By Katie Rohman, Washington County Pilot-Tribune & Enterprise
As a requirement of its energy delivery contract for hydropower with the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA), OPPD must submit a written report of its five-year integrated resource plan in early 2017. OPPD recently hosted three public meetings in the district — including one at the Blair City Council Chambers on Thursday — to present its [Integrated Resource Plan 2016 and Proposed Generation Additions] . . . Brad Underwood, director of corporate planning and analysis for OPPD, presented the portfolios during the OPPD Board of Directors meeting
Nov. 17. During the board’s regular meeting [on] Dec. 15, Underwood will inform the directors which portfolio will be submitted to WAPA. OPPD plans to revisit its options once it knows the final legal status of the Clean Power Plan (CPP) because it needs clarity on regulations. Click here to read the entire article.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay. Wind is the one common theme in the Omaha Public Power District’s four proposed five-year generation portfolios.
By Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy
The trend toward investment in renewables and energy efficiency is unfolding all
Electricity generated from renewables is expected to grow by 9% in 2016 alone;
Utilities are investing $8 billion a year in energy efficiency, a four-fold increase from just eight years ago, and more companies than ever are leveraging EPA’s ENERGY STAR platform;
States are leading the way—29 states have adopted mandatory renewable portfolio standards, and an additional eight states have voluntary renewable goals. Twenty-three states have mandatory energy efficiency provisions and 10 states have implemented market-based trading programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and
The private sector is also stepping up. Google, Apple, Goldman Sachs, Walmart, and Unilever – and other large U.S. companies are choosing to cut emissions and committing hundreds of billions of dollars to finance clean energy innovation.
Advocates say a little-known provision of the Clean Power Plan could become a powerful tool to advance environmental justice. The Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP)is aimed at “removing barriers to investment in energy efficiency and solar measures in low‐income communities,” plus sparking “zero-emitting” renewable energy development, as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency describes it. Continue reading.
Photo: The now-closed Crawford coal plant looms over Chicago neighborhoods in this 2012 photo. Credit: Chris Bentley / Creative Commons
By Jonathan H. Adler, The Washington Post Monday, acting on its own initiative, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit announced that it would hear challenges to the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan sitting en banc. As per the court’s order, the challenges will be heard by the full court in September. A three-judge panel had been scheduled to hear arguments June 2. Continue reading.
By Sam Gomberg, Energy Analyst, Union of Concerned Scientists
By smartly using public funds to leverage private capital, a Michigan green bank program could drive significant investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Green banks are state-funded financial institutions that use a pool of public funds and a suite of financial tools to attract a larger pool of private investments in clean energy projects. UCS analyzed the potential outcome of creating a green bank in Michigan, based on the state-specific data and experiences of existing green banks and clean energy lending programs in other states and countries.
During the week of April 4th the Power Dialog, organized by The Center for Environmental Policyat Bard College, will support thousands of students nationwide to engage in face-to-face dialog with state regulators who are shaping their future.
The topic? State-level action to help meet the U.S. climate commitment of 30% cuts in global warming pollution by 2030.
How will it work? Students from each state will head to their own state capitols during the week of April 4th. The Power Dialog gives students a voice in critical decisions that will determine their future, and the future of the Earth.
Find a Power Dialog here. Currently, the University of Nebraska-Omaha is organizing a dialog. Contact information:
Sarah Burke Staff – University of Nebraska Omaha firstname.lastname@example.org Others will be posted here as they are added.
Learn more about Power Dialog and a series of webinars here.
As it looks to cut carbon pollution from power plants, the CPP will help solar to penetrate new markets because states will be forced to adopt cleaner energy like solar, wind or geothermal. States that are beginning to restructure their energy policies now will be better off when the CPP comes into effect, according to Resch.
“You still have 20 states who are going forward with the development of their state implementation plans,” said Resch. “Those states who aren’t, who decided we’re going to wait and see what happens, they’re going to get stuck with a federal implementation plan. I think most states would rather develop their own implementation [plan].”
By Daniel S. Cohan, contributor, and Leah Y. Parks, The Hill
Technologies from LED lights to electric cars to heat pumps are leaping past their less-efficient successors and are poised for mass adoption. Meanwhile, plunging prices push wind turbines and now solar panels into pole position for least-cost new electric capacity. Together, the technological innovations and market shifts are drastically reducing our nation’s need for coal for electric generation, and is even slicing into natural gas demand as well . . . Prices of wind, solar energy and storage technology are plummeting. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory reports that wind power cost just 2.5 cents per kilowatt hour (c/kWh) in 2014, with prices plunging further each year. Austin Energy inked a then-record low sub-4 c/kWh price for solar power last June, and Houston agreed to pay 4.8 c/kWh. EIA energy outlooks have missed these plunging prices even as other sections of the Department of Energy and the private sector report them. However, common sense can recognize that coal-laden trains from Wyoming, or even gas fracked from shale fields, will struggle to compete with direct-delivered breezes and sunshine as renewable technologies cheapen.
Cohan is associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Rice University. Parks is co-author of “All-Electric America: A Climate Solution and the Hopeful Future” and associate editor of ElectricityPolicy.com and Electricity Daily.
Written by Sam Gomberg, Union of Concerned Scientists Blog
A new UCS analysis released today shows that strengthening Minnesota’s commitment to renewable energy and energy efficiency will drive billions in capital investments, reduce carbon emissions, and lead to significant cost savings on consumer electricity bills through 2030. Further, by setting a cap on carbon emissions and auctioning off carbon allowances, the state could generate more than $200 million in annual revenues that could be used to further reduce electricity bills or be reinvested for the benefit of Minnesotans. Read more here.
Sam Gomberg is an energy analyst and an expert on responsible energy policies that support the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency resources.
Here are ten policies, trends, and market forces that are having a larger substantive impact on the trajectory of CO₂ emissions in the U.S. than the Clean Power Plan will.
1. MERCURY AND AIR TOXIC STANDARDS 2. INVESTMENT TAX CREDIT EXTENSION FOR SOLAR PV AND PRODUCTION TAX CREDIT EXTENSION FOR WIND 3. SUPREME COURT RULING ON FERC 745 (DEMAND RESPONSE) 4. ECONOMICS OF COAL, GAS, AND RENEWABLES 5. LEADING UTILITIES 6. INDUSTRY LEADERS 7. LEADING STATE LEGISLATIVE POLICIES 8. LEADING STATE REGULATORY POLICIES 9. PROGRESSIVE INDEPENDENT SYSTEM OPERATORS 10. CUSTOMER CHOICE