Clean Energy Business Network April Update
1. Letter from Governor Jennifer M. Granholm
2. Who's Winning the Clean Energy Race? 2010 Edition
3. Join Governor Granholm and Pew at an Event in Your State
4. What Other Clean Energy Businesses Are Saying
5. Inside the Beltway News You Might Have Missed
Dear Clean Energy Business Supporter:
My name is Jennifer M. Granholm and for the last eight years I served as governor of Michigan, where I worked to bring jobs and investment to a state that bore the brunt of a decline in the manufacturing sector. Despite those challenges, we put policies in place that enabled our economic development team to create and retain more than 653,000 jobs and spur $57 billion in private investment in nearly 4,000 economic development projects. Based on the Michigan experience, I know that by coming together our nation can experience an economic recovery that results in success for America's businesses and jobs for American workers.
It is with this in mind that I am proud to tell you that I am partnering with The Pew Charitable Trusts to promote common sense clean energy solutions that will help grow businesses, create jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
Pew provides information about the clean energy economy here at home and around the world. Their latest report, Who's Winning the Clean Energy Race? 2010 Edition, offers an inside look at the 2010 clean energy investments made in the world's largest economies. It shows that despite overall improvement, the United States continues to lag behind other countries that are capturing these opportunities.
I know you, like many of the businesses I worked with in Michigan, are ready to take action and grow your companies by cornering these incredible new markets. Over the next several months I will be traveling to many of your states to speak with business leaders like yourself, about smart federal policies that will expand clean energy businesses and propel the United States in the clean energy economy.
Thank you for your commitment thus far, and I look forward to working with you in the months ahead to secure a clean energy future for America.
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm
Senior Advisor, Clean Energy Program
The Pew Charitable Trusts
In less than a decade, clean energy has grown from a small, niche industry to a significant source of trade, investment, manufacturing and job creation. The clean energy sector is emerging as one of the most dynamic and competitive in the world, experiencing 630 percent growth in finance and investments since 2004. In 2010 alone, worldwide finance and investment grew 30 percent to a record $243 billion.
New research by The Pew Charitable Trusts reveals that China has solidified its position as the world's clean energy powerhouse. China attracted a record $54.4 billion in clean energy investments in 2010—a 39 percent increase over 2009 and equal to total global investment in 2004. Germany saw private investments double to $41.2 billion and was second in the G-20, up from third in last year's ranking.
The United States, which had maintained the top spot until 2008, fell another rung in 2010 to third with $34 billion in private clean energy investments. The United Kingdom experienced the largest decline dropping from fifth to 13th.
The United States' position as a leading destination for clean energy investment has eroded because its policy framework is weak and uncertain. We are at risk of losing even more private financing to countries like China, Germany and India, which have adopted strong policies such as renewable energy standards, carbon reduction targets and/or incentives for investment and production. In today's global economic race, the United States can't afford to be a follower in this sector.
Governor Granholm, together with Pew staff, will visit clean energy start-ups, research facilities and manufacturing plants, as well as meet with clean energy entrepreneurs, elected officials and community partners. They will explore the role policy can play in increasing demand and spurring investment in the sector, which is marked by rapid growth and fierce international competition.
Check our events calendar regularly to see when the Governor will be in your state. Stops in the next few months will include Massachusetts, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, among others.
Ohio residents, please join us!
The University Clean Energy Alliance of Ohio (UCEAO) invites you to attend their fifth annual conference for a keynote speech on clean energy by Pew Clean Energy Program Senior Advisor and Former Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm.
April 26-27, 2011
Renaissance Columbus Downtown Hotel
50 North 3rd Street
Columbus, OH 43215
"Common sense dictates that fossil fuels are finite and reliance on them is destructive to the environment. Those countries focused on development and implementation of renewable, sustainable energy alternatives will reap huge economic rewards in the 21st century. The U.S. has the workforce and the technological prowess to be the leader in this new economy. We need only the political will to make it happen."
Joe & Lee Scheidler
"Our 13-year-old solar power installation business has grown to employ 24 people, and we are hiring more every month. State and federal policies have been critical to the growth of the clean energy industry and the positive economic impacts that companies like Third Sun Solar have made in our community and state. These policies should be extended and increased."
Geoff & Michelle Greenfield
President & CEO
Third Sun Solar
It's Budget Season in Washington, D.C.: Congress is set to complete the FY 11 appropriation of funds for government programs through the end of the fiscal year in September. The compromise negotiated by the two parties includes a reduction of $116 million for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Programs over the FY 10 level, but includes no cut to Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) initiatives.
Planning for the next fiscal year, in February, the White House released the President's FY 12 budget which includes $6.3 billion for clean energy research, development, demonstration, and deployment activities. It also includes funding for energy efficiency activities, provides $550 million to the ARPA-E and doubles the number of Energy Innovation Hubs.
House Budget Committee Chair, Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., unveiled a FY 12 congressional budgetary blueprint in early April that calls for $6.2 trillion in spending cuts to the President's budget over the next 10 years. The House committee approved the budget framework on April 6th by a 22-16 party line vote. The full House adopted Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget resolution for fiscal 2012 on a 235-193 vote. The vote fell mostly along mostly party lines, and no Democrats voted for the plan.
President Obama Announces National Clean Fleets Partnership: This public-private partnership will help large companies reduce diesel and gasoline use in their fleets by incorporating electric vehicles, alternative fuels and fuel-saving measures into their daily operations. Through the partnership, the Department of Energy (DOE) will assist companies in their efforts to reduce fuel use and achieve greater efficiency and cost-savings by offering specialized resources, technical expertise and support.This collaboration is part of the DOE Vehicle Technology Program's “Clean Cities” initiative.
Department of Energy Launches "America's Next Top Energy Innovator": As part of the Obama Administration's Startup America Initiative, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu recently announced the "America's Next Top Energy Innovator" challenge, which will give start-up companies the opportunity to license groundbreaking technologies developed by the National Laboratories for $1,000 and build successful businesses.
Solar Program Announces Initiative to Aggressively Reduce Cost of Solar: U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu recently announced the Department of Energy's (DOE's) SunShot Initiative. This effort is aimed at reducing the total cost of solar energy systems so that they are cost-competitive with other forms of energy without subsidies before 2020. Achieving the required cost reductions to reach this goal will facilitate broad deployment of solar energy across the United States and help the U.S. regain status as a leader in solar photovoltaics (PV). Under SunShot, DOE endeavors to decrease the installed cost for solar installations to approximately $1 per watt without subsidies, which would make solar technology competitive with the wholesale rate of electricity in most areas of the United States.
Six ARPA-E Projects Illustrate Private Investors Excited About Clean Energy Innovation: In a little over one year, six projects that received a total of $23.6 million in seed funding from the Department of Energy's Advanced Research Project Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) have generated more than $100 million in outside private capital investment.
DOE Releases Resources to Help Communities Advance Solar Energy: The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Solar Energy Technologies Program has recently released two resource guides intended to help communities accelerate adoption of solar energy. Both publications support DOE's SunShot initiative to dramatically reduce the cost of installed solar energy by the end of the decade.
Department of Energy Announces Funding to Support the Next Generation of American Scientists and Engineers: The Department of Energy announced the launch of two new fellowship programs designed to attract the country's best and brightest scientific minds to work on advanced clean energy technologies. The two programs will prepare budding scientists and engineers for careers in clean energy. They will also increase American economic competitiveness and support job growth by promoting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, an essential part of President Obama's plan to win the future by out-educating and out-innovating the rest of the world.
Media Contact: Tracy Schario
Project: Clean Energy Initiative