Energy Exchange

California ramps up the speedometer on the electric vehicle future

By Larissa Koehler and Pamela MacDougall 

California recently made history when it committed to making every car across the state electric, with a specific goal for electrifying all operating trucks and buses by 2045. The move — along with a number of other clean vehicle initiatives — will eliminate a huge amount of climate pollution as well as other emissions that deteriorate air quality and impact public health. But what comes next?  How should the state prepare for this 100% electric vehicle future?

Rolling out more medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles will not be possible without building out more charging infrastructure.  This is a complex process for many reasons. For one, passenger vehicles have different charging needs than larger trucks and buses.  Additionally, more vehicle charging will also lead to higher electricity demand. Finally, some communities and neighborhoods — like those situated near transit hubs or high-traffic areas — are more directly affected by diesel pollution and may need clean vehicle solutions more urgently than other places. California needs to account for all of these factors to develop a plan that maintains a clean, reliable and affordable electric grid, and delivers clean air benefits to the communities that need it most. Read More »

Also posted in Air Quality, California, Electric Vehicles / Comments are closed

Walmart commits to 100% zero-emission trucks by 2040, signaling electric is the future

As part of its ambitious goal announced yesterday to achieve zero-carbon operations by 2040, Walmart outlined a notable timeframe for transforming its truck fleet. The company will accelerate efforts to pilot zero-emission trucks over the next few years and then aggressively ramp up its use of these vehicles, in order to achieve a full fleet transition by 2040.

Its embrace of zero-emission trucks is significant because large trucks are a major source of air pollution that harms our health and warms the climate. Tackling pollution from trucks is one of the single most important actions we can take to address climate change and provide healthier and longer lives for millions affected by toxic air pollution. This is especially true for overburdened communities and communities of color, which often border major highways and freight hubs, where diesel pollution from trucks is most acute.

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Also posted in Air Quality, Electric Vehicles / Comments are closed

Puerto Rico communities and Energy Bureau chart path to a clean, resilient future

En español

Last month marked a major victory in Puerto Rico’s pursuit of a reliable and sustainable energy system, as the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau issued its resolution on the long-term plans laid out by the Electric Power Authority.

Thanks to the long-standing engagement of local communities and vigorous advocacy from an array of organizations on the island, regulators in San Juan issued an order largely responsive to public calls to accelerate renewables, reject fossil fuels and embrace distributed energy generation via innovative solutions like microgrids and virtual power plants.

The Energy Bureau’s order on the Integrated Resource Plan, which will guide the development of Puerto Rico’s energy resources over the next two decades, puts the archipelago’s energy future on a cleaner, more resilient path with a renewed emphasis on accountability, transparency and customer-centric solutions.

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Also posted in Puerto Rico, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy / Comments are closed

Las comunidades locales y el Negociado de Energía de Puerto Rico trazan la ruta hacia un futuro limpio y resiliente

En inglés

El mes pasado marcó una gran victoria para el progreso hacia un sistema de energía fiable y sostenible en Puerto Rico, debido a que el Negociado de Energía de Puerto Rico emitió su resolución sobre los planes a largo plazo establecidos por la Autoridad de Energía Eléctrica (PREPA por sus siglas en inglés).

Gracias al compromiso que las comunidades locales han mostrado desde hace tiempo, y a la enérgica defensa de una serie de organizaciones en el archipiélago, los reguladores de San Juan emitieron una orden que responde en gran medida al llamado público para acelerar el uso de energía renovable, rechazar los combustibles fósiles y adoptar la generación de energía distribuida a través de soluciones innovadoras como microrredes y plantas de energía virtual.

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Also posted in Puerto Rico, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy / Comments are closed

A stronger CEJA will help combat dirty fuel and dirty money

We have written on many occasions about the need for the Clean Energy Jobs Act (HB3624/SB2132). This legislation — widely considered to be the boldest climate bill currently pending in any state — empowers communities and protects the environment and consumers’ pocketbooks.

The bill was worthy of passage the moment it was introduced in February 2019. Since then, it has become even more evident that the bill should be adopted, especially in the wake of COVID-19. CEJA would have an enormous impact on the job market at a time of high unemployment, and it will generate billions of dollars in state and local tax revenue at a time when these dollars are desperately needed.

With this much going for it, promoters of CEJA would have been easily justified in leaving the bill as is. This is especially true given that it enjoys overwhelming public support, with 82% of Illinoisans backing the bill in a recent poll.

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Also posted in CEJA, Energy Efficiency, Illinois / Comments are closed

Walmart and J.B. Hunt give glimpse of trucking’s future

It’s an everyday scene in Southern California: a big rig hauling a metal shipping container from a port facility to a distribution center or rail yard. Last week, this old story got a new twist with a 120-mile emission-free haul featuring two shipping behemoths from Northwest Arkansas: Walmart and J.B. Hunt.

Our nation’s two biggest marine ports – the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach – operate right next door to each other in a complex known as the San Pedro ports. Nearly 40% of the shipping containers coming into the U.S. enter through this complex. These containers are packed with goods destined for homes and business across the country, with stops along the way at distribution centers, fulfillment centers and retail shelves.

The consumption and movement of these goods has profound equity implications. This is acutely the case around the San Pedro ports. A recent report found that “freight movement accounts for about 42% of NOx emissions in the South Coast Air Basin, with heavy-duty trucks that service the ports the single-largest source within that category.” These trucks, known as drayage trucks, are a mere 0.1% of the vehicles on the road but contribute 5% of total NOx pollution. Addressing the impact of drayage trucks is an environmental and equity imperative. Thankfully, we have the technical means to do so. Read More »

Also posted in Air Quality, Electric Vehicles / Comments are closed