Weekend Reads - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency, Finance, Sourcing Renewables, Wind  -  June 5, 2021

Weekend Reads: Exploring the Future of Green Banking; Taking RE Lessons from Germany

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

What Germany Can Teach America About Renewable Energy (Slate) Earlier this month, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres joined virtual visitors to Berlin at the 12th Annual Petersberg Climate Dialogue, where the German government hoped to further negotiate technical details of the Paris Agreement. During the event, German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged governments to continue investing into our shared climate despite budgetary shortfalls related to the COVID-19 crisis. Germany has walked that walk. Over the past two decades, it has embarked on a remarkable, expensive transition from coal and nuclear energy, to renewable energy sources. The set of policies to encourage this rise of green energy is known as energiewende—or “energy transition.”  

California is changing the way it values energy efficiency to look beyond resource savings (Utility Dive) California is changing its approach to energy efficiency, and on Thursday the state's Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) passed new rules to address benefits beyond economic energy savings, and adopted a new "total system benefit" (TSB) metric to encourage conservation at high-value times and locations. With the decision, the PUC adopts a new approach to setting budgets for nonresource tranches of energy efficiency, including projects targeting equity and market development, said Mohit Chhabra, a senior scientist in Natural Resources Defense Council's climate and clean energy program who helped develop the metric.

Webinar: Cost, Sustainability, and Resilience Benefits of the Latest DER Technology: Kroger on its Mainspring Linear Generator Deployments (Mainspring) Wednesday, June 16, 2021. 2:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time. Breakthroughs in power electronics are bringing rapid advancements in distributed generation, from load-tracking versatility to improved renewables integration and fuel-flexibility. As a result, companies can achieve increased resilience and the ability to meet sustainability goals, all while significantly reducing energy costs. This exciting webinar featuring Denis George of Kroger, Craig Noxon of Mainspring, and Ittay Arad of NextEra Energy Resources will explore Kroger’s deployment of Mainspring’s new DER technology -- the Linear Generator. REGISTER HERE

The smartest way to finance clean energy that you’ve never heard of (Vox) In the United States, financing infrastructure and clean energy projects is often contingent on the quirks of partisan dealmaking in Congress. But there may be a better way. A green bank model has been successful in several other countries. The United Kingdom’s green bank funded much of its offshore wind boom before the government sold it in 2017. (The current UK government is exploring bringing it back.) Through Australia’s green bank, the largest in the world, the country has invested in wind, solar, and hydrogen development in addition to financing the construction of energy-efficient homes. A green bank isn’t government grants, and it’s not tax credits — which are the primary federal drivers of clean energy development in the United States. 

GreenStruxure and ClearGen Announce Strategic Partnership to Accelerate Energy Transition for Commercial and Industrial Customers (GreenStruxure)  GreenStruxure, a joint venture of Schneider Electric and Huck Capital, and ClearGen, a Blackstone portfolio company, today announced a strategic partnership that will accelerate the ability for commercial and industrial (C/I) customers to transition to cost-effective, sustainable and resilient energy. Through this partnership, GreenStruxure will develop and operate highly standardized on-site renewable energy microgrid systems. ClearGen will provide the capital to develop the assets through a $500 million commitment of long-term capital provided by funds managed by Blackstone. Customers in the underserved C/I market will benefit from a turnkey Energy as a Service solution that gives them the energy outcomes they need to meet their business and sustainability goals with no upfront capital outlay and no operational risks.

World Environment Day, June 5, 2021 (United Nations)  For too long, we have been exploiting and destroying our planet’s ecosystems. Every three seconds, the world loses enough forest to cover a football pitch, and over the last century we have& destroyed half of our& wetlands. As much as 50 percent of our coral reefs have already been lost and up to 90 percent of coral reefs could be lost by 2050, even if global warming is limited to an increase of 1.5°C. Ecosystem loss is depriving the world of carbon sinks, like forests and peatlands, at a time humanity can least afford it. Global greenhouse gas emissions have grown for three consecutive years and the planet is on pace for potentially catastrophic climate change.

Half a million new workers needed to meet global wind demand by 2025 (Energy Monitor) The wind industry will need to train over 480,000 people in the next five years, in line with Global Wind Organisation (GWO) standards, to meet worldwide demand for such power safely, states a report from the GWO and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). “Thousands of people work on the turbines that power our economies and protect our planet, and it is crucial we keep these people safe,” says Jakob Lau Holst, chief executive of the GWO. Safety training standards are the most effective way to do so, he adds. 

Climate Activists Get Renewed Victory After Third Member Elected To Exxon’s Board (HuffPost) Climate activists won yet another victory against Exxon Mobil on Wednesday after a third member was elected to the oil giant’s board, raising the stakes for the company amid criticism it has done little to address the growing threat of climate change. Exxon said Alexander Karsner, a strategist who works at Google’s parent company, Alphabet, and who has experience in renewable energy fields, secured enough votes to sit on the board. He served as the assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy at the Department of Energy under President George W. Bush and has worked for companies that helped build large solar plants, bringing deep environmental credentials to the fossil fuel producer, The New York Times reported.


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