What a productive year we shared! In this final 2022 Clean Energy Transition Institute newsletter, we share a few news items, a brief round-up of what we accomplished this year, and our thanks.
Equitable Access to Solar Energy
Researcher Ruby Moore-Bloom’s final blog of the year looks at how community solar can benefit climate resilience, expand renewable energy generation, save money, and provide more equitable access to solar energy. Washington state—home to the nation’s first community solar project in 2006—is now one of 41 states and Washington D.C. with community solar projects. Read about how community solar works, examples from around the country, and how the Inflation Reduction Act might incentivize more projects.
Cleaning the Grid
Monica Samayoa of Oregon Public Broadcasting reporter did a story last week about why transforming the electrical grid is critical to Oregon’s clean energy future. Samayoa interviewed me about how CETI's deep decarbonization pathways modeling helps policymakers understand how to achieve carbon emission reduction targets. We also discussed the Oregon Clean Energy Pathways modeling we produced with Evolved Energy Research in 2021.
Inflation Reduction Act Guidebook Released
Last Friday, the White House released the long-anticipated Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) clean energy and climate guidebook, which lists relevant provisions by theme and provides a one-page summary for each program with a description of available funding, eligible recipients, period of availability, and more.
Monthly Atlas Viz Quiz
Last month we asked: Between 2013 and 2020, in which year was Oregon’s carbon intensity of electricity generation the lowest? The answer was b) 2017, as seen in our Carbon Intensity of Electricity Generation visualization when filtering for Oregon. Stay tuned for more Atlas viz quizzes next year.
The Year in Review
In 2022 we made significant progress in several program areas:
Building Decarbonization: Early in January, we released Operation 2030, analytics and a roadmap for accelerating building decarbonization in Washington state from 2022-2030. Subsequent interviews with nearly 30 key stakeholder and two workshops with the Washington State Department of Commerce Buildings Team yielded a strategic pathway to guide the state’s efforts to remove emissions from buildings.
Northwest Clean Energy Atlas: The Atlas launched on May 3 with interactive data visualizations about emissions, energy, and utilities in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. Updates in August added 2020 data and interactive maps from the Community-Defined Decarbonization report. Our newest visualization, released in November, shows the carbon intensity of electricity generation.
Industrial Decarbonization: In May, we released six Clean Materials Manufacturing Overviews on aluminum, cement/concrete, glass, iron/steel, pulp/paper, and wood products. In June, we co-produced a Clean Materials Manufacturing Summit with Washington’s BlueGreen Alliance, Stockholm Environment Institute-US, and the University of Washington’s Carbon Leadership Forum. The gathering brought together government agency staff; steel and aluminum manufacturers; labor leaders; and environmental advocates to discuss growing clean materials manufacturing in Washington.
Deep Decarbonization Pathways: In August, we launched Net-Zero Northwest, which will produce three important outputs next year that relate to achieving net-zero emissions in the Northwest by 2050: (1) decarbonization pathways modeling that incorporates the Inflation Reduction Act; (2) economic analysis of jobs likely to be created or changed; and (3) improved health metrics due to decreased pollutants from decarbonizing carbon-emitting energy sources.
Rural and Tribal Community Decarbonization: The fall brought the release of two key products: (1) Community-Defined Decarbonization: Reflecting Rural and Tribal Desires for an Equitable Clean Energy Transition in Washington, a report that examines barriers to decarbonizing buildings for rural and Tribal low-income, energy-burdened households; and (2) Harvesting the Sun, a Claiming Power video that describes how three small businesses benefited economically from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America grant program.
A Word of Gratitude
In closing, the CETI Board and team thank our generous funders who make our work possible. We are closing in on our $245,000 individual donation goal and thank all our returning and new donors for providing this general operating support. Since August, we separately raised $248,500 from a variety of nonprofits, foundations, and businesses toward our goal of $400,000 for the Net-Zero Northwest project. We cannot do our work without this critical funding, so thank you one and all.
We wish you and your loved ones a healthy holiday season and look forward to engaging with you in the New Year.
Eileen V. Quigley
P.S. If you are looking for a provocative podcast on the challenge of phasing out fossil fuel while simultaneously creating clean, zero-carbon energy, we recommend the Energy Transition Show’s “Designing the Mid-Transition.”
If you wish to support our work, please either send donations to 4616 25th Avenue NE, PMB 416, Seattle, WA 98105, or visit our donation page.