Tag Archives: decarbonizing the U.S. economy

Driving Toward a Majority Renewables America to Catalyze Nearly One Million Direct U.S. Clean Energy Jobs

American Wind Energy Association News Release

Washington D.C. December 16, 2020 – Clean energy resources – wind, solar, energy storage, hydropower, and other renewables – represent a once-in-a-generation opportunity to drive U.S. economic recovery and add hundreds of thousands of family-supporting jobs. According to a new, first-of-its-kind study released today by global natural resources research consultancy Wood Mackenzie and the American Clean Power Association (ACP), reaching a majority renewables grid will deploy over $1 trillion in capital investment into the American economy over the next decade, while supporting 980,000 direct jobs, stabilizing wholesale power prices, and reducing U.S. carbon emissions by over 60 percent. Targeted administrative actions and Legislative policies are essential for the U.S. to achieve these benefits within the next ten years.

“A majority renewables electric system for the U.S. is possible within a decade and will deliver much-needed investments in our economy and create a pathway toward steady, well-paying employment for workers across the country. This research shows that a collaborative promise of an American grid powered by wind, solar, hydropower, energy storage, and other renewables represents an economic powerhouse that will lead our country towards a more prosperous, healthier, and cleaner future,” said Amy Farrell, ACP Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs. Continue reading here.

Related
Job creation and clean energy go hand in hand in post-pandemic recovery, by John Hensley, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog

Also of Potential Interest
Renewables bring deflation to the energy sector, Financial Times
Opinion contributed by Mark Lewis, chief sustainability strategist at BNP Paribas Asset Management.

The first 100 days: A clean energy roadmap

By Greg Alvarez, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog

2021 brings a changing of the guard in Washington, D.C.—a new Presidential administration will be sworn in and Congress will be full of newly-elected members. That means there’s a host of officials we need to educate about the many ways clean energy can lead our post-pandemic economy recovery while making meaningful progress in the fight against climate change. Our just-released 100-day roadmap will help the new leadership understand how to fully harness the power of clean energy: The Vision for Driving a Clean Energy Transformation. The plan rests on four pillars, each of which will help deliver more affordable, reliable, clean power to American families and businesses: Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: AWEA’s Free Use Wind Energy Image Gallery

Additional Recommended Reading

SEIA’s 100-day policy agenda revolves around three main objectives: investing in clean energy infrastructure and jobs, opening electricity markets to renewable competition and establishing “comprehensive carbon policy” as support. More granularly, SEIA has called for its tax credit extension and a similar credit for energy storage, streamlined permitting for renewables on public lands, the appointment of commissioners to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that favor renewables-friendly market rules, and the appointment of a federal climate czar.

SEIA: The Solar Vision: A 100-day agenda

With Joe Biden’s presidential election victory last week, climate change is set to be a top priority for the incoming administration, second only to the Covid-19 recovery. As discussed in my recent article, the president-elect has laid out an ambitious roadmap for decarbonizing the US economy, which includes a carbon-free power sector by 2035 and net-zero carbon emissions for the country by 2050. This will require unprecedented investments in green energy technologies: from traditional solar, wind, and storage to frontier tech like hydrogen fuel cells and small modular reactors (SMRs).

Commissioner Richard Glick said Tuesday that updating transmission policy, reassessing capacity market operations in relation to their impacts on state policies, and continuing to lower barriers to nascent clean energy technologies would be top priorities if he is named head of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 2021.

Solar Foundation and Interstate Renewable Energy Council to Merge

By Emma Foehringer Merchant, Greentech Media

The non-profit Solar Foundation will soon become part of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, merging two groups with a common vision for an increasingly clean-powered grid. The organizational union announced Thursday is the latest in a series of moves by renewable energy groups to unite around a common goal of producing the majority of the U.S.’s electricity, rather than pursuing that work from different technological focuses. 

The American Wind Energy Association, for instanceannounced in September it would merge into a new group called the American Clean Power Association, to better advocate for a variety of renewable solutions. In June, AWEA along with solar, hydropower and storage industry trade groups also introduced a joint vision to achieve “majority renewables” by 2030. Continue reading.

Solar Foundation Initiatives

Interstate Renewable Energy Council Initiatives

INTERNATIONAL ENERGY AGENCY REPORT

Wind and solar capacity will overtake both gas and coal globally by 2024, World Economic Forum
Wind and solar capacity will double over the next five years globally and exceed that of both gas and coal, according to a new International Energy Agency (IEA) report. The Paris-based intergovernmental agency anticipates a 1,123 gigawatt (GW) increase in wind and solar that would mean these power sources overtake gas capacity in 2023 and coal in 2024.  

100% RENEWABLE ENERGY  

Green Hydrogen Could Fill Big Gaps In Renewable Energy, Scientific American
Companies are working to develop electrolyzers that can produce green hydrogen as cheaply as gray or blue hydrogen, and analysts expect them to reach that goal in the next decade. Meanwhile energy companies are starting to integrate electrolyzers directly into renewable power projects.

Previously Posted

  • The Green Hydrogen Revolution Is Now Underway, Forbes 
    While renewables are now the fastest growing energy industry, hydrogen is following closely behind in a massive gale. The 21st century will likely witness the rise of a mega-billion hydrogen fuel industry. Countries are taking first steps – and it’s breathtaking.
  • Geothermal energy is poised for a big breakout, Vox
    After many years of failure to launch, new companies and technologies have brought geothermal out of its doldrums, to the point that it may finally be ready to scale up and become a major player in clean energy. In fact, if its more enthusiastic backers are correct, geothermal may hold the key to making 100 percent clean electricity available to everyone in the world. And as a bonus, it’s an opportunity for the struggling oil and gas industry to put its capital and skills to work on something that won’t degrade the planet.

COMMUNITY CHOICE AGGREGATION

Rochester Community Power Launched to Develop 100% Renewable Energy Program for Rochester Residents and Businesses, Joule Community Power News Release, PR Newswire

The City of Rochester announced that it will launch a renewable energy program intended to provide their residents and small businesses with locally-sourced 100% renewable energy at a low, fixed rate. Offered through Rochester Community Power, the community choice aggregation (“CCA” or “community choice”) program will leverage the collective buying power of Rochester’s more than 80,000 Rochester Gas & Electric (RG&E) utility account holders to solicit bids from energy suppliers. 

GREEN BANKS 

The State of Green Banks 2020 report, authored by Rocky Mountain Institute, Green Finance Institute, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, showcases trends among both operational and emerging green banks. It includes an analysis of 61 institutions in 36 countries based largely on the data the report authors gathered through surveys and interviews, as well as on additional desk research. The report highlights successes, trends, and lessons learned from existing green banks and presents trends in countries seeking to set up new green banks. These trends include the technologies they will invest in, types of financial instruments they will deploy, capitalization strategies, and obstacles green bank champions face during the establishment process. A video summary of report findings by authors Angela Whitney and Karim Arslan is available at the above link.

​​RMI News Release: First global survey of green banks finds rapid growth in their numbers and importance in low carbon finance

WE ARE STILL IN NEWS RELEASE

U.S. Leaders Will Show Up In Force At U.N. Climate Talks Despite Federal Action To Withdraw The U.S. From Paris Agreement

American leaders unveiled detailed plans today to host the U.S. Climate Action Center at the upcoming COP25 climate talks in Madrid, and announced a delegation of over 70 U.S. leaders who are stepping up as the federal government steps away from global climate leadership. The current list of the delegation can be found here. This will be the third year in a row that We Are Still In will organize a Pavilion, in partnership with the U.S. Climate Alliance, Climate Mayors, America’s Pledge and other groups, to fill the U.S. climate leadership vacuum at the U.N. talks.

At COP25, America’s Pledge will release its third annual report, “Accelerating America’s Pledge: Going All-In to Build a Prosperous, Low-Carbon Economy for the United States.” This report analyzes the collective reductions of greenhouse gas emissions by U.S. states, cities, businesses, and other non-governmental entities and projects the level of carbon emissions reductions the U.S. can reach by 2030.

TRANSMISSION INFRASTRUCTURE

Transmission for renewables shall be a clear winner in Biden White House, Renewable Energy World
The stars are aligned for a big chunk of transmission infrastructure investments across the country. Statements from New England Governors, PJM on offshore wind integration, and Midwest Governors Association offer insights into future transmission plans for renewables. However, since transmission — specifically high voltage lines — cannot be built overnight, the state and federal policy advisors should not lose sight of distributed energy resource (DER) potential and alternatives to transmission solutions. Leveraging both utility-scale renewables and distributed generation makes more sense to balance the curtailment risk with an abundance of renewable energy production.

CIVILIAN CLIMATE CORPS

Mr. President-elect, America needs a Civilian Climate Corps, Opinion Contributors Jay Lemery and Lewis Goldfrank, The Hill

For those who think a national service program is only viable in a bygone era and another example of executive overreach, one that could never survive the scarlet letter of “socialism” in today’s political climate, don’t be so sure. Recent public opinion research has found that the American public is widely supportive of national serviceEighty percent of voters (70 percent Republicans, 90 percent Democrats) back increasing federal investment to help communities respond to and recover from COVID-19, specifically regarding funds directed toward graduates and the unemployed. What could this look like?

Jay Lemery, MD, is the co-director of the Climate & Health Program at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and co-author ofEnviromedics: the Impact of Climate Change on Human Health.”

Lewis Goldfrank, MD, is the Herbert W. Adams professor of the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Emergency Medicine at NYU-Langone Health Center, and the founding editor of Goldfrank’s Toxicologic Emergencies.

Stimulus spending on electricity decarbonization: The role of corporate renewable buyers

Utility Dive article contributed by Zdravka Tzankova,
Associate Professor NTT at Vanderbilt University

A group of U.S. scholars and activists has released an insightful, detailed proposal for a green stimulus response to the COVID recession. The merits of this $2 trillion green stimulus proposal are many and notable — from its list of public investments to decarbonize U.S. energy, transportation, and built infrastructure, to its call for creating the good green jobs needed for achieving such decarbonization. But what about the political prospects for U.S. stimulus spending on energy decarbonization? Recent developments in corporate renewable procurement suggest one promising strategy for aligning the political odds in favor of stimulus spending that accelerates grid-greening and renewable transitions. Read more here.

GTM Podcast: Fighting Energy Injustice and Coronavirus in African American Communities

By Julia Pyper, Greentech Media

In this episode of Political Climate, the fifth in our “Path to Zero” series with Third Way, we look at how COVID-19 and climate change are affecting Black communities, and how these issues can be tackled in tandem. Read more here.

Political Climate is produced in partnership with the USC Schwarzenegger Institute. “Path to Zero” is created in partnership with the public policy think tank Third Way. Episodes air monthly on the Political Climate podcast feed.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED GTM PODCAST

Watt It Takes: From Self-Replicating Machines to Decarbonization
By Stephen Lacey, Greentech Media

This week on Watt It Takes: Powerhouse CEO Emily Kirsch sits down with Saul Griffith, the founder and chief scientist at Other Lab. Saul Griffith has a PhD in materials science and information theory. He’s co-founded over a dozen companies. And now he’s determined to prove that we already have what it takes to decarbonize the economy. “The reality is I think it’s still possible to completely decarbonize by 2030 and save everyone money. And we just got to start thinking about it correctly,” says Saul in this interview.