This study analyzes nine areas of the national economy in terms of their potential for energy conservation through the use of applied meteorological services. In addition to a quantitative estimate for the potential energy savings, each area is also discussed in terms of: 1) the way in which applied meteorological services are currently provided, 2) the nonmeteorological impediments to supplying improved meteorological services, and 3) the required research and implementation program to provide these improved meteorological services.
It is concluded that applied meteorology could represent a significant increase in the nation's efficient use of the available energy supplies. Savings of up to several percent of the nation's annual energy consumption could be realized. This would represent an economic savings of as much as $5–$6 billion annually. In addition, there are opportunities related to the use of supplementary control systems at fossil-fired power plants that would allow cheaper, more abundant fuels to be used under appropriate meteorological conditions. Candidates for these control systems could represent up to 8.5% of the nation's energy consumption and effect the use of fuels equivalent to over a billion barrels of oil.
None of the above estimates account for the implementation costs of required programs. Development of these costs would involve judgments concerning future technological innovations and utilization patterns, which are beyond the scope of the present inquiry. However, in view of the substantial economic and energy savings available, it is apparent that these costs are worthy of investigation.