Federal Communications Commission

Broadband and a Clean Energy Economy

May 19th, 2010 by Julius Genachowski - Chairman, Federal Communications Commission.

I was pleased to host the FCC’s first Clean Technology Summit at our headquarters yesterday, with the much-appreciated assistance of Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff.

I believe their visits were unprecedented – the first time that a FERC Chairman or Energy Secretary had ever stepped foot in the FCC building.  Our promising new collaborative efforts reflect the critical role that communications networks will play in the transition to a clean-energy economy – evidence that we collected and analyzed in our National Broadband Plan and submitted to Congress and the President last month.

Broadband will play a major role in realizing a sustainable environmental future.  Yesterday, we were able to witness first-hand the enormous potential that advanced communications unleash.  Secretary Chu, Chairman Wellinghoff and I observed broadband-based technologies that will help build a smarter grid, smarter homes and buildings, and help empower consumers to make smarter and greener decisions with their energy consumption. A recent DOE study found that that Smart Grid can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation by as much as 12% by 2030, the equivalent of removing 65 million cars off of roads today.  When consumers are empowered to interact with their own energy data, studies have found reductions in consumption as high as 15% - annual savings opportunities in hundreds of dollars for households across America. Though it often feels like the technology and possibility of tomorrow, yesterday’s summit showed that tomorrow is arriving right now.

The private sector will unleash green-tech innovation upon the country if we achieve more ubiquitous broadband deployment and empower consumers with their energy data. I applaud the Obama Administration and leaders in Congress for their commitment to the importance of the National Broadband Plan recommendations and know that together, we can build a 21st Century broadband economy.

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