For the first time in its history, the U.S. Government has launched a government-coordinated plan for the support of renewable energy and energy efficiency exports. The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Export Initiative has 23 commitments from 8 different federal agencies, which plan to focus on new programs, actions or deliverables to tackle major export barriers in the U.S. renewable energy and energy efficiency (RE&EE) companies.
The development of the initiative came from the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee Working Group on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency. Members on the committee include representatives from the Department of Commerce, Energy, State and Agriculture as well as the Export-Import Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke announced the initiative and its main goals, which include the support of RE&EE exporters through new financing products, improving market access, augmenting trade promotion and making the delivery of export promotion services better to current and future RE&EE companies.
“The Initiative lays the foundation necessary to help U.S. renewable energy and energy efficiency companies take better advantage of current market opportunities,” Locke said. “It also positions federal government programs to better support U.S. global competitiveness in these sectors over the long run.”
Hand in hand with the launch of the new initiative is a report by the Commerce Department, which goes into more detail on the initiative, as well as a committee made of up industry leaders whose goal is to help the Secretary create and implement the programs and policies that will lead the U.S. renewable energy industry into a more competitive state.
In addition, several commitments have been made by different government offices to help the initiative including the creation of foreign buyers guides for U.S. RE&EE technologies, the US$300 million investment by OPIC for the financing of renewable energy projects in emerging markets and a new subcommittee at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to deal with access barriers that RE&EE companies face.
An online portal where renewable energy companies have access to U.S Government export resources, and which holds the Commerce Department’s initiative report, can be accessed here.