Tag Archives: supply chains

FACT SHEET: Biden-⁠Harris Administration Proposes New Standards for National Electric Vehicle Charging Network

The White House Briefing Room, June 9, 2022

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Investments to Enable Families to Plug-In,
Charge Up, and Drive Across America

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing new steps to meet President Biden’s goal to build out the first-ever national network of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers along America’s highways and in communities, a key piece of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The Department of Transportation, in partnership with the Department of Energy, is proposing new standards to make charging electric vehicles (EVs) a convenient, reliable, and affordable for all Americans, including when driving long distances. Without strong standards, chargers would be less reliable, may not work for all cars, or lack common payment methods. The new standards will ensure everyone can use the network –no matter what car you drive or which state you charge in. Continue reading here.

Related 

  • Department of Transportation: Network of User-Friendly, Reliable, and Accessible Electric Vehicle Chargers
  • Nebraska Department of Transportation: National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program. Over the next five years, Nebraska will have access to $30.2 million (~$6 million/year) in formula funds for EV charging infrastructure while also still being able to compete for a portion of an additional $2.5 billion in discretionary grant funding. This funding supports the Administration’s goal of expanding EV charging stations along designated Alternative Fuel Corridors (AFCs) and other corridors that could be identified in the state.With guidance from U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT), NDOT will collaborate with key stakeholders such as public power districts, communities along routes, planning partners, and businesses on EV charging development. The initial statewide plan will be submitted to our federal partners before August 1, 2022. Click here to learn more and take a survey.

Additional Recommended Reading

FACT SHEET: Tackling Climate Change and Creating Clean Energy Jobs in the Americas,White House Briefing Room

Hundreds of environmental, consumer groups request investigation of electric utility industry

Contributed by Solar United Neighbors, Solar Power World

More than 230 consumer, environmental and public interest groups urged the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the electric utility industry for widespread abuses. These include bribery, fake dark-money campaigns and denying customers access to renewable energy.

Some of the abuses described in the petition include:

  • An Ohio utility, FirstEnergy, paid $60 million in bribes to the Ohio House speaker’s political machine. In return, the utility secured a $1 billion ratepayer-funded bailout for several of its unprofitable nuclear and coal plants.
  • Florida Power and Light spent millions of dollars on political consultants who engineered a scheme to siphon votes to third-party “ghost candidates” from candidates committed to holding utilities accountable, according to reporting by the Orlando Sentinel. The ghost candidate won in all three races. One utility opponent lost by just 32 votes.
  • A recent national survey found that nearly three-quarters of solar developers experience delays in interconnecting projects to the electric grid. Eighty-five percent of respondents specifically named utility noncompliance with interconnection procedures as a problem. These delays can increase the cost of distributed solar projects and cause customers to back out of long-delayed projects. Minnesota regulators fined Xcel Energy $1 million for failing to keep pace with a backlog of projects. Two years later the backlog remains a barrier to solar growth.

Read more here.

Photo: Federal Trade Commission building. Credit: Wikipedia

MORE U.S. NEWS

Summary: The U.S. economy has been deeply impacted by supply chain constraints. These constraints are due to shortages of labor and multiple classes of materials, causing disruptions on a global level. For public power utilities, the ability to provide reliable and affordable power to homes, businesses, and critical facilities is foundational to both their business model and the recovery and expansion of the U.S. economy. Prioritization of critical electric infrastructure and the electric industry’s critical functions during this period of material shortages and delays is necessary to prevent further economic slowdown and ensure electric reliability.

GLOBAL NEWS

Greenhouse gas concentrations, sea level rises, ocean heat levels and acidification, all set new records during 2021, while some glaciers reached the point of no return, according to the latest flagship report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), published on Wednesday. The State of the Climate 2021 indicates that extreme weather – the day-to-day face of climate change – wreaked a heavy toll of human lives, triggered shocks for food and water security, and led to hundreds of billions of dollars in economic losses last year.

INNOVATIVE COOPERATIVE VENTURE

Democratizing clean energy: cooperative allows regular folks to profit from solar development, Wisconsin State Journal

A new venture is offering Wisconsin residents and businesses an opportunity to profit from solar energy development. A joint venture of Renew Wisconsin and a group of solar developers and installers, SolarShare Wisconsin co-op allows regular people — regardless of wealth — to invest in small-scale solar farms by pooling their money . . . Unlike large-scale solar farms, which require hundreds or thousands of acres and can generate local opposition, projects of that size can typically be built on less than 40 acres and connected directly to the local distribution grid rather than long-distance transmission lines.

Nebraskans for Solar Note: Nebraska has many very small towns and villages with fewer than 1000 residents where small-scale solar projects could provide a significant percentage of their electricity needs.

Statement by President Joe Biden on Passage of the Build Back Better Act in the U.S. House of Representatives

The White House Briefing Room

Today, the United States House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act to take another giant step forward in carrying out my economic plan to create jobs, reduce costs, make our country more competitive, and give working people and the middle class a fighting chance.

The Build Back Better Act is fiscally responsible. It reduces the deficit over the long-term. It’s fully paid for by making sure that the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations begin to pay their fair share in federal taxes. It keeps my commitment that no one earning less than $400,000 a year will pay a penny more in federal taxes. Continue reading here.

Additional Recommended Reading

DOE Upgrades One Million Homes as Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Provides Massive Investment in Energy Efficiency

Department of Energy News Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm traveled to Delaware today to announce that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has upgraded one million American homes with energy efficiency improvements through the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program. The trip and milestone underscore the importance of the weatherization and energy efficiency investments that are within the recently passed Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal. Since 2001, the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program has helped American homeowners and renters save $7.7 billion on their energy bills and cut carbon emissions equivalent to a year’s worth of 11 coal-fired power plants.  

“DOE’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program has helped one million homeowners make energy-savings improvements at an affordable price,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “With the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal’s historic investments in energy efficiency and weatherization, we will ensure more Americans can benefit from cleaner air, more resilient homes, and lower energy bills.” Read more here.

Visit the Building Technologies Office to learn more about DOE’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program.

MORE ON THE BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE BILL

The White House Briefing Room

Reuters: US Energy Dept to hire 1,000 workers in infrastructure boost, officials say

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING & RESOURCES

USDA NEWS RELEASE

USDA Announces Scholars Programs for Students at Historically Black and Tribal Land-Grant Colleges and Universities

Clean electricity standard lands spot in $3.5 trillion Democratic-backed infrastructure deal

By Scott Voorhis, Utility Dive

The Biden administration wants Congress to pass a clean electricity standard but is also prepared to pursue efforts to push utilities to ratchet down their emissions through the federal regulatory process should a national standard fail to make the final bill, according to Gina McCarthy, the White House’s national climate adviser. McCarthy said the administration believes a national clean energy standard would be more effective in prompting action on part of the utility industry to reduce emissions. Read more here.

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

SOLAR TOOL FOR INSTALLERS & LOCAL GOVERNMENTS

U.S. Department of Energy Kicks Off ‘Summer of Solar 2021’ With Tool That Fast-Tracks Solar Power For Communities Nationwide, Department of Energy News Release

Washington, D.C.— The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today kicked off the ‘Summer of Solar 2021’ with the nationwide launch of the Solar Automated Permit Processing Plus (SolarAPP+) tool – a free web-based platform that gives local governments the ability to expedite their review and approval of residential solar installation permits. Developed by DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), SolarAPP+ will drastically reduce barriers to solar deployment, spur community economic development, and advance the Biden-Harris Administration’s clean energy goals.  

Related Reading

FEATURED REPORTS

The Clean Economy Revolution Will Be Unionized, Center for American Progress
While no state or city government has taken every necessary step to achieve good jobs, climate action and environmental justice, many of them have made important progress—and from this progress, federal lawmakers and lawmakers in other states can derive policy lessons and political momentum. This report offers a recap of some informative state and local actions designed to support good jobs, ensure high-road labor standards, and confront the climate crisis.

Clean Energy Labor Supply Report, American Clean Power Association
Based on two scenarios of renewables deployment — 50% and 70% of electricity generated from renewables by 2030 — the study projects the number of workers that will be needed to meet these goals and highlights those occupations where high demand for workers could result in labor gaps.

Download the executive summary
Download the infographic

Next Era’s Bet on Renewable Energy Was a Winner All Along

By Kyle Stock, Bloomberg

NextEra’s wind and solar farms, now scattered across about half the U.S., produce enough juice to power Greece. The company has plans to nearly double its renewable capacity — enough turbines and panels — to power 11 million homes. That’s about 10 percent of the country. From there, the next 10% should come far cheaper. Read more here.

Previously Posted: 5 Major US Utilities That Haven’t Promised to Fully Decarbonize: Some of the holdouts will surprise you, by Julian Specter, Greentech Media

Photo: NextEra built Nebraska’s 5-megawatt solar array on 35 acres east of Fort Calhoun, which became operational in late December of 2019. NextEra contracted with OPPD to sell the power it produces to the utility for at least 20 years. See: Here comes the sun: OPPD awards contract for community solar, The Wire

More On NextEra & Nebraska

About Power Purchase Agreements

Solar Power Purchase Agreements, Solar Energy Industries Association 
A solar power purchase agreement (PPA) is a financial agreement where a developer arranges for the design, permitting, financing and installation of a solar energy system on a customer’s property at little to no cost. 

TRANSMISSION

Dynamic Line Rating: Expanding Transmission Grid Capacity for Clean Energy, by Jeff St. John, Greentech Media

Renewable energy projects are “awaiting interconnections because of the inefficiency of the transmission we have,” Jon Wellinghoff, FERC chairman from 2009 to 2013 and CEO of Grid Policy, told GTM. “If we start providing developers with incentives to improve that efficiency, we’ll see interconnections will happen much more quickly, more smoothly, and at a much lower cost.”  While President-elect Joe Biden’s most aggressive clean energy plans may face roadblocks from Republicans in Congress, transmission development could be a realm where federal policymakers could align, [Hudson Gilmer, CEO of DLR provider LineVision] noted. “Modernizing our grid, especially using advanced technologies, is an area that both sides of the aisle can agree on.” 

NATIONAL & LOCAL SOLAR INFORMATION

Solar Jobs, Solar Installations, & Homes Powered by Solar in Top 10 US Solar States, by Zachary Shahan, CleanTechnica

In October, I published reports on the top US solar states per capita, the top US solar states as a percentage of electricity, and the top US states in terms of total installed solar power capacity. Based on that first ranking system, I’m going a bit broader and looking at some more solar stats.

Local Resource: Solar Energy Generation In Nebraska, Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy

DOE FUNDS STUDY ON CO-LOCATING SOLAR & POLLINATOR HABITATS

UIC receives $1.8M from DOE to study effects of pollinator habitats at solar energy facilities, by the University of Illinois at Chicago, Newswise

The three-year project, “Evaluation of Economic, Ecological, and Performance Impacts of Co-Located Pollinator Plantings at Large-Scale Solar Installations” will examine the economic, ecological and performance impacts of pollinator habitats co-located at five large-scale solar photovoltaic facilities in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions.


LEGO’S CARBON REDUCTION GOALS

The LEGO Group’s carbon goal approved by Science Based Targets initiative, WebWire

The LEGO Group has committed to reducing its absolute carbon emissions by 37% by 2032 to ensure the company plays its part in limiting the effects of climate change1. The target has been approved by the Science Based Target initiative as consistent with levels required to keep global warming to below 1.5°C, the most ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement.

About The Science Based Targets Initiative
The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The SBTi defines and promotes best practice in science-based target setting and independently assesses companies’ targets. More information can be found here.

RE100 Member
Since 2012 the LEGO Group has invested approximately $890 million in offshore wind power. In May 2017 the company joined RE100 and achieved its ambition to balance 100% of its electricity use with energy from renewable sources. RE100 members include over 270 of the world’s most influential businesses.

GLOBAL IMPACT INVESTING

The unglamorous approach to impact investing in energy, PV Magazine article contributed by David Riester, a partner at Lacuna Sustainable Investments

Even the most cynical among us (rest assured I will have my moments herein) must be heartened by the near $1 trillion dedicated across the globe to “double-bottom line” investments, especially considering that ten years ago, using the same methodology, the pool of capital was $50 billion. Yet, as I stare at a press release for the twelfth ESG focused “SPAC”, I wonder: is the impact investment community directing its energy sector allocation optimally? The coming pages will touch upon 1.) Where the money is going now, 2.) Where it should go, and 3.) Why it isn’t going there.

special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) is a company with no commercial operations that is formed strictly to raise capital through an initial public offering (IPO) for the purpose of acquiring an existing company. – Investopedia

VEHICLE-TO-GRID CHARGING

Vermont’s Green Mountain Power deploys vehicle-to-grid charger, by Paul Ciampoli, American Public Power Association

Vermont power company Green Mountain Power (GMP) has successfully deployed what it says is a first-of-its kind vehicle-to-grid charger to reduce energy use on the grid during peak demand.

DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGNS

Solar Energy is Hitting a Growth Spurt. So Is The Disinformation Around It, Texas Observer
Disinformation about renewable energy isn’t new. For decades, fossil fuel companies and conservative think tanks have painted wind turbines as a bird-killing, unreliable, and property-value damaging source of energy. “We’re starting to see the same forces shift over, focusing on solar farms,” says Dave Anderson, a researcher with the Energy and Policy Institute who tracks fossil-fuel-funded disinformation about renewable energy. 

The Climate Emergency Is The Only Business Variable That Matters

By Enrique Dans, Senior Contributor, Forbes

Any recovery from the post-pandemic economic crisis will have to be based on renewable energies, and this will have major consequences for the business environment. The oil companies are falling out of favor: a solar and wind energy companyNextEra Energy, is already worth more than the formerly all-powerful Exxon, which has been kicked out of the Dow Jones index, and they are dragging down the industries that depended on them: last July, Tesla reached $208 billion, more than the sum of Fiat Chrysler, Ford, Ferrari, General Motors, BMW, Honda and Volkswagen combined. It is now worth almost double that, $411 billion, and defines the destinies of an industry that will have to be completely rebuilt around electric motors. Even workers in the fossil fuel industry are fleeing to renewables. Read more here.

Additional Recommended Reading
Solar the new ‘king of electricity’ as renewables make up bigger slice of supply: IEA
PARIS (Reuters) – Solar output is expected to lead a surge in renewable power supply in the next decade, the International Energy Agency said, with renewables seen accounting for 80% of growth in global electricity generation under current conditions.