Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
today introduced legislation that would improve the efficiency of natural gas
turbines used in electric power generation systems, and lead to significant
savings for consumers. The Gas Turbine Efficiency Act would create a
research and development and technology demonstration grant program through the
Department of Energy to help companies study ways to implement better
technology and ramp up efficiency. Congressman Paul Tonko introduced similar
legislation in the House of Representatives.
“The technology developed under this legislation would
reduce carbon dioxide emissions, create thousands of good-paying engineering,
construction and manufacturing jobs right here at home, lower energy costs, and
spur economic activity across the country,” said Senator Gillibrand.
“The U.S. has been a world leader in developing gas turbine technology, and
this legislation would create a public-private partnership to help the U.S.
preserve its position and strengthen its economy.”
“I applaud Senator Gillibrand for recognizing the critical
importance of this bill. Energy efficiency should be our fuel of choice – which
we should drill and mine like we currently drill for oil and mine coal. Not
only will the efficiencies created by this program reduce our fuel consumption,
save more than a billion dollars per year in fuel costs, and dramatically
reduce the production of greenhouse gases, it will also create clean energy
jobs and enhance our energy security,” Congressman Tonko said.
“Natural gas is one of the cleanest fossil fuels and a
cost effective source of power generation. Natural gas fired
turbines would play a critical part in a low-carbon future for the country,
particularly because their high operating flexibility can accommodate the
variability of renewable energy. This legislation could lead
to significant increases in the efficiency of current and future gas-fired
plants — saving billions of dollars in fuel costs and reducing significant
amounts of CO2 and other emissions. GE commends Sen. Gillibrand for her
leadership in moving this important bill forward,” said John Reinker,
General Manager, Heavy Duty Gas Turbine and Combined Cycle Products for GE
The Gas Turbine Efficiency Act would create a four-year R&D and technology
demonstration program targeted at increasing the efficiency of combined cycle
gas turbines used by utilities to 65 percent from the current average of 60
percent. A one percentage point improvement applied to gas turbines across the
country would save billions in fuel costs each year and reduce the amount of
C02 gas produced by millions of tons annually. The bill has also been expanded
to improve the efficiency of simple-cycle gas turbines, which are used in many
smaller-scale industrial applications. The program would run from 2011-2014.
To assure that the benefit of U.S. taxpayer dollars invested
in this program are realized in the United States, the Department of Energy
would be directed to consider the creation/retention of U.S. jobs and the promotion
of U.S. technology leadership in selecting program participants.
The legislation is endorsed by the Gas Turbine Association.