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U.S. Energy Engineers Support New Energies and Energy Efficiency

A survey of energy engineers in the United States indicates that almost all want new energy supplies and greater promotion of energy efficiency technologies.

ATLANTA, Georgia, US, 2001-06-06 [] A survey of energy engineers in the United States indicates that almost all want new energy supplies and greater promotion of energy efficiency technologies. The Association of Energy Engineers surveyed its 8,000 members on national energy policy issues. The respondents are involved in commercial, institutional and industrial installations, energy suppliers, energy service companies, consultants, government officials and university educators. The results show that 98 percent want the proposed National Energy Policy of President George Bush to encourage new energy supplies from a multitude of sources and to promote energy efficiency technologies. Ninety-four percent indicated that an investment tax credit and accelerated depreciation should be implemented to encourage adoption of efficient end use technologies. “There is definitely a need for a Balanced National Energy Plan which encourages both energy efficiency and supply side strategies,” says AEE executive director Albert Thumann. “Unfortunately, the Administration’s Energy Plan cuts research and development funding for energy efficiency technologies by $160 million and relies heavily on oil and gas exploration and building new power generation stations at the expense of the environment. A comprehensive energy technology strategy could double the energy efficiency of buildings by 2010, slash carbon emissions in half, and save $100 billion a year.” Other findings indicate that 92 percent want the National Energy Policy to encourage investment in new power generation and transmission lines, and 81 percent said global warming concerns need to be included in the policy. Sixty-nine percent responded that environmental regulations should not be compromised in order to build new power generation, and 75 percent indicated that nuclear power should be encouraged to meet growing demand for electricity. Sixty percent said oil production in environmentally sensitive areas should not be encouraged. “The current domestic energy situation and our increasing dependence on foreign oil makes the United States more vulnerable, economically and from a national security perspective, than at any time in our history,” says AEE. The group’s energy council says a national energy plan is required that recognizes the urgent need for both energy efficiency and supply strategies. “Alternative energy sources offer environmentally acceptable ways to generate and distribute electricity,” it explains, and the National Energy Plan should increase research funding for alternative energy and tax credits to encourage investments in alternative energy. There should be federal and state incentives for deployment of distributed generation that provides the benefits or reduced distribution and transmission costs, as well as increased use of cogeneration. Government should encourage development of distributed energy resources, including cogeneration through tax credits and accelerated depreciation, and remove barriers to distributed energy resources, particularly those related to cogen. It should also concentrate on clean-coal technologies for repowering and new plants which meet environmental regulations, and compress the time required to license a nuclear reactor.