Happy hardware: tech lobbyist brings home the bacon

Fed money goes for energy and water industries to get more efficient.
Written by Harry Fuller, Contributor

Not everybody in Washington these days is growling angry. The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) announced today that President Obama signed into law some NEMA-advocated funding as part of the Fiscal Year 2010 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill.

NEMA has lobbied Congress to increase funding for federal agencies, departments, and programs that are important to NEMA companies. These increased funding amounts include:

· $2.24 billion for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, including $200 million for the Building Technologies Program, a 43 percent increase · $32 million for the Federal Energy Management Program, a 45 percent increase · $125 million for the research and development for Smart Grid, energy storage, and clean energy transmission and reliability technologies · $27 million for solid state lighting, a $2 million increase.

Beyond electricity there is money in this bill for a variety of green-related businesses:carbon capture, geothermal development, even money for the autmotive X-prize. Here's an early blog on the X-prize auto competition.

This money is a small part of the total $33.5 billion fiscal 2010 Energy and Water Appropriations bill. The money is administered by several agencies: Department of Energy, the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation, the Army Corps of Engineers, and others.

According to NEMA President and CEO Evan R. Gaddis, the funding is in addition to the economic stimulus package. NEMA describes itself as "associaton of electrical and medical imaging manufacturers." Members include ABB, Bosch, DuPont, Duracell, eight units of GE, Formica, Kodak Batteries, Mitsubishi, National Semiconductor, Panasonic, eight units of Phillips, three units of Siemens, Sumitomo, Toshiba. In addition dozens of cable, wire, insulator and electrical hardware folks are members. These are companies expecting to thrive with the greening of the American energy industry and smartening up the grid.

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