• Energy Resources

Energy Sector Law and Policy

This tab includes laws and policies for avoiding or reducing climate change impacts in the energy sector, including best practices and legal and policy analysis.

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Port of Long Beach, California Microgrid

2018

In early 2018 the Port of Long Beach, in conjunction with Schneider Electric, began planning a microgrid solar Photovoltaic (PV) and Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) project. The project will enhance reliability and resiliency of the port’s electricity supply, and reduce the port’s carbon footprint, while simultaneously strengthening local workforce development initiatives, and providing paid, on-the-job training to port workers. By powering the port’s electric terminal equipment and reducing its reliance on diesel generators and the grid, the project reduces the port’s GHG emissions footprint and criteria air pollutant emissions. The microgrid implementation will use union labor from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, with paid training hours to fill workers’ knowledge gaps in installing comparable microgrids. Moreover, the project enlists and provides educational experience to students from the University of California - Irvine, Advanced Power and Energy program in analyzing its performance data. Funding for the plan comes from a $5 million grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC), combined with $2.12 million in matched funds from the Port of Long Beach. The grant requires that the project demonstrate benefits to electricity customers in the local grid in the form of enhanced reliability, lower costs, or improved safety. An overriding objective of all CEC grant projects, is to “lead to technological advancement and breakthroughs to overcome barriers to achieving the state’s statutory energy goals.” As such, the project must document lessons learned in implementation and maintenance in promotion of replicability of similar projects, and the commercialization of microgrids more broadly.

Related Organizations: Port of Long Beach, California

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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DC Public Service Commission MEDSIS Initiative, Customer Impact Working Group

2018

The District of Columbia Public Service Commission’s (DCPSC) establishment of the Customer Impact Working Group within the Modernizing the Energy Delivery System for Increased Sustainability (MEDSIS) initiative is a replicable example of how utility commissions are working to invite equitable input in grid modernization efforts. DCPSC initiated the MEDSIS initiative as a means of making the energy delivery system more sustainable, reliable, efficient, cost effective, and interactive for District customers. DCPSC approved the establishment of six working groups to elicit input from a diverse range of stakeholders in order to address key issues related to modernizing the District’s energy delivery system. The Customer Impact Working Group is examining how grid modernization efforts may impact various customers, including exploring questions of customer equity, data protection and privacy, consumer protection, and low- and limited-income customer inclusion. This Working Group will produce recommendations aimed at ensuring that all customers benefit from grid modernization efforts.

Related Organizations: District of Columbia Public Service Commission

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Boston Planning and Development Agency - Smart Utilities Policy

June 14, 2018

The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) Smart Utilities Policy has been launched as a two-year pilot program for resilient infrastructure planning in the City of Boston, Massachusetts. The policy adopts five “Smart Utility Technologies” (SUTs) that prepare Boston’s utility infrastructure for the impacts of climate change such as heat waves and flooding. A Microgrid, or centralized energy system, will be developed that can disconnect from the main electric utility grid during power outages.

Related Organizations: City of Boston, Massachusetts, Boston Planning and Development Agency

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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New York City Climate Resiliency Design Guidelines

April 2018

In April 2018, New York City released new Climate Resiliency Design Guidelines that apply to all City capital projects, aside from coastal protection projects. The guidelines direct planners, engineers, architects, and others involved in project delivery on how to use regionally-specific future climate projections in the design of City facilities.

Related Organizations: New York City Mayor's Office of Recovery and Resiliency

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Safer and Stronger Cities: Strategies for Advocating for Federal Resilience Policy

March 14, 2018

In March 2018, the 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) initiative released the "Safer and Stronger Cities" report with a series of policy recommendations on how the federal government could help support urban resilience initiatives. Five chapters focus on strategies for enhancing resilience through infrastructure, housing, economic development, and public safety. Each chapter provides a background discussion of the resilience challenges for cities; the opportunities to enhance resilience in these focal areas including climate adaptation strategies; and case study examples of local, state, and federal actions to advance resilience in each sector.

Related Organizations: 100 Resilient Cities, Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., Georgetown Climate Center, Rebuild by Design

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Owning the Benefits of Solar+Storage: New Ownership and Investment Models for Affordable Housing and Community Facilities

February 2018

This policy paper examines five models for financing solar PV coupled with battery storage (solar + storage) with the aim of identifying solutions for increasing access to renewable energy in affordable housing and community facilities serving low- to moderate-income (LMI) communities. Solar + storage can reduce utility bills, increase the resilience of power systems, and, in some cases, can lead to revenue from grid services. For these reasons, solar + storage is seen as an equity strategy that can benefit LMI communities.

Related Organizations: Clean Energy Group

Authors or Affiliated Users: Robert Sanders, Lew Milford

Resource Category: Funding

 

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Delivering Urban Resilience: Costs and benefits of city-wide adoption of smart surfaces

2018

This report quantifies the benefits and costs of smart surface technologies and finds that the risks from extreme heat and weather can be offset by these technologies. It draws on  Washington D. C. , Philadelphia, and El Paso as case studies and considers five smart surface technologies: cool roofs, green roofs, solar PV, reflective pavements, and urban trees. The authors find that adopting these technologies can generate millions (or even billions) of dollars in net financial benefits at the city level and can generate half a trillion dollars in net financial benefits nationwide.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Greg Kats, Keith Glassbrook

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Safeguarding California in Action: Climate Change Adaptation Examples from State Agencies

January 30, 2018

Safeguarding California in Action provides an overview of the state agency action case studies that were included in the Safeguarding California Plan - the state's climate change adaptation plan. This supplementary document provides 33 examples of actions funded by the state, that state agencies are implementing to make communities, infrastructure, services, and the natural environment more resilient to climate change. 

Related Organizations: California Natural Resources Agency

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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California Public Utilities Commission Clean Energy Research Projects for Low-Income and Disadvantaged Communities

January 2018

The California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) allocates its Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) to fund projects located in and benefiting low-income and disadvantaged communities, which is an example of utility commissions participating in equitable grid investment. EPIC funds come from rates charged to electricity customers of the state utilities and supports investments in clean energy technologies that benefit ratepayers of investor owned utilities. AB 523 directs the California Energy Commission (CEC) to expend at least 25 percent of its EPIC funds for Technology Demonstration and Deployment funding (TD&D) at sites located in, and benefiting, “disadvantaged communities,” and adds an additional requirement that the CEC expend at least 10 percent of its EPIC funds for TD&D at sites located in, and benefiting, low-income communities located in the state. The CPUC approved the allocation of $60 million of its EPIC funding to projects located in and benefiting low-income and disadvantaged communities that are also specifically prioritized for the investment of proceeds from CA’s cap-and-trade program. These investments are aimed at improving public health, quality of life, and economic opportunity in disadvantaged communities, which are defined by AB 523 as those most burdened by pollution from multiple sources and most vulnerable to its effects, considering socioeconomic characteristics and underlying health status.

Related Organizations: California Public Utilities Commission

Resource Category: Funding

 

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Taking Action on Green Resilience: Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Synergies

November 20, 2017

This report summarizes a workshop entitled “Taking Action on Green Resilience”at the 2017 ICLEI Canada Livable Cities Forum in Victoria, British Columbia, and provides recommendations on capacity building, research and public policies needed to advance green resilience practices. “Green Resilience” strategies are described as those that address both climate mitigation and adaptation - by simultaneously reducing GHG emissions and enhancing climate resilience.  The report was produced by Green Resilience Strategies and ACT (the Adaptation to Climate Change Team) at Simon Fraser University.

Related Organizations: Simon Fraser University, Green Resilience Strategies

Authors or Affiliated Users: Steve Winkelman, Edward Nichol, Deborah Harford

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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