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According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Indian lands contain an estimated 5% of all U.S. renewable energy generation potential. When considered in light of the rapid decline in costs for clean energy technologies, the proliferation of policies that incentivize clean energy, and the increasingly urgent need for energy transformation, this largely untapped resource potential represents a new path to prosperity in Indian Country.

To bring this burgeoning opportunity into focus, the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Indian Energy are hosting a Tribal Renewable Energy Workshop Sept. 7–8, 2016, at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado

“Clean energy is emerging as a new economic engine for tribal communities, and tribes are in the driver’s seat,” said Office of Indian Energy Chris Deschene. “By developing their indigenous energy resources, tribes are positioning themselves to not simply survive but thrive—and that goal is best realized through economic sovereignty.”

Deschene will join Deputy Secretary of the Interior Mike Connor in leading off the two-day workshop with keynote addresses highlighting their respective offices’ mission-driven efforts to maximize the opportunities for tribes to develop and pursue strategic energy solutions designed to to reduce their energy costs, create jobs, build resilience, and create a pathway to economic sovereignty.

Representatives from tribes, federal and state government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and private industry will give presentations and lead discussions on a wide range of topics, including:

  • State, national, and international developments driving changes in the renewable energy marketplace
  • Federal technical and financial assistance available to tribes interested in developing renewable energy
  • Changing market dynamics, policies, and incentives that support tribal investments in clean energy development
  • Tribal/private partnership opportunities
  • Tribal case studies and lessons learned.

The first day of the workshop will highlight opportunities created by recent developments in energy policy, economics, and marketing; changes in the energy sector; how the U.S. carbon emissions reduction commitments under the 2015 Paris Climate agreement are expected to influence the clean energy sector; tribal energy successes, challenges, and opportunities; innovative approaches to project financing, and more. 

Day two will lead off with an exploration of how tribes can leverage public-private partnership opportunities to advance their energy visions, followed by breakout sessions and panel discussions focusing on specific areas of interest, including:

  • Opportunities at the nexus of energy and water
  • Tribal energy utilities
  • Tribal energy program operations
  • Regulations and permitting requirements
  • Tribal energy financing
  • Energy marketing and distribution
  • Efforts to enhance coordination and cooperation among federal agencies.

At the end of day two, attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in an optional tour of NREL facilities highlighting recent technology developments in wind and solar power.

For additional details, download the agenda.

Access to NREL’s facilities requires security screening. Given the expected number of participants, all participants should plan to arrive an hour before the start of proceedings each day.

A light breakfast and lunch will be provided on both days of the workshop. There is no cost to attend, but participants are responsible for their own lodging, dinner, and travel costs. Advance registration is required by August 31. Because space is limited, attendance is capped at 100, and registrations will be accepted in the order in which they are received. 

This event is now full and we are no longer accepting registration.