This year's National Clean Energy Summit is held on Aug. 13, 2013.
National Clean Energy Summit
Influential leaders and top policymakers in the renewable energy field will gather next week in Las Vegas for the sixth annual National Clean Energy Summit. The theme of this year’s summit is Energizing Tomorrow – and will provide a venue for discussion on policy solutions needed as our country transitions to a 21st century clean energy economy.
Clean energy supporters at this year’s summit have a reason to be hopeful for the future. The event comes on the heels of a recent announcement that wind energy was the fastest growing source of American energy in 2012. Renewable energy also plays a leading role in President Obama’s action plan to address the climate crisis, with a goal of doubling renewable energy production over the next three years.
The Wilderness Society will be engaged at this year’s summit because of the important role that our public lands play in America’s clean energy future. We know that some of our country’s best wind and solar resources are found on public lands and believe that as development of these resources ramps up over the next few years, smart policies should be in place to ensure wind and solar projects are being built in the right places and impacts on land and wildlife are minimized and offset.
As the U.S. grows its renewable energy sector, it must be done in a forward thinking, responsible way that will protect our land and water for future generations. Guiding development of wind and solar to low-impact areas, including already disturbed places and land next to existing roads and infrastructure, will help avoid negative impacts on sensitive wild lands and wildlife habitat.
As we look to wind and solar to energize tomorrow, steps should also be taken to modernize clean energy development on public lands by putting in place a modern leasing system that pays back local communities and land impacted by development. The bi-partisan Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act provides an opportunity to do just that, directing money from wind and solar electricity produced back to states, counties, and a fund for conservation to adequately offset the impacts of development. A system like this is already in place for traditional forms of energy.
Smart renewable energy policies will help us combat climate change, boost local economies, and protect our land and water.
Follow us at the Clean Energy Summit this year on Aug. 13, 2013 – we’ll be live tweeting from our @WildernessNow twitter account.