Weekend reads - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency, Sourcing Renewables, Wind  -  May 15, 2021

Weekend Reads: Debunking ESG Myths; US Moves Forward With Massive Offshore Wind Farm

It's the weekend! Kick back and catch up with these must-read articles from around the web.

US approves its first big offshore wind farm, near Martha’s Vineyard – it’s a breakthrough for the industry (The Conversation) The United States’ offshore wind industry is tiny, with just seven wind turbines operating off Rhode Island and Virginia. The few attempts to build large-scale wind farms like Europe’s have run into long delays, but that may be about to change. On May 11, 2021, the U.S. government issued the final federal approval for the Vineyard Wind project, a utility-scale wind farm that has been over a decade in the planning. The wind farm’s developers plan to install 62 giant turbines in the Atlantic Ocean about 15 miles off Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, with enough capacity to power 400,000 homes with clean energy.

Latin America Set for Record Wind, Solar Expansion in 2021 (BloombergNEF) New wind and solar additions will roar back across Latin America this year, following a tough 2020. BloombergNEF expects new installations to exceed 10 gigawatts (GW) for the first time. Broader recovery will see around 30GW of total new additions through 2023, boosting cumulative utility-scale wind and solar capacity of 48GW today by two thirds. The record growth stems, in part, from pent-up activity as the pandemic slowed project development last year, producing a sharp downturn in net additions that broke four years of uninterrupted growth. This was compounded by regulatory upheaval in Mexico, deflating what had been one of the region’s hottest markets.

Webinar: Leveraging Energy Management to Meet the Critical Energy Needs and Challenges of Data Centers (CPower Energy Management) Wednesday, May 19, 2021, 2:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time. This discussion will explore many of the energy-related challenges for data centers and other critical facilities as we look at new and rapidly evolving issues like grid reliability, energy efficiency, renewables and sustainability within this and other critical industries. The panel will consist of thought leaders from CPower Energy Management: KC Mares, Director of Data Center Strategies, who brings decades of data center energy management experience, and Nate Soles, VP of National Accounts, who manages dozens of data center clients and strategies across North America. REGISTER HERE

Columbus’ Clean Energy Revolution Is Underway (NRDC) Columbus is on the road to a clean energy transformation. In November, residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of Issue 1, giving the city the right to contract for clean electricity on behalf of residents and small businesses at competitive rates and positioning them to become carbon neutral by 2050. Now, the initiative is officially underway. The first wave of letters announcing the community choice aggregation program—called Clean Energy Columbus—began hitting mailboxes in mid-April. Under the program, all Columbus residents or small businesses served by AEP Ohio will be automatically enrolled in the program, providing them with electricity sourced entirely from Ohio-based renewable energy assets.

As Biden targets 100% clean electricity, strategies emerge to reliably integrate rising renewables (Utility Dive) In the transitioning power system, barriers are falling between renewables and traditional fossil and nuclear generation and between types of variable generation like wind and solar. The energy infrastructure proposals from the Biden administration, if approved by Congress, are likely to accelerate the growth of utility-scale wind, solar and storage detailed by a December 2020 data compilation from Department of Energy (DOE) researchers. As variable renewables reach even higher penetrations and reliance on less cost-competitive natural gas fades, new solutions already in the works will assure reliability, power system analysts said.

Fact Check: The Truth Behind Five ESG Myths (Visual Capitalist) In 2021, investors continue to embrace environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investments at record levels. In the first quarter of 2021, global ESG fund inflows outpaced the last four consecutive quarters, reaching $2 trillion. But while ESG gains rapid momentum, the CFA Institute shows that 33% of professional investors surveyed feel they have insufficient knowledge for considering ESG issues. To help investors understand this growing trend, this infographic from MSCI helps provide a fact check on five common ESG myths.

 


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