Business-friendly clean energy policies in North Carolina continue to support the success of clean energy companies – boosting job growth and economic development.
In the past 30 days alone, three corporate announcements illustrate the power of the state's Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard, which requires utilities to expand their use of renewable energy and energy efficiency, and North Carolina’s renewable energy tax credit, which rewards companies for investing in clean energy.
Strata Solar announced it has invested $1 billion in North Carolina solar energy, including 65 solar facilities in 40 counties, and employed 2,000 workers during the past five years.
The Chapel Hill-based company has the attention of Governor Pat McCrory, who praised its investment: Read More
By Panama Bartholomy, Director, ICP Europe, with contributions from Steven Fawkes, Senior Advisor, ICP Europe
EDF's Andy Darrell, Chief of Strategy, US Climate and Energy and New York Regional Director, at the ICP Europe launch in Brussels
Environmental Defence Fund’s signature energy efficiency initiative has gone international. EDF Europe/UK today rolled out the Investor Confidence Project Europe (ICP Europe), aimed at boosting private sector investment in European energy efficiency renovation projects in the building sector.
As Director of ICP Europe, I was thrilled to introduce the initiative with leaders from the financial, engineering, and government communities at an event in Brussels during a week when two of Europe’s largest energy efficiency events are being held: Renovate Europe Day and Building Performance Institute of Europe ‘s Efficiency Investors Day.
The potential for renovating existing buildings in Europe to reduce the impacts of climate change, generate financial savings, and create jobs is considerable – and largely untapped. Estimates say that large-scale energy efficiency efforts in Europe could reduce carbon emissions by 932 million metric tons, equivalent to taking nearly 200 million cars off the road, and create more than 1 million new jobs in the building industry by 2050. Read More
By: Dan Upham, Editor
We no longer fret over taxes on tea, but there’s another American Revolution forming in our great nation today. Like the colonist uprising 241 years ago, it’s fueled by a need to stand up against an outdated system that threatens our way of life.
It’s a battle over the future of American energy and our antiquated electric grid. And it centers around the way consumers, utilities, and investors interact with this vast network of powerlines, substations, and plants.
As Cheryl Roberto, who leads Environmental Defense Fund’s Clean Energy program, notes, “The U.S. is poised to spend around $2 trillion over the next two decades replacing our outdated electric infrastructure.”
That’s a lot of coin and a tremendous opportunity. Read More
A rural electric cooperative in North Carolina is one of the first in the country to receive funds from a new United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) on-bill finance program that will help customers improve energy efficiency, lower utility bills, and reduce carbon pollution. Roanoke Electric Membership Cooperative, which serves 14,ooo rural customers, is in my home state.
Roanoke Electric’s membership base is similar to other economically distressed rural areas, which have a growing elderly population and residents with homes that need energy-saving upgrades.
The cooperative diligently promotes energy efficiency, yet there are still customers with utility bills that are higher than their mortgage payments some months. Securing upfront capital to finance home improvements can be challenging. Read More
Several states have embraced net metering in order to encourage the adoption of solar energy and other distributed generation. Sometimes referred to as “running a meter backwards,” net metering allows people to generate their own electricity, export any excess electricity to the grid, and get paid for providing this excess energy to the utility who may use it to power nearby homes or manage overall electricity demand.
Net metering leads to lower – or in some cases negative – electricity bills without having to invest in expensive batteries to store excess energy, which can be cost-prohibitive. By generating energy on-site where it’s consumed, net metering also reduces the strain on distribution systems and cuts the amount of electricity lost to long-distance transmission and distribution (estimated at seven percent in the U.S.). Net metering, moreover, tends to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by incentivizing people to adopt renewable energy and become more aware of energy-saving opportunities. Read More
By: Tom Murray, VP Corporate Partnerships
This past year, we’ve seen some bold action by companies in what we’ve dubbed the business-policy nexus, and it’s taking several different forms. Some have been calling for state or federal action on environmental impacts, while others are taking far-reaching voluntary efforts that could help support policy advocacy in the future.
Whether you view engagement on public policy as risk mitigation, providing market certainty, supporting corporate sustainability goals, or securing competitive advantage, leading businesses are increasingly stepping up their efforts to support smart policy reform that will benefit the environment and economy.
Keeping toxic chemicals out of supply chains
Walmart and Target are moving to proactively get harmful chemicals out of their supply chains, even though the nation’s main chemical safety law, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), is outdated and hasn’t been reformed in nearly two decades. Read More