American Solar Energy Society – Policy Recommendations to the 111th Congress

Challenge:

As the members of the 111th United States Congress assembled in January of 2009, they faced the challenge of developing clear and aggressive policies to address two major issues: climate change and economic recovery.

The American Solar Energy Society (ASES) has promoted the advancement of solar and renewable energy technologies in the United States since it was founded in 1954. In 2008, VEIC led the ASES committee as it turned its focus toward developing specific federal policy recommendations aimed at solving the these challenges.

The goal was to provide policy leaders with a better understanding of how to move rapidly from the current high-carbon energy economy to a low-carbon energy economy.

Solution:

VEIC organized and synthesized the professional contributions of ASES members into a succinct and actionable set of policy recommendations. The recommendations were organized around seven themes: carbon, building energy efficiency and renewable energy, renewable electricity, transportation, smart grid and green transmission, green economy and workforce development, and federal leadership. Under VEIC leadership, the ASES committee provided overviews and impact assessments in each area and outlined policy recommendations and implementation strategies designed to facilitate the transition to a green energy economy.

Results:

  • Provided specific actionable policy recommendations to Congress, a number of which were reflected in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and the Waxman-Markey climate change bill.
  • Identified potential economic and job impacts from recommended policies with the potential of employing 37 million workers in the United States by 2030
  • Provided clear recommendations to reduce atmospheric carbon contribution by 80% by 2050 compared with 2006 levels