Tag Archives: American Wind Energy Association (AWEA)

Protecting American jobs and clean energy investment during the COVID-19 pandemic

By Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing unprecedented challenges to the U.S. healthcare system, disruptions to daily life across the country, and deep uncertainty across the economy. Global supply chain disturbances and massive public health interventions are extending these obstacles to the U.S. wind energy industry as well. We’re working hard to understand the many hurdles our members are facing and the impacts to their businesses this represents. Protecting American jobs and economic investment and ensuring the safety of the wind workforce remain our primary objectives.

To that end, we have co-written and signed a joint letter to Congress with the Solar Energy Industries Association outlining the complications the U.S. renewable energy market faces amidst the pandemic, and proposed actions Congress can take to keep U.S. workers busy building the clean energy grid of the future. Click on the image below to read the full letter.

Additional Recommended Reading

Top Photo Credit: AWEA Free Use Wind Energy Image Gallery

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

Report Ranks States for Corporate Clean Energy Procurement

Retail Industry Leaders Association News Release

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) has released the 2020 update to the Corporate Clean Energy Procurement Index. This groundbreaking study, first undertaken in 2017, shows how some states have improved their rankings by enacting common sense policies regarding domestic clean energy production and therefore are more likely to attract new business development, creating thousands of jobs in their communities. The updated analysis released today by RILA ranks all 50 U.S. states based on the ease with which America’s most recognizable brands can procure state-level renewable energy for their operations.

The Corporate Clean Energy Procurement Index: 2020 State Leadership & Rankings notes that more than 22 GW of corporate renewable energy deals have been announced in the U.S. since 2008, with over 13.5 GW of purchases announced in 2018 and 2019 alone, according to the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA). Retail and tech companies such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Target and Wal-Mart are among nearly half of the Fortune 500 companies seeking to locate operations in states with access to clean energy production due to cost effectiveness, fossil fuel price volatility and pollution concerns. The index is intended to inform business leaders and guide state policymakers hoping to attract new job-creating businesses and foster economic growth. Read more here.

Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for millions of American jobs, and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities, and distribution centers domestically and abroad.

Included in the report:

  • Nebraska ranks 25th on RILA’s Corporate Clean Energy Procurement Index.
  • Illinois took the overall top position for 2020.
  • Other state rankings include:
    Ohio: 12
    Iowa: 14
    South Dakota: 26
    Minnesota: 27
    Indiana: 30
    Michigan: 31
    Missouri: 34
    North Dakota: 38
    Kansas: 40
    Wisconsin: 41
  • In the Third-Party Purchasing Category: South Dakota and Nebraska jumped from #39 in 2017 to #1 and #8 respectively.

Opinion: Investment in Missouri lowers electricity bills and creates jobs for residents

Contributed by Lee Barker, The Missouri Times

Missourians do not like living paycheck to paycheck paying high utility bills and soon many won’t have to. The Grain Belt Express Transmission Line will lower the cost of utility bills to dozens of communities throughout the state. When built, the Grain Belt Express will deliver low-cost wind and solar power from Kansas to Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana. In Missouri, the line will span eight counties delivering at least 500 megawatts of low-cost energy (and probably much more). Read more here.

Lee Barker is the former city administrator for Higginsville, Missouri.

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

In an American Wind Energy Association session moderated by Dave Price, political director of WHO-TV and carried live by Politico, the panelists said they hope to see Iowa’s already strong wind industry — one of the largest in the nation — double or triple its size in the next couple of decades.

SOLAR WITH JUSTICE REPORT

The sun shines for all: Community solar for low-income populations, by Meena Dayak, American Public Power Association. The Solar with Justice report from the Clean Energy States Alliance notes that participation in the solar economy can help ease the disproportionate social and economic burdens that low- to moderate-income households bear by helping to reduce electricity bills, provide jobs, and build sustainable communities. “Solar can also make decision-making more democratic by giving residents of under-resourced communities more control over their energy choices,” the report states.

ENERGY STORAGE

LOCAL CLIMATE SOLUTIONS

Look Locally For Solutions to Climate Crisis, Guest Column, Hibbing Daily Tribune
Recently we had the chance to visit a factory producing solar panels, and to hear about grassroots clean energy projects popping up all over northeastern Minnesota. The “we” was a group of about two dozen people from Duluth and the Iron Range. We were participating in an event on January 7 called Let There Be Light: Solar Initiatives Close to Home. 

WISCONSIN’S SOLAR SCHOOLS PROGRAM

Wisconsin Schools Asked To Plan For Solar Projects, Wisconsin Public Radio
The Solar on Schools program is asking K-12 schools in Wisconsin to consider installing solar panels as part of their energy mix. The program wants to attract 100 schools in the next four years to install the renewable energy source. The program is a joint venture between the Coulliard Solar Foundation in Deerfield and the Midwest Renewable Energy Association based in Custer. 

CARBON-NEUTRAL CAMPUS CELEBRATES ACHIEVEMENT

Colorado College achieves decade-long goal of carbon neutrality, The Gazette
In 2007, Colorado College sophomore David Amster-Olszewski circulated a petition that 70% of the school’s 2,000 students signed in 10 days, calling for the campus to commit to reaching carbon neutrality. Two years later, the campus set 2020 as the date to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from certain campus operations and use renewable energy sources. On Jan. 24, the college celebrated the realization of that goal.

SAVING ENERGY & MONEY

Alliant Energy study uses artificial intelligence to hunt down phantom power, target waste, Wisconsin State Journal. A 2015 study by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) estimated nearly a quarter of all household electricity use in the United States is consumed by appliances and other equipment in standby mode. Over the course of a year, that can add up to more than $300 worth of electricity for the average Wisconsin household and the equivalent output of 50 large power plants. Using off-the-shelf Sense home monitoring devices powered by artificial intelligence, the Madison-based utility and the consulting firm Cadmus determined most customers can cut their overall use by 9% just by tracking down and eliminating some of this phantom load.

ELECTRIC & SELF-DRIVING CARS

GM commits to $2.2 billion investment and 2,200 jobs at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly, Detroit Free Press. The automaker said Monday the plant will provide 2,200 jobs as it shifts to become the company’s first all-electric vehicle plant. Detroit-Hamtramck will start production of an all-electric pickup in late 2021, then build the Cruise Origin, an all-electric self-driving car.

CORPORATE RENEWABLE ENERGY PROCUREMENT

How heat pumps can cut carbon pollution from buildings

Contributed by Sarah Kennedy, ChavoBart Digital Media.
Posted on Yale Climate Connections

“These new cold climate air source heat pumps are functional down to -10, -15 degrees,” [Chris Carrick with the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board] says. And they run on electricity, so they generate heat without burning oil, natural gas or other fuels on site. According to a report by the nonprofit Rocky Mountain Institute, switching to heat pumps could dramatically reduce the carbon pollution caused by home heating. They have the most impact in places with renewable electricity. Read more here.

More Yale Climate Connections Posts / Audio 

Nebraska Information Sources on the Above Topics 

Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)

Tracking Progress on 100% Clean Energy Targets

By Julia Pyper, Greentech Media

According to a new report from the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation, 13 states, districts and territories, as well as more than 200 cities and counties, have committed to a 100 percent clean electricity target — and dozens of cities have already hit it. This means that one of every three Americans, or roughly 111 million U.S. residents representing 34 percent of the population, live in a community that has committed to or has already achieved 100 percent clean electricity. Read more here.

CORPORATE NEWS

MORE 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS

100% Wind & Solar Energy At Research Lab In Antarctica, CleanTechnica

TRI-STATE 

United Power and La Plata Electric explore ways to leave Tri-State, ask PUC for help, Craig Daily Press
United, based in Brighton, is the largest co-op in the association serving 92,000 homes and businesses in Front Range communities, while La Plata is the third largest co-op, with about 37,000 members. Together they account for about 20% of Tri-State’s sales. Tri-State alone serves 43 rural electric cooperatives in four states — Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming. Colorado alone accounts for 65% of all Tri-State electricity sales.

NEW ILLINOIS LAW

New state law could allow more aggressive climate action, The Daily Northwestern, Northwestern University and Evanston News Source

LAWSUIT TO WATCH

A 24-Year-Old Is Suing Pension Fund for Not Being Green Enough, Fortune
The Federal Court battle is shaping up to be a unique test case. Are pension funds in breach of their fiduciary duties by failing to mitigate the financial ravages of a warmer planet?

FEATURED ARTICLE & REPORT

How to assess candidates’ decarbonization and climate resilience plans, contributed article by Robert Lampert, Senior Scientist at RAND Corporation. Published by GreenBiz. Offering ambitious future targets for decarbonization and climate resilience is a good start. But unless a climate plan is comprehensive, includes contingency plans and opens the floodgates for change, it can’t and shouldn’t be taken seriously.

In his article, Lampert references the Center For Climate And Energy Solutions (C2ES)
In a year-long collaboration with companies – and with the RAND Corporation, and the Joint Global Change Research Institute – C2ES produced and modeled three scenarios for reducing U.S. emissions 80 percent by 2050. The resulting report, Pathways to 2050: Scenarios for Decarbonizing the U.S. Economy, presents the scenarios and modeling results, as well as key takeaways. These include the importance of policy in driving technology deployment and the need for all-in effort that includes policymakers at all levels, companies, investors and the public. Stories on the report have appeared in major media, including AxiosBloomberg NewsForbes, the Kleinman Center for Energy PolicyPolitico, and Utility Dive.
Factsheet: Near-Term Federal Actions to Address Climate Change outlines an array of federal actions that represent opportunities for bipartisan progress on climate change.

SOLAR MOSAIC 

Institutional investors warm to residential solar securitizations, PV Magazine
Solar Mosaic’s recent $208 million securitization of residential solar loans is the latest sign that institutional investors are getting more comfortable with this class of asset-backed securities.

AWEA BLOG POST

The Wind Wildlife Research Fund: Producing results through innovation and collaboration

OFFSHORE WIND OUTLOOK

Offshore wind will be a $1T industry by 2040, but our oceans and economy need it now, Utility Dive Contributed article by Stephanie McClellan, director of the Special Initiative on Offshore Wind, a U.S. offshore wind energy policy and communications program based at the University of Delaware.

MORE INDUSTRY NEWS

ENERGY STORAGE 

EVS & GREEN CARGO TRANSPORT NEWS

Military experience provides natural transition to clean energy careers, veterans say

By David Thill and Kari Lydersen, Energy News Network

Kevin Johnson served as a captain in the U.S. Army and spent a year stationed in Baiji, Iraq, home to a major oil refinery. The war made clear to him the world’s dependence on fossil fuels. Johnson was stationed “at the heart of the oil infrastructure in Iraq,” he said, “watching the infrastructure being attacked on a daily basis and having my soldiers ask me, ‘When are we going home?’” That was the genesis of Johnson’s career in clean energy. “I knew that when I got out that I wanted to be on the other side of that fight,” he told the Energy News Network.
Continue reading here.

Photo by Ken Oltmann / U.S. Department of Energy

Among other resources, the authors reference the 2019 Clean Jobs Midwest survey, which provides information on 12 states, including veteran representation.

Our State’s Executive Summary: Nebraska: Home to 19,004 Clean Energy Jobs

In Nebraska, 9.6 percent of the state’s clean energy workers are veterans. By comparison, veterans make up 6 percent of the national labor force. The large ratio of veterans transitioning to clean energy jobs is partially the result of the U.S. Department of Defense’s long-standing commitment to investing in renewable energy, energy efficiency and training programs that prepare veterans for private-sector employment in industries like solar. Small businesses drive the state’s clean energy sector – 70.9 percent of Nebraska’s clean energy businesses employ fewer than 20 individuals.

SUMMARY: With 19,000 jobs and counting, the clean energy industry is a significant employer in Nebraska. Even as jobs in the state overall are decreasing, jobs in Nebraska’s clean energy industry are growing at a relatively healthy 3.5 percent clip. Clean energy employers in Nebraska are bullish when it comes to ongoing hiring: they predict a 7.7 percent increase in clean energy jobs in 2019, higher than the regional average.

Additional Recommended Reading 

Sizing Up the Corporate Renewables Market

Corporate wind and solar procurement is in its early innings, a new analysis from WoodMac and the American Wind Energy Association says.

By Karl-Erik Stromsta, Greentech Media

Anyone watching the recent explosion of demand for renewable power from corporations like Facebook, Walmart and even ExxonMobil will have wondered: how far can this go? Much, much further, is the short answer. For all its recent gains, the corporate renewables market is likely in its very early innings, according to a new analysis from Wood Mackenzie and the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

Solar is likely to eclipse wind as the technology of choice for most corporate deals by the early 2020s. That’s due not only to a more favorable phaseout schedule of its main subsidy but also because of inherent economic advantages in its generation profile, with solar’s natural midday output more valuable to most companies. Read more here.

The report’s free 40-page executive summary is available for download here.

Additional Recommended Reading

Solar to overtake wind in corporate renewable procurement, PV Magazine
With the capacity of renewable generation by corporations rising exponentially every year and expected to continue to do so, with the exception of an expected two-year dip when the ITC runs out, the question of why corporations are moving towards renewables becomes increasingly important. To answer that question, AWEA and WoodMac identified four key factors that accelerate adoption: branding, investor pressure, peer pressure, and the utilization of Corporate Social Responsibility to mitigate future business risks.

Those first three factors are fairly self-explanatory. The opinion that humans are contributing to irreversible and damaging climate change is a popular one that grows in popularity by the day. As more people believe it, so too will more companies, as, spoiler alert, companies are comprised of people. So between pressure from customers, competitors and investors, as well as a held belief that climate change is occurring, more companies will look to tackle this threat.

Wind feels heat from solar for US corporate renewable top-spot, Recharge News
Up to 85GW of renewables demand exists within Fortune 1000 companies through 2030 as PV challenges current sector leader wind.

Save the Date! September 12, 2019 at 7 pm


Nebraskans for Solar’s September Speaker: David Bracht, Attorney With Kutak Rock and Former Nebraska Energy Office Director
UNO’s Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center, Rooms 201/205. Mr. Bracht will provide an overview of Nebraska’s wind and solar development and our state’s potential for future growth.


Specific topics will include:

  • power purchase agreements
  • virtual power purchase agreements
  • commercial and industrial use of solar
  • the potential for combined solar and battery installations
  • incentives and depreciation

Gaesser Opinion: Wind is powering a rural renaissance

Nebraska City News-Press

More than simply securing a cleaner energy future — as if that weren’t enough — wind power is creating jobs, uplifting local economies, and supporting communities nationwide; most notably in rural parts of our country. In fact, the production of wind energy has been and will continue to be a boon for rural America, providing financial incentives for family farms, broadening tax bases to support stronger communities, and creating jobs for hardworking Americans.

The potential for wind energy to transform communities and the American economy continues to grow nationwide. The American Wind Energy Association reported an 8-percent uptick in wind power capacity in 2018 representing more than $12 billion in private investments. Since 2010, the United States has more than doubled its wind power capacity. There is now enough installed wind capacity to power over 30 million U.S. homes with this clean, renewable energy source. Continue reading here.

Ray Gaesser serves as Board Chair of the Iowa Conservative Energy Forum and resides in Corning. He has 51 years of farming experience and has advocated locally, nationally and globally for Iowa and U.S. Agriculture as the former President of the American Soybean Association and the Iowa Soybean Association.

Featured AWEA Infographic

#AmericanWindWeek: Wind powers opportunities for job creation

By Hunter Hollander, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog

A record 114,000 Americans now work in wind. In the last five years, the country has added over 64,000 wind jobs, and right now wind turbine technician is the second fastest growing job in the country according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Over 57,000 wind turbines churn our electricity across the U.S., and each one is the product of a skilled workforce consisting of wind technicians, field managers, engineers, warranty teams, construction workers, control room operators, trained analysts and many other positions. Many wind jobs can also be found at more than 500 U.S. factories that build wind-related parts and materials. Wind is creating next-generation manufacturing jobs in long-time factory strongholds – in Ohio, Illinois and Pennsylvania alone, there are 123 manufacturing facilities.
Read more here.

Additional Recommended Reading