Attracting and dovetailing public and private funds to grow the nation\u2019s alternative energy sector, create sustainable jobs, and strengthen the economy was the focus of a March 1-3 Department of Energy conference in Washington. DOE has, and continues to direct federal stimulus funds to a wide range of clean energy technologies in and out of California--ranging from power storage innovations to wind and solar technologies. DOE secretary Steven Chu announced March 2 that his agency would award $100 million to promote large-scale energy storage research and development, efficient and low cost small-scale converters and invertors, and projects advancing efficient energy converters at power substations and wind turbines. \u201cThis is about unleashing the American innovation machine to solve the energy and climate challenge, while creating new jobs, new industries and new exports for America\u2019s workers,\u201d Chu said. While El Niño rain continued in California, the Mid-Atlantic crowd at the conference was accepting some re-labeling of the contentious climate change debate in and around the nation\u2019s capital where a considerable amount of snow remains on the ground. \u201c\u2018Climate\u2019 is going to be taken out of the discussion,\u201d of upcoming federal energy legislation, Thomas Friedman, New York Times columnist, told the nearly 900 conference participants. Climate change is expected to be replaced with calls for \u201ccleaning up the carbon pollution in our air,\u201d he predicted. In addition, a carbon tax likely will be imposed on utilities, he added. Bipartisan federal energy legislation is starting to percolate through the Capitol. The emerging measure is predicted to replace carbon cap-and-trade legislation said to have gone flat. Other speakers this week warned that too little time and resources have been spent on energy efficiency to date. \u201cGeneration gets most of the funding and conservation is deemed too simple,\u201d said Mark Hartney, DOE\u2019s Advanced Research Projects Agency program director. In reality, energy efficiency measures \u201cget you revenue quickly,\u201d he added. DOE predicts that advanced power electronics could cut the nation\u2019s energy use by 12 percent. Utility-scale energy storage prospects received considerable attention. Predictions are that 22 GW of power storage is necessary to support the nation\u2019s electrical capacity fed by a growing amount of intermittent resources, according to David Danielson, DOE program director. Currently, pumped storage is the dominant storage technology used in and outside California. Other storage infrastructure innovations include storing compressed air underground and a range of battery technologies.