Statement of R. Neal Elliott, Associate Director for Research
ACEEE commends the Administration for issuing an executive order supporting industrial energy efficiency and combined heat and power (CHP). The United States is poised for a period of capital reinvestment in industrial infrastructure, and actions such as this executive order will spur industrial firms to modernize their domestic manufacturing capacity.
The efficiency and competitiveness of the U.S. industrial sector depend on the extent to which we modernize our manufacturing capacity. As we have seen with the steel industry over the past decade, modernization results in a more competitive, energy-efficient, and robust industry. Recently, the United States has again become a globally competitive place for investment in industrial capacity, both for domestic and export production. We need to continue this trend—manufacturing is a competitive global enterprise and investment location decisions currently being made will affect the position of U.S. manufacturing for a generation. The investments encouraged in the executive order will result in significant energy cost savings, estimated by the White House at as much as $100 billion, and will encourage manufacturers to make their investments here in order to ensure a robust industrial sector with quality jobs.
An aging electric generation infrastructure and the new bounty of affordable natural gas make investments in new generation capacity attractive, as highlighted in an ACEEE white paper last year. Encouraging investments in CHP offers the opportunity for increasing the efficiency of energy-intensive manufacturing, while simultaneously meeting the need for new electric power generation capacity. CHP projects will make the most efficient use of our gas resource and the capital investment required to generate electricity from gas.
ACEEE will continue to work with the Administration, the states, and manufacturers to realize the potential for a renewed manufacturing sector that this Executive Order envisions.