Weekend reads - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency, Power Prices, Sourcing Renewables  -  November 10, 2018

Weekend reads: Clean energy's election results; The $6 trillion EV barrier

It's the weekend! Kick back and relax with these must-read stories from around the web:

Ballot initiative flops mask strong election for clean energy (Utility Dive)  Tuesday's elections delivered mixed results for clean energy on the state level, with wins for renewable power supporters in key governors races tempered by the failure of high-profile ballot initiatives in Arizona and Washington. In Arizona, voters resoundingly rejected a 50% renewable energy mandate opposed by utilities with nearly 70% of the vote. In Washington, they appear poised to reject a proposed fee on carbon emissions for a third time, though results were still rolling in Thursday morning. In Nevada, voters gave preliminary approval to a 50% renewable energy mandate, but rejected a proposal to break utility NV Energy’s monopoly. 

Renewables reduced wholesale power costs by $5.7 billion in Texas (PV Magazine)  There is a lot to chew on in The Economic Value of Renewable Energy to Texas, a new report by the Wind Solar Alliance. In addition to numbers on jobs, reduced pollutants and projected numbers for economic development, there are also figures for revenues to local governments and landowners, all in the cornucopia of economic benefits brought by these two resources. However, perhaps the most interesting thing in this report – which represents the latest joint effort of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) – are the numbers on how wind, and to a lesser degree solar, are bringing down wholesale power prices and making them more stable.

Developing a Socially Responsible Supply Chain (Thomas for Industry) Whether your specialty is manufacturing, moving product, or analyzing areas for cost savings, you’re already well aware of the importance of corporate social responsibility. Building a strong triple bottom line — good for people, the planet, and profit — has become increasingly important as the modern consumer comes to expect more from shopping than good prices. So how can today’s supply chains embrace — and execute — effective social responsibility initiatives for the duration of a product’s life cycle?

The $6 Trillion Barrier Holding Electric Cars Back (Bloomberg) Wouldn’t it be great if we could all drive without dirtying the air we breathe? Alas, not everyone can afford an electric car. The good news is the death of the internal combustion engine is nearing and electric-vehicle sales are on a tear. Countries that together account for more than 10 percent of global auto sales have detailed plans to phase out conventional gasoline-powered cars. Include China, and that jumps to 40 percent. These days, electric cars can drive further and be charged faster than previously. Automakers are beginning to churn out at least one electric variant, with more than 100 battery-powered models to be available by next year. Does that mean the affordable car of the future has arrived? 

Hydropower, Innovations and Avoiding International Dam Shame (MSU Today)  It’s hard to beat hydropower from dams, a renewable source of electricity that helped build much of the developed world. Yet five scientists from Michigan State University say that behind roaring cascades is a legacy of underestimated costs and overestimated value. The developing world can – and must – find better ways to generate hydropower for industries and the public. The case is outlined in “Sustainable hydropower in the 21st century” in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 


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