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Bonamici Introduces Legislation to Create Regional Partnerships for Clean Energy Innovation

June 24, 2020
Press Release
Bill Will Accelerate Transition to 100% Clean Energy and Net-Zero Emissions

 

WASHINGTON, DC [06/24/20] – Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) introduced legislation to create and support regional partnerships that boost clean energy innovation, accelerate the transition to 100 percent clean energy, and create good-paying jobs.

 

The Regional Clean Energy Innovation Act will establish the Department of Energy Office of Advanced Clean Energy Technologies to manage a network of Regional Energy Innovation and Development Institutes. The institutes will accelerate clean energy innovation in the mid and post-research stage by helping projects overcome obstacles to deployment, connecting federally funded research and development with state and regional initiatives, and advancing decarbonization strategies. The partnerships will be comprised of governments, academia, businesses, and clean energy stakeholders.

 

“Many of the effects of the climate crisis are regional, which is why we need regional solutions to effectively transition to a 100 percent clean energy economy,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici. “Historically, federal investments in research have focused on the conceptual and early stages, leaving valuable projects without a viable path to market. This legislation will foster a network for clean energy projects in the post-research stage, help them thrive on a regional scale and meet market needs, and create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs. Regional Energy Innovation and Development Institutes are key to achieving our climate goals and building a stronger, more sustainable economy that works for everyone.”

 

In 2016, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a report highlighting the value of regional partnerships to advance clean energy deployment and commercialization. The report called for Regional Energy Innovation and Development Institutes (REIDIs) to “spur the development of both early-stage innovations and innovations that show appropriate promise.” As part of Mission Innovation, the Obama Administration proposed FY17 funding to support regional clean energy innovation partnerships. The Regional Clean Energy Innovation Act builds on these recommendations.

 

The Regional Clean Energy Innovation Act will:

  • Establish a network of Regional Energy Innovation and Development Institutes (REIDIs) through the Department of Energy.
  • Direct the Secretary of Energy to create an Office of Advanced Clean Energy Technologies to manage the REIDIs and advance decarbonization strategies.
  • Foster regional collaboration to accelerate the deployment of clean energy by connecting existing national laboratories, academic researchers, and clean energy innovators with a network of REIDIs and the Department of Energy.
  • Incentivize partnerships and leverage existing state, local, regional, Tribal, and national initiatives to reach net-zero emissions.

 

A summary of the bill can be found here, and a copy of the bill text is available here.

 

Bonamici is the only member from the Pacific Northwest to serve on the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, and she is a senior member on the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. She has long advocated for federal investment in marine energy research, including wave energy research in the Pacific Northwest. She is a leader on climate action in Congress and a cosponsor of the 100% Clean Economy Act, which would help the U.S. achieve a 100 percent clean economy by 2050.

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