Revealed on January seventh, 2019 |
by John Farrell
January seventh, 2019 by John Farrell
Initially posted at ilsr.org.
Co-director of ILSR and Energy Democracy initiative director John Farrell and analysis affiliate Marie Donahue sat down earlier than the winter break to mirror on what they’re describing because the “Year of 100” — a landmark yr for 100% renewable power commitments in 2018.
In this particular year-end episode of the Native Energy Guidelines podcast, Farrell and Donahue recap the various formidable renewable power commitments made by states, utilities, and cities, this yr. The 2 talk about what we will study from these resolutions and the way to make sure advantages from the clear power transition stay each native and equitable.
Tune in for highlights from 2018 and a vigorous dialogue about what’s on horizon for native, renewable power in 2019. Discover a transcript and abstract of the dialog under.
States Push for 100% Renewable
In 2018, California joined Hawaii because the second state to set a 100% renewable power dedication, Farrell explains. Hawaii’s objective had been permitted by regulators in 2017. In addition, 5 new governors have indicated shifting ahead such commitments in Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Nevada, and Maine.
Because the economics of power shift in favor of renewables, Farrell factors to only how aggressive wind and now photo voltaic have each turn into in an growing variety of states. This development has enabled extra residential and business clients to shift to photo voltaic in California. Donahue explains how the sum of particular person selections from these clients will assist hold California on monitor to reaching its new goal.
As illustrated within the animation under, virtually 800,000 particular person photo voltaic installations have come on-line in California during the last decade, via the second quarter of 2018.
Study extra about this map of progress in California’s photo voltaic market right here. Examine one other landmark coverage California handed in 2018, which would require photo voltaic on new residential developments beginning in 2020, right here.
In the approaching years, extra states will comply with California and Hawaii’s lead. Donahue argues the states to observe, like in Minnesota with its burgeoning #100PercentMN marketing campaign, are these with grassroots efforts that may push state legislatures and management to set commitments that middle fairness and promote distributed era that may hold advantages native.
But, there stays a “dirty secret” that Farrell and Donahue talk about relating to statewide objectives and the way they outline what counts as “renewable” or “clean” power. Pointing to a new report by ILSR revealed earlier this month, Donahue explains how pricey and soiled waste incineration has been sponsored by present renewable power objectives.
“We have 23 states that … are classifying waste incineration as renewable,” explains Donahue. “It’s a cautionary tale of how we can think about the definitions of renewable and how important it is to get into some of the nitty-gritty details when these commitments are made.”
Learn ILSR’s full report, “Waste Incineration: A Dirty Secret in How States Define Renewable Energy” to study extra concerning the prices of waste incineration and our suggestions for various strong waste and native power practices.
“We have 23 states that… are classifying waste incineration as renewable,” explains Donahue. “It’s a cautionary tale of how we can think about the definitions of renewable and how important it is to get into some of the nitty-gritty details when these commitments are made.”
Investor-owned Utilities Comply with Go well with, However Are They Critical?
In December, Xcel Energy turned the primary investor-owned utility within the nation to decide to reaching 100% carbon-free era by 2050.
Whereas acknowledging how “monumental” it’s for a shareholder-owned utility to make such a dedication, Farrell factors out that this story was the truth is years within the making and largely enabled by aggressive and forward-thinking state laws in Minnesota and Colorado. In addition, whereas Xcel acquired a lot reward for its announcement, municipally-owned public utilities like these in Georgetown, Texas, and Rock Port, Mo., have been working on 100% renewable power for years.
“It’s going to be pretty hard to be 100% carbon-free in 2050, if you have a gas plant you’re still operating,” Farrell factors out about Xcel Energy’s current dedication.
Farrell and Donahue talk about three essential questions utility clients and state leaders ought to ask of investor-owned utilities like Xcel, as extra begin making commitments to carbon-free or renewables within the coming years: 1) Who carries the danger? 2) Does this impression the corporate’s perspective on distributed, customer-owned power? And three) Are they critical?
Learn the weblog that John Farrell wrote following the announcement by Xcel Energy to scale back carbon emissions to zero by 2050, right here. Study and watch a parody video launched by ILSR in March 2018, that lampooned Xcel Energy’s ask for a “Blank Check” from the Minnesota Legislature, right here.
Farrell asks whether or not Xcel Energy is critical about its carbon-free dedication. He notes how on the similar time that Xcel made its dedication, the shareholder-owned utility has been within the course of of shopping for a brand new pure fuel energy plant that could possibly be in operation for many years.
“It’s going to be pretty hard to be 100% carbon-free in 2050, if you have a gas plant you’re still operating, unless you make some pretty generous assumptions about the ability to do carbon capture,” Farrell notes, “What are you gonna do with that carbon? We don’t really have an answer to that.”
Metropolis Voices Take the Lead on Funding an Equitable Transition to 100% Native, Renewable Energy
As 2018 involves an in depth, an astounding 100 cities throughout the US have made 100% renewable power commitments.
Farrell and Donahue talk about the tales behind novel methods by which cities — together with Minneapolis and Portland, Ore. — are serving to fund a transition to native, clear power. Additionally they spotlight ILSR’s ongoing Voices of 100% podcast collection, which interviews native leaders to know how communities plan to succeed in their objectives.
In Portland, Ore., particularly, the current Portland Clear Energy Initiative, which handed within the November 2018 elections, will generate as a lot as $30 million per yr for equitable, native investments in clear power. This story was additionally highlighted in a current Voices of 100 episode interview with Alan Hipólito: “Will Portland Voters Opt for New Equitable Clean Energy Fund?”
Find locations which have made 100% renewable power commitments and discover native and state methods to advance clear power objectives, utilizing ILSR’s interactive Group Energy Map. Study extra concerning the Sierra Membership’s instrumental Prepared For 100 organizing efforts to cross 100% renewable power commitments in cities throughout the nation.
In addition to funding, Donahue notes how necessary an fairness framework, which incorporates the lenses of racial and financial justice, has been to many of those commitments on the native degree. Cities are uniquely positioned to broaden who’s concerned in power selections and who stands to profit, she argues.
“Because cities… deal with this day to day, they’re working on understanding communities across their cities who are benefiting from decisions made at the municipal level [and] who is involved in those decisions,” Donahue notes.
She factors out how cities giant and small — from Portland and Atlanta, to Pueblo, Colo. — have introduced fairness into discussions of the best way to transition to native renewable power.
Wanting Ahead to 2019
To wrap up their dialogue, Farrell and Donahue talk about what’s on the horizon for native, renewable power — and their work with ILSR’s Energy Democracy initiative — within the new yr.
One space that Donahue thinks might be ripe for progress is in shared or group renewable power packages and associated funding mechanisms. As ILSR continues to trace packages in main states like Minnesota, regulators will proceed to “fine-tune” how photo voltaic builders finance these tasks, with implications for future enlargement, Donahue explains. In addition, a brand new yr might deliver artistic financing methods for native and cooperative possession, which the workforce will monitor. ILSR may even proceed to spotlight new group photo voltaic and shared renewable insurance policies in states, by way of our Group Energy Map.
In addition, Farrell highlights two developments that he believes will probably be necessary to comply with into 2019 and past. First is the continued progress of power storage — quickly to be economical in all places, as highlighted in ILSR’s current Reverse Energy Movement report and the map under.
Second, resulting from growing dangers related to the volatility of fossil gasoline costs, Farrell predicts electrification — together with by means of warmth pumps and electrical automobiles — powered from renewable power can be more and more essential in our native power techniques.
“We can make our economy more resilient to volatile fuel prices by electrifying things because our electricity subsystem is increasingly reliant on resources, solar and wind, that have no fuel costs, that have no volatility,” Farrell explains. “We have a really interesting opportunity there and that’s something that we’re definitely gonna be looking at in 2019 and beyond.”
Certainly as we shut out this “Year of 100” with a rising variety of states, utilities, and cities taking the plunge to all-in on renewable power, electrification and native distributed era have a vibrant future.
“We can make our economy more resilient to volatile fuel prices by electrifying things because our electricity subsystem is increasingly reliant on resources, solar and wind, that have no fuel costs, that have no volatility,” Farrell explains.
Need to hear extra tales of native, clear power within the New Yr?
Keep-tuned for brand spanking new episodes of the Native Energy Guidelines podcast each three weeks all through 2019 — together with new episodes in our Voices of 100% collection and the rollout of a brand new collection of episodes on how cities can take management of their power future by implementing group selection power packages.
For concrete examples of how communities can meet their formidable renewable power objectives regionally, together with setting 100% renewable power commitments and utilizing group selection aggregation, discover ILSR’s Group Energy Toolkit.
Find locations which have made 100% renewable power commitments and discover native and state methods to advance clear power objectives, utilizing ILSR’s interactive Group Energy Map.
This text initially posted at ilsr.org. For well timed updates, comply with John Farrell or Marie Donahue on Twitter, our power work on Fb, or signal as much as get the Energy Democracy weekly replace.
Photograph Credit: Marie Donahue (featured picture)
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