Archive for the ‘Environment and Renewable Energy’ Category

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U.S. Government Agencies Enhancing Their Services for Clean Energy Exporters

July 5, 2016

This post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

This post was originally published on the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy blog.

By David Friedman, Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and Marcus Jadotte, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Analysis.

power generating windmills

Led by the Departments of Commerce and Energy, U.S. government agencies are helping American clean energy companies export their renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies to foreign markets.

Now that the Paris Agreement has catalyzed new urgency to address climate change, the world’s demand for renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions is expected to increase exponentially. Manufacturers and service providers in the United States, which are well respected globally for innovative and reliable technologies, are gearing up for export opportunities. At the same time, U.S. agencies are shoring up their collaboration in order to help them meet the challenge.

Officials from six U.S. government agencies gathered at the Department of Commerce last month to evaluate results from our cooperative efforts since 2010 to help U.S. clean energy companies access foreign markets. These agencies also charted a path forward on further promotional activities to position the United States to grow its share of the global clean energy market, which totaled more than $320 billion in 2015.

Known as the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RE&EE) Working Group, these efforts are being led by the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration and the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The RE&EE Working Group is a component of the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC), an interagency group established by Executive Order in 1993.

The RE&EE Working Group also includes the State Department, Export-Import Bank, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Trade and Development Agency, U.S. Agency for International Development, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Each of these agencies has a specific role and resources to support clean energy exporters.

The RE&EE Working Group’s major accomplishments over the last two years include:

  • Detailed global market assessments for renewable energy, renewable fuels, building products and sustainable construction, smart grid and more. U.S. government agencies and companies now use these reports to target their export promotion efforts. The reports are part of Commerce’s Top Markets Series. Going forward, the RE&EE Working Group agencies pledged to provide substantive input, including from the Energy Department’s Clean Energy Manufacturing Analysis Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, into Commerce’s Top Markets analyses.
  • An interactive mobile app (currently in beta testing) developed by the Departments of State, Energy, and Commerce that showcases clean energy products and technologies deployed at U.S. embassies around the globe. This innovative resource will help foreign buyers locate clean energy technologies and services provided by American suppliers, which have a global reputation for superior quality. American companies can “opt in” to having their products and services included in this app by completing a short questionnaire.
  • Launching negotiations with 16 members of the World Trade Organization on an Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) that would remove tariffs on a range of environmentally-friendly goods, such as renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.  High import tariffs across the world’s clean-tech market limit many countries’ access to these technologies. Eliminating these through the EGA would not only make clean energy technology solutions more affordable, it would be a triple win: boosting trade, spurring innovation, and protecting the environment.

Moving forward, U.S. companies will soon be able to find clean energy trade-related information in a revamped portal for renewable energy and energy efficiency exporters. The updated portal will feature improved navigation options and a more user-friendly interface. The portal will continue to serve as a dedicated space for information on market developments, upcoming trade missions, events, analyses, and federal export assistance programs.

Furthermore, agencies that provide financing of various kinds to facilitate U.S. participation in overseas clean energy projects (e.g., loans, export credit guarantees, or technical assistance) are going to take a closer look at their programs to see where the envelope can be pushed. This collaboration is urgently needed for emerging markets, where clean energy is in high demand but financing is a challenge.

In the coming months, the RE&EE Working Group will also address the most recent set of recommendations provided by the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee (REEEAC), a group of 35 private-sector leaders providing advice and insights on export promotion efforts to the Secretary of Commerce. The REEEAC is also currently seeking nominations for members (deadline is August 15) for a fresh round of discussions that will ultimately deliver new recommendations to the next administration.

Importantly, one of the six recommendations made by the REEEAC was to revitalize this interagency Working Group…and we’re happy to have done it! By assisting U.S. clean energy exporters we can contribute to economic growth and job creation while also deploying solutions worldwide to save our planet.

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Helping U.S. Businesses Become Successful in Energy Markets

September 22, 2015

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blogThis post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

Andrew Bennett is a Senior International Trade Specialist and Renewable Energy Analyst for the International Trade Administration.

Last week, the third annual American Energy and Manufacturing Competitiveness Summit brought together the decision makers and the change makers that are driving the development of new technologies and business opportunities in a critical and growing segment of the economy—clean energy. The Department of Commerce was proud to participate in this event, which is led by our colleagues at the U.S. Department of Energy and our private sector partners at the Council on Competitiveness.

The event highlighted the promise of America’s clean energy future, both in terms of the technologies being developed by our innovators and the energy efficiency gains being driven within our factories and businesses. All of these advances are helping us meet our environmental goals, as well as our economic goals.

As Secretary Pritzker stressed in her keynote remarks that opened day two of the summit, the growth of our clean energy manufacturing base depends not only on what we do in the United States, but also on how we capitalize on the opportunities for U.S. businesses to benefit from the massive growth of clean energy markets beyond our borders.

The United States is not alone in striving to fulfill the promise of a 21st century clean energy economy. Around the world, governments, businesses, and citizens are investing in energy infrastructure that is cleaner, more efficient, and more secure. In fact, the demand for clean energy has expanded beyond its traditional markets of North America and Europe, and is now truly global. Last year, 50 percent of the investment in renewable energy was in developing and emerging markets. And over the next five years, the cumulative cross-border trade in clean energy technologies is projected to reach $1.4 trillion.

The Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) is working on multiple fronts to secure and capitalize this opportunity for U.S. businesses.

To start, we’re providing the market intelligence and analytic tools to help public and private sector stakeholders strategically deploy precious resources for international business development. ITA’s Top Markets Reports are a flagship in this effort, and our analysis on export growth opportunities include Top Markets Reports on critical sub-sectors to the clean energy economy including environmental technologies,renewable energy, and smart grid.

ITA is also working to ensure that global trade policies and trade agreements are as open and innovative as the technologies that are transforming global energy supplies. That’s why the Obama administration is negotiating tough, modern trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. We’re also working with the world’s major traders of environmental goods to negotiate an agreement in the World Trade Organization (WTO) to eliminate tariffs on the products that reduce carbon emissions, increase energy efficiency, and help protect and preserve environmental resources. Our goal is to expand global consumer access to clean energy and environmental solutions, while reducing the costs for the exporters and the workers who develop these products.

Additionally, ITA’s trade promotion services are working to help connect U.S. clean energy manufacturers to foreign buyers across the globe. Over the last year alone, the Department of Commerce has led six trade missions designed to develop international business partnerships for U.S. companies that provide clean and efficient energy infrastructure solutions including manufacturers and service providers of solar, wind, and other renewable energy technologies and smart grid; energy efficiency; and environmental technologies. In 2016, our work to expand the U.S. manufacturing base through export-driven growth in key markets continues with our Smart Cities Infrastructure Business Development Mission to India.

We’re also advancing our efforts to boost U.S. competitiveness in clean energy manufacturing at one of the world’s biggest stages for trade promotion—Hannover Messe in Germany. With nearly a quarter million visitors, this is the largest global trade show, and next year, the United States is a partner country. This means increased visibility and an increased commitment by the U.S. government. The U.S. pavilions at the show will be bigger than ever, and will include a focus on industries driving energy efficiency gains and environmental benefits, including industrial automation, smart manufacturing, renewable energy and smart grid technologies.

All of these activities sum up our work to grow the “demand side” of the global clean energy economy and ensure that U.S. exporters are the suppliers. Demand won’t be slowing down any time soon, so we’ll be working hard to keep up.

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Soaring Energy Demand Means Opportunities for U.S. Companies in Latin America

September 24, 2014

Marjorie Baker recently completed a summer internship with the International Trade Administration’s Office of the Western Hemisphere.

Register now for discover: the Americas

Energy consumption in Latin America is expected to more than double between 2010 and 2013.

More Latin Americans than ever are now members of the middle class, and sustained economic growth in the region has led to increased demand for energy.

Energy consumption is projected to more than double in Latin America between 2010 and 2030, and this will transform the continent’s energy sector, creating new opportunities for U.S. companies.

As part of the federal government’s Look South initiative, the International Trade Administration (ITA) has published a series of best prospect sector reports for our 11 Free Trade Agreement partners in Latin America (Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and Peru).

Our on-the-ground experts have identified the following countries as especially attractive for U.S. energy sector exporters:

We are also leading several U.S. companies on a renewable energy trade mission to Peru in November, and we look forward to new opportunities and new business deals as a result of that mission.

The energy sectors of these countries face challenges in terms of generating, distributing, and transmitting power, and that means there are a wide variety of opportunities for U.S. companies.

One way to learn about these opportunities and how to take advantage of them is at the upcoming DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS: The Americas forum in Charlotte, N.C., Oct. 29-31.

Register now for discover: the Americas

This forum will be the premier international business conference for U.S. executives to explore new market development strategies in the Americas, featuring:

  • One-on-one appointments with a buying delegation from Mexico;
  • Opportunities to meet with commercial diplomats who work in these markets every day; and
  • A breakout session focusing specifically on energy opportunities across the hemisphere.

We hope to see many U.S. companies taking advantage of the promising opportunities in Latin America!

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Supporting the Best Environment for U.S. Exporters

July 24, 2014

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

The ITA Environmental Technology Team is ready to support your business!

The ITA Environmental Technology Team is ready to support your business!

One way the International Trade Administration (ITA) supports U.S. exporters is through specific teams of specialists who focus on specific industry sectors.

From marine technology, to health care, to automobile manufacturing, ITA offers export support in a variety of sectors.

To promote professional development and to make sure our specialists stay on top of the latest business trends and opportunities, our teams come together to share lessons learned, study best practices, and discuss ways their industry is changing.

This month, the Environmental Technology team did just that.

Their week-long conference included various seminars which built on existing knowledge of export policies and emerging environmental technologies. These conferences benefit exporters because they keep the commercial service specialists up to date on the latest and greatest in their industry. The main focus of this year’s training sessions was ways the team can address pollution issues related to water, air, and soil, and to learn about new recycling technologies.

Other ways ITA supports environmental technology exporters are through programs such as;

The environmental sector is a large and growing industry. Environmental technologies make up a $735 billion global market with U.S. exports currently comprising about $45 billion of this market. Therefore there is much growth potential for U.S. envirotech exporters.

Industry-specific offices are just one of the ways ITA constantly works to make exporting easier for American businesses.

You can find out more about our industry teams and how they support exporters at export.gov. Or you can contact the Environmental Technology Team so they can help lead you in the right direction.

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Exploring Top Markets for Renewable Energy Exporters

March 12, 2014

Cora Dickson and Ryan Mulholland are Renewable Energy Analysts in ITA’s Office of Energy and Environmental Industries.

Join the ITA Renewable Energy team on Twitter to ask questions and learn more about the report. Ask questions using #REtopmarkets.

We were glad to join the American Council on Renewable Energy for a Twitter chat about the top renewable energy export markets.

As demand for clean energy grows throughout the world, how does a renewable energy company develop its export strategy?

Renewable energy is a sector that is notoriously difficult to predict.  The rapidly changing technology and policy environment can make it challenging for businesses to explore new markets and create an export strategy.

Here at ITA, we are committed to supporting renewable energy exporters by providing the most timely, accurate, and valuable information necessary to compete effectively in international markets. We put together a new report – the 2014 Renewable Energy Top Markets for U.S. Exports Report – to help exporters determine which markets may yield the most near-term renewable energy opportunities.

Exporters can find information on potential U.S. exports of goods related to renewable energy by both market and sector through 2015. Information is included for the wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, ethanol, and wood pellet (biomass) sectors. Please note that the analysis does not describe investment opportunities or even the fastest growing markets – instead, it shows where ITA believes most U.S. renewable energy exports will go in the near-term.

To undertake the analysis, we gathered data on 75 markets, including:

  • Projected capacity installations by market and by subsector;
  • The projected capital cost of a market’s projected capacity growth;
  • Each market’s projected consumption of ethanol and biomass pellets;
  • Expected import market size based on historical imports, manufacturing capacity, etc.; and
  • Projected U.S. market share in each market.

The report highlights some interesting facts – some expected and others quite informative – to exporters looking to develop an effective renewable energy export strategy:

  • Ten markets will account for nearly three-fourths of U.S. renewable energy exports over the next two years;
  • The wind sector will overtake the solar sector as the leading U.S. exporter of renewable energy technologies during that time period; and
  • Renewable energy markets in Latin America generally support a greater market share for U.S. exporters than elsewhere around the world, but often are smaller and less developed.

Company-specific priorities vary, so we encourage exporters to visit their nearest U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEAC) to further develop or refine their export strategy.  Our USEACs can also put exporters in touch with ITA’s Foreign Commercial Service staff at 72 different embassies and consulates around the world for the most up-to-date and relevant market information.

For more information on exporting renewable energy, we recommend browsing the Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency exporters portal, and sign up for the monthly e-newsletter, both of which contain a myriad of resources from ITA and across the federal government.

Please also join us on March 25, 2014 at 2 p.m. for a Twitter Town Hall (#REtopmarkets).  We’ll highlight key findings and answer questions about the Top Markets report. We are always looking to improve our programs and services, so we would also like to hear your ideas or suggestions on how to make the next Top Markets report more useful and effective. We look forward to chatting with you!

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Under Secretary Sánchez Highlights the Commerce Department’s Environmental Export Initiative in Spring Issue of World Water

April 8, 2013

This post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

Maureen Hinman is an Environmental Technology Trade Specialist in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Energy and Environmental Industries.

screenshot of environmental solutions exporter portal

ITA offers support to companies looking to export environmental technology.

The Water Environment Federation (WEF), a leading water industry association, recently interviewed Under Secretary Francisco Sánchez to discuss the Commerce Department’s ongoing Environmental Export Initiative (EEI). The interview is featured in the March/April issue of World Water– a leading water technology industry publication reaching 36,000 water quality professionals and 75 affiliated water industry associations around the world.

Sánchez highlighted the initiative’s new and enhanced programs that will help advance environmental exports in 2013. In particular, water technology companies can look forward to the launch of the fully mobile and interactive U.S. Environmental Solutions Toolkit. The Toolkit is an innovative online resource that provides foreign buyers with the U.S. model for solving environmental issues by marrying EPA research and regulatory guidance with a catalogue of U.S. technology providers. Sánchez emphasized the usefulness of the toolkit to water companies in particular noting that, “a second tranche of water modules will include solutions for arsenic in drinking water, biosolids treatment, and secondary wastewater treatment.”

The Under Secretary also relayed his enthusiasm for the Environmental Solutions Exporter Portal, which provides companies with a single window to access the full suite of U.S. government services in the environmental sector.

“It’s important to note that both the Portal and the Toolkit are demand-driven products that were conceived by industry,” said Sánchez, explaining that the tools will evolve as the government responds to needs of the private industry.

“The new Portal will offer options for real-time feedback on content and programs; it is designed to be both community- and results-oriented, offering a variety of avenues for information exchange and results tracking. The new platform will provide us with the ability to know what is working, what isn’t, and how best adjust to the changing needs of industry.”

You can read Under Secretary Sánchez’s full interview here.

Find out more about the Environmental Export Initiative here.

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ITA and EPA Launch Environmental Export Initiative at WEFTEC

October 1, 2012

Maureen Hinman is an Environmental Technology Trade Specialist in ITA’s Office of Energy and Environmental Industries.

Under Secretary Francisco Sanchez speaks at WEFTEC launching the U.S. Enivronmental Export Initiative and web portal on Export.gov.

Under Secretary Francisco Sanchez speaks at WEFTEC launching the U.S. Enivronmental Export Initiative and web portal on Export.gov.

EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson and Under Secretary Francisco J. Sánchez launched the Environmental Export Initiative today at the Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC), the largest environmental industry event in North America and largest annual water exhibition in the world with more than 900 exhibitors and 18,000 water professionals in attendance.

The Environmental Export Initiative is the result of a renewed partnership between the International Trade Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency that seeks to promote environmental exports by leveraging EPA’s unparalleled expertise in environmental management with ITA’s export promotion and market development skills.  The Trade Policy Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC) initiative was announced on May 14, 2012 at American University by then Commerce Secretary Bryson, EPA Administrator Jackson, U.S. Trade Representative Kirk, and Secretary of Agriculture Vilsak and signifies a government-wide effort to enhance environmental technology exports.  Today’s event gave the leading agencies a chance to formally launch the initiative and outline for environmental companies some of the key deliverables under the initiative that will help facilitate increased environmental technologies exports.

In addition to announcing the initiative, Under Secretary Sánchez took the opportunity to launch a deliverable: the Environmental Solutions Exporter Portal.  Among the first deliverables of the new initiative, the portal is a single window for environmental exporters to access a suite of U.S. government services.  It provides a direct line to U.S. trade and environmental protection specialists and includes information on tailored market research, export counseling, export finance, innovation and project development finance, feasibility studies, trade missions, commercial dialogues, and technical assistance for market development.

During the launch Administrator Jackson announced the roll-out of the U.S. Environmental Solutions Toolkit.  The Toolkit is an online and (soon to be) mobile resource for foreign consumers that combine U.S. EPA expertise on solving environmental challenges with a catalogue of U.S. producers of related technologies. Pilot solutions for the module include nutrient removal from municipal wastewater, ground water remediation, mercury pollution control, and emissions from large marine diesel engines.  The U.S. EPA and ITA will continue to add environmental issues to the toolkit in 2013, building a comprehensive interface to address environmental problems of all scope and size.  For more information on how to participate in the toolkit please contact us at envirotech@trade.gov.