Powering our Global Economy

January 29, 2013

The opportunities in the development of markets for advanced energy should be part of the national energy policy. What is the advanced energy economy? This industry consists of seven distinct market segments associated with energy demand (transportation, buildings, and industry) and energy supply (fuel production, fuel delivery, electricity, and electricity delivery, and management). 

Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) is a national association promoting the global energy system to be more secure, clean, and affordable, and they recently released a study conducted by Pike Research titled, “Economic Impacts of Advanced Energy: U.S. and Global Market Size, Economic Impact, Tax Revenue Generation, Key Trends, and Representative Companies. 

What were the key takeaways? For starters, this industry market is expected to grow from $132 billion in 2011 to an estimated $157 billion in 2012, with its share of global advanced energy market estimated to rise from 12% to 15%. This is the type of growth that is critical to speeding job growth and the overall economic recovery of the United States. 

In addition, advanced energy contributed $13.9 billion in federal tax revenue in 2011, plus another $6.7 billion in state and local tax revenue. This is money that can used to re-invest in continuing energy-related education and workforce trainings, research and development, as well as to pay down the federal deficit. 

Last week, the National Journal and The Atlantic held an event titled “The New Economics of Energy: How Technology and Innovation are Changing the Way We Power Our Economy”, discussing the broad range of advancements in the energy industry and the effect they have on economic growth in America. You can see the video recap here. 

The main questions asked at the event were: How much can new energy technologies contribute to our economy and energy security? Can we simultaneously meet society’s goals of economic growth, security, and promote an all of the above approach to energy sources? 

The answers to those questions are not easy. Based on the reports and conversations coming out now, I can tell you that it will require private-public partnerships where local and federal government officials along with higher education institutions and corporations will have to work together to create a national energy policy that includes sensible regulations and investment in education and R&D to ensure innovation and economic prosperity.