The California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF) ran the first of a series of forums to outline a viable business model for U.S. renewable electricity in the 21st century Wednesday, bringing together leaders from utility, development, regulation, and financial institutions to define an actionable strategy for U.S. renewable electricity development by 2013.

During the four panels hosted at the forum – also organised by the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) – participants developed action plans to address the regulatory framework, customer relations models, emerging financing structures, and technological innovation necessary to integrate significant amounts of renewable onto the existing U.S. electricity grid.

US Power Grid

US Power Grid

“This is the first time top leaders from the utility and renewables industries have met to hammer out an executable plan to boost renewable energy integration nationwide,” said Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn, president of ACORE. “Everyone in the forum wants more renewables, but we may not all be aligned on how to get to that shared goal. This year’s forums aim to reach that alignment so utilities and renewable energy companies can strike forward most effectively.”

Panel participants and keynote speakers included Dan Arvizu, Director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL); Michael Howard, CEO of Electric Power Research Institute; Doyle Beneby, president and CEO of CPS Energy; Marshal Salant, head of Citigroup’s Alternative Energy Finance division; and Michael Peevey, president of California Public Utilities Commission.

“Industry collaboration and new financing mechanisms are the keys to the widespread deployment and integration of clean energy in America,” said Dan Adler, president of CalCEF and ACORE board member. “The leaders who participated in the forum spoke candidly about the issues slowing the growth of renewables, and it was heartening to see their perspectives steadily align over the course of the day. We anticipate much more of the same over the coming year’s forums.”

“America has the technology to dramatically increase the amount of renewable energy available to consumers, and system integration is a major component to meeting this challenge,” said Dan Arvizu, Director of NREL. We need the national will to make this happen.”

Source: CalCEF
Image Source: James Cape