Today, the United States is faced with a national imperative to address the enormous
challenge presented by climate change and to seize upon the multi-trillion dollar economic
opportunity that a transition to a global clean energy economy will provide.
In his historic 2013 speech at Georgetown University releasing his Climate Action Plan,
the President laid out this national imperative in clear terms: “A low-carbon, clean energy
economy can be an engine of growth for decades to come. And I want America to build that
engine. I want America to build that future—right here in the United States of America.
That’s our task.”
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is at the forefront of achieving this task. The first strategic objective of the
2014–2018 DOE Strategic Plan is to “advance the goals and objectives in the President’s Climate Action Plan by
supporting prudent development, deployment, and efficient use of all of the above energy resources that also create new
jobs and industries.” The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) leads DOE’s efforts to help build a
strong clean energy economy as the engine of growth described by President Obama, while also reducing our oil use,
saving families and businesses money, and reducing pollution. We support many of America’s best innovators and
businesses to research, develop, and demonstrate cutting-edge technologies and work to break down market barriers in
sustainable transportation, renewable power, and energy efficiency.
Today, a number of technological advancements that EERE has supported through investments in American innovation
over the last four decades are, for the first time in our nation’s energy history, showing a clear path to direct cost
competitiveness with conventional forms of energy. Wind, solar photovoltaics (PV), light emitting diodes (LEDs),
and electric vehicles are just four EERE technologies that have experienced spectacular cost reduction and deployment
growth in recent years.1
But even with these successes, EERE’s targeted investments in clean energy are needed more now
than perhaps ever before.
While the United States has world-class innovation capacity and a unique culture of entrepreneurship, there has
historically been significant under-investment in many of clean energy’s most promising and important technologies.
As these technologies have advanced, market barriers have become a more significant and visible limitation to the speed
of deployment. Our sense of urgency is further increased as we see the rest of the world investing billions of dollars in
clean tech R&D and deployment while the impacts of climate change are becoming more apparent in our daily lives.
Our national imperative is clear: win the clean energy race. This would ensure that the United States captures a
significant and growing share of the multi-trillion dollar global clean energy market and the jobs, energy security and
other opportunities that will be created along the way. This Strategic Plan is EERE’s blueprint for how we will tackle the
challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the country and the world in clean energy and how we will evaluate our
success. EERE’s talented team will lead the execution of this plan, working with internal and external partners including
other DOE offices, industry, universities, state and local governments, stakeholder groups, and international partners.
EERE’s strategic relationship with NREL and the other national laboratories—with their world-class R&D capabilities and
facilities—will be particularly important to the accomplishment of our mission.
I hope you find this document and its contents informative and useful. At EERE, we are engaged in an undertaking that will
not only transform our energy and economic systems, but that also has the potential to leave our nation and our world
safer, stronger, and more prosperous for future generations. I know that working together, we can and will be successful.
Sincerely,
Dr. David T. Danielson
Assistant Secretary
1 Revolution Now: The Future Arrives for Four Clean Energy