Category Archives: NewsBlog

More Utilities Make Big Commitments to Climate Action

By Sophia Ptacek and Sheryl Carter, Natural Resources Defense Council

Utility clean energy commitments have strengthened and multiplied since we inventoried some of the most newsworthy announcements last year. Xcel Energy recently became the first major
utility to commit to eliminating 100 percent of its carbon emissions by 2050. Platte River Power Authority, a publicly owned utility in Colorado, announced its pledge to provide 100 percent
carbon-free energy by 2030. And MidAmerican Energy, a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary, will be the first U.S. utility to provide customers with electricity generated from 100 percent renewable
energy by 2020, less than a year away . . . Climate commitments keep coming.
Read more here.

MORE ENERGY TRANSITION STORIES & BLOOMBERG’S NEW MOVEMENT ANNOUNCEMENT

NEW SLIDESHOW

WINDExchange Publishes New Offshore Wind Slideshow 
As part of its series of wind information slideshows, WINDExchange published Block Island and Beyond: Offshore Wind Energy in the United States. This slideshow provides a brief introduction to offshore wind in the United States, including the country’s first installation off the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island. The slideshow is also available as a PowerPoint file.

Pixabay Photo

Community Microgrids with Energy Storage: Cost Effective and Clean

By Jacqueline DeRosa, Vice President of Energy Storage at Ameresco,
Microgrid Knowledge

The growth of distributed resources is forcing utilities and grid
operators to transition from standard operations to more
decentralized power systems.  Already, local and clean distributed
resources can directly provide a local community’s energy needs.
Distributed renewable energy paired with energy storage is not just
technically feasible, but also cost-effective for many applications
today. New predictive analytics can optimize the use of solar,
advanced energy storage, energy efficiency, and other resources to
allow communities to procure renewable, low-cost energy and
maintain reliability. Continue reading here.

Additional Recommended Reading

Energy Storage Has A Breakout Year On Both Sides Of The Meter, by Jeff McMahon, Forbes
Wood Mackenzie has not yet released its report on 2018, but Finn-Foley offered a sneak
preview to Clean Energy States Alliance members Thursday, telling them that the fourth quarter of 2018 broke energy-storage records everywhere.

Global battery storage pipeline reaches 15 GW, by Julian Jansen, IHS Markit Senior Analyst. PV Magazine International. With the U.S. market poised for exponential growth in 2019, the Americas already have a project pipeline of over 4.3 GW. As policy frameworks advance across the United States, IHS Markit already tracks project activity in 39 states, which have operational energy storage systems, with an additional five states with projects planned or under construction.

Aggressive clean energy bill would push Illinois to 100% renewables by 2050

By Kari Lydersen, Energy News Network

An ambitious energy bill introduced Thursday in Illinois would mandate the state shift to
entirely renewable energy by mid-century with an emphasis on job creation and equity. The
Clean Energy Jobs Act (HB 3624/SB 2132) grew out of listening sessions held statewide last year
by environmental and energy groups that are members of the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition.

The coalition says the bill will expand on and address shortcomings in the implementation of the Future Energy Jobs Act, passed with much fanfare in 2016. They say it would create four
times as much wind and solar power as FEJA, enough to power 4 million homes through
40 million solar panels and 2,500 wind turbines. Continue reading here.

Daniel Schwen / Wikimedia Commons Photo

Related: Vote Solar Announces Support for Clean Energy Jobs Act to Bring 100% Clean Energy to Illinois

MORE 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS

Mills sets goal to fight climate change: 100% renewable electricity by 2050, The Portland Press Herald
Gov. Janet Mills outlined an extensive climate agenda on Thursday,
pledging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, work toward 100
percent renewable electricity generation and to work with other
governors on regional solutions. Mills said she joined a coalition of
more than 20 governors committed to pursuing the goals of the Paris
Agreement on climate. 
U.S. Climate Alliance Website

BOOSTING RENEWABLE ENERGY’S VALUE

Cost-Effective Solutions for Boosting Solar Farm Production, Power Magazine. According to Berkeley Lab, solar trackers accounted for 80% of installations in 2017, among projects larger than five megawatts. By following the sun, output can be boosted by 20%, increasing capacity factors and lowering the production cost of electricity. Photo: Fremont’s first of two solar farms installed by GenPro Energy Solutions, both with sun trackers.

Google’s DeepMind Artificial Intelligence Can Predict Wind Farm Energy Output 36 Hours in Advance, Fortune
According to the company, DeepMind’s predictions have boosted the value of Google’s wind energy by roughly 20%.

Google Blog Post: Machine learning can boost the value of wind energy
Based on these predictions, our model recommends how to make optimal hourly delivery
commitments to the power grid a full day in advance. This is important, because energy sources that can be scheduled (i.e. can deliver a set amount of electricity at a set time) are often more valuable to the grid. About DeepMind for Google

Previously Posted Article: Google announces plans to build data center in Nebraska; signs point to Omaha area, Omaha World-Herald 

GREENTECH MEDIA PODCAST

How to Get a Job in the Clean Energy Economy
Resources listed in the accompanying article include:

Companies Exploring Solar Energy, Establishing Foothold in Hot Industry

Network News Wire Editorial, PR Newswire

With climate change a hot topic and the Green New Deal providing a possible pathway for
progress, solar power may be a more viable — and profitable — source of energy than ever
before . . . Network News Wire holds no shares of any company named in this news release.
Read more here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Celebrating 100 cities committing to 100% renewables

By Michelle Froese, Windpower Engineering Development

Skeptics said it was impossible. “We heard every version of ‘no,’ ‘can’t,’ ‘won’t,’ and ‘shouldn’t.’ We were laughed out of rooms,” shared Sierra Club’s Jodie Van Horn in an article called,
100 Cities Agree: 100% Clean Energy For All. Van Horn says it’s been three years since Ready For 100 launched, a Sierra Club initiative that pushes for the United States to commit to 100%
renewable energy. The campaign is well underway, recently reaching a milestone: 100 cities and towns across the country have officially committed to transitioning to 100% clean energy.
Read more here.

Photo: More than 200 mayors all across the country have joined #Mayors4CleanEnergy.

UPCOMING EVENTS IN NEBRASKA

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

Iowa Wind Energy Association, Fort Dodge Messenger
Iowa remains one of the top contenders in the nation in terms of wind energy production, according to John Boorman, vice president of the Iowa Wind Energy Association. “We are number three, behind Texas and Oklahoma,” said Boorman. Boorman said Iowa supplies the power grid with 7,000 megawatts of power, with the help of 4,000 wind turbines throughout the state.

RESOURCE FOR SOLAR PROFESSIONALS

Residential Rooftop Report to heat up your solar sales, Solar Builder Magazine


The Residential Rooftop Report for the first quarter of 2019 is now available for download. The theme is “Heating Up Sales,” and we’ve teamed up with report sponsor Aurora Solar to examine ways for residential solar installation companies to lower customer acquisition costs, close more leads and overall run a more streamlined, efficient local solar business. Just fill out the form at the above link to access your free report.


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

 


Global Oil Plows Billions Into Solar & Energy Storage, CleanTechnica

Voices for 100% Renewable Energy

Environment America hosts this online platform to highlight a range of voices from across the country who share the nonprofit organization’s goal of shifting to 100% renewable energy. One voice for 100% renewable energy: Dorothy Barnett, Executive Director of the Climate &
Energy Project, Kansas.

“Kansas has a rich wind resource and in just over ten years, we are already generating nearly 40% of our electricity from wind power. This $10-billion-dollar capital investment has created jobs and spurred economic revitalization in rural communities.

As the recognized leader of energy and climate policy in Kansas, the Climate + Energy Project promotes a more equitable and just transition to a clean energy future. In order to meet a 100% renewable energy goal, continued growth in wind and solar, investments in energy efficiency
programs to mitigate rising electric rates and a commitment to grow the use distributed energy resources will be imperative for a healthy and resilient Kansas and the nation.”
Voices for 100% Renewable Energy

ADDITIONAL ENVIRONMENT AMERICA CAMPAIGNS & RESOURCES

Environment America’s priorities are working to urge campuses, cities and states to lead the way to 100%
renewable power, go big on solar, and harness the abundant wind power off the Atlantic coast.
Environment America’s 100% Renewable campaign is focused on three arenas: college and university
campuses, cities and states, and Congress.

Learn more about Environment America’s Clean, Green & Renewable Energy campaigns here.

Previously Posted
Mayors join call for more solar power, Norfolk Daily News

This Report Says Blockchain Is One Of 30 Key Innovations Set To Transform Renewable Energy

By Jennifer Kite-Powell, Forbes

A new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency
(IRENA) in Brussels, says that to accelerate low-cost renewables
in the power sector, countries will need innovative technology tools which enable them to benefit from renewable scale-ups. The
report, Innovation Landscape For A Renewable-Powered Future, mapped 30 key innovations and 11 solutions in the variable
renewable energy (VRE) landscape expected to transform the power sector while simultaneously creating cost-effective global energy transformation. Read more here.

MORE NEWS & OPINION

CORPORATE RENEWABLE ENERGY PURCHASING


Ford Facilities To Be Powered By Local Renewable Energy,
Ford Authority. As Michigan’s greatest producer of renewable energy, DTE will more than double its renewable energy generation capacity. DTE is
investing an additional $2 billion in wind and solar energy by 2024.
General Motors partners with DTE on wind energy in Michigan, WILX


INTERVIEW

 

Want More Renewable Energy? It’s Easy, Just Ask GM

Rob Threlkeld, global manager of Sustainable Energy and Supply
Reliability for GM, told CleanTechnica how it’s done.

 

SOLAR PANEL MANUFACTURING NEWS

Inside JinkoSolar’s Jacksonville factory, by Christian Roselund, PV
Magazine. 
JinkoSolar has begun producing mono-PERC modules at the Jacksonville factory, which at 400 MW of annual production is the third-largest U.S. module factory by capacity, behind Tesla’s Buffalo
gigafactory and First Solar’s Perryburg facility. All told, pv magazine has confirmed four new factories are under construction or have come online, with a combined capacity of 3.8 GW.

All module makers with U.S. factories, as well as their products and capacities, can now be seen in
pv magazine USA’s new module maker directory.

Bloomberg-Backed Cities Initiative Aims to Deploy 2.8GW of Renewables by 2021

By Emma Foehringer Merchant, Greentech Media

The Rocky Mountain Institute, World Resources Institute and the city of Minneapolis on Tuesday announced the formation of a new group designed to help municipalities procure more renewables in the next two years. The program is based on RMI’s Business Renewables Center, which helps corporations buy more renewables.

The new program, called the American Cities Climate Challenge Renewables Accelerator, targets 2.8 gigawatts of renewables being deployed by cities nationwide by 2021. It’s part of a greater $70 million initiative spearheaded by Bloomberg Philanthropies to encourage climate action at the municipal level. Organizers say the programs are another attempt to provide local leadership in the wake of federal inaction on climate change. Read more here.

American Cities Climate Challenge Renewables Accelerator

Additional Recommended Reading
Effort is launched to help cities procure more than 2.8 GW of renewables, American Public
Power Association. Several public power cities were winners in American Cities Climate Challenge.

Push for renewables vexes Western power supplier

By Keriann Conroy, Perspective, High Country News

Colorado’s largest member-owned generation and transmission provider may be in trouble.
Tri-State Generation and Transmission, which provides wholesale electricity to rural
cooperatives in Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming and Nebraska, is facing increasing pressure to let go of some of its contracts and to improve its renewable portfolio. But it appears unable to change fast enough to keep up with the times.

Most of Tri-State’s power is generated from coal- and gas-fired plants or large hydroelectric dams, but it is now facing regulatory hassles and the potential exodus of customers. Rural
“distribution” cooperatives are currently waiting to see how much it would cost them to exit their contracts, while Colorado moves toward regulations requiring more renewables.
Read more here.

Photo Credit: Missy Kennedy/Flickr

Keriann Conroy is a graduate student at Western Colorado University in Gunnison, Colorado, studying democratic practices and sustainability.

Previously Posted News Stories & RMI Report

Also of Potential Interest