There’s Likely an Organization For Your Energy Interest
It seems every movement has its associations and the alternative fuels movement is no exception. From government agencies to national associations to niche organizations, this guide provides but a sample of what’s happening in the world of alternative fuels, yet it can be a handy guide of available resources. I will continue to grow this list, but if you have an association or agency you would like considered, message me.
U.S. Department of Energy, Office Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Although not an association, this government agency is nonetheless an excellent resource for information related to renewable energy. Along with its parent agency, the U.S. Department of Energy, it does an excellent job of providing information and statistics in an appealing manner. EERE sponsors a number of initiatives geared toward building awareness about energy efficiency and renewable energy issues. It also works to coordinate efforts toward specific goals related to the use of renewable energy.
Renewable Fuels Association. This non-governmental national association is commonly considered considered the lead trade association for the ethanol industry. Established back in 1981 as the ethanol industry was first emerging, RFA is involved in governmental affairs representation and advocacy, as well as research, analysis and education. It has a rather cumbersome board of directors since each producer member is represented, although the board meets several times a year to set policy and prioritize programs. The association claims 300-plus members. One word of caution: since it is a trade association involved in shaping policy, expect some of the information to be biased. However, it still does a fairly good job of keeping to the facts.
American Council on Renewable Energy. Although it holds a Washington conference, this association is focused on education and collaboration, not on policy making and lobbying. ACORE was founded in 2001 with the goal of bringing together leading proponents of renewable energy with an eye toward championing the latest innovations in the field. Its membership has grown to several hundred companies cutting across several sectors. It holds five major conferences each year, as well as several other educational events.
World Council for Renewable Energy. This association was launched in 2001 as a globally operating independent organization providing a worldwide voice for renewable energy. Although it maintains that policy setting is its main objective, like many global organizations, it faces constraints of a broad range of national policies that must be dealt with and so its primary activities are limited to education, information and networking.
Northeast Sustainable Energy Association. The Northeast Sustainable Energy Association has a large geographical area–stretching from Washington, D.C., all the way to Maine. NESEA has been around for 35 years with a mission of promoting sustainable energy solutions. They have also gotten involved in sustainable building as well, from the aspect of promoting responsible energy use. Their largest program currently is a conference focused on sustainable energy choices in facilities.
National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium. NAFTC is considered a national leader in developing and promoting activities with the objective of reducing the country’s dependence on oil. It is a strong proponent of greening up the transportation system and is considered to be the only national alternative fuel vehicle and advanced technology vehicle training organization in the country.
Advanced Biofuels Association. The Advanced Biofuels Association counts 39 companies among its membership. This relatively new organization is focused on commercializing advanced biofuels technologies, which means it is not only working to help out businesses in that sector, but also works on shaping public policy in order to make that happen.