Last week in Phoenix, I watched the very conservative governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer, deliver a brief keynote speech to open the second day of the CleanTech Future conference put on by CleanTech Connections and the Arizona Commerce Authority. Nineteen floors above the impressive solar PV arrays at Arizona State University’s downtown campus across the street, Brewer extolled the virtues of solar and other clean energy as a business boon for her state.
The crux of renewable energy isn’t in its retrospective, but rather in its future outlook. Sustainable practices have come a long, long way, but it’s not even a fraction of the distance they’re pegged to travel in order to really reinvent the worldwide energy supply chain. But hey – that’s something to be excited about; the best is yet to come. And here’s a little preview of what you can expect by 2030:
Repealing Renewable Portfolio Standards a Raw Deal for North Carolina
North Carolina has become the central front in a national offensive aimed at rolling back renewable portfolio standards (RPSs), the state laws that require utilities to obtain a certain percentage of the electricity they distribute from technologies that use renewable fuel sources like our rivers, woods, and wind. While RPS adversaries argue that these standards hurt the economy by increasing consumer costs, they ignore the many jobs created by the renewable energy industry as well as the benefits conferred by energy diversification.
It’s Time for Clean Energy Companies to Rewrite Their Narrative via www.cleanedge.com
By Will Edwards
A few years ago, the clean energy industry sat at a unique pinnacle of public opinion. People liked its promise to address high energy prices. They liked it because it would help wean America off foreign oil. They liked it because it would respond to the threat of climate change. Democrat or Republican, West Coast Prius driver or Midwest farmer. Everyone liked what clean energy was offering.
By Stephen E. Morgan, CEO of American Clean Energy & Todd Foley, ACORE's SVP of Policy & Government Relations 8/26/13
At this moment, the U.S. can reinvent how we produce, store, transport, and consume electricity. With an abundance of domestic energy, our country is on its way to becoming “energy independent” by the end of the decade. But powering our homes and businesses with natural gas or other fossil fuels does not mean a reliable, clean, and affordable flow of electricity will follow.
In order to capitalize on recent energy advances, states, regulators, and the federal government must bring the inherent benefits of generating power from on-site renewable energy — what’s called distributed generation — to more Americans. Transitioning our grid to one supplied with more distributed generation in the forms of all types of renewable energy is essential to attaining The U.S.’s true energy independence; independence that allows for the most reliable, affordable, and cleanest energy to flow to every American.
Looking back at 2012, one thing is certain in the sea of the year’s uncertainty; renewable energy experienced significant growth. The U.S. solar industry grew at a rate of 13.2%. A global oversupply of solar panels lowered prices for American consumers, resulting in higher demand and greater profits for solar installation companies. SolarCity’s IPO proved to be successful despite claims that its stock would immediately plummet. And even with excessive political attacks by opponents of renewable energy – over $250 million spent in the 2012 election – the industry has gained strong public support across the country. Industries such as wind, biofuels, geothermal, hydropower, electric transportation, and solar have achieved success in 2012 but the next step in supporting growth is creating a more stable policy landscape.