http://www.cleanenergy.org/2009/02/26/energy-groups-tout-importance-of-res/

SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

Energy Groups Tout Importance of RES

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Maggie Duncan
(202) 478-6129 mduncan@mrss.com

Jennifer Rennicks, SACE
(828) 275-0564 jrennicks@cleanenergy.org

Washington, DC- The Biomass Power Association, the Southeast Agriculture and Forestry Energy Resources Alliance (SAFER), and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE), today praised United States Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA) for his leadership in bringing about a federal renewable electricity standard (RES). Markey held a hearing on Capitol Hill this morning titled “Renewable Energy: Complementary Policies for Climate Legislation.”

The Biomass Power Association, SAFER and SACE are among the many farm, labor, business, energy industry and environmental organizations nationwide calling on Congress to pass a national RES that would require utilities to provide a minimum of 25 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025.
“As communities face unprecedented financial pressure to make ends meet, we are encouraged by Rep. Markey’s commitment to ensuring that every state is investing in renewable energy sources like wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal to create new job opportunities while diversifying our energy mix. Setting a federal renewable electricity standard is no longer just an option; it’s an absolute requirement to bring our energy industry into the 21st century.

“Southern states hold a diverse array of untapped resources to generate clean, renewable energy that will power our homes and put Americans back to work in a new green economy. We look forward to working with national leaders to enact strong legislation that allows our communities to realize their full renewable energy potential.”

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) recently released a report, Southern Solutions for a National Renewable Energy Standard, confirming that utilities across eleven Southeastern states can tap homegrown clean energy resources to meet a significant percentage of electric power demands. Their analysis indicates renewable energy resources can generate more than 15 percent of electricity demand by 2015 and achieve the proposed renewable energy standard (RES) of 25 percent by 2025.

Similarly, a February 2009 Southern Agriculture and Forestry Energy Resources Alliance (SAFER) study, the Southern Bioenergy Roadmap concludes that the South can lead the U.S. in reducing the nation’s dependence on imported oil, and create thousands of jobs for Southerners. In fact, it reports that in 2007, 46 percent of the nation’s electricity fueled by biomass was generated in the South with Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Louisiana leading the region. Furthermore, it found that a typical 40 megawatt biopower plant in Georgia would create 61 construction jobs and 261 operations jobs and put an additional $10 million a year into the local economy.

Resources provided by the Biomass Power Association, the only national organization dedicated to the growth and long-term viability of biomass-powered generation facilities, demonstrate that biomass electricity production lowers net greenhouse gas emissions below the “zero” level; playing a significant role in reducing our carbon footprint. Find our more at www.biomasspowerassociation.com. # # #