American Council on Renewable Energy

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American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), "a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Washington D.C., was founded in 2001 to bring together leading proponents and innovators in all facets of the renewable energy sector for the purpose of moving renewable energy into the mainstream of America’s economy." [1]


Accessed April 2009: [2]

Advisory Board

Accessed April 2009: [3]


Big Names Power Up New Renewable Energy Association (Source: New Technology Week), July 15, 2002:

What do C. Boyden Gray, big industry lobbyist and ex-aide to former President George Herbert Walker Bush, and Amory Lovins, alternative energy guru, agree on?

The need for a new, big-bucks trade association that can "bring renewable energy into the mainstream of America's economy and lifestyle" and otherwise spread the gospel about solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, biomass, biofuels, waste energy and hydrogen energy systems.

Gray and Lovins are among a host of heavy-hitters on the advisory board helping to put together the American Council for Renewable Energy (ACRE), which held a two-day organizing conference last week at a Washington, D.C., hotel.

Others key figures on the advisory board are Richard Truly, head of the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory; Hank Habicht, former deputy administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under the old Bush administration and now president of the Global Environment and Technology Foundation; Dan Reicher, former assistant DOE secretary for renewable energy in the Bill Clinton administration and now executive vice president of Northern Power Systems; R. James Woolsey, Jr., former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and now a partner in the law firm of Shea & Gardiner; and Bill McCalpin, executive vice president of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

Also backing ACRE are the existing lobbying groups for each type of renewable energy, such as the American Wind Energy Association, Solar Energy Industries Association, Geothermal Energy Association, National Hydropower Association and Renewable Fuels Association.

The broad-based support reflects ACRE's status as a so-called 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that will do no lobbying, but rather focus on communications and education programs aimed at promoting all forms of renewable energy with the general public as well as niche audiences.

"ACRE is not a lobbyist; the government is not the target of ACRE," Michael Eckhart, acting chairman of ACRE, said. "Our goal is better information about renewables and education. Our focus is on the end users and getting the technologies put into use."

Just as the nuclear, coal, natural gas, electric and other traditional energy industries have ad campaigns extolling the virtues of their technologies, ACRE is looking to build a $ 20 million bankroll to launch a high-profile campaign showing how individuals and businesses can benefit by using renewable energy.

"We're talking about changing the American mindset," said Eckhart, an executive with Solar International Management, Inc. "We want to overcome some of the stigmas and negative perceptions, such as high costs and questions on reliability left over from some of the older equipment" that is being supplanted by more efficient renewable energy technology.

More broadly, he said the advertising would seek to answer fundamental questions such as "How is (renewable energy) applicable to me? Is it applicable to my life and my business?" Answering those questions, Eckhart said, "is going to take years, if not decades of work."

A near-term goal for ACRE is to attract more private investment in renewable energy innovations. To that end, the group has focused early resources on wooing Wall Street-with apparent success.

A flock of financial and investment-oriented energy firms registered for ACRE's organizing conference, including Adams Harkness & Hill, Black Emerald Capital, Clean Energy Fund, Credit Suisse First Boston, Cinergy Ventures, Constellation Energy Group, EIF Group, Export-Import Bank of the United States, GE Capital, Global Environment Facility, Merrill Lynch, New Energy Capital, Nth Power Technologies, OPG Ventures, Perseus Capital, Pinnacle West Capital Corporation, Vencon Management, and Winslow Management.

"Through ACRE, the renewable energy companies will have greater access to the financial community," said Greg Kats, a principal with Capital-E and a member of ACRE's steering committee. "ACRE's organizing conference will be an excellent opportunity for companies to meet with these senior financiers from venture capital, corporate finance, project finance, asset-based finance, investment banking, and fund management."

Also scheduled to appear at the conference were David Garman, assistant DOE secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy; Dale Heydlauff, senior vice president for environmental affairs at American Electric Power; Gene Nemanich, director of ChevronTexaco's hydrogen programs; Terry Hudgens, chief executive officer for PacifiCorp Renewables; and Dan Lashof, deputy director of the Natural Resources Defense Council's climate center.



Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles


  1. History, American Council on Renewable Energy, accessed April 19, 2009.
  2. Directors, American Council on Renewable Energy, accessed April 19, 2009.
  3. Advisory Board, American Council on Renewable Energy, accessed April 19, 2009.