Corporate clean energy buying leapt 44% in 2019, sets new record

by BloombergNEF


Corporations bought a record amount of clean energy through power purchase agreements, or PPAs, in 2019, up more than 40% from the previous year’s record. The majority of this purchasing occurred in the United States.

  • BloombergNEF’s 2020 Corporate Energy Market Outlook found that approximately 19.5GW of clean energy contracts were signed by more than 100 corporations in 23 different countries in 2019. This was up from 13.6GW in 2018, and more than triple the activity seen in 2017.
  • Corporations have purchased over 50GW of clean energy since 2008. That is bigger than the power generation fleets of markets like Vietnam and Poland.
  • It was a record year for corporate PPAs in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Latin America, where companies purchased 2.6GW and 2GW of clean energy.
  • BNEF estimates these 221 RE100 companies will need to purchase an additional 210TWh of clean electricity in 2030 to meet their targets.

The Climate Center’s Business for Clean Energy program offers networking and inspiration. Member businesses share the opportunities, challenges, and best practices for decarbonizing their businesses.

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Rhode Island becomes the first US state to commit to 100% renewables by 2030

by Carolyn Fortuna, Clean Technica, January 20, 2020


The littlest state in the US has set the biggest goals for renewable energy. 

  • Democratic governor Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island signed an executive order this month calling for an end to fossil fuel dependence in Rhode Island by 2030
  • The governor outlined her goal of focusing on battery storage with the transition to cleaner energy sources
  • Rhode Island is on track to meet its 2020 goal of increasing their clean energy ten-fold

California’s SB100 calls for 100% renewables by 2045.  See more California climate legislation here

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Stanford researchers have an exciting plan to tackle the climate emergency worldwide

by Tessa Koumoundouros, Science Alert

These catastrophes are being replicated around the globe ever more frequently, and we know exactly what is exacerbating them. We know we need to rapidly make some drastic changes – and Stanford researchers have come up with a plan.

Using the latest data available, they have outlined how 143 countries around the world can switch to 100 percent clean energy by the year 2050.

This plan could not only contribute towards stabilising our dangerously increasing global temperatures, but also reduce the 7 million deaths caused by pollution every year and create millions more jobs than keeping our current systems.

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Electric vehicles for Uber and Lyft? Los Angeles might require it, mayor says.

by Leslie Hook, Financial Times

Los Angeles is considering forcing rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft to use electric vehicles in what would be a first for any city as LA seeks to cut emissions and get more electric vehicles on the streets, the mayor said.

Eric Garcetti, mayor of Los Angeles, told the Financial Times that the electric-vehicle requirement was one step being contemplated to cut the city’s greenhouse gas emissions and become carbon neutral by 2050.

“We have the power to regulate car share,” he said in a phone interview. “We can mandate, and are looking closely at mandating, that any of those vehicles in the future be electric.”

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LAUSD school board member Nick Melvoin joins protesters in Westwood

Los Angeles Unified School Board commits to transitioning to 100% clean, renewable energy

by Shannon Haber, Los Angeles Unified School District

The Los Angeles Board of Education today approved a resolution sponsored by Board Member Scott M. Schmerelson, Board Vice President Jackie Goldberg and Board Member Dr. George J. McKenna that commits Los Angeles Unified to 100 percent clean, renewable energy by 2040. The School Board also calls on city, state, and federal officials and government agencies to work alongside Los Angeles Unified in taking rapid and effective action on climate change to protect current and future students, families, and communities.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of 2018, the Fourth National Climate Assessment, local and international climate scientists, and the City of Los Angeles have declared a climate crisis, calling for a significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels by 2030, and net zero carbon by 2050, in order to mitigate the most catastrophic effects of global warming and climate change.

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California farmers are planting solar panels as water supplies dry up

by Sammy Roth, LA Times

Jon Reiter banked the four-seat Cessna aircraft hard to the right, angling to get a better look at the solar panels glinting in the afternoon sun far below.

The silvery panels looked like an interloper amid a patchwork landscape of lush almond groves, barren brown dirt and saltbush scrub, framed by the blue-green strip of the California Aqueduct bringing water from the north. Reiter, a renewable energy developer and farmer, built these solar panels and is working to add a lot more to the San Joaquin Valley landscape.

“The next project is going to be 100 megawatts. It’s going to be five times this size,” Reiter said.

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Presidents Xi Jinping and Trump pose for a selfie

The world is spending the least on clean energy in six years

by Gerald Porter Jr., Bloomberg

Worldwide investments in clean energy projects have hit a six-year low.

Global spending totaled $117.6 billion in the first half of 2019, down 14% from a year earlier and the least since 2013, according to a report by BloombergNEF. Investments slowed in all three major markets — the U.S., Europe and China — but China’s decline was especially pronounced as the country continued its shift away from subsidies for solar and wind power.

The slide in spending underscores how much sway China holds in the global market for renewable energy. Despite a 39% plunge in investments, the country remains by far the world’s biggest clean-energy spender with deals totaling $28.8 billion in the first half. Its decision to pull back subsidies was also the chief reason for a drop in global spending last year.

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Cheap clean energy makes new natural gas a risky bet utility regulators should avoid

by Mike O’Boyle, Forbes

Utilities across the United States are rapidly decarbonizing their generation fleets, but are diverging between two paths: Completely phasing out fossil fuels in favor of clean generation like Xcel Energy, or doubling down on new natural gas generation like Duke Energy. Stakes are high – our climate future and utilities’ economic future both depend on which path regulators allow utilities to choose.

These paths are not equal. Recent progress reducing electricity sector emissions, down 25% since 2005, stalled in 2018 due to a huge uptick in gas generation. And new natural gas rarely makes economic sense, even without considering externalities like greenhouse gas emissions. The math of recent solar-plus-storage projects, particularly Nevada’s June NV Energy procurement, signals that clean and dispatchable energy is available for less than the cost of new natural gas – a death-knell for new gas plants and harbinger of future economic concerns.

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Labor to link 4,000 solar schools in 364MW national virtual power plant

by Sophie Vorrath, One Step Off The Grid

Federal Labor has unveiled plans to create a virtual power plant of solar schools across Australia, through $1 billion government loans scheme that would help schools to invest in rooftop panels and/or battery storage.

The Solar Schools program, announced on Tuesday, would allocate up to $1 billion in Clean Energy Finance Corporation funds to provide concessional loans for the purchase – or upgrade – of both solar panels and battery systems, either by schools or VPP project developers.

The idea is not only to slash the power costs of schools –by between $89,000 and $120,000 annually for large schools around the country, as estimated in the table below – but to use the network of solar and battery systems to deliver electricity and other services to the grid.

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Democrat-controlled statehouses are endorsing clean energy

by Marina Villeneuve and Michael Casey, AP News

Soon after taking office, Maine’s Democratic Gov. Janet Mills announced renovation plans for the governor’s mansion. She wanted to add solar panels.

The move was seen as a rebuke to her predecessor, Republican Gov. Paul LePage, whose administration put a moratorium on new wind turbines and enacted policies that critics say stymied solar energy in the state.

Mills has moved quickly to scrap the turbine moratorium and signed a bill that would eliminate a LePage-era policy that put a fee on power generated by residential solar panels.

Maine is among 11 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, that either flipped the governor’s seat from Republican to Democrat or saw Democrats win newfound control over the Legislature in the 2018 elections. All have passed or are weighing legislation that would expand renewables in their states, The Associated Press found.

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