Investments in the United States for greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation technologies totaled $132.9 billion dollars between 2000 and 2008, according to a new study by T2 and Associates and the Center for Energy Economics at the University of Texas. These investments were made by U.S.-based oil and gas companies, other U.S.-based private sector industries and the Federal government.
Oil and gas companies accounted for the largest investment at $58.4 billion or about 44 percent of the total investments, followed by private industries at $55.3 billion and the Federal government at $19.2 billion.
The oil and gas industry invested its $58.4 billion in end-use technologies, fuel substitution, non-hydrocarbon energy sources, and enabling technologies. A large portion, $30.6 billion (or 52 percent of this sector’s total), went towards advanced end-use technologies primarily for efficiency improvements through combined heat and power (cogeneration), carbon capture and storage, and advanced technology for vehicles.
The second largest investment made by the oil and gas industry, $21.1 billion (or 36 percent of the total), was to develop substitute fuels such as LNG, and to reduce methane fugitive emissions. The industry also invested $6.7 billion for non-hydrocarbons.
Private industries primarily invested in end-use and non-hydrocarbon technologies. These companies spent $34.1 billion (62 percent of this sector’s total) for end-use technologies including advanced technology for vehicles, efficiency improvements and combined heat and power; $17.1 billion (31 percent) for non-hydrocarbons including industrial gas replacements and renewable energy sources, and $4.1 billion (7 percent) for fuel substitution technologies.
Forty-two percent of the Federal government investment was spent on end-use technology, including more energy-efficient lighting, combined heat and power and similar efficiency improvements; thirty-two percent for non-hydrocarbons including ethanol and biodiesel, 20 percent for fuel substitutions such as landfill gas, and 6 percent for enabling technologies.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest report, “Electric Power Monthly,” renewable energy sources used for electrical production increased by 7.2 percent and accounted for 10 percent of the nation’s electrical generation for the first quarter of 2009 compared to the first quarter of 2008, reports SUN DAY Campaign, a non-profit research and educational organization. Other key findings show that conventional hydroelectric power increased by 4.6 percent while all other renewables combined (biomass, wind, geothermal, and solar) increased by 12.4 percent.
In March 2009, renewables accounted for nearly 10.9 percent of net U.S. electrical generation. Conventional hydroelectric power provided more than 6.9 percent of total U.S. electrical generation while other renewables generated almost four percent of electric power.
Net electrical generation from all sources in the United States dropped by 4.3 percent in March 2009 compared to March 2008, according to the report. This was the eighth consecutive month that net generation was down compared to the same calendar month in the prior year. Coal-fired generation dropped by 15.3 percent.
Comparing the 12-month period ending March 31, 2009 with the same period in 2008, coal use has dropped by almost five percent and natural gas use has declined by four percent, while nuclear power showed a slight increase of less than one percent.