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Wed 24 Feb 2010 10:19 PM

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US energy chief stresses renewables during UAE visit

Steven Chu said that the US aims to reduce its carbon emissions by 80%.

US energy chief stresses renewables during UAE visit
RENEWABLE ENERGY: US Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu stressed the importance of renewable energy during his maiden official visit to the UAE. (Getty Images)

US Secretary of Energy Steven Chu put a big stress on renewable energy and carbon emissions rather than on crude oil on his maiden official visit to the UAE on Wednesday.

Speaking at length about innovation and calling for a more judicious use of energy, Chu touched only briefly on oil prices, supplies and imports after the lecture.

Speaking to reporters, he said: "We want the price (of oil) to be as open and transparent as possible and we want a stable price," adding that price volatility is not good for producers nor consumers.

Chu declined to give a price range for oil that would support growth in the world's largest economy.

The global recession, he said, created an oversupply of oil in the markets and the United States would cut imports by curbing its demand.

He said: "We are moderating our demand for oil in general and we are about to decrease our demand for imported oil."

His main remarks, in an hour long lecture that ranged from the uses of algae to the energy efficiency of some birds, came in stark contrast to the Bush administration's focus on crude oil markets.

Chu said: "The US should reduce its carbon emissions by 80 percent by mid century. It is our responsibility to bring down our use of energy and we can do this without sacrificing our prosperity."

The Obama administration has an investment outlay of $80 billion for clean energy and $8 billion for innovation, he added.

Chu underscored the importance of developing and deploying renwable energy including solar, wind and other forms such as algae for biofuels.

He said: "The UAE is making great strides in algae (as biofuel) and that has real potential."

From algae, Chu moved on to energy efficiency comparing the Bar tailed Godwit with the Boeing 777 saying that both the bird and the airplane fly nonstop for 11,000 km (6,835 miles) without using up all their energy. (Reuters)

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