Secretary of Commerce Launches Renewable Energy Export Initiative

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"Initiative seeks to double renewable energy exports within five years."

The Secretary of Commerce released the Administration's plan for a Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RE&EE) Export Initiative, and addressed the first meeting of his newly created Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee. Secretary Gary Locke urged its members to help the Administration achieve its goal of doubling renewable energy exports in the next five years, targeting $10 billion or more in annual export benefits.

The Advisory Committee met for its first day of deliberations yesterday and outlined its work for the coming year. "There was a strong consensus that first we need to help decision makers understand that a strong domestic market is key to expanding U.S. exports and that U.S. leadership in these technologies will pay dividends in billions of dollars in new exports," Gawell said.

The worldwide markets for renewable and efficiency technologies are substantial and growing. According to the Department of Commerce (DOC) report, "$162 billion of private-sector capital was invested in RE&EE technologies globally in 2009. As the economy improves, global investment in RE&EE is likely to increase further."

Expanding U.S. exports in these markets will not be without challenges, as worldwide governments from China to Germany also see the opportunities they present. As the DOC report notes, "Globally, nations are using RE&EE as a catalyst to promote economic growth and to create high-tech, high-wage jobs for their citizens."

The Secretary chartered a Federal Advisory Committee of leaders in the renewable energy field to provide advice on topics including assessing the competitiveness of the U.S. renewable energy and industries and their ability to develop products, services and technologies and helping guide trade policy development and negotiations.

"We expect this Committee will be an active partner working to succeed in achieving the aggressive goals for renewable exports being set by the Administration," Gawell said.

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