Tag Archives: American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE)

PSC rejects conflict-of-interest assertions, authorizes $500 million Cardinal-Hickory Creek power line

By Chris Hubbuch, Wisconsin State Journal

Wisconsin utility regulators granted final approval Thursday for a controversial power line while rebuffing conflict of interest charges from opponents of the nearly $500 million project. At a meeting interrupted by protesters, the Public Service Commission voted unanimously to authorize construction of the Cardinal-Hickory Creek line between Dubuque, Iowa, and Middleton in a written order summarizing points the three commissioners agreed to during a hearing in August. Read more here.

Photo: NPPD Transmission Tower

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

PODCASTS

  • GreenBiz 350 Podcast – Episode 190: Ambition, angst and action at Climate Week, Danone CEO prioritizes biodiversity
  • The Stranded Asset Threat to Natural Gas, Greentech Media. This week on The Interchange podcast: Is natural gas the new coal? There are $70 billion worth of natural-gas-fired power plants planned in the U.S. through the mid-2020s. But a combination of wind, solar, batteries and demand-side management could threaten up to 90 percent of those investments.

ENERGY TRANSITION MARKET SECTOR 

The energy transition: A $4.3T, underfunded opportunity, contributed article by Kevin Stevens, partner at Intelis Capital, Utility Dive

For context, here are the sizes of popular, fast-growing sectors of technology that you might be familiar with:

Let that sink in, those are all exciting sectors in their own right and the energy transition is more than 14 times the largest one listed. Other than healthcare ($10.2 trillion), I can’t think of a larger sector opportunity.

ENERGY STORAGE

Oil and Gas Investor EnCap Muscles Into Energy Storage Business, Greentech Media
Former First Solar CEO Jim Hughes to help lead EnCap’s “energy transition” team, as it readies a push into the battery storage market. This could include large-scale solar-plus-storage projects of the kind that have been cropping up at increasingly competitive prices across the country’s key solar markets such as CaliforniaNevada and Arizona. It could also include pairing wind farms with batteries in key markets, although these are more challenging to finance, given the lack of a clear tax credit mechanism to include batteries with wind, as exists with the federal solar Investment Tax Credit.

Minnesota wind-solar hybrid project could be new frontier for renewable energy

By Mike Hughlett, Minnesota Star Tribune

PELICAN RAPIDS, MINN. – The wind turbine and small solar array planted in a cornfield near this northwestern Minnesota town look modest. But the hybrid power plant could be a new frontier for renewable energy. By capturing both sun and wind power, it can provide a more stable supply of electricity than either energy source can provide alone. And given its small size, it is relatively easy to hook into the electricity grid. “It delivers low-cost clean energy right to where the power is being consumed, and it leads to the retention of energy dollars in the community,” said Dan Juhl, the Minnesota renewable-energy pioneer whose company developed the project. Renewable-energy analysts said it makes a lot of sense. Read more here.

Photo by Clean Energy Economy Minnesota: Dan Juhl

Additional Recommended Reading 

Corporate News

  • Jeff Bezos unveils sweeping plan to tackle climate change, CNBC
    Bezos says Amazon is committed to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement 10 years early. As part of the plan, Amazon has agreed to purchase 100,000 electric delivery vans from vehicle manufacturer Rivian. Bezos expects 80% of Amazon’s energy use to come from renewable sources by 2024, before transitioning to zero emissions by 2030. The company also announced a $100 million donation to The Nature Conservancy to form the Right Now Climate Fund, which will work to restore and protect forests, wetlands and peatlands around the world, with the goal of removing carbon from the atmosphere.
  • Google’s jaw-dropping renewable procurement proclamation, GreenBiz
    Google just declared a new record in corporate renewables by announcing the largest procurement deal ever. The tech giant Thursday revealed it would purchase a 1.6-gigawatt package of agreements, including 18 new wind and solar deals across the globe.

Solar-Powered Crop-Drying Technology

Purdue Startup Awarded $150K, Inside Indiana Business. A Purdue University-affiliated startup has received federal and state grants worth $150,000. JUA Technologies International says it will use the funding to further develop its solar-powered crop-drying devices. The company was founded by husband-wife duo Klein Ileleji, a professor in agricultural and biological engineering at Purdue and Reiko Habuto Ileleji, a Purdue alumna.

New ACEEE Report

Halfway There: Energy Efficiency Can Cut Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Half by 2050. Energy efficiency can slash US energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by about 50% by 2050, getting us halfway to our national climate goals. We can achieve almost all these savings, worth more than $700 billion in 2050, by dramatically scaling up government policies and programs. This report examines 11 packages of efficiency opportunities in every economic sector and the policies that could unlock each of them. We find the greatest savings from efficient and electric vehicles, industrial efficiency and decarbonization, transportation system efficiency, upgrades to existing buildings and homes, zero energy new buildings and homes, and appliance and equipment efficiency. (Fact sheet here.)

Featured Initiative

The U.S. Climate Alliance represents 40 percent of the U.S. population and a $9 trillion economy, greater than the third largest country in the world, and U.S. Climate Alliance states are on track to meet their share of the Paris Agreement emissions target by 2025.

Solar and Energy Efficiency Need to Work Together Like Peanut Butter and Jelly

By Steven Nadel, Executive Director of the American Council for an
Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). Republished by The Energy Collective

Click solar map to enlarge it. 

solarmap

Energy efficiency and solar advocates have on occasion butted heads over which option should be implemented in homes and buildings first and how much should be installed before the other is considered. Here at ACEEE we believe that, like market solutions vs. energy efficiency programs, this is a false choice. Both are valuable and can, and should, work together as an integrated solution to create cleaner and cheaper energy. While energy efficiency is just as clean as solar when it comes to emissions, efficiency by itself can’t produce energy for customers looking for a clean energy option, and solar without energy efficiency can’t reach the full extent of its potential. Continue reading.

Why Should Only the Wealthy Get Solar Panels?

By Gillian B, White, The Atlantic

Solar panels are seen in the Palm Springs area

WASHINGTON, D.C.—For homeowners and renters, drawing energy from solar panels on their roofs can be very cost-effective: Some estimates put monthly electric-bill savings between 10 and 30 percent, and on top of that, households that install solar systems can get 30 percent of the cost as a tax credit. But for many, installing solar panels is simply not within reach: Setting up such systems can cost tens of thousands of dollars, which means that their use—and subsequent savings—are predominantly enjoyed by wealthy households. That’s why, as Washington, D.C., moves forward with its clean-energy plan—which would have at least half the city’s power coming from renewable sources by 2032—it is doing so with an eye on inequality. The city has mandated that a portion of the money set aside for solar initiatives—just under one-third—target low-income neighborhoods. Continue reading.

Photo: Lucy Nicholson / Reuters. Solar installation in the Palm Springs area, California

RELATED READING
FACT SHEET: Obama Administration Announces Clean Energy Savings for All Americans Initiative
A PV Panel On Every Roof,
William S. Becker, Executive Director, Presidential Climate Action Project, Huffington Post Blog

ADDITIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY / ENERGY EFFICIENCY NEWS
Minnesota Power Seeks Proposals for Large-Scale Wind, Solar Energy, and Customer-Driven Resources, Business Wire
A new crop is now growing in Idaho: Solar energy, Idaho Statesman
Highlights:
Idaho’s first commercial solar farm has just been built south of Boise
Five other solar farms in Southeast Idaho are are set to be completed this year
Idaho Power is proposing a community solar project in Southeast Boise
Renewable Energy Is Key to Fighting Climate Change, Natural Resources Defense Council
New program helps hospitals advance solar beyond their campuses, Midwest Energy News
5 Common Myths About Residential Solar, Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy
In Texas, 1 company is making rooftop solar work without net mtering, Utility Dive
SEIA Releases New Guide to Land Leases for Solar
US moves up in ACEEE world efficiency rankings, but still plenty of room for improvement: The U.S. is ranked #8 in the ACEEE rankings, up from #13 two years ago, Utility Dive