Can energy become secure, affordable and sustainable as the sector transforms?

November 8, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Megatrends are meeting the energy trilemma.

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Can energy become secure, affordable and sustainable as the sector transforms?

Coal is not competitive with cheaper alternatives, and the industry’s true costs are even higher

November 8, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Power plant emissions kill tens of thousands of Americans each year, scientists estimate.

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Coal is not competitive with cheaper alternatives, and the industry’s true costs are even higher

Lynda Clemmons, VP of sustainable solutions at NRG, on transformative energy generation

November 6, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Green

“Our customers want things to be simple. Everybody wants to meet their sustainability goals. They want to do the right thing … in a clean and green way,” said Lynda Clemmons, vice president of sustainable solutions at NRG Energy, the U.S.integrated power company. The company is working a new project called “Renewable Select” that combines generation and retail to bring the choice of renewables to customers who want it, but might not have as large a purchasing power as the Googles and the Microsofts, as Clemmons noted.

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Lynda Clemmons, VP of sustainable solutions at NRG, on transformative energy generation

Paul Stith, director of strategy and innovation at Black & Veatch, on the changing electrification ecosystem

November 6, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Black & Veatch is a 104-year-old-company working on transportation, power, water and more “behind the scenes.” The long-time sustainability stalwart has focused on accelerating the low-carbon, high-power revolution, partnering with big names such as Tesla and Electrify America to maximize impact. 

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Paul Stith, director of strategy and innovation at Black & Veatch, on the changing electrification ecosystem

Stephanie Greene, director of clean transportation at PG&E, on the company’s role in EV engagement

November 6, 2018 by  
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As they say: with great power comes great responsibility.The investor-owned utility PG&E provides energy for one in 20 Americans — and they know about both. With that scale and scope, as well as determination to cut costs for customers by providing cheaper, cleaner energy, PG&E has created national programs to support customers in adopting these vehicles.

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Stephanie Greene, director of clean transportation at PG&E, on the company’s role in EV engagement

Chris Clark, president of Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota at Xcel Energy, on how utilities can work with community reductions goals

November 6, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Xcel Energy, an electric and natural gas utility based out of the Midwest, has a diverse base of customers and a diverse portfolio of energy sources. Chris Clark, the president of Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota regions for Xcel Energy, discussed how utilities can be “good neighbors” by helping communities reach carbon reduction goals, cut costs for customers and residents and generally, “help keep the lights on,” he told GreenBiz’s senior analyst Elaine Hseish with a smile.

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Chris Clark, president of Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota at Xcel Energy, on how utilities can work with community reductions goals

A quick guide to the environmental issues you’ll find on the ballot

November 2, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

The general election for 2018 features many interesting issues related to environmental improvements. But with these environmental proposals competing with other issues on the ballot, it is easy for them to get lost in the shuffle. From funding eco-friendly projects to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, here is a quick guide to some of the environmental issues on the 2018 ballots around the U.S. Alaska Salmon Initiative The first measure on Alaska’s ballot is an initiative that would force the state’s Department of Fish and Game to hand out permits for projects and activities that might harm fish . The measure also focuses on improving habitats for anadromous fish, like salmon, by looking at water quality, stream flow and temperature. If passed, the measure will create a system for processing permits, which includes allowing public input on major permits. The fish and game department will still have the authority to deny permits if the project or activity harms fish or habitats. Any existing projects would be exempt from the new permit system. Arizona Proposition 127 In a push for clean energy, this proposal would mandate that 50 percent of electric utilities come from renewable sources by 2030, and the percent required would steadily increase each year. The acceptable renewable energy sources would include solar , wind and biomass as well as certain hydropower, geothermal and landfill gas energies. California Proposition 3 There are a number of propositions on California’s ballot related to environmental issues, but Proposition 3 is one of the most significant. This initiative will give the green light for close to $8 billion in funds for surface and groundwater storage, watershed protection (habitat restoration) and water infrastructure. The measure outlines where all of the money will be dispersed and how much funding each project will receive. Colorado Proposition 112 This proposition on Colorado’s ballot would limit the areas available for oil and gas development, including fracking , in an effort to maintain public health and safety. If passed, oil and gas developments would have to maintain a distance of 2,500 feet from occupied structures and vulnerable areas, including homes, schools, hospitals, parks, lakes, rivers, sporting fields and more. Florida Constitutional Revision 4 Florida is taking a major step against offshore drilling this election. Constitutional Revision 4 could ban offshore drilling, putting an end to oil and gas mining on lands under state waters. Lumped into this revision is a ban that will prevent individuals from vaping inside closed workplaces. The ban includes any electronic device that generates vapor, such as electronic cigarettes. The ban would only be enforced in indoor workplaces. Georgia Amendment 1 This amendment would allow up to 80 percent of the revenue from sales and use taxes of outdoor recreation and sporting goods retailers to go to the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund for land conservation, including protecting water quality, conserving forests and wildlife habitats and improving state and local parks. Montana Ballot Issue #14 I-186 This initiative will help regulate new rock mines in the state. If passed, new mines would be required to have plans for reclamation, restoration or rehabilitation to receive permits. More specifically, the new mines would be required to have adequate plans to avoid water pollution. Water contaminated by acid mine drainage often results in perpetual treatment to make the water safe for consumption. The measure also gives the Department of Environmental Quality the right to reject permits that do not have a reclamation plan in place. Nevada Question 6 Nevada’s environmental initiative this year will put the state on track for renewable energy by 2030. Question 6 on the Nevada ballot proposes that all utility companies invest in renewable energy over the next 12 years. If passed, the measure would require electric companies to transform half of their electrical output to renewable sources by the projected date. The current law requires utility companies to use 25 percent of renewable electricity by 2025. Rhode Island Question 3 This measure would authorize $47.3 million in funds for various environmental projects throughout the state. The measure outlines where the money will be allocated and the different types of projects that will be funded. The projects include coastal resiliency and access, clean water and treatment, dam infrastructure, bikeway initiatives, farmland access and local recreation. The largest project on the ballot is related to improving water quality and would receive $7.9 million. Washington Initiative 1631 Initiative 1631 in Washington targets greenhouse gas pollutants and rewards companies that promote clean energy. If voted in, the law would impose fees on carbon emissions. The price of the fee starts out at $15 for every metric ton of carbon, increasing every year by $2. The money generated from the fees will go right back into the environment. The revenue would help improve air quality, raise awareness about clean energy and examine environmental issues in various communities. Companies that comply with environmental standards could also receive credits from the added revenue. The measure also requires that Native American tribes have their voices heard on projects that affect their land. All of the money dispersed from the carbon fee will have to be approved by a public board first. Via Vote Smart , Ballotpedia and NCSL Image via Element5 Digital

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A quick guide to the environmental issues you’ll find on the ballot

4 things you need to know about smart thermostats

November 2, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Stuart Lombard has a mission: to reduce people’s carbon footprints while saving money. He found that heating and cooling made up the bulk of utility costs and searched to find a better way to monitor a home’s energy usage. He founded ecobee in 2007. The company developed a smart thermostat that allegedly saves people up to 23 percent a year on their heating and cooling bills. Some energy companies also offer rebates on smart thermostats, saving homeowners even more money. ecobee offers a few different products; the ecobee4, a smart Wi-Fi thermostat with room sensors, currently retails for $249. But even better than saving money, smart thermostats can help you do your part in reducing energy consumption and protecting the environment. Here are four things to know about smart thermostats. Reduces your carbon footprint Riding a bike to work instead of driving a car and installing solar panels are all positive steps you can take to reduce your carbon footprint, but there are easier things you can do as well that will have little impact on your day-to-day life. Things like closing your curtains at night can have a positive impact on your heating and cooling bills and the environment. Lombard said, “There are some other great things like looking at your home and eliminating drafts, doing weather stripping, caulking, those are easy DIY projects for a lot of people.” Heating and cooling make up 40 to 70 percent of a home’s energy use, according to ecobee. In addition to making small changes yourself, a smart thermostat can greatly reduce this. Saves money Smart thermostats like the ecobee save you money in the long run. Lombard added, “The exciting thing about thermostats is from a consumer value proposition … it pays for itself in about a year.” Related: 10 money-saving tips for a green home Works with other technology A major trend right now is connecting all devices in your home. ecobee smart thermostats offer remote access from devices like your phone through an app. The ecobee4 works with Alexa — you can simply give Alexa a command to control your thermostat. Earlier models, like the ecobee3 lite, were Wi-Fi connected but did not have voice technology . Makes decisions for you The word “smart” is often thrown around to describe technological advancements. Generally speaking, smart technology is connected to the internet, which allows you to connect to a different device from your phone. The technology can use algorithms and other data to make decisions. Lombard said, “Our smart thermostats use weather to make smarter heater and cooling decisions.” The ecobee uses wireless room sensors to measure hot and cold spots in houses. It can also sense if someone is home or not and heat or cool the house accordingly. Because smart technology is connected to the internet, you can get frequent software updates, meaning devices work for longer periods of time. Whether you are looking to save some money each month on your utility bills or you want to do your part in saving the planet, investing in a smart thermostat is a good bet. + ecobee

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4 things you need to know about smart thermostats

10 Things You Can Do Today for the Environment

October 22, 2018 by  
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The recent report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on … The post 10 Things You Can Do Today for the Environment appeared first on Earth911.com.

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10 Things You Can Do Today for the Environment

10 Things You Can Do Today for the Environment

October 22, 2018 by  
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Comments Off on 10 Things You Can Do Today for the Environment

The recent report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on … The post 10 Things You Can Do Today for the Environment appeared first on Earth911.com.

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10 Things You Can Do Today for the Environment

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