The boards of directors of the American Clean Power Association (ACP) and the US Energy Storage Association (ESA) have voted to merge the two trade groups, thereby combining their staff, programs, and members under a single entity. ACP and ESA are nation-wide organizations that represent major energy companies and lobby state legislatures and the Congress. The reason for the merger is to further enhance the capabilities related to advocacy, research, and education. The new and larger trade association is thus expected to help expedite the growth of the renewable energy industry in the US.
With the approval of both boards, ACP and ESA are now planning the integration of their respective memberships, projects, and administrative structures. Commenting on this event, Jim Murphy, chairman of ACP, said there is the need for clean and renewable energy sectors to have “a unified voice”. The merger will enable the members of the two trade associations to more effectively present their case that renewable energies have significant environmental and economic benefits.
Formerly known as the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), ACP was actually launched this year as a new organization that now includes members from the PV, energy storage, and transmission sectors. As for ESA, it has more than 200 members that are involved in various technologies and businesses. They include providers of energy storage systems, component suppliers, EPC firms, independent power producers, utilities, investors, etc. The latest merger therefore represents a further consolidation of the various trade groups that represent the US renewable energy industry as a whole. Pending on the final approval of ESA members, the merger will formally take place on January 1, 2021.
Kiran Kumaraswamy, chairman of ESA, stated that the board of his trade association is “confident” that the merger will give more clout to the energy storage industry with respect to activism, research, and education. He stated that in the future, ESA members and staff will benefit from more development and business opportunities within the larger organization.
In 2017, ESA called for expanding the energy storage capacity of the US to 35GW by 2025. However, the organization released a more ambitious vision last year, aiming for 100GW by 2030.