U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm visited New Jersey on Wednesday to tout Biden’s infrastructure plans and to announce a new federal initiative to lower the prices of grid-scale, long duration energy storage systems by 90% over the next decade.
“It’s very aggressive, the goal, but we’re hopeful that we can get there with the right technology, the right design of the systems, and the right inputs to the systems, meaning the right supply,” Granholm said while speaking at the Eos Energy Enterprises battery development facility in Edison.
Boosting energy storage, Granholm said, will make the nation’s power grid more resilient in the face of natural disasters. She also called the effort a jobs-creator, with the potential to establish a new manufacturing industry in the U.S.
Granholm’s tour of the state was aimed to promote President Joe Biden administration's Build Back Better plan with a particular focus on the Weatherization Assistance Program during her Newark stop along the visit. The program enables low-income families to reduce their energy bills by making their homes more energy-efficient.
“There’s going to be a whole slew of benefits that are coming down the pike, and we want people to know that and understand it, especially in areas that are more financially challenged,” Granholm said. “We want to make sure that people understand that they can live more comfortably to have a well-insulated and efficient building, that owners can save money, and we want people to know that the plans that are being negotiated right now in Congress to weatherization as well as to retrofit 2 million facilities.”
Gathered at the Grace West Manor, a building that has undergone multiple energy-efficient improvements as part of the DOE’s Better Buildings initiative, Granholm was joined by Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-Newark) and City Business Administrator Eric Pennington to discuss how Congress can help the department provide more energy-efficient homes in New Jersey and what efforts the city has already undertaken to become a more sustainable community.
Granholm’s three New Jersey stops were to promote Biden’s Build Back American agenda with Reps. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-Newark), Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair), and Frank Pallone, Jr., the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
“I’m visiting New Jersey today to see America’s clean energy future coming to life — right here, right now,” said Granholm. “President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda will supercharge this progress so America can move to 100% clean electricity by 2035 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.”
Sherrill, the chair of the House Science, Space, and Technology’s Environment Subcommittee, organized a roundtable for Granholm to meet with seven executives of businesses in the renewable energy area, and Livingston Mayor Shawn Klein, an expert of clean energy plans for local governments.
As President Joe Biden huddled Wednesday with Senate Democrats to discuss their emerging budget deal, his Cabinet went outside the Beltway to tout the president’s plans.
Granholm’s understanding of the energy pieces was in line with what Schumer and Senate Democrats discussed with Biden over lunch Wednesday, including extending clean energy tax credits and providing incentives for state and local governments to adopt energy-efficient building codes.
“We have right now a $23 trillion opportunity. That’s what the global market is for clean energy products: $23 trillion. So, this, these bills, this combination will say that America is going to get in the game, to compete for those markets, that we are not just going to stand by the side of the road and watch these jobs go to other countries who are competing for those technologies.”