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Acting Under Secretary for Energy/ARPA-E Director Dr. Arun Majumdar traveled to Philadelphia this week to highlight what the Department of Energy is doing to unleash American innovation and to help our country win the clean energy race.

On Tuesday, he participated in the 4th annual Solar America Cities meeting to share findings on emerging trends in urban energy use and to discuss solutions to local solar barriers, such as zoning, financing and unwieldy city permitting processes. While there, he announced a Request for Information (RFI) that will foster solutions to eliminate barriers to solar market development, save customers time and money and accelerate the adoption of solar energy in communities nationwide.

He also attended a business roundtable with the Philadelphia energy innovation community, and met with Ben Franklin Technology Partners, the state of Pennsylvania’s highly successful technology-based economic development program.

Then he visited the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster for Energy Efficient Buildings, which is the Department’s Energy Innovation Hub led by Penn State University. The program’s goal is to develop ways to reduce energy waste in buildings, and specifically, to demonstrate building operational energy savings of 50 percent by 2013-2015 in a scalable, repeatable and cost effective manner.

On Wednesday, he visited the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University. Introduced by Congressman Chaka Fattah, he delivered a lecture to the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering & Applied Sciences faculty and students on ARPA-E’s role in ensuring the future national, economic, and environmental security of the United States. Acting Under Secretary Majumdar also hoped to inspire these young scientists and engineers to consider joining the energy innovation community, perhaps as ARPA-E Fellows or Performers.

By harnessing the innovation we see in Philadelphia and cities across the country, we can create jobs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and win the clean energy race.

April Saylor is an Online Content Producer and contractor to the Office of Public Affairs.