Tag Archives: NC-RETS

Renewables Report from Southern Company forthcoming

Nonprofit As You Sow got mighty Southern Company to agree to report on renewable energy, which is the first step towards widespread adoption of solar power. How about taking on FPL next, about that Sabal Trail methane pipeline? And that green bond idea, how about our Industrial Authority take that up?

Dave Williams wrote for the Atlanta Business Chronicle yesterday, Southern Co. to report renewable energy spending,

Atlanta-based Southern Co. has agreed to produce a comprehensive report on its current renewable energy projects and plans for future development of renewables, an environmental organization reported Thursday.

The company’s decision prompted Oakland, Calif.-based nonprofit As You Sow to withdraw a shareholder resolution asking Southern to consider President Barack Obama’s goal of reducing carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050, the group said in a news release.

“To achieve that goal, utilities need to immediately shift Continue reading

A renewable energy transparency law that enabled an industry

North Carolina passed a law in 2007 called the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS), which requires power utilities to get certain percentages of their energy from “renewable energy resources or energy efficiency measures.” To that NC added frequent, detailed, public reporting, and thus enabled a renewable energy industry.

Power utilities don’t like to reveal data about their energy sources or sales any more than Internet organizations like to reveal security problems. The key to REPS is the reporting it requires:

“Beginning in 2009, each power supplier is required to file a compliance report, detailing the actions it has taken to fulfill the requirements of the REPS.”
This is called the Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) Tracking System. It provides the data to see which utilities are providing how much of which kind of energy.

According to Ivan Urlaub of the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA), REC reporting enabled the solar industry in North Carolina:

“The passage of the REPS law in 2007 and resulting success of the North Carolina’s clean energy market has created the rapid start-ups and expansions of clean energy businesses from installers to developers to manufacturers and the associated service sectors over the last few years.”
Not only is North Carolina now one of the national leaders in solar energy, but 91% of NC voters want more solar power, with wind second, and everything else far behind.

REC enabled not only a renewable energy industry, but also selection within that industry for what works.

How did this happen? Continue reading