Good morning from Baltimore, where the U.S. Department of Energy and NEEP have just kicked off our Regional Dialogue on Accelerating Industrial Energy Efficiency and Combined Heat and Power (CHP). This meeting is being held to advance the development and implementation of state-level best practices in both public policies and investment models that address the barriers to greater investments in industrial efficiency and CHP in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region.
Jason Miller, of the National Economic Council and a Special Assistant to President Obama for Manufacturing Policy, welcomed the 160+ participants here in Baltimore by highlighting the President's Executive Order that sets a national goal of 40 gigawatts of new, cost-effective CHP by 2020. In noting that a revitalized manufacturing sector is a core element of the administration's economic development agenda, Miller noted the importance of accelerating efficiency and CHP in this sector because "Energy is intertwined with competitiveness.
"Our ability to produce things is inherently linked to our ability to innovate," he noted. But in an era when falling natural gas prices has spurred a wave in new manufacturing plant construction, it has become apparent that not nearly enough of that new construction includes CHP.
DOE's goal, he explained, is to work with states to address the barriers to greater investments in and broader deployment of CHP and industrial energy efficiency, and today's dialogue is an initial step in that process.
So, NEEP invites you to be part of this dialogue as well. Look for our Twitter feeds throughout the day, and if you have questions you'd like to see addressed by the panelists and speakers here in Baltimore, drop us a note via our blog, via Twitter or our Facebook feed and let us know how you think we can join the President in making industrial energy efficiency and CHP a more broadly-based reality throughout our region.