Lake Erie Energy Development Co. has provided the spark necessary to ignite that power generation. Armed with $50 million in federal support, LEEDCo will carry the distinction of being the first-to-ma...
NEWS: SUSTAINABLE MANUFACTURING INNOVATION ALLIANCE WILL LEAD $140 MILLION INSTITUTE IN ROCHESTER, NEW YORK TO IMPROVE COMPETITIVENESS OF U.S. MANUFACTURING
WASHINGTON — As part of the Manufacturing USA initiative, today the Energy Department announced its new Reducing Embodied-energy and Decreasing Emissions (REMADE) Institute, which will be headquartered in Rochester, New York and led by the Sustainable Manufacturing Innovation Alliance. REMADE will leverage up to $70 million in federal funding, subject to appropriations, and will be matched by $70 million in private cost-share commitments from over 100 partners.
The REMADE Institute will focus on driving down the cost of technologies needed to reuse, recycle and remanufacture materials such as metals, fibers, polymers and electronic waste and aims to achieve a 50 percent improvement in overall energy efficiency by 2027. These efficiency measures could save billions in energy costs and improve U.S. economic competitiveness through innovative new manufacturing techniques, small business opportunities, and offer new training and jobs for American workers.
“The REMADE Institute is a key example of how public-private partnerships like Manufacturing USA are critical to advancing America’s low-carbon economy and strengthening manufacturing industries across the country,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “This Institute will be an important catalyst to leverage innovation and energy efficient technologies that will reduce harmful emissions while creating jobs and building America’s 21st century economy.”
U.S. manufacturing accounts for nearly 25 percent of the nation’s total annual energy use. The physical products that are created as a result of manufacturing embody most of that energy. The research and deployment of cost-effective technologies that could reduce the energy used in materials production could offer energy savings of up to 1.6 quadrillion BTU annually in the U.S.– more than the electricity, oil and other energy consumed by New Hampshire, Hawaii, Delaware, Rhode Island, Washington, D.C. and Vermont combined.
Extracting raw materials like steel and aluminum for manufacturing is energy intensive as is the manufacturing process used to make products with these materials. By enabling recycling and remanufacturing (the rebuilding of original products using a combination of reused or recycled parts) technologies, the Institute will dramatically reduce life-cycle energy consumption for products and improve overall manufacturing efficiencies. The focus also includes new ways for information collecting; gathering, identification and sorting of end-of-life and waste materials; separating mixed materials; removal of trace contaminants and robust and cost-effective reprocessing and disposal methods.
REMADE is the fifth Energy Department-led institute in the multiagency network known as Manufacturing USA, also known as the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation. Since it was established four years ago, Manufacturing USA has grown from a single institute to a network of 13 institutes. Led by manufacturing experts renowned in their field, the Manufacturing USA Institutes have attracted over 1,300 companies, universities and nonprofits as members – starting with 65 members and now at more than 1,000.
The institutes continue to attract new business investment to their regions, develop cutting-edge technology and train American workers to apply new skills to our growing manufacturing sector. To date, the federal government’s commitment of more than $920 million has been matched by more than $1.87 billion in non-federal investment. For more information about the REMADE Institute and participating organizations, visit Energy.gov. ... See MoreSee Less
UPDATE: Industry-Backed Reregulation Proposal, Mandates Fodder For Energy Talks In New Session
Whether it's the future of the renewable energy standards or an industry-backed effort to partially restructure energy markets, energy is shaping up to be a major discussion point for the 132nd General Assembly.
In recent interviews, both Senate President Larry Obhof and House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger have voiced desire for an in depth discussion to set a firm path forward regarding state energy policy.
A key component of that is the fate of the renewable energy and energy efficiency standards following Gov. John Kasich's veto of a bill that would have reinstated the standards as goals for two years. With the governor's veto, the full standards are now back in effect as of Jan. 1.
"I think we do need a long term energy plan - one that is consistent and stable and doesn't bounce back and forth from one end of the spectrum to the other," Sen. Obhof (R-Medina) said Tuesday after the Senate's opening session. "There's not a lot of support in the legislature for the mandates as they exist right now and I'm not really sure there was ever any scientific basis for those numbers but that doesn't mean that we can't try to find some middle ground approach that is good for everybody."
Speaker Rosenberger (R-Clarksville), speaking the same day after the House's opening session, likewise signaled his intent for a larger discussion on energy policy.
"I think that will be a longer conversation about our entire energy climate here in the state of Ohio that regards not only renewable energy, but other areas and we're going to be open and eager for those conversations and working with the Senate and the administration going forward on what that might look like," he said.
Another topic primed for discussion is AEP and FirstEnergy's effort to recruit lawmakers to peel pack at least some of 1999's deregulation law, which the industry previously supported. The companies have referred to their proposal as a sort of "partial restructuring."
"I think those talks will pick up steam in the new year," FirstEnergy spokesman Doug Colafella said. "I think it's just too early to know what shape legislation might take. I know we at FirstEnergy are interested in talking to the legislature about a bill that supports power plants in Ohio, particularly nuclear plants."
The company has already announced a transition plan that could result in the closure of several unregulated plants due to market conditions. Mr. Colafella said it is too early to tell whether the company's will push for a "full blown restructuring" or simply tweaks to the current system.
"The market has been challenging on our unregulated plants and over time the risks for those plants continues to grow," he said. "We believe it's imperative we have some clarity in the coming year because those plants continue to face challenges in the market."
AEP, on its part, indicated in July it hoped to "hit the ground running with legislation" in early 2017.
"We have long said that Ohio needs to map out a long-term energy policy to support economic development and spur more energy investment in the state," AEP spokeswoman Melissa McHenry said. "The talks on restructuring legislation are ongoing, and we look forward to continuing the dialogue about Ohio's energy future with lawmakers and other stakeholders in the new year. We are still working to have a bill ready for introduction in the first quarter of 2017."
In a recent interview, Sen. Obhof said he's had some introductory conversations about the issue, although he said "nobody sets the timeline but us" for potential legislation.
"That's something that's going to require a lot of different input from a lot of different areas both from the energy sector and also from rate payers themselves," he said of the idea. "There are a lot of experts on all sides of the issue so that's something we'll spend a lot of time trying to drill down (into)."
If and when a formal proposal is unveiled, it's guaranteed to generate debate. The Ohio Consumers' Counsel, the state's top consumer advocate, has already listed the proposal as one of the office's top challenges for 2017 in the counsel's recent budget request.
Additionally, the future of the energy standards will likely be up for discussion, following Gov. John Kasich's recent veto of a bill (HB 554) to prevent the full resumption of the standards and their compliance measurements. Sen. Bill Seitz, who will be joining the House next year, has promised a "full-scale effort" to review the standards next session.
Sen. Obhof said that in general he would favor an omnibus energy bill to tackle energy-related issues over a scattershot approach of a myriad of bills.
"They're all pieces of a puzzle and everything needs to fit together," he said. "I prefer, if you can, instead of doing things piecemeal to try to have one consistent, coherent set of policies at the same time. ...If we could do it neatly that's be great. If we can't, you eat a whale one bite at a time." ... See MoreSee Less