by Brianna Crandall — June 10, 2019 — National business group Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) recently announced that total revenue for so-called “advanced energy” worldwide was a record $1.6 trillion in 2018, making the industry equal to global tourism, bigger than pharmaceuticals, and twice the size of airlines worldwide.
According to AEE’s definition, “advanced energy” encompasses a broad range of products and services that constitute the best available technologies for meeting energy needs now and in the future. Among these are energy efficiency, demand response, energy storage, natural gas electric generation, solar, wind, hydro, nuclear, electric vehicles, biofuels and smart grid — all the innovations that make energy more secure, clean and affordable.
The US advanced energy market hit $238 billion after growing 11% in 2018 — nearly four times as fast as the US gross domestic product (GDP) (a comprehensive measure of the US economy and its growth). Advanced energy is now nearly equal in revenue to aerospace manufacturing, and twice the revenue of the biotech industry.
These findings, along with details by market segment, are found in the Advanced Energy Now 2019 Market Report produced by Navigant Research for AEE. The 2019 edition includes global and US revenue for the industry annually from 2011 to 2018, showing powerful growth over the seven-year period, including compound annual growth of 8% for US advanced energy overall.
Nat Kreamer, CEO of AEE, remarked:
Growth of the advanced energy market in the United States over the past seven years has been truly remarkable. Advanced energy technologies and services have become mainstream parts of the economy. Making the buildings we live and work in smarter and more efficient. Generating electricity from the sun and wind. Storing energy for when we need it most. And now we’re seeing electric vehicles hit an inflection point, with sales starting up the hockey stick thanks to lower prices, longer ranges, and more charging options. It’s no wonder that the advanced energy industry is driving economic growth across the country and employing 3.5 million Americans.
The Advanced Energy Now 2019 Market Report contains data and analysis for each of seven segments of the advanced energy market, in the United States and worldwide:
- Advanced Electricity Generation
- Advanced Transportation
- Advanced Fuel Production
- Advanced Fuel Delivery
- Building Efficiency
- Advanced Industry
- Electricity Delivery and Management
Of the $25 billion overall increase in US advanced energy revenue over 2017, the bulk came in three segments: Advanced Transportation ($7.9 billion), led by explosive growth in revenue from plug-in electric vehicles (EVs); Building Efficiency ($7.8 billion), a steady source of growth since 2011; and Advanced Fuel Production ($5.4 billion), marked by a rebound in ethanol and biodiesel revenue.
Additional US market findings include:
- Building Efficiency was the largest segment of US advanced energy revenue with a total of $83.1 billion, up 10% over 2017. This industry segment accounts for improved building envelope, appliance and electronics, and lighting as well as managing energy use with demand response and other enabling information technologies. Since 2011, Building Efficiency revenue has grown at a compound annual rate of 11%.
- Advanced Transportation experienced the largest increase ($7.9 billion) and the fastest growth (34%) of any US advanced energy segment in 2018, reaching $31.3 billion. Revenue from sales of plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) rose 75% to $18 billion.
- Advanced Fuel Production revenue grew 18% to $33.4 billion in 2018. With sharp declines in 2015 and 2016, Ethanol revenue rebounded, up 20% in 2018 to $22.4 billion. Biodiesel fuels had their biggest year yet — up 43%, to $6.6 billion.
- In Advanced Electricity Generation, revenue from Solar Photovoltaics was up 8% in 2018 to $24.2 billion. With a continuing drop in unit prices, installations of Solar PV increased 14%. Revenue from Wind installations was up 23% ($14 billion), after dip of 19% ($11.4 billion) in 2017. Wind has generated revenue of roughly $14 billion in three of the past four years.
- In Electricity Delivery and Management, notable growth occurred in EV Charging Infrastructure, with revenue up 23% to $280 million. Energy Storage revenue was up 18%, reaching $701 million, after even faster growth in 2016 (54%) and 2017 (39%). Smart Meters, revenue from which had been in slow decline from federal Recovery Act-related spending early in the decade, turned around in 2017, jumping 81% to $1.2 billion. Though dropping a bit in 2018, at $1.1 billion Smart Meter revenue was in shouting distance of the $1.4 billion peak in 2011 and 2012.
AEE’s mission is not just to report on industry growth, but to keep it going. AEE and its business members are committed to working with policymakers in states and in the wholesale electricity markets governed by FERC to ensure that all our technologies get the chance to compete on price and performance, because when advanced energy technologies compete, they win.
Advanced Energy Now 2019 Market Report is available for free download from the AEE website upon brief registration. AEE’s This Is Advanced Energy, directory of 52 technologies is also available for free download.