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Public Statements

Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. WU. Mr. Chairman, I would like to engage in a colloquy with the gentleman from New Jersey.

Throughout this debate on the Energy and Water appropriations bill, we have discussed the importance of research and development of new energy technologies. However, I would like to highlight the importance of demonstration projects that are carried out within the Department of Energy's Building Technologies Program.

The Department of Energy spends millions of dollars each year on research and development for new technologies. However, that R&D often reaches a point known as the Valley of Death. The Valley of Death is where promising new technologies fade into obscurity because they can't attract the capital investments to move from concept to commercialization.

In essence, on one side of the Valley of Death is research and development; good ideas. On the other side is the actual deployment and commercialization. A demonstration project takes the research and development just a little bit further and bridges this divide so that private entities will be interested in deployment, private entities will be interested in commercialization.

This good use of federally funded demonstration projects is critical to reducing the risk to private sector investors and allows technologies to cross the Valley of Death and establish commercial viability for investors and, indeed, attract their interest.

I strongly believe that in the course of our discussion about funding for the coming fiscal year, it is important to highlight the importance of the Building Technologies Program's demonstration projects. I very much appreciate our previous discussions that I have shared with the chairman and ranking member, and I would be interested in the chairman's insight into this matter.


Mr. WU. I thank the chairman and the ranking member for their engagement in this issue, and I look forward to working with them.

The chairman knows that fully 40 percent of total energy use in America is in buildings and fully 70 percent of electricity use is in buildings. So when we make buildings more efficient, this is indeed the low-hanging fruit toward future energy efficiency, and in fact the ability to bring new, innovative American-made technologies to market is key to rejuvenating our economy. Successful projects in the Building Technologies Program will result in the manufacture and sale of new products here in the United States and result in rejuvenating our economy and building good American jobs here.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman. I thank the ranking member.


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