Phase II of US Renewable Energy Policy Takes Shape

The American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) completed its renewable energy policy roundtable meetings in 12 cities across the nation, seeking to define the next phase of national policy for renewable energy in America.

“The renewable energy provisions in the 2005 energy bill are helpful but are not the total answer. The challenge is to build a strategy that is a market-focused synthesis of the best ideas currently in play from the labs, the states, and Wall Street,” said Hank Habicht, CEO of Global Environment & Technology Foundation and a member of ACORE’s Advisory Board. Two key elements of developing a Phase II policy framework emerged: a commitment to a stable and predictable government strategy and a balanced political representation of national viewpoints. “A question for policy development is: what are the national policies that will result in renewable energy contributing 20%-30%-40% of national energy supply by 2020- 2030-2040?” said Rob Pratt, Director of the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust and ACORE Chairman. Policy options for the electricity sector addressed fundamental economics, some of which included developing a transmission system as a national priority to link renewable energy in rural areas; examining utility rates; monetizing environmental benefits of renewable energy through national and regional trading of RECs so that Wall Street can create a futures market; and accelerating the adoption of distributed generation and smart grid technology. Policy options for the transportation energy sector mentioned the economic role government incentive policies could take for consumers to purchase biofuels, upgrade the efficiency of their cars and integrate energy efficiency and solar energy into their lives. The roundtable series, which had more than 300 experts on renewable energy technologies, economics, applications, industry, regulation, and policy participating, leads into ACORE’s national policy conference (Phase II) October 17-18, 2005 in Washington, DC. The conference will include policy leaders from more than ten states in the East, Mid-America and the West, as well as noted experts in electricity, fuels, transportation, buildings, and other aspects of renewable energy utilization. “The Phase II conference will set the stage for the next 30 years of renewable energy policy,” said conference co-chair Dan Reicher, President of new Energy Capital and former Assistant Secretary of Energy.

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