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U.S. advanced energy economy grew a record 14 percent last year – report

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By Katherine Ling

The U.S. advanced energy economy grew at a record-shattering 14 percent last year -- five times the growth in the overall economy -- to fuel a market worth almost $200 billion, analyst Navigant Research said in a report released today.

U.S. growth helped boost the global advanced energy market 12 percent in 2014 to almost $1.3 trillion, the biggest spurt in five years, the report says.
 
The U.S. market experienced a 16 percent jump in the building efficiency sector -- especially residential energy-efficient lighting. There was also a 48 percent surge in U.S. natural gas turbine sales, an almost 40 percent leap in solar and a significant recovery in wind generation -- up 300 percent from a poor year in 2013 after tax incentive uncertainty stalled projects, according to the report.

The big increase in advanced energy markets worldwide was found in electricity delivery and management -- with a 400 percent rise in transmission investment -- and in transportation, led by a $244 billion clean diesel vehicle market and hybrid and plug-in electric cars, according to the report. However, combined hybrids and electric vehicles markets make up a third of the clean diesel market, the report says.
 
Navigant Research prepared the third annual report for the Advanced Energy Economy coalition and drew on more than 60 of the research firm's previous industry-specific reports.
 
The advanced energy market as defined by the report is based on seven broad industry segments and 41 smaller groups, representing more than 80 distinct products and services that include electric and plug-in hybrid cars, natural-gas-fueled trucks, electricity delivery, high-performance buildings, energy-saving industrial processes, high-capacity wind turbines, onsite and utility-scale solar power, and advanced nuclear power plants.
 
Another report released today by the Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research found 2014 was a record-breaking year for U.S. photovoltaic installations, growing 30 percent to more than 6 gigawatts (ClimateWire, March 10).

Copyright 2015, Environment and Energy Publishing LLC. Reprinted with permission.