Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) represents the pragmatic voice of business leaders who are working every day to make the energy we use secure, clean, and affordable.
Advanced Energy Economy Institute (AEEI), AEE’s educational and charitable affiliate, commissioned a leading industry consultancy, PA Consulting Group, to interview CEOs and top executives of advanced energy companies, across a wide range of technologies and services, about how federal policies affect their businesses. The consultants interviewed companies big and small, established and start-up, technology-focused and service-oriented. They took an open-ended approach: no leading questions, no check-list of existing policies, programs, and benefits for an up or down vote. Instead, they asked the executives these fundamental questions:
What are the primary business challenges faced by your firm?
How does your business interface with federal policy?
What changes to federal policy would you like to see occur?
What they got was an earful—all of it thoughtful, practical, and grounded in business experience.
And it surprised even them: "When we embarked on this project, we anticipated the greatest challenge to be finding common ground among the CEOs and senior executives interviewed... Much to our surprise, the business executives interviewed share similar perspectives on a number of standards for policy development."
Here is what they heard:
Business leaders want stability and predictability in market structures.
They want a level playing field with their competitors – with traditional energy, and with each other.
They want government to support research across a wide range of technologies.
They want subsidies that make new technologies more competitive to be limited in duration, and phased out in a gradual, predictable manner, not maintained forever or cut off after arbitrary deadlines.
They want government policies crafted around broad problems, rather than pre-ordained solutions, so that the market can identify the best ways forward.
As documented in another AEEI report, “Economic Impacts of Advanced Energy,” the global advanced energy market is over $1 trillion. In the U.S., advanced energy revenue grew 19 percent from 2011 to 2012—impressive for any industry.
Advanced energy is an economic opportunity for America. Let’s listen to the leaders of this industry and work to align federal policy to make the most of this opportunity.
CEO, Advanced Energy Economy