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Charting a Path for Energy Production and Consumption

by Kerry Rea on December 14, 2020

Energy production and use is a huge focus of government and industry. In response to changing climate patterns experts are looking at new ways to harness and use energy, from introducing “new” power sources like solar and wind to reimagining how traditional sources like electricity and natural gas can be more environmentally friendly. GovWhitePapers has gathered the latest government white papers on energy, renewable resources, and sustainability.

Sustain the Legacy

An overnight ‘rip and replace’ shift to new power sources is both impossible and unadvisable. The existing power grid needs to be maintained and modernized in a systematic way that delivers needed stability while being more responsive to current power needs and improving negative environmental impact.

A current modernization focus is ensuring long term security of the grid. In May 2020 the White House issued an executive order declaring foreign cybersecurity threats to bulk electric power systems to be a national emergency. In response, the Department of Energy (DOE) is looking for ways to work with carriers to evaluate and replace foreign parts currently in use. Additionally, the growing connectedness of power grids is being examined as cyber vulnerabilities are identified and addressed.

Energy 2.0

As the stability of the power grid is assured, energy producers can move onto the next phase of evolution which involves implementing Artificial Intelligence to better manage energy supply and activity. The DOE has an Artificial Intelligence and Technology Office (AITO) as the coordinating hub for AI work being done across the department including its national laboratories. The AI work coming out of the DOE is not all related to energy, rather it is a way to build information sharing across government. This  will allow findings and developments happening in DOE labs to inform how other agencies are implementing AI to help with problems as diverse as public health monitoring and first responder tactical response.

More directly related to energy consumption, AI is proving useful in changing energy use patterns. One project is looking to create a better model for traffic intersections that reduces energy consumption and improves the flow of traffic. Vehicles stopping for red lights, idling at those lights, and accelerating to get back up to speed wastes fuel and adds pollutants to the air. Using AI, researchers can gather data about what is working and not working in traffic flow and suggest changes to localities.

Researching the Path Forward

GovWhitepapers has a large collection of energy-focused white papers, e-Books, case studies and other materials that help lay out the challenges, as well as proven and emerging solutions to cleaner, more efficient global energy use.

  • Transport Infrastructure for Carbon Capture and Storage: Regional Infrastructure for Midcentury Decarbonization – A result of collaborations with more than a dozen research institutions to plan and design regional infrastructure for economy-wide deployment of CO2 capture, this report identifies near-term capture and storage opportunities in the U.S. It also designs and plans the regional transport infrastructure required to maximize CO2 abatement while minimizing cost and land use impact.
  • Enabling a Sustained RAN for a Greener Bottom LineThe telecom industry consumes between 2-3% of the world’s energy. This is set to increase as operators roll out 5G technology. This paper provides an overview of power consumption in mobile networks and addresses some of the key elements that operators and vendors are taking to manage energy consumption in mobile networks.
  • Underutilized Sources of Public Capital for the Clean Energy Sector – This paper looks at federal and state financial support mechanisms currently available to the clean energy sector. These programs are available to developers, entrepreneurs, and investors.
  • State Energy Toolkit – Published by the National Governors Association, this paper helps guide states in developing policies to promote the ongoing transformation of the energy sector. Areas of focus include energy efficiency, clean energy, transportation electrification, and cyber and physical protection. The toolkit offers an overview of technologies and key policy trends; a summary of opportunities, challenges and key state solutions; and a menu of state policy solutions, spotlighting examples from leading states.
  • Opportunities for Blockchain in the Energy Sector – The main attractions of blockchain are its security, immutability, availability and transparency, as well as the ability to automate processes that are currently time-consuming, at a reduced cost. For the energy sector, blockchain is applicable to a host of use cases including traceability of assets and interventions, alert management for connected items, transparency of exchanges, ability to manage micro-transactions and reconcile flows, charging electrical vehicles, exchanging guarantees of origin, erasure, energy saving, creating new customer services (loyalty programs), and more.
  • Big Data Management Meets Big Energy Innovation – With global data traffic doubling every four years, data centers are projected to grow exponentially, as is the industry’s energy consumption. Researchers estimate that the sector could use as much as 20% of all available electricity worldwide. This paper looks at the significant opportunity confronting data centers for reducing environmental impact through energy.

These are just a sampling of the resources we provide relevant to the energy sector and government community. You can browse more government white papers on energy, sustainability and technology through our search engine here: