13th Annual Congressional Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Expo And Forum

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 27 May 2010 13:30:00 GMT

In cooperation with Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Caucuses – and in partnership with the House Sustainable Energy & Environment Coalition, House High Performance Building Caucus, House Algae Energy Caucus, House Hydropower Caucus, House Green Jobs Caucus, House Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Caucus, and House Green Schools Caucus – the Sustainable Energy Coalition is hosting the day-long 13th annual Congressional Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Expo + Forum.

This year’s Expo will bring together 50+ businesses, sustainable energy industry trade associations, government agencies, and energy policy research organizations (see list-to-date below) to showcase the status and near-term potential of the cross-section of renewable energy (biofuels/biomass, geothermal, solar, water, wind), fuel cells, hydrogen, energy storage, smart-grid, and energy efficiency technologies (e.g., lighting, appliances, vehicles, buildings, CHP).


(11:00 am – 12:00 pm; Cannon Caucus Room)

Names to Be Announced


(12:00 pm – 1:00 pm; Cannon Caucus Room)

  • Philip D. Moeller, Commissioner, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
  • Jane Oates, Assistant Secretary for the Employment & Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor
  • Matt Rogers, Senior Advisor to the Secretary for Recovery Act Implementation, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Heather Zichal, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy & Climate Change


(9:40 am – 10:55 am; House Veterans Affairs Committee Room – 340 Cannon)

  • John Cooper – Skyline Solar
  • Dan Delurey – Demand Response & Smart Grid Coalition
  • Todd Foley – American Council for Renewable Energy
  • Norma McDonald, American Biogas Council
  • Debbie Montagna – Ocean Power Technologies, Inc.
  • Jackie Prince Roberts, Director – Sustainable Technologies, Environmental Defense Fund
  • Jack Rogers, Biofuels Marketing Manager, Americas – Novozymes
  • Bob Rose – Breakthrough Technologies Institute
  • Gia Schneider, CEO – Natel Energy
  • Bill Shank, Energy Transitions
  • Scott Sklar, President – The Stella Group, Ltd.
  • Keith Takasawa, Chief Product Development Director – THINK
  • Melissa VanOrnum, Marketing Manager – GHD, Inc.
  • Chris Voell, Program Manager-AgSTAR, Climate Change Division, USEPA
  • Maria Vargas, ENERGY STAR, U.S. EPA
  • Don Moore, CEO – Harmonics Limited, Inc.


(1:10 pm – 4:30 pm; House Veterans Affairs Committee Room – 340 Cannon)

Panel on Solar Technologies
  • Rhone Resch, Ex. Dir. – Solar Energy Industries Association
  • Tony Clifford, CEO – Standard Solar
  • Jeff Wolfe, CEO – GroSolar
  • Eric Huffman, Business Development Mgr. – Eastern Region, SunOptics
Panel on Green Jobs + Sustainable Energy
  • Karl Gawell, Ex. Dir. – Geothermal Energy Association
  • Linda Church Ciocci, Ex. Dir. – National Hydropower Association
  • Lisa Jacobson, Ex. Dir. – Business Council for Sustainable Energy
  • Karen Florini, Environmental Defense Fund
Panel on New Storage, Transmission & Electric Technologies
  • Ruth Cox, Ex. Dir. – US Fuel Cell Council
  • Robert P. Thornton, Ex. Dir. – International District Energy Association
  • Justin Rathke, Dir. – Policy & Dis. Develop., Capstone Turbine Corp.
  • Katherine Hamilton, President – GridWise Alliance
Panel on “Getting Stuff Done”
  • Ryan Colker, Dir.- Consultative Council, National Inst. of Bldg Sciences
  • Chelsea Jenkins, Ex. Dir. – Virginia Clean Cities


  • 3M – Renewable Energy Division
  • Abengoa Solar
  • American Council on Renewable Energy
  • AFC First
  • American Biogas Council
  • Beacon Power
  • Biomass Coordinating Council
  • Business Council for Sustainable Energy
  • California Fuel Cell Partnership
  • Capstone Turbine Corporation
  • Demand Response & Smart Grid Coalition
  • Dow Kokam
  • Dow Solar Solutions
  • Ecobuild America
  • Energy Transitions
  • Enervation Lighting
  • Environmental & Energy Study Institute
  • Environmental Defense Fund
  • Frostburg State University – Renewable Energy Center
  • Fuel Cells 2000
  • Geothermal Energy Association
  • GHD, Inc.
  • GridWise Alliance
  • Growth Energy
  • Harmonics Limited
  • Ice Energy
  • International District Energy Association
  • Microcell Corporation
  • Natel Energy
  • National Hydrogen Association
  • National Hydropower Association
  • National Institute of Building Sciences
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • NewTek Energy Solutions
  • Novozymes North America, Inc.
  • Ocean Power Technologies, Inc.
  • Renewable Fuels Association
  • SAGE Electrochromics, Inc.
  • Skyline Solar
  • Solar Energy Industries Association
  • Standard Solar
  • SunOptics Prismatic Skylights
  • Sunpeak USA Inc.
  • The Stella Group, Ltd.
  • THINK North America
  • U.S. Clean Heat & Power Association
  • U.S. Department of Energy-Efficiency & Renewables
  • U.S. Department of Energy-Clean Cities
  • U.S. EPA-Center for Program Analysis
  • U.S. EPA-ENERGY STAR Program
  • U.S. Fuel Cell Council
  • U.S. Green Energy Corporation
  • Water Management, Inc.

Improving Energy Efficiency with Information and Communications Technology

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 27 Oct 2009 15:00:00 GMT

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) invites you to a lunch briefing about the role of information and communications technology (ICT) in improving energy efficiency across all major sectors of the economy. As the Congress seeks solutions to the country’s urgent economic and climate crises, energy efficiency has emerged as a prominent win-win solution. According to the 2008 report Smart 2020, the use of ICT hardware, software, and broadband technologies could reduce global energy use enough to save over $900 billion in costs and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent by 2020. Within the United States, these strategies could save $140-240 billion in costs and reduce emissions by up to 22 percent by 2020. This briefing will explain ICT technologies, outline their impacts on our nation’s energy, climate, and economic objectives, and provide federal policy recommendations for maximizing their deployment and efficacy. Speakers for this event include:

  • Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA)
  • Stephen Harper, Global Director, Environment and Energy, Intel Corporation; Co-Chair, Digital Energy Solutions Campaign (DESC)
  • Rilck Noel, Vice President and Global Managing Director, Verizon Business
  • Clay Nesler, Vice President, Global Energy and Sustainability, Johnson Controls, Inc.
  • David Rodgers, Director for Strategic Planning and Analysis, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy

Energy-saving ICT solutions include the smart grid, smart manufacturing, dynamic building energy management, optimized data centers, smart transportation and telework. The ICT industry is responsible for approximately 2 percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions, but has the potential to significantly reduce the other 98 percent of emissions. Both the House-passed American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (H.R. 2454) and the pending American Clean Energy Leadership Act of 2009 (S. 1462) contain numerous provisions that support the role of ICT solutions in advancing energy efficiency.

Study: China Spending $12.6 Million Every Hour Greening Their Economy

Posted by Wonk Room Tue, 21 Apr 2009 15:06:00 GMT

From the Wonk Room.

China GDP StimulusA new report from the Center for American Progress points out that the United States is slipping behind other nations in the development and deployment of clean energy and efficient infrastructure even as China spends $12.6 million every hour greening their economy.

Read the full study here.

China, as part of their two-year stimulus plan, is poised to spend 3% of their GDP a year on public investments in renewable energy, low-carbon vehicles, high-speed rail, an advanced electric grid, efficiency improvements, and other water-treatment and pollution controls. This is about $12.6 million every hour. In the United States, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act invests about half as much as China on comparable priorities. This represents less than half of one percent of our 2008 gross domestic product.

The paper also shows that, when it comes to preparing our country to compete in the new energy economy of the future and create millions of new jobs, the United States lags behind most of our competitors in the rest of the world in a four key ways.

  • We have no national energy portfolio standard that encourages clean, renewable power and shifts away from dirty and dangerous energy.
  • We have an outdated electrical grid unsuited for the task of carrying energy from regions rich in wind, solar, and geothermal potential to the people who need the energy.
  • We don’t make dirty energy companies pay for the pollution they pump into the air; in fact, we give them billions every year in tax breaks.
  • And we don’t invest enough in research, development, and deployment to inspire our entrepreneurs and leverage their discoveries by helping bring their bold new technologies to market.

As venture capitalist John Doerr recently pointed out in his testimony before the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works, “What is at stake is whether America will be the worldwide winner in the next great global industry, green technologies.”

WonkLine: April 14, 2009

Posted by Wonk Room Tue, 14 Apr 2009 23:46:00 GMT

From the Wonk Room.

Yesterday, the Energy Department proposed lighting standards for fluorescent and incandescent lamps that could “save consumers and businesses almost $40 billion between 2012 and 2042 and eliminate the need for as much as 3,850 megawatts of power generating capacity by that date.”

Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), speaking at an MIT conference on a clean-energy economy yesterday: “We have to set aside a certain amount of carbon credits to ensure that the steel and the paper and other trade-sensitive, energy-intensive industries are not exploited in the near term by the Chinese and others.”

The National Marine Fisheries Service announced it “will protect habitat for belugas in Alaska’s Cook Inlet, despite a lawsuit from Gov. Sarah Palin (R) seeking to wrest the whales from federal management.”

President Obama Announces New Energy Efficiency Standards

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 06 Feb 2009 22:23:00 GMT

From the Wonk Room.

In a speech at the Department of Energy today, President Obama announced he was signing a memorandum to direct the department to issue new energy efficiency standards for common household appliances – something Secretary Steven Chu has highlighted in the past as a top priority. He also responded to critics who “ridiculed our notion that we should use part of the money to modernize the entire fleet of federal vehicles,” asking, “Are these folks serious?”

This is what they call “pork.” You know the truth. . . . So when you hear these attacks deriding something of such obvious importance as this, you have to ask yourself, “Are these folks serious?” Is there any wonder we haven’t had a real energy policy in this country?

Watch it:

Conservatives have attacked numerous efficiency initiatives in the recovery plan:
  • $600 million to buy hybrid vehicles for federal employees
  • $200 million in funding for the lease of alternative energy vehicles for use on military installations
  • $5.5 million for “energy efficiency initiatives” at the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration
  • $6 billion to turn federal buildings into “green” buildings
As President Obama explained, federal fleet modernization “will not only save the federal government significant money over time, it will not only create manufacturing jobs for folks who are making these cars, it will set a standard for private industry to match.” This is as true for the green building efforts and other efficiency initiatives. Speaking to an audience of Department of Energy scientists, he concluded:
For the last few years, I talked about these issues with Americans from one end of this country to another. Washington may not be ready to get serious about energy independence, but I am and so are you and so are the American people.

Inaction is not an option that’s acceptable to me and it’s certainly not acceptable to the American people, not on energy, not on the economy, not at this critical moment.

In Obama’s words, it’s time for Congress “to rise to this moment.”

Steven Chu, Obama's Choice For Secretary Of Energy 1

Posted by Wonk Room Thu, 11 Dec 2008 16:29:00 GMT

From the Wonk Room.

Steven ChuPresident-elect Barack Obama’s reported selection of Dr. Steven Chu as Secretary of Energy is a bold stroke to set the nation on the path to a clean energy economy. Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, is the sixth director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a Department of Energy-funded basic science research institution managed by the University of California. After moving to Berkeley Lab from Stanford University in 2004, Chu “has emerged internationally to champion science as society’s best defense against climate catastrophe.” As director, Chu has steered the direction of Berkeley Lab to addressing the climate crisis, pushing for breakthrough research in energy efficiency, solar energy, and biofuels technology.

At Berkeley Lab, Chu has won broad praise as an effective and inspirational leader. “When he was first here, he started giving talks about energy and production of energy,” Bob Jacobsen, a senior scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley Lab, told the San Francisco Chronicle in 2007. “He didn’t just present a problem. He told us what we could do. It was an energizing thing to see. He’s not a manager, he’s a leader.” In an interview with the Wonk Room, David Roland-Holst, an economist at the Center for Energy, Resources and Economic Sustainability at UC Berkeley, described Chu as a “very distinguished researcher” and “an extremely effective manager of cutting edge technology initiatives.” Roland-Holst praised Chu’s work at Lawrence Berkeley, saying “he has succeeded in reconfiguring it for a new generation of sustainable technology R&D, combining world class mainstream science with the latest initiatives in renewable energy and climate adaptation.”

Under Chu’s leadership, Berkeley Lab and other research institutions have founded the Energy Biosciences Institute with $500 million, ten-year grant from energy giant BP, and the Joint BioEnergy Institute with a $125 million grant from the Department of Energy. The BP deal has raised questions and protests about private corporations benefiting from public research. At the dedication of JBEI last Wednesday, Chu “recalled how the nation’s top scientists had rallied in the past to meet critical national needs, citing the development of radar and the atomic bomb during World War II”:
The reality of past threats was apparent to everyone whereas the threat of global climate change is not so immediately apparent. Nonetheless, this threat has just got to be solved. We can’t fail. The fact that we have so many brilliant people working on the problem gives me great hope.

Chu’s leadership extends beyond this nation’s boundaries. As one of the 30 members of the Copenhagen Climate Council, Chu is part of an effort to spur the international community to have the “urgency to establish a global treaty by 2012 which is fit for the purpose of limiting global warming to 2ºC,” whose elements “must be agreed” at the Copenhagen summit in December, 2009.

Last year, Dr. Chu co-chaired a report on “the scientific consensus framework for directing global energy development” for the United Nations’ InterAcademy Council. Lighting the Way describes how developing nations can “‘leapfrog’ past the wasteful energy trajectory followed by today’s industrialized nations” by emphasizing energy efficiency and renewable energy.

It’s hard to decide if the selection of Dr. Chu is more remarkable for who he is – a Nobel laureate physicist and experienced public-sector administrator – or for who is not. Unlike previous secretaries of energy, he is neither a politician, oil man, military officer, lawyer, nor utility executive. His corporate ties are not to major industrial polluters but to advanced technology corporations like AT&T (where he began his Nobel-winning research) and Silicon Valley innovator Nvidia (where he sits on the board of directors). Chu is a man for the moment, and will be a singular addition to Obama’s Cabinet.

Energy Secretary Contender Dr. Steven Chu: Transform the Energy Landscape to Save 'A Beautiful Planet'

Posted by Wonk Room Mon, 08 Dec 2008 14:09:00 GMT

From the Wonk Room.

The Washington Post’s Al Kamen reports that there’s “buzz” that the Obama transition is “looking hard at some scientific types” to lead the Energy Department. Dr. Steven Chu, the Nobel laureate director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, is reportedly a dark horse candidate.

In a presentation at this summer’s National Clean Energy Summit convened by the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), and the Center for American Progress Action Fund, Dr. Chu described why he has moved from his background in experimental quantum physics to tackling global warming:

Consider this. There’s about a 50 percent chance, the climate experts tell us, that in this century we will go up in temperature by three degrees Centigrade. Now, three degrees Centigrade doesn’t seem a lot to you, that’s 11° F. Chicago changes by 30° F in half a day. But 5° C means that … it’s the difference between where we are today and where we were in the last ice age. What did that mean? Canada, the United States down to Ohio and Pennsylvania, was covered in ice year round.

Five degrees Centigrade.

So think about what 5° C will mean going the other way. A very different world. So if you’d want that for your kids and grandkids, we can continue what we’re doing. Climate change of that scale will cause enormous resource wars, over water, arable land, and massive population displacements. We’re not talking about ten thousand people. We’re not talking about ten million people, we’re talking about hundreds of millions to billions of people being flooded out, permanently.

As Dr. Chu explains in the above video, the optimal way to reduce greenhouse emissions is to waste less energy, by investing in energy efficiency. He demolished the myth that we can’t reduce our use of energy without reducing our wealth by offering numerous counterexamples, or, in his scientist’s jargon, “existence proofs.” Applause broke out when he described how companies, after claiming efficiency gains and lowered costs were impossible, “miraculously” achieved them once they “had to assign the jobs from the lobbyists to the engineers.”

Chu continued by discussing what he has done to develop “new technologies to transform the landscape.” He discussed the Helios Project, the research initiative Berkeley Lab launched for breakthrough renewable energy and efficiency technology. In addition to research into energy conservation, Berkeley Lab researchers are pursuing nanotech photovoltaics, microbial and cellulosic biofuels, and chemical photosynthesis.

Dr. Chu concluded his address with a reminder why this challenge is so important:

I will leave you with this final image. This is – I was an undergraduate when this picture was taken by Apollo 8 – and it shows the moon and the Earth’s rise. A beautiful planet, a desolate moon. And focus on the fact that there’s nowhere else to go.

Study: California's Green Economy Has Created 1.5 Million Jobs, $45 Billion

Posted by Wonk Room Tue, 21 Oct 2008 23:45:00 GMT

From the Wonk Room.

A major new study of the success of California’s green economy by economist David Roland-Holst finds that “California’s energy-efficiency policies created nearly 1.5 million jobs from 1977 to 2007, while eliminating fewer than 25,000.” Today, California’s per-capita electricity demand is 40 percent below the national average:

Total electricity use, per capita, 1960-2001
U.S. vs. California energy consumption, 1960-2001

Instead of household income being lost to the capital intensive energy sector, Californians have enjoyed the benefits of their wages being plowed into job creating sectors, such that “induced job growth has contributed approximately $45 billion to the California economy since 1972.”

Energy Efficiency, Innovation, and Job Creation in California, by David Roland-Holst, an economist at the Center for Energy, Resources and Economic Sustainability at the University of California, Berkeley, is the first study of how the savings from California’s energy efficiency standards affected its economy through “expenditure shifting” away from the energy sector. The author explains:
When consumers shift one dollar of demand from electricity to groceries, for example, one dollar is removed from a relatively simple, capital intensive supply chain dominated by electric power generation and carbon fuel delivery. When the dollar goes to groceries, it animates much more job intensive expenditure chains including retailers, wholesalers, food processors, transport, and farming. Moreover, a larger proportion of these supply chains (and particularly services that are the dominant part of expenditure) resides within the state, capturing more job creation from Californians for California. Moreover, the state reduced its energy import dependence, while directing a greater percent of its consumption to in-state economic activities.

Fate Of Renewable Tax Credits Still In Doubt

Posted by Brad Johnson Mon, 29 Sep 2008 11:20:00 GMT

From E&E News:
House Democrats last night added funding for rural counties to tax policy bills as part of an effort to end an impasse with the Senate that is jeopardizing extension of expiring renewable energy tax credits. But the Senate’s top tax writer quickly called the House proposal inadequate, leaving unresolved a standoff that has delayed billions of dollars in incentives for alternative power, energy-efficient buildings and other technologies.

The House may vote as soon as today on two separate tax policy bills. The first (H.R. 7201) is a roughly $14 billion package of energy provisions that mirrors incentives the House approved last week. The second (H.R. 7202) is a much larger package of business and personal credits that now includes a reauthorization through 2009 of the Secure Rural Schools program that aids counties hurt by declining timber sales on federal lands. It also now funds the Payment In Lieu of Taxes program for 2009, and the total cost for the two rural provisions combined is estimated at $1 billion over a decade. The Senate has approved a longer extension of these programs at a cost of roughly $3.3 billion.

Last week, the House voted on the energy and non-energy extenders together as one bill. While Oregon lawmakers have pushed the House to include the county funding, this and other changes to the House plan do not appear to have appeased senators who say their year-end tax package is the only one that can win the needed 60 votes. Senate Democrats say their bill is a carefully negotiated compromise with Republicans who in many cases oppose offsets for tax incentives.

But top House Democrats continued to bristle at calls to simply accept the Senate’s bill. “At the end of the day, I think what we are finding is this whole concept of having two bodies constitute the Congress – the House and the Senate – is actually being shattered,” Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) said last night.

Republicans Filibuster Renewable Tax Credit Legislation Again

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 18 Jun 2008 11:54:00 GMT

By a 52-44 vote, the Senate failed to achieve cloture on the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act of 2008 (H.R. 6049), the tax package that included extensions of the renewable production tax credit, energy efficiency incentives, and a suite of other tax credit extensions. This version included an Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) patch without any offset.

Sen. Reid (D-Nev.) cast a procedural vote with the Republicans and Sens. Clinton, Kennedy, McCain, and Obama did not vote. Sens. Collins, Coleman, Corker, Smith, and Snowe voted with the Democrats (Collins, Coleman, and Smith are up for re-election). The voting was otherwise entirely on party lines.

The timeline of the tax credits:
  • FILIBUSTERED: June 17: H.R. 6049 filibustered 52-44 (Reid procedural vote with GOP)
  • FILIBUSTERED: June 10: H.R. 6049 filibustered 50-44 (Reid procedural vote with GOP)
  • PASSES SENATE, DIES IN HOUSE: April 10: S.Amdt. 4419 (tax credits without offsets, attached to Dodd housing bill) passes 88-8; not in House version
  • PASSES HOUSE: February 27: House passes Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act (H.R. 5351; tax credits paid by closing oil loopholes) 236-182; referred to the Senate Finance Committee.
  • FILIBUSTERED: February 6: S. Amdt 3983 to H.R. 5140 (tax credits without offsets, attached to stimulus package) filibustered by one vote (58-41; Reid procedural vote with GOP, McCain not voting)
  • January 30: Senate Finance Committee attaches tax credits to stimulus package
  • FILIBUSTERED: December 13: H.R. 6 (tax credits paid by closing oil loopholes) filibustered by one vote (59-40; Landrieu with GOP, McCain not voting). Version of H.R. 6 without tax credits or RES passes 86-8.
  • PASSES HOUSE: December 6: House passes H.R. 6 with tax credits and RES 235-181.
  • June 21: Senate passes S.Amdt.1502 to H.R. 6 (no tax credits or RES)
  • FILIBUSTERED: June 21: S.Amdt. 1704 to S.Amdt. 1502 to to H.R. 6 (tax credits paid by closing oil loopholes) filibustered 57-36 (Landrieu with GOP, Boxer, Brownback, Coburn, Johnson, McCain, Sessions not voting)
  • PASSES HOUSE: January 18: House passes H.R. 6 with tax credits and RES 264-163.

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