CRS NewSolutions


MAY 25, 2011 / SPRING 2011

Photo: "Spring Fair" by Rick Takagi, See the original here.

California Passes 33% Renewable Energy Mandate

From left: National Energy Secretary Steven Chu, CA Assemblymember Steven Bradford, State Senator Joe Simitian, and Assemblymembers Nancy Skinner, and Wesley Chesbro. Remaining: Flextronics Representative and CEO Sunpower Tom Werner. Credit: Karen Hansen Examiner.

On April 12, California's Governor signed into law the strongest renewable portfolio standard (RPS) in the country, 33% by 2020.

RPSs traditionally set the minimum percentage of renewable electricity utilities must provide to their customers, and this percentage is especially meaningful to CRS because we were the first to do an analysis of the 33% proposal showing that it could be achieved, in our 2005 report "Achieving A 33% Renewable Energy Target," prepared for the California Public Utilities Commission and co-authored by CRS Executive Director Jennifer Martin. The RPS, which applies not only to California's three investor-owned utilities (Pacific Gas and Electric, San Diego Gas and Electric, and Southern California Edison), but to all utilities and service providers, including the public utilities in Los Angeles and Sacramento.

The new RPS specifies that electricity must be generated in-state, and it allows renewable energy certificates and out of state generation up to a certain limit. Skeptics of the aggressive RPS have been less vocal than in 2002 when the State adopted a then-unheard-of 20 percent by 2010 goal, which was only narrowly missed (by .6 percent in the case of SCE Edison, and just over 2 percent by PG&E). With hundreds of megawatts of clean energy in contract in California, we're confident that California utilities can meet this new goal.

Lead Staff: Jane Valentino

Renewable Energy Markets 2011 Announced!
November 15–18, San Francisco, CA

This year's Renewable Energy Markets (REM) conference in San Francisco is the one conference you won't want to miss, whether you're new to the industry or a renewable energy veteran. Of course, if you're reading this right now, you're probably familiar with REM, but just in case you need a refresher, here are a few things you can expect at the biggest conference of the year aimed exclusively at environmental markets in the U.S.:

  • Learn about emerging renewable energy markets like electric vehicles, green buildings, and community voluntary renewable energy programs. We'll also have a panel on international markets and how clean energy is accounted for, tracked, and sold globally.
  • More attendees, more companies, more exhibitors. We've set aside a stellar exhibit space in the middle of the main floor, and are expecting this to be our biggest conference yet, with over 400 attendees from all corners of the country. Sponsoring the conference is an excellent way for your organization to show its industry leadership, Megawatt Sponsors and above get an exhibit space included. See Become a Sponsor and Become an Exhibitor.
  • San Francisco! Restaurants, great weather, farmer's markets on Saturday, cable cars in front of the hotel, craft beer and wine country, stunning views, Coit Tower, hills, Victorians, Golden Gate Park, ferries to Sausalito, biking across the bridge. Save your company some money and stay over the Saturday.

Visit the REM 2011 Site Now

Get on the REM 2011 email list:


What it is, where it is, how it works, and why it matters.

Join us for a webinar on June 22nd for an essential introduction to renewable energy in the U.S. It will cover the basics of how the U.S. electricity grid operates, and the expanding role of clean energy to our electricity portfolio. This hour-long webinar will also cover renewable energy terms and definitions, distribution of resource types like wind and solar, the basics of transmission and project financing, renewable energy certificates, utility opt-in green power programs, and tracking. We'll also cover the state of the renewable energy marketplace, including politics, players, and policies. If you're new to the clean energy landscape, you won't want to miss this easy-to-understand tutorial from the renewable energy experts at CRS.

    Title: Renewable Energy 101
    Who: CRS Staff
    When: June 22, 2011, at 12 pm PDT/ 3 pm EDT (1 hour)
    How: Register Now
    Cost: $25


Stakeholder Comment Period on the Green-e Climate Standard Closes Today

If you'd like to submit a comment on proposed updates to the Green-e Climate Standard, you must do so today, the last day of the 60-day stakeholder comment period. Please view Green-e Climate Standard v.2.0 Proposed Updates for proposed and potential changes on which CRS is seeking stakeholder comment and input. See the original March 25, 2011 announcement for instructions on how to comment.

Green EV

Green EV: Pairing electric vehicles with renewable energy

With plug-in electric vehicle (EV) sales taking off in the last couple years and many of the major automakers rolling out their own entries into the market, we think their success signals that consumers understand the EVs' main advantages—reduced dependence on oil, reduced pollution and greenhouse gases, and lower overall operating costs as gas becomes more expensive.

While EVs are certainly more environmentally friendly than their gas-powered brethren, because EVs charge from a electricity grid that is on average nearly 50 percent coal-powered, they cannot claim to be emissions-free. The goal of our Green EV program is to power every EV with clean, emissions-free renewable energy. Learn more by visiting the CRS Green EV Initiative.

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Earth Day Twitter Contest Winner @jaryre

Congratulations to @jaryre for winning our first ever Earth Day Twitter contest! Located in Malaysia, Twitter user @jaryre decided to plant mango trees for "reduce greenhouse gas emissions, clean pollution, secure soil in place & provide homes for biodiversity". We suspect they'll also enjoy the delicious tropical fruit. For winning the contest @jaryre receives a $10 iTunes gift certificate and kudos for using Earth Day as a day for personal action. Follow us at @greenemarktplc. Picture links: here and here.

Like Us

We Like You and Hope You Feel The Same Way
In case you haven't heard of the new internet sensation sweeping the nation known as "The Facebook," we invite you to ease into our small corner of it.

We promise nearly semi-daily updates with only the most relevant, factually correct, and ergonomically sound information we can find. You will not find a more CRS-specific Facebook page out there, we promise. All it takes is one quick push of the virtual button, and you can experience the rush of full-on social media with a clean-energy back. Go on, Neo. Take the blue pill.

Intern and Staff News

Brendan CookBrendan Cook
Green-e Marketplace Analyst

In May, Brendan joined the CRS team as an Analyst for Green-e Marketplace, providing organizations with tactics for renewable energy excellence. He received his Master of Science in Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management from the European Commission at Lund University in Sweden and a B.A. in Environmental Sciences and Policy at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Previously, Brendan has worked in the US, Europe and Asia finding sustainable solutions through renewable energy and the carbon market.

Mike PerryMike Perry
Green-e Energy Verification Associate

For the past two months Mike Perry has been a volunteer researcher for Green-e Energy helping out in preparation for the 2010 verification process, and will be joining CRS as a Green-e Energy Verification Associate in May. Prior to his time at CRS, Mike interned in the renewable energy field for local, state and international organizations. Mike received his M.A. in International Environmental Policy from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, where he focused on renewable energy and climate change policy.

Come Work With Us

You?Now Hiring: Green-e Energy Verification Associate
CRS and Green-e Energy are seeking two motivated individuals to serve as Verification Associates for the summer of 2011. This is a great opportunity to learn about renewable energy and the intricacies of the voluntary renewable energy market in which it is sold. The associates will work closely with Green-e Energy staff 30-35 hours a week and learn about each of the Green-e programs: Energy, Climate, and Marketplace.

Now Hiring: Events and Campaigns Coordinator
CRS is seeking part-time, temporary assistance with event planning and administrative activities. The Events and Campaigns Coordinator will assist with the annual Renewable Energy Markets conference and plan logistics for other CRS events, campaigns, and meetings. Ideal candidates will be able to work 30 hours per week mid-May through mid-December. There may be an opportunity to extend the position to be a permanent role after mid-December.

For the full description of these positions and to apply, see CRS Jobs.

Policy Update

New Renewable Electricity Standards, and Null Power Definitions in Washington

In his State of the Union address in January, President Obama announced the administration’s goal of adopting a federal Clean Energy Standard, with 80% of the nation’s electricity coming from clean energy sources by 2035. In March, Senator Bingaman and Senator Murkowski released a white paper soliciting comments on the design elements of a potential Clean Energy Standard. CRS submitted comments together with other advocates and stakeholders advising that a CES recognize the voluntary renewable energy market and not allow voluntary purchases to count towards a federal mandate. CRS also provided recommendations that existing and new state electricity standards should not be undermined by a federal mandate, that renewable energy should be preferred over other technologies, and that allowing the use and trading of RECs as a way of meeting compliance to a CES will reduce the overall costs of the program and help utilities meet their targets more easily. Read the full set of comments.

The Washington State Legislature introduced numerous bills over the past few months that attempted to redefine null power for the purposes of utility fuel source disclosure. These bills contained problematic language, which would have enabled double claiming in Washington State and severely impacted the clean energy industry in Washington. CRS submitted letters to the Legislature, urging them to consider the effects on the state’s thriving renewable energy market, and not allow utilities to label their null power as renewable energy. Fortunately, none of the problematic language passed and generators in Washington can continue to provide supply into Green-e Energy Certified products.

—Jane Valentino, Policy Strategist


Green-e News


Green-e ClimateAll materials for the reporting year 2010 Green-e Climate Verification Process have been distributed to participants and posted. Participants will submit their Verification Audit submissions on June 1st. Training sessions for participants and auditors were held in April, recorded, and posted on the Green-e Climate verification webpage.

We were very happy to meet many of you at the recent Navigating the American Carbon World (NACW) conference in Los Angeles in April, where Green-e Climate was featured as an exhibitor. We look forward to continuing conversations with those of you that stopped by the booth, and please contact us if we missed you there.

Green-e Climate continues to move forward with updates to the Code of Conduct and the Green-e Climate Standard. There is an open stakeholder comment period for proposed changes to the Green-e Climate Standard open through May 25th. You are strongly encouraged to review the proposed changes and requests for input and submit your comments. Please visit the Green-e Climate website for more information. The release of the updated Code of Conduct, originally scheduled for the end of April, has been postponed in order to resolve details pertaining to certain proposed requirements with certain participants. We hope to release the updated Code this Summer.

If you missed the Intro to Green-e Climate webinar on March 10th, or if you’d just like to learn more about the program, register now for the next Intro webinar on September 29th, with Green-e Climate Manager, Todd Jones. If you'd like more information about future Green-e Climate webinars, be sure to sign up for updates here. For the complete list of webinars offered by CRS this year, check out CRS Events. [Learn more about Green-e Climate]


Green-e Energy2010 Unaudited Sales Figures Are In. Based on unaudited data, sellers of Green-e Energy Certified renewable energy products made a total of 33.8 million MWh of certified sales in 2010. This is a 22% increase over 2009 sales overall, and represents a 27% increase in certified retail sales, to 23.7 million MWh retail. Audited data will be reported to Green-e Energy within the next month.

RFP Issued for Verification Software for 2011. On a related note, Green-e Energy is extremely excited to announce that it has issued a call for software developers to create an online annual verification submission and data aggregation system. Our Request for Proposals is now available on the Green-e Energy Verification page. If you have worked with any software developers on renewable energy-related databases or custom software solutions, please pass it along. We will hold an informational webinar on May 26, and proposals are due by June 17. This system is intended to be in place for verification of 2011 certified sales.

Biomass Standard Feedback. Over the summer, Green-e Energy will distribute a survey to solicit feedback on the biomass portion of the Green-e Energy National Standard. To sign up to receive the survey when it is released, please email energy [at] with the subject “Biomass Survey List”.

Last But Not Least, We’re Hiring! Green-e Energy is looking for summer Verification Associates to start by the end of the month. See the Job Announcements section of this newsletter and see the listing on the CRS Jobs page. In the near future we will be posting an opening for a Program Associate as well. [Learn more about Green-e Energy]


Green-e Marketplace

Posty CardsGreen-e Marketplace Featured Company: Posty Cards. Posty Cards manufactures personalized greeting cards and calendars for businesses and is a leader in their industry. Posty Cards purchases Green-e Energy Certified renewable energy to offset 100% of their total electricity use. In addition, their Sustainable Sentiments™ line of cards features designs that portray environmental awareness and their production facility is currently being upgraded to LEED Platinum standards for green buildings. To learn more about Posty Cards, visit their website. [Learn more about Green-e Marketplace]


Welcome New Board Members


Ellen Feeney
Vice President, Responsible Livelihood, WhiteWave Foods
Ellen joined WhiteWave Foods in 2004 and brings three decades of experience in marketing, PR, employee relations, investor relations and financial development as her deep involvement in corporate responsbility issues. Ellen was a board member of the BSR (Business for Social Responsibility) Colorado Network beginning in 1996 and a founding member of P3 Colorado (People, Planet, Profit) in 2000. In her current role as Vice-President of Responsible Livelihood for WhiteWave Foods, Ellen oversees the organization's sustainability efforts. Her responsibilities include environmental initiatives, community involvement efforts, non-profit alliances and VIA, WhiteWave's Values-In-Action Program to promote employee volunteerism.


Randall Swisher
Renewable Energy Advocate
Randall Swisher has been a renewable energy advocate since 1975. He served as Executive Director of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) from 1989 to 2009, when he retired from that position. Swisher also managed energy issues at two other national trade associations, served as a Congressional energy aide, taught energy policy at Georgetown University and served as the director of a university-based public interest research group.

CRS Resources

Green-e Resources

Welcome New Green-e Energy Participants

  • • Cincinnati Bell Energy
    • McKinney LFG, LLC
    • Public Service Company of Oklahoma

Welcome New Green-e Marketplace Participants

  • • Valley Fine Foods

Upcoming Events

  • Webinar: Understanding the Proposed FTC Green Guides: Marketing for Renewable Energy and Carbon Offsets
    Wednesday, June 8, at 10 a.m. PDT/ 1 pm EDT (1 hour). Join Robin Quarrier and Vote Solar in a free webinar on the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) proposed updates to the "Green Guides". Register Now.

  • Webinar: Renewable Energy 101
    Wednesday, June 22, at noon PST. This essential introduction to renewable energy in the U.S. covers the basics of how the U.S. electricity grid operates, and the expanding role of clean energy to our electricity portfolio.Learn more or register.

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