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4-Year Growth In World & US Advanced Energy Use

Energy supply components ( worldwide and here in the United States, advanced energy use is growing, says Advanced Energy Economy’s 2015 Market Report. Prepared by Navigant Research for the national association of businesses involved in best available advanced energy technologies, the publication has eyed the advanced energy industry and its components annually for four years.

Malcolm Woolf, senior vice-president of policy at Advanced Energy Economy, summarizes its twin thrusts: how the advanced energy industry is performing overall, and in the US, AEE’s strong view that clean technology should be significantly incorporated into state-based EPA Clean Power Plans. The market report considers both energy supply (electricity generation, delivery and management, fuel production, and fuel delivery) and energy demand (buildings, transportation, and industry).

Energy demand  components ( should view the assessment of advanced energy market size conservatively because Navigant draws a careful line between advanced energy and conventional energy products. Also, US market revenue measured in the report counts only domestic sales: it does not include revenue from exports. Thus it too understates the economic scope of the U.S. advanced energy industry. Finally, natural gas technology comprises part of the advanced energy total.

International statistics

Worldwide, advanced energy use grew to almost $1.3 trillion in global revenue, a 12% increase over 2013. Year-over-year increases in all seven supply and demand segments made 2014 the biggest growth year for world advanced energy since Navigant’s tracking for Advanced Energy Economy began in 2011.

The largest segment of advanced energy worldwide by revenue was electricity generation. It grew strongly, up 16% over 2013. Wind power revenue jumped 40%, to $95 billion globally, after declining the year before. Hydropower, which fell sharply from 2011 to 2012 and grew only marginally in 2013, was up 45% in 2014, to $122 billion.

Driven by strong growth in revenue from hybrid (+40%) and plug-in hybrid (+80%) vehicles, the international transportation spend grew 8% in 2014, to $373 billion. Building efficiency grew 12%, to $209.5 billion. This represents a 40% gain for building efficiency over four years. AEE attributes the increase to commercial and residential energy efficiency retrofits and zero net energy buildings.

Electricity management and delivery was the world’s fastest growing segment of advanced energy, up 33% to $67.9 billion after a down year in 2013. Revenue from transmission investments soared 400% over 2013, with HVDC transmission revenue up 61% to $6.1 billion. Transmission system upgrades jumped nearly 20-fold, from $694 million to $12.6 billion.

US numbers

Turning to the United States, AEE reports that the advanced energy market reached just under $200 billion by 2015. This US total makes up 15% of the global market.

Advanced energy use revenue grew 14% in the US from 2013 to 2014—2% higher than worldwide growth, and five times greater than the U.S. economy overall.

Solar PV growth 2011-14  ( generation in the US resurged, jumping by nearly half (47%) to $45.8 billion in 2014. Wind power rebounded strongly to $8.2 billion from $2.1 billion in 2013, with strong prospects in place for 2015. Solar PV grew 39% year-on-year to $22.5 billion, with total four-year growth of 173%. For the first time, propelled by an increase in sales of new generating equipment, natural gas turbines were up 48%, to $6.4 billion.

Revenue from building efficiency products and services—the largest segment of U.S. advanced energy, unlike the world leader (electricity generation)—has grown 43% over four years. Transportation revenue was up 34% for plug-in EVs, but down 19% for hybrid vehicles. Both light-duty and heavy-duty natural gas vehicles jumped 26% in 2014.

In electricity delivery and management, revenue from electric vehicle charging was up 31% to $201.5 million, a sevenfold increase over the past four years.


US e-vehicle sales forecast, 2015-2024 ( report is a bit of a dry read, but it does offer interesting sidelights, like the EV forecast shown here, and charts to supplement each text conclusion. These might benefit from in-chart summary verbiage for a little graphic variety, US-worldwide comparisons, and all-supply and all-demand illustrations. There’s an excellent highlights review upfront.

Graham Richard, AEE chief executive officer, sums up the perspective of the report:

“Advanced energy is a thriving industry made up of a wide variety of businesses. For this report, revenue has been compiled from seven broad industry segments and 41 subsegments, representing more than 80 distinct products and services. It is the most comprehensive accounting of the advanced energy marketplace done to date. But it is still only a partial picture of the economic opportunity offered by advanced energy going forward.”

“We are seeing a transformation in the way we make, manage, and use energy in this country and around the world,” Richard concludes. Driven by dynamic changes in technology, policy, and markets, he says, the transformation will benefit consumers, the economy, and the nation.

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Written By

covers environmental, health, renewable and conventional energy, and climate change news. She's currently on the climate beat for Important Media, having attended last year's COP20 in Lima Peru. Sandy has also worked for groundbreaking environmental consultants and a Fortune 100 health care firm. She writes for several weblogs and attributes her modest success to an "indelible habit of poking around to satisfy my own curiosity."


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