Monthly Archives: February 2015

Most Americans see combating climate change as a moral duty

By Bruce Wallace, Reuters

A significant majority of Americans say combating climate change is a moral issue that obligates them – and world leaders – to reduce carbon emissions, a Reuters/IPSOS poll has found.

The poll of 2,827 Americans was conducted in February to measure the impact of moral language, including interventions by Pope Francis, on the climate change debate. In recent months, the pope has warned about the moral consequences of failing to act on rising global temperatures, which are expected to disproportionately affect the lives of the world’s poor.

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Another Way to Act on Climate: Getting Smart on Brownfields Reuse

By Mathy Stanislaus, EPA Connect: The Official Blog of EPA’s Leadership

For 20 years, the brownfields program has worked with local communities to help support reuse and development of former and current contaminated lands. Cleaning up brownfields has put a lot of land back into use, helping communities and boosting local economies. This work has another huge benefit, too: as we redevelop brownfield sites to significantly reduce the impact of climate change . . . We’re now reusing brownfield sites to significantly reduce the impact of climate change. It is estimated that there are more than 450,000 brownfields in the U.S., so the potential impact is significant. There are many ways we can help communities become more climate resilient as we clean up brownfields:

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EPA Region 7 Brownfields
National Brownfields Training Conference in Chicago, September 2-4, 2015

Solar panels add premium to home value, study finds

by Edgar Meza, PV Magazine

Residential solar installations could make U.S. homes more attractive, and their sale more lucrative.

According to a new report by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkley Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), home buyers have been consistently willing to pay more for homes with host-owned solar systems, averaging about $4 per watt of PV installed, across various states, housing and PV markets and home types.

The report, Selling into the Sun: Price Premium Analysis of a Multi-State Dataset of PV Homes, found that premiums for a typical residential PV system averaged around $15,000.

Read more here.
Download full report, fact sheets, and presentation.

Tenaska bets on solar with stake in roof-panel installer

by Russell Hubbard / World Herald staff writer

Omaha energy company Tenaska has bought a stake in a California-based installer of residential rooftop solar panels.

Terms weren’t disclosed in the deal announced this week by Tenaska and Suncrest Solar.

The investment is a bet on residential solar development by Tenaska, which builds and operates natural-gas fired electric plants nationwide. Suncrest designs and installs solar panels that produce electricity directly into homes, with excess amounts sold to an electric utility. Suncrest Solar installed about 500 systems on homes last year.

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Wind, solar power could supply 75 percent of Nebraska’s needs, advocates say

By Russell Hubbard / World-Herald staff writer

Nebraska wind and solar advocates said Wednesday that renewable energy has the potential to supply almost 75 percent of the state’s needs.

A new report produced by the Wind Energy Foundation, Creighton University and Washington-based consultants David Gardiner and Associates said “significant cost declines” for electricity generated by wind and solar power is spurring development in Nebraska and nationwide.

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Thank you to Michael Shonka and everyone who attended his presentation last night!

Co-Sponsors Nebraskans for Solar and the Omaha Sierra Club would like to thank Michael Shonka for his informative and well-received presentation at UNO’s Community Engagement Center on the topic of “Central City’s Solar Farm.” We also thank everyone who braved last night’s bitter temperatures to attend the event and for your thoughtful and well-informed questions.

We regret that Michael’s friend and colleague, Chuck Marken, was unable to join us. On behalf of Nebraskans for Solar, however, Michael has let him know that the invitation to come to Nebraska and present a public forum remains open.

We also wish to thank three special guests: David Bracht, Director of the Nebraska Energy Office; Cliff Mesner, whose company developed the Central City Solar Farm and who contributed to last night’s presentation, answering a number of questions from the audience; and Don Preister, a leading pioneer in renewable energy legislation that laid the groundwork for its development in our state, serving for 16 years as a senator from Bellevue in the Nebraska Legislature.

Save the date!  You are invited to a panel presentation, “Creighton University’s Sustainable Energy Science Program” on Monday, March 23rd. RSVP required. Please see our calendar for additional details.

Distributed Energy Storage: A Case for National and International Collaboration

Clean Energy Group (CEG) has released a new report calling for more collaboration on policies to promote emerging distributed energy storage technologies. In Distributed Energy Storage: A Case for National and International Collaboration, CEG proposes the creation of both national and international networks of industry, policy makers and NGOS to advance new and effective policies for distributed energy storage technologies

Distributed energy storage systems are advancing quickly and show great promise for a wide variety of applications and markets. But the markets are at an early stage, and policy makers have only begun to develop programs to help advance the technologies. A few states like California have developed targeted energy storage policies, but many states are likely to create policy programs. This early stage of the policy development on energy storage is the right time for more collaborative discussions on the best policy approaches to drive the technologies to scale.

For more information or to download the report, visit