Energy Roundup – Give Thanks Edition

November 23, 2016

Given recent events, including the election of a climate denier and coal buff as President, Thanksgiving conversations might be even more awkward than normal. Luckily, us folks at the SEC have your back – we’ve compiled a list of all the great energy news that will both reassure you for the future and make your dinnertime conversations more fun. Check it out below, and happy thanksgiving!

The Cool Stuff

Tesla just came one step closer to its goal of being a single place for energy generation, storage, and transport following overwhelming shareholder approval for its $2 Billion merger with SolarCity. They’ve also been doing a lot of other cool stuff, including making an island in American Samoa get all its electricity from renewables and announcing the development of some sleek, strong, and shiny solar roof tiles. They aren’t the only ones doing cool stuff though – several other solar startups have been making moves in solar product design, including the first panels with integrated software and storage, power-generating windows, and a nice new portable solar ‘pad’.

Meanwhile, Burlington, VT has been quietly making moves into becoming America’s first city to get 100% of its electricity from renewables. Check out this story on how long-term sustainable planning made it energy-independent and able to provide cheap power without burning fossil fuels.

The Political Stuff

The climate policy outlook has been pretty bleak, given that the man leading the EPA transition team is a noted climate skeptic. However, our very own Arun Majumdar and Sally Benson have been busy trying to imagine what would happen to climate and energy policy under the new administration, and it is heartening to see that there are some serious incentives to move forward on renewables, nuclear, and other clean sources of energy. Slightly older, but still as relevant, is this bi-partisan op-ed detailing the future of nuclear energy in the USA, and it is exciting to see so many incredible design changes take place in the new generation of plants.

Finally, it seems that President Obama has done his job so well that we are ahead of schedule to meet some of the Clean Power Plan’s energy and emissions goals. The simulataneous decline of the coal industry has helped a lot as well, and the solar and wind ITC & PTC are gonna be here till 2020. Basically, no matter where you look, renewables and climate action are here to stay in a big way.