Approved by the Energy, Environment, and Water Policy Committee on July 25, 2022
Approved by the Public Policy and Practice Committee on May 17, 2023
Adopted by the Board of Direction on July 22, 2023
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) strongly supports the continued funding and commitment to energy research and development (R&D) in the United States (U.S.). Recognizing the pressing need for U.S. energy security, as well as standards and best practices that promote safe, efficient, and reliable energy resources, ASCE promotes R&D activities in pursuit of a broad, balanced, and secure U.S. energy portfolio.
Specifically, ASCE supports activities that:
- Enhance R&D on energy generation, production, conservation, efficiency, resilience, transmission, and storage. This should support a balanced national energy portfolio in cooperation with government and private industry.
- Create a cohesive, long-term R&D vision and growth strategy for U.S. energy resources.
- Investigate energy resource impacts on human health and the environment.
- Develop and maintain the best engineering standards and guidelines in the design and construction, as well as the operation and decommissioning of energy infrastructure.
- Investigate appropriate valuation and removal of market and regulatory barriers for both new and old energy technology that could improve reliability of the U.S. energy grid.
The U.S. is experiencing increasing energy demands due to population growth and economic development. Conservation and efficiency, as well as development of new energy resources, are essential strategies for meeting energy needs. Aging infrastructure, as well as natural and anthropogenic hazards, threaten energy security, highlighting the continued need for grid resilience. Engineers must understand these hazards and create and develop standards, guidelines, and best practices to protect energy infrastructure against these threats. Meanwhile, achieving sustainability goals dictates a continued migration from fossil fuels to energy sources that produce little or no carbon emissions. Resilience poses an additional challenge, both in the near-term regarding energy security, and in the future with respect to changing environmental loading and capacity to produce energy. However, all energy generation sources are associated with varying environmental, economic, and social impacts. Diversifying our energy system will require research, development, and innovation. Additionally, ongoing challenges related to existing energy assets must also be simultaneously explored and addressed.
Energy infrastructure supports many other critical infrastructure systems, and it is essential in the day-to-day lives of most people. ASCE recognizes the importance of a diverse energy portfolio in support of energy security while accelerating the transition to renewable sources of energy. Research to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the development, demonstration, and deployment of innovative energy sources and new technology can yield a reduced environmental impact and a more economical and reliable source of energy for the future. The prudent management of U.S. national energy resources and the timely development of new energy technologies are public policy issues of concern to ASCE. Ensuring that energy infrastructure is not only sufficient for today’s needs, but that it is also robust to future changes and needs is a concern to ASCE.
ASCE Policy Statement 567
First Approved in 2023