By Chuck Hassebrook, Omaha World-Herald
Gov. Ricketts’ statement blaming wind energy for electric outages was misleading and his proposed solution of reliance on coal profoundly misguided. It would ultimately worsen the problem. We all agree that electric outages are unacceptable. But to prevent them, we need to understand what caused them.
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Chuck Hassebrook, of Lincoln, works in solar power development and is a former regent of the University of Nebraska.
NEW FERC PROCEEDING
FERC to examine threat of climate change, extreme weather to reliability, American Public Power Association
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Feb. 22 said that it will open a new proceeding to examine the threat that climate change and extreme weather events pose to electric reliability.
THE GREEN ACT
On 5 February, the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures announced the reintroduction of the “Growing Renewable Energy Efficiency Now (GREEN)” Act. The bill was previously introduced in June 2020. If passed, the legislation would provide for a host of incentives across the renewable energy, energy storage, carbon capture, and electric vehicle industries. Some notable provisions include:
BROOKINGS INSTITUTION REPORT
How renewable energy jobs can uplift fossil fuel communities and remake climate politics, Metropolitan Infrastructure Initiative, by Adie Tomer, Joseph W. Kane, and Caroline George
The U.S. transition to a low-carbon economy is already underway, and some of the most striking progress is within the energy-generation sector. As the cost of solar, wind, and other renewable sources continues to fall, market forces will continue to encourage renewable energy generation and lead to the closure of fossil fuel extraction and generation activities.
MICHIGAN TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY STUDY
Study shows homeowners with PV are subsidizing their neighbors, Renewable Energy World
For years some utility companies have worried that solar panels drive up electric costs for people without panels. Joshua Pearce, Richard Witte Endowed Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and professor of electrical and computer engineering at Michigan Technological University, has shown the opposite is true — grid-tied solar photovoltaic (PV) owners are actually subsidizing their non-PV neighbors.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Seventeen leading renewable energy CEOs are calling on President Biden to rescind the Trump Administration’s October 2020 solar proclamation, which improperly increased tariffs on solar panels and rescinds the exclusion for bifacial solar panels. Led by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and supported by the American Clean Power Association, the letter calls attention to the proclamation’s impact to existing solar contracts and discusses how harmful the Section 201 tariffs are to the U.S. economy and the industry’s ability to address climate change. Importantly, the CEOs are asking the President to return the tariffs to status quo and restore business certainty.
SEPA MICROGRIDS REPORT
Smart Electric Power Alliance: Voices of Experience / Microgrids for Resiliency
Despite increasing customer demand, microgrids are sometimes challenging to justify economically, especially with regards to resiliency. SEPA partnered with NREL and DOE to bring you a guide to help you navigate the opportunities and challenges of microgrids.
Key takeaways from the report include:
- What is a Microgrid? How you define it matters.
- Accounting for the value of resiliency.
- The role of utilities in microgrid development.
- Insights from utilities on siting a microgrid.
- The challenges and opportunities around the economics of microgrids.
Student leads effort to get solar panels at Athens Drive Magnet High School, WRAL
RALEIGH, N.C. — What started as a student project has now turned into one school’s journey to reduce the use of fossil fuels through solar energy. Athens Drive Magnet High School is the first school in Wake County to have a solar array system, consisting of 12 solar panels, through NC GreenPower Solar+ Schools, a non-profit grant. Rocco Nociti, a former student, transformed his homework into a real-life application of renewable energy. Determined to get his high school using renewable energy, he applied for the grant.
Architect, designer and author William McDonough is well-known to many in sustainability — as a pioneer in green building; as the erstwhile “green dean” of architecture; as co-author of the seminal 2002 book “Cradle to Cradle”; as a designer of breakthrough buildings and materials; as a deep thinker about how design relates to a healthy and abundant future; and as an enthusiastic framer of the concepts and language that have become part of the sustainability lexicon.
On the occasion of his 70th birthday this month, I caught up with McDonough to discuss his journey and some seminal moments in his life and career, and how they influenced his work. And to take a peek into where he may be headed next.