"Obama Administration Announces New Clean Energy Technology Programs and Funding"
Complements 10 New Technology Roadmaps by the Major Economies Forum
Today the Obama administration took another major step towards mitigating global warming pollution. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the launch of the Renewables and Efficiency Deployment Initiative (Climate REDI) as well as ten new clean energy technology road maps under the Global Partnership, which was launched under the Major Economies Forum (MEF) in July in L’Aquila, Italy.
Under Climate REDI, the United States is contributing $85 million to a global pot of $350 million over five years (other contrubutors being Australia, Italy, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and others) that will accelerate the deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies through four programs:
- The Solar and LED Energy Access Program will accelerate deployment of affordable solar home systems and LED lanterns to those without access to electricity. This program will yield immediate economic and public health benefits by providing households with low-cost and quality-assured solar alternatives to expensive and polluting kerosene.
- The Super-efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment Program will harness the market and convening power of MEF countries to improve efficiency for appliances traded throughout the world. A number of MEF countries have implemented, or are exploring, incentive programs for energy-efficient appliances. Coordinating incentives, standards and labeling systems can create unprecedented economies of scale for these appliances.
- The Clean Energy Information Platform will establish an online platform for MEF countries to exchange technical resources, policy experience and the infrastructure to coordinate various activities in deploying clean energy technologies, and share this information with the world.
- The Scaling-up Renewable Energy Program (S-REP), under the World Bank’s Strategic Climate Fund, will provide policy support and technical assistance to low-income countries developing national renewable energy strategies and underwrite additional capital costs associated with renewable energy investments. Funding through Climate REDI will accelerate the launch of S-REP.
Accompanying the announcement of this new global initiative is the release of technology action plans by the United States and its MEF partners. At their July summit in L’Aquila, Italy, MEF Leaders launched a new Global Partnership on clean energy technologies. Today, detailed technology action plans that “highlight best practice policies, and provide a menu of specific actions that countries can take individually and collectively to accelerate development and deployment of low-carbon solutions” were released. The ten technology areas and lead countries authoring the respective plans are:
- Advanced vehicles (Canada)
- Bioenergy (Brazil and Italy)
- Building energy efficiency (United States)
- Carbon capture, use and storage (Australia and the UK)
- High-efficiency, low-emissions coal (India and Japan)
- Industrial energy efficiency (United States)
- Marine energy (France)
- Smart grid (Italy and Korea)
- Solar energy (Germany and Spain)
- Wind energy (Germany, Denmark and Spain)
Taken together, these two initiatives will help both developed and developing countries invest in low-carbon energy solutions and to address energy poverty problems in developing by providing access to cleaner technologies at a low-cost. More important than any dollar figure, the technology road maps under the MEF will help set rules of the road to organize the market and start to operationalize the implementation of global clean energy technologies. The combination of financing, and concrete and detailed plans for implementation, is what is needed to accelerate the the global transformation towards a low-carbon future.
– Julian L. Wong, Rebecca Lefton and Sean Pool