Published on November 21st, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan0
Cleantech Policy News (16 Stories)
Today, I’m going to do a few round-ups to catch you all up on what I think were important stories in the cleantech arena. This first one is on cleantech policy.
1. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Senate Energy Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) have introduced the Storage Technology for Renewable and Green Energy Act of 2011 (STORAGE). “This investment tax credit for energy storage technologies of all types is expected to jump start an industry that has enormous potential to increase the reliability, security and efficiency of our nation’s electric grid.” Let’s hope that moves forward.
2. When reporting on the International Energy Agency’s announcement that we have 5 years to cut our CO2 emissions quickly or face serious consequences, I missed something rather odd. While saying we needed to change, the IEA promoted more of the same, “… more development of coal, nuclear and the dirty oil from the tar sands in Alberta, Canada.” Greenpeace didn’t, and it has more on that as well as the IEA’s response to its criticism.
3. Who’s behind the push to dismantle the EPA and nearly all (if not all) clean-energy-job-creating policies? Well, a number of people, but perhaps no one compares to the Koch Brothers.
4. While GOP Congressmen and presidential hopefuls attack clean energy and the Clean Air Act, a recent poll shows that Republican voters actually oppose efforts to dismantle the EPA’s air pollution rules.
5. Over half of U.S. tax subsidies go to 4 industries. Two of those industries are the utilities, gas, and electric industry and the oil, gas, and pipelines industry. Yet clean energy industries, not even significant enough to be on the list, get the bad wrap for having any subsidies at all, right? Bookmark that link for the next time someone tells you that dirty energy doesn’t get subsidies or clean energy gets too much in subsidies.
6. Center for American Progress’ Kate Gordon does an excellent job linking the Occupy Wall Street movement with the energy industry in this in-depth post: Power for the People: Energy For the 99 Percent.
7. A new national survey conducted by an independent, non-partisan think tank finds that most Americans do not support a focus on fossil fuels and nuclear power at the expense of clean energy.
8. A new report by the Environmental Defense Fund and Trust for America’s Health finds that “over the next decade… four Clean Air Act rules will yield pollution-related health care savings of over $82 billion dollars.”
9. The Power Smart Pricing program from Ameren Illinois, a program “designed to help customers save money by giving them access to hourly, market-based electricity prices,” is resulting in a 25 percent savings (on average) on the electricity supply portion of participants’ electricity bills.
10. Kuwait recently “set the most ambitious target for using renewable energy in the Gulf region,” Bloomberg Businessweek reports. It aims to get 10% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2020.
11. A report by the UK’s Green Alliance finds that paying people to save energy (en energy-efficiency feed-in tariff) would save the country money.
12. Denmark is now looking to have 50% of its electricity coming from wind power by 2020 and is looking to be fossil-fuel-free by 2050.
13. A recent report by the Military Advisory Board urged the U.S.to cut its foreign oil dependence 30% over the next decade or face national security problems. ”This is a national security threat that grows ever year, and we as a nation need to recognise is at such,” said vice admiral Dennis McGinn, a former deputy chief of naval operations, and one of the authors of the report…. ”This isn’t just about the volatility of gas prices at the pump. This isn’t just about big oils vs the environment. This is a national security problem, manifesting itself economically, diplomatically and militarily, and it is not just going to go away.” A little more from the authors as published in The Tampa Tribune: “Should we press ahead as a nation to move away from fossil fuels? Should the government continue supporting the nascent clean-energy industry, similar to what it has done for decades for the oil and gas business? Do we really even need clean energy in our country?… Based on our collective years of service in uniform, totaling more than a century in both peace and war, we think the answer should be, unequivocally, yes.”
14. Joe Romm of Climate Progress had an in-depth piece a couple weeks ago on why “deploy, deploy, deploy, research and develop, deploy, deploy, deploy” is the best clean energy policy — worth a read if you’re not sure why that’s the best way to go.
15. China’s relatively new national photovoltaic feed-in tariff policy (a “deploy, deploy, deploy” policy) is driving a 14-GW photovoltaic pipeline in China, SolarBuzz reports.
16. A couple months ago, under the radar of most cleantech blogs (in fact, I’ve only seen mention of this on Reuters), Nova Scotia, Canada’s second-smallest province, “unveiled the highest [feed-in] tariff in North America for developers of small wind energy projects as well as the highest in the world for small power plants driven by ocean tides.” ”We have set some of the most aggressive targets in North America,” Nova Scotia Energy Minister Charlie Parker told Reuters. “I am pretty confident we will meet them.” ”They are the only province that has what I will call a renewable portfolio standard with teeth,” said Jeff Jenner, chief executive of Sprott Power Corp, a wind power project company. Nova Scotia’s 2020 goal is to get 40% of its electricity from renewable energy sources.
Nova Scotia Wind Turbine via m.gifford