New CA PUC proposal outlines a way for utilities to earn a rate of return on distributed energy procurements

…the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has already directed utilities to devise a locational pricing structure for distributed resources and draw up distribution resource plans, among other reform.  Beyond the practical reforms of DER pricing and distribution resource plans, the CPUC actually opened a docket on how to create a consistent regulatory framework for the planning and deployment of DERs back …

Texas’ first city-owned utility to run on 100% renewable energy

Georgetown, Texas, is home to the oldest university in the Lone Star State and is affectionately called the “red poppy capital” of Texas. It will soon add another accolade to the mix: the state’s first city-owned utility to run on 100 percent renewable energy.  Last month the city announced a 25-year contract with SunEdison to buy 150 megawatts of solar …

Utility gears up to fight San Diego on shift to clean energy by 2035, CCA

San Diego says it can hit a target in tackling climate change that would make it a national leader: switching entirely to clean electricity by 2035. The city approved the goal in December as part of its Climate Action Plan, a road map to cut greenhouse gas pollution in half by that same year. San Diego’s time frame for eliminating …

Sea level rise could be limited to 5-6 ft this century if we keep temp increases below 2°C – transition needed in next decade or two to save east coast cities

From Joe Romm/Climate Progress, 31 Mar 2016 — We still could limit sea level rise to two feet this century if we keep total warming below 2°C, according to new analysis. Otherwise, we should be anticipating five to six feet of sea level rise by 2100 — which would generate hundreds of millions of refugees. That isn’t even the worst-case scenario.  This latest …

Trying to put a price on fossil fuel industry’s obstruction of climate change policy

ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch/Shell, and three oil-industry groups together spend $115 million a year on advocacy designed to “obstruct” climate change policy, according to new estimates released by Influence Map, a British nonprofit research organization. The sheer fuzziness of corporate influence prompted the project. Nations hold companies to different standards—or none at all—for disclosures of how they are trying to influence public policy …

Actions needed to pave way for net zero energy buildings

Over 40 % of primary energy use and 24 % of greenhouse gas emissions are attributed to global energy use in buildings so architects and builders are being posed the challenge of creating highly energy-efficient structures. One vision promoted by stakeholders in many countries worldwide is Net Zero Energy Buildings (NetZEBs). To provide an analysis of the market potential and …

Group/fleet purchases of EVs helping sales boom in states even without tax credits

  Residents of Colorado and Minnesota have been/are eligible for a major discount on a Nissan LEAF electric vehicle (EVs). These programs are constructed as a bulk-buy and—thanks to the hard work of the nonprofits Drive Electric Northern Colorado (DENC) and Drive Electric Minnesota (DEM) and the coalition of partners they have assembled—it eliminates the EV price premium, and then …

Climate mitigation hope through better soil carbon management

CREDIT: SHUTTERSTOCK Climate change is a massive problem with the potential to completely reshape the world, both literally (with rising sea levels and melting glaciers) and figuratively (with the way we grow food, or the way that we handle allergies). And while the consequences caused by climate change could be huge, the solutions — transitioning to a completely fossil fuel-free …

Why rural electric cooperatives are opting for community-scale solar

Rural electric cooperatives (co-ops) are a large and important part of the U.S. electricity landscape. Across the U.S., 840 distribution cooperatives and 65 generation and transmission cooperatives (G&Ts) serve an estimated 42 million people. Altogether co-ops provide 12 percent of the nation’s electricity and serve nearly 80 percent of U.S. counties. These co-ops are governed by 7 cooperative principles. Principle …