New Paper Explores Key Considerations in the Design of a Federal High-Penetration Renewable Energy Standard (RES)

New white paper from ACORE and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati on important benefits and key features to consider in crafting a federal high-penetration RES

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a new white paper  released today by the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, the organizations offer recommendations on how U.S. policymakers can most effectively design a federal high-penetration renewable energy standard (RES) that enhances grid reliability, creates American jobs, and increases American economic competitiveness globally.

“The renewable sector is booming already, but if we’re going to mitigate the harmful impacts of climate change, America needs to dramatically increase the pace of renewable energy deployment, and federal leadership will be key,” said ACORE President and CEO Gregory Wetstone. “A renewable energy standard is a proven, straightforward approach that can help America accelerate its transition to a renewable energy economy.”

The new white paper, Enacting a Federal High-Penetration Renewable Energy Standard: Building on Proposals to Date and Addressing Important Additional Considerations makes the case for a federal high-penetration RES that embraces the following key features:

  • Qualifying technologies should, at a minimum, include wind, solar, hydropower, ocean, tidal, hydrokinetic, and geothermal energy.
  • The required percentage of compliant electricity should be at least 50%, on a timeline consistent with climate commitments, recommendations from scientific experts, and other policy goals.
  • Alternative Compliance Payments (ACPs) and penalties should be sufficient to achieve RES objectives.
  • A federal high-penetration RES should build upon, and not preempt, successful state renewable energy standards.

The new report also addresses important additional issues for consideration when designing a comprehensive federal high-penetration RES, including:

  • Grid reliability and resilience
  • Stranded asset costs
  • The need for expanded transmission and energy storage technologies
  • The importance of a socioeconomically fair transition
  • Complementary policies, like carbon pricing and a technology-neutral tax credit.

“Ten states, more than 100 cities, and over 150 of America’s largest companies have already committed to transitioning to 100% emission-free electricity,” said Tim Cronin, an attorney with the energy and infrastructure practice at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. “The United States can bolster and build upon those commitments by enacting a federal standard for this inevitable transition that benefits energy consumers and ensures economic opportunity for communities, like those in my home state of West Virginia, that have powered America’s growth for generations.”

To read the new white paper, please visit:


About ACORE:
Founded in 2001, the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is the nation’s premier pan-renewable organization uniting finance, policy and technology to accelerate the transition to a renewable energy economy. For more information, please visit

Media Contact:
Alex Hobson
Vice President of Communications
American Council on Renewable Energy | 202.777.7584 (o) | 202.594.0706 (c)