Monthly Archives: March 2022

Hydrogen is booming: 3 things investors need to know to reduce their risk

By Jake Hiller

The U.S. Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act has set off a flurry of competition among states for a piece of the $8 billion in direct funding and tax credits the law provides for four “hydrogen hubs.” Last week, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas announced a joint bid, and New Mexico said it will also join the fray.

The role proposed for hydrogen in the EU’s climate transition plan lays the groundwork for a surge of investment there as well. China is in the race, too, with $20 billion in public funding already made available to projects.

A parallel rush to hydrogen is underway in the private sector. According to the Hydrogen Council and McKinsey, more than 350 large-scale projects worth $500 billion have already been announced, with hydrogen investments growing by roughly $1 billion per week. As Goldman Sachs recently wrote, “Policy, affordability and scalability seem to be converging to create unprecedented momentum for the clean hydrogen economy.”

How can investors boost the potential of their hydrogen stakes?

Hydrogen has a number of strengths as an energy carrier and decarbonization pathway. Its ability to generate both heat and electricity, its high energy content relative to its weight and its potential for storage either as a liquid or a gas make it particularly attractive for hard-to-abate sectors such as steel, cement, shipping and aviation. Read More »

Posted in General / Comments are closed

Quickly reducing methane along with CO2 could help save Earth’s sea ice

By Kelsey Robinson

New EDF-led research is bringing new hope to the prospect of preserving the Arctic’s summer sea ice, which has been declining rapidly due to rising temperatures.

Sea ice levels today are at their lowest point since record-keeping first began and at this current loss rate, summer sea ice could practically vanish by the time today’s toddlers become adults. This new research suggests that if we take swift action to reduce emissions of CO2 and the potent greenhouse gas methane – we could preserve summer sea ice well into the next century. 

Methane is the second most important greenhouse gas after CO2 and is responsible for more than 25% of current global warming. Over the following two decades, the methane we emit today will capture over 80 times more heat than an equal amount of CO2. This is why cutting methane now is so important to slow down warming and lower the risk of losing Arctic summer sea ice.

This study is one of the first to look at how practical methane mitigation affects critical parts of the climate system beyond temperature rise. According to the study, if we reach net zero CO2 emissions by 2050 (as motivated by the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement) and quickly enact methane reductions using all currently available solutions, the chances of saving our summer sea ice this century could increase from nearly zero without action to more than 80%. 

Why preserving summer sea ice is so important. 

A seasonally ice-free Arctic has significant implications for the global climate. According to recent research, if the Arctic Ocean is free of sea ice during the sunlit part of the year, it could  generate the same heat as 25 years’ worth of human-caused CO2 emissions at today’s level. 

Preserving sea ice maintains habitat for walruses, polar bears and other Arctic wildlife and it serves as a vital source for hunting and fishing among Indigenous Arctic communities. It can also help deter geopolitical complications that can arise from open access to Arctic waterways. 

This study makes it clear that methane-cutting tools and technologies that are available today can make significant progress toward preserving Arctic summer sea ice and slowing the rate of global warming if we deploy them now.

Posted in Methane / Comments are closed

States have an opportunity to be more ambitious in new “action plan” on zero-emission trucks, buses

The drive toward a zero-emission future logged another mile of progress after the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management, representing a coalition of 16 states, the Province of Quebec, and Washington D.C. last week unveiled its draft action plan to put more electric trucks and buses on U.S. roads.

The draft model action plan represents an excellent roadmap for these states as they aim to achieve the zero-emission sales targets outlined in the MOU they all signed back in July 2020: 30% of new truck and bus sales by 2030 and 100% by 2050. Importantly, the plan was developed in collaboration with EJ and community advocates, which is an indispensable component of the policymaking process.

Given that these states represent about one-third of the U.S. truck market, this commitment – and the plan to achieve it – are both important pieces of the puzzle to support increased adoption of zero-emission trucks and buses.

However, states have an opportunity to enact more ambitious goals than the ones set out in the NESCAUM MOU and model action plan – one they can and should seize to address the significant health and climate concerns posed by trucks and buses. Read More »

Posted in Electric Vehicles / Comments are closed

With beneficial electrification plans, the Illinois Commerce Commission takes a step towards reducing harmful emissions

Update: The California Air Resources Board is hosting a public work group meeting on May 4 at 1:00pm PST to discuss the new Proposed Zero Emission Loan Pilot within the Truck Loan Assistance Program. Stakeholder input is needed to determine how loans should work under SB372. There will be future meetings on other elements of SB372 to come. Please click here for more information.

Last year the California State Legislature passed Senate Bill 372, an important new bill that will help finance the next generation of zero-emission trucks. The law directs the California Air Resources Board and the California Pollution Control Financing Authority in the State Treasurer’s Office to offer financial and non-financial tools to help owners of medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses pay for the costs of replacing their diesel-fueled fleets with cleaner, ZEV alternatives.

This bill is meant to bring key stakeholders to the table — environmental justice groups, truck manufacturers, fleets, financiers, nonprofit organizations and others — to find the solutions that will work for fleets to transition to zero-emission MHD vehicles.

Based on conversations EDF had with fleets, financiers and others, about what they need to invest in ZEV trucks, we discovered that it is critical to bring stakeholders to the table in order to find out what works, recognizing that multiple options are needed, because when it comes to fleets, one size does not fit all.

Read More »

Posted in Air Quality, California, Electric Vehicles / Comments are closed

This week, all eyes are on zero-emission trucks. It’s time for policymakers to go bold.

As leaders from government, business and tech meet this week at CERA Week, The Work Truck Show and the ATA Technology and Maintenance Council annual meeting, the growing availability of zero-emission trucks will be center stage.

The last five years have seen tremendous progress in the availability of and fleet interest in large, zero-emission vehicles. This electric truck revolution is being spurred by growing private sector investment, rapidly maturing technology and clear government leadership. As a result, these trucks are moving from the showroom floor to highways and local streets across North America.

Among the many signs of progress are:

Read More »

Posted in Air Quality, Electric Vehicles / Comments are closed

The truth about Russia’s war: Our addiction to oil gives Putin power

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is alarming and wrong — recognized by governments across the political spectrum as a dangerous assault on peace and stability.

How sad, then, that some columnists here in the United States are using it as an opportunity to spin up a partisan attack on the Biden administration’s energy policy.

Instead of recognizing the reality that the world’s addiction to fossil fuels empowers Putin, these columnists are making the bizarre claim that more clean energy is somehow to blame for Russian aggression.

But facts are stubborn things. The truth is, U.S. oil production is near record levels — which did nothing to stop Putin. For better or worse, the Biden administration has issued new permits for drilling on federal lands at a faster clip than the notoriously pro-oil Trump administration.

Read More »

Posted in Natural Gas / Comments are closed