Commercial, Energy Efficiency, Regulation  -  September 28, 2019

Weekend reads: Solar microgrids in the Bahamas; US gas station ditches oil for EV charging

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

Talking up a rapid renewables transition will get us there faster (PV Magazine) Two potentially “self-fulfilling” energy transition narratives are in competition, says a World Economic Forum report. Only one, the “rapid narrative,” would help us limit global warming to the Paris Agreement goal of “well below two degrees Celsius.”

In storm-battered Bahamas, solar microgrids hint at a carbon-free future (Curbed) With climate change bringing rising seas and stronger storms, islands in the Caribbean are on the front lines of changing weather patterns, as Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and, most recently, Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas have shown. These islands could also be on the front lines of combating climate change: A new effort to build and deploy solar-powered microgrids—independent, self-sufficient, renewable means of power generation—could turn the Caribbean into a testing ground for the future of green infrastructure and clean power.

US electric grid more vulnerable to cyberattacks as DERs increase potential targets, GAO finds (Utility Dive) The U.S. electric grid "is becoming more vulnerable to cyberattacks," according to a new assessment from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, with industrial control systems and the rise of distributed resources playing major roles in the growing risk. The report recommends the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) analyze the threat of a "coordinated cyberattack on geographically distributed targets" and consider beefing up its security requirements and compliance thresholds.

Sterling Heights rolls out clean energy business program (MetroMode) As climate action protests emerged around the globe last week, another Michigan city signed on to tackle energy waste in its biggest industries. Sterling Heights has joined forces with Lean & Green Michigan (LAGM) to launch an energy efficiency program, in an effort to encourage environmentally-friendly business practices. Buildings consume 43% of energy in the United States, and 30% of this consumption is wasted due to inefficiency. Many businesses do not invest in renewable energy measures because it takes too long to see any payback benefits, but city officials in Sterling Heights hope to change this with a new Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program.

First gas station in America to ditch oil for 100% electric vehicle charging opens in Maryland (CNBC) The first gas station in the U.S. that has been completely transitioned from a petroleum station to exclusively charging EVs opened Thursday in Takoma Park, Maryland. RS Automotives, the local gas station, has been around since 1958. Depeswar Doley, owner of the station since 1997, said he was already unhappy with the way oil and gasoline companies structure contracts — such as limiting the use of multiple suppliers, including clauses that extend contracts when a certain volume of sales is not met and limiting maintenance support. These business factors already were pushing him to consider other options.


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