The Week Ahead: Moniz to Speak on Policy Issues in New York, State Department Seeks to Hold 'Direct Line' on Small Island Renewables Market


President Obama's national plan to address climate change will be among the issues Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will discuss Aug. 26 in New York at an event hosted by the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University.

Moniz, in remarks covered in a May 22 Energy and Climate Report article, said addressing climate change will be one of the Energy Department's top priorities. “Moving forward on climate, I think, is enormously important and, frankly, was in some sense the clincher for me certainly to want to come back [to DOE] and be part of advancing the agenda,” he said. “Clearly, this department is in the middle of it.” 

In addition, on Aug. 26, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will be in Alaska to discuss Obama's commitment to addressing climate change and its impact on the state.

As detailed in an Aug. 22 article, Obama's climate plan also will be the subject of a congressional hearing Sept. 18 by the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power.

Obama's climate plan announced June 25, and covered in a June 25 article, lays out a timetable for the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and pledges action on other fronts.

State Department Call on Renewable Energy in the Pacific Islands

On Aug. 26, the State Department will hold a conference callon "Small Island Renewable Energy." According to the department, the high cost of electricity in the Pacific Islands has created opportunities for U.S. businesses in the renewable energy sector, including biofuel, hydropower, solar, and wind.

During the call, State Department representatives will explain the U.S.-Asia Pacific Comprehensive Partnership for a Sustainable Energy Future and other initiatives targeting small island countries.

California to Hold Hydrogen Workshop

On Aug. 27, the California Energy Commission will hold a workshop on hydrogen gas as a fuel for vehicles. As detailed in a Feb. 13 article, California plans to put 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on the state's roads by 2025, including infrastructure to support hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles, plug-in electric vehicles, and plug-in hybrids.

Other Energy, Climate Events on Agenda

On Aug. 28, the Energy Department's Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs will host a webinar on "Renewable Energy Market Expectation and Trends." The webinar will cover regulatory and voluntary programs, including options available for procuring renewable energy and how Indian tribes can operate in renewable energy certificate markets, either as buyers or sellers.

The Energy Department will hold a webinarAug. 26 on "The Buildings Performance Database: The Power of Data." According to DOE, the database, which was launched in June, is the largest free, publicly available database on residential and commercial building energy performance data in the United States. The database provides access to an "anonymous" dataset of more than 60,000 single-family and multi-family homes and commercial and public buildings.

Environmental stress, including climate change, and instability in the Middle East will be the topic of a Stimson Center event Aug. 26 in Washington, D.C. Speakers include Joseph Hewitt, technical leadership team leader for USAID's Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation, and Erika Weinthal, associate professor of environmental policy at Duke University. Case studies will cover Syria and Yemen.