abatement supply curve expressed in terms of reduction in energy use by fuel category, and a marginal abatement supply curve expressed in terms of CO2 emission reductions by fuel category. The largest sources of energy use in the sector were identified as motors used in irrigation systems or other pumping operations; farm machinery such as tractors used in daily farm operations; and space conditioning, such as HVAC systems for livestock and crop-drying systems.