Washington, DC [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] A national renewable energy conference will accelerate commercialization of renewable energy industries and distribution systems through networking and partnerships. Attendees to the conference, which is scheduled for October 10-12, 2006, in St. Louis, Missouri, will cover agriculture, energy, transportation, financial and investment, federal and state government, and elected officials.Advancing Renewable Energy: An American Rural Renaissance is co-hosted by two government agencies, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in support of the President’s Advanced Energy Initiative (AEI), specifically biomass, wind and solar research and commercialization. “The October conference will build upon the President’s vision for overcoming our energy challenges and help create new wealth opportunities in rural communities,” said USDA Secretary Mike Johanns, who also announced a loan guarantee and grant totaling $3.75 million for construction and operation of a new biodiesel production facility in Iowa. “Never has reducing our dependence on foreign oil been such a pressing issue,” said U.S. DOE Secretary Samuel Bodman. “We have the will and the means to replace significant quantities of foreign oil with homegrown fuel. We are hopeful this conference will identify major impediments and critical pathways to get more domestically grown, renewable energy sources out of the laboratory and into consumers’ hands as soon as possible.” The President’s AEI requests $2.1 billion, a 22 percent budget increase at DOE. The AEI aims to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil and increase production of domestically grown fuel, which will in turn, promote U.S. job growth and increase energy security.