Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Director General Suresh Kumar
U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service
Alliance to Save Energy’s Great Energy Efficiency Day
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
As prepared for delivery
Good morning and welcome to this panel on “finding common ground” in the economy
First I want to heartily applaud Kateri Callahan and the Alliance to Save Energy. I commend all the work you do on an issue that is front and center for this administration:-- building a new energy economy and creating well-paying jobs and the workforce of the future. The strong attendance from our Congress, and the remarks by Governor Engler, and Senator Lugar and, demonstrate the importance and opportunities presented by energy efficiency sector.
As the President has asserted, energy efficiency delivers exactly the benefits that families, communities, and the country need at this crucial period. The benefits of focused energy efficiency programs will: 1) improve family budgets; 2) enhance business’s bottom line; 3) create well-paying jobs; 4) reduce dependence on foreign oil, and 5) reduce government deficits. Energy efficiency –the first fuel—is a big win all around.
Our panel this morning was constructed to give you more detail about what communities, cities, and companies are doing to help deliver these benefits. Our speakers, represent the perspectives of those working locally, nationally and globally in the area of energy efficiency. The success of their programs show that an investment in energy efficiency is an investment in job creation, energy independence, budget and cost savings, and will help all Americans “win the future” in the increasingly energy-efficient economy of tomorrow.
Let us look first at the results of the National Export Initiative announced by the President in 2009 to double U.S. exports by 2015. Exports were up 17 percent in the first 11 months of 2010 compared to same period in 2009 is better than our target of 15% CAGR. November 2010 exports of goods and services ($159.6 billion) were the highest since August 2008 ($162.9 billion).
As a key part of the NEI, the Department of Commerce’s US&FCS, the service I am privileged to lead supports innovative energy efficiency companies in sectors such as buildings, transportation appliances and energy production.
Both Exports and energy efficiency companies is that both create jobs.
Of the more than 12,000 export successes in 2010 recorded by our trade specialists, 1400 -- that’s 11.6% of the total export successes-- were in the new energy, energy efficient and environmental arenas. These green successes yielded a value of $5.6 billion, representing almost 30% of the total export success value.
Renewable energy exports reached more than $2 billion in 2009, growing by over 30% between 2007 and 2008 and by almost another 25% between 2009 and 2010.
This demand shows up in our Trade Missions program. In 2010, almost one-third of all trade missions were related to promoting companies in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors.
The U.S. Government is amongst the largest property owner in the world, with more than 500,000 buildings. Many of these are part of our embassy facilities abroad. The League of Green Embassies program, a joint effort by the departments of Commerce and State, supports these energy efficiency targets. I had the privilege of kicking off this program in Paris in early 2010 in a partnership that brought together 29 U.S. companies, over 100 European businesses, 9 U.S. Ambassadors from across Europe, 23 Senior Commercial Officers, and the City of Paris.
Led by our Ambassador to Finland Bruce Oreck, members of the League will meet the President’s mandate, while fully capitalizing on the National Export Initiative, showcasing U.S. companies and helping them sell “over the fence,” into the markets of our trading partners. Ambassador Oreck plans to increase the number of U.S. embassy participants from just over 50 now to 100.
Ambassadors from the program will meet in Brussels at EE global, a trade event and conference sponsored by the Alliance to Save Energy to review the work that is being done to create more energy efficiency.
The greening of buildings cover a variety of sectors in the energy efficiency area including: HVAC, LED lighting, efficient materials and sustainable design. An energy star qualified compact fluorescent bulb uses about 75% less energy than an incandescent bulb and lasts 10 times longer, but and LED bulbs can last 25 times longer and use even less energy.
We launched the first federally-coordinated effort to boost renewable energy and energy efficiency exports last December. Known as the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Export Initiative, or RE4I, this effort of 12 federal agencies was coordinated by the Department of Commerce and involves commitments for 23 new actions, programs, or initiatives from across the U.S. Government to boost renewable energy and energy efficiency exports, including several trade missions in these sectors. Our website: http://export.gov and search for RE4I for more information.
With 95% of consumers living outside the United States and Energy being a common concern, it behooves U.S. businesses, particularly in the energy efficiency sectors to export to more markets. The 1500 trade professionals of US&FCS and ITA will help you connect to global markets, efficiently (no pun intended). Our network of trade professionals located in the U.S. and in U.S. embassies and consulates in nearly 80 countries around the world, the Commercial Service provides market research, trade counseling, business matchmaking, and trade advocacy. Our Commercial Service officers and staff help companies network, and make contacts that can be turned into sales.
This year, my office will support four main events that will embrace energy efficiency. Prior to EE Global that I mentioned, we will recruit and support two green building events, one in Milan, Italy, in May and one in Sao Paulo, Brazil in August. We will also support the Conference of the Parties, COP-17, in Durbin, South Africa at the end of the year.
Exports are one of the best ways to grow the economy. Only 1% of the 30 million U.S. companies export, and of those who do, 58% export to only one market. Those 95% of consumers living outside the U.S. offer a world of opportunity and our network of contacts can help U.S. companies connect with the right partner in the right markets. It is the right thing to do: it creates jobs here in the U.S. and in the markets to which we export.
This panel offers an excellent opportunity to discuss the importance of the public private partnership with state, local, and company interests represented. The transition to a new energy economy cannot be done without all of us working together. America is at its best when it is inventive, and this is exactly what “Winning the Future” calls for: We invented the motor car, the airplane, the computer and through public-private partnerships even the internet and the GPS. Winning in the sectors of the future requires policy mechanisms that reduce risk, and provide greater predictability, through a common set of rules, standards, and incentives.
If you’d like further information about the programs I’ve mentioned here today, please seek out Keith Curtis or Jane Siegel, who are here with us this morning.Now I would like to introduce the first member of our panel. We will take questions after all panelists have finished their presentations.
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