Maybe those aren’t the best comparisons, but that’s according to the latest annual Advanced Energy Now 2016 Market Report from Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) and Navigant Research. But some beer companies are also producing energy from their waste gasses so maybe it’s a fitting comparison after all. The bottom line is solar, wind and other advanced energy sources are becoming an increasingly important and valuable source of jobs, economic growth and activity in the U.S.—and the world, which saw a record revenue of $1.4 trillion in the advanced energy economy.
“Advanced energy has made stunning progress over the past five years, reaching new heights both globally and in the U.S.,” said Graham Richard, CEO of AEE. “This vital industry is making the energy we use more secure, clean, and affordable, while creating economic growth. AEE and its business members are committed to accelerating this progress by working with state and federal policymakers, as well as the customers who are demanding advanced energy options.”
The report found that revenues in the advanced energy space (AEE includes building efficiency, ethanol, biogas and more in its definition of advanced energy) grew 8 percent internationally in 2015 over 2014. That’s more than three times the rate of the global economy overall, is said. Revenue in the sector grew 1 percent over 2014 in the U.S.
“There has never been a better time for cost-competitive solar power,” said Howard Wenger, President, Business Units, of SunPower. “Strong worldwide demand for distributed generation and large scale solar power is being driven by innovative technologies delivering proven value, and by the global imperative to reverse climate change.”
Photovoltaics (solar panels) saw revenue soar 21 percent in the U.S. to $22.6 billion, in 2015, according to AEE. It added that revenue in the segment has nearly tripled since 2011.
As an overall category electric generation was only surpassed by building efficiency in terms of 2015 revenue, AEE said. In the U.S. it saw revenues of $52.3 billion in 2015 up 18 percent from 2014.
Growth of advanced energy revenue in the U.S. was hampered, however, by persistent low oil prices in 2015, according to AEE. That impacted the price and production of ethanol, dropping 33 percent, from $40.9 billion to $27.3 billion in 2015. The report found that excluding the impact of ethanol the U.S.’s advanced energy market actually surpassed the international revenue growth, reaching a 10 percent rate in 2015. “Four times the growth of U.S. GDP,” AEE’s report found.Tweet