News

 

Salon
By Diane Stopyra

January 2, 2017

Earlier this year, a video explaining Sweden’s efficient trash burning system made the Facebook rounds, touting a shocking statistic: less than one percent of this country’s household waste ends up in a landfill. Instead, much of it is incinerated and converted into usable electricity and heat via waste-to-energy plants. In the U.S., the clip left the social media community scratching its collective head, and asking: Why aren’t Americans burning more of our own garbage?

Considering we’re in the midst of a trash crisis, it’s a good question. Every year, humans generate more than a billion tons of solid waste, and that number will be closer to 4 billion by 2100. In America, each of us throws away more than seven pounds of garbage a day. In other words: we’re surrounded by rubbish, and because our population is on the rise, the problem is set to get worse.

Go to full story at Salon

 

Manteca Bulletin
By Dennis Wyatt, dwyatt@mantecabulletin.com

December 28, 2016

Nearly a third of the cost of building a $6 million compressed biogas fueling facility as part of Manteca’s bid to convert food waste into fuel to power municipal garbage trucks won’t be paid by ratepayers.

The City Council has inked a deal that will provide Manteca with a $1.8 million San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District grant to help offset part of the costs once the facility is up and running.

It is one of four capital improvement projects needed to implement the food waste to fuel program. The fueling station is being built at the wastewater treatment plant on West Yosemite Avenue near the Union Pacific tracks.

Go to full story at Manteca Bulletin

 

Week of December 23, 2016

Currents: Winter 2016


In this issue of Currents, we feature a broad range of articles that highlight local projects, celebrate success, and discuss emergent trends.


News and Opportunities


Bill Gates and Investors Worth $170B Launching a Fund for Energy Innovation
Bill Gates leading a more than $1 billion fund focused on fighting climate change by investing in clean energy innovation. He was among 28 wealthy individuals and families signed on to the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, a group broadly committed to investing in this area.

CA Agency Recommends Low-Income Energy and Water Legislation and Task Force
On December 14, the CEC approved the SB 350 Barriers Study mandated by SB 350 to address barriers for low-income households and disadvantaged communities to participate in energy efficiency and renewables opportunities. The California Housing Partnership will work with partners on legislative and regulatory efforts to use this study’s findings to advance transformative equity goals and metrics, energy and water program alignment, the availability of one-stop technical services, and effective financing pilots designed for low-income rental housing in California.

Job Opportunities: Redwood Coast Energy Authority
Redwood Coast Energy Authority is recruiting for multiple positions including Director of Finance & HR, Director of Power Resources, and Demand Side Management Programs Project Manager.

Jop Opportunity: Chief Executive Officer, The Valley Clean Energy Alliance
Yolo County is conducting a recruitment on behalf of The Valley Clean Energy Alliance for the Chief Executive Officer position. Applications due January 20, 2017.

Calendar


January 25-26 (Sacramento) California Climate Change Symposium 2017
This forum aims to share cutting-edge research addressing the impacts of climate change on the state to inform the state’s strategies and policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to develop programs to safeguard California from a changing climate.

February 2 (St. Louis, MO) New Partners for Smart Growth Conference
Early-bird registration has been extended to December 16 for the 2017 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference. This conference is the nation’s largest smart growth and sustainability event and has been named one of 12 conferences not to miss by Planetizen.

March 16-19 (Yosemite National Park) Yosemite Policymakers Conference
Join mayors, city council members, county supervisors, city managers, and high-level department heads for the 26th Annual Yosemite Policymakers Conference. This popular conference always features a timely and inspirational program designed to provide the tools and support policymakers need to implement innovative solutions to address society’s most pressing challenges. This year’s conference will be no different with its focus on sustaining our progress and protecting the American dream.

Resources and Reports


DOE Better Buildings Financing Navigator
The Navigator is an online tool that helps public and private sector organizations find financing solutions for energy efficiency projects.

A Greater LA: A Framework for Climate Action
This project led by the Los Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action and Sustainability was recently released and provides a set of curated, synthesized, and regionally specific recommendations across five climate impact areas: Energy, Transportation & Land Use, Water, Public Health, and Ocean & Coastal Resources.

The Case for Health Places: Improving Health Outcomes Through Placemaking
This report uses the idea of placemaking as a framework for describing how transforming public spaces can improve health outcomes Even beyond the tangible benefits that placemaking projects can yield, the very process of bringing community members and stakeholders together to shape a place can have powerful social benefits that in turn connect to positive health outcomes.


Local Government Commission
lgc.org

 

The Business Journal
By Business Journal staff

December 20, 2016

Fresno Yosemite International Airport announced the opening of 14 electric vehicle charging stations in its short-term and long-term parking lots.

That brings the total of EV chargers at FYI to 20, making it the largest cluster of chargers in the region.

Go to full story at The Business Journal

 

Week of December 16, 2016

News and Opportunities


California Approves First US Energy Efficiency Standards for Computers
The new standards, approved by California’s Energy Commission, requires most computers to draw less power while idle. Laptops are only requred to see a slight reduction in power draw since they’re already designed to be energy efficient. But only 6% of desktops currently meet the commission’s standards. On average, noncompliant desktops will have to reduce their idle power draw by about 30% by 2019 and by about 50% by 2021, the commission says.

An Update on California’s Distributed Energy Leadership
In an unanimous decision yesterday, California regulators created a new financial incentive pilot that encourages utilities to invest in DERs instead of more expensive traditional grid investments.

Microgrids Continue to Progress – With Some Bumps in the Road
Microgrids increasingly are being seen as a hedge against grid failure and as a way to more efficiently harness renewable resources. However, there is uncertainty for the future of microgrids as they grow at different rates in different areas and with potential decreases in research and development with the new Administration
NYC Hospitals Reduce Energy Use by 10%
Transitioning to LEDs, solar panels, upgrading air handling units, replacing boilers, and steam trap replacement have been the common projects that enabled hospitals to reduce energy use.

RFP: Sustainable Communities Planning Grant and Incentives Program: Best Practices Pilot
The Strategic Growth Council in partnership with the Office of Planning and Research is soliciting proposals for an effort to support local land use planning related to climate and the state’s statutory planning priorities. The program is funding in the amount of $250,000 will be available for applicants to apply for up to $50,000. These grants will support the development and/or implementation of a specific portion of a land use plan, land protection or management practice, or development project. Proposals due January 11, 2017.

Job Opportunity: Energy and Water Coordinator, County of San Luis Obispo
The County of San Luis Obispo Department of Public Works is seeking an innovative and experienced individual who is committed to work as part of a team in delivering a broad range of energy-related projects at County facilities. The position covers a wide range of duties, such as energy monitoring and reporting to researching and implementing program/projects in the County’s EnergyWise Plan. Applications due December 29, 2016.

Calendar


January 25-26 (Sacramento) California Climate Change Symposium 2017
This forum aims to share cutting-edge research addressing the impacts of climate change on the state to inform the state’s strategies and policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to develop programs to safeguard California from a changing climate. Early-bird registration ends December 16.

February 2 (St. Louis, MO) New Partners for Smart Growth Conference
Early-bird registration has been extended to December 16 for the 2017 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference. This conference is the nation’s largest smart growth and sustainability event and has been named one of 12 conferences not to miss by Planetizen. Early-bird registration ends December 16.

March 16-19 (Yosemite National Park) Yosemite Policymakers Conference
Join mayors, city council members, county supervisors, city managers, and high-level department heads for the 26th Annual Yosemite Policymakers Conference. This popular conference always features a timely and inspirational program designed to provide the tools and support policymakers need to implement innovative solutions to address society’s most pressing challenges. This year’s conference will be no different with its focus on sustaining our progress and protecting the American dream.

May 5 (Long Beach) The Business of Local Energy Symposium 2017
The Center for Climate Protection along with the Local Government Commission and the Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition is offering their third Business of Clean Energy Symposium to convene government, business, and community leaders to accelerate California’s shift to a clean energy economy and to exchange ideas about Community Choice Energy programs. Save the date – registration will open in January.

Resources and Report


2017 Building Intelligence Predictions
Podcast on building intelligence to accelerate savings, equity growth, occupant satisfaction and the arrival of smart, connected cities in 2017.

Re-Assessment of Net Energy Production and GHG Emissions Avoidance After 40 Years of Photovoltaics Development
This report shows strong downward trends of environmental impact of photovoltaic production, following the experience of curve law, and shows a break-even between the cumulative disadvantages and benefits of photovoltaics, for both energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, occurs between 1997 and 2018 depending on photovoltaic performance and model uncertainties.

The Benefits of Solar + Storage for Commercial and Public Buildings
A combined solar + storage system can firm and smooth the energy used onsite, reducing demand charge risk due to solar intemittency, and results in more reliable reduction of energy and demand charge-related electricity expenses. Additionally, a combined solution can enhance the resiliency of a building’s power supply, a key consideration for critical facilities in the face of increasingly common power outages in some areas.

The Challenge of Decarbonizing the U.S. Power Sector: Encouraging Innovation and Aligning Stakeholder Interests
This working paper describes current U.S. power sector trends and relevant environmental goals, ways that technology innovation could proceed or be interrupted, and three emerging low-and zero-carbon technologies generally considered leading options for meeting the decarbonization challenges. It concludes with ideas from a range of experts to meet GHG reduction goals and accelerate innovation to advanced low-carbon generation.


Local Government Commission
lgc.org

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