Efficiency, Natural Gas, Renewables Transforming US Energy

  Efficiency, Natural Gas, Renewables Transforming US Energy

US renewable energy capacity doubles, natural gas rises to meet nearly 1/3 of
electricity demand, efficiency drives a 6% improvement in energy use, and CO2
       emissions drop 13% in just the past five years, new report finds

Business Wire

NEW YORK & WASHINGTON -- January 31, 2013

The US is consuming energy considerably more efficiently and with lower
emissions than just five years ago thanks to a slew of modern technologies
that are changing decades-old patterns, research firm Bloomberg New Energy
Finance and industry group the Business Council for Sustainable Energy find in
a new report.

The Sustainable Energy in America 2013 Factbook portrays a dynamic and rapidly
changing US energy landscape. Natural gas and renewables have gained market
share largely at the expense of conventional resources. Energy efficiency is
also making a major impact, and as a result energy demand has fallen steeply.

From 2007 to 2012, natural gas rose to 27.2% of total energy consumption
(including electricity, heat, and transportation) from 23.4%, while renewables
including wind, solar, biomass and hydropower have jumped to 9.4% from 6.4%.
Meanwhile, during the same period, coal declined to 18.1% from 22.5% and oil
fell to 36.7% from 39.3%. The winner of all this is U.S. emissions. From 2007
to 2012, U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions declined 13%.

“Significant changes are occurring in the US energy sector that are boosting
investment and accelerating deployment of a range of commercially available
clean technologies,” said Lisa Jacobson, President of Business Council for
Sustainable Energy. “The 2013 Factbook outlines these dynamics and provides
the very latest data, not just on how much is being invested or how much is
getting built, but on today's costs for these technologies. Our hope is that
the report serves as a useful tool for policymakers and investors seeking the
very best benchmarks in the energy sector.”

The complete report and associated materials are available at
www.bcse.org/sustainableenergyfactbook.

The Factbook highlights how energy efficiency is increasingly becoming a
priority, particularly among large power consumers such as manufacturers who
are being ever more cost-conscious. US utility budgets for efficiency
expenditures reached $7 billion in 2011 (the latest available date for which
data exists), and financing for energy efficiency retrofits has become
increasingly sophisticated, propelling further greening of U.S. buildings.
Since 1980, energy intensity of commercial buildings has fallen by more than
40%. Overall, energy demand decreased by 6.4% from 2007 to 2012 largely due to
efficiency gains and despite economic growth.

Renewable energy sources are being built quickly while renewable energy
production costs are plummeting. The total installed renewable capacity has
more than doubled in the five years between 2008 and 2012. The cost of
electricity generated by average large solar power plants has fallen from 31
cents per kilowatt-hour in 2009 to 14 cents per kilowatt-hour in 2012
(excluding the effect of tax credits and other incentives, which would bring
those costs down even lower). Over the same period, the cost of power from a
typical large wind farm has decreased from 9 cents per kilowatt-hour in 2009
to 8 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Evolution of the transport sector mirrors that of power, prompted by advances
in technology and new fuel economy requirements. Sales for hybrids and plug-in
vehicles reached 488,000 units in 2012 and natural gas use in the transport
sector increased by 26% over 2008-11.

“These new energy technologies, which some still claim aren't ready for prime
time, are already making a major impact on US energy,” said Ethan Zindler,
Head of Policy Analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “And the US has only
begun to receive the full benefit of lower prices for clean energy equipment."

The Business Council for Sustainable Energy and Bloomberg New Energy Finance
created the Sustainable Energy in America 2013 Factbook to arm policymakers,
journalists and industry professionals with up-to-date, accurate market
intelligence. The report looks at clean energy broadly — from natural gas to
large-scale renewables including hydropower, to distributed power, to
demand-side energy efficiency — and is quantitative and objective.

ABOUT BLOOMBERG NEW ENERGY FINANCE

Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) is the world’s definitive source of
research, forecasts, data and news in clean energy and related industries,
including power, gas, carbon and water. BNEF has staff of more than 200, based
in London, Washington D.C., New York, Beijing, Hong Kong, Tokyo, New Delhi,
Cape Town, São Paulo, Singapore, and Sydney.

BNEF Insight Services provide economic analysis in the following industries
and markets: wind, solar, bioenergy, geothermal, hydro & marine, gas, nuclear,
carbon capture and storage, energy efficiency, digital energy, energy storage,
advanced transportation, carbon markets, REC markets, power markets and water.
BNEF’s Industry Intelligence Service provides access to the world’s most
comprehensive database of assets, investments, companies and equipment in the
same sectors. The BNEF News Service is the leading global news service
focusing on finance, policy and economics for the same sectors. The group also
undertakes applied research on behalf of clients and runs senior-level
networking events, including the annual BNEF Summit, the premier event on the
future of the energy industry.

New Energy Finance Limited was acquired by Bloomberg L.P. in December 2009,
and its services and products are now owned and distributed by Bloomberg
Finance L.P., except that Bloomberg L.P. and its subsidiaries distribute these
products in Argentina, Bermuda, China, India, Japan, and Korea. For more
information on Bloomberg New Energy Finance: http://about.bnef.com.

ABOUT BLOOMBERG

Bloomberg, the global business and financial information and news leader,
gives influential decision makers a critical edge by connecting them to a
dynamic network of information, people and ideas. The company’s strength –
delivering data, news and analytics through innovative technology, quickly and
accurately – is at the core of the Bloomberg Professional service, which
provides real time financial information to more than 310,000 subscribers
globally. Bloomberg’s enterprise solutions build on the company’s core
strength,  leveraging technology to allow customers to access, integrate,
distribute and manage data and information across organizations more
efficiently and effectively. Through Bloomberg Law, Bloomberg Government,
Bloomberg New Energy Finance and Bloomberg BNA, the company provides data,
news and analytics to decision makers in industries beyond finance. And
Bloomberg News, delivered through the Bloomberg Professional service,
television, radio, mobile, the Internet and two magazines, Bloomberg
Businessweek and Bloomberg Markets, covers the world with more than 2,300 news
and multimedia professionals at 146 bureaus in 72 countries. Headquartered in
New York, Bloomberg employs more than 15,000 people in 192 locations around
the world.

ABOUT BUSINESS COUNCIL FOR SUSTAINABLE ENERGY

The Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) is a coalition of companies
and trade associations from the energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable
energy sectors. The Council membership also includes independent electric
power producers, investor-owned utilities, public power, commercial end-users
and project developers and service providers for environmental markets. BCSE
members provided BNEF with additional datasets for use in this report. For
more information on the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, please visit
http://www.bcse.org.

The Sustainable Energy in America 2013 Factbook was commissioned by the
Business Council for Sustainable Energy and supported by the generous
contributions of the following BCSE members: American Gas Association,
American Wind Energy Association, Center for Environmental Innovation in
Roofing, First Solar, Ingersoll Rand, Johnson Controls, North American
Insulation Manufacturers Association, Northern California Power Agency,
Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association, Sacramento Municipal
Utility District, Sempra Energy and Solar Turbines.

Contact:

Bloomberg New Energy Finance
Angela Martin, +1-415-617-7142
angelamartin@bloomberg.net
or
Business Council for Sustainable Energy
Colbie Holderness, +1-202-301-0608
cholderness@bcse.org
 
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