Daily Energy Insider: Senate hearing examines benefits of energy innovation on the economy

The U.S. Senate held a hearing last week to examine the importance of energy innovation to economic growth in the United States.

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chair Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) opened the hearing by outlining the importance of innovation to our success as a nation.

“Whether we are looking to bolster our energy supply or reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, innovation will need to be front and center and recognized as our best solution,” Murkowski said. “In Alaska, we have already seen how new, innovative technologies can reduce our reliance on costly diesel fuel, but we have the potential for so much more. New technologies, whether renewables or microreactors, will be able to make a real difference in local economies and the lives of many Alaskans.”

Murkowski also discussed the potential impacts of energy innovation on small and rural communities.

“As we consider energy innovation, we want to place special emphasis on our rural areas,” Murkowski said. “We up North have always been innovators, and we don’t just do it because we have to, but because we’re pioneers – we like breaking new trail.”

Isaac Vanderburg, the CEO of Launch Alaska, testified about the economic benefits of increased investment in research and development efforts in Alaska.

“Alaska’s high cost of energy and harsh environment offers an ideal deployment ground for startups to partner with communities, validate their technology, and scale to large global markets,” Vanderburg said. “This approach to energy innovation can support sustained economic growth and competitiveness for communities throughout the U.S. while also rising to the challenges posed by climate change.”

Vanderburg also called for the restoration of the Arctic Energy Office at the Department of Energy, which is statutorily authorized but was largely disbanded by the previous administration.

Other speakers included Brian Anderson, director of the National Energy Technology Laboratory; John Deskins of West Virginia University’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research; David Hart of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation; and Lee Ragsdale, Jr. of the North Carolina Electric Cooperatives.

By:  Dave Kovaleski
Source: Daily Energy Insider