The Need for Policy to Encourage U.S. Leadership in Renewable Energy

Whatpolicies will allow the U.S. to claim leadership in climate change andrenewable energy? Representative Jay Inslee (D-WA) and CEO MikeSplinter talked about this topic during the Congressman’s visit toApplied Materials’ Silicon Valley headquarters last week. TheCongressman and his staff also toured one of the latest solar PV tools- the PECVD 5.7 system, an ideal example of advanced technology spillover from flat panel display to solar manufacturing.

Representative Inslee authored one of the versions of the "Clean Energy Deployment Administration"(CEDA, or "Green Bank") bill that was passed as part of the Houseenergy and climate package last June. The "Green Bank" is one of thekey elements Mike Splinter points to as crucial for creating a strongmarket for renewable energy in the U.S. Without a low-cost financingoption, utilities and large scale energy companies will not be able tomake the large scale and long-term investments necessary to make thenext generation of clean energy a reality.

During their discussion, Mike Splinter and Congressman Inslee agreedthat the federal government can help create the new green energyeconomy through the creation of a strong renewable electricity standard– 25% by 2025. Both also agreed that a price needs to be placed oncarbon, one that reflects true cost and externalities.

Congressman Inslee is a supporter of a comprehensive climate changebill and is hopeful of its 2010 passage. He is encouraged by the strongeffort of Senator Lindsey Graham to make this a bipartisan issue aswell as the White House agreement to include nuclear and U.S. oilexploration in a final compromise. But Congressman Inslee acknowledgestime is running out and there could well be action only on an energybill in 2010.

Image: Rep. Inslee (second from right) watches a demonstration of the PECVD 5.7 system with Applied Chairman and CEO Mike Splinter.



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