Monthly Archives: February 2022

Making corporate net zero rhetoric real in 2022

Contributed Utility Dive article by Chris Deri, a senior managing director at Teneo, a global CEO consulting and advisory firm, and Sasha Mackler, executive director of the Energy Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank. 

Despite an unending global pandemic, increased geopolitical tensions, and ongoing domestic political disorder, 2021 delivered encouraging progress to address climate change. In the U.S., the bipartisan infrastructure legislation unleashed massive new energy and climate programs. Globally, the United Nations climate conference in Glasgow solidified many new government commitments and public-private partnerships. Investors poured more than $120 billion into environmental, social and governance (ESG) funds, on a trajectory to reach $1 trillion by 2025. And now 600 of the largest 2,000 publicly traded global companies have announced net zero targets. Continue reading here.

FROM THE WHITE HOUSE BRIEFING ROOM

Today, on the one-year anniversary of President Biden’s executive order, seven cabinet agencies published reports identifying key weaknesses in some of the nation’s most crucial supply chains, and devising multi-year strategies to address those weaknesses. The White House also published a capstone report that provides an overview of the key actions the Biden-Harris Administration has taken over the past year to reduce the vulnerability of U.S. supply chains across a range of key sectors. And in the coming months, a number of federal departments and agencies, including the Department of Commerce and the Department of Labor (DOL), will host regional summits that will bring together stakeholders to discuss opportunities to align regional economic development strategies with the national supply chain strategy.

BUILD BACK BETTER

IBEW, NRDC Call on Congress to Pass Build Back Better, NRDC News Release

WASHINGTON – International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) sent a letter to members of Congress this week urging swift passage of the Build Back Better Act. The joint letter, signed by the president of each organization, is a clear demonstration of the pressure building for this legislation, which will create high-quality union jobs while making much-needed investments in clean energy.

ConnectDER Partners with Nebraska Public Power and Omaha Public Power District to Provide Simple Solar Integration

ConnectDER News Release, PR Newswire

ConnectDER, the innovative company that enables utilities and homeowners to expand access to distributed energy resources (DERs), is launching availability of its Solar Collar for new residential solar installations in Nebraska. ConnectDER’s simple, affordable meter collar can now be used in solar installations throughout Nebraska Public Power and Omaha Public Power District areas. The ConnectDER Solar Collar is a UL-Listed meter collar that enables rapid interconnection of grid-ready residential PV systems. The device creates a safe, standardized, low-cost alternative to traditional wiring methods for home installations. Continue reading here.

SOLAR APP+ ALSO EXPEDITING SOLAR PROJECTS & SAVING MONEY

LINKS TO RESOURCES FOR POTENTIAL RENEWABLE ENERGY CUSTOMERS

OPPD, NPPD, LES: Customer-Owned Generation

American Solar Energy Society (ASES)

Department of Energy

Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)

  • Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
    Eligible Technologies Include: Solar Water Heat, Solar Photovoltaics, Biomass, Geothermal Heat Pumps, Wind (Small)
  • Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC)
    Eligible Technologies Include: Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Geothermal Electric, Solar Thermal Electric, Solar Thermal Process Heat, Solar Photovoltaics, Geothermal Heat Pumps, Combined Heat & Power, Wind (Small), Geothermal Direct-Use, Microturbines

EnergySage

Nebraska Wind & Solar Conference Renewable Energy Series

Consumers Webinar for Residential / Small Business Solar
Speakers
David Rich: Sustainable Energy Manager, NPPD
John Hay: Extension Educator – Energy, UNL
Ron Rose: Renewable Energy Consultant, NPPD
Kirk Estee: Customer Alternative Energy Solutions Manager, OPPD
Marc Shkolnick: Manager, Energy Services, LES

Additional Resources

Norfolk residents will soon be able to sign up for solar shares

NPPD News Release

“Shares from this solar farm are exclusive to NPPD Retail residents and businesses in Norfolk and we are looking forward to getting the selection process underway,” adds NPPD General Manager of Retail Services Pat Hanrahan. “The Norfolk Community Solar and battery storage project is a first of its kind among NPPD retail communities and with a maximum generating capacity of 8.5 megawatts, it will be the largest Community Solar installation to date.” Read more here.

Ohio regulators approve Union County solar farm with construction to start this year

By Mark Williams, The Columbus Dispatch

State regulators have approved a 325-megawatt solar farm to be built in Union County, the second to be approved for Union County in recent months. AEUG Union Solar is slotted to begin construction this year on a project that will take up 2,013 acres within a 3,355-acre project area in Washington and York townships, according to the Ohio Power Siting Board, which approved the project Thursday. Regulators approved Cadence Solar Energy project last fall to be built in York, Liberty and Taylor townships. The two are among nearly 50 solar projects in some stage of development in Ohio amid a surge in interest in renewable energy. Read more here.

MORE MIDWEST / NEBRASKA NEWS

LOUISIANA’S CLIMATE ACTION PLAN

Louisiana Task Force Approves State’s First-Ever Climate Acton Plan, American Public Power Association 

A Louisiana task force has approved and presented to the state’s governor a Climate Action Plan that would set a goal of achieving zero net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050.

The Climate Action Plan recently unanimously approved by Gov. John Bel Edwards’ Climate Initiatives Task Force has three priority policy pillars: renewable electricity generation, industrial electrification, and industrial fuel switching to low- and no-carbon hydrogen.

BUILD BACK BETTER

NEW FERC POLICY 

FERC expands criteria for reviewing gas infrastructure proposals, outlines GHG framework, by Ethan Howland, Utility Dive

In past practice, FERC judged whether a pipeline was needed solely by whether it had contracts for its supply. The agency will now consider other factors such as demand projections, estimated capacity utilization rates, potential cost savings to customers, and statements from state regulatory commissions or local distribution companies, according to agency staff. FERC will also consider how gas infrastructure could affect the applicant’s existing customers; the interests of existing pipelines and their customers; environmental interests; and, the interests of landowners and surrounding communities, including environmental justice communities, staff said during the meeting.

NEW ENVIRONMENT AMERICA REPORT

Rooftop solar and the 2021 Texas power crisis: Exploring small-scale solar’s potential to improve grid resilience during a deep freeze event. Released by Environment America Research & Policy Center, Environment Texas Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group

Taking advantage of the nation’s vast rooftop solar potential would not only help build a more reliable grid, but also reduce other environmental and public health impacts of our current energy system. Download Report (PDF)
More Environment America Reports 

ACP REPORT

Clean Energy in America Reaches Milestone in 2021, But Installation Pace Must Accelerate to Reach Emissions Goals, American Clean Power Association News Release

While clean energy capacity passed the major milestone of 200 gigawatts (GW) – enough to support the energy needs of almost 2 out of every 5 American homes – the pace of clean energy installation risks hitting a plateau, with significant project delays due to supply chain bottlenecks and policy headwinds.

Clean Power Nebraska (PDF), ACP Resource

State senator wants study on more nuclear energy generation

By Andrew Ozaki, KETV

Could more nuclear energy be the answer to providing power during extreme weather events and curbing global warming. One Nebraska lawmaker wants to spend a million dollars of federal recovery money to study if advanced reactor technology would work in Nebraska. “Nationally and internationally this has been recognized now as a need that we have to have this type of technology in order to reach that zero-carbon,” state Sen. Bruce Bostelman said. He also points to a year ago when most of the country was thrown into a polar plunge. Read more or watch the video here.

LB1100: Appropriate federal funds to the Department of Economic Development for a feasibility study relating to nuclear reactors

Previously Posted Research

Department of Energy Nuclear Energy News & Resources

NUCLEAR FUSION “SCIENCE ON SATURDAY” TOPIC

The 2022 Science on Saturday series presented by DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory on “Energy and the Environment” showcases the Lab’s research and technology on environmental issues and climate change. Geared toward high school and middle school students, the virtual series is FREE. Click the above link to join the discussions and download companion student worksheets.
Sign in: 11:45 a.m. Central Time. Presentations begin at 12 p.m. 

Past presentations can be viewed on LLNL’s Science on Saturday YouTube channel

NEBRASKA ALSO IN THE NEWS HERE

Tri-State strife over cost, coal highlights energy transition challenge, S&P Global

Two of Tri-State’s distribution co-ops left in 2016 and 2020, respectively, for an up-and-coming power provider that fronted nearly $100 million in early exit fees. Tri-State’s largest member, Colorado’s United Power Inc., gave notice Dec. 14, 2021, that it intends to depart as well. Two days later, Poudre Valley REA Inc. followed suit, as did Northwest Rural Pub Power District in Nebraska on Dec. 30, 2021. 

United Power, Northwest and five others are participating in a February 2021 complaint before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission over Tri-State’s exit fee calculations, which suggests that more members might be on their way out. A FERC administrative judge will hear the case in 2022.

CORPORATE RENEWABLE ENERGY PROCUREMENT

Clean Energy Buyers Association Announces Top 10 U.S. Energy Customers in 2021, CEBA News Release, Business Wire

In 2021, CEBA introduced a simple, yet powerful vision of customer-driven clean energy for all. The 2021 Deal Tracker Top 10 demonstrates the scale and influence of energy customers that have contracted nearly 47 gigawatts of clean energy – about 20% of all wind and solar capacity in the U.S. – over the last decade. As a business trade association, CEBA will continue to catalyze its community of nearly 300 members thorough foundational education, stakeholder collaboration and acceleration of advanced and innovative market strategies.

ALSO IN THE NEWS

Waverly middle schoolers design winning Future Cities

By Sam Crisler, The Waverly News, Wahoo Newspaper

WAVERLY – The year is 2121, and the world’s energy reserves are plentiful, public transportation is accessible at the touch of a button, and local economies are self-sustaining. This is the utopia imagined and designed by a group of Waverly Middle School eighth graders who took home first place at the Nebraska Regional Future City Competition in late January. It was the first time Waverly students had participated in the competition, and the team is in the middle of two weekends of virtual presentations as part of the national competition. Continue reading and see photos here.

Illinois Renewable Energy Growth Surges in the Months After Climate and Equitable Jobs Act Signed

Solar Energy Industries Association News Release

CHICAGO and WASHINGTON, D.C. — Five months after the passage of Illinois’ landmark clean energy law, solar businesses have installed enough renewable energy to power 30,000 homes and are building a more diverse workforce with the help of job training programs. Data collected by the solar industry found 2022 is on track to be one of the biggest years for solar energy in Illinois’ history. The renewable energy industry plans to complete more than 8,400 additional solar installations and increase its workforce by nearly 50% in 2022. Continue reading here.

Also In The News

Midlands Voices: Infrastructure funds will serve critical needs for Nebraska and Iowa

By David G. Brown and Drew Kamp, Omaha World-Herald

For many years you’ve heard complaints about the neglected state of our nation’s roads and bridges. This neglect is due to inadequate funding directed toward the care and maintenance of these critical components of our daily lives. More recently we’ve heard about the growing digital divide in rural America. Fortunately, passage of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act has injected much-needed funding to address these longstanding issues.

It cannot be forgotten that this important and necessary piece of legislation became law with bipartisan and bicameral support. Thanks to senators including Chuck Grassley and Deb Fischer, and House members including Reps. Cindy Axne and Don Bacon, communities like Council Bluffs and Omaha will have access to money for much-needed infrastructure improvements. Continue reading here. Requires digital subscription.

David G. Brown is president and CEO of the Greater Omaha Chamber. Drew Kamp is president and CEO of the Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce.

RELATED

FEATURED COMMENTARY

NEBRASKA NEWS

Ohio Can Lead the Electric Vehicle and Clean Energy Economy

Expert Blog by Daniel Sawmiller
Natural Resources Defense Council

Driven primarily by projected electric vehicle (EV) demand, the global Lithium-ion battery industry and its associated supply chain have committed more than $600B in funding towards launching new electric vehicle models. This includes large scale investment in mineral extraction, chemical processing, anode and cathode production, cell production, recycling facilities and the provision of EV component parts.

The GM and LG Chem announcement of the Ultium Cells battery factory has opened up new possibilities for Ohio. Already a powerhouse in the automotive supply chain, Ohio has a unique opportunity to capture  investment and establish the state as a hub for the EV and battery industries. However, competition for EV supply chain manufacturing investment in North America—and around the globe—is intensifying and deals are being negotiated and announced right now, making it essential for the state to move quickly. Decisions made over the next two years will shape the footprint of auto production for decades. Continue reading here.

NRDC Now Hiring

More Articles, News Briefs & Resources

News Briefs & Resources from DOE & Other Sources

STEM Education Events 

Engineers Week starts February 20. Founded by the National Society of Professional Engineers in 1951, the event is dedicated to ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce by increasing understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers.

Students can get advice in this profile from DOE’s archives about engineer Jennifer Hoynack, and check out DOE’s engineering programs like Argonne’s Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, Brookhaven National Lab’s annual bridge building competition, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Marine Energy Collegiate Competition, Sandia’s Athena Engineering Scholars Program, and more on the STEM Rising website.

The 2022 Science on Saturday series presented by DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory on “Energy and the Environment” showcases the Lab’s research and technology on environmental issues and climate change. Geared toward high school and middle school students, the virtual series is FREE. Click the above link to join the discussions and download companion student worksheets.
Sign in: 11:45 a.m. Central Time. Presentations begin at 12 p.m. 

Past presentations can be viewed on LLNL’s Science on Saturday YouTube channel

FACT SHEET: Biden-⁠Harris Administration Ensuring Future is Made in America

The White House Briefing Room, February 8, 2022

Since his first day in office, President Biden relentlessly focused on an industrial strategy to revitalize our manufacturing base, strengthen critical supply chains, drive down prices, and position U.S. workers and businesses to compete and lead globally in the 21st century. This whole-of-government effort is leading to a historic recovery in domestic manufacturing. During President Biden’s first year in office, the economy added 367,000 manufacturing jobs – the most in nearly 30 years. The U.S. economy grew at the fastest pace in nearly 40 years in 2021, and manufacturing as a share of U.S. GDP has returned to pre-pandemic levels. Manufacturing activity has seen a significant expansion every month that President Biden has been in office, consistently above pre-pandemic levels.

The Build America, Buy America Act in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law expands on the Biden-Harris Administration’s work to ensure that the future is made in America by American workers by strengthening and expanding Buy America rules to all taxpayer-funded infrastructure and public works projects. Continue reading here.

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