While the US loves its beer, it looks like it loves its advanced energy more. Last year the industries that are part of the advanced energy economy in the US, ranging from solar and wind to energy efficiency, energy storage, electric vehicles and more, employed more than 3.3 million and contributed $200 billion in revenue to the US economy. Worldwide it contributed $1.4 trillion to the economy last year. Beer contributed $105 billion, according to the Advanced Energy Now 2017 Market Report, released yesterday by advocacy organization Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) and prepared by Navigant Research.
“Investing in clean energy helps us operate more sustainably and makes good business sense, especially as we continue to build a cloud for global good,” said Dan’l Lewin, corporate vice president of Technology and Civic Engagement, Microsoft and AEE board member. “And as today’s report confirms, these investments also create new jobs, support American businesses and help local and national economies. We’re pleased to play a part in supporting this important and growing industry sector.”
The industry grew slightly, 1 percent overall, from the $199.2 billion in revenues it produced in 2015, the report found. But couched within those numbers was bigger growth in some sectors. For instance, building efficiency and solar power contributed $11 billion more in 2016 than 2015. However, they were offset by a $7 billion decline in biofuels over the past year.
“Over the past six years, the US advanced energy market has grown a stunning 28 percent, with significant economic impact, now supporting more than 3 million jobs across the nation,” said Graham Richard, CEO of AEE. “AEE and our business members are committed to accelerating this business opportunity by working with state and federal policymakers, and with major corporate customers who are demanding advanced energy options for their operations.”
AEE compared the revenue generated by the advanced energy industries to pharmaceutical manufacturing, observing that they’re now equal. It’s also approaching the revenue generated by the wholesale consumer electronics industry, which reached $285 billion in revenue.
The report breaks down the clean energy industries into seven segments and 42 subsegments representing over 100 specific product and service categories. Solar power, the report found, saw a 30 percent surge capping off five years of growth, and growing revenue from $5.7 billion to $24.9 billion, in 2016. Overall, power generation technologies were up 5 percent in revenue.
Wind revenue stayed relatively steady at $14.1 billion, which AEE at least partly attributed to the extension of the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC). The report also found sales of fuel cells and energy storage jumped quickly. Fuel cell sales jumped 21 percent, to $374 million while energy storage jumped 54 percent to $427 million in the US.
The report also found that growth in the advanced energy markets was actually hampered by the persistent low oil prices experienced in the US. As such ethanol revenue dropped 24 percent, from $27.3 billion to $20.6 billion while production remained at the same levels. “Without counting ethanol, the U.S. advanced energy market grew 5 percent in 2016, three times the growth of U.S. GDP (1.6 percent),” the report stated.Tweet