ACORE: Private investment, policies driving renewables


Renewable energy sources accounted for nearly half of all new domestic electrical generating capacity in 2012, making it the fastest growing energy segment. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar recognized the progress of renewable energy and called for renewed bi-partisan support at last week's American Council On Renewable Energy's (ACORE) National Renewable Energy Policy Forum.

Renewable energy is showing signs of approaching cost parity with traditional energy sources. For example, research shows that electricity produced from new onshore wind farms will be lower than new advanced or conventional coal plants by 2017, which should serve as an incentive to pursue state and federal policies that encourage continued renewable energy growth and innovation.

"Renewable energy plays a critical -- and ever expanding -- role in our nation's domestic energy production, an important part of the President's energy strategy," Salazar said in his keynote address. "The 34 renewable energy proposals for public lands approved under this Administration generate jobs and economic development while encouraging innovation and private investment in renewable energy sources. We need to continue these investments in coming years."

Recently, increased private sector investment and new federal and state policies for renewables have reduced costs, increased production, generated new jobs and spurred innovation.

"There has been more than $500 billion in private sector investment in renewable energy technology in the past two years," said ACORE Policy Forum co-chair Roger Ballentine. "At the same time, the cost of solar, wind and other renewable energy sources continues to decline."

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