January 2013
The IREC Report


from the Executive Director...
Jane Weissman




2012 in the rear view mirror


We pause for just a minute to reflect on IREC's 30th year.  There is much progress to be proud of, but we're too impatient to rest on our laurels.


Some accomplishments - such as regulatory changes regarding renewables - are the result of layers of work built state-by-state over decades. Others result from a significant investment in support of a high-priority goal, such as setting new benchmarks in training and education for a clean energy workforce. And in still other cases, for example credentialing of educators and training programs, IREC's extraordinary perseverance has led to real change that is transforming the notion of credibility within and outside the clean energy community translating into consumer confidence necessary to drive the continued growth of renewable energy and energy efficiency.


I have the pleasure of working with a highly-regarded, talented IREC team. Together with a growing list of strategic partners, they lead and shape policy, standards and practices around the country. Success in one state, in one city, at one community college, and in one neighborhood provides replicable examples for others. One needs only to review the 2012 IREC published reports to understand the breadth and value of our work, and the growth of our efforts, not just in historically progressive states, but coast to coast.


We play in an unpredictable, dynamic environment. But we don't shy away from unpredictable market and policy challenges. To the contrary, it keeps us forward thinking, tackling entrenched and emerging barriers.


This newsletter offers a few IREC highlights in 2012. For a more comprehensive view of the year's accomplishments, take a look at our 2012 Annual Updates & Trends Report, released a few months ago. There, the facts and reasoning behind our most current work are presented - all backed up by our best practices, model procedures and standards, which can be found on IREC's web site. 


We begin a new year with a commitment to our funders and supporters that your confidence in our work will continue to enable greater use of clean energy in a sustainable way - embracing both energy efficiency and renewable resources.


Best wishes for a successful 2013.  May we continue to find peaceful solutions to save our planet.


Jane Weissman

Executive Director


Connecting to the Grid 
by Laurel Varnado

Laurel V

Regulatory policies score a triple play: net metering, interconnection & community renewables

Favorable U.S. regulatory policies, such as net metering, interconnection and community renewables, made a strong showing in 2012.  IREC was a significant player in these areas.  

IREC Credentialing Program  

by Pat Fox


Pat FoxBuilding the credentialing infrastructure for a competent clean energy workforce  

2012 saw the addition of weatherization and energy efficiency training programs to the IREC ISPQ portfolio.  IREC, along with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), launched a joint pilot accreditation program for renewable energy and energy efficiency certificate programs. By year's end, there were 112 IREC ISPQ credential holders, along with 37 applications in process and 41 letters of intent in the queue.  



Solar Instructor Training Network

by Joe Sarubbi


Joe Sarubbi

Regional Training Providers (RTPs) target full-time and part-time community college instructors within their regions and provide resources that support and guide these 'instructor trainees' to develop quality solar training programs. To date, more than 700 instructor trainees received training from the RTPs, and nearly 10,000 individuals have received training through the SITN.
U.S. Solar Market Trends 2012  
by Larry Sherwood
Larry Sherwood  

IREC's annual Solar Market Trends report compiles and analyzes public data on U.S. solar installations by technology, state and market sector.  For 2011, it covered solar technologies that produce electricity, including photovoltaics (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP). "More than 1.8 GWDC of photovoltaic installations were completed in 2011 at 64,000 sites," said Larry Sherwood, author of the report.  "More utility-scale systems, and an increase in the average system size accounted for this dramatic growth."

Solar ABCs banner


Solar ABCs

Since 2007, IREC has been one of 11 partners in the Solar ABCs, which is managed by New Mexico State University and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.


The IREC team completed two studies for 2012 for Solar ABCs:


Prepared by Jason B. Keyes, Joseph F. Wiedman. 


CEWEC | 5th National Clean Energy Workforce Education Conference 
Clean energy jobs and training are resilient, nimble, and yes, adaptable

Hundreds of the nation's leaders and educators in clean energy workforce development gathered in Albany in November to share the good, the challenging, and the potential of the green, clean energy workforce.  "The good news," said IREC's Jane Weissman, "is that we've gotten better at balancing the training that educators offer with the jobs in the marketplace."  



CEWEC banner



The not so good? That green jobs became an overused marketing term.  But as Dr. Sarah White assured an audience of some 300, "building a green economy isn't a job killer."  


Presentations from the conference are available, and while not as good as being there, they reveal the trailblazing work underway at community colleges and training organizations across the U.S. NYSERDA sponsored the conference (the 5th). IREC was the organizer.

Related publications

In 2012, IREC produced or collaborated on several technical reports:


Sharing Success: Emerging Approaches to Efficient Rooftop Solar Permitting

Innovative strategies across the U.S. to increase the efficiency of permitting procedures for rooftop solar systems.  The report serves as both a vehicle for discussion of permitting challenges, and as a source of inspiration for communities looking for realistic and effective ways to improve solar permitting while ensuring safe solar installations. (By Sky Stanfield, Erica Schroeder and Thad Culley of Keyes, Fox & Wiedman LLP. May 2012.)


12,000 MW of Renewable Distributed Generation by 2020

Provides a careful analysis of the benefits, costs and policy implications of the 12,000-MW goal to help inform decision-making on the development of the plan and to help ensure its effective implementation. IREC's analysis advocates for a range of policy options that support each segment of the California solar market. (Prepared by Joseph Wiedman and Erica Schroeder of Keyes, Fox & Wiedman, LLP, with an economic analysis provided by Thomas Beach of Crossborder Energy.)


Freeing the Grid: Best Practices in State Net Metering Policies and Interconnection Procedures

A collaboration by IREC, The Vote Solar Initiative and the North Carolina Solar Center, Freeing the Grid is an annual report that grades all 50 states on net metering and interconnection procedures. 

ICLEI's Solar Outreach Partnership 

Since 2010, IREC has been a member of the International City-County Management Association (ICMA) and ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability collaboration known as the Solar Outreach Partnership (SolarOPs).  Funded by the Department of Energy's SunShot Initiative, the Solar OPs mission, to create a comprehensive set of tools (i.e., workshops, webinars, fact sheets), is helping local governments replicate successful solar practices to quickly adopt solar energy in their communities.


Among the many webinars offered in 2012 focused on reducing barriers to solar for local governments, IREC, on behalf of Erica Schroeder (Keyes, Fox & Wiedman, LLP), shared some of the innovative strategies communities are using to improve solar permitting while ensuring their safe installation.  


Sharing Success webinar for ICLEI  

Happy 30th, IREC
Read IREC's Newsletters

The IREC Report
Connecting to the Grid
Small Wind News
The Credentialing Chronicle
The SITN Quarterly


San Diego

Washington, DC
Washington, DC
2/13-2/15 | Solar Power-Gen
San Diego
3/9-3/12 | NAWB Forum
Washington, DC
4/16-4/20 | Solar 2013
Baltimore, MD
San Francisco
4/30-5/3 | ACI National Home Performance Conference


The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. DSIRE contains in­formation on more than 2,700 incentives and policies. Approximately 175,000 people per month use DSIRE. 

Established in 1995, DSIRE is an ongoing project of the North Carolina Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc.. DSIRE is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
of note...

WEBINAR: 1/17/13
2-3 pm ET

From DOE's SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership comes this free webinar on how communities are aggregating their bulk electricity purchases and coming out ahead.  Speakers: Sharon Durling, from the Northern Illinois Municipal Electric Collaborative; Scott Stiles, from the City of Cincinnati which recently created a CCA program offering 100% renewable energy; and Brenda Fargo, from the retail electricity supplier, FirstEnergy Solutions.


Renewable energy leaders from Capitol Hill and across the country gather to assess the volatile state of renewable energy policy and provide a call to action for policymakers for 2013 and beyond. February 5-6, Capital Hill, Washington, D.C.

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The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) is a non-profit organization 
accelerating the use of  renewable energy since 1982. IREC's programs and policies lead to easier, more affordable connection to the utility grid; fair credit for renewable energy produced; best practices for states, municipalities, utilities and industry; and quality assessment for the growing green workforce through the credentialing of trainers and training programs. Visit us at www.irecusa.org.
The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) does not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product or process that is referred to or linked to in this newsletter. Reference to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply IREC's endorsement or recommendation.  

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