In the 1990s, renewable energy advocates developed hundreds of renewable energy scenarios to overcome widespread public apathy regarding our excessive reliance on underpriced fossil fuels and the mistaken belief that efficiency and renewable energy sources were not ready to become significant factors in meeting our energy needs.
An early Shell Oil scenario calling for 20 percent of global electrical needs
being met by renewable energy sources by 2020 and 50 percent of global primary power needs by 2050 stimulated efforts to develop similar scenarios for national, state and local energy needs.
Our energy policy paper for Rockford follows in that spirit and incoporates information from multiple sources including personal conversations, government reports and a variety of other publications. It is written in the tradition of a policy paper, which acknowledges its principal resources at the end of the report.
The specific energy goals in the policy paper are not intended as absolutes but rather as a stimulant to the community and its leaders to rethink existing energy policies and practices and to give serious consideration to ways in which efficiency and renewable energy can improve the local economy and create local jobs while lessening the adverse impacts of our energy consumption on the health of its citizens and the local and global environments.
The following publications were the principal resources used in the development of the policy report:
Repowering the Midwest, a report on efficiency and renewable energy options for the midwest including Illinois, www.elpc.org/;
The Rock River Times, articles on renewable energy by various authors, www.rockrivertimes.com;
Toward A Sustainable Energy Future for Madison www.foremadison.org/renew%20report.htm; and
Transitioning to a Renewable Energy Future, International Solar Energy Society, www.ises.org.
From the July 20-26, 2005, issue