This Factbook – researched and produced by Bloomberg New Energy Finance and commissioned by the Business Council for Sustainable Energy – offers a fresh look at the state of US energy along with the roles these new technologies and innovations now play. Its goal is to offer simple, easy-to-understand benchmarks on the contributions these new energy technologies are making today. It also provides information on finance and investment trends in clean energy resources.
A revolution is transforming how Americans produce, consume, and even think about energy. Traditional sources are in decline, while natural gas, renewables and energy efficiency are on the rise. These changes, which show no sign of abating, have far-reaching implications for US economic and national security interests. They are increasing the diversity of the country’s energy mix, improving our energy security, and rapidly shrinking our „carbon footprint‟ – a major positive development for addressing climate change.
Behind this revolution are a slew of new energy innovations, technologies, and applications. These include: newly applied techniques for extracting natural gas from shale rock formations; lower-cost and higher-efficiency photovoltaic panels for converting sunlight to electrons; highly efficient, natural gas end-use applications; vehicles fuelled by electricity and natural gas; and „smart meters‟ that allow consumers to monitor, modulate, and cut electricity consumption.
What’s unique about this Factbook:
First, the report is quantitative and objective, intended to arm policy-makers, journalists, and industry professionals with up-to-date, accurate market intelligence.
Second, the report looks at clean energy broadly defined. The Factbook takes the pulse of the wide range of clean energy industries represented by the Council, including natural gas, renewable energy sources (including solar, wind, hydropower, geothermal, and biomass – but excluding liquid biofuels), distributed power, and energy efficiency.
Third, the report fills important data gaps. For example, data sources and economic models of the US energy industry often fail to capture the full contribution of sectors such as distributed generation. This Factbook seeks to quantify accurately some sectors that are currently small but growing rapidly.