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DOE's Chu kicks off green-tech transfer fund

As part of climate negotiations in Copenhagen, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announces program to accelerate use of solar-powered LED lighting in poor countries.

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu on Monday announced the creation of a program to transfer clean-energy technologies to developing countries at the international climate negotiations in Copenhagen.

Called the Renewables and Efficiency Deployment Initiative (Climate REDI), the goal is to promote the use of efficient and renewable energy products to cut greenhouse gas emissions and improve the quality of life in poor countries, according to the DOE.

Climate REDI will be coordinated with existing technology transfer programs and organizations. Total spending will be $350 million over five years with the U.S. funding $100 million.

Click on image to see photo gallery of low-cost lighting technologies.

The three areas that the U.S. portion will fund will be:

•  Combination solar panels and LED lights, which can be used as an alternative to polluting and unhealthy kerosene lamps.

•  Incentive programs in the so-called Major Economies Forum to make more efficient appliances commercially available.

•  Technical and policy support for low-income countries establishing renewable energy strategies.

The details of the green technology transfer program, part of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, come the same day that delegates from developing countries withdrew participation from negations, although talks were expected to resume later.