Tag Archives: GreenBiz

Inside Oakland’s clean energy economy strategy

By Daniel Hamilton, Sustainability Manager, City of Oakland, GreenBiz

In my city of Oakland, California, climate change policies and programs are a core approach to creating jobs, raising wages, addressing historical inequities for women and minorities, improving the health of residents and improving the quality of life for all. In the battle for the soul of a nation, cities such as Oakland are showing that the clean energy economy is America’s best strategy for creating a prosperous and better tomorrow.

Restoring prosperity under such conditions will be a generational challenge, but offers enormous potential. The best place to start is the clean energy economy. Multiple federal, state, non-profit and research organizations have documented the impact that the transition to low carbon energy has had on jobs creation, health and lowering costs of energy. Read more here.

Referenced Initiatives

  • Building Decarbonization Coalition
    More than 50 cities in California are expected to bring forth limitations or complete elimination of natural gas systems in newly constructed buildings by early 2020.
  • CURB Analysis: Oakland became the first city in North America to use the CURB tool as a key, in-depth input to its climate planning and will share its experience as a pilot with other interested cities.

Also Posted Today on GreenBiz

With the clean economy, it’s (still) a sink-or-swim moment, by Joel Makower, Chairman & Executive Editor, GreenBiz Group

This week, as we prepare to welcome 3,000 professionals to the ninth annual VERGE conference in Oakland, California, we are both stirred and sanguine by what we see. The clean economy is taking shape, in some cases faster than anyone predicted, in other cases plodding and frustratingly slow.

Who’d have predicted back in 2011 the rapid rise of circularity among the world’s largest brands, for example, or the realization of markets to draw down greenhouse gases, profitably, from the atmosphere? That electric vehicles would become, or soon will be, the norm instead of the exception? That the built environment increasingly would rely on electricity rather than natural gas for heating, cooling and other things? That agriculture would be seen as a key to solving climate change? Or that the electrification of aviation would be in the wings?

All of these are now part of the VERGE agenda. Individually and collectively, they are emblematic of a moment as filled with potential as it is fraught with challenges. That’s what this week is about: seizing the potential, busting through barriers, upending entrenched systems, improving lives and adapting to the new normal — all in the name of creating a clean economy that works for all.

If you are unable to be with us in person, I invite you to tune in to the free VERGE Virtual livestream. See here for details. Read the entire article here.

Previously Posted Podcast

‘This May Be The Single Biggest Business Opportunity In Human History’, contributed article by Devin Thorpe, bestselling author, educator and speaker. Published by Forbes.

IEA Report

Renewable capacity set for 50% growth over next few years, IEA says, CNBC
Renewable power capacity is forecast to increase by 50% between 2019 and 2024, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said Monday. According to its “Renewables 2019” market report, the increase will amount to 1,200 gigawatts (GW) and be driven by drops in cost and what the IEA described as “concerted government policy efforts.” Overall, renewables’ share in worldwide power generation is seen growing from 26% now to 30% in 2024.

Forget moonshots — it’s time now for a global ‘soilshot’ to address climate change

By David Montgomery, Professor of Earth and Space Sciences,
University of Washington. Published by GreenBiz.

What if it were possible to reverse course, regenerate soil organic matter and reduce farmers’ need for diesel fuel and chemical fertilizers made with fossil fuels? This would make it feasible to stash more carbon in the soil and reduce the amount that’s sent skyward in the process of growing food. I saw the potential for regenerative agriculture to restore soil organic matter in both developed and developing countries when I researched Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life, my book about how regenerative farming practices allow farmers to reduce their use of costly fertilizers and pesticides. All the farmers I interviewed shared three things in common. Read more here.

Infographic: How plants sequester carbon A) as they grow and B) after they die. University of Nebraska-LincolnCreative Commons

Additional Recommended Reading

Booklet: Guide to Regenerative Agriculture in Nebraska

Center Stage Podcast: Jon Foley is moving Project Drawdown from advice to action

By Joel Makower, Chairman and Executive Editor, GreenBiz

With the unprecedented environmental challenges that face us today, many are disillusioned about the future of the planet.  Jon Foley, executive director of Project Drawdown, is here to inject a sense of optimism. At GreenBiz 19 in Phoenix, Foley described to GreenBiz Executive Editor Joel Makower how he sees the drawdown framework move into the next phase. Two years after the release of bestselling book Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, Foley is focusing on how to implement the climate change solutions proposed in the book on a granular level. Read more here.

Find all CenterStage episodes here, and subscribe to it here on iTunes.

Project Drawdown is partnering with Penn State to hold the first international conference on Drawdown: Research to Action: The Science of Drawdown, September 16-18, 2019.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

GLOBAL STUDY

A global 100% renewable energy system, Physics World
new report by LUT University in Finland and the Energy Watch Group (EWG) in Germany outlines a cross-sector, global 100% renewable energy system, backing up the version it released last year. The full modelling study simulates a total global energy transition in the electricity, heat, transport and desalination sectors by 2050.

GreenBiz’s First Quarter Corporate Clean Energy Deal Tracker: Facebook’s Nebraska PPA Biggest Single Deal

By Cassandra Sweet, GreenBiz Group

Facebook signed a deal in March to buy all the power generated from a 320-megawatt Nebraska wind farm by 2029 to power a new data center in Papillion, Nebraska, about 120 miles from the wind farm. The bundled, long-term power purchase agreement that Facebook signed with project owner and developer Enel Green Power North America is actually an amended version of a contract the companies signed in November for 200 megawatts of wind power. The wind farm, Rattlesnake Creek, is under construction and is expected to start generating power by the end of 2018. Click here to read the entire article.

GreenBiz Graphic: Biggest Corporate Renewable Energy Deals During First Quarter 2018 (PDF)

Enel Image: Rendering of Nebraska’s Rattlesnake Creek Wind Farm

ENEL PRESS RELEASES

Another Renewable Energy Baby Step For BP, Another Deep Dive For Enel

By Tina Casey, CleanTechnica

At the recent Symposium on Sustainability in Venice, CleanTechnica got a first-hand chance to compare how two energy giants, BP and Enel, are managing the road to decarbonization. Enel reinforced its headlong dive into renewable energy while BP underscored a much more cautious path. That contrast came into full force just this week with new announcements from the two companies. Enel’s big renewable energy news came earlier this week, when the company confirmed that electricity from its new 320 megawatt Rattlesnake Wind Farm in Nebraska would go to two high profile buyers, Facebook and Adobe . . . Meanwhile, baby steps for BP. Read more here.

Enel Press Release: Enel sells energy from new US wind farm to Facebook and Adobe
BP Press Release: BP Ventures to Invest $500,000 in Clean Energy Consortium

Image: Nebraska Rattlesnake Wind Farm rendering

ALSO IN NEBRASKA
Why smart irrigation startups are bubbling up, GreenBiz
“One thing that differentiates WaterBit is its use of solar power, rather than short-lived batteries, to keep gadgets up and running in the field.” Besides WaterBit, the article briefly describes an additional “10 ventures that have captured the attention of the venture capital and incubation community,” including AquaSpy: “This venture, which originally tested its technology in Adelaide, South Australia, is finding a following in Nebraska, where it helps farmers save an average of 2 inches per acre. It is funded with close to $11 million.” To read more about WaterBit and the other 10 startups, click the article title.

To learn more about WaterBit’s use of solar power in irrigation, listen to Episode 117, GreenBiz 350 Podcast starting tomorrow.

SOUTHWEST POWER POOL NEWS
A huge new record in the Southwest Power Pool, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog
The Southwest Power Pool (SPP) just set a huge new wind penetration record: on March 16 a little over 60 percent of the system’s electricity came from wind power. That’s a big deal for a system that provides electricity to customers across 14 states.

SPP FAST FACTS
An Overview of the SPP System
SPP has members in 14 states: Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming.

  • Service territory: 546,000 square miles (approx.)
  • Substations: 4,835
  • Generation plants: 790
  • Miles of transmission: 65,755
  • Coincident peak load: 50,622 MW (July 21, 2016)
  • Generating capacity: 83,945 MW
  • Energy consumption: 266.4 TWh

Expect strong growth this year for commercial energy storage

By Adam Wilson, Navigant Research Analyst, GreenBiz

Renewable generation deployments (primarily solar photovoltaic and wind farms) have grown substantially over the last decade and are forecast to continue growing well into the future. That’s thanks to lower costs and technological improvements leading to increased power output.

Indeed, the International Energy Association expects that average annual global renewable installations will be 80 percent higher than coal, oil and natural gas combined between 2017 and 2040. Separately, Navigant Research anticipates that wind and solar PV installations — both in front of and behind the meter — will surpass 1,500 gigawatts cumulatively between 2017 and 2026. Continue reading here.

Photo: Shutterstock

ALSO RECENTLY POSTED
New Tax Bill Offers Unexpected Benefits to Commercial Solar Installations

How corporate buyers, utilities can embrace the low-carbon future together

Written by Heather Clancy, GreenBiz

So far this year, Fortune 500 organizations — many of them eager to meet greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions targets — have signed contracts that will add more than 2 gigawatts of solar and wind power to the U.S. grid in both regulated and deregulated states, according to data collected by the Business Renewables Center, part of the Rocky Mountain Institute. Almost 90 percent of those buyers were newcomers to the marketplace.

One area that corporate energy buyers and sustainability teams with clean power targets should watch closely over the next 12 months is green tariffs, which are programs that allow customers to source renewable energy in regulated states at a fixed rate. According to research by the World Resources Institute, there are now 17 of these programs available in 13 states.

For this article, Bill Weihl, director of sustainability at Facebook, provides information about OPPD’s green tariff adopted earlier this year.

Read more here.
Facebook Image: Papillion Data Center Rendering

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

The U.S. Renewable Energy Map
Includes OPPD’s Green Tariff

Click map to enlarge it. 

The U.S. Renewable Energy Map: A Guide for Corporate Buyer reveals where purchasers can access the renewable energy they want at the scale they need through their utility. The map tracks renewable energy purchasing options in different states, including green tariff programs and other utility renewable energy products. Buyers use the map to inform decisions on where to site new facilities, prioritize their renewable energy purchasing strategies, and ultimately meet their clean energy goals. Recognizing the growing demand for renewable energy, states and their utilities use the map to compete for economic development by showcasing available renewable energy products.

The map also compares each product to the Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles and includes details from World Resources Institute’s Emerging Green Tariffs in U.S. Regulated Electricity Markets publication.

The Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles and the Business Renewables Center are the core initiatives of what became the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance, or REBA. The alliance’s goal is to help US corporations add 60 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity to the grid by 2030.

Click these links to learn more:

 Related Reading

Can green tariffs attract big business to states?

By Celina Bonugli, GreenBiz

Advanced Energy Economy cites that nearly half of Fortune 500 companies have a sustainability or renewable energy target; 22 have committed to 100 percent renewable energy. These companies include Walmart, General Motors, Amazon and others who also have signed on to the Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles. That said, not all states are created equal
in their ability to provide corporations with the renewable energy they want at the scale they need . . . There are 10 green tariff programs in operation across the United States responsible for about 450 megawatts (MW) of new renewable energy production. Click here to read more.

Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA)

An open letter to President-elect Trump on clean energy

greenbiz

Written by Ron Pernick and Clint Wilder. Published by GreenBiz

Dear President-elect Trump,

For nearly two decades, we’ve been tracking and chronicling the transition to a clean-energy economy. While we know that we don’t see eye-to-eye with you on all of the issues, we wanted to send you the following “open letter” to update you on the clean-energy business opportunity, and what you might do as president to enable a massive infrastructure build out which supports American jobs and home-grown energy. Continue reading.

Ron Pernick is Founder and Managing Director and Clint Wilder is Senior Editor of Clean Edge Inc. Photo: Kaiser Permanente solar installation. Credit: First Solar

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
OTHER VOICES: Wind energy: It’s good business, by Debi Durham, former president of the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce and currently director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority. Published by the Sioux City Journal

Opinion: Clean energy still trumps partisan politics

Midwest Energy News Commentary, by Jeremy Kalin, CEO of Minneapolis-based Eutectics, whose mission is to mobilize capital in underserved and untapped clean energy markets nationwide.

jeremy-kalinThe economics of solar and energy efficiency remain as strong today as they did before Election Day. Even rumored major tax reform cannot roll back the strong value proposition for clean energy. Solar projects continue to “pencil-out” for business owners, public buildings, affordable housing properties and individual homes. LED lighting will continue to be a “no-brainer,” with a solid return on investment. Clean energy progress happens out in the community – not in a politician’s office. And we know that clean energy is good business, exceeding $44.7 billion in investments in the United States last year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Read more.

 ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING