Tag Archives: Sierra Club

Low-carbon cities are a $24 trillion opportunity

By Leah Lazer, Catlyne Haddaoui, and Jake Wellman, GreenBiz

A new report from the Coalition for Urban Transitions, “Climate Emergency, Urban Opportunity,” finds that low-carbon cities can reduce emissions while offering tremendous economic opportunities. Researchers found that investing in 16 low-carbon measures in cities could cut global urban emissions by 90 percent by 2050 and has a net present value of almost $24 trillion, equivalent to nearly one-third of the global GDP in 2018. This means that between now and 2050, the total benefits of these investments will exceed their total costs by almost $24 trillion. Broken down by years, an average annual investment of $1.8 trillion (about 2 percent of global GDP in 2018) would yield returns of $2.8 trillion per year by 2030, and $6.9 trillion per year by 2050. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Keith J. Semmelink / Flickr – Omaha skyline

ALSO IN THE NEWS

CORPORATE NEWS

REPORT: UTILITIES’ SELF-SCHEDULING COSTS FOR RATEPAYERS

Inefficient coal plant scheduling cost ratepayers $3.5B from 2015 to 2017, report says, by Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive. Regulated utilities cost ratepayers over $3.5 billion from 2015 to 2017 through uneconomic coal practices, according to a report released Tuesday from the Sierra Club. Vertically-integrated utilities consistently operated coal units based on their own scheduling rather than relying on market signals to determine when running that plant would be most economic, the report found. The practice, known as self-scheduling, became common when there were fewer cost-effective alternative resources, but now hinders the ability of other resources, wind and solar, to compete in power markets, research has previously found.

GLOBAL COAL DIVESTMENT

Over 100 and counting, Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis
To date, over 100 and counting globally significant financial institutions have announced their divestment from coal mining and/or coal-fired power plants. New announcements are occurring on average every week.

INTERVIEW

#Solar100’s Adam Browning: The Michael Jordan of Solar Policy, PV Magazine
In this #Solar100 interview, Richard Matsui, Founder and CEO of kWh Analytics, speaks with Adam Browning, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Vote Solar.

ENERGY STORAGE

EV CHARGING

EV Connect Raises $12M for Electric Vehicle Charging Software, Greentech Media
The L.A. startup wants to let customers mix and match charging hardware and software controls to suit their needs.

Climatologist warns climate change will lead to more flooding in Nebraska

By Sydnie Holzfaster, KPTM Fox 42 News

State officials say more flooding is in Nebraska’s future if nothing is done to reverse climate change. Sunday State Climatologist Martha Shulski spoke with members of the environmental advocacy group Green Bellevue about how climate change is affecting people in Nebraska now and what they can expect in the future. Shulski said people can help the environment by making small changes in their daily life like buying locally sourced products; taking city buses or cutting back on personal driving or investing in renewable energy options for your home and utilities. Read more here.

Join Nebraskans for Solar and allied groups this Thursday, September 12th to learn about renewable energy investment options available in Nebraska for residents, businesses, utilities, schools, and other nonprofits.

Nebraskans for Solar’s September Speaker: David Bracht, Attorney With Kutak Rock and Former Nebraska Energy Office Director

Mr. Bracht will discuss Nebraska’s wind and solar development and our state’s potential for future growth. A Q&A will follow his presentation.

UNO’s Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center, Rooms 201/205.

Co-Sponsored by Green Bellevue, Conservation Nebraska, Sierra Club, OTOC’s Environmental Sustainability Action Team.

District 197 Becomes One of the First School Districts in State to Commit to 100% Clean, Renewable Electricity by 2020

Sierra Club News Release

Minnesota’s West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan Area School District steps out as a climate leader with broad support from students, staff, and the community.

On Monday, the District 197 School Board passed a resolution establishing the goal of transitioning the school district to 100% clean electricity by 2020. District 197 has made great strides toward 100% clean electricity and this resolution formalizes the district’s commitment.

This effort was led by district leaders, students from the LIVEGREEN club, and supported by Sierra Club’s Climate Parents program. Students presented a petition to the board with more than 1,000 signatures they collected from district students, parents, and staff.  Read more here.

Photo Credit: Black Rock Solar

About Climate Parents

Climate Parents is a diverse national movement of parents, grandparents and families mobilizing for clean energy and climate solutions. We work to influence public policy makers and energy providers to take bold steps to protect kids and communities from the health and climate impacts of burning fossil fuels—and to move toward 100% clean energy. Motivated by love for our kids, we’re striving to harness the moral and political force of millions of families for the healthy, equitable and just world all children deserve.

Finding New Opportunity For Old Coal-Fired Power Plant Sites

By Jeff Brady, NET Nebraska

Nearly 300 coal-fired power plants have been “retired” since 2010 according to the Sierra Club, a trend that continues despite President Trump’s support for coal. That’s left many communities worried those now idled places will simply be mothballed. “We don’t want to see sites like this rust away, be eyesores on the community and offer no real tax revenue going forward, no employment opportunities,” says Denise Brinley, Executive Director at the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office of Energy. Her state has been hit with 14 coal plants shut down in the past 9 years, and so the Department of Community and Economic Development has created a plan for redeveloping some of them. Continue reading here.

Previously Posted

The $9 trillion dollar man

By John Weaver, PV Magazine

A presidential candidate is pushing $300 billion per year of U.S. government investment – with hopes to pull in a complementary $600 billion per year in private investment – to aim for $9 trillion in investment over the course of a decade. Sounds like a lot of money until we think about the United States subsidizing fossils to the tune of $649 billion a year, and estimates that the U.S. gross domestic product could fall by 10% – more than $2 trillion per year – due to costs associated with climate change. Jay Inslee has introduced his Evergreen Economy Plan as part of his presidential election campaign. The plan has five major planks that include many individual legislative actions. Read more here.

FEDERAL LEGISLATION

U.S. Green Bank Act of 2019 Would Provide $10 Billion+ of Capital to State and Local Green Banks, Coalition for Green Capital. The Green Bank Act of 2019 would inject billions of dollars into the U.S. economy to accelerate clean energy deployment, grow clean energy businesses, and deliver affordable clean energy to all Americans. The members of the global Green Bank Network and the American Green Bank Consortium have already shown that public investment in clean energy deployment drives greater total investment, job growth and lower energy costs. The bill creates a new USGB as a wholly owned corporation of the U.S. government, housed within Treasury. It would be capitalized through the issuance of federal Green Bonds.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

RESEARCH

GREEN BUILDING

Cambria Hotel Omaha Downtown: Cambria Hotels Celebrates Its First Hotel To Open In The Cornhusker State, Choice Hotels International Announcement. The LEED Silver Certified hotel incorporates a number of eco-friendly features throughout the building, including a solar array on the roof, a salt water pool that reduces chemical usage, Tesla and electric vehicle charging stations, and locally-sourced, recycled building materials.

Additional Nebraska LEED Certified Projects, US Green Building Council

First Ever Drive Electric Earth Day A Success – Plus More Green Transportation News

The first ever Drive Electric Earth Day was celebrated with 188 events in 44 US states and 5 countries! Read the press release about the week, and check out some great photos of people enjoying the events. Drive Electric Earth Day and National Drive Electric Week are presented by Plug In America, Sierra Club and the Electric Auto Association.

National Drive Electric Week will be held September 14 – 22, 2019. Nebraska events will be posted on Nebraskans for Solar’s and allied organizations’ calendars closer to that date. Mark your calendars for this annual celebration and plan to join other local EV enthusiasts to talk about driving electric.

If you’re thinking of organizing or helping at an event, join National Drive Electric Week organizers for a webinar: Organizing A Great 2019 Event on Friday, May 31, 2019 at 12 pm CDT.

MORE GREEN TRANSPORTATION NEWS PUBLISHED BY THE OMAHA WORLD-HERALD

Clean energy groups bring models to a modeling fight

By William Driscoll, PV Magazine

In states with a weak renewables standard, or none at all, a key battle over an electric utility’s solar deployment plan is fought in a regulatory proceeding triggered by the utility’s filing of an integrated resource plan (IRP)—at least in the 33 states that require utility IRPs.

In theory, to develop an IRP, a utility uses an optimization model that spits out the least-cost mix of future generation resources to meet projected demand, plus a reserve margin.  As prices for solar, wind, and storage fall, you would expect to see these plans reflecting an increasing percentage of renewable generation. Yet a utility controls the inputs to the model, and selects which scenarios to consider, so it can skew the model results in ways that disadvantage solar and other clean energy resources. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Rob Davis, Fresh Energy 

Understanding IRPs: How Utilities Plan for the Future, AEE Blog

William Driscoll, MPA, JD, is an energy and environmental policy analyst who has worked primarily for the United States Environmental Protection Agency via the firm ICF Consulting.
More articles from William Driscoll

“Paris to Pittsburgh” Now Available on National Geographic’s Website

National Geographic Documentary Produced in Partnership
With Bloomberg Philanthropies

Spotlighting the cities, states, businesses and citizens taking action, Paris to Pittsburgh explores the very real social and economic impacts of climate change-fueled disasters, from America’s heartland to the nation’s coastlines. The film features voices from local leaders as well as everyday Americans presenting the stories behind climate-related recovery and resiliency, as well as innovative efforts to reduce carbon emissions, including boomtowns formerly reliant on coal such as Pittsburgh. Other locations featured in the film include Puerto Rico, California, Iowa, Florida and New Jersey. Click top image to begin watching the film. 

About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies has committed more than $260 million to move the nation towards clean energy and tackle climate change. The Bloomberg-backed
Beyond Coal initiative, which aims to secure the retirement of half the nation’s coal fleet, has already led to the closure or phasing out of 270 coal-fired power plants and helped to prevent more than 5,550 premature deaths per year. Additionally, Bloomberg Philanthropies supports sustainability in cities around the globe through C40, a network of more than 90 global megacities, and other programs including the American Cities Climate Challenge, a $70 million accelerator program to provide 20 cities with powerful new resources to help them meet – or beat – their near-term carbon pollution goals.

Paris to Pittsburgh Website
National Geographic Resources
Renewable Energy
Climate Action

Save the Date! Nebraskans for Solar’s Earth Month speaker will be Mary DeMocker, author of The Parents’ Guide To Climate Revolution: 100 Ways To Build A Fossil-Free Future, Raise Empowered Kids, and Still Get A Good Night’s Rest.
Click here for details and to RSVP.

Omaha utility’s carbon intensity goal obscures ongoing fossil fuel use

Written by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News

The carbon intensity goal passed on a 6-2 vote. The goal could change if the board revisits the issue after January, when newly elected board members — including three clean energy supporters — are seated. A debate about carbon intensity also surfaced recently in Iowa, where
MidAmerican Energy won regulatory approval last week for a 591-megawatt wind farm known as Wind XII. In its application, the utility’s president and CEO, Adam Wright, noted that the project would lower the utility’s carbon intensity to about 638 pounds per net megawatt-hour, compared to 1,839 pounds per megawatt 15 years ago, before it began investing in wind energy. “The carbon intensity, even if it’s calculated correctly, doesn’t mean they’ve reduced their emissions that much,” said Paul Chernick, an attorney representing the Sierra Club in the case.
Read the entire article here.

Pat Hawks / Flickr / Creative Commons Image

Related News Stories

CARBON CAPTURE RESEARCH
DOE spent more than $500M on dead projects, E&E News
Nearly half the $2.7 billion in fossil research money spent by the Department of Energy over the last seven years supported nine carbon capture demonstration projects, the majority of which were canceled or withdrawn.

Reinventing Power: America’s Renewable Energy Boom

Click image to watch trailer. 

Reinventing Power: America’s Renewable Energy Boom is a new documentary from the Sierra Club in which people across the U.S. tell their own stories about how solar and wind have changed their lives and benefitted their communities.

Over 50 minutes long, this film explores issues of community access and energy equity; lost jobs and newfound opportunities; economic diversification and household security; reshaping our energy sector and redefining power. – Transit Pictures, film producer

Do you want to host a watch party? Contact Sumer.Shaikh@sierraclub.org. All the tools you need are below:
Discussion guide
Host guide

Check the fact sheets below to learn more about how clean energy supports our economy, health and energy grid.
Clean Energy Economy
Clean Energy Health
Clean Energy Reliability

Additional Recommended Reading
This new doc shows how renewable energy recharges communities, Fast Company