Phase II of Renewable Energy in America

There can always be more renewable energy research. There’s always a chance to discover a breakthrough approach that dramatically lowers the cost of clean energy.

But at what point is it time for renewable energy to move away from research and development and transition into a major implementation phase? Many experts say right now. An upcoming conference this winter will kick off this new, second phase for renewable energy. The American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE), in conjunction with the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus of the US Senate and US House of Representatives, announced a national conference to take place December 6-7, 2004 in Washington, D.C., calling for “Phase II” of renewable energy in America. Conference co-chairs are Roger Ballentine, Hank Habicht, and Dan Reicher. “After 30 years of outstanding effort by our country’s best scientists and engineers, it is time to declare an interim success in our nation’s RD&D program for renewable energy,” said Dan Reicher, co-chair of the ACORE Advisory Board, President of New Energy Capital, and previously Assistant Secretary of Energy under President Clinton. “We as a nation have invested $14 billion in renewable energy technology, and the fact is, we have a lot to show for it. We now have many technology options that can help address the nation’s energy challenges. It is time to put these technologies to work in the marketplace, while we continue their advancement in the laboratory.” ACORE and the Caucus are calling on the renewable energy community to rally around the proposition that a new set of national goals and policy framework are needed now. “For many years, wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, biomass and other renewable options have understandably been pushed as individual technologies with a promising future,” said Hank Habicht, co-chair of the ACORE advisory board, CEO of Global Environment and Technology Foundation, and previously Deputy Administrator of the EPA during the first Bush administration. “Now it is time to build the right context to reflect key national goals for energy security, economic growth, and environmental protection.” The conference will call for Phase II, a new policy framework within which each of the renewable energy technologies, and all of them together, can focus on utilization, with continuing RD&D to support the utilization policy. “It is time for a return to the taxpayers for their 30-year investment in renewable energy technologies.” said Roger Ballentine, ACORE Board member, president of Green Strategies, and previously head of the climate change task force under President Clinton, “The Phase II policy framework needs to encompass renewable fuels for national security and renewable electricity for global warming and environmental protection.” ACORE, in conjunction with Worldwatch Institute, is producing a pre-conference report in November entitled Renewable Energy in America: the Call for Phase II. Christopher Flavin, president of Worldwatch, is chairing the editorial board for the report. “The fact is that many other countries around the world, like Germany and Japan, are moving ahead on the adoption of renewable energy,” Flavin said. “The U.S. needs to catch up, and Phase II is the policy envelope within which we can do it.” The conference event includes two evening receptions on December 6 and 7, bracketing a one-day, high-level policy forum to be held in the Cannon Office Building Caucus Room on December 7. There will be leadership speaker sessions on national energy challenges, the state of renewable energy technologies, and the new policy framework known as Phase II. “The conference is an opportunity for the senior leadership of the renewable energy community to voice support for this once-in-30-years redefinition of goals and policy framework, for a better future, and the networking should be extraordinary” said Michael Eckhart, ACORE president. Conference registration is limited to 400 people, and can be secured online at the Web link below. Conference sponsorships also are encouraged for those seeking to voice support for Phase II and increase their exposure on Capitol Hill.
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