We Can Clean the Air While Growing the Industrial Economy
November 8, 2019 | Barbara Canales, James Jackson, and Lynn Abramson
The industrial sector is an important and growing producer and end user of America’s vast energy supplies. As U.S. manufacturing, refining, and exports grow, so too do the energy demands on our nation’s industrial centers. From 2017 to 2018, industrial energy use grew 4.7 percent, resulting in an uptick in greenhouse gas emissions.
How can the U.S. continue to accelerate economic growth in our major industrial centers without a corresponding increase in energy demand?
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 12-13, Nueces County, the Port of Corpus Christi, and the Clean Energy Business Network are teaming up to explore that question in a forum at the Solomon P. Ortiz Center titled “Clean Energy Solutions for Industrial Economies.”
Improving air quality and addressing climate change do not need to come at the cost of economic growth. In fact, the U.S. has seen an overall decoupling between economic growth and energy use over the past decade, thanks to advances in energy efficiency and clean energy. But the industrial sector remains one of the most challenging areas of the economy to decouple.
This is a solvable problem. A broad portfolio of affordable, reliable clean energy solutions already exists for industrial end users, such as combined heat and power, waste heat to power, renewable energy, carbon sequestration, and emissions controls strategies. We can learn from communities and manufacturers across the nation who are deploying these solutions to power industry more efficiently, reduce costs, improve reliability, and grow new industries and manufacturing jobs in the clean energy sector in the process.