In the past few years, several other states—including New York, Massachusetts, Hawaii, and Illinois—have passed laws enabling solar garden programs. But Minnesota’s is currently the biggest and arguably most successful, in part because it places no upper limits on the amount of solar that can be developed in the state. “The success speaks for itself at this point,” says John Farrell, a Minneapolis-based energy expert for the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. “We’ve got more community solar than any other state. We’re going to continue to lead for quite a while.” Although Minnesota is hardly known for sunny weather, so far its residents seem to have an insatiable appetite for solar energy production. Read more here.
By Craig Duff, a Chicago-based video journalist whose work has appeared on The New York Times, NBC News and MSNBC. This video explores how evolving grid technology, as well as new and existing state policies, have contributed to clean energy job growth in Illinois.
Largest U.S. Bank to Rely 100% on Renewable Energy, Environment News Service. JPMorgan Chase has announced it will source renewable power for 100 percent of its global energy needs by 2020. The firm has offices and operations in more than 60 countries across 5,500 properties, covering 75 million square feet. JPMorgan Chase also is making a commitment to facilitate US$200 billion in clean financing by 2025, the largest commitment to date by a global financial institution.
2016 was the first year of Minnesota’s solar bloom — but there’s plenty more to come. While even more solar sites are planned to be built in the years ahead, tens of millions of native flowers and short-growing meadow grasses will be taking root under and around the panels. Look for black-eyed susans to develop faster than the rest, followed by purple prairie clover, partridge pea, butterfly weed, and more. Continue reading.
Sure pipelines are good for oil companies, but what about jobs related to preserving nature and culture? By Chip Colwell, Lecturer on Anthropology at the University of Colorado Denver. Published by The Conversation. In 2015, for instance, more than 305 million people visited national parks. These tourists spent nearly $16 billion on an array of local
services – hotels, gas stations, restaurants – helping to sustain nearly 300,000 jobs. Tourists and travelers visit scores of other national, state and local parks, spending their money to enjoy nature and cultural sites.
A community solar program in coal country would have been unheard of as recently as five years ago. But in light of a recent report that most U.S. utilities say they will close coal-fired generation plants to comply with current Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations, coal country is becoming increasingly fertile solar ground. Utilities plan to take enough coal-fired plants to generate 20.5 TWh of energy annually off the books in 2017 alone. Read more here.
A terawatt (TW) is the equivalent of one trillion (1012)) watts.
1 terawatt (TW) for 1 hr = 1 terawatt hour (TWh) or 1 gigawatt (GW) for 1000 hrs = 1 terawatt hour (TWh).
A terawatt-hour (TWh) is equal to 1,000,000,000 kilowatt hours (kWh), or 1,000,000 megawatt hours (MWh) or 1,000 gigawatt hours (GWh). The average household uses approximately 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per month.
Chicago’s Commonwealth Edison has agreed to test whether customers with smart electric meters use less power and cause less damage to the environment than consumers with conventional meters.
“The ability to calculate the environmental benefits of clean energy investments, like smart meters, is critical to accelerating the new energy economy,” said the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), which negotiated the agreement with ComEd, along with the Illinois Citizens Utility Board.