By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ
Wednesday is “Energy Efficiency Day” and South Sioux City has a variety of projects that use alternative forms of energy to power the city. South Sioux City has a goal to be the greenest city in Nebraska. City Administrator Lance Hedquist says over half of the city’s energy now comes from renewable sources: Continue reading here.
Photo by Tim Hynds / Sioux City Journal: South Sioux City’s array at a solar park south of the city, alongside C Avenue. This is the first Nebraska project for California-based developer Solar City, a Tesla subsidiary.
Previously Posted News Story: Solar is South Sioux City’s latest investment in renewables, Sioux City Journal
ACEEE’S ENERGY EFFICIENCY SCORECARD
Midwest cities show more improvement in annual efficiency scorecard, by Kari Lydersen, Energy News Network. Northeast and West Coast cities dominated the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s annual city scorecard released Oct. 6, but the Midwest boasted the two most-improved cities in the rankings: St. Paul and St. Louis. Minneapolis was the only city in the top 10, tied for 4th with San Francisco, while Chicago was 13th. New York, Seattle and Boston claimed the top three spots. David Ribeiro, lead author of the scorecard, said Midwestern cities have much untapped potential, and he said cities anywhere in the nation should be able to do just as well as coastal leaders in incentivizing saving energy.
ALSO PUBLISHED BY THE ENERGY NEWS NETWORK
- Minnesota town opts for a short-term approach to its long-term climate goals, by Frank Jossi
The City Council in Red Wing unanimously approved a five-year climate action plan in August and its members anticipate boosting current programs and starting new initiatives within the next few months. The short time horizon contrasts with climate plans in other cities rolled out over a 20-year span.
- Backup battery helps reduce electricity outages in remote Illinois community, by Audrey Henderson. As utilities around the country plan for more energy storage on the grid, a battery system in rural Illinois that’s been up and running since 2017 can provide some lessons. Thebes, Illinois, is in the far southwest corner of the state, wedged between the Mississippi River and rugged hillsides — geography that makes it difficult for Ameren Illinois to provide reliable electric service for the town’s roughly 330 residents.
MORE MIDWEST NEWS & NDEE RESOURCE
- Powered by renewables, by Andrew Weeks, Grand Forks Herald
Renewables, or what is sometimes called green energy, is shaping the energy sector not only in the Midwest but across the country. “I think the thing to really look at is what’s going on with the trends in energy right now,” said Dwight Patterson, CEO of GenPro Energy Solutions in Piedmont, S.D. “Renewable energy is really taking center stage in the United States as well as globally.” Renewable energy is projected to grow substantially over the next four years, he said, noting, “it’s an incredibly fast-moving market; it’s growing very quickly.” According to information by the Pew research Center, changes in renewable energy will continue to trend upward and will affect the labor market, including demand for new skill requirements.
- Kansas is a state full of sun, so why does Kansas lag behind in solar power?, by Sarah Spicer, Wichita Eagle. “We’ve got a top 10 resource,” said Zack Pistoria, the Kansas lobbyist for the Sierra Club, a national environmental organization. “We haven’t done anything on solar.” Part of the reason, he said, is some of the anti-solar policies the state has in place. One example is the demand fees utility companies charge residents who use solar to generate energy at home. Utilities argued the fee was needed as a way to maintain infrastructure and transmission lines, but critics saw it as a way to discourage solar in the state.
- Omaha Public Power District announces sites for two new gas generators, by Peter Maloney, American Public Power Association. Locations for the solar components of the Power with Purpose project have not yet been announced because sourcing for solar portions of the project are still under way.
- Solar Energy Generation in Nebraska, Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE)
INNOVATIVE ENERGY STORAGE INCENTIVES PROGRAMS
Arizona OKs home battery incentives as Green Mountain Power program shows millions in customer savings, by Emma Penrod, Utility Dive
The Arizona Corporation Commission last month approved the state’s first residential battery storage program — an incentive pilot proposed in August by the Arizona Public Service Company. Around the same time, Green Mountain Power (GMP) said its growing network of stored energy in Vermont, including home batteries and other resources, has reduced customer costs by about $3 million so far in 2020. Arizona has several hundred thousand households with rooftop solar, according to Court Rich, vice president of the Arizona Solar Energy Industries Association.
Wind and solar producer tops Exxon as most valuable U.S. energy company, CBS News
Exxon, once the world’s most valuable company, has seen its revenues and profits slide over the last decade. By contrast, NextEra —the largest wind producer in North America and one of the largest solar companies — has enjoyed profit margins of as much as 50%, while its stock has outperformed the broader stock market.
U.S. CORPORATE SOLAR ENERGY PURCHASING
- Report: U.S. Corporate Solar Investments Swell to 8300 Megawatts, Grow 20-Fold Over Last Decade, SEIA News Release. WASHINGTON, D.C. – Tech giants, major retailers and other corporate leaders are making significant investments in clean energy and installed 1,286 megawatts (MW) of new commercial solar capacity in the United States in 2019, the second largest year on record according to the latest Solar Means Business report. The annual report, released today by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), tracks both on-site and off-site installations and highlights the strong appeal of cost-saving solar energy for American businesses.
- Switch Remains in the Top 10 for Corporate Clean Energy Use in Solar Energy Industries Association’s Annual Report, Switch News Release, PR Newswire. Switch is the only colocation data center technology company to make the Top 10 based on its commitment to solar energy use.
Nuclear Energy — The High Cost Of A Dying Industry, by Johnna Crider, CleanTechnica
The nuclear sector, OilPrice says, simply can’t compete with the flood of inexpensive natural gas and is struggling to stay alive. However, it’s not just natural gas — renewable energy has been passing up natural gas in terms of new power capacity, and also growing strong in terms of new electricity generation.
TRANSPORTATION INEQUITY STUDY
Parking and public transit tell us a lot about equity in cities, by Joe Cortright, GreenBiz
University of Northern Illinois professor Chris Goodman recently compiled data for the nation’s 30 largest cities on the price cities charge for on street parking permits compared to the price of a transit pass. The disparity between what people pay to park their cars on the public street (nothing or very little) and what they have to pay to use transit speaks volumes about privilege and equity in transportation. To take advantage of free or low cost on street parking, you have to own a car, which automatically means the poorest households receive little or no benefit; meanwhile, because car ownership is highly correlated with income, more benefits go to high income households.
NATURAL BEER CARBONATION
Are the bubbles in your beer made from sustainable CO2?, by Jesse Klein, GreenBiz
Most beer produced in the United States is forcibly carbonated by injecting pressurized CO2 into the liquid. It can take up to two weeks to naturally carbonate beer, according to George, so few breweries do it for economic reasons. Carbon capture technology could provide a version of natural carbonation at a fraction of the time by grabbing the naturally produced gas for use later.
EPA-FUNDED BIODIGESTER PROJECT
Pa. college plans to power two farms from cafeteria waste, cow manure, and brewery scraps, The Philadelphia Inquirer. Kenneth Shultes, in charge of the school’s sustainability planning, said the biodigester project will reduce the school’s overall carbon emissions by 120 metric tons annually. “This fits with the college’s mission, and everything that we’re doing with sustainability,” Schultes said.