The MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI), an interdisciplinary Program of the University set up to tackle the World's most pressing problem of creating a low carbon clean energy infrastructure welcomes GE, the powerhouse industrial group, as a sustaining member into the Program.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), a California Utility said in an announcement they hit a significant milestone for 2015 with 29.5% of retail electricity coming from renewable clean energy. That number actually exceeded the State targets of 23.3% for years 2014 through 2016, using a variety of generation sources, and puts them on track to achieve the very ambitious California State goals of 33% renewables by 2020, and 50% by 2013. The utility leads the nation with residential rooftop solar installations connected to the grid.
Awesome Video Graphic titled "Why 2º C?" produced for the December Global COP21 climate conference in Paris:
Why should we care about a 2º C (3.6° F) rise in global temperature; doesn't seem like much right? Most of the time GetSolar talks about the financial benefits of installing a solar electric system, because in many markets of the United States, the financial benefits are very good all by themselves. With the impressive drop in solar panel system costs, combined with the renewed 30% Solar Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC), the financial rationale alone is indeed compelling enough. However, the reason GetSolar exists is because we believe and understand the undeniable need to transtion the United States and the World to a clean-energy system. Solar and wind in particular, along with several other clean energy generation systems do not "burn" any fuel to produce electricity, they do not "emit" anything into the air as a byproduct of electricity generation, and hence they help solve the problem and smooth the transition to a lower carbon economy. This transition will be a long term process, using many different tools and techniques to address our energy needs.
A new paper by NOAA and CIRES finds that with the deployment of High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmisson lines, the US can seriously ramp up the use of solar and wind power to meet the nation's energy needs. The findings are significant on several fronts. One, the US could meet much of its future electricity needs through clean energy at costs comparable to or lower than what we are paying today for fossil-fuel generated electricity. Two, The recent carbon reduction goals set by the US at the December 2015 COP21 summit could be met. or exceeded using only the electricity portion of our overall carbon emissions footprint. Our take on the report is that by using a multi-pronged "blocking and tackling" approach to our nation's energy demands (as opposed to a single "silver bullet solution") we can transition the economy to a lower carbon, flexible, smart and energy independent system.
It is increasingly clear that Americans want clean energy for their homes and for their country. The recent extension of the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) of 30% for solar power shows that this an important issue, for voters on both sides of the isle. The cat is out of the bag: clean, affordable energy from solar electric systems is an important tool for US energy security, for carbon reduction, and for long-term price stability.
A recent New York Times blog post from Kristina Shevory took a good look at what California's failure to meet clean air standards has meant for the health of its residents--and its budget. Air pollution's links to poor health and higher medical costs across the spectrum (personal, insurance, governmental) are behind federal regulations, and in the fight for cleaner air, cleaner energy production often comes up.
Business leaders passionate about America's clean energy economy converged in Washington today for the final stretch of advocacy group We Can Lead's "Race for American Jobs: Clean Energy Leadership". Participants along the way have included Fortune 500 executives (Best Buy, Nike, Starbucks, Levi Strauss, Jones Lang LaSalle and Stonyfield) as well as leaders from the clean energy industry.
Colorado's commitment to clean energy may soon be second only to California's. Late on Friday, the Colorado Senate passed a bill that would increase the state's renewable portfolio standard (RPS) to 30 percent by 2020--California's RPS is a neck ahead at 33 percent. Governor Bill Ritter is expected to sign the bill if/when the House passes it through with some small changes. This would boost Colorado solar tremendously.