Renewables Gaining Ground, Without Congress' Help

Wind—along with other renewables—is poised to play a significant role in the U.S. energy mix, if Congress would only pass a national standard.

Renewable energy is almost tied with nuclear power in terms of U.S. energy production. The latest figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration's Monthly Energy Review finds that renewable energy sources—biofuels, biomass, geothermal, hydroelectric, solar and wind—provided 11.14% of domestic U.S. energy production during the first six months of 2010. Nuclear power provided 11.19%.

"When Congress resumes its debate on pending energy and climate legislation in the post-election lame-duck session, it would do well to take note of the clear trends in the nation's changing energy mix," said Ken Bossong, executive director of the SUN DAY Campaign, which promotes the use of renewable energy and serves as an information clearinghouse. "Renewable energy has proven itself to be a solid investment – growing rapidly and nipping at the heels of the stagnant nuclear power industry."

Clean energy has been bolstered by President Obama's stimulus bill, which dedicated $71 billion to clean energy funding, with another $20 billion for loan guarantees and tax incentives to support clean energy projects. But Congress has stalled in passing a climate-change bill that would include a comprehensive renewable energy standard, preventing renewables from taking a leading role in the U.S. energy mix. Congress" inaction means the U.S. is falling further behind the rest of the world in developing new renewable technology; and may lose some 1.9 million jobs over the next decade, many of them in the Midwest, according to an article on

SOURCES: FOX Illinois; Repower America