U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), Golden, CO (March 2, 2010) - In a high-level gathering at the NREL facilities in Golden, Colorado, Governors Felix Camacho (Guam), Benigno Fitial (CNMI), and Togiola Tulafono (American Samoa) met with Senior Federal Principals for discussions on ways to improve energy efficiency and increase renewable energy technologies in the U.S. Pacific territories. As a special guest speaker, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, Jr. welcomed the participants and spoke about some of the renewable energy initiatives he has implemented in his State. Such initiatives and goals have established Colorado as a global leader in the New Energy Economy.
Principals from the Federal government included Anthony M. Babauta, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Insular Areas; Lt. Gen. Wallace "Chip" Gregson (USMC, Ret), Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs; Roger M. Natsuhara, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Installations and Environment; and Steve Lindenberg, Senior Advisor for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy.
"This meeting was intended to bring together the major stakeholders to learn the importance of a comprehensive strategic plan for implementing renewable energy technologies," said Assistant Secretary Babauta. "After hearing from the experts at our Nation's premiere renewable energy laboratory, it has become clear that partnerships between NREL, local and federal governments holds promise for islands to have a clean energy future."
The delegations from each of the territories included the heads of the local utility companies and post-secondary academic institutions. Both are important to implementing comprehensive renewable energy plans and training the future work force.
"A renewable energy plan cannot survive without the participants' sustained commitment and leadership - political, academic, and the utilities. This is just the beginning of the process. Today's productive exchanges will no doubt lead to greater cooperation and results in the near future."