Office of Fossil Energy

Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg – Tokyo, Japan Event Highlights

October 1, 2019

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Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy (ASFE) Steven Winberg spoke in Tokyo, Japan last week to discuss what the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is doing to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, how hydrogen can help create a promising energy future, and why American liquefied natural gas (LNG) can play an important role in Asia’s growth.

Below are a few important highlights from ASFE Winberg’s presentations, in addition to his prepared remarks.

International Conference on Carbon Recycling

In remarks at the International Conference on Carbon Recycling, ASFE Winberg said that one of the most pressing global challenges is the reduction of CO2 emissions from industrial and power generation sources. He said reducing emissions is particularly important with regard to coal-fired power plants.

ASFE Winberg began his presentation by saying that CO2 emissions reduction is not so much a challenge to overcome as an unprecedented opportunity to harvest an abundant resource that can be converted into value-added products.

“The good news is that we can do that—and we are doing that—through the development of carbon capture, utilization, and storage technologies, or CCUS, where we’re opening new windows of opportunity to not only reduce carbon emissions, but also recycle and utilize CO2,” he added.

The United States is in the forefront of CCUS technology development. In fact, DOE-supported CCUS technologies now operate at both coal power plants and industrial sites, while advanced second-generation carbon capture technologies have progressed to the large pilot plant phase.

He concluded, “My message today is this: We have an exceptional opportunity to reduce CO2 emissions and realize the full potential of carbon utilization. It’s an amazing vision—and it’s within our reach.”

To read ASFE Winberg’s prepared remarks, click here.

2nd Hydrogen Energy Ministerial Meeting

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization jointly held a Hydrogen Energy Ministerial Meeting, where ASFE Winberg served as Head of Delegation and discussed DOE’s hydrogen research and development.

ASFE Winberg noted that the United States is now the world's largest producer of oil and natural gas, exporting LNG to 36 countries. And, DOE is pursuing a comprehensive energy strategy to ensure affordable, secure, and clean energy from diverse domestic resources. Hydrogen is one component of that strategy and can contribute to creating a promising energy future.

“The United States is committed to forging strong international partnerships to accelerate progress in hydrogen technologies. We’re eager to deepen that collaboration, and we look forward to working with you to advance hydrogen and fuel cell technologies and pave the way to a future of opportunity and prosperity,” said ASFE Winberg in closing.

ASFE Winberg’s prepared remarks may be found here.

IPHE Cross Cutting Workshop

In remarks at the International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy (IPHE) Workshop, ASFE Winberg noted that the key goal of DOE’s hydrogen program is to help drive down costs and facilitate the broader use of hydrogen.

“Through this partnership, we have organized numerous workshops and forums with hundreds of experts and policy makers to help identify gaps and shape our R&D programs,” said ASFE Winberg. “One example is the IPHE hydrogen infrastructure workshop series— we all know that hydrogen production, delivery, and storage are key challenges.”

He explained that looking ahead, DOE must continue this research and development, and also leverage the private sector to accelerate demonstrations and deployment and reduce regulatory barriers.

“And we look forward to exploring new opportunities and pathways for collaboration, including through the IPHE, and in support of other partnerships,” said ASFE Winberg.

To read ASFE Winberg’s prepared remarks, click here.

U.S. LNG Exports & Market Impacts

In a presentation the LNG Producer-Consumer Conference hosted by METI and the Asia Pacific Energy Research Centre, ASFE Winberg said that Asia and the Indo-Pacific comprise a growing and dynamic region, and that continued economic growth will continue to require diverse and reliable energy sources.

“American LNG can help meet that demand and play an important role in Asia’s growth—and it can also provide environmental benefits. In fact, an updated study on the lifecycle emissions of LNG just completed by our National Energy Technology Lab tells us that LNG exports from the United States still carry clear environmental benefits to overseas customers,” ASFE Winberg confirmed.

He continued by sharing that since exports from the continental United States began over three years ago, Asia has been the top importing region for U.S. LNG—with over 40 percent of the U.S. cargoes shipped in the last three years landing in the Indo-Pacific region. American LNG exports will continue to grow next year, DOE expects that the United States will be a net exporter of energy overall.

To view ASFE Winberg’s Power Point presentation, click here.