Tag Archives: climate change

Yes, 40 Percent Solar Energy for the U.S Grid by 2035 is Doable

By Tina Casey, TriplePundit

All in all, the opportunities for rapid decarbonization are falling into place. The only missing piece is political will, and that is an area in which corporate leaders can exercise a powerful influence, if they choose.

The Joe Biden administration made waves earlier this week when it indicated that solar energy could cover 40 percent of the nation’s electric power grid by 2035. It is easy to meet news like that with disbelief, considering the minuscule toehold currently enjoyed by solar energy. However, a significant new factor is now in play.

The catastrophic impacts of climate change hit the U.S. with full force this year, providing corporate leaders with a powerful incentive to lobby for a swift, aggressive transition to clean power. Settling for incremental change is not an option when floods, fires, habitat destruction, and water scarcity destroy communities and disrupt business. Read more here.

Previously Posted

Biden’s proposed tenfold increase in solar power would remake the US electricity system, by Joshua D. Rhodes, Research Associate, University of Texas at Austin. Published by The Conversation.  

Additional Recommended Reading

An Urgent Call To High-Emitting Sectors: It’s Time For Climate Action

Contributed by Mindy Lubber, Forbes 

If we want to avert the most catastrophic impacts of the climate crisis, we will need bold, broad, and immediate action. We must act now and we will need everyone to do their part — countries, policymakers and regulators, each investor, every company.

That’s why we’re launching the Ceres Ambition 2030 initiative, designed to meet the urgency of this moment. We now know that the most ambitious actions of a few companies, or even a few hundred, aren’t enough. With Ambition 2030, we are working to decarbonize entire sectors, starting with six of the highest-polluting: electric power, oil and gas, steel, food, banking and transportation. Read more here.

Mindy Lubber is CEO and president of the sustainability nonprofit Ceres and a founding member of the global steering committee for Climate Action 100+. She was the recipient of the Champions of the Earth award —the United Nations highest environmental honor — for her leadership on climate change and sustainability. Lubber was also named Barron’s 100 most influential women in U.S. finance.

Ceres Initiatives Also Include

About Ceres
Ceres is a nonprofit organization working with the most influential capital market leaders to solve the world’s greatest sustainability challenges. Through our powerful networks and global collaborations of investors, companies and nonprofits, we drive action and inspire equitable market-based and policy solutions throughout the economy to build a just and sustainable future. For more information, visit ceres.org.

MORE CLIMATE ACTION RESOURCES

As You Sow: Our mission is to promote environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and innovative legal strategies.

CDP is a not-for-profit charity that runs the global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states and regions to manage their environmental impacts. Over the past 20 years we have created a system that has resulted in unparalleled engagement on environmental issues worldwide. Find out more about how we work.

Coalition For Green Capital (CGC) is a nonprofit with a mission to halt climate change by accelerating investment in clean energy technologies. CGC achieves this by advocating for, creating and implementing Green Bank finance institutions. Green Banks are a proven finance model that uses public and philanthropic funds to mobilize private investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency and other decarbonization technologies. For over a decade, CGC has led the Green Bank movement, working at the federal, state and local level in the U.S. and in countries around the world. By increasing investment and accelerating the construction of clean power, CGC is helping deliver a cleaner, better future.

Environmental Protection Agency: Climate Change
EPA’s climate change website is back, with more content to come. Please return as we add new information and features. Learn more about the objectives of the EPA Climate Change website. Understanding and addressing climate change is critical to EPA’s mission of protecting human health and the environment. EPA tracks and reports greenhouse gas emissions, leverages sound science, and works to reduce emissions to combat climate change.

Interfaith Center On Corporate Responsibility is a coalition of faith- and values-based investors who view shareholder engagement with corporations as a powerful catalyst for change. Our mission statement, “inspired by faith, committed to action” sets forth our pledge to be active owners, and to engage meaningfully with the companies in our portfolios through the process of shareholder engagement that we pioneered nearly 50 years ago. 

Our guiding principle as shareholders is that sustainable corporations must look beyond the next earnings report to account for the full impact of their business on society and must view the well-being of all of their stakeholders―including their workers and the communities where they operate — as integral to their long-term value.

Proxy Preview is a collaboration between three organizations: As You Sow, Sustainable Investments Institute, and Proxy Impact. Proxy Preview provides the most comprehensive data on hundreds of shareholder resolutions – including environmental, corporate political spending, human rights, diversity, sustainable governance issues, and much more. Shareholder resolutions are a key form of engagement for U.S. investors interested in changing the environmental and social impacts of companies. Register for a free account to view Proxy Preview reports and watch a webinar at the website link above.

RESOURCES FOR GOVERNORS & MAYORS 

The U.S. Climate Alliance is a bipartisan coalition of governors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement. The alliance represents:

  •  61% of the U.S. economy.
  •  57% of the U.S. population.
  •  43% of U.S. emissions.

Climate Mayors, founded in 2014, is a bipartisan, peer-to-peer network of more than 470 U.S. mayors demonstrating climate leadership through meaningful actions in their communities. Representing 48 states and 74 million Americans, the Climate Mayors coalition reflects U.S. cities’ commitment to climate progress. 

Iowa City awards $60K in climate action grants

By Erin Jordan, The Gazette

IOWA CITY — So many worthy causes, not enough money. That’s how Briana Hoffman, of West Branch, felt when she thought about supporting both local social service agencies and groups that fight climate change.

“I’ve always been passionate about our community, but at the same time I want to help the climate because I think our planet is in trouble,” Hoffman said. “I realized you can do both. By helping nonprofits be more energy efficient, you can actually help the planet and the nonprofit. The money they don’t spend on electricity is going back into their purpose.” Continue reading here.

MORE CLIMATE NEWS, ACTIONS & RESOURCES

New bill could make solar roof installations more affordable for homes, businesses

By Zach Hester, WHNT

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new bill introduced last week is aiming to make it cheaper for homeowners and businesses to install solar power roofs. The Raise the Roof Act, introduced by Georgia Senator Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.), would expand solar tax credits to cover a “cutting-edge integrated solar roofing system” as well as roof replacements and repairs. Read more here, including the full text of the Raise the Roof Act.

Related Reading – With Resources

Replacing Your Roof? It’s a Great Time to Add Solar, by Becca Jones-Albertus, Director of the Solar Energy Technologies Office within the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office.

A report from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that solar panels are viewed as upgrades and home buyers across the country have been willing to pay a premium of about $15,000 for a home with an average-sized solar array. Additionally, there is evidence homes with solar panels sell faster than those without.

Previously Posted

RECOMMENDED WEBINAR

Recording of the Clean Energy Group / Clean Energy States Alliance Webinar: Expanding Grid Capacity with Energy Storage in Decorah, Iowa

At present, one circuit on Decorah’s grid does not have sufficient capacity to allow for the addition of many new solar projects in development. Upgrading the grid through traditional poles-and-wires and substation expansions would be twice as expensive as this battery project, according to Alliant Energy. Thus, the battery project is expected not only to allow for increased solar integration, but also to produce distribution system investment savings. Additional potential benefits, such as peak demand shaving and other storage applications, will be tested as additional means to reduce customer cost.

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

WIND ENERGY GUIDE

Land-Based Wind Energy Economic Development Guide, Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, WINDExchange

A comprehensive resource for community decision makers to better understand the economic development potential during the development, construction, and operation of wind energy projects.

Energy outreach expands as Norfolk solar project set to begin

By Mitchell Lierman, Norfolk Daily News

A new outreach initiative on wind and solar energy called Renew Nebraska was launched at the Norfolk Area Chamber of Commerce on Thursday. Co-chaired by Mayor Josh Moenning, the effort promotes investments in Nebraska to develop the state’s energy potential.

The announcement comes in the wake of a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to the United Nations earlier this week that highlighted that it is “unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land” and warned of climate destabilization if no action is taken. Continue reading here.

NPPD begins to take public input on electrical generation mix at Norfolk forum, by Jerry Guenther, Norfolk Daily News

Here’s What’s In The Democrats’ $3.5 Trillion Budget Resolution

By Dana Farrington and Barbara Sprunt, NPR / KIOS

The Senate narrowly endorsed a $3.5 trillion budget resolution early Wednesday morning in a 50-49 party-line vote. The sweeping Democratic plan includes major investments in climate initiatives, the expansion of Medicare and the extension of the child tax credit.

The price tag is currently set at $3.5 trillion. The plan calls for the investments to be offset by a combination of new tax revenues, health care savings and long-term economic growth. It calls for raising money through IRS enforcement and proposes a new fee on carbon pollution. The plan prohibits tax increases on families making under $400,000 a year, small businesses and family farms. Read more here.

See Also: U.S. Department Of The Treasury: The Made In America Tax Plan (PDF)

Additional Recommended Reading 

Climate change widespread, rapid, and intensifying – IPCC

GENEVA, Aug 9 – Scientists are observing changes in the Earth’s climate in every region and across the whole climate system, according to the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report, released today. Many of the changes observed in the climate are unprecedented in thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of years, and some of the changes already set in motion—such as continued sea level rise—are irreversible over hundreds to thousands of years.

However, strong and sustained reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases would limit climate change. While benefits for air quality would come quickly, it could take 20-30 years to see global temperatures stabilize, according to the IPCC Working Group I report, Climate Change 2021: the Physical Science Basis, approved on Friday by 195 member governments of the IPCC, through a virtual approval session that was held over two weeks starting on July 26. Continue reading here.

About the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC)

Created in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the objective of the IPCC is to provide governments at all levels with scientific information that they can use to develop climate policies. IPCC reports are also a key input into international climate change negotiations. The IPCC is an organization of governments that are members of the United Nations or WMO.

The IPCC currently has 195 members. Thousands of people from all over the world contribute to the work of the IPCC. For the assessment reports, IPCC scientists volunteer their time to assess the thousands of scientific papers published each year to provide a comprehensive summary of what is known about the drivers of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and how adaptation and mitigation can reduce those risks.

An open and transparent review by experts and governments around the world is an essential part of the IPCC process, to ensure an objective and complete assessment and to reflect a diverse range of views and expertise. Through its assessments, the IPCC identifies the strength of scientific agreement in different areas and indicates where further research is needed. The IPCC does not conduct its own research.

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

IN NEBRASKA

  • Information forums on decarbonization scheduled by NPPD, NPPD News Release
  • NPPD seeks public input on decarbonization, by Nancy Gaarder, Omaha World-Herald
    Another of Nebraska’s major utilities is taking a look at decarbonization and will be asking its customers to weigh in. The Nebraska Public Power District will hold five public meetings over the next two weeks on whether it should pursue decarbonization, CEO Tom Kent said Friday. The meetings are part of a larger effort to gauge customer sentiment, he said . . . The Lincoln Electric System has a decarbonization goal of net zero by 2040. LES held a yearlong educational series with its customers. The Omaha Public Power District held public workshops on the issue earlier this year. It has a goal of net zero carbon production by 2050.

Supply Chain Woes Call Attention to Solar Manufacturing Possibilities

SEIA Blog

Recently, Senator Jon Ossoff (D-GA) introduced the Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act alongside Senators Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). This commonsense legislation will provide tax credits for American manufacturers at every stage of the solar manufacturing supply chain, from polysilicon to solar cells to fully assembled solar modules.

In support of Senator Ossoff’s proposal and the effort to reach 100 GW of annual renewable energy manufacturing capacity, SEIA announced a new target of 50 GW of annual domestic production capacity by 2030, a ten-fold increase from where we are today.This ambitious goal aims to dramatically ramp up American solar manufacturing capacity which would cover all key elements of a solar energy system, including polysilicon, ingots and wafers, cells and modules, racking and trackers and inverters. Read more here.

Related Reading

ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE ACT

INFRASTRUCTURE BILL

Climate change is no longer other worldly, and inaction is no longer an option, USA Today Editorial Our View: Heat dome killed hundreds in the Pacific Northwest as global temperatures rise. Biden infrastructure bill is a good start to protect America.

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

BACKLOGGED TRANSMISSION QUEUES 

Gridlock in transmission queues spotlights need for FERC action on planning, Utility Dive
Generation interconnects to transmission through queues managed by the seven regional transmission and independent system operators (RTO/ISOs) and utility transmission owners. And capacity in those queues “is growing year-over-year,” according to an analysis by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) of an estimated 85% of U.S. electricity load at the end of 2020.

Related Reading

Building a US clean manufacturing strategy to counter China and tackle climate change

Utility Dive article contributed by David Hart, director of the Clean Energy Innovation Policy Program at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), and Stefan Koester, ITIF senior policy analyst.

A recent report to which we contributed, published by the Information Technology and Innovation FoundationBoston University Institute for Sustainable Energy, and Fraunhofer USA’s Center for Manufacturing Innovation, details how the United States can rebuild a robust domestic manufacturing sector and tackle climate change by leveraging its considerable strengths in science, technology and innovation. Read more here.

Flickr Photo

ADDITIONAL RESEARCH

“We found that we can get to 80+% renewable energy at the same cost as keeping the system at today’s level of renewables,” said [Wesley] Cole, NREL senior energy analyst and lead author of the paper. “Increased renewable energy contribution also reduces emissions, so going beyond today’s levels of renewable energy is a no-brainer.”

Researchers at the Wharton School said the additional $579 billion in new infrastructure spending would increase domestic output by 0.1% and decrease the U.S. debt by 0.9% by 2050.

Location, location, location — when it comes to the placement of wind turbines, the old real estate adage applies, according to new research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Carnegie’s Enrico Antonini and Ken Caldeira.

AMERICAN PUBLIC POWER ASSOCIATION 

THE REAP IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2021

U.S. Sen. Tina Smith, U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger Push to Improve Popular & Effective Rural Energy for America Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. [6/24/21]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-VA 7)—along with U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and Representative David G. Valadao (R-CA 21)—introduced legislation in both the Senate and House aimed at improving the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which provides financial assistance to agricultural producers and rural business owners to install renewable energy systems and adopt energy efficiency measures

MGM’S RENEWABLE ENERGY PROCUREMENT

MGM unveils solar project it says will power 13 Vegas hotels, Las Vegas Sun
The array of solar panels sits in the desert northeast of Las Vegas and will be managed by Invenergy, which owns and operates renewable energy developments throughout the world. The largest resorts and casinos on the Las Vegas Strip have gradually left Nevada’s public utility, NV Energy, and begun producing their own power.

Previously Posted: MGM Resorts Recognized for Making Significant Investments in Clean Energy by the Solar Energy Industries Association, MGM Resorts International News Release

Photo: MGM’s first solar array in Las Vegas on the roof at the Mandalay Bay Resort

CORPORATE SUSTAINABILITY

The sustainability imperative imperative, by Joel Makower,
Chairman & Co-founder, GreenBiz Group

At long last, this stuff is being taken seriously — very seriously. And while there remain those who view the whole shebang — net-zero carbon emissions, ESG metrics, climate tech, the circular economy and all the rest — as “woke capitalism” (another mean moniker), those critics are finding themselves shunted off to the side, marginalized, a voice in the wilderness.

RE100 ArticleBusiness demand for renewables greater than total energy demand of major G7 economies

CESA ANNOUNCEMENT

Clean Energy States Alliance has issued an expression of interest for new, innovative energy storage pilot projects, with an emphasis on projects advancing social equity and community resilience. Potential projects must be at least 500 kilowatts in size with a minimum duration of two hours to be considered, and incorporation of other advanced energy technologies, like renewable generation and electric vehicle charging, is preferred. Projects determined to be of interest may be eligible for technical and financial support after submitting a full proposal. Responses are due by July 15. More details about the opportunity can be found here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

OPPD focused on reliability, affordability as utility plans for a changing climate

By David Earl, KETV

OMAHA, Neb. — Energy industry veteran Tim Burke knows the utility business is changing at light speed, and he knows it because he sees it in his grandkids. “They’re reading and learning about the environment differently than I learned about the environment,” Burke said. “And they’re our future customers. Clearly, customers are driving this change.” Burke is retiring July 1 from his job at the top of the Omaha Public Power District. He’s served 24 years at OPPD, the last six as chief executive. Continue reading or watch the video here.