Energy Exchange

Tax credits for carbon capture? Not without these 3 important rules.

By Adam Peltz and Scott Anderson

Removing carbon emissions from the air — a process known as carbon capture, utilization and sequestration — is one of the most important things we can do to battle climate change, and the Internal Revenue Service is currently developing regulations around tax incentives that could make or break the success of U.S. efforts to do this effectively.

CCUS is a suite of technologies that can capture carbon dioxide from the air and industrial sources. Companies can either reuse carbon dioxide or permanently store it in deep underground rock formations. The International Energy Agency estimates that by 2050, 9% of all necessary climate mitigation will come from CCUS activities. In other words, most versions of a carbon neutral economy will include a healthy amount of capturing carbon dioxide and putting it underground.

But CCUS can be a climate solution only if the carbon is securely stored once removed from the atmosphere. Any regulation or tax incentive offered to companies who practice CCUS must assure that.

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Posted in Carbon capture, Climate, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

Puerto Rico can achieve reliable and equitable clean energy. Here’s what it’ll take.

By Fred Krupp and Ramón Cruz, Sierra Club President

En Español

Puerto Rico sits in the eye of what’s been the busiest hurricane season on record with an old and historically unreliable power system. The all too common occurrence of blackouts left more than 400,000 people in San Juan in the dark hours before Tropical Storm Isaias made landfall on the U.S. territory this week. Isaias is the latest storm to test Puerto Rico’s preparedness after Hurricane Maria tore apart its electric grid in 2017.

Lack of funding to rebuild critical infrastructure and the Trump administration’s ongoing neglect have elevated the risk that unimaginable human suffering awaits with the next storm.

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Posted in Air Quality, Clean Energy, Energy Equity, Grid Modernization, Puerto Rico, Solar Energy / Comments are closed

Puerto Rico puede tener energía limpia, fiable y equitativa. Se requiere lo siguiente.

Por Fred Krupp  y Ramón Cruz, presidente de Sierra Club

Puerto Rico se encuentra en el medio de lo que ha sido la temporada de huracanes más activa de la que se tiene registro y la enfrenta con un sistema de energía eléctrica antiguo y poco fiable. Los apagones, cada vez más frecuentes, dejaron a más de 400.000 personas a oscuras antes de que la tormenta tropical Isaías tocara tierra en el territorio estadounidense la semana pasada. Isaías es la última tormenta que ha puesto a prueba la preparación de Puerto Rico después de que el huracán María destrozara su red eléctrica en el 2017.

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Posted in Air Quality, Clean Energy, Energy Equity, Grid Modernization, Puerto Rico, Solar Energy / Comments are closed

VW settlement funds spark string of North Carolina electrification projects

By Michelle Allen

After years of legal and legislative wrangling at state and federal levels, the first round of Volkswagen settlement funds will soon begin to flow to grantees. Thanks to the leadership of Rep. Chuck McGrady (R-Hendersonville), the General Assembly unanimously passed legislation in June to release $31 million to fund the first of a three-phase plan to utilize the state’s settlement allocation. The funds are part of the settlement Volkswagen agreed to after six years of deliberately programming vehicle models to deceive tailpipe inspectors by dramatically under representing their nitrogen oxide emissions — a pollutant linked to respiratory diseases and a key element for the formation of smog and acid rain.

The settlement dictated that allocated dollars only be spent on projects that reduce air pollution. In North Carolina, that first round of funds has been earmarked to replace the state’s oldest transit and school buses with a combination of improved efficiency and zero-emission models. Of the total $31 million, lawmakers also allocated $3.4 million to install electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the state.

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Posted in Air Quality, Clean Energy, Electric Vehicles, North Carolina, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Wind Energy / Comments are closed

Resilience in the eye of the storm: how Puerto Rico can build a stronger, more sustainable energy future

By Agustín Carbó and Amalia Saladrigas

En español

The Atlantic hurricane season is under way and scientists predict it will be one of the strongest in recent memory, as climate change makes more frequent and severe storms the new normal. For communities across Puerto Rico, already battered by an array of crises, the need to plot a more resilient future is urgent.

Energy is a critical lifeline for Puerto Ricans, and residents’ health and well-being depend on a stable and reliable source of power. Previous disasters, from hurricanes to earthquakes, have shown how unreliable and fragile the current centralized energy system is.

Now, the archipelago has an opportunity to reimagine its electric infrastructure in a way that puts communities first with more sustainable and resilient solutions.

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Posted in Clean Energy, Community Solar, Grid Modernization, Puerto Rico, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy / Comments are closed

To fix flaring, Railroad Commission must tackle the incentive problem

Previously published in Shale Magazine

By Colin Leyden and Scott Anderson

A remarkable thing happened at the Texas Railroad Commission these past few weeks. Throughout the contentious debate over proration, a growing chorus of voices on both sides was calling on the commissioners to address flaring — an incredibly wasteful, environmentally damaging practice that has been giving producers a black eye for years.

During the epic 10-hour proration hearing on April 14, it wasn’t just environmental and health groups banging the drum on flaring. Large and small producers (both for and against proration), mineral rights groups and investors all called for action on flaring. So while proration may be off the agenda for now, the need and desire to address flaring lives on.

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Posted in Air Quality, Climate, Methane, Methane regulatons, Natural Gas, PermianMAP, Texas / Comments are closed