TVA Caucus Plans Forum on Renewable Electricity

Guest Blog | April 14, 2009 | Press Releases

Knoxville, Tenn. (April 14) – The TVA Congressional Caucus will address an essential component of our nation’s energy future when it hosts the “TVA and Renewable Electricity Forum,” Thursday, April 16 at the Knoxville City County Building. This forum provides a critical opportunity to continue dialogue about the role renewable electricity will play in the Tennessee Valley’s future.

“We are pleased that the caucus is actively engaging TVA and others about renewable energy in our region,” said Stephen A. Smith, executive director of SACE. “Throughout its history, TVA has played an important part in providing millions of people with electricity. Now, as we face the imperatives of economic recovery and energy security, we need TVA to become a living laboratory that leads our nation to a future built on advanced energy efficiency, smart-grid technologies and clean, safe renewable energy.”

The Tennessee Valley has strong bioenergy potential, which will create green jobs and improve energy security. The Southeast also has undeveloped onshore wind resources and vast offshore wind potential. In addition, solar power is becoming more competitive every day. The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy’s recent report, Yes We Can: Southern Solutions for a National Renewable Energy Standard, makes clear that the Southeast can meet a national renewable energy standard of at least 15% by 2015, 20% by 2020, and 25% by 2025 using today’s technology and creating tomorrow’s jobs.

The tremendous growth in our nation’s renewable energy industry has already spread to Tennessee. The Volunteer State recently secured billion-dollar investments from two solar manufacturers, Wacker Chemie and Hemlock Semiconductor, and the state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development says that Tennessee could create an additional 45,000 green jobs. TVA has an important role to play in harnessing the region’s local energy resources and achieving national goals.

The “Yes We Can” report also includes the following information:

  • Today, renewable energy resources generate enough power to serve approximately 5% of retail electric sales in the Southeast.
  • Near-term renewable energy resources can generate more than 15% of forecast electricity demand by 2015. If utilized today, these resources would represent about 29% of today’s retail sales.
  • With energy efficiency improvements, renewable energy could meet 30% or more of the Southeast’s need for electric power.

SACE representatives will attend the TVA forum. For additional information about the report, or to learn more about the influence of a national RES to the TVA region, please contact Christina Honkonen, Communications Manager. # # #