Oct 30, 2009 University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business
Matt Rogers, Senior Advisor to US Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, gave the keynote address today to celebrate the launch of the Energy Institute at Haas. He spoke on the disbursement of energy-related stimulus money. The video below features the concluding three minutes of his talk, where he highlights how federal stimulus money encourages private capital investment in the energy sector.
"Charting America’s energy and environmental future represents one of the defining issues of our time … and we need the kind of innovative interdisciplinary thinking like the Institute here in order to find the practical solutions to the problems we face as the markets begin to take shape."
Video Text: "This is going to be a journey, this is a journey that we are just starting with the recovery act. The center for American progress estimates it’s going to take a hundred billion to two hundred billion dollars year over the next twenty years to achieve the nations energy and environmental goal. That’s a pretty significant investment. So what were doing through the recovery act is we’re making a down payment. It’s a down payment because we can get a set of projects started that demonstrate that these project work, that they’re technologically feasible, but also they demonstrate that these projects are economically attractive projects for the market to take on. And that’s where our collaboration with CEA is so important, is to make sure that the market comes to the end of the next year and says, ‘hey you know, those projects the government funded – boy I wish I had invested in that project for that is a really terrific funding opportunity.’"
"And we have to bring private capital off the sidelines. If you take a look at, for example at smart grid awards. We put 3.3 Billion dollars in this week, private sector put 4.7 Billion dollars in, so we got 8.1 Billion dollars of funding done. We made a conditional loan guarantee to Solyndra for $535 million dollars. As a result of the that, the company was able to go out and raise $320 million dollars more, and all of a sudden now we have the basis for a factory …"
"We gave a grant of $290 million dollars to A123, which interestingly got started out of MIT with a small business incentive research grant of $250,00 in 2001.
Started with 5 guys, and now it went public after we made our $290 million battery award, to go public for $480 million dollars, and are actually going to have more than a billion dollars in market capitalization, between 2001 -$250,000- and now, and this is a story about if the federal government does its part, then the private sector can do it’s part, and all of a sudden we have a real market flowing here that can actually go on for an extended period of time.
But we can’t fund all the positive … projects, and the market actually needs to pick those up, and long term we have to create the right kind of market incentives in order to make sure that kind of capital formation continues for a long period of time."
"The secretary frames this as the next industrial revolution, that we have the opportunity to transform the way we use energy, the way we deal with our environment by using science and technology and innovation to change the game. And I think he’s right. "
"Today we have energy policy, environmental policy aligned in a way that they’ve never been before, and we have the resources behind them in order to really make a material difference. Now our opportunity is really to deliver the kind of innovation, the kind of productivity improvements, and the kind of market structures and capital formation that are necessary to sustain this for the long period of time, and if we do that, the United States will be a leader both in terms of policy formation. but also in terms of the fundamental economics here. We’ll be a leader in the energy sector, we’ll be a leader in the environmental section, not only in the United States, but rather as a manufacturer for the world. That’s our hope and where we’re headed and hopefully this down payment has moved us in the right direction. And with that I’ll stop and I’ll be happy to take some questions."