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Accelerating Clean Energy

The Accelerating Clean Energy (ACE) initiative works with communities and businesses to turn ambitious clean energy goals into results: affordable, resilient, equitable, and secure energy systems.

Tribal Council members and partners cut a ribbon in front of a solar panel system.
For decades, we have worked with governments, communities, businesses, and investors to turn clean energy goals into reality.

By leveraging NREL's decades of experience delivering sustainable, clean energy solutions to thousands of communities, ACE supports a broad range of stakeholders and partners in advancing diverse economic, environmental, and resilience goals. It benefits millions of Americans, including those who are historically underserved, by:

  • Boosting local economies
  • Increasing energy security and affordability
  • Advancing environmental equity
  • Reducing emissions
  • Building energy system resilience.

Leading the Way toward a Clean and Equitable Energy Future

ACE brings together key components—technology and technology integration expertise, local community experience, and infrastructure investors—to provide insights, data-driven action plans, and implementation support for achieving local energy initiatives. It bolsters private and community decision-making with support from U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) laboratories and universities as well as the business and finance communities.

As leaders implement clean energy plans and complete energy transitions, ACE integrates best practices and partnerships with the broader network, empowering application of proven methodologies and strategies across more jurisdictions, faster. This smart scaling—through a train-the-trainer approach— broadens local accomplishments into national momentum for a clean energy economy.

Collaborating for Insights and Resources

Collaborations are critical for both local success and expanding impact to a national scale. ACE leverages decades of relationships with stakeholders, from community groups to trade associations, convening parties and providing a comprehensive view of the technology, investments, and partnerships needed to move energy goals forward. We work collaboratively to accelerate pivotal decisions, develop coordinated actions, and share resources on:

  • Infrastructure investments
  • Financing options
  • Program designs
  • Technology innovations
  • Partnership opportunities
  • Capacity building
  • Commercial solutions.
Researchers looking at large monitors with charts of data surrounding a map of North America.

Translating Energy Goals into Reality

ACE builds on the accomplishments of jurisdictions that have tapped into NREL's objective, cross-sectoral experience and analysis to inform key decisions. It applies learnings from these clean energy pioneers and scales them to fit the unique needs of communities and businesses.

City of Los Angeles

NREL provided rigorous analysis and technology expertise to inform decision-making targeting economic growth, energy security, and equitable access to local clean electricity resources. The city's approach combines ambitious political leadership, local utility governance, a network of community organizers, and partnerships with world-class universities. See the Los Angeles 100% Renewable Energy Study.

Font du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

Members worked with NREL to understand the economics of individual energy projects, leading to a broader plan and setting up the tribe to be a regional leader in energy and air quality issues. See Fond du Lac Band Poised to Double 2020 Clean Energy Goal on the DOE website.

New York

Leaders turned to NREL for a neutral analysis of options to achieve a bold goal of 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040 and economy-wide, net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. NREL also supported New York and New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy by integrating energy efficiency, sustainability, and renewable energy measures into recovery efforts.

The city of Kingston, New York, partnered with NREL to revitalize and increase economic resilience through strategic economic, technological, and social system research.

Capabilities, Experience, and Engagement for Energy Transition at Scale

NREL is uniquely positioned to lead the ACE initiative with our technical expertise, decision-making science, breadth of partnerships, and market neutrality. We serve as a noncommercial convener of local, regional, national, and global energy leaders—creating opportunities for partners to work collaboratively and accelerating pivotal decisions, infrastructure investments, and capacity-building efforts at every scale.

ACE partnerships leverage experience and networks from successful models such as:


NREL Supports Kingston, New York, in Building a Community-First Approach to 100% Renewable Energy, NREL Fact Sheet (2020)

Unprecedented Analysis of LA's Clean Energy Transformation, NREL Fact Sheet (2020)