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Why the Government Should Invest in Clean Energy

At a clean energy summit today, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said that, over the long-term, government support allows innovation to thrive.


The American idea of innovation centers on a lonely genius toiling in his lab or experimenting out in the field. That’s how Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb, Alexander Graham Bell created the telephone, and the Wright Brothers launched the first airplane. But the Wright Brothers didn't create the aerospace industry alone—that required some institutional support. Building on that idea, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu argued today at a clean energy summit in Las Vegas that, over the long-term, government support allows innovation to thrive.

The summit, which is in its fourth year, is convened by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and partners from the academic, business, and think tank worlds. Chu said in a speech this morning that the federal government must help incubate clean energy innovation in order for the country to prosper.

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Make Your Home Energy Efficient With Energy Secretary Steven Chu

Check out this video for a wide range of energy efficiency tips from Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmk2Plvynwg&feature=player_embedded

Okay, so a 16 minute video about energy efficiency may not be for everyone (heavy sigh), but that's not going to stop me from posting this one. For it's not every day that you have head of the Department of Energy, Steven Chu, sitting down to answer questions about home energy efficiency—yes, that lowest hanging energy fruit! that core climate solution!—that were submitted by regular citizens like us through email, Twitter, and Facebook.

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Right now, the National Mall in Washington, D.C. is packed with the houses of the future. Teams from colleges and universities around the globe came to the city with the most efficient homes they could dream up to take part in the Solar Decathlon, a design competition sponsored the Department of Energy.The houses compete in ten areas (that's what makes it a decathlon) ranging from "energy balance" to "lighting." So far the team from Santa Clara University and the California College of Arts won the "architecture" contest and University of Louisiana at Lafayette won the "market viability" contest (Treehugger has video of both).

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