Energy leaders call for long-term commitments to renewable resources

Washington, D.C., May 2, 2007 — 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 report issued 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 the effort toward the report, 2007 Joint Outlook on Renewable Energy in America, with the goal of communicating 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.

“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.”

“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,” ACORE President Michael T. Eckhart said.

Other nonprofit and academic organizations that participated in the report were the American Solar Energy Society, The Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory at the University of California at Berkleley, Union of Concerned Scientists, Worldwatch Institute, the National Biodiesel Board, and the Renewable Fuels Association.

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