Some marketers view energy efficiency as invisible to United States consumers. Within the industry itself, benefits that are not measured in kWh are often invisible, said Noel Stevens, senior consultant at DNV GL. During a webinar hosted by Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships on Sept. 19, “Quantifying the Value Proposition: Recent Work on Non-Energy Impacts,” he and other speakers showed the selling points of retooling savings estimates.
When today’s solar panels are tomorrow’s electronic waste, who will finance their recycling? Within a few years, the United States will be facing the sunset of a large number of solar installations. In response, Washington, California, and New York are making plans to incentivize solar-panel recycling.
The only way to achieve climate targets in the Northeast is to start electrifying transportation and heating to a high level. According to the report “Action Plan to Accelerate Strategic Electrification in the Northeast,” a committee of over 30 stakeholders is laying the groundwork for a massive revamp of the region’s electric power consumption to meet climate goals.
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.
Interest in Ghana’s solar market is booming. However, the nation has a long way to go to reach its goals. As of March 2017, the Ghanaian Energy Commission had issued provisional licenses for developers to install roughly 3000 MW of photovoltaic capacity. Actual growth is much slower.
“Puerto Rico is suffering,” said José H. Román, interim president of the Puerto Rico Energy Commission, to a crowded room of attendees at the Future of Energy Global Summit in New York City on April 9. The summit explored how the global renewable energy market is changing even as it faces policy headwinds in North America. For Puerto Rico, a United States territory, hope for the future seems distant given its currently harsh economy and inadequate infrastructure.
If Pope Francis was the United States Secretary of the Treasury, he might have issued the Department of the Treasury's recent press release on April 22 with this comment from his encyclical “Laudato Si:" “Enlighten those who possess power and money that they may avoid the sin of indifference, that they may love the common good, advance the weak, and care for this world in which we live. The poor and the earth are crying out.”
Jon Powers, a military veteran who served as Chief Sustainability Officer for the Obama administration, spoke with Clean Energy Finance Forum on Feb. 22 about what challenges the nation faces in the short run, what public policy measures should be supported and saved, and what a carbon tax could do for sustainable energy.
The focus of business leaders shifted toward new horizons on Jan. 31 at the Investor Summit on Climate Risk in New York City. These included the role of organized labor in the global energy transition. This was the first conference session Clean Energy Finance Forum has covered where labor issues were discussed at length.
Washington, DC is already on track to surpass the building energy efficiency goals it set seven years ago, according to the DC Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE). DOEE has achieved this through a unique public-private partnership participation in the Better Buildings Challenge. It also has a suite of other renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.
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).
Greentech Media’s first international Solar Summit, held on Jan. 27-28 in Mexico City, left more questions than answers about the future of solar in Mexico. Speakers said that the solar markets are in flux at all levels of development. The country is far from reaching a steady state. Developers who are willing to take risks could enjoy huge payoffs but must first face significant regulatory uncertainty.
How can green banks collaborate internationally to scale up private financing to meet the challenge of climate change? A new international organization, the Green Bank Network, hopes to lead the way. During the Paris climate conference, six green banks and two nonprofit organizations jointly announced the opening of the network on Dec. 7. The network will accelerate clean energy installations and mobilize private investments worldwide.
While making strong motivational statements at the 2016 Investor Summit on Climate Risk in New York City on Jan. 27, speakers also laid forth an ambitious set of targeted goals to implement the Paris climate conference’s agenda. These goals included implementing climate disclosure requirements; advocating for stable, economically meaningful carbon pricing; ceasing investment in coal; leveraging pension funds; scaling up green banks; clarifying what constitutes a green bond; and analyzing risks on an industry-by-industry basis.
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.
The CEO of green utility Good Energy has called UK government cuts to renewable-energy subsidies "a hatchet job" enacted without appreciation for the positive impact renewables were having on wholesale energy prices...
One of the overlooked elements in President Obama's Clean Power Plan is the positive effect it will likely have on low-income United States citizens - those who suffer most from climate change and who are facing a crisis in available affordable housing...