Energy Exchange

New science and technology uncover opportunities to speed up environmental progress

This piece originally appeared on our EDF Voices blog.

Both science and environmentalism are changing – driven more and more by more collaboration and rapidly improving technology.

These developments offer tremendous opportunities, as they can reveal urgent threats much more clearly – as well as the paths to address them.

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Also posted in Methane, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

East Coast meets West Coast style – how 2 states are advancing clean energy

By Rory ChristianLauren Navarro

Cities and states are taking the initiative to address climate change independently from the federal administration. With unique political contexts and environmental needs, each local authorities’ policies address specific climate challenges.

California’s new landmark mandate, requiring solar panels on new home constructions, and New York’s ongoing Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative, illustrate just how different paths can lead to accomplish the same intent: to fight climate change.  They are also indicative of how elected officials are prioritizing energy, infrastructure, and housing in their planning.

The longer states wait to take action to set or meet environmental goals, the more expensive their efforts will become. More importantly, the delay can affect the economic and health benefits from new jobs and lower emissions that improve residents’ quality of life.

New York and California are well positioned because they’ve capitalized on emerging trends by addressing legal and regulatory issues in ways other states have yet to do. Let’s take a look at their approaches and challenges. Read More »

Also posted in California, Clean Energy, Electric Vehicles, Electricity Pricing, Energy Efficiency, New York, New York REV, Solar Energy / Comments are closed

New report: 5 energy innovations that Ohio can use to attract $25 billion in investment

Why should Ohio ramp up its investment in energy innovation? More than 20,000 jobs and $25 billion in capital are on the line.

That’s according to a new report that outlines a vision for Ohio’s energy future and economic development. The report draws from the insights and experiences of a diverse group of advisors from across the state’s business, regulatory, academic, labor, and manufacturing sectors.

Here’s why now is a prime moment for Ohio to seize this multibillion-dollar opportunity, which will bring about a cleaner, more efficient energy system for Ohioans.

Five big opportunities

With the state’s largest utility constantly asking for a bailout and state legislators repeatedly trying to gut clean energy standards, Ohio isn’t exactly a leader on energy innovation. But it can be.

The report by Synapse Energy Economics, called Powering Ohio: A Vision for Growth and Innovative Energy Investment, highlights five areas for growth:

  1. Attracting investment from corporate clean energy leaders;
  2. Electrifying transportation, with a focus on electric vehicles;
  3. Building new clean electricity generation, like wind and solar power;
  4. Boosting Ohio’s energy productivity through energy efficiency; and
  5. Investing in a 21st century electric grid.

Taking advantage of these five related opportunities will net more than 20,000 jobs and $25 billion in investment dollars for Ohio, while enhancing productivity and lowering costs. Read More »

Also posted in Clean Energy, Energy Financing, Grid Modernization, Ohio / Read 1 Response

Tesla: Inventor of the Modern

The following is an excerpt from Tesla, Inventor of the Modern, a new book by Dick Munson published in May 2018.

Nikola Tesla gave us the electric motor, long-distance electricity transmission, radio, robots, and remote control — the very foundations of our modern economy. Perhaps less well known is that he also was a clean-energy pioneer, and he remains an inspiration to today’s solar and battery entrepreneurs, including Elon Musk, who views him as a hero and contributed $1 million to help restore Tesla’s laboratory on Long Island.

Tesla marked his clean-energy leadership with a 1900 article in The Century — then the nation’s largest-circulation periodical. Published 118 years ago, “The Problem of Increasing Human Energy, with Special References to the Harnessing of the Sun’s Energy” was one of the earliest, detailed looks at capturing power from the sun and wind.

At his core, Tesla appreciated efficiency and hated energy waste, complaining that we “do not utilize more than 2 percent of coal’s energy” to make electricity. “The man who should stop this senseless waste would be a great benefactor of humanity,” he declared. Read More »

Also posted in Clean Energy / Comments are closed

The latest trends in renewable-energy tech, markets, and policy

By Energy Dialogues

Renewable energy, and its role in energy future, is an intense topic that spans across all corners of the energy spectrum. For example, our recent Mexican Energy Series featured a lively discussion of whether Mexico is on course for the 2024 target of 35% renewable energy, and what this pledge means for the country. Each year, as new corporations, municipalities, and countries make bold and vocal commitments to offsetting energy consumption, and to pursuing clean energy resources at a higher level, the conversation intensifies.

For an insider perspective about the current state of renewable energy, we called upon Lenae Shirley, Senior Director, Technology Innovation and Market Adoption for Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). Lenae is working at the nexus of technology, markets and policy, leading efforts with EDF’s demonstration partners to prove the impact of clean technology innovations. As a result of these initiatives, Lenae identifies trends and market opportunities to accelerate the transformation of the electricity sector, with data-driven decisions that push forward market adoption for renewable methods. Here is our conversation. Read More »

Also posted in Clean Energy, Energy Financing, Renewable Energy / Comments are closed

How location-based prices and utility rewards could help California’s electric grid

By Larissa Koehler, Jamie Fine

Distributed energy resources, from rooftop solar panels to smart well-weatherized homes and timed electric vehicle charging, are vital pieces of the clean energy puzzle. Coordinating how and where to encourage them in a way that benefits the electric grid, the environment, and Californians can be complicated. In its’ Integrated Distributed Energy Resource proceeding, the California Public Utilities Commission (Commission) recently asked stakeholders [PDF] to “consider how existing programs, incentives, and tariffs can be coordinated to maximize the locational benefits and minimize the costs of distributed energy resources.”

This key step forward in the proceeding is potentially a big deal. Why? Rocky Mountain Institute’s report puts it this way [PDF]:

“More granular pricing, capable of reflecting marginal costs and benefits more accurately than today’s rates do, will provide better incentives to direct distributed resource investments, regardless of whether investments in and management of [distributed energy resources] are undertaken by customers, by utilities, or by third-party service providers.”

By reflecting both costs and benefits in retail prices that electricity customers pay, California can modernize the grid while spurring the efficient and fair build out of distributed clean energy resources. This can help the state substitute traditional and inflexible polluting resources [PDF] with a variety of more nimble distributed energy resources where the grid can handle them. What’s more, distributed energy resources can lead to cleaner air in areas traditionally burdened by higher levels of harmful air pollution. They can achieve all this while bolstering the electric grid and protecting the health of the environment and of Californians. Read More »

Also posted in California, Clean Energy / Comments are closed