The TVA Congressional Caucus, which helps oversee TVA, recently announced that it’s holding a forum on renewable energy in Knoxville on Thursday April 16, 2009. While most of the details about the event have been made clear, one big question remains: How will the Senators and Representatives that make up the TVA Congressional Caucus approach renewable energy at this forum?
Senator Alexander and Senator Corker from Tennessee, for example, both have important roles to play in supporting clean, renewable energy in Congress, and the Tennessee Valley Authority could be a living laboratory that drives innovation.
Tennessee is already beginning to experience the benefits of clean energy resources like efficiency and renewable energy. Two large solar manufacturers have just announced billion-dollar investments, and the state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development reports that Tennessee could gain 45,000 green jobs from renewable energy investments.
The potential is there, but the policies are not. A national renewable electricity standard that requires utilities to supply 25% of their electricity from renewable sources is one of the best ways to kick-start this development. Tennessee can meet this renewable energy goal with our bioenergy, solar and land-based wind resources.
It remains to be seen, but we hope the forum tomorrow will open up a constructive dialogue about developing our region’s strong renewable energy potential.