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June 28th, 2010

APS calls for more federal energy efficiency R&D support

Published on June 28th, 2010 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

The American Physical Society says it will be pushing congressional leaders to increase research investments in energy-efficiency technologies.

The APS says that having a broad portfolio of energy-efficiency options is the fastest, easiest way to ending the United States’ reliance on foreign oil and domestic drilling, not to mention meeting the 2030 greenhouse gas targets.

“The U.S. House cap-and-trade (Waxman-Markey) bill shortchanged long-term research in energy efficiency. The Senate must do better. Legislators should start by including in the bill the president’s Clean Energy Technology Fund, an investment of $15 billion per year over 10 years to develop affordable, low-emission energy technologies,” APS says in a new press release.

“Energy efficiency reduces demand, and energy we do not use costs nothing, emits nothing and does not pollute the Gulf,” said Nobel Laureate Burton Richter, who chaired an APS efficiency study and authored the newly released book, “Beyond Smoke and Mirrors: Climate Change and Energy in the 21st Century.”

Some of APS’s recommendations include:

  • Broadening current federal R&D and demonstration program particularly in the area of Increased research  batteries for conventional hybrids, plug-in hybrids and battery electric vehicles, and in various types of fuel cells.
  • Set federal goals for achieving significant levels of construction of cost-effective residential zero energy buildings — buildings that use no fossil fuels — by 2020.
  • Increase federal funding for building R&D  to $250 million (currently about $100 million)l during the next 3 to 5 years, and expand existing demonstration program for construction of low-energy residential
    buildings, along with associated research.
  • Have the DOE take steps to fold long-term applied research into its science and technology programming in “a more serious way than it currently does.” It suggests that DOE’s Office of Science provide responsibility and funding in a way that establishes new programs without endangering current basic research programs APS also suggests DOE create a new structure to support long-term applied research or adapt ARPA-E to this effort.

 


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