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Conference to focus on renewable energy in U.S.

Registration is now open for Advancing Renewable Energy: An American Rural Renaissance, a national renewable energy conference that will be hosted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Energy Oct. 10-12 at America's Center in St. Louis, Mo.

The conference will focus on achieving goals outlined in President Bush's Advanced Energy Initiative, which seeks to change the way Americans power their cars, homes and businesses through the use of alternative energy sources.

“We must work together to keep America competitive by expanding sustainable, market-driven, domestic energy sources,” USDA Secretary Mike Johanns said. “The October conference will build upon the president's vision for overcoming our energy challenges and will create new opportunities in rural communities.”

Advancing Renewable Energy is designed to help create and strengthen partnerships and strategies necessary to accelerate commercialization of renewable energy industries and distribution systems, the crux of President Bush's AEI, USDA said in a press release.

The conference will focus discussions on biomass, wind and solar research and commercialization. USDA and DOE expect the conference to identify “critical pathways” and to make recommendations to help accelerate renewable energy technology development.

The conference also will examine incentives to help reduce risk for investors and developers in the marketplace and will review challenges of developing new distribution systems.

Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman said, “Never has reducing our dependence on foreign oil been a more pressing issue. We are hopeful this conference will identify major impediments and critical pathways to get more domestically grown, renewable energy sources out of the laboratory and into consumers' hands as soon as possible.”

Attendance is open to the public. Anyone involved with, or interested in, renewable energy is encouraged to attend, including transportation, large- and small-scale farmers, finance and investment officials, academia, and federal, state, government and elected officials.

All attendees must register for the conference, including press, who may attend without charge. For more information and to register for the conference, visit:

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