MERRIMACK , NH - Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Samuel W. Bodman joined Representatives Jeb Bradley (NH-1st) and Charles Bass (NH-2nd) to highlight President Bush's Solar America Initiative, during a visit to GT Solar Technologies in Merrimack, New Hampshire, today. The Solar America Initiative, a key component of President Bush's Advanced Energy Initiative, seeks to accelerate the widespread acceptance of clean solar energy technologies throughout the U.S. by 2015.
"As our nation's economy grows we will need to find ways to diversify our energy mix, and solar is one promising way to do that," Secretary Bodman says. "By harnessing the energy from the sun, we can power homes and businesses in an environmentally clean way."
The goal of the Solar America Initiative is to generate enough solar energy by 2015 to provide 5-10 gigawatts of electricity, enough to power 1-2 million homes. The president's Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 budget requests $148 million research into solar energy technology, a $65 million (78%) increase over FY 2006.
GT Equipment Technologies, Inc. designs, manufactures and assembles semi-custom and specialty equipment for the current and emerging materials processing industries. The company's two divisions, GT Solar and GT Crystal, specialize in turn-key fabrication lines for manufacturing wafers, cells and modules for photovoltaic industry, and with crystal growth equipment for the semi-conductor industry.
During today's event at GT Solar, Secretary Bodman discussed the importance of two key energy-related initiatives announced by President Bush in his State of the Union address. President Bush's Advanced Energy Initiative requests $2.1 billion, a 22 percent budget increase, to develop new technologies and alternative sources of energy to help diversify and strengthen our nation's energy mix. The American Competitiveness Initiative is a multi-agency commitment that will ensure America remains competitive in the global marketplace. As part of the American Competitiveness Initiative, funding for science research will double to nearly $19.5 billion in 2016 at DOE's Office of Science, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology. The funding increase will begin in FY 2007 with the three offices receiving a total of $10.66 billion, an increase of 9.3% over FY 2006.
As part of the Bush Administration's broader effort to promote production and use of alternative and renewable sources of energy, Administration officials are traveling the country to promote President Bush's energy initiatives. Secretary Bodman will make a total of four stops around the country this week, promoting the Advanced Energy and American Competitiveness Initiatives, in addition to highlighting a number of energy efficiency programs, notably biomass (including cellulosic ethanol) and hydrogen. Yesterday, Secretary Bodman met with students and teachers at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News, Virginia, to discuss the importance of science and math education. Also yesterday, Secretary Bodman toured the Archer Daniels Midland Ethanol plant in Decatur, Illinois, and announced a $160 million solicitation for biorefinery construction. Later this afternoon, Secretary Bodman will visit General Motors Advance Technologies Facility in Honeoye Falls, New York.
Also this week, DOE Assistant Secretary Karen Harbert will visit green manufacturer Steelcase in Grand Rapids, and provide remarks at the Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center, in Muskegon, Michigan; Assistant Secretary Jeff Jarrett will visit the National Energy Technology Laboratory in Morgantown, West Virginia; and Assistant Secretary John Shaw will deliver remarks at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Acting Assistant Secretary Doug Faulkner will make two stops, the first to deliver remarks at a biofuels conference in Auburn, Alabama, the second to deliver remarks at the Gerdau Ameristeel Steel Mill Energy Savings Assessment in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.
Craig Stevens, 202/586-4940