Tag Archives: green banks

How infrastructure is banking on green banks

By Heather Clancy, Editorial Director, GreenBiz Group

Quick, what do Alaska, Maine and South Carolina have in common? 

All three U.S. states are seriously evaluating the creation of green banks — financing institutions created with the explicit mission of combining public and private funds to invest in climate solutions and green infrastructure. They would join roughly 20 other U.S. jurisdictions that have used this mechanism to drive more than $5 billion in clean energy investments as of the end of 2019, including Connecticut, Florida, Michigan and Washington, D.C. 

Alaska is so invested in the idea that Rep. Don Young, a Republican who championed Deb Haaland’s nomination as Interior Secretary, last week stepped across the aisle again to become a co-sponsor of the latest legislation to create a national-level green bank. The bill would make $100 billion of public funds available for a nonprofit organization that would provide financing and other support to regional, state and local green banks — an amount the sponsors say could catalyze $884 billion in green infrastructure investments over the next decade and help create 4 million clean economy jobs within the next four years. Continue reading here.

LINKS TO MORE INFORMATION

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

Illinois energy bill proposes ‘green bank’ as national movement builds

By Kari Lydersen, Energy News Network

Illinois would get a “green bank” to finance equity-focused clean energy investments under the latest version of the Clean Energy Jobs Act pending in the state legislature. If the proposal passes, Illinois would join more than a dozen states including Florida, New York and Connecticut that use publicly funded green banks to leverage private investment for renewables, energy efficiency and other projects, especially in communities that have been underrepresented in the clean energy economy.  The state-level proposal comes as a federal bill with bipartisan support would create a national green bank — dubbed the Clean Energy Accelerator —  that would work in tandem with state banks. Continue reading here.

Photo by Jim Bowen / Creative Commons

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

FEATURED STUDY

Recognition of and response to energy poverty in the United States, Nature Energy

Abstract
A household is energy poor when they cannot meet energy needs. Despite its prevalence, the US has not formally recognized energy poverty as a problem distinct from general poverty at the federal level, which limits effective responses. In this review, the authors examine the measurement and evaluative metrics used by the two federally-funded energy programs focused on reducing high energy bills to understand how program eligibility requirements and congressional funding appropriations have shaped the national understanding and implementation of energy poverty assistance. We find that current measurement and evaluative metrics hinge on the distribution of government resources and the number of vulnerable households assisted, rather than improving household well-being and reducing overall energy poverty.

SOLAR+STORAGE GUIDE

Understanding Solar+Storage: Answers to Commonly Asked Questions About Solar PV and Battery Storage, Clean Energy Group Publication

The guide is informed by more than six years of experience through Clean Energy Group’s work with property owners, developers, nonprofits, and communities to advance solar+storage in underserved communities. The questions and topic areas addressed in the guide are based on feedback from nearly one hundred stakeholders who submitted questions about solar+storage.

The information presented in the guide focuses primarily on customer-sited, behind-the-meter solar+storage installations, though much of the information is relevant to other types of projects as well, including storage-only projects and front-of-the-meter solar+storage projects. It is meant to serve as a starting point to establish a foundation of knowledge and understanding for individuals and organizations beginning to explore solar+storage options for their homes, businesses, or community facilities.

A Spanish-language version of this guide is available here.

SOLAR SCHOOLS

NYC installing solar at nearly 50 public schools, other facilities, PV Magazine
The 22 MW of solar projects are expected to include some energy storage systems and help New York City and the state meet sustainability goals.

ELECTRIC MACHINES & VEHICLES

AFFORDABLE ELECTRIC SCHOOL BUSES 

Report: Accelerating The Transition To Electric School Buses: How schools, lawmakers, and utilities can work together to speed the transition to zero emission buses. Released by the U.S. PIRG Education Fund.

The vast majority of school buses in the United States run on diesel, a fossil fuel that has been shown to cause numerous health problems, including asthma, bronchitis, and cancer. Diesel exhaust is also a greenhouse gas, which contributes to climate change.

However, there is an alternative: zero-emission battery electric school buses. The technology is here, and electric school buses are ready to roll, but the question remains: how do schools pay for them? While electric buses can save schools money over the lifespan of the bus, the initial price tag of a new electric bus can turn many schools off to the idea of electrification.

Particularly promising options are vehicle-to-grid technology and Pay-As-You-Save (PAYS) programs. By pairing them, “each electric bus could save school districts up to $130,000 per electric bus.”

Download the Report.

FEATURED LEGAL ACTION

Midwest Renewable Energy Association Files Lawsuit to Open Solar and Other Clean Energy Opportunities for Wisconsinites, Earthjustice News Release

STEVENS POINT, WI — The Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) filed a lawsuit in Wisconsin Circuit Court to remove barriers preventing Wisconsinites from accessing the benefits of local clean energy development. MREA’s filing asks the court to ensure that the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) sticks to regulating monopoly utility companies and does not illegally interfere with competitive clean energy alternatives for Wisconsin families and businesses.

MREA’s lawsuit specifically challenges two unlawful policies that stifle Wisconsin’s clean energy economy. First, MREA challenges guidance documents from the PSCW that preclude financing options available in most other states where solar energy is more affordable. MREA also challenges a PSCW order that unlawfully prohibits Wisconsin homes and businesses from utilizing market incentives to reduce their power consumption during peak hours and thereby reduce power costs for everyone.

About Earthjustice

Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit public interest environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change.

About The Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA)

The Midwest Renewable Energy Association promotes renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable living through education and demonstration.Together with partners around the Midwest, we work to expand renewable energy adoption through innovative programs, renewable energy training, and educational events. MREA is a nonprofit organization.

Could a Michigan green bank offer a blueprint for Biden’s green recovery?

By Tom Perkins, Energy News Network

As President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team prepares its green economic recovery plan, a Michigan clean energy finance program could provide a bipartisan model for how to spur energy savings and job growth. Biden has already proposed a national green bank as part of his $2 trillion plan to achieve carbon neutrality by the middle of the century. The initiative would provide capital to help finance projects such as rooftop solar panels, electric vehicle charging stations, weatherization and building efficiency upgrades. Similar programs exist in about a dozen states, and among the oldest and most effective is Michigan Saves. As President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team prepares its green economic recovery plan, a Michigan clean energy finance program could provide a bipartisan model for how to spur energy savings and job growth. Continue reading here.

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

MACRO GRIDS

Report: U.S. trails other countries in building macro grids for moving, sharing electricity, Iowa State University News Service

AMES, Iowa – Countries around the world are well ahead of the United States in planning and building “macro grids” capable of moving electricity from one grid or distant geographic region to another, according to a new report authored by an Iowa State University engineer and a former doctoral student.

RECYCLING OLD WIND TURBINE BLADES

Cement production to use old wind turbine blades after GE inks new deal, CNBC
GE Renewable Energy and Veolia North America (VNA) have signed a “multi-year agreement” to recycle blades removed from onshore wind turbines in the United States. In an announcement Tuesday, GE Renewable Energy said the blades would be shredded at a VNA site in Missouri before being “used as a replacement for coal, sand and clay at cement manufacturing facilities across the U.S.”

REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE

Nestlé digs deeper into regenerative ag, puts $3.6B behind net-zero plan, GreenBiz
Almost one-third of the money that Nestlé intends to invest will be dedicated to cultivating regenerative agricultural practices that improve soil health and reduce dependence on synthetic fertilizer across 500,000-plus farms from which Nestlé sources ingredients. Nestlé intends to pay those farmers, as well as 150,000 other ingredient suppliers, a premium for adopting these techniques in a verifiable way.

New Offshore Wind Turbine Can Power a Home for a Day in Just 7 Seconds

By John Rogers, Senior Energy Analyst, Union of Concerned Scientists

The first large-scale offshore wind farm in the United States may use the largest wind turbine in the world. Here are a few ways to think about what all that might mean. The developers of the Vineyard Wind project off Massachusetts have just announced that they’ll be using GE wind turbines—specifically, the GE Haliade-X. That turbine recently got a capacity upgrade, from a world-leading 12 megawatts (MW) to a world-leading-by-even-more 13 MW. Those developments got me thinking about both the turbine and the project. Read more here.

Additional Recommended Reading

President-Elect Biden Must Prioritize Coal Communities—and Here’s How, by Jeremy Richardson, Senior Energy Analyst, Union of Concerned Scientists

CIVILIAN CLIMATE CORPS

The Energy 202: Young people want to do something about climate change. Biden may have an answer, by Dino Grandoni, with Alexandra Ellerbeck, Washington Post

During the campaign, Biden called for mobilizing “the next generation of conservation and resilience workers through a Civilian Climate Corps.” Now Biden’s allies are beginning to think about what exactly such a program will look like as he prepares to take office next month.

GTM’S POLITICAL CLIMATE PODCAST

‘The Landscape Has Shifted’: Neil Chatterjee on FERC’s Role in the Energy Transition, by Julia Pyper, Greentech Media


In this episode of Political Climate, we speak to FERC Commissioner Neil Chatterjee about several of the agency’s recent rulemakings, past controversies and his outlook for the future of U.S. energy policy in today’s shifting political landscape.

 

GREEN BANKS

Green bank advocates hope Biden win can help reinvigorate idea in Minnesota, by Frank Jossi, Energy News Network

The coalition suggested that a bank with $100 million in capital could create as many as 15,000 jobs in Minnesota. Fifteen green banks operate in 12 states and have financed $5 billion in energy investments, returning more than $3.60 for every $1 spent, the report says. Most green banks operate on the coasts, with Michigan Saves being the only one in the Midwest. Ohio and Missouri have begun exploring the concept.

Coalition for Green Capital Report:  A Green Recovery For Minnesota: Job Creation, Environmental Justice, and Clean Energy

GOOGLE

Google calls for more RTOs, designs ‘intelligent platform’ to meet 24/7 clean energy goal, by Emma Penrod, Utility Dive

Achieving Google’s new 24/7 clean energy goal will require both the adoption of new technologies, and new purchasing options, the company’s head of global energy markets and policy said Thursday on a National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) panel. Eighty percent of offsite corporate procurement takes place in regions with access to competitive wholesale markets, according to Bryn Baker, director of policy innovation at the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance.

Previously Posted

SELLING ENERGY EFFICIENCY + SOLAR AS A PACKAGE

POWERHOME SOLAR Named Silver Honoree In Inc.’s Best In Business Awards, PR Newswire
POWERHOME SOLAR is an energy efficiency company that provides high-quality American-made solar panels as part of a complete energy-savings package for residential customers. The company launched in 2014 in Mooresville, N.C., and today has nearly 1,700 employees, including a commercial division. Operating in 10 states, it is ranked No. 255 on the 2020 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America — the third time in four years that the company has made the top 300 on this prestigious list. 

ENERGY STAR

ENERGY STAR® is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency, providing simple, credible, and unbiased information that consumers rely on to make well-informed decisions. Click here to find ways to save at home.

PV RECYCLING – AN ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY

Solar panel recycling in the US — a looming issue that could harm industry growth and reputation, PV Magazine

According to a 2016 report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the economic benefits of a U.S. circular economy could be around $135.3 million in 2020, $1.4 billion by 2030, and $10.1 billion by 2050. “Economic multipliers would significantly increase these amounts,” said Vanderhoof.

LETTER TO EV BUYERS

Letter to a Friend Buying an Electric Car, by Joe Wachunas, CleanTechnica
Two friends recently bought electric cars for their families after thinking about it for a long time. Beyond wanting to congratulate them, and click my heels together like Gene Kelly in Singing in the Rain, I felt the need to describe, in detail, just how big a deal this EV purchase is, beyond platitudes like “EVs are so amazing for the world.” So I wrote them a letter.

About Joe Wachunas
Joe Wachunas lives in Portland, Oregon, and works for the nonprofit Forth, which promotes electric transportation. He is also involved with Electrify Now because he believes that electrifying everything, from transportation to homes, is the quickest path to an equitable, clean energy future. And of course, Joe and his family live in an all-electric home and drive an EV.

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.

Beginning of the End for New Oil and Gas Pipelines?

By Julia Pyper, Senior Editor, Greentech Media

On this week’s episode of Political Climate, we dig deeper into the pipeline project defeats and their implications for the energy sector in an interview with Steven Mufson, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter covering the business of climate change for The Washington Post. Steven Mufson joined the Washington Post in 1989. This year, he shared the Pulitzer Prize for the climate change series “2C: Beyond the Limit.” He’s also the author of “Keystone XL: Down the Line.”
Read more here.

NEW DELOITTE REPORT

Deloitte: Energy Management – Paused by Pandemic, but Poised to Prevail, PR Newswire
Deloitte’s 2020 Resources Study, “Energy Management: Paused by Pandemic, but Poised to Prevail,” found that despite the pandemic — and maybe in part because of it — progress in efforts to manage energy use, reduce carbon emissions and address climate change will likely continue and even potentially accelerate in the longer term.

“If there were any sort of ‘silver lining’ to the disruption created by COVID-19, it may be that it seems to have acted as a clean energy accelerator, which the current recession will likely not deter. Over the last 10 years we’ve seen a shift in energy attitudes, preferences and pressure gradually trend toward greater climate consciousness, but these past several months of isolation seem to have strengthened and propelled that momentum further.” Marlene Motyka, principal, U.S and global renewable energy leader, Deloitte Transactions and Business Analytics LLP

GRAIN BELT EXPRESS

Grain Belt Express Transmission Line Wins Key Legal and Policy Battles in Missouri, Greentech Media. Court approves Invenergy’s purchase of $2.3 billion transmission project, which would carry 4 gigawatts of Midwest wind power to PJM’s grid.

MORE MULTIPLE GIGAWATTS OF RENEWABLE ENERGY  

MINI GREEN BONDS

Connecticut green bonds offer residents a chance to fund war on climate change, by Lisa Prevost, Energy News Network

The Connecticut Green Bank is offering residents a new way to personally invest in projects that confront climate change: mini green bonds. This month the bank will bring to market about $16 million in what it is calling Green Liberty Bonds. The bonds will have a $1,000 face value, an uncommonly low denomination that is intended to make them broadly accessible. 

The Connecticut Green Bank, the nation’s first, works with private-sector investors to provide financing for clean energy projects, including solar and efficiency upgrades in residential, commercial and municipal buildings. As of the end of fiscal year 2019, they had leveraged about $260 million in ratepayer funds to attract another $1.4 billion in private investment in green energy in Connecticut, according to their financial statements.

LEGAL ACTION AGAINST DISCRIMINATORY ROOFTOP SOLAR CUSTOMER RATES

Climate groups take legal action against Arizona utility for raising rooftop solar customer rates, Solar Power World. Five climate and energy-conservation groups took legal action in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to challenge an Arizona public power utility’s discrimination against rooftop-solar customers. The Salt River Project, a public power utility in Arizona, raised electricity rates for rooftop-solar customers by 60%.

ENERGY STORAGE

US sodium-ion battery developer raises $35M as storage investment surges, PV Magazine
Startup Natron Energy is building a battery using Prussian blue analogue electrodes and a sodium-ion electrolyte. Investors include ABB Technology Ventures, NanoDimension Capital, Volta Energy Technologies, Chevron, Khosla Ventures, and Prelude Ventures.

EV NEWS

  • Tesla CyberVan — Gigantic Untapped Potential, by Jesper Berggreen, CleanTechnica
    The crude and simplified manufacturing process of the CyberTruck would make the manufacturing transition of CyberVans extremely easy, and diversity would be the next step. The customer base is enormous. Think camper vans, small business contractors, big business fleets, minibuses, haulers, safari vehicles — heck, even new categories like high-speed-desert-limousines, and the list goes on and on. Any van you can think of — and have not yet thought of — today can be made on the same platform, the super tough and super cheap CyberVan shape-shifter platform.
  • Volkswagen & Porsche Push Ahead With Converting Factories To Make EVs, CleanTechnica Volkswagen Group is walking the walk when it comes to being part of the EV revolution. While other manufacturers are promising some plug-in hybrids and a few battery electric vehicles some day in the not too distant future, God willing and the creek don’t rise, Volkswagen has finished converting its factory in Zwickau to build only electric cars and has begun doing the same at its Emden facility. Meanwhile, Porsche has begun the same transition at its factory in Leipzig.

IOWA SOLAR SCHOOLS

Rural Siouxland schools district switches to solar energy, Siouxland Proud / KCAU
“One of the challenges for schools is being able to find enough general fund dollars to run the school as effectively as possible, and we think by saving energy costs that would then allow us to be able to do things that would more greatly benefit kids than just paying for utilities,” Superintendent Dan Barkel said.

FEATURED OPINION

Elon Musk Is Ludicrously Rich Because He’s Not Focused On Making Money, by Zachary Shahan, CleanTechnica Director, Chief Editor and CEO. CleanTechnica Note: This is definitely not investment advice and we do not offer any sort of investment advice here on CleanTechnica. 

Historic-low interest rates will power ahead astonishing solar cost reductions

By Max Hall, PV Magazine USA

U.S.-based energy transition thinktank the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (Ieefa) has taken a swipe at intergovernmental peer the International Energy Agency (IEA) over the latter’s prediction the Covid-19 crisis will slow the dramatic cost reductions achieved by the solar industry.

Positing the argument that the final cost of solar energy depends on solar resource, the capital cost of generation facilities and the rate of return on finance, Ieefa’s Tim Buckley pointed out PV projects have continued to be deployed at scale during the global health crisis as finance interest rates have plunged to historic lows because central banks are attempting to propel all types of economic investment during the current shock. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Greg Roose /  Pixabay

Previously Posted
Overbuilding solar at up to 4 times peak load yields a least-cost all-renewables grid, PV Magazine. The global energy firm Wartsila found a least-cost renewables mix for the U.S. that involves overbuilding renewable capacity, but requires no seasonal storage, and needs only four to ten days of multi-day storage capacity. The analysis modeled meeting current uses of electricity, based on projected technology costs for 2030.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING 

Plunging Renewable Energy Prices Mean U.S. Can Hit 90% Clean Electricity By 2035 – At No Extra Cost, Forbes. Because renewable energy prices have fallen so fast, they are now cost-competitive in all regions of the U.S., and only require modest upgrades to long-distance transmission lines, with significant “spur line” investments that avoid crossing multiple communities and states, only adding 0.2 cents/kWh to total system costs.

GREEN BONDS

What you need to know to take advantage of the green bond revolution, contributed article, PV Magazine. Green bonds have experienced rapid growth since their inception in 2007, and participants in the solar energy industry stand to benefit. In 2019, issuers launched over US$250 billion in green bonds offerings, representing 51% growth year over year.

MISSOURI CITIES’ CLIMATE ACTION

Missouri cities shine on the national climate action stage, Smart Cities Dive guest post by Ashok Gupta, senior energy economist at NRDC.

GREEN CAMPUSES

STUDY OF DUSTY SOLAR PANELS’ EFFICIENCY LOSS

CARBON-FREE SHIPPING

Sailing Towards A Low-Emissions Future, Forbes
In December 2019, a coalition of shipping owners, encompassing 90 percent of the world’s merchant fleet, announced plans for a $5 billion research and development fund to accelerate the most promising ideas, from carbon-free fuels to carbon-free ships by the early 2030s.

Industry Vows to Continue Fight for Pro-Solar Policies, Despite Missed Opportunity This Year

SEIA News Release 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today Congress and the White House were unable to agree on including an extension of the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) in an end of year tax package, meaning the credit will decrease at the end of this year. The measure also failed to include energy storage in the ITC. This represents a missed opportunity to take an achievable step to boost the economy, add jobs and reduce carbon emissions.

Following is a statement from Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association on this development: 

“While I’m disappointed by this missed opportunity to boost the U.S. economy and jobs, and tackle climate change, I’m heartened that voter support for clean energy policies is at an all-time high. The solar ITC is a proven way to generate tens of billions of dollars in private investment each year, while substantially reducing carbon emissions. We will look for opportunities next year to again engage our incredibly supportive solar community and work with Congress on clean energy policies that work for all Americans.” Read the entire news release here.

Additional Recommended Reading

New money: Green banks and green bonds are bringing billions to utilities for the energy transition

By Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive

Hundreds of billions of dollars in untapped new money can finance the U.S. power system’s transition away from legacy fossil assets to renewables and distributed generation. Utilities like Duke Energy and Xcel Energy have issued billions in green bonds to fund renewables development. Green banks in New York, Connecticut and other states are backing investments in distributed resources and energy efficiency. It appears much more institutional money wants in on the green opportunity. Congress is considering proposals for a National green bank, which can help propel the energy transition if it can win the acceptance that major utilities told Utility Dive it deserves. Read more here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

MIDWEST SOLAR ADVOCACY STORIES

From green-minded business owners to political activists: an industry shift in the Midwest, Solar Power World. For many Midwest solar companies, taking on advocacy roles in an industry just getting off the ground has been a necessary responsibility. Here is a look at solar policy in three Midwest states and how local solar installers have taken matters into their own hands.

CLIMATE ACTION GOALS & PROGRESS

MORE EV NEWS

MORE INDUSTRY NEWS

  • Secretive energy startup backed by Bill Gates achieves solar breakthrough, CNN
    Heliogen, a clean energy company that emerged from stealth mode on Tuesday, said it has discovered a way to use artificial intelligence and a field of mirrors to reflect so much sunlight that it generates extreme heat above 1,000 degrees Celsius. The breakthrough means that, for the first time, concentrated solar energy can be used to create the extreme heat required to make cement, steel, glass and other industrial processes. In other words, carbon-free sunlight can replace fossil fuels in a heavy carbon-emitting corner of the economy that has been untouched by the clean energy revolution.
  • Old dog solar panel manufacturer, Panasonic, learning new home storage tricks, PV Magazine
    Panasonic recently launched their EverVolt home energy storage system, with an AC and DC coupled unit that easily can scale up to 34 kWh and, when coupled with their HIT solar modules, can power your home indefinitely if the grid goes down.
  • Target in energy milestone — ahead of schedule, Chain Store Age
    During the past five years, Target has installed more solar systems than any other company, according to data from SEIA’s Solar Means Business report. The chain is also a four-time Energy Star Partner of the Year. 
  • Wind output to jump 37% because of climate shift — study, E&E News

FEATURED GREEN CAMPUS

Award spotlights UI’s energy efforts, Champaign/Urbana News- Gazette
Five years after it opened, the $98 million Electrical and Computer Engineering Building at the University of Illinois has been awarded “platinum” certification under the LEED environmental rating system. Designed to someday be a “net zero” energy user, the building has a $3 million rooftop solar array with 950 panels that generate renewable electricity for the building and, on sunny days, contribute to the campus-wide power grid. The building also uses power from campus solar farms.

TRACKING THE SUN REPORT

US Solar Panel Prices Continue Dropping, Solar+Storage Increasing — Tracking The Sun Report, CleanTechnica. Tracking the Sun (PDF) is an annual report from Berkeley Lab on installed solar panel prices and other trends among grid-connected, distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in the United States.

SOLINATOR VIDEO

US Green Bank Act of 2019 Introduced in House; Companion to Recent Senate Bill

Coalition for Green Capital News Release


US Representatives Jim Himes (D-CT) and 13 colleagues have introduced the US Green Bank Act of 2019, companion to a recent Senate bill of the same name introduced in May. The introduction builds momentum for the Green Bank proposal and demonstrates a broad base of support. Like the Senate bill, the new bill establishes a US Green Bank. Green Banks are institutions that seek to achieve the greatest possible greenhouse gas reduction impact while reducing consumer energy costs. They achieve this by investing public dollars in ways that mobilize additional private capital. Continue reading here. 

For more information on the US Green Bank Act of 2019, see Representative Himes’ StatementSenator Murphy’s Statement on the Senate bill, and CGC’s Bill Summary. For more information on existing US Green Banks, see the American Green Bank Consortium’s Annual Industry Report.

About  CGC
The Coalition for Green Capital (CGC) is a non-profit organization focused on accelerating the growth of clean energy through the creation of Green Banks. CGC offers a unique and proven capacity as the leading creator, advocate, and expert on Green Banks since 2009 and works directly to support the formation of Green Banks with governmental and civil society partners. CGC also provides on-going consulting and guidance to operating Green Banks.