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Author Topic: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth  (Read 18124 times)

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AGelbert

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #165 on: February 18, 2016, 07:40:33 pm »

Feb 17, 2016

Authors David Labrador Writer / Editor
First-Time Buyers Are Dominating Corporate Renewable Purchasing

For years, just a handful of companies—especially Google—comprised the market for large-scale, off-site renewable energy procurement. In 2015, Google reigned again, announcing more MW of green energy than any other single company: 729 MW, including the single largest deal of the year, a 225-MW agreement to buy wind power from BRC-sponsor Invenergy. “Google continues to dominate the market,” says Lily Donge, a principal at RMI and head of its Business Renewables Center (BRC). “They continue to be juggernauts and we expect more to come from them.”

But the bigger story is about a changing of the guard: first-time corporate buyers are entering the market in droves and now account for the majority of both deal announcements and contracted MW of wind and solar energy. The deals announced in 2015 amounted to 3.44 GW of energy, nearly triple the total for 2014, which was double the total for 2013 (see figure). A whopping 2.29 GW of 2015’s year-end numbers, or slightly more than two-thirds of the total, was purchased by corporations new to utility-scale renewable energy.


2015 was the Year of the First-Time Corporate Buyer

More than 20 corporations announced major renewable energy deals in 2015; a whopping 15 of them were first-time buyers (see below), accounting for 67 percent of the 2015 market. This is a tidal shift and the BRC—with its members, sponsors, and advisors—is proud to be playing a role. BRC-affiliated companies represented 85 percent of deals and 86 percent of contracted capacity.


Their ranks included Equinix, a BRC member that announced nearly one-third of a gigawatt of renewable power in 2015, entering the market emphatically. Donge says, “Equinix entered the market with a bang—they were able to do three deals in two months.” Equinix announced deals with several market players, including BRC sponsors NextEra Energy Resources and Invenergy.

Equinix also has the distinction of being among the largest corporate renewable power purchasers despite not being in the Fortune 500. Equinix is ranked 884 on the Fortune 500 list and shows that utility-scale renewables are not the exclusive domain of the largest companies. “Over the past two years, companies outside of the Fortune 500 have gotten more involved in the market,” explains Anthony Teixeira, a senior associate at RMI and part of the BRC team. “After accounting for only eight percent of corporate renewable purchases through 2013, companies outside the Fortune 500 signed 25 percent of the contracted volume in 2014–15.”

First-time buyers continued to dominate in 2016

Less than two months into the year, first-time buyers are again putting their stamp on the market. Four deals have already been announced. At the beginning of February, BRC member Steelcase announced its first deal—for 25 MW of wind. That same week, BRC member Lockheed Martin announced its first deal as well—for 30 MW of solar. And one week later, BRC sponsor Invenergy announced 120 MW of wind with 3M.

The fourth deal announced so far this year was from BRC member Saleforce—for 24 MW of wind. But Salesforce had just announced its first deal in December 2015, so the ink was barely dry before it announced a follow-on deal in early 2016. It’s essentially a first-time buyer, too.

This flood of first-time buyers is a powerful sign of the market maturing, with more first-time buyers to follow. The BRC’s Lily Donge explains: “The moment a first-time buyer walks into any marketplace, we know that all market participants are working hard to make a good first impression. The buyers may well go for another purchase—in this case a solar or wind project—but just as importantly, their first-time deal and then repeat deals will be strong signals telling other major corporations that this is the market to be in.”

If recent signs are any indication, corporations are getting the message. A recently released Deloitte report called “corporations buying renewables” one of eight trends shaping the grid of the future. The unanswered question for now remains, “Which companies will enter the renewables market for the first time over the course of 2016?” Time will soon tell.

http://blog.rmi.org/blog_2016_02_17_first_time_buyers_are_dominating_corporate_renewable_purchasing
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #166 on: February 19, 2016, 08:31:06 pm »
02/18/2016 12:19 PM     
17 States Join to Make Clean Energy Future A Reality   
SustainableBusiness.com News


In the wake of the Supreme Court decision to place the Clean Power Plan on hold, governors from 17 states are joining to make a clean energy future a reality under the "Governors' Accord for a New Energy Future."

 Governors say they plan to establish goals and benchmarks to accelerate energy efficiency and renewables, modernize the grid, and incentivize clean transportation, such as hydrogen and electric vehicles. 


Renewables Beat Gas US 2015

Signatories represent 40% of US population:
Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Delaware, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Vermont.   

The accord is based on the economic benefits of rapidly moving in this direction   , not climate change  - which was intentionally omitted from the discussion to get bipartisan support.       

Michigan is the only state in the group that's working to block the Clean Power Plan in court, and Nevada's Governor signed on after the state just eliminated distributed solar incentives.   

Importantly, governors agree that it's time to transition from fossil fuels, and that it can be done profitably.   

New York's Governor Cuomo sees the coalition "developing an effective national energy policy to ensure a safer, greener and more sustainable future for all." 

Parallel efforts include:
 
•City Energy Project which focuses on energy efficiency in buildings

•Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance, which consists of many of the world's largest cities

•"Under 2 MOU," led by Governor Brown, 12 governments are collaborating to stay under 2°C global temperature rise.

Read our article, Most Ambitious Climate Goals Lead to Greatest Economic Growth. 

Learn more about the Governors' Accord for a New Energy Future: 
 
Website: www.governorsnewenergyfuture.org/accord

http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/26552

Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #167 on: February 24, 2016, 03:00:15 pm »
Quote

Dear A. G.,

Last week, Climate Reality Founder and Chairman Al Gore spoke at the 2016 TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference in Vancouver, British Columbia. This talk came nearly a decade after Vice President Gore last spoke on the TED stage, and we can say with certainty, the future of our planet looks very different today than in 2006.

Today, we’re truly hopeful. 
 
Hope isn’t always easy. With global temperature records being broken month after month, rising seas off coastal cities like Miami causing “sunny day flooding,” droughts and wildfires destroying thousands of acres of forests, and more severe hurricanes and typhoons, many wonder how we’ll solve this planetary crisis in our lifetimes.

But we want to remind you that you can – and should – be hopeful. Here are a few reasons why:

•In 2000, analysts projected the world would have 30 gigawatts of wind energy capacity installed by 2010. In 2015, the world passed this mark by 14.5 times!

•Experts also projected in 2002 that the world would install 1 gigawatt of solar power per year by 2010. Last year, we beat that figure by 58 times over. And this year, we are on track to exceed that prediction by 68 times over!

•The cost of solar energy has decreased about 10 percent each year for the past 30 years, and we’re getting closer to grid parity in more and more markets around the world, which means solar power will soon cost less than electricity from fossil fuels in more and more places around the world!

Then there’s the Paris Agreement. In December, 195 nations reached a historic agreement at the UN’s COP 21 climate conference in Paris, to reduce carbon emissions and put us on a path to a sustainable future. The Paris Agreement marked a turning point for our movement and will have a positive impact on the health of people everywhere and the planet for generations to come.


Ready to learn more about the future of our planet? Watch our Chairman, Al Gore, give his latest TED talk and learn more about the challenges we’re facing, what the world can look like if our world leaders live up to their promises in the Paris Agreement, and why he’s optimistic that we can and will solve the climate crisis.

https://www.climaterealityproject.org/blog/ideas-worth-spreading

Thank you for all that you do every day,

- Your friends at Climate Reality


Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #168 on: February 25, 2016, 06:56:53 pm »
Vintage-style posters highlight clean energy projects financed through the Recovery Act 


Article with beautiful graphics:   


http://www.treehugger.com/renewable-energy/vintage-style-posters-highlight-clean-energy-projects-financed-through-recovery-act.html


Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #169 on: February 28, 2016, 03:24:28 pm »
100% Renewable Energy Is Possible, Here’s How

Richard Heinberg, YES! Magazine | February 28, 2016 10:21 am

http://ecowatch.com/2016/02/28/transition-renewable-energy/3/

Agelbert COMMENT: The issue is not whether it is easy or hard to transition QUICKLY (in ten to 15 years MAX) to MORE than 100% Renewable energy ( we need more in order to reverse the massive pollution damage already done, including, but not limited to, returning the CO2 level back to 280 PPM).

The issue is that WE DO NOT HAVE A CHOICE.

Even Warren Buffet, no great friend of the rapid transition now required to get to 100% Renewable Energy, GETS IT. Berkshire Hathaway owns a LOT of stock in the property insurance business. They have no choice but to GET IT.

"If there is only a 1% chance the planet is heading toward a truly major disaster and delay means passing a point of no return, inaction now is foolhardy. Call this Noah’s Law: If an ark may be essential for survival, begin building it today, no matter how cloudless the skies appear." -  Warren Buffet

And we KNOW that the probability that the planet is heading toward a truly major disaster of climate catastrophe is certainly not 1%.

It's 100% if we continue on our present trajectory.

Top Climate Expert Kevin Anderson: Crisis is Worse Than We Think & Scientists Are Self-Censoring to Downplay Risk.

The Myth About Renewable Energy Subsidies

"The millennial atmospheric lifetime of anthropogenic CO2" by Archer and Brovkin .

"The notion is pervasive in the climate science community and in the public at large that the climate impacts of fossil fuel CO2 release will only persist for a few centuries. This conclusion has no basis in theory or models of the atmosphere/ocean carbon cycle, which we review here. The largest fraction of the CO2 recovery will take place on time scales of centuries, as CO2 invades the ocean, but a significant fraction of the fossil fuel CO2, ranging in published models in the literature from 20–60%, remains airborne for a thousand years or longer.

Ultimate recovery takes place on time scales of hundreds of thousands of years, a geologic longevity typically associated in public perceptions with nuclear waste. The glacial/interglacial climate cycles demonstrate that ice sheets and sea level respond dramatically to millennial-timescale changes in climate forcing. There are also potential positive feedbacks in the carbon cycle, including methane hydrates in the ocean, and peat frozen in permafrost, that are most sensitive to the long tail of the fossil fuel CO2 in the atmosphere."

Video: The situation is grave. A call for sanity.

You Won’t Believe What I Found in the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Regarding Climate Change – I Sure Was Surprised!

The biggest threat that climate change has in store for us.

Read Oxfam's report, "Extreme Carbon Inequality" 

These studies further confirm the reality that burning fossil fuels is poisoning the biosphere. 

Global civilization is threatened within 25 years. 

The  Hansen et al June 2015 study * and the Dutton et al July 2015 study ** evidences a 6 to 25 meter (19 to 82 feet!) sea level increase in the geological record when the CO2 parts per million (PPM) atmospheric concentration was between 300 and 400PPM. As of October of 2015, the CO2 concentration is at 400PPM. It is increasing at over 3PPM per year.  

*Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 15, 20059–20179, 2015 doi:10.5194/acpd-15-20059-
© Author(s) 2015. CC Attribution 3.0 License. 

Ice melt, sea level rise and superstorms: evidence from paleoclimate data, climate modeling, and modern observations that 2C global warming is highly dangerous 

J. Hansen1, M. Sato1, P. Hearty2, R. Ruedy3,4, M. Kelley3,4, V. Masson-Delmotte5,
G. Russell4, G. Tselioudis4, J. Cao6, E. Rignot7,8, I. Velicogna8,7, E. Kandiano9,
K. von Schuckmann10, P. Kharecha1,4, A. N. Legrande4, M. Bauer11, and K.-W. Lo3,4


** Science 10 July 2015: Vol. 349  no. 6244  DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa4019
Sea-level rise due to polar ice-sheet mass loss during past warm periods

A. Dutton1,*,  A. E. Carlson2,  A. J. Long3,  G. A. Milne4,  P. U. Clark2,  R. DeConto5,  B. P. Horton6,7,  S. Rahmstorf8,  M. E. Raymo9


Climate Change, Blue Water Cargo Shipping and Predicted Ocean Wave Activity: PART THREE

Internal Documents Expose Fossil Fuel Industry’s Decades of Deception on Climate Change.

Our Responsibility to Future Generations

 World War CO2

 For the Sake of the Children, Please Pass These Stickers On.


Agelbert SECOND COMMENT
: Some "minor" details Heinberg left out.  ;)

Yes there IS a drop in replacement for ALL fossil fuel use, not just aviation fuel that Heinberg claims has "no drop in replacement". It's called ETHANOL.
Op-Ed: Big Oil Tells More Lies About Ethanol, Only Idiots Believe Them

And the Chinese, in cooperation with scientists from Rutgers University, ALREADY designed Lemna minor (duckweed - the fastest growing angiosperm known to man) refineries that can make fuel, textiles, plastics, pharmaceuticals, etc. (i.e. EVERYTHING we get from fossil fuels NOW) quite nicely.

And ALL that duckweed can be grown on shallow ponds (not needing to be filled more than ONCE) on non-arable land all over the planet. There is, by the way, a LOT MORE nonarable available to grow duckweed WITHOUT destroying the adjacent desert or scrub land biomes than there is arable land now used for food crops. The claim that ethanol production takes food out of people's mouths DOES NOT APPLY to duckweed because you DO NOT NEED arable land to grow duckweed SEVERAL TIMES FASTER than corn or sugar cane.

Duckweed, The Little Green Plant that Could.

Is Duckweed The Food of the Future?

Duckweed - a potential high-protein feed resource for domestic animals and fish.

And, by the way, Richard Heinberg, duckweed can be burned as a fuel without refining. More importantly, it can be pelletized for animal feed and even used for a nutrition supplement for humans. That totally destroys the ridiculous claim that some may have here that growing agricultural products for fuel takes  food out of peoples mouths. That claim was used against corn and sugar cane. It was, at most, a half truth in regard to those crops. It is totally false in regard to duckweed.

And did I forget to mention that duckweed is NOW used to clean water in sewage treatment plants WITHOUT added chemicals (chemicals that use FOSSIL FUELS as a feed stock that will no longer be needed)? Richard certainly did. Not only is duckweed used to reduce fecal coliform count, it is ALSO used to clean up heavy metal contamination in stagnant water bodies. Of course, when used that way it cannot be burned or used for feed.

Richard's Heinberg's heart is in the right place but he is fighting the "last war", so to speak. He is framing our situation as a non-war emergency where we can use incremental techniques to slowly wean ourselves from fossil fuels. That is NOT going do the job.

FIRST OF ALL, we need to extract from our heads the STUPID idea that it costs a lot of money to transport energy from the harvest point (from solar wind, geothermal, tide, ocean current, etc.) to the point of use. Electrical transmission cables already DO THAT far more efficiently than ocean going tankers that leak pollutants into the oceans and pipelines that break and leak pollutants into the soil and tanker trucks that pollute the atmosphere.

ALL major industrial high thermal heat, beat and treat processes ALREADY use electrical furnaces because those are the most efficient for processing and manufacturing metals and their alloys. So ALL of heavy industry, except for back up generators than can run on ethanol, can be powered by ELECTRICITY.

ALL the factories that make ALL the Renewable energy technology harvesting hardware like solar panels and wind turbines run on electricity now. As Richard Heinberg points out, it is OBVIOUS that coal fired power plants MUST be replaced with Renewable Energy power.

And in regard to our stone age transportation system, considering that the wind and the sun and the heat of the earth (and so on) can be harvested 24/7 all over the planet and coordinated quite nicely with computer load balancing so the demand is handled near the speed of light over electrical transmission cables, it is STUPID to cling to our old polluting gasoline station network servicing over a billion polluting internal combustion machines in a shameful exercise of thermodynamic inefficiency.

Electricity can power the factories that manufacture the vehicles and manufacture the batteries that run those vehicles. Ethanol from renewable energy based agriculture ( NOT from fossil fuels, which NOW make about 5% of all the ethanol produced in the world) can power the ten percent or so of mining and large vehicles like aircraft, trucks and ships that would make up the rest of the vehicle mix.

It takes about 14 years for the average internal combustion engine to go from the factory to the junk yard for recycling. THAT MEANS, though Richard Heinberg failed to mention it, that, in only FIFTEEN YEARS, over 95% of all engines can be replaced by electric motors and ethanol powered internal combustion engines.

And, by the way, an ethanol ONLY engine (gasoline prohibited because the waste heat generated would warp the block and ruin the engine) would be about 33% lighter than one approved for gasoline because ethanol burns cleaner and cooler. You DO NOT have to over engineer the alloys to handle high temperatures with an ethanol only engine. That's ANOTHER inconvenient truth that the fossil fuel industry has kept from we-the-people. Brazil figured that out long ago.

If Richard Heinberg is concerned with stepping on the fossil fuel welfare queen toes, I think he is in denial of the grossly inefficient and polluting status quo we have no choice but to SHITCAN with extreme prejudice for our own survival. This change required is NOT "pie in the sky"; it's change or DIE!

We need a crash program to transition to a viable biosphere in a maximum of 15 years. After that  it will STILL take about a century to get clean up all the massive pollution causing the highest mammalian extinction rate before we existed from all sorts of industrial toxins spewed for the last 150 years and get our CO2 back to 280 PPM.

Below are just two of several approaches that would work to achieve this indispensable goal for our survival as a species:

Water, Energy and Waste Sustainable Development in Large Cities

It's time for Americans in the Service of Future Generations to GET WITH THE PROGRAM! We did it with the massive, industrial scale building of Liberty Ships in WWII. We can do it again with the massive, industrial scale building of Liberty Renewable Energy Machines.

Slow, incremental measures will not work.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2016, 06:26:44 pm by AGelbert »
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #170 on: February 28, 2016, 07:33:26 pm »
Text of Gov. Peter Shumlin’s speech to the Vermont Pension Investment Committee
Feb. 24, 2016, 10:11 am by VTD Editor

Editor’s note: This is the full text of Gov. Peter Shumlin’s presentation to the Vermont Pension Investment Committee on Feb. 23. Numbered footnotes appear at the bottom.


Good morning and thank you for inviting me to talk with VPIC about the urgent need for Vermont to divest from coal and ExxonMobil stocks.

I have called for Vermont to divest from ExxonMobil stocks. As Pulitzer-prize winning journalists have uncovered, ExxonMobil spent millions trying to persuade
 the American people not to support policies to fight climate change at the same
 time that their own internal research clearly indicated climate change was real.1

In the late 1990’s, as they designed their own offshore oil rigs to account for sea
 level rise, Mobil oil paid for advertisements telling the American people that
 climate science was uncertain and that the U.S. should not join other nations in a
 global climate agreement.2 Neva Rockefeller Goodwin, the great grand-daughter
 of ExxonMobil’s founder, donated her shares this year so that the proceeds could
 be used to support nonprofit work to fight global warming.3 After 15 years of
 failed shareholder engagement and meetings between the Rockefeller family and
 ExxonMobil to encourage diversification, she declared that “I lost faith in
 ExxonMobil’s future value.”4

Let’s be clear – If the Rockefellers cannot convince ExxonMobil to change,
 Vermont will not succeed in effecting change through shareholder engagement.


Rockefeller Goodwin wonders “[h]ow different things might be if Exxon and
 others had begun to pivot away from fossil fuels 34 years ago.” Instead, as “the
 enormity of the effects of its lies becomes more evident, ExxonMobil is positioned
 to supplant Big Tobacco as global Public Enemy No. 1.”5

She goes on to say what should be evident to all of us by now, “[t]his is not good for a company’s bottom line.”6

In testimony before the House and Senate Government Operations Committees
 last week, Vermont Law School Professor and former Public Service Board Chair
 Michael Dworkin discussed how ExxonMobil has significantly underperformed the
 S&P 500 over the last five years.7

Quote
Earlier this month several investment advisors indicated they were downgrading ExxonMobil to a sell or an underperform rating.8 Raymond James senior energy analyst Pavel Molchanov said even as the oil sector hopes for a recovery of value, “Exxon is probably the last oil stock you want.”9

For these reasons, we must divest from ExxonMobil and ensure we never
 buy another penny again
.


Divest from Coal


As you know, I have also called for Vermont to follow California’s lead and divest
 from corporations that derive 50 percent or more of their revenue from coal
 mining used to generate electricity, and put in a screen to ensure we never buy
 such assets again.10 Based on conversations my staff have had with the
 Treasurer’s Office, it is my understanding that out of the roughly $4 billion
 Vermont manages in pension funds, we have approximately $600 worth of stocks
 that fit this definition.

In the VPIC invitation letter to me you suggest that when it comes to divesting,
“[m]uch of the public discourse has been more about persuasion than a real
 assessment of the costs and benefits.” So for today, let’s put aside the fact that as
 a matter of moral responsibility, Vermont should not be invested in coal when our
 state is the tailpipe to the dirty energy choices made by states to our West. Let’s
 put aside the fact that coal is responsible for acid rain which has harmed our
 forests, and mercury pollution that puts poison into our fish such that pregnant
 women and children have to limit their consumption. Let’s put aside the fact that
 coal burning is a leading contributor to global warming that threatens the future
 of our planet. Let’s put aside the fact that Vermont is a leader in combatting
 climate change and together with California we can lead the country in making
 the right choices for our planet. Clearly those arguments have not persuaded this
 committee to-date to take action.

So today let’s discuss the facts about why I believe in addition to being bad moral,
 environmental, and health policy, it is straight forward bad economic policy for
 the State of Vermont to be invested in coal stocks:
 o Financial Institutions Agree, Coal is a Bad Investment – Recognizing that for
 the planet to have any chance to slow and reverse the trends of global
 warming, many large financial institutions are exiting the coal industry. In November of 2015, Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley joined Citigroup, Bank of America, and Goldman Sachs in pledging to “stop or scale back support for coal projects,” according to Bloomberg Business.11 In a statement Morgan Stanley said “[w]e will continue to shift our lending and capital-raising efforts toward cleaner and renewable sources of energy and reduce the proportion of our energy financing to coal mining and coal-fired power generation.”12

Wells Fargo stated that it “will continue to limit and reduce our credit exposure to the coal mining industry.”13 A new report from Citigroup delivers the news that if we are serious about meeting the agreed to climate target of 2 degrees Celsius then fossil fuel companies have stranded assets that have to stay in the ground totaling approximately $100 trillion, with coal companies accounting for more than half of that potential loss in value.14 Not the type of industry I would want my money invested in, or Vermont’s money invested in.

o Coal Use and Mining is on the Decline – In the mid-2000’s coal represented 50 percent of our nation’s power supply, today it accounts for only 35 percent according to the Energy Information Administration.15 That trend is likely to continue, because no new coal plants are being built. According to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, for the entirety of 2015, a total of one new coal plant came online, producing a mere 3 megawatts of capacity. Compare that to 50 new natural gas plants totaling nearly 6,000 megawatts, or 69 wind farms totaling nearly 8,000 megawatts, or 248 solar plants totaling over 2,100 megawatts.16 The market has spoken and it’s divesting itself of coal.

As we use less coal for electric generation, coal mining both in the U.S. and
 globally is stalling. Reports from China indicate that based on lower demand,
 it plans to close over 4,000 coal mines. 17 In another blow to the industry, President Obama recently took strong action to halt new coal mining leases on public lands.18 According to the New York Times, “[t]he move represents a significant setback for the coal industry, effectively freezing new coal production on federal lands and sending a signal to energy markets that could turn investors away from an already reeling industry.”19 Perhaps it is not surprising then that CNN reports that the Dow Jones U.S. Coal Index, which captures the value of large coal corporations, “has lost a stunning 95 percent of its value since July 2011.”20

o Coal Companies are Failing – As a result of the decline in coal mining, coal
 electric generation, and coal financing outlined above, coal mining companies are failing. The second-largest coal company, Arch Coal, filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, and “Arch cited weakening demand for coal in filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.”21 That follows bankruptcy filings by other major coal companies such as Walter Energy, Alpha Natural Resources, and Patriot Coal.22

Let me spend just a minute talking about Alpha Natural Resources. Alpha purchased Massey Energy before going bankrupt, and Massey, if you recall, was headed by Don Blankenship, a CEO who was found guilty this past December of willfully conspiring to violate safety standards.23 Massey is the company found to have covered up safety violations related to the Upper Big Branch mine disaster that killed 29 coal miners in 2010.24 If you think this is an isolated incident, think again. An investigation by NPR in 2014 found 2,700 mine owners who collectively owe $70 million in outstanding fines for safety violations they have not paid, and who committed a total of 130,000
 violations and had nearly 4,000 worker injuries since their initial fines went unpaid.25 I want all of our friends in the Vermont labor community to remember that if we say no to divesting from coal, we are saying yes to the idea of investing your hard-earned dollars in mining companies that have not shown a high regard for the lives and welfare of their workers.

California saw the light. Their legislature passed a bill to divest from coal, Governor Jerry Brown signed it, and it had support from diverse stakeholders including the SEIU public employees union and the Insurance Commissioner.26 The Board of the California State Teachers Retirement System voted affirmatively to divest its holding from U.S. coal companies, and Investment Committee Chair Sharon Hendricks said of the decision “[w]e determined that given the financial state of the industry, the movement of the regulatory landscape and coal’s impact on the environment, its presence
 reflects a loss of value.”27

Vermont Has a Proud History of Using Divestment as a Positive Tool for Change

I know I don’t need to tell this committee that in each of the preceding three decades, Vermont has stepped up to use divestment, thoughtfully and cautiously, when other recourse for extraordinary societal challenges had been exhausted. We used divestment to get out of companies that did business with South Africa under Apartheid in the 1980’s, thanks to leadership from then-Senator Peter Welch and Governor Madeleine Kunin. Former Representative Don Hooper said that the year Nelson Mandela was released from jail he visited South Africa and asked business leaders there why Apartheid failed. The answer he got back was “Apartheid failed because all your little divestments in Madison, WI, Cambridge, MA, the state of Vermont…made South Africa an international pariah,” helping reduce capital and investment needed for economic growth.28

We used divestment, under the leadership of then-Treasurer Jim Douglas with
 support from the legislature, to get out of Big Tobacco in the 1990’s. We owned
 more than $21 million in tobacco stocks back in the late 1990’s, but somehow
 back then it was deemed prudent and within the fiduciary responsibility to get rid
 of all of them. Then-Treasurer Douglas confirmed with the Attorney General that
 divestiture does not violate the trustees’ fiduciary responsibility.29 According to
 Pensions and Investments which wrote about the divestment at the time, “[t]he
 Vermont funds have some of their tobacco investments in an index fund with
 Alliance Capital Management, but Alliance indicated it can create a tobacco-free
 index without a problem, Mr. Douglas said.”30 Today we hear the argument that
 we cannot possibly divest of $600 of coal stocks and get our fund managers to
 screen out coal, but back in the 1990’s Jim Douglas managed to divest of many
 millions in tobacco stocks and get fund managers to create a tobacco-free index
 screen without a problem.

We used divestment under the leadership of then-Treasurer Jeb Spaulding to get
 out of businesses operating in Sudan in 2007, after the tragic events in Darfur.
 Then-Treasurer Spaulding said: The Committee believed it would be prudent, from a fiduciary position, to refrain from owning securities in companies listed on the Sudan Divestment Task Force Highest Offenders list, because the value of our portfolio could suffer if we continue holding these securities while other investors take affirmative action to sell securities on the list. Personally, I hope that by joining with other institutional and individual investors, we can do our part to apply economic pressure on the Sudanese government and companies they do business with to get serious about ending the horrific atrocities still taking place in Darfur.31

I want to ask each of you here today, and I do not mean this to be rhetorical, please raise your hand if you believe Vermont should still own Big Tobacco
 stocks?

Please raise your hand if you think Vermont should not have divested from South Africa at a time when Nelson Mandela was languishing in prison?

Please raise your hand if you think Vermont should not have divested from Sudan while people were killed and starved to death?

Now please raise your hand, if you still think we should invest our money in the coal industry?

Divestment in Vermont has been a seldom-used, but necessary tool to confront major challenges and put us on the right side of history. I take issue with those who say it is a slippery slope. In our form of government, elected officials live on that slope – it’s called democracy. I take issue as well with those who view divestment as symbolic, or a meaningless gesture. If Vermont were going it alone, maybe it would be symbolic. But by divesting from coal and ExxonMobil we would be joining our $4 billion in assets with $3.4 trillion worldwide that has already committed to some type of fossil fuel divestment.32 That is not a meaningless amount of investment. That represents not just our friends in California, but also Europe’s largest insurance company, many religious and educational institutions, and many large municipal pension funds and national sovereign wealth funds around the world.

I know the argument to-date seems to be around the process for making this decision. However, it does not matter if the legislature passes a bill, or if VPIC decides to make the right decision. The process is not ultimately what this is about. It is about Vermont using our power as an investor to put pressure on coal companies economically, and to protect our pensioners from holding securities that have a bleak future. As the coal industry continues to suffer economically and harm our environment and our health, and as ExxonMobil continues to oppose changing its business model even at the urging of our own Treasurer, this committee can continue to delay and to study. Or this committee can take action. I believe the time has come to act on our values, and divest. 


1 Amy Lieberman and Susan Rust, LA Times “Big Oil braced for global warming while it fought regulations,” Dec. 31,
 2015, available at: http://graphics.latimes.com/oil-operations/
 2
 Id.
 3 Neva Rockefeller Goodwin, LA Times (published in Valley News), “Giving Up On ExxonMobil,” February 16, 2016,
 available at: http://www.vnews.com/opinion/21086384-95/column-giving-up-on-exxon-mobil?print=true
 4
 Id.
 11 Alex Nussbaum, Bloomberg Business, “Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley Join Banks Edging Away from Coal,”
November 30, 2015, available at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-11-30/wells-fargo-morganstanley-join-banks-edging-away-from-coal
 5
 Id.
 6
 Id.
 7 Michael Dworkin, Testimony before Vermont House and Senate Government Operations Committee, February
 19, 2016.
 8 Tom DeChristopher and Christine Wang, CNBC, “ExxonMobil Posts Earnings of 67 cents a share vs 63 cents
 estimate,” February 2, 2016, available at: http://www.cnbc.com/2016/02/02/exxon-mobil-reports-fourth-quarter-
2015-earnings.html.
 9
 Id.
 10 Chris Megerian, LA Times, “California Pension Funds to Drop Coal-Mining Companies,” October 8, 2015, available
 at: http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-84561954/.
 12 Id.
 13 Id.
 14 Giles Parkinson, Renew Economy, “Citigroup Sees $100 Trillion of Stranded Assets if Paris Succeeds,” August 25,
 2015, available at: http://reneweconomy.com.au/2015/citigroup-sees-100-trillion-of-stranded-assets-if-parissucceeds-13431.
 15 Rory Carroll, Reuters, “California Insurance Commissioner Calls for Coal Divestment,” Jan 25, 2016, available at:
 16 FERC Office of Energy Projects, Energy Infrastructure Update, December 2015, available at:
17 Daniel Cohan, The Hill “Plummeting Coal Use and Peaking Stockpiles,” February 17, 2016, available at:
 18 Coral Davenport, NY Times, “In Climate move, Obama Halts New Coal Mining Leases on Public Lands,” Jan 14,
 2016, available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/15/us/politics/in-climate-move-obama-to-halt-new-coalmining-leases-on-public-lands.html?_r=0
 19 Id.
 20 Matt Egan, CNN Money “Wall Street Cuts Lending to Coal,” December 1, 2015, available at:
 21 Timothy Cama, The Hill, “Major coal mining company files for bankruptcy,” January 11, 2016, available at:
 22 Id.
 23 Bourree Lam, The Atlantic, “A Guilty Verdict in Don Blankenship’s Trial,” December 3, 2015, available at:
 http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/12/blankenship-trial-verdict/418641/; Clifford Krauss, NY
 Times, “Alpha Natural Resources, a Onetime Coal Giant, Files for Bankruptcy Protection,” August 3, 2015, available
 at: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/04/business/energy-environment/alpha-natural-resources-a-onetime-coalgiant-files-for-bankruptcy-protecton.html?_r=0
 24 Id.
 25 Howard Berkes, NRP, “Fines Don’t Appear to Deter Mine Safety Violations,” November 16, 2014, available at:

 26 Rory Carroll, Reuters, “California Insurance Commissioner Calls for Coal Divestment,” January 25, 2016, available

 at: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-california-insurance-coal-idUSKCN0V32SM; Press Release, 350.org
“”Unions Add Voice In Support of California Thermal Coal Divestment,” June 12, 2015;
 27 Press Release, California State Teachers Retirement System, February 3, 2016, available at:

 28 Don Hooper, Written Testimony, Vermont Senate Government Operations Committee, February 11, 2016.
 29 Vineeta Anand, Pensions and Investments, “Funds Feeling Heat From Tobacco Investments,” April 28, 1997,
 available at: http://www.pionline.com/article/19970428/PRINT/704280770/funds-feeling-heat-from-tobaccoinvestments
 30 Id.
 31 Treasurer Jeb Spaulding, news release, February 20, 2007, available at:

32 Alex Nussbaum, Bloomberg, “Fossil Fuel Divestment Tops $3.4 Trillion Mark, Activists Say,” December 2, 2015,
 available at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-12-02/fossil-fuel-divestment-tops-3-4-trillion-markactivists-say

http://vtdigger.org/2016/02/24/gov-peter-shumlins-speech-to-the-vermont-pension-investment-committee/
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #171 on: February 29, 2016, 10:40:45 pm »
Gov. Shumlin Statement on House Action Calling for Divestment

Feb. 29, 2016, 5:28 am by Press Release

MONTPELIER – Gov. Peter Shumlin issued the following statement after the House passed a resolution urging the Vermont Pension Investment Committee (VPIC) to take action to divest the state of coal and ExxonMobil stocks. The Governor made the same call for divestment in his State of the State Address. Earlier this week he addressed VPIC and made the case to its members to act quickly to divest the state of coal and ExxonMobil assets.

“I am pleased that the House has joined me in calling for action to rid our state of coal and ExxonMobil securities. 
  I want to thank all of the sponsors of the resolution, and in particular I want to thank House Speaker Shap Smith for his leadership on this issue. Shap has been a strong voice for action on climate change, and I appreciate his effort in the House to get this done.

“I have never expected that divestment would happen overnight. But now that the House has spoken, I expect VPIC to undertake a serious and expeditious effort to meet the goal the House and I have laid out – getting Vermont out of the business of owning coal and ExxonMobil.

“As a matter of moral and financial responsibility, there is absolutely no reason that Vermont should own either. According to NASA, January was the most unusually warm month on record, capping off the most unusually warm three month period on record. In Vermont, all it takes is one look outside to see the effects of those trends. Just this week, Vermonters experienced widespread temperature swings and intense flooding. Some of our ski areas have shut their doors temporarily to preserve snow. Already, some Vermont sugaring operations have begun making maple syrup, a potentially worrying sign for the industry. Climate change is here and it is changing the Vermont that we love.

“The time for debate is over. Let’s protect our retirees and public employees from owning assets that have a bleak economic future. Let’s join with California, and with the $3.4 trillion in funds to-date that have already made commitments to divest, and challenge the polluters who are harming our health and our environment. Let’s act to do everything we can to help preserve our planet for future generations.”

http://vtdigger.org/2016/02/29/gov-shumlin-statement-on-house-action-calling-for-divestment/
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #172 on: February 29, 2016, 10:49:22 pm »
Vermont House Speaker Shap Smith praises passage of resolution to urge divestment of coal, ExxonMobil stocks

Feb. 29, 2016, 5:26 am by Press Release

CONTACT:
Dylan Giambatista (802) 828-2245

Vermont House Urges State Pension Investment Managers to Study Threat of Risky ExxonMobil and Coal Investments

Montpelier, Vt. – Vermont House Speaker Shap Smith today praised the passage of a resolution that urges the State’s pension managers to remove from their portfolio risky ExxonMobil and coal investments that could pose a threat to the state’s investment returns.

“The House took action because of legitimate concerns that corporate fossil fuel companies have not disclosed the financial risks posed by climate change,” said Speaker Smith. “ExxonMobil and coal companies are some of the world’s worst climate offenders. For too long, these corporations have put profits ahead of the health of our planet. Now we see financial consequences as coal companies hemorrhage dollars and file for bankruptcy. We call on the State’s investment managers to evaluate how the reckless behavior of fossil fuel companies will impact our investments’ long-term success.”

The House-backed resolution urges the committee that oversees retiree pension funds (VPIC) to develop a responsible strategy to eliminate ExxonMobil and coal stocks from its investment portfolio. The measure asks VPIC to study alternative investment opportunities including socially responsible and renewable energy stocks.

Speaker Smith praised the House’s approach for honoring Vermont’s commitment to sound investment practices and proactively looking ahead to assure the long-term health of the State’s pension funds: “We have an obligation to the 49,000 members of our retirement systems to manage public employee and taxpayer dollars with the utmost care. With fossil fuel stocks—particularly coal—suffering from declining profitability, it’s time for the State’s pension fund managers to assess how continued investment in coal and fossil fuels is impacting our strategic goals,” Smith concluded.

http://vtdigger.org/2016/02/29/house-speaker-shap-smith-praises-passage-of-resolution-to-urge-divestment-of-coal-exxonmobil-stocks/

Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #173 on: March 01, 2016, 03:47:10 pm »
02/29/2016 02:15 PM     

UK's Biggest Fossil Lobby Promotes Renewable Energy   

SustainableBusiness.com News

Why does the biggest fossil fuel lobbying group in the UK suddenly support renewable energy? It's just one more sign that we are making progress and the times - they are a'changin.  ;D

Energy UK's chief exective says the shift is urgent because they don't want to be left behind!, reports The Guardian.

"No one wants to be running the next Nokia (referring to the mobile phone company that was squashed by forward-looking rivals), CEO Lawrence Slade told The Guardian. Clearly, the direction is toward distributed energy and away from centralized power stations.

Incredibly, Energy UK now officially supports the government's decision to phase out coal while criticizing its drastic cuts to incentives for renewable energy .

He wants efficiency measures returned and regulatory support for energy storage to support solar and wind. He wants a long term plan for renewables so that investor confidence can return, but he also favors natural gas.  :P
Quote
Since conservatives won last year's election they have dismantled just about every green program and subsidy for renewable energy, while bolstering them for nuclear and offshore oil. 

And after emissions from power plants dropped 13.6% last year because of declining coal use, government officials have been calling to bring it back - to keep the lights on.

 After shedding thousands of renewable energy jobs since the incentive cuts - and investors pulling out in droves - the government slimmed the cuts for rooftop solar by 65% instead of 87%. Why the cuts at all? Like in the US, conservatives  claim subsidies for solar and wind should be temporary (except for fossil fuels and nuclear  ;)) and claim it leads to higher utility bills.   


"In just one month, one nuclear plant at Hinkley would swallow up four years' worth of subsidies for the whole solar sector  >:( .

Why are ministers signing a blank cheque for expensive, outdated nuclear power while pinching pennies for an energy source on the cusp of a massive investment boom?  This makes no economic sense and will only put up [utility] bills in the long run," says Greenpeace.


Fracking Becomes The Plan      >:(

Fracking is the centerpiece of Prime Minister Cameron's energy plan. A leaked letter from three Cabinet ministers even suggests that permits should be removed from local control because the majority of citizens are squarely against it. The latest polls show 78% support for solar and wind, and 26% support for fracking. Parliament voted to allow fracking everywhere - in national parks and near drinking water supplies. In December, 159 permits were handed out, opening huge swaths of the countryside to fracking. Protests have been widespread.



 

"Ministers happily take credit for being climate champions on an international stage [referring to the Paris Climate Agreement] while flagrantly undermining the renewable industry here at home," Caroline Lucas, a Green Party member of the Parliament, told Reuters.

Meanwhile, the formerly booming renewable energy industry is about to fall off a cliff. Last year, wind supplied 11% of electricity, generating power for 30% of households, about 8.25 million homes. And most of Britain's major cities have pledged to run on 100% renewables before 2050. 

Quote

And this winter has the been the warmest in recorded history in England, up 7°C so far.
 


http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/26562
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #174 on: March 08, 2016, 06:40:31 pm »
Oregon Passes Historic Bill to Phase Out Coal and Double Down on Renewables

SNIPPET 1:
Oregon just became the first state to pass legislation to get off of coal and double down on renewable energy instead. The Oregon Legislature voted Wednesday to eliminate coal generation from the state’s future and committed its largest utilities to supply at least half of their electricity from renewable resources by 2040.

SNIPPET 2:
Cleaning up its electricity grid will also help Oregon clean up its carbon emissions from transportation by converting the gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles on Oregon’s roadways to electric cars and trucks and plugging them into its low-carbon grid. The legislation directs utilities to propose significant investments to accelerate the deployment of charging stations for electric cars, trucks and buses in a manner that also supports integrating renewable power onto the electric grid.


Success from Consensus

Oregon’s new clean energy future was charted by unique coalition—not the usual environmentalists vs. utilities, but true consensus: regional and national environmental groups worked with the two largest electric utilities in Oregon—Portland General Electric and Pacific Power—and the state’s utility consumer advocate.

http://ecowatch.com/2016/03/03/oregon-bill-renewable-energy/

Agelbert NOTE: Yes, 2040 seems a bit far away. But the point is that this sets a trend that cannot be jawboned away by those fossil fuelers that claim their products are "competitive". They aren't. And they aren't BECAUSE they COST the government and the health care system MONEY due to missed hours of work and disabilities from health problems due to externalized fossil fuel pollution, unlike ALL Renewable Energy harvesting technologies.

From NOW ON, thanks to this Oregon Law, the COST to the business world and the government of externalized pollution will NOT be able to be ignored by the fossil fuel corporations. Oil and Gas will inevitably follow the elimination of Coal BECAUSE they ALL endanger future generations and the biosphere through pollution.

THAT will blatantly reveal to all the propagandized among us how UNCOMPETITIVE ALL FOSSIL FUELS ARE.

And then the inevitable end of the fossil fuel profit over planet "business model" will spell the doom for all the corporate dirty energy peddlers much quicker than most people anticipate.

 
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #175 on: March 09, 2016, 09:28:39 pm »
Renewable Energy Revolution Rocks On: All New Generating Capacity in January From Wind and Solar

SUN DAY Campaign | March 7, 2016 2:09 pm

http://ecowatch.com/2016/03/07/january-capacity-wind-solar/





JPMorgan Becomes Latest Big Bank to Ditch Coal  ;D

Climate Nexus | March 8, 2016 9:15 am

http://ecowatch.com/2016/03/08/jpmorgan-bank-ditch-coal/



New York pension fund could have made billions by divesting from fossil fuels – report

SNIPPET:


Moving money out of fossil fuels and into environmentally-friendly tech could have made members of the state’s pension fund an extra $4,500 each.   
http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/mar/04/fossil-fuel-divestment-new-york-state-pension-fund-hurricane-sandy-ftse
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #176 on: March 14, 2016, 03:41:08 pm »
Agelbert NOTE: Renewable Energy interests win a round at the court of appeals. 
Tenth Circuit Rejects Challenge to Colorado's Renewable Energy Standards; Supreme Court Denies Cert   

 On December 7, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition for writ of certiorari in  Energy & Environment Legal Institute v. Epel  , No. 15-471, which sought to overturn the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit's July 13, 2015 opinion, 793 F.3d 1160, affirming a federal district court's judgment upholding Colorado's Renewable Energy Standards. 
 
Petitioners challenged the constitutionality of a Colorado statute and related regulations (the "Renewable Energy Standards") requiring "qualified retail utilities" to "generate, or cause to be generated," electricity from Colorado-approved renewable sources in specified minimum amounts. Specifically, the Renewable Energy Standards require 30 percent of electricity supplied by investor-owned utilities to be obtained from Colorado-approved renewable sources by 2020.
 
Petitioners argued that the Renewable Energy Standards eliminate competition  with other states by requiring a specified amount of electricity to come from renewable sources and then limiting what qualifies as a renewable source.

One example of in-state favoritism cited by petitioners is that the Renewable Energy Standards do not consider ocean thermal and ocean wave electricity generation—methods that cannot themselves be generated within Colorado's borders—as approved renewable sources, even though other states, such as California, do.

Petitioners argued the Renewable Energy Standards thereby favor Colorado over other states by approving methods of electricity generation that can be generated within Colorado.

 
While petitioners argued in their petition for writ of certiorari that Colorado's Renewable Energy Standards violate the Commerce Clause, Full Faith and Credit Clause, and Due Process Clauses,

the only issue before the Tenth Circuit was whether the Renewable Energy Standards violate the dormant Commerce Clause under the line of cases stemming from  Baldwin v. G.A.F. Seelig, Inc., 294 U.S. 511 (1935). The Tenth Circuit found that there were only three cases total in this line:  Baldwin;  Brown-Forman Distillers Corp. v. New York State Liquor Authority, 476 U.S. 573 (1986); and  Healy v. Beer Institute, Inc., 491 U.S. 324 (1989). The court explained that the common thread among these cases is that they involved "(1) a price control or price affirmation regulation, (2) linking in-state prices to those charged elsewhere, with (3) the effect of raising costs for out-of-state consumers or rival businesses." The Tenth Circuit held that Colorado's statute did not fall within the bounds of these cases because "it isn't a price control statute, it doesn't link prices paid in Colorado with those paid out of state, and it does not discriminate against out-of-staters."

It further noted that the Renewable Energy Standards equally hurt  ;D in-state and out-of-state fossil fuel producers      that provide energy to the grid, while equally helping in-state and out-of-state renewable energy producers.
 

Although the Tenth Circuit upheld Colorado's Renewable Energy Standards under the  Baldwin  line of cases—a decision that will not be reviewed by the Supreme Court—it left the door open to a challenge under other lines of dormant Commerce Clause cases, namely  Pike v. Bruce Church, Inc., 397 U.S. 137 (1970) ("allowing judges to strike down state laws burdening interstate commerce when they find insufficient offsetting local benefits"), and  City of Philadelphia v. New Jersey, 437 U.S. 617 (1978) ("appl[ying] to state laws that 'clearly discriminate' against out-of-staters").

— Jane B. Story (+1.412.394.7294, jbstory@jonesday.com)

http://thewritestuff.jonesday.com/cv/e6851a62b558a19678a219dc8f556d6884d2f252/p%3D5380653?utm_source=Mondaq&utm_medium=syndication&utm_campaign=View-Original

Agelbert NOTE: The "door" left open was CLOSED when Scalia, front man for the fossil fuel fascists, went to his "reward" with "Lord" Lucifer. 
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #177 on: March 18, 2016, 04:07:16 pm »
Mar 11, 2016

Authors Kaitlyn Bunker, Ph.D.  Sr. Associate
Kate Hawley, LEED AP  Sr. Associate

Learning from Islands: Renewable Transitions for Mines, Industrial Facilities, and the Military

What do mines, industrial facilities, and the military all have in common? They all have a need for reliable electricity in remote locations. It turns out these places and others can learn a lot from islands. Rocky Mountain Institute and Carbon War Room’s recent microgrid casebook, Renewable Microgrids: Profiles from Islands and Remote Communities Across the Globe, explores 10 examples of islands and remote communities from around the world that have transitioned from 100 percent oil-based electricity systems to high-penetration renewable microgrids. These communities now increasingly rely on various renewable sources of electricity and storage technologies, while also increasing their use of energy efficiency. As a result, they are seeing lower operating costs, decreased reliance on imported fuels, and overall cleaner electricity systems. Many of the lessons learned during the transition to renewable microgrids in these ten locations can be transferred to mines, industrial facilities, and military forward operating bases.

Renewable Energy for Mines

Similar to islands and remote communities, many mining operations are remote microgrids— disconnected from any distribution grid. All of the electricity needed for the operation must be generated on-site efficiently and reliably. While mines have traditionally relied on oil-based generation of electricity, such as diesel gensets, they present another great opportunity for a transition to a more-renewable microgrid.

One specific example is at the Diavik Diamond Mine, located in Canada’s Northern Territories. Prior to 2012, the mine relied solely on diesel fuel for electricity generation, which had to be transported to the mine via truck or plane. Now, 11 percent of the mine’s annual electricity needs are met by four wind turbines, with a total installed capacity of 9.2 MW. The addition of the wind turbines means that 75 fewer truckloads of diesel fuel must be transported across the seasonal ice road to the mine each year.

The Diavik mine faced similar installation challenges as Mawson Station, a research station in Antarctica and one of the cases included in Renewable Microgrids. Given their remote locations and cold climates, special provisions were required to transport and assemble wind turbine parts, as well as to ensure proper operation and maintenance once installed. Both locations are now less reliant on a transported fuel source, and are utilizing local wind power to complete their research and mining operations.

RMI and CWR have an ongoing initiative called Sunshine for Mines, which works with other mines around the globe to consider similar transitions to utilizing local resources and renewable microgrids.

Reliable Electricity for Industrial Facilities through Efficiency and Renewables

While many industrial facilities may have a connection to the larger electricity grid, they also have strict requirements for reliability and quality of their electricity supply in order to maintain their operations. Similarly, islands and remote communities require a high level of reliability in their electricity system in order to provide electricity to their residents and on-island businesses. Many islands rely on tourism as a major contributor to their economy, and keeping guests comfortable with appropriate lighting and air conditioning is important to success in that industry.

Like islands and remote communities, some industrial facilities are turning to energy efficiency and renewable energy in order to ensure a reliable supply of electricity for their operations. One example is the Texas Instruments (TI) facility in Richardson, Texas, which was the first wafer fabrication facility to achieve LEED status. During design, construction, and current occupancy of the building, TI strove to take advantage of energy efficiency opportunities. By requiring less overall energy to operate the system, it requires less overall electricity in the first place. It also saves significant amounts of money.

In Renewable Microgrids, we saw a similar utilization of energy efficiency in the case of Marble Bar and Nullagine. In these two remote towns located in Australia, energy efficiency was utilized first as a way to require less overall energy, better enabling a transition to more renewable sources of electricity.


Saving Fuel and Lives in Military Forward Operating Bases

Forward operating bases are permanent or temporary bases used by the military while on assignment in foreign countries. These bases are often not connected to a larger electricity grid, so they rely on one or more local generation resources to provide electricity. The bases may be temporary, so it is important that equipment can be easily transported to different locations. Reliability is especially important in military microgrids, since many lives depend on the consistent operation of the electrical equipment at the base. Minimizing the use of fuel is also critical, as transporting fuel to a forward operating base can cost up to $400 per gallon and can be dangerous, resulting in the loss of one life for every 24 fuel convoys in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2007.

Various branches of the military are considering energy efficiency and renewable energy opportunities in order to meet the needs of forward operating bases while reducing their use of traditional fuel and the costs and risks associated with it. For example, the U.S. Marines see potential to cut back on the number of resupply convoys that are necessary for forward operating bases by transitioning to more renewable options for supply. Not only is this a benefit for each forward operating base, but it also helps to reduce oil use by the overall U.S. military, which is currently the largest consumer of both energy and oil in the world.

In a similar way for many of the locations studied in Renewable Microgrids, importing fuel to run the generators is expensive. For example, in the Falkland Islands, the use of wind energy has reduced the diesel fuel needed for electricity generation by 1.4 million liters per year. For this island community, the fuel savings is translated to the residents through lower electricity rates. In military forward operating bases, relying less on diesel fuel can save money as well as lives since less fuel convoys will be required.

The diverse set of examples illustrated in the casebook demonstrates the potential for energy transitions for similar communities around the world, as well as for similar applications like mines, industrial facilities, and military forward operating bases. In addition, the islands where the RMI-CWR team is currently working are helping to create a blueprint for high penetrations of renewables for these applications, as well as providing insight into similar transitions at a continental scale. To take deeper look at the 10 transitions from oil-based to renewable microgrids studied in our recent publication, 

please download Renewable Microgrids: Profiles From Islands and Remote Communities Across the Globe.
http://blog.rmi.org/blog_2016_03_11_learning_from_islands_renewable_transitions

Agelbert COMMENT:
From your lips to caring, intelligent people's ears.

There are still too many influential, but grossly irresponsible, people who do not care what damage they do to the environment as long as they profit form the damage ((i.e. "externalize" the costs) now and mostly future generations will have to deal with it.

 "When men act for the sake of a future they will not live to see, it is for the most part out of love for persons, places and forms of activity, a cherishing of them, nothing more grandiose. It is indeed self-contradictory to say: 'I love him or her or that place or that institution or that activity, but I don't care what happens to it after my death.' To love is, amongst other things, to care about the future of what we love" (Passmore, 1980, p. 53)

Why Dianoia is sine qua non to a Viable Biosphere.

Our Responsibility to Future Generations
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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  • Location: Colchester, Vermont
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Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« Reply #179 on: March 27, 2016, 03:45:13 pm »
US Heartland Powered by Clean Energy Jobs   

Nearly 600,000 people are employed in clean energy across the Midwest and that number will only continue to grow, a new report from the Clean Energy Trust shows.

Illinois, Ohio and Michigan lead the pack with more than 300,000 combined clean energy jobs, while Wisconsin lags behind with 24,700. Energy efficiency is the largest employment sector within clean energy across the region, with renewable energy coming in second.

The clean energy sector is expected to expand more than four percent over the next year, comparable to some of the fastest growing industries in the nation, with policy incentives like tax credits for wind and solar helping to drive the growth.

http://www.cleanjobsmidwest.com/

Agelbert NOTE:
For more info on how Energy Efficiency DESTROYS the demand for fossil fuels, while not registering on any of the EIA charts or data the fossil fuel industry mistakenly worships, Google Amory Lovins Negawatts.

Energy Efficiency improvements in combination with Renewable Energy technologies, not just the bad economy, have been instrumental in causing the price of crude oil to crater. 

The quantum leaps in Energy Efficiency in the past two decades, along with advances in computer electric grid load balancing software and Renewable Energy Technologies, collectively spell the Doom of the Fossil Fuel Industry. 




 


Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

 

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