Tag Archives: climate action

Much hotter conditions, more extreme weather await Nebraska, northern Plains, scientists say

By Nancy Gaarder, Omaha World-Herald

A much warmer future awaits the next generation of Nebraskans as a result of climate change, according to state and federal scientists. The state also is expected to see more rain and snow, but the additional moisture may not be enough to counteract the stress of a warming world on agriculture, they said. Additionally, the region is likely to see an increase in wintertime rain and ice. Last week, two climate scientists discussed some of the impacts during a briefing on the
National Climate Assessment, published last fall. Continue reading here.

Upcoming Nebraska Events – Free & Open To The Public 

Nebraska Climate Summit: A One-Day Session On Climate & Climate Change. March 21, 8:30 am – 5:00 pm at the
Nebraska Innovation Campus, 2021 Transformation Drive in Lincoln. Martha Shulski, director of the state climate
office based at the School of Natural Resources at the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Tyler Williams,
Nebraska Extension climatologist, as well as partners
across the university and state will lead the one-day information session on climate and climate
change. Registration capped at 350. Lunch provided. Register for the event here.

Nebraska Solar Schools Earth Month Event
Save the Date! Our 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 Sleep. April 11, 2019, UNO’s Thompson Center, 6705 Dodge Street, Omaha. RSVP & parking permit
required. Download flyer here for additional details.

Also written by Nancy Gaarder
11 easy steps to going green and having fun in the process, Omaha World-Herald

2019 US Solar Market Outlook: What is happening in the US solar market, and what can we expect in US solar in the next 12 months?

Sponsored Content, CleanTechnica Media

States, cities, communities, and businesses are responding with increasingly ambitious
sustainability goals that are driving solar market growth forward, according to the
Deloitte 2019 Renewable Energy Outlook. There’s a lot happening in the marketplace — smaller corporations are joining the corporate procurement market, oil and gas companies are moving solar into their energy mixes, and asset management companies have been foregrounding
new opportunities for their clients for solar growth. Read more here.

Photo by Martin Tidbury/Flickr

Additional Recommended Reading
Renewable energy growth in USA to continue in 2019, says Deloitte, Market Business News

FEATURED OPINION

We can’t wait for Washington’s Green New Deal. California needs just transition now, Sacramento Bee
The authors: Miya Yoshitani is the executive director of Asian Pacific Environmental Network. Gladys Limón is the executive director of California Environmental Justice Alliance.

With a Green New Deal, we can build distributed energy resources that generate and store clean, renewable power locally and regionally. California has a head start. Local clean energy aggregators have sprung up in counties across the state so that people can decide where they get their power. Last year, our state committed to achieving 100% renewable energy by 2045. Frontline communities helped create the Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing (SOMAH) program to invest $1 billion to bring solar power to working-class renters. The California Public Utilities Commission agreed to fund community shared solar projects, which put clean energy in our neighborhoods. Such steps are crucial, but we need a full commitment and a comprehensive strategy. The Golden State must lead the way. It’s time for a Green New Deal in California.

Previously posted: 

FEATURED RESOURCES: LOCATING SOLAR ON BROWNFIELDS

Many communities are turning old coal plants, closed landfills and other brownfields into solar farms. EPA’s RE-Powering Mapper is an online interactive web application that allows users to visualize key information on renewable energy potential at specific contaminated lands, landfills and mine sites. Using screening criteria developed in collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), EPA has pre-screened more than 130,000 sites for their renewable energy potential.

Access the updated RE-Powering Mapper here. 
Learn more about EPA’s RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative here.

Pixabay Photo: Solar Boom

Wisconsin’s New Governor To Join U.S. Climate Alliance, Signaling ‘A New Day’ In The State

By Betsy Lillian, Solar Industry Magazine

Gov. Tony Evers, D-Wis., has announced plans to join the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of governors committed to implementing the Paris climate accord on a state level.
“It’s a new day in Wisconsin, and it’s time to lead our state in a new direction where we embrace science, where we discuss the very real implications of climate change, where we work to find solutions and where we invest in renewable energy,” says Evers, who took office in January. “By joining the U.S. Climate Alliance, we will have support in demonstrating that we can take climate action while growing our economy at the same time.  Read more here.

U.S. Climate Alliance Website

MORE NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

‘Resilient Chicago’ strategy aims to strengthen neighborhoods, engage communities, Smart Cities Dive

Chicago has released its new resilience strategy, Resilient Chicago, devised through a partnership with 100 Resilient Cities. The plan contains 12 goals and 50 actions the city can take to improve its resilience.

A similar study for our state would be enlightening:
How much does Nebraska spend each year to import fossil fuels?
How much would it take to power our state with 80% clean technologies? 100%?

The Green New Deal Just Speeds Up The Current Green Wave. Case In Point: Solar-Plus-Storage

By Ken SilversteinForbes

The Green New Deal is not an “abstract” idea. Globally economies are trending toward cleaner energies — efforts initiated by public demands, improved technologies and forward-thinking policies: The sponsors are compelled to accelerate the pace — to not just help impoverished communities but to also prevent environmental catastrophe. Think this wild-eyed? Think again. Wind costs have fallen by 67% since 2009 while utility-scale solar has dropped by 86% since that time, according to the financial adviser, Lazard.

“People have opinions about the economics of green energy investments based on a set of facts that are five years old,” says Trip Miller, managing partner at Gullane Capital Partners, in an interview. “And if you extrapolate out, we will get to the point where these energy forms just need battery technologies before they become pervasive.” Read more here.

Photo by Martin Tidbury / Flickr

Previously Posted

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

The 25 cities involved in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ American Cities Climate Challenge are projected to collectively cut 40 million metric tons of carbon emissions by 2025, according to a new analysis released by the foundation. That’s the equivalent of eliminating 10 coal plants. The $70 million challenge brings 25 cities into a two-year accelerator program, which will offer money and technical assistance for local efforts to fight climate change. The full cohort of cities was announced last month.

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.