GREENTECH : How can digital technologies help accelerate the energy transition in the US?

Energy & Power supply in the United States is shaped by various abundant natural resources. Renewable energy sources (RES), such as solar and wind, have enjoyed a boom in recent decades, but still only account for a minor share of the US electricity generation mix (17% in 2017). Shale gas is also seeing a boom and setting new production records. Abundant, versatile, and economically attractive, natural gas was the leading electricity generation source in the US in 2017 (32%), ahead of coal (30%) and nuclear (20%). Although renewable energies have already overcome numerous barriers to become competitive with fossil fuels, they still face major obstacles, one of which is the existing ageing grid infrastructure, which is not suited to decentralized power generation.

However, consumer demand for green electricity and products is steadily growing, a situation which was inconceivable only a few decades ago, + The US has been at the forefront of the Greentech revolution since the first silicon solar cell was invented at the Bell Labs in New Jersey in 1954. Over the last few decades, technologies such as solar panels, wind turbines and batteries have gained in efficiency and become more affordable. Now the game changers could come from digital technologies. Behind the hype, breakthroughs in IoT, Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain hold the promise of decarbonizing, decentralizing, digitizing and democratizing (the ‘4Ds’) access to clean energies and clean technologies.

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