Energy Exchange

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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Also posted in Community Solar, Grid Modernization, Puerto Rico, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy / Comments are closed

Three things California should do to prepare for more electric trucks and buses

California is moving fast to replace dirty, gas-guzzling heavy-duty vehicles with cleaner, electric choices as a way to combat air pollution and climate change.

Both fleets and electric utilities need to rethink the way they build the charging stations needed to power these vehicles. Charging stations should be as affordable as possible, and help electric vehicles integrate more renewable energy into the grid. The California Public Utilities Commission is working with stakeholders to set out key guidelines, targets and metrics to reach those goals. This process, known as the Transportation Electrification Framework, is unquestionably a step in the right direction, but in order to maximize its impact there are some key things the CPUC should keep in mind.

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Also posted in Air Quality, California, Climate, Electric Vehicles / Comments are closed

Now is not the time to pump the brakes on fleet electrification

The coupled economic impacts of the pandemic and global oil crisis are expected to hit passenger electric vehicle sales hard, with a recent Bloomberg analysis predicting an 18% drop in sales this year. But many commercial fleets and state policymakers are continuing to push forward on their plans to electrify trucks and buses, even in these uncertain times.

We are seeing proof of this across the zero-emission vehicles market. In order to meet their long-term climate commitments as well as near-term policy requirements, fleet operators are continuing to accelerate their investments in electrification.

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Also posted in Air Quality, California, Climate, Electric Vehicles / Comments are closed

Mexico can rebuild a cleaner, stronger energy economy post COVID-19

This piece was first published in El Universal

Times of great turmoil sometimes bring the opportunity for great progress. As leaders around the world work to protect the sick and vulnerable from COVID-19, while also moving to restart their economies, they have a chance to rebuild better — creating a world that’s cleaner and healthier than before. This means investing in an economy that creates more jobs and less pollution, including less of the air pollution that causes diseases that put people at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

It should be a world with fewer deaths from heart and lung disease triggered by air pollution, a world with a safer and more stable climate for our children and grandchildren. This is the kind of world we can create if we heed the lessons of this terrible pandemic.

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Also posted in Air Quality, Climate, Electric Vehicles, Methane, Methane regulatons, Mexico, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

New York’s EV plan is missing a very important piece: trucks and buses

New York is home to the most famous electrified transportation system in the United States. It’s true. During normal times, the New York City subway carries over 5.5 million riders on a typical workday, for a total of over 1.7 billion rides annually.

Our electric subway system clearly deserves credit for the fact that the average carbon footprint of a New York City resident is 6.1 metric tons – less than a third of the national average. Electric transportation is a climate win, and if you count the subway, the city is off to a great start.

However, New York still has a long way to go when it comes to electrifying the rest of the state’s transportation sector. Despite all those avoided car trips in the New York City metro area, transportation still accounts for 37% of the state’s total greenhouse gas footprint — a higher share of total emissions than for the U.S. as a whole (where transportation accounts for 28% of total emissions).

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Also posted in Air Quality, Electric Vehicles, New York / Comments are closed

The energy job market is in trouble. Here’s how we fix it.

The coronavirus is inflicting a heavy toll on America: Over 100,000 dead, almost two million infected, and more than 40 million unemployed. Beating the virus is the top priority. But we also need to put people back to work as fast as safety allows. How we go about that now will determine our nation’s economic future for decades.

To achieve lasting prosperity, we need to rebuild better by investing in jobs that restart the economy, improve the environment and move us to a cleaner future.

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Also posted in Air Quality, Climate, Energy Efficiency, Methane, Methane regulatons, Natural Gas, Renewable Energy / Comments are closed