Tag Archives: 100% renewable energy

This is exactly the time to be talking about climate change

Joel Makower, Chairman & Executive Editor, GreenBiz Group

This is exactly the right time to be talking about climate change. In fact, we need to be talking unapologetically about climate, the clean economy, renewable energy, resilient food systems, sustainable mobility, the circular economy and the Sustainable Development Goals with more vigor than ever. We’ll spend the next several years rebooting and rebuilding our economic wherewithal. So, isn’t this the time to talk about how that will unfold, about how to create a robust, resilient and regenerative economy for the next generation or two? And shouldn’t we be aligning our investments — and our tax dollars — in those directions? Read more here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Corporate America, it’s your time to shine, contributed by Suzanne Shelton, President & CEO Shelton Group, GreenBiz. We have the opportunity right now — flush with evidence about the cracks in our social system and the very real ways in which we’re affecting our environment — to reimagine the Way We Do Things. The business leaders and companies who use this moment to be creative (as opposed to simply trying to get back to “business as usual”) are the ones who will not only weather this storm; they’ll also be the preferred brands of the future. Here are five things company leaders can do right now to create a sustainable future:

EPA 

  • EPA gives power plants, regulated entities pollution compliance flexibility, citing COVID-19 concerns, by Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive. Environmentalists worry the relaxed enforcement could allow facilities to be less diligent about compliance with air and water pollution standards. “This is an open license to pollute. Plain and simple,” Gina McCarthy, president and CEO of the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement. “We can all appreciate the need for additional caution and flexibility in a time of crisis, but this brazen directive is an abdication of the EPA’s responsibility to protect our health.”
  • Suspending EPA enforcement during COVID-19 outbreak adds to pollution-related health risks, Environment America News Release. “As our nation struggles to contain the coronavirus, health is at the forefront of everyone’s mind, and the public cares even more deeply about the air we breathe and the water we drink. If EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler will not rescind this policy immediately, we urge Congress to exercise its oversight authority to ensure the safety of our air and water.” – John Rumpler, senior attorney for Environment America

RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS

ENERGY STORAGE

NEW JERSEY’S CARBON-FREE LEADERSHIP

New Jersey looks to exit PJM, worried the MOPR will impede its 100% carbon-free goals, by Robert Walton, Utility Dive

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) wants to consider alternatives to participation in PJM Interconnection’s capacity market, and on March 27 launched an investigation into how the state can achieve its clean energy objectives that include reaching 100% carbon-free energy by 2050. The investigation is a response to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) December 2019 decision to expand the Minimum Offer Price Rule (MOPR) in the regional capacity market, effectively raising the floor prices for state-subsidized resources. Clean energy advocates believe the rule could prevent new renewable resources from competing in the wholesale market.

GREEN HYDROGEN

Policy, policy, policy: BloombergNEF’s path to hydrogen uptake, PV Magazine
A hot energy topic with little coordinated analysis, green hydrogen has finally attracted the number crunchers of BloombergNEF.

NEW GTM BLOG

GTM’s Live Coronavirus Blog: The Impact on Clean Energy
A somber tone takes hold across the American solar industry, and New York’s grid operator sequesters workers at control centers. Follow the latest developments here.

INDUSTRY RESOURCES

  • The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has a Coronavirus Information & Resources page that provides updates on its impact on the American solar workforce and its effects to the global supply chain.
  •  The American Wind Energy Association has a COVID-19 advocacy and related resources page.
  • The Energy Storage Association (ESA) has created a Resource Center with updates on the organization’s actions to continue fulfilling  its mission to accelerate the widespread use of competitive and reliable energy storage systems in North America.

Arizona commission signals support for 100% clean energy by 2050

By William Driscoll, PV Magazine

Arizona could join 16 other states and territories that have targets of 100% clean or renewable electricity by 2050 or sooner. Thirty-two groups in Arizona have called for 50% renewables by 2030Read more here.

GRID INFRASTRUCTURE NEWS

Smooth sailing so far for planned Iowa-Illinois underground power line, by Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network

A high-voltage underground transmission line proposed to cross Iowa and Illinois is moving ahead without the landowner opposition that has dogged overhead transmission lines in the region. The SOO Green HVDC Link, which would span 349 miles from Mason City, Iowa, to a connection with the PJM grid at Yorkville, Illinois, has encountered no major objections at the four public meetings that have been held in Iowa and Illinois, according to project spokeswoman Sarah Lukan.

TRI-STATE 

Colorado expedites Tri-State member exit charge case, as power supplier gets ‘split decision’ on FERC jurisdiction, Utility Dive

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on March 20 accepted tariffs filed by Tri-State Generation and Transmission, meaning the agency will now have authority over wholesale rates for the cooperative’s member distribution utilities in New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska. In a separate order, FERC determined it does not have exclusive jurisdiction over member exit charges, allowing complaints by La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) and United Power pending before the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (COPUC) to move forward. 

CORPORATE RENEWABLE ENERGY PURCHASING

Corporate renewable energy in the age of COVID-19, by Sarah Golden, Senior Energy Analyst & VERGE Energy Chair, GreenBiz Group 

“Large energy buyers signed onto 9.33 gigawatts of renewable energy deals in 2019 and they want those projects to come to fruition,” REBA’s CEO, Miranda Ballentine, wrote in an email. “We do expect for company interests and commitments to clean energy to remain strong given they are tied to broader corporate energy goals and emissions reductions targets.”

NET METERING

Which states offer net metering?, by Kelly Pickerel, Editor In Chief, Solar Power World

Congratulations. If you live/work in one of these 34 states, D.C., or four territories, you are able to take advantage of net metering credits in some form. View the database on DSIRE for more details about your specific region.

Net Metering – Nebraska
System Capacity Limit: 25 kW

Net Metering – Iowa
System Capacity Limit: 1 MW

ADDITIONAL PV MAGAZINE POSTS

ZEV PROGRAM 

Statement: Victory! Washington adopts Zero Emission Vehicle program, Environment America
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee today signed the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program into law. The move takes aim at reducing ozone pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and makes Washington the 12th state to adopt the ZEV program. With this new law, Washington joins the entire West Coast as part of this critical program to get more electric cars on the road. Under ZEV, the Evergreen State will deploy hundreds of thousands of electric vehicles over the next decade. 

PROJECT DRAWDOWN UPDATE

Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion, Yale Climate Connections. A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs.

FEATURED WEBINAR LIBRARY

Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) on-demand webinars: Many of them are free.

FEATURED BOOK

Grassroots Rising: A Call to Action on Climate, Farming, Food, and a Green New Deal, Chelsea Green Publishing

Grassroots Rising offers a blueprint for building a grassroots Regeneration Movement based on consumer activism, farmer innovation, political change, and regenerative finance—embodied most recently by the proposed Green New Deal in the US.

Using regenerative agriculture practices that restore our agricultural and grazing lands, we can sequester massive amounts of carbon in the soil. Coupled with an aggressive transition toward renewables, Cummins argues that we have the power to not only mitigate and slow down climate change, but actually reverse global warming.

LONGi joins the Global Initiative RE100; commits to 100% renewable power across its entire global operations by 2028

LONGi News Release, PR Newswire

LONGi Green Energy Technology Co., Ltd (hereinafter referred to as “LONGi”), the world’s leading solar technology company, announced that it has officially joined the global RE100 initiative led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, on March 12th, 2020. LONGi commits to sourcing 100% renewable electricity across its entire global operations by 2028 with an interim target of 70% by 2027.

The global RE100 initiative aims to unite Global Fortune 500 companies such as Apple, Google, Facebook, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Philips and Goldman Sachs, to the committed goal of 100% renewable energy in the shortest possible timeframe. In order to achieve this climate goal, each company in the RE100 will commit to source 100% of the electricity used across their global operations from renewable energy. Continue reading here.


228 RE100 companies have made a commitment to go ‘100% renewable’. Read about the actions they are taking and why here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

GREENTECH MEDIA PODCAST

Watt It Takes: Turning Real Estate Into Clean-Power Assets
This week on Watt It Takes: Powerhouse CEO Emily Kirsch sits down with Robyn Beavers, the co-founder and CEO of Blueprint Power. Blueprint works with real estate companies to turn their buildings into clean energy power plants. Blueprint developed software that helps building owners optimize their use of co-generation, fuel cells, solar or batteries.

BUILDING INTEGRATED PV (BIPV)

GAF Energy, part of the world’s largest roofer: The time is now for building integrated PV and solar roofs, PV Magazine

Martin DeBono, president of GAF Energy, part of the world’s largest roofing company, thinks that the time is now for building integrated PV (BIPV). He told PV Magazine: “You have the backing of GAF — a 100-year old company and the world’s largest roofer.” He added, “I can assure you — without naming names — the largest solar companies in the U.S. are getting into roofing. I think that Tesla has it absolutely right. They’re playing the long game, as are we. The industry will evolve from rack-mounted to BIPV.”

OF POTENTIAL INTEREST TO NEBRASKA MANUFACTURERS

EPA encourages manufacturers to save energy, Yale Climate Connections
More than 1,000 plants have signed up for the Energy Star Challenge for Industry.

RECOMMENDED VIEWING

Seven of the best new documentaries about global warming, Yale Climate Connections
The films screened at the recent Wild & Scenic Film Festival. Throughout these diverse pieces was a common probing of the disproportionate impacts of climate change on the health and wellbeing of indigenous communities, people of color, and economically disadvantaged individuals.

NEW APPA INFOGRAPHIC: ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY 

 

What makes a utility environmentally responsible?, American Public Power Association

Environmental responsibility is a key cornerstone of public power. In meeting this, utilities fulfill a variety of roles, such as:

 

SOLAR RECYCLING 

Washington State Passes Bill That Will Improve Solar Recycling Program, Solar Power World
This week the Washington State House and Senate passed a bill that will update the state’s solar recycling policy. This bill will inform the final design and adoption of a comprehensive solar recycling program that is data-driven and considers the lifespan of modules that can last up to 50 years in the field.

GLOBAL NEWS

Municipal aggregation savings ‘shattering expectations’ in Massachusetts

By  Sarah Shemkus, Energy News Network

The growing number of Massachusetts cities and towns that have negotiated community-wide rates for green energy have saved millions of dollars while also shrinking their carbon footprints, according to a new report released last week.

“The data shows we’re kind of shattering expectations,” said Larry Chretien, executive director of the Green Energy Consumers Alliance, the nonprofit group that put out the report. “You can add green power and still provide consumers with an opportunity to save money.” Read more here. 

Photo Credit:  Robert Laliberte / Flickr / Creative Commons

GREEN MUNICIPAL AGGREGATION 


Also known as community choice aggregation (CCA), this model allows cities and towns in MA & RI to take real climate action by greening up residents’ electricity supply.

 

MORE MASSACHUSETTS NEWS STORIES BY SARAH SHEMKUS

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

MORE CAMPUS ADVOCACY FOR 100% RENEWABLES 

FSU Students push for commitment to 100% renewable energy on FSU campus, Florida State University News. “Students across the country are vocalizing support for transitioning to 100% renewable energy sources,” said Ryann Lynn, Clean Energy Advocate for Environment Florida. “Thirty-six colleges have already committed to that evolution, but FSU could be the first university in Florida.”

ENVIRONMENT AMERICA RESOURCES

Renewable Energy 101: Ten Tools for Moving Your Campus to 100% Clean Energy
Environment America designed a series of 10 fact sheets as a resource for students, faculty and administrators interested in moving their campus toward sustainability. The fact sheets have been crafted to illustrate the importance, challenges and opportunities of 10 important and distinct tools associated with building a 100 percent clean, renewable energy system. Each fact sheet includes two case studies of effective action on college campuses, as well as a list of resources.

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Brouillette: 100% renewables may be possible, E&E News
Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette suggested [on Friday] it could one day be possible for the United States to reach 100% renewable energy, a goal of climate change activists. Testifying before a House Appropriations energy subcommittee, Brouillette said the Department of Energy is committed to developing large-scale battery storage to increase the use of renewable energy. Brouillette noted that the Trump administration’s 2021 DOE budget request calls for more money for an “Energy Storage Grand Challenge” to develop battery capacity. Many environmental advocates want Congress to push the country to 100% clean energy within a decade, a goal that Republicans have greeted with skepticism.

INSTITUTIONAL INVESTORS GROWING THE ENERGY STORAGE MARKET

Energy storage projects reach ‘investment-grade’ with esVolta’s $140 million debt facility, PV Magazine. It’s energy storage projects as investment-grade finance tools for institutional investors that will grow the energy storage market to $546 billion in annual revenue by 2035, as predicted by Lux Research or grow the business tenfold from 2018 to 2023, rising to $5 billion annually, according to Wood Mackenzie.

BIFACIAL SOLAR PANELS

Trina unveils two 500-watt bifacial solar modules, PV Magazine
The panels are equipped with glass-glass or glass-backsheet frames. Both offer a reported 21% efficiency. Trina plans to have a combined 5 GW of annual production capacity for the products this year.

NREL MULTI-YEAR STUDY

Bifacial Solar Advances with the Times—and the Sun: Multi-Year Study Evaluates Two-Sided Tracking Systems for More Efficient Solar Power Generation

In May 2019, a team at NREL kicked off a three-year study to evaluate bifacial modules that collect light on both sides of a panel while also following the sun throughout the day. To determine how much more power such panels can produce, the team needed data, so they are gathering it. Some of their data are already publicly available—an industry first for a study of this scale.

Exchanging Mountaintops for Energy

Written by Graham Marema, Environment America

The price for powering our society shouldn’t be our special places.

Every stage in the use of fossil fuels has consequences for our environment. Carbon is extracted from the ground, transported through our communities — risking spills along the way — and ultimately released into our atmosphere, contributing to an increasingly unstable climate.

New strip mining projects in protected places like the Cumberland Plateau make no sense — not when we have safe, clean and sustainable alternatives that are growing every day. Solar panels have become common sights on the roofs of schools, businesses and houses, and wind turbines are generating renewable energy in plains across the country. In fact, from 2009 to 2019, solar power capacity grew 40-fold in the United States and wind power tripled. Read more here.

Additional Recommended Reading 

Environment America Research & Policy Center is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to protecting our air, water and open spaces. We work to protect the places we love, advance the environmental values we share, and win real results for our environment. Environment America Research & Policy Center is part of The Public Interest Network, which runs organizations committed to our vision of a better world, a set of core values, and a strategic approach to getting things done.

Amazon’s Bezos pledges $10 billion to climate change fight

Reporting by Laila Kearney and Rama Venkat, Reuters

Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos will commit $10 billion to fund scientists, activists, nonprofits and other groups fighting to protect the environment and counter the effects of climate change, he said on Monday. Bezos, the world’s richest man, is among a growing list of billionaires to dedicate substantial funds to battling the impact of global warming. “Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet,” Bezos said in an Instagram post. “I want to work alongside others both to amplify known ways and to explore new ways of fighting the devastating impact of climate change on this planet we all share.” The Bezos Earth Fund will begin issuing grants this summer as part of the initiative. Read more here.

Previously Posted: Jeff Bezos unveils sweeping plan to tackle climate change, CNBC

Additional Recommended Reading

Inspiring story from Illinois: How fourth-graders provided the spark for solar panels at Big Hollow campus

By Mick Zawislak, Daily Herald

The installation of solar panels on the Big Hollow Elementary District 38 campus in Ingleside is a lesson in persistence prompted by fourth-graders. Spread along the rolling terrain in two sections — the smaller near the school bus parking lot and the larger on the west side of Wilson Road — the panels will produce enough energy to cover about 85% of the district’s power needs and save about $90,000 a year. Continue reading here.

SEIA Resource: Solar Power Purchase Agreements
More Illinois NewsMaking Galesburg model city for solar, Review Atlas 

IN NEBRASKA

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

MULTI-STATE SOLAR AGGREGATION

Standard Solar gets creative to finance this 18-rooftop, multi-state solar portfolio for Iron Mountain Inc, Solar Builder Magazine

“Through our partnership with Standard Solar, we have been able to build a holistic program that allows Iron Mountain to seamlessly install on-site solar in multiple states. This program is helping Iron Mountain progress towards meeting their environmental goals of RE100 and the Science Based Target Initiative in a cost effective and simple to implement method,” said Lauren Fitch CBRE Energy Manager for Iron Mountain. Standard Solar also partnered with OnSwitch, whose patented AI-powered SkyQuotes platform makes it simpler for solar developers and building owners to evaluate, buy/finance and install commercial solar energy solutions at a guaranteed lowest price, to help maximize cost savings for the projects.

 CLIMATE RISKS & RESILIENCE

Trend: Corporate climate reporting gets physical, contributed GreenBiz article by Lauren Smart, Managing Director, Global Head of ESG Commercial at Trucost, part of S&P Global.

What will companies gain from reporting physical risks? Risk mitigation, for starters. Research by Trucost highlights the scale of corporate exposure: almost 60 percent of companies in the S&P 500 (market capitalization of $18 trillion) and more than 40 percent in the S&P Global 1200 ($27.3 trillion) hold assets at high risk of physical climate change impacts. Identifying these exposures and building business continuity and resilience plans is critical. It’s not just companies in the obvious sectors, such as agricultural value chains or resource-intensive ones, that are vulnerable. For many U.S. financial companies, which may have thought their exposure to climate risks was minimal, 2012’s Superstorm Sandy was a wake-up call.

GLOBAL ENERGY TRANSITION

 Previously Posted

Who’s afraid of 100%?

Utility Dive article contributed by Jurgen Weiss,
Principle at The Brattle Group

Reducing GHG emissions 80% by 2050 relative to 1990 levels — often referred to as an “80 by 50” goal — is quickly becoming the consensus decarbonization target, and more and more states and utilities are committing to a goal of this kind. Increasingly, many stakeholders are calling for the pursuit of even more ambitious goals, such as striving for 100% renewable energy or net-zero emissions by 2050. However, just as many voices suggest that a 100% clean energy goal is unnecessary, infeasible or too expensive. All three of these arguments — that a 100% goal is unnecessary, infeasible and too expensive — are questionable and quite likely incorrect. Continue reading here.

The Interchange Podcast – Greentech Media

24/7 Renewables: The Emerging Art of Matching Renewables With Demand
Melissa Lott, a senior research scholar at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy, joins co-host Shayle Kann for a deep dive into 24/7 renewables.

Calculating renewables consumption on an annual basis isn’t sufficient. If we really want to make them an effective decarbonization tool, we need to match them to real-time demand. And there are a lot of ways to do it. In the last few months, we’ve seen examples of large corporations taking the challenge head-on. We’ve also seen the negative consequences for a city when it failed to account for time of use.

Renewable Energy Prices Hit Record Lows: How Can Utilities Benefit From Unstoppable Solar And Wind?

By Silvio Marcacci, Communications Director at Energy Innovation

Over the last decade, wind energy prices have fallen 70% and solar photovoltaics have fallen 89% on average, according to Lazard’s 2019 report. Utility-scale renewable energy prices are now significantly below those for coal and gas generation, and they’re less than half the cost of nuclear. The latest numbers again confirm that building new clean energy generation is cheaper than running existing coal plants.

In other words, it is now cheaper to save the climate than to destroy it. Capacity installation trends reflect this economic reality, with new wind and solar generation coming online at a breakneck pace. Wind power capacity in the U.S. has more than doubled since 2010 and reached nearly 100 GW in 2018. Read more here.

ØRSTED NEWS

Global 100 Index: Ørsted Is the World’s Most Sustainable Company, Ørsted News Release, CSR Wire
Having completed a fundamental business transformation from fossil fuels to renewables over the past decade, Ørsted urges all countries and companies to reduce their carbon emissions to help limit global warming to 1.5°C. The global leader in offshore wind outperformed more than 7,300 global companies with billion-dollar revenues to rank #1 in Corporate Knights’ 2020 index of the Global 100 most sustainable corporations in the world. Ørsted becomes the first-ever energy company to top the index.

Previously Posted

100% CLEAN ENERGY NEWS – PLUS NEBRASKA DATA

MICROSOFT’S NEW CARBON NEGATIVE PLAN

How Microsoft’s new carbon-negative plan will test the idea of a climate economy, CNBC
Microsoft’s plan to make up for every bit of carbon it has put into the atmosphere since it was founded in 1975 will require a mix of old and new solutions. 100% renewable electricity by 2025, electric vehicles on campuses and alternate sources of business travel are familiar pledges. But soaking up all the carbon in the air already is a new corporate goal and will require novel technology, such as direct air capture. Microsoft is counting on everything from planting massive numbers of trees to soak up carbon and using technologies to capture carbon and sequester it in soil — burying it, essentially — to more exotic technologies.

EV NEWS

Tesla can sell vehicles in Michigan under legal settlement, Associated Press News
Tesla will be able to sell and service its vehicles in the backyard of Detroit’s three automakers under a lawsuit settlement, a person briefed on the matter says. The deal between the state of Michigan and Tesla is likely to be announced Wednesday, said the person, who asked not to be identified because terms of the deal have not been made public.

FEATURED NATIONAL INITIATIVE

SolSmart is a national designation program recognizing cities, counties, and regional organizations that foster the development of mature local solar markets. The program is led by the International City/County Management Association and The Solar Foundation.

To help communities achieve designation, SolSmart provides no-cost technical assistance from a team of national experts who work to evaluate programs and practices that impact solar markets, and identify high-prospect opportunities for improvement. A select number of communities also hosted SolSmart Advisors: fully-funded, experienced staff who work in communities for periods of up to six months. All cities, counties, and regional organizations are eligible to join SolSmart and receive no-cost technical assistance to achieve designation.
Learn more: Why Should You Apply?
Meet the SolSmart team

Lincoln, Nebraska SolSmart Gold Designee
City Receives National Recognition for Promoting Solar Energy, City of Lincoln Mayor’s Office News Release, September 9, 2019

Rhode Island Gov. steers state toward 100% renewable electricity by 2030

Environment America News Release

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The rapidly growing group of states looking to thwart climate change by adopting 100% renewable energy policies has a new member. Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo signed an executive order establishing the goal of meeting all of the state’s electricity needs with renewable energy by 2030. The state’s Office of Energy Resources is now tasked with creating a plan to meet the governor’s goal, and a complete analysis is expected by the end of the year. Continue reading here.

Environment America’s Goal: Convince 10 states, 50 college campuses and key cities to go 100% renewable. Learn more here.

 ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

ENERGY STORAGE

EV NEWS

ANNOUNCING NEW SMART PHONE GAME