Clean Energy Recommendations for US Industry
The global clean energy marketplace is expanding rapidly, but the competitive position of American industry is at risk because of increased competition abroad and uncertain policies at home, according to a report released today by The Pew Charitable Trusts.
The study, Innovate, Manufacture, Compete: A Clean Energy Action Plan, states that revenue in the clean energy sector worldwide could total $1.9 trillion from 2012 to 2018.
Yet roundtable discussions with more than 100 U.S. industry leaders reveal that the country is at a crossroads: Private investment, manufacturing, and deployment of renewable power have been constrained because of the lack of a long-term, consistent energy policy. To strengthen America's global competitiveness in this growing economic sector, the report outlines policy recommendations, including investments in energy research and development, extension of key manufacturing incentives, and establishment of a national Clean Energy Standard that sets milestones for deployment of renewable and other clean sources in the electric power sector.
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"Industry is telling us in no uncertain terms that the United States needs to adopt clear, consistent, long-term energy policies that allow American businesses to thrive, make our country more energy secure, and advance environmental imperatives," said Phyllis Cuttino, director of Pew's Clean Energy Program. "Our research shows that there is a multi-trillion-dollar opportunity in the clean energy sector. U.S. industry has the capacity to be a leader, provided we have the right policies in place. It's time for Congress to support a comprehensive energy strategy by delivering long-term certainty for businesses and investors in renewable power."
Clean energy markets are large and growing, offering the United States an important opportunity for innovation, investment, job creation, and manufacturing. Pew's research projects that revenue associated with installation of wind, solar, and other renewable power is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 8 percent, rising from $200 billion in 2012 to $327 billion annually by 2018. In the United States, clean energy installations are projected to reach 126 GW, which would more than double non-hydroelectric generating capacity.
The U.S. position in the industry is constrained by numerous challenges, including tight credit markets, growing international competition, and an uneven playing field with fossil energy sources. "It's difficult to get funding today," said Jeff Metts, president of Astraeus Wind Energy, which makes turbine components. "We need some stability in this market."
Aaron LeMieux, founder and chief executive of Tremont Electric, said: "To compete effectively for clean energy jobs and manufacturing, the United States must adopt national policies that stimulate diverse domestic clean energy investments and production."
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Pragmatic federal clean energy policies would help enhance the competitive position of the U.S. renewable power industry.
Throughout the past year, Pew has conducted research and consulted business leaders and industry experts across the country to evaluate strategies for strengthening the sector and improving America's position in the global clean energy race. Based on this input and empirical research, the report recommends that the United States:
Establish a clean energy standard to guide deployment and investment for the long term. Significantly increase investment in energy research and development. Enact a multiyear but time-limited extension of tax credits for clean energy sources. Level the playing field across the energy sector by evaluating barriers to competition. Renew incentives for domestic clean energy manufacturing. Create a strategy to expand markets for clean energy goods and services abroad.
Pew's research in developing these recommendations included empirical data by Pike Research, a leading market research firm that provides in-depth analysis of global clean energy technology markets, and qualitative evidence gathered through roundtable discussions with stakeholders across the country and at a Washington, DC, conference featuring panels of experts and more than 100 members of Pew's Clean Energy Business Network.
Read the entire report at http://www.PewTrusts.org/CleanEnergy .
SOURCE The Pew Charitable Trusts
Major move forward for UK’s nascent marine energy sector
Although the industry is small and the technologies are limited, marine-based energy systems look to be taking off as “the world’s most powerful tidal turbine” begins grid-connected power generation at the European Marine Energy Centre.
At around 74 metres long, the turbine single-handedly holds the potential to supply the annual electricity demand to approximately 2,000 homes within the UK and offset 2,200 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Orbital Marine Power, a privately held Scottish-based company, announced the turbine is set to operate for around 15 years in the waters surrounding Orkney, Scotland, where the 2-megawatt O2 turbine weighing around 680 metric tons will be linked to a local on-land electricity network via a subsea cable.
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Described as a “major milestone for O2” by CEO of Orbital Marine Power Andrew Scott, the turbine will also supply additional power to generate ‘green hydrogen’ through the use of a land-based electrolyser in the hopes it will demonstrate the “decarbonisation of wider energy requirements.”
“Our vision is that this project is the trigger to the harnessing of tidal stream resources around the world to play a role in tackling climate change whilst creating a new, low-carbon industrial sector,” says Scott in a statement.
The Scottish Government has awarded £3.4 million through the Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund to support the project’s construction, while public lenders also contributed to the financial requirements of the tidal turbine through the ethical investment platform Abundance Investment.
“The deployment of Orbital Marine Power’s O2, the world’s most powerful tidal turbine, is a proud moment for Scotland and a significant milestone in our journey to net zero,” says Michael Matheson, the Cabinet Secretary for Net-Zero, Energy and Transport for the Scottish Government.
“With our abundant natural resources, expertise and ambition, Scotland is ideally placed to harness the enormous global market for marine energy whilst helping deliver a net-zero economy.
“That’s why the Scottish Government has consistently supported the marine energy sector for over 10 years.”
However, Orbital Marine CEO Scott believes there’s potential to commercialise the technology being used in the project with the prospect of working towards more efficient and advanced marine energy projects in the future.
“We believe pioneering our vision in the UK can deliver on a broad spectrum of political initiatives across net-zero, levelling up and building back better at the same time as demonstrating global leadership in the area of low carbon innovation that is essential to creating a more sustainable future for the generations to come.”
The UK’s growing marine energy endeavours
This latest tidal turbine project isn’t a first for marine energy in the UK. The Port of London Authority permitted the River Thames to become a temporary home for trials into tidal energy technology and, more recently, a research project spanning the course of a year is set to focus on the potential tidal, wave, and floating wind technology holds for the future efficiency of renewable energy. The research is due to take place off of the Southwest coast of England on the Isles of Scilly