The phrase “Got Milk?” has become part of the American pop-lexicon thanks to a marketing campaign designed to get out a simple message about the staple beverage. If the American Council for Renewable Energy (ACRE) has its way, a new phrase – Got Solar? perhaps – will soon become part of the cultural landscape.WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 24, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] The phrase “Got Milk?” has become part of the American pop-lexicon thanks to a marketing campaign designed to get out a simple message about the staple beverage. If the American Council for Renewable Energy (ACRE) has its way, a new phrase – Got Solar? perhaps – will soon become part of the cultural landscape. The group has announced its membership drive and the convening of its organizing conference to be held July 10-11, 2002 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington D.C. According to founding member Scott Sklar, President of The Stella Group, ACRE will provide a “big tent” approach to groups and individuals interested in Renewable Energy. “What we found is that the trade associations in Washington carry the political drive and the environmental groups provide the ‘what the world ought to be’ message,” said Sklar. “There isn’t a group that carried a total renewables message from people outside of the clean energy arena.” ACRE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has been founded on a mission to “bring Renewable Energy into the mainstream of America’s economy and lifestyle,” with a scope that includes solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, biomass, biofuels, waste energy and hydrogen energy systems. Sklar said the group does not intend to replace existing Renewable Energy focused groups, but rather supplement their efforts. “This is not to create a third way,” Sklar said. “My goal is not to take away from their capability, but add to it, by making it stronger. This will add to it, this will provide some strength.” ACRE’s Advisory Board includes Christopher Flavin, president of Worldwatch Institute; C. Boyden Gray, Partner in the law firm of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering and former White House Counsel to President George H.W. Bush; Hank Habicht, President of the Global Environment and Technology Foundation; Amory Lovins, CEO (research) of Rocky Mountain Institute; Bill McCalpin, Executive Vice President of Rockefeller Brothers Fund; Jack Robinson, President of Winslow Management, Inc.; Bill Sheehan, former President of ABC News; Richard Truly, Director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory; Dan Reicher, Executive Vice President of Northern Power Systems and former Assistant Secretary of Energy; Jeff Tester, Meissner Professor of Chemical Engineering and former Director of MIT’s Energy Laboratory; R. James Woolsey, Partner in the law firm of Shea & Gardiner and former Director of Central Intelligence; and Carl Weinberg, Renewable Energy industry leader and former head of the Renewable Energy program at Pacific Gas & Electric. “Solar energy, wind power, bio-energy, and hydrogen technology are essential to human progress in the decades ahead,” said Christopher Flavin of Worldwatch. “ACRE will play an important role in realizing that promise – and ensuring continuing American leadership in the effort.” ACRE forges a nationwide alliance of Renewable Energy leaders by seeking membership from among industry, education, government, professional services, the financial community, the media, associations, nonprofit groups and end users. ACRE brings state and local groups together with national organizations. It builds new working relationships among users, suppliers, and financiers. It includes participation by professional service firms and the media. ACRE’s focus is on launching major new communications programs, reaching out to the country, to bring Renewable Energy into the mainstream of America’s economy and lifestyle. “Our nation has a tremendous on-going investment in renewable energy technologies,” said Richard Truly, Director of NREL. “ACRE will help us mobilize the country to put these outstanding innovations to work in our everyday lives by bringing together the many organizations and people needed to do this task.” For the organizing conference in Washington, ACRE will be inviting leaders from the different sectors to create new relationships and a new, bolder national strategy. The first day will be an executive conference, reviewing the state of renewables in the U.S. and hearing from national leaders about taking Renewable Energy to the next level. Sklar said the group will put out an annual report on the contributions of all Renewable technologies, provide forum’s within Washington, D.C. on strategic issues that put renewables first, assert ourselves into other groups such as ours so they work with us on renewables instead of conventional energy companies and launch public education campaign, on television enlisting the public’s support. The second day of the Organizing Conference, on July 11, will be the first annual membership meeting of ACRE, election of its Board of Directors, and consensus-building on ACRE’s goals, objectives, membership, strategies, programs, management, structure, and governance. Invitations to the organization meeting are going out to leaders in all sectors of the Renewable Energy community. ACRE’s founding Board of Directors includes Michael Eckhart, Solar International Management, Inc.; Chuck Linderman, Edison Electric Institute; Sklar; Judy Siegel, Energy and Security Group; and Michael Ware, Black Emerald Capital. The Board of Directors and the Steering Committee of ACRE are expanding during this initial organization period.