Energy Exchange

Despite federal rollbacks, Illinois can write its own climate, clean energy future

State leaders, including many in Illinois, are embracing action to promote clean energy and address climate change despite the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back common sense limits on pollution.

In Illinois we have an opportunity to act as a bulwark against wrong-headed policies promulgated in Washington. Indeed, state leaders are currently considering legislation that would make Illinois a clean energy leader, with benefits that communities across the state would share.

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Also posted in CEJA, Illinois / Comments are closed

How renewables, natural gas and flat demand led to a drop in CO2 emissions from the U.S. power sector

New state-by-state research shows significant reductions across the country from 2005-2015

Decarbonizing the power sector in the United States will be critical to achieving the goal of a 100% clean economy by 2050 – especially since reaching “net-zero” greenhouse gas emissions across the economy means that other energy-using sectors such as buildings and transport will increasingly need to be electrified, switching away from direct fossil fuel use and relying on low-carbon electricity instead. Demand for electricity is therefore very likely to grow in the future – which makes it critical that its CO2 emissions sharply decrease through the accelerated deployment of low carbon technologies, such as wind and solar power, in the decades ahead.

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Also posted in Natural Gas / Comments are closed

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Also posted in FirstEnergy, Ohio / Comments are closed