An Energy Agenda for the New Congress: In Spite of Bipartisan Support, Numerous Critical Energy Initiatives Languished in the Previous Congressional Session. the Need to Take Action Is Even More Pressing for the Current Congress

By Bingaman, Jeff | Issues in Science and Technology, Spring 2011 | Go to article overview

An Energy Agenda for the New Congress: In Spite of Bipartisan Support, Numerous Critical Energy Initiatives Languished in the Previous Congressional Session. the Need to Take Action Is Even More Pressing for the Current Congress


Bingaman, Jeff, Issues in Science and Technology


At the beginning of this new Congress, it is already becoming clear that energy policy will have a major place on the agenda. Part of that is because the president made clear in his State of the Union Speech that he will give energy a major priority in his administration. In part, it is because our energy security is dependent on overseas supplies and global stability. The events that we have seen unfold in North Africa and the Middle East are stark reminders that the world is an unpredictable place. Whenever geopolitical events potentially affect our access to affordable energy supplies, it is a spur to consider energy policies that might reduce those geopolitical risks.

But perhaps more important than any of those reasons is the competitive pressure the United States is experiencing from other major world economic powers as they take a very leading role in clean energy markets. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, new investment in clean energy globally reached nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars in 2010. That was a 30% jump from where it was in 2009, and a 100% increase from the level in 2006.

China alone invested $51.1 billion in clean energy in 2010, making it the world's largest investor in this sector. China now manufactures over half of the photovoltaic modules used globally. In 2010, China installed about 17 gigawatts of new wind capacity, roughly half of the total capacity installed globally, with virtually all the equipment being supplied by its domestic manufacturers.

But the concern about the competition for clean energy jobs is not just about China. Europe also made major strides last year toward competing in these markets. Countries such as Germany, the Czech Republic, Italy, and the United Kingdom, have emphasized small-scale distributed electricity-generation projects. In Germany, 8.5 gigawatts of new photovoltaic capacity were added in 2010. The United States must be aware of these initiatives as it considers its course of action.

It is also significant that other countries consume energy more efficiently than does the United States. According to the International Energy Agency, Japan, the United Kingdom, and Canada are all ahead of the United States in implementing policies to make sure they get the most out of every BTU that they consume. Japan, for example, has its Top Runner program, which encourages competition among appliance and equipment manufacturers to continuously improve the efficiency of those appliances

and that equipment.

So the question is: How does the United States respond to this competition for clean energy jobs? I believe that to remain at or near the forefront of this strongly developing market, the United States needs to do at least four things:

* First, it needs to ensure that it remains at the forefront of energy R&D, because innovation is the source of its greatest competitive strength. The president made that point in his State of the Union Speech and in other forums as well.

* Second, it must ensure that it has a strong domestic market for clean energy technologies. Without clean energy market pull in the United States, there will not be the incentive to manufacture and deploy these technologies here.

* Third, it has to ensure that it has the necessary financial infrastructure and the incentives to provide the capital needed to build advanced energy technology projects.

* Finally, it needs to have explicit policies to promote the development of U.S. manufacturing capabilities for these clean energy technologies.

I think these four items or elements should be at the heart of whatever comprehensive energy legislation we undertake in this Congress. Let me say a few more words about each of them.

R&D

The first item to consider is support for advanced energy technology R&D. The United States has traditionally led the world in many of the characteristics that are essential to having an innovation economy. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

An Energy Agenda for the New Congress: In Spite of Bipartisan Support, Numerous Critical Energy Initiatives Languished in the Previous Congressional Session. the Need to Take Action Is Even More Pressing for the Current Congress
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.