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

June 30, 2004

Western Governors Launch Clean Energy Initiative

Photo of a parabolic trough shows a long, trough-shaped mirror that focuses sunlight onto a tube

More parabolic troughs may sprout in the West if western governors follow through on an initiative to develop 1,000 megawatts of concentrating solar power.
Credit: Warren Gretz, NREL

Western governors agreed unanimously on June 22nd to explore opportunities to develop "a clean, secure and diversified energy system for the West and to capitalize on the region's immense energy resources." The energy resolution, adopted at the annual meeting of the Western Governors' Association (WGA), sets a preliminary goal of increasing the efficiency of energy use in the West by 20 percent by 2020, and also aims to develop 30,000 megawatts of clean energy in the West by 2015. "Clean energy," as defined in the resolution, includes renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass energy, but also includes clean coal technologies and advanced natural gas technologies. The resolution calls for a study of policies to facilitate wind energy development throughout the region, and notes that the governors have been evaluating an initiative to develop 1,000 megawatts of concentrating solar power in the West. To carry through on the resolution, the WGA will establish a Clean and Diversified Energy Working Group composed of regional stakeholders, with a steering committee comprised of representatives from governor's offices. The WGA represents the governors of 18 western states and of American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands. See the WGA press release and the full energy resolution (PDF 34 KB). Download Acrobat Reader.

A report issued by Western Resource Advocates (WRA) in late May found that the West could save at least $2 billion per year on electricity costs by 2020 if the region aggressively pursues energy efficiency while using renewable energy to supply 20 percent of the region's electricity. Such actions would also cut emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and carbon dioxide by more than 30 percent. See the WRA press release (PDF 18 KB) or go directly to the full report.