April 13, 2018
Capitol Update

In this issue:


Renewable energy production continued its strong presence in 2017, according to a new joint report from the United Nations Environment Programme and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), but some countries are investing more than others. The report, titled “Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2018,” noted some surprising trends in the global renewable energy market.

A record 157 gigawatts (GW) of renewable power were commissioned in 2017, up from 143GW in 2016.  Renewable additions more than doubled the pace of the 70GW of net fossil fuel generating capacity added last year, with solar alone accounted for 98GW, or 38 percent of the net new power capacity coming on stream during 2017. 

Developing economies such as China, Brazil, India, and Mexico significantly increased their investment in renewables, accounting for more than 60 percent of total investment. In a continued display of its growing prominence as a global power, China spent $126.6 billion, nearly 50 percent of the total global renewable energy investment. Meanwhile, previous market heavyweights such as the European Union and U.S. saw investment declines with the EU’s investment declining 36 percent from what it was in 2016, and 68 percent less than its 2011 investment. This decline is indicative of the general trend among more economically developed countries, with overall investment falling 19 percent among developed economies.

Solar and wind energy were the primary investment recipients, with solar energy seeing an 18 percent increase thanks in part to heavy Chinese investment. But looking ahead, there are challenges that jeopardize the continued increase in renewable energy, including financing. Angus Crone, chief editor of BNEF explained, “In countries that saw lower investment, it generally reflected a mixture of changes in policy support, the timing of large project financings, such as in offshore wind, and lower capital costs per megawatt.”

To view the full report, click here: http://fs-unep-centre.org/sites/default/files/publications/gtr2018v2.pdf


The U.S. Navy is looking to use 3D-printing to assist in the manufacturing of metal parts for equipment maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO). It is part of an effort to maintain an inventory of low-cost, readily available parts for MRO. The Office of Naval Research explained, “Aging Naval platforms are being challenged by dwindling traditional sources of supply. In response to this need, the naval warfare centers, maintenance depots, and FRCs plan to use additive manufacturing to produce small quantities of out-of-production or long lead-time metallic components.”

The Navy has signed a two-year, $2.6 million contract with a $3.8 million option with Concurrent Technologies Corporation (CTC), a Pennsylvania-based nonprofit to use a laser powder-bed fusion method to manufacture the requisite equipment. This isn’t the Navy’s first foray with 3D-printing, having previously signed an agreement with Senvol, a New York-based company that uses data to help clients implement additive manufacturing.


The America Makes and ANSI Additive Manufacturing Collaborative (AMSC) recently released a preliminary final draft of the AMSC Standardization Roadmap for Additive Manufacturing (Version 2.0), with a target final publication date of June 2018. The draft is an update to the original document (Version 1.0) published in February of last year, and is currently open for public review and comment until May 3. Version 1.0 was drafted based on feedback from the aerospace, defense, and medical industries. Version 2.0 incorporates feedback solicited from the energy, ground vehicle/heavy equipment, and industrial and commercial machinery industries.

The AMSC was established between America Makes and the American National Standards Institute in March 2016 to oversee the development and implementation of additive manufacturing standards. The goal of the roadmap is to determine what standards are currently needed in industry, and help create a smoother, more coordinated methodology for additive manufacturing standards development. AMSC also explains that the roadmap is supported by a list of standards that directly and tangentially pertain to the issues detailed in the roadmap.

To view Version 2.0 of the roadmap, click here: https://share.ansi.org/Shared%20Documents/Standards%20Activities/AMSC/AMSC_18-001_PRELIMINARY_FINAL_DRAFT_AMSC_Roadmap_v2.pdf


Back in January, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke released his plans for developing the National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program (National OCS Program). The plan opened up both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, as well as much of the area around Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico to offshore drilling. But at a recent conference, The Hill reports that Secretary Zinke admitted this could change. Zinke cited a lack of industry interest in his proposed drilling sites, in conjunction with strict environmental regulations pushing the offshore drilling market south to Latin America.

Closer to home, Zinke also explained how he had received strong pushback from many states on both the east and west coasts, throwing his original plans into jeopardy. “If the state doesn’t want [offshore drilling along off the coastline], the state has a lot of leverage,” he explained.

Turning his focus to renewable energy, Secretary Zinke made two announcements in support of offshore wind energy development, the first being the Proposed Sale Notice (PSN) of two areas off the coast of Massachusetts. “The proposed sale area has tremendous offshore wind energy potential and the responsible development of it continues to play a big role in the Administration’s America First Offshore Energy Strategy,” he explained.  Zinke also announced a call for information and nominations for potential new areas for offshore wind energy development within the New York Bight, a shallow water region between Long Island and the New Jersey Coast. Both announcements were listed in the Federal Register on April 11, with 60 and 45 day public comment periods respectively.

To view the Federal Register announcement and leave comments on the PSN in Massachusetts, click here: https://www.boem.gov/83-FR-15618/

To view the Federal Register announcement and leave comments on the New York Bight call for information, click here:  https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=BOEM_FRDOC_0001-0465


Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Rick Perry recently announced a $1.8 billion exascale computer Request for Proposals (RFP). The proposal is seeking the development of at least two new supercomputers for DOE national labs to be implemented in the next three to four years. Last June, Secretary Perry introduced Aurora, the department’s first exascale supercomputer currently being developed at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL). This RFP is a joint collaboration between the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and ANL that seeks to expand on Aurora, with one computer at located ORNL, and the other at LLNL.

The chosen systems will expand on current U.S. exascale computing capacities in both computing speed and performance. Secretary Perry said, “They will help ensure America’s continued leadership in the vital area of high performance computing, which is an essential element of our national security, prosperity, and competitiveness as a nation. Funding for this RFP is provided by the DOE Office of Science, and the National Nuclear Security Administration, with applications due May 24.

To view the full RFP, click here: http://procurement.ornl.gov/rfp/CORAL2/


This past week, the Department of Homeland Security held its sixth biannual “Cyber Storm” Cybersecurity Exercise. The exercise is sponsored by the National Protection and Programs Directorate’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center. It is held every two years as a simulation that explores how difference sectors would interact in the event of a major cyber-attack against U.S. infrastructure. The goal is to determine cybersecurity preparedness and response capabilities.

This year’s simulation involved the critical manufacturing and transportation industries and how they would work together with law enforcement, the Department of Defense, and state and federal level governments to combat a large scale attack. The inaugural Cyber Storm exercise took place in 2006 to review the national response to cyber-attacks. Since then, it has occurred every two years focusing on specific aspects of the cybersecurity framework, and integrating more industries into the fold. The last simulation that took place in 2016 was oriented around the role retail and healthcare industries could play in supporting against a cybersecurity attack.

For further information on this year’s Cyber Storm VI: National Cyber Exercise, click here: https://www.dhs.gov/cyber-storm-vi

The articles contained in Capitol Update are not positions of ASME or any of its sub-entities, unless specifically noted as such. This publication is designed to inform ASME members about issues of concern being debated and discussed in the halls of congress, in the states and in the federal agencies.

ASME Government Relations
1828 L Street, NW, Suite 810
Washington, DC 20036
Website: http://www.asme.org/about-asme/advocacy-government-relations

Paul Fakes is the Regulatory and Government Relations Manager, Technology Policy. He covers Standards and Energy and Environment.

Samantha Fijacko is the Senior Government Relations Representative. She covers Advanced Manufacturing, Robotics and R&D.

Anne Nadler is the Government Relations Representative. She covers Bioengineering, STEM Education and R&D.