Energy Leaders Call For Steady, Long-Term Commitments to Renewable Resources

First-of-a-kind 2007 Joint Outlook Report on Renewable Energy in America details what's achievable with appropriate policy mix

Published: 02-May-2007

Washington, D.C. - If renewable energy is to reach its full potential, America needs coordinated, sustained federal and state policies that expand renewable energy markets, promote and deploy new technology, and encourage renewable energy use in all critical market sectors, according to a first-of-a-kind report issued today by organizations leading the move to wider utilization of renewable resources in the U.S.

Coordinated by the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) the organizations projected how their industries can meet the demand for cleaner energy and fuels. Those projections include supplying 635 gigawatts of new electric generating capacity by 2025 and supplanting as much as 40% of U.S. petroleum products by 2030.

ACORE led this shared effort toward the report, 2007 Joint Outlook on Renewable Energy in America, to help communicate what renewable energy is capable of achieving with the appropriate mix of policies and market-based incentives and standards.

“Renewable energy will not be a ‘niche’ source of America’s energy in 2025,” said Reid Detchon, Executive Director of the Energy Future Coalition. “It is capable of supplying at least 25% of our energy as part of a wholesale transformation of the energy business.”

“Steady, long-term policy support is crucial to sustain this growth and attract investment,” said Randall Swisher, Executive Director of the American Wind Energy Association. “A national renewable portfolio standard and a long-term extension of the renewable energy production tax credit are measures that can be adopted now and would unleash billions of dollars in new projects and manufacturing plants, create tens of thousands of jobs and generate revenue for farmers and rural communities, while jump-starting cost-effective action against global warming.”

“The United States has the best solar resources in the industrialized world, but we need federal leadership to put these resources to work for all Americans,” said Rhone Resch, President of the Solar Energy Industries Association. “Adopting H.R. 550 and S. 590, the Securing America’s Energy Independence Act, would create approximately 55,000 solar industry jobs by 2016, encourage states to invest billions of dollars in renewable energy infrastructure, displace four trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and save American consumers $32 billion,” Resch added.

"Biomass power is expected to contribute significantly to our future energy needs, by supplying power and heat locally and displacing the need for much less efficient and remote central stations" said Paul Lemar of the U. S. Combined Heat and Power Association. "These clean distributed generation applications will lower greenhouse gas emissions and the overall cost of power."

“Our success,” said Linda Church Ciocci, Executive Director of the National Hydropower Association, “hinges on the support of policies that encourage research, development, demonstration and deployment. The Department of Energy must reinstate funding for hydropower research for both conventional and new emerging technologies.”

Said Karl Gawell, Executive Director, Geothermal Energy Association: “The ACORE report demonstrates that renewable technologies have the potential to support a fundamental transformation of our energy system. America can make the transition to a sustainable energy future through greater efficiency and expanded use of domestic, renewable energy resources.”

“In America, and around the world, we are recreating major new roles for biofuels, biopower and biobased products,” said William Holmberg, Chairman of the Biomass Coordinating Council. “In all corners of the earth, their production continues to soar along with imperatives to ensure enhancement of: soils, water quality and quantity.

“Equally important are commitments to grow abundant food supplies and develop new opportunities for those who work the land for a living,” Holmberg added.

“An important change that must take place at the policy level,” remarked George Hagerman of the Virginia TechAdvanced Research Institute and the Ocean Energy Council, “is to consider the combination of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies that add value to one another, rather than viewing them as competing for R&D funding.”

ACORE President Michael T. Eckhart said, “the guiding principles in our report will allow our country to successfully transition towards a scale-up of the use of renewable resources to power and fuel America. This is a bold joint statement on the potential that the U.S. has before it.”

Other nonprofit and academic organizations participating in the report are the American Solar Energy Society, The Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory at the University of California at Berkleley, Union of Concerned Scientists and Worldwatch Institute.

Other trade associations participating in the report are the National Biodiesel Board and the Renewable Fuels Association.

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