Category Archives: Financing

Solarize Chicagoland group-buy program bears fruit even in rough times

By Kari Lydersen, Energy News Network

As Dan Orum grilled dinner one night in early June, through an earbud in one ear he learned the ins and outs of how to get a solar installation on his home in the Chicago suburbs and collect state and federal incentives before they expire. A few days later, he had signed a contract to be part of Solarize Chicagoland, a group-buy program that has been popular in its second year, despite the pandemic’s chilling effect on the economy and the larger solar industry. 

Orum had long been interested in solar because of the environmental benefits, but had never found the time or motivation to wade through all the options and requirements. The webinar he listened to while cooking that night made it clear that the group-buy program would offer him a good price for solar with support at every step of the process, working with a developer vetted and chosen by the Midwest Renewable Energy Association and other partners. Continue reading here.

Photo by Solarize Chicagoland group-buy participant Andre Pavkovic of his home’s PV system installed by GRNE Solar, based in Lincoln, Nebraska. GRNE also has offices in Illinois, Indiana and Iowa. “Last year, the program included 124 installations for a total of 870 kW, with GRNE Solar doing the installations.”

Additional Information
Solar Group Buy Resources, Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA)

MIDWEST SOLAR SCHOOLS & POWER PURCHASE AGREEMENTS

Why America’s Schools Are Turning Into Solar Power Stations, Huff Post


Primergy, an Oakland, California, solar company nstalled the photovoltaic arrays at Galesburg, Illinois and 32 other schools in the state, including a college. The schools have power purchase agreements (PPA) with the company, meaning Primergy owns, operates and maintains the arrays. They then sell the electricity they generate exclusively to the schools, at a lower rate than they were paying for conventional electricity from the local utility company. Primergy leases the space required for the installations, too, which is extra revenue for the schools on top of their energy cost savings. Over the last few years, the vast majority of U.S. schools getting into solar have gone the PPA route.

Photo: An acre of solar panels in an old soccer practice field will power Galesburg High School.

Additional Information About PPAs
What is a solar power purchase agreement?, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) Resource

One Way to Retire Coal Plants: Buy Out the Owner

By Emma Foehringer Merchant, Greentech Media

Municipal and cooperative utilities may have an easier time retiring coal plants early.

In 2016, New Mexico’s Kit Carson Electric Cooperative left its long-standing power supply relationship with Colorado’s Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association behind. Kit Carson paid nearly $40 million to sever its relationship with Tri-State, after realizing it could save its customers even more money — $50 to $70 million — and get access to more renewables by contracting with Guzman Energy, a wholesale power provider. Since Kit Carson made a run for the door, numerous Tri-State members have considered the same.

Think tank Energy Innovation, in a new analysis released Tuesday in partnership with energy modeling company Vibrant Clean Energy, is elevating Kit Carson’s flight as a model for coal retirement that allows third-party, private financiers — including energy providers such as Guzman, investors or renewables developers — to push municipal and co-operative utilities toward more renewables. Continue reading here.

Energy Innovation: Policy and Technology LLC is a nonpartisan energy and environmental policy firm. 

MORE GTM ARTICLES OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

  • Microsoft Eyes New Tool in Decarbonization Quest: Green Hydrogen
    The tech giant announced Monday that it recently powered a row of data center servers for 48 hours using nothing but hydrogen fuel cells, which it believes to be the longest such test in the world for a data center operator at that scale. Microsoft is expanding its hydrogen testing and intends to leverage its vast size and energy consumption to help the green hydrogen industry scale up, Brian Janous, the company’s general manager for environmental sustainability, said in an interview. Last week NextEra Energy, the largest U.S. generator of wind and solar power, revealed plans to build its first green hydrogen facility in Florida, to be fueled by solar power.
  • Trump Administration Announces Long-Delayed Nomination of Democrat to FERC
    Nomination of NRDC attorney Allison Clements alongside Virginia utility regulator Mark Christie could restore political balance to key U.S. agency.
  • FirstEnergy CEO Defends Utility Amid Bribery Scandal Questions
    The utility’s share price and credit ratings have taken a hit after it was implicated in an Ohio nuclear and coal bailout corruption investigation.

NEW WORLD RESOURCES INSTITUTE REPORT

41 states have reduced their carbon emissions while growing their economies, Fast Company
Since 2005, 41 states and Washington, D.C., have increased their GDPs while reducing their carbon emissions, debunking the myth that economic growth can only happen at the expense of our environment. A new report from World Resources Institute (WRI) analyzes how states have decoupled their GDP growth from emissions, which Devashree Saha, a senior associate at WRI, says is “a hopeful sign for the United States and for the planet.” 

MORE ON NEW EIA DATA

Renewables have outpaced nuclear and coal to start 2020, PV Magazine
In the latest edition of Electric Power Monthly, Energy Information Administration (EIA) data shows that renewable resources have generated more electricity through May 31st than both coal and nuclear power.

AGGREGATED COMMUNITY SOLAR PROJECTS

First downstate project through Illinois community solar program underway, Energy News Network. The first community solar project in downstate Illinois facilitated by the state’s 2017 Future Energy Jobs Act is now being built, showing both the potential of the wildly popular program and the challenges of implementing it. Washington D.C.-based Summit Ridge Energy won the rights to sell renewable energy credits for 18 projects in downstate Ameren utility territory and 23 in ComEd’s territory in northern Illinois. So far it’s signed up 8,479 customers to participate in the community solar installations — just over half the subscribers it needs to be fully subscribed. 

MIDWEST SOLAR SCHOOLS

C2 Energy Capital Works with Solar Partners to Guide a School Solar Project to Successful Completion, C2 Capital News Release, PRNewswire

“The average price of a school solar installation has dropped 67% in the last ten years, making solar energy a smart decision for schools’ budgets. The most important factor for a successful solar installation in a school is an experienced team. Together, our partners have installed solar on dozens of schools in the Midwest and we are proud of the level of expertise, quality, and service we can offer,” says Richard Dovere, Co-founder and Managing Member of C2 Energy Capital.

The partnership between C2 Energy Capital, First Solar, and SP&L took a value-driven approach that resulted in cost-savings and reduced project risk for the school through strategic technology procurement, employing local and Ohio resources, and arranging ongoing project performance analysis. 

EVANGELICAL ENVIRONMENTAL NETWORK

Can an evangelical group change Ohio lawmakers’ minds on clean energy?, Energy News Network

An evangelical group has a stark message for Ohio lawmakers: If you care about unborn children, clean up the air their mothers breathe. “As a pro-life Christian, I believe pollution harms the unborn, causing damage that lasts a lifetime,” reads a petition signed by more than 53,000 Ohioans in support of moving the state to 100% clean electricity by 2030. The petition, circulated by the nonprofit Evangelical Environmental Network, was delivered to lawmakers on July 16. Its potential political impact was unclear then and is even more so now after federal authorities arrested the speaker of the Ohio House and others as part of an alleged $60 million bribery scheme

SUNPOWER BIFACIAL SOLAR PANELS

SunPower to launch 625 W shingled module, PV Magazine
SunPower, which is majority owned by French energy giant Total, is planning to launch a new shingled module series with 625 watts of power output. Group spinoff Maxeon Solar Technologies will commercialize the Performance 5 line in the fourth quarter. The high-efficiency, bifacial mono-PERC solar panels will be made with large format eight-inch G12 wafers and will have an efficiency of 21.2%.

AWEA WEBINAR SERIES

Renewables 101 series: Wind recap, look out for solar, by Lauren Rudolphi, Into The Wind
As someone new to the renewable energy industry, this month’s Wind 101 Webinar Series offered an insightful and well-rounded look into the world of wind. From an overview of the market, to wildlife, siting & permitting, I walked away from the series feeling informed and excited to learn more! Below is a recap of my key takeaways.

Pilot project tests potential of solar energy for Grand Island, Neb.

By Taelor Bentley, American Public Power Association

A solar panel array built in 2018 is a part of a pilot project in Grand Island, Neb., which is testing the potential of solar as a source of energy for Grand Island. The intent is to get operational data on projects and give the City of Grand Island Utilities Department hands-on information on how it might interact with their system.

The project represents a 25-year commitment by the city at no cost. The solar farm is owned by private investors who sell the city the power it produces. The solar panels generate 1-MW, producing about 1% of the city’s load when it’s at full operation.

Read more here.

Photo by project installer GenPro Energy Solutions. Founded in Rapid City, South Dakota in 2003, GenPro has a Nebraska office and warehouse located in Central City. Jeff Berggren is GenPro’s Nebraska Program Manager.

Grand Island’s Renewable Energy

SEIA Resources

 

 

 

Power Purchase Agreements: What is a solar power purchase agreement?
A solar power purchase agreement (PPA) is a financial agreement where a developer arranges for the design, permitting, financing and installation of a solar energy system on a customer’s property at little to no cost.

See Also: SEIA Fact Sheets

Crowdfunding For Clean Energy — Raise Green Launches New Marketplace

By Zachary Shahan, CleanTechnica

You may recall that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) finalized equity crowdfunding regulations nearly 5 years ago. Now, “Raise Green is the first company to offer equity crowdfunding focused on investments for climate solutions nationwide” under that option. One cool feature about the platform is it will help you to really see how far your money went on the climate or energy side of things, as well as the financial side. “Raise Green aims to give people the direct impact they have been looking to make on climate change by providing access to verifiable investment opportunities.”

Curious to learn more about the inspiration for starting this, the founding team’s thoughts on the investment climate today and in the coming decade, and a few other matters, I asked Franz Hochstrasser, CEO and Co-Founder of Raise Green, a few questions to supplement the news and add more context. Read more here.
Photo: Co-Founders Franz Hochstrasser (left) and Matthew Moroney

Previously Posted
Alumni seek students’ insights into Raise Green crowdfunding platform, Yale News

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

COMANCHE 3 – ‘COLORADO’S BILLION DOLLAR MISTAKE’

Will Colorado’s newest coal plant survive beyond 20 years?, by Allen Best, The Aspen Times
A 2019 law, HB19-1261, the Climate Action Plan to Reduce Pollution, ordered electrical utilities regulated by the PUC to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide 80% by 2030 relative to 2005 levels. This is part of a broader goal identified by the law of decarbonizing Colorado’s economy 50% by 2030. A majority of coal plants in Colorado will be closing during the decade. Altogether, nine coal-burning units at five stations across the state will be closed by 2030. That will leave just four units, including Comanche 3, remaining in operation, all of them operated by Xcel.

Previously Posted: Xcel Energy proposes one of largest packages of energy investments in state history, Xcel News Release, Business Wire. Almost $3 billion of accelerated and incremental capital investment planned to support Minnesota’s economic recovery, advance clean energy goals, and keep customer bills stable.

GLOBAL SOLAR MARKET

Terawatt scale by 2022, PV Magazine International
The solar sector is no stranger to breaking records. Perhaps the most impressive figure to emerge from SolarPower Europe’s new ‘Global Market Outlook’ is that the global solar sector will reach terawatt scale by 2022 – just four years after the 500 GW milestone was reached. Michael Schmela from SolarPower Europe sets out the reasoning behind this and other key findings in the report.

Michael Schmela is executive adviser, head of market intelligence, and a member of the leadership team at SolarPower Europe, the continent’s PV industry association. 

SPP NEWS

Southwest Power Pool could add more than 5 GW of wind generation capacity by end-2020, S&P Global. The rise in wind generation as part of a national energy transition toward renewable sources has pulled down wholesale power prices.

100% RENEWABLE ENERGY

Applied Materials to go 100% renewable, inks wind PPA with Apex, Renewables Now
Applied Materials Inc, which makes equipment used in the production of solar cells, will be one of the off-takers of Apex Clean Energy’s 500-MW White Mesa wind project in Texas. 

MORE WIND ENERGY NEWS

Wind power is emerging as the main source of renewable energy, Reve
For the last five years, American businesses have been buying 20% of all new wind farm capacity installed in the U.S. And that number is only going to grow. Wind-generated electricity is a bargain. Costs have fallen about 70% over the last decade. These lower prices have attracted a much more diverse group of customers.

AWEA Resources

NEW CARBON FOOTPRINTS STUDY

Wealthy American homes have carbon footprints 25% higher than low-income residences, study says, CNN

In some particularly affluent US suburbs, emissions are up to 15 times higher than nearby neighborhoods, according to the study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The homes of wealthy Americans generate around 25% more greenhouse gases compared to lower-income residences, mostly because of their larger size, a new study found. The study’s authors say improving energy efficiency in the home is a huge opportunity for homeowners — and especially wealthy ones — to lower their energy usage.

Sol Systems Announces Groundbreaking Solar Power Community Investment Agreement with Microsoft

News Release By The Sol Systems Team

WASHINGTON, DC – Sol Systems, a national solar energy finance and development firm, today announced a groundbreaking initiative with Microsoft, Corp. that creates the first community investment fund and the company’s single largest renewable energy portfolio energy purchase agreement. Sol Systems and Microsoft designed the portfolio to maximize its positive environmental, community and societal impact. The strategic initiative will help Microsoft meet its goal of shifting to 100 percent renewable energy by 2025.

Sol Systems will finance, develop and operate a portfolio of over 500 megawatts (MW) of solar projects in the U.S. and will sell energy from those projects to Microsoft. In parallel, working with local leaders in nearby communities and those disproportionately impacted by climate change, Sol Systems and Microsoft will invest at least $50 million for community-led grants and investments that support educational programs, job and career training, habitat restoration, and programs that support access to clean energy and energy efficiency. Read more here.

Additional Recommended Reading

APPLE NEWS

Apple commits to be 100 percent carbon neutral for its supply chain and products by 2030, Apple Newsroom. The company is already carbon neutral today for its global corporate operations, and this new commitment means that by 2030, every Apple device sold will have net zero climate impact. “Businesses have a profound opportunity to help build a more sustainable future, one born of our common concern for the planet we share,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.

100% RENEWABLE ENERGY

  • USA Rare Earth LLC Announces 100% Renewable Energy Plan for Round Top Mountain Rare Earth and Critical Minerals Project in West Texas, News Release, GlobeNewswire
    USA Rare Earth, LLC, the funding and development partner of the Round Top Heavy Rare Earth and Critical Minerals Project in West Texas together with Texas Mineral Resources Corp. is pleased to announce its commitment to power operations at its Round Top Heavy Rare Earth & Critical Mineral Project in Hudspeth County, West Texas with 100% renewable energy. West Texas is widely recognized as one of the best places in the world for solar power.
  • ‘Whiskey, Neat’: Kentucky Co-ops to Power New Distillery With 100% Renewables, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. The Diageo Lebanon, Kentucky Distillery is expected to be one of the largest carbon neutral distilleries in North America, according to the company, whose portfolio contains more than 200 brands, including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal and Guinness. Among its innovations will be electrode boilers and an onsite fleet of only electric vehicles, including forklifts, Diageo said.

NEW YORK SEEKS 4000 MEGAWATTS OF RENEWABLE ENERGY

Governor Cuomo Announces Largest Combined Solicitations for Renewable Energy Ever Issued in the U.S. to Combat Climate Change, News Release, New York State

KIWI POWER

ENERGY STORAGE

Guidehouse Insights: Utility-scale energy storage industry ‘blossoming’ in several US states, Energy Storage News. The US utility-scale energy storage market is projected to maintain its position as the world’s largest and fastest-growing in the coming years, according to a new report from Guidehouse Insights. Despite the rapid growth, the development of new utility-scale energy storage systems (ESSs) remains highly concentrated in a few states. The market research provider’s report shows California, New York, and Texas lead the top 10 US energy storage markets.

Previously Posted: The magnificent seven: US states with energy storage mandates, targets and goals

TESLA SOLAR

Tesla’s Latest Moves In Solar Indicates It Is Either Crazy Or Has Made A Breakthrough, contributed CleanTechnica article by Paul FosseWell, part 2 of the master plan said this about solar: “Create a smoothly integrated and beautiful solar-roof-with-battery product that just works, empowering the individual as their own utility, and then scale that throughout the world. One ordering experience, one installation, one service contact, one phone app.” With that quote in mind, let’s look at what they are doing right now with solar.

EV NEWS

GM backs away from hydrogen fuel-cell tech in passenger vehicles, Green Car Reports
When GM announced plans for the 20 electric vehicles in October 2017, the automaker said it would pursue a “two-pronged” approach with both battery-electric and fuel-cell powertrains. Now GM plans to focus on battery-electric powertrains for passenger cars, and fuel-cell powertrains for military and commercial vehicles.

PV RECYCLING

‘They need to be ready.’ Study warns of growing solar waste, by David Iaconangelo, E&E News
In a study published last week in Nature Energy, analysts at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory said roughly 8 million tons of solar photovoltaic panels are expected to hit landfills globally by the end of this decade, rising to 80 million by midcentury, when they could account for about 10% of all electronic waste. But solar recycling could turn into a $15 billion global industry of its own by 2050, according to prior studies, and lead to the creation of 2 billion new panels. In the U.S., recycling could also provide a supply of minerals deemed “critical” for national security purposes, while reducing the solar industry’s environmental footprint, the study said.

CARBON ACCOUNTING

Morgan Stanley Joins Leadership of Global Carbon Accounting Partnership (PCAF), News Release, Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials. Morgan Stanley is the first major U.S.-based global financial institution to join PCAF’s 66 formal members, which include financial institutions from around the world and represent more than $5.3 Trillion USD in assets.

Capital Dynamics Enters into New Strategic Relationship with Tenaska

Capital Dynamics & Tenaska News Release, PRNewswire 

Capital Dynamics, an independent global private asset management firm, today announced that its Clean Energy Infrastructure business has signed an agreement with Tenaska to enter into a new strategic relationship, increasing its greenfield solar footprint in both the Midwest and Southeast United States.

The transaction comprises 24 solar projects located in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) and Southeast Reliability Council (SERC) markets, totaling 4,800 megawatts (MW). The portfolio represents a large share of solar projects currently in the MISO and SERC interconnection pipelines and further diversifies Capital Dynamics’ growing utility-scale solar power portfolio across seven new states. Read more here.

Additional Recommended Reading
Capital Dynamics and Tenaska Partner on 4.8 Gigawatts of Solar Development, Greentech Media. For Tenaska, the 4.8-gigawatt deal follows another large-scale sale to Spain’s Acciona last year, with Acciona buying 3 gigawatts of solar and 1 gigawatt of solar-plus-storage from Tenaska in the U.S.

MORE NEWS & COMMENTARY 

COMMUNITY SOLAR

Why Associated plugged in to community solar energy, American Banker
Associated Banc-Corp. in Green Bay, Wis., recently subscribed to five solar gardens currently in development across Minnesota and Illinois. The subscription doesn’t cost the company anything, and its commitment to using a certain proportion of the energy produced is expected to slash about 20%, or $57,000, off its annual electricity bill.

SOLID-STATE BATTERIES

Investors Still Betting on Next Big Energy Storage Technology: Solid-State Batteries, Greentech Media. Solid-state batteries could be safer and more energy-dense than lithium-ion products are today. The improved technology could hit the market by the mid-2020s, analysts say. Companies including Ionic MaterialsQuantumScapeSila NanotechnologiesSion Power and Solid Power are developing all-solid-state batteries (ASSBs) that are expected to be safer and more energy-dense than the lithium-ion products used in today’s electric vehicles and battery systems. “Lithium-ion today, with a metal-oxide cathode and carbon-based anode, is starting to approach its theoretical limits,” said Solid Power CEO Doug Campbell in an interview.

NEW U.S. CHARGING STATION MANUFACTURER

Dutch charging station company looks to plug in to U.S. electric vehicle growth, by Audrey Henderson, Energy News Network. EVBox manufactures charging stations and the software to manage them. The company is expanding its presence in the U.S. to take advantage of a growing electric vehicle market. Electric transportation advocates note the move is particularly timely given recent advancement of electric vehicle policy in Illinois.

CLEAN ENERGY CAREERS

  • What’s It Like to Be a Renewable Energy Project Developer?, Greentech Media
    We’re asking people with cleantech jobs to tell us what they do all day. Next up: K. Harley McDonald, senior business developer at Avangrid Renewables.
  • An Anxious Accountant’s Journey to the Top, Greentech Media
    In this special podcast, we discuss how one finance expert overcame his anxieties and flourished in renewable energy. Today, he leads CohnReznick’s renewable energy industry practice and helps utilities and other energy companies execute all kinds of transactions, from long-term contracts to hedging strategies to tax structures.

TESLA  

Tesla Solar Panels and Roof: Pricing and how to buy, by Fred Lambert, Electrek

Tesla solar roof tiles are not available in as many markets as Tesla’s solar panels. The company is still hiring and training roofers in many markets and it is expanding fast. Tesla’s regular solar panel installations are more easily available.

Tesla’s website:
“We are hiring roofers, installers and electricians who will work together to deploy Solar Roof in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Virginia.”

MORE CORPORATE NEWS

NEW CERES REPORT

Coal retirements spur 8% drop in 2019 power sector carbon pollution after Duke, Vistra top 2018 emitters: Ceres, by Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive. Progress in 2019 is a cause for optimism, report author and Senior Director of Electric Power at Ceres, Dan Bakal, told Utility Dive, though the sector will need to move even faster in order to offset the worst impacts of climate change.

About Ceres
Ceres is a sustainability nonprofit organization working with the most influential investors and companies to build leadership and drive solutions throughout the economy. Through powerful networks and advocacy, Ceres tackles the world’s biggest sustainability challenges, including climate change, water scarcity and pollution, and inequitable workplaces. Mission: Ceres is transforming the economy to build a sustainable future for people and the planet.
Resources include: Proxy Voting Guidebook 2020

Ceres Initiatives

MORE ON RECENTLY-RELEASED ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS’ REPORT 

How to replace 187 GW of coal with renewables, and save customers money, by William Driscoll, PV Magazine. Promptly retiring 79% of the nation’s 236 GW of coal units, and replacing them with renewables and storage, would yield savings of $10 billion per year, says a report from the Rocky Mountain Institute, Carbon Tracker and Sierra Club. Retiring all of them now, including units that are not yet uneconomic, would still save $9 billion per year. The authors recommend federal involvement in financing this transition, and using the savings not only to lower customers’ electric bills but to fund transition assistance for affected workers and communities.

NEWS FROM CANADA

Massive 340,000-panel solar farm to take flight at Edmonton International Airport, Edmonton Journal. A massive renewable energy project roughly the size of 313 CFL football fields could be arriving in Edmonton by the end of 2022. Edmonton International Airport announced Tuesday plans to build a 627-acre, 120-megawatt solar farm — enough energy to power 27,000 or 28,000 homes — on the west side of its lands as part of an agreement with European-based renewable energy company Alpin Sun. Solar power from the farm would feed into Fortis Alberta and the airport.

Solar project at landfill still moving forward

By Melanie Wilkinson, Managing Editor, York News-Times

YORK – The project that will result in a solar energy facility on York’s landfill property remains underway. Craig Vincent from the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) recently met with city officials and the council to provide an update on the progress.

It is being recommended, Vincent said, that the project be awarded to GRNE Solar, which is headquartered in Lincoln. Vincent said the company’s proposal meets all requirements and they have previous solar installation experience. Vincent said NPPPD is currently doing another such project with them in northeast Nebraska. Read more here.

Photo: Kearney Solar Farm. The panels for York’s solar project will be mounted on a tracker designed racking system similar to Kearney’s.

NPPD’s Community Solar

Learn more about GRNE Solar here.

Historic-low interest rates will power ahead astonishing solar cost reductions

By Max Hall, PV Magazine USA

U.S.-based energy transition thinktank the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (Ieefa) has taken a swipe at intergovernmental peer the International Energy Agency (IEA) over the latter’s prediction the Covid-19 crisis will slow the dramatic cost reductions achieved by the solar industry.

Positing the argument that the final cost of solar energy depends on solar resource, the capital cost of generation facilities and the rate of return on finance, Ieefa’s Tim Buckley pointed out PV projects have continued to be deployed at scale during the global health crisis as finance interest rates have plunged to historic lows because central banks are attempting to propel all types of economic investment during the current shock. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Greg Roose /  Pixabay

Previously Posted
Overbuilding solar at up to 4 times peak load yields a least-cost all-renewables grid, PV Magazine. The global energy firm Wartsila found a least-cost renewables mix for the U.S. that involves overbuilding renewable capacity, but requires no seasonal storage, and needs only four to ten days of multi-day storage capacity. The analysis modeled meeting current uses of electricity, based on projected technology costs for 2030.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING 

Plunging Renewable Energy Prices Mean U.S. Can Hit 90% Clean Electricity By 2035 – At No Extra Cost, Forbes. Because renewable energy prices have fallen so fast, they are now cost-competitive in all regions of the U.S., and only require modest upgrades to long-distance transmission lines, with significant “spur line” investments that avoid crossing multiple communities and states, only adding 0.2 cents/kWh to total system costs.

GREEN BONDS

What you need to know to take advantage of the green bond revolution, contributed article, PV Magazine. Green bonds have experienced rapid growth since their inception in 2007, and participants in the solar energy industry stand to benefit. In 2019, issuers launched over US$250 billion in green bonds offerings, representing 51% growth year over year.

MISSOURI CITIES’ CLIMATE ACTION

Missouri cities shine on the national climate action stage, Smart Cities Dive guest post by Ashok Gupta, senior energy economist at NRDC.

GREEN CAMPUSES

STUDY OF DUSTY SOLAR PANELS’ EFFICIENCY LOSS

CARBON-FREE SHIPPING

Sailing Towards A Low-Emissions Future, Forbes
In December 2019, a coalition of shipping owners, encompassing 90 percent of the world’s merchant fleet, announced plans for a $5 billion research and development fund to accelerate the most promising ideas, from carbon-free fuels to carbon-free ships by the early 2030s.

Op-Ed: Clean Air or a Thriving Economy? We Can Have Both

By Joseph L. Fiordaliso, President, New Jersey
Board of Public Utilities, New Jersey Spotlight 

This is a pivotal moment in history, as we collectively start down the path to the “new normal.” This bittersweet opportunity to rebuild our lives with longevity and resiliency in mind should not be wasted. Now, more than ever, by investing in renewable energies like offshore wind and community solar, maximizing our energy efficiency, and electrifying transportation, we can ensure a healthier future exists alongside a thriving clean-energy economy.

In fact, the New York Times reported last month that renewable energy sources are set to account for nearly 21% of the electricity the United States uses for the first time this year, noting that industry executives and analysts expect the renewable business to continue growing in 2020 and next year, even as oil, gas and coal companies struggle.
Read more here.

WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY CLIMATE COMMITMENTS

Business And Government Affirm Climate Commitments On World Environment Day, The Climate Group. As leaders from around the world discuss how to organize a green economic recovery after the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is over, these businesses are leading the charge by signing up to international non-profit The Climate Group’s corporate leadership initiatives on renewables (RE100), electric vehicles (EV100) and smart energy use (EP100).

THE CLIMATE GROUP’S FIRST-EVER RE100 LEADERSHIP AWARDS 

Going Above And Beyond: The Future Of Renewable Energy Leadership, The Climate Group
As markets evolve and expectations grow, the leadership bar is rising for global companies on their use of clean energy. This year we’ll be celebrating the RE100 members taking their pioneering renewable electricity commitments to the next level. As we launch the first ever RE100 Leadership Awards, our Head of RE100 Sam Kimmins asks, what might this new leadership look like? 

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

TRIBAL RENEWABLE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT

Navajo Women Are Bringing Sustainable Solar Power to the Navajo Nation, Global Citizen
There are tribes that don’t have access to the grid because they weren’t in the planning process and weren’t considered,” Wahleah Johns, cofounder of Native Renewables, told Global Citizen.

CU SOLAR FINANCING MODEL

Tech CU Expands $2 Billion Solar Power Deal With Fintech, Credit Union Times
New agreement is expected to finance the installation of 80,000 residential solar systems.

NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT

Outdated NEPA needs modernizing. Just ask Warren Buffett, Utility Dive. Contributed article by Paul Griffin, executive director at Energy Fairness.

”In our experience, environmental review of a proposed solar plant on public land can take three to five years…streamlining and expediting NEPA reviews could reduce costs and delays that have hampered permitting decisions for solar energy facilities.” – Solar Energy Industries Association

INFRASTRUCTURE

Energy, environment issues to resurface this summer, E&E News
The long-awaited infrastructure package may finally provide some relief for clean energy advocates who have patiently been awaiting congressional action to address the hundreds of thousands of jobs lost in the sector from COVID-19 (E&E Daily, May 29).
The centerpiece of the package will be the $760 billion framework unveiled by House Democrats in January. The plan, dubbed “Moving Forward,” includes major funding for roads, bridges, ports, airports, drinking water, wastewater, clean energy and broadband.

EUROPE’S ENERGY TRANSFORMATION

WoodMac: Wind, Solar and Storage to Dominate Europe’s Power Grid by 2030, Greentech Media. Batteries will beat natural gas peakers on cost across Europe by the end of the decade, according to new research from Wood Mackenzie.

New city loan program covers just about ‘anything to do with energy’

By Nick Gebhardt, Norfolk Daily News

The Norfolk City Council approved a new type of loan program to help develop business and potentially help the environment. The program, known as Property Assessed Clean Energy Act loans, or PACE loans, allow developers to seek private funding through long-term fixed-rate loans through private lenders to build and install systems that increase energy efficiency, conserve water or utilize renewable energy sources, among many other potential qualifications. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Pixabay