Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Secretary Chu Calls Clean Energy Race A "Sputnik Moment"

Nov 29: In a speech at the National Press Club, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Steven Chu said that the success of China and other countries in clean energy industries represents a new "Sputnik Moment" for the United States, and requires a similar mobilization of America's innovation machine so that we can compete in the global race for the jobs of the future. Secretary Chu outlined efforts underway at the Department to give America's entrepreneurs and manufacturers an edge through investments in clean energy innovation.

    Secretary Chu said, "When it comes to innovation, Americans don't take a back seat to anyone -- and we certainly won't start now. From wind power to nuclear reactors to high speed rail, China and other countries are moving aggressively to capture the lead. Given that challenge, and given the enormous economic opportunities in clean energy, it's time for America to do what we do best: innovate. As President Obama has said, we should not, cannot, and will not play for second place."

    With 17 National Labs and world leading scientific and computing resources, DOE is on the front lines of America's effort to lead in clean energy innovation.  Clean energy technologies developed and deployed in the United States will create American jobs that stay in America. Secretary Chu detailed a number of promising research efforts now underway including what he called "Revolutionary Electric Vehicle Batteries" and "Converting Sunlight Into Usable Fuel."

    Secretary Chu said that China's investments in clean energy technologies represent both a challenge and an opportunity for the United States. While China's experience with rapid, large scale deployment of technologies makes it an important global testing ground and creates opportunities for scientific partnerships between our two countries, it also means that America cannot afford to take our scientific leadership for granted. Secretary Chu stressed that our economic competitiveness depends on jump-starting the next round of American innovation in clean energy. 

    Specifically, Secretary Chu highlighted several crucial technologies where the United States must innovate or risk falling far behind, such as: High Voltage Transmission; High Speed Rail; Advanced Coal Technologies; Nuclear Power; Alternative Energy Vehicles; Renewable Energy; and Supercomputing.

    Access a release from DOE with further details and link to Secretary Chu's complete presentation (click here).