Committee approves Daniel Simmons to lead DOE’s renewable energy office

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Yesterday the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved Daniel Simmons to lead the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) by a vote of 14-9.

Simmons has been acting head of EERE since appointed by the Trump Administration in May of last year. We at pv magazine have been among the voices expressing skepticism about the choice of Simmons, who had previously made factually questionable statements about the costs of wind and solar while working for the Institute for Energy Research, which argued against subsidies for renewables and other energy sources.

Simmons has since changed his tune on solar and wind, and in an exclusive interview with pv magazine last September noted the reductions in the cost of renewable energy had surprised him and changed his thinking.

This does not mean that his sailing through the confirmation process has been smooth. According to RTO Insider, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the ranking member on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, grilled Simmons during a hearing a month ago on energy efficiency policies.

Simmons will now go to the full Senate for confirmation.

 

Correction: This article was corrected at 1:30 PM EST on July 25. The article had incorrectly stated that Simmons worked for the Electric Power Research Institute, when in fact he worked for the Institute for Energy Research. We regret the error.