CEOs Urge U.S. Gov’t to Adopt Renewable Energy Policy

Members of TechNet, a U.S.-based bipartisan network of CEOs, have unveiled comprehensive policy recommendations to spur the development and adoption of new technologies to improve energy efficiency and encourage renewable energy use.

“Green Technologies: An Innovation Agenda for America,” recommends more funding for energy research with more visibility and more strategic thought at the federal agency level. It proposes federal tax policy reform, supports a technology-neutral Renewable Portfolio Standards and anticipates a market-based greenhouse gas emissions system. Executive Summary The United States today faces unprecedented concern over rising energy prices and their impact on our economic competitiveness and national security in an unstable world. Global climate change has the potential to dramatically alter the world environment. In addition, the relentless pressures of worldwide urbanization, manufacturing and population growth demand a renewed commitment to clean energy and environmental solutions. The challenge of ensuring a sound energy future is tremendous, but so are the opportunities. Innovation, fostered by visionary entrepreneurship and private sector investment, can lead the way to addressing the world’s energy and environmental challenges while spurring new technologies and the growth of entire new industries. We are at a unique inflection point at which it is within our reach as a nation to make the shift from an economy fueled predominantly by oil to one that relies on a balanced mix of alternative energies and new technologies. Consumers are driving widescale commercialization of hybrid vehicles and alternative fuels, and demand for energy efficient products and clean energy solutions. U.S. venture capital investment in green technology has doubled in the past year, generating exciting new alternative and renewable energy technologies and solutions. Advances in solar, wind, biofuels, energy efficiency and fuel cell design create the potential for technology-driven energy and cost efficiencies that can revolutionize industries. U.S. corporations, manufacturers and energy companies are embracing solutions that drive efficiency and environmental improvement — and make economic sense. Our nation’s commitment to public policies that spur innovation will determine whether we are able to surmount the challenges and seize the tremendous opportunities of the 21st century. It is critical that the United States forge a national energy policy that boldly commits to new energy technologies and innovations, and creates new opportunities for economic growth and international competitiveness. Recognizing the energy imperative and the enormous potential of innovation as a solution, the TechNet Green Technologies Task Force has developed the following recommendations to spur the development and adoption of new technologies to enhance energy efficiency, encourage use of renewable energy and protect the environment. The purpose of this report is to identify key public policy recommendations that will be most effective in spurring clean technologies. Our recommendations include: A strengthened national commitment to energy research and innovation — Double federal funding for basic energy research — Focus federal support on: basic research, technology demonstration and commercialization initiatives — Designate a lead federal agency to elevate and oversee the energy research and demonstration mission — Support a balanced portfolio of near and longer-term technologies — Enhance the federal government’s role as purchaser of new energy technologies — Establish federally sponsored Sustainable Design demonstration initiatives — Encourage long-term, declining incentives — Pursue university partnerships and research to generate a pipeline of innovation and talent — Support public/private partnerships to support energy efficiency initiatives and education Fundamental reform of federal tax policy to spur the development and adoption of new energy technologies — Increase the level of incentives to spur new energy technologies — Restructure incentives to enable market signals that drive new technologies — Establish a long-term consistent approach — Increase consumer incentives to change patterns of demand — Encourage technology neutrality enabling the marketplace to pick winners Federal and state commitment to technology-neutral Renewable Portfolio Standards — Establish a minimum national Renewable Portfolio Standard — Establish state energy strategies that include a base-level RPS that meets or exceeds the federal standard — Incorporate performance-based, technology neutral features — Promote standards based on energy demand to provide efficiency incentives — Establish an effective tradable Renewable Energy Certificate marketplace — Enable utilities to recover investments in renewable generation and transmission — Strengthen the Renewable Fuels Standard program to support innovative biofuels Design recommendations for a national program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through a market-based system — Consider design features that will drive the development and adoption of new energy innovations, including: Market-based system, National marketplace, Credit for early reductions, Establishment of a robust opt-in program, Assignment of value to clean technology solutions, Allocation of allowances to support energy technology R&D, Technology neutrality Development of industry best practices that promote and expand corporate commitments and contributions to clean energy Through new technologies, the United States has a historic opportunity to lead the world transition to cleaner energy sources that meet growing demand, reduce harmful emissions and mitigate environmental impacts. The result will be strengthened economic growth, job creation, national competitiveness and quality of life for our nation’s future. The TechNet Green Technologies Task Force is committed to working with Congress and the Administration to create a policy environment that supports these important goals.
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