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Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall: Bay Area Gathering Will Boost Clean Energy Effort

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

By Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy

CEM7 will be the first major gathering of energy ministers from key nations after the signing of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
I am a proud Californian for many reasons, including our leadership in scientific and technological innovation. So given the Golden State's reputation for inventing the future, it's no surprise that the Bay Area will host the seventh Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM7) in June — the first major gathering of energy ministers from key nations after the signing later this week of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The power of the CEM is unique: It is the forum for driving energy collaboration among the countries responsible for 90 percent of the world's clean-energy investments and about three-quarters of global greenhouse gas emissions. Representing the world's largest economies, including the United States, China, Europe, and India, CEM energy ministers are the world's best hope for achieving the commitments in the Paris Agreement and accelerating the transition to low-carbon economies.

Throughout its first six years, the CEM has accumulated a solid track record of results, developing initiatives that empower countries to create customized clean energy solutions. For example, the CEM Global Lighting Challenge is working to meet the growing demand for lighting while reducing the environmental footprint — by deploying 10 billion LED lights around the world. In just it's first three months, the Challenge has gained commitments to achieve more than half that goal over the next few years.

Deputy U.S. Energy Secretary Sherwood-Randall stands next to an electric vehicle developed at a U.S. national laboratory. Photo: Oak Ridge National Laboratory
The Electric Vehicle Initiative, led by China and the United States, captures and shares innovative policy and technology approaches from around the world. India is now using analysis from this initiative to inform its national mission on electric mobility, helping it to reach its deployment targets of 5 to 7 million hybrid and electric vehicles by 2020.

California has long been a pioneer in clean energy innovation. The Bay Area is home to three of the Department of Energy's path-breaking national labs: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the Stanford Linear Accelerator National Laboratory. With these labs, its thriving tech industries, major research universities, and supportive communities, California has proven to be one of the world's leading incubators for publicprivate collaboration and innovation-driven growth.

Despite this progress, the transition to a low-carbon economy is still not happening fast enough to meet our collective climate goals. In Paris last year, President Obama joined 19 other countries' leaders in launching Mission Innovation, a commitment to double public investment in clean energy research and development by 2020. The Mission Innovation effort is complemented by the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, a private sector effort led by Bill Gates and 28 other investors from 10 countries who have committed to mobilizing substantial private capital and carrying the most promising clean energy technologies to the marketplace to generate growth and jobs for our economy.

The confluence of innovative clean energy solutions and information technology is revolutionizing the way we produce, consume, and transmit power. California just became the first U.S. state to produce more than 10 percent of its electricity from solar power, and the Energy Information Administration expects that a third of all new U.S. solar capacity in 2016 will be built in California, enough to power 3 million homes.

CEM7 will feature a clean energy technology showcase displaying the impressive products of today and cutting-edge concepts of tomorrow; it will open to the public in San Francisco's Union Square June 1 and 2.

California and America can help lead the world to a safer climate and a brighter economic future if we create innovative clean energy policies and invest wisely. The Clean Energy Ministerial meeting will be a key step in creating that future.

Original blog posted on The Mercury News.

California has long been a pioneer in clean energy innovation. The Bay Area is home to three of the Department of Energy's path-breaking national labs: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the Stanford Linear Accelerator National Laboratory. With these labs, its thriving tech industries, major research universities, and supportive communities, California has proven on of the world's leading incubators for public-private collaboration and innovation-driven growth.

 

Despite this progress, the transition to a low-carbon economy is still not happening fast enough to meet our collective climate goals. In Paris last year, President Obama joined 19 other countries' leaders in launching Mission Innovation, a commitment to double public investment in clean energy research and development by 2020. The Mission Innovation effort is complemented by the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, a private sector effort led by Bill Gates and 28 other investors from 10 countries who have committed to mobilizing substantial private capital and carrying the most promising clean energy technologies to the marketplace to generate growth and jobs for our economy.

 

 

The confluence of innovative clean energy solutions and information technology is revolutionizing the way we produce, consume, and transmit power. California just became the first U.S. state to produce more than 10 percent of its electricity from solar power, and the Energy Information Administration expects that a third of all new U.S. solar capacity in 2016 will be built in California, enough to power 3 million homes.

 

 

CEM7 will feature a clean energy technology showcase displaying the impressive products of today and cutting-edge concepts of tomorrow; it will open to the public in San Francisco's Union Square June 1 and 2.

 

California and America can help lead the world to a safer climate and a brighter economic future if we create innovative clean energy policies and invest wisely. The Clean Energy Ministerial meeting will be a key step in creating that future.

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