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Steven Chu: U.S. should continue enhance energy efficiency

(Xinhua)

08:44, April 12, 2012

NEW YORK, April 11 (Xinhua) -- Continuing the idea of enhancing energy efficiency should remain the priority for U.S. administration, Steven Chu, Secretary of the Energy Department said on Wednesday.

Chu told an energy conference organized by the New York Times in New York city that if there was a second term of Obama administration, it should continue this idea of enhancing energy efficiency in the energy policy.

About its financing, Chu thought besides public facilities such as government guarantee, the Energy Department should continue its efforts in getting private sector involved.

"We should convince private sector to invest in it, " Chu said, "they will ask about the return of the investment, I should say first it would of course create jobs, second it would make our economy much more competitive, third it saves a lot of money."

Talking about the development of clean energy in the United States, Chu said that despite the threat from cheap U.S. natural gas, renewable and nuclear energy industries have been growing.

He pointed out that U.S. has rich solar resources, which would grow into a big market. In the last three years, U.S. solar electricity cost has fallen more than four fold. He also said the Energy Department's research plan aims to produce solar power at a cost that could be competitive with other fossil fuels by 2020.

As to energy competition, Chu saw China as an "unforgettable competitor", but he remained confident in U.S. innovation, financing facilities and university research, saying "If we got it right, we would be just fine."

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