Group Developing US Renewable Energy Plan

REPP sees link between sustainable energy and energy security that includes triade of energy sources.

Published: 10-Jan-2002

WASHINGTON, DC -- A U.S. group is drafting an Energy Security / Renewable Energy Blueprint, and it warns that reducing energy use may increase U.S. fuel imports unless there is more reliance on renewable energies.

"A strong argument can be made that reducing fuel use could actually increase the level of imports, leading to less security, not more," says the first draft of the report from the Renewable Energy Policy Project. "Reducing usage could lead to price drops in oil and natural gas. Lower prices will tend to favor low-cost producers, which tend to be the OPEC countries. If lowering usage results in shutting in high cost U.S. producers, that production would be made up by imports."

Reducing energy use must be accompanied by increasing production from renewable energy resources, it argues.

"Security demands that we develop a triad of resources: domestic fossil energy, imported fossil energy, and renewable energy," says George Sterzinger of REPP. "Once the importance of expanding the sources of energy to include renewables is recognized, REPP believes it is a short step to the further recognition that security and sustainability of energy supplies are essentially two sides of the same coin. A secure energy supply must ultimately converge with a sustainable energy supply."

REPP will create a Sustainability and Security Index to link the two concepts a quantified indicator. The model to be used is the atomic clock and the threat of nuclear war, which summarized a number of separate trends and developments in one indicator by showing the closeness of the clock to midnight.

The blueprint will define the threats to energy security, and document how renewable energies can contribute to the goals. It will also recommend a set of actions, ranging from coordinated consumer outreach to policy reforms that are related to the development of renewable projects.

A working group will produce the national energy blueprint, along with broad web participation, and all public comments will be made available as part of the final package.

There is considerable public support for renewables, says Sterzinger, but recognition and support must be translated into the analysis and concrete recommendations to get the renewables and the security that the public wants.

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