New energy technologies in the U.S. made further critical advances and locked in long-term gains in 2015, according to a new study from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE). Among other achievements, energy efficiency continued to rise, renewable power generation set new records and natural gas consumption and production surged as CO2 emissions fell to levels not seen since the 1990s, while power prices remained flat.
These and other trends are chronicled in BNEF and BCSE’s fourth annual Sustainable Energy in America Factbook, a 150-slide almanac of key facts and figures on the evolution of the US energy sector. The Factbook includes an analysis of the year in energy and demonstrates that energy efficiency, natural gas andrenewable energy combined to contribute to a dramatic shift in generation and consumption of energy in the US over the past year.
As the BNEF team declares in the Factbook’s Executive Summary, “The already rapid decarbonization of the US power sector accelerated with record numbers of coal plant closures and solar photovoltaic system commissionings, while natural gas production and consumption hit an all-time high. Concurrently, the U.S. continued to enjoy greater benefits from energy efficiency efforts as economic growth outpaced the growth in electricity consumption.”
“2015 clearly marked a turning point for American energy,” declared Lisa Jacobson, President of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy. “As we consider the post-Paris world, we should acknowledge that we’ve entered a new era here in the United States. We now have both the tools and the capacity to achieve carbon reductions and cost savings along with economic growth. Now our job is to continue to build on the progress we’ve made.”
The 2016 edition of the Factbook outlines key metrics in the combined contributions of energy efficiency, natural gas and renewables in 2015:
- investment in energy efficiency continues to pay dividends for the U.S. economy. American energy productivity increased by 13% from 2007 to 2015.
- 2015 was a record year for natural gas production, consumption, flows to power generation and volumes into storage—demonstrating a robust and flexible system that is serving more customers than ever.
- Renewable energy is a prominent part (20%) of the U.S. 2015 power fleet, with 222 GW of installed capacity across the country, a 57% increase over 2008 levels, resulting in a diverse electricity portfolio that is reliable and reduces emissions and costs.
Read the rest of the report here.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance
the Business Council for Sustainable Energy
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