Tag Archives: U.S. Climate Alliance

Amazon employees say they won’t stop pushing the company on climate change, despite fears of being fired

By Julie Bort, Business Insider

The group, which calls itself Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, issued a press release on Thursday and took to Twitter, shortly after a Washington Post report that human resources at Amazon had emailed warnings to two leaders in the group. The Washington Post is owned by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. Read more here.

Previously Posted: Jeff Bezos unveils sweeping plan to tackle climate change, CNBC

FEATURED OPINION

MGM Resorts CEO: What Happens in Vegas No Longer Stays in Vegas, contributed opinion by Jim Murren, Chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International, Fortune. Large, successful companies have a significant impact on the lives of their employees, communities, and the world—and they have a duty to do right by each. 

MORE ON CLIMATE CHANGE RISKS & CLIMATE ACTION

NATIONAL CLIMATE BANK 

About The CGC
The Coalition for Green Capital (CGC) is a non-profit organization focused on accelerating the growth of clean energy markets through the creation of Green Banks, and offers a unique and proven capacity as a leading creator, advocate, and expert on Green Banks since 2009. CGC works directly to support the formation of Green Banks with governmental and civil society partners, and provides on-going consulting and guidance to operating Green Banks. 

FEATURED CLIMATE ACTION INITIATIVES

U.S. Climate Alliance
The U.S. Climate Alliance represents 55 percent of the U.S. population and an $11.7 trillion economy – an economy larger than all countries but the United States and China. The climate and clean energy policies in Alliance states have attracted billions of dollars of new investment and helped create more than 1.7 million clean energy jobs, over half the U.S. total. The Alliance is demonstrating that climate leadership and economic growth go hand-in-hand.

We Are Still In
Mayors, governors, and business leaders first began signing the We Are Still In declaration in June 2017 as a promise to world leaders that Americans would not retreat from the global pact to reduce emissions and stem the causes of climate change. The bipartisan coalition has since doubled in size, expanding to include over 3,500 representatives from all 50 states, spanning large and small businesses, mayors and governors, university presidents, faith leaders, tribal leaders, and cultural institutions. We Are Still In signatories represent a constituency of more than half of all Americans, and taken together, they represent $6.2 trillion, a bigger economy than any nation other than the U.S. or China.

ENVIRONMENT AMERICA

Year in review: Environmental victories in states highlight 2019, Environment America News Release
Environment America and affiliates think global, act local to protect and improve the environment.

COAL ASH CLEANUP NEWS

RE100 experiences biggest year ever

By Tim Sylvia, PV Magazine

RE100, the coalition of the world’s largest companies committed to becoming 100% renewably powered experienced a banner year in 2019, growing by over a third, with 40% of that growth coming from Asia and the South Pacific. Now, with over 200 members, the cumulative electricity demand of RE100 participants, if taken as one country, would be 21st in the world, at 228 TWh/year. Read more here.

RE100.Org

NEW SURVEY

Almost every American supports the extension of clean energy tax incentives, Smart Energy International. The study was conducted by Global Strategy Group and has found that:

  • Americans overwhelmingly support extending tax incentives for clean energy and would change their vote based on the issue. 89% of voters support the extension.
  • 95% of Democrats, 86% of Independents and 83% of Republicans support the government’s extension of clean energy tax incentives.

ENERGY STORAGE NEWS & REPORT

NEBRASKA IN THE NEWS HERE

Clean B.C. is quietly using coal and gas power from out of province. Here’s why, The Narwhal
Behind the sheen of its CleanBC program, the province holds back hydro power to instead import cheap electricity from 12 states including Wyoming, Utah, Nebraska and Montana which generate 55 to 90 per cent of their power from coal.

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

BIFACIAL SOLAR PANELS

Whiplash: Bifacial Solar Modules to Retain US Tariff Exemption, Greentech Media
In a win for project developers, a court blocked the Trump administration from withdrawing a tariff exemption for imported bifacial solar modules.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

GTM POLITICAL CLIMATE PODCAST

Big Oil on Trial: Where the Climate Lawsuits Currently Stand, Greentech Media
In this episode of Political Climate, we speak to UCLA law professor Ann Carlson and journalist Emily Atkin about litigation that could cost fossil fuel companies billions.

FEATURED CLIMATE INITIATIVE

The U.S. Climate Alliance represents 55 percent of the U.S. population and an $11.7 trillion economy – an economy larger than all countries but the United States and China. The climate and clean energy policies in Alliance states have attracted billions of dollars of new investment and helped create more than 1.7 million clean energy jobs, over half the U.S. total. The Alliance is demonstrating that climate leadership and economic growth go hand-in-hand.

NATURAL CLIMATE SOLUTIONS

SOLAR SCHOOLS & POWER PURCHASE AGREEMENTS

A 2.9-Megawatt Solar Project For 10 Schools & 24% Of Richmond Public Schools’ Electricity Needs, CleanTechnica

Standard Solar, Inc. is now supporting Richmond Public Schools with a 2.9-megawatt solar project that should be completed this year. “Energy management with education and local engagement is a powerful combination and with less funding being allocated to schools year over year, public school administrators must find innovative means to deliver programs,” explained John Finnerty, director of business development for Standard Solar. “With our smart project financing, solar expertise and local engagement, we can provide the funding to make implementing a solar energy program without capital expenditure possible, all while equipping schools for a brighter future.”

Minnesota wind-solar hybrid project could be new frontier for renewable energy

By Mike Hughlett, Minnesota Star Tribune

PELICAN RAPIDS, MINN. – The wind turbine and small solar array planted in a cornfield near this northwestern Minnesota town look modest. But the hybrid power plant could be a new frontier for renewable energy. By capturing both sun and wind power, it can provide a more stable supply of electricity than either energy source can provide alone. And given its small size, it is relatively easy to hook into the electricity grid. “It delivers low-cost clean energy right to where the power is being consumed, and it leads to the retention of energy dollars in the community,” said Dan Juhl, the Minnesota renewable-energy pioneer whose company developed the project. Renewable-energy analysts said it makes a lot of sense. Read more here.

Photo by Clean Energy Economy Minnesota: Dan Juhl

Additional Recommended Reading 

Corporate News

  • Jeff Bezos unveils sweeping plan to tackle climate change, CNBC
    Bezos says Amazon is committed to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement 10 years early. As part of the plan, Amazon has agreed to purchase 100,000 electric delivery vans from vehicle manufacturer Rivian. Bezos expects 80% of Amazon’s energy use to come from renewable sources by 2024, before transitioning to zero emissions by 2030. The company also announced a $100 million donation to The Nature Conservancy to form the Right Now Climate Fund, which will work to restore and protect forests, wetlands and peatlands around the world, with the goal of removing carbon from the atmosphere.
  • Google’s jaw-dropping renewable procurement proclamation, GreenBiz
    Google just declared a new record in corporate renewables by announcing the largest procurement deal ever. The tech giant Thursday revealed it would purchase a 1.6-gigawatt package of agreements, including 18 new wind and solar deals across the globe.

Solar-Powered Crop-Drying Technology

Purdue Startup Awarded $150K, Inside Indiana Business. A Purdue University-affiliated startup has received federal and state grants worth $150,000. JUA Technologies International says it will use the funding to further develop its solar-powered crop-drying devices. The company was founded by husband-wife duo Klein Ileleji, a professor in agricultural and biological engineering at Purdue and Reiko Habuto Ileleji, a Purdue alumna.

New ACEEE Report

Halfway There: Energy Efficiency Can Cut Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Half by 2050. Energy efficiency can slash US energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by about 50% by 2050, getting us halfway to our national climate goals. We can achieve almost all these savings, worth more than $700 billion in 2050, by dramatically scaling up government policies and programs. This report examines 11 packages of efficiency opportunities in every economic sector and the policies that could unlock each of them. We find the greatest savings from efficient and electric vehicles, industrial efficiency and decarbonization, transportation system efficiency, upgrades to existing buildings and homes, zero energy new buildings and homes, and appliance and equipment efficiency. (Fact sheet here.)

Featured Initiative

The U.S. Climate Alliance represents 40 percent of the U.S. population and a $9 trillion economy, greater than the third largest country in the world, and U.S. Climate Alliance states are on track to meet their share of the Paris Agreement emissions target by 2025.

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.

Aggressive clean energy bill would push Illinois to 100% renewables by 2050

By Kari Lydersen, Energy News Network

An ambitious energy bill introduced Thursday in Illinois would mandate the state shift to entirely renewable energy by mid-century with an emphasis on job creation and equity. The Clean Energy Jobs Act (HB 3624/SB 2132) grew out of listening sessions held statewide last year by environmental and energy groups that are members of the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition.

The coalition says the bill will expand on and address shortcomings in the implementation of the Future Energy Jobs Act, passed with much fanfare in 2016. They say it would create four times as much wind and solar power as FEJA, enough to power 4 million homes through 40 million solar panels and 2,500 wind turbines. Continue reading here.

Daniel Schwen / Wikimedia Commons Photo

Related: Vote Solar Announces Support for Clean Energy Jobs Act to Bring 100% Clean Energy to Illinois

MORE 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS

Mills sets goal to fight climate change: 100% renewable electricity by 2050, The Portland Press Herald. Gov. Janet Mills outlined an extensive climate agenda on Thursday, pledging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, work toward 100 percent renewable electricity generation and to work with other governors on regional solutions. Mills said she joined a coalition of more than 20 governors committed to pursuing the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate. U.S. Climate Alliance Website

BOOSTING RENEWABLE ENERGY’S VALUE

Cost-Effective Solutions for Boosting Solar Farm Production, Power Magazine. According to Berkeley Lab, solar trackers accounted for 80% of installations in 2017, among projects larger than five megawatts. By following the sun, output can be boosted by 20%, increasing capacity factors and lowering the production cost of electricity. Photo: Fremont’s first of two solar farms installed by GenPro Energy Solutions, both with sun trackers.

Google’s DeepMind Artificial Intelligence Can Predict Wind Farm Energy Output 36 Hours in Advance, Fortune
According to the company, DeepMind’s predictions have boosted the value of Google’s wind energy by roughly 20%.

Google Blog Post: Machine learning can boost the value of wind energy
Based on these predictions, our model recommends how to make optimal hourly delivery commitments to the power grid a full day in advance. This is important, because energy sources that can be scheduled (i.e. can deliver a set amount of electricity at a set time) are often more valuable to the grid. About DeepMind for Google

Previously Posted Article: Google announces plans to build data center in Nebraska; signs point to Omaha area, Omaha World-Herald 

GREENTECH MEDIA PODCAST

How to Get a Job in the Clean Energy Economy
Resources listed in the accompanying article include:

Wisconsin’s New Governor To Join U.S. Climate Alliance, Signaling ‘A New Day’ In The State

By Betsy Lillian, Solar Industry Magazine

Gov. Tony Evers, D-Wis., has announced plans to join the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of governors committed to implementing the Paris climate accord on a state level. “It’s a new day in Wisconsin, and it’s time to lead our state in a new direction where we embrace science, where we discuss the very real implications of climate change, where we work to find solutions and where we invest in renewable energy,” says Evers, who took office in January. “By joining the U.S. Climate Alliance, we will have support in demonstrating that we can take climate action while growing our economy at the same time.  Read more here.

U.S. Climate Alliance Website

MORE NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

‘Resilient Chicago’ strategy aims to strengthen neighborhoods, engage communities, Smart Cities Dive

Chicago has released its new resilience strategy, Resilient Chicago, devised through a partnership with 100 Resilient Cities. The plan contains 12 goals and 50 actions the city can take to improve its resilience.

A similar study for our state would be enlightening:
How much does Nebraska spend each year to import fossil fuels?
How much would it take to power our state with 80% clean technologies? 100%?

The Green New Deal Just Speeds Up The Current Green Wave. Case In Point: Solar-Plus-Storage

By Ken SilversteinForbes

The Green New Deal is not an “abstract” idea. Globally economies are trending toward cleaner energies — efforts initiated by public demands, improved technologies and forward-thinking policies: The sponsors are compelled to accelerate the pace — to not just help impoverished communities but to also prevent environmental catastrophe. Think this wild-eyed? Think again. Wind costs have fallen by 67% since 2009 while utility-scale solar has dropped by 86% since that time, according to the financial adviser, Lazard.

“People have opinions about the economics of green energy investments based on a set of facts that are five years old,” says Trip Miller, managing partner at Gullane Capital Partners, in an interview. “And if you extrapolate out, we will get to the point where these energy forms just need battery technologies before they become pervasive.” Read more here.

Photo by Martin Tidbury / Flickr

Previously Posted

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

The 25 cities involved in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ American Cities Climate Challenge are projected to collectively cut 40 million metric tons of carbon emissions by 2025, according to a new analysis released by the foundation. That’s the equivalent of eliminating 10 coal plants. The $70 million challenge brings 25 cities into a two-year accelerator program, which will offer money and technical assistance for local efforts to fight climate change. The full cohort of cities was announced last month.

More Iowa Farmers Adapting to Climate Change

By Roz Brown, Public News Service – Iowa

Katie Rock, policy associate with the Center for Rural Affairs, said when talking to Iowa farmers, it’s increasingly clear that many want to innovate on their farms to address climate change. “They’ve taken the initiative to add on-site solar power and make energy-efficient upgrades, and these changes have led to significant cost-savings,” Rock said. “And farmers and landowners, they also lead through conservation practices that can improve soil health.”

Matt Russell is executive director of the state’s Interfaith Power and Light. He believes Iowa and other Midwest states that provide America’s food are in a position to lead the conversation on climate change. “One of our strongest ways to lead is to engage Iowa farmers to innovate on their farms, capturing carbon, generating renewable energy,” Russell said. “And then also to advocate for those practices and the resources to make that happen on their farms.”

Read the entire article or listen to the story here.

Photo: Flooding has cost Iowa residents, businesses and farmers about $18 billion over nearly three decades, according to a 2018 University of Iowa study. Credit: Pixabay/werner22brigitte

MORE CLIMATE ACTION NEWS

Michigan’s New Governor Puts Climate Change at Heart of Government, Inside Climate News

Gretchen Whitmer created a new office of climate and energy and is the 20th governor to join the U.S. Climate Alliance, committing to the Paris climate principles. Photo Credit: Governor Whitmer’s Office


IN NEBRASKA: UPCOMING EVENTS & RESOURCES

Nebraska Legislative Hearing
On Monday, February 11 at 12 pm there will be a hearing on LB283 before the Executive Board in room 1525. LB283 would provide funding to the University of Nebraska to
develop a plan for adapting to and mitigating the impacts of
climate change.

You can testify at the hearing or send written testimony to Senator Mike Hilgers, Executive Board Chair, by this Friday, February 8th. His email address is: mhilgers@leg.ne.gov.
Your letter must include your name and address, state a position for, against or neutral on the bill and include a request for the letter to be included as part of the public hearing record.
Nebraska Legislature: Testifier Tips
Nebraska Legislature News

New Study: We can meet the Paris Climate targets for 1/3 the cost of CURRENT fossil fuel subsidies!

By Karel Beckman, Red, Green and Blue

The Leonardo DeCaprio Foundation has a new study out that shows it would take approximately $1.7 trillion per year globally to meet the Paris Climate goals and avoid climate change disaster. [Director of Innovation at the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation] Karl Burkart notes that this amount “pales in comparison to the vast subsidies governments currently provide to prop up the ailing fossil fuel industry, estimated at more than $5 trillion per year by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Taxpayers are unwittingly funding the climate crisis, and that needs to stop.” Read more here.

MORE CLIMATE NEWS

SEIA NEWS RELEASE


Solar is the Future of American Energy

Declaring the 2020s the Solar Energy Decade, SEIA’s President & CEO Abby Hopper made a mark at the United States Energy Association’s 15th Annual State of the Energy Industry Forum.

 

CORPORATE RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS


Corporations’ Hunger for Clean Power Has Never Been Bigger, Bloomberg. Facebook is now the largest corporate buyer of clean power. Image: Facebook Data Center under construction in Papillion

 

ENERGY INFORMATION ADMINISTRATION

America’s Energy Future: What the Government Misses in Its Long-Term Outlook and Why It Matters, Inside Climate News
The U.S. government’s new long-term energy outlook paints a picture of the future that few utilities and energy analysts actually expect to see. It underplays how rapidly coal will retreat from the market and fails to grasp the scale of growth for renewable energy compared to utilities’ plans and analysts’ expectations.

From the editor: EIA versus the future, by Christian Roselund, PV Magazine
EIA’s short-term forecasts have been generally thoughtful and informative. But when we start to look beyond a few years, EIA’s projections start to lose their credibility, and the assumptions that they make become increasingly problematic.

GREEN NEW DEAL

Economic Reasons For The Green New Deal — The Numbers Speak For Themselves, by Carolyn Fortuna, CleanTechnica. I’ve been participating in Sunrise Movement trainings to raise awareness of the Green New Deal and to motivate Congress to take significant action
toward 100% US renewable energy within the decade. Surrounded by a mass of college kids with a spattering of we older folks, I’ve been immersed in strategizing so that we can more effectively fight at the local and national levels to make the Green New Deal a reality.

A 3-part theory of change that mobilizes millions, elects a critical mass of supportive public officials, and builds a new peoples’ alignment that advances a shared agenda for society is underway here, folks. And, should you have questions about whether a bunch of kids and an idealistic vision to restructure the way energy is done in the US is practical, just look at the numbers. More than anything, there are significant economic reasons to implement a Green New Deal.