It’s a story of stunning progress and staggering challenges. Some of the first corporations to make climate commitments have found that clean energy saves them money wherever they can find it, but often they can’t find it where they need it most.
Mars Corporation, for example, has signed power purchase agreements with wind farms in Texas, Mexico and Scotland and with a solar farm in Australia. In each case, the agreement covers 100 percent of the power demand for the direct operations of a Mars facility. Continue reading here.
Photo by Mars Corporation: Mars candies and pet foods are powered in part by the Moy Wind Farm in Scotland.
To date, 158 RE100 companies have made a commitment to go ‘100% renewable’. Read about the actions they are taking and why here.
Cop24 live blog PV Magazine’s Max Hall will be pounding the vast spaces of the COP24 venue in Katowice to bring you the latest developments in Poland and trying to shine a light on solar’s presence here.
NEW INVESTMENT ALLIANCE
The U.S. Alliance for Sustainable Finance (USASF), based in New York City, will work to encourage more climate-friendly and sustainable finance innovation across the U.S. capital markets. This initiative brings together private sector actors in line with the aim of meeting the United States’ targets of the Paris Agreement.
Most Americans in Coal-Reliant States Prefer Renewables, CBS News, Posted on Real Clean Energy. A large majority of Americans in coal-heavy states favor increasing renewable energy use. Most would also be willing to buy solar panels for their own use, and a plurality would be willing to pay an additional $5 a month to get energy from fully renewable sources, according to a survey from Consumer Reports
China may raise 2020 solar target to over 200 GW, PV Magazine. The target of 105 GW of cumulative installed photovoltaic power, which was originally planned to be achieved by the end of the decade, has already been surpassed. PV Info Link now reports that the 2020 solar target may revised upwards to between 210 GW and 270 GW.
[Green] bonds were the brainchild of dealmakers at Bank of America—the $87 billion, 209,000-employee giant that occupies the No. 3 spot on Fortune’s Change the World list this year. Their work is part of BofA’s $125 billion Environmental Business Initiative, a campaign that has established the Charlotte based bank as a powerhouse in “climate finance”—the unglamorous but essential business of steering investor capital into the low-carbon economy. Green bonds, which the bank all but invented, have raised $442 billion worldwide since 2013, helping borrowers both tiny (the Antioch, Calif., Unified School District) and enormous (trillion-dollar Apple) pay for renewable-energy innovations. Read more here.
Applauding the Changemakers Behind Fortune’s Change the World List
Now in its fourth year, the Fortune Change the World list celebrates the
changemakers—those pioneering business leaders who look at social issues material to their long-term success and say, “We can do things differently.” They’ve embarked on a strategic shift towards shared value, a smarter business model that reimagines the way companies build new markets, innovate, create distinction, and contribute to a thriving society and planet.
Seventy cities and nine counties across the United States have now adopted ordinances setting targets to dramatically overhaul their electricity use, up from 36 cities before June 2017, according to a new Sierra Club analysis shared with HuffPost. The new total accounts for 10.3 million people using 2.5 percent of the country’s power output.
An additional 201 city mayors representing 24.4 million people and 6.5 percent of the nation’s electricity use have endorsed the 100-percent renewable goal, promising to roll out policies in the months to come. That figure, too, doubled since last year. Read morehere.
More about the project developer, NextEra Energy Resources: Our Solar Energy Business NextEra Energy Resources is a leading operator of solar energy. The company generates solar energy at nine sites in California, as well as sites in Alabama, Georgia, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico and Canada. NextEra operates more than 2,000 MW of solar generation. “Our goal is to hire as many workers from the area as possible, including heavy equipment operators, electricians, laborers, security and others.”
Illinois REC prices published for distributed generation, community solar, PV Magazine USA The Illinois Power Agency published its renewable energy credit prices for upcoming auctions for the Adjustable Block and Illinois Solar For All programs. The competition is expected to be fierce for approved developers as projects need to have completed or be well along in interconnection, permitting, financing and subscriptions this summer and early fall for the fall auctions.
Xcel Energy advances use of renewable energy in Minnesota, Windpower Engineering Development. Xcel Energy and Minneapolis’ Metropolitan Council are joining forces to ensure that the Council’s use of renewable energy for its wastewater and transit systems reaches 100% by 2040. The agreement also includes efforts to get more electric buses onto Minnesota roads.
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board world’s first to issue Green Bonds, PV Magazine The growing acceptance for renewable energy assets from sovereign wealth funds indicates a solid and healthy business climate for renewable energy, and could have positive effects for the industry in the future . . . The Climate Bonds Initiative, a not-for-profit investor-focused organization providing, among other services, detailed reports on the global Green Bond market, [estimates] that by the end of 2018 US$250 billion in green bonds will have been allocated. Moreover, the organization, estimates and actively works towards the goal of US$1 trillion in Green Bond investments by 2020. This demonstrates how rapidly this market is growing and how the finance sector is running with these investment mechanisms.
The U.S. electricity sector is eyeing the developing electric car market as a remedy for an unprecedented decline in demand for electricity. After decades of rising electricity demand, experts say the utility industry grossly underestimated the impact of cheap renewable energy and the surge of natural gas production. For the first time ever, the Tennessee Valley Authority is projecting a 13 percent drop in demand across the region it serves in seven states, which is the first persistent decline in the federally owned agency’s 85-year history. Read morehere.
Apple’s 20-MW Maiden, N.C. solar farm. Credit: Apple
Apple has issued $1.5 billion in bonds dedicated to financing clean energy projects across its global business operations, the largest green bond to be issued by a U.S. corporation, the company’s head of environmental policy said Wednesday.
The Cupertino, California-based tech giant said proceeds from the green bond sales will be used to finance renewable energy, energy storage and energy efficiency projects, green buildings and resource conservation efforts.