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Posts tagged ‘clean energy’

Power To Wind Power

Dear Gabriel,

WindmillsReplace dirty oil with clean offshore wind.

Clean offshore wind energy is safer for the oceans and the planet than offshore oil rigs. Tell your Representative to extend the Investment Tax Credit on offshore wind.

It’s been nearly three years since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, flooding the Gulf of Mexico with toxic oil. This tragic accident should have been a wake-up call, but today dolphins, sea turtles, and more are still at risk from another spill, and fossil fuel emissions are threatening our entire planet.

It’s time to go in a new direction. With offshore wind, we can create energy without polluting our oceans and our air. Offshore wind can harness a clean and infinite source of energy, while eliminating deadly drilling disasters and helping to create many more sustainable jobs than traditional fuel industries.

Let’s clean up our act. Tell your Representative to support clean and safe offshore wind energy TODAY»

The biggest barrier to wind is financing. As with other emerging technologies, offshore wind needs a boost to get started. H.R.924, the Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act, will help with some of that cost by extending the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for the first 3,000 MW of offshore wind installed.

But we’ll need your help to get it passed. Contact your Representative today and tell them to cosponsor the Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act»

It’s time to make a change. Support clean offshore wind energy today!

For the oceans,
Emily Fisher
Oceana

Killing Clean Energy

Dear Gabriel,

Take Action: Don’t let ALEC kill clean energy.

CoalPlantBlue_150With national climate and energy policy stalled in Washington, 29 states plus the District of Columbia have adopted state renewable portfolio standards(RPSs). These energy standards have helped more than double America’s non-hydro renewable energy capacity over the last five years, making renewables by far the fastest growing energy sector in the country.

But, the dirty energy lobby is waging an all-out assault on the clean energy revolution — and they’re working through the notorious American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to push model legislation to gut state renewable energy standards.

Take Action: Tell ALEC to abandon this misguided crusade and stand with the vast majority of Americans who support renewable energy.

The 21st century is fast becoming the clean energy century, and thanks largely to enlightened leadership at the state level, clean, renewable energy is booming here in the U.S. — a fact that should be universally celebrated.

Because of your state’s renewable energy standard, an estimated 214,331,876 MWh of clean, renewable energy were generated in California last year — the equivalent of taking 48 coal plants offline for the year.

But with companies like Koch Industries and Exxon Mobil sitting on ALEC’s energy, environment and agriculture task force, they are trying to kill clean energy in America.

Take Action: Tell ALEC drop its backward, fossil fuel-funded assault on America’s booming clean energy industry.

Thank you for all you do,

Heather Shelby
Action Network Coordinator
Environmental Defense Fund

Energy Sources & Polar Bears

Dear Gabriel,

The rise of carbon pollution doesn’t just wreck havoc on the air we breathe, which is certainly bad enough. It wrecks havoc around the globe. So pollution from a power plant in California can have a lasting impact on life as far as Hudson Bay in the North Atlantic, where polar bears rely on the ice in summer months for hunting.

But the EPA is working on a common-sense rule that will limit how much carbon pollution new power plants can emit. Join me in supporting the EPA’s work to limit carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.»

For the past century, coal-fired power plants have been the dominant source of American electricity. It has powered our homes, our communities… and our politics. Big Coal has a vested interest in not changing the way it does business, but it’s time that American power shift.

This rule won’t change emissions overnight, but it will move us in the right direction to tackle global warming and stimulate innovation in clean energy technologies.

The future of our environment, wildlife, our children’s health and our clean energy economy depend on forward-thinking changes like this EPA rule. Sign the petition now to stand up to the dirty air lobby and support clean air standards!»

Natasha
Care2 and ThePetitionSite Team

Community Solar Power

From TriplePundit
by Andrew Burger
7 August 2012

Community-Owned Solar Power on the Rise in the U.S.

Conditions are right for growth in community-owned solar photovoltaic (PV) projects. With more than 1-MW of community-owned solar garden projects in development and a pipeline of an expected 5-MW more this year, Martifer Solar USA and the Clean Energy Collective intend to capitalize on the improving situation.

The two partners are leveraging their respective strengths in the U.S. solar power sector to bring an increasing amount of local, community-owned solar power capacity online – Los Angeles-based multinational Martifer Solar USA in PV manufacturing and systems installation and Clean Energy Collective in community-based renewable power project development.

“With demonstrated success in Colorado and net metering legislation on the table in California, now is the time for community owned solar,” Martifer CEO Raffi Agopian stated in a press release.

Unique partnership model

A pioneer in the field, Clean Energy Collective (CEC) has developed an innovative business model and technology for developing community-based clean, renewable power generation. Partnering with solar PV manufacturing and installation companies such as Martifer Solar USA, it develops large-scale solar and renewable power facilities that are “collectively owned by participating power utility customers.”

A core aspect of such efforts is CEC’s proprietary RemoteMeter system, which “automatically calculates monthly credits and integrates with existing utility billing systems, enabling all utility customers to easily have clean, renewable power credited directly on their monthly utility bills without modifying their home or office,” CEC explains.

Colorado a hotspot for community-owned solar power
Colorado’s been a hotspot for CEC and Martifer Solar USA’s solar gardens. The two worked together in 2011 to build the 858-kW Garfield County Airport Solar Array – the largest PV installation of its kind in the U.S. when it was completed. The project also garnered national recognition when it won the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Solar Electric Power Association’s (SEPA) “2012 Photovoltaic Project of Distinction Award.”

Despite their optimistic outlook, CEC and Martifer Solar USA recognize the challenges related to developing community-owned solar PV installations in the US. That’s where their partnership really yields dividends, Spencer explained.

“We invested heavily in the development of the solar garden concept, but someone has to execute. Martifer Solar USA has done so in the past and achieved the results we wanted; we are pleased to enter into new contracts with them this year, and see many more on the horizon.”

Read complete article at TriplePundit.

Solar Payback in California

Dear Gabriel,

As the most anti-environmental Congress maintains their relentless pursuit of dirty energy and dirty pollution in Washington, California is on the verge of a game-changing decision that could help nearly double the amount of customer-produced solar power in our state.1

The California Public Utilities commission (CPUC) will vote next month on a plan that would fix a loophole which currently allows utilities to unfairly limit benefits to producers of solar energy in California, (a program called net metering.)

Naturally, many utilities are fighting back hard. But if the PUC hears from enough Californians there’s a very good chance they could move forward with this important plan which would be a boon to solar power in the Golden State.

Tell the Public Utilities Commission: Support solar in California! Close the loophole that allows utilities to restrict access to net metering.

The net metering proposal under consideration is technical, but here’s how it works:

When a solar system produces more energy than it uses, that energy goes into the grid, and utilities credit the customer on their electric bill with the retail value of the energy provided.

Utilities are supposed to provide net metering credits to customers for renewable energy equaling 5% of California’s energy demand. But because no uniform standard exists for calculating the 5% cap, some utilities use a cheapskate formula that results in about half the net metering credits than the law originally intended.

The proposal at the PUC would fix the problem, making more net metering credits available to Californians. This would help ensure continued growth of rooftop solar around the state, and our clean energy industry.

That would be a very big deal for clean energy in our state. But PUC needs to hear from a lot of Californians to make it happen. Please submit a comment now:
http://act.credoaction.com/r/?r=6881726&id=39180-266627-AGy71ix&t=7

Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Paying for Clean Economy

From Nation of Change and Yes! Magazine
25 January 2012

A Jump Start for the Clean Economy
by Maria Gallucci

A little-known source of clean energy funding could prove a crucial job-creation engine in the states, as federal support diminishes and they seek fresh growth drivers.

Every state can create clean energy funds, or CEFs, which are typically supported by a small surcharge on monthly electricity bills. So far 22 states have done so, generating $2.7 billion overall for the clean technology sector during the past decade. Most have used the money to install tens of thousands of solar panel arrays, wind turbines and biomass facilities.

But a few states have gone further by broadening investments to include technology research hubs, fledgling cleantech startups and green job training programs. The idea is to use the money, which today totals some $500 million a year, to help develop all the components of the clean economy and stimulate the creation of thousands of permanent local jobs.

The strategy is still experimental, but it could turn these CEFs into a major source of economic growth, according to new report published today by the Brookings Institution, a public policy group, and the Rockefeller Foundation, a philanthropic organization. The report outlines a four-part policy strategy for every state to adopt this “next generation” of CEF spending.

Clean Energy Funds were originally set up more than 10 years ago to help decarbonize state energy systems in the face of climate change. According to the report, the funds have already helped bring forward 72,000 renewable energy installations the country urgently needs.

But times have changed, said Mark Muro, a report co-author and director of policy for Brookings’ Metropolitan Policy Program. “Economic development has emerged as a parallel and complementary interest to carbon reduction … There’s been a sharpening concern that the country really needs to look to supporting the emergence of cutting-edge technologies” as a way to start new industries and create jobs, he told InsideClimate News.

According to the report, retooling these state-level funds “could not be timelier at this moment of federal gridlock and market uncertainty.”

Congress isn’t expected to approve new funding for green technologies in 2012 after the 2009 stimulus—which poured tens of billions of dollars into clean energy projects—dries up. And policymakers won’t likely reinstate key federal subsidies that lapsed at the end of 2011, including the Energy Department’s 1705 loan guarantee program, whose bankrolling of the now-bankrupt California solar firm Solyndra sparked a Republican-led effort to scale back President Obama’s green agenda.

“We all need to be thinking about where we are going to get policy and finance support for further economic development in clean energy,” Muro said. “As it happens, the clean energy funds are there and in a position to innovate.”

The Evolution of CEFs

The country’s first CEFs popped up in places with aggressive renewable energy goals, like California, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Other states gradually followed suit, namely in the East Coast and Midwest.

They used the cash to get more solar panels on rooftops and wind turbines in the ground, which they hoped would help make renewable electricity as cheap as coal. Affordable clean power would have another benefit: it would unleash consumer demand for solar and wind, and spur new jobs in installation, manufacturing, among other areas.

But some states saw that the high cost of renewable power generation wasn’t the only obstacle to realizing the promise of the green economy. In order to build lasting cleantech industries, they’d have to subsidize research and development for new technologies, like advanced biofuels, electric vehicles and highly efficient solar panels, and eventually build a ready workforce and supply chain for manufacturing.

And so, starting a few years ago, a handful of states began experimenting with ways to transform their CEFs by linking the money to strengths in their economies.

For New York, that has meant sending some of its CEF money into its growing number of regional clusters, where high-tech companies, universities and research institutions that have similar industry focus share expertise. In 2009, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), which administers the state’s CEF and other clean energy programs, saw a chance for those regional clusters to help a rising crop of clean energy startups become viable companies.

The Clean Energy Business Incubator program has given $1.5 million from the CEF to each of six business incubators, which assist cleantech entrepreneurs in organizing, staffing and funding new businesses. Together, the incubators work with around 70 companies, whose products range from analytical tools that measure wind energy resources to energy management systems and mounting devices for solar photovoltatic installations. The money gets doled out over the course of four years as companies pass certain milestones, like completing a business plan or attracting private investments.

Read entire story at Nation of Change.

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