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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the federal Committee on Renewable Energy, Commerce, and Trade's (CORECT) efforts to promote the export of U.S. renewable energy technologies, focusing on CORECT: (1) export promotion activities; (2) guidelines for financing such exports; (3) recommendations for specific markets in the Caribbean Basin and Pacific Rim and its identification of future export markets; and (4) follow-through activities on trade opportunities in selected countries.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Energy To help promote the export of U.S. renewable energy technologies, the Secretary of Energy should work with other CORECT member agencies and the U.S. renewable energy technology industry to establish a deadline for completing the government-industry plan to increase exports of renewable energy technologies.
Closed - Implemented
The U.S.-ECRE strategic plan has now been completed. It has been reviewed and adopted by CORECT member agencies.
Department of Energy To help promote the export of U.S. renewable energy technologies, the Secretary of Energy should work with other CORECT member agencies and the U.S. renewable energy technology industry to maintain consistent export or market share data that could be used to help update a plan and monitor its implementation.
Closed - Implemented
A Trade Promotion Task Group has been formed to streamline the collection and dissemination of federal trade statistics. This Task Group is working closely with the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee and the National Trade Data Bank to make NTDB more user-friendly for exporters. CORECT has made input into this process by noting the lack of standard industrial classification codes necessary to track exports of renewable energy products and services. The Task Group has indicated that it will attempt to address this matter.
Department of Energy To help promote U.S. exports of renewable energy technologies, the Secretary of Energy should, together with other CORECT member agencies and the U.S. renewable energy technology industry, develop a way, through the CORECT mechanism, to assign responsibility for tracking member agency activities, including trade opportunities identified by these agencies in recommended markets, and to document, to the extent possible, any exports associated with such activities.
Closed - Not Implemented
The Committee on Renewable Energy, Commerce, and Trade (CORECT) has established a process to identify exports after a deal is completed, but the U.S. renewable energy industry continues to be reluctant to provide export information because it is concerned that any such information could reveal sensitive market data to foreign competitors. In addition, CORECT has been inactive because it did not receive any funding in fiscal year 1997.
Department of Energy To help promote U.S. exports of renewable energy technologies, the Secretary of Energy should, together with other CORECT member agencies and the U.S. renewable energy technology industry, work with TPCC to define the way in which the CORECT mandate and activities can be integrated into the overall U.S. export plan that TPCC is developing.
Closed - Implemented
CORECT is working closely with TPCC. According to DOE, CORECT is well-focused on its task and can serve as an example for other federal-industry efforts to increase exports of specific technologies.

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