Tag Archives: RE100

Facebook and Google: Utilities Must Take Lead on Grid Decarbonization

By Emma Foehringer Merchant, Greentech Media

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Utilities, not green-minded corporations, need to lead on decarbonizing the grid, said executives at Google and Facebook. Corporate procurement now ranks among the top drivers of large-scale U.S. renewables purchases. But it’s not the long-term answer to clean energy deployment, the technology executives said Thursday, speaking at an event hosted by the American Council on Renewable Energy. They’d rather see large market shifts than an emphasis on voluntary corporate renewables goals. Google and Facebook are currently the nation’s largest corporate buyers of renewable power in 2019 and among the largest in the world. Read more here.

Google Photo: Data center operators are driving demand for renewable power around the world. 

Additional Recommended Reading

Corporate leaders: It’s time to lead on climate policy, by Mindy Lubber, CEO and president of the nonprofit Ceres. At this vital moment in the global climate crisis, corporate leadership on climate policy is a top priority. This week, I joined ten other executives of leading nonprofit organizations in an open letter calling on corporate CEOs to use their voice, their global platforms, their credibility, and their networks to support a policy agenda to get us to net-zero emissions by 2050. That is the goal that scientists say is necessary to limit global warming and avoid unprecedented damage to our planet, our economy and our communities. 

Ceres is one of the cofounders of We Are Still In, a coalition of more than 3500 investors, companies, mayors, governors, college presidents and other leaders committed to U.S. action on climate change.

RE100 Update: 204 influential businesses, including Google and Facebook, have made a commitment to 100% renewable energy. A growing number of RE100 members also are driving their global supply chains to transition to clean energy.

REBA: Google and Facebook are also members of the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA). REBA’s goal is to catalyze 60 gigawatts (GW) of new renewable energy by 2025, and expand the number of organizations buying clean power from dozens today to tens of thousands. REBA’s Vision & Initiatives.

Recommended Viewing
What is REBA?, Two-minute video by REBA on Vimeo.

The University of California system is ending its investment in fossil fuels

By Umair Irfan, Vox

This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.

The University of California system, which educates more than 280,000 students and employs 227,000 faculty and staff, announced late Tuesday it is divesting from fossil fuels. It’s the single largest action to date in the growing movement of institutions withdrawing their financial stakes in the industry that’s the principal driver of climate change. “We believe hanging on to fossil fuel assets is a financial risk,” wrote Jagdeep Singh Bachher, the UC’s chief investment officer, and Richard Sherman, chair of the UC Board of Regents’ Investments Committee, in an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times. By the end of September, the UC’s $70 billion pension fund and $13.4 billion endowment will no longer hold any stakes in companies involved with extracting fossil fuels. Read more here.

Related 

  • Study Warns that Gas Plants Could become Stranded Assets, Microgrid Knowledge
    Utilities, investors and regulators should stop the rush to natural gas and choose clean energy portfolios (CEP) made up of combinations of solar, wind, storage, efficiency and demand response, warns a new report from the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). If they don’t, many gas plants will become stranded assets, raising the specter that ratepayers will have to pay for them, said Chaz Teplin, a manager in RMI’s electricity practice. “We’re hoping that regulators, utilities and investors think really hard about whether new gas plants are wise investments,” said Teplin.
  • Previously Posted: The growing concern over stranded assets, GreenBiz

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

MORE ON CORPORATE RENEWABLE ENERGY PROCUREMENT

THE TERRATON PROJECT

Mission: Remove a trillion tons of carbon from the atmosphere, GreenBiz
The Terraton Initiative embodies one specific goal — to remove 1 trillion metric tons of carbon from Earth’s atmosphere. Indigo Agriculture, an agricultural technology company based in Massachusetts, founded and runs the project.

GLOBAL ENERGY STORAGE REPORTS

Nothing standing in the way of energy storage’s ‘explosive growth’: Navigant, Utility Dive
“Nothing really does seem to be standing in the way of its explosive growth,” Ricardo Rodriguez, research analyst for distributed energy storage at Navigant Research, told Utility Dive. The market research company in its latest report identified close to 2,100 energy storage projects globally. And international storage markets are anticipated to grow exponentially over the next decade, a second report from Rethink Technology Research found.

How a not-for-profit charity is helping Apple, Goldman Sachs and others to embrace renewables

By Anmar Frangoul, CNBC

The CDP, formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project, is a not-for-profit charity. It operates a “global disclosure system” which allows businesses, states, regions and cities to “measure and manage” their impact on the environment. Paul Dickinson is the executive chair of the CDP. He told CNBC’s Sustainable Energy that his organization represented over 600 investors with $90 trillion of assets, as well as more than 100 purchasing organizations “with trillions of purchasing authority.”

One major project the CDP is involved with is called the RE100, a global initiative made up of some of the world’s biggest companies, all committed to 100 percent renewable electricity. Businesses that are part of the RE100 include AppleDanoneGoldman Sachs and the Lego Group. Click here to read more and to view a 2-minute video about CDP’s outstanding work. 

ADDITIONAL CLEAN ENERGY NEWS

CLEAN ENERGY JOBS

ENERGY SECTORS’ OUTLOOKS

BNEF: Corporations signed contracts for 8.6 GW of clean energy in 2019

By Michelle Froese, Windpower Engineering

U.S. corporations bought 5.95 GW of clean energy in 2019, closing in on the 2018 total, according to BloombergNEF’s (BNEF) recently published, 2H 2019 Corporate Energy Market Outlook. The report shows that companies are once again flocking to Texas – historically the largest corporate procurement market in the country – where 40% of the activity in 2019 has occurred. However, just 1 GW of deals in the U.S. have come from green tariffs with regulated utilities. It is unlikely to reach the 2.6 GW seen in all of 2018.

This may be a result of buyer apprehension, as several companies have been involved in highly publicized legal battles with regulated utilities over clean energy buying. Companies are instead favoring the virtual PPA model, which has made up 82% of all U.S. deals in 2019. Read more here.

Resources for Businesses


RE100:
191 RE100 companies have made a commitment to go ‘100% renewable’. Read about the actions they are taking and why.

Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA)
In 2018, four leading NGOS — Rocky Mountain InstituteWorld Wildlife FundWorld Resources Institute, and Business for Social Responsibility — merged their renewable energy programs, the Business Renewables Center, the Future of Internet Power, the Buyers Principles, and Green Tariff programs. This programmatic consolidation builds upon their collective success and offers a single streamlined solution.

REBA’s goal is to catalyze 60 gigawatts (GW) of new renewable energy by 2025, and expand the number of organizations buying clean power from dozens today to tens of thousands.

 

U.S. Renewable Energy Map: A Guide for Corporate Buyers,
World Resources Institute

 

Save the Date!
September 12, 2019 at 7 pm – Nebraskans for Solar’s September Speaker: David Bracht, Attorney With Kutak Rock and Former Nebraska Energy Office Director, UNO’s Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center, Rooms 201 & 205. Mr. Bracht will provide an overview of Nebraska’s wind and solar development and our state’s potential for future growth.

Specific topics will include:

  • power purchase agreements
  • virtual power purchase agreements
  • commercial and industrial use of solar
  • the potential for combined solar and battery installations
  • incentives and depreciation

GreenBiz Webcasts

Voices of 100% Podcast: Small Iowa Town Pushes for Energy Independence

By John Farrell, Energy Democracy Initiative Director,
Institute For Local Self-Reliance

How does a small city in southeastern Iowa plan to achieve energy independence and join the more than 100 cities across the country that are working toward ambitious goals to generate their electricity from renewable resources?

For this episode of our Voices of 100% series of the Local Energy Rules Podcast, host John Farrell spoke with Chris Ball, Community Development Director for the town of Bloomfield, Iowa. Bloomfield is a small town in southeastern Iowa with a population of about 2,600 people, aging homes, and its own municipal electric and gas utilities. At the urging of the town’s residents, Bloomfield is now pursuing ways to expand energy independence and reduce their reliance on imported energy by investing in solar, energy efficiency, and more. Listen to the full episode to learn how the town is taking action to support local, clean energy.

ADDITIONAL NEWS & RESOURCES

Environment America: Voices for 100% Renewable Energy

States of repair: governors, state legislatures find climate solutions, Environment America News Release. Six months ago, as new governors and state legislators took office, Environment America Research & Policy Center released a report, Climate Solutions from Day One: 12 Ways Governors Can Lead on Climate Now, detailing a set of 12 actions governors could take immediately to significantly reduce planet-warming carbon pollution and ensure a more stable climate for their states and the nation. In the intervening months, Republican and Democratic governors from coast to coast have listened to their constituents’ bipartisan concerns about climate change and have taken action. At last count, 14 states took at least one of the actions laid out in the report. Colorado (8), Maine (6) and New Mexico (5) took action in the most categories.

RE100 Update: 185 RE100 companies have made a commitment to go ‘100% renewable’. Read about the actions they are taking and why. A growing number of them are encouraging their suppliers to make the commitment to 100% renewable energy.

Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Update: 130 cities have made the commitment to 100% clean and renewable energy for all.

FEATURED ENERGY CONSERVATION RESOURCE

Energy Savings At Home: Energy Star

EV NEWS

Lego builds its way to 100% renewables – with its own pieces

Smart Energy International

The company’s transition was originally expected to be reached by 2022, but it became possible to complete the transition sooner, thanks to the completion of a 258MW offshore wind farm in the Irish Sea. Lego has 42 offices around the world, and remains a major influence in culture across generations. Read more here.

RE100: Lego became a member in May 2017. RE100 is a global corporate leadership initiative bringing together leading companies committed to 100% renewable electricity.

Lego Wind Turbine Kit Developed in Partnership With Vestas 

In 2018 Lego “released a fully-functional Lego wind turbine playset, “which allows budding engineers a chance to see the technology in effect, rather than theory.” The Lego bricks are made from a plant-based material sourced from sugarcane. Lego’s ultimate goal is to produce all their products and packaging with sustainable materials by 2030.


Also Of Potential Interest to Teachers

Lego is now on DonorsChoose.org, a non-profit organization that connects public school classrooms with the community to help fund student learning. Find out more about posting your classroom project to DonorsChoose.org and raising funds to benefit your classroom.

Lego’s List of Popular Educational Grant Providers

Nebraska Solar Schools Grant

Nebraska Solar Schools, a Nebraskans for Solar program, is offering 100 NEED Solar Energy Kits to up to 100 Nebraska public and non-public schools. The kits provide K-12 teachers a convenient and fun way to incorporate more solar energy education into their Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) programs.

Teacher and student curriculum guides are available for free download and review at the following links, as well as descriptions of each grade-level solar kit:

The Sun and Its Energy: Grades K-2
Wonders of the Sun: Grades 3-5
Energy from the Sun: Grades 6-8
Exploring Photovoltaics: Grades 9-12

Click here to learn more.

US cities back green power

Innovators Magazine

Athens has become the fourth city in the US state of Georgia to commit to transitioning to 100% clean and renewable energy. The Athens-Clarke County (ACC) Commission unanimously backed a shift to 100% clean and renewable electricity by 2035. Read more here.

Additional Recommended Reading
Athens, Ga., commits to 100% clean energy by 2035, Atlanta Business Chronicle

100% RENEWABLE ENERGY INITIATIVES

MORE 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS

CORPORATE RENEWABLE ENERGY PROCUREMENT 

Newly independent REBA and founding NGOs plan to supercharge corporate renewables procurement, GreenBiz. REBA has an ambitious goal; it aims to catalyze 60 gigawatts of new renewable energy by 2025 — an amount about equal to the total solar capacity in the United States, which reached 64 gigawatts at the end of 2018.

National trend toward 100% renewable energy accelerates

Environment America News Release

In January, Environment America revealed its “100% Renewable” campaign, which aspires to get nine new states to set ambitious renewable energy targets within five years. At the time, only Hawaii and California had met that goal. But with Washington enacting a bill today and New Mexico doing the same in March, the total number has doubled. In addition, a bipartisan group of 88 state legislators in Pennsylvania also announced that they are re-introducing a bill to require that commonwealth to get 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2050. Read more here.

MORE 100% CLEAN ENERGY NEWS

Additional Recommended Reading
Corporate Renewable Energy Commitments Catalyzing Change, Triple Pundit

How the Green New Deal Can Unify Rather than Divide Us

Written by Ken Kimmel, President of the Union of Concerned Scientists

The “Green New Deal,” which seemed to spring out of nowhere, has captured the attention of many of us who recognize that the need to prevent runaway climate change is the greatest challenge of our time. Its inspiring title calls to mind an era when our country worked together to pull out of a depression. Its main proponents are young people—who better than the up-and-coming generation to demand that the former one leaves behind a world that is habitable? And, it calls for action on a scale that aligns with the best available science.

Unfortunately, many who oppose acting on climate change are using the Green New Deal as a political football . . . Those of us who want the United States to lead on climate change, whether such action is called a Green New Deal, or another inspiring frame (e.g., 100% clean energy by mid-century) must not let this happen. The key is to define the Green New Deal before the caricatures stick, by showing that, while it is ambitious, it is realistic and affordable. We can succeed if we follow these principles: Continue reading here.

Previously posted YouTube video exemplifying local “micro” Green New Deals sprouting up all across the country: How one small city sowed the seeds for its own Green New Deal

100% RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS

Puerto Rico passes 100% renewable energy bill as it aims for storm resilience, Utility Dive
The U.S. territory will join Hawaii, California and Washington, D.C., with its 100% RPS target, which includes interim goals of 40% renewables by 2025 and 50% by 2040. Photo Credit: Flickr user Ricardo’s Photography

NEW REPORT

Battery Power’s Latest Plunge in Costs Threatens Coal, Gas, Bloomberg New Energy Finance

The most striking finding in this [levelized cost of electricity update], for the first-half of 2019, is on the cost improvements in lithium-ion batteries. These are opening up new opportunities for them to balance a renewables-heavy generation mix. Batteries co-located with solar or wind projects are starting to compete, in many markets and without subsidy, with coal- and gas-fired generation for the provision of ‘dispatchable power’ that can be delivered whenever the grid needs it. 

NEW DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY SOLAR RESEARCH PROJECT

News Release: Department of Energy Announces $130 Million for Early-Stage Solar Research Project
Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $130 million for new research to advance early-stage solar technologies. These projects will help to achieve affordable and reliable energy to enhance America’s economic growth and energy security . . . This funding program targets five research areas: photovoltaics (PV), concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP), soft costs reduction, innovations in manufacturing, and solar systems integration. These projects will make solar energy more affordable, reliable, and secure, while working to boost domestic solar manufacturing, reduce red tape, and make PV more resilient to cyberattack.

Previously Announced DOE Funding for Solar Energy Integration

For more information on the Solar Energy Technologies Office, visit their website HERE.

New Mexico Passes 100% Clean Energy Bill

By Noah Long, Natural Resources Defense Council

The bill will double renewable energy use in the state by 2025, require 50% renewable energy by 2030 and 100 percent carbon free electricity generation by 2045. This means New Mexico can quickly transition from dependence on fossil fuels for electricity to joining other states to lead a new clean energy economy. Read more here.

Related

  • New Mexico will be the third US state to go 100% renewable, PV Magazine
  • Power to the people — community solar works, Santa Fe New Mexican
    Written by Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller, Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima, and Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber
  • Southwest States Make Large Strides on Renewable Energy Targets, E&E News, Reprinted by Scientific American. New Mexico and Nevada are poised to enact far-reaching changes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In Nevada, NV Energy was once viewed as an enemy of residential solar development after backing state regulators’ attempt to end the practice of net metering. But the utility acquiesced to efforts to restore net metering and has sought to tout its renewable ambitions in recent months . . . Public Service Company of New Mexico, the state’s largest utility, had already pledged to divest itself of all its coal assets by 2031.

MORE 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS

Hoboken commits to 100% renewable energy by 2030, The Stute
In a statement released on February 21, 2019, Mayor Ravi Bhalla announced that the city of Hoboken, New Jersey will begin purchasing 100% clean, nonpolluting renewable electricity for all municipal facilities starting April of 2019. This includes offices and buildings used for the Hoboken local government, such as city hall.