Washington, DC [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] With the solar power industry’s key annual trade show ending last week in Washington, DC, another important event in the policy life for all renewables again takes center stage next week in the nation’s capitol.Renewable Energy in America: Policies in Phase II will take place on Capitol Hill next Monday, October 17, through Tuesday, October 18, 2005, to address pivotal policy issues affecting renewable energy in the US. It is organized by the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) in conjunction with the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucuses of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, with the additional support of 35 noted nonprofit groups and trade associations. The conference seeks to identify the most important policies to increase the use of renewable energy in the U.S. Speakers include Mike Johanns, Secretary of Agriculture; Gale Norton, Secretary of the Interior; David Garman, Under Secretary of Energy; Jim Doyle, Governor of Wisconsin; and other Governors who are in process of committing corporate executives from GE and John Hancock, policy leaders from more than ten states in the East, Mid-America and the West, and noted experts in electricity, fuels, transportation, buildings, and other aspects of renewable energy utilization. As ACORE describes it, Phase I represents the past few decades of research and development that have been applied to renewable energy technologies. Phase II represents an acknowledgment that this research and development has been successful and now is the time to deploy renewable energy technologies in a major way. In particular, ACORE says the U.S. has only scratched the surface of developing farm-based sources of renewable energy – ethanol, biodiesel, biomass, wind, methane, and hydrogen. Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa echoed this point by saying, “anything we can produce from a barrel of oil, we can also produce on our farms. We do not have to drill for oil in environmentally pristine areas, nor do we have to be at the mercy of foreign oil producers.” Members of Congress present and speaking at the event include Sen. Byron Dorgan, North Dakota; Sen. Wayne Allard, Colorado; Rep. Jim Saxton, New Jersey; Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, Maryland; and more than 15 other members of Congress. The Department of the Interior is a participant in Phase II as the largest manager of the energy resources on lands owned by the Federal government. The Department is responsible for approximately 700 million acres of Federal land and 1.76 billion acres of subsurface estate on the Outer Continental Shelf. The Secretary also has trust responsibility for 56 million acres of Tribal and individual Indian lands. “The Department of the Interior is steward to one out of every five acres of land in the United States so it has a very significant role to play in the development of domestic renewable energy,” Secretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton said. “Resources from federal lands managed by the Department already contribute more than 45 percent of our nation’s geothermal energy and 7 percent of our wind power. We are pleased to join ACORE in a discussion of how we can work together to meet the objectives of the recently passed Energy Policy Act to diversify and add to our nation’s energy supply by producing clean, affordable renewable energy.” For a full list of speakers, supporting organizations and conference registration information, see the following link.