How net metering changes affect solar for Alliant Energy customers

How net metering changes affect solar for Alliant Energy customers

How net metering changes affect solar for Alliant Energy customers

By: Deniz Comez, Lead Designer, Ideal Energy

In March we published Changes Coming to Solar Net Metering: Inside the Technical Calculations to walk our readers through the math behind our assessment of the impact of the new net metering rules in Iowa. Since that post was published there have been some updates, as the new tariff has come into effect.

Overview

Although the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) refused to reconsider its ruling, it did compel Alliant Energy to modify some aspects of the new net metering rules. These changes have lessened the severity of the reduction to net metering. This means solar is still viable for most customers.

Although we’re disappointed that Alliant Energy and the IUB have enacted new rules unfriendly to businesses and homeowners pursuing solar, we’re relieved that the impact won’t be as severe as it could have been.

But before we dive into the specifics, let’s get caught up on the background.

Background & Timeline

In July 2016, the Iowa Utilities Board instructed Iowa’s utilities to submit new net metering rules for consideration as part of a pilot project meant to expand solar power distributed generation in the state. In February 2017, the IUB accepted Alliant Energy’s proposal. Alliant’s proposed rules limit the size of new solar installations by introducing a load cap to net metering.

Calculations based on Alliant’s publicly filed data showed that the new rules reduced the viable size of solar installations by 62% for Residential customers and 68% for General Service customers compared to what would have been installed under the old net metering rules. For an in-depth discussion of the impacts of Alliant’s proposal see our previous post here.

Leaders in the solar industry, environmental organizations, and concerned citizens roundly criticized Alliant’s proposal. Although the IUB did not reconsider its ruling, these efforts were not all in vain. In March the IUB issued a ruling that required Alliant Energy to provide additional information and to make several changes to its proposal.

Alliant made those changes and the new, final rules went into effect on May 1st.

What changed under the revised rules?

The IUB ordered Alliant Energy to provide additional information about the class load data that the net metering load caps are based on. Furthermore, under direction from the IUB, Alliant now defines it’s load caps in terms of alternating current (AC) instead of direct current (DC), which we view as a positive change.

Class load data includes total kWh usage and non-coincident kW demand for all Alliant customers in a particular class, for example the “Residential” class or the “General Service” (commercial) class. This is important for calculating the net metering load cap, because although Alliant would prefer to use an individual customer’s actual kW demand, most customer’s electricity meters don’t measure demand. Instead, Alliant plans to infer a customer’s kW demand from the class load data.

Calculations using Alliant’s newly released class load data show that the net metering load caps won’t be as extreme as the older data had indicated.

We now calculate that net metering will be reduced by 17% for Residential customers and 34% for General Service (commercial) customers. For both cases, the Residential and General Service customers, assume the industry-standard solar generation rate of 1200 kWh for every kW DC of solar installed and the solar installation would have a 1.15 DC to AC ratio.

Although this is not the catastrophe that a 62-68% reduction would have been, we are nevertheless frustrated and disappointed that the IUB and Alliant Energy turned a pilot project meant to promote solar power into a new set of rules that will instead limit solar power. Let’s take a closer look at the math behind these net metering reductions.

Work with an Ideal Energy expert to discover how the new net metering rules affect you and make a plan for energy independence.

Residential net metering reduction calculations

OLD SOLAR NET METERING TARIFF

Under the old rules, a typical Iowa household using about 12,000 kWh of electricity per year could purchase a 10.88 kW solar installation that would save the family $1,509 in the first year and pay for itself completely within 9-10 years. The design lifecycle of solar is 25 years.

NEW SOLAR NET METERING TARIFF

Under the new tariff, 7.234kW AC of the same 10 kW installation is eligible for net metering with Alliant Energy, saves $1,353 in the first year, and takes 10-11 years to pay for itself. The design lifecycle of solar is 25 years.

A Residential customer that uses 12,000kWh in a year would need approximately 8.696kW AC to be net metered under the old rules to have 100% of their energy usage net-metered. This is calculated like so:

Given that the Load Factor for Residential customers Load Factor is now 18.937%, under the new rules, the client can have the Load Cap of:

General service net metering reduction calculations

A General Service customer that uses 120,000kWh in a year would need approximately 86.957kW AC to be net metered under the old rules to have 100% of their energy usage net-metered. This is calculated like so:

Given that the Load Factor for General Service customers Load Factor is now 23.855%, under the new rules, the client can have the Load Cap of:

OLD SOLAR NET METERING TARIFF

Under the old rules, an Iowa business using 120,000 kWh of electricity per year could install a solar project with 105.4 kW DC of solar panels and 86.6kW AC of inverters, which would save the business $14,065 in the first year and pay for itself completely within 4-6 years. The design lifecycle of solar is 25 years.

NEW SOLAR NET METERING TARIFF

Under the new rules, 57.425 kW AC of the same 86.6kW AC installation is eligible for net metering, saves the business $13,105 in the first year and takes 5-6 years to pay for itself. The design lifecycle of solar is 25 years.

Final thoughts on the new ruling

  • These new metering rules don’t spell the end of solar power in Iowa. While the rules represent a step backward, solar nevertheless continues to be a prosperous opportunity for many Alliant customers.
  • If you are an Alliant Energy customer and already have solar, no worries, you’re grandfathered in under the old tariff through your interconnection agreement.
  • The outlook is especially good for customers of MidAmerican Energy, another large public utility in Iowa. MidAmerican has implemented new rules that support and encourage solar power. We think they’re moving in the right direction.
  • If you’d like to know more about how these net metering changes affect your plans to pursue solar, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Get specific answers about how these net metering changes affect your plans to pursue solar.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

What is Net Metering?

Net metering is a billing mechanism that credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid. For example, if a residential customer has a PV system on the home’s rooftop, it may generate more electricity than the home uses during daylight hours. If the home is net-metered, the electricity meter will run backwards to provide a credit against what electricity is consumed at night or other periods where the home’s electricity use exceeds the system’s output. Customers are only billed for their “net” energy use. On average, only 20-40% of a solar energy system’s output ever goes into the grid. Exported solar electricity serves nearby customers’ loads.

Source: SEIA

What is Load Factor?

In electrical engineering the load factor is defined as the average load divided by the peak load in a specified time period.

Source: WIKIPEDIA

What is Distributed Generation?

Distributed generation (DG) refers to electricity that is produced at or near the point where it is used. Distributed solar energy can be located on rooftops or ground-mounted, and is typically connected to the local utility distribution grid. States, cities and towns are experimenting with policies to encourage distributed solar to offset peak electricity demand and stabilize the local grid.
Source: SEIA

What is the Iowa Utilities Board?

The Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) is a public commission that regulates power, water, and telecommunications in Iowa. The three members of the board are appointed to six year terms by the Governor.

What is Alliant Energy?

Alliant Energy is the public utility holding company of Interstate Power and Light, one of the utilities in the state of Iowa. Most Iowans get their electricity from Interstate Power and Light, MidAmerican, or one of the rural electric cooperatives. Most solar installations in the state until now have been among Alliant Energy customers.

Failing solar firm Suniva threatens US solar industry

Failing solar firm Suniva threatens US solar industry

Failing solar firm Suniva threatens entire US solar industry

Suniva, a bankrupt solar panel manufacturer, is using an obscure provision in federal law known as Section 201 of the International Trade Act to try to save its business–at the cost of up to 88,000 jobs in America’s clean energy industry.

Troy Van Beek, Founder & CEO, Ideal Energy Inc.

Solar is an American success story. Last year, it was the number one source of new electricity capacity for America and created 51,000 jobs and $23 billion in investment. The solar industry employs over 260,000 Americans, which is more than Google, Facebook, and Apple combined. Solar is powering homes and businesses, farms and factories, and even entire towns. All with a clean and abundant domestic power source.

My company, Ideal Energy, is part of this success story. We employ 30 people in Fairfield, Iowa, and have installed solar for hundreds of customers over the last 8 years, for homeowners, small businesses, farms, educational institutions and large industrial operations. We’ve hired hard working Americans from all walks of life who are making a serious commitment to our community.

However, the success of the solar industry is under threat. Two failing solar cell and panel manufacturers are hanging their hopes on Section 201, last used in 2002 to create a temporary tariff on imported steel.

Suniva, a bankrupt Chinese-controlled company, and SolarWorld, whose German parent company has declared insolvency, are failing for reasons unrelated to imports. The Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) found that these companies’ troubles were caused by self-inflicted wounds and that Suniva and SolarWorld’s “poor quality, poor customer service, and deceptive business practices resulted in burned bridges with a multitude of customers, including some of the largest in the industry.”

Tariffs on solar panels may not help these companies at all, and they certainly won’t help them without severely damaging the rest of the American solar industry. Many of those damaged would be other American manufacturers.

If these two companies prevail, 88,000 well-paid Americans could be jobless next year with no guarantee of Suniva or SolarWorld adding any jobs, according to SEIA. History reinforces this point—researchers at the CITAC Foundation found that the 2002 steel tariffs actually caused job losses for over 200,000 American steel and manufacturing workers.

The harm will go beyond jobs. Bloomberg New Energy Finance says the tariffs, if imposed as Suniva has asked, would double the cost of solar panels. This would crush demand for solar. IHS Markit says the case could slash photovoltaic demand by 60 percent by 2021. GTM Research says it could lead to the abandonment of 47 gigawatts of future solar projects—that’s more than the total amount of solar installed in the United States to date and enough electricity to power 10 million homes.

The proposed tariffs would hurt homeowners and businesses by denying them the opportunity to save money by investing in solar.

This is particularly disconcerting to me because Iowa could lose out on the benefits of solar. Some of our customers are saving over $100,000 per year in utility costs – savings they’ve reinvested in additional training and benefits for their employees, buying new equipment, and hiring more workers. Solar has positive knock-on effects throughout the local economy, leading to economic growth and new jobs.

We want to see the American solar industry continue to thrive, which is why we are against these tariffs. The American solar industry needs U.S. manufacturing and local companies, as well as the ability to tap into the global supply chain.

There is a right and wrong way to spur growth in U.S. solar manufacturing—killing jobs in a growing industry is the wrong way. I urge the ITC to decide against this so-called “remedy” and instead support the best interests of American businesses and the quarter-million American solar workers and their families.

This article originally appeared in The Gazette on September 19th, 2017.

Sen. Joni Ernst visits Ideal Energy to discuss Iowa’s leadership role in solar energy

Sen. Joni Ernst visits Ideal Energy to discuss Iowa’s leadership role in solar energy

Sen. Joni Ernst visits Ideal Energy and tours the SVM Solar Field


Discussing Iowa’s leadership role in solar energy

Ideal Energy was honored to have Senator Joni Ernst stop in to our headquarters in Fairfield, Iowa, on Thursday, August 17th to learn about the growth of Iowa’s solar economy and tour one of our flagship solar installations at Schaus-Vorhies Manufacturing.

During her visit the senator spoke with Ideal Energy founder and former US Navy SEAL Troy Van Beek about Iowa’s leadership role in the nation’s growing clean energy economy. Iowa is at the forefront of utility-scale wind projects and in recent years has seen explosive growth in solar installations among utilities, businesses, and homeowners.

We emphasized to Senator Ernst that solar’s economic benefits are driving its growth. Rural manufacturing operations and large consumers of energy such as Steffensmeier Welding and Manufacturing and Schaus-Vorhies Manufacturing are putting their substantial savings to work by hiring more employees and investing in training, equipment, and expansion. Both businesses are saving nearly $100,000 per year in electrical costs while covering 100% of their energy needs with solar.

Senator Ernst toured Schaus-Vorhies Manufacturing’s half megawatt solar field, which is sited on a previously contaminated EPA cleanup site. The installation produces revenue for SVM through avoided energy costs and has helped transform the business. Completed in the winter of 2016, the solar field is one of the largest privately owned solar arrays in Iowa.

“Iowa is leading the Midwest’s clean energy economy because of strong leadership from our politicians, businesses, homeowners, and utilities,” said Van Beek. “There is still a lot to do to prepare for the future – and we want to remain on the forefront. I want to see Iowa as a net exporter of clean energy, with 100% or more of our energy production coming from renewables.”

At the end of 2016, 97 of Iowa’s 99 counties had installed solar projects benefitting from Iowa’s solar tax credit, and the state had more distributed solar installed than neighboring Midwest states with a total of 41.8 megawatts.

Senator Ernst agreed that renewables are a key part of Iowa’s energy future. She also expressed interest in battery storage – a rapidly developing technology that can help balance the grid with electricity produced from renewables.

We encourage Senator Ernst to continue supporting both distributed generation and utility-scale renewable energy projects in the state.

Changes Coming to Net Metering: The Technical Calculations

Changes Coming to Net Metering: The Technical Calculations

Changes Coming to Solar Net Metering

Inside the Technical Calculations

 

Channing Congdon, Director of Design at Ideal Energy, dives into the calculations behind Alliant Energy’s new net metering cap, as per Alliant Energy’s public filings with the Iowa Utilities Board

The Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) recently accepted a proposed rule change from Alliant Energy, one of Iowa’s two major electric utility providers. This new ruling will drastically change how net metering works in Interstate Power & Light’s (Alliant) service territory and will reduce the financial viability of new solar installations for both residential and smaller commercial customers.  Our calculations show that there could be a 62-68% reduction in net metering for Residential and General Service customers.

Alliant Energy’s new tariff is scheduled to take effect on April 1st of this year and will impact Alliant’s 488,000 electrical customers across Iowa, pending final approval from the IUB.

THE CONTROVERSY

Alliant Energy spokespersons are insisting that the new net metering ruling will have benefits to net metering. Contrary to this message however, are the filings made by Alliant Energy with the Iowa Utilities Board, which add a cap for the first time on how much solar generation is eligible for net metering.

In a recent article in the Des Moines Register, Jason Foss, a spokesperson for Alliant Energy denied that the new tariff would have a negative impact on net metering, saying,  “There’s no data that supports it.” Douglas Kopp, an Alliant Senior Vice President was also quoted as saying, “We don’t think that [the ruling] will have a huge financial impact on people.”   

In an article in Radio Iowa, Douglas Kopp says that the changes being proposed would benefit solar clients.  Kopp states that “During the course of the year, customers will continue to get a full retail credit as they go through that year and then at the end of the year, we will cash out any remaining balance at what’s essentially the wholesale market price for energy.”  Kopp avoided commenting on how the new cap reduces the amount of net metering available to Alliant Energy’s customers looking to offset their energy bills with solar.

Alliant Energy has declined to comment or provide guidance on the differences between the current system and the proposed pilot which will replace it.  Perhaps Alliant Energy should provide clarification to its customer base on how this new net metering cap “expands renewable distributed generation in Iowa” as per the Iowa Utilities Board’s original request.  

THE IMPACT: AT A GLANCE

CURRENT SOLAR NET METERING TARIFF

Under the current rules a typical Iowa household using about 12,000 kWh of electricity per year could purchase a 10 kW solar installation that would save the family $1560 in the first year and pay for itself completely within 10-11 years. The design lifecycle of solar is 25 years.

NEW SOLAR NET METERING TARIFF

Under the new tariff, only 3.43 kW of the same 10 kW installation would be eligible for net-metering, and would save the same family only $979 per year and take 18-19 years to pay for itself. The design lifecycle of solar is 25 years.

THE IMPACT: THE GRITTY DETAILS

The data from which we’ve derived the calculations demonstrating the reduction in net metering are public record based on Alliant Energy’s filings with the Iowa Utilities Board, using numbers from Annual Class Load Data Filed on May 12, 2016, IAC-2016-3511 and Alliant’s Interpretation Letter filed on August 31, 2016, TF-2016-0321It is important to note that as of March 22nd, 2017, there has not been an official release of additional guidance from Alliant on how to calculate the reduction in net-metering for Alliant’s customers outside of the August 2016 Interpretation Letter.

Deriving the data to arrive at these calculations is a scavenger hunt through a year+ of Alliant’s filings through the Iowa Utilities Board. Alliant Energy’s choice to not include the customer class load factors with the tariff, revised tariff, or accompanying interpretation letter filings added ambiguity and opaqueness to the nature of the proposed tariff change. Using the calculated load factor data is the only way to properly calculate the load cap per Alliant Energy’s Interpretation Letter.   In short, Alliant Energy made up the rules and has not shared the rulebook.

Below is a detailed description of the technical calculations from which we’ve demonstrated the negative impact of the new net metering ruling for Alliant Energy’s Residential and General Service commercial customers.  

HOW TO FIND ALLIANT ENERGY’S NEW NET METERING LOAD CAP 

The interpretation letter puts forward an ‘example’ for calculating the net-metering load cap using a 25% load factor.  In this scenario, the 25% load factor is completely hypothetical and merely demonstrates how the net-metering load cap calculation is made.

Alliant Energy’s Interpretation Letter states:

“If the residential customer class average load factor is 25 percent, and a customer’s annual usage is 12,000 kWh, the customer specific load calculation is Load Cap = Annual usage / 8,760 hours in a year divided by the customer class load factor … the calculation for a customer using 12,000 kWh annually is 12,000 annual kWh / 8,760 hours / 25% = 5.48 kW.”

The key points that we take away from the example put forward in Alliant Energy’s Interpretation Letter are that there is a ‘load cap’ that is being added to net-metering and that the ‘class average load factor’ is the crucial variable that controls how drastic the reduction in net-metering is.

EXPLAINING LOAD FACTOR 

Load factor represents the volatility of a customer’s kW load.  A higher load factor percentage indicates that usage is relatively stable.  A load factor of 100% would mean that there would be a constant kW usage all year.  A lower load factor percentage indicates greater volatility with periods of higher and lower kW usage. The lower the percentage, the greater the peak kW.

Screen Shot 2017-03-18 at 10.02.12 AM

The formula for calculating Load Factor:

annual

FINDING LOAD FACTOR BASED SOLELY ON ALLIANT’S INTERPRETATION LETTER & CLASS LOAD DATA 

Alliant’s Interpretation Letter states that:

“For a customer with no historic usage, IPL will utilize the customer class non-coincident demand from the annual class load data filing to make this determination.”

The vast majority of Alliant customers on the General Service and Residential tariffs do not have meters that record demand usage, meaning that they have ‘no historic usage.’ Which would mean that their net-metering load cap would be calculated using the ‘annual class load data filing.’

Alliant’s Interpretation Letter states that:

“Annual customer class data is provided in IPL’s annual class load data filed in compliance with 199 IAC 35.11.”

ALLIANT ENERGY’S ANNUAL LOAD CLASS DATA 

We used the Iowa portion of the load data in the Annual Class Load Data filing from May 12th, 2016, IAC-2016-3511, because the new net-metering tariff is Iowa-specific.

The 2015 kWh usage numbers for each class were found on page 46 of the Class Load Data filing, under the ‘MONTHLY BILLED KWHS AND CUSTOMERS BY CLASS – 2015’ table in the Iowa KWH column and the Total / Average row.

Class kWh Usage from pg. 46 of the Class Load Data filing

Per the interpretation letter we then found the ‘non-coincident demand from the annual class load data.’  In this case, the ‘non-coincident demand’ per the Class Load Data filings Table of Contents could be found in Table 1 on pages 3 – 5 of the filing, the Class Peak Days.  We found the annual peak kW demand by selecting the highest value from the Iowa Portion of Total System Class Max kW column.

Class Non-coincident kW Demand from pg. 3 and 4 of the Class Load Data filing

Residential, pg. 3:

Numbers for Calculations from Class Load Data:

FINDING LOAD FACTOR

Then using the annual kWh usage and non-coincident kW demand we calculated the ‘customer class load factor’ by using the annual load factor formula.  Calculations shown below:

annual

 

residential load factor

 

GS Load Factor

With these calculations we have found the ‘customer class load factor.’ For Residential customers it is 39.9% and for General Service customers it is 47.8%. With those load factors we are able to calculate the net-metering ‘load cap’ and also the reduction in net-metering for Alliant customers.

CALCULATING THE NET METERING LOAD CAP 

In order to use the ‘customer class load factors’ we referred again to the ‘example’ calculation where the formula ‘12,000 annual kWh / 8,760 hours / 25% = 5.48 kW’ is used. We replaced the ‘example’ 25% load factor and used the actual ‘customer class load factors’ that we calculated from the Annual Class Load Data filing. Calculations shown below:

residential load cap

GS load cap

CALCULATING THE NET METERING LOAD REDUCTION 

 

To find the impact of the ‘load cap’ on net-metering, we compared it to what would have would have been installed under the old net metering tariff to fully offset the kWh usage. We assumed that every kW DC of solar that was installed would produce 1,200 kWh – an industry-standard assumption for Iowa’s latitude and seasonal weather patterns. We also assumed that the solar installation would have a 1.1 DC to AC ratio.

Applying these assumptions to the Residential and General Service usage examples:

 

residential

 

commercial

 

We found that for the example Residential customer a 9.09 kW AC solar system that would have been installed and fully net-metered under the old rules has been limited to a 3.43 kW ‘load cap’ under the new rules. This represents a 62.3% reduction for Residential. For the example General Service customer a 90.91 kW AC solar system that would have been installed and fully net-metered has been limited to 28.66 kW AC. This represents a 68.5% reduction for General Service.

Another assumption that should be brought forward is the ability, or lack thereof, to install AC systems in such specific sizes. Solar string inverters are offered in fixed sizes. For example, there is a SolarEdge 3.0kW AC inverter and a SolarEdge 3.8kW AC inverter. A 3.43 kW AC ‘load cap’ could be seen as a de facto 3.00 kW AC cap.

 

TAKING ACTION

We believe this ruling could end residential solar in Iowa, dramatically curtail small business solar, and severely damage the solar industry. Coincidentally, Alliant Energy has released plans to petition the Iowa Utilities Board on April 3rd for a rate increase of 10-12%.

If you’re concerned about the Iowa Utility Board’s acceptance of this new tariff ruling, take action by signing the petitions and contacting the Governor’s office at:  www.saveiowasolar.org We also encourage you to write to your local news outlets and urge them to cover the issue.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

How the new ruling began: A timeline

timeline

On Oct 30th 2015, the IUB Requested IPL & MidAm to develop “pilot projects exploring various aspects of net metering or other [distributed generation] issues that could be used to inform future policy or rule changes” for the purpose of expanding renewable distributed generation (DG) in Iowa.

On Jul 19th 2016, the IUB opens up the ‘load’ issue, requesting a tariff to “increase the net metering cap from 500 kW to 1 MW (up to 100 percent of a customer’s load).”

On Aug 31st 2016, Allliant Energy interpreted ‘load’ “as a customer’s maximum annual kilowatt (kW) demand,” creating a first-time cap on net-metering.

In Alliant Energy’s most recent filing on Feb 17th 2017, no additional information or clarifications were provided on how to calculate the new net-metering load cap.

What is Net Metering?

Net metering is a billing mechanism that credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid. For example, if a residential customer has a PV system on the home’s rooftop, it may generate more electricity than the home uses during daylight hours. If the home is net-metered, the electricity meter will run backwards to provide a credit against what electricity is consumed at night or other periods where the home’s electricity use exceeds the system’s output. Customers are only billed for their “net” energy use. On average, only 20-40% of a solar energy system’s output ever goes into the grid. Exported solar electricity serves nearby customers’ loads.

Source: SEIA

What is Load Factor?

In electrical engineering the load factor is defined as the average load divided by the peak load in a specified time period.

Source: WIKIPEDIA

What is Distributed Generation?

Distributed generation (DG) refers to electricity that is produced at or near the point where it is used. Distributed solar energy can be located on rooftops or ground-mounted, and is typically connected to the local utility distribution grid. States, cities and towns are experimenting with policies to encourage distributed solar to offset peak electricity demand and stabilize the local grid.
Source: SEIA

What is the Iowa Utilities Board?

The Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) is a public commission that regulates power, water, and telecommunications in Iowa. The three members of the board are appointed to six year terms by the Governor.

What is Alliant Energy?

Alliant Energy is the public utility holding company of Interstate Power and Light, one of the utilities in the state of Iowa. Most Iowans get their electricity from Interstate Power and Light, MidAmerican, or one of the rural electric cooperatives. Most solar installations in the state until now have been among Alliant Energy customers.

Daily Dispatch from Paris, Day 3

Daily Dispatch from Paris, Day 3

Daily Dispatch from Paris

COP21 Day 3 Recap: Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

 

China cleans up, water support from the World Bank, following the money, divesting commitments, Paris de L’avenir

 

CHINA SAYS IT WILL CLEAN UP

Today China stated that it will upgrade its coal-fired power plants to reduce the discharge of pollutants by 60% before 2020. The move will save around 100 million tonnes of raw coal and cut carbon dioxide emissions by 180 million tonnes annually, according to the reports of the official Xinhua news agency.

The timely announcement comes on the heals of an”orange” alert, the second-highest level of pollution, in China’s capital Beijing. Residents were told to stay indoors and highways were closed until the alter was lifted.

SUPPORT FROM THE WORLD BANK FLOWS IN

The World Bank Group today announced a significant boost in funding for water programs in India, the Niger River Basin, Morocco and Kenya to help tackle water challenges.

A key initiative announced by the Bank Group today was a US$500 million investment to support India’s US$1 billion program to improve management of its groundwater. India is the world’s largest consumer of groundwater. The funding, subject to approval from the Bank’s board of Executive Directors, would help with institutional reforms, build up capacity and develop infrastructure.

“Water is so fundamental to life and to economic development, and it’s vital we tackle these issues particularly in the developing world, where water stress is already exacting a price on people and economies,” said Junaid Ahmad, Senior Director for Water, World Bank Group.

Excerpt from the World Bank Group, read full announcement here >

FUNDING THE NEW CLIMATE FUTURE

Topic of the day at COP21 is money, and more specifically, where it will be coming from. Developed nations will need to scale up annual climate finance to US$100 billion annually by 2020, and ensure a significant portion of that finance goes toward adaptation of climate solutions.

The Oil Change International and Climate Action Network released a new analysis was released indicating that G7 countries along with Australia spend 40 times more on support for fossil fuel production than they do in contributions to the Green Climate Fund. The report shows that the Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States account for some $80 billion per year in public support for fossil fuels, while their total pledges to the Green Climate Fund only amount to $2 billion per year.

Report details here > 1449167186817237

DIVESTING COMMITMENTS

More than 500 institutions managing over over $3.4 trillion in assets had made some form of commitment to divest, according to 350.org. Over the past five years, investors have been moving away from coal causing a rippling effect of sinking asset values on Wall Street. This is due in part to the cost competitiveness of other energy sources like solar and wind.

“As governments from around the world come together to set the framework in place for moving us quickly into the fossil fuel-free era, those assets are going to become less and less valuable.” Says Steven Heintz, President of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, at the COP21 Summit on Wednesday.

brown-coal-282960_640

TOURING PARIS DE L’AVENIR

Paris de L’avenir (Paris of the future) is a showcase for tangible climate solutions in the context of COP21 in several exhibitions across the public space of the city.

During the 15 days of the COP21, a large-scale public exhibition is situated in front of the Hotel de Ville, illustrating solutions that the City of Paris and its partners are taking to address climate change through carbon emission reductions. The exhibition showcases present-day Paris with initiatives that are already underway, as well as a visionary glimpse into a more environmentally friendly, future Paris. Features included solar collecting flowers and trees, a low-energy model home, electric street sweepers, waste water management, and living walls. Ideal Energy took a stroll through the low-carbon model town, adapted to the climatic changes of tomorrow.

Exhibit details here >

touringparis

Daily Dispatch from Paris, Day 2

Daily Dispatch from Paris, Day 2

Daily Dispatch from Paris

COP21 Day 2 Recap: Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

Russia warms to climate change, Obama’s remarks before heading home, American businesses demand climate action in the Wall Street Journal, Street Art at the Eiffel 

RUSSIA WARMS TO CLIMATE CHANGE

As the 4th largest producer of greenhouse gas pollution, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia appears to finally have warmed to the issue of climate change, stating that it “has become one of the gravest challenges humanity is facing.” His comments today were a change in tune from years of publicly mocking the issue. “Russia,“ he said, “has been contributing actively to addressing global warming. Our country is taking the lead.”
Read more in the NY Times >

PUTIN_RUSO-1

PRESIDENT OBAMA PREPARES TO RETURN HOME

“I actually think we’re going to solve this problem,“ says President Obama at a press conference on the second day of the summit before heading back to the US. However, the American President will face challenges back home in Washington, where Republican leaders are planning to send a signal to negotiators gathered in Paris that Congress does not support the president’s climate change policies.

AMERICAN BUSINESSES DEMAND CLIMATE ACTION

Readers of the Wall Street Journal woke up today to a full-page ad featuring more than 100 companies – with Ideal Energy and nearly 40 additional E2 member companies asking world leaders to take strong action in Paris to address climate change for the good of the economy and the good of the environment. Along with E2, several business and environmental groups also were involved in this effort led by the World Wildlife Fund.

Low-Carbon-USA-stamp

As a growing company navigating the changing political tides surrounding carbon policy, Ideal Energy relies on organizations like E2 to assist us in having a political voice and advocate policies that are both good for the economy and the environment.

Check out the ad here >

EARTH FOCUS: A STREET ART INSTALLATION

Earth_Crisis_de_Shepard_Fairey_-_SETE-_ELivinecPhoto:SETE / E.Livinec

During COP21 Shepard Fairey unveiled his latest installation, “Earth Crisis.” Located at the Eiffel Tower, a large sphere is suspended between the first and second floors. The installation is meant to draw attention to the global environmental crisis during the COP21 events.

“My political stance on protecting the planet is driven by my concern for the quality of life for future generations. I’m not an alarmist, but I do think people need to understand that we are facing an earth crisis. I think it is exciting that the globe provides different experiences for the viewer from a distance and up close while living in the heart of the Eiffel Tower. I hope the Earth Crisis Globe appeals visually but also generates a needed conversation about the fate of our planet.”

– Shepard Fairey

More Earth Crisis details here >

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