Category Archives: Energy Storage

Rhode Island Gov. steers state toward 100% renewable electricity by 2030

Environment America News Release

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The rapidly growing group of states looking to thwart climate change by adopting 100% renewable energy policies has a new member. Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo signed an executive order establishing the goal of meeting all of the state’s electricity needs with renewable energy by 2030. The state’s Office of Energy Resources is now tasked with creating a plan to meet the governor’s goal, and a complete analysis is expected by the end of the year. Continue reading here.

Environment America’s Goal: Convince 10 states, 50 college campuses and key cities to go 100% renewable. Learn more here.

 ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

ENERGY STORAGE

EV NEWS

ANNOUNCING NEW SMART PHONE GAME

Five 2020 Energy Predictions: Solar Surge, Coal Crash, Gas Exorcism, Clean Energy Incentives, Public Mobilization

Forbes Contributor Silvio Marcacci
Energy Innovation’s Communications Director

2019 may have been the year clean energy irreversibly turned a corner toward dominance in the United States. After all, who could have foreseen last January that America would realize existing coal can’t compete against new renewables, see new solar-plus-storage beat new natural gas generation on price, have 13 states and territories committed to 100% clean electricity, or envision a path to nationwide net zero emissions?

So what will 2020 hold? Increasingly ambitious state policy combined with fast-falling technology prices could mean record renewable energy installations. Expanding efforts to decarbonize U.S. power supplies and buildings could shutter fossil fuel infrastructure faster than ever. Five leading energy and climate policy experts shared their predictions for the year and decade ahead with Energy Innovation Communications Director Silvio Marcacci. Continue reading here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

RENEWABLE ENERGY & WILDLIFE 

EV NEWS

8 electric truck and van companies to watch in 2020, by contributor Shane Downing, GreenBiz
In recent months, we’ve shone attention on companies racing to bring electric aviation to the skies in the coming decades. Now, it’s time to spotlight startups and automotive giants working to electrify dirty delivery and distribution trucks in the coming years.

NEW GREEN BIZ REPORT

The State of Green Business, 2020, by Joel Makower, Chairman & Executive Director, GreenBiz Group
Today, we publish our 13th annual State of Green Business report, examining the key trends and metrics about corporate sustainability: how, and how well, companies are making progress in assessing and minimizing their impacts and embracing a range of strategies that move them forward in significant ways. It’s our annual report card on progress by the world’s largest companies: the 500 largest publicly traded companies in the United States and the 1,200 largest in the world. It’s a free download. The report was produced in partnership with Trucost, part of financial information and analytics giant S&P Global.

Renewable advocates highlight ‘most effective’ path to net-zero emissions as House releases clean energy proposal

By Matthew Bandyk, Utility Dive

A combination of a federal clean energy standard, a technology-neutral tax credit, a carbon pricing approach and transmission regulation reforms is the “most effective scenario” in which the U.S. achieves dramatic greenhouse gas emissions reductions by the middle of the century, the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) said in a report released Thursday as House Democrats prepare a sweeping piece of legislation intended to achieve nationwide net-zero emissions by 2050.

The House Energy & Commerce Committee released a framework on Wednesday laying out the major provisions of the CLEAN Future Act, a planned bill that would combine a federal Clean Electricity Standard with measures like energy efficiency targets for buildings, a national climate bank proposal and incentives for electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Flickr; Tim Evanson

More On The CLEAN Future Act: New Jersey Congressman announces CLEAN Future Act, Renewable Energy Magazine

CONSERVATIVE ENERGY NETWORK SURVEY

Survey Says Clean Energy Policy Is Important Across Party Lines, CleanTechnica
“This survey demonstrates that there is strong support for progress in clean energy policy across the nation—and significantly among conservatives as well,” said Mark Pischea, president and CEO of CEN. “

FEATURED PODCASTS

RESEARCH

Our Most-Read Research Spotlights From 2019, Greentech Media
The top GTM stories that drew from Wood Mackenzie research.

GTM WEBINARS

Two upcoming Greentech Media research webinars: An Accelerated View of the Energy Transition, January 14 and A New Chapter for the North American Wind Market, January 30.

TRI-STATE

Tri-State to shut New Mexico, Colorado coal plants by 2030, but move may not satisfy unhappy members, Utility Dive. The G&T utility will close the Escalante Station coal plant near Prewitt, N.M., by end of 2020, and the Craig Station plant and associated Colowyo Mine in northwest Colorado by 2030. But it is not clear the announcement will quell a rebellion among some Tri-State’s members who want lower rates and the ability to develop their own local renewable power. According to the Sierra Club, Tri-State charges its 43 co-ops in Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico and Nebraska rates that are approximately 20% above average.

ON-FARM SOLAR

On-Farm Solar Grows as Farmers See Economic Rewards—and Risks, Civil Eats
From struggling dairy operations to massive grain operations, farms are starting to see the light as on-farm solar proves to be an important income stream.

STORAGE

ORNL Researchers Create Geothermal Energy Storage System, Renewable Energy Magazine
Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers created a geothermal energy storage system that could reduce peak electricity demand up to 37 percent in homes while helping balance grid operations.

DOE’S ENERGY STORAGE GRAND CHALLENGE

DOE unveils plan to make US global storage leader by 2030, reduce foreign dependence, Utility Dive

CORPORATE RENEWABLE ENERGY PROCUREMENT

U.S. Department of Energy Launches Energy Storage Grand Challenge

DOE News Release, January 8, 2020

WASHINGTON D.C. –  Today, U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette announced the launch of the Energy Storage Grand Challenge, a comprehensive program to accelerate the development, commercialization, and utilization of next-generation energy storage technologies and sustain American global leadership in energy storage. The Grand Challenge builds on the $158 million Advanced Energy Storage Initiative announced in President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget request.

“Energy storage is key to capturing the full value of our diverse energy resources,” said Secretary Brouillette. “Through this Grand Challenge, we will deploy the Department’s extensive resources and expertise to address the technology development, commercialization, manufacturing, valuation, and workforce challenges to position the U.S. for global leadership in the energy storage technologies of the future.” Continue reading here.

About the Energy Storage Grand Challenge

The Expert Take: Katherine Hamilton on our energy transition

Generation 180 Interview

At Generation180, we’re working to inspire and equip individuals to get involved in the energy transition. It’s complex and it’s big. So to provide a better sense of where we’re headed, we’re providing a deeper dive into what’s happening with this transition—where are we right now, how far we’ve come, and, most importantly, where we need to go.

As part of our online Boot Camp project, we recently spoke with Katherine Hamilton, an energy expert with over 30 years of industry experience. Katherine has worked with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and is currently the chair of 38 North Solutions and former co-chair of a World Economic Forum council on advanced energy technology. Here [is] what’s on Katherine’s mind and what she sees as the role of “everyday energy leaders.” Read more here.

LINKS TO MORE INFORMATION ABOUT GENERATION 180

SUSTAINABILITY JOBS

Jobs You Can Do With a Sustainability Degree, Earth911

GREEN SCHOOLS

Iowa City schools anticipate cutting carbon emissions in half in five years, Iowa City Press-Citizen
Iowa City schools appear on track to reduce carbon emissions by more than 45% by 2030, the goalpost student climate activists have pushed for in Iowa City, according to a consultant’s report.  But the report indicated that reducing carbon emissions to a net-zero by 2050, another goal pushed for by climate activists, will require the district to take action. 

REGENERATIVE FARMING & CLIMATE RESILIENCY

Black farmers embrace and implement solutions for climate resiliency, by Leah Penniman, Co-Director Soul Fire Farm, GreenBiz

Leah Penniman is a farmer, educator, soil steward and food justice activist. She is co-director and program manager of Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, New York, and the author of Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land.

 

RURAL ENERGY FOR AMERICA PROGRAM (REAP)

The Rural Energy for America Program provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase or install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements.

Program Status: Open
Program Information
Program Fact Sheet
Hoja Informativa del Programa en Español

NEW REPORT

ENVIRONMENT AMERICA

Environment America releases 2020 state legislative agenda priorities, News Release
State affiliates of Environment America, a national nonpartisan advocacy group, delivered meaningful progress on several environmental and public health issues in 2019. But given the obstacles that still exist at the federal level on those issues and more, states will have to continue to lead in 2020. Here is a roundup of the top issues and bills that Environment America’s 29 state affiliates will be working on across the country this coming year:

ELECTRIC VEHICLES

2020 will be a key year (and decade) for electric vehicles, GreenBiz
This article is adapted from GreenBiz’s weekly newsletter, Transport Weekly, running Tuesdays. Subscribe here. 

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Solar Industry Vows to Lead Power Generation in the 2020s

SEIA News Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – When energy and climate analysts look back on the 2020s, they will see a transformed energy landscape dominated by new solar energy generation, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) said in recognition of the start of the Solar+ Decade. “The 2010s were filled with more highs than lows, and the solar industry is in a strong position to become the leading source of new energy generation this decade,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, SEIA’s president and CEO. “Working in collaboration with other clean energy technologies, including storage, solar will lead a clean energy economic boom while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions.” Continue reading here.

Learn more about the Solar+ Decade: www.seia.org/solar-decade
Read the roadmap that will get us there: www.seia.org/roadmap

About SEIA
Celebrating its 46th anniversary in 2020, the Solar Energy Industries Association is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry, which now employs more than 242,000 Americans. Through advocacy and education, SEIA is building a strong solar industry to power America. SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to build jobs and diversity, champion the use of cost-competitive solar in America, remove market barriers and educate the public on the benefits of solar energy.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

NEW REPORT

Utility-Scale Solar: Empirical Trends in Project Technology, Cost, Performance, and PPA Pricing in the United States – 2019 Edition, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
The utility-scale solar sector has led the overall U.S. solar market in terms of installed capacity since 2012. In 2018, the utility-scale sector accounted for nearly 60% of all new solar capacity, and is expected to maintain its market-leading position for at least another six years. More than three-quarters of all states, representing all regions of the country, are now home to one or more utility-scale solar projects. This report—the seventh in an ongoing annual series—provides in-depth data-driven analysis of the utility-scale solar project fleet in the United States.

Editorial: Nebraska has positive options to address its brain drain challenge

Omaha World-Herald

To meet this challenge, Nebraska can employ a variety of sensible strategies. The new Blueprint Nebraska initiative, developed through public sessions across the state, can provide a central vehicle for building consensus and momentum for progress. This initiative can bring together business, education, government, nonprofits and communities for concerted, focused action. Read more here.

Links to several programs featured in the editorial:

LES NEWS RELEASE

LES announces 2020 Sustainable Energy Program incentives
Lincoln Electric System’s Sustainable Energy Program is returning in 2020 with $1.75 million in incentive funds. These incentives are offered to LES customers to encourage upgrading to the most energy efficient equipment. By participating in the program, customers help reduce the need for LES to purchase more expensive power during the summer months and delays the need for new power generation to be built,” said Marc Shkolnick, LES manager of energy services. “This is good for all of LES’ customer-owners, regardless of whether they participate in the program.” Since the program’s launch in 2009, LES customers have accessed $22.5 million in incentives and spent $126.6 million on energy-efficient equipment and/or services.

MORE NEWS FROM VARIOUS STATES

NATIONAL NEWS & ENEL JOB OPPORTUNITIES

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

5 Corporate Social Responsibility Trends To Follow In 2020. Forbes article contributed by Timothy J. McClimon, President of the American Express Foundation.

ENERGY STORAGE

GREEN HYDROGEN

OF POTENTIAL INTEREST TO FARMERS

Hemp Boot Camps Scheduled for Cities Throughout the US, by Jeffrey Friedland, CEO, FC Global Strategies LLC

The first two Hemp Boot Camps of 2020 will be held in Lincoln, Nebraska on February 1st and Des Moines, Iowa on February 29th. Hemp Boot Camps are sponsored by FC Global Events, a subsidiary of FC Global Strategies. US-based FC Global Strategies provides services and programs to early-stage, and entrepreneurial growth-oriented companies in the US and globally. The firm’s primary focus is on the cannabis, hemp, CBD, renewable energy, and technology sectors.

Links to More Information

Additional Recommended Reading

Court OKs controversial power line despite Missouri landowners’ objections

By Kurt Erickson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

In a ruling issued Tuesday, the Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern District rejected claims that the Public Service Commission had erred in giving a green light in March to the construction of the Grain Belt Express Transmission line. The 19-page ruling is the latest victory for backers of the project, which aims to bring Kansas wind energy east to Missouri, Illinois and Indiana.
Read more here.

Website: Grain Belt Express Transmission Line

ADDITIONAL MIDWEST NEWS & OPINION

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

NATIONAL NEWS

ENERGY STORAGE

WORKFORCE DIVERSITY

The business case for gender equality in solarPV Magazine
The writer, Lara Anton, is responsible for the client management of Samuel Knight International’s renewable energy portfolio.

SOLAR SCHOOLS

8 schools that went solar in 2019, by Kelsey Misbrenner, Solar Power World
Solar installations powering K-12 schools are on the rise. Creative financing through PPAs and grants help make these nonprofit installations a possibility, and the benefits are vast: Schools save money on electricity, and students get firsthand experience with solar energy.

Bluestem Energy Solutions to open new office in Columbus

By David Becker, The Columbus Telegram

Bluestem Energy Solutions, an Omaha-based company that is known for operating low carbon electric generation projects and enables consumers and businesses to have renewable energy, will soon be opening up its first office in Columbus. “The new office was chosen due to Columbus’ proximity to our operating assets, a strong workforce and our relationship with Loup Public Power. Loup Public Power District has a great team focused on growing their community and serving their customers with the highest of standards,” said Adam Herink, vice president of Bluestem Energy Solutions.

“Bluestem is focused on all low carbon energy generation technologies in the market, along with battery storage. The economics are competitive today and every area of the country will experience growth in renewable technologies like solar and wind coupled with battery storage. The advent of battery storage on our industry is driving more decisions faster because it minimizes the variability of renewable energy,” Herink said. Read more here.

Bluestem Energy Solutions

Loup Power District

Loup Power District celebrated 85 years in 2018. It was the first public power district in Nebraska. Loup Power serves 21 Nebraska communities with a total current population of approximately 62,300 people. The total service area covers 2,219 square miles and consists of 794 miles of transmission and distribution lines. In addition, the District sells electric power to one wholesale customer.

Loup Power has distribution system lease and franchise agreements with all the municipalities that provide for the continued operation of their distribution systems until the expiration of the agreements. Under these agreements, the District retains the responsibilities of ownership and/or operation, including the obligation to meet the costs of property additions and maintenance. The Board sets sufficient electric rates to pay the cost of operating, maintaining and repairing the transmission and distribution systems.

YouTube Video: Loup Power Canal Chronicles – January 2019
Bluestem’s Creston Ridge Wind Farm: Phases I and II, Boyd Jones

A holiday talk about the climate crisis? Yes, please.

Contributed article for GreenBiz by Phil Berry,
Founder & Chief Executive of Sustainable Supply Chains

For some of us, holiday gatherings are difficult. Connecting with family and friends who don’t always share our values or views can be stressful. Many of us steer clear of talking politics and religion with family members to avoid contentious discussions or outright conflict. Regardless whether we are conscious of it, climate change has been added to that list of taboo subjects.

I want to provide you with scientific evidence why a holiday discussion about climate change has a better chance of success, and less chance of conflict, than you might think. Then I’d like to equip you with some of what I’ve learned in 20 years communicating with skeptics of climate science. There are two scientifically valid reasons why this conversation isn’t a crazy idea. Continue reading here,

MORE ON CLIMATE LEADERSHIP

 GREEN CAMPUSES

Engie, University of Iowa say ‘I do’ to 50-year, $1 billion+ partnership, by Sarah Golden, Senior Energy Analyst GreenBiz & VERGE Energy Chair

Per the agreement, Engie will help the university phase out coal from its on-site power plant in five years. The company has stated its intention to work with the university to transition towards a zero-carbon footprint. How will it achieve zero-carbon operations for the university’s two campuses, which span 1,700 acres and includes an internal hospital? Engie doesn’t know — yet. Although the service provider has yet to create an action plan for the UI campuses, it plans on including onsite renewable generation, energy storage, lighting upgrades, microgrids and a digital dashboard to manage its energy resources. 

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

EV NEWS

Dominion chooses 50 electric Thomas Built Buses powered by Proterra, PV Magazine
The vehicle to grid enabled EVs are part of a pilot program whose goal is to integrate 13,000 Virginia school buses into the state’s power grid as an energy storage resource to be tapped.

Previously Posted: All The Energy Storage The Grid Needs Will Soon Be Under Our Noses

FEATURED NATIONAL INITIATIVE

Environment America’s Mayors for Solar Energy is a bipartisan community of mayors committed to making solar energy a key element of their communities’ energy plans. Environment America’s resources provide the tools they need to take concrete steps to achieve their communities’ goals:

Resources Include:

EUROPE’S GREEN DEAL

Your guide to Europe’s ‘Green New Deal,’ the continent’s new plan to get to net zero
Contributed article for GreenBiz by Madeleine Cuff, senior reporter for the U.K. sustainable business publication BusinessGreen.

Europe soon could become the first continent in the world to be aiming for net zero emissions by 2050, if EU leaders adopt a ground-breaking plan (PDF) released by the European Commission. The long-awaited European Green Deal promises a radical transformation of the trading bloc’s economy over the next 30 years, which would see the EU fully decarbonize while creating green jobs in new low-carbon industries.