I just returned from the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference – WIREC (doesn’t that just roll off the tongue) today having seen a broad collection of manufacturers and energy industry leaders discuss and demonstrate new technologies in the field of renewables and conservation.
President Bush stopped by yesterday to address the conference and summed up the driving force behind these innovation.
Our private sector is investing a lot of money — and I fully understand there needs to be consistent policy out of the U.S. government that has thus far provided incentives to invest. What the government doesn’t need to do is send mixed signals. I understand private capital, understand how it flows. And so when people look at the United States to determine whether we’re committed to new technologies that will change how we live, they not only need to look at the federal investment, but they’ve got to understand there’s a lot of smart money heading into the private sector to help develop these new technologies.
We’re always happy for recognition — and from the President, especially — that it’s the private sector, not government regulation and mandates, that’s really driving innovation. The United States is the leader in global R&D investment, and it’s manufacturers accounting for 70 percent of all business spending on R&D.
The President also recognized a pretty amazing demonstration at the conference that Volvo showcased. Volvo Group is featuring seven renewable fuel trucks and one hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) on the Trade Show exposition floor here.
The trucks each run on seven different types of renewable fuel . As President Bush noted: “Five years ago those trucks would not have been available for people at this exhibit to look at.”
Many of these trucks are made in Dublin, Virginia at Volvo’s largest heavy truck plant in the world. Pretty neat.