By: Katrina Metzler, Energy Policy Advisor
Dr. David Danielson recently announced his departure from the U.S. Department of Energy, where he has been a tireless advocate for energy efficiency programs as the Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy for the past four years. Dr. Danielson was instrumental in changing the course of the Weatherization Assistance Program during a bleak time when the allocation fell to only $68 million nationwide and the very fabric of the program appeared to be unraveling. Dr. Danielson understood the importance and unique construct of the WAP within EERE and played a critical role in ensuring the future funding of the program by reallocating funds to Weatherization from other areas at EERE. It was a tough decision that likely saved Weatherization, one of the most successful poverty-fighting programs in the country and the only EERE program that focuses on bringing energy efficiency to those with modest incomes.
During Dr. Danielson’s tenure and over the course of the Obama Administration to date, clean energy has transformed the nation, rapidly becoming a commercial reality. According to EERE, “wind power production has tripled, now exceeding 70GW, and solar power costs have dropped by more than 60% with solar installations up by more 20 times, shattering the 20GW barrier. Battery costs have dropped more than 70% and today we have more than 400,000 plug-in electric vehicles on America’s roads. Highly efficient LED lighting has dropped in cost by more than 90%, with LED deployment growing by more than 200 times to more than 80 million installed light bulbs today. And from 2004 to 2015, global investment in clean energy has rocketed by more than 5 times, from $60B to more than $320B.”
EERE’s investments in energy efficiency made these things possible. Dr. Danielson was at the forefront of these projects and many more, creating an atmosphere that encouraged grand thinking, innovation, and considering the possibilities for energy efficiency in the future.
Many thanks to Dr. Danielson for the many contributions and the effective, thoughtful leadership he provided during a time when Weatherization had reached a critical turning point. Your contributions will not be forgotten and have been incredibly important to our work. Best wishes to you and your family.
To learn more about Dr. Danielson, view his full bio here.