March 13, 2015 Capitol Update

In this issue:

 

U.S. ENERGY STORAGE MARKET TO GROW 250 PERCENT IN 2015

The U.S. is on the cusp of a breakout year for energy storage, according to the inaugural U.S. Energy Storage Monitor report from GTM Research and the Energy Storage Association (ESA). The U.S. is forecasted to deploy 220 megawatts in 2015, more than three times its 2014 total, and growth should continue at a rapid clip thereafter.

Over the course of the past year, 180 grid-connected electrochemical and electromechanical storage installations came online, representing 61.9 megawatts of power capacity. That is an increase of 40 percent from the 44.2 megawatts completed in 2013, according to the report.

It is the first in a series of quarterly reports that the newly-minted GTM Research and ESA collaboration will publish on the accelerating U.S. energy storage market. The research covers deployments, markets, policies, financing, pricing and installation forecasts.

Key findings from the report include the following:

  • The U.S. energy storage market grew 4 percent in 2014 after installing 61.9 MW;
  • 90 percent of storage capacity was in front of the meter;
  • Weighted average system prices were $2,064/kW in 2014;
  • The total energy storage market size in 2014 was $128 million;
  • GTM Research forecasts 220 MW of energy storage installations in 2015; and,
  • By 2019, the U.S. will be an 861 MW annual market, valued at $1.5 billion.

The report may be read at: http://energystorage.org/news/esa-news/us-energy-storage-market-grow-250-2015-0
********************

HOUSE SCIENCE APPROVES FIVE BILLS AIMED AT NATIONAL RESEARCH INVESTMENTS
The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee approved the following five bills for floor consideration:

  • H.R. 1119, the Research and Development Efficiency Act, is a bill to have Federal research regulations reviewed for unjustified burdens, unnecessary requirements, and duplication and to recommend cost saving reforms.
  • H.R. 1156, the International Science and Technology Cooperation Act of 2015, would authorize the establishment of a body under the National Science and Technology Council to identify and coordinate international science and technology cooperation opportunities.
  • H.R. 1162, the Science Prize Competitions Act, would make changes to provisions authorizing prize competitions under the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980.
  • H.R. 1158, the Department of Energy Laboratory Modernization and Technology Transfer Act of 2015, would reform management of the National Laboratories, enhance technology commercialization, and facilitate public-private partnerships.
  • H.R. 874, the American Super Computing Leadership Act, aims to improve the high-end computing research and development program of the Department of Energy and establish an exascale computing program.

For more information on the markup, including all of the amendments offered and a link to the archived webcast, visit the Committeeís website at: http://science.house.gov/markup/full-committee-markup-hr-1119-rde-act-hr-istc-act-hr-spc-act-hr-delmtt-act-and-hr-874-ascl

 

HOUSE SCIENCE APPROVES FIVE BILLS AIMED AT NATIONAL RESEARCH INVESTMENTS

The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee approved the following five bills for floor consideration:

  • H.R. 1119, the Research and Development Efficiency Act, is a bill to have Federal research regulations reviewed for unjustified burdens, unnecessary requirements, and duplication and to recommend cost saving reforms.
  • H.R. 1156, the International Science and Technology Cooperation Act of 2015, would authorize the establishment of a body under the National Science and Technology Council to identify and coordinate international science and technology cooperation opportunities.
  • H.R. 1162, the Science Prize Competitions Act, would make changes to provisions authorizing prize competitions under the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980.
  • H.R. 1158, the Department of Energy Laboratory Modernization and Technology Transfer Act of 2015, would reform management of the National Laboratories, enhance technology commercialization, and facilitate public-private partnerships.
  • H.R. 874, the American Super Computing Leadership Act, aims to improve the high-end computing research and development program of the Department of Energy and establish an exascale computing program.

For more information on the markup, including all of the amendments offered and a link to the archived webcast, visit the Committeeís website at: http://science.house.gov/markup/full-committee-markup-hr-1119-rde-act-hr-istc-act-hr-spc-act-hr-delmtt-act-and-hr-874-ascl

 

NAE REPORT: U.S. MUST TAKE ACTION TO STRENGTHEN INNOVATION, PRODUCTIVITY, AND WORKFORCE TRAINING

A new report from the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), “Making Value for America: Embracing the Future of Manufacturing, Technology, and Work,” finds given that globalization, technological advances, and changing business practices are dramatically transforming employment and operations across the board in manufacturing, U.S. companies, government, and educators should partner to strengthen workforce training and improve innovation and productivity to ensure manufacturers are “making value” for customers. Making value is the process of using ingenuity to convert resources into goods, services, or processes that create solutions, serving the welfare of humanity and the needs of society.

Businesses, economic development organizations, educational institutions, research organizations, as well as federal, state, and local governments all have important roles to play to ensure that U.S. manufacturing strengthens its capacity for innovation.† The report makes several recommendations as a blueprint for these actions, including:

  • Businesses should establish training programs to prepare workers for modernized operations and invest in advancing the education of their low- and middle-skilled workforce.
  • Businesses, local school districts, workforce organizations, community colleges, and universities should form partnerships to help students graduate from high school, earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, and take part in continuing education and training programs in the workplace.
  • Congress and state legislatures should create tax credits or other incentives for businesses to invest and be involved in education programs that provide students and displaced workers with the knowledge and skills needed for higher-paying careers.
  • Metro area and state governments, industry, higher education, investors, and economic development organizations should partner to create local innovation networks to foster the creation of new businesses and to connect entrepreneurs and new businesses to the individuals, investors, tools, and institutions in their region and around the world that they need to grow.
  • Federal agencies should facilitate industry and government cooperation to identify shared opportunities to invest in pre-competitive research in forward-thinking and costly fields such as next-generation batteries and biotechnologies, for which capital is scarce.
  • Businesses should implement programs to attract and retain diverse workers with respect to gender, race, and socio-economic background.

The report is available at:
http://ppec.asme.org/key-issues/manufacturing-innovation-competitiveness/ under Issue Reports

 

SBA to Award Grants to Support R&D, Small Business Innovation

SBA TO AWARD GRANTS TO SUPPORT R&D, SMALL BUSINESS INNOVATION
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced that it will award grants to state and local economic development agencies, business development centers, colleges and universities to support programs for innovative, technology-driven small businesses under SBAís Federal and State Technology (FAST) partnership program. Applications for the grants are open now through April 10th.

The FAST Program is designed to stimulate economic development among small, high technology businesses through federally-funded innovation and research and development programs like the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR). The project and budget periods are for a 12-month period.

FAST may provide up to $100,000 per award to pay for outreach and technical assistance to science and technology-driven small businesses. The program places particular emphasis on helping socially and economically disadvantaged firms compete in the SBAís SBIR and STTR programs.

FAST funding awardees must demonstrate in their proposals how they will help support areas such as:

  • Small business research and development assistance;
  • Technology transfer from universities to small businesses;
  • Technological diffusion of innovation benefiting small businesses;
  • Proposal development and mentoring for small businesses applying for SBIR grants; and,
  • Commercializing technology developed through SBIR grants.


Proposals will be considered from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. Only one proposal per state may be submitted. Proposals must be submitted to http://www.grants.gov by 11:59 PM on April 10th.

For more information about the SBIR and STTR programs, visit SBAís website at: http://www.sba.gov/content/sba-award-grants-support-rd-small-business-innovation-0

 

U.S.-CHINA CLEAN ENERGY RESEARCH CENTER ISSUES SOLICITATION TO ADDRESS THE ENERGY-WATER NEXUS

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a $12.5 million Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for a new technical track under the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center (CERC) that addresses water-related aspects of energy production and use. The solicitation calls for the formation of a U.S-based consortium to work with Chinese counterparts to bolster collaborative efforts to help ensure energy, water, and environmental security and combat climate change. The consortium will be funded with $12.5 million DOE support and $12.5 million recipient cost share for a total of $25 million over the 5 year period of performance.

This U.S. investment will be matched by an equivalent effort in China, bringing the total bilateral investment to $50 million.† The new energy-water track was initially announced in November 2014, when President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping renewed their commitment to the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center (CERC) with $200 million in total funding over five years.† In addition to expanding work under CERC by $50 million for research in energy and water, the announcement in November extends ongoing collaborative efforts to 2020, adding $150 million to continue initiatives already underway. These focus on the development and deployment of clean vehicles, building energy efficiency, and advanced coal technologies for carbon capture, utilization and sequestration.

This FOA also seeks to transform how water is used in energy production and electricity generation, while improving water quality and availability for a diverse range of human applications. It builds on the contents of The Water-Energy Nexus: Challenge and Opportunities, which DOE issued in June 2014.

Topics covered in the FOA include: water use reduction at thermoelectric plants; treatment & management of non-traditional waters; improving sustainable hydropower design and operation; climate impact modeling, methods, and scenarios to support improved understanding of energy and water systems; and data and analysis to inform planning, policy, and other decisions. †The full FOA can be found at: http://energy.gov/downloads/us-china-cerc-energy-and-water-funding-opportunity-announcement

Initially launched in November 2009 by President Barack Obama and former Chinese President Hu Jintao, CERC accelerates development and deployment of clean energy technologies for the benefit of both countries. CERCís mission is to facilitate technical collaboration in mutually agreed areas and accelerate transition to an efficient and low-carbon economy, while mitigating the long-term threat of climate change. For more about CERC, see: http://www.us-china-cerc.org

 

SENATE FAILS TO OVERRIDE KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE VETO


The U.S. Senate failed to override the Presidentís veto of S. 1, the bill authorizing the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. A two-thirds majority vote (67 votes) was required to override the Presidential veto. The final vote was 62-37.
*******************

Visit the ASME Public Policy Education Center at http://ppec.asme.org/ for daily news and policy developments, including the following:

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

 

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

  • Melissa Carl covers public policy-related science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and diversity issues for ASME. She can be reached at carlm@asme.org
  • Paul Fakes covers public policy-related energy, standards and environmental issues for ASME. He can be reached at fakesp@asme.org
  • Roy Chrobocinski covers public policy-related research and development (R&D) and manufacturing issues for ASME. He can be reached at chrobocinski@asme.org