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United States

Official Name:
United States of America

National Designated Entity

Type of organisation:
Government/Ministry
Name:
Erwin Rose
Position:
Foreign Affairs Officer
Phone:
+1 202 647 3934
Emails:
RoseE@state.gov

Energy profile

United States of America

Type: 
Energy profile
Energy profile
Extent of network

Today, the U.S. electric grid is a network of approximately 10,000 power plants, 170,000 miles of high-voltage (>230 kV) transmission lines, over six million miles of  lower-voltage distribution lines, and more than 15,000 substations.

Renewable energy potential

SolarThe solar irradiation in the South-Western United States is exceptional, equivalent to that of Africa and Australia, which contain the best solar resources in the world. Much of the United States has solar irradiation as good or better than Spain, considered the best in Europe, and much higher than Germany. The variation in irradiation over the United States is about a factor two, quite homogeneous compared to other renewable resources. The size of the United States adds to its resource, making it a prime opportunity for solar development.GeothermalGeothermal energy is present throughout the entire country, with most of the highest-quality geothermal resources generally located in the western United States, Alaska, and Hawaii. However, all states may have geothermal electricity generation potential through the use of enhanced, or engineered, geothermal systems (EGS) technologyWind EnergyWind is the fastest growing renewable source, but contributes only 1% of total energy used in the U.S. The country's onshore wind resources have the potential to generate almost 10,500 GW of electricity, 175 times more than the current installed capacity of 60 GW. Based on the average U.S. electricity fuel mix, a one MW wind turbine can displace 1,800 tons of CO2 emissions per year. With a wind power capacity of 300 GW, 825 million metric tons of CO2 emissions could be avoided annually.BiomassU.S. biomass electricity generation potential is highly dependent on how much biomass is available and how much biomass material is dedicated for this specific use. In 2009 an estimated 54,493 GWh of electricity was generated from biomass, which represented approximately 1.2% of total U.S. net electricity generation. According to DOE, approximately 190 million tons of biomass are consumed each year, with roughly 25% to 35% of current biomass consumption being used for electricity generation. DOE analysis and reports indicate that the potential may exist to produce about 1.3 billion tons of biomass annuallyBiogasCorn-based ethanol is the largest source of biofuel in the United States and the world, but the environmental and food supply problems caused by expanding corn cultivation to produce fuel make it ineffective as a strategy to reduce global warming emissions or create additional oil savings.Advanced biofuels made from non-food sources such as perennial grasses, garbage, and waste materials from agriculture and forestry (known as cellulosic biofuels) offer the greatest potential for oil savings and significant global warming emissions reductions with minimal environmental impacts.The United States has the potential to dramatically expand the production of these better biofuels and take a significant step toward cutting U.S. oil consumption in half over the next 20 years. By 2030, the United States could sustainably produce enough non-food biomass resources to generate as much as 54 billion gallons of ethanol each year—four times as much corn ethanol as the United States produced in 2010.HydroHydropower is currently the largest source of renewable electricity production in the United States. In 2010, approximately 257,000 GWh was generated from hydropower resources, equal to roughly 7% of total U.S. electricity generation. A 2007 report by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) estimated that additional hydropower capacity potential was equal to 62.3 GW.

Energy framework

The National Energy Act of 1978 included legislation to promote energy conservation, to shift towards alternative energy sources, to create a market for independent power producers, and to give the FERC greater authority over natural gas markets.  The Energy Policy Act of 1992 further opened electricity markets to competition; encouraged integrated resource planning by utilities; targeted improved energy management in federal agencies; promoted alternative transportation fuels; and required RD&D of technologies to enhance the production and efficient utilisation of renewable, fossil and nuclear energy resources.In 2005, a new comprehensive Energy Policy Act (EPAct 2005) was introduced as the successor to the 1992 Act. This was followed shortly after by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007). Together, these recent legislative packages substantially define the current US federal energy policy. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) is also noteworthy for having dramatically funding for many federal energy programmes.Biofuels represent another avenue for improving US energy security and have received strong policy support. Development of vehicles powered by alternative fuels and biofuel production were promoted by the 2005 EPAct, but EISA 2007 brought biofuels to the forefront of US energy security policy. EISA mandated a fivefold increase from previous biofuel use targets by 2022, requiring fuel producers to use a minimum of 136 billion litres (36 billion gallons), up from 34 billion litres (9 billion gallons) in 2008. To meet environmental objectives, from 2016, new biofuel production towards the mandated target is to be derived from cellulosic or other advanced biofuels that reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50%. Most of the new biofuel is to be produced domestically, and the target includes provisions to reduce the required volumes if costs are judged too high or supplies are inadequate. The Recovery Act sought to advance the commercialisation of electric vehicles by investing in facilities that manufacture batteries and other electric vehicle components. The government invested more than USD 2 billion in nearly 50 different electric vehicle and component manufacturing projects. Electric vehicles offer energy security benefits by shifting transportation energy demand from oil to electricity.Climate Action PlanIn June 2013, the United States announced its Climate Action Plan for steady, responsible national and international action to cut GHG emissions, based on three pillars: (i) cut carbon pollution in the United States; (ii) prepare the United States for the impacts of climate change; and (iii) lead international efforts to combat global climate change and prepare for its impacts. Each pillar in the plan consists of a wide variety of executive actions the president can take. The key mitigation elements are numerous:to cut CO2 pollution from coal-fired power plants by directing the US Environmental Protection Agency to establish carbon pollution standards for both new and existing power plants;to unlock long-term investment in clean energy innovation by making up to USD 8 billion in loan guarantee authority available for a wide array of advanced energy projects that use fossil fuels;to accelerate clean energy permitting by: directing the US Department of the Interior to permit 10 GW of renewables on public lands by 2020; setting a goal to install 100 megawatts of renewables in federally assisted housing by 2020; and deploying 3 GW of renewables in military installations;to expand the federal government’s Better Building Challenge to focus on helping commercial, industrial, and multi-family buildings become at least 20% more energy efficient by 2020;to reduce CO2 pollution by at least 3 billion metric tonnes cumulatively by 2030 through efficiency standards for appliances and federal buildings;to increase fuel economy standards by developing post-2018 fuel economy standards for heavy-duty vehicles;to leverage new opportunities to reduce pollution of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), direct agencies to develop a comprehensive methane strategy and commit to protect forests and critical landscapes.Energy Star (trademarked ENERGY STAR) is an international standard for energy efficient consumer products originated in the United States of America. It was created in 1992 by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy. Since then, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan and the European Union have adopted the program. Devices carrying the Energy Star service mark, such as computer products and peripherals, kitchen appliances, buildings and other products, generally use 20–30% less energy than required by federal standards. In the United States, the Energy Star label is also shown on EnergyGuide appliance label of qualifying products.On the Renewable Portfolio Standard and investement tax credit, please see the below section on regulatory framework

Source
Static Source:
  • Sustainable Capital Advisors

    Type: 
    Organisation
    Country of registration:
    United States
    Relation to CTCN:
    Network Member
    Sector(s) of expertise:

    SCA provides strategy consulting and financial advisory services to public and private sector organizations seeking to implement sustainable infrastructure projects. Our client engagements involve a diversity of technologies located in countries across the world. Our job is to assist clients "sift through the noise" and develop practical and replicable solutions based on the realities of the financial and energy markets. 

  • Ecosoluzioni Snc

    Type: 
    Organisation
    Knowledge partner
    Country of registration:
    Italy
    Relation to CTCN:
    Network Member
    Knowledge Partner

    Research and consulting on policy & market uptake actions in sustainable energy, clean tech, agriculture, waste mngt. and environment. Since 2000, wide-ranging technical assistance experience in climate change adaptation & mitigation related services, including: tech. assessments, business coaching, feasibility analysis, policy/market analysis, policy planning, M & E, partnership facilitation, finance structuring, agro-energy value chains, natural resources management, technology transfer. 

  • Integra Government Services International LLC

    Type: 
    Organisation
    Country of registration:
    United States
    Relation to CTCN:
    Network Member
    Sector(s) of expertise:

    Integra designs, implements, and evaluates international development activities, with a focus on creating opportunities for the poor, expanding access to public infrastructure, promoting social and ecological resilience and strengthening donor programs. Integra has a proven record of innovative approaches yielding lasting results. Integra is a partner of NASA in deploying state-of-the-art Earth Observation technology for REDD+ MRV, while working to build on-the-ground socio-ecological resilience. 

     

  • Orizon Consulting LLC

    Type: 
    Organisation
    Country of registration:
    United States
    Relation to CTCN:
    Network Member

    Orizon’s mission is to enable new markets and empower leaders to transform local economies through the design of enabling policies and the application of breakthrough technologies promoting market based approaches to low carbon emissions, carbon capture, and sustainable livelihoods. Orizon's team of seasoned experts provide technology solutions, capacity building and advice on policy, legal and regulatory frameworks tailored to the needs of regional, national, and local economies. 

  • Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Energy Overview 2012

    Type: 
    Publication
    Publication date:
    Objective:
    Sectors:

    Sustainable energy development can be achieved by employing highly effective government policies and by broadening energy cooperation between economies through bilateral, regional and multilateral schemes. In this context, sharing information on common energy challenges is essential. The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Energy Overview is an annual publication intended to promote information sharing. It contains energy demand and supply data as well as energy policy information for each of the 21 APEC economies.

  • AQUALAND: The Massachusetts Aquatic Landscape Characterization Tool

    Type: 
    Publication
    Publication date:
    Objective:

    AQUALAND analyzes the contribution of upstream aquatic and terrestrial systems to aquatic habitats. It is a grid-based watershed model. The software has two main components, the Watershed Delineator Tool and the Threats Assessment Tool. The watershed delineator identifies a watershed for each input aquatic core. The tool can delineate a circular buffer around each core, the entire watershed, a constrained watershed determined by following a flow grid upstream from a starting point and using a resistant surface classified by stream order and landuse or a user-defined watershed.

  • Urban Poor, Video narrated by Angélique Kidjo, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador

    Type: 
    Publication
    Publication date:
    Objective:
    Approach:

    Although urban centers are often ill-prepared to meet the basic needs of rapidly expanding populations, the urban poor are incredibly resourceful people, with their own networks and the proven capacity to save and invest in the betterment of their communities. Climate change can stimulate action that improves and transforms the most vulnerable urban communities.

  • Shaping climate resilient development

    Type: 
    Publication
    Publication date:
    Objective:
    Approach:

    This paper presents an assessment of climate risks from the existing climate as well as from a range of scenarios. It assesses the expected annual loss to economies from existing climate patterns, a projection of the extent to which future economic growth will put greater value at risk, and the incremental loss that could occur over a twenty-year period under a range of climate change scenarios based on the latest scientific knowledge.

  • Women and food crises: how US food aid policies can better support their struggles

    Type: 
    Publication
    Publication date:
    Objective:
    Approach:

    Women are often at the centre of food crises and are disproportionately affected by hunger, yet their important role in providing solutions is often overlooked. This paper lays out some of the key issues in modern food crises, discusses the role of food aid in addressing them, and explores opportunities to ensure that women's voices and perspectives are central to the design of agricultural and food aid policies. The paper focuses on the United States' food aid programme, which constitutes half of all global food aid.

  • Mitigating droughts and floods in agriculture: policy lessons and approaches

    Type: 
    Publication
    Publication date:
    Objective:

    Climate change is recognised as a factor that will increase the frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events, notably of droughts and floods to which the agriculture sector is especially exposed.

    Agricultural productivity growth and policy development have allowed the sector to better cope with these risks and reduce overall impacts.