On April 15th, 2008, the Kentucky General Assembly passed House Bill 2, which created the Center for Renewable Energy Research and Environmental Stewardship (CRERES) (a Powerpoint, .ppt presentation). This Center is attached to the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet for administrative purposes [now the Department of Energy Development and Independence (DEDI)]. As described in KRS 152.713(a PDF file), the purpose of CRERES, in part, is to promote partnerships among Kentucky's post-secondary education institutions, private industries, and non-profit organization to actively pursue federal research and development resources that are dedicated to renewable energy. The statute also sets forth that the governor shall appoint a board to carry out the function of CRERES and that the secretary of the Energy and Environment Cabinet shall serve as the chair of the board until the Center is established and operational. In addition, the Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) and UofL wanted to work together to carry out the intent of House Bill 2 and the statutory mandates created by the legislation.
The state Center for Renewable Energy Research and Environmental Stewardship (CRERES) works to advance renewable energy, energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. Specifically, CRERES shall:
- Provide leadership, research, support, and policy development in renewable energy;
- Advance the goal of renewable energy;
- Promote technologies, practices, and programs that increase efficiency in energy utilization in homes, businesses, and public buildings;
- Emphasize energy policies that would result in cost-conscious, responsible development of Kentucky's energy resources and a commitment to environmental quality;
- Promote partnerships among the state's postsecondary education institutions, private industry, and nonprofit organizations to actively pursue federal research and development resources that are dedicated to renewable energy;
- Promote the continued development of public-private partnerships dedicated to promoting energy efficiency through education and outreach;
- Establish research priorities with approval of the board of directors created in subsection (4) of this section, relating to renewable energy, and develop procedures and processes for awarding research grants to eligible recipients as defined by the board and to the extent that funding is available;
- Collaborate with the Department for Energy Development and Independence to avoid duplication of efforts, provide appropriate data and information, and support the implementation of Kentucky's comprehensive energy strategy; and
- Carry out other activities to further the efficient and environmentally responsible use of renewable energy.
All Board meetings are conducted in compliance with the requirements of the Kentucky Open Meetings Act, KRS 61.800 - 850. Quarterly board meetings are open public meetings and allow for effective public observation.