SAINT LOUIS, MO – April 6, 2016 – On the cusp of global energy crises, rising crude oil prices, and the water wars of the continental western U.S., the advanced energy sector has finally made its timely entrance into the big leagues.
According to a report commissioned by the Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), the market for innovative energy products and services is now equal to the markets of apparel and fashion, and is almost four times the size of the semiconductor industry worldwide. The Advanced Energy Now 2015 Market Report also coincides, showing that advanced energy has surpassed the U.S. airline industry, equals the pharmaceutical industry, and is rapidly approaching consumer electronics. This is a far cry from the early 2000’s, and is light years ahead of the environmental “depression” our country was wading through in the late 1980’s. Here at home, the overall U.S. advanced energy revenue has grown 38% over the last four years, and is now representing 15% of the global advanced energy market.
Advanced energy includes technologies such as solar, energy storage, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, demand response, and natural gas turbines; all of which are key players in sustainable design and infrastructure. Building efficiency is currently the largest segment of the U.S. advanced energy market, with revenue of $60.1 billion in 2014. According to AEE data, revenue in building efficiency has grown 43% over the last four years.
“A paradigm shift is taking place”, said Tom Starrs, Vice President of market strategy and policy at SunPower Corp. “Today, utilities aren’t simply building supply and responding to demand; they’re modifying demand to meet the available supply, including from intermittent renewables like solar and wind.”
This not only shows the demand for sustainable design, but the opportunity for A-E firms, both large and small, to capitalize on an emerging market that is both profitable for the pocket book and the planet. Clients, both in the public and private sector, are seeing the benefits of sustainable design and are reaping rewards across the board from utility bills to tax credits. And with constant advancements in technology, advanced energy will only become more affordable and easier to implement.
These are all key forces that show a bright future on the horizon for advanced energy companies, as well as A-E firms ready to pounce on the opportunity. Sustainability is the new black, and for an economy that is becoming based on energy that is secure, clean, and affordable, we are looking at a prosperous future in advanced energy and those involved in its design and implementation.