Seventeen US State Groups Join Renewable Effort

February 03, 2004 by Jeff Shepard

Seventeen public funds from 12 states will work together to promote renewables in the first effort of its kind in the United States. The new group, the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA, Montpelier, VT), will promote multi-state efforts to promote solar, wind, fuel cells and other clean energy investments. Joint initiatives can reduce the costs of individual state programs, while combining the power of many states for more effective strategies.

The group defines "clean energy" as energy production from solar, wind, hydro, biomass, ocean thermal, tidal and wave, geothermal, fuel cells, and related energy storage and conversion technologies. The members expect to have US$3.5 billion for their collective efforts over the next decade. Through CESA, the state funds have established several joint projects to build larger clean energy markets, including working with the solar industry on collaborative issues, multi-state public education campaigns, fuel cell and hydrogen programs, and developing monitoring and evaluation efforts.

"States see clean energy as a way to improve the environment, but also as a powerful economic development tool," said Lewis Milford of CESA. "By working together rather than going it alone, these states can build even bigger clean energy markets, spur technology innovation, create more jobs in 21st-century clean energy industries, and more quickly clean up the environment. They can do all that and save money by leveraging each other's funding."