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APRIL 9, 2010 / SPRING 2010

 

Buy Clean Energy 2010. A yearlong campaign by CRS to promote renewable energy among consumers and businesses.

Buy Clean Energy 2010 is a yearlong campaign centered on the 40th anniversary of Earth Day that encourages individuals and businesses to promote the development of clean energy in the U.S. by switching to renewable electricity. Thousands of businesses and households nationwide are already taking this simple step to help drive investors and utilities to build clean energy generation, but the need to replace our fossil-fuel infrastructure is great, and we could be doing much more. A program of the nonprofit Center for Resource Solutions and Green-e, the website www.buycleanenergy.org provides three simple steps for consumers to learn how much electricity they use and ways to become more efficient, buy clean energy now and learn what programs are available to them in their area, and add their name to a growing roster of consumers who have purchased clean energy.

With a goal of one billion kilowatt-hours purchased through this campaign, Buy Clean Energy 2010 is an ambitious call to action for consumers and businesses to support clean, renewable energy for years to come. Join today at www.buycleanenergy.org.

 

Save the Date for Renewable Energy Markets 2010
October 19–22 in Portland, OR

Renewable Energy Markets 2010 will take place October 19–22 in Portland, Oregon. For 15 years, Renewable Energy Markets (REM) has defined and expanded marketplace opportunities for clean power. Bridging the interests of renewable energy generators, marketers, and utilities with those of purchasers, policymakers, and the communities that benefit from clean energy, REM is the nation's premier forum for the energy community to gather, learn from each other, and recognize best practices for promoting renewable energy.

Check out Renewable Energy Markets 2010

 


Intersection Sign

NEW REPORT
Guide to Purchasing Green Power: Renewable Electricity, Renewable Energy Certificates, and On-Site Renewable Generation

CRS staff have been working for over a year to revise an essential resource for potential purchasers of renewable energy. The Guide to Purchasing Green Power was originally written in 2004 as a collaboration between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), World Resources Institute (WRI), and Center for Resource Solutions (CRS) to help educate consumers on the voluntary renewable energy market and how to make an informed decision when purchasing renewable energy. Since then, the market has grown and evolved tremendously, leading the EPA in January 2009 to begin working on another revision. Through renewed collaboration between the four original organizations, the guide has been updated to reflect the current market, including new information on terminology, REC tracking systems, environmental claims, and power purchase agreements (PPAs) for on-site generators. This revised guide is an important tool for all those with a stake in the voluntary market. [Download the Report]

 



China Flag

A New Year for Chinese Energy Programs

CRS received a grant in February from the Regulatory Assistance Project to continue its long-running efforts to make renewable energy a significant component of China's national energy system. With the grant, CRS enters into its second decade of vital work on renewable and clean energy policies under the China Sustainable Energy Program (CSEP), an effort of the San Francisco–based Energy Foundation. CSEP works with key Chinese policymakers and research institutions on clean energy policies that will yield significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and CRS will assist in a number of ways, from conducting technical analysis to offering the policy support that has been crucial to renewable power penetration in the country. Recently, CRS consultants have also been tracking the development of clean energy–based carbon offset projects certified under global CDM mechanisms. Lead Staff: Arthur O'Donnell.

 



Mountain View Wind Farm

California Energy Commission Draft Report on RPS Compliance Issues Released in January

Thank you to everyone who submitted comments on the California Energy Commission Draft 2006 RPS Verification Report, regarding Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) Procurement. The Draft Report proposed a critical determination of great importance to the voluntary markets for renewable energy, specifically that Southern California Edison (SCE) should not be able to count RECs from the Mountain View wind project generated during 2004–2007 toward its RPS obligations.

Last spring, Green-e staff members Jennifer Martin, Alex Pennock, and Robin Quarrier traveled to Sacramento to speak before the California Energy Commission (CEC) on reasons why certain voluntary renewables should not be counted toward California's RPS. SCE, a utility subject to the California RPS, has been reporting to the CEC its purchases of electricity from the Mountain View I and II wind facilities in San Gorgonio Pass, CA, toward its RPS requirements since 2004. However, SCE's contracts are for electricity only, and explicitly leave all renewable attributes to the facilities' owner. The owner sold RECs to voluntary market participants starting in 2004, many of whom sold them in Green-e Energy Certified transactions.

The CEC staff recommended that SCE not be allowed to claim RECs generated during the 2004–2006 period from Mountain View I and II wind facilities, because they have been sold separately from the electricity embodied in the original power sales agreements. Allowing Edison's claim would severely disrupt the voluntary market, impacting financial agreements for over 1 million MWh of RECs among dozens of market participants and adversely affecting more than 71,000 residential and commercial customers of municipal utilities and REC marketers. View the full report. Appendix A is devoted to the Mountain View issue.

In February, CRS issued a Market Advisory to rally stakeholders in the voluntary market to submit comments on the Draft Report. Eight organizations, including CRS, submitted comments in support of the Draft Report. Only SCE voiced opposition to the CEC's Draft.

The next step is for the CEC to review the comments and submit a final 2006 RPS Verification Report to the CA Public Utilities Commission. The Commission will then decide whether to accept the CEC's recommendation. We will keep you updated as more information is made available. Thank you again for your participation on this critical issue. Lead Staff: Alex Pennock.

 


NEW REPORT
Climate Policy and Economic Growth in California

Understanding the economic impacts of managing greenhouse gas emissions has always been key to debates about the best way to tackle the challenge. The economic downturn has intensified interest in these questions, and in California it has provided new momentum to those seeking to roll back the state's landmark global warming law, Assembly Bill 32 (AB 32). Multiple competing economic studies have been conducted on the economic effects of AB 32, further confusing the debate. CRS sought to shed some light on the topic with our December 2009 report Climate Policy and Economic Growth in California: A Comparative Analysis of Different Economic Impact Projections by Policy Director Chris Busch.

The report demonstrates that while much of the focus has been on where the modeling results differ, those results are actually more similar than different. All the mainstream results forecast strong economic growth with AB 32 implementation. In every case the forecasted growth in jobs, gross state product, and household income dwarfs the very minor overall changes in these variables. Much of the debate has focused on whether or not the changes due to AB 32 implementation are positive or negative, but this largely stems from the incorrect assumption that the models are comprehensive cost-benefit analyses. In fact, they are mostly cost studies. Money saved through energy efficiency is the only benefit incorporated. One outlier modeling effort, which has been roundly rejected as unreliable and fatally flawed, ignores even this single benefit of climate action.

CRS's report has received substantial press coverage and attention from policymakers. California Air Resources Board (CARB) Chairman Mary Nichols has cited it in her public statements, and CARB has largely adopted the framing we developed in presenting the agency's new economic analysis, which has just been released. We are currently in the process of revising our report to reflect these new numbers.

 


Welcome New Board Members

In January CRS welcomed four new board members: Rick Counihan, Nathan E. Hanson, Elena Schmid and Blair Swezey. Board members guide CRS throughout the year and collaborate with the organization's staff in developing its programs. Rick Counihan is Vice President Regulatory Affairs, Western Region for EnerNOC, Inc. New CRS BoardNathan (Nate) E. Hanson is the Vice President of NextEra Energy Power Marketing. Elena Schmid is an independent consultant who provides technical assistance to renewable energy firms and other organizations which support increasing the supply of renewable energy. Blair Swezey is the Senior Director for Solar Markets and Public Policy at Applied Materials. [See the whole board list].



Office Depot

Green-e Marketplace Welcomes Office Depot. CRS is proud to announce that Office Depot has joined Green-e Marketplace and will be carrying the Green-e logo on its line of Office Depot Green 100% Recycled Envirocopy™ paper. Its paper will be sourced through fellow Green-e Marketplace participant, New Leaf Paper, and the certification demonstrates that 100% of the electricity used to manufacture the product is matched with Green-e Certified renewable energy. With Office Depot's strong leadership in the office-supply industry, businesses and individuals will now be able to source copy paper with a lower energy footprint. [Read more about Office Depot's environmental commitment] [Learn more about Green-e Marketplace]




 

WEBINAR: Supply Chain Carbon Mapping in Four Industries

Every supply chain has hidden carbon hot spots—greenhouse gas–intensive processes that can be easily overlooked. As much as 90% of a company's carbon impact occurs upstream in its supply chain. Correctly identifying hot spots is a key to transparency with stakeholders and visibility in managing a business. Supply-chain carbon mapping is a business-friendly solution for answering this question. Chris Erickson, CEO of Climate Earth, and Corinne Reich-Weiser, Director of Research, will explore carbon hot spots in the supply chains of multiple industry sectors.

When: Tuesday, April 20, at 11 am PDT/ 2 pm EDT (1 hour)

Register Now!


Policy Update


Challenging Times

With the health care debate over, Congress is able to return to climate and energy policy. Two different bipartisan approaches are being discussed in the U.S. Senate. Senators Collins and Cantwell have put forward a cap-and-dividend approach that would return 75% of the revenue from auctioning the tradable permits created under the proposed cap-and-trade system to the public. Senators Kerry, Graham, and Lieberman have proposed a hybrid approach that would combine a cap-and-trade program on the electricity sector with a carbon fee on transportation fuels. The level of this fee would be determined by the carbon price in the cap-and-trade portion of the program. The cap-and-trade program would possibly be expanded to other large industrial facilities in the future.

In California, proponents of climate policy are concerned about a proposed ballot measure that would delay implementation of the state's global warming law until unemployment falls to low levels rarely experienced in California in even the best economic times. The measure's proponents have until June to collect the citizen signatures necessary to qualify for ballot.

—Chris Busch, Policy Director

 

Green-e News

 

Green-e ClimateGreen-e Climate recently finished a 60-day stakeholder comment period on two potential actions. The first was including the Climate Action Reserve (CAR), a greenhouse gas project certifier, as an Endorsed Program. CAR has protocols for forestry, livestock, and landfill project types in the U.S. and Mexico. The second consideration for stakeholders was the possible inclusion of solid waste biomass in the Green-e Climate Protocol for Renewable Energy. Current rules only allow gaseous biomass, such as that from landfills and methane digesters, and not solid biomass commonly sourced from animal and agricultural waste. The Green-e Governance Board will be meeting soon to consider the received comments.

Certified offset sales up in 2009. Green-e Climate Certified sales in 2009 were over 168,000 metric tons, an 11% improvement over previous year's sales despite tough economic times and the worldwide downturn in the voluntary carbon market. Increasing demand for Green-e Climate certified offsets continues to be clear and sustained despite fluctuations in the overall market, giving sellers in Green-e Climate an advantage in the market. [Learn more about Green-e Climate]

 

Green-e EnergyThe (unaudited) numbers are in! This preliminary data gives us an estimate of the total number of Green-e Energy Certified transactions in 2009. Despite the economic downturn, total certified retail sales have increased over 10% from last year's 13 million MWh to a total of 14.5 million in 2009. Most residential customers continued their support of renewable energy with only a slight decrease (of 5%) in the number of residential customers compared to 2008, while the number of non-residential customers grew by 50%.

Thanks to all who submitted comments on the Green-e Energy National Standard. Based on comments received, another round of stakeholder feedback on updated language opened on April 1, 2010, and will close on May 14, 2010. To provide feedback, please take the survey. [Learn more about Green-e Energy]

 

Green-e Marketplace

 

 

Tom Arma StudiosGreen-e Marketplace Featured Company: Tom Arma Studio. Tom Arma Studio, a family owned and operated business, joined Green-e Marketplace in 2007 and has committed to match 100% of its operations and product manufacturing with Green-e Energy Certified renewable energy. The Arma family first signed up to a local utility green pricing program as a household and quickly decided to extend its purchase to its business operations. To demonstrate its commitment to purchase certified renewable energy and verify its claims through Green-e Marketplace, Tom Arma Studio displays the Green-e logo on product packaging, calendars, and its website. Tom Arma Studio recently worked with Green-e Marketplace to publish the first in a series of 2010 case studies, which can be downloaded from Green-e Marketplace Publications. [Read more about Tom Arma Studio] [Learn more about Green-e Marketplace]

 

Meet the New Staff

Daryl CapanzanaAllyson Johnson/CRS Intern
Allyson began interning in February and has been splitting her time between Green-e Energy and Green-e Marketplace. Her responsibilities include researching the international renewable energy certificates market, assisting with Green-e Marketplace projects, building an outreach database, and promoting the Buy Clean Energy 2010 campaign. This summer, she will focus on supporting the Green-e Energy annual verification process. Allyson's recent position at a public accounting firm and her auditing experience are proving valuable assets. Allyson graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2007 with a degree in Business Economics. She is planning on furthering her education this fall with a Masters in Environmental Management. Allyson enjoys spending her free time outdoors, either exploring the wonderful city of San Francisco or hiking one of the numerous trails in the Bay Area.

Funder Spotlight

SmartPower is supporting CRS's Buy Clean Energy 2010 campaign as a partner with a $5,000 Terawatt Sponsorship. SmartPower is the nation's leading non-profit marketing organization dedicated to promoting clean energy and energy efficiency. SmartPower was created by forward-thinking, private foundations and the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, who all believe that renewable energy solutions require the same consumer marketing approaches as traditional brands. "Market it like it's Coca-Cola" has been the charge. Consequently, SmartPower has become the nation's award-winning, nonprofit marketing organization on clean energy and energy efficiency. In under a decade, SmartPower has become known as the "Got Milk" organization for clean energy. [Learn more about SmartPower]

Buy Clean Energy 2010 is a yearlong campaign to spur individuals and organizations to buy clean energy. Nationwide, only 3% of our energy comes from clean sources like wind and solar, and only 2% of people sign up when it's offered by their utility. Buy clean energy today and then sign the roster of clean energy supporters. It's easy and just takes a minute. [Learn more about Buy Clean Energy 2010]

 

CRS Resources

Green-e Resources

Welcome New Green-e Energy Participants

  • • Indianapolis Power & Light Company
    • OneEnergy, Inc.

Welcome New Green-e Marketplace Participants

  • • Blue Horizon Solar
    • Darlington Raceway
    • New Resource Bank
    • Office Depot
    • Original Impressions
    • Town School for Boys
    • Xela Pack

Upcoming Events




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REM 2010

Buy Clean Energy 2010