Tag Archives: decarbonization

Who’s afraid of 100%?

Utility Dive article contributed by Jurgen Weiss,
Principle at The Brattle Group

Reducing GHG emissions 80% by 2050 relative to 1990 levels — often referred to as an “80 by 50” goal — is quickly becoming the consensus decarbonization target, and more and more states and utilities are committing to a goal of this kind. Increasingly, many stakeholders are calling for the pursuit of even more ambitious goals, such as striving for 100% renewable energy or net-zero emissions by 2050. However, just as many voices suggest that a 100% clean energy goal is unnecessary, infeasible or too expensive. All three of these arguments — that a 100% goal is unnecessary, infeasible and too expensive — are questionable and quite likely incorrect. Continue reading here.

The Interchange Podcast – Greentech Media

24/7 Renewables: The Emerging Art of Matching Renewables With Demand
Melissa Lott, a senior research scholar at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy, joins co-host Shayle Kann for a deep dive into 24/7 renewables.

Calculating renewables consumption on an annual basis isn’t sufficient. If we really want to make them an effective decarbonization tool, we need to match them to real-time demand. And there are a lot of ways to do it. In the last few months, we’ve seen examples of large corporations taking the challenge head-on. We’ve also seen the negative consequences for a city when it failed to account for time of use.

Community solar facility up and running for OPPD customers

By Jason Kuiper, The Wire

The 5-megawatt (MW) solar energy facility sits in a scenic area of Washington County tucked among rolling hills and trees. OPPD and NextEra Energy Resources have a 20-year power purchase agreement for the energy generated at the facility, which has more than 17,500 panels. Customers can view the facility’s activity in real time on its generation dashboard on oppd.com The solar facility is the latest generation source for OPPD as the utility moves towards 40% of retail sales supplied by renewable energy. Sholes Wind Energy Center near Wayne, Neb., came online in November 2019. Read more here.

Additional Recommended Reading
Omaha Public Power District Commits To Net Zero Carbon By 2050, NET 

A holiday talk about the climate crisis? Yes, please.

Contributed article for GreenBiz by Phil Berry,
Founder & Chief Executive of Sustainable Supply Chains

For some of us, holiday gatherings are difficult. Connecting with family and friends who don’t always share our values or views can be stressful. Many of us steer clear of talking politics and religion with family members to avoid contentious discussions or outright conflict. Regardless whether we are conscious of it, climate change has been added to that list of taboo subjects.

I want to provide you with scientific evidence why a holiday discussion about climate change has a better chance of success, and less chance of conflict, than you might think. Then I’d like to equip you with some of what I’ve learned in 20 years communicating with skeptics of climate science. There are two scientifically valid reasons why this conversation isn’t a crazy idea. Continue reading here,



Engie, University of Iowa say ‘I do’ to 50-year, $1 billion+ partnership, by Sarah Golden, Senior Energy Analyst GreenBiz & VERGE Energy Chair

Per the agreement, Engie will help the university phase out coal from its on-site power plant in five years. The company has stated its intention to work with the university to transition towards a zero-carbon footprint. How will it achieve zero-carbon operations for the university’s two campuses, which span 1,700 acres and includes an internal hospital? Engie doesn’t know — yet. Although the service provider has yet to create an action plan for the UI campuses, it plans on including onsite renewable generation, energy storage, lighting upgrades, microgrids and a digital dashboard to manage its energy resources. 



Dominion chooses 50 electric Thomas Built Buses powered by Proterra, PV Magazine
The vehicle to grid enabled EVs are part of a pilot program whose goal is to integrate 13,000 Virginia school buses into the state’s power grid as an energy storage resource to be tapped.

Previously Posted: All The Energy Storage The Grid Needs Will Soon Be Under Our Noses


Environment America’s Mayors for Solar Energy is a bipartisan community of mayors committed to making solar energy a key element of their communities’ energy plans. Environment America’s resources provide the tools they need to take concrete steps to achieve their communities’ goals:

Resources Include:


Your guide to Europe’s ‘Green New Deal,’ the continent’s new plan to get to net zero
Contributed article for GreenBiz by Madeleine Cuff, senior reporter for the U.K. sustainable business publication BusinessGreen.

Europe soon could become the first continent in the world to be aiming for net zero emissions by 2050, if EU leaders adopt a ground-breaking plan (PDF) released by the European Commission. The long-awaited European Green Deal promises a radical transformation of the trading bloc’s economy over the next 30 years, which would see the EU fully decarbonize while creating green jobs in new low-carbon industries.

Road to 100: How Western water rights and local billionaires complicated Aspen’s renewables path

By Catherine Morehouse, Associate Editor, Utility Dive

This is the last of a four part series based on Utility Dive visits to cities that produce more renewable power than they consume. All four installments can be found here.

There’s an argument to be made that Aspen is the original 100% renewable city. The town of just over 7,000 permanent residents is now famous for its ski slopes flocked every winter by celebrities and millionaires. But it started as a mining town that in 1885 became the first city west of the Mississippi to electrify its homes, businesses and streets, and two years later its underground silver mines, with hydroelectric power. “Aspen led the way in the use of electricity … For years, it was the best-lighted town in the United States,” read a 1907 article in the Electrical Review, an electrical engineering periodical. Continue reading here.

About the Author


Before joining Industry Dive, Catherine Morehouse was at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska where she worked as News Editor and then Editor-in-Chief of The Creightonian. She has a B.A. in Journalism and Political Science from Creighton.


Nebraska utility bets on technological advances to meet carbon-cutting goals

Written by Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network

The new clean-energy majority running Omaha, Nebraska’s electric utility knows it wants to steer the company toward a mostly carbon-free future. What’s less clear is how the company will get there. The board of directors of the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) voted unanimously last month to achieve “net-zero carbon” emissions by 2050. The company, like many others that have set similar goals, is placing its bets on technological advances yet to come. Some customers pressed for an earlier deadline, such as 2040 instead of 2050. Senior management discouraged that, at least in part because the utility has a contract through 2049 to sell 345 megawatts of power from its coal-fired Nebraska City plant to several other utilities.
Read more here.

Also written by Karen Uhlenhuth: Kansas, Missouri among latest states to debate refinancing for aging coal plants



Rural Electrification 2.0: The Transition To A Clean Energy Economy
This report was produced by an action team made up of members of the RE-AMP Network. The RE-AMP Network consists of more than 130 nonprofits and foundations working across eight Midwestern states on climate change and energy policy with the goal to equitably eliminate greenhouse gas emissions in the Midwest by 2050.

With the closure of old, expensive coal plants and the expansion of rural electric cooperatives’ wind and solar capacity, significant economic development would be accomplished across rural America. Already, new wind and solar installations are bringing new sources of property tax revenue into rural counties and school districts. Along with increased property taxes are lease payments to farmers and landowners where the wind and solar installations are sited. Especially in a time with mounting economic pressures in the current farm economy, new revenue streams for farmers are vital.


Collaborative resource planning by utilities and customers benefits both, by Heidi Bishop Ratz, Manager, U.S. Utilities Markets, World Resources Institute. Published by GreenBiz.

A prominent example of this is the recent thought leadership demonstrated by six major utilities and their large corporate customers as part of the World Resources Institute’s Special Clean Power Council, a two-year initiative focused on simplifying access to low-cost, clean energy options that maximize benefits to the grid. The initiative recently released a new paper, “Pathways to Integrating Customer Clean Energy Demand in Utility Planning” (PDF) describing the benefits of and strategies for joint planning.

Midlands Voices: Moving toward decarbonization

By David Holtzclaw, Omaha World-Herald

The writer, of Omaha, is president of Transduction Technologies, an engineering firm.

Recently, The World-Herald published a news article and editorial on the current decarbonization study by Omaha Public Power District to determine how soon, how reliable, how affordable and how close the utility can get to decarbonization in the next 30 years. Although informative, I believe the OPPD customer-owner would benefit from additional information regarding both OPPD and the state of the power sector.

It is often assumed that electricity produced by renewable energy is more expensive and less reliable than electricity produced by fossil fuels, i.e., coal or natural gas. Currently, the average price of wind power purchase agreements (contracts for developers to sell wind energy to utilities) is less than 2 cents per kilowatt-hour, making it far cheaper than coal, at 6 to 12.3 cents per kilowatt-hour, or natural gas, at 4.1 to 7.4 cents per kilowatt-hour. Read more here.

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