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Making U.S. Energy Policy FiT

Published on 23 Feb 2015  |   Written by 

Despite the rapid growth of renewable energy in the United States, pro-renewable policy support in the country is erratic. The industry is plagued by expiring tax credits, shifting policy landscapes, and delayed permits. This means that the renewable energy industry does not have a fighting chance to grow and impact the way we responsibly produce and consume energy. But there is a solution, and all we have to do is look across the pond to find it.

While the House hones in on its flagship energy issue for the new session, attention on the Keystone XL pipeline detracts from a number of other significant developments in our quest toward a more vibrant economy.

All it takes is some vegetable oils and animal fats to power a diesel engine. This may sound absurd, but it’s actually what ACORE member Imperium Renewables does every day. And that’s a good thing: biodiesel reduces greenhouse gasses by more than 50% over petroleum diesel. Plus, it’s much more price stable than notoriously variable fuel prices, and it puts Americans to work generating domestic energy. Even so, the industry faces challenges.

Washed up tilapia carcasses litter the pearly white shoreline. A carelessly placed sign reading “This Park is Closing Due to Budget Cuts” welcomes visitors to the Salton Sea State Recreation Area. It is the worst nightmare of every environmental agency. This is the state of affairs that the Salton Sea, a body of water stretching from Riverside to Imperial County, is faced with. In 2012, a rotten odor attributed to the decaying fish from the sea had people from southern California holding their breaths. Combined with rising salinity and falling water levels, the Salton Sea is confronted with its toxic fate: to drain out.

Even though the year-end numbers haven’t rolled in yet, there’s no question that 2014 was another banner year for renewable energy. Renewables made up nearly half of all electricity capacity added in the U.S. last year, and the American wind industry has over 13,000 megawatts currently under construction despite some seriously destructive policy uncertainty.

The demand for electricity in the Caribbean region is satisfied in vast majority with fossil sources (mainly diesel and secondary LNG fuel), which are imported from few countries nearby. The electricity is produced in a large majority by reciprocating engines stations and by LNG and coal power plants.

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