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Report on Renewable Energy

Report on renewable energySouthern Alliance for Clean Energy, Southface,

World Resources Institute Press Release:ATLANTA, GEORGIA; KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE; and WASHINGTON, D.C. – More than 25

percent of the Southeast U.S. region’s electric power could come from

locally-available renewable energy supplies by 2025, according to findings

released today by the World Resources Institute (WRI), Southern Alliance

for Clean Energy (SACE), and Southface.Prompt policy action to develop these resources can also create tens of

thousands of new jobs, attract more regional energy investment, and help

protect regional air and water resources.“The Southeast has a strong portfolio of renewable energy resources that

offers several economic and environmental advantages over traditional

electric power generation,” said Eliot Metzger, a project manager at WRI

and an author of Local Clean Power, the first in a three-part series of

reports about energy opportunities in the Southeast United States.The report estimates that investments in local renewable energy resources –

like biomass, solar, wind, and hydropower– can meet more than a quarter of

future electricity needs in the region by 2025. That amount would be

sufficient to meet national renewable energy targets currently being

discussed as part of upcoming federal energy legislation.The expansion of current renewable power production from its current level

of about five percent will be a critical step towards meeting future

electricity needs with cleaner supplies and increasing energy independence.Stephen Smith, executive director at SACE, another research partner, added,

“Right now we are depending on other regions of the country, and foreign

countries like Columbia and Venezuela, to supply us with coal. Doesn’t it

make more sense to be producing cleaner power, closer to home? Our research

suggests we certainly have sufficient resources. It’s just a matter of

recognizing and capitalizing on these home-grown energy supplies.”Renewable power potential is well distributed throughout the region, though

differences in total electricity sales mean that states like Mississippi

and Alabama can meet much more than 25 percent of electricity needs with

renewable resources (see table). Some electric power utilities are starting

to develop renewable resources in the region, but additional policy action

is needed to drive investment and carefully manage the transition to new

energy resources.“A focus on developing our own renewable energy resources will create

good-paying jobs that cannot be exported from our region,” said Dennis

Creech, executive director at Southface, which was a partner on this

research. “However, we need public policy to remove market barriers and

encourage these investments in the Southeast.”“Additional policy action and investment in a clean energy future

translates to new growth opportunities – which for us means the creation of

more jobs,” noted Tim Blackwell, president of OneWorld Sustainable, a

company specializing in efficiency and renewable energy in the Southeast.The report offers several recommendations for policies that can advance

renewable energy development in the region, including: firm targets for

renewable power production; flexible incentives to advance local

investments in renewable resources; and comprehensive state-level resource

assessments, economic analyses, and regulatory guidance to integrate

renewable power into the electricity grid.For the latest jobs in renewable energy please click here