Tag Archives: offshore wind

Yes, 40 Percent Solar Energy for the U.S Grid by 2035 is Doable

By Tina Casey, TriplePundit

All in all, the opportunities for rapid decarbonization are falling into place. The only missing piece is political will, and that is an area in which corporate leaders can exercise a powerful influence, if they choose.

The Joe Biden administration made waves earlier this week when it indicated that solar energy could cover 40 percent of the nation’s electric power grid by 2035. It is easy to meet news like that with disbelief, considering the minuscule toehold currently enjoyed by solar energy. However, a significant new factor is now in play.

The catastrophic impacts of climate change hit the U.S. with full force this year, providing corporate leaders with a powerful incentive to lobby for a swift, aggressive transition to clean power. Settling for incremental change is not an option when floods, fires, habitat destruction, and water scarcity destroy communities and disrupt business. Read more here.

Previously Posted

Biden’s proposed tenfold increase in solar power would remake the US electricity system, by Joshua D. Rhodes, Research Associate, University of Texas at Austin. Published by The Conversation.  

Additional Recommended Reading

May White House Statements & Releases

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Amends Nebraska
Disaster Declaration, May 27, 2021

Today, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. made additional disaster assistance available to the State of Nebraska by authorizing an increase in the level of Federal funding for Public Assistance projects undertaken in the State of Nebraska as a result of a severe winter storm, straight-line winds, and flooding during the period of March 9 to July 14, 2019. Continue reading here.

Photo by Herschel Talley / Nebraska National Guard: Flooded Camp Ashland is seen in this aerial photo taken in Ashland, Nebraska, on March 17, 2019.

Tri-State’s clean energy, cost reduction efforts have not quelled member exit interest

By Robert Watson, Utility Dive

There are now at least seven rural electric cooperatives considering what it would cost to leave the service of Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, a sign that the utility’s efforts to reduce costs and carbon emissions have not appeased its membership. The cooperatives include Wheat Belt Public Power and Northwest Rural Public Power in Nebraska. Read more here.

Previously Posted: Co-ops trying to leave Tri-State say the electric utility is “stonewalling” by refusing to calculate the price to exit, The Colorado Sun

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

TAX INCENTIVES

Ditto says public power access to clean energy tax incentives is ‘low hanging fruit’, American Public Power Association
Allowing public power utilities to have access to clean energy tax incentives is “low hanging fruit” in terms of policy-related action that can be taken in the short term in order to incentivize not-for-profit utilities to build their own clean energy generation, said Joy Ditto, President and CEO of the American Public Power Association (APPA) on March 22.

OFFSHORE WIND

Report: Offshore Wind Has the Potential to Meet 90% of 2050 US Electricity Demand, Environment  + Energy Leader

This finding comes from Offshore Wind for America, a new report released by Environment America Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group which examines US offshore wind potential by coastal region and by state. Offshore Wind for America also documents the status of existing projects and technological advances.

EPRI’S SOLAR RESEARCH  

EPRI Receives DOE Funding to Research the Transmission of Solar Information, Solar Industry
The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), an institution that conducts research and development relating to the generation, delivery and use of electricity, says it will receive a $2 million contract from the U.S. Energy Department (DOE) to explore how information about solar energy spreads among consumers. To learn more about EPRI’s solar research, click here.

ELECTRIC VEHICLES & INFRASTRUCTURE

THE WIRE: HOW DOES THAT WORK?


Infographic: Anatomy of a power pole, by Jason Kuiper

OPPD has a lot of power lines. How many? 15,567 miles worth of power lines. Or enough to stretch from Omaha, Neb., around the earth and back at our higher latitude.

It’s Time for American Leaders to Wake Up to the Threat of Climate Change for the Good of the Planet and Business

 Time Magazine Article Contributed by John R. Kasich,
Republican Governor of Ohio from 2011 to 2019

If we could have seen the pandemic coming and had the power to prevent it, of course, we would have. If we had that power but sat on our hands as millions became sick and died, that inaction would be unforgivable.

There is another problem that we know is coming, that we have the power to address, and yet which we continually do too little—or often nothing—to tackle. I’m talking about climate change.

Read more here.


AMERICA’S DIGITAL DIVIDE & OUR CLIMATE CRISIS

The digital divide worsens the inequitable impacts of the climate crisis, GreenBiz
This story originally appeared in Grist and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalistic collaboration to strengthen coverage of the climate story. The author, Maddie Stone, is a science journalist based in Philadelphia. Her work has appeared in Gizmodo, Vice, National Geographic, the Washington Post, the Atlantic and more. 

 SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS COLLABORATIONS – NEW GREENBIZ RESOURCES

From water to carbon, 5 new sustainable business collaborations, by Joel Makower, co-founder, chairman and executive editor of GreenBiz Group Inc., producer of GreenBiz.com

For decades, collaborations and partnerships have been a fundamental part of the sustainable business toolkit, enabling companies to do together what none of them caneasily do alone. Over the years, those collaborations seem to have grown in lockstep with the profession of sustainability itself. Makower’s article includes established as well as “five recent collaborations worth knowing about.”

AMERICA’S FIRST ALL-SOLAR TOWN

Babcock Ranch Is America’s First All-Solar Town, Sarasota Magazine
Coupled with 9,000 acres of bicycle and hiking trails and interconnected lakes, it is to be a town that celebrates health, wellness and technology.

GEORGIA POWER’S SOLAR CUSTOMER COMPENSATION

Georgia Power Expands Renewable Energy with New Solar Program, Solar Industry Magazine
Georgia Power will purchase 100% of the solar energy generated by directly paying the customer. Renewable energy credits (RECs) will be retired by Georgia Power on behalf of participating customers, allowing the customer to claim the renewable benefits of the local solar energy.

OFFSHORE WIND

New auctions could support 28GW US offshore wind, reNEWS
WoodMac predicts $1.2bn in treasury revenue is achievable if BOEM leases more areas including California. New US offshore wind leases could support up to 28GW of clean energy capacity by 2022, according to a new study published by Wood Mackenzie. The study examines the economic impact of offshore wind activities as a result of potential Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) lease auctions in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

BP’S REVISED RENEWABLES TARGET

BP to Build 50GW of Renewables by 2030, Cut Fossil Fuel Output by 40%, Greentech Media
BP has set a 2030 renewables capacity target of 50 gigawatts, which puts it level with French utility giant EDF. BP’s renewables target includes a 20-gigawatt goal by 2025, up from the 2.5 gigawatts it has today. In June it upped its carbon price forecast for 2030 to $100 per ton, from the $40 it assumes now.

Related News Story: BP reports second-quarter loss after major write downs, halves dividend, CNBC

SHELL IN THE NEWS

Holy Floating Solar With Green Hydrogen Offshore Wind Farm, Batman, by Tina Casey, CleanTechnica

Shell has been criss-crossing the CleanTechnica radar as it moves into wind power, among other renewable energy ventures. The Hollandse Kust nord wind project builds up the company’s new identity as a clean power fan, while also positioning it as a global leader for innovative solutions to the challenge of integrating massive quantities of intermittent energy into the grid.

POWERING ELECTRIC TRUCK FLEETS

Electric truck fleets will need a lot of power, but utilities aren’t planning for it, GreenBiz article contributed by Stephen Nadel, Executive Director, ACEEE

This issue is critical, because freight trucks emit more than one-quarter of all vehicle emissions. Recent product developments offer growing opportunities to electrify trucks and buses and slash their emissions (see our recent white paper). And just last week, a group of 15 states plus D.C. announced plans to fully electrify truck sales by 2050. Utilities will need to be ready to power electric fleets.

WoodMac: Large-Scale Solar Holds Cost Edge Despite ITC Stepdown, Coronavirus Impacts

By Colin Smith, Greentech Media

Voluntary procurement of utility solar remains the top driver of U.S. utility PV in development, according to Wood Mackenzie. WoodMac defines voluntary procurement as procurement based solely on the economic competitiveness against other energy sources of electricity generation. 

Procurement of utility solar by corporate off-takers currently ranks second overall. However, the share of RPS-driven solar, which is procured to help utilities meet zero carbon or renewable energy mandates, has also grown and represented 28 percent of PPA contracts signed in the first half of 2020. Continue reading here.

Colin Smith is a senior solar analyst at Wood Mackenzie and contributor to the Solar Data Hub.

Photo by Beyond My Ken / Wikimedia Commons

HYDROGEN

  • NextEra Energy Sees Hydrogen As A Zero Emissions Alternative To Natural Gas, CleanTechnica. NextEra likes to conduct small experiments with new technologies to see whether it is cost effective, and then it goes big if the trials are successful. That’s what it did with solar panels. It now plans to install 30 million of them by 2030. Early tests of battery storage were completed successfully, which led to the decision to construct the Manatee battery facility. Now the company has its eye on another technology that may help it eliminate all emissions associated with the electricity it provides to its customers — hydrogen made by electrolysis using renewable energy that would otherwise be “clipped” or curtailed.
  • Who Will Own the Hydrogen Future: Oil Companies or Power Utilities?, Greentech Media
    Utilities NextEra, Iberdrola and Uniper have all launched recent forays into green hydrogen, challenging a sector dominated by oil companies.

ORPHAN OIL & GAS WELLS & GREEN JOBS

Let’s Hire Laid-Off Oil and Gas Workers to Fight Climate Change, by Michael R. Bloomberg, Bloomberg Opinion. Plugging a single abandoned well can cut its methane emissions by 99%, according to the EPA, and the work requires skills that oil and gas workers already possess. Yet despite the best efforts of state regulators, most abandoned wells — more than 2 million — remain unplugged. A federal program to plug so-called “orphan” wells could create as many as 120,000 well-paying jobs, while preventing hundreds of thousands of tons of greenhouse gases from escaping into the atmosphere. 

DOMINION

TRI-STATE GENERATION & TRANSMISSION ASSOCIATION

United Power’s battle: why it matters, Brighton Standard-Blade
United Power is one of 45 members that make up Tri-State, a co-op that supplies power to service territories in Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming.

“SOLAR-FOR-COAL SWAPS”

Electric co-ops lead growing wave of early coal plant retirements with ‘solar-for-coal swaps’, PV Magazine. A new white paper from Energy Innovation, an energy policy firm, suggests that one way to speed up the process may be found in the “solar-for-coal swaps” that a small number of U.S. electric cooperatives have successfully completed. As the name implies, the main idea here is for a utility to swap out power from aging coal plants for solar generation. Private sector financing for the swap allows the coal plants to be bought and then retired ahead of schedule.

ANOTHER PUBLIC-WORKER PENSION SYSTEM INVESTING IN RENEWABLES

As Activists Push NJ to Divest from Fossil Fuels, State Turns to Green-Energy Fund, New Jersey Spotlight. New Jersey’s public-worker pension system is committing up to $100 million in assets to a private-equity fund that will invest solely in renewable-energy infrastructure projects around the globe. The investment in the Stonepeak Global Renewables Fund is the pension system’s first large-scale foray into backing renewable-energy production.

SOLAR PLUS STORAGE

EDF, NV Energy sign power contract for one of the world’s largest solar-plus-storage projects, PV Magazine.The two firms have a 22-year power purchase agreement for the electricity generated by the upcoming Chuckwalla solar farm, which will have a rated capacity of 200 MW solar and 180 MW/720 MWh storage.

OFFSHORE WIND

Floating Offshore Wind on Cusp of Unlocking Big Source of Finance, Experts Say. Greentech Media Non-recourse finance is the largest source of funding for offshore wind, and lenders are becoming more comfortable with floating turbines.

PLUGIN VEHICLES

Tesla = 19% of Global Plugin Vehicle Market, by CleanTechnica
According to data from EV Volumes, Tesla was #1 in terms of plugin vehicles sold globally and had nearly 3 times as many sales as #2 Volkswagen, or just slightly more than #2 Volkswagen plus #3 BMW plus #4 BYD. Overall, as the title states, Tesla took home 19% of the world’s plugin vehicle sales in the first half of 2020.

EV CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE

100% Renewable Energy For 2,700 New EV Fast Charging Stations In USA, by Tina Casey, CleanTechnica. The renewable energy angle is an important one for EV charging because it enlists drivers in the broader transition away from fossil fuels. As it stands today, EV drivers who charge from the grid may still be getting their power from coal or natural gas. Fast charging companies that insist on 100% renewable energy gather thousands (and soon, millions) of individual EV drivers into a powerful force that accelerates the demand for wind and solar.

GLOBAL RENEWABLE ENERGY GROWTH

Renewable Energy Growth Continues At A Blistering Pace, Forbes
Renewables were the only category of energy that grew globally at double digits over the past decade. For perspective, in 2009 the world consumed 8.2 exajoules of renewable energy. In 2019, that had nearly quadrupled to 29.0 exajoules.

Commentary: Time to double down on wind investment

By Ray Gaesser, Globe Gazette

Iowa recently made news for surpassing 40 percent of its total energy generation from wind and installing a record amount of wind power in a single year. While we should take time to celebrate this milestone, we need to double down on these important infrastructure investments to aid in our state’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

As chair of the Iowa Conservative Energy Forum, I can tell you that wind energy’s economic impact is needed in rural Iowa now more than ever. Rural landowners in Iowa are receiving $69 million annually in land lease payments. This consistent source of income can help farmers and landowners weather the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

NEW INTERNATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY AGENCY REPORT 

  • Renewables Increasingly Beat Even Cheapest Coal Competitors on Cost, IRENA News Release. “We have reached an important turning point in the energy transition. The case for new and much of the existing coal power generation, is both environmentally and economically unjustifiable,” said Francesco La Camera, Director-General of IRENA. “Renewable energy is increasingly the cheapest source of new electricity, offering tremendous potential to stimulate the global economy and get people back to work. Renewable investments are stable, cost-effective and attractive offering consistent and predictable returns while delivering benefits to the wider economy.”
  • See IRENA’s  interactive infographic on How Falling Costs Make Renewables a Cost-effective Investment
  • Energy firms urged to mothball coal plants as cost of solar tumbles, The Guardian
    The International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) has found that up to 1,200 gigawatts of the world’s existing coal capacity could cost more to run than the cost of new utility-scale solar plants. If energy companies replaced only their most expensive coal plants with new solar power projects or onshore wind farms, totalling 500 GW globally, they could save up to $23bn every year and wipe out 5% of last year’s total global carbon emissions, according to Irena.

TESLA SUPERCHARGERS

With North Dakota, All 48 Continental US States Have Tesla Superchargers, CleanTechnica
Overall, there are now 1,870 Tesla Supercharger stations and 16,585 Supercharging ports around the world.

Tesla Supercharger Map

Alliant coal plant could cost Wisconsin customers $257M by 2030, report says

By Catherine Morehouse, Utilty Dive

Two Wisconsin coal plants cost Alliant Energy’s Wisconsin customers $16 million in 2019 alone, according to a report released Tuesday from the Sierra Club. Alliant on Friday announced it plans to retire one of those facilities — the 380 MW last remaining unit of its Edgewater plant — by 2022. However, the 1,023 MW Columbia coal plant has no set retirement date, and if it continues to operate the utility’s share of the plant could cost customers $257 million through 2030, according to Sierra Club. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Related: Alliant Energy looks to add 675 MW of PV and quadruple Wisconsin’s solar capacity, PV Magazine

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

The (energy) efficient road to small business recovery, Utility Dive
The following is a contributed article by Ralph Cavanagh, Energy Co-Director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, and John Di Stasio, President of the Large Public Power Council.

MORE ON SECRET GROUP’S FERC PETITION

24 Congressional Democrats urge FERC to reject net metering overhaul, Utility Dive
A group of Democratic senators and representatives on Tuesday wrote to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, urging the regulatory body to shut down a net metering proposal that experts say would effectively overturn the policy nationally. In the letter, Congress Members questioned FERC’s authority to make such a rule and also asked the commission to ask the petitioner, New England Ratepayers Association (NERA), to disclose its members. 

Upcoming Advanced Energy Economy Webinar


Net Energy Metering and State Authority: What’s at Stake for Advanced Energy in FERC Petition, June 3 at 2 p.m.


This webinar will explain how FERC ruling the wrong way could impact existing and emerging state and municipal and cooperative utility approaches to supporting distributed energy resources in retail markets. 

Panelists

  • Ted Thomas, Chairman, Arkansas Public Service Commission
  • Hannah Muller, Director of Public Policy, Clearway Energy
  • John McCaffrey, Senior Regulatory Counsel, American Public Power Association
  • Jeff Dennis, Managing Director and General Counsel, Advanced Energy Economy

PEAK COALITION REPORT

Dirty Energy, Big Money, by the PEAK Coalition
Subtitle: 
How Private Companies Make Billions from Polluting Fossil Fuel Peaker Power Plants in New York City’s Environmental Justice Communities – and How to Create a Cleaner, More Just Alternative

The high costs of these peaker plants—both in public health impacts and on New Yorkers’ electric utility bills—are largely hidden to the public. It is not well known, but the owners of these plants receive exorbitant payments from utilities and other energy service providers just for the plants to exist. 

UNION OF CONCERNED SCIENTISTS STUDY

The Coal Bailout Everybody Is Talking About, by Joseph Daniel, senior energy analyst with the Climate & Energy program at UCS

 As we found in our new UCS report, Used but How Useful, How Electric Utilities Exploit Loopholes, Forcing Customers to Bail Out Uneconomic Coal-Fired Power Plants, utilities across 15 states right in the heart of the U.S. exploited power market loopholes, costing customers $350 million in 2018.

Previously Posted

Wind energy increasing in Illinois and Indiana, despite challenges

By Kari Lydersen, Energy News Network

Illinois and Indiana both saw significant increases in wind power in 2019, according to the recently released annual report of the American Wind Energy Association. The gains in both states show the potential for increasing wind power, whether a state has robust renewables incentives, like Illinois, or not, like Indiana.

In both states the progress came despite pockets of vocal opposition to wind energy. And in both states rural landowners, elected officials and other residents say they are increasingly seeing the benefits of wind, with payments to cash-strapped farmers, infrastructure improvements and tax revenue for schools. Continue reading here.

Photo by Bradhoc / Flickr / Creative Commons

FEATURED JOB PORTALS 

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES/REGIONS

ENERGY STORAGE

  • Long Duration Breakthrough? Form Energy’s First Project Tries Pushing Storage to 150 Hours, Greentech Media. Minnesota utility Great River Energy will use new storage technology from the Bill Gates-backed startup to replace coal power with dispatchable wind.
  • Commentary: Energy storage is a game-changer for Texas, Energy News Network
    Contributors: Matt Welch is the state director of Conservative Texans for Energy Innovation, a statewide organization that promotes free enterprise, increased competition and less government regulation in our energy economy. Suzanne Bertin is managing director of Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance, an organization of local and national advanced energy companies making Texas’s energy system more secure, clean, reliable, and affordable.

TAX CREDIT DEADLINES

US Treasury to Tweak Tax Credit Deadlines for Renewables Projects, Greentech Media
A letter issued by the Treasury Department suggests relief may be on the way for an anxious renewables market, particularly wind developers.

SOLAR CANOPIES

Solar canopies can put PV panels in some new and interesting places, PV Magazine
With the cost of solar panels falling through the floor (2020 solar module pricing is now below $0.25/watt) and projected to continue falling steadily, where are we going to put all those beautiful panels? 

GREEN HYDROGEN

Shell’s Latest Offshore Wind Bid Would Power a Huge Green Hydrogen Cluster, Greentech Media
Shell and Eneco join forces to compete with Ørsted in a Dutch offshore wind tender; both bids are linked to green hydrogen production.

OPPD RESOURCE

5 tips for electrical safety in your home, by Laura King-Homan, The Wire
May is National Electrical Safety Month. These five tips will ensure your family stays safe around electricity in the home.