What’s happening? MIT Energy Researchers along with Shell are studying the role of hydrogen and electric power.
Why is this important? With an eye on a future low-carbon, integrated energy system, the researchers found that co-optimizing electric power & hydrogen supply chain infrastructure can lead to emission reductions and decreased infrastructure costs.
How will this be important? Everyone seems to be talking about hydrogen lately.
What’s happening? Scientists inspired by agrivolatics, growing crops under solar panels, are encouraging solar panels to be installed over aqueducts to limit evaporation while also generating power.
Why is this important? Evaporation is a major cause of shrinking water supplies. If California covered 4000 miles of aqueducts with solar panels, it could save save 63 billion gallons of water from evaporating
How will this be important? There is a potential emissions savings if farmers, who usually use diesel to pump water, could use the solar power generated from the aqueducts to pump their water, then the diesel emissions could be eliminated.
What’s happening? The Carbon Neutral Coalition has formed in Texas to ” partner with stakeholders, government, and industry to make Texas carbon neutral by 2050 and preserve our quality of life.” Its board includes:
Why is this important? Their offering solutions including:
How will this be important? New Mexico is vying to be A Hydrogen hub. Since when has Texas not wanted to outshine its neighbors?
What’s happening? Orlando is building partnerships to build vertiports, which are landing pads for oversized drones. It’s like the Jetsons are arriving.
Why is this important? The infrastructure fora vertiport requires that they be electric vehicle charge ready.
How will this be important? Yep, add vertiports to your electrification plans.
What is happening? Northwest Power and Conservation Council 20 year power plan for the energy needs of Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Montana focuses on renewables and resiliency. The plan gets revised statutorily every 5 years.
Why is this important? This year’s review of the power plan is the most “dramatic changes in the future power supply.” They’re planning is robust to ensure that they spend enough money to ensure they don’t overbuild, but spend enough to keep rates good.
How will this be important? Onlookers say the dramatic revision of the power plan is because these elements came together:
What’s happening? MIT Sloan Business School paper concerning Decarbonizing Our Toughest Sectors — Profitably. Let’s check in on their arguments supporting their theory.
Why is this important?
How will this be important? In 2020, during the pandemic, the growth of renewables accelerated by 45%
What’s happening? WeaveGrid and Elemental are building software to connect EVs to the Grid.
Why is this important? The software compares grid needs as well as learns driving patterns and EV chartering patterns to ensure capacity limits on transmission lines are adequate.
How will this be important? Utilities are using the software to enroll EV customers in time of use charging programs
What’s happening? NM is one of 4 locations receiving federal funding as a hydrogen hub. It is in the process of transforming the coal-fired Escalante Generating Station into a hydrogen production and generating facility. Libertad Power is constructing the state’s first newly-built hydrogen production and generating facility to be up and running by 2025. BayoTech Inc. has mobile generating facilities.
Why is this important? NM lists these attributes as the reasons it is well positioned to be a carbon hub:
How will this be important? Beyond oil & gas industry of carbon storage and capture. Being a carbon hub will include state Legislation that will:
What is happening? A public private partnership is combining data from flyovers and satellite images to identify high concentrations of methane. Minimizing high concentrations of methane is said to be the fastest approach to mitigating climate change.
Why is this important? We have the technology to minimize methane it is efficient and cost effective. Using data will make targeting methane concentrations much easier. More than 50% of methane emissions is related to human behavior from agriculture to oil & gas to landfills.
How will this be important? Let’s look at the public private partnerships that are flying over Texas, Utah, Arizona, California, New Mexico, Colorado, Louisiana, Pennsylvania and offshore platforms in the Gulf of Mexico
What is happening? Private businesses have to put up the cost for EV charging infrastructure themselves. And utilities across the country are already seizing the opportunity to control the EV charger market as they can pass the cost of installing and operating new EV chargers onto their consumers by simply increasing rates.
Why is this important? In Maryland we have the Exelon EV charging network to support private businesses with EV infrastructure.
How will this be important? Utilities will be vital as private businesses transition to EV charging infrastructure and EV use
What’s happening? Australia is supporting the Regional Australia Microgrid Pilots Programme with $50 million to fund microgrid pilot projects
Why is this important? The program has 2 goals:
How will this be important? For local communities this program will help coordinate local energy resources, like solar panels and battery storage, to provide secure and reliable electricity as well as optimise renewable energy generation and usage. For remote communities, microgrids offer a pathway to switch to renewable energy, reduce emissions, costs and fuel security issues while improve reliability and security
What is happening? Georgia Power “Make Ready” Electric Transportation Program allows businesses to apply for funding for the installation of infrastructure required to charge EVs at business, manufacturing and corporate facilities.
Why is this important? Georgia Power will install, own and maintain all of the charging infrastructure behind the customer meter through the EV charger.
How will this be important? Georgia Power’s Make Ready Program funds passenger vehicle, transit bus, short- and long-haul package delivery, school bus, airport ground support, fork-lift charging, and more
What’s happening? A former landfill in the Sunnyside area of Houston., TX will become the largest urban solar farm in the U.S. The landfill has been closed for 50 years. 120 million pounds of CO2 per year is expected to be offset.
Why is this important? The 240 acre urban solar farm will be on land will be leased from the City.
How will this be important? Converting environmentally sensitive land to a renewable use will lead to local jobs and increased property values with revitalization. It can be done in other communities as well according to Mayor Sylvester Turner.
What’s happening? An energy storage tax credit that will improve long term storage innovation is the key to reaching industry decarbonization goals
Why is this important? 80-90% of decarbonization can occur from existing technologies is an industry perspective
How will this be important? the 10-20% final decarbonization will be green carbon, carbon capture, long term storage, sequestration, and advanced nuclear
What is happening? Equity is being talked about in terms of energy policies and operations. Edison Electric Institute’s (EEI’s) Board of Directors June statement included 5 points on diversity and inclusion.
Why is this important? Edison’s Board highlighted these 5 points:
How will this be important? Edison is asking it members to affirm these policies because COVID has led to companies asking how can we park better with each other.
What’s happening? Xcel Energy is expanding its EV incentive program to include:
Why is this important? The program is more expansive than the state of Colorado’s and reaches more families
How will this be important? Xcel’s program is hailed as one of the most expansive in the country
What’s happening? 11 companies include Calpine, Chevron, Dow, ExxonMobil, INEOS, Linde, LyondellBasell, Marathon Petroleum, NRG Energy, Phillips 66 and Valero agreed to scale deployment of carbon capture at their facilities
Why is this important? By 2030, the group will capture and store to 50 million tonnes per annum by 2030 & by 2040, 100 million tonnes per annum
How will this be important? Carbon Capture, according to Houston Mayor Turner, will help meet clean air goals
What’s happening? V2G- Vehicle to Grid- supporters say that the system of equipping EVs with bidirectional charging capabilities will have these benefits:
Why is this important? it will also cover vehicle to home or vehicle to building V2H and V2B
How will this be important? Texas may find out in 2022 when Ford F-150 Lighting owners in Texas with the additional bidirectional charging system will be able to potentially power their homes for days next time the grid goes down.
What’s happening? The UK is requiring all EV chargers to automatically be off for 9 hours during peak times. Chargers will be equipped to be shut down for 30 minute intervals if demand is high.
Why is this important? It is 1st time in the world regulation like this and it dovetails with the requirement that all UK houses have smart meters by 2025.
How will this be important? If any other country picks up the mantra and runs with similar or identical legislation.
What’s happening? Xcel Energy has a EV program in Colorado that offers $5,500 rebate on a new electric car and a $3,000 rebate on a pre-owned car, with a vehicle price cap of $50,000.
Why is this important? Xcel also offers for $13.29 per month the installation and maintenance a high-voltage charger with a $500 rebate for any necessary electrical work
How will this be important? Xcel is aligning their program with Gov. Jared Polis’ goal to have 940,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2030. It all stems from a 2019 bill SB19-077 (2019- CO) that allows for rate base recovery.
What’s happening? Over Labor Day weekend a 300-megawatt battery storage facility in California overheated.
Why is this important? Industry says adjustments are needed from battery chemistry to management systems
How will this be important? Looking holistically, the outage caused no overall impacts to the stability of the bulk electric system in California.
What’s happening? Lockdowns due to COVID led to a reduction in commercial electric demand that hampered the global distributed energy storage system market.
Why is this important? 37% of projects are seeing a 6 month delay
How will this be important? The industry is looking to include energy storage technologies into state, local governments, and communities
What’s happening? Bosch introduced a new charging cable for electric vehicles equipped without the traditional “charging brick.”
Why is this important? “flexible smart charging cable a “world’s first” to feature its integrated universal charging technology without the in-cable charging box”
How will this be important? The charging equipment is a lighter weight and can offer Level 1 and level 2A AC charging
What’s happening? Chinese renewable energy infrastructure company MingYang Smart Energy is building a wind turbine that is 800 feet tall with 387 feet blades
Why is this important? The DOE Report Wind Turbines: The Bigger the Better released on August 30, 2021 says this is the future.
How will this be important? Wind speed increases with altitude which in turn increases turbine capacity
Vice | The Future of Green Energy Is Comically Large Wind Turbines
What’s happening? The national EV charger landscape looks like this:
Why is this important? EV owners can expect to save $6,000 to $10,000 over the lifetime of the car
How will this be important? The initial version of the infrastructure bill in Congress has $363 billion in clean energy tax credits
What is happening? The Biden administration intends to shore up offshore wind because offshore wind will:
Why is this important? This May, the Bureau of Offshore Wind Energy approved 62 turbines 15 miles off the southern coast of Cape Cod, Mass.
How will this be important? The opposition is the seafood industry which signed a letter opposing the project in Massachusetts
What’s happening? an EV charging Study by JD Power and Associates found that:
Why is this important? Consumers like accessible, fast and free
How will this be important? Building a consumer driven network means building to what consumers want
What is happening? Ikea in partnership with Svea Solar, will be bringing renewable energy subscriptions to Sweden’s consumers. Ikea will purchase power from European power exchange Nord Pool and sell it to consumers without a surcharge.
Why is this important? Ikea intends to roll this program out globally
How will this be important? This program fits with the company clean energy goals of halving its supply chain emissions by 2030 and by 2050 to be carbon nuetral
What’s happening? 8 states have energy storage goals. This year Connecticut became #8 when the legislature adopted a goal of 1,000 megawatts of energy storage by 2030
Why is this important? Let’s dig into the numbers of the 1000 MW of storage
How will this be important? Talk about the benefits of a third party facilitator as they look to setting up non-wires alternatives. A facilitator would review all proposed distribution system upgrades over $500,000, working with various stakeholders, determine if lower-cost or more resilient alternatives, and help eliminate potential conflicts of interest. “
What’s happening? Connecticut regulators working to fit charging infrastructure program into the 10 state compact on clean air to which Connecticut is a member.
Why is this important? They also created a new incentive where multifamily dwelling owners may opt to pay a monthly fee to the utilities to supply charging stations. Other commercial buildings and multifamily buildings will get rebates up to 50% and utilities will cover the cost of any infrastructure investments required between the distribution system and the charger.
How will this be important? States and localities will look to other successful incentive programs as EV programs spread.
What’s happening? This week the California Energy Commission adopted energy efficiency standards for newly constructed and renovated buildings incentivizing all electric construction
Why is this important? The list of policy goals in these new standards:
How will this be important? State Utilities support the new standards
What’s happening? The experts say green hydrogen needs a a regulatory framework & say it can bolster the grid.
Why is this important? Hydrogen, green hydrogen in this case, doesn’t have to be sold exclusively for explicitly but can be sold for differing purposes, making it flexible and requiring flexible regulations. Key word: interconnectivity
How will this be important? Fingers are pointing to Oregon’s SB 98 (2019 | OR) that created voluntary carbon reduction targets
What’s happening? Earlier we chatted about the tidal power near Scotland. Maybe Ireland. Y0u get the general geographical gist. Well, let’s move across the Atlantic to Nova Scotia, which will be home to the most powerful tidal turbine in the world.
Why is this important? Nova Scotia’s tidal turbine is a partnership between Ireland-based DP Energy and two Japanese companies.
How will this be important? 15-year electricity purchase agreement with Nova Scotia Power Incorporated at $ 530 per megawatt hour with a capacity of 9MW.
What’s happening? We’ve been talking about green hydrogen, let’s look at other carbon neutral hydrogen. In Corpus Christi, TX Howard Midstream Energy Partners is converting its Javelina Refinery into carbon neutral.
Why is this important? New hydrogen production will be through a combination of hydrogen entrained in the six local refineries’ waste gas that the facility processes + hydrogen produced through a steam methane reformer process
How will this be important? “University of Texas at Austin have determined that the Texas Gulf Coast is well suited for injection and storage of pressurized CO2 in permanent geological storage formations offshore.”
What’s happening? Solar panels aren’t just for roofs, buildings in Sweden are being built with solar charging capacity walls.
Why is this important? Meet the new kid on the block: Soltech Energy installed a 646 kW solar facade on the wall of a garage in Sweden that hosts 300 EV-charging posts
How will this be important? Building Codes have been the new go-to for clean air rules and clean energy. Eyes open. The project in Sweden added solar to the outside of an existing building, took 1.5 months to install and have the 300 EV charging posts operational.
What’s happening? MIT Technology review looked into green hydrogen as a panacea to fossil fuels by using the green hydrogen produced during solar and wind energy generation
Why is this important? Looking for alternatives for hydrogen sources is intensifying
How will this be important? Europe is a roadmap for utilizing green hydrogen. Follow the map.
What’s happening? The federal infrastructure bill did not include provisions governing EV charge installation at rest stops which are viewed as a means for utilities to build out EV charging stations.
Why is this important? Some say there is a tradition to not commercialize rest stops. Convenience stores, fuel retailers, restaurants oppose utilities installing EV fast chargers at rest stops.
How will this be important? This article interviews gas station chain owners some who are experimenting with chargers, but don’t know how to price it; some who are waiting to see; and some who just say No it’s not worth the investment cost.
What’s happening? The convenience store chain, Kum & Go, is partnering in its 22nd DC fast charging store by partnering with the Colorado Energy Office.
Why is this important? The partnership also involves Charge Point. Charge Point has a contract with the Colorado Energy Office to build out the corridors project at 34 locations
How will this be important? In 2010 Kim & Go started a sustainability push that led to Kum & Go becoming the world’s first convenience store certified under the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Volume Program.
What is happening? The Port of Prince Rupert is utilizing shore power to reduce port pollution.
Why is this important? Shore power generate energy by way of electrical devices that spread power from port facilities to ships themselves
How will this be important? Each Port is tackling emissions in different ways. Long Beach is adopting EV freight vehicles. Port of Houston has a pilot program for an emission free train/pod to move cargo.
What’s happening? We’ve talked about Congress’ Energy Storage Caucus, and now it has a new topic on its list: Green Hydrogen
Why is this important? Green Hydrogen is bipartisan: U.S. Representative John Curtis (R-UT) & U.S. Representative Mark Takano (D-CA)
How will this be important? Currently hydrogen is extracted from natural gas, green hydrogen can be extracted from plain water via electrolysis. Look for tax credits, incentives etc…
What’s happening? A pilot program in Kansas City led by a nonprofit, the Metropolitan Energy Center is adding EV chargers to street lights
Why is this important? The project says charging by street lights bring charging to more neighborhoods, more equitably. This includes not only BIBPOC neighborhoods but also renters.
How will this be important? The coalition in the project includes universities, utilities, construction firms, and charging and e-mobility firms. Emulate at your leisure.
What’s happening? Scotland is touting its new Tidal generating power station in the Fall of Warness that will:
Why is this important? it connects to the power grid via undersea cable
How will this be important? The U.S. is starting to dip its toe in water based power generation- like wind in the Gulf and the Northeast. After the E.U. adopted wind power that was water based, it is moving into tidal based power.
What’s happening? In 2017, California passed AB-574 (2017 | CA) that requires California’s Water Resources Control Board to adopt uniform criteria for direct potable reuse of recycled water by the end of December 2023. This will allow purified water to be sent directly to surface water reservoirs.
Why is this important? Recycling of waste water is an ongoing effort in California since the 1990s and bolsters regional water planning.
How will this be important? There will always be an area of drought that must consider new options.
What’s happening? CT will offer incentives to residential and business customers who install energy storage as part of its Equitable Modern Grid Initiative. The goal is 1000 MW of storage statewide by 2030.
Why is this important? Every market is tackling energy storage differently. Incentives aren’t common, but times change. Residential incentives will be up to 50MW and 7500 and business incentives will $225 tp $270 KWHr for up to 50MW through 2024.
How will this be important? 8 states have storage goals: CT, NY, NJ, CA, NV, MA, OR, VA.
What’s happening? EV manufacturer, Fisker, is investing in Allego, an EV Charging Company, for its merger with Spartan Acquisition Corp III.
Why is this important? The goal is a “seamless charging experience” for Fisker drivers using Allego chargers. This is sounding like the week’s trend.
How will this be important? Watch who partners with whom, who controls the power charger infrastructure and where the electricity is sourced.
What’s happening? The UK is talking about decarbonization by taking their lories and powering them with overhead power lines.
Why is this important? A test run of the project will bring together trucking company, Scania, electrical giant Siemens and infrastructure company Costain.
How will this be important? Keeping big trucks on the roads and Supporting Electric Companies
What’s happening? SunPower and Spain’s Wallbox have partnered to integrate EV chargers into customers’ homes and businesses.
Why is this important? It builds on their current business model to allow for “a more comprehensive system to let EV owners repower their cars with energy they’re producing at home”
How will this be important? Sunpower is following a model created by Tesla and followed by Ford & Sunrun. More to follow.
What’s happening? Developers were planning the largest home solar array to power 500,000 homes outside Las Vegas. Then residents created Save our Mesa, ran with messaging and the developers pulled out.
Why is this important? The messaging focused on:
How will this be important? Even though the majority of NV voters this year approved higher clean air standards, the coalition of conservationists, endangered species advocates and local businesses that cater to tourists won out over solar.
What’s happening? Rivian reached an agreement with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation to install waypoint chargers at TN state parks that will be open to the public and accessible to all electric vehicle brands with a J1772 plug.
Why is this important? A similar proposal was floated in Texas legislatively in 2021. Rivian 4 months ago announced a similar deal with CO parks.
How will this be important? Rivian in its agreements agree to service and maintain the chargers, at no cost, for 10 years
What’s happening? California regulators have approved an expedited process for utilities to have their EV charger plans approved. California has already approved $1.5 Billion in transportation electrification by utilities
Why is this important? To meet the state’s 2025 clean air goals, they need to build charging networks faster, hence the expedited approval system for utilities. Plans that promote resilience; serve customers without access to home charging; investments in medium and heavy-duty vehicles; & new building constructions will qualify for expedited approval.
How will this be important? There’s a catch to get expedited approval, utilities must limit the infrastructure they will own to only 50% of what’s in the proposed program
Why is this important?
How will this be important? “From 2000 to 2020, US power sector CO2 emissions decreased 37%, while the gross domestic product grew 40%”
What’s happening? The Financial Times and the Nikkei are opening a joint office in Houston to cover energy news
Why is this important? they want to cover a variety of subjects including:
How will this be important? “Houston is an obvious place to position ourselves to capture a big, globally relevant story”
What’s happening? Crypto miners are buying old power plants and manufacturing facilities to use for mining cryptocurrency.
Why is this important? Miners are looking for stranded power facilities or dormant energy facilities
How will this be important? redeveloping abandoned utility and manufacturing facilities has new face
What’s happening? Maine’s Governor vetoed the legislation that would have allowed the state to acquire the two electric utilities operating in Maine to create one state consumer owned utility. The Governor said the bill was rushed and creates more problems than it solves.
Why is this important? Supporters are moving to add this to the state ballot for approval by voters if the Legislature cannot override the veto, which seems to be the case.
How will this be important? We’ve seen through t he years localities buying up private water utilities to make them city owned water utilities. Now we’re moving into electric utilities converting to governmental entity owned utilities.
What’s happening? This week ERCOT released the following 6 initiatives:
Why is this important? After February 2021 Winter Storm Uri, ERCOT is under the microscope from policymakers, the public, business interests, and consumer advocates.
How will this be important? ERCOT wants to balance grid reliability with consumer protections and free market incentives.
What’s happening? Looking for a way to reduce greenhouse gases that doesn’t hit the energy industry? Well, follow NY which passed a bill to limit the amount of food waste that goes into landfills to cut down on methane and greenhouse gases.
Why is this important? 8 states in the North East and California require food waste to be reprocessed before hitting landfills to limit greenhouse gases.
How will this be important? The food waste instead gets mixed with microbes and manure, and turn it into fuel, fertilizer and bedding for dairy cows. In New Jersey the target was producers of food waste such as hospitals, prisons, restaurants and supermarkets recycle food garbage rather than send it to incinerators or landfills.
What’s happening? India is protecting its water supply by creating evaporation shelters that are solar panels.
Why is this important? Drought can be impacted by limiting evaporation. Perhaps this is a two-fer- power source and evaporation protection all in one.
How will this be important? Put this in your pocket for a negation tool if your solar project gets questions and then offer to limit water evaporation to help with drought.
What’s happening? Meet REPOWR which is peer to peer sharing of energy services equipment.
Why is this important? “The company is refining the way transportation companies rent and lease equipment, by connecting transportation and leasing companies to a network marketplace.”
How will this be important? Companies can generate revenue from equipment that is not currently in use.
What’s happening? New Jersey is looking at offshore wind bills. The opposition in the Garden State are environmental and consumer groups. S3926 (2021 | NJ)
Why is this important? The opposition is opposed to private developers exercising eminent domain to build transmission lines for the offshore wind that supersedes local control of the land involved.
How will this be important? Opposition based on private entities exercising eminent domain isn’t new. We’ll see how this plays out in a post-COVID mindset where equitable treatment leads conversations.
What’s happening? American Forests issued “tree equity scores” for cities over 500,000 saying trees clean air, cut heating and cooling costs and increase property values.
Why is this important? I you’re in TX- Houston, Ft. Worth & El Paso are on the list of cities that could benefit from more trees. If, you’re in California, it’s San Jose, Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Diego.
How will this be important? Trees aren’t costly or complicated compared to other strategies. That could make this a very popular policy choice.
What’s happening? California use to allow farmers unlimited access to groundwater. Now, flow meters are required on agricultural wells courtesy of the 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act
Why is this important? The policy argument is that the state can best manage its groundwater resources if it understands how much groundwater is being used
How will this be important? There’s that Texas study recommending changes to Texas “antiquated” groundwater rules. As water resources change, rethinking the old ways changes. The California rules require “managers of the state’s 140 most overdrawn groundwater basins must balance the amount of water being pumped from, and recharged into, aquifers by 2040. It allows increased pumping during drought only if no major problems result.”
San Jose Mercury News | The end of California’s groundwater free-for-all
What’s happening? Tucson Arizona has updated its building code to require electric vehicle (EV) charging outlets in all new one- and two-family dwellings
Why is this important? Phase 2 of the building code update will be EV requirements for new commercial and multifamily housing
How will this be important? Tucson ensured that the code updates will be universal in that all charging equipment could be used at the new required 40 amp circuit
What’s happening? ConEd, partnered with Centrica Business Solutions, is flipping an empty parking lot in Brooklyn into a new concept battery storage and EV charging center.
Why is this important? The hybrid facility will house 5 MW/ 15MWh battery system holds enough power for about 5,000 apartments for four hours of peak summer usage & offer 18 direct-current fast chargers
How will this be important? COVID resulted in more open parking lots, so why not flip a parking lot…
What’s happening? Nevada Governor has signed a bill to ban all useless grass in the Las Vegas Valley.
Why is this important? Useless grass is unused grass – on verges and outside offices and housing developments.
How will this be important? It is estimated that over 200 watershed across the country are operating at drought levels.
What’s happening? Maine Legislature passed LD 1541 (2021 | ME) that shifts part of the cost of recycling packaging onto the producer. It’s the first time an extended producer responsibility program passed a state Legislature.
Why is this important? Similar programs in Canada and the EU improve municipal recycling at no extra cost to consumers
How will this be important? Maine included exceptions for small businesses
What’s happening? A Rice University Fellow is reminding us that Texas Rule of Capture is more than 120 years old and is based on water practices from more than 1000 years ago in Ancient Rome. Texas is growing fast. More people. More industry. More more more.
Why is this important? Instead of responding reactively per usual, see the next question, let’s proactively and plan. He suggests looking to these states for ground water policy: Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio and Oklahoma. Wink wink, nudge, nudge OH and MI groundwater law doctrines “emphasize an equitable balance between competing uses while still respecting water owners’ property rights”
How will this be important? As drought conditions worsen, access to water rises nd the policy questions re-emerge. Cyclical policy changes.
What’s happening? Texas A&M researchers are proposing large floating platform would convert energy from multiple sources, including wind turbines, wave energy converters, current/tidal energy converters, and solar energy panels.
Why is this important? Currently in Texas there is a request to converse power in Texas because of a June heat wave. We haven’t even seen August when it is ridiculously hot.
How will this be important? Louisiana is partnering with one of those Northeast states to make Gulf Wind Generation bigger and better.
What’s happening? Maine Legislature has passed LD 1708 (2021 | ME) that would put to the voters of Maine whether to create a consumer owned utility to replace the state’s investor-owned utilities
Why is this important? The policy talking points are more affordable, more reliable, cleaner and Maine-operated power
How will this be important? Maine has been experiencing long outages, high costs and point to foreign owned utilities as catalysts for the legislation.
What’s happening? We know EV chargers are happening, and as partnerships emerge and unfold we learn bout the types of costs. So here we go:
Why is this important? Partnerships. Software companies partnering with infrastructure companies partnering with payment companies. Build your owner partnership with these costs.
How will this be important? The lists will ebb and flow but the key is innovation, how quickly do standards change? Do standards change? Are new costs soft or fixed?
What’s happening? Ev supporters say we need more chargers to keep up with demand. More chargers means more electricity use. EVs could soak up excess daytime solar power. Can incentivize off peak charging.
Why is this important? Grid stability is a priority for policy makers. EVs can bring down total energy use in communities because “Continuous increases in efficiency have led to reduced demand for electricity in advanced economies.”
How will this be important? charging stations could be a conduit for vehicles to provide power back to electrical grids, a resource when outages occur or when demand exceeds supply.
What’s happening? EU regulators are building on 2018 rules with specific new cybersecurity rules for the electric sector. New features will include requiring national authorities to share information about cyberattacks with officials in other EU member states, including whether attacks could affect other countries; and a need for an agency that responds to cyberattacks and potentially helps detect them.
Why is this important? The regulators noticed that while the EU adopted the first rules in 2018, critical infrastructure was determined country by country using varying standards. While the continent shares an electricity grid and attacks could spread among countries.
How will this be important? Laws regularly hop the pond and are adopted in the States.
What is happening? Australia will be home to 50MW facility hydro solar facility with storage.
Why is this important? the way it works is novel…. “‘solar hydro’ power plant features concentrated PV technology that generates heat as a by-product, which is captured and used for thermal storage. The electro-thermal storage system consists of an Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) turbine, industrial chillers, and two insulated water-based thermal storage pits or reservoirs, each roughly the size of four Olympic size swimming pools. One of the reservoirs is kept at a temperature of 90 C and the other at close to 0 C, and the temperature difference is used to generate dispatchable electricity using ORC turbines.”
How will this be important? Provides longer duration firming for renewable energy generation at a lower cost.
What’s happening? let’s compare the size and scope of water utilities vs. electric utilities.
Water: 52,000 community drinking water systems in the U.S. provide tap water to nearly 300 million Americans. 93% provide water to fewer than 10,000 people. 67% to fewer than 500. 100,000 non-community drinking water systems at campgrounds, schools, hospitals, office buildings, factories and other locations. 16,000 waste water treatment servicing 250 million.
Electric: 200 companies provide electricity to the majority of Americans. About 3,000 electric utilities in the country
Why is this important? One size solution does not fit all.
How will this be important? Solutions to secure systems have to consider scale and scale varies greatly.
What’s happening? In February a water treatment plant in Oldsmar, FL was hacked releasing unsafe levels of sodium hydroxide into the water supply.
Why is this important? A human noticed the issue and intervened. Lessons learned to address the issue include segmenting the industrial control systems so that it is not on the same system as the information technology system used for business functions. Ensuring secure connections for remote workers. Ensuring fired employees have systems access revoked immediately upon termination. Ensuring security in rural communities.
How will this be important? Free resources for water via WaterISAC, a nonprofit established in coordination with industry associations, research organizations and the EPA, available at 15 Cybersecurity Fundamentals for Water and Wastewater Utilities. The EPA offers $6.5 billion for low-cost loans to support water infrastructure projects, including “new or innovative approaches” to cybersecurity.
What’s happening? Moody’s Investor Service this week said that ESG standards have a negative impact on utility CREDIT ratings, especially if the utility owns generation.
Why is this important? PG&E and Edison have both seen recent credit ratings downgrades
How will this be important? Not only is this tied to sustainability and climate issues such as severe weather events, but mitigation can occur and can occur in other aspects of ESG such as governance.
What’s happening? The Nevada Legislature sent SB 448 (2021 | NV) to the Governor.
Why is this important? The bill gave the state’s largest utility what it wanted to build out $2 billion in transmission lines and at the same time the utility must invest $100 million in electric vehicle charging stations
How will this be important? Let’s consider the make up of the Nevada Legislature, but not the partisan, the male/female. Nevada has had a majority of female legislators, who are more apt to reach agreements and listen to opposing opinions.
What’s happening? A Norwegian company and a Swedish company are joining forces like wonder twins to create the carbon capture cement plant launching in 2030, that will capture almost 1.8 million tonnes of CO2 annually.
Why is this important? World’s 1st climate neutral cement plant.
How will this be important? The partnership shows the benefits of collaborating to solve climate and environmental issues.
What’s happening? Microgrid Resources Coalition is now a non-profit advocating for micrograms
Why is this important? Their goal is “focused on breaking down barriers for resilient and clean microgrids across North America.”
How will this be important? In the press release they point to power failures in Texas and California show us that “Microgrids provide customers and utilities with a key resilient energy solution capable of simultaneously benefiting communities and the electric system as a whole”
What’s happening? Oregon Governor this week signed HB 2165 (2021 | OR) that permits utilities to collect a fee for EV charger infrastructure so long as 50% of the investment benefit low-income, rural, and BIPOC communities in their service territories.
Why is this important? Equity and diversity in electrification are going hand in hand.
How will this be important? This isn’t the first time we have seen EV charger infrastructure funds being tied to low income, rural and BIPOC communities. It won’t be the last either.
What’s happening? A 140,000 acre ranch in Texas owned by a former Chinese military officials who sought to build solar and wind farms, will be prohibited from direct ownership by the Lone Star Infrastructure Protection Act.
Why is this important? After the Colonial Pipeline was seized by ransomware there were renewed calls for bans on foreign ownership of infrastructure.
How will this be important? The call for US owned infrastructure will continue and expand.
What’s happening? Energy developers are making San Juan County, N.M., into a “hydrogen hub.”
Why is this important? A hydrogen hub will supply clean electricity to western utilities, plus non-carbon fuel for vehicles and industrial processes. The first station will focus on blue hydrogen.
How will this be important? Libertad Power Project LLC will have the first hydrogen station up and running by 2024 & will ultimately expand the site into an industrial center for hydrogen fuel supply in multiple markets
What’s happening? Concerns that homes with solar panels are being overpaid, the proposal would (1) reduce bill credits received in exchange for excess energy their solar generates (2) a new monthly charge on them AB1139 (2021 | CA)
Why is this important? Opponents say this is a fight between traditional energy and solar energy that threatens more blackouts and wildfires. Supporters say that the legislation will “right-size an unfair burden faced by those who don’t have solar panels.”
How will this be important? The state regulator is also considering similar changes if the Legislature fails to act.
What is happening? In 2020, Virginia passed Right to Charge legislation that gives Virginia Condo owners the right to charge their EVs.
Why is this important? home owner associations have been fearful of EV chargers. The fears include fires, liability, expense and access.
How will this be important? Right to Charge legislation will make the rounds through the states. SB 630 (2020 | VA)
What’s happening? A bipartisan group of Legislators in Maine are pushing to create the nation’s first statewide owned utility.
Why is this important? The new statewide entity would “issue bonds to purchase the assets of the state’s two investor-owned utilities, Central Maine Power, a subsidiary of Avangrid and the state’s largest utility, and Versant Power, formerly known as Emera Maine.”
How will this be important? The goal is to make Maine the first statet o reach its 100% renewable energy state.
What’s happening? Global companies, including Google and Microsoft, have a global collaboration to get more granular energy use information to strengthen their renewable energy use data.
Why is this important? “U.K.-based EnergyTag is developing a framework to shift grid generation information to a more granular, hourly standard, and ensure companies aiming to get their electricity from zero emissions power sources are not operating in markets running off fossil fuels when intermittent resources such as wind and solar aren’t generating at full capacity”
How will this be important? It will change energy data reporting to hourly.
What’s happening? After the pipeline hack in the US, Japan announced restrictions against foreign technology in its telecom and energy infrastructure.
Why is this important? There will be many regulatory reactions to the Colonial Pipeline hack.
How will this be important? Let’s make a list of all the regulatory reactions because that will fuel business for a few years.
What’s happening? Data points to a 70% cost savings by mounting EVSE chargers 10 feet up a wooden utility pole.
Why is this important? The chargers are easier to service, and consumers access them by scanning a QR code at human level, and the charger lowers to them.
How will this be important? Cost savings and EV expansion- that’s what everyone and their dog wants
What is happening? Nevada is considering SB 448 (2021 | NV) that will speed the approval of transmission lines needed to move low-cost, renewable electricity, require the state’s largest utility, NV Energy, to invest $100 million in charging infrastructure for light, medium, and heavy-duty electric vehicles (EVs) over the next three years.
Why is this important? The bill will tackle a COVID angle by requiring that at least 40% of NV Energy’s investments will be made in “communities that have borne a disproportionate share of transportation pollution and have suffered most from COVID-19—a disease that is made more deadly by exposure to local air pollution.”
How will this be important? The link renewables to EVs, its happening more often and more quickly.
What’s happening? National Grid has joined 7 other utilities in the Electric Highway Coalition. “Each utility within the coalition is taking steps to provide charging solutions in their service territories and collaborating to ensure accessibility, reliability, and a positive customer experience. “
Why is this important? National Grid has already deployed 1,400 charging ports with 16,000 on the way, one of the largest EV charging programs outside of California.
How will this be important? Coalitions are effective and popular. Let’s learn from it.
What’s happening? Florida Public Service Commission approved Duke Energy’s new multi-part electric vehicle (EV) program, is $62.9 million over the four-year period 2022-2025. The plan will include RESIDENTIAL EV NON-TIME OF USE CREDIT PROGRAM, REBATE PROGRAM FOR COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL (C&I) CUSTOMER CHARGING STATIONS, DUKE FLORIDA-OWNED DC FAST CHARGE (DCFC) STATION PROGRAM
Why is this important? Review it, see what you like, add it to your strategic planning.
How will this be important? We’re at the beginning of building out EV infrastructure. These approvals will ebb and flow and tweaks will occur. Pieces of other proposals will meld together until we see a model version that gets repeated.
What is happening? The Texas Legislature is considering SB 1772 (2021 | TX) that would create the Texas Pollinator-Smart program to promote protection of bees at solar energy sites.
Why is this important? A couple weeks ago we talked about a pilot program in Arizona that integrated agricultural practices around and under solar installations. Ag and solar are gong hand in hand.
How will this be important? The program will award certificates to qualifying solar sites. This is the type of social impact that catches the attention of consumers as their thirst for social impact companies grows.
What is happening? ConocoPhilips have mentioned ESG in their lobbying reports when discussing their interest in disclosures. Specifically, climate-related financial disclosures.
Why is this important? ConocoPhillips has been recognized by the S&P Global’s Sustainability Yearbook 2021, which includes companies with top ESG scores from the credit rating agency.
How will this be important? The new economy has brought the change from a shareholder economy to a stakeholder economy, and there is no indication of this change disappearing.
What’s happening? Florida Legislature has. Package of energy related preemption bills. SB 1128 (2021 | FL) preempts natural gas bans; SB 856 (2021 | FL) preempts gas station regulations and EV Charging station regulations; SB 896 (2021 | FL) “preempts local government from deciding whether or not solar facilities should be granted permits as agricultural land and redefines pulling methane gas from a landfill as renewable energy.”
Why is this important? Preemption is the name of the game for popular Republican legislation.
How will this be important? Other levels of government will always want to control how cities govern themselves.
What’s happening? San Francisco wants to convert more than 240,000 housing units from gas- to electric-power. The cost: $3.5 to $5.9 BILLION
Why is this important? Other cities have or are considering bans on natural gas in buildings. The options San Francisco is considering 3 options: (1) retrofitting at the time of building sale (2) at the time of natural replacement or (3) incentivizing retrofits by charging property owners a fee for greenhouse gas emissions
How will this be important? Banning the use of natural gas in buildings is a trending way for local governments to address CO2 emissions, which means these bans are going to keep on keeping on
What is happening? Samsung is planning the almost 700MW capacity solar array in Milam County, Texas near one of its chip manufacturing plants
Why is this important? This is part of Samsung C&T’s environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) strategy system, based on six non-financial areas: labour and human rights, environment and safety, co-prosperity, compliance, information security, and social contribution.
How will this be important? If there is 1, there are more.
What is happening? Blackwell Consolidated Independent School District provides a postsecondary scholarship of up to US$36,000 for graduates. The funding comes from a $35 million deal the school district brokered with a wind farm company in 2005,
Why is this important? “[In Texas] school districts have a strong incentive to borrow money by selling bonds to pay for capital improvements, then use revenues from the wind farms to pay off the bonds.”
How will this be important? Findings show that new wind farms result in large increases in the amount of local revenue that is brought in per student, with only small reductions in state aid
What’s happening? Tesla announced that it would be powering all of its superchargers with renewable power by the end of 2021
Why is this important? Tesla also has a solar and energy storage business to accelerate renewable energy adoption
How will this be important? Rivian has also announced its own renewable powered charging network
What is happening? SB 5022 (2020 | WA) would require plastic containers for beverages, household cleaning products & personal care products sold in Washington state to contain up to 50% post-consumer-use recycled content by 2031. By June 2024, the use of polystyrene foam will be banned. An increase in the content of recycled material in plastic garbage bags.
Why is this important? Greater media coverage and awareness of the quantity of unrecycled plastic
How will this be important? Local governments and state governments have taken action on single use plastic, this Washington State legislation is the next step forward
What’s happening? The New York Public Service Commission rejected a request from state utilities to allow for utility-owned storage projects.
Why is this important? other states are considering ownership and operation of storage facilities. It is a ripe issue.
How will this be important? New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology consortium said that allowing utilities to own assets could skew the market and disadvantage developers who want to own their own assets. The consortium is good info to keep in. your memory palace.
What’s happening? Georgia HB 156 (2021 | GA) will require utilities to share cyber incidents with the state.
Why is this important? Worldwide utilities have been hacked, and the U.S. is keen on ensuring reliable and secure utility service.
How will this be important? Hacking information is the new frontier.
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