Tag Archives: 100% renewable energy

New Study – Maximizing Land Use Benefits From Utility-Scale Solar: A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Pollinator-Friendly Solar in Minnesota

By Katie Siegner, Scott Wentzell,  Maria Urrutia,  Whitney Mann, Hallie Kennan
Yale Center for Business and the Environment

As utility-scale solar development expands throughout the United States, with an expected land footprint of 3 million acres by 2030, there is growing interest across various stakeholder groups in adopting land use best practices for new projects.

Pollinator-friendly solar, which incorporates native grasses and wildflowers throughout a solar installation, is one approach to cultivating additional land use benefits from solar projects. The practice is increasingly common, especially in Minnesota, the first state to adopt a voluntary pollinator-friendly solar standard.  Read more here.

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT CHICAGO LAUNCHING STUDY

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

APPLE’S GLOBAL CARBON EMISSIONS & SUPPLY CHAIN GOALS

Apple CEO Tim Cook touts green, renewable initiatives in UN speech, CNET
As part of his speech, Cook touts that Apple has added 25 suppliers to the 70 it’s already helping transition to 100% renewable energy. He also notes Apple’s other efforts, including that it’s become carbon neutral for its worldwide corporate emissions.  Ultimately, Cook says, Apple wants its entire supply chain and product usage to be carbon neutral within a decade.

RE100 Resource
Going Beyond: A guide to integrating renewable electricity into your supply chain
This paper provides insights for companies who are starting to implement a renewable electricity program throughout their supply chain. It uses the experience of Apple, BT and IKEA Range & Supply to demonstrate the challenges they face and how they are addressing them.

HYDROPOWER

As Wisconsin transitions to a cleaner grid, can the original renewable energy contribute?, Wisconsin State Journal. After a half-century of fighting dams, a group of conservation organizations last month reached a truce with the hydropower industry, agreeing to work together to generate more clean energy from existing dams while working to mitigate the environmental impacts.

Two and a half years in the making, the agreement, negotiated by groups including the Union of Concerned Scientists, the World Wildlife Fund and American Rivers, reflects a recognition that climate change represents an even greater ecological threat and that hydroelectricity will play a key role in integrating variable clean energy sources like wind and solar.

Nebraska Hydropower

GREEN HYDROGEN

Why green hydrogen is the renewable energy source to watch in 2021, ABC News
The price tag and energy needed to make it will be worth it, experts say. Green hydrogen, an alternative fuel generated with clean energy, is experiencing a global resurgence and has been identified as the clean energy source that could help bring the world to net-zero emissions in the coming decades. It was initially touted in the U.S. during President George W. Bush’s first term, when it was nicknamed the “freedom fuel.”

EV CHARGING DESERTS

In Chicago, ‘charging deserts’ part of racial divide on electric vehicles, Energy News Network
Public charging stations are most heavily concentrated in the city’s more affluent neighborhoods, creating a chicken/egg scenario for electric car adoption.

SUSTAINABLE AVIATION

Can Shell help pilot a new era of sustainable aviation?, GreenBiz
Shell is just one of several oil companies eyeing new business opportunities in sustainable aviation, particularly at a time of flat or declining outlooks for petroleum-based fuels. In addition to Shell, oil majors including BP, Chevron, Eni, Neste, Phillips and Total are vying for a piece of the action in sustainable aviation, often in partnership with smaller renewable fuel producers, including Aemetis, Fulcrum BioEnergy, SkyNRG, Sundrop Fuels, Velocys and World Energy.

GLOBAL SUSTAINABLE ENERGY

The Rockefeller Foundation Announces Call To Action To Provide Sustainable Energy For One Billion People By 2030, Rockefeller Foundation News Release, PR Newswire

“In this era of unprecedented crises—including the coronavirus pandemic—we have a responsibility and remarkable opportunity to harness the power that can lead to a more equitable, safer world,” said Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation, “Our goal is ambitious yet achievable: to bring reliable and sustainable electricity, powered by renewable technologies, to a billion people by the decade’s end. Our success will empower millions of people to participate in a modern economy, growing economic opportunity for us all.”

FEATURED GLOBAL CLIMATE INITIATIVE

Climate Action 100+ is an investor initiative to ensure the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters take necessary action on climate change. The companies include 100 ‘systemically important emitters’, accounting for two-thirds of annual global industrial emissions, alongside more than 60 others with significant opportunity to drive the clean energy transition. 

To date, 545 investors with nearly USD $52 trillion in assets under management have signed on to the initiative.

Climate Action 100+ is coordinated by five partner organizations: Asia Investor Group on Climate Change (AIGCC); CeresInvestor Group on Climate Change (IGCC); Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) and Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). 

Solar Foundation and Interstate Renewable Energy Council to Merge

By Emma Foehringer Merchant, Greentech Media

The non-profit Solar Foundation will soon become part of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, merging two groups with a common vision for an increasingly clean-powered grid. The organizational union announced Thursday is the latest in a series of moves by renewable energy groups to unite around a common goal of producing the majority of the U.S.’s electricity, rather than pursuing that work from different technological focuses. 

The American Wind Energy Association, for instanceannounced in September it would merge into a new group called the American Clean Power Association, to better advocate for a variety of renewable solutions. In June, AWEA along with solar, hydropower and storage industry trade groups also introduced a joint vision to achieve “majority renewables” by 2030. Continue reading.

Solar Foundation Initiatives

Interstate Renewable Energy Council Initiatives

INTERNATIONAL ENERGY AGENCY REPORT

Wind and solar capacity will overtake both gas and coal globally by 2024, World Economic Forum
Wind and solar capacity will double over the next five years globally and exceed that of both gas and coal, according to a new International Energy Agency (IEA) report. The Paris-based intergovernmental agency anticipates a 1,123 gigawatt (GW) increase in wind and solar that would mean these power sources overtake gas capacity in 2023 and coal in 2024.  

100% RENEWABLE ENERGY  

Green Hydrogen Could Fill Big Gaps In Renewable Energy, Scientific American
Companies are working to develop electrolyzers that can produce green hydrogen as cheaply as gray or blue hydrogen, and analysts expect them to reach that goal in the next decade. Meanwhile energy companies are starting to integrate electrolyzers directly into renewable power projects.

Previously Posted

  • The Green Hydrogen Revolution Is Now Underway, Forbes 
    While renewables are now the fastest growing energy industry, hydrogen is following closely behind in a massive gale. The 21st century will likely witness the rise of a mega-billion hydrogen fuel industry. Countries are taking first steps – and it’s breathtaking.
  • Geothermal energy is poised for a big breakout, Vox
    After many years of failure to launch, new companies and technologies have brought geothermal out of its doldrums, to the point that it may finally be ready to scale up and become a major player in clean energy. In fact, if its more enthusiastic backers are correct, geothermal may hold the key to making 100 percent clean electricity available to everyone in the world. And as a bonus, it’s an opportunity for the struggling oil and gas industry to put its capital and skills to work on something that won’t degrade the planet.

COMMUNITY CHOICE AGGREGATION

Rochester Community Power Launched to Develop 100% Renewable Energy Program for Rochester Residents and Businesses, Joule Community Power News Release, PR Newswire

The City of Rochester announced that it will launch a renewable energy program intended to provide their residents and small businesses with locally-sourced 100% renewable energy at a low, fixed rate. Offered through Rochester Community Power, the community choice aggregation (“CCA” or “community choice”) program will leverage the collective buying power of Rochester’s more than 80,000 Rochester Gas & Electric (RG&E) utility account holders to solicit bids from energy suppliers. 

GREEN BANKS 

The State of Green Banks 2020 report, authored by Rocky Mountain Institute, Green Finance Institute, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, showcases trends among both operational and emerging green banks. It includes an analysis of 61 institutions in 36 countries based largely on the data the report authors gathered through surveys and interviews, as well as on additional desk research. The report highlights successes, trends, and lessons learned from existing green banks and presents trends in countries seeking to set up new green banks. These trends include the technologies they will invest in, types of financial instruments they will deploy, capitalization strategies, and obstacles green bank champions face during the establishment process. A video summary of report findings by authors Angela Whitney and Karim Arslan is available at the above link.

​​RMI News Release: First global survey of green banks finds rapid growth in their numbers and importance in low carbon finance

WE ARE STILL IN NEWS RELEASE

U.S. Leaders Will Show Up In Force At U.N. Climate Talks Despite Federal Action To Withdraw The U.S. From Paris Agreement

American leaders unveiled detailed plans today to host the U.S. Climate Action Center at the upcoming COP25 climate talks in Madrid, and announced a delegation of over 70 U.S. leaders who are stepping up as the federal government steps away from global climate leadership. The current list of the delegation can be found here. This will be the third year in a row that We Are Still In will organize a Pavilion, in partnership with the U.S. Climate Alliance, Climate Mayors, America’s Pledge and other groups, to fill the U.S. climate leadership vacuum at the U.N. talks.

At COP25, America’s Pledge will release its third annual report, “Accelerating America’s Pledge: Going All-In to Build a Prosperous, Low-Carbon Economy for the United States.” This report analyzes the collective reductions of greenhouse gas emissions by U.S. states, cities, businesses, and other non-governmental entities and projects the level of carbon emissions reductions the U.S. can reach by 2030.

TRANSMISSION INFRASTRUCTURE

Transmission for renewables shall be a clear winner in Biden White House, Renewable Energy World
The stars are aligned for a big chunk of transmission infrastructure investments across the country. Statements from New England Governors, PJM on offshore wind integration, and Midwest Governors Association offer insights into future transmission plans for renewables. However, since transmission — specifically high voltage lines — cannot be built overnight, the state and federal policy advisors should not lose sight of distributed energy resource (DER) potential and alternatives to transmission solutions. Leveraging both utility-scale renewables and distributed generation makes more sense to balance the curtailment risk with an abundance of renewable energy production.

CIVILIAN CLIMATE CORPS

Mr. President-elect, America needs a Civilian Climate Corps, Opinion Contributors Jay Lemery and Lewis Goldfrank, The Hill

For those who think a national service program is only viable in a bygone era and another example of executive overreach, one that could never survive the scarlet letter of “socialism” in today’s political climate, don’t be so sure. Recent public opinion research has found that the American public is widely supportive of national serviceEighty percent of voters (70 percent Republicans, 90 percent Democrats) back increasing federal investment to help communities respond to and recover from COVID-19, specifically regarding funds directed toward graduates and the unemployed. What could this look like?

Jay Lemery, MD, is the co-director of the Climate & Health Program at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and co-author ofEnviromedics: the Impact of Climate Change on Human Health.”

Lewis Goldfrank, MD, is the Herbert W. Adams professor of the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Emergency Medicine at NYU-Langone Health Center, and the founding editor of Goldfrank’s Toxicologic Emergencies.

Corporate Clean Power Commitment Unstoppable At Climate Week NYC, In Spite Of COVID-19

Climate Group News 

Corporate clean energy ambition is growing in spite of COVID-19, as yet more global companies from the US, Europe and Asia sign up to green their entire electricity usage.

Intel (information technology, US), ASICS (apparel, Japan), Sanofi (healthcare, France), SKF (bearing and seal manufacturing, Sweden), and VELUX Group (roof window manufacturer, Denmark) are all joining the RE100 initiative, led by international non-profit the Climate Group in partnership with CDP. The announcements come on the second day of Climate Week NYC – the time and place where the world gathers to showcase amazing climate action and discuss how to do more.

RE100 now brings together more than 260 of the world’s most influential companies committed to 100% renewable power, in more than 140 markets worldwide. Collectively, they are creating demand for 281 terawatt hours per year in renewable electricity – enough to power a G20 country (e.g. Australia (247.6 TWh/yr). BloombergNEF estimates suggest RE100 companies, with a combined revenue of US$6.6 trillion, will need to invest over US$98 billion in clean energy to meet their RE100 goals – a vast source of finance for rebuilding a green economy. Read more here. 

ON DAY ONE OF CLIMATE WEEK NYC

RE100 Leadership Awards 2020: The Winners
The winners of the Awards, held in partnership with ENGIE North America and category partners Enel Green Power and DWS, are announced at the first ever virtual Climate Week NYC,

Apple, CHANEL, Iron Mountain, Novo Nordisk, Salesforce, Schneider Electric, and TSMC are independently judged to be ‘going above and beyond’ in the transition to 100% renewable power, for achievements ranging from engaging suppliers and policymakers to bringing clean energy to local communities.

ADDITIONAL CLIMATE GROUP INITIATIVES

  • EP100, in partnership with the  Alliance to Save Energy,  brings together  a growing group of energy-smart companies  committed to improving their energy productivity and doing more with less.
  • EV100 is a global initiative bringing together forward looking companies committed to accelerating the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) and making electric transport the new normal by 2030.

RE100 MEMBERS ARE ALSO IN THE NEWS HERE

Commentary: Residential solar as an equity building asset

By John Blattner, solar sales executive at Pearl Certification, a national firm
that certifies high performing homes, Energy News Network

Recent surveys have shown that 69% of prospective buyers want — and are willing to pay for — energy-efficient and high-performing homes. Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z are especially interested in investing in renewable energy and homes that allow them to live out their environmentally conscious values. Yet relying on values-driven purchases alone is not enough in this economy, and few homebuyers are aware of the true long-term value that solar adds to the home. Read more here.

HOME ENERGY STORAGE

Read All About It: What’s New In Home Energy Storage Research, CleanTechnica
Household renewable energy generation through the use of solar panels is becoming more commonplace as installation costs are lessening and electricity prices are rising. Solar energy is an intermittent source, only generated during the day and subject to interference from weather and seasonal variation. The feasibility and limitations of various renewable energyenergy storage, grid-tied and off-the-grid systems are ripe research topics in academia and tech.

ELECTRIFICATION OF BUILDINGS

How to Accelerate the Electrification of Buildings in the Midwest, Greentech Media
Even in states with harsh winters, the economics and outlook for building electrification are changing quickly, the author writes.

US SOLAR MARKET

US Solar Market Performed Better Than Expected During Pandemic’s Worst Months, Greentech Media
Even with an uncertain road ahead, the solar market is still expected to grow in 2020, with capacity additions expected to rise 37 percent year-over-year. That’s because while the coronavirus chilled residential installations, the large-scale market continued its upward trajectory in the second quarter. “The volume of projects that we’ve seen announced in Q1 and Q2 has been pretty high,” said Colin Smith, a WoodMac senior solar analyst. “The development pipeline is the biggest we’ve ever seen.”

FIRST SOLAR ENTERS DG MARKET

First Solar changes course: now selling its thin-film solar panels into the distributed generation market, PV Magazine. The utility-scale solar pioneer and specialist is going small. After decades of avoiding distributed generation, its distributors will now offer First Solar’s series 6 modules to “projects and customers of all shapes and sizes.”

CORPORATE RENEWABLE ENERGY PROCUREMENT

Walmart provides U.S. suppliers increased renewable energy access, Chain Store Age
Walmart is entering a partnership to help remove carbon dioxide from its supply chain. The discount giant is collaborating with energy management and automation provider Schneider Electric in a new program designed to educate Walmart suppliers about renewable energy purchases and accelerate renewable energy adoption through aggregate power purchase agreements (PPA). Known as the Gigaton PPA Program (GPPA), the initiative directly supports Walmart’s Project Gigaton, which aims to avoid one gigaton (one billion metric tons) of carbon dioxide from the retailer’s global value chain by 2030. 

Boeing signs solar power deal for Mesa site in Arizona, Renewables Now
Boeing wants to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2025 and ultimately power its operations with 100% renewable energy. Two of the company’s sites already run on 100% renewables, namely Renton, Washington and Charleston, South Carolina.

SOLAR TRACKER POWERED BY AIR

Sunfolding looks to disrupt the tracker industry with air pneumatics, PV Magazine
With $32 million in series B funding and an ever-growing project pipeline, air-based tracker startup, Sunfolding, is hoping to increase its hold in the tracker market with tech that’s simple, light and can be installed on terrain previously thought untouchable.

Sunfolding White Paper – The Power of Air: How pneumatics, a 360-year-old technology, is accelerating growth in large-scale solar

GM

With New Wireless EV Battery System, GM Is Determined To Kill Off Gasmobiles (Eventually), CleanTechnica. If you’re thinking this new wireless system has something to do with wireless EV charging, not exactly. The focus is on introducing new EV models and new battery technology more efficiently, at less cost. GM claims that the new system, developed with the firm Analog Systems, is the first of its kind for any auto manufacturer.

ØRSTED’S TRANSITION STORY

How one fossil fuel company became a green giant, E&E News
In the United States, 27 utilities have pledged to reach carbon free or net-zero emissions by 2050, according to the Smart Electric Power Alliance. That list includes major power companies like American Electric Power, Duke Energy Corp. and Xcel Energy Inc.

Ørsted offers a potentially tantalizing example. Its finances have benefited greatly from the shift, a stark rejoinder to long-standing arguments that swapping fossil fuels for renewables is a money-losing proposition. Last year, a panel of judges at the Harvard Business Review ranked Ørsted as one of the top corporate makeovers of the last decade behind the likes of Netflix, Amazon.com and Microsoft. It was the only energy company on the list.

Previously Posted: Ørsted completes the onshore Plum Creek Wind project, Ørsted News Release

Nebraska Wind & Solar Conference Postponed

After careful consideration, the Nebraska Wind & Solar Conference Planning Committee has made the decision to postpone the 2020 conference. Updates on the 2021 conference dates will be provided at: www.nebraskawsc.com

OPPD’S DECARBONIZATION STUDY

Pathways to Decarbonization, OPPD Community Connect
What is decarbonization? Simply, it’s the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, commonly referred to as our carbon footprint. Although carbon dioxide (CO2) occurs naturally in the Earth’s atmosphere, human activities over the last century have significantly increased levels of greenhouse gases. These include burning fossil fuels for energy and transportation, and removing trees (deforestation) to enable other land uses, such as clearing rainforests for agricultural purposes.

OPPD is working across four areas of focus to develop a roadmap for making progress towards the utility’s net-zero carbon production goal. Learn more and share your ideas about OPPD’s work related to Energy Portfolio, Internal OperationsCustomer and Community.

NREL’S PV COST PROJECTIONS

NREL’s solar cost projections plummet in new forecast, PV Magazine 
The lower projected costs for PV could help guide some utilities to plan for more PV capacity, as the utilities develop their long-term resource plans.

CLIMATE ACTION

States Are Doing What Big Government Won’t to Stop Climate Change, and Want Stimulus Funds to Help, InsideClimate News

This story is part of a collaboration between InsideClimate News and The Nation as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalistic collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story. This article focuses on rural areas; to read how green recovery spending can impact cities, click here.

SOLAR POLICY

September solar policy snapshots, Solar Power World
A guide to recent legislation and research throughout the country.

FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION

FERC details carbon pricing conference as groups blast renewables, consumer and women exclusions, by Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive

Federal regulators on Friday announced details of a much-anticipated technical conference on carbon pricing, following a request from a broad group of renewable energy, gas and power groups for the commission to look at the issue more closely, but some stakeholders expressed disappointment with the lineup, decrying a lack of representation from renewable energy and consumer advocates, as well as lack of gender diversity.

GREEN HYDROGEN

Trickle Of Green Hydrogen Turns Into Flood Of Good News For Renewables, by Tina Casey, CleanTechnica

Wind and solar developers are eyeballing green hydrogen as a pathway for future growth, and it looks like they won’t have to depend on the transportation sector for sole support. That’s because hydrogen has many other uses, aside from being used to power fuel cell electric vehicles. Take the vehicles out of the equation and you still have the potential for rapid growth in demand for green hydrogen — and therefore in the demand for wind and solar farms, too.

ZERO-EMISSION EV DRIVING

Enel X Partners with Uber to Support Zero-Emission EV Driving in the U.S. through New JuiceEco Product, Enel X News Release. Today Enel X, the leading provider of innovative energy and electric mobility solutions, introduced JuiceEco, a new option for electric vehicle (EV) drivers to power their rides with 100% renewable energy in the U.S. Available exclusively through Enel X, JuiceEco provides Green-e® certified Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to match the consumption of any EV anywhere in the US with carbon-free electricity.

Uber pledges zero emissions platform by 2040, by Senior Editor Kristin Musulin, Smart Cities Dive Uber announced Tuesday a commitment to becoming a zero emissions mobility platform across its 10,000 cities and six continents by 2040. The company is striving for 100% of its rides to take place in zero-emission vehicles, public transit and micromobility.

TESLA ENERGY

Tesla Energy ramps hiring at Giga New York for accelerated solar production, Teslarati
Tesla is hiring for over 30 different positions at Giga New York, the facility where the company manufactures its solar products. Recent job listings on LinkedIn for the company’s facility in Buffalo indicate a wide variety of skills are being sought, including but not limited to engineering, equipment maintenance, production operations, and roof installers.


Certified Tesla Solar Roof Installer in
Nebraska: Weddle & Sons Roofing
Office locations in Lincoln and Omaha

Installing A Tesla Solar Roof, by Weddle & Sons Roofing


“EARTH FOCUS” SEASON 3 

An Episode Guide to ‘Earth Focus’ Season 3, KCET Original Series

“Earth Focus” features investigative reports and in-depth stories about our changing environment and how it affects people around the world. In this new season, “Earth Focus” examines the politics of the environment, including global youth climate activists, the transition away from coal in South Africa, curbing illegal gold mining in Peru, and the environmental politics of the New West.

 Episode 1: The Youth Climate Movement Around the World

The Best Electricity Plan: Overbuild Solar & Wind Power Plants

By Zachary Shahan, CleanTechnica

More than 8 years ago, researchers from the University of Delaware (UD) and Delaware Technical College (DTCC) put forward a rather “radical” idea — to deal with wind and solar power’s intermittency while also acknowledging wind and solar power’s falling costs, why not just overbuild wind and solar power plants in the future?

What seemed like a radical idea back in 2012 is gaining increasing support today. More and more people see that, indeed, solar power, wind power, and batteries have become cheap enough that you don’t need “baseload power” or other filler power plants in many places. Read more here.

Previously Posted

Also by Zachary Shahan

CHICAGO’S 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY LEADERSHIP

Chicago launches $200M RFP to power city facilities by renewable energy, Utility Dive
The City of Chicago has released a $200 million request for proposals (RFP) for a contract to procure renewable energy for all city-owned buildings. Under the contract, all city-owned buildings, streetlights and other facilities would run on renewable energy starting in 2022 and lasting at least five years. Supplier applications are due Nov. 6, and the city intends to choose a vendor in January.  This RFP supports Chicago’s stated goal of running all city-owned buildings on 100% renewable energy by 2025 and transitioning the entire city to renewable energy by 2035.

NEW TRADE GROUP

AWEA Introduces New Trade Group, the American Clean Power Association, Greentech Media
The largest wind trade group in the U.S. announced Friday it will officially broaden its mission beyond wind as part of a newly-formed industry group. The American Wind Energy Association, which advocated for that industry and its member companies for over 40 years, will merge with a new organization called the American Clean Power Association. More than 30 member companies from utilities, wind, solar and other new energy industries coalesced to make a trade group “that better represents the renewables industry of today,” the group said Friday.

Previously Posted: Solar, Wind, Storage Link Arms in Push for ‘Majority Renewables’ by 2030
With the 2020 election drawing closer, the solar and wind sectors announced a joint push to quadruple their combined share of the U.S. power mix by 2030.

PV MAGAZINE POSTS

BLACKROCK’S DIVESTMENT PLEDGES – AN UPDATE

Winners and Losers of BlackRock’s Climate Pushback (So Far), Greentech Media
In January, the world’s largest asset manager issued a warning shot that the status quo on climate change was no longer going to cut it. With more than $6 trillion of investments under management and influence in boardrooms of nearly 1,800 companies, what BlackRock says carries big weight across the corporate and political world. But that weight only hits home if BlackRock follows through and presses for a response to climate change in boardrooms.

FOSSIL-FREE CLEANING PRODUCTS

Carbon ‘rainbow’: Unilever pledges $1.2B to scrub fossil fuels from cleaning products, BusinessGreen story republished by GreenBiz

Unilever last week revealed plans to funnel close to $1.2 billion over the next 10 years into initiatives that will allow it to replace chemicals in its cleaning products made from fossil fuel feedstocks with greener alternatives — an investment it described as critical to meeting its aim of achieving net-zero emissions from its products by 2039. 

America’s Top Colleges for Renewable Energy 2020

Environment America Report 

America’s colleges and universities are leading the transition to a 100 percent renewable energy system. Small liberal arts colleges, large public universities and community colleges alike, from every corner of the U.S., are taking the lead in reducing energy consumption, deploying renewable energy technologies, and switching to electric vehicles (EVs). More than 40 colleges and universities now obtain 100 percent or more of their electricity from renewable energy sources. Read more here.

Environment America’s 100% Renewable Campaigns

SOLAR PANEL PRICES

Solar Panel Prices Have Dropped Off Cliff & Sunk Into Ocean — Solar Panels 9× Cheaper Than In 2006, by Zachary Shahan, Clean Technica 

NEW PV MAGAZINE SERIES

Lights and shadows of 500 W plus solar panels – part I
In the first article of a series, PV Magazine Editor Pilar Sánchez Molina analyzes with industry experts challenges and opportunities created by new panels with power output exceeding 500 W.

EV NEWS

  • Could The U.S. Automobile Fleet Run On Wind And Solar Power?, Forbes article by Senior Contributor Robert Rapier. It would require 4.4 times more electricity produced from wind and solar power in 2019 to equal the 1.8 trillion kWh required to replace gasoline. That may seem like a lot, but over the past decade wind and solar power generation have increased by a factor of 5.4. At the growth rate of the past decade, it is possible that in another decade we could produce enough wind and solar power to power all the nation’s automobiles with a 100% EV fleet.
  • Amazon hands Mercedes-Benz its biggest electric vehicle order to date, GreenBiz
    Mercedes-Benz says by the end of the year it will offer five electric vehicle models and 20 plug-in hybrid vehicle editions. Its vehicle and battery production also will be carbon-neutral, using clean energy.

HYDROGEN

A Look At The ‘Colors’ Of Hydrogen That Could Power Our Future, Forbes article contributed by Alex Ivanenko, Cofounder and CEO of HyPoint, a company developing zero-carbon emission hydrogen fuel cell systems for urban air mobility.

While the use of hydrogen as a fuel dates back more than 150 years, recent announcements have brought hydrogen back into the spotlight as leaders around the world seek to secure a sustainable energy future. And if the future is to be powered by hydrogen, no industry will be left untouched.

GLOBAL RENEWABLE ENERGY REPORT

$3.40 Trillion to be Invested Globally in Renewable Energy by 2030, Finds Frost & Sullivan, News Release, PR Newswire

Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, Growth Opportunities from Decarbonization in the Global Power Market, 2019-2030, reveals that the 2020s will be crucial for all the participants in the power industry as the transition toward renewable energy is expected to increase, while coal takes a downturn in most developed markets. Falling costs and renewable-friendly energy policies adopted by several countries in the six major geographies—North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, China, and India—are prominent reasons why solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind capacity additions are expected to soar this decade. 

Behind Microsoft’s bold plan to build social equity into clean energy buying

By Heather Clancy, Editorial Director, GreenBiz Group

There were plenty of juicy news tidbits in Microsoft’s recent progress report about its goal to become carbon negative over the next decade. But its new goal to link at least 500 megawatts of forthcoming solar energy contracts to environmental justice considerations is bold for many reasons

“We spend a lot of time talking about the energy transition needed if our society is going to transition to a net-zero economy by 2050,” Microsoft’s environment chief, Lucas Joppa, told me. “Microsoft’s position is that the transition has to be an inclusive and just one.” The arrangement, with project financer, investor and developer Sol Systems, will prioritize opportunities and investments in communities “disproportionately affected by environmental challenges.” What does that mean more specifically?  Read more here.

Photo by SolSystems: SolSystem’s 196-kilowatt solar installation at Christ Church apartments, a low-to-moderate income senior living facility located on the Baltimore Harbor. 

Additional Recommended Reading: Sol Systems Announces Groundbreaking Solar Power Community Investment Agreement with Microsoft, News Release by The Sol Systems Team

SOLAR-POWERED FARMS

Farmers Increasingly Look To Solar To Power Their Operations, by Jonathan Ahl, High Plains Public Radio. The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) has $250 million available for renewable energy. They fund small projects where a farmer has to pay at least 75% of the total cost.  

Nebraska USDA Rural Development Energy Coordinator
Jeff Carpenter, 100 Centennial Mall North, Suite 308, Lincoln, NE 68508
Telephone: (402) 437-5554 / Email: jeff.carpenter@usda.gov  / Website 

RE100

First Solar Commits to Powering 100% of Global Operations with Renewable Energy by 2028, Globe Newswire. America’s largest solar company joins RE100, pledges to power U.S. operations with renewable energy by 2026. With over 1GW of corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs) signed, First Solar is an industry leader in corporate solar. Its track record includes projects to support the decarbonization efforts of RE100 members such as AppleFacebookKellogg’s, and Microsoft.

RENEWABLE DENVER INITIATIVE

Denver looks to install 15 MW of community solar gardens, Solar Power World
The project is part of the Renewable Denver Initiative, which is supported by a $1 million grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs. As part of the initiative, the project will help the city move closer to reaching the goals set in its 100% Renewable Electricity Action Plan, while expanding the economic and environmental benefits of renewable energy to more members of the community.

GREEN HYDROGEN

Is renewable hydrogen set to revolutionize the grid?, E&E News
Hydrogen has long been made in the United States at scale by steam-reforming natural gas or coal. Bringing low-carbon hydrogen to cost parity with those types by 2023, as Morgan Stanley projects, would exceed the overall hydrogen industry’s estimates by several years. The bank’s optimism reflects the mood of other energy analysts, who point to the outlays in European stimulus packages and a growing number of proposed projects worldwide in saying that the timeline for cheap green hydrogen could be closer than many assume.

Additional Recommended Reading: DOE News Release: Energy Department Announces Approximately $64M in Funding for 18 Projects to Advance H2@Scale. The grants include an award of $2,599,945 to Hexagon R & D LLC in Lincoln, Nebraska: Carbon Composite Optimization Reducing Tank Cost. See all the selections here.

FREE AWEA WEBINAR SERIES

Wind workforce webinar series to kick off #AmericanWindWeek 2020, by Greg Alvarez, Into the Wind, American Wind Energy Association Blog

To help both industry employers recruit the best and brightest as well as provide students with the essential resources to set them on a path toward a rewarding career in the wind energy workforce, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), in partnership with AWEA, is hosting a free, three-part Wind Workforce Webinar Series, Monday, August 10–Wednesday, August 12, as part of #AmericanWindWeek.


GLOBAL OFFSHORE WIND INDUSTRY

China poised to power huge growth in global offshore wind energy: Report finds the offshore industry could create 900,000 jobs globally over next decade, The Guardian
The world’s offshore windfarm capacity could grow eightfold by the end of the decade powered by a clean energy surge led by China, according to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). A new industry report has revealed stronger than expected growth for the offshore wind industry, which could reach 234GW by 2030, from a global tally of just over 29GW at the end of last year.
Also Published by The Guardian: Green energy could drive Covid-19 recovery with $100tn boost

 

The Guardian is partnering with Covering Climate Now, a global news collaboration of more than 400 news outlets, to boost coverage of solutions to the climate crisis.

 

TESLA NEWS

Tesla may become power provider in Germany, PV Magazine
The high-profile electric car maker is conducting a survey of German customers to gauge their interest in a Tesla electricity tariff.

SOLAR PERMITTING APP

SolarAPP residential solar permitting app to launch this fall, PV Magazine
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is “pushing toward” widespread release in October for SolarAPP, a web-based tool that local governments may adopt to speed permitting of residential solar installations. The October launch goal was announced by Jeff Cook, leader of the SolarAPP development project at NREL, in a webinar. The tool will be free to local governments, and will be funded by “a small fee” paid by solar contractors, an NREL spokesperson said.

PV-POWERED PARKING MACHINES

Solar for parking machines, PV Magazine

New Zealand researchers have proposed a way to assess the technical and economic feasibility of PV-powered parking machines. Solar might be an ideal solution, but the siting of the machines is critical and should be planned in advance, in line with available solar radiation and potential shading. The researchers presented their findings in “Solar resource assessment of modern parking machines in an urban environment,” which was recently published in Renewable Energy. Image: Southern Institute of Technology

ROBOTIC LAWNMOWER

Solar Alliance tests robotic lawnmower at Tennessee ground-mount project, Solar Power World


Solar Alliance Energy announced it is working with Husqvarna, Leeper Hardware and Appalachian Outreach as part of a test to determine the capabilities of the Husqvarna Automower robotic mower at an operating solar system in Tennessee.

Data! 10 charts show the economic benefits of US climate action

Red, Green, and Blue Article by Joel Jaeger and Devashree Saha,
With The World Resources Institute

The United States made substantial progress towards a low-carbon economy over the past several years. Low-carbon technologies became more efficient and affordable compared to fossil fuels, while U.S. clean energy investment and deployment grew to new heights, creating millions of jobs. All this progress could be in jeopardy due to the economic impacts of COVID-19 and government support for the declining fossil fuel industry.

But there is a better way—one that spurs economic growth, creates jobs, reduces costs for Americans and fights climate change. Our new paper synthesizes the latest research on the benefits of U.S. climate action in today’s economic reality. We found that strong climate action and investments in low-carbon infrastructure can be effective ways to build back better from COVID-19 and secure the economy’s long-term success. Here are 10 charts drawn from America’s New Climate Economy, which illustrate the economic benefits of advancing climate policies in the United States: Continue reading here.

Photo of a rancher at his solar water pump, an example of a clean energy project that can help states decouple emissions from GDP. Credit: Lance Cheung/USDA.

Additional Recommended Reading
COVID-19 Bailouts Should Target Oil and Gas Workers and Communities, Not Companies, by Devashree Saha, World Resources Institute

WRI WEBINAR RECORDING

Building America’s New Climate Economy: The webinar features a brief presentation on America’s New Climate Economy: A Comprehensive Guide to the Economic Benefits of Climate Policy in the United States.

ENERGY POLICY TRACKER UPDATE

U.S. public money commitments to different energy types:
Since the beginning of the COVID19 pandemic in early 2020, the United States has committed at least USD 99.72 billion to supporting different energy types through new or amended policies, according to official government sources and other publicly available information.

  • At least $72.35 billion supporting fossil fuel energy / $220.43 per capita
  • At least $27.37 billion supporting clean energy / $83.38 per capita

Previously Posted: United States Spend Ten Times More On Fossil Fuel Subsidies Than Education, Forbes

NEW COMMUNITY SOLAR GUIDE

Community Solar Power — What’s Happening? What’s New?, CleanTechnica
We’ve published a new community solar power guide for regular reference, and updates as needed. The first version of it is published below. If you have anything to add, correct, or request, please let us know.

SOLAR-POWERED MILITARY COMMUNITIES

Hunt Military Communities Supporting U.S. Military Leadership in Energy Conservation, Hunt Military Communities News Release, PR Newswire

Hunt Military Communities (HMC), the largest U.S. military housing owner, today announced that they have generated over 116,000 MWh of solar energy, in support of the sustainability goals of the U.S. Military. HMC, the largest owner of privatized military housing in the United States, owns approximately 52,000 homes spread across more than 40 military installations on Navy, Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps bases. The installation of solar panels in Hunt communities across the country has been a pillar of the company’s efforts, for which it was recognized with Duke Energy’s long-standing Power Partner award for 2019. Photo: Dover Air Force Base in Delaware

EVERGY’S ENERGY TRANSITION

Evergy, Elliott Management agree on a renewable-increasing strategic plan, avert a sale, The Business Journals. Evergy Inc. announced on Wednesday a new five-year strategic plan designed to speed its transition to cleaner energy and — importantly — to do so as a stand-alone company.

GROUND-BREAKING FORM OF SOLAR CELL

Solar Energy Breakthrough Paves Way For Electricity-Generating Colorful Windows, The Independent

Researchers in South Korea have manufactured a ground-breaking form of solar cell using thin films of colored copper. The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) successfully tested the cells by coating thin layers onto films of glass substrate. The researchers discovered that the innovative cells have a higher sunlight absorption rate than other non-silicon based solar cells, resulting in a higher conversion efficiency and longer stability.


JOB LISTINGS

Clean Energy Group (CEG) and the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) seek a Project Manager to work on the organizations’ initiatives related to solar and energy storage for low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities and environmental justice communities, with an emphasis on outreach to state energy agencies and community-based organizations. For more information, see www.cleanegroup.org and www.cesa.org.

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) is hiring a full-time management and program analyst to serve as the National Community Solar Partnership program lead. This role is a federal supervisory position at the GS-14 level. Responsibilities include managing complex, multi-partner technical assistance programs; coordinating a team of solar energy technical experts to plan and carry out these programs; developing concepts for new programs and funding mechanisms aimed at reducing the non-hardware, or soft, costs of solar; and more. Apply by August 12.

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.