Photo: "Summer Afternoon at Bondi Beach" by MikeV. This photo is a finalist in the Canon Australia "Keepers" competition in the category of "The Shot That Says it All." Vote for this photo here.
New Coalition Promotes Value of Voluntary Markets for Renewables
CRS is one of 50 founding members of the Voluntary Renewable Energy Coalition (VREC), a new grassroots effort to promote the importance of voluntary markets for renewable energy. Members of VREC include companies, nonprofits, school districts, power marketers and municipal agencies from across the U.S.
Members of VREC agree to three basic principles:
- Voluntary purchases play an important role in increasing the amount of renewable energy nationwide
- Reducing greenhouse gases is an important driver of customer decisions to purchase renewable energy products
- Policymakers at all levels should protect and preserve the voluntary renewable energy market and associated GHG reductions under legislation or regulations
"Over the past decade, voluntary markets for renewable energy have been the primary means for consumers, businesses and government agencies to act on their preference for clean power," said CRS executive director Arthur O'Donnell. "We look forward to VREC developing into a strong voice for these important voluntary markets."
At the federal level, VREC can build upon provisions of the proposed American Power Act (APA) from Senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman, which specifically cite the value of voluntary markets and state that Congress does not intend to harm these crucial markets as it pursues legislation to address climate change.
[For more information about VREC, please visit their site www.renewablemarketers.org/VREC.] Lead Staff: Arthur O'Donnell
Green-e Climate Endorses the
Climate Action Reserve
On June 22nd Green-e Climate, our carbon offset certification program, announced that it accepted the Climate Action Reserve to its list of Endorsed Programs. These programs are Green-e Climate–approved protocols that determine which carbon offset projects qualify to supply Green-e Climate Certified products. The Climate Action Reserve is a well-respected California-based nonprofit that develops protocols for greenhouse gas emission reduction projects in the U.S. and Mexico and issues carbon credits in the form of Climate Reserve Tonnes (CRTs). Climate Action Reserve project types eligible under Green-e Climate include methane destruction from landfills and livestock, among others. The Reserve was accepted into the program after a 60-day stakeholder-consultation period and a vote by the Green-e Governance Board in late May. [Read the June 22, 2010 press release]
Register Now 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
CALIFORNIA CLIMATE POLICY
The False Linkage Between AB 32 and Job Loss
California is not insulated from these challenging times for clean energy and climate policy. Evidence of this is ballot initiative Proposition 23 which qualified for the November 2010 ballot on June 22. The proposition has a not particularly poetic albeit very descriptive official title: "Suspends Air Pollution Control Laws Requiring Major Polluters to Report and Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions that Cause Global Warming Until Unemployment Drops Below Specified Level for Full Year." The proposition purports to suspend California's landmark Global Warming Solutions Act, Assembly Bill 32 (AB 32), until California's unemployment rate drops to 5.5 percent or less for four consecutive quarters. The reality is that the proposition would almost certainly delay AB 32's implementation for many years given the current economic situation and the fact that California has only achieved this benchmark three times since 1976. There is evidence Californians believe that continuing the state's leadership and clean energy policies offer the best chance for new opportunities and job growth. A recent Reuters poll (and original poll findings) shows that Democrats strongly favor the state's clean energy and environmental policies by a 68-21 percent margin and Independents favor these policies by 56–30 percent.
—Chris Busch, CRS Policy Director
Green-e Marketplace Launches re:print
Green-e Marketplace will be officially launching a brand new initiative, Green-e Marketplace re:print, this month. This program allows organizations to use the Green-e logo by sourcing both the printing and paper lines from companies that use 100% certified renewable electricity in their processes. The printing and paper industries are very energy intensive and Green-e Marketplace re:print represents a significant opportunity for print consumers to choose renewable energy as a specification for their printed pieces. Re:print expects to complement other certification programs popular in the printing industries like Forest Stewardship Council, Sustainable Forestry Initiative, and Ancient Forest Friendly, and we expect to announce our first users in the next few days. For more information on the program, visit www.green-e.org/reprint.
Buy Clean Energy 2010 Reaches a Milestone. The campaign has blown by the half-million mark in new kilowatt-hours purchased, with over 2.3 million kWh in combined new and existing purchases made to date. This represents the combined purchases of households and organizations across the country reducing their dependence on fossil fuel–generated electricity and turning instead to clean, renewable sources of electricity like wind, solar, small hydropower, and biomass. Thanks to all those who have participated for getting us closer to our ambitious goal for the year, and please help spread the word for the second half of the campaign!
Visit the site and sign the petition today at www.buycleanenergy.org.
Ride for Renewables
Tom Weis, president of Climate Crisis Solutions, an environmental consulting firm in Boulder, CO, is embarking on an incredible adventure this Fall to promote renewable energy development in the U.S., one that will lead him from Boulder to Washington, D.C. on an electric bicycle. Called Ride For Renewables, this ambitious 8–10 week trip will give Tom the opportunity to promote an online petition calling for 100% renewable energy by 2020. He'll be stopping at renewable energy facilities, polluting energy plants, and universities along the way to help focus attention on this aggressive goal. CRS is a proud supporter of his ride, which will begin September 1. Learn more about the ride and sign the petition at www.ClimateCrisisSolutions.com/bike.htm.
It is with great sadness that we report a tragic loss to the renewable energy community. CRS alumnus Ray Dracker died in a sea kayaking accident on June 25th while on vacation with his family in North Carolina. After a career in renewables including working with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Ray began working with CRS in 2001, and led the development of our technical assistance business line. He managed CRS's multimillion-dollar Public Renewables Partnership program and was our go-to guy for all technical and engineering questions. After leaving CRS, he joined Solar Millennium in Berkeley, CA, where he was senior vice president of development. Ray was a inspiring colleague and friend and his loss is deeply felt by CRS, CRS alumni, and the larger renewables community. He is survived by his wife and three children. [Read the June 27, 2010 article from the Marin Independent Journal]
My Gulf Action
CRS is a proud supporter of MyGulfAction.com, a free online platform developed in response to the Gulf disaster that helps individuals understand how their personal energy use is connected to our nation's demand for oil and other fossil fuels. The site shows how to reduce energy consumption and all reductions are aggregated together on the site until every drop spilled in the Gulf is offset. [Visit My Gulf Action]
Adept as she may be at plowing through spreadsheets and checking off the gazillion details that make up her job as CRS's director of accounting and human services, Dee Young's real life is spent astride her horse, Cody, on her ranch in Sonoma, CA. Every year she spends a few weeks at the V6 Ranch in Parkfield, CA at a seasonal cattle drive, helping gather and move cattle to different areas of the ranch for seasonal feeding. This year she got her picture taken, so we could all see what we were missing.
CRS adds its voice to the blogosphere. CRS has started a weekly blog, updated every Tuesday with a post by a staff member or guest blogger, with insider insights and examinations of environmental issues. Billed as "A weekly look at the intersection of environmental markets and policy," these regular dispatches, we hope, will be a regular stop on your virtual meanderings. Check it out at www.resource-solutions.org/blog.
Welcome New Green-e Governance Board Members
Anne Blair is the program director for Southern Alliance for Clean Energy's (SACE's) clean fuels and bioenergy programs. Her work focuses on reducing diesel emissions by promoting transportation electrification and the utilization of biomass for electricity and fuel production, with an emphasis on state and federal energy and global warming policy and education. Anne joined the SACE staff in 2003. Anne is a member of the Southeast Diesel Collaborative Leadership Council, serves on the Steering Committee for the Pine 2 Energy Coalition, facilitates the Tennessee Diesel Working Group and is a graduate of the Environmental Leadership Institute. Anne is the lead author of "A Safer Ride to School: How to Clean Up School Buses and Protect Our Children's Health" and "A Case for the Healthy School Bus: Lessons from the Field." Anne previously worked for River Network in Washington, D.C., The Fund for Public Interest Research Group, and was an AmeriCorps volunteer with the National Park Service. She is a graduate of Randolph-Macon College in Lynchburg, VA.
Peter Miller is a Senior Scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) with over 25 years experience in energy and climate policy. At present, his work is focused on California energy policy, AB32 implementation, GHG emissions accounting and offsets. He is currently a boardmember of the Climate Action Reserve (CAR) and has served on the California Board for Energy Efficiency and on both Independent Review Panels evaluating the Public Interest Energy Research program at the California Energy Commission. Mr. Miller has degrees from Dartmouth College and Reed College. He is married to Anne Schonfield, has two children, and lives in Berkeley.
Clean Energy and Climate Policies Protect Consumers from Fossil Fuel Price Volatility
Policy Director Chris Busch has been feverishly working on a research report that analyzes the economic security benefits of California's clean energy and climate policies. The research quantifies the added energy costs that such policies, Assembly Bill 32 in particular, would avoid should oil and gasoline prices spike as they have done periodically in recent decades. The macroeconomic modeling of Assembly Bill 32 has not looked at this issue, instead relying on the Energy Information Agency's price forecasts that predict slow, smooth, steady price increases going forward. CRS has also weighed in on a number of regulatory proceedings related to a 33% Renewable Electricity Standard and cap-and-trade programs in California as well as the Western Climate Initiative. Check the CRS policy program documents page for all the details. From July 12 to 16, Chris will serve as an official participant on a U.S. Department of State mission to four Caribbean islands under the Department's Bureau of International Programs. He will speak on global warming impacts facing the region, and adaptive responses by government and the private sector.
—Chris Busch, Policy Director
Green-e Climate is finishing up annual verification activities for reporting year 2009. Preliminary numbers for 2009 Green-e Climate Certified sales indicate a substantial increase from 2008. This is especially exciting in the context of a dipping overall voluntary offset market in 2009, and also considering that 2009 was only the Program's second year of certified sales. Such marked growth indicates that the Program is gaining value among offset providers and purchasers. Look for the upcoming 2009 Green-e Verification Report for official numbers and more details.
Apart from the endorsement of the Climate Action Reserve (see the press release), project eligibility within Green-e Climate was also expanded by a recent change to the Green-e Climate Protocol for Renewable Energy, another Endorsed Program available to offset providers under Green-e Climate. The change extends eligibility to certain types of solid and liquid biomass facilities, previously not allowed, without relaxing the standard. Eligibility is limited to solid biomass projects that have already been certified by an Endorsed Program for a non-electricity generation component (e.g. steam), and that demonstrate no or negligible life-cycle impacts. The Protocol also limits eligibility to biomass that is surplus waste or byproduct of a commercial or industrial activity, and to a limited number of fuel types. The updated Protocol for Renewable Energy has been posted to the Green-e Climate website. [Learn more about Green-e Climate]
National Standard Update: Thank you to everyone that submitted comments during the recent review of the Green-e Energy National Standard. With your input and Green-e Governance discussion, the National Standard has been updated and will be released shortly, via press release and on the Green-e website. Most of the changes go into full effect one year from the date of announcement, giving the market time to adapt to the new rules.
Decertifications. Green-e Energy recently had to decertify two participating renewable energy sellers for failure to comply with program rules in 2010. Both Entark Global and Sustainable Power Corporation have been decertified, and no sales they made in 2010 are considered certified. If you are a customer of theirs that was promised Green-e Energy Certified renewable energy, please contact Green-e Energy at email@example.com.
2009 Verification Report. Verification materials for Reporting Year 2009 were due June 1, 2010, and staff members are currently processing submittals. We expect to release the annual Verification Report at Renewable Energy Markets 2010 in October in Portland, OR.
Stay tuned! Green-e Energy will be hosting a webinar for utilities in mid-August, on the topic of increasing participation in utility green pricing programs, presenting case studies from utilities and customers, as well as customer demand projections. [Learn more about Green-e Energy]
Green-e Marketplace Featured Company: Codero. Codero is building a better, greener web experience for its company and its customers. Seeking to match the company culture with the demands of its customers, Codero purchased Green-e Energy Certified renewable energy to power 100% of its operations. Codero recently worked with Green-e Marketplace to publish the second in a series of 2010 case studies. With three geographically separate locations, Codero explored all options before deciding on the most appropriate renewable energy product for them.
Read Codero's account of finding the right renewable energy product for its business in our recent case study. [Read more about Codero] [Learn more about Green-e Marketplace]
Meet the New Staff
Paul Burow / REM 2010 Conference Assistant
Paul joined CRS in June 2010 as a Conference Administrative Assistant and is working on the Renewable Energy Markets Conference 2010. He will be assisting with conference outreach, data management, and awards. Prior to joining CRS, Paul worked as a national field director at the Roosevelt Institute, a student think-tank based in Washington, D.C. Paul graduated from the University of California, Davis in 2007 with a B.A. in Economics and International Relations with a specialization in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning. Paul is also an avid alpine climber with a number of successful ascents on the most challenging mountain terrain California has to offer.
Ava Chung / Green-e Marketplace Intern
Ava joined the Center for Resource Solutions as an intern in June and will be assisting with Green-e Marketplace's Logo Use Guide and new Re:Print program. She has had diverse work experience internationally in Hong Kong and locally in San Francisco, which has given her invaluable exposure to different environments. Within the past few years, Ava has interned with CSR Asia (a consulting firm that specializes in corporate social responsibility) in Hong Kong, San Francisco's Department of the Environment, and Hargreaves Associates (a landscape architecture firm). Earlier this year, she received her undergraduate degree from Smith College. After gaining more work experience in the field of environmental sustainability, she hopes to enroll in an MBA program.
Matt McDonnell / CRS Intern
Matt joined the Center of Resource Solutions as an intern in May and assists in-house counsel with a variety of legal issues. He also assists with the Green-e Energy annual verification process. Matt is currently a full-time law student at the University of Arizona's James E. Rogers College of Law, where he is focusing on the intersection of business and environmental law. In addition, Matt is the Executive Editor and founding member of the Arizona Journal of Environmental Law & Policy—a paperless, interdisciplinary journal. Prior to law school, Matt worked in various aspects of the financial industry: first, as a Risk Analyst with Marsh and, later, as a Fund Accountant with Davis Selected Advisors. Matt's financial background coupled with his passion for environmental issues have proven valuable in his role with CRS.
CRS is proud to announce our partnership with EarthEra as the Host Sponsor of Renewable Energy Markets 2010, which will be held in Portland, Oregon from October 19-22. When organizations and consumers purchase EarthEra renewable energy and carbon offset products, the program directs all revenue to the EarthEra Renewable Energy Trust. The trust uses this revenue to build new renewable energy facilities in the U.S. with the goal of transitioning America towards a clean energy future. The trust acts as a lock-box for revenue from all EarthEra product and program sales. Overseen by an independent trustee and a panel of outside advisors, the Trust uses 100% of the funds it receives to build new renewable energy facilities. In June 2010, the Trust had $25 million committed from renewable energy and carbon offset sales to businesses and consumers nationwide. [Learn more about EarthEra]
Welcome New Green-e Energy Participants
Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation in the Caribbean
July 9–17, 2010. Barbados. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of International Information Programs. Chris Busch will speak on climate change impacts and adaptation strategies in the Caribbean.
- LSI Canada/US Energy Transactions Conference
August 23–24, 2010. Vancouver, BC. Sponsored by Law Seminars International. Arthur O'Donnell will present on "Who is Actually Buying What in the Western States?," and board member Peter Mostow will present on "Demand in the Western U.S. for Canadian Energy: The Potential Boost from State Renewable Portfolio Standards."
- Northwest & Intermountain Power Producers Coalition annual meeting
September 13, 2010. Alderbrook Resort, WA. Arthur O'Donnell will be the banquet speaker at the meeting, his topic will be "Ten Years After the Western Power Crisis."