As the nation strives to bring about an economic recovery following the recession brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, a targeted investment in our electricity transmission system presents an opportunity to advance our nation’s fight against climate change, and concurrently create hundreds of thousands of green jobs.
In an announcement in April, President Joe Biden established an ambitious goal to reduce emissions from the country’s electricity supply by 2035. To achieve that goal, there must be investments to update and optimize the power grid. Continue reading here.
Brian Gemmell is chief clean energy development officer at National Grid. He is a member of the WIRES Board of Directors.
Across the country, people of faith are making changes in their homes and places of worship to prevent global warming through Interfaith Power & Light’s Cool Congregations program. The stewardship program helps congregations reduce the carbon footprint of their facilities and engages their members in reducing their carbon footprint at home. Click here to learn more about the program.
Photo: St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church in Dover, Massachusetts: Gold Certified Cool Congregation, 50% carbon reduction
NEW FARM JOURNAL FOUNDATION REPORT
Incentives Are Needed to Help Farmers Address Climate Issues, Report Says, Climate Ag Farmers are among the most-qualified people to help address greenhouse gases (GHGs) and related climate issues, according to a new report commissioned by the Farm Journal Foundation. “The science tells us we have to rapidly scale up regenerative agriculture and climate-smart practices, like cover crops,” said Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow on Thursday, during a webinar announcing the findings. “(But) in order to engage farmers and ranchers in meaningful ways, we need proposals that pair sustainability with profitability.”
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.
U.S. electric utility companies plan new or additional renewable energy investments, particularly in solar, thanks to the enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which retained renewable energy development incentives, according to industry analysts . . . Among the many shared renewable energy models is the utility-sponsored model in which utilities provide customers with the option to purchase renewable energy from a shared facility at a fixed rate (which might be a bit higher than the current retail rate) for a set term (usually a number of years, say 10 or 20 years) that’s designed to provide protection and stability against rising rates for grid electricity, SEIA says. Brian Newton, city administrator and general utility manager for the City of Fremont, Neb., convinced local officials and residents with tweaks to the utility-sponsored model that the adoption of renewable energy was a smart choice for their rural town, which is located about 35 miles northwest of Omaha, population roughly 27,000. Read morehere.
Photo Courtesy of Troy Schaben, Assistant City Administrator, Fremont Department of Utilities: Fremont’s First Solar Farm. The city’s second solar farm is being built by GenPro Energy Solutions.
SEPA Case Study: Inside the City of Fremont, Nebraska’s Community Solar Program
Based on multiple interviews with citizens of Fremont, Nebraska, this case study describes how program design and a latent demand for solar power led to selling out the 1.5 MW solar farm in seven weeks. This case study also includes insight into the commercial and industrial demand in small town Nebraska.
WattTime: A 2018 World Changing Idea, RMI Newsletter WattTime, a Rocky Mountain Institute subsidiary organization, has been honored by Fast Company as one of the finalists for the World Changing Ideas Awards. Out of 1,400 submissions, 240 entries made it to the final round of judging. View the full list of 2018 World Changing Ideas Award finalists, and learn more about how WattTime’s automated emissions reduction capabilities are changing the energy landscape for the better. Scroll down to “Energy” awards.
Interfaith Power & Light’s 2018 Faith Climate Action Week starts tomorrow, April 14th. A kit accompanies this event, which includes everything faith communities need to implement Climate Action Week activities. The kit can be used any time during 2018. Everyone who participates in Faith Climate Action Week will receive an invitation to a special webinar with Happening filmmaker Jamie Redford and Climate Champion NV State Senator Pat Spearman on April 20th.
To learn more and download the free kit, click here.
Every year the Cool Congregations Challenge celebrates the hard work being done by congregations across the county who are addressing global warming by reducing their carbon footprint and by becoming inspirations to their members and communities.
The Cool Congregations Challenge shows that people of faith are united by concerns about climate change and are taking action – with or without the support of government policies. The winners provide strong moral role models for their communities, and their activities have a ripple effect with people in their own homes.
Interfaith Power & Light is pleased to announce the inspiring five winners of the 2017 Cool Congregations Challenge in the following categories: Community Inspiration, Energy Saver, Renewable Role Model, Sacred Grounds Steward, Cool Congregation Planner.
The winners are:
Community United Church of Christ in Raleigh, North Carolina
Temple Shalom in Chevy Chase, Maryland
Congregational Church in Cumberland, Maine
Sisters of St. Joseph in Brentwood, New York
Manchester United Methodist Church in Manchester, Missouri
“The Cool Congregations Challenge winners inspire and show us what is possible. We awarded Catholic Sisters for creating sustainable farms in New York, a church in North Carolina that rallied 15 other churches to work together to weatherize low-income homes, and a synagogue in Maryland that swapped out 477 light fixtures. These winners are creating jobs, saving money, and saving creation. There were dozens of excellent applications, but the five winners really stand out for the creativity and impact of their projects.” – Reverend Sally Bingham, founder and president of Interfaith Power & Light