Tag: Energy Efficiency

The President’s Climate Change Executive Order: Wrong Pretense

The President announced on Tuesday, March 28th at the Environmental Protection Agency his new Executive Order based on protecting 75,000 US coal jobs by threatening over 3 million US clean energy jobs.

Some context:

According to MorningConsult

The order directs officials to review the Environmental Protection Agency regulations on new and existing power plants, withdraw the Obama administration’s “social cost of carbon,” which puts a price on greenhouse gas emissions, end a moratorium on new coal leases on federal land, review regulations on methane emissions from natural gas systems, end a guidance for agencies to consider climate change, and end Bureau of Land Management restrictions on hydraulic fracturing.

The Trump administration has not yet released the text of the order  which is based solely on saving coal and other fossil jobs, but a senior White House official shared details with reporters in a call on March 27th.

Sustainable Women Series: Building & Powering an Award-Winning Net Zero Energy Home

Can a home be beautiful, powered entirely by solar energy, use sustainable heating and cooling systems and save it’s owners roughly $3,500 a year? Why, yes it can. Just ask Joanne Coons, who built her award winning, single-family, Net Zero Energy Home in 2010. Sustainable Woman Joanne talks Net Zero standards, efficient appliances and goods, her 10kW solar panels and more.

Sustainable Women Series: 62 Million People (& Counting!) for 100 percent Renewable Energy Cities

The idea of communities, cities, states, or countries being powered by 100 percent renewable energy used to be perceived as fantasy. Enter the Go 100% Renewable Energy Project, which aims to perpetuate the clean energy movement by creating a revolutionary online platform that showcases real-time 100 percent renewable energy progress. So far, the project has mapped 8 countries, 59 Cities, and 61 Regions/States, representing more than 62 million people who have set, reached, or surpassed official 100 percent renewable targets in at least one sector (electricity, transportation, heating/cooling). Discover what’s driving the shift to 100% RE, the common trends emerging, and learn more about the Go 100% project with Founding Director of the Renewables 100 Policy Institute Diane Moss!

Inspiring Young Women To Pursue Careers in Energy

At last night’s PennWell Awards Ceremony, Kim Greene, a 24-year veteran of the power industry, was named the POWER-GEN 2015 Woman of the Year.

Greene began her career as an engineer with Southern Company in 1991 and ascended to leadership roles at Mirant and Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), before returning to Southern Company Services in 2013 to become President and CEO. She was a keynote speaker at POWER-GEN International in 2014.

Today, she serves as chief operating officer of Southern Company and is responsible for overseeing system operations, which include generation, transmission, engineering and construction services, system planning, and research and environmental affairs, as well as the company’s competitive wholesale generation businesses.

Off Grid Electric Raises $25M to Help Power a ‘Solar Revolution’ in Africa

DBL Partners, the same venture capital fund that supported SolarCity for many years, has led the largest venture capital funding for distributed energy in Africa. Off Grid Electric announced today that it raised $25 million in a Series C investment.

Off Grid Electric, based in California and Tanzania, is installing solar in over 10,000 homes and businesses per month with what it calls “its radically affordable solar leasing platform.” The company designs, manufactures, sells, installs and services solar home units in Tanzania and is announcing today that it will be entering

Don’t Like Obama’s Clean Power Plan? Fine, Here’s Cap and Trade

Republican governors who boycott the Obama administration’s new power-plant regulations may instead get an offer they can’t refuse: a cap-and-trade system many of them also oppose.

Five years after Republicans in Congress shot down President Barack Obama’s plan for carbon trading, his administration unveiled rules to combat climate change. They include a provision for carbon trading, which Republicans had criticized as a government intrusion in the workings of the free market.

“It’s clear that what they’re trying to do — without establishing a federal cap-and-trade program — is set up a plan that has a very strong likelihood of becoming a de facto federal cap-and-trade program,” said Andre Templeman, managing director of the carbon-markets consultancy Alpha Inception LLC.

Renewable Energy Gains Greater Opportunity in US Clean Power Plan

After a year of being pummeled by opponents, Obama’s final carbon reduction plan emerged this week with an even stronger push for renewable energy.

Wind and solar energy are centerpieces of the Clean Power Plan, the United States’ first ever rule to reduce carbon dioxide from power plants.

The rule not only makes renewables one of the plan’s three central building blocks, but also creates special incentives to spur communities to build renewables more quickly than required.

The revised version of the rule comes after a year of review, hundreds of meetings and 4.3 million public comments delivered to EPA.  It requires that states come up with plans to cut carbon pollution from power plants by 870 million tons, or 32 percent below 2005 levels, in 2030.

US Clean Power Plan Could Include Carbon Trading

Some businesses that back President Barack Obama’s plan to curb greenhouse gases are making a late lobbying push to add an element similar to a cap-and-trade program.

With the administration set this week or next to unveil its final rules to cut emissions from coal and natural gas plants, groups for companies such as Johnson Controls Inc., Alstom SA and AES Corp. have pressed officials to include a carbon market so that costs don’t surge.

Those programs — a slimmed-down version of a plan Congress debated and failed to pass early in Obama’s tenure — would apply to states that balk at putting rules in place.

Listen Up: Vampires Sucking Power from your House

Here’s a nightmare for you: at night, when you’re asleep and you think things are quiet, there are vampires sucking power out of your house and increasing your electric bill. The fact of the matter is that every plugged in electrical device in your home uses a small amount of standby power — even if you think these devices are off.

Major US Corporations Pledge To Increase Renewable Energy Usage, Decrease Carbon Footprint

Executives from 13 major U.S. corporations are announcing at least $140 billion in new investments to decrease their carbon footprints as part of a White House initiative to recruit private commitments ahead of a United Nations climate-change summit later this year in Paris.

Companies including Apple Inc., Berkshire Hathaway Energy Co., and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. will join Secretary of State John Kerry and top administration officials at the White House for the announcement. In addition to pledges to cut emissions, provide financing to environmentally-focused companies, and reduce water consumption, the companies have said they will procure at least 1,600 MW of new, renewable energy. The White House said in a statement that it expects to announce a second round of similar pledges later this fall from additional companies.

The commitments are being announced as President Barack Obama is looking to build momentum toward a legacy-defining global climate accord in Paris. In addition to company-specific commitments, the corporate leaders on Monday will signal their support for a strong climate agreement out of the United Nations talks. They administration is using the pledges to set an example for companies to find ways to eliminate their carbon emissions.

Climate Talks

“As the world looks toward global climate negotiations in Paris this December, American leadership at all levels will be essential,” the White House said in a fact sheet detailing the announcement.

The administration’s actions are pushing the issue into the 2016 presidential debate. Hillary Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, released an energy strategy saying she would both defend and go beyond Obama’s efforts. Republican candidates have criticized the administration’s initiatives as costly to the economy and unnecessary.

Among the pledges, aluminum manufacturer Alcoa Inc. has agreed to reduce emissions by 50 percent from its 2005 levels, while agricultural giant Cargill Inc. says 18 percent of its total energy use will come from renewable sources.

Coca-Cola Co. said it would drive down the carbon footprint of its beverage production by 25 percent over the next five years, while Google says it plans to triple its purchases of renewable energy over the next decade. Berkshire Hathaway says it plans to invest up to an additional $15 billion in the construction and operation of renewable energy generators, while Bank of America Corp says it will increase its environmental business initiative by $75 billion over the next decade, according to the White House

Other participating firms include Wal-Mart, United Parcel Service Inc., PepsiCo Inc., Microsoft Corp., General Motors Inc.

The corporate commitments won’t be the administration’s only major climate announcement in the next few weeks. The Environmental Protection Agency is set to present final regulations that aim to reduce carbon emissions from power plants by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030 later this week.

While visiting Kenya over the weekend, Obama repeatedly praised the country for its efforts to address climate change, saying its efforts tor educe emissions “has put it in the position of being a leader on the continent.” And next month, the president will travel to Alaska for an international summit on Arctic climate issues.

©2015 Bloomberg News

For more, see Big Companies, Big Renewable Investments.