Oil Prices Have Greatest Impact on Renewables

John Davis

e32007.jpgA survey conducted at the recent University of Minnesota’s E3 2007 Conference: The Midwest’s Premier Energy, Economic and Environmental Conference says attendees believe oil prices will be the primary driver of sustainable energy development and commercialization in the Midwest.

The survey was conducted by Millenium Research, Inc. asking the opinions of the more than 400 experts, representing research, government, business, and nonprofit sectors, who attended the conference.

millenniumresearch.jpgForty percent of the attendees surveyed believe oil prices will be the primary driver of sustainable energy development and commercialization.

The survey shows that attendees were almost evenly split on two additional drivers: Government mandates (36 percent) and profitability of alternative/renewable energy production (35 percent). Rounding out the data, 29 percent believe government incentives and public demand for renewable energy sources will be the main driver.

Nearly one-quarter of attendees believe that cellulosic bio-fuels will be the next big development in sustainable energy, while an additional 16% believe that solar technology has the most potential. One in ten think sustainable energy will become more efficient to produce, and 8% believe that algae to energy has the most potential for reducing fossil fuel consumption.

The University of Minnesota’s Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment (IREE), a public/private partnership designed to promote sustainable energy in Minnesota, presented this year’s conference. IREE has supported 135 renewable energy projects since its inception in 2003.

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