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Feds & Utilities Ramp Up EV Push

U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz signed an agreement with electric utilities to ramp up efforts to put more electric vehicles in American garages.

U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz this week signed an agreement with electric utilities to ramp up efforts to put more electric vehicles in American garages.

By 2022, EVs should be “as affordable and convenient” as today’s gas vehicle, Moniz told a large audience at the Edison Electric Institute annual meeting in New Orleans.

It is not exactly clear how the agreement will work. Moniz joked with Tom Kuhn, president of EEI, saying he is not sure who should hold on to the document.

But in his wide-ranging comments, Moniz said that boosting electric transportation will be one part of the future grid. A complex review now needed on what the energy grid of the future should look like, and how needed investments will be made and recovered, he said.

“The architecture of the electric system of the future is ours to shape right now,” Moniz said.

On the government side, he said, it will require “an informed and timely suite of policies.”

Moniz summarized the findings of the recent Quadrennial Energy Review ordered up by President Obama. It focuses on the need for resiliency, the future of the grid, energy security and the shared infrastructure of the energy economy.

It is important to develop “new valuation methods” to understand all the elements of the grid and new technologies needed, Moniz said, “for the transformation we are looking for.”

Turning to the disaster in the Gulf region created by Hurricane Katrina one decade ago, Moniz said that rising ocean levels from climate change could pose enormous problems for the region in the future – amounting to $350 billion overall, and $20 billion tied to energy infrastructure losses.

Moniz said that on all fronts, the energy sector faces “a daunting set of complex issues.” He continued, “DOE is prepared to convene key stakeholders… to get things right.”

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