U.S. wants lead in low-carbon race

March 27, 2013 at 8:04 AM

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., March 27 (UPI) -- The U.S. Energy Department said launching a clean energy manufacturing initiative would keep the country on pace with moves toward a low-carbon economy.

The Energy Department said it was supporting analysis of the clean-energy manufacturing supply chain, technology and productivity.

Assistant Secretary for Renewable Energy David Danielson said global investments in the clean energy sector increased to more than $260 billion in the last seven years.

"Our nation faces a stark choice: the energy technologies of the future can be developed and manufactured in America for export around the world, or we can cede global leadership and import these technologies from other nations," he said in a statement.

His comments came during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a carbon-fiber research center at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. Carbon fibers are be lighter but more expensive, than alternative materials like steel or aluminum.

Critics of President Barack Obama's energy policies raised concern about a low-carbon agenda given loan guarantees for bankrupt solar company Solyndra.

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