Energy Exchange

These red and blue states are tackling climate change since Trump won't

By Keith Zukowski, Communications Project Manager

If you’ve been focused on recent reports of climate disaster, or on the Trump administration’s relentless attacks against environmental safeguards and climate science, you’re probably worrying we’re not making progress – at all.

But look a little closer, right here in the United States, and you’ll see that people aren’t waiting around. Instead of giving in to a warmer, more chaotic world, states across the country have stepped up, and into, the vacuum left by the federal government.

They’re implementing creative, innovative solutions that tackle climate change while prioritizing people, our economy and the environment. While federal policies will ultimately be necessary to fully take on climate change, these states are proving that action is both doable and good for the economy.

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Also posted in California, Climate, Colorado, New Jersey, North Carolina, Renewable Energy, Wyoming / Comments are closed

3 reasons Texas’ electric grid survived a summer that pushed its limits

As the hot summer approached, Texas leaders expressed concern about potential blackouts and brownouts. Yet, thoughtful planning, a functional electricity market and clean energy helped ensure the lights stayed on.

Power outage concerns

Hotter temperatures and continued population and commercial growth drove record electricity demand this past summer. Additionally, in early 2018, Luminant (now Vistra) shut down three large coal plants – all inefficient and highly-polluting – with a combined capacity of 4,200 megawatts (MW).

The shutdown of these power plants and other changes in the electricity market initially led the state’s electric grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), to forecast few electricity-making resources would be available beyond the amount customers would likely demand.

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Also posted in Electricity Pricing, Grid Modernization, Regional Grid, Texas / Comments are closed

Sacramento leads by example on cleaner energy with help from electrification

Good news for California’s clean energy fans. Last week the Board of Directors of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) approved an aggressive new plan that will help push California’s capitol city and its surrounding area closer to meeting, and beating, the state’s deep carbon reduction goals. Once implemented, SMUD will help create a cleaner energy and transportation system for the region.

The importance of SMUDs proposed investment shouldn’t be understated, nor should its impact. Between now and 2040, the utility plans to invest nearly $7 billion toward projects that generate renewable energy and help switch consumers’ energy use away from fossil fuels like natural gas and gasoline. This powerful commitment goes above and beyond the greenhouse gas reforms required by the state, and will enable the region to be net zero for climate pollution in a little more than 20 years.

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Also posted in California / Comments are closed

This year’s Greenbuild works to make sustainable buildings accessible to everyone

This is my fifth year attending Greenbuild and I am excited that my hometown of Chicago will again host the green building conference. I have come to appreciate the educational value and community that Greenbuild provides more and more each year, and I’m delighted Chicago will get to add to the tradition once more.

Greenbuild’s theme this year, Humans by Nature: The Intersection of Humanity & the Built Environment, covers a wide array of topics that define how we relate to the world we live in. One of these topics is enhancing building efficiency and performance, an ongoing mission that is at the very core of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and Greenbuild.

Moreover, the mission statement highlights the importance of making sustainable buildings and environments accessible to everyone. As one of the founding cities of the BIT Building energy efficiency program, Chicago reflects these ideals, and the BIT Building program is a clear example of accessibility in action.

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Also posted in Energy Efficiency, Illinois / Comments are closed

Hurricane Michael highlights urgent need for more solar opportunities in Florida

By: Jake Hiller, Sustainable Finance Manager, EDF+Biz 

Hurricane Michael, the most powerful storm to hit the Florida panhandle on record, caused loss of life and rampant destruction, flattening entire towns and leaving more than 1.3 million people without power across five southeastern states.

Rising temperatures and warmer waters are making this and other recent mega hurricanes like Florence stronger and more devastating for coastal states like Florida and the Carolinas. Unfortunately, the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report provides little encouragement and instead conveys dire warnings that unless measures such as massive new investment in clean and renewable energy occurs over the coming decade, we will have little chance of avoiding the worst impacts of climate change, including continuously worsening hurricanes.

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Also posted in Florida, Solar Energy / Comments are closed

New York’s broken transit system is barrier to achieving ambitious climate goals

A version of this piece originally ran on City and State New York.

New York City’s mass transit system – the foundation of the city’s density, dynamism and environmental efficiency – is in a state of emergency, putting climate goals and the health of New Yorkers at risk. Congestion pricing can help.

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Also posted in Congestion pricing, New York / Comments are closed