This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

June 09, 2004

World Governments Commit to Increase Renewable Energy Use

The International Conference for Renewable Energies, or "renewables 2004" for short, ended on June 4th with a declaration by 154 governments that renewable energy should supply an increasing portion of the world's energy needs. The conference, held in Bonn, Germany, was the largest ever meeting of government and private sector leaders on renewable energy, including more than 3,000 participants.

The conference produced an international action program that contains 165 individual commitments by governments, international agencies, and private groups to promote the use of renewable energy. DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) contributed four commitments: advancing the technologies necessary to build integrated biorefineries that will produce power, heat, fuels, and products from biomass; reducing the cost of geothermal power to 5 cents per kilowatt-hour by 2010; reducing the cost of solar photovoltaic power to 6 cents per kilowatt-hour by 2020; and reducing the unsubsidized cost of onshore and offshore wind power in areas with good wind resources to 3 cents and 5 cents per kilowatt-hour, respectively, by 2012. The United States also committed to establishing a production tax credit of 1.8 cents per kilowatt-hour for certain renewable energy power plants.

In addition, the World Bank committed to increase its renewable energy and energy efficiency lending by at least 20 percent annually over the next five years; China pledged to increase its use of wind, solar, biomass, and small hydropower generation to 60,000 megawatts (about 10 percent of its generating capacity) by 2010; and Germany announced plans to increase its use of renewable energy to 20 percent of its energy supply by 2020. Germany will also provide 500 million Euros (about $616 million) in low-interest loans over the next five years for renewable energy projects in developing countries.

A document called "Policy Recommendations for Renewable Energy" also came out of the conference. See the conference summary from the Worldwatch Institute, as well as the renewables 2004 press release and conference outcomes.