It is with both sadness and gratitude that the CRES community bids farewell to Paul Notari, who co-founded CRES along with Ron Larson in 1996. In addition to being instrumental in the creation of CRES, Paul managed the CRES newsletter and communications through 2010, helping spread the word on events and renewable energy and sparking support for our early policy initiatives.
Before CRES, Paul served as the Director of the Technical Information Branch for the Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI) until his retirement in 1992. SERI eventually transformed into the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) we know today. Paul’s accomplishments included the creation of the Solar Technical Information Program (STIP) as well as publishing textbooks and technical documents on solar, wind, biofuels, and other renewable and efficiency technologies that helped spur the clean energy transition. He also testified in support of renewable energy funding to Congress and met with many dignitaries in the US and internationally in support of renewable energy. He also served on the board of the American Solar Energy Society (ASES,) serving as Chair of the board and proving instrumental in the launching of ASES’s SOLAR TODAY magazine.
It was at that time that Larry Sherwood, the new Executive Director of ASES, first met Paul. Larry remarked how Paul's enthusiastic support was “a big reason that ASES survived and thrived during those lean years….In my later years at ASES, Paul and Ron Larson approached me about creating an ASES chapter in Colorado. We worked together to put the structure in place that led to the creation of the Colorado Renewable Energy Society. As with his ASES work, Paul dived in and worked with others to create a successful CRES”
Dave Bowden shares, “Paul sat down for a video interview with me in April 2011 for our "CRES: Fifteen Years of Empowering Leadership” documentary. As our conversation evolved, I became more and more impressed by his deep and long commitment to clean energy. He deserves enormous credit for his countless hours of volunteer time as the publisher and writer of CRES News, which was a key element in forging a cohesive membership and successful events over the years"
Other former CRES colleagues shared Paul’s dedication to improving the world around him and his wonderful personality. Phil von Hake recalls Paul running the “Weighty Issues Palaver Society (WIPS)” lunches and their importance of bringing people together to share thoughts and ideas. Doug Seiter cherishes “the many memories, his brilliance, his quick wit, and his delightful laugh. Paul left a worthy legacy.”
Paul was a true engine of change for the renewable energy movement. He helped connect, inspire, and give voice to the many incredible people that CRES has been blessed to have involved in our mission.
We are truly grateful.
Memorials may be sent to an organization of your choice or to the following in Memory of Paul Celestino Notari:
Paul C. Notari Research Grant in Environmental Studies Futures Initiative at The Graduate Center-City University of New York (CUNY)
https://www.gc.cuny.edu/giving/make-donation/futures-initiative Designation (pull-down menu selection: Paul C. Notari Research Fund)
Colorado Renewable Energy Society (CRES) - https://www.cres-energy.org/donate.html
American Solar Energy Society (ASES) - https://ases.site-ym.com/donations/
By Vince Calvano
The 2023 Legislative Session in Colorado ended earlier in May, and the CRES Policy Committee reviewed many renewable energy, energy efficiency, and related environmental bills that came out of this session. While the Policy Committee has worked directly with some legislators on renewable energy-related legislation, none of those bills came out this session, but we'll continue looking for more opportunities in the future.
The majority of our work this session involved pouring over important bills, and CRES Policy sent out 3 action alerts and testified numerous times through written letters of support (or opposition) on many bills. Many different Policy members stepped up to help craft these letters once the Committee decided to support or oppose. The letters were both emailed to the bill sponsors, and the legislative hearing committee members, as well as filed as written testimony. The CRES Legislative Activities Tracker provides much more detail on all of the bills that the CRES Policy Committee reviewed this session.
One of the more important bills that CRES weighed in on was, SB23-016: GHG Emissions Reduction Measures that updates CO GHG emissions reductions goals to 50% by 2030, 75% by 2040, and 100% by 2050, and requires PERA to publish a report on climate change-related investment risks. CRES Policy supported the bill, but asked for an amendment to Section 9 of the bill (was originally a different section number) regarding carbon sequestration and storage. This section allows the CO Oil and Gas Commission to regulate injection wells once it has studied the subject and held public hearings and puts financial assurance and other regulatory assurances in place.
Another was HB23-1210, concerning funding carbon management projects in CO and the creation of a carbon management roadmap. CRES asked for action regarding amending the Roadmap provision to require a study of public health and safety considerations, including avoiding risks from exposure to carbon dioxide gas and induced siesmicity..
CRES also sent out an action alert on Senate Bill 23-198 regarding Clean Energy Plans. This bill passed and now requires that CO clean energy plans must reach interim targets to ensure reductions in GHGs are occurring at the needed levels. This bill will significantly increase the chances that CO's clean energy goals can actually be met.
The CRES Policy Committee is also active before the CO Public Utilities Commission, and weighs in on other RE/EE policy-related matters throughout the state, such as sending in a letter to Holy Cross Energy regarding their new rate proposal/ change to net metering policy.
CRES intervened in two Xcel Energy (aka PSCo) proceedings at the PUC. One was the latest PSCo Electric Resource Plan (21A-0141E) where CRES had 5 witnesses provide testimony on numerous aspects of the Electric Resource Plan. CRES also intervened in PSCo's latest Demand Side Management and Beneficial Electrification Strategic Issues Proceeding (22A-0309EG). CRES put forward two witnesses in this proceeding and the Commission is in the middle of deliberating a final decision on the matter (second deliberation meeting is scheduled for Friday, May 26th). After the oral deliberations, there will be a written order.
Our friends at Empower Our Future had a great legislative recap from a few CO legislators via zoom Check that out on YouTube.
We were honored to be featured by journalist Allen Best and Big Pivots as part of their seven-part exploration of the history of CRES since our founding in 1996. Big Pivots® is an e-journal that chronicles the necessary transitions in energy, water, and other realms in Colorado and beyond in the Great Plains and Intermountain West.
Explore the early days of our organization by clicking the section links below and learn more about what we've been up to over the past 27 years! You can also read the full, combined article in Big Pivots 64.
A History of CRES Part 1: A coming together of minds
A History of CRES Part 2: Why Not Wind?
A History of CRES Part 3: Voters Have Their Say
A History of CRES Part 4: The Path to the Governor's Mansion
A History of CRES Part 5: Growth, a Stumble, Then New Chapters
A History of CRES Part 6: Influence in the Polis Years
A History of CRES Part 7: Next Steps?