On July 16, 2007, the West Hollywood City Council voted unanimously to pass the Green Building Requirements and Incentives for Private Development Ordinance that applies a suite of energy conservation and renewable energy requirements to both residential and commercial development. Some provisions apply to new building projects while others apply to remodeling projects at existing buildings.
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Term for Energy
This column by David Morris and Peter Barnes argues for a three pronged strategy on climate protection. First, a comprehensive emission cap. Second, a carbon auction for suppliers of carbon fuels. And lastly, a universal and equal distribution of revenues from that sale. Three keys to an effective and equitable strategy to reduce global warming.
On June 28, 2007, the Illinois Senate and House approved a joint resolution that adopts a policy that calls for carbon-neutral state buildings by 2030. They are the first state to address this particular green building initiative, a derivative of the Architecture 2030 Challenge, through a legislature. New Mexico’s Governor Bill Richardson adopted a similar but weaker policy by executive order in January of 2006.
San Francisco’s Mayor has approved a local power plan that could achieve a 51 percent renewable energy portfolio by 2017. The Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) plan creates an innovative new financial structure using municipal revenue bonds (“H Bonds”) to make San Francisco energy independent and finance construction of a 360 megawatt solar power network and make investments in energy conservation efforts.
On May 7th, Washington’s Governor signed a new law that effectively reverses a January 2007 Washington Supreme Court decision. The State Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the Seattle municipal utility could not purchase carbon offsets with ratepayer money. This case originated from ratepayers that were protesting Seattle City Light’s purchases of carbon offsets to counter the utility’s greenhouse gas emissions.
In mid-May, Los Angeles’ Mayor announced a new climate change action plan that calls for the LA municipal utility to increase its renewable energy portfolio to reach 35 percent by 2020. This in combination with about 50 other proposed actions will work to reduce GHG emissions in the city of angels to 35 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.
Responding to concerns and evidence put forward by solar power companies and advocates, Governor Schwarznegger has pledged to fix a flaw in California’s Solar Initiative that has caused a reported 78 percent drop off in proposed photovoltaic installations in the state.
This March 2007 report, Full Report: Report: Distributed Generation and Cogeneration Policy Roadmap for California, from the California Energy Commission provides a nice state-based, how-to perspective on policy options to increase the use of small scale DG along with larger combined heat and power projects. Continue reading
On April 2nd, the Internal Revenue Service issued a notice soliciting applicants for the next round of Clean Renewable Energy Bonds allocations. The CREBs program provides governmental entities, municipal and cooperatively owned utilities an incentive to develop renewable energy projects. Ultimately, an interest free financing tool, CREBs are a substitute for renewable energy production tax incentives that these entities are not able to use because of their tax exempt status. Applications must be filed by July 13, 2007.
Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., recently introduced the Clean Renewable Energy for Public Power Act (H.R. 1821), which would extend and reform the Clean Renewable Energy Bond program authorizing government entities, rural cooperatives and municipally-owned electric systems to issue tax-credit bonds for renewable energy projects, as a counterpart to the production tax credit available to investor-owned utilities and other renewable energy project developers.