U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Clean Energy Week Showcases American Energy Innovation

By Dan Byers

This week marks National Clean Energy Week (NCEW), an annual event celebrating American energy innovation helping to create jobs, strengthen America’s national security and preserve the environment. The event brings together associations, businesses and industry advocates to showcase innovation and discuss commonsense clean energy solutions.

The Global Energy Institute is proud to be an official partner of NCEW this year. We look forward to celebrating the exciting innovation that is transforming the energy industry through increased development and use of clean energy resources, new and exciting technologies and a growing, skilled workforce.

The week-long series of events will feature a number of high-profile public officials, including Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, Acting EPA Administration Andrew Wheeler and FERC Commissioner Neil Chatterjee.

These events complement the May 2018 launch of GEI’s EnergyInnovates initiative, a program dedicated to putting a spotlight on the ingenuity behind America’s ongoing energy revolution, especially the investments being made to find new and better ways to produce, transmit, and use energy.  GEI is highlighting innovative projects and technologies, as well as the forward thinkers, engineers and manufacturers responsible for their development.

As projects are still ongoing, EnergyInnovates kicked off with a visit to Alabama Power’s Smart NeighborhoodTM. Developed with the help of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), this community features a high-performance, energy-efficient network of 62 homes connected to a dedicated microgrid. The neighborhood is powered by an adjacent compound comprised of solar panels, battery storage and a natural gas-fed engine, creating a resilient mix of generation resources. This project showcases our nation as a leader in energy innovation and highlights how cutting-edge home technology is paving the way for the future of homebuilding and consumer control. Check out the video below.

Smart, innovative energy solutions like Holland Energy Park also epitomize the principals of Clean Energy Week. The City of Holland, Mich., has a municipal power plan, giving the community agency over its energy future. With the public’s support, Holland Board of Public Works developed a natural gas facility that incorporates cutting-edge technology to not only power the city, but also provide an expansive five-mile, integrated snowmelt system that keeps roads and sidewalks clear during the winter. The project has stimulated Holland’s economy by creating a downtown that thrives year-round, while establishing a close partnership between energy producers and the community they support. Check out the video below.

These projects highlight a pattern of technical innovation and economic growth in the U.S. energy sector. Employment in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors both continue grow. These two industries work together to support our nation’s vast energy demands and drive economic growth – natural gas and renewables are not mutually exclusive, but rather naturally complementary.

The American energy sector continues to drive innovation and technological advancement and, ultimately, economic growth. National Clean Energy Week will showcase American energy leadership and how we will remain energy strong for years to come.

Here are some more clean energy facts to keep in mind this week. Did you know:

  • Since 1980, methane emissions have declined by 67%, while the U.S. population and economy have grown by 44% and 165%, respectively.
  • The share of natural gas as a fuel for power generation has grown from 18% in 2005 to over 33% in 2015.
  • Nuclear energy supplies 20% of all U.S. electricity, 60% of our clean power and represents a crucial part of America’s energy mix.
  • Air quality in major U.S. cities is significantly better than most other major cities in Europe, Asia, and around the world.
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