20 February 2008 — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) used the national forum at the Renewable Energy World Conference & Exhibition North America to make a major renewable energy address in which he called on the U.S. Congress to pass a Renewable Electricity Standard.
Under the proposed standard, a minimum requirement of renewable fuels would be set as a percentage of all energy consumption.
“This national Renewable Standard would encourage utilities to make real national investments in this new market opportunity,” Sen. Reid said.
Reid’s energy policy address was part of the Keynote Session at the fifth annual Renewable Energy World Conference & Expo (formerly POWER-GEN Renewable Energy & Fuels), which is being held in Las Vegas, Nev., February 19-21. Reid praised the conference, which is produced and owned by PennWell, as being important “to recognize the fiscal and moral imperatives that lie ahead.”
“Through the exchange of ideas comes innovation and progress,” Reid said. “The solutions and ideas coming from meetings just like this are extremely impressive.”
During his speech, Sen. Reid also called for long-term extensions of tax incentives for renewable energy. Incentives currently in place are set to expire unless renewed by Congress.
Reid’s speech also outlined other policy ideas and incentives to encourage energy efficiency and renewable energy.
He called for every American to be able to buy zero-emission, clean, renewable power at what he said should be a “fair and reasonable cost.”
He also said that every consumer who wants to generate renewable power at home or at his or her business should have that option. To facilitate achieving that goal, he said electricity providers should give homeowners the option of installing a net meter. Such devices measure either electricity withdrawn from the grid or delivered to the grid. Reid also called for national, uniform interconnection standards for homeowners and businesses with renewable energy generation.
Senator Reid also said that the federal government should set aside significant tracts of federal land that are environmentally appropriate for renewable energy production.
And he called for giving utilities a profit motive to invest in energy efficiency and renewables.
“Now, utility companies make more money the more power they sell. It’s time to incentivize efficiency,” he said.
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