By: Nicholas Bianco, Director of Regulatory Analysis and Strategic Partnerships
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is hard at work right now on the Clean Power Plan – the first ever national carbon pollution standards for power plants.
Among the many important aspects of this historic plan, we believe this: It is critical that EPA finalize carbon pollution standards for the power sector that include protective, well-designed standards beginning in 2020.
Power plants account for almost 40 percent of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions, making them the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the nation and one of the largest sources of greenhouse gases in the world.
The Clean Power Plan will be finalized this summer. When fully implemented, it is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector to 30 percent below 2005 levels. That makes these eminently achievable and cost-effective standards integral to climate security, human health, and prosperity. Read More
By: Panama Bartholomy, Director of ICP Europe
The European Commission is putting its weight behind an initiative designed to increase private investment in energy efficiency, the Investor Confidence Project (ICP). ICP is accelerating the development of a global energy efficiency market by standardizing how energy efficiency projects are developed and energy savings are calculated.
In late February, the European Commission released a landmark report on energy efficiency in Europe that was 18 months in the making, and it had ICP all over it. The report, Energy Efficiency – the first fuel for the EU Economy, was issued by the Energy Efficiency Financial Institutions Group (EEFIG), a group of financial and energy efficiency leaders and building owners convened by the European Commission and United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative.
Earlier that same month, the European Commission awarded a €1.92 million grant to the European version of the project, ICP Europe. The grant will pay for a consortium of companies to:
- develop ICP’s project protocols for the European market;
- work with financial institutions to embed them into their financing process; and
- organize National Steering Groups in five countries: (Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Portugal and the U.K.) to take the protocols to markets in those countries.
By: Marita Mirzatuny and Kate Zerrenner
National Guard responding to flood emergencies.
When the U.S. military calls climate change a “threat multiplier” and “a serious threat to national security,” it makes anyone stand up and pay attention. From direct land impacts and food and water shortages, to the displacement of millions of people, climate change is not taken lightly by our armed forces.
Earlier this week, two military experts, Lt. Gen. Ken Eickmann (USAF, Ret.) and British Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti (Royal Navy, Ret.), testified at a Texas House International Trade & Intergovernmental Affairs Committee Hearing and later at an event hosted by the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law and the British Consulate-General University at University of Texas' LBJ School. As a senior research fellow at the University of Texas at Austin's Energy Institute and Former UK Foreign Secretary Special Representative for Climate Change, Eickmann and Morisetti, respectively, bring a level of trust and confidence to this issue, disarming the politics, if just for a moment, and replacing it with pragmatic duty.
Eickmann and Morisetti’s message was loud and clear: We need to diversify our energy options and shift more toward a clean energy economy. The potential for Texas is boundless. Read More
By: Andrew Barbeau, EDF’s clean energy consultant
You don’t have a south-facing roof. You have too many trees in your yard. You may not be committed to staying in your house for the next ten to fifteen years. Or maybe you rent, or don’t have the upfront money to install.
These may be some of the reasons why you can’t go solar. You are not alone.
In fact, only 22 to 27 percent of residential rooftops are suitable for installing a solar PV system, due to structural, shading, or ownership issues, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. These effects are even more prominent in densely-populated, urban areas, like Chicago, where viable project siting is limited and renters account for more than half (55 percent) of housing.
But in a new utility world of flowing electricity data and layered intelligence, we shouldn’t limit participation in the rapidly growing solar market to those inconvenienced by circumstance. We need to shift our thinking of distributed solar from the individual to the community. Read More
Each month, the Energy Exchange rounds up a list of top clean energy conferences around the country. Our list includes conferences at which experts from the EDF Clean Energy Program will be speaking, plus additional events that we think our readers may benefit from marking on their calendars.
Top clean energy conferences featuring EDF experts in March:
Mar 6-8: Global Clinton Initiative University Meeting (Miami, FL)
Speaker: Miriam Horn, Special Projects
- President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton will host the eighth annual Global Clinton Initiative University (CGI U) Meeting at the University of Miami. The meeting will bring together more than 1,000 innovative student leaders to make Commitments to Action in CGI U's five focus areas: education, environment and climate change, peace and human rights, poverty alleviation, and public health. Through the CGI University Network, The Resolution Project, and other opportunities, over $900,000 in funding opportunities will be available to select CGI U 2015 students to help them turn their ideas into action.
By: Liz Delaney, Program Director, EDF Climate Corps
Energy management can be complicated, and the projects organizations must tackle run the gamut: from small-scale lighting and HVAC upgrades to whole building retrofits; from baselining energy consumption to data analysis of enterprise-wide energy management systems; and from volunteer employee engagement programs to executive-level goal setting.
So if you’re an energy manager, there’s no doubt you're busy! But, when you’re deep in the middle of so many weeds, what’s not often clear is: Is your organization making real progress to improve the way it thinks about and manages energy? What does real progress look like?
Several years ago, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and partner MIT started to address these questions through the development of a framework for strategic energy management. This framework shows successful programs depend on a holistic and multi-faceted management approach—one where five focus areas work in concert to create a virtuous cycle of continuous improvement. Read More