Green economy

Commission Unveils Plan to Double U.S. Energy Productivity

Last year the nonprofit Alliance to Save Energy (ASE) formed a coalition of energy experts. Now they have unveiled a set of recommendations designed to double U.S. energy productivity by 2030. The ASE's commission on National Energy Efficiency Policy called for expanding the U.S. energy economy through:
  • investments, 
  • modernization, and 
  • education. 
These efforts will target the entire energy structure, including:
  • buildings, 
  • transportation,
  •  manufacturing, 
  • power generation and 
  • natural gas infrastructure.
The Energy 2030 plan maximizes energy productivity by expanding financing opportunities, reforming taxes and regulations, spurring innovation, strengthening standards, and building consumer awareness. The commission also anticipates that the plan will help the United States establish global leadership in energy efficiency. 

If adopted, the plan could help the United States: 
  • add 1.3 million jobs; 
  • cut average household energy costs; 
  • save U.S. businesses $169 billion a year; 
  • increase the gross domestic product by up to 2%; 
  • decrease energy imports by more than $100 billion a year; and 
  • reduce carbon dioxide emissions by one-third.
The Alliance Commission on National Energy Efficiency Policy will collaborate with its 13 Honorary Congressional Vice Chairs to develop legislative proposals at the national level. The Commission was formed in 2012 by ASE, a nonprofit organization that promotes energy efficiency worldwide through research, education, and advocacy. 

See the ASE press release and the full reportPDF.

Photo Credit: Craig Miller Productions

Looking Forward To A Green Future

Everyday, I find some reason to be hopeful about clean energy and energy conservation, despite fuddy-duddies in Washington who believe a cleaner planet and lower power bills are bad things.

Today's hopeful moment is brought to you by the trio of Cargill, Shell and Honda, three heavy hitters demonstrating that innovation is alive and kicking. Their combined research into the fuel-making possibilities of pine and corn waste is another example of Big Business taking the lead on green energy.

Recent announcements from Dow Chemical, AT&T , and General Motors are other reasons for optimism. Those businesses, and others, are discovering that green is good socially and economically.

GM is particularly impressive. It is recycling oil-soaked booms from the Gulf spill into air deflectors for its new electric Volt. Read more about that here.

Those announcements are coming at the same time that the San Joaquin Valley, here in California's resource-rich heartland, is on tap to become a leader in solar and other types of renewable energy.

Dozens of solar projects - big and small - are proposed for the region between Stockton and the Grapevine. In addition, research into possible forms of biofuel is under way in the west side of the Valley, according to this story by former Fresno Bee colleague Dennis Pollock.

Combine those efforts with cost savings achieved by energy-conservation measures, such as work we at the San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization are doing with budget-slashed cities and counties to help them replace inefficient lighting, motors and other items, and green will be more than just a color.

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