On November 2, the Biomass Power Association, the Geothermal Energy Association and the National Hydropower Association wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry, urging him to support a “pan-renewable technologies approach at COP-21.” At the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP-21) this December, negotiators will come together in hopes of finalizing a climate treaty that will aim to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. In the letter, the groups state the importance of these base-load renewable sources globally, and note that grid reliability remains critically important as nations reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
The U.S. Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), the plan submitted to the U.N. that details each country’s action plan under the treaty, is not prescriptive as far as renewable technologies. At the same time, there is the tendency to look towards wind and solar as favored renewable technologies by both Federal and state policy in the United States. In the letter, the groups react to recent White House initiatives that are focused mostly on wind and solar renewable technologies, including the recently released EPA Clean Power Plan, which aims for a 32 percent reduction in the power sector’s CO2 emissions by 2030.
According to the three organizations, hydropower is the number one source of renewable power in the five biggest renewable generating countries: China, United States, Brazil, Canada and Russia. Additionally, biomass is the leading renewable electricity source in Germany, and geothermal provides power in 24 countries and makes up 51 percent of Kenya’s produced electricity. In 2012, the three technologies together made up 86 percent of renewable generation globally.
According to the groups, “Hydropower, biomass power and geothermal power are … important contributors to avoiding fossil fuel emissions today and will be important contributors to meeting future climate goals.”
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