POWER December 2021 - 40

COMMENTARY
Sean Tilley
O
The Renewable Energy and
Energy Efficiency Advisory
Committee Brings Industry
Knowledge to National Policy
n the U.S. Department of Commerce's (DOC's) Renewable
Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee
(REEEAC), the silo between industry and regulators is
breaking down. The committee, which is populated by leaders
from across the power industry, is working with one goal in
mind: Brainstorm strategies to strengthen the U.S.'s role as a
leader in global renewable energy and energy efficiency.
REEEAC, which held its first meeting of Charter 6 (2020-2022)
on May 26, 2021, advises U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo
on policies and programs that will position the U.S. as a
more competitive exporter of renewable energy and energy efficiency
goods and services. This can encompass everything from
building awareness around new power generation methods to suggesting
specific program initiatives to incentivize decarbonization.
The committee is comprised of 33 members, all leaders in
the renewables and energy efficiency industries who work daily
with the technologies and programs that are being considered
for revision or implementation. Their experience and expertise
encompass the full range of power services, including independent
power producers, original equipment manufacturers, energy
storage companies, smart grid companies, small businesses, and
more. The members come together to address all topics, but they
each choose to participate in one of four subcommittees.
Trade Promotion and Market Access. The trade promotion
and market access group advises on top market reports to identify
non-tariff barriers to trade of renewable energy and energy
efficiency that can be eliminated or reduced. These members
also provide guidance on the federal trade agreement (FTA) and
other trade negotiations, the government's response to the European
Union's carbon border tax mechanism, and market access
challenges under interagency initiatives.
Global Decarbonization. The global decarbonization subcommittee
covers anything related to carbon reduction and
elimination. Some areas of interest include policy approaches
in foreign aid that may accelerate the clean energy transition,
methods for decarbonizing particularly carbon-intensive industries,
and defining best practices for a " just transition " to clean
energy, among other things.
Clean Energy Supply Chains. The clean energy supply
chains committee mainly serves to provide feedback on 100day
supply-chain review reports, provide guidance on how to
garner inward investment and reshoring for clean energy supply
chains, and best practices for low-carbon supply chains in
clean energy manufacturing.
Technology and Innovation. The technology and innovation
group works to ensure the competitive advantage of U.S. technologies
in world markets, clarifying Committee on Foreign Investment
in the United States filing requirements for " grey area "
technologies, and facilitating the application of new technologies
to U.S. supply chains involved in net-zero carbon opportunities.
40
Overall, the committee's initiative is to confer on methods
to provide system-level efficiency to the generation, transmission,
and distribution of electricity. It's a broad goal, which
could include any number of innovations.
Developing Policies, Searching for Change
While nobody on the committee is standing up in front of lawmakers
to demand change, they are working to develop recommendations
that are shared with the DOC that, if implemented,
can position the U.S. as a stronger player in the global energy
marketplace. These recommendations, if heeded by the DOC,
will ignite progress.
What does this mean for the realities of the energy sector?
The first official recommendation made by REEEAC Charter 6
is that the Secretary of Commerce collaborate with the U.S.
Secretary of Energy to accelerate a one-year solar manufacturing
supply chain review. This effort essentially intends to
ensure the highest quality solar technologies are prioritized by
pushing back against countries that heavily subsidize solar.
On Oct. 14, 2021, the committee met for its second meeting,
when they discussed a range of topics for future recommendations.
One main point of discussion focused on broadening
the purview of ENERGY STAR and similar programs to include
low-carbon manufacturing.
A Foundation of Collaboration
As this charter of REEEAC continues to meet through 2022, the
committee will continue to debate and draft official recommendations
for the DOC. Some may be put into action and progress
will be made, while others may end up on the cutting room floor.
What is unique about REEEAC is that it is built on a foundation
of collaboration to encourage the exchange of ideas from
those on the front lines of the energy sector, who work directly
with the people and technologies that will move the world forward
into a net-zero carbon future. By soliciting advice from the
general public of the energy industry-those who understand
the potential and limitations of the technologies that will propel
the green revolution-the DOC demonstrates its commitment
to developing a more environmentally conscious global society.
The U.S. is well-positioned to assume the mantle of global
leader in sustainability, helping to set an example for the rest of
the world. This will be especially critical for those developing nations
that are searching for an energy roadmap as they continue
to industrialize. In a time when reversing climate change is of the
utmost importance, this all-hands-on-deck approach to solving
problems is the best way to make meaningful progress. ■
-Sean Tilley is the global technology portfolio manager for the
Renewable Energy Group within Black & Veatch's Power business.
He is also a member of REEEAC Charter 6, serving on the
Global Decarbonization subcommittee.
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POWER | December 2021
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POWER December 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of POWER December 2021

POWER December 2021 - Cover1
POWER December 2021 - Cover2
POWER December 2021 - 1
POWER December 2021 - 2
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POWER December 2021 - SCover1
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POWER December 2021 - S1
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