Another year, another decade. As we review the key trends to watch in 2020, the significance of this juncture looms large. The past decade began with a global economy clawing its way out of The Great Recession. That same year, the Copenhagen Accord and corresponding Cancun Agreements signaled a (mostly) global commitment to hold global average temperature increase below 2°C preindustrial levels. The passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, introduced to stimulate a stagnant U.S. economy, injected more than $100 billion into federal infrastructure and alternative energy initiatives.

At the time, global atmospheric concentration of CO2 was below — but marching toward — 400 parts per million (ppm). The nascent global clean energy economy hovered around $75 billion. Emerging technologies such as solar PV, wind energy, and EVs combined with an accelerating digital transformation of buildings, cities, and the electrical grid were a harbinger of the global energy transition that would take root over the ensuing decade. As emerging technologies muscled their way to center stage, the luster of conventional technologies such as centralized generation and fossil fuels began to fade. The energy system today is substantially more clean, distributed, intelligent, and mobile than ever before.

Today, clean energy capacity continues to expand apace. According to recently updated projections from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, solar PV and wind — still the darlings of the renewables surge — are together projected to account for […]