Tag Archives: economic benefits of climate action

Renewable Energy Could Save $160 Trillion In Climate Change Costs by 2050

By James Ellsmoor, Contributor, Forbes

With development and energy demands soaring worldwide, there is an opportunity for clean, renewable energy to supplant fossil fuels and take over as the main form of electricity generation. New findings published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) have emphasized the need to scale up efforts to transition away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy.
Continue reading here.

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.

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.

Rocky Mountain Institute officials agree Carbon County, Wyoming is breeding grounds for transition into renewable energy sources

By Ray K. Erku, Wyoming Business Report

RAWLINS – In many respects, Carbon County is at the forefront of a modern-day gold rush. Instead of mining for precious metal, however, fortune seekers look to harvest one of the Cowboy State’s most natural of resources: Wind . . . For the Anschutz Corporation, parent company of Power Company of Wyoming, the slated 1,000-turbine Chokecherry and Sierra Madre wind farms will eclipse $5 billion in projected costs. Once completed, it’ll be considered the largest onshore wind generation facility in North America . . . PacifiCorp and Rocky Mountain Power, subsidiaries of multinational conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, which is headed by Buffett, are beginning to stomp their footprints in the county by partnering with Invenergy Co. to spearhead production of not just the Ekola and TB Flats projects, but the Gateway West Transmission Line. Read more here.

Photo by Power Company of Wyoming: According to Business Insider, a 2017 analysis revealed that it took $102 to generate one megawatt-hour from coal, compared to wind, which took $45. 


Managing the Coal Capital Transition, Rocky Mountain Institute

 

 

MORE ENERGY TRANSITION NEWS

COSTS OF SOLAR PANELS CONTINUING TO DROP

Module prices have fallen by up to 25% so far this year, by Emiliano Bellini, PV Magazine
According to a Q3 report by EnergyTrend, monocrystalline module prices have fallen almost 20% this year, while those for polycrystalline modules have dropped by more than 25%. Increased consolidation among manufacturers and developers is expected to occur in China, and the global solar market, with more merger deals, plans for capacity reductions, and even factory closures.

PV MAGAZINE: SEIA GUIDE UPDATE 

Best practices for building residential solar power and market confidence

Economists who changed thinking on climate change win Nobel Prize

By Quirin Schiermeier, Nature

A pair of US economists, William Nordhaus and Paul Romer, share the 2018 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for integrating climate change, and technological change, into macroeconomics, which deals with the behavior of an economy as a whole. Nordhaus, at the University of Yale in New Haven, Connecticut, is the founding father of the study of climate change economics. Economic models he has developed since the 1990s are now widely used to weigh the costs and benefits of curbing greenhouse gas emissions against those of inaction. Romer, who is at the NYU Stern School of Business in New York, was honored for his work on the role of technological change in economic growth. The economist is best-known for his studies on how market forces and economic decisions facilitate technological change. Read more here.

Photo: William Nordhaus (left) and Paul Romer

Related: Curbing global warming could save US$20 trillion

The US Is Ready For 100% Clean Energy — 10 Cities Model How To Get There

By Carolyn Fortuna, CleanTechnica

The Sierra Club’s “2018 Ready for 100 Case Study Report” outlines how 10 US cities have made ambitious commitments to be powered with 100% clean energy. These cities are embracing renewable energy options like wind and solar to show the progress and impact that cities can make to lead climate action globally and locally.

More than 80 cities in the US have now established policies to move away from dirty fuels and repower their communities with 100% clean, renewable energy sources. As a direct consequence, fossil fuels are being pushed out and expectations are rising for electric utilities, states, and energy generators to go all-in on clean and renewable power. Continue reading here.

Governor Brown Signs 100 Percent Clean Electricity Bill, Issues Order Setting New Carbon Neutrality Goal

News Release, Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.

SACRAMENTO – Reaffirming California’s global climate leadership, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today signed Senate Bill 100, authored by Senate President pro Tempore Emeritus Kevin de León, setting a 100 percent clean electricity goal for the state, and issued an executive order establishing a new target to achieve carbon neutrality – both by 2045. “This bill and the executive order put California on a path to meet the goals of Paris and beyond. It will not be easy. It will not be immediate. But it must be done,” said Governor Brown. Read more here.

RELATED

  • SEIA News Release Excerpt: Following is a statement by Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association: 
    “California has taken a monumental step in enacting one of the world’s most ambitious clean energy policies. As the largest solar market in the U.S., California has already proven that investing in renewable energy brings jobs and massive economic and environmental benefits to the state — benefits that will grow exponentially with the enactment of SB 100.”
  • Vote Solar News Release: Statement from Adam Browning, Vote Solar’s Executive Director, celebrating SB 100’s passage:
    “Today, California made history. This is the biggest and most important climate action to date in the United States.  Big because California is big. Important because it sets a new bar for what’s possible, and because it is replicable. This year New Jersey committed to 50% renewables, and in November voters in both Arizona and Nevada will decide whether their own state should do the same. This is a revolution of evolution, and it’s happening across the country.”
  • How Do Ambitious Climate Pledges Impact Economic Growth? For Insight, Compare Texas And California, Forbes
    Compared to other places, like Texas – known for its oil and gas production – California’s economy is performing better on most measures, showing that it is entirely possible to pair steep emission reductions with vibrant growth. California has established some of the world’s most ambitious carbon emission reduction targets, and is achieving them faster and at lower cost than expected. The state hit its 2020 target four years early, while its economy grew much faster any other state and the U.S. economy as a whole – California’s economy climbed from 10th largest in the world in 2012 to 5th largest today.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

In Farm Country, Grappling With the Taboo of Talking about Climate Change

By Bryce Oates, Climate, Rural Environment and Agriculture Project, Civil Eats

Despite the heated political rhetoric on both sides of the issue, the realities of the changing climate are driving farmers of all stripes to take action . . . [The] evidence that agriculture is a major contributor to greenhouse gases in the atmosphere—as well the role farm practices can play in both mitigating and helping farmers adapt to climate change—has only mounted. And while some advocates are working to bring the conversation to the fore among rural communities, others are more focused on supporting farmers to change their practices and build healthy soil, regardless of what language they use. Read the entire article here.

iStock Photo: Farmer surveying drought conditions.

LINKS TO MORE INFORMATION

  • USDA Climate Hubs
    Our new national and regional websites are designed to ensure that stakeholders from around the Nation can quickly and easily find the information they need to manage climate change risks and ensure the resilience of their production systems.
  • Northern Plains Climate Hub
    The Northern Plains Climate Hub, which serves Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota, delivers science-based knowledge, practical information, management & conservation strategies, and decision tools to farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners with the goal of helping them adapt to weather variability and changing climatic conditions.
  • National Farmers Union’s Climate Column
  • Nebraska Farmers Union
    Nebraska Farmers Union members approved five top priorities for 2018 at their last state convention. These Special Orders of Business include: Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) and Net Metering: The members of the Nebraska Farmers Union support an increase of the maximum guaranteed access level for net-metering from 25 kilowatts to 100 kilowatts.  Secondly, the members support changing and updating current state law to allow single owners the option of aggregating their multiple meters for the purpose of net metering.
  • The Nebraska State Climate Office (NSCO) is an organization dedicated to delivering science-based climate services at the local and state level. NSCO’s focus is on weather and climate monitoring, climate services, and stakeholder engagement. NSCO’s office includes operation of the Nebraska Mesonet, a state-wide weather observation network with nearly 70 locations across Nebraska that assess local conditions.

NSCO’s Links to More Information

ADDITIONAL PUBLICATIONS OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

FEATURED YOUTH CLIMATE ACTION: OUR CHILDREN’S TRUST
Our Children’s Trust elevates the voice of youth to secure the legal right to a stable climate and healthy atmosphere for the benefit of all present and future generations. Through our programs, youth participate in advocacy, public education and civic engagement to ensure the viability of all natural systems in accordance with science. 

Our mission is to protect earth’s atmosphere and natural systems for present and future generations. We lead a game-changing legal campaign seeking systemic, science-based emissions reductions and climate recovery policy at all levels of government. We give young people, those with most at stake in the climate crisis, a voice to favorably impact their futures.

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RECOMMENDED BOOK

Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming
By Paul Hawken  (Editor), Tom Steyer (Foreword)

The 100 most substantive solutions to reverse global warming, based on meticulous
research by leading scientists and policymakers around the world.

New Wind Farm Activity In Missouri Shows How States Can Leapfrog Over Natural Gas

By Tina Casey, CleanTechnica

Natural gas has been the fuel of choice to replace the aging fleet of coal power plants in the US, but lately renewables have been flexing their muscles, too. In the latest development, the energy company Ameren is counting on the acquisition of a new 400-megawatt wind farm in Missouri to help fill the void left by a slew of upcoming coal power plant retirements.
Click here to read more.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING & LISTENING

Microgrids for Social Justice, Cities, Schools and Even Furniture