What kept Governor Rick Snyder (R-Mich.) up all night in December? According to Katie Trachsel, manager of the Michigan Renewable Energy Certification System (MIRECS) program, it was the passage of two pieces of legislation that transformed the state’s renewable-energy laws, encouraged energy efficiency, and reshaped utility regulation. Meanwhile, Illinois rolled out its new renewable portfolio standard (RPS). Brian Granahan, chief counsel at Illinois Power Agency, said the RPS was designed to resolve a confusing set of policies. The new goals are clearer and easier to follow than the previous ones.
What are the advantages of siting renewable energy on brownfields that corporations own? An article by lawyers at the firm Sullivan & Worcester, “Unlocking the Clean Energy Value of Dormant Corporate Properties,” highlights the potential financial and environmental benefits of repurposing old industrial and manufacturing properties as locations for corporations to generate renewable energy.
Leaders from business and government joined the dialogue on carbon pricing revenue at the “Innovating to Meet the Climate Challenge” event in New York City on Sept. 21. Revenues can enhance productivity across the economy by reducing the capital cost of renewable energy, enabling investments in different sectors and addressing corporations’ carbon portfolios, panelists said.
Energy storage is continuing to gain traction in the commercial and industrial (C&I) space as well as among utilities, thanks to the large variety of additional services it promises to provide. However, many customers are still curious about its tangible value and savings. In an attempt to answer these questions, Growing Energy Labs Inc. – also known as GELI, an intelligent energy software and analytics company – hosted a webinar series. The first event was called “Solar + Storage : Why 1 + 1 =3.” It addressed the additional value a storage system can add in combination with solar PV. The second one was called "Solar + Storage : Risk Mitigation and Monetization."
After decades of underinvestment, African-American farmers and small business owners in North Carolina will now receive green enterprise loans from Natural Capital Investment Fund. The award of $1.6 million, announced on May 3, is part of a much larger program by Wells Fargo that seeks to fill part of the huge void in bank financing of minority-owned businesses.
Some of the high points of CEM7, a global clean-energy conference that took place in San Francisco on June 1-2, occurred when speakers took a stand to motivate their audience to accelerate the momentum of the energy transition away from fossil fuels.
While the installation costs for solar in the United States have dropped dramatically in recent years, the number is double that in Germany. The difference has mainly resulted from soft costs – costs that do not relate directly to construction. To explore the cost-reduction opportunities, Solar Power World held a webinar on April 28 to discuss some major strategies for installers to decrease the soft costs of financing, training, and local solar programs.
How is China balancing renewable-energy development with urbanization? On April 24, the Yale US-China Forum brought stakeholders from every sector together at Yale University to discuss China’s clean-energy future.
Scaling the mountain of creating a large energy-efficiency market for commercial buildings in the United States is a daunting task, according to a March report from Institute for Market Transformation (IMT). This report, “Energy Efficiency Finance for Commercial Buildings: Insights from Lenders,” reveals structural and outreach problems have largely frozen massive investment opportunities – close to $72 billion.
Growing momentum for energy-efficiency financing in the United States has motivated State and Local Energy Efficiency Action Network to conduct around 20 interviews with stakeholders in five states to explore what it takes to make utility-sponsored programs succeed. The research team produced a report that outlines the pitfalls and promises of a wide range of evaluation techniques.
At a public event in Boston on June 11 called "Designing Solar’s Value: A Stakeholder’s Forum," speakers outlined an ambitious proposal to shift the entire framework of solar financing in Massachusetts to a value-of-solar model. The newly founded Northeast Solar Energy Market Coalition (NESEMC) cosponsored the event, which was hosted by Solar Energy Business Association of New England (SEBANE).
What are the political options the United States solar industry faces as it seeks to avert the impact of the phase-out of the federal investment tax credit (ITC)? A policy paper produced by researchers at The George Washington University, “Softer Solar Landings: Options to Avoid the Investment Tax Credit Cliff,” explores four potential alternatives to the current plan and assesses their political viability.
International Energy Agency (IEA) launched the Energy Efficiency Market Report 2015 on Oct. 8 via a webinar. IEA projected the market would continue to grow and would reach $120 billion USD by 2020. However, this number “still falls far short of the estimated $215 billion USD to reach the 2-degree scenario,” said Sam Thomas, senior programme manager at IEA.