Analysis shows steady progress toward 25x'25 renewable energy goal

By Agri-Pulse Staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

Washington, June 30 – Renewable energy produced in the United States between 2004 and 2009 grew by about 23 percent, according to a report issued Wednesday by the leaders of the 25x'25 Alliance. “Meeting the 25x'25 Goal: A Progress Report,” is a 32-page analysis that details the advances made by the renewable energy sector since the Alliance was formed in 2004 toward meeting 25 percent of the nation's energy needs with renewable resources from the land by 2025.

The report's findings come from the leading renewable energy sector groups in the country and government agencies such as DOE's Energy Information Administration. Other conclusions from the report show that:

  • U.S. renewable energy consumption at the end of 2009 was 8.3 percent of total energy consumption, up from less than 6 percent in 2004.

  • Ethanol production tripled in the last 5 years with 10.8 billion gallons produced in 2009, while biodiesel production climbed in 2008 to almost 700 million gallons.

  • Biomass power generates 15 million megawatt hours of electricity annually on and off the grid, while biogas recovery systems produced 374 million kilowatt-hours of useable energy in 2009.

  • The electricity generating capacity from wind facilities has grown an astonishing 429 percent since 2004, with total generating capacity now over 35,000 megawatts.

  • Solar production capacity for both thermal and electricity generation has grown 41 percent since 2004. Some 40 megawatts of solar energy were installed off the grid in 2009.

  • Geothermal production capacity has increased 7 percent since 2004 with 3000 megawatts of currently installed capacity from 77 power plants. With 152 projects in development, there is potential for up to 100,000 megawatts being online by 2025.

  • Hydroelectric power has remained constant since 2004, but with facility upgrades and dam retrofits, could increase as much 23,000 MW by 2025.

  • And energy efficiency, which is the option of first choice in a 25x'25 renewable energy future, has met 75 percent of the United States' new demand for energy since 1970 through increasing the efficiency of buildings, machinery and appliances.

The report emphasizes that while much has been accomplished, the need to make the transition to a new energy future is even more vital now than it was when the vision was adopted in 2004. “We will continue to forge a path to a cleaner, more secure and economically viable new energy future - one defined by ever-increasing amounts of domestically produced, renewable forms of energy,” said Read Smith, co-chairman of the National 25x'25 Steering Committee, in a press conference Wednesday.

The coalition has grown from a roomful of advocates to include nearly 1,000 partner organizations, and the 25x'25 Vision has received the endorsement of dozens of governors and a multitude of state legislatures. A key achievement in the growth of the movement towards a 25x'25 clean energy future was the congressional adoption of the 25x'25 Vision as part of the wide-ranging Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

“I can proudly say that a grassroots movement that started with a handful of committed people in 2004 has facilitated the discussion and provided the education to policy makers who shape the laws and rules that define the energy landscape,” Smith said. “Policy, research and technological initiatives promoted by the 25x'25 Alliance serve our nation by boosting our economy, enhancing our national security and improving our environment.”

Fellow Steering Committee co-chairman Bill Richards said, “While adding new revenues to rural communities, reducing our dependence on foreign oil from unstable regimes and reducing emissions and other forms of pollution from conventional energy sources, the 25x'25 Vision also creates new opportunities for farmers, ranchers and foresters.”

To read the 25x'25 “Meeting the 25x'25 Goal: A Progress Report,” go to:

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