Similarities between the Italian Hera Group and the Community Choice Energy programs in California

Similarities between the Italian Hera Group and the Community Choice Energy programs in California

In the past three articles, I analyzed several aspects of the Hera Group, its strong dedication to sustainable development, and how the company is advancing energy efficiency in industry. There is one more thing I would like to mention and in particular Hera’s organizational structure and some common features with the Community Choice Energy (CCE) programs in California, also known as Community Choice Aggregation (CCA). For this purpose, I will explore data from Marin Clean Energy (MCE), which I introduced in previous articles as the subject of my research.

The HERA Group: from Local Utility to Global Sustainable Development

The HERA Group: from Local Utility to Global Sustainable Development

Hera’s strategic drivers are innovation, efficiency, growth, excellence, and agility. Sustainability has been at the center of the business strategy since its establishment. In 2016, the company decided to move forward to take an active role in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)

The Source of the Icelandic Energy Transition from Carbon to 100% Renewable

The Source of the Icelandic Energy Transition from Carbon to 100% Renewable

Landsvirkjun, the National Power Company of Iceland, invites participants of CHARGE to a Magnet Networking Excursion to the Ljósafoss Power Plant. The excursion will serve as a grand finale of CHARGE 2018 on the 25th of September. After the conference programme concludes, participants will go straight to buses that will take them on an energy excursion like no other. Participants will travel outside of Reykjavik through the iconic Icelandic landscape to the powerplant. At the power plant, Landsvirkjun will host a reception for participants at the plant’s interactive energy exhibition space.

Virginia’s rural co-ops learning lessons with community solar

Virginia’s rural co-ops learning lessons with community solar

Last month, the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) approved three-year pilot community solar programs for four distribution co-ops served by the Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC), based in the Richmond suburb of Glen Allen. They are A&N, Mecklenburg, Northern Neck and Rappahannock. In addition, applications by two other distribution co-ops also served by Old Dominion — Shenandoah Valley and Southside — are pending before the SCC.

China’s Gas Shortage

China’s Gas Shortage

Recent strategies and policies to phase out coal in China have led to an increase in demand for natural gas. In October 2017, China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection unveiled plans to cut harmful air pollution, especially the particularly damaging fine particulate matter known as PM2.5. The plan, or “Coal Ban,” has set strict targets on air quality levels in addition to a ban on burning coal in 28 of its northern cities, including Beijing. However, while the air quality improved significantly in Beijing this past winter, the rapid ban on coal burning and the transition to natural gas has left thousands without heat.

The Italian Energy Audits model: A “cocktail” of best practices that lead to success

The Italian Energy Audits model: A “cocktail” of best practices that lead to success

In March this year, I wrote about the how the Italian model could unlock the great energy efficiency potential in the country’s SMEs. While energy audits are mandatory for large companies, Italy requires them for certain SMEs as well.
New data presented in the Energy Efficiency Annual Report 2017 published by ENEA, the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy, and Sustainable Economic Development, confirms how the energy audits model continues to be successful in Italy. 2016 data reveals that 20% of the total energy audits received were performed by SMEs, and shows that potential savings between 0,8 Mtoe and 1,1 Mtoe could be achieved with a payback period equal or less then three to five years respectively.  
What is the secret to this success? We already know that one of the keys is that the Italian model requires SMEs to undergo energy audits in case it is an energy consuming company, and mandatory implementations of the identified measures.

Fossil Fuel Swap: New Study Shows ‘Overlooked’ Benefits of Switching from Coal to Gas

Fossil Fuel Swap: New Study Shows ‘Overlooked’ Benefits of Switching from Coal to Gas

A recent report published in Nature Energy by researchers at two UK institutions, the University of Sheffield and Imperial College London, considers the “enabling conditions in Great Britain and the potential for rapid fuel switching in other coal-reliant countries.” The report found that the United Kingdom’s overall carbon emissions dropped by 6% in 2016, thanks to “cleaner electricity production.” Importantly, the report found that the reduction was not due to an increase in lower-carbon nuclear or renewable energy sources, but rather, the underestimated benefits of switching from coal to natural gas energy generation. If a fuel switch can be encouraged to make better use of existing gas infrastructure, the fuel switch may be able to scale up quickly and produce significant near-term emission reductions.

Cybersecurity and the power grid

Cybersecurity and the power grid

In the face of the mounting threats of cyberattacks and the vulnerable, interdependent electric grid systems, governments, utilities, businesses, and people need to come together and do what is necessary to be prepared. No one can afford to be complacent. This was the message at the Energy Infrastructure and Cybersecurity forum held by Leaders in Energy at Make Offices in Arlington, VA (Clarendon) on June 1, 2017.

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