Author: MCGB Staff Published: 10/29/2021 MCGB
President Biden’s Build Back Better Framework Includes Clean Energy Accelerator Funding for Local Green Banks
Author: MCGB Staff Published: 10/29/2021 MCGB
Author: Kate Sullivan, Published: 10/28/21 CNN
(CNN) President Joe Biden on Thursday will make the case for a significantly scaled-back version of his massive economic plan to expand the social safety net hours before departing for his second major foreign trip as president.
Close the Medicaid coverage gap and deliver health care coverage through Affordable Care Act premium tax credits to certain uninsured Americans.
DOEE Staff Published: 10/26/21 DOEE
Author: MCGB Staff 10/26/2021 MCGB
Author: UD DOE SETO Staff Published: 10/26/2021 SETO
Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) officially launched the Solar Forecasting Prize, which aims to incentivize innovators to develop tools that predict how much energy solar power plants will generate, so that grid operators can plan for and manage it. Up to five winners will receive $50,000 in cash, and about five runners-up will receive $25,000 in cash.
Read the official rules, and apply before December 15.
You can also join us for an informational webinar on the Solar Forecasting Prize on November 8, from noon to 1 p.m. ET, to review the structure and rules of this new competition.
On November 3 from noon to 4:30 p.m. ET, DOE and the Solar Energy Industries Association will host the Cybersecurity Summit: Securing Our Solar Future Today, discussing lessons learned from cyber-attacks, best practices, and trends key to securing solar energy and storage on the grid.
The Perovskite Startup Prize has its first finalist: The new startup Beyond Silicon, from Chandler, Arizona, won $200,000 for its perovskite-silicon tandem solar cell innovation and its plans to bring it closer to market.
Do you have a perovskite innovation and business plan? The next application period in the competition is open now, with up to eight $200,000 cash prizes available. Apply by January 4, 2022. Learn more about the prize and follow the challenge for updates.
Author: US SETO Staff Published: 10/19/21 SETO
Funding Supports 40 Projects That Will Increase the Lifespan and Reliability of Solar PV, Accelerate the Industrial Use of Solar Power and Storage
WASHINGTON, D.C. —The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today awarded nearly $40 million to 40 projects that are advancing the next generation of solar, storage, and industrial technologies necessary for achieving the Biden-Harris administration’s climate goal of 100% clean electricity by 2035. Specifically, the projects will reduce the cost of solar technologies by increasing the lifespan of photovoltaic (PV) systems from 30 to 50 years, developing technologies that will enable solar to be used in fuel and chemicals production, and advancing novel storage technologies.
“We are laser focused on deploying more solar power and developing more cost-effective technologies to decarbonize our electricity system,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Research to develop stronger and longer-lasting solar panels is critical to addressing the climate crisis. The 40 projects announced today – led by universities and private industry across the country – is an investment in the next generation of innovations that will strengthen the nation’s solar capacity and enhance our grid resilience.”
The 40 projects announced today focus on concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) and PV. PV technologies directly convert sunlight into electricity, while CSP captures heat from sunlight and uses that thermal energy. The projects will focus on:
“Colorado is leading the way in deploying clean energy and developing innovative solar technologies, while demonstrating the clear economic benefits of investing in the clean energy industry. These projects are exactly the type of research we should invest in to decarbonize our electric grid, ensure long-term growth of America’s solar industry, and confront climate change,” said U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (CO).
“This Department of Energy investment in the University of Wisconsin-Madison will support new technologies and innovation at concentrating solar power plants, which can lead to lower operational costs and better reliability. We are thankful that the Biden Administration recognizes that Made in Wisconsin science, research, and innovation can play a leading role in helping to create clean energy jobs and a renewable energy economy,” said U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (WI).
“These are critical resources that will help the Nevada System of Higher Education continue to lead with its cutting-edge research programs. Nevada’s innovation economy benefits everyone in our state and across the nation, and I’m continuing to promote it through my Innovation State Initiative to fund research, support clean and renewable energy, and create good-paying jobs,” said U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (NV).
“Northwest Ohio continues to play a leading role in shaping the national and global response to the crisis of climate change. The University of Toledo is on the front lines of this effort, and its work to advance next-generation solar technologies will play a critical part in delivering the affordable, reliable, low-emission energy we need for our success in the 21st century,” said U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Chairwoman, House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development.
“The National Renewable Energy Lab continues to shine as the world’s leading lab in renewable energy and energy efficiency by making groundbreaking innovations in solar technology. These two projects will help bring us to a cleaner future by improving energy storage and making perovskite technology, which directly converts sunlight into electricity, more accessible. I’m proud of today’s announcement and of the work NREL continues to do to combat climate change,” said U.S. Representative Ed Perlmutter (CO-07).
“I want to congratulate the team at UNLV on being awarded $200,000 from the Department of Energy towards their groundbreaking research to improve the efficiency of renewable energy generation. Representing the fastest warming city and the sunniest state in the nation, Nevada has much to gain in our transition to a clean energy economy. These investments will advance the necessary research and innovation that will spur that development,” said U.S. Representative Dina Titus (NV-01).
“These awards will undoubtedly advance much-needed solar, storage, and industrial technologies, and will lay the groundwork for achieving a pathway to a zero-carbon grid – an investment that is needed to combat climate change. I am proud to see Columbia University of New York’s 13th congressional district among those awarded to continue their groundbreaking research on solar technology. Renewable solar energy is critical in our efforts to lower our nation’s carbon footprint, and I commend Secretary Granholm for her continued commitment to the path forward addressing the ever-growing climate crisis,” said U.S. Representative Adriano Espaillat (NY-13).
“We continue to see the impacts of climate change first hand in New Hampshire and across the country. As we look to protect our planet, continued investment in innovative clean energy technology is essential. I’m pleased Brayton Energy will receive these federal funds to continue their work in sustainable energy, and I remain committed to ensuring New Hampshire remains a leader in building our clean energy future,” said U.S. Representative Chris Pappas (NH-01).
In addition, DOE seeks comment on its proposed research areas for supporting American solar manufacturing. The request for information solicits feedback on research, development, and demonstration areas that will help scale up solar deployment across the country. DOE aims to invest in product development and demonstration projects to accelerate the growth of the solar industry and position the U.S. on the leading edge of solar industry advances. Stakeholders can email responses to firstname.lastname@example.org by November 7, 2021, at 5 p.m. ET.
Finally, DOE seeks comment on performance targets for perovskite photovoltaics, a new material for making solar panels that show the potential for high-efficiency operation and low production costs. These targets will help to demonstrate technical and commercial readiness for perovskites. Stakeholders can email responses to email@example.com by November 12, 2021, at 5 p.m. ET.
Author: Jess Del Fiacco Published: 10/14/21 ILSR
In this episode of Building Local Power, ILSR Co-Director John Farrell is joined by Chris Villarreal, President of Plugged In Strategies and an Associate Fellow with the R Street Institute. Their discussion focuses on monopoly power in the energy sector, and how lack of competition impacts consumers and stands in the way of progress.
Highlights of their conversation include:
Author: DCSEU Staff Published: 10/18/2021 DCS
Author: MCGB Staff Published: 10/12/2021 Montgomery County Green Bank
On August 17, the Montgomery County Green Bank, along with partners at Groundswell, the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County, Sunlight General Capital, SunCatch Energy, Pepco, and local officials celebrated the installation of solar panels at Paddington Square Apartments in Silver Spring, MD. This project is Montgomery County’s first community solar project built to serve low- and moderate-income households by specifically setting aside subscriptions to provide more accessible and affordable options for renewable energy.On August 21, The Green Bank, alongside Montgomery College and the Community Solar at Paddington Square project development team, hosted an informational and educational event for residents and community members to learn more about community solar and job opportunities in the field.
Groundswell Subscriptions for Community Solar at Paddington Square
Groundswell subscriptions for Community Solar at Paddington Square are now available to renters and homeowners who are Pepco Maryland subscribers. Subscribers are eligible to receive solar energy produced in Maryland starting Fall 2021. Sign up today to support better solar access in Montgomery County, MD.
First Community Solar Project Launched in Montgomery County
New Deal Highlights Successful EV Strategy for Condominium
Helping Homeowners Achieve Energy Efficiency
Introducing the Green Bank’s Communications and Community Engagement Manager: Tyniah McDuffie
Author: Rachel Frazin Published: 10/12/2021 THE HIILL
Author: White House Staff 10/1//2021 The White House
Cyber threats can affect every American, every business regardless of size, and every community. That’s why my administration is marshalling a whole-of-nation effort to confront cyber threats.
I am committed to strengthening our cybersecurity by hardening our critical infrastructure against cyberattacks, disrupting ransomware networks, working to establish and promote clear rules of the road for all nations in cyberspace, and making clear we will hold accountable those that threaten our security. In May, I issued an executive order to modernize our defenses and position the Federal government to lead, rather than lag, in its own cybersecurity. By using the power of Federal technology spending, we are improving the software available for use to all Americans. Our 100-day action plan to improve cybersecurity across the electricity sector has already resulted in more than 150 utilities serving 90 million Americans committing to deploy cybersecurity technologies, and we are working to deploy action plans for additional critical infrastructure sectors. Both the public and private sectors have a role to play in strengthening cybersecurity, which is why we also issued a National Security Memorandum outlining the cybersecurity practices that responsible owners and operators of critical infrastructure should put in place and brought together leading American executives to expand public-private cooperation on cybersecurity.
We are also partnering closely with nations around the world on these shared threats, including our NATO allies and G7 partners. This month, the United States will bring together 30 countries to accelerate our cooperation in combatting cybercrime, improving law enforcement collaboration, stemming the illicit use of cryptocurrency, and engaging on these issues diplomatically. We are building a coalition of nations to advocate for and invest in trusted 5G technology and to better secure our supply chains. And, we are bringing the full strength of our capabilities to disrupt malicious cyber activity, including managing both the risks and opportunities of emerging technologies like quantum computing and artificial intelligence. The Federal government needs the partnership of every American and every American company in these efforts. We must lock our digital doors — by encrypting our data and using multifactor authentication, for example—and we must build technology securely by design, enabling consumers to understand the risks in the technologies they buy. Because people – from those who build technology to those to deploy technology – are at the heart of our success.
This October, even as we recognize how much work remains to be done and that maintaining strong cybersecurity practices is ongoing work, I am confident that the advancements we have put in place during the first months of my Administration will enable us to build back better – modernizing our defenses and securing the technology on which our enduring prosperity and our security rely.
Author: US DOE Staff Published: 10/8/2021 SETO
2025 Milestone Will Play a Key Role in Achieving Justice40 Goals and Create $1 Billion in Energy Savings
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced a new National Community Solar Partnership (NCSP) target: to enable community solar systems to power the equivalent of five million households by 2025 and create $1 billion in energy bill savings. Reaching these milestones will help achieve the Biden-Harris Administration’s goals of achieving 100% clean electricity by 2035 and ensure that all Americans can reap the benefits of renewable energy while building community wealth and resiliency.
“Community solar is one of the most powerful tools we have to provide affordable solar energy to all American households, regardless of whether they own a home or have a roof suitable for solar panels,” said Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm. “Achieving these ambitious targets will lead to meaningful energy cost savings, create jobs in these communities, and make our clean energy transition more equitable.”
There is enough solar installed to power 19 million households across the United States. Despite this unprecedented deployment, many Americans still lack access to affordable solar electricity, including many renters, homeowners who lack affordable financing options, and those without suitable roof conditions. Community solar is a form of energy generation where members subscribe to a portion of a solar array, usually located near their community. As the solar array produces energy, subscribers receive a portion of the revenue from the energy produced, typically as savings on their monthly electric bill — a critical factor for low-income and disadvantaged communities whose energy burden is three times higher than for non-low-income households.
There is enough community solar installed in the U.S. today to power 600,000 households—achieving DOE’s new NSCP target would mean an increase of more than 700% in the next four years. The recently released Solar Futures Study report from DOE and National Renewable Energy Laboratory shows how solar can play a major role in a decarbonized grid.
The NCSP is a DOE initiative led by the Solar Energy Technologies Office, in collaboration with the NREL and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The partnership includes a coalition of community solar stakeholders, such as state, local and tribal governments, solar developers, and community-based organizations, working to expand access to affordable community solar to every American household. Partners leverage peer networks as well as technical assistance funding and resources to overcome the persistent barriers to expanding community solar access with a focus on those in underserved communities. As of September 2021, NCSP had over 650 members from over 440 partner organizations.
The Sharing the Sun report released by NREL in collaboration with NCSP shows that community solar can lead to substantial bill savings—from 5 to 25%. Achieving $1 billion in cost savings would mean that, on average, community solar projects would provide a 20% bill savings. This target, along with other potential solutions for equitable community solar deployment, was informed by NCSP stakeholders in a recent request for information.
To achieve these new targets, DOE is offering free, on-demand technical assistance to NCSP partnership members. Technical assistance provides personalized support to organizations deploying community solar to help them accelerate implementation, improve the performance of their program or project, and build capacity for future community solar development. NCSP has already distributed $1 million for technical assistance and hopes to provide $2 million in the next year.
Author: AGOA CSO Network Secretariat Published: 10/7/2021 FDA
Author: DCSEU Staff Published: 10/5/21 DCSEU
Author: John Karanja Published: 10/4/2021 MELANIN SOLAR
Whive IO, is an open-source blockchain protocol that extends the Bitcoin blockchain through enabling Trustless Rewards for Engineering Sustainable Solutions.
Melanin Solar enables communities to produce their own solar energy for consumption and sell excess energy through a peer-to-peer model to under-served neighbors.
This will enable the deployment and distribution of efficient solar micro-grid eco-systems across Africa.
We are doing this by building out Africa’s distributed solar energy infrastructure which includes a set of tools, protocols and applications.
At the same time through our Academy we intend to reduce the huge shortage of engineers; who can be leveraged to develop, deploy and maintain our solution across Africa which has a high pool of potential talent with its huge youthful population.
Whive IO, is an open-source blockchain protocol that extends the Bitcoin blockchain through enabling Trustless Rewards for Engineering Sustainable Solutions.
Building on the success of Bitcoin the World’s most secure blockchain, the Whive community has set out to build a cryptographically secure blockchain protocol and Auxiliary Chain(AuxChain) that shall allow for building applications that trustlessly reward sustainable solutions.
The Whive Protocol is built with game-theory that rewards machines operating in regions in the World with high solar reliability indices(SRIs)!
Thus, the protocol shall incentivize engineers in the developing World to contribute to developing sustainable solutions to challenges facing their community using the following Engineering disciplines:
The Whive protocol shall be supported by a suite of software tools built to incentivize multiple third-party individuals and institutions to collaborate together to execute and achieve this vision.
The Whive protocol is designed to unlock the potential of sustainable resources such as Solar Energy by enabling a distributed economy that is interoperable with the mainstream economy.
The Whive Protocol is being built, tested and deployed by a community of individuals and organizations around the World.
Introducing the Whive Protocol
Whive, is an open source & peer-to-peer blockchain protocol that is incentivizing the building of sustainable distributed solar energy solutions through Trustless Rewards
The solar energy market is under developed and has a potential market capitalization of more than $10 Trillion globally
The Whive protocol seeks to empower energy poor communities to actualize this potential by using Blockchain based tokenization and distributed computing to trustlessly reward Solar Energy adoption
The Whive protocol’s mining is biased towards smaller mobile computing devices built on the ARM architecture to encourage fast & sustainable growth of the solar energy sector
Mining of Whive Rewards ends in the year 2040 ensuring maximum distribution of solar micro-grid ecosystems across the World
18,500,000+ Whive Rewards can be claimed by Bitcoiners hodling 1 or more bitcoins starting February 2021, learn more at https://whive.io/claim
The protocol ensures that engineering machine-based distributed solar energy solutions using blockchain is highly rewarded algorithmically without human intervention
Transactions are recorded immutably on a transparent & public Blockchain accessible in real-time on the explorer linked below http://explorer.radi.network
Author: EDA Staff Published: 10/4/2021 EDA
Ready to submit your application for the American Rescue Plan Build Back Better Regional Challenge and still have questions? View our new Build Back Better Regional Challenge Office Hours webinar, the October 1 Build Back Better Regional Challenge panel discussion, and our updated FAQs, including important information about procurement restrictions and match funding requirements for proposed Phase 2 projects.
The Build Back Better Regional Challenge is designed to assist communities nationwide in their efforts to build back better by accelerating the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and building local economies that will be resilient to future economic shocks.
EDA invites eligible applicants to form regional coalitions to apply for funding to implement a collection of three to eight distinct but related projects in their region, in coordination with industry and community partners, and aligned around a holistic vision to build and scale a strategic industry cluster. Applicants should identify one key coordinating lead institution per regional cluster to lead the concept and projects into the implementation phase, while fostering collaboration and coordinating resources to ensure these investments have the greatest economic impact on our communities, regions, and the nation.
Coalition members eligible to apply for investment assistance for their region include a(n):
Individuals or for-profit entities are not eligible.
Phase 1 deadline:
October 19, 2021
Phase 2 deadline:
March 15, 2022
Author:Rachel Frazin Published: 10/1/21 THE HILL
Five Midwest states announced Thursday that they will work together to increase the deployment of electric vehicle charging stations.
A memorandum of understanding signed by the governors of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin says the states will form the Regional Electric Vehicle Midwest Coalition, or “REV Midwest.”
The state leaders said in a statement that the agreement is aimed at “competitively” positioning the region for federal funding opportunities and that the ultimate goal is to add jobs, lower emissions and improve public health.
“Our partnership will enable the Midwest to lead on electric vehicle adoption, reduce carbon emissions, spur innovation, and create good-paying jobs,” she added.
The governors their first goal is to focus on “interstate and regionally significant commercial corridors.”
Indiana is the only state in the group with a GOP governor.
The effort comes amid congressional efforts to bolster electric vehicle charging. The Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill that’s awaiting a final vote in the House includes $7.5 billion for electric vehicle charging, as well as $5 billion that would be distributed to states to spend on electric vehicle charging.
Author: Nick Sobczyk Published: 10/1/21 E&E DAILY
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chair Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) at the Capitol yesterday.
Democratic infighting on Capitol Hill this week underscores how difficult it will be to get the biggest climate bill in U.S. history across the finish line.
Climate policy has emerged as one of the toughest challenges in striking a deal on Democrats’ reconciliation package, with a chasm between Energy and Natural Resources Chair Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and much of the rest of the party.
That divide crystallized yesterday after POLITICO reported a July 28 memo signed by Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) specifying a $1.5 trillion top line for reconciliation — much lower than House Democrats’ $3.5 trillion package — and the inclusion of natural gas, coal and carbon capture in clean energy tax policies (Greenwire, Sept. 30).
Manchin’s stance is threatening to derail the proposed Clean Electricity Performance Program (CEPP) that would likely be central to meeting President Biden’s emissions goals, frustrating Democrats who see reconciliation as one of the last chances to address climate change before it’s too late.
“It’s not anything that you can really negotiate away,” Select Committee on the Climate Crisis Chair Kathy Castor (D-Fla.) said in an interview yesterday. “We either follow the science, or we condemn ourselves to higher costs and more catastrophes.”
The leaked document, which Manchin confirmed to reporters yesterday, inserted another twist into the ongoing fight in the House over the bipartisan infrastructure bill. It was initially scheduled for a vote yesterday, but progressives planned to sink it without a deal with Manchin and fellow moderate Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) on reconciliation. The vote was delayed after talks that dragged into yesterday evening.
The document includes several climate-related stipulations, namely that Manchin’s committee be charged with writing any clean energy standard and that if clean energy tax breaks are extended, fossil fuel tax benefits should be preserved.
Climate spending, it says, should be “fuel neutral,” and carbon capture and storage should allow natural gas and coal to “feasibly qualify” for energy tax policies. Manchin is also doubling down on his concerns with the CEPP, which he laid out in detail this week during an Energy and Natural Resources hearing (Greenwire, Sept. 28).
“I am just not for giving public companies, who have shareholders, public dollars for free when I know they’re going to be very profitable at the end whatever we do,” Manchin told reporters outside the Capitol yesterday.
“I’d love to have carbon capture, but we don’t have the technology because we really haven’t gotten to that point,” Manchin added. “And it’s so darn expensive that it makes it almost impossible.”
But House Democrats scoffed at the idea that coal and natural gas would get a place in a climate policy, even if some acknowledged a potential role for carbon capture.
“To those of us in the real world, coal and natural gas are not clean. They’re just not,” Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) told reporters. “So let’s stop pretending, and let’s get real.”
Castor similarly said, “That’s not clean energy,” when asked about the role of natural gas and coal. “You could include carbon capture with guard rails that you’re still meeting the clean energy goals, that you’re reducing carbon pollution and greenhouse gas pollution,” she added.
The House reconciliation bill, as currently written, includes $150 billion for the CEPP, essentially a clean energy standard redesigned to fit the budget process, and billions more for electric vehicles, the grid and a federal green bank.
The CEPP would offer grants to power providers that increase their share of clean generation by 4 percent each year and fine those that do not. The emissions threshold for what qualifies as clean power would be 0.1 metric ton of carbon dioxide equivalent per megawatt-hour, ruling out natural gas and coal without carbon capture.
That structure could change as negotiations with Manchin continue, Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change, said this week. “But I want to keep it as strong as possible,” Tonko said.
Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.), one of the program’s architects, and other Democratic senators have been lobbying Manchin on the CEPP for weeks. Smith said she and Manchin “continue to have conversations” about the CEPP, but she also warned that negotiations would ultimately have to please all 50 members of the Senate Democratic caucus.
“I just keep reinforcing to everybody that we have to come up with an agreement that 50 senators can agree with, not just one or two,” Smith said yesterday. “I’m looking for strong climate provisions across the board,” she added.
Another key negotiator with Manchin is Finance Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who is pushing a broad clean energy tax plan that includes a repeal of fossil fuel subsidies. Wyden said yesterday that he and the West Virginia Democrat are “having a number of conversations with respect to energy issues.”
For House progressives, the CEPP and other climate provisions will likely be key to their support for whatever agreement leadership can strike with Manchin and Sinema, but it remains unclear where, exactly, they would draw a line.
For the most part, they’ve left the door open to changes in overall spending, means testing for electric vehicle tax credits and even potentially shortening the duration of funding for some programs to bring down the top line.
“I’ve got to get the things that are critical for clean energy and climate, and there can’t be funny business,” Huffman said.
In the Senate, Manchin’s colleagues have refrained from chiding him publicly as negotiations continue. That’s not to mention Sinema, who has been more publicly opaque about her negotiating position and who issued a statement yesterday saying she would “not support a bill costing $3.5 trillion.”
But Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of ENR who has been pushing for the CEPP, quoted a 2009 op-ed by the late West Virginia Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd in a tweet yesterday.
“To be part of any solution, one must first acknowledge a problem. To deny the mounting science of climate change is to stick our heads in the sand and say deal me out,” Byrd wrote as lawmakers debated the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill. “West Virginia would be much smarter to stay at the table.”
Byrd, Heinrich said, “was onto something.”
Reporters Geof Koss and George Cahlink contributed.