Category Archives: Research

How Can Ordinary People Combat Global Warming?

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Washington Post  
Republished by the Omaha World-Herald

Americans produce an average of 21 tons of carbon a year, about four times the global average, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. The decisions you make each day can make a difference, but it’s hard to know where to start. Tips from advocates for the environment: Continue reading here.

Photo: Bob and Gina’s Home in Lincoln. Credit: SWT Energy

Also in today’s Omaha World-Herald:

WEB LINKS OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

ALSO IN THE NEWS

Free Research: “Non-Wires Alternatives: Case Studies from Leading U.S. Projects”

In today’s electricity market, non-wires alternatives are capturing public attention and inspiring decision makers to explore the grid benefits and potential cost savings resulting from integrating new distributed technologies in place of new infrastructure upgrades. As interest grows, industry practitioners are seeking out more information and lessons learned from past and existing NWA projects.

To help shed light on a broad set of NWA projects in the U.S., E4TheFuture, Peak Load Management Alliance and Smart Electric Power Alliance jointly selected 10 NWA case studies and have distilled insights into this report.

What’s in the report:

  • Highlights of 10 NWA case studies and a summary of their key attributes (project size, technologies, key drivers, and grid challenges faced).
  • Policy review of the state of non-wires alternatives.
    Examples of innovative energy solutions to meet today’s grid challenges.
  • Key insights and challenges from the planning, sourcing, and implementation phases.
  • Full-length NWA case studies with additional resources in the Appendix.

The full report detailing selected NWA case studies was funded by E4TheFuture and is available for free to download.

Free Companion Webinar: Non-Wires Alternatives: Insights from the Nation’s Leading NWA Projects, December 6, 2018, 1-2 p.m.

Weatherization program pays off in long-term savings

McCook Gazette Editorial

Unfortunately, people who would benefit the most from lower energy bills often cannot afford the improvements to achieve them. That’s where the Nebraska Weatherization Assistance Program comes in. Tuesday is Weatherization Day in Nebraska, spotlighting an effort that has been weatherizing homes for low-income and elderly citizens for more than 42 years.

Eight non-profit community service providers operate the program. Since the Weatherization Assistance Program began, over $204 million went to make energy efficiency improvements in more than 68,800 Nebraska homes affecting the lives of thousands of Nebraskans, many of who are elderly, disabled, and families with children. Learn more here.

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

Photo: Walmart Rooftop Solar 

CLEAN ENERGY JOBS & TRAINING PROGRAMS 

RESEARCH

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University want to push solar panel lifespans to 50 years, Solar Power World. A team of solar energy researchers from Case Western Reserve University in Ohio has been awarded $1.35 million from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office to continue its work toward increasing the efficiency and lifetime of photovoltaic modules—specifically aimed at pushing their lifespan to 50 years.

FEATURED VIDEO

What Happens in the Arctic Doesn’t Stay in the Arctic is a six-minute video produced by the Aspen Global Change Institute. 

New EIA report shows wind pulls its weight

By Curtis Walter, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog

new report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) found that wind and solar generated over 20 percent of the total electricity in 10 states last year. This offers yet another data point that renewables like wind power have become an important part of America’s electricity mix. The 10 states include Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, South Dakota, North Dakota, Vermont, California, Maine, Colorado, and Minnesota. Together, they represent a diverse sample of Lower 48 states running on more affordable, reliable, clean energy than ever before.
Continue reading here,

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Microsoft, Walmart, Iron Mountain: The corporate buyer parade continues

Potential Model for Nebraska: Onsite in North Providence, Rhode Island’s solar powered landfill – with PHOTOS

By John Weaver, PV Magazine USA

The most important picture, below, of the entire site is the landfill gas vent – rerouted because this solar power plant is built atop the collected refuse of humanity. Much ado was made of the “barren land” made use of by the solar project – especially noted, by every single politician, how the town was now making money from a site that was costing North Providence money. The win-win-win cliche was definitely in the air.

Read the entire article and view more photos here.

Nebraska Brownfields: FAQs

ALSO PUBLISHED BY PV MAGAZINE

CORPORATE PURCHASING 

Corporate Renewable Energy Deals Smash Records in 2018, Greentech Media
According to the latest figures from Business Renewables Center, a membership program at Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), corporate buyers in the U.S. have purchased a total of 4.81 gigawatts of renewable energy so far this year — and the figure is expected to top 5 gigawatts by December. The total number of commercial and industrial renewable energy deals will be even higher, as RMI’s numbers refer only to contracts for large, off-site renewable energy projects.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Flickr Photo: River City Parking Ramp in St. Paul, Minnesota

COMMUNITY SOLAR NEWS

NEW STUDY


Deloitte sees renewable energy in the fast lane, PV Magazine International
Solar PV and wind energy are now evolving from established to the preferred energy sources, according to a recent Deloitte study analyzing the global renewable energy market. In addition to the price-parity factor, Deloitte experts claim increasing improvements in storage technologies will make the integration of renewables easier.

COFFEE POWER 

Dunkin’ Donuts tiny house runs on coffee power, CBS News
More than mere mortals run on Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. Case in point is a transportable tiny home that’s powered by a biofuel blend using 80 percent coffee oil extracted from spent Dunkin’ coffee grounds.

Economists who changed thinking on climate change win Nobel Prize

By Quirin Schiermeier, Nature

A pair of US economists, William Nordhaus and Paul Romer, share the 2018 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for integrating climate change, and technological change, into macroeconomics, which deals with the behavior of an economy as a whole. Nordhaus, at the University of Yale in New Haven, Connecticut, is the founding father of the study of climate change economics. Economic models he has developed since the 1990s are now widely used to weigh the costs and benefits of curbing greenhouse gas emissions against those of inaction. Romer, who is at the NYU Stern School of Business in New York, was honored for his work on the role of technological change in economic growth. The economist is best-known for his studies on how market forces and economic decisions facilitate technological change. Read more here.

Photo: William Nordhaus (left) and Paul Romer

Related: Curbing global warming could save US$20 trillion

New Poll Shows Solar Is the Favored Form of Electricity Nationwide

SEIA News Release

76 percent of voters and 87 percent of opinion leaders think
their utility should deploy more solar power

The Global Strategy Group poll released today at Solar Power International, illustrates solar energy’s widespread appeal among voters and national support for pro-solar policies, such as net metering and renewable portfolio standards.

“Democrats, Republicans and Independents all said, everything being equal, they would vote against a politician who opposed solar power,” said Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) president and CEO, Abigail Ross Hopper. “Politicians can take this to the bank – Americans will not stand for government or company policies that prevent them from accessing clean, renewable, job-producing, affordable power.” Read the entire news release here.

To read the Global Strategy Group poll findings, go to www.seia.org/thisiswhy.

About SEIA
Celebrating its 44th anniversary in 2018, the Solar Energy Industries Association is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry, which now employs more than 250,000 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. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org.

Utility Solar Procurement Booms as Residential Market Stabilizes in Q2 2018

Solar Energy Industries Association News Release

Utility solar project procurement soared in Q2 2018 as component prices declined and home solar installations steadied after a 15 percent contraction last year, according to the latest U.S. Solar Market Insight Report from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables (previously known as GTM Research) and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). This is the first quarter where the data clearly show that tariffs took a bite out of the solar market . . . Looking ahead though, the report forecasts an acceleration of solar deployment in the second half of 2018 driven by utility-scale projects. According to the report, 8.5 gigawatts of utility PV projects were procured in the first six months of the year, the most ever procured in that timeframe. Read more here.

Infographic Source: Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables

U.S. Wind Power Is ‘Going All Out’ with Bigger Tech, Falling Prices, Reports Show

By Dan Gearino, Inside Climate News

Wind power capacity has tripled across the United States in just the last decade as prices have plunged and the technology has become more muscular, the federal government’s energy labs report. Three new reports released Thursday on the state of U.S. wind power show how the industry is expanding onshore with bigger, more powerful turbines that make wind energy possible even in areas with lower wind speeds. Offshore, the reports describe a wind industry poised for a market breakthrough. Continue reading here.

RELATED POST
New report: Wind continues growing while costs continue falling, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog

MORE RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS

100% RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS

NATIONAL SOLAR TOUR

2018 National Solar Tour of Homes largest in event’s history

Q&A: Report outlines cost of continued reliance on coal

By Allen Best, Energy News Network

Rural ratepayers in the Rocky Mountain region will pay hundreds of millions of dollars more for electricity if their wholesale supplier fails to take advantage of low-cost renewable energy opportunities, according to a new report released today.

Tri-State Generation & Transmission supplies power to 43 member electrical co-operatives in New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska. Together, the co-ops have a million customers, which in the co-op setup are also members. Continue reading here.

Rocky Mountain Institute Report: A Low-Cost Energy Future For Western Cooperatives: Emerging Opportunities For Cooperative Electric Utilities To Pursue Clean Energy At A Cost Savings To Their Members

Photo: The Laramie River Station near Wheatland, Wyoming. Tri State Generation owns a share of the facility.

Tri-State Generation & Transmission Territory 

 


Nebraska

CR Chimney Rock Public Power District, Bayard
MW The Midwest Electric Cooperative Corporation, Grant
NW Northwest Rural Public Power District, Hay Springs
PH Panhandle Rural Electric Membership Association, Alliance
RS Roosevelt Public Power District, Scottsbluff
WB Wheat Belt Public Power District, Sidney