Tag Archives: Shell

Wind energy had a ‘banner year’ in 2020. Here’s what that means for Joe Biden’s climate plan.

By Elinor Aspegren, USA Today

A study from the American Clean Power Association released this month reports that 2020 was a record year for the industry, with developers adding enough megawatts of capacity to provide power for millions of homes and inching the U.S. closer to the Biden administration’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2035.

In all, 16,913 megawatts of new wind power capacity was installed in the U.S. last year – an 85% increase over 2019. That’s the equivalent of the power generated from 11 large coal plants, and enough to serve nearly 6 million homes, Jonathan Naughton, a professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Wind Energy Research Center at the University of Wyoming, told USA TODAY. Read more here.

Nebraska Clean Energy Fact Sheet, American Clean Power Association

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Onward and Upward: How Recent Trends Will Power Breakthroughs in 2021 and Beyond,
Greentech Media article contributed by John Carrington, CEO and Director of Stem.

Not even 100 days into his administration, President Biden’s sense of urgency in tackling climate issues and driving a clean energy revolution is clear. Here is a look at how key recent trends in energy and climate — including remarkable clean energy progress under dire circumstances — will lead to real and sustainable breakthroughs in 2021 and beyond.

FACT SHEET: President Biden Takes Executive Actions to Tackle the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, Create Jobs, and Restore Scientific Integrity Across Federal Government, The White House Briefing Room

SEIA NEWS RELEASE

Solar Industry Statement on Blue Collar to Green Collar Jobs Development Act

“The Blue Collar to Green Collar Jobs Development Act introduced by Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) will make the American solar industry stronger, better trained and more diverse. Our industry will need tens of thousands of workers as it continues to expand and we are deeply committed to efforts to diversify our workforce, bring the benefits of the energy transition to all, and create economic opportunity for Americans in every community, including those who worked in traditional energy industries.” – Abigail Ross Hopper, President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association

ZERO ENERGY READY HOMES

DOE’s Zero Energy Ready Home Program helps homebuyers quickly identify high performance homes that are so energy efficient, all or most annual energy use can be offset with renewable energy. Now a trilogy of videos is available to tell that powerful story to American homebuyers.


DOE’s Video Trilogy

Live Better
Live Healthy
Live Future Ready

The Sun Haven: Net-Zero Energy Home in Lincoln (GRNE Solar).

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Why energy efficiency is key to net-zero, GreenBiz Group

 

 

 

 

 

Despite the rise of net-zero commitments and new financial models proliferating, we’re slowing on our efficiency gains. Global efficiency improvements have been on the decline since 2015, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Energy intensity in 2020 is expected to improve by only 0.8 percent — nearly half of the improvements for 2019 (1.6 percent) and 2018 (1.5 percent). 

ENERGY STORAGE

NREL outlines four-phase framework for energy storage development, American Public Power Association


The report released late last month is the first publication to come out of NREL’s multi-yea
Storage Futures Study, which will explore energy storage technologies across a range of potential future cost and performance scenarios through 2050.


KEYSTONE XL

Cancellation of Keystone XL Pipeline Shapes Energy Investment, Environment + Energy Leader article contributed by Anthony Shaw, Founder, Progeneration Energy

The fate of Keystone XL and similar projects are fueling reinvention in the oil sector. Companies like Shell and BP are no longer defining themselves as oil companies, building new brand identities as integrated energy companies. 

Previously Posted: Nebraska’s better off without Keystone XL, Lincoln Journal Star Editorial Board 

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). 

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.

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.

$3.3 billion wind investment will add 2,500 MW of clean energy in South Dakota

Written by South Dakota News Watch, Energy News Network

Just two years ago, despite being home to the third-most-active winds in the nation, South Dakota ranked No. 19 for wind energy production among the 50 states, with 15 wind farms and a total of 584 turbines able to generate 1,014 megawatts of electricity.

New national ranking data is not yet available, but the approved and docketed projects would raise the total of wind farms to 25 and nearly triple the number of wind towers in the state. The electricity production capacity would rise to more than 3,600 megawatts. Though it is variable, one megawatt of electricity can power about 1,000 homes; South Dakota ranks high in the nation for the number of homes, about 300,000, that are powered by wind energy.
Read more here.

Photo by South Dakota Renewable Energy Association

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING 

CORPORATE ENERGY TRANSITION NEWS 

 Previously Posted

IPCC REPORT

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2018 report states that net zero CO2 emissions must be achieved in fewer than 15 years before global warming effects become irreversible.

NEW REPORT

Reducing Carbon Pollution Through Infrastructure: A Roadmap for Congress, Center for American Progress. Investing in clean energy, transportation, buildings, industrial innovation, and more could cut more than 800 million metric tons of carbon pollution in 2030.

The Center for American Progress is an independent nonpartisan policy institute that is dedicated to improving the lives of all Americans, through bold, progressive ideas, as well as strong leadership and concerted action.

2019 GREEN POWER LEADERSHIP AWARDS 

Center for Resource Solutions Announces 2019 Green Power Leadership Award Winners, News Release. The nonprofit Center for Resource Solutions (CRS) presented the 2019 Green Power Leadership Awards today, awarding eight organizations and one individual for their roles in promoting and expanding the use of clean, renewable energy. The awards were presented at the Renewable Energy Markets 2019 conference in San Diego, CA in the categories of Green Power Market Development, International Green Power Market Development, and Green Power Leader of the Year.

States March toward 100% Clean Energy–Who’s Next?

By Jeff Deyette, Director of State Policy & Analysis, Clean Energy,
Union of Concerned Scientists Blog

Eight states plus Washington DC and Puerto Rico (not pictured here) have committed to 100% Renewable or Clean Energy Standards. Another 13 states are actively considering similar measures.

One year ago this week, the California legislature passed landmark legislation committing the state’s power providers to supplying 60% of their electricity from renewable energy by 2030 and setting a target of 100% clean, or carbon-free, power by mid century. It was a bold action that significantly raised the bar for other states considering policy action. And over the last 12 months, another six states (bringing the total to eight states) plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have answered the call with various obligations toward 100% clean energy over the next few decades. What’s driving this surge in state-level clean energy leadership? And which states will be the next to step up? Read more here. 

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

ENERGY NEWS NETWORK ARTICLES

SEIA NEWS RELEASE

Solar Industry Calls on FERC to Enforce PURPA, Increase Competition
The proposal provides utilities with a new framework for offering competitive solicitations based on their integrated resource plans, while also complying with PURPA’s requirement to purchase energy and capacity from small renewable and cogeneration facilities. SEIA’s competitive bidding solution is designed to prevent utility self-dealing while opening the market for new capacity to independent developers.

PACE FINANCING

  • Green builders lean on a juggernaut loan program, The Philadelphia Tribune
    Developers grappling with the cost of new laws enacted to combat climate change are taking advantage of a little-known finance tool to help pay for green-building requirements. In Omaha, Nebraska, for instance, the Capitol District, a $205 million mixed-use entertainment development, has become the latest milestone in a long-running effort to revitalize the downtown area. The project’s developer, Shamrock Development, tapped a PACE program to pay for LED lighting, heat pumps, low-flow water fixtures, and other building materials and equipment to enhance energy and water efficiency.
  • In Chicago, a new financing tool for clean energy and efficiency upgrades, Energy News Network
    Advocates see strong potential in Chicago and surrounding areas for property assessed clean energy financing to boost investments.

RECYCLING EV BATTERIES

MORE ON UTAH’S SONNEN & RMP VIRTUAL POWER PLANT

Rocky Mountain Power prepares to operate largest US residential battery demand response project, Utility Dive. “In my opinion, this is the most transformative project we’ve worked on in the United States,” Sonnen CEO Blake Richetta told Utility Dive. That’s coming from a company that has installed more than 40,000 batteries globally and already developed multiple Virtual Power Plants that combine residential energy systems into grid resources. But Richetta, who took the helm at Sonnen earlier this year, said the Utah project stands out for multiple reasons.

Rocky Mountain Power is a division of PacifiCorp, a fully-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy.

Previously Posted

A Cutting Edge Virtual Power Project In Utah, With Batteries Managed By The Utility

By Peter Kelly-Detwiler, Contributor, Forbes

Today, energy storage company sonnen, Inc. (a subsidiary of Shell), real estate developer Wasatch Group, and utility Rocky Mountain Power (a subsidiary of Pacificorp) announced a unique and ground-breaking virtual power plant (VPP) in Herriman, Utah, just outside of Salt Lake City.  The project, Soleil Lofts, is an apartment community that will feature solar arrays as well as 600 sonnen lithium iron phosphate ecoLinx batteries, totaling 5 megawatts (MW) of capacity and 12.6 megawatt-hours (MWh) of energy.  Residents will begin moving into the apartments in September 2019 and the final building will be complete by December of 2020. Sonnen Inc’s CEO Blake Richetta recently characterized Soleil Lofts as “the world’s first all-electric, carbon neutral residential apartment community VPP, managed by the local utility, Rocky Mountain Power.” Continue reading here.

Additional Recommended Reading

Shell CEO: Solar Energy To Be Backbone of World’s Energy System

By James Ayre, CleanTechnica

Ben van Beurden

Ben van Beurden

Solar energy will comprise the backbone of the world’s energy system in years to come, according to the CEO of Shell (yes, that Shell), Ben van Beurden. The exact words used by Van Beurden were that he has “no hesitation to predict that in years to come solar will be the dominant backbone of our energy system, certainly of the electricity system.” Considering that these words were from the CEO of one of the largest oil companies in the world, one would assume that he has good reasons for saying what he did.  Read more.

SEE ALSO: Shell chairman announces new Energy Transitions Commission