Chairwoman Johnson's Opening Statement for Future of Solar and Wind Technologies Hearing
(Washington, DC) – Today, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology’s Subcommittee on Energy is holding a hearing titled, “Advancing the Next Generation of Solar and Wind Energy Technologies.”
Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson’s (D-TX) opening statement for the record is below.
Good morning and thank you, Chairman Lamb, for holding this timely hearing on two of our most valuable renewable energy resources, solar energy and wind energy.
Over the past ten years, costs of both wind and solar energy have decreased dramatically, making them a vital part of the energy mix of the U.S. According to a recent report from Austin-based analysis firm TXP, solar and wind energy saved Texans $5.7 billion in electricity costs from 2010 to 2017, compared to what they would have paid if these renewable energy sources were not part of the energy portfolio.
I’m proud to say that Texas now leads the U.S. in installed wind energy capacity, with over 24 gigawatts of wind energy. That’s enough energy to power over 7 million homes. The wind energy industry also brings tens of thousands of jobs to the state, including jobs at several manufacturing facilities that support the wind industry by making products like blades, towers, and turbine housings.
All that being said, we still have significant investments we need to make to continue to innovate on these technologies, further bringing down their costs and making these technologies even more beneficial for Americans. In the wind industry, for example, we are exploring new technologies like offshore wind, which has significant potential for leveraging untapped energy resources near our coastal communities and needs important R&D investments to help bring down costs. In the solar industry, we are continuing to explore new types of solar cells made of advanced materials with record-setting efficiencies, at affordable prices.
We really can make investments that are both good for the environment, and for the economy. That’s why I am looking forward to hearing from the distinguished witnesses assembled here today to learn about how we can support innovation in the solar and wind industries, ensuring that these important energy resources can play an even larger role in our clean energy future.
With that, I yield back.
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