Tag Archives: climate action

For Ohio farmers, wind turbine revenue helps take the sting out of a ‘bad’ year

By Kathiann M. Kowalski, Energy News Network

Wind energy advocates say this year’s disappointing growing season in Ohio is a prime example why state lawmakers should be trying to make it easier, not harder, for farmers to put wind turbines on their properties. Unusually wet weather made it a bad year for many Ohio farmers, but those with wind turbines on their land had a welcome and predictable source of additional income to make up for some of the losses. About a sixth of Ohio’s farm acreage couldn’t be planted, according to data released this month by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency. Read more here. 

USDA Resource: Prevented or Delayed Planting

Photo: Wind turbines in Blue Creek Township, Ohio. Credit: Nyttend / Wikimedia Commons

Also Written By Kathiann Kowalski

ADDITIONAL. RECOMMENDED READING

TRIBAL UTILITY-SCALE SOLAR

NM Native American Tribe Plans Solar Farm to Provide Renewable Energy Source, Inside Sources
A New Mexico Native American tribe plans to build a 50-megawatt solar farm, which includes a 20-megawatt battery storage unit, making it the first tribally owned, utility-scale solar project in the nation, according to a new report. The Jicarilla Apache tribe’s solar power project would transmit a large portion of its electricity to Albuquerque through the Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM), according to an Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) report.

SOLAR SCHOOLS

Solar power is coming to five schools in Newport News, Williamsburg Yorktown Daily
The city’s public school system has partnered with Sun Tribe Solar to add solar power panels at five schools. Installation starts in 2020. See the full pdf presentation here.

PACE FINANCING 

A $60,000 solar project, with no money down. Program helps Colorado businesses finance renewable energy projects, Colorado Sun. The Colorado legislature passed a bill authorizing the program in 2013. More than 35 states, plus the District of Columbia, have C-PACE enabling legislation, and more than $1 billion in projects have been financed so far. The program’s administrative costs are paid via a 2.5% fee (not to exceed $50,000 per project) added to each C-PACE project, which is typically included in the total financed amount. Program and projects are solely financed through private capital.

TRANSMISSION NEWS

  • SPP Board Directs Construction of 44 Transmission Projects, Transmission & Distribution World These upgrades will facilitate reliable delivery of lower-cost generation.
  • A penny for your powerlines, PV Magazine
    Research by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory suggests that overall costs of transmission needed to integrate variable renewables is between 0.1-1¢/kWh, on top of the 2.9-4.6¢/kWh utility scale wind and solar power costs.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS 

8 Countries (Besides the US) With Solar Under $25 Per Megawatt-Hour, Greentech Media
Around the world, solar power price records just keep on coming.

OPINION

How utilities wield bad science to stunt clean energy, Utility Dive. Contributed article by Greer Ryan, the Renewable Energy and Research Specialist at the Center for Biological Diversity, and Emma Searson, the Go Solar Campaign Director at Environment America.

This is especially true of distributed solar — small-scale solar installations on homes and businesses. These systems help everyone, not just those with solar panels on their roofs, by delivering reliable, pollution-free energy to our communities. They also bring enormous benefits to wildlife and wild places. For example, solar panels paired with native plant restoration can provide habitat for threatened pollinators. But because of utilities’ actions, distributed solar is being held back from its full potential. To fully realize the advantages of using the sun’s energy to power our communities, we need to fundamentally change the way we value energy sources.

How Apple is helping its suppliers move to 100% renewable power

By Adele Peters, Fast Company

Every Apple store, data center, and office now runs on renewable energy, a milestone that the company reached last year. But the tech giant is also working on the much larger goal of helping all of its suppliers make the same transition.

“If you look at our corporate carbon footprint, over 70% is in the supply chain,” says Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environmental, social, and policy initiatives, who previously served as head of the Obama-era EPA. “And, of course, those aren’t facilities that we own or operate. But we wanted them to have this access to the same high-quality clean energy that we did.” Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: Apple

RE100: Apple is an RE100 member. In April 2018 the company achieved 100% renewable electricity powering its global facilities across 43 countries. Apple is also helping its manufacturing partners lower their carbon footprint, working with them to install more than 4 gigawatts of new clean energy worldwide by 2020. Other RE100 members are collaborating with their suppliers to help them transition to renewable energy. Read about their actions by clicking the link, above.

MORE NEWS & RESOURCES


NEW CARBON SEQUESTRATION INITIATIVE 

The Family Forest Carbon Program (FFCP), a partnership between the American Forest Foundation (AFF) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC), is a new approach to globally significant climate mitigation that taps into the carbon storage potential of the 290-million acres of family-owned U.S. forestland. The program creates a new market for private landowners, giving them another option to offset forest management costs and generate income from their land. Learn more here.

RENEWABLE HYDROGEN

South Australia unveils plans for 100% renewable hydrogen economy, Renew Economy
Recent studies have shown that the cost of wind and solar has fallen so dramatically, and the cost of electrolysers is also expected to fall at the same rate, that renewable hydrogen will be able to compete on costs with “brown” or “grey” hydrogen, used from coal or other fossil fuel sources.

Previously Posted

  • The slow, inexorable rise of green hydrogen, PV Magazine
    The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) believes the production of hydrogen from renewables has the potential to deliver 19 exajoules of energy in 2050. Some 16 TW of solar and wind power generation capacity – 120 exajoules – may be needed to generate green hydrogen or related products from electrolysis by that point. Today the world hosts around 7 TW of total power generation capacity, around 1 TW of which comes from solar and wind, according to IRENA’s Hydrogen: A renewable energy perspective report. An International Energy Agency report on The Future of Hydrogen stated fossil-fueled production of the fuel is responsible for “annual CO2 emissions equivalent to those of Indonesia and the United Kingdom combined”.
  • Electrolysis breakthrough could solve the hydrogen conundrum, by Alexandr Simonov, Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Published by Phys.Org.
    Australia, with its abundant sun and wind, has the potential to become a renewable energy superpower. By using electrolysis, hydrogen gas could be created from excess electricity generated by large renewable electricity projects. This hydrogen could be used as a fuel within Australia and exported to countries hungry for fossil fuels alternatives.

An Unusual Plan for Lowering Solar’s Customer Acquisition Costs: Infomercials

By Emma Foehringer Merchant, Greentech Media

Generac Power Systems, a Fortune 1000 company that sells residential backup power generators, is making a play for the residential solar and storage market. This spring the Wisconsin-based company, part of stock-listed Generac Holdings Inc., acquired storage manufacturer Pika Energy and home energy management system company Neurio Technology. Relying on those technologies and drawing on the 60-year-old company’s experience in fostering markets, Generac will sell home solar and storage systems, to be installed by an army of contractors. Read more here.

MORE SOLAR+STORAGE NEWS

BIFACIAL SOLAR MARKET

100% RENEWABLE ENERGY

CLEAN ENERGY WEEK 2019 NEWS

  • Wind powers National Clean Energy Week 2019, by Curtis Walter, Into The Wind,
    AWEA Blog. American Wind Week is still in the rearview mirror, but now it’s time to celebrate the full range of clean energy technologies during National Clean Energy Week. Groups across the energy sector are highlighting the ways American ingenuity is delivering clean energy to families and businesses across the country. With energy affordability and climate solutions dominating the headlines, this year’s “For Our Future” theme is fitting.

CLIMATE ACTION NEWS

  • Farmers Join On-Going Climate Change Protest, RFD TV News
    The National Farmers Union is leading a charge to expand voluntary conservation programs like CSP and EQUIP, which they say are already known, popular, and oversubscribed, evidence that farmers are looking for a seat at the climate table. Though the topic of climate change is still an inflammatory one for many in ag, Jenny Hopkinson, National Farmers Union Government Relations, says the ability to manage and adapt through changing weather patterns is becoming a question of long-term economic viability. The National Farmers Union is also pushing for more market-based approaches to compensate farmers for conservation, strong research funding, and the promotion of on-farm energy production.

‘They’re stealing our future’: ‘Hamilton’ actor, AJR singer join Omaha climate change rally

By Nancy Gaarder, Omaha World-Herald

The demand for action by elected leaders on climate change was sounded repeatedly Friday at a rally outside City Hall in Omaha. The event, which drew more than 300 people, was part of a larger “climate strike” occurring around the globe over the next several days.

A group of about 500 also gathered outside the Nebraska Union on the UNL campus, organizers said. The group included a mix of college students, children, older residents and representatives of local Native American tribes. Similar rallies were to be held in Crete and Kearney and at the Iowa Capitol in Des Moines. The youths want Nebraska to pass a state climate action plan, among other steps. Read more here.

Photo by Nancy Gaarder, Omaha World-Herald

Additional Recommended Reading

Climate change rally at state Capitol urges lawmakers to take action, by Mia Azizah, Lincoln Journal Star. The rally, “Nebraska Climate Strike,” was organized by Sustain UNL, a student organization at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln that seeks to encourage local lawmakers to implement more regulations to make the planet more sustainable. “There is a global strike movement happening all over the world, and through seeing those, we knew right away we needed to organize in Nebraska,” said Brittni McGuire, Sustain UNL president. “We know that climate change is a global problem, but it has local solutions. We’re not going to have a future unless local communities all over the world take action.”

Previously Posted

Climatologist warns climate change will lead to more flooding in Nebraska

By Sydnie Holzfaster, KPTM Fox 42 News

State officials say more flooding is in Nebraska’s future if nothing is done to reverse climate change. Sunday State Climatologist Martha Shulski spoke with members of the environmental advocacy group Green Bellevue about how climate change is affecting people in Nebraska now and what they can expect in the future. Shulski said people can help the environment by making small changes in their daily life like buying locally sourced products; taking city buses or cutting back on personal driving or investing in renewable energy options for your home and utilities. Read more here.

Join Nebraskans for Solar and allied groups this Thursday, September 12th to learn about renewable energy investment options available in Nebraska for residents, businesses, utilities, schools, and other nonprofits.

Nebraskans for Solar’s September Speaker: David Bracht, Attorney With Kutak Rock and Former Nebraska Energy Office Director

Mr. Bracht will discuss Nebraska’s wind and solar development and our state’s potential for future growth. A Q&A will follow his presentation.

UNO’s Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center, Rooms 201/205.

Co-Sponsored by Green Bellevue, Conservation Nebraska, Sierra Club, OTOC’s Environmental Sustainability Action Team.

Power for America, Utility Workers Launch First-of-Its-Kind Renewable Energy Specialist Apprenticeship Program

Utility Workers Union of America News Release

The Power for America Training Trust Fund (P4A) and Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA), AFL-CIO have announced a unique, new union apprenticeship program that provides world-class skills training and a path to employment for in-demand jobs in the renewable energy sector. The Department of Labor (DOL)-certified, program provides individuals with specialized skills to remain at the forefront of the offshore and onshore wind, solar generation and battery storage fields.

“These are the jobs of the future and if we’re going to remain on the cutting edge of the energy industry, the skills we teach must reflect those of the ever-changing energy industry,” said Jon Harmon, P4A executive director. “This important program taps into P4A’s decade of success training and placing individuals in high-skilled positions that allow them to stand-out in the workplace and be placed in a good, family-supporting jobs.” Read more here.

ALSO IN THE NEWS 

EV NEWS

Southwest Power Pool moves to boost reliability, storage amid CEO resignation

By Julia Gheorghiu, Utility Dive

The Southwest Power Pool (SPP) Board of Directors on Monday approved 21 stakeholder policy recommendations on critical issues, such as enhancing reliability and cost allocation for new transmission. The SPP’s Holistic Integrated Tariff Team (HITT), made up of 15 stakeholders, offered recommendations to prepare the regional transmission operator for the grid of the future, including improvements to the wholesale energy market.

The transmission operator’s generation portfolio has changed dramatically over the past decade, with 50 GW of wind, 28.5 GW of solar and 5.7 GW of storage in its interconnection queue as of June. Stakeholder recommendations focused on this reality, asking SPP staff to create a white paper on energy storage and the future impacts of a battery storage buildout. Read more here.

MORE NEWS, OPINION & RESOURCES

The Road To A 100% Clean Economy

The 100% clean economy won’t be made in D.C.—it will be led by our businesses, our entrepreneurs, and tens of thousands of local civic and community leaders committed to creating a better future. 

Contributor Fred Krupp, Environmental Defense Fund President, Forbes

The 100% Clean Economy Act announced this week in Congress is the roadmap America needs to drive urgent action that matches the scale of the problem. It provides a starting point and a finish line for business and government working together to solve the climate crisis.

The bill, which will soon be introduced in the House by Rep. Donald McEachin of Virginia, will commit the U.S. to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. That means that by midcentury we’ll release no more climate pollution into the atmosphere than we can remove—across all sectors of the economy. This ambitious goal is consistent with what science tells us we need to do in order to help avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Read more here. 

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

  • Markets and Technology May Hold Out the Real Green New Deal: Part I, Forbes
    For business, and especially for big companies with capital and the vision to use it wisely, there is no more pressing issue or greater opportunity than climate change. 
  • Markets and Technology May Hold Out the Real Green New Deal: Part II, Forbes
    There’s been heated debate about the application of environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles to investing. While the U.S. hasn’t yet caught up with Europe in adopting these measures, the tide is turning, with the percentage of American institutional investors spurning ESG outright having decreased this past year from over half (51 percent) to just over a third (34 percent), according to an annual investing survey. This means—following the ‘E’ in ESG—that more business leaders are ready to run with the notion that investing in decarbonization is not only good for the planet, it’s imperative to remain relevant in the market. 

CLIMATE CHANGE / CLIMATE ACTION NEWS

FEATURED RESOURCES

Center For Climate And Energy Solutions (C2ES): U.S. State Climate Action Plans
The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance strong policy and action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote clean energy, and strengthen resilience to climate impacts. A key objective is a national market-based program to reduce emissions cost-effectively. We believe a sound climate strategy is essential to ensure a strong, sustainable economy.

The Center For Climate Strategies
The Center for Climate Strategies (CCS) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization located in Washington, DC with a small business subsidiary, Collaborative Systems and Strategies, LLC (CSS). It provides government officials and stakeholders worldwide with the expertise and assistance needed to develop and implement solutions that meet immediate and long-term climate, economic, energy, environmental, and equity goals. CCS serves as a catalyst for actions at the national, state, provincial, and local levels in all economic sectors to meet the unique needs of each country and region.

House and Senate Introduce Legislation for 5-Year Extension of the Solar Investment Tax Credit

Solar Energy Industries Association News Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Representatives Mike Thompson (D-CA), Paul Cook (R-CA), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) have introduced companion bills with a five-year 30% extension of Section 48 and Section 25D Solar Investment Tax Credits (ITC). The Renewable Energy Extension Act will call for the extension of the tax credits.

Following is a statement from Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, urging lawmakers to pass this critical legislation:

Continue Reading Here.

MAYORS FOR SOLAR ENERGY

 

More than 250 mayors nationwide sign letter calling for increased solar power, Environment America News Release
Municipal leaders from all 50 states support more clean energy from the sun.


MORE NEWS & OPINION

NEBRASKA IN THE NEWS HERE

SOLSMART NEWS

Southwest Virginia Communities Achieve National Recognition for Advancing Solar Energy Growth, News Release, Appalachian Voices. Eight Southwest Virginia communities have achieved designation under the national SolSmart program for encouraging the growth of local solar energy markets, at a time when several major solar installations on schools, businesses, and community centers are poised to begin across the region. These communities were each awarded a SolSmart designation for taking local action to reduce the time and expense required to install solar energy systems. 

UCS Extreme Heat Report: A Call to Action on Midwest Clean Energy

By James Gignac, Lead Midwest Energy Analyst,
Union of Concerned Scientists Blog

Excessively hot weather spread across the Great Plains and Midwest states last week. On Friday, Chicago faced heat indexes well above 110 degrees, and many other areas endured dangerous heat warnings and advisories. According to a sobering new report issued earlier this week by the Union of Concerned Scientists, the heat impacts of climate change will bring increasingly frequent extreme heat events such as these if we don’t take aggressive action to mitigate global warming pollution.

The report, Killer Heat in the United States: Climate Choices and the Future of Dangerously Hot Days, is scary news—but it’s also a call to action. Clean energy is moving forward in the Midwest and that’s a good thing. By pursuing rapid emission reductions, we can work to lessen the brunt of extreme heat we’ll face in the years to come. Continue reading here.

Sarah Sung, UCS Midwest Clean Energy Policy and Outreach Intern, assisted in preparing this blog post.

Midwest Initiatives & Resources Referenced in This Article

Previously Posted

Additional Recommended Reading & Viewing