About a week ago, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) released the Sustainable Energy in America 2013 Factbook (a report commissioned by the Business Council for Sustainable Energy). At the press conference, Rhone Resch, President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), Dave McCurdy, President and CEO of the American Gas Association, and Ethan Zindler, Head of Policy Analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, presented on the strong growth of renewable energy, electric vehicles, energy efficiency, and natural gas. They also presented on the falling costs of renewable energy and related matters.
I went ahead and got permission from BNEF to share images from the presentation because, as well all know, charts and graphs are often better for conveying a point than text. Here are what I considered the key charts and graphs (for more text about these, and for my perspective on some oddities of the press conference, check out: “Big Gas & Big Solar Are Big Friends, + More From Sustainable Energy In America 2013 Factbook Discussion“):
1. Solar PV prices have been falling fast globally (click the link for a larger chart):
2. Renewable energy growth has been strong (click the link for a larger chart):
3. LCOE has been changing quickly, but here’s the breakdown at the end of 2012 (click the link for a larger chart):
A few key notes regarding the above: this includes prices for old, existing power plants (which artificially brings down the cost of coal and nuclear); this doesn’t include subsidies, including the tremendously expensive externalities associated with coal and natural gas; as noted in the presentation, solar and wind prices are dropping so quickly that this will be quite out of date in 3–6 months.
4. Hybrid & EV sales represented 3% of US auto sales in 2012 (click the link for a larger chart):
5. US commercial building energy intensity has been dropping for years (click the link for a larger chart):
6. US utilities are spending more and more money on energy efficiency (click the link for a larger chart):
7. US energy-related CO2 emissions have dropped and primary energy consumption has dropped while GDP has risen (click the link for a larger chart):
One of our readers made the same observation in September 2012 and created these 3 charts at that time:
For even more charts and graphs, check out:
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I'm the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular clean energy website in the world, and Planetsave, a leading green and science news site. I've been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and I've been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, bicycling, and wind energy for the past few years. You can also find my work on Scientific American, Reuters, Think Progress, GE's ecomagination site, several sites in the Important Media network, & many other places. To connect on some of your favorite social networks, go to zacharyshahan.com or click on some of the links below.