For a frm, strategic planning means anticipating changes that would threaten the frm’s business model and planning how to counter those threats. For a
country, strategic planning is also important and there should be a role for government to anticipate changes in the external environment that will threaten
future economic and social well-being.
Strategic planning and infrastructure investment in the energy sector
becomes more diffcult if leaders do not consider the long-term impacts of
allowing the underlying assets of that sector to become obsolete.
How we supply energy in the future to our power, transportation, and heat-
ing sectors requires strategic infrastructure planning that put us on a gentle but
consistent glide path toward a future in which our energy is supplied by non-fos-
sil fuel sources. We would never advocate for any strategy that rapidly eliminates
fossil fuels. That is not feasible. But it is vital that we begin investing in an ener-
gy infrastructure that is not predicated on fossil fuels. Most fossil fuels will be
depleted or very costly by the time people born in 2016 are retiring in 70 years.
Today, fossil fuels are necessary to continue hitting the benchmarks of suc-
cess as defned by our economic system and to maintain social stability. But a
well-crafted policy should also consider how to get us on a rational and prag-
matic off-ramp towards a decarbonized future. The future will be very differ-
ent than today. Our government leaders need to guide our nation from now to
then with commitment and investment in renewable energy infrastructure.
Can renewable energy be
classifed as infrastructure?
For the past 100 years, the word “infrastructure” referred to buildings, roads, and traditional
(central) power supplies that improve the lives of the population. Today, as the world’s
energy generation becomes cleaner and greener, more of that infrastructure either includes
renewables or is built to enable it. Think about buildings that incorporate energy storage and
solar panels and/or geothermal and biomass heating systems; smart inverters and energy
storage systems that enable transmission system operators to better manage energy. Even solar
roadways! As we head into a new year with a new U.S. president, how can the renewable
energy industry make the case that renewables must be part of all new infrastructure?
Read the responses below to see how executives answered our big question
this month: Can renewable energy be classifed as infrastructure?