President-elect Trump recently announced his intention to nominate Rick Perry, the former governor of Texas, to serve as secretary of energy. “My administration is going to make sure we take advantage of our huge natural resource deposits to make America energy independent and create vast new wealth for our nation, and Rick Perry is going to do an amazing job as the leader of that process,” Trump said in a statement.Electric grids are evolving rapidly, disrupted by regulatory changes, distributed generation, renewable portfolio standards, and evolving technology. Energy storage is uniquely positioned at the heart of all of this change. Download Greensmith Energy's White Paper to learn more about improving economics and demystifying energy storage systems.
The Department of Energy was created by former President Jimmy Carter in 1977 to promote energy development and protect nuclear resources. Today, scientific advancement and nuclear security constitute nearly two-thirds of the department’s $30 billion budget according to the Wall Street Journal. The government agency also oversees national laboratories and is responsible for setting energy efficiency standards and authorizing the exportation of natural gas.
The DOE’s programs have changed significantly with each new president. Under President Obama, emphasis was placed on clean energy programs and development programs for solar, energy storage, and efficient vehicles.
As governor of Texas, Perry promoted the development of the state’s oil and gas resources and streamlined permitting processes. But he also supported the renewable energy industry in Texas as well by signing legislation that mandated the expansion of renewable capacity and allocating $50 million to develop algae, biomass, and solar technology.
“He created an environment conducive to economic investment through robust infrastructure and competitive power markets that allowed new technologies to enter. The Texas model under Gov. Perry’s leadership enabled the growth of low-cost wind energy that made the grid more diverse and reliable while saving consumers money,” Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association told Science Magazine’s Jeffrey Mervis.
Not long ago though, Perry expressed his intention to eliminate the Department of Energy and even forgot it during a televised debate during his 2012 presidential campaign. Thus, it will be interesting to observe how the Department of Energy’s focus will shift under his leadership. What are your predictions? How will the Department of Energy direct its attention? What value will Perry’s administration place on oil and gas?