Alliance Says Substantial Funding Boost for Industrial Energy Efficiency Will Create Jobs, Spur Clean Technology Development, Curb Emissions
Washington, D.C., June 4, 2009 - The Alliance to Save Energy today applauded U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu's decision to allocate $256 million in economic recovery funds to increase energy efficiency efforts in the U.S. industrial sector. The funds were made available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
“Secretary Chu's industrial energy efficiency initiative represents an important step toward reducing energy consumption in U.S. manufacturing and information technology industries, which in turn will — as the secretary himself has stated — create jobs, speed development of clean technologies, and raise U.S. productivity in the industrial sector while curbing harmful greenhouse gas emissions,” said Alliance Vice President Jeff Harris.
The ARRA funding will be channeled into three industrial sector areas: combined heat and power (CHP) and district energy; research and development (R&D) for energy efficiency improvements in information and communication technology; and advanced materials research and development. The advanced materials research and development projects will be used to support advanced clean energy technologies and energy-intensive processes. R&D will be aimed at fuel flexibility programs, CHP technologies, energy intensive processes, and nano-materials and nano-manufacturing.
“While critical, this one-time funding boost addresses only a portion of the many opportunities for improving energy efficiency in the U.S. industrial sector, which accounts for one-third of annual U.S. energy consumption,” Harris added, and continued: “We encourage Congress and the Obama administration to fund energy efficiency in all segments of this vital part of our economy.
“Congress should provide robust appropriations for several critical industrial program areas that it authorized under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) authorized funding,” Harris noted. “These include expansion of industry-specific research under the Industries of the Future Program, the Distributed Energy Grant and Loan Programs, and the long-standing and highly effective university-run Industrial Assessment Centers.
Other initiatives which would advance energy efficiency in the industrial sector are identified in S. 661, Restoring America's Manufacturing Leadership through Energy Efficiency Act of 2009, introduced by Alliance to Save Energy Honorary Congressional Vice Chairs, Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). Additionally, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, which was reported by the Energy and Commerce Committee last week, would establish voluntary energy-efficiency standards for industrial facilities.
“The Alliance to Save Energy urges the administration and Congress to address these important areas in the very near future,” Harris concluded.