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Expert Columns

Distributed Energy Resources  -  February 24, 2021 - By NRG Energy, Inc.

Energy Cost & Control: DER Survey Insights, Part 1

As the U.S. energy landscape continues to undergo a transformational shift, how and where power is generated has emerged as a key driver in the transition. In Part 1 of this series from NRG based on results of the 2020 State of Distributed Energy Resources study conducted by Smart Energy Decisions, NRG looks at drivers and challengers among organizations who are currently deploying or considering the deployment of DERs - as well as ways to overcome those challenges.

February 19, 2021 - By John Failla

Five years of Smart Energy Decisions

Inspired by a desire to help accelerate the energy transition and the principles espoused by Jigar Shah in his book, "Creating Climate Wealth," five years ago today on Friday, February 19, 2016, we published the first issue of our newsletter with this welcome message: “Each issue of our weekly newsletter, created exclusively for Fortune 1000 commercial and industrial energy executives just like you, will feature news, expert columns, and research. Here's to your success!" 

February 19, 2021 - By John Moore, NRDC

The Texas Energy Catastrophe and Clean Energy

A historic freeze plunged every county in Texas into a winter weather advisory and caused the state’s electricity system to fail, with 4 million customers facing outages, many that lasted hours and hours. For some naysayers, the failure of the grid operator in Texas to prepare for severe weather is yet another chance to try and blame clean wind and solar energy, the very technologies we need to address climate change. However, says John Moore of NRDC in this column, that dog won't hunt.

February 15, 2021 - By John Schoettler, Amazon

The next chapter for HQ2: sustainable buildings surrounded by nature

Amazon has unveiled a proposed design for the second phase of its Arlington, Virginia headquarters. In this column, John Schoettler, Vice President of Amazon's Global Real Estate and Facilities team, offers highlights of the plan, which blends architectural and ecological elements for the new PenPlace to meet LEED Platinum certification, run all-electric central heating and cooling systems on 100% renewable energy, and align with Amazon's Climate Pledge to be net-zero carbon by 2040 and advance Arlington and Amazon’s shared commitment to be leaders in the fight against climate change.

February 8, 2021 - By Better Buildings, U.S. Department of Energy

LBA Realty: Climate Risk Assessment Report and Resiliency Plan

LBA Realty (LBA, a full-service real estate investment and management company with a diverse portfolio of industrial and office properties in major markets throughout the United States, needed to implement an actionable climate risk assessment process to address concerns at a property-specific level. This column from Better Buildings shows how a new process was created to identify, validate, and mitigate confirmed climate risk factors during the acquisition process.

GHG Emissions  -  February 3, 2021 - By Larissa Koehler, EDF

In 2021 we must set more ambitious targets for zero-emission trucks and buses

Despite the historic difficulty of 2020, there were some climate and air quality bright spots. For example, the march toward zero-emission trucks and busses is on. In this column, Larissa Koehler of EDF explains why we should increase our ambition in 2021.

January 29, 2021 - By Chris Hensley, Encycle

Commercial HVAC practices: Adaptability is key during a continually changing business landscape

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many U.S. businesses operating from commercial buildings experienced either a shutdown or a substantial reduction in facility usage in 2021. This column from Chris Hensley at Encycle explores energy usage and control decisions companies are making as they recalibrate their buildings' HVAC operational requirements.

Energy Efficiency  -  January 25, 2021 - By Tanya March, Envizi

Tackle energy efficiency projects with no upfront costs

Following up on Envizi's webinar, "Optimizing the Low Carbon Pathway," this column from Tanya March, SVP North America, continues the discussion with key considerations to understand creative financing options in order to make best practices a reality.

Sourcing Renewables  -  January 20, 2021 - By Ceres

Veto of landmark climate bill is a missed opportunity for Massachusetts

The decision by Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker to veto landmark climate legislation is extremely disappointing and a step in the wrong direction for Massachusetts’ ability to mitigate the impacts of the climate crisis, according to this column from Ceres. The organization is calling on state legislators to reintroduce this legislation immediately, noting that the Commonwealth cannot afford to delay the transition to a net-zero emissions future that is already underway.

Energy Efficiency  -  January 15, 2021 - By Better Buildings, U.S. Department of Energy

Repurposing the Western Maryland Railway Station

The Western Maryland Railway Station in Cumberland, Maryland, built in 1913, went through various transformations before its current use for offices, a museum, and retail shops. This column from Better Buildings shows how a comprehensive building upgrade resulted in a 21 percent annual energy savings.
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