Across the world, myriad efforts are underway to make energy systems cleaner, smarter, and more efficient. But it’s hard to get a sense of the total size of those efforts, as they are spread across so many different industries and regions. One organization that has given this quite a bit of thought is Advanced Energy Economy(AEE), a national trade association of businesses working on cleaner and smarter energy.
What exactly is “advanced energy”? AEE includes the following seven sectors:
- Building efficiency (HVAC, lighting, district energy, etc.)
- Electricity delivery and management (transmission, distribution, storage, etc.)
- Advanced transportation (vehicle design, freight logistics, etc.)
- Fuel production (ethanol, biodiesel, etc.)
- Advanced industry (combined heat and power, manufacturing processes, etc.)
- Fuel delivery (fuel transportation infrastructure, stations, etc.)
- Electricity generation (wind, solar, hydro, nuclear, etc.)
Various people might quibble over various businesses included here — there is, for example, endless debate on the environmental benefits of ethanol and biodiesel — but one way or another, these businesses are working to change the wasteful, fossil-fueled energy status quo. So, all that said, just how big is the advanced energy industry?