With energy supply a worldwide concern, a new study released by the Great Valley Center suggests the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys are primed to be key players in the race to develop profitable, renewable forms of energy.Modesto, California – April 14, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] According to the report, Renewable Energy: Strategic Opportunities for the Great Central Valley, the 450-mile long Central Valley possesses an abundance of untapped natural assets essential to the production of Renewable Energy. Citing resources such as near year round sun, wind currents and the promise of rice straw-derived ethanol, the study concludes that the Valley could actually emerge as a leader in the development, use and sale of Renewable Energy and related products and services. “The Valley has an exciting opportunity to be a leader in Renewable Energy,” said Congressman George Radanovich (R-Mariposa). “Government policies and financial incentives-not to mention rising costs of traditional energy sources-are making Renewable Energy options more attractive.” The study describes a promising approach for the region to achieve a double payoff: using Renewable Energy to improve economic vitality while addressing challenging environmental concerns. According to the report, the urgent need to address environmental impacts provides an additional incentive to expand the development and use of Renewable Energy. Converting plant waste, such as rice straw from farms north of Sacramento into energy, instead of burning, would improve both the economic bottom-line of agricultural operations and the environmental quality of surrounding communities “The combination of the Valley’s natural assets and urgent economic needs, along with the availability of already-proven technologies and growing government incentives, is a strong case for pursuing this path,” said John Melville, Director of Collaborative Economics. Based on research and discussions with business, agricultural and technology leaders, the study was prepared by Collaborative Economics for the Great Valley Center’s NEW VALLEY CONNEXIONS program. The full report is available online at the link below.