Moniz: ‘This is the crucial decade’ to develop renewable energy

Newly appointed Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz credits natural gas for helping the United States lower carbon dioxide emissions in recent years, characterizing the energy revolution as a gift to the country.

“This natural gas boom,” he said, ” is a boon. ”

Moniz delivered his thoughts during a town hall meeting with Energy Department employees this week. He was sworn in as energy secretary on Tuesday.

Calling the nation’s natural gas revolution “remarkable,” Moniz warned that it shouldn’t’ be taken for granted. Though it produces lower carbon emissions than other fossil fuels, it should be viewed as a bridge to a more renewable energy-driven economy, Moniz said.

” Buying time is not very useful if you don’t use the time,” he said, noting that the nation should focus on developing and lowering the cost renewable energy technologies.

“What does using the time mean? It means pushing hard on the renewable technologies,” Moniz added. “This is the time to get those ready for the market place on a big scale. This is the decade, the crucial decade, for us to accomplish that.”

Despite its recent struggles, solar energy has a bright future, Moniz said. It emerged as the fastest-growing renewable energy in Texas last year.

“I’m very bullish,” he siad. “It’s going to be a lot bigger than most people think, sooner than they think.”

He also expressed optimism about about the potential of offshore wind, geothermal and hydropower.