Renewable Energy

Minter: SoCalGas Champions Innovative P2G Technologies

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George Minter

As California seeks to meet greenhouse-gas emissions reduction goals set out by AB32, utilities are grappling with the intermittence of renewable resources like solar and wind. George Minter, Senior Director of Policy and Environment at the Southern California Gas Company, works on SoCalGas’s electrolysis commercialization and expansion program, which aims to address this challenge. In the following interview with VerdeXchange News, Minter discusses power-to-gas—how it works, precedents for its use in the European Union, and its potential as a solution to excess power on the grid. Minter also discusses natural gas’ impact on transportation, the “hydrogen highway,” and efforts to decarbonize the pipeline—lowering the carbon content of California’s natural gas supply.

Lennar and SunStreet Energy Commit to Offering Solar Systems in Their New Homes

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David Kaiserman

Lennar Corporation is the second-largest homebuilder in the US. As President of Lennar Ventures and CEO of SunStreet Energy Group, David Kaiserman is pioneering a new model for residential developers: including solar systems as standard features on new homes. Kaiserman spoke with VerdeXchange News in the midst of SunStreet’s market-by-market deployment about the intersection of homebuilding and alternative energy, explaining SunStreet’s innovative approach and its potential impact on the solar industry if adopted more widely.

Martin L. Shultz Frames Arizona’s VerdeXchange: Net Metering Issue Not Settled, More Investment in Infrastructure Needed

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With extensive expertise in Arizona energy, transportation, and politics, Martin Shultz now holds the position of Senior Policy Director at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck. He sat down with VX News to cover a range of topics that will be addressed at VX Arizona 2014—charting the progress of solar energy in the state, evaluating the viability of traditional utilities’ business model moving forward, and considering whether nuclear energy will grow in the US. Schultz also comments on Arizona’s needed investments in infrastructure and the status of water in the Southwest.

Berkshire Hathaway Renewables, Since Launching Two Years Ago, Has Invested $14B In Wind & Solar

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Jonathan Weisgall serves as Vice President for Legislative and Regulatory Affairs at MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. Since 2012, the company has invested extensively in unregulated solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal projects, under the primary subsidiary MidAmerican Renewables. Weisgall spoke with VerdeXchange News to update readers on MidAmerican Renewables’ progress since its founding, as well as the promise of energy imbalance markets and MidAmerican’s role in bringing an EIM to the western United States.

California’s Drought: Governor Brown Issues Second Emergency Proclamation

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The Los Angeles Business Council held its annual Sustainability Summit on April 25 at the Getty Center, to discuss the city and region’s progress on producing renewable energy, protecting water resources, and building the city resiliently. Speakers included business leaders, elected officials, regulators, and utility representatives. VX News presents a transcript of California Governor Jerry Brown’s keynote address, in which he discusses the importance of prioritizing sustainability, the challenges it presents, and California’s continued leadership around environmental stewardship.

Nate Lewis Leads US Energy Innovation Hub at Caltech

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Nate Lewis is the George L. Argyros Professor of Chemistry and Scientific Director of the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) at Caltech. JCAP is one of several federally funded Energy Innovation Hubs, with a specific focus on deriving fuel from sunlight. In a recent talk given at the LAEDC Mid Year Economic Forecast, republished here in VerdeXchange News and TPR, Professor Lewis puts the earth’s current greenhouse gas levels in historic perspective, noting that no energy source has the power to both clean our atmosphere and meet civilization’s growing energy demands except the sun. Yet harnessing the sun’s energy with current solar panel technology presents problems of space and storage. Lewis outlines how artificial photosynthesis might solve these problems, as well as the steps Caltech is taking to make this hypothetical technology a game-changing reality.

Lancaster, California’s Mayor Rex Parris Leads City to Become First to Mandate Residential Solar Energy

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The City of Lancaster aims to become the first net-zero city in the world, and took strides toward that goal by mandating solar energy for every new single-family home constructed in the municipality at the start of this year. R. Rex Parris, the Mayor of Lancaster, described his vision to VerdeXchange News: that the city will serve as an example others follow, so that the nation can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help prevent the worst potential outcomes of climate change. With a clear goal, Mayor Parris has united his constituents around the frank reality of climate change.

Could the ‘Industrial Internet’ be the Key to Renewable Energy and GHG Reductions?

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As renewable energy becomes the base upon which society operates, how will utilities manage unbalanced production and overproduction? Advances in communications technology, or the Industrial Internet, promise to channel energy to where it is most demanded via sensors and automatic communication between machines. Efficiently connecting supply and demand will grow with the increased ubiquity of our M2M devices and their potential for sensing energy needs across a myriad of platforms. VerdeXchange News reprints the following with the permission of ThomasNet News.

James Kelly on Emerging Value For Utilities of Sensors, Data Analytics, and Grid Stability

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In this VerdeXchange News interview, James Kelly, formerly of Southern California Edison and now a strategic advisor to GRIDiant Corporation, among other startups, discusses the role of Embedded Network Sensing (ENS) in generating data, how improved data analytics will affect the management of the electrical grid, and what the evolution of data portends for the physical worlds of industry and utility. As alternative energies and power sources gain support in state and local government, stronger tools for monitoring the electric grid will be necessary for balancing supply and demand.

Jaffe: There Will be No Shortage of Oil/Gas—‘Get Over It’

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VerdeXchange News presents the following remarks by Amy Myers Jaffe, Executive Director for Energy and Sustainability at UC Davis, delivered this summer at the biannual Asilomar Conference on Transportation and Energy. Her thesis: Many incorrectly imagined that the globe and the Industrial West were running dry of oil and thus alternative energy and fuels could depend on high oil prices shifting us to lower carbon emissions. Jaffe suggests that environmental policy advocates shift away from arguing scarcity and instead prepare for possible fossil fuel surpluses, and what that might mean for the economy and for climate change initiatives.

VX2021 Speakers: