25x'25 alliance progress report released

By Luke Geiver | May 31, 2010
Posted July 1, 2010, at 10:25 a.m. CST

The bold vision created by a renewable energy advocacy coalition calling for 25x'25 is becoming a reality. Formed in 2004, the alliance initially aimed at meeting 25 percent of the nation's energy needs with renewable energy by 2025. A new report titled, "Meeting the 25x'25 Goal: A Progress Report," shows that between 2004 and 2009, renewable energy produced in the U.S. increased by 23 percent. In May of 2009, 11.5 of all energy produced in the U.S. came from renewable sources, a record for the clean energy sector. Those numbers and the influence of the vision don't appear to be shrinking. "Our vision was written into the Energy Independence & Security Act of 2007 by the 109th Congress," the report stated. "Since then, our coalition has grown to include more than 900 organizations and dozens of governors."

"The 25x'25 progress report demonstrates the tremendous progress that has been made by the renewable fuel sector to create a cleaner, more energy independent nation," said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy. Citing a research study completed by The Pew Charitable Trusts, the report highlights significant progress for job growth. "Pew's research shows that between 1998 and 2007, clean energy economy jobs-a mix of white- and blue-collar positions-grew by 9.1 percent, while total jobs grew by only 3.7 percent," the report said.

The 2010 report summarizes the role several energy sources will play in the future including: biofuels, biodiesel, biogas, biopower, wind, solar, geothermal and hydro. In the bioenergy market, the report states that the market "has enormous growth potential both in the U.S. and around the world, but it is constrained by a number of factors." Policy constraints linked to tax extensions for both biodiesel and ethanol, the "blend wall," insufficient infrastructure and variances in biofuels blending all act as a hindrance to the industry, according to the report.

Also slowing the progress of bioenergy, are those seeking "'perfect' solutions to our climate and energy problems," the report states. "Clean, domestic fuels, like ethanol, can help break our nation's addiction to oil to help strengthen our national security, improve our environment and create U.S. jobs," Buis said. "Achieving the goals outlined by the 25x'25 coalition will help us secure a new energy future for our children and our grandchildren."

Along with bioenergy constraints, the 19-page document also highlights the benefits of renewable energy to economic growth, environmental improvement and energy efficiency. As for the path forward, the report said, "The bottom line is that significant progress has been made, but there is more to be done and major challenges to overcome."