Energy Department Announces $220 Million in Grid Modernization Funding
The Energy Department on January 14th built on its Grid Modernization Initiative--an ongoing effort that reflects the Obama Administration's commitment to improving the resiliency, reliability, and security of the nation's electricity delivery system. The Secretary announced the award of up to $220 million over three years, subject to congressional appropriations, to DOE's National Labs and partners to support critical research and development in advanced storage systems, clean energy integration, standards and test procedures, and a number of other key grid modernization areas. See the Energy Department news release for the full story.
Energy Department Announces $18 Million to Develop Solar Energy Storage Solutions, Boost Grid Resiliency
As a part of the Energy Department's Grid Modernization Initiative announced by Secretary Moniz on January 14 (see above), DOE announced on January 19th, $18 million in funding for six new projects across the United States. These projects will enable the development and demonstration of integrated, scalable, and cost-effective solar technologies that incorporate energy storage to power American homes after the sun sets or when clouds are overhead. To find out more click here.
EPA Launches Green Infrastructure Wizard (GIWiz)- An interactive tool for government, industry, and the public
EPA just launched GIWiz, which offers quick, direct access to Green Infrastructure tools and resources that can support and promote water management and community planning decisions. Users can produce customized reports that include links to the resources they want to use. Check it out here.
ARPA-E Announces $30 Million in Funding for Window Efficiency Technologies
On October 7, the Energy Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) announced up to $30 million in funding for a new program focused on improving the energy efficiency of commercial and residential buildings. ARPA-E’s Single-pane Highly Insulating Efficient Lucid Designs (SHIELD) program seeks to reduce heat-loss for improved building efficiency by developing innovative materials that are both transparent and insulating to retrofit existing single-pane windows. Under SHIELD, ARPA-E will allocate up to $10 million to small businesses through its Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer program, with up to $20 million made available to all applicants. See the Energy Department news release and the full funding announcement.
Grant Opportunity: 13th Annual P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as part of the P3-People, Prosperity and the Planet Award Program, is seeking applications proposing to research, develop, and design solutions to real world challenges involving the overall sustainability of human society. The P3 competition highlights the use of scientific principles in creating innovative projects focused on sustainability. The P3 Award program was developed to foster progress toward sustainability by achieving the mutual goals of improved quality of life, economic prosperity and protection of the planet -- people, prosperity, and the planet – the three pillars of sustainability. The EPA offers the P3 competition in order to respond to the technical needs of the world while moving towards the goal of sustainability. Please see the P3 website for more details about this program.
EPA Proposed Rule and Industry Commitments Regarding HFC Emissions.
A proposed rule (RIN 2060-AS51) would expand Section 608 of the Clean Air Act to bar the deliberate venting, release or disposal of HFCs or other non-ozone-depleting substitute refrigerants when servicing or disposing of air conditioning and refrigeration equipment. The EPA proposed rule came the same day as major private sector companies, including Dow Chemical Co., Honeywell International Inc., Johnson Controls Inc., and Target Corp. announced new commitments to slash emissions of HFCs.
At the White House Industry Leader Roundtable, the Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Institute, which represents large air conditioning and refrigeration companies, said it is pledging $5 billion over the next 10 years for research and development and for investment to develop low global-warming–potential technologies. The administration also highlighted new commitments from 14 private companies and associations to reduce global HFC emissions as well as agreements made with 22 private companies and organizations in September 2014, which have a goal of reducing HFC emissions, by the equivalent 700 million metric tons of carbon dioxide through 2025.
The proposed rule is available at http://1.usa.gov/1G7XDUe.
The White House fact sheet on the latest HFC announcements is available at http://1.usa.gov/1k7Nrky.
NEW BOOK: Richard L. Sandor, Nathan J. Clark, Murali Kanakasabai, and Rafael L. Marques, Environmental Markets: A New Asset Class.
A new book by Richard Sandor et al. surveys the case for and against environmental asset classes in the air, water, catastrophe and weather risk, and sustainability asset classes. In particular, it looks at how the financial crisis of 2007-2009 affected examples from Emission Trading Systems currently in place, and how the general economic environment affects the outlook of these assets in the short- and medium-term for Investors. It predicts that if the global environmental situation is going to improve (or at least stop deteriorating) then these market mechanisms will increase in importance.