Tag Archives: solar energy

Bipartisan Appeal: Solar Can Span the Aisle and Bridge the Gaps

Solar Energy Industries Association Blog

As Congress considers how best to revive our ailing economy, investing in homegrown solar energy could jumpstart investment and create jobs. Solar energy isn’t a niche technology: there are now more than 2.5 million solar systems installed in every state and before the pandemic 250,000 Americans had a solar job.

The latest polls show overwhelming support for expanding clean energy and Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle are listening to their constituents that are demanding more clean energy. While bipartisan support for clean energy is now getting attention, it isn’t a new concept and it isn’t a surprise. Continue reading here.

SEIA News Release: Nearly 650 Companies Urge Congress to Include Solar in Recovery Legislation, SEIA News Release. WASHINGTON, D.C. — Nearly 650 solar companies sent a letter to Congress today galvanizing support for legislation that deploys clean energy to help rebuild the U.S. economy.

FROM GTM 

Biden Pledges $2T in Clean Energy and Infrastructure Spending, Greentech Media
“We’re not just going to tinker around the edges,” says Democratic candidate, promising “historic investments” in solar, wind, batteries and transmission.

MORE ON FERC ORDER 841 RULING

  • FERC Order 841: US about to take ‘most important’ step towards clean energy future, Energy Storage News. “Today’s decision is a big step towards realizing cleaner, healthier air for all Americans and creating opportunities for more clean energy jobs. FERC’s order 841 creates an even playing field for energy storage to compete with traditional fossil fuel generators,” EDF attorney Michael Panfil said. “It removes market barriers for energy storage and unlocks its enormous public health, environmental and cost-saving potential”.
  • D.C. Circuit Ruling Empowers Energy Storage Technology To Tap Bigger Markets, Forbes
    Energy storage, or the use of batteries to absorb electricity from the grid when it is plentiful and discharge it when it is scarce, is ready for the big leagues. That was the implication of a ruling on Friday from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that has renewable energy enthusiasts beside themselves with glee. Analysts believe that the ruling could clear the way for the development of up to 50 gigawatts of energy storage, which would equal a third of the country’s current total wind and solar capacity.

DOE’S ENERGY STORAGE GRAND CHALLENGE

DOE unveils draft roadmap for US global energy storage leadership, Utility Dive
The Department of Energy released a draft roadmap Tuesday for its Energy Storage Grand Challenge, first announced in January, which aims to develop and bring to market​ the next generation of energy storage technologies. The program also aims to advance a domestic supply chain for energy storage, something that has gotten increasing attention, analysts say, in the wake of disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. DOE is seeking public input by Aug. 21 to help inform the activities proposed under the draft roadmap.

NEWS FROM COLORADO

DIVESTMENT NEWS

How the University of Dayton divested from fossil fuels — and what happened to its bottom line, by Brian Roewe, National Catholic Reporter. More than 180 Catholic institutions worldwide have publicly committed to fossil fuel divestment. That includes Seattle University in Washington and Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. In Nebraska, Creighton University announced in February it was divesting a portion of its endowment. 

EV NEWS

15 states, DC will collaborate on 100% electric truck sales by 2050, Transportation Dive
Governors from 15 states and the mayor of Washington, D.C., signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to ensure 100% of medium- and heavy-duty sales are zero-emissions vehicles (ZEV) by 2050, according to a Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM) press release. The group has an interim target of 30% electric vehicle (EV) sales by 2030.

Nebraska has bright renewable energy future, leaders say

By Matt Olberding, Lincoln Journal Star

Nebraska is continuing to grow its renewable energy footprint, particularly when it comes to wind and solar. “There’s a lot of upside potential in our state because we have tremendous wind and solar resources,” John Hansen, president of the Nebraska Farmers Union, told attendees at the 2019 Nebraska Wind & Solar Conference and Exhibition. Hundreds of business executives, community leaders, landowners and others are attending the two-day event at the Cornhusker Marriott Hotel in Lincoln. Continue reading here.

Census of Agriculture shows more renewables on farms

By Kayla Bergman, Center for Rural Affairs

Farmers are increasingly adopting renewable energy on their farms.  According to the U.S. Census of Agriculture, released on April 11, 2019, solar and geothermal energy systems on farms have increased significantly since the last Census in 2012. In 2017, there were 133,176 farms producing renewable energy—more than double the 2012 total. The Census reports 90,142 farms had solar energy production in 2017, a 60 percent increase from the 36,331 farms reported in the 2012 census. Solar production has become increasingly popular, especially on farms, in recent years. Continue reading here.

Photo: DeBlauw Family Farm in Hartington, Nebraska
Project: 10.4-kilowatt net-metered photovoltaic system that provides the owners, Marvin and Debra DeBlauw, 75-80% of their farm’s energy needs.
Installers: MarLin Wind & Solar and North Star Solar Bears

See Solar Examples for additional photos and brief descriptions of just some of Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers who have installed renewable energy projects to power their operations.

The business case for pollinator-friendly solar sites

By Steve Levitsky, Brian Riddle, Dennis Van Engelsdorp, and Albert Todd Published by GreenBiz

Pollinator habitat on solar sites is a common practice in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and is abundantly feasible wherever solar installations are replacing row crops. The practice simply uses a different seed mix — not turf grass — to create a low-growing and shade-tolerant flowering meadow. These flowering plants have many agricultural and ecological benefits. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that globally, 75 percent of food crops rely at least partially on pollination. Pollinator-friendly solar sites can bring pollinators into closer contact with food crops. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Fresh Energy

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

What is the Climate Solutions Caucus?
Citizens Climate Lobby Website Post

The Climate Solutions Caucus is a bipartisan group in the US House of Representatives which will explore policy options that address the impacts, causes, and challenges of our changing climate. The caucus was founded in February of 2016 by two south-Florida representatives Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) who will serve as co-chairs of the caucus.

“The Caucus will serve as an organization to educate members on economically-viable options to reduce climate risk and protect our nation’s economy, security, infrastructure, agriculture, water supply and public safety,” according to documents filed with the Committee on House Administration. Membership will be kept even between Democrats and Republicans.
Click here to read more.

GC Resolve flourished from its founder’s roots

 By John Liesveld, Fremont Tribune

GCResolve

Graham Christensen grew up immersed in values of public service, integrity, education and all the responsibilities that come from work on a family farm. His family farm, established in 1867 under the Homestead Act, operates on about 800 acres in his hometown of Oakland, just north of Fremont.

Christensen also grew up in the era of the 1980s farm crisis, where he learned the value of hard work. He came to understand that when a person runs up against difficult times, maintaining the ability to speak out for what you believe imparts great purpose and impact on individuals’ own circumstances, as well as on the surrounding community. Read more here.

Photo: Courtesy GC Resolve. Graham Christensen, founder and owner of GC Resolve, is working on a solar project for a Nebraska family farm.  

Cabbage White Butterfly Holds Secret to More Efficient Solar Panels

By Jill Arce, Tech Times

Photo: Tech Times

A unique butterfly structure has inspired scientists studying solar power. Mimicking the posture of Cabbage White wings, they have been able to develop cheaper and more efficient solar panels. Photo: John Tann / Flickr

Engineers may be able to maximize solar energy to build cheaper and more efficient solar panels — with the help of the Cabbage White butterfly, scientifically known as Pieris rapae.

The Cabbage White is a small-to medium species of butterfly that can be seen fluttering about in Europe, Asia and North America. More noteably, the butterfly has a unique posture, which has provided a model for techniques that generate photovoltaic (PV) energy, converting light into power.

Continue reading.

LES wants to revamp its renewable energy rates

By Algis J. Laukaitis / Lincoln Journal Star

It’s a homeowner’s dream: Install a solar or wind energy system, use the power you need and then sell the rest to your local utility.

Despite the up-front cost of installing equipment, more homeowners and businesses are looking into making that dream a reality. Others already have.

The city of Lincoln, for example, has installed a $48,000 solar energy system at its police substation at 27th and Holdrege streets, and the Unitarian Church of Lincoln at 63rd and A is adding a geothermal and solar energy system as part of a $2.4 million renovation and expansion project . . .

Continue reading this article by clicking on this link:
http://journalstar.com/news/local/les-wants-to-revamp-its-renewable-energy-rates/article_23cc0a6c-6c55-57af-b013-1d16aaaca1d4.html

LES staff will discuss proposed changes to its rate structure for solar and other renewable energy projects on March 5, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Center for People in Need, 3901 N. 27th St., Unit 1.

From 7-8 p.m., staff will talk about the recently completed “Value of Distributed Solar Study.”