Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

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Solar panels in Tennessee

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) is a non-profit, nonpartisan energy watchdog group based in the Southeastern United States (Mississippi, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama and Georgia).[1] SACE was originally organized under the name Tennessee Valley Energy Coalition (TVEC) in 1985. Since its inception, SACE has been a prominent leader in the region and advocate for energy reform with the goal of protecting and preserving the natural resources of the Southeast and ensuring their sustainable use.[2][3] Dr. Stephen A. Smith became executive director of SACE in 1993. Smith serves on the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Regional Energy Resource Council, which advises the TVA Board of Directors on energy resource activities in the Tennessee Valley region.

Since 1985 SACE/TVEC was active in preventing the construction of a number of nuclear plants in the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) area.[4] Its operations have since expanded to address a variety of issues relating to energy and the environment, such as electric coal generation practices, mountaintop removal, and climate change.[5] SACE has also been a strong advocate for the increased use of energy efficiency technologies to promote the more efficient and effective use of energy resources currently in use in the Southeastern United States.[6]

The Southeastern United States shows tremendous promise for renewable energy generation.[7] Recent developments indicate slow but steady movement toward realizing this potential. There are vast opportunities which offer clean, renewable energy like solar and wind. The South has been slower to adopt renewable energy technologies than many other parts of the country, thus prolonging dependence on high-risk energy sources. Advocacy by SACE and other environmental groups remains critical to build on current momentum and create a clean energy economy in the Southeast.

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy operates offices in Knoxville, TN; Asheville, NC; Atlanta, GA; Florida; South Carolina; Louisiana; and is represented on various state utility boards and energy committees. It continues to act as an advocate for clean energy in a variety of forums.[8]

In January 2009, Stephen Smith spoke to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works regarding the TVA coal ash sludge disaster in Kingston, Tennessee and urged the body to consider greater oversight and regulation of TVA policy and practices.[9] The incident has been termed by some as one of the largest industrial-environmental disasters in the history of the United States.[10]