Widespread deployment of EVs, heat pumps, and other electric technologies could increase U.S. electricity consumption by nearly 40 percent by mid-century, according to a new government report. The report, the second in the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Electrification Futures Study series, analyzes the demand-side impacts of a transition to electricity in transportation, residential and commercial buildings, and industry through 2050. Read morehere.
ENERGY STORAGE NEWS
9 out of 10 doctors recommend residential solar+storage, PV Magazine GTM Research projects that residential batteries and other energy storage systems will be coupled with solar in 9 of 10 storage deployments by 2023. Additionally, the firm projects that residential solar power costs will fall below $2/W by this date.
Declining Battery Storage Costs Raise Questions About the Role of Natural Gas, Clean Energy Group. There are more than 1,000 peakers currently in operation across the U.S. Most of these are powered by natural gas, and many of them are located in communities already burdened by poor air quality and public health issues. Because peak events often don’t last very long, typically no more than a few hours, batteries are well-suited to step in as a peak demand resource (they’re already being widely deployed to manage customer peak demand).
Solar Is at the Forefront of Corporate Advertising, Solar Energy Industries Association Think solar isn’t popular? Just turn on your TV! Solar energy has taken over media campaigns in the past decade as many companies are looking to build a more sustainable brand. The rise in popularity of solar power and renewables has driven these organizations to make clean energy the centerpiece in multi-million dollar advertising campaigns.
ALEDO, Illinois — A Nebraska company is looking to expand its renewable energy capabilities into the Quad Cities area. The company, Bluestem Energy Solutions reached out to city leaders in Aledo, Illinois to explore the possibility of installing a wind or solar farm in the area. According to Chicago Tribune, new state requirements and incentives have peaked the interest in renewable energy developers. Read morehere.
Photo Credit: Bluestem Energy Solutions
The Illinois’ Future Energy Jobs Act, now in effect, is an outstanding, innovative clean energy initiative that will likely attract the attention of more and more renewable energy developers in the months and years ahead.
The Act Will:
Substantially expand energy efficiency programs to drive customer savings and also expand options for commercial, industrial, and low-income customers.
Commit up to $750 millionfor low-income communities to save money and help them benefit from clean energy.
Protect 4,200 jobs and preserve $1.2 billion in economic activity annually.
Strengthen and expand the Renewable Portfolio Standard to ensure stable, predictable funding for renewable development, providing $180M per year – growing to $220M per
year – in funding for renewable resources, including new wind power, large-scale solar power, and rooftop and community solar.
Position Illinois as a leader in zero-carbon electricity.
Provide job training and create thousands of clean energy jobs in energy efficiency, energy innovation, and renewable power industries.
Protect consumers through a 25-cent monthly cost impact cap for residential customers through 2030 and a 1.3% cap for business customers.
It’s rare to see millennials attending a PUC hearing, or even someone not on the payroll of an organization involved in the process. But administrative law judge Ann O’Reilly accepted the argument by Youth Climate Intervenors that their generation will disproportionately feel the burden of climate change.
“In a landmark decision she granted us standing,” said Akilah Sanders-Reed, the 23-year-old who founded the group. “She acknowledged we (young people) had a stake in it and that we deserved a seat at the table. What that means is that the Youth Climate Intervenors have the same rights in that courtroom as Enbridge Energy does.” Read more here.
ALSO IN THE NEWS
Solar costs to fall 60% over the next decade: The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) forecasts as much as 90 GW of new solar additions annually across the globe over the next few years, driving a 60% reduction in costs, PV Magazine
Energy efficiency as a resource: The power of getting more from less, Utility Dive Guest Opinion by Ryan Katofsky, vice president, industry analysis, at national business group Advanced Energy Economy. This is the third in a 7-part series from AEE that addresses how the power sector can successfully transition to a 21st Century Electricity System.
The array would cover up to 150 acres of city property, including Lunken Airport, and help power things like the police department and City Hall. City officials hope to transition to 100% renewable energy by 2035. Read more here.
“We wanted to highlight our partnership with OPPD and show how we can work together.” – Kathy Carroll, vice president of Administration and Finance
The college has updated its electrical system over the last three years . . . Buildings on campus are making the switch to LED lighting, and geothermal cooling and heating was installed in the Jindra Fine Arts building in 2003 and the T.J. Majors building in 2016. Delzell Hall and the Theatre are under renovation and geothermal installations are part of that process. The college recently installed energy metering on their electricity, gas, steam and chilled water services to benchmark usage and determine how to maximize efficiency. So far, these efficiency efforts have resulted in more than $25,000 in rebates from OPPD. Read more here.
IOWA CITY — A newIowa Policy Project report claims Iowa’s electricity prices, which are lower than the national average, can be attributed to the state’s growing wind industry.
David Osterberg, a professor in the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of Iowa and Iowa Policy Project’s lead environmental researcher, said energy price data finds the cost per kilowatt-hour in Iowa remains lower than the national average and that the gap has been increasing. Click here to read more.
Photo: Travis Bryant of Springville (left) and Matthew Graves of Tipton begin work to replace batteries in the turbine hub of Kirkwood Community College’s wind program lab on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. Students in the second year in the Energy Production and Distribution Technologies program train on direct replacements for a wind turbine hub and nacelle. Credit: Liz Martin / The Gazette
The committee, which will be open to SEIA’s Kilowatt Plus-level members and above, will focus on all solar market segments in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. These seven states installed dramatically more solar capacity in 2016 than they did in 2015, and GTM Research projects that these states will install more than 1 gigawatt of capacity by 2021, up from 73 megawatts in 2015. Read the entire media release here.
By Benjamin Peters, The Missouri Times KCP&L was the first utility in the country to own and operate a commercial-scale wind facility in the state of Kansas. They’ve also continued looking into methods of harnessing solar energy, and partnered with the Kansas City Royals to place a 120-panel solar system at Kauffman Stadium. KCP&L also signed a 10-year agreement to buy renewable energy from Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District’s three hydroelectric plants, the first addition of hydro power to their energy mix. Ameren Missouri currently operates three hydroelectric energy centers. Ameren Missouri has also explored a number of energy alternatives and recently received the green light by the Missouri Public Service Commission to begin their pilot program on solar energy. Read more.
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING / LISTENING
State senators: Nebraska needs to act on climate change (AUDIO), by Brent Martin, Nebraska Radio Network
State lawmakers serving on a special legislative committee say Nebraska needs to adopt a state climate action plan. Sen. Tyson Larson of O’Neill, co-chair of the committee, says he wants to see the committee re-authorize so it can pursue recommendations finalized just prior to the legislative session. “In terms of our recommendations for legislation, I think members of this committee or the legislature will see pieces of legislation that are affecting these things,” Larson tells reporters during a news conference at the Capitol.
Nebraska is making another stride on efficiency, launching an initiative to measure – and eventually reduce – the energy used in buildings throughout the state. Last month, the federal Department of Energy preliminarily awarded the Nebraska Energy Office $300,000 to begin benchmarking energy use in all 3,762 state-owned buildings. The work is expected to get underway by early 2017. While the project will begin with state-owned buildings, David Bracht doesn’t necessarily see it stopping there. He directs the Nebraska Energy Office, which will manage the use of the federal funds. As a second step, he anticipates “developing an energy performance benchmarking policy that we can offer to local governments to encourage their improvement in energy efficiency as well.” Click to continue reading.
Photo by joevare / Creative Commons. Interior of the state capitol building in Lincoln, Nebraska.