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This week In #CleanTech August 20, 2017

Here is your weekly roundup of the unique, hottest stories related to cleantech, and climate policy for the week of August 20, 2017.

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Australia Flag via Pixabay By becca282bl. Under Public Domain via Creative Commons

Australia is getting a big boost in its wind energy capacity. According to Fortune, General Electric (GE) announced they would add a total of 123 turbines at a wind farm, 250 km north-west of Brisbane Australia. Currently, the plant has a capacity of 453MW. It will be the largest addition to Australia’s wind capacity, increasing it by 10%.

Fortune notes the project would potentially provide clean power for 260,000 homes, and slash carbon emissions by 1.18 million tonnes yearly.

It’s good news for Australia, who is gaining traction in renewable energy capacity. Australia has over 5.5GW in total solar capacity, according to the Australia Energy Council, while there has been 4.3GW of wind energy installed, according to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). Australia is far behind other countries, including China, US, and Germany on wind power.

Austin, Texas raised the bar this week when it comes to being powered by clean power. City council approved a plan where city utility Austin Energy must have 65% of its power come from renewables by 2027, according to The Austin Monitor. Currently, Austin Energy was on track to reach its previous goal of 55% renewables by 2025. Approximately 32% of Austin’s energy is coming from clean energy sources.

There was a debate on what the updated goal should be, as some within the community wanted to have the city reach a 75% target by 2027.

However, after concerns were brought up a more ambitious goal in the short run would execute the risk of the city losing its utility in the future as many Republican state senators would like Austin energy privatized.

Austin, Texas, is one of the more liberal cities in Texas and is well-known for its South By South West festival, which discusses the hottest issues in technology, music, and culture.

Austin’s plan to increase its renewable energy sources is a very good move and showcases its tradition of being a progressive city, yet faces the challenges of being hamstrung by a state government who does not necessarily share its values.

And finally, check out my review of An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, where I go over the Al Gore’s sequel to the 2006 ground breaking documentary on climate change. I also review why the sequel has not reached the box office heights of its predecessor, thanks to a changing platform landscape.

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.

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