Author Archives: EDF Blogs

Sometimes it Takes a Community to Go Solar

By: Andrew Barbeau, EDF’s clean energy consultant

sunflower_AustinTXfinals-37_(1)_CC-4C_RFYou 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 »

Posted in Clean Energy, Illinois, Renewable Energy| Tagged | Leave a comment

Clean Energy Conferences Roundup: March 2015

rp_Source-National-Retail-Federation-Flickr-300x2001.jpgEach 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.

Read More »

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Are Energy Managers Making Progress? Introducing a Tool to Help

By: Liz Delaney, Program Director, EDF Climate Corps

virtuous-cycle-blogEnergy 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 »

Posted in Clean Energy| Comments closed

Energy Efficiency Market Players Can Choose from Growing List of Trained Project Developers

By: Matt Golden, Senior Energy Finance ConsultantICP Credentialed Project Developer Logos 400x800 v2

The Investor Confidence Project (ICP), an EDF initiative designed to unlock investment in energy efficiency, is making progress toward completing a credentialing system that would provide third-party validation of an energy efficiency project. The latest development is the Project Developer Credential, the second of three in the ICP credentialing system.

ICP is accelerating the development of a global energy efficiency market by standardizing how projects are developed and energy savings are calculated. The ICP system includes a set of protocols for developing energy efficiency projects as well as a credentialing system.

The Project Developer Credential is given to those developers who are able to properly deploy the ICP protocols when undertaking an energy efficiency retrofit. This latest development is an important step forward for investors of all types, especially building owners, who can now select developers from a growing list of credentialed providers. Read More »

Posted in Energy Efficiency, Energy Financing, Investor Confidence Project| Comments closed

Clean Energy Conferences Roundup: February 2015

rp_Source-National-Retail-Federation-Flickr-300x2001.jpgEach 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 February:

Feb 16-18: Energy, Utility & Environment Conference 2015, San Diego, CA
Speaker: John Finnigan, Attorney

  • The 18th Annual Energy, Utility, and Environment Conference is the U.S.’s largest professional networking and educational event of its kind, held at the San Diego Convention Center. The technical program consists of over 400 speakers in 10 concurrent tracks. Topics include “GHG Regulation for Everyone – Not Just Utilities,” “Avoiding Emissions from the Electric Sector through Efficiency and Renewable Energy,” “EPA’s Proposed Clean Power Plan,” and more.

Read More »

Posted in Clean Energy, Conference Roundup| Comments closed

SfunCube: Lighting the Way for Solar Innovation in California

rp_ca_innov_series_icon_283x204.jpgEDF’s Innovators Series profiles companies and people across California with bold solutions to reduce carbon pollution and help the state meet the goals of AB 32. Each addition to the series will profile a different solution, focused on the development of new technology and ideas.

By: Anna Doty, West Coast Policy Associate

Emily Kirsch calls herself a “solar-lifer.” Kirsch came onto the solar scene by way of former Obama advisor Van Jones’ green jobs campaign in Oakland. Now, as the co-founder and CEO of Oakland-based SfunCube—the world’s only solar-exclusive start-up business accelerator—Kirsch is growing California’s clean economy in an entirely new way and she knows the future of solar is bright.

Nestled in the heart of downtown Oakland, SfunCube—Solar for Universal Need—is supporting a growing “solar ecosystem” of the most promising solar startups that are making the San Francisco Bay Area the nation’s epicenter for solar innovation and entrepreneurship. Recently, I had the opportunity to talk with Emily Kirsch and some of the solar pioneers who are working at SfunCube to make universal access to solar a reality in California, throughout the US, and around the world.

In California today, there are over 1,889 solar companies that are part of the solar supply chain, creating more than 50,000 jobs—roughly a third of all the solar jobs in the country—and that is no coincidence. Read More »

Posted in California, Clean Energy, Energy Financing, Renewable Energy| Comments closed
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    From time to time, the Energy Exchange blog includes posts from infrequent contributors, such as other EDF scientists and staff. Since these authors vary, we use this standard author bio profile for guest posts. For more information about this author, please see his/her link at the beginning of the post.

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    EDF's energy experts discuss how to accelerate the transition to a clean, low-carbon energy economy.

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