TechNet Executives Meet With California Leaders to Advocate for Clean Energy Technologies
SACRAMENTO, Calif., July 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A prominent group of clean tech executives from TechNet, the bipartisan political network of CEOs that promotes the growth of the innovation economy, today were in Sacramento, California to meet with a variety of state government officials to discuss the importance of clean technology and innovation to California’s economic, environmental and energy future.
TechNet’s members are leaders in many areas of clean energy including venture capital, renewable and clean energy production, smart grid, energy efficiency and clean transportation. For the past four years, TechNet has worked with both the federal government and key U.S. states such as California to advocate for policies to spur green innovation, fostered by visionary entrepreneurship, as a key driver to address the nation’s energy, economic and environmental challenges. TechNet and its member companies believe that cutting edge innovation and smart deployment of clean energy technologies can reduce costs for consumers over the long run, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide the foundation for robust economic growth in the future.
“California marks the front line of America’s green energy frontier and our leadership in Sacramento is critical to ensuring that continued leadership,” said Jim Hawley, Acting CEO of TechNet. “TechNet is proud of its record in helping to enact progressive policies — both in California and around the nation — that help improve the business climate for the creation of clean energy technologies. The fact is that energy efficiency investments in our nation produce approximately three dollars in economic benefit for every one dollar invested. What that means is that smart policies and investments in green technologies will help create thousands of high wage jobs throughout our country.”
“Once again, California is leading the way in technology development and driving the new green economy,” said Harrison Dillon, President and Chief Technology Officer at Solazyme, a renewable oil production company and leader in algae biotechnology. “As new technologies like ours start to scale to commercial levels and move toward building plants and production, that means jobs for California’s economy. We will continue to grow in California as we expand into the global marketplace. We are looking forward to briefing California’s leadership on our renewable oil production technology for food and for fuel and helping to drive California’s economy and job market.”
Today, California is a world leader in green technology innovation and policies that that combat climate change. TechNet was active in working with the Governor’s office and the legislature in the successful passage of the state’s landmark global warming legislation, (AB 32) and creating the first Low-Carbon Fuel Standard. On the federal level, TechNet is now working House and Senate leaders to ensure adoption of comprehensive climate legislation, a strong national smart grid and the most robust renewable energy standard possible.
Currently, TechNet is advocating for the following policies for California:
- Adoption of a 33% renewable energy portfolio standard for California. TechNet supports legislation to implement a 33% renewable fuels portfolio standard in California by 2020. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has endorsed this goal and it is recognized in the Scoping Plan as one of the single most important steps California can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Smarten California’s electric grid. TechNet supports SB 17 sponsored by Senator Alex Padilla under which utilities will develop plans to smarten the electric grid, an effort that will transform the nation’s electric sector in a way that the Internet transformed telecommunications.
- Promotion of technology neutrality. As the state develops its clean energy policies, a fundamental principle must be to set aggressive standards in a technology-neutral fashion and avoid having the government pick technologies. Otherwise, government programs can end up promoting yesterday’s technologies. TechNet has sponsored AB 1110 sponsored by Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes to permit new technologies like fuel cells to compete on a level playing field with established technologies like combined heat and power systems. This will help ensure that the newest technologies are not disadvantaged by government energy efficiency incentives.
- Leverage stimulus dollars to drive cutting edge green energy technologies. TechNet supported enactment of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which is now law. Partnering with private entities, TechNet believes that public entities can act as first adopters in demonstrating the efficacy of new technologies. To strengthen our long-term energy technology leadership, TechNet urges both federal and state governments to use their investment muscle to promote the rollout of cutting-edge clean energy technologies, rather than simply investing in established practices and products.
- Invest in clean transportation. Transportation accounts for up to 40% of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in many states, and the transportation technologies that TechNet’s members are investing in — such as sustainable biofuels — have the potential to dramatically reduce GHG emissions and criteria air pollutants. TechNet supports the adoption of California’s low carbon fuel standard and incentives to roll out the next generation of zero-emission cars needed to reduce GHG emissions by 80% by 2050.
- Promote energy efficiency. Improved energy efficiency can deliver half of the abatement required to cap the long-term concentration of GHG emissions at levels experts believe necessary to prevent major environmental damage. In the face of rapid growth in demand for computing services, information technology companies are working hard to reduce energy consumption at data centers. New chips can reduce energy use by 40% and virtualization software in data centers can yield dramatic efficiency improvements. With cooling consuming half or more of the energy use at data centers, companies have pioneered strategies to reduce data center energy consumption by up to half, with a goal of developing a carbon-neutral footprint. Technology companies scored well in a recent survey of carbon reduction strategies of major U.S. companies.
TechNet is the national, bipartisan network of CEOs that promotes the growth of technology industries and the economy by building long-term relationships between technology leaders and policymakers and by advocating a targeted policy agenda. Our members are the nation’s drivers of innovation in the fields of information technology, e-commerce, clean technology, biotechnology, venture capital and investment banking — representing two million employees and $800 billion in revenues. TechNet has offices in Washington, DC, Palo Alto, Sacramento, Seattle, Boston, Austin, and Albany, NY. Web address: www.technet.org. You can also follow us on Twitter at Technetupdate@twitter.