Tag Archives: net-zero emissions

On Earth Day, USDA Invests Nearly $800 Million in Critical Infrastructure to Combat Climate Change Across Rural America

U.S. Department of Agriculture News Release

WASHINGTON, April 22, 2022 – Today, in honor of Earth Day 2022, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing nearly $800 million in climate-smart infrastructure (PDF) in 40 states, Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands. These investments will strengthen the health and livelihoods of people across rural America. They include funding for 165 projects to expand access to safe water and/or clean energy for people living in disadvantaged communities.

Today’s announcement is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Building a Better America Rural Infrastructure Tour, during which Biden Administration officials are traveling to dozens of rural communities to talk about the impact of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law investments, as well as President Biden’s broader commitment to ensure federal resources reach all communities in rural America. This announcement also furthers the President’s Justice40 Initiative, which commits to delivering at least 40 percent of the benefits from federal climate and clean energy investments to disadvantaged communities. Continue reading here.

Additional Recommended Reading

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Releases Statement on President Biden’s Executive Order to Strengthen America’s Forests, Boost Wildfire Resilience, and Combat Global Deforestation

Statement by Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on Earth Day, Department of Energy News Release 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm today issued the following statement in honor of Earth Day: 

“In the more than 50 years since the first Earth Day, climate change has escalated into a crisis no one can ignore. That’s why this Earth Day, and every day, the Department of Energy is accelerating our nation’s progress toward a clean energy future by investing in workers, communities, businesses, and the planet.   

Thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, America is investing $62 billion through the Department of Energy to lay the foundation for a clean energy economy. With the rest of the President’s agenda to Build a Better America, we’ll finally get on a path to 100% clean power by 2035 and net zero emissions by 2050—while increasing American clean energy independence and creating millions of good-paying jobs.” 

Watch an Earth Day message from Secretary Granholm and other Cabinet members here.

Rural electric co-ops get shocking estimates of the cost to break up with Tri-State Generation

By Mark Jaffe, The Colorado Sun

Some of Tri-State’s 43 member co-ops have voiced a desire to develop more homegrown and cleaner electric generation – they are required to buy 95% of their electricity from the association, which still has substantial coal-fired generation.

“This does not move the ball,” United Power CEO Mark Gabriel said. “I think they are off by three zeros,” he said of his co-op’s exit fee. The association’s filing was in response to a ruling in June by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that Tri-State’s exit policies were “unjust and unreasonable or unduly discriminatory.”  Read more here.

Note: Nebraska Tri-State members seeking exit fees are the Wheat Belt Public Power District and the Northwest Rural Public Power District.

ACP NEWS RELEASE

The American Clean Power Association and the U.S. Energy Storage Association announce intent to merge

WASHINGTON DC, July 22, 2021 – The boards of directors of the American Clean Power Association (ACP) and the U.S. Energy Storage Association (ESA) have voted to pursue a merger of the two trade associations to combine their staff, programs, and members. The merger will bring together the diverse membership and talented team members of ESA with the resources and reach of ACP. Additionally, it will enhance the American Clean Power Association’s efforts to advocate for the economic and environmental advantages of the clean power economy and further position the renewable energy and storage industries for success as they move into a decade of transformative growth.

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

FACT SHEET: The American Jobs Plan

The White House Briefing Room

The President’s American Jobs Plan is a historic public investment – consisting principally of one-time capital investments in our nation’s productivity and long-term growth. It will invest about 1 percent of GDP per year over eight years to upgrade our nation’s infrastructure, revitalize manufacturing, invest in basic research and science, shore up supply chains, and solidify our care infrastructure. These are investments that leading economists agree will give Americans good jobs now and will pay off for future generations by leaving the country more competitive and our communities stronger. In total, the plan will invest about $2 trillion this decade. If passed alongside President Biden’s Made in America corporate tax plan, it will be fully paid for within the next 15 years and reduce deficits in the years after. Read more here. 

Additional Recommended Reading & Viewing

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). 

Digging Deeper Into Federal Lands’ Renewable Promise

Clean Energy Finance Forum – Yale Center for Business and the Environment

To herald “Key Economic Benefits of Renewable Energy on Public Lands,” a report years in the making, Clean Energy Finance Forum invited Nikki Springer to expand on the themes and challenges in the work she’s co-written.

In this internal discussion, Nikki highlights the mix of skills the Yale Center for Business and the Environment aims to cultivate and shows how those skills can foster employment, fossil-free resources, and environmental flourishing in America’s most biologically tricky places.
Read more here.


IN NEBRASKA

Nebraska’s public lands encompass nearly 800,000 acres on about 300 state and federal areas. Most of the land is owned by the federal government. Of the state-owned lands, about 47,000 acres have been purchased with proceeds from the sale of Nebraska Habitat Stamps.
Source: Nebraska Map.Gov, 2018

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

ENERGY NEWS NETWORK SERIES

Clean energy programs can help address some racial disparities, advocates say, by Kathiann M. Kowalski. This is Part Three of a series on racial disparities and energy issues. Part One looked at systemic problems that contribute to racial disparities. Part Two explored issues of energy poverty and utility disconnections.

GTM’S “POLITICAL CLIMATE”

The Path to a Net-Zero Economy: Where Do We Stand?
On this week’s Political Climate, we discuss where we stand on the trajectory to net-zero emissions by 2050. Plus, we ask: Is the path to zero as inclusive as it should be?