Tag Archives: American Wind Energy Association (AWEA)

Biden Moves To Have U.S. Rejoin Climate Accord

By Nathan Rott, NET

In one of his first acts in the Oval Office, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to have the United States rejoin the Paris climate agreement, the largest international effort to curb global warming. The U.S. officially withdrew from the accord to limit climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions late last year, after President Donald Trump began the process in 2017. It is the only country of the nearly 200 signatories that has withdrawn. Read more here.

President Biden halts Keystone XL pipeline project, by David Earl, KETV
In one of his first executive orders, President Biden called the Keystone XL project a “disservice to the national interest” and said that leaving the permit for it in place would not be consistent with his economic and climate imperatives. The Biden Administration said it wants good, union jobs, but wants those workers on the frontlines of the climate crisis, building wind and solar power instead of oil pipelines.

Additional Recommended Reading 

Congress takes aim at climate change in massive relief bill

By Matthew Daly, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The huge pandemic relief and spending bill includes billions of dollars to promote clean energy such as wind and solar power while sharply reducing over time the use of potent coolants in air conditioners and refrigerators that are considered a major driver of global warming. The energy and climate provisions, supported by lawmakers from both parties, were hailed as the most significant climate change law in at least a decade. “Republicans and Democrats are working together to protect the environment through innovation,” said Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Continue reading here.

Additional Recommended Reading

American Clean Power Association statement on Renewable Energy Provisions of COVID-19 Omnibus Legislation, AWEA News Release

“This bipartisan agreement is a major win for American energy consumers, providing more opportunities for them to receive reliable, zero-carbon, and pollution-free electricity in their local communities. We appreciate that Congress has recognized clean energy’s significant contributions to our nation’s economy and role in providing jobs and investments during the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. As we enter the new year, stable policy support will help ensure that wind and solar can continue providing the backbone of our country’s electricity growth. We also applaud Congress for recognizing the enormous potential of offshore wind, America’s largest untapped electricity source, as a brand-new provider of jobs for American workers and clean power for American families.” – Heather Zichal, CEO of the American Clean Power Association (ACP)

The Solar Vision: A 100-day agenda (PDF), Solar Energy Industries Association

Driving Toward a Majority Renewables America to Catalyze Nearly One Million Direct U.S. Clean Energy Jobs

American Wind Energy Association News Release

Washington D.C. December 16, 2020 – Clean energy resources – wind, solar, energy storage, hydropower, and other renewables – represent a once-in-a-generation opportunity to drive U.S. economic recovery and add hundreds of thousands of family-supporting jobs. According to a new, first-of-its-kind study released today by global natural resources research consultancy Wood Mackenzie and the American Clean Power Association (ACP), reaching a majority renewables grid will deploy over $1 trillion in capital investment into the American economy over the next decade, while supporting 980,000 direct jobs, stabilizing wholesale power prices, and reducing U.S. carbon emissions by over 60 percent. Targeted administrative actions and Legislative policies are essential for the U.S. to achieve these benefits within the next ten years.

“A majority renewables electric system for the U.S. is possible within a decade and will deliver much-needed investments in our economy and create a pathway toward steady, well-paying employment for workers across the country. This research shows that a collaborative promise of an American grid powered by wind, solar, hydropower, energy storage, and other renewables represents an economic powerhouse that will lead our country towards a more prosperous, healthier, and cleaner future,” said Amy Farrell, ACP Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs. Continue reading here.

Related
Job creation and clean energy go hand in hand in post-pandemic recovery, by John Hensley, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog

Also of Potential Interest
Renewables bring deflation to the energy sector, Financial Times
Opinion contributed by Mark Lewis, chief sustainability strategist at BNP Paribas Asset Management.

American Clean Power Association Names Heather Zichal As New CEO

American Wind Energy Association News Release 

WASHINGTON, DC, December 10, 2020 — The American Clean Power Association (ACP) today announced that it has named Heather Zichal as the organization’s first Chief Executive Officer. The new multi-technology renewable energy industry trade group, which formally launches on January 1, 2021, represents solar, storage, wind and transmission companies, along with manufacturers and construction companies, developers and owners/operators, utilities, financial firms and corporate purchasers in the clean energy value chain.

Tom Kiernan, the outgoing CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), which is merging into American Clean Power said, “I want to congratulate Heather and extend my support to her in this transition. ACP is poised for great and important work in the coming years.”

About ACP
American Clean Power is the voice of companies from across the clean power sector that are powering America’s future, providing cost-effective solutions to the climate crisis while creating jobs, spurring massive investment in the U.S. economy and driving high-tech innovation across the nation. We are uniting the power of America’s renewable energy industry to advance our shared goals and to transform the U.S. power grid to a low-cost, reliable and renewable power system. Learn more about the benefits clean power brings to America at www.cleanpower.org. Read the entire news release here.

Clean Power For America
Clean Power for America is leading a nationwide movement to support the smarter, fairer energy policies we need to unleash the promise of renewable energy. Clean Power for America is a project of the American Wind Energy Association. State Affiliate: New Power Nebraska

New Power Nebraska Blog Post: Wind Energy Becomes a Driving Force in Area Local Economies
Several companies have invested hundreds of millions of dollars to develop and build wind farms in northeast Nebraska. These wind projects create jobs, generate new income opportunities for farmers, and add new tax revenues for counties and school districts. In fact, nearly $15 million is now paid every year to Nebraska farmers leasing part of their land for wind energy use. In addition, wind companies contribute more than $12 million per year in state and local taxes. New local tax revenue is perhaps the most significant economic benefit from wind in northeastern Nebraska.

Area residents participate in renewable energy panel, Special to the Norfolk Daily News
A panel on Wednesday hosted by the New Power Nebraska coalition examined the growing role renewable energy is playing in rural and urban development and growth opportunities in both the wind and solar energy industries.

Amazon Becomes World’s Largest Corporate Purchaser of Renewable Energy, Advancing its Climate Pledge Commitment to be Net-zero Carbon by 2040

Amazon News Release, Business Wire

Amazon today announced 26 new utility-scale wind and solar energy projects totaling 3.4 gigawatts (GW) of electricity production capacity, bringing its total investment in renewable energy in 2020 to 35 projects and more than 4 GW of capacity — the largest corporate investment in renewable energy in a single year. These new projects will make Amazon the largest-ever corporate purchaser of renewable energy. In the U.S., Amazon has now enabled wind and solar projects in California, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia. Amazon has a total of 127 renewable energy projects globally, including 59 utility-scale wind and solar renewable energy projects and 68 solar rooftops on fulfillment centers and sort centers around the globe. Read more here.

Related

IN NEBRASKA

Renewable Energy Resources

Trade Association Reports 

ENERGY TRANSITION ANALYSES OF POTENTIAL INTEREST 

  • Most of America’s dirty power plants will be ready to retire by 2035, Grist
    A new analysis published in the journal Science last week offers a potential roadmap for the incoming Biden administration to manage the wind-down of all fossil fuels plants, not just coal plants, more systematically. Even better, it shows that shutting down the nation’s fossil fuel–burning power plants in the next 15 years to achieve Biden’s goal of 100 percent clean electricity by 2035 isn’t as economically risky as previously thought. 

    Emily Grubert, a civil engineer and environmental sociologist at Georgia Tech and the author of the study, mapped out every coal-, gas-, or petroleum-powered generator running in the U.S. in 2018, the most recent year for which complete data was available. Grubert found that there’s already about 100 gigawatts worth of infrastructure past its prime, including a coal-fired generator in Nebraska from 1915. 

4 strategies to rapidly scale clean energy in the next decade

Smart Cities Dive guest post by Cameron Bard, senior director for market development at DSD Renewables and adjunct faculty instructor at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs.

To fully realize our shared climate goals and rapidly rebuild our economy, we must prioritize and enact policies to accelerate the national transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. The good news is, even amidst the most unprecedented time in generations, we know how. Outlined below are four strategies to create a healthier and more equitable economy, with real-world examples of where and how they’ve already been implemented. Read more here.

Wikimedia Commons Photo

ARTICLES BY ZACHARY SHAHAN

FEDERAL RESERVE HIGHLIGHTS CLIMATE RISKS TO U.S. ECONOMY

The Federal Reserve’s new signals on climate change and risk. NRDC article by Sarah Dougherty, Senior Green Finance Manager. Republished by GreenBiz.

While the Trump administration continues to ignore the danger of climate change, a surprising new actor has broken out to take it seriously: the Federal Reserve System.  The Fed, the U.S. central bank, has moved from irregular mentions to a concerted effort to roll out a spate of new ideas and endeavors that highlight the risks of climate change to our financial system. As part of this effort, in recent weeks the Fed has:

  • Included climate change as a risk to the economy in its biannual report for the first time; 
  • Discussed its essential behind the scenes work on climate change that will enable the Fed to move much more quickly into the next stages of action; and 
  • Testified to Congress that they asked to join a group of banks that are working to ensure the financial system meets the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Previously Posted: In first for Fed, U.S. central bank says climate poses stability risks, Reuters

ENERGY STORAGE ASSOCIATION

What the US energy storage industry could look like under Biden-Harris, Energy Storage News
In an exclusive first interview for international press since the elections, Energy-Storage News speaks with CEO Kelly Speakes-Backman about the Energy Storage Association’s hopes, ambitions and policy asks as 2021 begins to come into view.

MORE ORGANIZATIONS & ALLIANCES LEADING AMERICA’S ENERGY TRANSITION

American Clean Power Association
The American Clean Power Association works to champion policies that will transform the U.S. power grid to a low-cost, reliable and renewable power system. By uniting the power of wind, solar, transmission and storage companies, along with manufacturers and construction companies, developers and owners/operators, utilities, financial firms and corporate purchasers, our goal is to make renewables the dominant energy source in the United States. Previously Posted: AWEA Introduces New Trade Group, the American Clean Power Association, Greentech Media

Clean Power For America
Clean Power for America is leading a nationwide movement to support the smarter, fairer energy policies we need to unleash the promise of renewable energy. Clean Power for America is a project of the American Wind Energy Association.

Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance
The Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance consists of organizations representing farmers, ranchers, forest owners, the food sector, state governments and environmental advocates. Read the Alliance’s full recommendations – They cover six areas of focus: soil health, livestock and dairy, forests and wood products, energy, research, and food loss and waste. The alliance welcomes additional members. Email inquires@agclimatealliance.com with questions about membership or climate policy recommendations.

Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance
The Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA) is an alliance of large clean energy buyers, energy providers, and service providers that is unlocking the marketplace for all non-residential energy buyers to lead a rapid transition to a cleaner, prosperous, zero-carbon energy future. REBA was founded on the premise that large energy buyers have a unique voice and the collective power to drive market change. Now Available for REBA Members: The Accelerating the Decarbonization Impact of Energy Procurement Primer. Download a preview.

U.S. Climate Alliance
The United States Climate Alliance is a bipartisan coalition of 25 governors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement. The Alliance represents 55 percent of the U.S. population and an $11.7 trillion economy – an economy larger than all countries but the United States and China. The climate and clean energy policies in Alliance states have attracted billions of dollars of new investment and helped create more than 1.7 million clean energy jobs, over half the U.S. total. Independent analysis highlighted in the Alliance’s 2019 Annual Report shows that Alliance States are not only outpacing non-Alliance states in reducing their emissions, they are also growing their economies at a faster pace. Download Fact Sheet.

We Are Still In
Over the past four years, nearly 4,000 U.S. cities, states, tribal nations, businesses, universities, health care organizations, faith groups, and cultural institutions have formed the largest American coalition in support of climate action in history. These local leaders come from all fifty states and represent over half of the U.S. population, nearly two-thirds of its economy, and more than half of the country’s emissions. They are backed by over two-thirds of Americans who have consistently supported U.S. participation in the Paris Agreement.

Together, they have been guided by the knowledge that bold climate action will make our economy stronger and our nation more resilient to the impacts of climate change. They understand that the pursuit of a clean energy future will help us recover from COVID-19 and the resulting economic crisis, while providing us our best opportunity to address systemic inequities that have forced vulnerable communities to bear the brunt of climate impacts and environmental injustice. 

The first 100 days: A clean energy roadmap

By Greg Alvarez, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog

2021 brings a changing of the guard in Washington, D.C.—a new Presidential administration will be sworn in and Congress will be full of newly-elected members. That means there’s a host of officials we need to educate about the many ways clean energy can lead our post-pandemic economy recovery while making meaningful progress in the fight against climate change. Our just-released 100-day roadmap will help the new leadership understand how to fully harness the power of clean energy: The Vision for Driving a Clean Energy Transformation. The plan rests on four pillars, each of which will help deliver more affordable, reliable, clean power to American families and businesses: Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: AWEA’s Free Use Wind Energy Image Gallery

Additional Recommended Reading

SEIA’s 100-day policy agenda revolves around three main objectives: investing in clean energy infrastructure and jobs, opening electricity markets to renewable competition and establishing “comprehensive carbon policy” as support. More granularly, SEIA has called for its tax credit extension and a similar credit for energy storage, streamlined permitting for renewables on public lands, the appointment of commissioners to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that favor renewables-friendly market rules, and the appointment of a federal climate czar.

SEIA: The Solar Vision: A 100-day agenda

With Joe Biden’s presidential election victory last week, climate change is set to be a top priority for the incoming administration, second only to the Covid-19 recovery. As discussed in my recent article, the president-elect has laid out an ambitious roadmap for decarbonizing the US economy, which includes a carbon-free power sector by 2035 and net-zero carbon emissions for the country by 2050. This will require unprecedented investments in green energy technologies: from traditional solar, wind, and storage to frontier tech like hydrogen fuel cells and small modular reactors (SMRs).

Commissioner Richard Glick said Tuesday that updating transmission policy, reassessing capacity market operations in relation to their impacts on state policies, and continuing to lower barriers to nascent clean energy technologies would be top priorities if he is named head of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 2021.

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.

Honoring America’s wind workforce veterans this Veterans Day

By Jen Scungio, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog

Dedication. Teamwork. Honor. Commitment to Service. Discipline. Leadership. These are all qualities and skills that are representative of the men and women serving the United States military. The unique skills that veterans bring to the table as they transition into civilian life are ideal for a career in wind. Developing, building, and operating land-based and offshore wind farms requires a technical knowledge base, teamwork, and discipline. Our veterans play an important role in creating the highly-skilled wind energy workforce.

Wind companies recognize the transferable skills our veterans bring to a career in renewables. In fact, the U.S. wind industry employs our nation’s veterans at a rate 61 percent above the national average. With wind turbine technician as the fastest growing job in the country according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, wind is creating the career opportunities of the future as our military members leave active duty.

To celebrate Veteran’s Day 2020, we honor the more than 11,000 U.S. veterans that work in wind energy.  Here are some of their stories: Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: AWEA Free Use Wind Energy Image Gallery

Related AWEA Blog Posts

In Nebraska: Learn about Northeast Community College’s Wind Energy Degrees and Programs here.

Solar Industry Congratulates President-Elect Biden and Members of Congress on Elections

Solar Energy Industries Association News Release

“In the coming weeks, we will outline our 100-day plan with the new administration and with members of Congress. The plan includes executive branch policies and legislative proposals to lay the foundation for a strong clean energy economy. The 100-day plan is organized around three strategic principles: clean energy and climate policy; infrastructure and workforce development; and ensuring markets are competitive and open to clean energy.

“We will seek progress with the new administration and all members of Congress on solar policies that achieve our environmental and economic objectives and that lift every community in ways that create a better future for all Americans.” – Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). Read more here. 

AMERICAN WIND ENERGY ASSOCIATION

American Wind Industry Congratulates President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, AWEA News Release

“The President-elect and his team have laid out an ambitious, comprehensive approach to energy policy that recognizes renewable energy’s ability to grow America’s economy and create a cleaner environment, while keeping electricity costs low and combating the threat of climate change.

The U.S. wind sector and its growing workforce of over 120,000 Americans stand ready to help put that plan into action and support the Biden administration in delivering on the immense promise of renewable energy to add well-paying jobs to the U.S. economy and reach the President-elect’s 100% target for a carbon-free America by the middle of this century.” – Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association  

ENERGY STORAGE ASSOCIATION

ESA CEO Kelly Speakes-Backman on President-Elect Joe Biden, ESA News Release

 

“We expect to see strong support from the new Administration focused on decarbonization of the electric and transportation sectors, which will further drive the deployment of energy storage. We look forward to working with the Biden Administration and Congressional members to continue our bipartisan efforts to advance our vision of 100 GW by 2030, creating a more resilient, efficient, sustainable, and affordable electricity grid.” 

 

Previously Posted: U.S. Renewable and Clean Energy Industries Set Sights on Market Majority, Solar Energy Industries Association, June 3, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Within a decade, more than half of the electricity generated in the U.S. will come from clean, renewable resources supported by energy storage, according to a joint commitment today from the American wind, solar, hydropower, and energy storage industries. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), National Hydropower Association (NHA), and Energy Storage Association (ESA) have agreed to actively collaborate across their industry segments to achieve this target.