Examining the Challenges and Opportunities Related to Greater Renewable Energy Generation in U.S. Power Markets
Renewable energy provides a rapidly increasing share of U.S. power generation. Renewable energy currently provides 16% of total U.S. power generation and will continue to grow as a share of our nation’s overall electricity portfolio. In 2014, 48% of all new electric generating capacity came from renewable energy. A combination of private sector ingenuity and investment, along with government policy, has driven significant cost reduction, technology improvement and industry scale.
A host of policy and market dynamics influence these trends including changing customer preferences, stringent environmental and regulatory standards, the aging of the central generation fleet, the need for the expansion and upgrade of transmission and distribution systems, and increasingly the number of corporate end users needing sustainable energy generation. In addition, technological innovations, regional differences in resource availability, emerging financing structures, and the electrification of our transportation sector outpace an uncertain policy outlook that presents challenges and opportunities to the power generation sector. Working together, ACORE members and partners will continue to explore solutions to these challenges via a program of coherent and structured activities and deliverables.
Objectives & Program
ACORE and members are focused on advancing the policy, finance, infrastructure and other market elements to increase renewable energy power generation in the U.S. and accelerate the business opportunity for this growing industry. Building on the considerable progress companies across the U.S. are making in employing a host of strategies to deploy renewable energy, this collaboration brings together leaders from manufacturing, developer, finance and investment, corporate, utility, regulatory, public and non-profit sectors to define a viable architecture for the scale up of renewable energy resources. 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; (2) explore 21st century business models that will allow for increased renewable energy scale; (3) examine emerging market opportunities, such as corporate purchasers; and importantly, (4) provide background on innovative financing structures and technological advances that will progress renewable deployment.
Convening of Industry Leaders and Stakeholders on Relevant Issues:
Executive Meeting: Corporate Renewable Energy Procurement – Co-located at the Retail Industry Leadership Association’s: Retail Sustainability Conference –
Major corporations and retailers are increasingly interested in procuring renewable power as a reliable and resilient hedge against rising electricity rates and an important part of their sustainability and stakeholder strategies. This is a very significant emerging business opportunity for the sector. ACORE will advance the unique policy perspectives and finance needs of this sector in support of this growing business opportunity.
September 15, 16 or 17, Austin, TX
Executive Meeting: Role of RE in SIP’s for 111(d) – Co-located at NARUC Annual Meeting –
Effective state implementation of EPA’s 111(d) requirements can help drive significant increases in renewable energy generation and help transform the nation’s power markets. Building on ACORE’s 111(d) Comments, ACORE will develop and engage state regulators on options to advance increasing levels of renewable energy generation.
November 8, 9 or 10, Austin, TX
A committee of renewable energy, utility and other sector leaders has been formed to bring to bear the experience, expertise, and perspectives across the sector, broaden and deepen initiative inputs and support consensus building. This committee is comprised of ACORE members and will engage in focused activities, including: market, technology, procurement and policy analysis; meetings; conferences; and communications.
Corporate End Users Working Group
Corporate energy procurement represents a largely untapped market for cost-competitive renewable energy contracts. The rapid adoption and cost-reduction of large-scale renewable energy development provides businesses the opportunity to diversify their resources, meet sustainability requirements, provide security, and significantly reduce cost in the near and long-term. Within the last decade, renewables such as wind and solar have become a sustainable and affordable option for commercial entities to meet their primary load needs. As a fairly new concept for companies to consider, sourcing of electrical power, the process of procuring offsite renewable energy, building on-site renewable generation, and financing their energy portfolio present relatively uncharted territory for many companies to navigate.
The working group aims to convene key stakeholders within the growing convergence of renewable energy and corporate end users, including: energy, finance and sustainability managers from a variety of corporations, utilities, renewable energy developers, financiers, policymakers and corporate insurers. The aim is to develop a means by which the renewable energy finance and procurement process become clarified and streamlined via the input of the most experienced and successful stakeholders.