Pollinator-friendly solar, which incorporates native grasses and wildflowers throughout a solar installation, is one approach to cultivating additional land use benefits from solar projects. In two new Yale Center for Business and the Environment white papers, we explore the potential of this emerging practice.
In this interview, Susan Glickman, Florida director for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, discusses the status of clean energy development in the state. Glickman lays out policy battles over renewable portfolio and energy efficiency standards, the state’s history of natural gas consumption, growth in utility solar programs, and an effort to deregulate the state’s utility industry.
Given the promising value proposition of pollinator-friendly solar, several states have passed voluntary standards to encourage the practice, and a number of developers have committed to pollinator-friendly projects for all or part of their portfolios. Illinois-based ENGIE Distributed Solar is one such developer. In this interview. Gavin Meinschein, ENGIE’s lead civil engineer, discusses the case for pollinator-friendly solar and the company’s experience implementing the practice.
North Carolina has the potential to be a leader in offshore wind development, and the governor’s guidance can help jumpstart the industry. As a new market, however, the industry needs a stronger signal of interest. An executive order setting a goal for offshore wind development will show the wind industry that North Carolina intends to significantly invest in the sector.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf proposed Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) legislation in the fall 2019 legislative season. By voting to join RGGI, Pennsylvania can reduce electricity rates, improve the state and regional economy, and make the state a leader in the global effort to combat climate change.
The implementation plan that Arlington County expects to propose in June 2020 needs to include the creation of a green bank – a quasi-public entity established to facilitate private investment into local low-carbon, climate-resilient infrastructure.
Michigan can unlock energy-saving upgrades for homeowners by passing residential property assessed clean energy legislation. The legislation should guarantee energy savings and protect consumers by including a method for determining eligible energy-saving measures; restrictions to R-PACE financing amounts and underwriting criteria; and robust consumer protection provisions.
Maine’s renewable energy landscape is poised for big changes. Legislation passed into law in June establishes greenhouse gas emission reduction targets and an ambitious renewable portfolio standard. In this interview, Dylan Voorhees, climate and clean energy director of the Natural Resources Council of Maine, explains what the new laws mean for the state, and what brought about the shift in policy.
Hawaii has experienced ups and downs in its ambitious solar programs, according to Gwen Yamamoto Lau, executive director of Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority (HGIA). In this interview, she describes her state’s journey toward its 100-percent-renewable energy goal.
Texas offers an instructive case study for the growth of renewable energy. Most of the state’s electricity is delivered through the deregulated Electric Reliability Council of Texas market. The state has long since surpassed its mandated renewable portfolio standard, so market dynamics dictate the ongoing pace of renewables growth. Nonetheless, Texas is by far the country’s largest wind power generator and is slated to see major growth in solar capacity as well.
Brandon Cheshire is board president of the Arizona Solar Energy Industries Association and founder of SunHarvest Solar, as well as a licensed electrician. In this interview, Cheshire lays out a solar industry perspective on how to advance clean energy in the state.