Energy Exchange

4 new developments that prove electric trucks and buses are gaining momentum

The electric vehicle movement is having a moment. And I’m not talking about the usual passenger EVs that everyone already knows about — the Teslas, the Volts, the Bolts or the Leafs.

I’m talking about the next wave of EV markets that, when they take off, will fundamentally change how people and freight are moved. Here are four new developments that prove electric trucks and buses are gaining momentum.

1. Washington commits dollars, legislation to electric buses

First, a pair of announcements from Washington could spur new research and deployment of various low or zero-emission transit vehicles. The Federal Transportation Administration awarded 38 grants totaling $85 million to transit agencies across the country to purchase or lease “low or no emission” buses. Since its inception, the FTA’s Low-No program has funded more than $300 million in new buses, training or infrastructure. And a group of U.S. senators introduced the Clean School Bus Act last month, through which the U.S. Department of Energy would spend a billion dollars to help convert diesel school buses to clean electric models. A companion bill was just introduced into the House.

Read More »

Also posted in Electric Vehicles / Comments are closed

HB 6 – The fight is not over in Ohio

Ohio’s legislature passed FirstEnergy Solutions’ bailout bill last month over deafening and unusually widespread opposition. House Bill 6 not only grants the bankrupt energy company $150 million a year in ratepayer funds to bail out its uneconomic nuclear plants, it also subsidizes dirty coal units and guts the state’s clean energy industry that has created 112,000 jobs, with more than 5,000 in 2018 alone.

For FirstEnergy, it was a brilliant twofer — obtain massive subsidies and stifle competition. But it looks like Ohioans may have the final say in the voting booth.

Read More »

Also posted in FirstEnergy, Ohio / Comments are closed

Transforming transportation in New Jersey

There is no summer slowdown for New Jersey. State lawmakers are working hard to meet the state’s clean energy goals. Shortly before releasing the state’s Draft Energy Master Plan, Gov. Phil Murphy introduced the New Jersey Partnership to Plug-In, a first-of-its-kind collaboration between the Board of Public Utilities, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Economic Development Authority to build the necessary infrastructure to support electric vehicle ownership statewide, cut pollution and clean up the air.

As one of five states in the U.S. requiring 50% of its power be sourced from renewables by 2030 and to reach 100% clean energy by 2050, New Jersey is moving on a path toward decarbonization, reducing its reliance on fossil fuels, to meet its aggressive climate goals, and to contribute to the nationwide – if not global – task of avoiding the worst consequences of climate change. But decarbonizing the power sector isn’t enough.

Read More »

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

FirstEnergy’s bailout campaign is filled with all kinds of wrong. Please let a failed HB 6 be the end of it.

Since it was first filed in the Ohio legislature, HB 6 has been pitched as a necessary savior for a struggling Ohio utility and employer. FirstEnergy Solutions’ nuclear plants are losing money, the sales pitch goes, and the publicly-traded company needs $150 million a year by June 30 or it will shut down the plants and Ohio will lose 4,000 jobs.

Let me suggest that everything about this is wrong.

The June 30 deadline was wrong

We know now that the June 30 deadline was wrong because, well, it’s after June 30. When the deadline passed, FirstEnergy told reporters that it will proceed with taking steps to shut down the plants, but it can reverse course at a later date. Perhaps FirstEnergy’s leadership knew it was a false deadline, like the many other times the company cried wolf.

Read More »

Also posted in FirstEnergy, Ohio / Comments are closed

The FirstEnergy bailout bill benefits out-of-state executives and investors, not Ohioans

FirstEnergy and its supportive legislators have tied themselves in knots to sell their bailout bill (HB 6), a $1.4 billion money grab by a publicly traded company and its speculative, out-of-state investors that made a bad bet on a declining business.

They’ve been lying to Ohioans, claiming that HB 6 is a panacea that will clean the air, preserve local jobs and keep the lights on across Ohio. But it isn’t about any of that. And it’s barely about Ohio. Ohioans deserve to know the truth, and the legislature should reject this dishonest bill.

FirstEnergy claims it needs $150 to $190 million a year from Ohioans to keep two old nuclear plants online. And this would be the fifth time Ohioans will have paid for these plants. They first paid when the plants were built. They paid again in 1999 when the electricity market was restructured. They paid again when companies were allowed to add plants back into their supply plans in 2008. And finally, they’ve paid via the bailout ruling approved by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio in 2016.

Read More »

Also posted in FirstEnergy, Ohio / Comments are closed

Preparing for hurricane season in Puerto Rico with long-term solutions

With hurricane season upon us again, I am reminded of the lessons learned after the devastation we went through in 2017, when thousands of people in Puerto Rico went without electricity for nearly a year after Hurricane Maria made landfall on the island. Many communities had limited access to clean water, food and health services.

As much as we’ve been able to rebuild, a lot of work remains to be done to prepare for the future. As temperatures rise, we see stronger, more frequent and more deadly hurricanes. We must ensure their outcome affects people as minimally as possible. This will require a better understanding of what communities need to rebuild and adapt, what technology can be deployed to address specific challenges — such as a modern, more resilient grid and infrastructure —and the tools that can be used to finance them.

Many local officials and communities in Puerto Rico are making remarkable progress to make this transformation possible. Following their lead is essential to making any solution to the island’s energy crisis successful in the long- term. Communities, energy reform, technology and finance – all have a role to play in protecting the island from the next super storm, while improving the quality of life for all its residents and strengthening its economy long into the future.

Read More »

Also posted in Puerto Rico / Comments are closed