COP 21 is fast approaching and the U.S. will be in the spotlight for its efforts to reduce climate change impacts. In anticipation of the worldwide climate event, leaders of the U.S. biomass, geothermal and hydropower industries are urging Secretary of State John Kerry to support a “pan-renewable technologies approach”. The National Hydropower Association, Biomass Power Association and Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) said in the letter that today these technologies provide 86 percent of the world’s renewable power and this amount is anticipated to grow in the coming years.
“As baseload renewable power technologies, our industries are particularly critical to reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and we encourage Secretary Kerry to recognize the contributions our industries are making to fight climate change,” said Linda Church Ciocci, executive director of the National Hydropower Association.
The letter highlighted some of hydropower, biomass and geothermal benefits:
- Hydropower was the leading renewable power technology in each of the top five renewable electricity producing countries: China, U.S., Brazil, Canada and Russia.
- Biomass provides a significant percentage of renewable power around the world, and was the leading renewable electricity source in Germany in 2014, providing 10% of the country’s electricity.
- Geothermal provides power in 24 countries, including 51% of in-country power supply in Kenya, where these additions are credited with reducing consumer bills by over 30%.
Karl Gawell, GEA executive director, called on the Administration to increase its support of renewable electricity generation. “We are asking for a U.S. approach that recognizes hydropower, biomass power and geothermal power are also important contributors to avoiding fossil fuel emissions today and will be important contributors to meeting future climate goals.
The group stressed in the letter, “. . .[P]ower grids will continue to be a vital means for electricity delivery. Therefore, enhancing the grid and grid-connected technologies is important.
Bob Cleaves, president, Biomass Power Association, added, “Biomass power is recognized the world over for its many environmental and economic benefits. As a baseload power source, it’s an essential part of any renewable energy mix that uses low-value materials that often have no other use. Biomass will play an important role in reducing the use of fossil fuels.”