This week AEE released Advanced Energy Now 2014 Market Report, which featured a breakdown of advanced energy’s $1.1 trillion estimated global revenue in 2013. The report itself was picked up by several major news organizations.
Rod Kuckro, writing for E&E’s Energy Wire, described the report and what it could mean for states considering advanced energy policies during this legislative year. Kuckro described AEE as “a challenge to robust efforts by the American Legislative Exchange Council to repeal state laws” that promote advanced energy. While emphasizing AEE’s pro-prosperity mission, CEO Graham Richard told Kuckro, “We are involved in protecting and keeping policies that we believe give us a fair and level playing field such as protecting the renewable portfolio standards in states, protecting energy conservation initiatives.”
Covering AEE’s press webinar for Climate Wire, another E&E publication, Umair Ifran highlighted the size of the advanced energy market globally and its 7 percent increase in revenue over 2012. Ifran also pointed out the role federal policymakers play in the advanced energy economy. “Wavering support for the production tax credit, a crucial incentive driving the wind industry, led to a dramatic $23 billion drop in revenue for wind between 2012 and 2013,” wrote Ifran.
In its coverage, International Business Times focused on advanced energy growing twice as fast as the global economy. Solar revenue in the U.S. alone almost doubled between 2011 and 2013, and revenue from advanced vehicles more than doubled.
Meanwhile, Stephen Lacey of Greentech Media found a “counterintuitive trend” when he compared the revenues of building efficiency and electricity generation. “America’s building sector often gets criticized for being an inefficient drain on the country’s electricity system,” Lacey wrote. “At the same time, the natural gas industry gets held up as an economic miracle for the grid.” Looking at the AEE data, Lacey found more revenue, and faster growth, in building technologies than in wind and natural gas generating facilities in the U.S. “The analysis does suggest once again that building efficiency is a much bigger force that people assume. And if investment keeps its current pace, it will likely continue to rival the more visible clean electricity sector.”
Download the full report to discover the full size and scope of the advanced energy economy. Click below!
In other news this week, the Ivanpah Solar Plant marked its formal opening last Thursday. The plant first synced with the grid in September of last year and had already begun sending electricity to the grid regularly. Ivanpah is the largest solar thermal plant of its kind. While some herald its opening as the beginning of a new chapter in American energy, some reports are more tempered concerning the future of large-scale solar thermal installations. The New York Times argues that other technologies may delay or supplant new large-scale solar thermal projects for the foreseeable future. Brightsource’s designs for its next projects, planned for China, the Middle East, and South Africa, are more modest: they involve one tower instead of Ivanpah’s three.
Large-scale solar on the whole shows no sign of stopping, though. The Department of Interior approved AEE Member First Solar’s plans for two utility-scale solar projects. “This milestone validates the environmentally responsible development of utility-scale photovoltaic projects on federally managed lands to achieve federal and state carbon-reduction objectives,” said First Solar CEO Jim Hughes in a statement. The Stateline and Silver State South projects will be located on either side of the California-Nevada border in the Ivanpah Valley and cover approximately 13 square miles of public land.