Distributed Energy Resources, Energy Efficiency, Microgrids, Solar  -  March 23, 2019

Weekend reads: Are we done with fossil fuels?; IKEA's Innovation Lab

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

A Future Without Fossil Fuels? (The New York Review of Books)  “Kingsmill Bond” certainly sounds like a proper name for a City of London financial analyst. He looks the part, too: gray hair expertly trimmed, well-cut suit. He’s lived in Moscow and Hong Kong and worked for Deutsche Bank, the Russian financial firm Troika Dialog, and Citibank. He’s currently “new energy strategist” for a small British think tank called Carbon Tracker, and last fall he published a short paper called “2020 Vision: Why You Should See the Fossil Fuel Peak Coming.” It asks an interesting question: At what point does a new technology cause an existing industry to start losing significant value?

Ikea’s innovation lab unveils a plan to help people cash in on solar energy (Fast Company)  It’s undeniable that humanity’s dependence on fossil fuels needs to change if we are going to mitigate the disastrous impact of climate change. One of the best alternative energy sources is solar power because it is so plentiful–to meet the Earth’s current energy needs, we would only need .025% of the energy the sun emits every year. It’s also cheap: If you can put the infrastructure in place to collect and store it, the solar energy itself is free. But incentivizing people to build that infrastructure remains a challenge. 

As 100% renewables mandate nears, Puerto Rico sees new microgrid initiative, resilience focus (Utility Dive) When considering the future energy mix of Puerto Rico, worsening hurricane seasons and high levels of poverty in the territory are top of mind for energy experts. Distributed generation is critical to boosting energy resilience on the island, participants noted yesterday at the Black Start 2019 conference in Puerto Rico, reflecting on lessons learned from Hurricane Maria in 2017. Energy, policy and regulatory experts discussed a transition to cleaner, distributed generation as a cost-effective solution to harden the U.S. territory's grid. 

Power To The People! Michigan Tech Researchers Say Distributed Renewables Save Utility Customers Money (Clean Technica) A study by researchers at Michigan Technical University claims increasing renewable and distributed generation energy sources can save Michigan electric consumers money. The study, entitled “Policies to Overcome Barriers for Renewable Energy Distributed Generation: A Case Study of Utility Structure and Regulatory Regimes in Michigan,” was published in the journal Energies on March 12. 

The Green New Deal aims to get buildings off fossil fuels. These 6 places have already started. (Vox) One of the elements of the Green New Deal resolution that has caused the most consternation among critics on the right is its aspiration toward “upgrading all existing buildings in the United States,” along with building new buildings to the highest energy standards. Conservatives have spun this up into a full invasion of federal bureaucrats. Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell says they’ll be nosing around your home and business, “forcing you to pay for costly updates.” 

 

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