IREC is an independent, non-governmental, non-lobbying organization. That said, it would be sticking our heads in the sand if we did not acknowledge the proverbial elephant (and donkey) in the room. The environment in which we operate has now changed with a new administration coming to power in Washington, DC.
IREC has been on the front line of clean energy growth for nearly 35 years, most importantly anticipating and helping to shape the challenges that will bring affordable access to the most Americans, and building their confidence in a young industry along the way. IREC increases access to sustainable energy and energy efficiency through independent fact-based policy leadership, quality work force development and consumer empowerment.
While our recommendations are at times a part of the regulatory dialogue and rulings on the federal level, a great number of decisions are made on the state level. And, indeed, our work on the ground has touched nearly every state, as we develop and share best practices for fair connection to the grid, modernization of that grid to accommodate more distributed generation, and new technologies such as storage.
Our unique effort in workforce development, while national in scope, is largely implemented state by state, whether through regional education and training consortiums or individual training programs.
So whether in the regulatory or workforce space, a majority of our work involves the development of best practices and incorporating them into the policies and practices of more states, more utilities and more industry sectors and representatives.
From IREC’s 30,000-foot perch, here’s our view of what’s on the horizon.
- We anticipate that the clean energy industry will continue to thrive. The need for good products and services, the good prices, and the industry infrastructure are in place for continued development.
- Most decisions pertaining to consumer access to clean, sustainable energy will continue to take place on the state level. That dynamic has not changed. IREC will be active to make sure these decisions increase consumer access.
- Opportunities to retrain workers for clean energy jobs, including our veterans, and the need to train workers in allied industries may take on different forms, but will not disappear.
- Consumers need to be more empowered than ever to make good decisions based on unbiased information about their energy choices.
We will continue to emphatically pursue our mission to create a world powered by clean sustainable energy, where society’s interests are valued and protected. As we have since 1982, we will work state by state, region by region, and profession by profession to develop and promote clean energy policies and practices that are best for America, which include protecting energy consumers and working with the dynamic industry that offers them sustainable options with confidence. We look forward to joining with you in this continued journey.
As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, I am thankful for your work and support and wish you all the best.