By Umair Irfan, Vox
This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.
The University of California system, which educates more than 280,000 students and employs 227,000 faculty and staff, announced late Tuesday it is divesting from fossil fuels. It’s the single largest action to date in the growing movement of institutions withdrawing their financial stakes in the industry that’s the principal driver of climate change. “We believe hanging on to fossil fuel assets is a financial risk,” wrote Jagdeep Singh Bachher, the UC’s chief investment officer, and Richard Sherman, chair of the UC Board of Regents’ Investments Committee, in an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times. By the end of September, the UC’s $70 billion pension fund and $13.4 billion endowment will no longer hold any stakes in companies involved with extracting fossil fuels. Read more here.
- Study Warns that Gas Plants Could become Stranded Assets, Microgrid Knowledge
Utilities, investors and regulators should stop the rush to natural gas and choose clean energy portfolios (CEP) made up of combinations of solar, wind, storage, efficiency and demand response, warns a new report from the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). If they don’t, many gas plants will become stranded assets, raising the specter that ratepayers will have to pay for them, said Chaz Teplin, a manager in RMI’s electricity practice. “We’re hoping that regulators, utilities and investors think really hard about whether new gas plants are wise investments,” said Teplin.
- Previously Posted: The growing concern over stranded assets, GreenBiz
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
- A proposal known as ‘Clean Energy First’ could play a big role in how Minnesota responds to climate change, MinnPost. The policy, which has been championed by clean energy advocacy groups, would make it tougher for power companies to add new fossil fuel energy sources. And unlike the 2050 plan proposed by Gov. Tim Walz, the basic premise of Clean Energy First has the support of Democrats and a sizable chunk of Republicans.
- Virginia governor sets renewable energy goal of 100 percent by 2050, PBS News Hour
- SF approves legislation requiring renewable electricity sources for commercial buildings, San Francisco Chronicle. The ordinance requires the city’s largest buildings, more than 500,000 square feet, to rely fully on renewable electricity by 2022. In 2024, buildings larger than 50,000 square feet will have to start converting to renewable electricity. The goal is to have all those buildings using renewable electricity by 2030.
- Kansas Mixed-Use Development May Become Largest in Nation to be Powered by 100% Renewable Energy, Energy Manager Today
- Wind energy expansion in S.D. to bring 888 more turbines, $3.3 billion investment, Rapid City Journal
- Couple: Wind turbines will help some farmers hold on to their land, Joplin Globe
- Pennsylvania’s largest solar energy project to help fuel Penn State for 25 years, The Daily Collegian
- Ikea just invested in two giant solar farms, Fast Company
It’s all part of the furniture company’s plan to go carbon-negative.
- RE100: Alongside Swiss Re, IKEA Group is a founding partner of the RE100 campaign. To date, 194 RE100 companies have made a commitment to go ‘100% renewable’.
MORE ON CORPORATE RENEWABLE ENERGY PROCUREMENT
- Corporations Drive Greater Share of US Solar Procurements, Greentech Media
Growth in corporate deals a “particularly striking” trend, as Wood Mackenzie outlines record-high U.S. utility-scale solar pipeline.
- Fitch sees a decade of corporate wind and solar power procurement growth, PV Magazine
Fitch Solutions projects U.S. wind and solar capacity growth to average 3.9% and 7.9% between 2022 and 2028, respectively, but also expect these values to expand as more corporate groups get on board with sustainability goals. Solar is projected to deploy nearly 120 GW to corporate entities in the period.
THE TERRATON PROJECT
Mission: Remove a trillion tons of carbon from the atmosphere, GreenBiz
The Terraton Initiative embodies one specific goal — to remove 1 trillion metric tons of carbon from Earth’s atmosphere. Indigo Agriculture, an agricultural technology company based in Massachusetts, founded and runs the project.
GLOBAL ENERGY STORAGE REPORTS
Nothing standing in the way of energy storage’s ‘explosive growth’: Navigant, Utility Dive
“Nothing really does seem to be standing in the way of its explosive growth,” Ricardo Rodriguez, research analyst for distributed energy storage at Navigant Research, told Utility Dive. The market research company in its latest report identified close to 2,100 energy storage projects globally. And international storage markets are anticipated to grow exponentially over the next decade, a second report from Rethink Technology Research found.