President Bush Touts AEI at Renewable Energy Conference

When it was announced that President Bush would address a clean energy conference in St. Louis, Missouri, sponsored by the USDA and USDOE, the clean energy community was hoping for a commitment to a long-term (minimum 8 years) extension of the existing investment tax credits (ITC) for solar, geothermal, and fuel cells, as well as an expanded ITC for ‘high value’ energy efficiency, small wind and water energy (kinetic freeflow hydropower, and ocean current, tidal and wave).

Also hoped for was mention of an extension of the existing production tax credits (PTC) for wind and closed-loop biomass, and expansion of the PTC for biogas and modified ‘open loop’. While those hopes were not directly addressed, President Bush did stress the federal government’s commitment to renewable energy and outlined the goals of his Advanced Energy Initiative (AEI), which he first announced in his 2005 State of the Union address. The most important steps, the President said, were to increase ethanol production, encourage consumers to buy hybrid cars, and continue research for hydrogen fuel cell technologies. The conference, co-hosted by the Department of Energy and Department of Agriculture, was titled “Advancing Renewable Energy: An American Rural Renaissance.”


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