What a year it has been. The renewable energy industry was one of the bright spots in the economy this year, with voluntary market activity up and new generation in the ground, demonstrating that the combination of federal and state incentives and voluntary action has the power to get clean energy built.
At CRS, we had quite a few successes this year. Our policy work contributed to a big win for California, the integration of a voluntary renewable energy “set-aside” into the state’s landmark AB 32 carbon-reduction program. CRS coordinated a broad coalition of renewable energy stakeholders pushing for this, because it means that voluntary renewable energy purchases by individuals and businesses will result in real reductions of emissions under the new cap-and-trade program.
Green-e continued to experience strong growth, with Green-e Energy seeing over 18 million MWh certified—a 43% increase in certified retail sales over the previous year. The program now certifies nearly two-thirds of all retail sales in the U.S. Our carbon offset certification program Green-e Climate saw sales of certified offsets up 30%, beating a global downturn in offset sales. Green-e Marketplace saw renewable energy purchases and onsite generation by its participants total over 402,000 MWh, with more than 400 products using 100% certified renewable energy and displaying the Green-e logo.
Our annual Renewable Energy Markets conference took place in beautiful Portland, Oregon this year with over 360 attendees—half of them attending for the first time. This is a testament not only to the unique place this conference has in a crowded field of industry events, but to its extraordinary usefulness to the many newcomers to the field.
We also launched an innovative campaign centered around Earth Day to educate consumers about renewable energy, help them find options available to them, and give them a one-click way to buy renewable energy. Buy Clean Energy 2010 was an exciting and successful initiative that will serve as a model to engage and educate consumers in coming years.
Of course, none of this could happen without the generous support of our funders and others who offer their support throughout the year. If you like the work we do to promote clean energy and climate policy, please consider us in your year-end giving plans. You can make your tax-deductible donation to CRS on our Support Us page.
On behalf of all of us at CRS, I’d like to thank our funders, partners, program sponsors, and friends for all your support throughout the year. We look forward to all the successes 2011 will bring.