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As Nation Embraces 25x'25 Vision, Wind Has Role To Play

As Nation Embraces 25x'25 Vision, Wind Has Role To Play

Date: 1/17/2008

Source: Stacia Cudd, National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service

Audio with Allen Rider, Volunteer Leader of the 25x'25 Steering Committee (MP3 3.3 MB) Download Windows Media Player. Time: 00:03:31.

The energy bill signed into law by President Bush last month endorses what's known as the 25 by '25 vision — a goal to get 25 percent of this nation's energy from America's farms, forests, and ranches in a renewable format by the year 2025.

"That includes all types of energy such as ethanol, biodiesel, wind, solar, geothermal, other techniques of biomass conversion, and so forth. And so we see this as a very important part of the growth for this country from an economic standpoint, from a national security standpoint, and certainly has a positive benefit also on the environment."

That's Allen Rider, retired President of New Holland North America and volunteer leader of the 25x'25 Steering Committee. Rider notes wind is a particularly important source of renewable energy. He says it's a good, clean source of energy that can be used to supplement other energy sources used to generate electricity like coal and natural gas.

"As you look at the energy use in this country, two primary categories play a large role. One is transportation fuels and the other one is electrical energy for the power homes and businesses. And wind can be a formidable portion of that total energy package for the electricity side. And in fact, in the future may even provide more of the transportation type fuels as we get to electric cars. But it's an important part and logically has the potential to become 20 to 25% of the total energy package from the electrical standpoint."

As a result, Rider says wind energy is a vital part of achieving the ambitious 25x'25 goal. But he notes there are still a number of steps that must occur for that vision to become a reality. Rider points out the whole idea behind 25x'25 started with a group of volunteer farm leaders like himself. And today, more than 100 national organizations and 500 regional, state and local organizations have endorsed the 25x'25 vision. But to get the needed support for the required infrastructure to encourage the growth of renewable energy, Rider says it takes more than that.

"It will require support from the political process. There's just no question that we have to get our national leaders to understand the value of renewable energy. And we're making some strides on that. We have 27 current and past governors that have endorsed the concept, we've got a dozen state legislatures that have endorsed the concept of 25x'25 and I'm very pleased to report that both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives has passed a resolution to make 25x'25 a national goal."

Rider says it's also important for the general population to understand the value of renewable energy and what it can do for the country.

"The trade-offs associated with renewable energy are very positive for this country. And so we need to continue to make good and sure that people have the facts, they understand the facts and they can support the various activities that are going on. We've already seen millions and millions of dollars invested in renewable energy with people that have the foresight to believe that there's an opportunity and are pursuing those opportunities as we go down the road. Wind energy is one of those examples. We continue to see tremendous growth in the wind energy generation throughout the country."

In fact, 34 states now have installed wind power capacity of at least one megawatt. That's up from 13 states eight years ago. At the end of 1999, the country's wind power capacity was 25-hundred megawatts — today the installed wind power capacity tops 16-thousand megawatts.

This information was last updated on January 22, 2008