With companies rushing to Washington to seek financial assistance, renewable energy industry leaders called for front-loading President-elect Barack Obama\u2019s 10-year, $150 billion clean energy plan. They also urged November 13 a quick adjustment to recently renewed federal green energy tax credits in light of the sagging economy. \u201cThe renewable industries can really help turn around economic decline in America,\u201d said Karl Gawell, Geothermal Energy Association executive director. However, without quick action to promote investment the promise of green energy could go unrealized. \u201cThese are key high priorities we need to focus on,\u201d said Gawell. The geothermal executive joined with wind, solar, and hydropower industry leaders to call on Congress to quickly pass Obama\u2019s energy plan with a few adjustments. Specifically, they asked Congress to approve spending $30 billion of Obama\u2019s proposed $150 billion clean energy fund in the current fiscal year. The money is needed to \u201ckick start new projects,\u201d said Linda Church Ciocci, National Hydropower Association executive director. The front loading would spend a fifth of the proposed clean energy fund in year one, leaving $120 billion for the next nine years. In addition, they asked that Congress extend the renewable energy production tax for wind power and other renewable energy technologies to five years. Wind projects were given a one year extension earlier this year while other renewable technologies were extended two years. Solar investment tax credits, however, were given an eight-year life. They also advocated that lawmakers enhance the authority for the Clean Renewable Energy Bonds, which are tax exempt for certain renewable energy projects. \u201cThe current economic downturn in the economy has really limited their usefulness,\u201d said Rhone Resch, Solar Energy Industries Association president, of the tax incentives. In the wind industry, for instance, the one-year production tax credit has not created enough confidence on the part of turbine and blade manufacturers to expand their manufacturing operations, said Randall Swisher, American Wind Energy Association executive director. This has created bottlenecks for the equipment that wind power companies need to complete new projects. Swisher also backed a federal renewable portfolio standard, as outlined in Obama\u2019s energy plan. Under it, the power industry would have to meet a 10 percent green power target in 2012 and a 25 percent target in 2025. The renewable energy executive called for quick federal action to cut red tape for a proposed $60 billion green energy transmission network to move often remote wind, solar, and geothermal power to cities where it\u2019s needed. The executives further urged Congress to swiftly create a federal carbon cap-and-trade program. They also asked Obama to issue an executive order requiring the federal government to purchase more renewable energy. The federal government, noted Resch, spends almost $6 billion a year for power. The industry\u2019s call for federal assistance comes as solar energy company stocks have dropped dramatically and wind power project plans are being scaled back. Resch noted that just as solar panel manufacturers have opened new plants, demand has slackened, resulting in falling prices for photovoltaic systems. He predicted the industry will see mergers that eventually optimize production. The executives said the green investments would create millions of new jobs by continuing the renewable energy industries\u2019 recent growth trend, including a 45 percent increase in wind power over the past two years, with similar dramatic leaps going on in the solar and geothermal energy industries. Editors\u2019 note - For a more detailed version of this story, please see our sister publication E=MC2 \u2013 Energy Meets Climate Challenge. You can find it at www.energymeetsclimate.com.