Header text
Welcome to CECA Solutions
Ellen Berman
“The convergence of rising energy demand, heightened environme- ntal concerns, and severe economic impacts
has created the imperative for radic- ally improved energy strategies.”
Featured Publication
Policymakers must make difficult fuels and technology policy decisions over the next 20 years. This report discusses issues and options to meet the
nation’s future energy needs, presents recommendations to overcome these obstacles, and serves as a resource tool for all energy officials.
Newsletter Signup

Join our Mailing List

We Need It All!
Energy is on the front burner for our nation’s consumers and policymakers

Having endured record prices for gasoline, spikes in our nation’s natural gas and heating oil costs, rising electricity prices, and increasing alarm over our planet’s environmental health, it is clear that we need a major transformation in the way we develop and use our energy resources. Change is coming. In shaping this change, we must make smart decisions to ensure a sustainable energy future.

America’s consumers have a multitude of expectations

America’s consumers have many expectations about the energy they use. They expect it to be affordable and predictable. Energy needs make up a major portion of household and business budgets. Consumers expect energy to be produced in a way that is environmentally sound – without harmful impacts on the quality of air, water, or land. Consumers recognize the relationship between energy and a sustainable economy and expect the energy sector to support economic development goals. They expect reliable, high quality energy. Blackouts cause disruption in our daily lives and loss of economic activity. They expect our energy systems to be safe and secure. They expect these fuels and technologies to be managed in a way that withstands disruptions caused by acts of nature or accidental or deliberate human actions.

Where will we get it?

Each of our energy fuels involves a set of benefits and costs. Coal, for example, is relatively affordable and supply is available, but its extraction and use entail significant environmental challenges. Natural gas does not emit large amounts of greenhouse gases, but adequate supply is an issue. Wind and solar energy are renewable, but they can’t be counted on when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine. Nuclear power is available, but without technological advances. Oil has been the transportation fuel of choice, but much of the supply comes from unstable countries.

There is no silver bullet. It is clear that we need a broad portfolio of fuels and technologies to meet the nation’s future energy demands. The challenge is to adopt policies and programs to maximize the positive attributes of each fuel and minimize the negatives.

We need advances in technology if we are to meet these challenges

Shockingly, since the 1970s public and private funding of research and development for energy technologies has been in steady decline. This trend is not unique to the U.S. Funding for energy R&D in the European Union as a proportion of total R&D has declined from a high of around 50 percent in the 1980s to a projected 14 percent between 1998 and 2002.

Our consumers are looking to both the government and the business community to address the energy challenges they see today. With both national security and economic security at risk, there is sufficient justification for an expanded role for government. The first step has to be reversing the trend in energy R&D funding and providing real incentives to ensure deployment of these new technologies.

Change is coming in our energy sector, but will it benefit America’s consumers?

There are obstacles to increased use of all of our energy fuels and technologies. But there are also opportunities to make the decisions that can help us realize the benefits. We need to facilitate the development and deployment of new technologies. We also need to identify the institutional and regulatory obstacles to further deployment of clean and affordable energy technologies and find the right tools to overcome them.

CECA's landmark report, “Fueling the Future: Better Ways to Use America’s Fuel Options”, recognized the need for all energy fuels and identified a number of obstacles the nation should confront to meet its energy needs of the future. In spite of all of the policy debates and the record prices, many of those obstacles remain today. CECA Solutions, as a successor organization to CECA, is dedicating this website as a forum for addressing these and other obstacles to realizing an optimal energy future. In future articles, we will delve into specific issues and will welcome and solicit alternative viewpoints. We are creating a blog to allow the public and energy experts to communicate their views and interact. Together, we can make a new energy future that best meets the needs of our consumers.

Welcome to CECA Solutions
Rich Aiken
“At CECA Solutions we foster informed debate on critical energy challenges and provide thought leadership on
their solutions.”
RETECH 2010 is here!
Additional Reading
“Distributed Energy: Towards a 21st Century Infrastructure,” (CECA) discusses the policy and technology issues surrounding distributed generation.
“Coal-Based Integrated Coal Gasification Combined Cycle: Market Penetration Recommenda- tions and Strategies”, (NETL) provides a good description of this clean coal technology and its future.
“The Future of Nuclear Power: An Interdisciplinary MIT Study,” (MIT) discusses challenges facing a significant increase globally over the next half century.
“Wind Energy Potential in the United States”, (PNNL) assesses the potential amount of electricity from U.S. wind resources.
“Smart Choices for Consumers”, (CECA) examines the economics of investment options available to residential consumers who are concerned about rising costs for home heating.