Tom Ewing’s Environmental Update

*  A DOE notice about SunShot 2030 caught my eye recently because it is one of many DOE renewable energy initiatives filling my inbox lately, in contrast, really, to gloom and doom “news” from many “sources” about hairy, brutish Luddites with pitchforks taking over the Department and smashing all the Keurig machines.  The Solar Energy Technologies Office wants comments on “integrated data and analysis needs across the solar value chain to inform near to mid-term plans for the development of resources such as information based network planning, real time optimization, and bankability tools in the context of DOE’s SunShot 2030 goals.” SunShot is a national effort to drive down the cost of solar electricity and support solar adoption.  2030 is 12 years away.  Sounds like things are continuing, not stopping.  Hurry up: comments are due October 6!
*  Corporations and other institutions have contracted for more than 2,300 MW of off-site solar, using power purchase agreements (PPAs), green tariffs, or bilateral deals with utilities.  The corporate procurement of utility-scale PV has grown from less than 1% of annual installed utility-scale capacity in 2014 to 9% in 2016 and it accounted for 17% in early 2017. To expand corporate procurement of off-site solar, both a purchasing pathway and cost competitive solar are required.  This insider’s look is from a new DOE/NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) report titled “Charting the Emergence of Corporate Procurement of Utility-Scale PV.”  NREL will expand on the report, with discussions and commentary, in a webinar next Monday, October 9.

*  Also next Monday, California’s Air Resources Board holds a public workshop on the State’s “Beneficiary Mitigation Plan” for its $423 million allocation of the Volkswagen (VW) Environmental Mitigation Trust.  Eligible activities consist mostly of scrap-and-replace projects, including supportive infrastructure for zero- and near zero-emission advanced technology replacements, for the heavy-duty sector.  Program leaders also “strive to ensure that at least 35 percent of California’s allocation benefit low-income or disadvantaged communities that are disproportionately impacted by air pollution.”  If you can’t make the meeting you can submit comments to CARB.

Tom Ewing
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