American Council on Renewable Energy
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (July 2012)|
|Headquarters||Washington, D.C., United States|
Dennis V. McGinn, President & CEODan Reicher, Chair, Board of Directors
The American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) is a member-based, non-profit organization, founded in 2001 to bring together leading proponents and innovators from all facets of the renewable energy sector for the purpose of moving renewable energy into the mainstream of America's economy.
Established as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, ACORE does not lobby at the federal or state level. Instead, ACORE’s focus is to disseminate factual information about current renewable energy policy, market trends, and the numerous benefits of renewable energy and energy efficiency, without bias for specific technologies, to its members and the general public. In addition, ACORE convenes forums throughout the year on various topics in renewable energy to bring together leaders from its own membership base and from the wider network of professionals involved in the sector to collaborate on solutions to the industry’s challenges.
As of January 2013, ACORE has over 400 member organizations from across the wide range of interests in the community, including renewable energy industries, associations, utilities, end users, professional service firms, financial institutions and government agencies. In 2011, retired Vice Admiral Dennis V. McGinn was named President and CEO of ACORE. Under McGinn’s leadership, ACORE’s mission was updated to reflect the successes of the industry during ACORE’s first decade. The new mission statement became:
Building a secure and prosperous America with clean, renewable energy.
Categorized broadly, ACORE’s work covers two main functions:
- Convening forums and hosting other events to promote collaboration on renewable energy issues, and
- Acting as an educational platform for the sector, providing both original content and news and reports from outside sources.
Forums and Events
ACORE organizes four major events each year, as well as an ongoing teleconference series. These include:
- Phase II of Renewable Energy in America: ACORE's Phase II National Policy Conference offers a unique opportunity for government and industry leaders of the renewable energy community to convene and voice decisive policy recommendations "on the record."
- Renewable Energy Finance Forum- Wall Street: REFF-Wall Street is renowned throughout the industry as the meeting place for industry visionaries, financiers, investors, and renewable energy project developers to network, strike deals and drive forward the future of the industry.
- Renewable Energy Finance Forum - West: REFF-West is a new 2-day event which focuses on renewable technologies and financing in the Pacific Northwest.
- Renewable Energy Technology Conference and Exhibition (RETECH): RETECH offers industry leaders the ability to share their insights, strategies, technologies, new products and staff capabilities with their audiences.
- Renewable Energy Seminar and Teleconference Series: A monthly webinar series produced in collaboration with the American Bar Association which provides the opportunity to network and discuss renewable energy with lawyers, federal and state policy makers, and business experts.
In 2008, ACORE hosted the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference WIREC with the U.S. Department of State. WIREC was the largest business-to-business and business-to-government conference and exhibition ever held on all-renewable energy in the U.S. It was global in scope, hosting exhibitors, speakers and delegates from 126 countries.
ACORE produces its own educational content in the form of market reviews, white papers, contributions to its EnergyFactCheck website and more, while also serving its audience with aggregated external media from the renewable energy space. The following list expands on several of ACORE's educational projects.
- Energy Fact Check: In the summer of 2012, ACORE’s President, Vice Admiral McGinn, announced ACORE’s new communications strategy including the launch of a new website, Energy Fact Check, and @EnergyFactCheck on Twitter. The Energy Fact Check debunks myths and misinformation surrounding the renewable energy industry, providing citable facts about this growing segment of American businesses. As quoted by the Electric Drive Transportation Association(EDTA), McGinn stated, "Clean and renewable energy is popular, productive, growing and essential to America's economy, energy independence and national security [...] EnergyFactCheck.org and @EnergyFactCheck will help ensure that the facts about our industry are front and center." Some, like Zachary Shahan from Clean Technica, view the Energy Fact Check site as a long needed source of counter-arguments to the well-funded political attacks on renewable energy seen during the campaign season for the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election.
- There are twenty-one organizations that contribute content to ACORE's Energy Fact Check, including EDTA, American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), Advanced energy economy (AEE). The point of view presented by Energy Fact Check, given its contributors, is not to be taken as an unbiased portrayal of renewable energy, but a well-cited and well-researched “counterbalance to the power of the fossil fuels industry in shaping the debate.”
- Reports and Market Reviews: ACORE produces educational publications specific to hot button issues in the renewable energy field, some updated annually or quarterly and others as stand-alone reports. Many of ACORE’s resources are freely accesible to the public, while other, more specialized market reviews and reports are free for ACORE members and available for purchase to non-member readers. Several of ACORE's more recent educational publications are described below:
- Renewable Energy In The 50 States - ACORE’s report, Renewable Energy in America: Markets, Economic Development and Policy in the Fifty States, gives executive summaries of the existing renewable energy markets in each of the fifty states and prominent recent economic developments that have helped spur renewable energy growth in those states. For each state, the report gives an overview of current renewable installed capacity, the leading types of generation technology, and the various policy and incentive structures intended to help deploy renewable tech. As the solar finance company, SolSystems, described it, "The report provides macro-level analysis on large trends occurring within the renewable energy sector in America, but more importantly, the report provides in-depth, yet digestible, sector and policy oriented analysis of renewable energy markets." The report was most recently updated in 2012.
- Post-Election Swing State Poll - This 2012 poll surveyed voters in Colorado, Ohio, Virginia and Iowa – "swing states" that had a more critical role in deciding the presidential election result – to determine how much energy issues influenced voters about their candidate choices. The polls were conducted the day after the 2012 presidential election, and they confirm that energy played a role in the votes of those who were surveyed. "In Colorado, 66% of voters said energy impacted their votes. The other polled swing states saw similarly high numbers with 60% of Virginians affirming energy as impactful, 58% of Iowans, and 57% of Ohioans." Those who did vote with energy issues in mind ranked natural gas, solar and wind as energy sources they would like to see expanded in their home states. Furthermore, as reported by North American Wind Power, "majorities in all four states support continued government investment in clean energy (Iowa: 77%, Virginia: 76%, Ohio: 75%, Colorado: 72%) and requirements for utilities to increase the use of renewable energy (Iowa: 76%, Colorado: 70%, Virginia: 69%, Ohio: 67%)."
- U.S.-China Quarterly Market Review - The US-China Quarterly Market Review provides analysis on the renewable energy market, finance and policy developments as seen in the two major renewable energy hubs in the world – the U.S. and China – and also provides an update on collaboration between the two countries. Each edition of the report is compiled by ACORE’s US-China Program (USCP), but includes articles authored by various stakeholders and ACORE members from China and the U.S. The most recent report in this series is the 2012 Year-End Report, published in April, 2013.
- According to the ACORE-USCP website, articles included in this version cover topics such as:
- Leveraging China's demand into opportunities to finance, develop and commercialize renewable energy
- Latest U.S. renewable energy finance and market trends
- Strategic developments in Chinese solar and wind power policies
- Domestic preference requirements for PV under U.S. DoD contracts
- Balancing the intermittency of wind energy with natural gas in the U.S.
- Chinese solar PV and wind energy market trends in 2012
- According to the ACORE-USCP website, articles included in this version cover topics such as:
- The US-China Quarterly Market Review is intended as a resource for companies and individuals "seeking to navigate and succeed in the U.S. and China’s promising, yet complex, renewable energy markets. With expert contributions from leading firms in the U.S. and China, the QMR breaks down the array of activities in the field of renewable energy, with foresight on what is expected to happen in the midst of recent financial and regulatory uncertainties."
In 2012, ACORE created a new organizational structure for their educational programming and events schedule. Three focal initiatives were established to orient the organizations agenda toward primary targets in National Defense and Security, Transportation, and Power Generation and Infrastructure. These initiatives bring together sector expertise from ACORE’s membership and larger network to increase communication between key stakeholders in the three areas and to pursue important policy goals.
Three Focal Initiatives
National Defense - In partnership with the DoD, ACORE has launched a distinctive multi‐part initiative to examine the strategies and the technological and financial opportunities and challenges related to the expanded use of renewable energy in support of national defense. The initiative highlights innovative ways the purchasing power of DoD and the ingenuity of private sector industries and financiers can be used to lower costs and support the military's mission.
Transportation - The Initiative's primary objective is to provide a forum for discussion of the vision and strategy for tomorrow's renewable transportation sector, encompassing all technologies and principal constituencies: vehicle and equipment manufacturers, energy providers, technology developers, component suppliers, government agencies, cities and ports and end users. The Initiative is structured around several forums throughout the year that will bring together the major players in the industry to discuss specific developments in the field and ultimately will result in an overarching deliverable that will guide the Initiative into the coming year.
Power Generation and Infrastructure - This multi-part Initiative brings together leaders from the utility, business and investment, regulatory, public and non-profit sectors to explore the regulatory framework, the changing nature of customer relations, emerging financing structures, the advent of new technologies, and what this all means for business models for renewable energy electricity in the 21st century. The collaboration will: (1) examine the challenges, opportunities and appropriate strategies related to the expanded use and effective integration of renewable energy in the power generation sector; and (2) explore 21st century business models that will allow for this renewable energy scale up.
- American Wind Energy Association
- American Solar Energy Society
- Electric Power Research Institute
- Energy conservation
- Energy Information Administration
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory
- Renewable energy commercialization
- Solar power plants in the Mojave Desert
- Wind power in the United States
- About ACORE
- ACORE Member Directory
- ACORE Mission
- WIREC 2008 Description
- EDTA. Electric Drive Report: June 22
- Zachary Shahan. "Energy Fact Check." Clean Technica, July 2012
- About EnergyFactCheck
- Pete Danko. Clean Energy Fact Checking Website Launches EarthTechling, June 20, 2012.
- SolSystems. "Comprehensive ACORE Report on Renewable Energy in the 50 States," September 20, 2010.
- Advanced Energy Economy Ohio. "Voters in Swing States Support Advanced Energy: AEE Ohio and ACORE", Nov 9, 2012.
- North American Windpower Staff. "Renewable Energy Was Critical In Swing-State Voters' Choice For President, Poll Finds", Nov 13, 2012.
- ACORE US-China Program. "US-China Market Review" April, 2013.
- Commodities Now. "ACORE Report on Chinese and US Renewable Energy Markets" September, 2011.
- ACORE National Defense and Security
- ACORE Transportation
- ACORE Power Generation & Infrastructure