Inslee Visit Reinforces Need for Policy to Encourage U.S. Leadership in Renewable Energy
What policies will allow the U.S. to claim leadership in climate change and renewable energy? Representative Jay Inslee (D-WA) and CEO Mike Splinter talked about this topic during the Congressman’s visit to Applied Materials' Silicon Valley headquarters last week. The Congressman 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 House energy and climate package last June. The "Green Bank" is one of the key elements Mike Splinter points to as crucial for creating a strong market for renewable energy in the U.S. Without a low-cost financing option, utilities and large scale energy companies will not be able to make the large scale and long-term investments necessary to make the next generation of clean energy a reality.
During their discussion, Mike Splinter and Congressman Inslee agreed that the federal government can help create the new green energy economy through the creation of a strong renewable electricity standard – 25% by 2025. Both also agreed that a price needs to be placed on carbon, one that reflects true cost and externalities.
Congressman Inslee is a supporter of a comprehensive climate change bill and is hopeful of its 2010 passage. He is encouraged by the strong effort of Senator Lindsey Graham to make this a bipartisan issue as well as the White House agreement to include nuclear and U.S. oil exploration in a final compromise. But Congressman Inslee acknowledges time is running out and there could well be action only on an energy bill in 2010.