It’s a story of stunning progress and staggering challenges. Some of the first corporations to make climate commitments have found that clean energy saves them money wherever they can find it, but often they can’t find it where they need it most.
Mars Corporation, for example, has signed power purchase agreements with wind farms in Texas, Mexico and Scotland and with a solar farm in Australia. In each case, the agreement covers 100 percent of the power demand for the direct operations of a Mars facility. Continue reading here.
Photo by Mars Corporation: Mars candies and pet foods are powered in part by the Moy Wind Farm in Scotland.
To date, 158 RE100 companies have made a commitment to go ‘100% renewable’. Read about the actions they are taking and why here.
Cop24 live blog PV Magazine’s Max Hall will be pounding the vast spaces of the COP24 venue in Katowice to bring you the latest developments in Poland and trying to shine a light on solar’s presence here.
NEW INVESTMENT ALLIANCE
The U.S. Alliance for Sustainable Finance (USASF), based in New York City, will work to encourage more climate-friendly and sustainable finance innovation across the U.S. capital markets. This initiative brings together private sector actors in line with the aim of meeting the United States’ targets of the Paris Agreement.
WAKEFIELD, Neb. — A massive wind project is taking shape in Dixon County, Nebraska, and plans are underway for another large wind project in neighboring Wayne County. In Dixon County, northeast of Wakefield, Enel Green Power North America Inc. is constructing $430 million Rattlesnake Creek Wind Project . . . Meanwhile, in Wayne County, Chicago-based Lincoln Clean Energy is drafting plans for its 20,000-acre Plum Creek Wind Project near Winside. Philip Moore, vice president of development with Lincoln Clean Energy, said that construction on the project may commence sometime in the summer 2019. The turbines should be up and running by 2020. Read the entire articlehere.
ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST
News Release: The J. M. Smucker Company Announces Renewable Energy Agreement
ORRVILLE, Ohio, Aug. 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — As part of its commitment to have a positive environmental impact, The J. M. Smucker Company (NYSE: SJM) announced today it has entered into a long-term power purchase agreement with Lincoln Clean Energy (LCE) for 60 megawatts (MW) of the utility-scale 230 MW Plum Creek Wind Project in Wayne County, Nebraska. Starting in 2020, the wind energy produced from the Plum Creek project will address approximately 50 percent of Smucker’s total electricity use . . . “In addition to creating high-paying local jobs, the Plum Creek Wind Project will result in over $3 million in local community benefits annually in the Wayne County area,” said Declan Flanagan, Founder and CEO of Lincoln Clean Energy
MORE CORPORATE PROCUREMENT NEWS Exxon Seeks Wind, Solar Power Delivery in Texas, Bloomberg
Exxon, based in Irving, Texas, is seeking at least 100 megawatts and would consider proposals for more than 250 megawatts. “I have never seen an oil and gas company doing a corporate PPA anywhere near that size,” said Kyle Harrison, a New York-based analyst at Bloomberg NEF, referring to the power-purchase agreements used to buy electricity. “If you’re seeing the biggest oil and gas companies going out and making investments in clean energy, it shows that renewables are cost-competitive. This can be a way for them to show a commitment to sustainability without suffering economically.”
BOSTON, Mass. and WASHINGTON, D.C. – Showing resiliency in spite of the new tariffs on imported modules, the U.S. solar market added 2.5 gigawatts of solar PV in the first quarter of the year, representing annual growth of 13 percent, according to the latest U.S. Solar Market Insight Report from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
Solar PV accounted for 55 percent of all U.S. electricity capacity added during the quarter and added more than two gigawatts for the 10th straight quarter, the study said. Read the rest of the releasehere.
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
Large-scale solar stays strong in Q1 2018 (w/chart), PV Magazine
Thanks in no small part to modules stockpiled before the Section 201 tariffs hit, both the utility-scale and “non-residential” market segments grew year-over-year in Q1. And while the duties are expected to play a greater role in 2019, there are other factors supporting ongoing market growth.
Solar Surpasses Gas and Wind as Biggest Source of New U.S. Power, Bloomberg The growth came even as tariffs on imported panels threatened to increase costs for developers. Giant fields of solar panels led the growth as community solar projects owned by homeowners and businesses took off. Total installations this year are expected to be 10.8 gigawatts, or about the same as last year, according to GTM. By 2023, annual installations should reach more than 14 gigawatts. “Solar has become a common-sense option for much of the U.S., and is too strong to be set back for long, even in light of the tariffs,” SEIA Chief Executive Officer Abigail Ross Hopper said in a statement.
Silfab considering U.S. solar factory, PV Magazine Italo-Canadian module manufacturer, Silfab Solar, announced today that it has secured a supply contract with PetersenDean, which bills itself as the largest privately-owned roofing and solar company in the United States. In the brief press release, Silfab also hinted at much bigger news. The company states that it is “exploring U.S. manufacturing opportunities and location”.
China Fossil Fuel Deadline Shifts Focus to Electric Car Race, Bloomberg. The world’s second-biggest economy, which has vowed to cap its carbon emissions by 2030 and curb worsening air pollution, is the latest to join countries such as the U.K. and France seeking to phase out vehicles using gasoline and diesel.
Wind energy, the fastest-growing source of electricity in the U.S., is transforming low-income rural areas in ways not seen since the federal government gave land to homesteaders 150 years ago. As commodity prices threaten to reach decade lows and farmers struggle to meet debt payments, wind has saved family farms across a wide swath of the heartland. Read more.
Photo: Four 1.7-megawatt General Electric wind turbines on the Brockhaus farm near Creston, Nebraska, feed power into the Loup Power District grid on Thursday. Credit: Matt Dixon, Omaha World-Herald
Elon Musk just showed us the grand unification of Tesla: Fast Cars, big batteries, and a stunning solar rooftop
By Tom Randall, Bloomberg
On Friday evening as the sun descended over the old Hollywood set of “Desperate Housewives,” Elon Musk took to a stage and fired up his presentation about climate change. It was a strange scene, with hundreds of people crowded into the middle of a subtly artificial suburban neighborhood. It wasn’t until about a minute into the speech that Musk casually let the crowd in on Tesla’s big secret. “The interesting thing is that the houses you see around you are all solar houses,” Musk said. “Did you notice?” Continue reading.
Available in different styles, Tesla’s solar roofs are designed to mimic traditional styles. Photos from Tesla Media Release.
By Anna Hirtenstein, Bloomberg. Posted on Renewable Energy World
Batteries capable of storing power at utility scale will be as widespread in 12 years as rooftop solar panels are now, revolutionizing the way consumers use energy. That’s the conclusion of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which forecasts the energy storage market may be valued at $250 billion or more by 2040. It expects 25 GW of the devices to be deployed by 2028, about the size of the small-scale photovoltaic industry now. The findings in the researcher’s New Energy Outlook indicate a further challenge to the traditional utility business model, where power generation and distribution are monopolized in a single company. Energy storage devices can be used to smooth out variable power flows from wind and solar plants, reducing the need for large, centralized generation plants fired by fossil fuels. Continue reading here.
The number of U.S. jobs in solar energy overtook those in oil and natural gas extraction for the first time last year, helping drive a global surge in employment in the clean-energy business as fossil-fuel companies faltered. Employment in the U.S. solar business grew 12 times faster than overall job creation, the International Renewable Energy Agency said in a report on Wednesday. Fed by state initiatives to spur clean energy and innovative financing measures offered by companies such as SolarCity Corp., developers are adding workers at record rates to install rooftop panels.
Read more about the growth of U.S. and global renewable energy jobs here. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Bloomberg SEE ALSO: The Solar Energy Industries Association’s Infographic
By Jonathan H. Adler, The Washington Post Monday, acting on its own initiative, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit announced that it would hear challenges to the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan sitting en banc. As per the court’s order, the challenges will be heard by the full court in September. A three-judge panel had been scheduled to hear arguments June 2. Continue reading.
WASHINGTON (May 12, 2016) — Four non-governmental organizations have formed the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), a new coalition to empower multinational companies to transform electricity systems with renewable energy. REBA aims to help facilitate and deploy 60 gigawatts (GWs) of new corporate renewable energy in the United States by 2025.
REBA is led by Business for Social Responsibility, Rocky Mountain Institute, World Resources Institute and World Wildlife Fund. Over 60 companies are members of one or more of REBA’s initiatives.