Tag Archives: clean energy jobs

An Illinois bill leans into the most contentious part of the Green New Deal

Illinois is weighing a 100 percent renewable energy bill that includes jobs, equity, and social justice

Written by Umair Irfan, Vox

Illinois’s general assembly is weighing a bill that sets an aggressive target of decarbonizing the state’s energy by 2030 and running the state completely on renewable energy by 2050. That
includes deploying more than 40 million solar panels and 2,500 wind turbines alongside
$20 billion in new infrastructure over the next decade. The bill also calls for cutting emissions from transportation and for vastly expanding the clean energy workforce.

But it also leans into many of the social justice ideas outlined in the Green New Deal resolution. “In the wake of federal reversals on climate action, the State of Illinois should pursue immediate
action on policies that will ensure a just and responsible phase out of fossil fuels from the
power sector to reduce harmful emissions from Illinois power plants, support power plant
communities and workers, and allow the clean energy economy to continue growing in every corner of Illinois,” according to the text of the
 Clean Energy Jobs Act (SB 2132/ HB 3624).
Read more here.

About the Writer
Umair Irfan covers climate change, energy, and the environment for Vox. He is also a
contributor to Science Friday. Before joining Vox, Umair was a reporter for ClimateWire at E&E News in Washington, DC, where he covered health and climate change, science, and energy
policy. In 2016, he received a Sasakawa Peace Foundation fellowship to report on Japan’s
energy sector, economy, and culture. In 2014, he was awarded the Arthur F. Burns fellowship to cover Germany’s energy transition.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Catalyzing Clean Energy Innovation

By Jackie Wong and Arjun Krishnaswami, Natural Resources Defense Council

Clean energy is not a futuristic notion but rather a present reality. It already supports more than 3 million U.S. jobs for people of different skill sets and education levels. It also has become clear that clean energy can advance economic prosperity, environmental stewardship, AND energy security. Utilities’ commitments like those from Xcel Energy to eliminate carbon
emissions from its power plants and from Southern Company to be low- to no-carbon—both by 2050—are just some of the many signals that fully embracing clean energy is not only necessary and doable, but also an accelerating trend increasingly backed by businesses. Read more here.

Image: Pixabay / Public Domain

Also Published by NRDC: New Mexico Embraces Transition to 100% Clean Energy

ADDITIONAL 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS


Green energy group aims to move Illinois toward 100 percent renewable energy, DeKalb Daily Chronicle

State Rep. Davis plans to introduce ‘Path to 100’ bill
within two weeks.

MORE RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS


UNI offers incentive for solar panels, Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier


In a push for more clean energy in Black Hawk County, experts from University of Northern Iowa are offering a smooth transition from using coal-fired power to naturally renewable solar energy . . . The “Go Solar” group-buy program gives businesses, farms and residents in Black Hawk County the opportunity to take advantage of reduced energy costs and join the increasing number of Iowans who are going solar and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Weatherization program pays off in long-term savings

McCook Gazette Editorial

Unfortunately, people who would benefit the most from lower energy bills often cannot afford the improvements to achieve them. That’s where the Nebraska Weatherization Assistance Program comes in. Tuesday is Weatherization Day in Nebraska, spotlighting an effort that has been weatherizing homes for low-income and elderly citizens for more than 42 years.

Eight non-profit community service providers operate the program. Since the Weatherization Assistance Program began, over $204 million went to make energy efficiency improvements in more than 68,800 Nebraska homes affecting the lives of thousands of Nebraskans, many of who are elderly, disabled, and families with children. Learn more here.

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

Photo: Walmart Rooftop Solar 

CLEAN ENERGY JOBS & TRAINING PROGRAMS 

RESEARCH

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University want to push solar panel lifespans to 50 years, Solar Power World. A team of solar energy researchers from Case Western Reserve University in Ohio has been awarded $1.35 million from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office to continue its work toward increasing the efficiency and lifetime of photovoltaic modules—specifically aimed at pushing their lifespan to 50 years.

FEATURED VIDEO

What Happens in the Arctic Doesn’t Stay in the Arctic is a six-minute video produced by the Aspen Global Change Institute. 

SEIA Raises Doubts About Trump Administration’s Proposed Climate Rule

Solar Energy Industries Association Media Release 

“With or without this new proposal, solar will continue to grow, power the economy and provide the clean energy that consumers want and the grid needs. When you combine low-cost and low-carbon with technology that continues to get smarter, you can compete in any market and under any regulatory regime. We pledge to work constructively with the administration to develop policies that help American consumers, add American jobs and protect the planet.”  – Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association on the Trump administration’s proposal to revise the Clean Power Plan.

Read the entire release here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Record wind farm construction underway at close of second quarter

American Wind Energy Association News Release

U.S. wind farms surpass 90 GW with strong demand from Fortune 500 brands and utilities.

WASHINGTON — A record amount of wind energy capacity is now under construction at wind farms across America, according to second quarter results released by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). Strong demand for low-cost wind power from utilities and other buyers, including major corporations like AT&T and Walmart this quarter, continues to drive the industry’s growth.

“Wind power’s job creating engine just kicked into a higher gear,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA. “And all Americans will benefit as the record number of wind farms under construction begin delivering new revenue to rural communities and affordable homegrown energy to consumers.” Read the entire news release here.

Download AWEA’s U.S. Wind Industry Second Quarter 2018 Market Report

SMALL AND COMMUNITY WIND ENERGY NEWS & RESOURCES

NEWS RELEASE: AWEA hires Jennifer Jenkins to launch national distributed wind program

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED WEEKEND READING

SEPA EV RESOURCES

Nebraska renewable energy company looks to expand to Aledo, Illinois

By Katrina Lamansky, WQAD

ALEDO, Illinois — A Nebraska company is looking to expand its renewable energy capabilities into the Quad Cities area. The company, Bluestem Energy Solutions reached out to city leaders in Aledo, Illinois to explore the possibility of installing a wind or solar farm in the area. According to Chicago Tribune, new state requirements and incentives have peaked the interest in renewable energy developers. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Bluestem Energy Solutions

The Illinois’ Future Energy Jobs Act, now in effect, is an outstanding, innovative clean energy initiative that will likely attract the attention of more and more renewable energy developers in the months and years ahead. 

The Act Will:

  • Substantially expand energy efficiency programs to drive customer savings and also expand options for commercial, industrial, and low-income customers.
  • Commit up to $750 million for low-income communities to save money and help them benefit from clean energy.
  • Protect 4,200 jobs and preserve $1.2 billion in economic activity annually.
  • Strengthen and expand the Renewable Portfolio Standard to ensure stable, predictable funding for renewable development, providing $180M per year – growing to $220M per
    year – in funding for renewable resources
    , including new wind power, large-scale solar power, and rooftop and community solar.
  • Position Illinois as a leader in zero-carbon electricity.
  • Provide job training and create thousands of clean energy jobs in energy efficiency, energy innovation, and renewable power industries.
  • Protect consumers through a 25-cent monthly cost impact cap for residential customers through 2030 and a 1.3% cap for business customers.

To learn more, visit: FutureEnergyJobsAct.com

Trump’s Solar Tariffs Go Into Effect Today. So What?

Joshua Rhodes, Contributor, Forbes

While it’s true that there is likely to be some short-term pain for solar PV installers, and the tariffs may well cost some solar PV installation jobs (currently the fast-growing job in the U.S., which could take a 23,000-job hit), this reduction is likely to be jobs that would have been created in the near future but now will not be, not layoffs of current installers.

If we look at what the tariff will add to the cost of electricity produced by new utility-scale solar PV across the U.S., it appears that, given the three factors noted [in the article], the cost will be $1-$2/MWh ($0.001-$0.002/kWh) higher than it would have been, depending on location. For residential PV, the pain will be even lower because the panels themselves make up less of the total overall cost of the entire system. Read more here.

Joshua D. Rhodes, PhD is a Research Fellow at the Energy Institute and the Webber Energy Group at the University of Texas at Austin.

Flickr Photo: Solar power in the California Desert

Currently-Available Incentives
Taking into consideration presently-available incentives such as the 30% federal solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which is also time-sensitive; the immediate depreciation of equipment allowed businesses in the new tax law; LES’s Customer-Owned Generation capacity payments: These and other incentives put solar tariffs into greater perspective, especially when evaluating the cost of solar over the long-term.

Nebraska and Iowa Databases of Incentives

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READINGSUSTAINABLE BRANDS
Clean Energy Jobs Now Outnumber Coal, Gas Jobs in 30 US States

Launched in 2006, Sustainable Brands has become a global learning, collaboration, and commerce community of forward-thinking business and brand strategy, marketing, innovation and sustainability professionals who are leading the way to a better future. We recognize that brands today have a unique role to play in both focusing corporate energy and also influencing culture. We seek to enable the success of better brands that are helping shift the world to a sustainable economy by helping them embed environmental and social innovation into the DNA of their business so that sustainability becomes a core driver of business and brand value.

Nebraska clean energy plan focuses on wind, solar, efficiency

By Don Walton, Lincoln Journal Star

A clean energy coalition urged Nebraska on Wednesday to focus more on development of wind and solar power sources along with energy efficiency to help build a more environmentally friendly and healthier future. The coalition’s Husker Power Plan would “ramp up Nebraska’s investment in energy-efficiency measures like weatherizing homes and businesses, replacing outdated lighting systems and motors and reducing wasteful use of energy,” said Duane Hovorka, former executive director of the Nebraska Wildlife Federation. Continue reading here.

RELATED READING
‘Husker Power Plan’ aims to cut greenhouse emissions while keeping electric costs low, creating jobs, by Paul Hammel, Omaha World-Herald
The Husker Power Plan calls for doubling the state’s use of wind power over the next five years and adding 129 megawatts of community solar energy projects. The plan, done by the consultant Sommer Energy, also recommends aggressive work to reduce electric consumption by 2 percent a year.

DOWNLOAD
Husker Power Plan for Electric Utilities (PDF)
Consultants Report: – The Husker Power Plan: A New Energy Plan for Nebraska (PDF)

Coal ‘action plan’ finds success: Trump contributor has gotten about half of the items on his wish list

By Michael Biesecker, Associated PressOmaha World-Herald

[The coal wish list Robert Murray, the chairman and CEO of Ohio-based Murray Energy, sent to the White House includes] “pulling the United States out of the Paris climate accords and revoking the Clean Power Plan . . . Under Trump, the Mine Safety and Health Administration has also moved to reconsider rules meant to protect miners from breathing coal and rock
dust — the primary cause of black lung disease — and diesel exhaust, which can cause
cancer . . . Only about 500 coal mining jobs were added in Trump’s first year, bringing the total to about 50,900 nationally, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Read more here.

Photo by The Associated Press

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

  • 2017 U. S. Energy and Employment Report, Department of Energy
    In 2016 Just under 374,000 individuals worked, in whole or in part, for solar firms, with more than 260,000 of those employees spending the majority of their time on solar. There are an additional 102,000 workers employed at wind firms across the nation. The solar workforce increased by 25% in 2016, while wind employment increased by 32%.
  • In coal country: Ohio and other states throughout the region are developing local sources of clean energy and green jobs that are good for people, the planet and profits:

LOCAL GRASSROOTS GROUPS 
Not only businesses but also social entrepreneurs and nonprofits all across Appalachia are leading the region’s transition from coal to renewable energy.  Some of these grassroots groups have been in existence for a number of years, while others are relatively new. All of them, however, share the same mission of creating a post-coal future for their own and neighboring communities. Examples of these groups include:

SOLAR HOLLER
What We Believe: Solar Holler isn’t your typical company. We’re a social enterprise that is focused on bringing clean and local energy within reach of those who need it most–Appalachia’s community organizations, non-profits, municipalities, and our low-income neighbors.  Why is our focus there?  Because every dollar a church, or a library, or a municipality doesn’t spend on utility bills means another dollar is going toward improving our towns and communities. Because West Virginia’s miners and their families powered America’s growth and cities during the 20th Century.  If we have anything to do with it, we’ll power America throughout the 21st Century, too–with clean, renewable energy. And, most importantly, because these hills and hollers are home. Websitewww.solarholler.com 

KENTUCKIANS FOR THE COMMONWEALTH
We are Kentuckians. We believe that today we have our best chance in decades to build New Power in Kentucky. New Power means thousands of new jobs, healthy communities and opportunities for our children. But we have to address the problems caused by Old Power – old political power, old economic power and old energy power. Website: www.kftc.org 

I LOVE MOUNTAINS.ORG
Local, state, and regional organizations across Appalachia are working together to end mountaintop removal and create a prosperous future for the region. Through iLoveMountains.org, members of the Alliance for Appalachia have come together to use cutting edge technology to inform and involve Americans in their efforts to save mountains and communities.

Partners

1. Appalachian Voices
2. Black Warrior Riverkeeper 
3. Center for Coalfield Justice
4. Coal River Mountain Watch
5. Heartwood
6. Keeper of the Mountains Foundation
7. Kentuckians for the Commonwealth
8. Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
9. Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment
10. Sierra Club Environmental Justice
11. Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards
12. SouthWings
13. STAY Project
14. West Virginia Highlands Conservancy

Website: www.ilovemountains.org

For this family, solar makes environmental – and financial – sense

By Jane Santucci, Environmental Freelance Writer, Tribune Star 

For 40 years David Blanc worked in coal-fired power plants. His career started after he served in the Air Force. A family friend got him on at Public Service Co. of Indiana, known today as Duke Energy . . . Since the Blanc family installed its unit in November, it has taken enough carbon out of the environment to be the equivalent of planting 83 trees. David would like to see every
new-construction home built in America to be built solar-ready with the correct angular rooflines. Click here to read the entire article.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING