A key initiative undertake by the 25x’25 Alliance in recent years is aimed at spotlighting and supporting rural electric cooperatives that are implementing distributed renewable energy generation and the business models that enable that generation. To help sustain the tremendous growth of distributed generation projects undertaken by co-ops, the Alliance’s Energy for Economic Growth (EEG) team focuses on the pilot projects that not only produce renewable energy, but also generate important ecosystem service benefits such as carbon sequestration and improvements in soil, water and air quality.
There are a number of factors that are driving a transition to low and no carbon energy alternatives, including a growing demand for energy, the declining cost of wind and solar power production in the face of variable costs of fossil fuels, changing customer needs and interests, changing political dynamics and an aging infrastructure. Rural electric cooperatives can help lead this transformation to a cheaper, more reliable and home-grown energy future. Co-ops generate some 11 percent of their power from renewable resources such as hydropower, wind, solar, biomass and geothermal. They have a core mission that is in alignment with efforts to provide energy alternatives. Rural electric operations are well suited to accept this new mission and become the new heroes of a changing energy future.
The EEG Initiative is exploring how new business models might be used to accelerate economic development and distributed renewable energy generation through rural electric utilities (REUs) and other power providers that serve rural communities. Its ultimate goal is to partner with REUs in developing and testing renewable energy incentive policies and programs and sharing these results with the REU community and their partners across the country.
For More Information
For more information on the 25x’25 Energy for Economic Growth Initiative,
contact [email protected]×25.org or 410-252-7079.