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Currently 83 percent of the energy consumed in the United States is from fossil fuels. This in turn creates 81 percent of the United States' emissions of greenhouse gases, is the principle source of air pollution, and leads to major environmental problems where the fuel is extracted from the ground. Increasing the share of non-fossil energy involves a switch from the fuels that took tens of millions of years to form under the ground, to sources that are constantly renewed. This column is devoted to the legal aspects involved in increasing the share of the energy that we use that comes from renewable sources. The author points to six legal techniques that have been developed to increase the use of renewable energy: 1) Portfolio Standards 2)Mandatory Utility Purchases 3)Renewable Fuel Standards 4)Carbon Price 5) Tax Incentives and 6)Research and Development. In addition to this, the author points to six impediments to the growth of renewables: 1)Intermittency 2)Fossil Subsidies 3)Capital Availability 4)Turnover Rate of Capital Plant 5)Scale and Timing and 6)Siting and Environmental Impacts.
To evaluate initial success of California's Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund program in assisting underserved communities tackle climate change,, The Greenlining Institute examined 10 projects: nine already funded and one that is eligible for funding. These case studies provide an early snapshot of the Fund’s impact and suggest ways the program might be improved. These 10 projects alone will provide over 2,000 solar power systems for low- income families generating nearly six megawatts of clean power, plant 2,250 trees in disadvantaged communities, provide 252 homes permanently-affordable to lower income households, create over 400 jobs and replace 600 old, highly polluting cars and trucks with clean electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles.
This is a point of sale ordinance that applies to anyone selling their home. When someone sells, their home, the ordinance requires the seller have a standardized Austin Energy audit performed on their house and the results must be disclosed to the prospective buyers. An energy audit is used for the following reasons: High electric and gas bills; Problems staying cool in the summer and warm in the winter; One room is too hot while another room is too cold; Air conditioner or furnace seems to run all the time; Indoor air quality issues, including problems with dust, mold, drafts, or asthma; Interest in renewable energy sources. In addition, having an energy assessment is the first step in reducing the environmental impact of one's home energy expenditure. Most homeowners can reduce their footprint by 20-50%, and the home assessment test is the best way to find out how.
This ordinance establishes greenhouse gas emissions targets and departmental action plans for the City and authorizes the Department of Environment to coordinate efforts to meet the established targets.
An ordinance approving the submission of a question to qualified Boulder voters on the November 2006 ballot, asking whether or not the electorate approves of the imposition of a Climate Action Plan Tax, effective from April 1, 2007 to March 31, 2013. If approved, the tax would be computed on the basis of the amount of electricity used by residential, commercial and industrial customers. The money generated from the tax would be used to fund a Climate Action Plan, a plan designed to reduce and mitigate the health and safety impacts of greenhouse gas emissions, and achieve local consistency with the Kyoto Protocol. Specifically, tax revenue generated would be used to implement programs to increase energy efficiency, increase renewable energy use, reduce emissions from motor vehicles, and take other steps towards meeting the goals of the Kyoto protocol. In subsequent years, the city council would have the authority to increase the tax rate as needed to continue funding of the Climate Action Plan.
A jurisdiction that seeks to enact a municipal wind energy ordinance must first delineate areas suitable for wind energy projects in its comprehensive plan. Then, the municipality must choose a legal mechanism to regulate wind energy projects within those areas. Lastly, the municipality must write specific regulations addressing details such as size, location, and noise. This paper discusses the choices that a municipality in New York must make in drafting a wind energy ordinance, with reference to how existing codified wind energy ordinances and model municipal wind energy ordinances have dealt with these choices.
Given the current pushback on responsible climate policy at the federal level, innovative state and local actions will be critical if we are to achieve a just transition to a sustainable economy. The Institute for Policy Studies surveyed the array of measures that can accelerate the rapid transition from fossil fuels to clean and efficient alternatives in an equitable fashion, and in this study, they focus in on one strategy: Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS). RPS require utilities to provide a growing share of electricity from solar and wind energy, and are a particularly promising policy option. This report is the first of an Institute for Policy Studies series highlighting some of the most promising actions taken by state and local governments, identifying best practices for policy design, and sharing lessons for movement building and advocacy.
This ordinance amends the Gainesville Code of Ordinances to add provisions for the purchase of solar generated energy through a standard offer contract for all classes and limits net metering distributed resources rates for general service and large power classes. The ordinance defines Distributed Generation to mean: small, modular, decentralized, grid-connected or off-grid energy systems located in or near the place where energy is used. For purposes of Net Metering, the generation is connected to the customers' premises behind the electric revenue meter. For purposes of Feed-In-Tariff, the generation may be independent of an existing utility customer account or may be at an existing customer premise and connected to the grid beyond the electric revenue meter. Net Metering is defined to mean: where a retail customer has installed a photovoltaic or other approved distributed generation system on the customer's side of the electric revenue meter, the kilowatt hours output by the distributed generation system shall be credited against the kilowatt hours used by the customer. The net of the kilowatt hours used by the customer less the kilowatt hours produced by the distributed generation system shall be the number of hours that the customer is billed at the applicable retail rate. The ordinance also defines the rate at which utility customers will be credited for their generation of electricity through the installation of net metering systems.
This resolution requires municipal funds to divest from fossil fuels and evaluate alternative investment strategies for the future. This resolution prevents government agencies from investing in fossil fuels in the future and urges other municipal and public institutions and agencies to divest from fossil fuels and unsustainable resources.
This report serves as a resource for local governments and stakeholders in designing and implementing a local solar plan. The report includes examples and models that have been field-tested in cities and counties around the United States.