Innovation and Inclusion in the Advanced Energy Economy

U.S. energy production is diversifying due to policy and market forces, while advanced metering infrastructure and distributed resources including rooftop solar, battery storage and electric vehicles are helping create a more dynamic and decentralized consumer marketplace. In 2016, the Advanced Energy Working Group will consider how these factors impact shared infrastructure such as the grid, how energy choices for customers and communities are changing, and how more Americans across the nation can benefit from advanced energy innovation.

2016 Subtopics

Utility Change and Consumer Choice

The relationship between provider and consumer is shifting to a more dynamic partnership. Attendees will discuss factors changing the utility business and develop Commitments to Action to align incentives and coordinate services for a favorable future.

America's Energy Divide

Some regions seek to maximize renewables while others maintain traditional reliance on fossil fuels. Meanwhile, many Americans struggle with energy costs. Attendees will develop tools and strategies to help all Americans participate in advanced energy.

Community-Based Approaches

Shared solar and microgrids are gaining momentum and communities are increasingly seeking solutions for cost management and resilience. Attendees will discuss various community approaches, consider best options for rural and tribal communities, and commit to community-based action.

Innovation and Investment

Evaluating risk and best opportunities for return in the transforming energy sector is challenging. Attendees will discuss and develop opportunities for U.S. investors to fund innovation, finance energy savings and production, and invest in technology and infrastructure.

Innovative Commitments

Solar Faith and Empowerment Initiative

Commitment by: The Solar Foundation
Commitment Partners: The Rainbow PUSH Coalition

In 2014, The Solar Foundation partnered with The Rainbow Push Coalition and committed to create an outreach initiative to accelerate adoption of solar energy technology by America’s houses of worship, with the goal of reaching three houses of worship in the first year and 10 the following year. By March 2015, The Solar Foundation secured a three-year, $1.2 million funding award from the U.S. Department of Energy to improve access to capital for houses of worship in cities across the country through property assessed clean energy financing.

Navajo Shinnecock Energy Poverty and Climate Resilience

Commitment by: GRID Alternatives
Commitment Partners: Enphase Energy; SunEdison

In 2015, GRID Alternatives committed to provide workforce training opportunities and implement solar installation projects on the Navajo and Shinnecock reservations in a culturally competent, sustainable, and economically feasible manner. GRID Alternatives will install or rehabilitate rooftop photovoltaic systems on homes on the Shinnecock Nation reservation and the Navajo Nation, and undertake three new installation projects. Additionally, GRID Alternatives will train 500 tribal members in the installation and maintenance of solar energy systems.

Community Solar for Community Action

Commitment by: Rural Renewable Energy Alliance (RREAL)
Commitment Partners: The McKnight Foundation; Initiative Foundation; MN Community Solar; Minnesota Department of Commerce; Izaak Walton League of America; Minnesota Community Action Partnership; Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs)

In 2015, RREAL and its partners committed to create Community Solar for Community Action, a new model of low-income energy assistance. RREAL will assemble stakeholders to deploy a community solar installation for low-income energy assistance in rural Minnesota. The demonstration project will be a 250-kilowatt community solar array that will serve up to 50 low-income families on energy assistance, and will be a nationally replicable model.

Empowering Five Post-Sandy Communities via Solar Energy

Commitment by: Global Green USA
Commitment Partners: City of New York; IKEA Group; National Grid; Parsons The New School for Design; Schmidt Family Foundation

In 2013, Global Green and its partners committed to install grid-tied solar energy systems with battery back-up capabilities at five community centers in neighborhoods impacted by Hurricane Sandy. A 10-kilowatt system, funded by IKEA, was completed at the Red Hook Recreation Center in late 2013. In August 2015, Global Green and National Grid committed to upgrades of five additional sites including Church of God Christian Academy in Far Rockaway, Queens and the Martin Luther King Center in Long Beach, Long Island.

Featured Past Participants

Cheniere Energy, Inc.
Distributed Sun
Enphase Energy
First Solar
GRID Alternatives
Intertribal Council on Utility Policy
National Grid
NRG Energy, Inc.
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)
Rocky Mountain Institute
State of Hawaii
San Diego Gas & Electric
United States Army
U.S. Department of Energy
Vestas Wind Systems