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Reflecting on Two Years of the 50x50 Commission

Efficiency News - чт, 2020-02-20 22:11

It’s well acknowledged that our transportation sector is on the verge of a major transformation. To capitalize on this unprecedented opportunity and create a shared vision for the path forward, the Alliance convened a partnership of public and private stakeholders including automakers, utilities, public interest groups, product manufacturers, and technology providers two years ago. This group, the 50x50 Commission on U.S. Transportation Sector Efficiency (the Commission), articulated the goal to meet evolving transportation needs while reducing energy use 50 percent by 2050 – or, to put it simply, “50x50.”

Looking back at the two years of hard work to identify the most impactful bipartisan policy solutions to move toward 50x50, here are some of the initiative’s ‘best of’ moments.

Developing Consensus

After working together for a year, the Commission released a set of more than 50 consensus policy recommendations to leverage innovation and proven policies to advance the sector’s efficiency. The recommendations, Reinventing U.S. Mobility: Reducing Energy Use 50 Percent By 2050 in a New Transportation Paradigm, were unveiled at an event on Capitol Hill in September 2018, featuring a keynote from Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto.

Deep Dive into Infrastructure

The second phase of the initiative, which was dedicated to moving the recommendations into action, began in earnest in October 2018. With President Trump and Congress affirming their commitment to passing a comprehensive infrastructure package in the 116th Congress, members of the Commission once again put pen to paper and developed a package of surface transportation recommendations for lawmakers. These recommendations focused on opportunities to advance energy-efficient technologies and practices, including electric vehicles (EVs) and charging infrastructure, transit, efficiencies at ports/airports/seaports, and adjusting program design to ensure system-level planning is facilitated and balanced the maintenance of existing infrastructure with new builds. 

Spreading the Gospel

Alliance staff and Commissioners conducted extensive visits with members of Congress, committee staff, and relevant congressional offices to advocate for Commission recommendations. Alliance and Commissioners met with over 20 offices and committees, and Senators Peters, Whitehouse, Merkley, Markey and Rep. Rob Woodall.

Tackling Hard Questions: Automation and Efficiency

The Commission noted that while some challenges ahead have clear policy and regulatory implications, others are far more complex. This was especially clear in considering the energy impacts of connected and automated vehicles (CAVs), which could lead to massive energy use increases or a much more efficient transportation system depending on how they were deployed. In April 2019, members of the Commission convened in Tampa for a closed-door focused discussion with experts on policy and regulatory frameworks needed to ensure energy efficient deployment of CAVs. The discussion highlighted the absence of a vision for the deployment of connected and automated vehicles, and the challenge that key stakeholders lack connections with one another and operate with different timelines and primary objectives.

EV-Ready Building Codes

The Commission recognized that implementing EV-ready building codes – which require new buildings to have the basic wiring for EV chargers (usually costing a few hundred dollars or less at the time of construction) – is a low-cost tool to prepare for the EV market.

Coincidentally, 2019 was the year to solicit updates to the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) for the 2021 code cycle. The Alliance and members of the Commission worked in close alignment with other stakeholders to forge an advocacy campaign targeting International Codes Council (ICC) voters over the course of 2019. This culminated in a big win in December 2019: The ICC announced the preliminary passage of both commercial and residential EV-Ready codes, which set minimum requirements for builders to incorporate appropriate electrical infrastructure into garages and parking spaces to enable the future installation of EV charging stations.

Looking Forward

The Commission achieved a tremendous amount in two years — but the work does not end here. Maintaining momentum is imperative. This year, the Commission will sunset into the 50x50 Action Network, a more streamlined effort to focus on the primary areas for progress, with a focus on converting the Commission’s policy recommendations into legislation.

We can’t wait to get to work.

Read a more detailed overview of the Commission’s work here. To learn more about the 50x50 Action Network, please contact Rebecca Price.

Planning and Zoning propose commercial wind turbine ban #MO

National Wind Watch: News Watch - чт, 2020-02-20 15:00
The Buchanan County Planning and Zoning Commission proposed a total commercial ban for wind turbines in a meeting Wednesday night. This was proposed after discussions regarding potential restrictions, and what would be the setback for the wind turbines, which initially was between a half-mile and a mile. Steven Reardon of Marion Township proposed a motion for a total ban on wind turbines in the county. After further discussion, the proposal was put to a vote. The commissioners voted in favor, . . .

Schuylkill Co. commissioners OK zoning ordinance changes #PA

National Wind Watch: News Watch - чт, 2020-02-20 15:00
POTTSVILLE – Public opinion and a legal deadline combined to influence the Schuylkill County commissioners to vote Wednesday to adopt a curative amendment to the zoning ordinance to regulate medical marijuana, natural gas compressors and wind turbines. The 2-0 vote – Commissioner Frank J. Staudenmeier was absent – creates specific zones in municipalities subject to county zoning rules where those facilities can be built, Assistant County Solicitor Glenn Roth said after the commissioners meeting, which attracted about 20 spectators. “It’s going to create . . .

Cost of boosting renewable energy mandate gives senators pause #VT

National Wind Watch: News Watch - чт, 2020-02-20 15:00
A plan to speed up Vermont’s adoption of renewable energy is hitting headwinds over concerns about potentially enormous costs. Senators seem to support a bill that would require electric utilities to get all of their power from renewable sources by 2030. The state’s renewable energy standard already calls for them to reach 75 percent renewable by 2032. So the new benchmark seemed manageable to members of the Senate Finance Committee. But the bill’s call to double – from 10 percent to . . .

Scots offshore wind farm revolution has created just 6% of jobs forecast by ministers #SCT

National Wind Watch: News Watch - чт, 2020-02-20 15:00
Scotland’s forecast of a jobs bonanza from the offshore wind farm revolution has been described as “a pipe dream” as it emerged it has created just 6% of the 28,000 direct jobs predicted by this year. New official estimates state that there were just 1,700 full-time jobs in the offshore wind sector in Scotland, a fraction of the numbers projected by ministers by 2020. The Scottish Government’s low carbon strategy published in 2010 which described the large scale development of . . .

Opinion: Eminent domain is not for sale in Missouri #MO

National Wind Watch: News Watch - чт, 2020-02-20 15:00
Imagine if Warren Buffett wanted to build a private toll road across northern Missouri. The billionaire would charge cars $100 apiece to race from his home city of Omaha, Nebraska, to Nashville, Tennessee, pocketing a huge chunk of profit on each trip. He might call it the “Music City Express.” Unfortunately, the toll road would have no exits in Missouri. Cars could only get on in Nebraska and exit in Tennessee. No local residents could use it at all. Even . . .

Wind farm plan is paused #NY

National Wind Watch: News Watch - чт, 2020-02-20 15:00
Orsted and Eversource, which are jointly developing the proposed South Fork Wind Farm to be situated approximately 35 miles off Montauk, have filed an update to the project’s Construction and Operations Plan with the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. The move coincides with the departure of Clint Plummer, who was Orsted U.S. Offshore Wind’s vice president for development. Newsday reported on Tuesday that the federal government’s “Permitting Dashboard” website lists the environmental review and permitting status of the 15-turbine . . .

Villagers set for ‘re-run’ of wind farm fight on edge of Glen Affric #SCT

National Wind Watch: News Watch - чт, 2020-02-20 15:00
Proposals to build a 46-turbine wind farm near Tomich that would be visible as far away as the Black Isle, Alness and the Fort William area have been attacked by locals who fear it could damage tourism. German firm Vento Ludens proposes erecting turbines almost 150 metres high in a scenic area overlooking Glen Affric. The company says it will help meet Scotland’s climate change targets and provide as much as £1 million a year to local communities. But consultation . . .

Evidentiary hearings to open over concerns about Skipjack wind turbines #DE #MD

National Wind Watch: News Watch - чт, 2020-02-20 15:00
FENWICK ISLAND, Del.- Wind farms are the center of attention once again as evidentiary hearings for the Skipjack project off of the Ocean City coast will soon be opened. The Maryland Public Service Commission said it will open up the hearings to address concerns that were brought up at a public hearing held in Ocean City back in January. The commission will focus on the impact the turbine selection and change will have on local communities. Officials in Delaware, however, . . .

County planning commission to tackle wind farm regulations #KS

National Wind Watch: News Watch - чт, 2020-02-20 15:00
County planning and zoning officials will direct their thoughts to Article 27 of wind energy conversion systems overlay district regulations during coming meetings in the hope of resolving controversy that arose in recent months over the regulations. Much of the controversy has been spurred by regulations regarding the distance wind turbines must be set back from public roads, property lines of neighboring property, and residential structures not included in the permit area. Concern from nonparticipating landowners spurred them to ask . . .

Go to meeting #NY (letter)

National Wind Watch: News Watch - чт, 2020-02-20 15:00
The future of Chateaugay is at stake. People of Chateaugay, don’t be snowballed by fancy, smooth talkers that are trying to put 750 ft. wind turbines in your town. The words, trust me, come to mind when they say wind tower technology evolves, the blades would become more sophisticated, resulting in less noise. Don’t believe it; they have one thing in mind, that is to get their request approved. Words of hollow meaning that disapate like smoke in the wind. . . .

Maryland to hold new hearings on offshore wind turbine height #DE #MD

National Wind Watch: News Watch - чт, 2020-02-20 15:00
Nearly a month after hundreds of people filled the Roland E. Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Md., to comment on changes in plans for two wind-farm projects off the Delmarva coast, Maryland’s Public Service Commission has agreed to hold new hearings on the projects. The hearings will focus on plans to change the height of the wind turbines proposed for two projects, U.S. Wind and Skipjack. As now proposed, the turbines for the two projects would be 12 megawatts . . .

Record 5.2GW of offshore wind added in 2019

Latests news from Windpower Monthly - чт, 2020-02-20 14:34
A record 5.2GW of fully operational offshore wind capacity was commissioned in 2019, according to a report from advocacy body World Forum Offshore Wind (WFO).

Комитет Государственной Думы по энергетике провел круглый стол по тарифному регулированию в электроэнергетике

Energosovet - чт, 2020-02-20 13:40

Экспертный комитет нижней палаты Парламента по вопросам энергетики под председательством Павла Завального провёл дискуссионное заседание, посвящённое проблемам ценообразования и усиления госрегулирования тарифов в отрасли электроэнергетики.  

Среди основных проблем, вынесенных на обсуждение, – перекрёстное субсидирование населения в тарифах на передачу электроэнергии, несправедливое распределение нагрузки между потребителями, увеличение доли регулируемых механизмов, проблема излишков распределительной сетевой мощности. Также в ходе круглого стола обсуждался проект Федерального закона «Об основах государственного регулирования цен (тарифов)», инициированного ФАС. По мнению выступавших экспертов, в существующей редакции законопроект не решает проблем тарифного регулирования и развития регулируемых отраслей, а, напротив, препятствует их развитию в рамках рыночной экономики. 

По итогам заседания комитет направит Правительству РФ рекомендации по усовершенствованию методики расчета тарифов с учетом степени загрузки оборудования и категорий надежности энергоснабжения, внесению изменений в Положения функционирования розничных рынков электроэнергии, предусмотрев в них переход к рыночной системе ценообразования, снижению величины перекрестного субсидирования в электроэнергетике, а также доработке проекта Федерального закона о госрегулировании тарифов с учётом возможности поэтапного введения закона в силу, а также применения рыночных механизмов тарификации  в розничном энергосбыте. Подробнее о развернувшейся на заседании дискуссии – на официальном сайте Комитета Госдумы по энергетике.

В свет вышел очередной номер журнала «Новости теплоснабжения»

РосТепло ( - чт, 2020-02-20 13:37

Основные темы публикаций: 

  •  О мониторинге систем теплоснабжения поселений и городских округов – как инструменте для повышения надёжности и эффективности работы ТСО. 

  •  О влиянии ВЭС, АЭС и электростанций, работающих на принципе утилизации отходов, на объём комбинированной выработки электрической энергии в энергосистемах стран Европейского Союза. 

  •  О необходимости развития системы технического регулирования отрасли теплоснабжения. 

  •  Предложения по повышению надёжности трубопроводов ЖКХ. 

  •  О методах снижения теплосодержания в обратном трубопроводе ГВС. 

  •  Итоги 10-летнего периода регулирования энергетической отрасли. 

  •  Свободное ценообразование в теплоснабжении: антимонопольные риски и меры по их минимизации. 

Читать номер

Единая России готовит законопроект об отмене комиссии при оплате ЖКУ

РосТепло ( - чт, 2020-02-20 13:34

Правящая партия планирует до конца недели внести в Госдуму РФ законопроект об отмене банковской комиссии за платежи ЖКХ. Об этом сообщил руководитель фракции в Думе Сергей Неверов. 

Неверов в ходе встречи с президентом РФ Владимиром Путиным выступил с предложением об отмене банковской комиссии за платежи ЖКХ, в ответ на это глава государства поручил сформулировать предложения. По словам Неверова, ранее подготовленные парламентариями соображения по вопросу отмены комиссии были вынесены на обсуждение с Центробанком РФ и получили его поддержку. «До конца этой недели внесем соответствующий законопроект с коллегами в Государственную думу», – добавил парламентарий.  

Вместе с тем эксперты в области ЖКХ и жилищной политики полагают, что принятие закона не улучшит ситуацию с платежами – по мнению директора АНП «Национальный жилищный конгресс» Татьяны Вепрецкой, отмена комиссии может отразиться на агентах управляющих компаний, участвующих в сборе платежей; член экспертного комитета по жилищной политике и ЖКХ Павел Склянчук отметил также, что законопроект вызовет повышение стоимости обслуживания расчётных счетов ресурсоснабжающих организаций, что, в свою очередь, повлечёт повышение тарифов для конечных потребителей. 

Key Suzlon lender 'accepts restructuring plan'

Latests news from Windpower Monthly - чт, 2020-02-20 11:45
Suzlon’s stock ticked upwards on reports the State Bank of India (SBI) approved the manufacturer’s debt restructuring plan.

Behind the Scenes, Energy Efficiency Keeps Plugging Away. But We Must Do More.

Efficiency News - ср, 2020-02-19 21:50

We’ve seen significant progress in clean energy innovation and investment in the last decade, that much is clear, but where do we really stand? I recently had the pleasure of participating in a launch event for the 2020 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook produced for the Business Council for Sustainable Energy by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The headliners of the event were renewable energy, which doubled installed wind and solar capacity, and natural gas, which went from meeting 24% of power generation needs to 38% in a decade.

The story of energy efficiency is a bit more nuanced, confirming an urgent need for greater action.  The Factbook demonstrated that energy efficiency – the cheapest, most impactful climate solution we have – did what energy efficiency does best by slowly but surely increasing energy productivity by 17.6% over the past decade. But while energy productivity increased an impressive 3.3% in 2019, the 10- and 40-year average is less than a 2% improvement per year. While progress is good, this isn’t enough. Studies demonstrate that energy efficiency can be half the solution to meeting international climate goals using existing technology, but to get there  we must treat this like the emergency it is…an efficiency emergency.

One of the more sobering energy efficiency facts in this year’s report is that 28 states decreased utility spending on energy efficiency in 2019. Utility energy programs currently deliver almost 2.5 quads of energy savings per year (total U.S. consumption is about 100 quads per year), and 19 states experienced a decrease in electricity savings in 2019 and a total of 1% savings reductions in 2018. Without increasing utility efficiency investment and savings, it will be hard to make up the gap with other policies.

Building codes are another important driver for energy savings contributing 1.5 quads of annual energy savings. There is better news here as 74% of Americans live in a state with a building energy code that promotes energy efficiency. Recent voting results for the 2021 International Energy Code should result in about a 10% increase in energy efficiency for both residential and commercial buildings. This bodes well for future energy savings in new construction, an important source of energy savings, but what about existing buildings?

While new construction is an important source of energy savings, we will never get to the required savings levels without addressing energy efficiency in existing buildings. One of the more dramatic efficiency trends is the increase in U.S. building floor space covered by efficiency benchmarking or transparency policies from less than 1 to 13% over the past decade. The 2019 Energy Efficiency Indicator study found that 64% of U.S. facility and energy managers identified building performance benchmarking as an extremely important driver of investment in energy efficiency, the highest of all surveyed policies. 

A number of cities and states are beginning to expand their benchmarking and disclosure policies to include building performance standards which will require retrofits of poor performing buildings or the payment of significant penalties. Implementation of Local Law 97 in New York City impacts 58% of building area and could require up to 80% of medium and large commercial and large multi-family buildings to be retrofitted by 2030 – driving investment of up to $20 billion and the creation of 126,000 local jobs. Widespread adoption of similar policies across the country would really move the needle on energy efficiency in existing buildings.

The 3.3% improvement in U.S. energy productivity delivered in 2019 needs to be the rule, not the exception, to meet our country’s full energy efficiency potential and to do that, we need to move efficiency from behind the scenes to center stage. The EE Global Alliance (for which the Alliance is the secretariat) coordinates international private-sector and supporting organization participation in the Three Percent Club, a coalition of countries, companies, and organizations committing to pursue a 3% annual improvement in energy efficiency. I hope that we can all commit to working together to hit that 3% goal, so I’d love for you to join me at the Alliance’s upcoming EE Global Forum on April 28-29 in Washington, DC, where you can– learn more about the EE Global Alliance and the Three Percent Club.

Plymouth health board reviewing wind turbines on Bourne line #MA

National Wind Watch: News Watch - ср, 2020-02-19 15:00
PLYMOUTH – Larry McGrath hasn’t used his patio in two years. The vibrations, noise and pulsating lights, he says, make it impossible to enjoy what should be a serene and peaceful outdoor setting at his home on Lake Drive near the Bourne border. The source of these sensations emanates from a series of large wind turbines that began generating power four years ago. Located in Plymouth on the line with Bourne, the 500-foot structures have been a concern to neighbors . . .