More than ever solar, wind, hydro, biofuels and more forms of renewable energy are offering increasingly cost-competitive—sometimes less costly—alternatives to conventional fossil fuel generation. Unfortunately entrenched industry, conservative think-tanks and advocacy groups are spreading disinformation about renewable energy. To fight back the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) introduced a new site, Energy Fact Check, that dispels detractors rumors, myths and misinformation about renewables.
“There’s so much misinformation out there that there’s a distortion of fact. At minimum we’re going to provide pushback on so-called ‘facts’ that aren’t true and provide pushback,” said Retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Dennis V. McGinn, ACORE president. “We’re basically trying to say we’re a real industry, we’re working and growing very quickly. We want people to know the full story,” he said. The site will also help the renewables industry fight back against the notion that one company’s failure in the industry is indicative of all companies in the renewable industries.
The site, which was introduced June 20, was built over 8 months, McGinn said. Even as it was released other organizations renewed their criticisms of renewables, like The Diesel Technology Forum’s June 20 media event “Perils and Prospects of an “All of the Above” Approach to the Energy Future” and testimony discounting green jobs programs by the American Enterprise Institute’s Kenneth Green before the House on June 19.
Through the effort ACORE and its member organizations, which include trade associations, companies and others will respond directly to such attacks, according to McGinn. “To the extent that there is public coverage of those types of assertions. We don’t want to get into an online blog arguments,” he said. “We want to respond in a business like, non-advocacy way. To say: ‘We’ve got a business here. these are the facts.’”
The site features publicly articles, reports, publications and a broad base of knowledge from the government, trade associations, and reliable outlets including Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Forbes and others, according to McGinn. The site also embraces social media with a twitter feed, allowing it to respond quickly to allegations or push out the word about new articles. “We think that the use of social media in conjunction with the website is going to be a very convenient and reliable source of information,” he said.
The campaign was introduced at ACORE’s Renewable Energy Finance Forum—Wall Street (REFF—Wall Street), which drew investors and financiers across the country to New York to learn about the investment opportunities the renewable energy sector can provide to investors. “We decided that REFF was exactly the right place and time to roll this out. There’s this talk of misinformation in Washington but the real people investing $100s of million in renewables are here in New York,” McGinn said. The site will help financiers learn more about the investment opportunities that renewable energy offers. Similarly it will help serve as a resource for journalists who want to understand what’s really happening in renewable energy.