Monthly Archives: April 2019

‘This is how to build it’: Book aims to provide a legal guide to decarbonization

By Marie Cusack, Energy News Network

Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States is co-edited by John Dernbach,
director of the Environmental Law and Sustainability Center at Widener University in
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University.

Dernbach and Gerrard have partnered with Richard Horsch, a retired partner from the
international law firm White & Case LLP, to assemble a network of attorneys around the country to donate their time and turn the book’s recommendations into model climate laws and
regulation. Dernbach and Gerrard also plan to launch a website in May that will be a platform to provide resources and information to policymakers, lawyers and advocates. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Roland Balik / U.S. Air Force

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Want To Limit Global Warming? Electrify Everything, Finds Study, CleanTechnica
Researchers at the Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology (LUT) in Finland and Energy Watch Group (EWG) have completed a 4½ year study that examined how to meet the goals of the Paris climate accords without such measures as carbon capture and geo-engineering. Their conclusion? Run everything on electricity and generate all of that electricity using renewables, primarily solar.

State Energy Office Offers 1% Loans to All Nebraskans

Nebraska Energy Office News Release

(LINCOLN, NE) – After the historic flooding and devastation in Nebraska’s communities, the
Nebraska Energy Office, in conjunction with Nebraska lending institutions, began providing
assistance to those affected by floods, by offering Dollar and Energy Saving Loans at 1%
interest.

The Nebraska Energy Office will now offer these ultra-low interest loans to all Nebraskans to make energy efficient home and farm improvements. You do not need to be affected by
flooding to participate in this special loan offer. Subject to lender approval. A sample of eligible energy efficiency home and farm improvements are: Read the entire news release here.

 

Nebraska Energy Office Dollar and Energy Saving Loans Program

Nebraskans talk extreme weather. Just don’t call it climate change.

By Laurent Belsie, The Christian Science Monitor

The severe flooding that inundated Nebraska last month washed away fields, bridges, and roads.
But the extreme weather is also starting to sway residents’ thinking about climate.

Part of the change in thought is coming from farmers themselves, especially those involved with the small but growing regenerative farming movement. “Conversations were already happening before the flood,” says Graham Christensen, a fifth-generation farmer and president of GC
Resolve, a grassroots community-development business. “But after the flood a lot more folks are like, ‘Yeah, I have never seen that; my dad has never seen that; my grandpa has never seen that. This is a pattern that’s emerging.’” Read the entire article here.

Photo by Annette Bloom of her Nebraska farm during the recent historic floods.

Nebraska Regenerative Agriculture Resources

As Laurent Belsie states, Graham Christensen is a fifth-generation Nebraska farmer. He also is leading the growing Nebraska
Regenerative Agriculture movement, creating a website and Facebook page, as well as collaborating with many others to develop an online resource guide:
RegeNErate Nebraska Website
RegeNErate Nebraska Facebook
Guide to Regenerative Agriculture in Nebraska (PDF)

Excerpts from the guide: 

Regenerative practices draw down carbon from the atmosphere and sink or sequester it in the ground. Agriculture can be our best chance to removing rising greenhouse gas emissions that
exacerbate climate change, rather than being a catalyst of it.

Nebraska is already home to a flourishing network of regenerative farms, and many have joined together under the farmer-owned co-op model, allowing them to pool a wide variety of products and satisfy growing demand. By giving back to the land and water what they take from it, these farmers are finding drastically reduced input costs, and even achieving higher yields.

Nebraska Legislation
LB 243 to create a Healthy Soils Task Force passed April 11, 2019 by a vote of 43 to 0.

Solar project pricing should be available soon

Written by Tony Herman, Hastings Tribune

Derek Zeisler, director of marketing and energy supply for Hastings Utilities, gave an update on the power project during the Hastings Utility Board meeting Thursday. Members of the Hastings Utility Board voted recommend approval during their February meeting of a $2.38 million bid from GenPro Energy Solutions for a 1.5 megawatt AC solar project with the purchase option. The project has a completion date of Sept. 2, 2019 . . . Zeisler said Thursday this first phase of the solar project will include more than 6,000 panels within three arrays, most likely off of
Highland Road just west of the Hastings Municipal Airport. There is plenty of room there to
expand with future phases. Hastings Utilities is moving forward with three pricing options.
Read more here.

Photo: Fremont’s first of two 1.55-megawatt solar farms.
Credit: Troy Schaben, Assistant City Administrator, Fremont Department of Utilities

City of Norfolk, NPPD teaming up for solar project

Special to the Norfolk Daily News 

Approval was given Monday at the Norfolk City Council meeting regarding the state’s largest community solar project with NPPD. The project will be tied to a battery energy storage system (BESS) demonstration project expected to be in operation by mid-2020. NPPD, with support from the City of Norfolk, received a grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust in the amount of $490,000 over two years for the battery energy project, which will be the first of its kind in the state . . . “As technologies have advanced and costs have decreased, rural Nebraska is now in position to produce energy as efficiently as it does food,” said Mayor Josh Moenning.

Read more here.

SoCore Energy Photo: Kearney’s 5.7-megawatt solar farm on 53 acres of the city’s technology park, Tech oNE Crossing, The panels are mounted on a tracker-designed racking system. The solar farm generates about 5% of Kearney’s peak demand.

NPPD’s SunWise Community Solar Program

Going Green: Homes with Solar Panels Sell for 4.1% More

Zillow News Release, PR Newswire

More than 80 percent of home buyers say energy-efficient features are important, a truth that’s reflected by data showing homes with solar energy systems fetch higher prices. A new Zillow® analysis shows homes with solar-energy systems sold for 4.1 percent more on average than others nationwide in the past year[ii]. The sale premium varies by market – 5.4 percent in New York, 4.4 percent in San Francisco and 3.6 percent in Los Angeles, for example. This Earth Day, Zillow is highlighting a green initiative that helps inform homeowners and buyers about their own solar potential by putting a Sun Number on more than 84 million homes nationwide. The Sun Number provides a sense of each home’s solar-energy potential and the energy savings that comes with it. Read the entire news release here.

Photo by SWT Energy based in Lincoln: Janece and Dwayne’s 10.6-kilowatt photovoltaic
array, with south- and west-facing solar panels on their home and garage. Their home’s heating and cooling systems are both electric.

Midwest Sees Surge in Clean Energy Jobs

The region is creating jobs in renewable energy and the clean energy industry
more quickly than the rest of the country.

By Casey Leins, U.S. News & World Report

THE MIDWEST ADDED MORE than 28,000 clean energy jobs in 2018, resulting in a 4 percent growth rate, according to a recent report released by national advocacy groups Clean Energy Trust and Environmental Entrepreneurs. The 12 Midwestern states employed more than 737,000 workers in the clean energy industry last year, with 71.5 percent of those jobs falling under the category of energy efficiency.The report looks at employment in the following clean energy sectors: energy efficiency, renewable energy generation (including solar, wind, geothermal, bioenergy and low-impact hydroelectric power), advanced transportation, advanced grid and clean fuels. Read more here.

Clean Jobs Midwest

Rural Electric Co-ops Dive Into Gas-Killing Solar Panels + Farmland Fray

Written by Tina Casey, CleanTechnica

Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy legislative session over in the great state of
Michigan, where policy makers are considering the idea that putting solar panels on farmland is a good thing. If the state does relax its restrictions, look for other US states to amp up the solar power rush. Read more here.

Photo Credit: George Parker / Fresh Energy

ALSO WRITTEN BY TINA CASEY

 

New Plan To Save Coal Jobs: Teeny, Tiny Coal Power Plants, CleanTechnica

 


ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

100% RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS

  • Washington 100% renewable bill passes both Houses, PV Magazine
    Washington is looking to become the fourth state to make the move to 100% renewable electricity, with only a Senate review and the hand of Governor Inslee left in the way of SB 5116.
  • Homeowners play a role in Atlanta’s Clean Energy Plan, Atlanta Journal Constitution
    Developed by the Mayor’s Office of Resilience, the Clean Energy Plan was approved in March by the City Council. It offers the framework to overhaul energy usage of municipal operations and the community with short- and long-term strategies aimed at achieving 100% clean energy by 2035.
  • Green Mountain Power on 100% clean energy: hold my beer, PV Magazine
    The Vermont utility has set a plan to decarbonize more aggressively than even Washington DC, as the second utility know to pv magazine to set a 100% clean electricity target.

NEBRASKA IN THE NEWS HERE

Renewable Energy Could Save $160 Trillion In Climate Change Costs by 2050

By James Ellsmoor, Contributor, Forbes

With development and energy demands soaring worldwide, there is an opportunity for clean, renewable energy to supplant fossil fuels and take over as the main form of electricity generation. New
findings published by the International Renewable Energy Agency
(IRENA) have emphasized the need to scale up efforts to transition
away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy.
Continue reading here.

‘BagMonster’ makes a point about plastic bags at Omaha’s Earth Day event

By Alli Davis, Omaha World-Herald

Elmwood Park swarmed with dogs, chickens, rabbits and humans for the 30th annual Earth Day Omaha event on Saturday. Oh, and a BagMonster. David Corbin, a retired public health and health education professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, said he wore the costume to raise awareness about the upcoming Omaha City Council vote on whether to ban plastic bags from Omaha’s grocery stores, bakeries and other places that primarily sell food. Corbin is the president of the Nebraska Chapter of the Sierra Club, and he also received Earth Day Omaha’s Friend of the Environment Lifetime Achievement Award at the event. Read more here.

David is also a member of Nebraskans for Solar’s Board of Directors.

Four other people and organizations received Friend of the Environment Awards:

  • Individual: Nancy Scott
  • Business: University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Youth: Cate Kelly
  • Nonprofit: Saving Grace

Top Photo Credit: Alli Davis