Cities across the globe need to construct new transit systems, roads and utilities – or modernize their aging infrastructure – to adapt to the changing climate, reduce carbon emissions and support growing populations. But an important question remains: How will cities pay for such projects? A new report, “Investor Ready Cities,” compiled by engineering company Siemens, professional services network PwC and law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner, aims to help cities think about new ways to fund their infrastructure projects – by taking a fresh look at traditional funding models like taxes and user fees and by attracting private investors.
Policy & Government
A catch all category for government, politics and initiatives to influence either.
Global renewable energy capacity rose 8.3 percent in 2013, fueled by technological advances, cost reductions and supportive government policies, particularly among developing countries, according to REN21’s sixth annual review. Solar power capacity has grown an average of over 54 percent over the past five years.
Eight states on both coasts coordindate ZEV Action Plan to kickstart the market for zero emission vehicles, but one state is conspicuously absent.
If we implement the right policies and frameworks, we can achieve large-scale deployment of renewable energy that creates jobs, increases incomes, improves trade balances and contributes to industrial development, according to a new report by the Clean Energy Ministerial’s Multilateral Solar and Wind Working Group.
The report, econValue – The Socio-economic Benefits of Solar and Wind Energy, analyzes the circumstances under which renewable energy can boost economies and benefit communities by studying the effects of solar and wind energy on the environment, economy, and society. Produced by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the report provides a framework to help policy makers analyse the various economic opportunities that may be offered by solar and wind sector development and the potential of various policy instruments to best realise those opportunities.
Absent a high-enough price on carbon, a carbon tax, or direct levies on fossil fuel suppliers, “nuclear, hydro and natural gas combined cycle have far more net benefits than either wind or solar,” according to Brookings’ Charles R. Frank, Jr. The assumptions underlying and supporting the analysis highlight the shortcomings of economic models and thinking, however.
Last week was a busy and eventful one for the solar energy industry as market participants from across the U.S., and around the world, gathered in Anaheim, Calif. for the Department of Energy’s (DOE) “SunShot Grand Challenge Summit 2014.” Among the highlights: The Energy Department launched a $1 million solar “soft costs” innovation crowdsourcing contest and $10 million in R&D funding for six thermochemical energy storage projects.
The $215 million bridge fund aims to usher in conservation financing-in-perpetuity for 215 million acres of Brazilian Amazon rain forest–an area twice the size of California. That will go a long way toward enabling Brazil to live up to its commitment to protect at least 10 percent of its Amazonian rain forest.
Steyer came out Thursday to announce the 2014 Strategic Plan for his superPAC, NextGen Climate. Specifically, Steyer wants to put climate change at the heart of the political conversation.
Concentrating solar power is poised on the cusp of a major advance as the goal of integrating grid-scale thermal energy storage appears within reach. Aiming to keep the momentum going, the DOE released a new CSP industry report and announced $10 million in new R&D funding to develop cheaper and more efficient thermal energy storage technology.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has just issued proposed new rules for refinery emissions that will affect a total of 149 facilities and millions of residents who live nearby.
Can the principles of the free market solve some of the most pressing challenges facing our national forests? The National Forest Foundation (NFF) hopes so, announcing it has just extended the deadline for its Barrett Foundation Business Concept Challenge which offers $100,000 in prize money for market-based solutions to the forests’ current issues.
Recently I was asked, “Why do you support raising the minimum wage – aren’t all business people against it?” As a small business owner I care about running a profitable business. That means I also care about the local economy my business depends on.
Yellowstone National Park leaders in 2010 established a five-year plan to elevate Yellowstone as a world leader in environmental stewardship. In other words, lead by example by being one of the greenest parks in the world.