• Awarded: 2008
  • Issue Areas: Clean Energy · Environmental Sustainability
  • Region: Central and Southern Asia · Eastern Asia · Europe · North America
  • Web:
  • About the Organization

    The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to building a secure and prosperous America with clean, renewable energy.

    ACORE provides an educational platform for a wide range of interests in the renewable energy community, focusing on technology, finance, policy, and market development. The organization convenes thought leadership forums and creates energy industry partnerships to communicate the economic, security, and environmental benefits of renewable energy.

    ACORE’s membership spans all constituencies in the renewable energy sector, including financial institutions, government leaders, educators, end-users, professional service providers and allied non-profit groups.

    ACORE accomplishes much of its work by convening the thought leaders in each of these constituencies, publishing collaborative research, and facilitating communications among members, their stakeholders, and the media.

    ACORE’s Leadership Council is a group of high-level ACORE members representing all sectors of the renewable energy industry. Council members convene regularly to shape ACORE’s policy agenda, discuss strategy, and network with fellow members. ACORE member companies designate their top executive for renewable energy as their Leadership Council representative.

    Renewable energy is at a disadvantage in the competition for investment dollars.

    ACORE unites renewable energy leaders to educate policymakers and advocate for investment.

    ACORE convenes forums and provides technical information to support a level playing field.

    ACORE is a leader in the movement to show that green energy creates jobs and promotes a better future.

    Ambition for Change

    A secure and prosperous America powered by clean, renewable energy.

    Path to Scale

    Education and Policy Reform

    ACORE seeks to advance renewable energy and eliminate the advantages enjoyed by nonrenewable sources by uniting the voice of various segments of the renewable industry and advocating for policies that level the playing field or advantage renewables.

    Business Model

    Membership and registration fees for conferences and events supplemented by philanthropic support for program development and new initiatives.

    Mike Eckhart worked at the leading edge of the energy field for over three decades, conducting pioneering studies on renewable energy for the Carter Administration and working for major energy corporations. In 1995, he founded the Solar Bank Initiative to finance sustainable solar energy in Brazil, India and South Africa. He was named “Renewable Energy Man of the Year” in India in 1998 and later was named U.S. Chair of the World Council of Renewable Energy. In 2001, along with other U.S. leaders, Mike formed ACORE as the way to create a broad-based renewables community in the United States and build international partnerships. This approach was intended to disrupt the pattern of each type of renewable energy having its own small lobby or trade group. Mike founded ACORE to unite representatives of all renewables around common interests, yielding more effective results. At the time of the Award, ACORE was preparing to launch a Renewable Energy Communications and Policy Program (RECAP) to engage expert researchers in development of quantifiable data showing the economic benefits of renewable energy, aiming for impact in the field of investment in renewable similar to what scientific research achieved in bringing climate change into the mainstream. However, the financial meltdown of 2008 deeply affected both ACORE and its members and clients, and the plan had to be shelved. Mike left ACORE in 2011. Retired Vice Admiral Dennis V. McGinn served as President and CEO until he was tapped by President Obama to serve as Assistant Secretary of the Navy; he was succeeded by Michael Brower. The organization has updated its mission and continues to convene forums and act as an educational platform.

    Impact & Accomplishments

    • Brought companies representing the banking, investment, and insurance industries into the renewable energy field through high-end finance conferences and other educational platforms, engaging lawyers, accountants, and consultants who support financial actors.
    • Led the movement to argue for the investment, economic growth, and new jobs that would accompany a national commitment to renewable energy – now the standard argument supporting renewable energy policy proposals.

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