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This week In #CleanTech August 27, 2017

Here is your weekly roundup of the unique, hottest stories related to cleantech, and climate policy for the week of August 27, 2017.

SW USA MAP
Image Credit via Pixabay by AmberAvalona. Under Public Domain via the Creative Commons

The US Southwest is becoming a major player within the US renewable energy sector. Ecowatch.com earlier this week had written a good summary on the rise of clean power within the region. The article points to four southwest state ranking in the top ten in total solar capacity: Arizona (No.3), Nevada (#4), Utah (#6), and Texas (#9). Many southwest states also are becoming major players within the wind energy markets. Texas ranks number one in total capacity nationally with 21.044 GW, Kansas 5th  with 5.1 GW, and Colorado 10th with 3.026GW, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

Ecowatch.com attributes a combination of declining prices for renewables, the investment tax credit (ITC) for solar energy, which is attracting utilities to increase clean power capacity. If that was not enough many southwestern cities have pledged to commit to the Paris climate agreement including Houston, Denver, Phoenix, Reno, and Tucson.

Considering this region has an abundant in solar energy potential, the region can seriously become a big-time player within the US renewable energy game. Policy makers, business, and regional non-governmental organizations will need to all work together in ensuring they are on the train.

Mexico announced this week they are planning to go in on upgrade their grid infrastructure. According to BNAmericas.com the Latin American giant said they plan to put $646 USD million into smart grids over the next eight years. Mexican utility CFE said this year alone they plan to invest approximately $794 USD million in updating transmission and distribution networks. This would allow private and pubic utilities to improve electricity service to consumers.

Mexican Secretary of Energy Pedro Joaquín Coldwell said in a presentation to an audience Mexico can take advantage of current day technology and communications, while utilizing the skills and knowledge of its people to provide a modern-day  safe, efficient and effective grid.

As more renewables are coming onto the grid, smart grid implementation is increasing. Estimates have smart grid markets reaching a total of $120 USD billion by 2020, according to Zion Research.

And finally, The Manitoba Environmental Industries Association is hosting the first annual Western CleanTech Innovation Forum at the Winnipeg Convention Centre November 29th and 30th. The conference will feature 34 technical presentations, and key note presentations from Thomas Homer-Dixon, author of Carbon Shift:  How the Twin Crises of Oil Depletion and Climate Change will Define the Future, and Terry O’Reilly of This I Know. For registration, you can go to the (MEIA) website for more information.

Have a question on cleantech or climate policy? Drop a line at salayconsulting@gmail.com or follow us on Twitter at @salayservices.

This week In #CleanTech August 13, 2017

Here is your weekly roundup of the unique, hottest stories related to cleantech, and climate policy for the week of August 13, 2017.

The home Disney World this week became the 40th US city in going towards 100% renewable energy. According to EcoWatch.com, Orlando, Florida city commission approved unanimously in supporting a move to all renewables by 2050. It’s now officially the largest city in Florida to pass such a resolution.

The First 50 Coalition, a broad-based group of progressive organizations led by the League of Women’s Voters in Orange County worked hard in making central Florida more sustainable were celebrating the vote.

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Image Credit: Disney World by BBarth via Pixabay. Under Public Domain via Creative Commons

“This is a first, important step, and we plan to continue to support and encourage the City to follow with concrete measures that solidify this commitment,” said League of Women’s Voters co-president Carol Davis to EcoWatch.com.

US cities are ramping up their obligations in going towards 100% renewables by 2050. Already 118 mayors are committed to this goal as cities are looking to meet the Paris Agreement, despite US President Donald Trump announcing earlier this summer the US will leave the accord.

US wind energy capacity increased by 8.2 GW in 2016, according to a new report from the US Department of Energy. Overall capacity advanced by 11% to 81.31GW from 2015 as companies invested $13 USD billion was invested into US wind energy. The wind producer tax credit along with other key policies were key drivers in moving US wind energy markets forward, the US DOE noted. Texas installed the most wind power in 2016 with 2.611 GW and leads the nation in cumulative capacity with over 20GW.

“The wind industry continues to install significant amounts of new capacity, and supplied about 6 percent of total U.S. electricity in 2016,” said US DOE acting assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy Daniel Simmons on Climate Progress regarding the growth of US wind electricity as its slowly becoming more plentiful on the grid.

Despite the gains, US wind energy is far behind China which leads with 168.69GW. China is going big on renewables including promising to invest $361 USD billion by 2020 into renewables as they look to fulfill their duties with the Paris agreement.

Don’t worry. The US is still way ahead of Canada. Currently, Canadian wind energy has a total capacity of 11.9GW. Ontario leads the way in Canadian wind capacity with 4.78GW, followed by Quebec with 3.5 GW.

With more US cities going committing to 100% Renewable energy by 2050, how should Canadian cities reach this goal, specifically Winnipeg? Drop a line at salayconsulting@gmail.com or follow us on Twitter at @salayservices.

This Week in #CleanTech- July 9, 2017

Welcome to the first of what were some of the hottest, most interesting stories related to cleantech, and climate policy. This column will appear at the end of the week.

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Image Credit via Pixabay. Under Public Domain Via Creative Commons

France this week announced they were banning the sale of combustible engine vehicles by 2040. Germany and had followed suit last year, banning sales of gas and diesel cars by 2030, and, while Norway is targeting for zero emission cars by 2025. No word if Canada or the United States plan to do likewise anytime soon, and its very unlikely this will occur. However, anything is possible given a study last year points to 2025 were all vehicles sold will be electric, and this year seems its electric vehicle’s (EV’s) watershed moment, with all these news stories that keep occurring.

Tesla announced this week it’s building the world’s largest lithium-ion battery storage facility. According to TechCrunch.com, the plant will be completed by December 2017 at Australia’s Hornsdale Wind farm. Tesla Commercial battery storage PowerPack will store total capacity of 100 MW/129 MWh, while capture the wind power during high points of the day and use when necessary. Tesla revealed its PowerWall for residential consumers, and PowerPack for commercial users, to revolutionize the battery storage market, which is critical for resolving intermittency problems with the wind and solar power.

Minnesota gave its blessing to Xcel Energy for the largest expansion of wind energy in the north US MidWest. According to Electric, Lights & Power, Xcel plans to build a total of 1,550 MW of new wind farms across North, South Dakota, and Minnesota by 2020. Xcel will own 1,150 MW, while the remaining 400 MW will be bought by Xcel, thanks to long-term Power Purchasing Agreements (PPA).  When completed in three years, the 1550 MW of wind power will provide 800,000 homes with a clean energy source. Currently, Minnesota ranks sixth overall in the US installed wind capacity with 3,499 MW, while North Dakota has 2,846 MW, and, South Dakota with 977 MW, according to American Wind Energy Association.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu declared on Thursday his city has more at stake than any other city in the world when it comes to climate change. Climate Progress notes the mayor released a climate policy plan which targets eliminating its cities carbon emissions in half by 2030. Twelve years ago, category three storm Hurricane Katrina pounded New Orleans and cost insurance $41.7 billion USD. The storm also kickstarted a serious discussion between extreme weather events and climate change in North America.

And finally, in the cute story of the week, China Merchants New Energy Group decided to uniquely design their latest solar farm in Datong China, to look like a panda. Business Insider said the cleantech firm plans to build more panda style solar farms, like the 248-acre one just built.

What did you think was the biggest or unique story in the cleantech world? was there anything missing from this list. Feel free to reach out. Follow us on Twitter at @salayservices, or by email at salayconsulting@gmail.com

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