2017 - US Energy Efficiency Will ImproveWednesday 11th January 2017
We have been looking ahead at the year ahead, picking out a couple of likely advancements in energy efficiency or energy saving devices. In this post we consider whether energy efficiency and saving will still be relevant in the US in 2017.
With a relatively few days before the new President of the United States is installed, it may be reasonable to fear that energy efficiency is about to a battering in the States.
Trump has previously denied climate change and certainly seems to be setting his camp out with that stance, appointing like minded people into powerful positions. Energy efficiency policies are also likely to be amended, if not scrapped
But energy efficiency is likely to still prove at the forefront of US business leaders minds due to ever increasing energy costs - to save the planet and save the bottom line.
Over the past two or three years energy prices have been declining, that is already reversing and is expected to continue upwards in 2017. Natural gas prices have hit a two year high, oil prices are rising rapidly and this will affect utility bills. These facts will force business leaders to take notice and act on energy consumption.
You may think it is all a gamble, energy prices could fall again. That’s true, but consider some other factors. Energy companies were hurt by the rapid drop in prices, so the investment in energy production has also declined, meaning that investment is still needed. From now on those drops in energy prices will be more ‘considered’ before that are passed onto to consumers, hence they will not be particularly dramatic.
Under Trump it looks like the return of King Coal, despite the environmental concerns, is that not likely to reduce energy bills? It wasn’t climate change legislation that hit coal production. Natural gas is cheaper and powers stations running on gas are cheaper to construct, plan and operate.
Even is Trump’s administration lightens up the restriction on call production, coal mines still have to pay big for the physical impact they have on neighbourhoods. Then if coal becomes a major source of energy, cities suffering from smog will not be a good deal many. It costs to clean up - how much better to prevent the damage in the first place.
Picture of a surface coal mining in Wyoming in the United States, by Unknown - Public Domain.
Wednesday 11th January 2017