The benefits of the Renewable Energy Environmental Research Act of 2009 (Sen. Mark Begich)



Renewable energy stands to provide thousands of American jobs and is the most rapidly growing U.S. energy sector. Our legislation recognizes the move to a clean energy economy by performing necessary research that will power green energy technologies and speed the growth of new jobs.  Increasing the use of renewable energy is dependent on baseline atmospheric and oceanic data.  From wave energy infrastructure to finding the right conditions to locate a wind turbine, alternative energy investments require accurate environmental data, such as wind speeds and tidal ranges.

Ocean renewable energy has tremendous promise in coastal states. One low technology ocean heat exchange system recently installed in the NOAA Fisheries Laboratory in Juneau, Alaska, wil reduce diesel heating fuel use by 80 percent, from 120,000 gallons to 25,000 gallons a year. Dramatic reductions such as this mean greater efficiency and more money for families and small businesses.

Our legislation would authorize $100 million for program implementation, with up to half this amount eligible to states and educational institutions to carry out renewable energy environmental research.

As we work as a nation to decrease our dependency on foreign oil, to encourage scientific advancement, technological innovation and create American jobs, the Renewable Energy Environmental Research Act of 2009 will be an important component in advancing our progress towards a healthy and sustainable economy and environment.