Farewell, Secretary Chu, Difficult Job Well Done !


Greetings, Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(please click on red links below)

It is with both sadness and appreciation that many of us in the solar/renewable energy world are receiving the news of  Secretary (of US Department of Energy) Steven Chu’s decision to return to his life of  a scientist.

Please view the announcement video clip below:

Secretary Steven Chu returning to his life of a scientist rather than a second term as the Secretary of Department of Energy (DOE)

In my opinion, Secretary Steven Chu is the first Secretary of Department of Energy who is truly deserving of his title  after many decades of Secretaries who could have just as well  been called Secretary of Nuclear Energy.  We appreciate President Obama’s insight in naming a Nobel  scientist with guts and pragmatism during this critical juncture in both American and Human Energy history.  Without the past four years of Chu’s tenure, we could not have seen the long list of scientific and clean energy programs, ranging from  Wind and Solar Energy Initiatives, BioEnergy Research Centers, nuclear safety, appliance efficiency standards, etc.  He is the first Secretary of Energy who truly appreciated the rising temperature as a present and growing danger to our planet earth and actively addressed this issue by building a foundation for research, creativity, and with funding guarantees to a plethora of clean energy projects supporting manufacturing plants throughout the country.  Since the list of accomplishments during his tenure is extremely long, I will simply name few of his accomplishments and share with you a more complete list made available via U.S. Department of Energy site.

  1. ARPA-E became a reality, designed to support high-risk, high reward technology development;this program has earned the respect of industry and academia alike for its outstanding funding choices and its thoughtful and thorough program management. Fred Smith, the CEO of FedEx, thought ARPA-E was the best government funding program he has ever seen.  In the first few years, 11 of the companies funded with $40 million dollars have attracted more than $200 million in combined private investment.
  2. The SunShot Challenge called for reducing the full cost of utility scale solar energy to $1/watt, roughly equates to a levelized cost of electricity (LOCE) of 6 cents/kWh without additional subsidies created for the solar industry.  This is close to the projected EIA cost of natural gas and the anticipated LOCE on a new natural gas electricity generator a decade from now.
  3. The President announced an EV Everywhere Challenge, with the goal to achieve plug-in hybrids or EVs with a 100 mile range at the same cost of owning and operating a comparable sized internal combustion engine car with 40 miles/gallon for 5 years.
  4. The production of clean, renewable energy from wind and solar has doubled during Chu’s tenure.
  5. In addition to $25 billion annual budget, Congress entrusted DOE to make a $36 billion investment through the Recovery Act to help ensure that the clean energy jobs of tomorrow are created in USA.
  6. The DOE has made significant progress in encouraging collaboration between the basic science and applied science programs such that the Office of Science and the Applied Energy programs have collaborated from the beginning in the design of Funding Opportunity Announcements.  So called “Tech teams” that span Energy, Science, and APRA-E have started to meet regularly in areas such as solar energy, electricity transmission and distribution, computation, and biofuels.  Brainstorming sessions where young scientists are encouraged to share ideas and joust with Department veterans have begun.

At this point, I’d like to invite you to read/see the more complete list of accomplishments during his tenure, available at US Department of Energy site (<–please click).

Statement from SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch on the Notice of the Departure of Energy Secretary Steven Chu:“SEIA applauds Secretary Chu for his outstanding leadership of the Department of Energy and for his work to foster the growth of clean energy technologies to power America. Secretary Chu clearly believes in the power of science and innovation to drive change, which was evident in the way he led the Department. Under Dr. Chu’s leadership, the Department launched the SunShot Initiative, an effort to advance solar photovoltaic technology developments; promoted the clean energy loan guarantee program spurring $55 billion in economic investment; and advanced the prominence of solar energy as a critical energy source.

Under the Obama Administration, the amount of solar powering homes, businesses, and military bases has grown by nearly 500 percent – from 1,100 megawatts in 2008 to more than 6,400 megawatts today. Solar installations and jobs have risen dramatically throughout the U.S, while costs have fallen. Today, the solar industry employs more than 119,000 Americans at 5,600 companies, mostly small businesses, across all 50 states – this is more than double the number of Americans working in solar in 2009. The U.S. now has enough installed solar capacity to power a million households, and 2013 is on track to be another year of record growth for our industry.

“We thank Secretary Chu for his passion for solar innovation, his public service, and his outstanding work to advance renewable energy across the United States.”

We applaud you for having led us on the right path to a cleaner, safer, and more sustainable future powered with greatly increased amounts of renewable energy. Job well done!

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your comments/suggestions/questions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com
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