Biden blasts 'bizarre' attacks on administration's clean-energy plans

“When we cut through all the malarkey about whether this is government picking winners and losers, and you get down to what we’re actually doing, we’re doing nothing more than providing a spark, an idea,” Biden said.

“We’ve set really bold goals in the minds of some people,” he continued. “But quite frankly, me and the president don’t think they’re very bold at all.”

The Energy Department announced Friday that it found its first partner as part of a new initiative to work with companies to deploy technologies developed at government technology labs.

Colorado-based e-Chromic will use technology developed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to create material that will make windows more energy-efficient.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu touted the initiative, dubbed “America’s Next Top Energy Innovator,” in a statement.

“This is a great example of what can happen when we unleash the American innovation machine and allow entrepreneurs to turn a great idea into a business opportunity,” he said. “By making it easier, faster and cheaper for start-ups to license groundbreaking technologies we can move innovative ideas to the marketplace — creating jobs and growing our economy.”

The White House is seeking $29.5 billion for the Energy Department in its fiscal year 2012 budget request. That includes $5.4 billion for the department’s science office and $550 million for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, a program that funds so-called high-risk, high-reward research into breakthrough technologies.