Weekend Reads: - Smart Energy Decisions

GHG Emissions, Regulation, Utilities, Solar  -  November 11, 2023

Weekend Reads: National Solar Energy Database Unveiled; Net Zero Targets Continue to Add Up

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

U.S. Department of Energy & U.S. Geological Survey release online public database of large-scale solar facilities (CleanTechnica)  The U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) released the largest and most comprehensive database to date on large-scale solar energy projects in the United States. The U.S. Large-Scale Solar Photovoltaic Database includes the location, size, and other characteristics of large-scale solar projects. This new public resource will enable researchers to observe trends in large-scale solar development as well as inform siting and planning for future deployment, contributing to the Biden-Harris Administration goals to decarbonize the electricity sector by 2035.

How America’s grid modernization stakes echo Eisenhower’s interstate revolution (Utility Dive)  Without the interstate highway system, U.S. GDP would decline by upwards of $578 billion, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. Like our interstate system, enacting sound policies that deliver a 21st century grid and spur interregional transmission development will drive tremendous economic benefits, increase resilience and national security operations, and maximize the ability to deliver affordable and reliable energy when we need it most.

Report: Corporate net zero targets jump, but only 4% meet UN climate goals (Axios)  The number of companies setting net zero emissions targets has risen over 40% to 1,003 since June 2022, but 4% of the targets meet United Nations criteria for reaching the goal. That's according to the latest analysis from Net Zero Tracker, which examines net zero targets in the Forbes Global 2000 list of the world's largest companies, and found the 16-month jump to October brought an aggregate annual revenue which covered such targets, some $27 trillion.

Why those bank emissions numbers are so rosy (Bloomberg)  On the surface, Deutsche Bank AG, Citigroup Inc. and Mizuho Financial Group Inc.all appear to be delivering on their promises to cut carbon emissions. The three banks (along with most of their peers) have committed to eliminating financed emissions—the greenhouse gas-pollution enabled by their lending and investing—starting with the most carbon-intensive areas of their balance sheets. And in sustainability reports published this year, all three banks said those numbers had come down—in some cases significantly. Yet if you read the footnotes, one would discover that their emissions have fallen in large part due to technical factors outside of their control.

With Democrats back in control of Virginia’s General Assembly, environmentalists see a narrow path forward for climate policy (Inside Climate News)  New Democratic majorities in the Senate and House of Delegates aren’t nearly big enough to override vetoes by Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin, described by one Democrat as “mostly hostile to climate policy.” But Democrats will control the regulation of utilities.

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