Tag Archives: 100% renewable energy

Spurred By State Incentives, Solar Panel Farms Are Coming To Illinois

By Jim Meadows, Illinois Public Media

“The price of solar installations has come down about 70 percent over the course of the past several years,” said Andrew Barbeau, with the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition, a group formed by backers of the Future Energy Jobs Act. Speaking at a news conference marking the 2nd anniversary of FEJA’s passage, Barbeau said “the deployment of solar and wind power in Illinois is only getting cheaper right now. Recent studies have shown that the fall in lifetime costs of these projects are now beating existing coal and gas plants that are already out there and deployed.” Read more here.

Photo: Solar panels at the University of Illinois solar farm along Windsor Avenue.
Credit: Jim Meadows/Illinois Public Media

MORE MIDWEST CLEAN ENERGY NEWS

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

GOOGLE’S GROWING INVESTMENTS IN RENEWABLES

Austin, San Antonio, Orlando are Bloomberg climate challenge winners

By Paul Ciampoli, American Public Power Association 

Public power cities Austin, Texas, Orlando, Fla. and San Antonio, Texas, on Jan. 11 were included among the list of final winners in the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge. Launched in June 2018, the American Cities Climate Challenge is a $70 million program designed to catalyze efforts in 25 cities “to tackle climate change, promote a sustainable future for residents and help deliver on the America’s Pledge initiative to keep the United States in the Paris Agreement,” according to a Bloomberg news release. The other two cities named as winners in the challenge on Jan. 11 were Albuquerque, N.M., and Denver, Colo. Read more here.

Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

California set a goal of 100% clean energy, and now other states may follow its lead

By Sammy Roth, Los Angeles Times

It’s been less than four months since California committed to getting all of its electricity from
climate-friendly sources by 2045. But the idea is already catching on in other states. At least nine governors taking their oaths of office this month, from Nevada to Michigan to New York, campaigned on 100% clean energy, or have endorsed the target since it was enshrined in
California law. The District of Columbia also set a 100% clean energy goal last month. So did Xcel Energy, a Minneapolis-based utility that serves 3.6 million electricity customers across eight Western and Midwestern states. Read more here.

Pixabay Photo

MORE 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS & INITIATIVES

NEW ENERGY INFORMATION ADMINISTRATION REPORT

New electric generating capacity in 2019 will come from renewables and natural gas

According to EIA’s latest inventory of electric generators, 23.7 gigawatts (GW) of new capacity additions and 8.3 GW of capacity retirements are expected for the U.S. electric power sector in 2019. The utility-scale
capacity additions consist primarily of wind (46%), natural gas (34%), and solar photovoltaics (18%), with the remaining 2% consisting primarily of other renewables and battery storage capacity.


NEW STUDY

Who benefits from the solar energy revolution?, by Kara Manke, UC Berkeley News

Not everyone is benefiting equally from the availability of new solar energy technologies, a new study by researchers at UC Berkeley and Tufts University shows. By combining remote sensing data from Google’s Project Sunroof with census tract information, the
researchers discovered significant racial disparities in the adoption of rooftop solar photovoltaics. The findings were published Jan. 10 in the journal Nature Sustainability. 

Read more on the Tufts University website.

2018 Farm Bill Includes Key Renewable Energy Program

By Tina Casey, CleanTechnica

The Department of Agriculture’s renewable energy grant and loan programs are pulled together under an initiative called REAP for Rural Energy for America Program. REAP got its start in 2008 as an iteration of the agency’s Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Program. That program was established in 2002 with an initial $23 million in funding for grants, loan guarantees, and combination packages. As for why renewable energy programs are bundled into supporting legislation for the agriculture industry, the connection between food and energy is no mystery: it takes energy to run farm equipment. Read more here.

Photo: Harmony Nursery in Bradshaw, Nebraska. The 25-kilowatt solar system was a USDA
Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grant award-winner. Installed by Graham Christensen, owner of GC ReVOLT, LLC.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

New Jersey moves to end solar RECs, take next steps toward 100% renewables

By Robert Walton, Utility Dive

Regulators are continuing to develop and tweak New Jersey’s solar programs, and their work is showing strong results: The Garden State ranks among the top 10 for home and business solar projects, and recently surpassed 100,000 installations, according to state regulators.

The Board of Public Utilities (BPU) this week took steps to phase out the current Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC) program, which will be closed when solar makes up 5.1% of the electricity sold by electric power suppliers and basic generation providers. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Solar World

MORE 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS

US Congress Support Of Green New Deal Growing With Sunrise Movement Momentum, CleanTechnica
With goals to reduce emissions through massive, rapid deployment of zero-carbon generation, the Green New Deal is gaining momentum, with 40 members of Congress already signed on and more Congressional representatives committing to the effort every week.

EV NEWS

Over 500,000 Electric Cars In California!, CleanTechnica
In November of this year, the number of electric cars sold in California reached over 512,000, according to Veloz, a non-profit organization that is working to support the transition to electric vehicles.  Josh Boone, Executive Director of Veloz, answered some questions about the EV growth trend in California for CleanTechnica.

WE ARE STILL IN UPDATE


We Are Still In signatories currently represent a constituency of more than half of all Americans, 154 million across all 50 states, and taken together, they represent $9.46 trillion in GDP.

One Hundred Cities are Leading the Way to 100 Percent Clean Energy

 Written by Mayors Steve Benjamin, Jackie Biskupski,
London Breed, and Kevin Faulconer, Next City OP-ED

Over the past few years, 100 cities and towns across the country — like those we represent: Columbia, S.C.; Salt Lake City, Utah; and San Diego and San Francisco, Calif. — have committed to power our cities on 100 percent clean, renewable energy like solar and wind. Local communities are leading a national movement toward cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable sources of energy, and at the same time demonstrating there is widespread bipartisan support for modernizing our nation’s energy supply.​

Roughly 1 in 7 people — 15 percent of the U.S. population — now lives in a place that is making the transition to 100 percent renewable energy. Big cities like Atlanta and Denver and small towns like Abita Springs, La., and Hanover, N.H. — as well as the entire state of California — share this common purpose. In fact, Republican-led Georgetown, Texas, and five other cities are already running on 100 percent clean energy. Read more here.

Sierra Club Photo: Mayor Steve Benjamin of Columbia, South Carolina is one of the national co-chairs of the Sierra Club’s Mayors for 100% Clean Energy Initiative.

MORE 100% NEWS

Belfast, Maine mayor joins U.S. officials demanding reduction of fossil fuel usage, Penobscot Bay Pilot. Mayor Samantha Paradis joined with more than 300 mayors, state representatives, and elected officials from 40 states in releasing a letter today calling for a nationwide plan to phase out the production and use of fossil fuels and to ramp up renewable energy as part of a green new deal approach to energy and efficiency.

DIVESTMENT 

 

As 1000+ Institutions Divest, New York State Comptroller DiNapoli Keeps Negotiating With ExxonMobil, 350.Org News Release, Common Dreams

 


ALSO IN THE NEWS

ELECTRIC VEHICLES & GRID STORAGE

How more EVs on the road can advance a renewable grid, PV Magazine
There’s an alternative future on the horizon, where instead of just drawing power from the grid, electric vehicles become a mobile grid storage resource, with drivers and utilities both reaping the benefits while providing clean power. The author, James Kennedy, engineering director and co-founder of Tritium, runs the company’s research and development team.

Cheapest AND Cleanest: Renewables Are Winning

By Nathanael Greene, Natural Resources Defense Council

When President Jimmy Carter put solar panels on the roof of the White House 40 years ago, renewable energy resources were a niche technology both expensive and quirky. Well, as Carter’s buddy Bob Dylan would say, “The times they are a changin’.”

Solar and wind energy are beating dirty fossil fuels and nuclear power in the marketplace. They are winning not because they are clean and necessary to combat carbon pollution, but because they are less expensive for power producers, companies and customers. As 2018 closes, it’s now safe to say that clean renewable energy is at an inflection point. Cost is no longer the biggest challenge to greater adoption of wind and solar; it is now the rules of the power markets that often keep the cheapest options from winning. Read more here.

Pixabay Photo

IN NEBRASKA

Lincoln Journal Star Letter: Farmers produce energy, too
By Matt Gregory, Clean Energy Advocate, Nebraska Wildlife Federation. Last year, Nebraska farmers collected nearly $4 million in lease payments to place wind turbines on their land. And that’s not to mention the indirect benefits of wind farms paying millions to counties and school districts, helping to lessen everyone’s property tax burden.

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

ALSO IN THE NEWS


NREL REPORT

U.S. utilities test distributed energy management, PV Magazine

Distributed energy management systems can capture added value from solar and storage by shaving peak loads, providing grid services, and deferring grid investments. Utilities testing such systems have shared their lessons learned, while Western Australia leapfrogs ahead.

Download Report: Expanding PV Value: Lessons Learned from Utility-led Distributed Energy Resource Aggregation in the United States (PDF)

ENERGY STORAGE NEWS

Tri-State policy change discourages battery projects in rural Colorado and New Mexico, Clean Cooperative

United Power will dedicate the largest battery storage system in Colorado next week, a 16 megawatt hour Tesla Powerpack in Longmont that the electric cooperative expects will save its members $1 million each year. But recent policy changes by Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, United Power’s wholesale power supplier, aim to discourage other cooperatives from pursuing similar projects, creating uncertainty for the deployment of battery projects in much of rural Colorado and New Mexico. United Power shifted its focus to battery projects last year, after the co-op reached the 5% limit on local renewable energy generation imposed by Tri State.

Colorado adopts rule to include storage in utility planning, Utility Dive
State regulators and lawmakers have focused on energy storage in 2018 as the governor signed a measure on consumer-installed storage and the PUC approved an Xcel Colorado plan to retire 660 MW of coal in favor of storage and solar.

NATIONAL SURVEY

Midterm Voters Want Action On Clean Energy Policy, Cres Forum Polling

Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions Forum and the Conservative Energy Network recently released national post-election survey results finding strong support among Republicans and Democrats alike for government action to accelerate development and use of clean energy in the United States.

NEW NON-WIRES SOLUTIONS GUIDE


Rocky Mountain Institute’s Non-Wires Solutions Implementation Playbook: A Practical Guide for Regulators, Utilities, and Developers delineates innovative approaches to spur Non-Wires Solutions (NWS) adoption and recommends planning and operational strategies to improve NWS processes.

Decarbonizing enterprise: The path to 100 percent corporate renewable energy

Center Stage Podcast, GreenBiz

It’s clear that 100 percent renewable energy is imperative to fight climate change. And it’s already starting. Chris Clark, president at Xcel Energy; Bill Weihl, former sustainability and energy efficiency manager at Facebook; and Neha Palmer, head of energy strategy at Google talked about how to push and pull all companies, utilities and the public toward accessible 100 percent renewable energy. Listen to the Podcast
More Center Stage Podcasts

ALSO IN THE NEWS

HAPPENING IN OTHER STATES

SOLAR MODULE NEWS


Solar module lifetime predictions are getting better,
PV Magazine
NREL has proposed a new methodology for determining solar module degradation rates, taking into account measurement challenges such as sensor drift, inverter nuances, soiling and others – keeping the focus on the solar modules themselves. Image: NREL, Hit me with your SunShot


ENERGY SECURITY

100% Renewable Energy As Catalyst For Achieving Peace & Justice
By Rob van Riet, Director of the Climate Energy Program at the World Future Council and a regular contributor to The Beam
Unlike fossil fuels, which are characterized by the uneven geographical distribution of natural reserves, RE is abundant across regions and countries. Photo by Justin Holzgrove, DOE’s Hit me with your SunShot


HOW DOES THAT WORK? SERIES

Mutual Aid, by Jason Kuiper, The Wire, OPPD Blog

WHAT IS IT?
 Mutual aid is an agreement through which other utilities offer their restoration services after natural disasters strike and cause widespread power outages. OPPD has been on both sides of the aisle. Photo: OPPD trucks line up in Tampa, Florida, part of the mutual aid deployed to help restore power following a hurricane.

OPPD’s board set to take an environmental tilt. What will it mean for electricity costs?

By Aaron Sanderford, Omaha World-Herald

The costs of OPPD going further, faster on renewables and carbon are not yet clear. OPPD officials have said they had not yet determined how much more, if any, customers are paying for electricity because of the renewable energy the utility has already added to the mix . . . People should not draw a direct correlation between renewables and rising rates, said Javier Fernandez, the district’s chief financial officer . . . If the next OPPD board aims the utility at 100 percent renewables or zero carbon, [Russ Baker, director of OPPD’s environmental and regulatory affairs] said OPPD management will work with them to mull what that would look like, what it might cost and how technology would need to change. Read more here.

Image Credit: Facebook, one of a growing number of corporations committed to sourcing 100% of their energy from renewables and encouraging their suppliers to do so, as well. Facebook’s goal is to reach that level by 2020. RE100

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

REPORTS OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

  • Lazard’s recently-released Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) analysis reports that solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind costs have dropped an astounding 88% and 69% since 2009, respectively.
  • Sierra Club’s 2018 Case Study Report: Ten cities that have made commitments to be powered entirely with clean energy. Download the Case Studies 2018 Report (PDF} in English or Spanish.
  • Free SEPA 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.

Colorado co-op seeks exit from coal-heavy Tri-State to pursue renewables

By Gavin Bade, Utility Dive

[Delta Montrose Electric Association’s] decision to leave Tri-State demonstrates how the increasing competitiveness of renewable energy is upending the economics of power production in the American West.

Tri-State is a generation and transmission provider that supplies power to more than 40 rural cooperatives across Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming. While it has increased renewable energy in recent years, coal is still its largest source of electricity — around half its capacity — and member co-ops are required to purchase all but 5% of their power from the company. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Flickr: Jimmy Thomas