Weekend reads - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency, Regulation, Sourcing Renewables  -  July 11, 2020

Weekend reads: Berlin's first smart city; Climate policy unites the left

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

It’s Time For Companies To Walk The Talk On Climate Lobbying (Forbes) Who’s responsible for solving climate change? According to the Yale Program on Climate Communication, businesses top the list. Over 70% of registered voters across party lines say corporations and industry should do more to address global warming, above citizens and the U.S. Congress. Young peoples’ expectations of businesses are especially high: a study of Gen Z found that environment is the top issue that younger Americans want companies to address. But here’s the critical caveat – young people don’t just want lip service on the issues they care about. They want action. More than 90% said that if a company makes a commitment it should have programs and policies in place to back it up. And 75% will do their own research to see if a company is walking the talk.

City Of Sydney Goes 100% Renewable (CleanTechnica) As of July 1, Sydney, the largest city in Australia, will power all its operations — street lights, sports facilities, buildings, and the historic Town Hall — with 100% renewable energy from local sources. The clean energy transition, made possible by a power purchase agreement put together by Flow Power, is worth $60 million and is projected to save the city more than a half million dollars on its electricity bills every year for the next 10 years. Sydney began working to reduce its carbon footprint in 2016 when it adopted a plan to cut its carbon emissions 70% by 2030. The city calculates this latest power purchase agreement will help it reach that goal 6 years earlier than planned. It also worked hard to make sure the sources of the renewable energy it uses were all local to the area, providing economic development and job growth opportunities for people living in surrounding communities.

COVID-19 propels microgrids in healthcare sector, but regulatory, awareness hurdles remain (Utility Dive) In 2018, with a nearly $5 million grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC), a company called Charge Bliss built a 250 kW, 1 MWh solar and battery storage microgrid on top of a medical center in Richmond, California. The center saw immediate benefits, including a roughly one-third reduction in energy costs, according to healthcare provider Kaiser Permanente. Now, as the medical industry continues to reckon with COVID-19 and California faces the likelihood of more wildfire-related power outages, Kaiser is looking to deploy more solar-plus-storage systems and fuel cells.

Panasonic unveils first smart city in Berlin (pv magazine) “Future Living,” the first smart-city quarter in Berlin, combines sustainable and digitally networked living in the city’s Adlershof tech-research district. Panasonic supplied some of the key components for the project, which uses PV systems, storage tanks, and air-to-water heat pumps, among other technologies. It was completed in the spring, with 90 apartments and 10 commercial units spanning an area of more than 7.6 square kilometers. Powered by solar energy, the air-to-water heat pumps are used for space and water heating. In order to increase performance, the heat pumps feature a cloud-based connection option for installers. This saves additional CO2 emissions, as maintenance visits can be organized more efficiently. In some cases, remote maintenance is possible.

At last, a climate policy platform that can unite the left (Vox) After the ignominious failure of the Democratic climate change bill in President Barack Obama’s first term — the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill that narrowly passed the House but never came to a vote in the Senate — what little unity there was on climate change within the Democratic coalition fractured. Everyone went their own way, furious at everyone else. Democratic members of the House were angry at Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was angry at the climate movement, which was angry at the big mainstream green groups, which were angry at Obama, who was reduced to addressing climate change through regulations that President Donald Trump wound up repealing.


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