In this space last month, we looked back with pride in highlighting the goals accomplished and the policy advances supported in 2015 as the 25x’25 Alliance pursues a clean energy future. Today, we devote this blog to a look forward and give our partners and all renewable energy stakeholders a view to our areas of focus in 2016.
In the biofuels arena, 25x’25 will continue its work to protect the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and support efforts to ensure that the biofuel blending requirements set by Congress when the RFS was reauthorized in 2007 are restored.
The alliance will continue to actively support the Ag-Auto-Ethanol (AAE) Work Group in its ongoing efforts to build the infrastructure needed to deliver mid-level ethanol blends – and higher octane ratings ‑ to consumers. We will help the coalition of auto manufacturers, ag groups, agribusinesses and ethanol groups in its efforts to secure meaningful federal credits for producing vehicles that will meet federal greenhouse gas emission-reduction levels and corporate average fuel economy standards beyond 2016.
25x’25 also will help the AAE work group develop and recommend fuel specifications and standards for a higher octane/lower carbon fuel that automobile manufacturers can design around for meeting EPA emission and fuel economy goals; and identify and recommend strategies for eliminating the regulatory barriers to the commercialization of high-octane/low-carbon fuels. And 25x’25 will assist the group in developing recommendations on ways new engine and vehicle technologies and designs can further accelerate the transition of transportation fuels to higher ethanol blends for use in the light duty fleet.
The role of biogenic carbon in a clean energy future in the United States must be assured, and to that end, 25x’25 will empower stakeholders to support the integration of sustainable bioenergy technologies and systems into state Clean Power Plans. EPA will be called upon to remove burdensome and unnecessary qualifications on “acceptable bioenergy feedstocks” in the new Clean Power Plan rules.
The alliance will continue its important work with rural electric cooperatives to incorporate renewable power resources into their portfolios. Through the Energy for Economic Growth initiative, 25x’25 will organize and host ‑ in partnership with rural electric co-op statewide associations ‑ roundtables spotlighting the ways renewable energy development can stimulate economic and community development, and the leadership that rural electric cooperatives are providing in developing and implementing renewable energy for economic growth programs and projects.
The alliance will continue to provide technical assistance in helping rural electric cooperatives custom design and pilot renewable energy business and community engagement models for diverse technologies and resources; provide expertise in reviewing the results of the pilot projects; and develop and disseminate case study results.
A critical element in pursuing the 25x’25 goal is the alliance’s state and grassroots work, in which we reconnect, engage and support 25x’25 partners to strengthen support for state renewable energy objectives and related/collateral natural resource conservation goals. We will continue to build collaborations to communicate the value and multiple benefits of clean energy policies ‑ renewable energy standards, renewable fuel standards, net energy metering and financial incentives, among others ‑ to rural areas.
Our work includes educating stakeholders on current technologies, research, policies and projects through face-to-face connections and multiple social media pathways. We will coordinate actions and events that mobilize partners throughout the clean energy value-chain and promote and showcase leadership in advancing renewable energy objectives and natural resource conservation goals. Among our specific state-level actions is supporting the implementation of energy efficiency and net metering programs in Mississippi.
And we will remain a highly credible, reliable and respected source of unbiased information for renewable energy champions, policy makers, the media and other seeking facts and data, using 25x’25 communication outreach assets like the Weekly REsource, public statements, weekly blogs, press releases, opinion pieces, op-eds, social media, webinars and video. Other materials and tools will be prepared to provide partners with the facts and other information necessary to obtain objectives.
It should be noted that none of these ambitious goals would be within our reach without the commitment from our nearly 1,000 partner organizations across the country, and the financial support from our generous funding partners. The 25x’25 Alliance is a widespread coalition with an intense focus on advancing renewable energy that can boost our economy, particularly in rural America, enhance our national security through the production of homegrown energy, and improve of our environment by promoting cleaner energy that protects our air, soil and water quality. We believe 2016 will be a productive and increasingly renewable year.