Knoxville, Tenn. (April 16, 2009) – During today’s TVA Caucus forum on renewable electricity Sen. Lamar Alexander left out wind energy and bioenergy witnesses from the discussion panel, grossly misinterpreting the availability of renewable electricity resources in the Southeast.
“It’s unfortunate that the senator is not engaging in a thoughtful policy debate that should include representatives from two of the main workhorse renewable electricity sources, wind and bioenergy,” said Stephen A. Smith, executive director for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. “Wind energy is one of the fastest growing energy resource in the world, and bioenergy is a plentiful resource here in the Southeast.”
To further discredit wind energy, Sen. Alexander used a fictitious scenario involving 500-foot turbines stretching from Chattanooga, Tenn. to Bristol, Tenn., which has never been proposed by wind developers.
In doubting the clean energy future that could provide jobs and enhance economic security for the region, Sen. Alexander stated that TVA could only possibly meet 10 percent renewable electricity production by 2010. The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy report, Yes We Can: Southern Solutions for a National Renewable Energy Standard, shows that the Southeast could meet a renewable electricity standard of at least 15 percent by 2015, 20 percent by 2020, and 25 percent by 2025 with today’s technology. This report is available at www.cleanenergy.org.
“We are disappointed that Senator Alexander missed an opportunity to help Tennessee capture opportunities to support renewable energy jobs that can sustain a clean energy future,” Smith said. # # #  National Renewable Energy Laboratory, http://www.nrel.gov/wind/