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Renewable Energy Campaign
Second edition, July, 2008: West Virginia Citizens’ Energy Plan For Economic Opportunities and a Sustainable Future (pdf)
Campaign Goal: To diversify West Virginia’s energy portfolio from its current dependence on the harmful and costly consumption of fossil fuels toward the use of renewable energy sources and the development of new, economically sustainable businesses and jobs.
Background: For the last 150 years fossil fuels have controlled and driven our lives, but global energy needs are outpacing resources at a dramatic pace. In the immediate future – not ten years from now, not five – we will be faced with a life-altering energy crunch. Antiquated habits, like depending solely on fossil fuels, will require a major reevaluation in our thinking and how we live our everyday lives.
The recent energy crisis has raised the public’s awareness of the problem, as well as the opportunities. The time for an official commitment to renewable and alternative energy development has come. Many other states, such as Pennsylvania for example, have already embraced renewable energy as an important component of their state energy portfolios to the economic and environmental benefit of every citizen.
West Virginia should not miss out on the opportunity to benefit from the transition to renewable energy that is already underway.
A viable comprehensive energy plan for the State of West Virginia must include some or all of the following:
- “Net metering.” Over half of the states have net metering laws in place, allowing customers who generate their own electricity to be reimbursed at least in part for electricity provided back to the grid.
- A “Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard” for West Virginia, setting a target date for the state to achieve a certain percentage of energy generated from renewable energy would stimulate efforts to broaden and diversify our energy portfolio.
- Develop a comprehensive state energy policy that includes incentives for the use of renewable energy options and gives the consumer a choice.
- Embrace renewable energy strategies that will create economic development.
- Require true cost accounting of energy systems, to include health and environmental costs.
- Provide incentives to improve energy efficiency and conservation for all energy users.
- Establish one or more model communities for renewable energy and energy efficiency.
- State government should set the example. Every government building should become a “net energy producer,” through conservation and incorporating renewable energy technologies.
WVEC’s Renewable Energy Campaign is a work in progress. Please join us in our effort to insure West Virginia joins the transition to renewable energy.