Tag Archives: Sierra Club’s Ready for 100

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.

Xcel Energy Rolls Out New Renewable Energy Option for Customers

Wisconsin Proud

Xcel Energy customers in Wisconsin now have a new option to power their homes and
businesses with clean wind and solar energy. Monday, they announced its Renewable Connect
Program. Xcel says customers who subscribe will be able to secure up to 100 percent of their
electricity from a blend of wind and solar resources. Officials say the program will allow
customers to subscribe to the full renewable energy benefits of low-cost wind and solar energy,
giving them the flexibility to choose how much and for how long. Read more here.

Image by Xcel Energy

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

Nevada joins league of states fighting climate change,
Las Vegas Review-Journal 

Gov. Steve Sisolak has signed Nevada onto the U.S. Climate Alliance, joining 22 other states in a commitment to reduce greenhouse emissions and the effects of climate change.
U.S. Climate Alliance

INNOVATIVE PARTNERSHIP

SunPower rolls out solar program to support the Sierra Club, Solar Power World 

Grassroots environmental organization Sierra Club, one of the most enduring and influential in the United States, is providing an opportunity for its more than 3.5 million members and
supporters to go solar with SunPower. As part of the new
program
, participating Sierra Club members or supporters who purchase or lease a SunPower home solar system can receive a $1,000 mail-in rebate and SunPower will give Sierra Club $1,000 to support the organization’s mission.

Sierra Club’s Ready for 100: To date, 111 cities have committed to 100% renewable energy.

Celebrating 100 cities committing to 100% renewables

By Michelle Froese, Windpower Engineering Development

Skeptics said it was impossible. “We heard every version of ‘no,’ ‘can’t,’ ‘won’t,’ and ‘shouldn’t.’ We were laughed out of rooms,” shared Sierra Club’s Jodie Van Horn in an article called,
100 Cities Agree: 100% Clean Energy For All. Van Horn says it’s been three years since Ready For 100 launched, a Sierra Club initiative that pushes for the United States to commit to 100%
renewable energy. The campaign is well underway, recently reaching a milestone: 100 cities and towns across the country have officially committed to transitioning to 100% clean energy.
Read more here.

Photo: More than 200 mayors all across the country have joined #Mayors4CleanEnergy.

UPCOMING EVENTS IN NEBRASKA

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

Iowa Wind Energy Association, Fort Dodge Messenger
Iowa remains one of the top contenders in the nation in terms of wind energy production, according to John Boorman, vice president of the Iowa Wind Energy Association. “We are number three, behind Texas and Oklahoma,” said Boorman. Boorman said Iowa supplies the power grid with 7,000 megawatts of power, with the help of 4,000 wind turbines throughout the state.

RESOURCE FOR SOLAR PROFESSIONALS

Residential Rooftop Report to heat up your solar sales, Solar Builder Magazine


The Residential Rooftop Report for the first quarter of 2019 is now available for download. The theme is “Heating Up Sales,” and we’ve teamed up with report sponsor Aurora Solar to examine ways for residential solar installation companies to lower customer acquisition costs, close more leads and overall run a more streamlined, efficient local solar business. Just fill out the form at the above link to access your free report.


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

 


Global Oil Plows Billions Into Solar & Energy Storage, CleanTechnica

DC votes in favor of the nation’s most aggressive 100% renewable energy target

By Christian Roselund, PV Magazine

Under the CleanEnergy DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018, Washington D.C. utility PEPCO would have to source 100% of the electricity that it uses to serve the city from renewables by 2032 – a doubling of the current 50%.

There is a tremendous irony in that the pro-coal Trump Administration could be governing out of a city which is pushing a faster move towards renewables than any state to date. But that’s just the beginning. It’s also a faster timeline than the renewable energy mandates in most of the 99 cities that have set targets. This includes San Jose and San Diego, California, which are aiming to reach 100% in 2050 and 2035, respectively. Read more here.

Pixabay Photo

MORE 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS

Fayetteville moves toward 100% renewable energy, saves $6 million in future energy costs, KATV Little Rock

PNM calls for 50 MW solar project to support C&I program in New Mexico

100% RENEWABLE ENERGY RESOURCES

Sierra Club’s Case Study Report: Cities Are Ready for 100% Clean Energy

Currently 99 cities in the United States have now established bold commitments to move away from dirty fuels and repower their communities with 100% clean, renewable energy sources like wind and solar. To organize a Ready for 100% Initiative in your city or town, an excellent place to start is to read the Sierra Club’s new 2018 Case Study Report on ten cities that have made ambitious commitments to be powered entirely with clean energy.

EPA’s Green Power Partnership: 100% Green Power Users
The 100% Green Power Users list represents EPA Partners that are using green power to meet 100 percent of their U.S. organization-wide electricity use. The combined green power use of these 936 organizations amounts to nearly 24 billion kilowatt-hours of green power annually, which is equivalent to the electricity use of more than 2.2 million average American households each year.
See Top Green Power Users Lists on the menu bar to the left at the above link.

Making Business Sense: How RE100 Companies Have An Edge On Their Peers

RE100 companies are more profitable than their peers, a new report reveals – underlining the business case for putting sustainability at the heart of corporate growth strategies.

The RE100 report with Capgemini Invent, which draws on 2016-17 data from a sample of 3,500 companies, shows RE100 businesses (committed to 100% renewable electricity) consistently perform better than non-members on two key financial indicators: net profit margin and EBIT margin (Earnings Before Interests and Taxes). The difference is significant (up to 7.7 percentage points), and is true across all sectors (most prominently for IT, telecommunications, construction and real estate).

Download the full report here.

IEEFA Analysis: 15.4 GW of coal-fired capacity will close this year

Kentucky coal plant to close, latest among accelerating shutdowns
By Robert Walton, Utility Dive

Source: Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA)

Coal-fired generators continue to close down, and Henderson’s power plant is only the most recent example. According to the Sierra Club, the plant is the 277th coal generator to close since 2010. And new research finds closures are accelerating.

The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) on Thursday released an analysis estimating 15.4 GW of coal-fired capacity will close this year, including 44 units at 22 plants. This year at least 11 GW have retired and the final tally is predicted to eclipse the previous record of 14.7 GW retired in 2015. IEEFA estimates another 21.4GW of coal-fired capacity will close over the next six years. Read more here.

100% RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS

ENERGY STORAGE NEWS

Rocky Mountain Institute Releases Carbon-Free City Handbook

RMI Press Release

The Carbon-Free City Handbook is a resource for city leaders around the world to take real and meaningful action toward their commitments with 22 ready-to-implement, no-regrets solutions that have proven success. Each recommendation draws off the work of more than 50 city leaders and sustainability directors and is a meaningful action that almost any city can pursue and apply locally, seeing results within a year. Ideas are nearly universally applicable for cities with a population of 100,000+ with compelling economics.

Actions are organized into five chapters, covering key areas for impact:

  1. Buildings, which contribute an average of 48 percent to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in large cities
  2. Transportation and mobility, which account for an average of 36 percent of GHG emissions in large cities
  3. Electricity, which accounts for 25 percent of urban GHG emissions from all sectors
  4. Industry, which accounts for an average of 7 percent of GHG emissions in large cities, and often much more
  5. Biological resources, which can contribute to reduction in waste and account for 7 percent of GHG emissions on average in large cities while providing new carbon sink opportunities

Read the entire press release here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
PV Magazine:
Rocky Mountain Institute issues guide for greener cities
The “Carbon-Free Handbook” can serve as a useful template for localities planning or actively engaged in large-scale solar and related initiatives like the Sierra Club’s “Ready For 100 and the U.S. Department of Energy’s “SolSmart programs.