Nearly a dozen energy bills, from promoting renewable energy innovation to increasing grid cybersecurity, were presented to a U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee subcommittee Nov. 6.
A key focus of the package is beefing up energy technology innovation to “lower emissions and maintain a modern economy,” said Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA).
“Advancing non-polluting resources should be a critical element of any innovative energy package,” added Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM). He said legislators can buck the trend of stalling action under the current administration “and get some good energy bills done for the good of our country.”
The bills presented during the Wednesday hearing included the following:
- S. 2425, to promote combined heat and power technology. It would do that by forming a technical assistance program to educate building, industrial, and electric and natural gas utility professionals about the benefits of co-generation. The bill includes $12 million in annual appropriations to support two new regional technical partnerships, raising the number from eight to 10.
- S. 2556, Protecting Resources On The Electric Grid with Cybersecurity Technology. It would provide incentives and technical assistance to improve cybersecurity protections to utilities. This private-public partnership, according to Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), seeks to incentivize utilities to provide cyber protections above and beyond what is required by standards.
- S. 2265, The Advanced Geothermal Innovation Leadership Act, aims to accelerate geothermal energy development in the U.S., including the use of underground heat storage. It seeks to do that by addressing barriers to this base load resource.
- S. 2668, The Solar Energy Research, Development, & Demonstration Program Act, would reauthorize the activities of Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technology Office. The bill outlines research priority areas, including improving the energy efficiency, reliability, and security of solar energy technologies, and reducing the overall costs of solar energy systems.
- S. 2660, The Wind Energy Research & Development Act, would reauthorize DOE’s Wind Energy Technology Office. The office is currently addressing challenges to reduce technology costs as well as regulatory and market barriers through investments in related science and modeling and analytical tools.
- 2702, The Integrated Energy Systems Act, would require the Secretary of Energy to establish an integrated energy systems research, development, and demonstration program between multiple department offices. This program is aimed at increasing energy production and efficiency; providing reliable, competitive, and environmentally sustainable electricity to the grid; and expanding the use of emissions-reducing technologies into nonelectric sectors.
- S. 2876, the Energy Jobs for Our Heroes Act, would prepare veterans for careers in the energy industry.