Monthly Archives: April 2014

Clean Energy Conferences Roundup: May 2014

Source: National Retail Federation Flickr

Source: National Retail Federation Flickr

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 May:

May 11-13: 2014 American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy Energy Efficiency Finance Forum, Washington, DC

Speaker: Brad Copithorne, Financial Policy Director

  • Designed specifically for investors, financiers, utilities, and policymakers, the Energy Efficiency Finance Forum will explore the latest opportunities in financing and investing in energy efficiency. Over the past seven years, the conference has grown to become one of the premier venues for discussions of energy efficiency financing policies, and an important networking opportunity. Read More »
Posted in Conference Roundup, General / Comments are closed

Resiliency+: Renewable Energy Can Boost Grid Resilience in Vulnerable New Jersey

Resiliency+ is a new blog series, which highlights the ways in which different clean energy resources and technologies can play an important part in increasing energy resiliency in New Jersey and around the country. Check back every two weeks, or sign up to receive Energy Exchange blog posts via email.

BAPV_solar-facadeRenewable energy, such as solar and wind power, provides clean and sustainable power to our electricity grid. But it also offers other benefits beyond environmentally-friendly electricity. Renewable energy can increase energy resiliency by keeping the lights on, including at critical facilities in the wake of a natural disaster. That’s why it has the potential to play a particularly pivotal role in New Jersey, which is vulnerable to vicious storms such as Superstorm Sandy.

Renewable energy, unlike other forms of energy, is less vulnerable to sustained disruption. Other, more traditional forms of energy, such as fossil fuels, require an input (coal, oil and gas, etc.) that needs to be shipped, often via pipeline, to create electricity, leaving them vulnerable to a natural disaster that might interrupt transport. On the other hand, renewable energy has the ability to generate stable, on-site power from sources such as solar and wind when it operates from a microgrid. A microgrid can generate power both connected to and independently from the main, centralized grid. They can vary in size, providing power to several city blocks or to an individual home, but microgrids have the unique potential to “island” from the main electricity system. This is important during and/or in the wake of a natural disaster like Superstorm Sandy because this autonomous electricity system is able to power local buildings regardless of whether or not the main electric grid is down. Read More »

Posted in Clean Energy, Climate, Demand Response, Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, Grid Modernization, New Jersey, Renewable Energy / Tagged | Comments are closed

Renewable Energy Policy in Europe is Faltering: What are the Lessons for the Rest of Us?

By: Gavin Purchas, Policy Director, Clean Energy, and Eric Gimon, Philanthropist

Fântânele-Cogealac Wind Farm, Romania

Fântânele-Cogealac Wind Farm, Romania

For those of you who are avid viewers of the TV show, “House,” you are probably all too familiar with Dr. House’s chaotic yet extremely effective style. He solves cases and achieves fame and notoriety, while those working with him try to learn valuable lessons along the way, hoping none of the crazy will rub off on them. So too it is with Europe and the many countries around the world looking to learn a thing or two from its experience with implementing one of the most aggressive set of renewable energy targets in the world.

The European Union’s (EU) attitude towards renewable energy started out as a rational set of targets followed by supporting financial mechanisms, but has ended up as a chaotic series of missteps that have resulted in the region losing its number one spot as the world’s clean energy leader. For countries following the EU (House’s team and colleagues in this metaphor) the message is simple: Do what we did in the beginning and not what we’re doing now…or else you’ll end up losing your license. Read More »

Posted in Clean Energy, Energy Financing, Renewable Energy / Read 2 Responses

Connecticut’s Green Bank Uses PACE to Accelerate Commercial Solar, California Expected to Follow

Wayne National Forest

Wayne National Forest

Up to now, the most popular and cost effective forms of financing solar projects have been leases and Power Purchase Agreements (‘PPAs’), which allow homeowners to install solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on their property and purchase power from the system’s output via a financial arrangement with a third-party developer who owns, operates, and maintains the solar panels.

Unfortunately, these creative financing mechanisms have not generally been available for commercial property owners. The only exceptions were buildings owned (or leased for a very long time) by investment-grade entities such as Google, Walmart, or a state or local government. Most small or medium businesses, office buildings, shopping centers, and apartment buildings could not access financing for money-saving solar projects as investors have been wary of extending 20-year solar financings for most commercial properties. Read More »

Posted in California, Energy Financing, Renewable Energy / Tagged | Read 1 Response

EDF Adds Multifamily Homes to its Energy Efficiency Protocols

MULTIFAMILYBy: Matt Golden, Senior Energy Finance Consultant

The Investor Confidence Project (ICP) is pleased to announce the release of a new series of Multifamily Energy Performance Protocols (EPP) that build on ICP’s successful commercial protocols to bring the benefits of standardization to a broader array of project types. This suite of three protocols include Large Multifamily for whole building projects over $1M, Standard Multifamily for smaller whole building projects typically less than $1M, and Targeted Multifamily for single measures.

The multifamily protocols were developed with the collaboration of industry experts including participating members of the ICP Multifamily Development Team and the ICP Ally Network. The bulk of the protocols are comprised of the same market tested methodologies that can be found in all of ICP’s Energy Performance Protocols. However, the multifamily versions have been designed to address considerations that apply to the multifamily sector including the issues of split incentives and tenant privacy.    Read More »

Posted in Clean Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Financing, Investor Confidence Project / Comments are closed

What it Takes to Compete in the Global Energy Race

cleanenergyraceAs the international sporting world shifts its sights from somewhat snowy Sochi (host of the 2014 Winter Olympics) to balmy Brazil (host of this summer’s soccer World Cup), a recent European Commission report shows that the European Union (E.U.) has its eyes fixed on taking the lead in another global contest of sorts: The race for a more competitive, secure, and sustainable energy economy. At stake are neither medals nor trophies, but long-term economic strength. As Europe – and, indeed, the rest of the world – play energy hardball, what does it mean for the global energy competitiveness of Team USA? Let’s look at the stats.

Current energy costs and competitiveness

Reliable, affordable energy powers industrial innovation and growth, making energy costs and policies one of the most important drivers of economic competitiveness.

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Posted in Clean Energy, Energy Efficiency, Grid Modernization, Renewable Energy, Utility Business Models / Comments are closed