ACRE’s Washington Conference Touts Renewables

U.S. and international leaders meeting at the American Council for Renewable Energy (ACRE) conference held last week in Washington D.C., called for renewable energy sources of wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, and biofuels to play a leading role in addressing the nation’s energy supply and environmental challenges.

Washington, D.C. – July 14, 2003 [] Deputy Energy Secretary Kyle McSlarrow and Deputy EPA Administrator Linda Fisher spoke for the Administration, saying that renewable energy and green power markets will play an increasingly important role in the Administration’s plans. Senators Harry Reid (D-NV), Wayne Allard (R-CO), and Byron Dorgan (D-ND), called for action now on smart adoption of renewable energy sources in all states. Speakers from New York, Texas, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Illinois, Kansas, Nevada, and California presented evidence of success with innovative pioneering programs and policies that are working to spur the development of renewable energy projects in a way that vary across the country. “It is clear,” said Hank Habicht, co-chair of the group’s advisory board, “that state and local programs taken together now equal the importance of the Federal programs in renewable energy. The question is, how we can build on those successes to create a nationwide success.” A panel of energy-experienced Washington leaders, including Jim Woolsey, former director of Central Intelligence, C. Boyden Gray, former White House Counsel to President G.H.W. Bush, Bud McFarlane, former national security advisor to President Reagan, and John Podesta, former Chief of Staff to President Clinton, called for immediate action to expand renewable energy use in the United States. Woolsey called for new coalitions of “sod-busters, tree-huggers, do-gooders and weak-hawks” to drive the development of biomass and waste-derived fuels to reduce imported oil. ACRE’s council agreed to take on the challenge and will set out to create the national coalition. Steven Zwolinski, president of GE Wind Energy, presented the company’s forecast, showing how the worldwide wind power business will increase from a US$7 billion business today to over US$14 billion within ten years, saying “it is a good time to be in the wind power business, and it will get better.” “The key to unlocking the potential demand for renewables is how well we create mechanisms to monetize their economic, financial, and environmental benefits,” said Amory Lovins, a member of the Council’s advisory board. “The goal of raising our sights on new national strategies for renewables was met,” said Michael Eckhart, ACRE’s Chairman. “The Council will be establishing the new biofuels coalition, developing new research on the monetization of the benefits of renewable energy, pointing towards new federal support for State and Local programs and raising funds to better communicate the exciting renewables message to the American people.”


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