Energy Exchange

To ensure North Carolina’s Clean Energy Plan succeeds, we must act now

North Carolina is already reeling from the impacts of climate change in the form of severe weather, sea-level rise and extreme heat. Our people and our communities are bearing the cost of inaction. Solutions are needed now, and thankfully more state leaders, like North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, are stepping up and pledging to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In October 2018, Gov. Cooper issued Executive Order 80, which set a goal of reducing North Carolina’s greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2025 and called on state agencies to develop plans for achieving that goal. Last month, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, along with other state agencies, did just that by issuing a series of plans for how North Carolina will tackle climate change here at home.

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Also posted in Clean Energy, Climate / Comments are closed

North Carolina’s transportation sector is poised for electrification, but creative solutions are needed to achieve success

In 2018, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 80, an initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality and enhance public health statewide. It was an important step toward addressing the global climate crisis starting right here in our backyard. The governor’s order calls for the creation of a Zero Emission Vehicle Plan, which outlines a goal to get 80,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2025. This is an exciting initiative that should help push the EV market along. But North Carolina is capable of achieving far more than is laid out in the current plan — most of which the state is already on track to achieve.

North Carolina’s transportation system has long been ripe for electrification. In fact, the state will likely reach or exceed 80,000 EVs, roughly 4.5% of light-duty (passenger vehicle) sales, by 2025 under a business as usual scenario. Therefore, a more ambitious target of 15% light duty EV sales, with an additional 5% medium-duty and heavy-duty EV (large trucks and buses) sales target, is not only achievable but also better supports the state’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 40% over 2005 levels by 2025. North Carolina will need to adopt new policies to support this ambitious goal.

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Also posted in Clean Energy, Electric Vehicles / Comments are closed

New report highlights potential for energy storage in North Carolina

North Carolina recently took another key step in its push for a clean energy future with the publication of a long-awaited study on the opportunities, challenges and value of energy storage for the state. The report, which was mandated under the 2017 Competitive Energy Solutions Act (House Bill 589), is the culmination of a year-long research effort led by a multidisciplinary team of researchers from North Carolina State University in partnership with the North Carolina Policy Collaboratory.

The report finds that North Carolina is at a critical juncture in its clean energy future, with energy storage poised to play a key role. However, in order to develop market opportunities for storage and ensure its full benefits are realized, policymakers must take key steps to wisely accelerate the adoption of energy storage in North Carolina.

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Also posted in Clean Energy, Energy Storage / Tagged | Comments are closed

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, Clean Energy, Climate, Colorado, New Jersey, Renewable Energy, Wyoming / Comments are closed

North Carolina celebrates ‘American Wind Week’ with optimism for the future

Governor Roy Cooper has issued a proclamation recognizing August 5-11 as “American Wind Week” here in North Carolina. It’s a good time to reflect on our clean energy progress – as a nation and as a state – and to consider what’s next.

The amount of energy generated from wind turbines has more than tripled in the United States in the last decade, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), representing 6.3 percent of the nation’s generation mix last year. The Tar Heel state can take credit for a tiny portion of that with the 104 turbines generating power at the Amazon East Wind Farm near Elizabeth City, but we are lagging behind with wind representing only 0.4 percent of our state’s energy mix. Read More »

Also posted in Clean Energy, General / Comments are closed

As moratorium on North Carolina wind power winds down, economic opportunity appears on the horizon

I’ve never been more optimistic about wind power in North Carolina and the benefits it will bring our state. And, given that we’re in the middle of a very unfortunate 18-month moratorium on wind project permits, that’s saying something.

I’m optimistic because the benefits of wind power are making themselves crystal clear. Here are few of the highlights:

More money for individuals and communities

In Pasquotank and Perquimans counties, Avangrid Renewables — the operator of the Amazon Wind Farm — has become the largest taxpayer after just one year of operation. Avangrid’s $520,000 annual local tax payments provide a big boost for the community, because they create new opportunities for investments in local schools, fire departments, and public safety services. Read More »

Also posted in Clean Energy, Wind Energy / Comments are closed