At the Yale Center for Business and the Environment, we constantly scan the horizon for transformative solutions in clean energy markets and finance. And as far and as wide as we look, we are drawn back to study the remarkable work across our home state of Connecticut.
It’s urgent to fund climate solutions in developing nations. The risk of climate-related adversities particularly affects the poor, who already suffer disproportionately from these impacts. Direct government funding is scarce in the least-developed countries. Hence, climate change investment needs are significant. One way to address this gap and also reduce investment risks is to use results-based climate finance.
The road to electrifying heating and transportation in the United States is being mapped out by Electric Power Research Institute and The Brattle Group. Their forecasts show that different paths may yield a range of environmental, business and health benefits. Electrification could also stoke the fire of utility profits, which has dimmed in recent years.
The Sun Belt offers great possibilities for solar power development. And in many states of the deep South, residential customers stand to gain massively from increased access to affordable renewable energy. The Southeast is home to much of the nation’s worst sustained poverty. Its low-income consumers have some of the highest energy burdens in the country, according to American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. “Energy burden” is defined as the percentage of household income that goes toward energy costs. Many states in the region maintain detrimental policy frameworks. Innovation is needed across the board to ensure solar power’s benefits are accessible to all customers.
According to a recent research study, “Energy Performance Certificates - Informing the Informed or the Indifferent?,” the presence of an energy label on homes does not have any significant impact on home pricing. A team led by Professor Jon Olaf Olaussen from the business school at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology said factors such as the location, landscaping, neighborhood and size of the property take precedence in home purchases. However, this research contradicts several studies that have shown there is a price premium associated with energy labels.
In a dynamic discussion at the Rockefeller Institute of Government on April 18 in Albany, N.Y., financial experts explained how they “follow the puck” by observing technological and social trends as they move their funds from fossil fuels toward clean energy.
When the United States renewed funding for Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) on March 23 despite a proposal to defund this energy-innovation agency, what galvanized support for this decision? Two reports published in 2017 by the National Academies Press and Information Technology & Innovation Foundation showed why the agency plays a quiet but energetic role that moves industries forward.
A potentially transformative energy storage solution is being developed by a group led by Yet-Ming Chiang, professor at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Zheng Li, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Virginia Tech. Their research was published in the journal “Joule” in the article “Air-Breathing Aqueous Sulfur Flow Battery for Ultralow-Cost Long-Duration Electrical Storage.”
Now that installations of solar PV coupled with battery storage (solar+storage) are becoming more common in commercial markets, it is important that disadvantaged communities not be left behind. One of the reasons for this lag in market uptake of clean energy in low- and moderate-income communities is a persistent financing gap.
In this post, we’re taking a closer look at new technology being deployed in the transmission sector. We will focus specifically on how the federal government can influence what is nominally a local and regional issue.