Tag: New York

States Paving the Way for a Bright Future for Residential Solar

States Paving the Way for a Bright Future for Residential Solar

By: Jack Sundermann

When deciding whether to install solar energy systems into their homes, most Americans heavily consider overall cost and payback period on their investment. Despite advances in technology over the past decade, residential solar systems represent a significant investment with an average gross cost of $20,650.[1] Prices for similarly sized solar energy systems can vary wildly from state to state.[2] Interestingly, this is often less to do with average sunlight and more to do with the incentives and policies enacted by local governments.

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How Grid Resiliency can Help Tackle Climate Change

Americans are experiencing the impacts of climate change on an increasingly acute level every day. The February storms across the nation that resulted in rolling blackouts across Texas and several other nearby states underscored the crisis and raised questions about whether the American electricity grid can withstand the negative effects of climate change, such as extreme temperatures, more frequent and intense storms, floods, wildfires, droughts, and more.

Since 2011, the United States has sustained $135 billion in damages from extreme weather and climate disasters, with more than seventy extreme climate events affecting the Midwest.[i] One recent study showed that investor-owned utilities face a $500 billion resilience investment gap.[ii]

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[NEWS, Sept. 23, 2019] 2019 United Nations Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit in New York.

“The Climate Emergency is a Race We are Losing, But It is a Race We Can Win.” [1]

Monday Morning, UN Secretary-General António Guterres set the stage for the summit by declaring that “This is not a climate talk summit. We have had enough talk. This is not a climate negotiation summit. You don’t negotiate with nature. This is a climate action summit.” Government, business, and civil society leaders from over 200 countries are meeting today to deliver “new pathways and practical actions to shift global response into higher gear.”[2]

The topics that the summit is covering, include: (1) Increased Ambition and Accelerated Action in meeting Paris commitments (2) Climate Finance (3) Unlocking the Potential of Nature in Climate Action (4) Live, Work, and Move Green (5) Assistance for the Least Developed Countries (6) Small Island Developing Sites (7) Cutting GHG Emissions Now with Cooling and Energy Efficiency (8) A Resilient Future, Making People Safer (9) People Centered Action, and (10) Moving Economy from Grey to Green.[3]

While the Summit leaders encourage active participation from all the attending nations, some of the largest national economies—Australia, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, and the U.S.—will not be given an opportunity to participate in the discussions because of their continuing support for the expansion of coal plants in their nations.[4] Guterres said that by denying some nations from participating the Summit sends a message that “governments are either part of the problem or part of the solution.”[5]

A full list of the announcements and commitments made at the Climate Action Summit can be found at www.un.org/climatechange.

*Featured Image: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/climate-action/

[1] UN Climate Action Summit Team, UN Climate Action Summit 2019 Main Press Release (Sept. 23, 2019), https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/assets/pdf/CAS_main_release.pdf (statement of UN Secretary General António Guterres).

[2] Id.

[3] Id.

[4] Jessica F. Green, The U.N. Climate Summit starts today. Here’s what it can—and can’t—achieve (Sept. 23, 2019), https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/09/23/un-climate-summit-starts-today-heres-what-it-can-cant-achieve/.

[5] Id.

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