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Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Talks About the Promise of Clean Energy with Indonesian University Students

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

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Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Talks About the Promise of Clean Energy with Indonesian University Students
Locke discusses challenges, opportunities in Indonesian clean energy market with local AmCham

Remarks at AmCham Indonesia
Remarks at University of Indonesia

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke held a town hall meeting today with students and faculty at the University of Indonesia Depok Campus, where he highlighted the importance of innovation in creating new clean energy technologies.  He noted Indonesia’s geographic advantages in providing resources that can be used for renewable and clean energy solutions and stressed the importance of clean technologies to entrepreneurship and the potential their development has to create millions of new jobs, while also improving the environment. Locke took questions submitted live via Twitter and video was live-streamed over the Internet on Kompas-TV, the video channel of leading Indonesian newspaper Kompas.

“This effort is not limited to one country; both Indonesia and the United States can benefit from cooperating on clean energy development,” Locke said during his town hall meeting with students. “The United States, Indonesia and the entire world are counting on bright, motivated people like all of you to discover the new clean energy technologies that could help put millions of our people to work in high-skill, high-wage jobs.”

Locke added, “With your talent, your creativity and your ingenuity, you can be a leader in the effort to combat climate change. You can be the innovators and entrepreneurs that help us build a 21st century, clean energy economy.”

Later, Locke addressed the American Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia, noting the commitment Indonesian leaders have made to aggressive clean energy goals, while also encouraging them to open up more industries to foreign investment, including small power plants that currently limit investment from U.S. firms.

“As I talk to American business leaders, the overriding concern that I hear is that there is often not enough government transparency,” Locke said. “Businesses frequently don’t know what the rules are, how they will be enforced, or how decisions are made. This is particularly true at the local level.”

Renewable energy currently provides only 7 percent of Indonesia’s energy, mostly from hydro and geothermal power; however, an emerging consensus that renewable energy can create jobs, reduce carbon emissions and sustain economic growth is leading to opportunities across this sector. With more than 40 percent of the world’s known geothermal resources, opportunities for biomass-based power and micro-hydro projects, thousands of miles of oceanfront for wave and off-shore wind developments, and an equatorial climate for solar energy, Indonesia is poised to become a leading renewable energy market.

Locke’s visit to Indonesia immediately followed visits to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing, China, and is the final stop on his clean energy business development trade mission. The mission had a goal of advancing President Obama’s National Export Initiative – which aims to double U.S. exports within five years to support two million American jobs.