ACORE 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.
Our membership has grown to several hundred companies, including renewable energy industry associations, utilities, end users, professional service firms, financial institutions, educational institutions, nonprofit groups and government agencies.
ACORE serves as a forum through which diverse parties work together on common interests. Our primary vehicle for sharing information is convening: we organize and hold five major annual conferences attended by hundreds of industry leaders. We also have established committees and working groups which meet regularly to work on specific industry issues. Since 2007, we have also organized and hosted monthly webinars on the legal issues faced by the industry. Additionally, ACORE serves to inform and keep our membership current on trends and opportunities.
On an annual basis, ACORE has convened conferences in New York, San Francisco and Washington to focus on the three major areas that shape and advance renewable energy innovation and development in America: Policy, Markets and Finance.
Focus on Finance : In 2004, REFF-Wall Street was created to assist in the scale-up of renewable energy by educating financiers and developers in the space on how to get renewable energy projects financed and built. We bring together the organizations interested in financing renewable energy companies and projects with those in the industry who are innovating or wishing to scale up their operations in this space. These conferences attract hundreds of participants over two days: speakers come from across the country and represent the leading venture capital firms, bankers, entrepreneurs, and senior financiers. The topics covered range from project finance, venture capital and public capital markets to technology-specific financing issues and innovative financing for renewable energy projects.
In 2008, we extended this historically east coast conference to the west coast by creating REFF-West, a two-day finance conference that covers issues specific to project developers and financiers in the fast growing renewable energy market in the western United States.
Additionally, in 2011, we produced the first REFF-Latin America and Caribbean (REFF-LAC) conference. This event focuses on developing and scaling renewable energy in the Americas.
Focus on Policy: Our annual Washington Conference, Phase II of Renewable Energy in America National Policy Forum, is held on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. The conference name derives from the sense that Phase I of renewable energy was the period between 1975-2000, centered on research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) programs. Phase II is where we are today commercializing and scaling renewable energy project and products for global consumption. Federal government policy and decision makers come to hear industry thought-leaders lay the groundwork for a renewable energy policy agenda.
Focus on Markets: ACORE developed collaborative partnerships with the U.S. government to co-produce a global meeting of over 8,600 officials, business executives and technical and industry professionals, known as WIREC. ACORE subsequently created the RETECH Conference and Exhibition as a successor to WIREC, with the goal of linking the renewable energy marketplace to the financing and policy elements.
ACORE has also established a US-China Program, the goals of which are to increase market understanding, and promote partnerships between the U.S. and Chinese renewable energy sectors. Additionally, much of our research has been centered on the identification of market opportunities for renewable energy, including the Kansas Study which was done under a grant from the Energy Foundation; the Joint Outlook on Renewable Energy, published in 2007 in conjunction with the various renewable energy trade associations; and our 50-State Report, which was first published in 2008, and updated in 2010 and 2011. This report is now being published on a digital platform and is updated yearly by our staff and interns.