#290. Our Energy Future

Posted on | The Agurban

We try to stay on top of new information in the renewable energy sector, as we believe this is, and will continue to be, a vital piece of the economic picture as our country moves forward in recovery. Following is a portion of a press release by the 25 x ’25 Alliance, a group promoting the advancement of renewable energies.
Our Energy Future
25x’25 is a renewable energy initiative backed by organizations and individuals united by a common interest in making America’s energy future more secure, affordable and environmentally sustainable. Their goal for America is to get 25 percent of our energy from renewable resources like wind, solar, and bio-fuels by the year 2025. Through the 25x’25 Alliance, partners are working together to advance renewable energy solutions from our nation’s farms, ranches and other working lands. 25x’25 is supported by the Energy Future Coalition and is led by a committee composed of volunteer leaders from the agricultural, forestry and renewable energy communities. 
The Alliance’s most recent release, 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. 
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.
For more information, visit the 25x’25 Web site at