The Clean Power Plan is now officially in business and protecting the health and safety of all Americans.
The Clean Power Plan establishes America’s first-ever nationwide limits on harmful carbon pollution from our nation’s largest source, power plants. It builds on years of stakeholder engagement and input, and adopts a flexible approach that empowers states to develop their own individually tailored compliance plans that reflect their own policy priorities.
Power Companies Are Working With States to Craft Compliance Plans
Major power companies have recognized the opportunities available with home-grown compliance plans that fully harvest state flexibility and the potential of a low-carbon economy. Xcel Energy, for example, just announced plans to cut carbon emissions across its Northern States Power system by 60 percent by 2030, at negligible cost to consumers. Read More
The oil and gas industry has been busy the last few years trying to respond to significant environmental concerns raised by an often skeptical public. While there have been noteworthy improvements in how industry conducts business and how regulators oversee this activity, more needs to be done to manage risks.
In an invited guest editorial in this month’s Journal of Petroleum Technology, EDF Senior Policy Director Scott Anderson offers our assessment of where efforts to protect water need to focus at this juncture. The editorial is re-posted with permission of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Read the full editorial here.
Image Source: Flickr user Jeremy Buckingham
Also posted in Natural Gas
Each month, the Energy Exchange rounds up a list of top clean energy conferences around the country. Our list includes conferences at which experts from the EDF Clean Energy Program will be speaking, plus additional events that we think our readers may benefit from marking on their calendars.
Top clean energy conferences featuring EDF experts in November:
November 3-5: European Utility Week (Vienna, Austria)
Speaker: Kate Zerrenner, Manager
- With two programs—the Strategic Conference Program and the free-to-attend Hub Sessions on the exhibition floor—as well as a multitude of new exhibition features, the event is a dynamic environment for the smart energy community to come together and thrash out which strategies will be the most effective or most affordable in the future.
November 6-7: Yale Environmental Sustainability Summit (New Haven, CT)
Speaker: Fred Krupp, President
- How will our planet provide food, energy, and water for a growing population and as our climate changes? Can we develop more sustainable systems for producing and distributing food; drive towards lower carbon and GHG intensity in our economies; and effectively manage our increasingly scarce fresh water supplies and fragile ecosystems? How can efficiency and innovation help reduce our impact—while increasing our well-being? The Yale Environmental Sustainability Summit (YESS) will engage University alumni, faculty, staff, and students—as well as outside experts, practitioners, and scholars—to tackle topics, including these, in the first annual conference of its kind at Yale. Fred is scheduled to deliver remarks during the conference dinner on Friday, Nov. 6. Read More
What a difference a year can make. Even before the last weeks tick away, 2015 stands out as a remarkable and dynamic year for climate and energy in the United States.
Read on for five bold trends that are beginning to reshape our economy – and our national discourse on climate change.
1. Investments in renewables soar
I admit it: For years, I thought renewable energy was more hype than reality. I’m happy to report that recent data proves me wrong.
In just five years, solar panel prices have fallen 80 percent, and solar capacity installed worldwide grew more than six-fold. The overall cost of solar per kilowatt-hour, meanwhile, plummeted 50 percent.
For the first time in history, energy from the sun is as cheap as traditional energy in states such as Arizona, California and Texas.
The proof is in the pudding. Apple, for example, recently signed an $848-million power agreement with a solar provider – bypassing the electric grid. A deal of this magnitude shows where solar is today, and where it is headed. Read More
By: Michelle Zheng, Clean Energy Intern
Before the U.S. electric grid became centralized under utilities and independent system operators, it consisted of unorganized and unconnected generators. As distributed energy resources (DERs) – such as rooftop solar, energy storage, and other generation sources beyond large power plants – find their way into (and onto) more homes and businesses, it’s clear the grid’s future has a lot in common with its roots. This time, however, an array of new technologies will help us take advantage of a more decentralized approach.
But are utilities ready to handle this change? Although some are eager to try, the answer under most current utility business models is a resounding “no.” This is because current business models promise utilities profit for putting more steel into the ground and selling as much energy as possible – the exact things DERs help avoid.
Despite all this, can we find ways for utilities and DERs to be friends? We think so. Meet the “Bring Your Own Battery” (BYOB) model. Developed by San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and collaborators at Rocky Mountain Institute’s eLab Accelerator, it capitalizes on the emerging movement of customers bringing their own batteries to the grid. What’s more, it creates a role for the utility to facilitate rather than fight the expansion of DERs.
Also posted in Energy Storage
By: Karin Rives
A number to remember: $44 trillion. It’s what Citibank estimates that climate change will cost the global economy by 2060 unless we take decisive steps to rein in greenhouse gas emissions.
To put the number in perspective, that is roughly the combined gross domestic products of the United States, China and the European Union.
But the banking giant’s recent forecast also offers a financially attractive way forward.
The Citi researchers estimated what our energy-hungry world will spend on conventional power infrastructure and procurement over the next several decades. They then compared that with what it would cost to instead develop low-carbon energy sources to meet rising demand from especially developing nations.
Their conclusion: By transitioning to a clean energy economy we will, in fact, save an estimated $1.8 trillion by 2040.
This number, of course, only tells part of the story. Investments in clean energy will bring an array of other benefits, not the least of which are new markets, industry growth and more jobs – all of which will fuel the economy and boost GDPs.
So why is the Citibank report important? Because it gives us numbers that can help us move the needle forward at a very critical time. Read More