I've been reading a lot of press from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) regarding government initiatives in achieving federal clean-energy goals. According to DOE analysis, buildings currently account for approximately 74% of electricity use, 39% of total energy use, and 35% of carbon emissions in the United States. There are more than 125 million buildings in the nation that need retrofits to achieve the Administration’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.
It is very gratifying to see the Department of Energy take the initiative to invest in clean energy projects which will help improve federal facility energy-efficiency objectives. In the past, energy efficiency projects were primarily left to the agency which occupied the facility but, under new leadership, it appears that new efforts will be incented by the DOE to achieve standards already established for sustainable federal buildings. To achieve these goals, technology innovation is required to provide the analysis needed to achieve the desired results in the aggressive timelines declared.
“As research tools like computers or microscopes have gotten more powerful, the amount of data they can gather has gotten overwhelming—and scientists need new capabilities to make sense of it all,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Advanced analysis methods will help them unlock the full potential behind all this data, so that we can solve even our most complex challenges.”
When you consider the effort required to accelerate these challenges, you can appreciate the emphasis on technology to accomplish this 'vision-to-reality'. The time-to-net-zero is going to require innovation and invention. Hopefully, these projects will not only reduce the carbon footprint of Federal buildings but ignite incentives and legislate energy efficiency standards for all commercial buildings in the U.S.
This is not only a boon for the planet but also a windfall for jobs and technology innovators.