Tag Archives: green hydrogen

Big Oil’s Net-Zero Plans Show the Hard Limits of Carbon Offsets

By Kate Mackenzie, Bloomberg Green

A tracking project from American University lists dozens of large companies that, as of December 21, cited carbon dioxide-removal (CDR) in their pledges for climate neutrality. They include Apple Inc., Walmart Inc., British Airways Plc, and many of their peers. It’s not just companies. The European Union’s promise to cut emissions 55% by 2030 has been criticized for relying in part on land-based “carbon sinks” to soak up some of the pollution.

As more companies follow suit, the total volume of offsets they rely on will quickly exceed the ability of the planet to provide them. Without more concrete near-term actions, “net zero” risks becoming a fairytale providing cover for the heavy emitting industries, particularly those in the fossil fuel sector who have aggressively blocked climate action. Read more here.

Kate Mackenzie writes the Stranded Assets column for Bloomberg Green. She advises organizations working to limit climate change to the Paris Agreement goals.

NATIONAL ACADEMIES REPORT

National Academies report sees $300 bil cost by 2030 for a zero-carbon economy, American Public Power Association

The reportAccelerating Decarbonization of the U.S. Energy System, the first of two, said that achieving the 2050 goal is feasible and presented a technical blueprint and policy road map for the next 10 years. The report also found that immediate action would be required to achieve the greenhouse gas emission reduction goals and that most near-term reductions would come from the electricity sector, electrification of vehicles, and home heating. 

BLACK & VEATCH REPORT

Green Hydrogen: A Rising Star, T&D World
According to Black & Veatch’s latest Strategic Directions: Electric Report, based on a survey of more than 600 industry stakeholders, utilities over the next decade expect solar (79%) and wind (67%) power to help them meet their clean energy goals or cut their emissions and carbon output. That’s presumably because those renewables are readily deployable with established, matured technology and competitive costs. But looking past 2030, those numbers drop into the 40th percentiles, segueing to more deployments of hydrogen (58%) — an energy-dense alternative fuel that emits only water — and battery energy storage (48%) as the leading, more favored options as they evolve.

FROM THE WHITE HOUSE BRIEFING ROOM

LINCOLN-BASED BUSINESS IN THE NEWS

Directions 2021: Nelnet’s Alyssa Martin enjoys balance of work and life in hometown, by Victoria Ayotte Brown, Lincoln Journal Star. Requires digital subscription.

“Nelnet is becoming a leader in the tax equity space and is really paving the way for a carbon-free future by facilitating the development of solar projects all over the country. I think there’ve been 86-plus solar projects Nelnet has had a role in helping along. It’s really amazing. It’s going to continue to grow, and I’m excited to be part of it.” – Alyssa Martin, legal counsel for tax and renewable energy for Nelnet

Previously Posted: Nelnet announces new division focused on solar, Lincoln Journal Star

GREEN TRANSPORTATION

FEATURED WEBSITE FOR KIDS

Launched in 2010, NASA’s Climate Kids website tells the story of our changing planet through the eyes of the NASA missions studying Earth. Targeting upper-elementary-aged children, the site is full of games, activities and articles that make climate science accessible and engaging.

NASA is a world leader in climate studies and Earth science. While its role is not to set climate policy or prescribe particular responses or solutions to climate change, its purview does include providing the robust scientific data needed to understand climate change. NASA then makes this information available to the global community – the public, policy- and decision-makers and scientific and planning agencies around the world.

Incentives for Energy and Transportation Are Climate Action

By Grant Carlisle, Natural Resources Defense Council

The newly minted Biden administration has made clear that climate change is a top priority. A vital arrow in the administration’s quiver should be tax policies including predictable and long-term extensions and upgrades to clean energy and clean transportation incentives. See here for a letter from 45 environmental, faith and business groups sent to President Biden today supporting robust clean economy tax policies. These policies will help clean energy and clean transportation play a critical role in building an ascendant 21st century American economy, putting people back to work, and laying the foundation for a cleaner, healthier and more prosperous future. Read more here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

NATIONAL GREEN BANK BILL

National Green Bank Bill Targets $100B for Business Sectors Key to Biden’s Climate Agenda, Greentech Media. A report this week from the National Academies of Science highlighted the need for federal funding to bolster private capital sources that are “unlikely to be sufficient to finance the low-carbon economic transition, especially during the 2020s when the effort is new.” 

CORPORATE NEWS

LIHEAP

APPA, other groups call for a $10 billion emergency supplemental appropriation for LIHEAP, American Public Power Association

A group of national gas and electric utility associations, including the American Public Power Association, on Feb. 4 sent a letter to Congress calling for a $10 billion emergency supplemental appropriation for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).The letter was sent to House and Senate Appropriations committee chairmen and ranking members.

“LIHEAP is the bedrock of America’s energy safety net, providing heating and cooling assistance to our most vulnerable, including the elderly, those with disabilities, and families with young children,” the letter noted.

Nebraska LIHEAP Program

Verizon adds six PPAs for 845MW solar capacity

By Edith Hancock, PV Tech

Major telecoms provider Verizon has secured power purchase agreements (PPAs) for 845MW of solar electricity with four energy giants in the US. The PPAs with Lightsource BP, Invenergy, EDF Renewables and NextEra Energy Resources will be used to finance six solar projects which are due to be completed over the next two years. Read more here.

MORE CORPORATE RENEWABLE ENERGY PROCUREMENT NEWS 

Largest Solar Project in US Underway in Texas, Earth911
Who will purchase the energy? Corporations have already signed virtual Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) for Samson’s solar electricity. “The Samson Solar Energy Center is the latest example of what can be achieved when companies and utilities seek an innovative partner to meet their sustainability goals and invest in a clean energy future,” said Ted Romaine, senior vice president of origination at Invenergy.

Leading U.S. Energy Buyers Support National Unity – On Clean Power, That Is, Triple Pundit
Despite a decades-long disinformation campaign by fossil stakeholders and their allies,  the latest data from Yale University’s program on
Climate Change Communication reveal a strong majority consensus on climate change and climate science, highlighted by 86 percent support for funding that supports clean power research. There is no question that business leaders are on firm ground in the area of clean power.

ENERGY STORAGE

Beyond Declining Battery Prices: Six Ways to Evaluate Energy Storage in 2021, Greentech Media
Contributed article by Aaroh Kharaya, “product manager for energy storage at Clean Energy Associates (CEA). He is a licensed Professional Engineer with nine years of experience in electrical power systems and is also a subject matter expert in battery energy storage systems.”

GREEN HYDROGEN


Nel to slash cost of electrolysers by 75%, with green hydrogen at same price as fossil H2 by 2025, Recharge

Manufacturer is building a new fully automated electrolyser factory in Norway, which will be expanded to 2GW, resulting in huge economies of scale.

Green hydrogen cost reduction, International Renewable Energy Agency
This report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) outlines strategies to reduce electrolyser costs through continuous innovation, performance improvements and upscaling from megawatt (MW) to multi-gigawatt (GW) levels.

Canada is set to have one of the world’s biggest green hydrogen plants, CNBC
A major green hydrogen project in Canada took another step forward with an engineering contract awarded to a subsidiary of German industrial giant Thyssenkrupp. Canada could eventually be home to a number of green hydrogen facilities. Macquarie’s Green Investment Group, for example, is part of a consortium looking to develop another major plant that would be located in British Columbia, in the west of the country. Over the last few years, major firms including RepsolSiemens EnergyOrsted and BP have gotten involved in projects connected to green hydrogen production.

BUILDING A GREEN ECONOMY & CLIMATE RESILIENCE


Carbon Markets for Farmers

Previously Posted Indianapolis Star articles by Sarah Bowman and London Gibson

  • There is a lot of money on the table with carbon markets. But farmers are skeptical.
    As more greenhouse gases enter the atmosphere and more companies pledge to go carbon neutral, interest in creating a market for carbon capture through agriculture is growing. Agriculture is now being seen by many as an untapped resource, and carbon markets the way to tap it.  “I think the potential is boundless, really,” said Mobley of The Nature Conservancy. “If it can work in Indiana, it can work anywhere in the country — politically, programmatically, with on-the-ground implementation, all of it.”
  • 5 things you need to know about what Biden’s plan for a carbon market means for farmers
    The incoming administration is proposing to create a carbon bank at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which would buy credits from farmers and then sell them to corporations for offsets. Several other private carbon market programs have popped up, both from companies and non-profit organizations that are developing their own platforms. 

GTM’S ENERGY GANG PODCAST

 

This week on The Energy Gang: What to make of Biden’s historic, sweeping actions on climate and clean energy?

 

New Study – Maximizing Land Use Benefits From Utility-Scale Solar: A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Pollinator-Friendly Solar in Minnesota

By Katie Siegner, Scott Wentzell,  Maria Urrutia,  Whitney Mann, Hallie Kennan
Yale Center for Business and the Environment

As utility-scale solar development expands throughout the United States, with an expected land footprint of 3 million acres by 2030, there is growing interest across various stakeholder groups in adopting land use best practices for new projects.

Pollinator-friendly solar, which incorporates native grasses and wildflowers throughout a solar installation, is one approach to cultivating additional land use benefits from solar projects. The practice is increasingly common, especially in Minnesota, the first state to adopt a voluntary pollinator-friendly solar standard.  Read more here.

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT CHICAGO LAUNCHING STUDY

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

APPLE’S GLOBAL CARBON EMISSIONS & SUPPLY CHAIN GOALS

Apple CEO Tim Cook touts green, renewable initiatives in UN speech, CNET
As part of his speech, Cook touts that Apple has added 25 suppliers to the 70 it’s already helping transition to 100% renewable energy. He also notes Apple’s other efforts, including that it’s become carbon neutral for its worldwide corporate emissions.  Ultimately, Cook says, Apple wants its entire supply chain and product usage to be carbon neutral within a decade.

RE100 Resource
Going Beyond: A guide to integrating renewable electricity into your supply chain
This paper provides insights for companies who are starting to implement a renewable electricity program throughout their supply chain. It uses the experience of Apple, BT and IKEA Range & Supply to demonstrate the challenges they face and how they are addressing them.

HYDROPOWER

As Wisconsin transitions to a cleaner grid, can the original renewable energy contribute?, Wisconsin State Journal. After a half-century of fighting dams, a group of conservation organizations last month reached a truce with the hydropower industry, agreeing to work together to generate more clean energy from existing dams while working to mitigate the environmental impacts.

Two and a half years in the making, the agreement, negotiated by groups including the Union of Concerned Scientists, the World Wildlife Fund and American Rivers, reflects a recognition that climate change represents an even greater ecological threat and that hydroelectricity will play a key role in integrating variable clean energy sources like wind and solar.

Nebraska Hydropower

GREEN HYDROGEN

Why green hydrogen is the renewable energy source to watch in 2021, ABC News
The price tag and energy needed to make it will be worth it, experts say. Green hydrogen, an alternative fuel generated with clean energy, is experiencing a global resurgence and has been identified as the clean energy source that could help bring the world to net-zero emissions in the coming decades. It was initially touted in the U.S. during President George W. Bush’s first term, when it was nicknamed the “freedom fuel.”

EV CHARGING DESERTS

In Chicago, ‘charging deserts’ part of racial divide on electric vehicles, Energy News Network
Public charging stations are most heavily concentrated in the city’s more affluent neighborhoods, creating a chicken/egg scenario for electric car adoption.

SUSTAINABLE AVIATION

Can Shell help pilot a new era of sustainable aviation?, GreenBiz
Shell is just one of several oil companies eyeing new business opportunities in sustainable aviation, particularly at a time of flat or declining outlooks for petroleum-based fuels. In addition to Shell, oil majors including BP, Chevron, Eni, Neste, Phillips and Total are vying for a piece of the action in sustainable aviation, often in partnership with smaller renewable fuel producers, including Aemetis, Fulcrum BioEnergy, SkyNRG, Sundrop Fuels, Velocys and World Energy.

GLOBAL SUSTAINABLE ENERGY

The Rockefeller Foundation Announces Call To Action To Provide Sustainable Energy For One Billion People By 2030, Rockefeller Foundation News Release, PR Newswire

“In this era of unprecedented crises—including the coronavirus pandemic—we have a responsibility and remarkable opportunity to harness the power that can lead to a more equitable, safer world,” said Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation, “Our goal is ambitious yet achievable: to bring reliable and sustainable electricity, powered by renewable technologies, to a billion people by the decade’s end. Our success will empower millions of people to participate in a modern economy, growing economic opportunity for us all.”

FEATURED GLOBAL CLIMATE INITIATIVE

Climate Action 100+ is an investor initiative to ensure the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters take necessary action on climate change. The companies include 100 ‘systemically important emitters’, accounting for two-thirds of annual global industrial emissions, alongside more than 60 others with significant opportunity to drive the clean energy transition. 

To date, 545 investors with nearly USD $52 trillion in assets under management have signed on to the initiative.

Climate Action 100+ is coordinated by five partner organizations: Asia Investor Group on Climate Change (AIGCC); CeresInvestor Group on Climate Change (IGCC); Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) and Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). 

New coalition targets 25GW of renewables-based hydrogen production by 2026

By Jules Scully, PV-Tech

ACWA Power and Iberdrola are among the seven founders of a new coalition that aims to scale up the production of green hydrogen 50-fold in the next six years while halving production costs. The Green Hydrogen Catapult – which also includes CWP Renewables, Envision, Ørsted, Snam and Yara – will target the deployment of 25GW of renewables-based hydrogen production by 2026, with a goal of driving down the cost of producing the fuel to below US$2/kg.

It is estimated that the initiative will require an investment of around US$110 billion and create more than 120,000 jobs, as the founding partners look to accelerate the necessary technology, component manufacturing, market development and flow of investment. The seven companies will work towards the 25GW target by developing project capacity, supporting the design tools to solve early market challenges and sponsoring collaboration to accelerate economic growth using green hydrogen. Rocky Mountain Institute, a non-profit that promotes clean energy, will facilitate the initiative. Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: Iberdrola

Rocky Mountain Institute News Release: World’s green hydrogen leaders unite to drive 50-fold scale-up in six years

It is now estimated that green hydrogen could supply up to 25 percent of the world’s energy needs by 2050 and become a US$10 trillion addressable market by 2050. These projections are underpinned by the recent emergence of strong hydrogen-focused national hydrogen strategies around the world including in Australia, Chile, Germany, the EU, Japan, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain and South Korea.

Previously posted article also written by Jules Scully:  Scaling distributed solar and storage is lowest-cost path for US to reach clean electric grid – study, PV-Tech 

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.

Report recap: Four highlights from AWEA’s Wind Powers America Third Quarter Market Report

By Greg Alvarez, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog

We’re three quarters of the way through an eventful 2020 (quite the understatement), but the good news is U.S. wind power just posted the best third quarter on record. That means more affordable, reliable, clean power for millions of American families and businesses. This finding and more are contained in AWEA’s Wind Powers America Third Quarter Market Report. Here’s a roundup of four notable highlights to keep an eye on: Continue reading here.

Photo by Mike Zakrzewski, Nebraska farmer in O’Neill: The Grande Prairie Wind Farm

AWEA FACT SHEETS

Wind Energy In Nebraska
Installed Wind Capacity: 2,364 MW
State Ranking for Installed Capacity: 12th

  • Iowa
    Installed Wind Capacity: 10,664 MW
    State Ranking for Installed Capacity: 2nd
  • Kansas
    Installed Wind Capacity: 6,524 MW
    State Ranking for Installed Capacity: 4th
  • Illinois
    Installed Wind Capacity: 5,659 MW
    State Ranking for Installed Capacity: 6th

MICROGRIDS & VIRTUAL POWER PLANTS

Tesla Expanding Into Solar Microgrids And Virtual Power Plants, CleanTechnica
The renewable energy revolution is in full swing. It will involve decentralized power generation as well as enhanced long distance transmission lines. Nothing is off the table. Tesla is creating an enormous virtual power plant in Australia that will incorporate rooftop solar and battery storage at 50,000 homes. Green Mountain Power is conducting a similar program in Vermont. Just as one day soon electric vehicle sales will surpass sales of conventional vehicles, our grandkids will likely grow up in homes that have residential storage batteries in the garage or in the basement next to the electrical panel.

GREEN HYDROGEN

It’s Time For Elon Musk To Admit The Significance Of Hydrogen Fuel Cells, Forbes
Contributed article by Alex Ivanenko, “co-founder and CEO of HyPoint, the company developing zero-carbon emission hydrogen fuel cell systems for aviation and urban air mobility.”

The technology for zero-emission hydrogen fuel cells for use in transportation and other industries isn’t a pipe dream — it already exists. Though you might not know it, hydrogen-powered trainstruckscarsairplanes and ships are already out in the wild. CNBC noted that “there are dozens of fuel cell buses in use or planned in Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and Massachusetts, as well as California” and that “more than 23,000 fuel cell-powered forklifts in operation at warehouses and distribution centers across the U.S. in more than 40 states, including at Amazon and Walmart facilities.” That’s just the beginning.

MORE CLEAN TECHNICA ARTICLES

COMMUNITY SOLAR 

FEATURED DOE INITIATIVE: EQUITY IN ENERGY 

News Release by DOE’s Office of Economic Impact and Diversity

On August 20th 2020, the Department of Energy’s Office of Economic Impact and Diversity (ED) launched its trademark Equity in Energy Initiative at the 43rd Annual National Conference of the American Association of Blacks in Energy’s (AABE). Equity in Energy, under the direction of the Secretary of Energy, Dan Brouillette [leads] the charge in fostering an inclusive energy economy at the DOE and the energy sector. 

Equity In Energy Booklet

UCS RECYCLING SERIES

About the Writer
James Gignac, is lead Midwest energy analyst for the Climate & Energy program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Prior to joining UCS, Mr. Gignac served as environmental and energy counsel and as assistant attorney general to the Illinois Attorney General. Mr. Gignac earned a JD from Harvard Law School, and a BA in history and political science from Albion College.

Included in the series:

FEATURED NEBRASKA SOLAR INSTALLATION

Lomneth Farm’s 12-kilowatt solar system in North Omaha. Installed by GC ReVOLT, which is owned by Graham Christensen. View more GC ReVOLT projects here.

See Solar Examples for more photos and descriptions of solar-powered farms in Nebraska.

 

SOLAR INCENTIVES

 

Links to Incentives, Depreciation & Net Metering Information

 

New studies find grid modernization accelerates cost-effective renewable energy growth

By John Hensley, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog

Renewable energy has begun to dominate new electric generation capacity additions over the past several years for a variety of reasons – plummeting technology costs, increasing efficiency, and corresponding demand from the public and private sector, among others. However, to fully realize a 21st century clean energy economy we need to update our electric system to meet today’s needs, modernize the grid, and expand access to renewables through transmission infrastructure. Now, two new studies show how transmission investments can accelerate clean energy growth while saving money for American families and businesses. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Nebraska Public Power District

NPPD’S R-Project Newsroom
Nebraska Public Power District’s Board of Directors voted to award a construction contract to Forbes Brothers Timberline Construction, Inc., of Rapid City, S.D. for the R-Project transmission line.

SEIA Blog: Solar + EVs: Two Peas in a Pod

IOWA’S RENEWABLE ENERGY & TRANSMISSION

Experts: Iowa’s renewable energy growth depends on better transmission, Iowa Capital Dispatch
Iowa could become an even bigger leader in renewable energy, especially if renewable hydrogen is developed and transmission lines are improved, a panel of university, government and corporate leaders said Wednesday

MICHIGAN STUDY QUANTIFIES RETURN ON CLEAN ENERGY INVESTMENT

Commentary: Clean energy is good economic policy for Michigan, by Laura Sherman / Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council, Energy News Network

Last month Gov. Gretchen Whitmer set a goal for Michigan to be carbon-neutral by 2050, a bold move that will bring more jobs and industry to the state. We can measure the economic growth and jobs that these energy innovations have already brought to Michigan and can continue to bring—not in 10, 20 or 30 years, but right now. A new report from the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council (Michigan EIBC) does just that. It quantifies how increasing investment into advanced energy through a future federal stimulus package could energize the state’s economy, and finds that these investments would generate a return on the order of eight times the level of public spending for Michigan. 

ENVIRONMENT AMERICA’S “RENEWABLES ON THE RISE 2020” REPORT

The 2020 edition of a report by Environment America Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group
Clean energy technology has boomed in the last decade, enabling Americans to envision a future powered by 100 percent renewable energy. “Renewables on the Rise 2020” tells the story of the dramatic growth of clean energy. The data story below explains how strong state renewable energy commitments have helped to spark the clean energy revolution. The interactive charts enable you to explore how clean energy technology is growing in your state. And the six fact sheets provide a detailed look at the key technologies driving America toward clean, renewable energy — from electric vehicles to offshore wind power — and the hope they provide for the future. 

Environment America’s 100% Campaigns

CLEAN ENERGY JOBS ANALYSIS

Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2)), the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), and the Clean Energy Leadership Institute (CELI) commissioned BW Research to analyze clean energy job wages and benefits.

The Clean Jobs, Better Jobs report is the first comprehensive analysis of wages and benefits across the clean energy sector. According to the report, workers in renewable energy, energy efficiency, grid modernization and storage, clean fuels and clean vehicles earned a median hourly wage of $23.89 in 2019 compared with the national median wage of $19.14. In addition, jobs in many clean energy sectors are more likely to be unionized and come with health care and retirement benefits than the rest of the private sector, the analysis shows.


REIMAGINE APPALACHIA

Clean energy, infrastructure plan could bring 489,000 jobs to Ohio, Pa., Farm and Dairy
ReImagine Appalachia’s plan, released in July, lays out how to build and modernize infrastructure, repair the land and create jobs through public investment in Appalachia’s Ohio River Valley. Reimagine Appalachia is a coalition of more than 75 grassroots organizations from Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky. It calls for, among other things, encouraging regenerative agriculture practices, reviving the Civilian Conservation Corps, increasing clean energy use, expanding broadband, building a sustainable transportation system and creating “good union jobs.”

GREEN HYDROGEN CHARGING STATIONS

World’s First Green Hydrogen Universal Charging Station for Electric and Hydrogen Vehicles, H2-Greenforce, Extends Preferred Series A Funding Raising up to $12 Million to Debut Green Island™, H2 Greenforce LLC News Release, PR Newswire

About H2-Greenforce: Founded in 2019 in New Jersey, H2’s mission is to decarbonize our planet through production of green electricity. H2-Greenforce combines its own proprietary green hydrogen technology and know-how, with advanced industrial components to build self-sustainable electric infrastructure. H2-Greenforce is a trademark of H2-Greenforce LLC in the United States and other countries.

CLIMATE ACTION 100+ NEWS

Investors call on major US polluters to clean up lobbying activities, by Cecilia Keating, GreenBiz
It is just the latest intervention from Climate Action 100+, which is backed by more than 500 global investors representing $47 trillion of assets worldwide and aims to ramp up climate ambition from companies it has identified as collectively responsible for up to 80 percent of global industrial greenhouse gas emissions. Companies targeted by the campaign span a number of polluting sectors, including oil and gas, consumer goods, power and transportation, and have been identified as “systematically important” to the net zero transition by the campaign.

FEATURED LOCAL RESOURCES TO HELP YOU SAVE ENERGY & MONEY

New report: Wind and solar remain the country’s most affordable sources of new electricity

By John Hensley, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog

For energy wonks, Lazard’s Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis 14.0 is always one of the year’s most anticipated reports. It’s the gold-standard when comparing the cost of different power generation technologies on an objective, equitable basis. No surprise, Lazard finds that wind and solar continue to be the lowest-cost sources of new power generation across the country and are increasingly competitive with existing power plants. Continue reading here.

MORE RENEWABLE ENERGY DATA

Renewables Proven to Be a Smarter, More Efficient Investment Worldwide, Triple Pundit
Recent analysis of the renewables landscape by BloombergNEF has determined that solar and wind power are on the verge of a tipping point: In five years, it will be more expensive to operate existing coal or natural gas plants than to build new solar or wind farms. This comes on the heels of earlier data from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), which found that, in many cases, solar and wind are already the cheapest option. In fact, IRENA concluded that investment dollars go further now than they did a decade ago: More than twice the renewable power generation capacity was commissioned in 2019 than in 2010, but it only required 18 percent more investment.

GEOTHERMAL

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.

GREEN HYDROGEN

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.

REWIRING AMERICA REPORT

100% Clean Energy Electrification Could Save American Households $321 Billion and Create 25 Million Jobs, AltEnergy Magazine. The Rewiring America Report, “No Place Like Home: Fighting Climate Change (and Saving Money) by Electrifying America’s Households” by Drs. Saul Griffith and Sam Calisch, finds that savings would mean up to $2,585 per year in savings to each American household’s energy bills. The report builds on an earlier analysis by Rewiring America that shows that clean energy electrification could create 25 million new jobs. Every zip code in the country would see employment gains.

About Rewiring America
Rewiring America is a coalition of engineers, entrepreneurs, and volunteers focused on rejuvenating the economy and addressing climate change by electrifying everything. The new, innovative nonprofit is dedicated to demonstrating that solving climate change is both technically possible and economically beneficial. The reports produced by Rewiring America are deeply rooted in data and provide high-level analysis of the U.S. energy economy. 

CORPORATE RENEWABLE ENERGY PROCUREMENT

AVANGRID & PNM RESOURCES ANNOUNCE MERGER

AVANGRID, PNM Resources announce $8.3B merger to create ‘one of biggest clean energy companies’ in US, Utility Dive. AVANGRID and PNM Resources on Wednesday announced plans to merge, in a move the companies say will create “one of biggest clean energy companies” in the United States. The combined entity would own 10 regulated utilities in six states, and would have renewable operations in 24 states. The companies say it will take about a year to get all necessary regulatory approvals.

TESLA

Musk promises to reinvent batteries as Tesla reports record Q3 solar and storage deployments, Utility Dive. Tesla executives expect to see rapid growth in the company’s solar and energy storage divisions in the years to come after what Musk described as the best quarter in Tesla’s history. Energy storage deployments increased 81% from the second to third quarters of 2020, according to the company’s Q3 2020 update, setting a new record for the company. The biggest barrier for the company’s solar division, company executives said, was the need to hire and train additional solar installers, and to improve the packaging of components to decrease installation times.

FROM ENERGY NEWS NETWORK 

  • Columbus aggregation initiative aims to procure clean energy for city ratepayers
    Columbus, Ohio, voters are deciding this election whether to let city government seek out and collectively bid for renewable electricity on their behalf. Ballot Issue 1 would create Ohio’s largest community aggregation program. In states where ratepayers choose their electricity supplier separate from their local utility, the programs let cities negotiate a default option for residents. The city’s goal “is to provide residents with 100% clean, renewable electricity through a community choice aggregation program by 2022,” said Erin Beck, director of special projects for the city of Columbus.
  • Minnesota groups highlight financial and environmental risks of natural gas
    [Jessica Tritsch, senior representative for the Sierra Club’s North Star chapter], pointed to recent research by the Rocky Mountain Institute that suggests building solar, wind and storage would cost less than new natural gas plants. Grid reliability would not suffer, either, the report concludes. If proposed gas plants were all built in the next five years they would “be uneconomic to continue operating in 2035, well ahead of the ends of their planned economic lifetime,” the institute’s report said. A recent report from a Minnesota researcher working with the two organizations calculated that investing in clean energy instead of the two fossil gas plants could save ratepayers $600 million over the next 30 years, Tritsch said. 

Panel discusses benefits of wind development in southwest Iowa

By Ryan Matheny, KMAland

Organized by the group Power Up Iowa — which advocates for local, state and federal policies that bring wind energy investment into Iowa — the forum was held in conjunction with the Page County Board of Supervisors and was moderated by board chair Chuck Morris. Bob Ramaekers is Vice President of Tenaska, a private, independent energy company based in Omaha. He says the industry’s goal is to work with landowners, not infringe on property rights when it comes to wind development. Read more here.

Power Up Iowa is a statewide coalition of renewable energy supporters advocating for local, state and federal policies and initiatives that enhance Iowa’s wind energy investment. By educating, raising awareness, and participating in conversations with our state’s leaders, Power Up Iowa will help make the case for renewable energy investment to revive and drive our local economies. Iowa ranks 2nd in the nation for wind power capacity. Up to 10 thousand jobs in Iowa are directly supported by wind energy.

LOCAL FOODS / LOCAL ENERGY MOVEMENTS

The distance local energy goes to bring power to the people, ScienceDaily
A University of California – Davis study published in the journal Frontiers in Sustainability, comparing energy providers, finds parallels to the local foods movement.

RURAL ELECTRIC INFRASTRUCTURE

Trump Administration Invests nearly $42 Million to Improve Rural Electric Infrastructure in Rural Missouri, Iowa, & Nebraska, USDA News Release. The funding, made possible through the Electric Loan Program, will benefit more than 77,000 rural residents and commercial customers in Missouri, Iowa, and Nebraska.

CLEAN-ENERGY EXPERTS & ADVOCATES SHARE VIEWS OF BIDEN’S FIRST 100 DAYS

Biden’s First 100 Days: What Would They Look Like for Clean Energy?, Greentech Media
We asked clean-energy experts and advocates what’s most likely to get done in the first 100 days of a Biden presidency.

COMMUNITY SOLAR STUDY

Penn State study finds opening community solar market could generate $1.8 billion in economic impact for Pennsylvania, Solar Power World

new study conducted by Penn State found that construction of new community solar facilities would generate an estimated $1.8 billion in economic impact, create over $793 million in labor income, and support over 11,000 jobs in various sectors across Pennsylvania. The study, conducted by the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences’ Center for Economic and Community Development, analyzed 235 planned community solar projects across 48 counties which can move ahead if community solar legislation passes the General Assembly.

RENEWABLES FORWARD INITIATIVE

It’s Time for the Solar Industry to Act on Diversity and Inclusion, Greentech Media
As a first step, leaders from Capital Dynamics, Cypress Creek Renewables, EDF Renewables, Generate Capital, Mosaic, Nautilus Solar Energy, New Columbia Solar, Nextracker, Volt Energy, Sol Systems, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Solar Foundation have come together to share experiences, evaluate best practices and make changes. Our goal is to identify concrete ways to work together to create the change we all recognize is needed, commit to this change and drive a larger industrywide partnership between CEOs and organizations: thRenewables Forward Initiative.

AWEA NEWS RELEASE

AWEA Statement on Collaboration between Hydropower Industry and Environmental Community
Washington, D.C. – The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) today issued the following statement after the U.S. hydropower industry and environmental and conservation organizations agreed to increase collaboration on decarbonizing the nation’s electric grid, while protecting America’s waterways. AWEA this year partnered with America’s hydropower, solar, and energy storage industries as part of a shared vision of renewables reaching a majority of U.S. electricity generation by 2030.

ENERGY STORAGE

Wartsilla’s 9 MW battery storage system reduces a city’s demand peaks, saves transmission costs, PV Magazine USA. An independent power producer, AEP OnSite Partners, will be the first to deploy Wärtsilä’s new storage product. The 9 MW/15.6 MWh battery system will respond to PJM market signals and reduce the city’s peak demand by about 9 MW, while saving $1 million per year in transmission and capacity costs

GREEN HYDROGEN

GE, partners shifting Ohio gas-fired plant to hydrogen beginning 2021, Renewable Energy World
In one of the most striking signs that the hydrogen-powered generation revolution may be upon the industry sooner than later, a group will transition its combined cycle gas turbine power plant to run partially on hydrogen by a late 2021 start-up and go 100 percent H2 by 2030.

ADVANCED NUCLEAR PLANTS

U.S. Department of Energy Announces $160 Million in First Awards Under Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program, DOE News Release

DOE’s Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program will provide $80 million to each award winner, DOE Secretary Dan Brouillette said Tuesday. DOE intends to invest about $3.2 billion over the next seven years into advanced nuclear, subject to future congressional appropriations, he said. The remainder of the $230 million appropriated for the program in the fiscal 2020 budget is meant to support additional nuclear demonstration projects. But Tuesday’s grant winners “stand out for advancing the technology,” as well as for the financial wherewithal to match DOE’s grants and complete their work within seven years, Brouillette said.

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY’S PACIFICORP / ROCKY MOUNTAIN POWER

Wyo criticizes utility’s plans to replace coal with renewables, Wyo File
PacifiCorp/Rocky Mountain Power’s IRP, released in the fall of 2019, is a rolling analysis for how to provide reliable, lowest-cost electricity for the next 20 years. Preferred alternatives called for retiring several Wyoming coal-fired units early and developing renewable generation and storage. Shortly after release of the plan, the PSC announced it would investigate the IRP — an unusual measure for the commission to take.

SOLAR CELL EFFICIENCY

Forget silicon. This material could be a game-changer for solar power, CNN Business
Solar energy is poised for what could be its biggest transformation in over half a century. A group of materials called perovskites are being used to create the next generation of solar panels, which could eventually be twice as efficient as current models, and flexible enough to wrap around entire buildings. Researchers at Oxford PV, a company spun out of the University of Oxford, made a major breakthrough in 2018. By coating silicon with perovskite they achieved 28% efficiency. The company believes it can eventually reach 40%, or higher. Improved solar cell efficiency will enable installations to pump out more power with fewer panels, reducing costs, and the amount of land, labor and equipment needed to operate them.

EU’S CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY

EU to tackle methane gases, boost energy efficiency, Associated Press, Minneapolis Star Tribune
The EU sees itself as a world leader in climate and environmental policy. It wants to slash greenhouse gas emissions to at least 55% of what they were in 1990 over the next decade. That goal is a stepping-stone toward the broader aim of producing zero net polluting emissions across Europe by 2050.

SOLAR MAPPER

Total and Google Cloud Develop Solar Mapper, a Tool for Estimating the Solar Energy Potential of Houses’ Roofs, Business Wire

Total and Google Cloud have pooled their expertise to jointly develop an innovative tool, Solar Mapper, which aims to accelerate the deployment of solar panels for individuals (B2C) by providing an accurate and rapid estimate of the solar energy potential of their homes, first in Europe and then worldwide.