Tag Archives: climate action

Austin, San Antonio, Orlando are Bloomberg climate challenge winners

By Paul Ciampoli, American Public Power Association 

Public power cities Austin, Texas, Orlando, Fla. and San Antonio, Texas, on Jan. 11 were included among the list of final winners in the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge. Launched in June 2018, the American Cities Climate Challenge is a $70 million program designed to catalyze efforts in 25 cities “to tackle climate change, promote a sustainable future for residents and help deliver on the America’s Pledge initiative to keep the United States in the Paris Agreement,” according to a Bloomberg news release. The other two cities named as winners in the challenge on Jan. 11 were Albuquerque, N.M., and Denver, Colo. Read more here.

Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

Iowa lawmakers can act on climate change

By Chuck Isenhart, Guest Columnist, The Gazette

Iowa Representative Chuck Isenhart, D-Dubuque, is ranking member on the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection.

As a state, we don’t need to reinvent any wheels. Here are just a few ideas that would jump-start some good conversations:

  • Set a state carbon-reduction goal and require public entities to make plans to do their parts;

  • Create a comprehensive soil health program that promotes farming practices that sequester carbon as well as improve farmland-soil resilience and productivity.

Read more here, including Representative Isenhart’s additional ideas on climate action.

MORE RECOMMENDED READING

Tri-State announces new 100-megawatt solar project in southern Colorado, The Denver Post. Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association is more than doubling the power it will get from solar energy with a new 100-megawatt installation about 20 miles north of Trinidad. The energy wholesaler will buy the entire output of the project over the 15-year contract. Tri-State Generation & Transmission is owned by 43 member electric cooperatives and public power districts and supplies electricity to members in New Mexico, Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming.

Solar solution: Technology helps reduce energy costs on Indiana farm while protecting environment, Purdue University Research Foundation News. This project was awarded a Rural Energy for America Program grant by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which helped reimburse some of the farm’s initial investment. The USDA grant and federal tax incentives, along with net-metering, will produce savings that will defray the costs of the project by more than 65 percent overall.

NEW STUDY

BPA report details potential for water heaters as DR tools, American Public Power Association
A recent report from the Bonneville Power Administration identifies the potential to enhance the use of water heaters as a demand response tool. The report also found that “smart connected” water heaters could yield “significant cost savings compared to building peaking plants.” 
Additional information, including the report, is available here

10 Ways Science Based Targets Can Improve Your Business

By Mike Scott, Contributor, Forbes

More than 500 of the world’s largest companies have set targets to cut emissions in line with climate science. The consultancy thinkstep has
explained why the targets are such a powerful business tool, “beyond the obvious ethical reasons for working to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions”.

#10: Younger consumers and workers are more interested in
sustainability than their elders. In 2019, thinkstep says, millennials will overtake baby boomers as the largest generation – and climate change is their number one concern – they want to work for a company they can believe in. “Setting science-based targets is a powerful way to communicate the legitimacy of your brand to current and potential
co-workers and retain their loyalty,” thinkstep says. Read more here.

ALSO IN THE NEWS

Divestment Year in Review 2018 — #CleanTechnica Report

Over 1000 institutions with managed investments worth almost $8 trillion have committed to divest from fossil fuels. Go Fossil Free.Org Report: 1000 Divestment Commitments And Counting

  • Money managers: the new warriors of climate change, Financial Times
    Following decades of campaigning by environmentalists and non-government organizations, it is now spreadsheet-analyzing money managers — responsible for the nest eggs of millions of people — who are forming a new generation of climate activists. And these activists are backed by trillions of dollars.
  • 6 times the environment won in 2018, Grist
    Folks across the country, from local city leaders to state attorneys general, are out there chipping away at the biggest existential threat of our time. And they’re actually getting somewhere. Here’s proof.
  • Power Plant Accident Casts New Light On New York’s Dirty Fuel Addiction, Huffington Post
    The bright-blue sky dazzled the city’s residents, but the source of the light — one of New York’s dirtiest power plants — could stoke an already heated debate.

Take local action on climate change

Written by Roy D. Buol, Mayor of Dubuque and a member of
Mayors for Solar Energy, Guest Columnist, The Gazette

The federal government’s Fourth National Climate Assessment should be a major wake-up call for the Midwest. The report details the serious consequences of our addiction to fossil fuels in communities such as Dubuque and throughout the Midwest. Our elected leaders not only need to acknowledge the gravity and urgency of the problem but do everything in their power to solve it . . . Dubuque is working to prevent the worst of these effects by advancing clean, carbon-free renewable energy at the local level. With the adoption of Dubuque’s plan to reduce the community’s greenhouse gas emissions 50 percent below 2003 levels by 2030, the City Council solidified our commitment to mitigating and adapting to climate impacts. Read more here.

Image: Alliant Energy’s Solar Facility in Dubuque
The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) announced April 2018 that the Dubuque Solar project earned the Envision Platinum rating for sustainable infrastructure – the highest Envision award level. This is the first solar project to receive Envision recognition, and second project in Iowa to receive an Envision Platinum rating.

 

Mayors for Solar Members in Nebraska
Mayors join call for more solar power

 

NEBRASKA ALSO IN THE NEWS HERE

Wind Dominates First-Quarter Midwest Power Project Starts, Completions, an Industrial Info News Alert, PR Newswire
Industrial Info Resources (Sugar Land, Texas) is tracking nearly $6 billion in Power Industry projects that are planned to start or be completed in the U.S. Midwest market region in first-quarter 2019. The Midwest includes Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. Wind power dominates these projects in terms of project value. Iowa, with more than $1.8 billion in planned starts and completions, leads in terms of project value. 

Minnesota Regulators Approve Nobles 2 Wind PPA, North American Windpower
Minnesota Power, a utility division of ALLETE Inc., has received unanimous approval from the
Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with
[Omaha-based] Tenaska Inc. for 250 MW of wind-generated electricity.

MORE RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS

Solar farm approvals on deck; B-N group-buy matches first, Bloomington Pantagraph. McLean County is on track to have 18 solar farms considered for state approval this spring, with small-scale solar development still marching along after another successful group-buy program. StraightUp Solar Photo: A solar farm at Home Nursery, a wholesale nursery in Albers, Illinois.

UTILITIES IN THE NEWS

Xcel Energy: Utility of the Year?
By Robert Rapier, 
Moneyshow.com
Historically, most of Xcel’s wind generation was produced under power-purchase agreements from third parties. But that’s about to change. Xcel has approved 4,780 MW of new wind power by 2021, of which it will own 74%. Xcel plans to invest $1 billion in Colorado over the next few years. It is targeting an increase in renewables to about 55% of its energy mix by 2026 . . . Expect more utilities to follow Xcel’s example. Global pressure to address climate change has been a factor to this point in the rapid adoption of renewables. But now that they are becoming cost-competitive with coal, renewables increasingly look like a smart decision, for both utilities and investors. Flickr Photo

Utilities are accelerating microgrid investments in innovative and strategic ways, GreenBiz
The electric utility sector is at a crossroads between centralized generation and distributed energy
resources (DERs), with 2018 DER deployments exceeding additions for centralized generation.

SOLSMART UPDATE

 

The SolSmart Application has been revised.
Click here to download and review it.

New Jersey moves to end solar RECs, take next steps toward 100% renewables

By Robert Walton, Utility Dive

Regulators are continuing to develop and tweak New Jersey’s solar programs, and their work is showing strong results: The Garden State ranks among the top 10 for home and business solar projects, and recently surpassed 100,000 installations, according to state regulators.

The Board of Public Utilities (BPU) this week took steps to phase out the current Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC) program, which will be closed when solar makes up 5.1% of the electricity sold by electric power suppliers and basic generation providers. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Solar World

MORE 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS

US Congress Support Of Green New Deal Growing With Sunrise Movement Momentum, CleanTechnica
With goals to reduce emissions through massive, rapid deployment of zero-carbon generation, the Green New Deal is gaining momentum, with 40 members of Congress already signed on and more Congressional representatives committing to the effort every week.

EV NEWS

Over 500,000 Electric Cars In California!, CleanTechnica
In November of this year, the number of electric cars sold in California reached over 512,000, according to Veloz, a non-profit organization that is working to support the transition to electric vehicles.  Josh Boone, Executive Director of Veloz, answered some questions about the EV growth trend in California for CleanTechnica.

WE ARE STILL IN UPDATE


We Are Still In signatories currently represent a constituency of more than half of all Americans, 154 million across all 50 states, and taken together, they represent $9.46 trillion in GDP.

“Paris to Pittsburgh” Now Available on National Geographic’s Website

National Geographic Documentary Produced in Partnership
With Bloomberg Philanthropies

Spotlighting the cities, states, businesses and citizens taking action, Paris to Pittsburgh explores the very real social and economic impacts of climate change-fueled disasters, from America’s heartland to the nation’s coastlines. The film features voices from local leaders as well as everyday Americans presenting the stories behind climate-related recovery and resiliency, as well as innovative efforts to reduce carbon emissions, including boomtowns formerly reliant on coal such as Pittsburgh. Other locations featured in the film include Puerto Rico, California, Iowa, Florida and New Jersey. Click top image to begin watching the film. 

About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies has committed more than $260 million to move the nation towards clean energy and tackle climate change. The Bloomberg-backed
Beyond Coal initiative, which aims to secure the retirement of half the nation’s coal fleet, has already led to the closure or phasing out of 270 coal-fired power plants and helped to prevent more than 5,550 premature deaths per year. Additionally, Bloomberg Philanthropies supports sustainability in cities around the globe through C40, a network of more than 90 global megacities, and other programs including the American Cities Climate Challenge, a $70 million accelerator program to provide 20 cities with powerful new resources to help them meet – or beat – their near-term carbon pollution goals.

Paris to Pittsburgh Website
National Geographic Resources
Renewable Energy
Climate Action

Save the Date! Nebraskans for Solar’s Earth Month speaker will be Mary DeMocker, author of The Parents’ Guide To Climate Revolution: 100 Ways To Build A Fossil-Free Future, Raise Empowered Kids, and Still Get A Good Night’s Rest.
Click here for details and to RSVP.

Is California Dreaming? Energy storage’s role in reaching 100% renewables

By Andy Colthorpe, Editor and Journalist, Energy Storage News

“The US really is one of the leading markets for the storage business in the world. Here in the western part of the US with such aggressive renewable portfolio standard targets, California is on a path to perhaps 100% renewables in less than 30 years. “There’s a lot of activity in Arizona too. So the western part of the US continues to blaze a trail towards much longer duration, bulk energy storage and shifting, from daytime to early evening peak. “[But] We’re [also] beginning to see the same developments in the eastern part of the US, in Massachusetts, in New York State, which has some pretty aggressive aspirations in this area. Another interesting thing is that in addition to solar and onshore wind there’s a tremendous amount of offshore wind activity in the northeast US, which was virtually unheard of a few years ago.”
– NEC Energy Solutions CEO Steve Fludder

Read more
here.

Pixabay Photo

MORE 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS

An aerial view of the Lapeer Solar Park in Michigan. Credit: DTE Energy

ADDITIONAL CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY NEWS

Portland could make big businesses pay to protect communities of color from climate change,
Fast Company. A first-of-its-kind ballot measure in Portland, Oregon, would create a fund–via a surcharge on large companies–to support clean-energy projects in low-income communities of color.

The US Is Ready For 100% Clean Energy — 10 Cities Model How To Get There

By Carolyn Fortuna, CleanTechnica

The Sierra Club’s “2018 Ready for 100 Case Study Report” outlines how 10 US cities have made ambitious commitments to be powered with 100% clean energy. These cities are embracing renewable energy options like wind and solar to show the progress and impact that cities can make to lead climate action globally and locally.

More than 80 cities in the US have now established policies to move away from dirty fuels and repower their communities with 100% clean, renewable energy sources. As a direct consequence, fossil fuels are being pushed out and expectations are rising for electric utilities, states, and energy generators to go all-in on clean and renewable power. Continue reading here.

SEIA CEO Abigail Hopper On The Future Of Solar

CleanTechnica Interview by Charles W. Thurston

CleanTechnica: What is your outlook for the U.S. solar industry?

Hopper: The future of solar is bright, I have to say. Our company members knew about the step-down of the federal tax credit, have planned for it, and are still building their businesses. In the next five years, solar installation will double. Some 8 gigawatts were announced during the first half of this year. Corporate and industrial projects are now about 10% to 12% of demand, so there are opportunities along the value chain.
Continue reading here.

100% RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS

Dane County working to become a national leader in renewable energy, Madison Magazine

In 2017, Madison became the first Wisconsin city (and the 25th in the nation) to formally commit to 100 percent renewable energy, and now groups such as the city’s Sustainable Madison Committee and Dane County’s Council on Climate Change are working with consultants, utilities, businesses, nonprofits and citizens to go completely green. According to those involved, this is not some utopian liberal Madison goal — it makes the most fiscal sense for taxpayers and the timing has never been better.

MORE U.S. RENEWABLE ENERGY & STORAGE NEWS

Utility Solar + Storage Accelerates Ahead Of Expectations — #CleanTechnica at #SPI2018

The current demand timetable is “a profound shift and one that is faster than we anticipated,” says Hugh McDermott, the senior vice president of development and sales for iron flow battery maker ESS, based in Portland. This acceleration in demand in the market — estimated at close to 2 GW of energy storage capacity for a 4 hour period — was echoed by other industry execs during the opening day of the Third International Battery & Energy Storage meeting here in Anaheim, California.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

World Bank bets big on batteries for solar energy boost, Phys.Org

Solar energy could be a huge source of power in Africa, but its potential has been stymied by storage batteries that are too expensive and inadequate for use in poor countries. The World Bank aims to break through that bottleneck, announcing plans Wednesday to invest $1 billion—and leverage it by another $4 billion—to boost developing countries‘ energy storage capacity from 4.5 to 17.5 Gigawatt hours by 2025. Photo: Solar array at George Airport, South Africa’s first solar-powered airport. 

China and India lead the surge to solar energy, Financial Times
Emerging markets leave developed nations behind in race for renewable power.

Netherlands to test viability of solar roads

California’s Zero-Carbon Bill Aims To Set Climate Example

By Bobby McGill, Bloomberg BNA

If enacted, Senate Bill 100 would make California the second state to adopt a 100 percent renewables mandate. Hawaii became the first state to set that target, in 2015 . . . The Senate bill would accelerate the development of energy storage technology and its integration with the power grid, Kelly Speakes-Backman, CEO of the Energy Storage Association, told Bloomberg Environment. Read more here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

IN NEBRASKA – PREVIOUSLY POSTED