Category Archives: NewsBlog

USDA Partners to Improve Electric Infrastructure for More Than 347,000 Rural Americans Across 13 States

Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett has announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $398.5 million to improve rural electric service in 13 states. “Reliable and affordable electricity is undeniably a necessity in today’s world,” Hazlett said. “Under the leadership of Secretary Sonny Perdue, USDA is committed to being a strong partner in keeping our rural communities connected to this essential infrastructure.” USDA is making the investments through the Electric Infrastructure Loan Program. Read the entire news release here.

ADDITIONAL FUNDING NEWS

DOE provides $148M in funding for separate energy storage research efforts, Utility Dive
Department of Energy News Releases
Department of Energy Announces New Projects to Extend Grid Energy Storage
Department of Energy Announces $120 Million for Battery Innovation Hub

AGGREGATED RENEWABLE ENERGY PURCHASING NEWS

MORE NEWS & AN EDITORIAL


6 Charts Showing the Renewables Threat to Natural Gas, Greentech Media


Photo Credit: NextEra Energy

 

FEATURED WEBSITE

PBS provides FREE, standards-aligned videos, interactives, lesson plans and more for teachers, parents and students. Entering the term “solar energy” into the search box provided on the website currently results in 2392 resources.

Department of Energy Selects Five Organizations in American-Made Solar Prize Competition

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has selected five organizations to facilitate and grow the American-Made Solar Prize, a $3 million competition designed to revitalize U.S. solar manufacturing. These organizations, known as Power Connectors, can receive $100,000 each for supporting the American-Made Solar Prize by recruiting competitors and partners, hosting demonstration days, and developing plans and programs to ensure the longevity of the program.

The organizations span the country and have a strong track record of helping innovators succeed:

The DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has partnered with NREL to administer the American-Made Solar Prize.

ADDITIONAL LINKS TO INFORMATION

Seven communities set for meter replacement by NPPD

NPPD News Release

Columbus, Neb. – Upgrading of electric meters in seven southeast Nebraska communities by Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) is scheduled to take place this month. The meter replacements are part of a program in 2018 to replace 43,000 existing electric meters in 33 communities served at retail by NPPD.

The new meters are equipped with two-way communication known as Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), a digital metering technology used around the world for more than a decade. The current meters in communities slated for replacement are electro-mechanical devices. The new meters display the reading, but in digital LED format. The meters will have an electronic circuit board module installed that will receive and securely transmit the data back to NPPD on the total amount of kilowatt hours used by a residence, business or industry.
Read more here.

See Also: Advanced Meter Infrastructure

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

Cape Cod Military Base Runs on 100% Renewable Energy

NEW INNOVATIVE PROGRAMS / TECHNOLOGY

SEIA, HBCU Coalition Join in National Effort to Increase Diversity of Solar Industry’s Workforce, SEIA News Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – With a goal of making the solar workforce and solar communities more diverse, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Community Development Action Coalition (HBCU-CDAC) have begun a new effort to increase recruitment of African-American students into the industry.

EV NEWS

In Colorado, two rural co-ops are leading the charge on electric vehicles

RECYCLING NEWS

Sunsetting solar panels: U.S. photovoltaic cell recycling incentives are beginning, GreenBiz

According to a publication by International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), more than 90 percent of the materials in typical photovoltaic solar panels — silicon, aluminum and glass — can be recycled and used again in the production of new solar panels. 

LEADERSHIP AWARDS

Considering a career in renewable energy? Check out these maps.

Solar Career Map

The Solar Career Map was developed by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). As National Administrator of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Instructor Training Network, IREC worked with solar and workforce experts around the country — leaders from education, government, business, labor, and community — to produce this highly-acclaimed interactive tool.

About The Interstate Renewable Energy Council
The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), an independent not-for-profit organization since 1982, makes clean, efficient, sustainable energy possible for more Americans through forward-thinking regulatory reform, quality workforce development and consumer education.

Wind Career Map

The Wind Career Map was developed by the Wind Energy Technologies Office in DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE). The map explores an expanding universe of wind energy occupations, describing diverse jobs across the industry, charting possible progression between them, and identifying the high-quality training necessary to do them well.

See Also: Workforce Training and Education

About The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
The mission of EERE is to create and sustain American leadership in the transition to a global clean energy economy. Its vision is a strong and prosperous America powered by clean, affordable, and secure energy.

Infographic: To date, third-party evaluations have assessed one-third of EERE’s research and development portfolio and found that an EERE taxpayer investment of $12 billion has already yielded an estimated net economic benefit to the United States of more than $230 billion, with an overall annual return on investment of more than 20%. 

See EERE’s list of strategic goals and links to more information here.

Utilities have a problem: the public wants 100% renewable energy, and quick

By David Roberts, Vox Opinion

The Sierra Club notes that so far in the US, more than 80 cities, five counties, and two states have committed to 100 percent renewables. Six cities have already hit the target. The group RE100 tracks 144 private companies across the globe that have committed to 100 percent renewables, including Google, Ikea, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Nike, GM, and, uh, Lego. Read more here.

iStock photo

MORE 100% CLEAN ENERGY NEWS

 

League of Conservation Voters News Release:
Over 1,400 Candidates Nationwide Make ‘Clean Energy for All’ Commitment To 100 Percent Clean Energy By 2050

 

ALSO IN THE NEWS

Solar’s growth spreads beyond California, Southwest, American Public Power Association

According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Utility-Scale Solar Report: The solar pipeline is filling up across the nation, but the authors noted the particularly robust growth in locations that previously were not solar hot spots. The central region, for instance, accounted for 27% of the 99.2 GW of solar projects that entered development last year, followed by the Southwest with 19% of the 99 GW, the Southeast with 15% of the total, and Northeast with 12%, while California and Texas each accounted for 11% of the new solar projects.

EV NEWS 

MORE NEW REPORTS

Mayors Leading the Way on Climate
Mayors across the country are taking action to address climate change threats by committing to reduce carbon emissions. A nationwide survey by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions as part of their partnership, the Alliance for a Sustainable Future, demonstrates that cities are pushing ahead their efforts to implement climate programs. The survey also shows that cities are eager to partner with business and other communities to expedite carbon reduction initiatives to meet aggressive goals.

Deloitte: The case for renewables has never been stronger, PV Magazine International. Three key enablers – price and performance parity, grid integration and new technologies – are allowing solar and wind power to compete with conventional sources on price, while matching their performance, says Deloitte. In its new report Global Renewable Energy Trends, the global accounting giant says renewables, which have only recently been recognized as mainstream energy sources, are now becoming the preferred ones.

FEATURED WEBINAR

If you missed the Clean Energy States Alliance’s webinar, California’s Pioneering Policies for New Homes: Greater Efficiency with Required Solar Energy, slides and a recording of this webinar are now available here. Learn more about Clean Energy States Alliance at: www.cesa.org

At Global Climate Action Summit ChargePoint Makes Commitment to Deploy 2.5 Million Charging Ports by 2025

ChargePoint News Release: Electric Vehicles Drive a Sustainable Future

“Our commitment to deploy 2.5 million charging spots by 2025 comes as the company embarks on the most significant period of growth in our history and in the midst of a revolution in transportation.” – Pasquale Romano, President and CEO of ChargePoint

Read more here.

Learn about ChargePoint and other EV chargers from the owners of electric vehicles, as well as experts in the field, this Sunday at the following event: National Drive Electric Week – Lincoln

MORE GLOBAL CLIMATE ACTION SUMMIT NEWS 

National Teachers Group Confronts Climate Denial: Keep the Politics Out of Science Class

By Phil McKenna, Inside Climate News

In response to what it sees as increasing efforts to undermine the teaching of climate science, the nation’s largest science teachers association took the unusual step Thursday of issuing a formal position statement in support of climate science education. In its position statement, the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) calls on science teachers from kindergarten through high school to emphasize to students that “no scientific controversy exists regarding the basic facts of climate change.”

“Given the solid scientific foundation on which climate change science rests, any controversies regarding climate change and human-caused contributions to climate change that are based on social, economic, or political arguments—rather than scientific arguments—should not be part of a science curriculum,” it says. It also urges teachers to “reject pressures to eliminate or de-emphasize” climate science in their curriculum. And it urges school administrators to provide science teachers with professional development opportunities to strengthen their understanding of climate science. Read more here.

Examples of NSTA-Recommended Resources

For Science Educators

For Parents and Community Members

Pace and Scale: Investor leadership at the Global Climate Action Summit and beyond

Written by Mindy Lubber, Forbes

Mindy Lubber is CEO and president of Ceres. Ceres is a sustainability nonprofit organization working with the most influential investors and companies to build leadership and drive solutions throughout the economy.

This week at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, we, along with our partners across the globe, are showcasing one of the largest-ever displays of investor action, with nearly 400 investors with $32 trillion in collective assets under management taking action in line with what we call the The Investor Agenda. Read more here. 

SEE ALSO: Climate Action 100+

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
Declining Costs and Technology Are Powering Renewable Energy Demand According to New Deloitte Report, PR Newswire

Utility Solar Procurement Booms as Residential Market Stabilizes in Q2 2018

Solar Energy Industries Association News Release

Utility solar project procurement soared in Q2 2018 as component prices declined and home solar installations steadied after a 15 percent contraction last year, according to the latest U.S. Solar Market Insight Report from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables (previously known as GTM Research) and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). This is the first quarter where the data clearly show that tariffs took a bite out of the solar market . . . Looking ahead though, the report forecasts an acceleration of solar deployment in the second half of 2018 driven by utility-scale projects. According to the report, 8.5 gigawatts of utility PV projects were procured in the first six months of the year, the most ever procured in that timeframe. Read more here.

Infographic Source: Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables

Global Climate Action Summit Kicks Off in San Francisco

By Seth Borenstein, NBC Bay Area

Business leaders, mayors, governors and activists from around the world gather this week in San Francisco for the Global Climate Action Summit, where participants will trumpet what they’ve done and announce new efforts to slow a warming world. In addition, a smattering of celebrities such as musician Dave Matthews and actor Alec Baldwin will add a touch of red carpet feel to the summit, which starts Wednesday. It will involve trillions of dollars of pledges for spending on cleaner energy and getting out of investments in heat-trapping fossil fuels, according to officials involved. Continue reading here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

How far can California push the nation — and the world? Jerry Brown’s climate summit may provide the answer, Los Angeles Times. [Roughly] half of Americans live in states that are racing to meet goals in the Paris agreement. Half of America’s largest cities have made commitments to go beyond state action. And according to a Quinnipiac poll last month, 64% of U.S. voters believe the nation should do more to combat global warming.