Photo via Washington Post
Though a relatively small initiative compared to the Obama administration's previous investments in renewable energy programs and development, the creation of a program called Climate REDI is still an important milestone in the growth of the fledgling worldwide clean energy economy. The Renewables and Efficiency Deployment Initiative launches today, according to Energy Secretary Stephen Chu. $350 million total in funds will be devoted to accelerating clean tech development and deployment around the world.According to Climate Progress, the US will contribute $85 million to a global pot of $350 million (other contributing nations include France, Australia, Italy, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Norway, and Switzerland) to help speed the growth and deployment of clean tech and renewable projects. The funding will be directed towards 4 primary programs (via CP):
- The Solar and LED Energy Access Program will accelerate deployment of affordable solar home systems and LED lanterns to those without access to electricity. This program will yield immediate economic and public health benefits by providing households with low-cost and quality-assured solar alternatives to expensive and polluting kerosene.
- The Super-efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment Program will harness the market and convening power of MEF countries to improve efficiency for appliances traded throughout the world. A number of MEF countries have implemented, or are exploring, incentive programs for energy-efficient appliances. Coordinating incentives, standards and labeling systems can create unprecedented economies of scale for these appliances.
- The Clean Energy Information Platform will establish an online platform for MEF countries to exchange technical resources, policy experience and the infrastructure to coordinate various activities in deploying clean energy technologies, and share this information with the world.
- The Scaling-up Renewable Energy Program (S-REP), under the World Bank's Strategic Climate Fund, will provide policy support and technical assistance to low-income countries developing national renewable energy strategies and underwrite additional capital costs associated with renewable energy investments. Funding through Climate REDI will accelerate the launch of S-REP.
Yes, $85 million is a tiny amount compared to what should be invested in developing nations clean energy expansion, and yes, it's a small step in mitigating climate change. But it's a small, well-designed step in the right direction.
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