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Call for Abstracts

If you are interested in submitting a proposal for a panel or an individual presentation, please review the Call for Abstracts (below) for guidelines and to submit. In order to maximize useful information and informed exchange, we'd like presentations to be 10 to 12 minutes, and feature new data or ideas, considered exposition of important issues, and perhaps most importantly, insights into where renewable energy markets are headed. At the discretion of the Planning Committee, some sessions may be conducted in a group discussion format rather than presentation-style.

Abstracts were due Monday, June 30, 2014 at 5:00 pm PT. (However late submissions are currently still being considered)

Organizations Using Renewable Energy

What renewable energy buyers and users need and how they obtain it. Case studies of internal/external messaging and how to communicate your environmental commitment to customers of your products and services.

  • Communicating Sustainability: Renewables and Offsets
    How do you communicate your on-site or renewable energy purchase?  How do you also communicate about carbon offsets purchases and differentiate?  To whom are you communicating? Panelists will discuss learning experiences and the importance of internal and external engagement at your organization. 
  • Tiered Purchasing
    Gauge the impact of your purchase: On-site vs RECs vs bundled electricity products.  Which is best for your organization? How do you craft an effective RFP or PPA?  Also discussed will be REC swapping, claims issues.  Virtual PPAs.
  • Supply Chain Issues and Opportunities
    Explore renewable energy throughout your supply chain and hear examples of programs addressing overseas operations, electric transportation, printing/paper and other topics.
  • Global Purchasing and Sustainability Goals
    What are best practices in purchasing Renewable energy outside the US and Canada? What are the different instruments, GHG claims, challenges and opportunities?  How can you use RE to meet your sustainability goals?  Using examples from GHG accounting, sustainable purchasing council, LEED and others.
  • Emerging Leaders in Renewable Energy
    Hear perspectives from new major buyers of renewable energy, including greening the sports industry, federal departments, Data Centers and Technology.
  • Fundamentals of Power Purchase Agreements
    An introduction to PPAs for companies and institutions.  How to write a PPA and manage the process for your organization.
  • Simple Renewable Energy Procurement
    Join our panel of experts to discuss ways to streamline contracts, incentives, marketing and permitting processes to keep current participants in the market and encourage hesitant ones.

Project Development

The role of renewable energy project development in the voluntary market: opportunities and strategies.

  • Elevating the Role of RECs in Project Development
    How much do RECs currently assist projects in being financed or moving a project forward?  This panel will look to frame the importance of the voluntary REC market to project financing and suggest ways to enhance the value of RECs through product or market design.
  • Viability of Direct Purchasing
    Large companies have begun to evaluate opportunities for sourcing directly from renewable energy generators with long term PPAs.  This panel will provide first-hand examples from both purchasers and suppliers on the benefits and challenges of this procurement option.
  • New Financing Strategies
    The tools available for financing renewable energy projects have markedly grown over the last few years.  This panel will look to summarize and evaluate the opportunities for employing options such as PACE, crowdfunding, liens, REITs, community choice or municipal aggregation and bonds.
  • Community Solar
    Community solar products and options have gained traction over the last few years.  This panel will focus on success stories, financing issues, implementing programs in deregulated energy markets, claims, marketing, and innovations in community solar.

Marketing Renewable Energy

New information about market trends, customer perceptions of clean energy, sustainability and climate change strategies. Best practices for marketing and messaging to increase sales.

  • Advancing Your Product through Unique Marketing Partnerships
    What relationships support your REC or renewable energy program? Are they partnerships with local governments, businesses, nonprofits, or even other utilities? We want to hear about how you have collaborated with others to create innovative marketing campaigns to grow your program.
  • Steal These Ideas I: Best Sales Practices
    There are many ways to recruit new customers; multi-level marketing, door-to-door sales, call centers, third-party sales teams, and more. We want to hear about what sales tactics you have found to be most effective to gain more customers, and how you incorporate consumer protections.
  • How Regional Policy and Culture Shape Your Messaging
    Customers are motivated to buy renewable energy for a myriad of reasons. What are the regional differences and underlying similarities that motivate your customers? Does the policy of your service territory shape your messaging? Do the cultural preferences of your audience affect your marketing decisions?
  • Steal These Ideas II: Marketing Success Stories
    Did you launch an outstanding advertising campaign to recruit new customers? Or surprise yourself by the employee enthusiasm that you generated by creating internal rewards programs?  Spoiler Alert: This panel includes great ideas and strongly justified bragging.
  • Marketing Renewable Energy in the Digital Age
    Leveraging digital tools to enroll and engage clean energy consumers. What should every company be doing, and what are some companies doing to set their social media strategies apart?

Policy And Legal Issues

Focus on how regulatory policy and pending legislation at state and federal levels will influence direction and growth of markets and investments. Legal issues impacting markets.

  • RPS and EPA’s 111(d) Regulations
    The EPA’s new GHG emission rule for existing sources is expected to include significant compliance flexibility for states.  States and stakeholders have expressed an interest in using current RPS policies to comply.  Does the EPA have legal authority to allow states to use RPS policies?  How will the mechanics work?  What are the opportunities (i.e. increased RPS requirements; counting RECs towards 111(d); interstate trading)? What are the pitfalls? (i.e. double counting; race to the bottom; failure to achieve incremental growth in renewables; harm to the voluntary market; communicating with regulators how RECs can fit into 111(d) compliance).
  • Treatment of RECs in Different Regulatory/Transaction Models
    A look at how RECs are treated in different regulatory and transaction scenarios, including EPA 111(d), Value of Solar Tariff, Community Renewables, Third Party Arrangements, and net metering.  What are best practices and why?
  • The Future of Renewable Portfolio Standards and REC Markets
    What states are watering down their requirements and what states are ratcheting them up? What strategies are being employed by ALEC and others to undercut the RPS?  Are there opportunities to expand renewable mandates/goals beyond renewable portfolio standards, such as 111(d), community renewables, others?   What are new rationales for or types of RPS – water, SHC, storage, EV?
  • GHG Accounting
    An update on the WRI process and workshop on how to pivot your marketing materials.
  • Defending the Voluntary Market
    Learn about challenges facing voluntary markets, including bifurcating RECs, parallel accounting, and discuss tactics to explain and defend market integrity.
  • Policy and Laws Requiring a Green Option for Utilities
    Learn what states are adopting these laws, as well as common hurdles and solutions.

Markets And Trading

Regional market spotlights. New platforms and practices, exchanges, auctions, brokerages and tracking systems.

  • REC Imports/Exports
    Is the voluntary market significant and organized enough to drive more import/export activity, and is it a good thing? Do voluntary buyers want to have imports to a particular tracking system? What are the import/export polices of the various tracking systems and how much is actually happening? Where are RECs being import/export for compliance?
  • Distributed Generation
    Varying ownership/finance structures, challenges/opportunities for our compliance/tracking infrastructure, etc.
  • California Market for Renewable Energy
    Pressing issues in this market? Market size, volumes, liquidity, pricing, forecasts
  • Emerging and Existing Trading Platforms
    Review of existing and new emerging trading platforms? How do they differ? What do they offer? Advantages and disadvantages? How can we expect this to affect market activity?
  • Regional Compliance Markets
    Market sizes, volumes, liquidity, pricing, forecasts (Mid-Atlantic, West, Midwest, etc.)

Bundled Electricity Products

Focus on case studies of successful marketing efforts for green pricing programs and competitive electricity products, utility outreach and clean resource procurement. Identifying the interactions between compliance programs (e.g., RPS/efficiency mandates with voluntary programs).

  • Utility Program Design
    Considerations and comparisons between program designs.  Outsourcing your program versus developing and running the program in-house.  How to launch a new program, and the business case for green pricing. Considerations such as marketing strategies, programming strategies, communicating with regulators, and interaction between voluntary programs and RPS.
  • New Utility Products
    New offerings from utilities, including green gas, pairing carbon offsets with natural gas, and more.  Selling new products to your existing green power customers, and how to roll out a new product.
  • Adding Value to Your Existing Utility Program
    What’s the impact of your program and how can you add value for your customers?  Case studies on providing a local focus, community-based projects, investing in your community, and regional sourcing.  Maintaining and growing your program, and innovative ways to increase participation.
  • Boosting Enrollments through Media and Public Relations
    Don’t make your program a secret; PR benefits of renewable programs for utilities.  The interplay of media and perception.
  • How to be Successful in Highly Competitive Electricity Markets
    How do you differentiate your product in competitive markets, such PJM and Texas?  Case studies on increasing participation, and how to maintain and grow your renewable energy program while remaining competitive.
  • Community Choice / Municipal Aggregation
    Six states currently allow community choice aggregation (CCA), also known as municipal aggregation.  This model has transformed electricity procurement for hundreds of communities and is starting to spread throughout the country.  How can you differentiate your product offerings in these communities?  Price versus quality, local community considerations, and barriers and opportunities.