That is nearly 60% more than the White House's FY'05 budget request ($374.8 million) and two-thirds more than the actual FY'04 budget ($357.5 million).

WASHINGTON DC -- In a letter delivered today, the Sustainable Energy Coalition called upon congressional appropriators to "substantially increase" federal support for the cross-section of renewable energy technologies.

Providing technology-by-technology recommendations, the 25 business and energy policy organizations proposed increasing the U.S. Department of Energy's renewable energy program budget to $598.5 million in Fiscal Year 2005 (FY05). That is nearly 60% more than the White House's FY'05 budget request ($374.8 million) and two-thirds more than the actual FY'04 budget ($357.5 million).

The letter, delivered to the chairmen and ranking members of the Energy & Water Subcommittees of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Appropriations, acknowledged "the pressures on the federal budget." However, the authors stressed that "renewable energy is growing and will continue to grow as alternatives become less plentiful and more expensive. On a percentage basis, solar and wind energy are the fastest growing sources of electricity worldwide. Geothermal, hydropower and biomass play an important role in our electricity mix today and will be even more important components of our generation in the future."

Moreover, "the technologies enabling this ongoing renewable energy revolution were developed in the United States. However, lukewarm domestic support for incentives and research means that market share, technical expertise and thousands of new, local jobs in this sector are increasingly moving overseas. This accelerating trend must be reversed."

The letter concluded that "each of the renewable energy technologies -- biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar and wind -- have the potential to contribute enormous amounts of new, domestic energy to our economy. It is time for Congress to put words into action, and fund the Department of Energy's renewable energy programs so they can achieve their full potential."

The complete text of the letter and specific technology budget recommendations along with the list of signing organizations follows.

The Sustainable Energy Coalition is a coalition of more than 80 national and state business, consumer, environmental, and energy policy organizations which collectively represent several thousand companies, community groups, and municipal utilities. Founded in 1992, the Sustainable Energy Coalition promotes increased use of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies.

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