Energy & Utilities

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    Adeline Kon/Smart Cities Dive, data from Getty

    Reassessing the smart cities movement

    Smart Cities Dive asked 25 of the largest U.S. cities how they define a "smart city" and how it's evolved, the challenges they've faced in rolling out equitable policies and technologies, and their outlook for what's next.

    By the Smart Cities Dive Team • Nov. 9, 2021
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    Adeline Kon/Smart Cities Dive
    Deep Dive

    As Tesla, Ford and others invest billions in EVs, will the power system be ready?

    The new White House zero emission vehicle target of 50% of new car sales by 2030 has a long way to go, a short time to get there, and big challenges ahead.

    By Herman K. Trabish • Nov. 3, 2021
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    Permission granted by Fermata Energy

    The wrong policies will hinder electrification — here's what we need to do

    The challenge is how to expand consumer adoption and speed up the transition to electric cars and efficient electric heating systems, writes a commissioner with the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission.

    By Abigail Anthony • Oct. 21, 2021
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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images via Getty Images

    We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to meet cities' pressing needs. Let's get it done.

    Passing the Biden infrastructure bill will have ripple effects across the U.S., writes Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, driving investments in areas including electric vehicles, energy efficiency and recycling infrastructure. 

    By Kate Gallego • Oct. 18, 2021
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    Kevork Djansezian via Getty Images

    Time for utility companies to step up by supporting the Clean Electricity Performance Program

    Achieving more clean energy is feasible, affordable and would benefit our economy and public health without compromising power system reliability, writes Ceres' senior program director of climate and energy.

    By Dan Bakal • Oct. 15, 2021
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    "P1030054" by cziwkga is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Denver creates new role to advance building decarbonization incentives

    As buildings and homes account for 64% of the city's GHG emissions, the city created what's believed to be a first-of-its-kind role to support new strategies after voters greenlit a $40 million Climate Protection Fund last year.

    By Sept. 28, 2021
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    "Portland, Maine" by Me in ME is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Portland, Maine, to bulk-purchase clean energy equipment in electrification push

    The “Electrify Everything” campaign focuses on voluntary measures. “If someone wants to decarbonize 100%, that’s great. But we know most people want help just taking the first step," said the city's sustainability coordinator.

    By Sept. 23, 2021
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    Scott Olson via Getty Images

    New technology necessary to meet utility decarbonization goals, experts warn

    Legislation before Congress could provide a crucial boost to various clean energy and other technologies needed to get the electric grid over the last hump, according to panelists at the National Clean Energy Week conference.

    By Scott Van Voorhis • Sept. 22, 2021
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    Drew Angerer via Getty Images

    City leaders should expand their purview of electric transportation beyond cars, experts urge

    Bringing electrification to underserved communities will require access, collaboration and outreach, and an emphasis on electrifying school buses, public transit, ride-share and more, panelists at an ICF webinar said Tuesday.

    By Dan Zukowski • Sept. 16, 2021
  • Connecticut falls behind state's GHG goals: 'We told you so,' says Acadia Center

    Despite the rise in emissions, the electric sector "shows encouraging results," the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said. Proposed new gas projects are a step in the wrong direction, though, advocates warn.

    By Robert Walton • Sept. 14, 2021
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    Spencer Platt via Getty Images

    Utility shutoff moratoriums protected many consumers earlier in the pandemic. What happens now?

    Cities and states are looking at how to help residents likely to lose power once utility shutoff moratoriums end. 

    By Sept. 8, 2021
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    Mario Tama via Getty Images

    Los Angeles approves 100% clean energy by 2035, moving original target up by a decade

    The LA100 plan would see the city replace its natural gas electricity generation with wind, solar and battery storage, while also improving energy efficiency and transmission.

    By Sept. 2, 2021
  • Residential electric panels are a nearly $100B 'roadblock' to full electrification, report finds

    Up to 48 million U.S. homes may require electric panel upgrades to charge electric vehicles or switch away from appliances now running on natural gas or other fossil fuels, according to research from Pecan Street.

    By Robert Walton • Sept. 1, 2021
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    Permission granted by Mack

    Tesla made electric trucks 'cool.' Now fleets face financial hurdles.

    Total cost of ownership for electric trucks is more attractive than diesel, a Navistar executive said at ACT Expo. But issues around charging are significant.

    By Jim Stinson • Aug. 31, 2021
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    WRI lays out options for large energy users to decarbonize beyond renewables procurement

    The study highlights Des Moines, Iowa, the first U.S. city to commit to a 24/7 carbon free electricity target by 2035, as an example for innovation.

    By Iulia Gheorghiu • Aug. 24, 2021
  • Solar could be 40% of US generation by 2035 but requires more investment, White House finds

    Solar industry groups greeted the recent Biden administration report on the potential growth of the solar industry with enthusiasm, saying they hope tax reforms to improve incentives are in the works.

    By Emma Penrod • Aug. 23, 2021
  • Arizona 2050 clean energy mandate could increase utility bills nearly $60/month, study finds

    A state mandate to achieve 100% clean energy by 2050 could increase utility bills, but clean energy advocates warn the projection should be taken "with a grain of salt," as new technologies could help lower costs.

    By Robert Walton • Aug. 20, 2021
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    Megan Quinn/Smart Cities Dive

    As Senate passes infrastructure bill, Democrats eye opportunity for more energy spending

    Sustainability efforts could be aided by the $3.5 trillion budget resolution, approved by the Senate last week, which contains more tax credits and incentives for renewable energy, including a clean electricity payment program.

    By Aug. 16, 2021
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    Christopher Furlong via Getty Images

    California takes a first-of-its-kind step on building decarbonization

    Following many cities' actions to rein in building emissions, the state energy commission voted to adopt an updated building energy code that makes electric heat pumps the baseline technology for space and water heating.

    By Aug. 12, 2021
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    Win McNamee/Getty Images via Getty Images

    'An enormous lift': Biden's goal of 50% EV sales by 2030 will test supply chains, utilities, experts say

    Biden's lofty goal will run in tandem to investments in EV infrastructure. But other supports, like to manufacturing supply chains, are needed as well.

    By Robert Walton • Aug. 11, 2021
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    Photo illustration by SAN JOSE, CA - JULY 22: A plug-in Toyota Prius hybrid vehicle is displayed at the 2008 Plug-In conference and Exposition July 22, 2008 in San Jose, California./Smart Cities Dive; photograph by Justin Sullivan/ Getty Images via Getty Images

    120 EV charging stations to be installed at California apartment complexes through state partnership

    Backed by state funding, the initiative with platform EVmatch could entice lower-income renters to purchase an electric vehicle.

    By Aug. 6, 2021
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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images via Getty Images

    Kansas City streetlight-mounted EV charger pilot aims for equity, accessibility

    Most EV charging happens at home overnight, but not for the many people without garages. The Missouri city's federally funded charging project meets residents where they are and is helping to guide others through uncharted territory.

    By Aug. 4, 2021
  • DOE says new building codes to cut energy costs by $138B, but EV backers see failure to advance charging

    A requirement that new homes be wired for electric vehicle charging was not included in the final version.

    By Robert Walton • July 30, 2021
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    Mario Tama via Getty Images
    Federal infrastructure spending

    Senate votes to advance bill with $550B for aging US infrastructure

    Far smaller than Biden's American Jobs Plan, the bipartisan bill will next enter a phase of debates and amendments.

    By Zachary Phillips • Updated July 29, 2021
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    Dave Einsel via Getty Images

    Indiana DOT, Purdue developing wireless EV charging for highways

    The aim is to create the first paved highway segment that contains contactless, wireless technologies to charge electric vehicles as they drive over it.

    By Updated July 29, 2021