One of the fundamental challenges for meeting goals of reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases is the effective combination of old with new technologies. Legacy and new infrastructure ranging from power generation sources to buildings and other loads to the grid all need to successfully interact with optimal efficiency. There are many solutions being demonstrated for various parts of the problem, and the dramatic changes occurring in fuel mix, as well as changes in power consumption patterns as our society is becoming more electrified, yet also more efficient in its use of power and energy, will drive technology development and innovative financing along the way. Companies are increasingly buying clean power through power purchase agreements (PPAs) and issuing green bonds, underscoring this priority and fueling the market.
Last week I attended an excellent briefing and panel discussion in Washington DC, where the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and Bloomberg Finance L.P. presented their new report “2020 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook”. The report is available for download at http://www.bcse.org/factbook/. This deep dive into the past decade’s trends in the changing energy landscape is very informative about technologies and policies coming to the forefront in energy and sustainability, confirming the criticality of integration of many diverse components of the system. Experts from BloombergNEF, JPMorgan Chase, Enel, Ingersoll Rand, Johnson Controls, American Gas Association, and Covanta presented their thoughts on aspects of the report. Each has a compelling story of how their technologies fit into the ongoing trends in energy.