Panel Of State Energy Officials Backs Efficiency Measures
An advisory panel of State energy officials has weighed in on the nation’s homeland security, including our energy security following the one year anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, with a report that answers the question “how do we make our energy infrastructure more resilient and less vulnerable?”
“Although the events of September 11 were not directed at the nation’s energy sector, it forced many of us to begin taking stock of just how vulnerable our energy infrastructure is” said Maurice Kaya, chairman of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) State Energy Advisory Board (STEAB). “It also forced us to begin thinking about how energy fits into a secure homeland.”
An important note sounded in a report from the STEAB is the role that energy efficiency and renewable energy can play in homeland security by helping to produce a safer, more reliable and more resilient energy infrastructure.
Specifically, energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and programs can, and must, be critical components of a balanced and diverse national energy portfolio. Mr. Kaya continued, “STEAB views the energy aspects of homeland security as more than just protecting existing infrastructure. We view the current emphasis on homeland security as an opportunity for energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies to contribute in significant ways to a safe, more reliable and resilient energy infrastructure.”
In addition, STEAB provides a list of program and initiative priorities that offer “the most effective means for Congress, the Administration and DOE to foster growth and diversity in the nation’s energy portfolio through energy efficiency and renewable energy, and to ultimately secure the nation’s energy future.” These priorities include: the Federal Weatherization Assistance Program, the State Energy Program, distributed energy resources, and hydrogen.
In promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy, the report presents a brief overview of the country’s traditional energy infrastructure. This review provides a glimpse into the critical choke points in our nation’s current energy infrastructure. It sets the stage for demonstrating how energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies can free up these choke points, adding dependability, flexibility, and security to our energy systems.
The report calls on Congress, the Administration and DOE to move forward with and promote energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies by making them priorities within the federal budget.
“If Congress and the Administration fail to provide adequate funding for research, development and deployment in annual budgets for energy efficiency and renewable energy it sets the sage for unnecessary energy crises across the nation at great cost and disruption to people’s lives and the economy.”
“It would also undermine America’s security and increase our vulnerability,” the report continues.