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SunDrum® Solar: Optimizing the energy structure.

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SunDrum® Solar: Optimizing the energy structure.

Renewables

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Besides the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19, the world is facing another major crisis which is hardly acknowledged. It’s ‘global warming’ which has been concerning our scientists since the pre-industrial period where the Earth’s surface temperature is rising with every passing day. It is a huge threat to sustainability and its impact on the environment, ecosystems, society, animal kingdom and humanity will only get worse as the earth gets warmer. Even today, this phenomenon is affecting 98% of the world and has forced several species of birds and animals to migrate in search of a suitable ecosystem due to pervasive environmental change and spasmodic natural disasters. However, since the issue is now globally comprehensible, individuals, enterprises, organizations, and even nations have come forward to take initiatives towards fighting climate change and decelerating the temperature rise. Dynamism like this is slowly spawning a soft push to others as well by showing how to adapt to better choices and resources concerning sustainable development. It can be planting trees, indulging in sustainable transportation habits and energy-efficient appliances, using renewable energy, reducing the water waste, paring down carbon profile, innovation or even simply going vegetarian; the matter of fact is they are inspiring everyone around the globe to rise and make a change. One such motivator is SunDrum® Solar LLC who manufactures a unique thermal collector that fits underneath a standard PV panel creating a hybrid PV-T system (Combined Photovoltaic and Thermal). Its approach is to encourage both residential and commercial users to employ and operate with solar energy as it is the one renewable energy resource that can support the entire human population for an indefinite time and will remain accessible as long as we have Sun.  

SunDrum® was founded by Michael Intrieri in 2008, an engineer who likes to solve problems, and considers global warming a dire predicament that needs our immediate attention. He asserts, “I started the company to prove that solar electric and solar thermal can co-exist together to provide economical solutions vs fossil fuels. SunDrum® Solar Hybrid (Photovoltaic/Thermal) innovations in heating and cooling dramatically improve solar economics by providing cost-effective hybrid assemblies and systems.” By installing SunDrum® Solar’s thermal collectors beneath the standard PV panels, users can capture five times more energy from the same footprint as before. Moreover, SunDrum® Solar helps increase the efficiency and life of PV panels by facilitating a cooling effect while also preserving aesthetics. These collectors are the primary component of SunDrum® Solar’s unparalleled HarvestH® thermal system which is a powerful source of space heating, space cooling, pool heating, and Daily-Hot-Water for any domestic or commercial building. They generate enough energy to fulfill the needs of its users 24 hours a day but also reduce the energy bill.  

“I started the company to prove that solar electric and solar thermal can co-exist together to provide economical solutions vs fossil fuels.”

Harvest and Preserve

SunDrum® Solar has owned the world record solar consumption record at 86% since 2013. However, in 2014, SunDrum® Solar first started implementing HarvestHP™ systems. By implementing learnings of the first-generation systems, they were able to commission a 27kW (15.5kW thermal and 11.5kW DC electrical) HarvestHP™ residential system on a home in Washington, D.C in 2016. This system not only counterpoised 90% of the 2,100 square foot home’s energy bills, annually saving the customer a total of $2,900, as well as generated an additional $15,000 annual income under Washington D.C. SREC program. Further, in January 2017, commissioned a 42.3kW (27.3kW thermal and 15kW DC electrical) HarvestHP™ commercial system on a hotel in Bakersfield, California.   Designed to provide thermal energy to heat domestic water and outdoor pool, and at the same time offset some of the hotel’s electrical power requirements. SunDrum® also received the honor AEE 2017 Innovative Energy Project of the year award for their contribution to Enser-Morris Hybrid P/T/HP System designed and built by Capital Sun group by utilizing a sandwiched dual collector system which combined highly efficient photovoltaic panels for generating electricity with SunDrum® Solar thermal panels installed behind the PV’s to provide heating and air conditioning.  

In 2019, SunDrum® Solar surpassed its own excellency by employing a 1,300-collector hybrid solar PV-T campus at Naval Station Great Lakes in North Chicago, Illinois to provide electricity and  hot water to dormitories and base laundry.   Also a 10.7kW hybrid solar PV-T system on an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) in San Jose, CA. This system converted the PV panels to hybrid modules providing 14.5MWh of energy, allowing the client to be net-zero. In addition, it reduced the customer’s cost of ownership to $9,000 as compared to a traditional system’s $113,000, and not to forget it sufficed 100% of their electrical, DHW, Space heating and space cooling needs for the entire home. The way SunDrum® Solar’s high-performance collectors increase the hours of operation of the thermal system to such extreme length makes it possible for their customers to have a faster return on their investment through unmatched savings on the energy bills and benefits of the government’s renewable energy incentive programs. 

Sharing what the next step would be, Michael says,“It will be to develop partnerships to scale our solutions both domestically and internationally once our international patents are approved.”

Creating a brighter tomorrow

Michael shares, “Until recently our largest market was hotels. However, we have verticals in hotel, collegiate, multi-family, commercial pools, beverage processing/breweries, and residential. We have had to pivot, a number of times, in our history. Recently with Covid-19 our hotel and collegiate markets have been impacted. We are currently evolving our multi-family and residential, targeting residential housing developments where we can provide a solution for all their thermal needs, space heating, space cooling, pool heating, DHW, and electrical.The nice thing about the solution is its energy. Energy can be used in multiple ways.” Beyond doubt, SunDrum® is an innovative and dexterous company, with a dedicated team. Even in these extreme times all employeesare employed and working to achieve their mission.

SunDrum Solar’s headquarters are located in Hudson MA. To demonstrate solars capacity for heating and cooling, they are working with Maui Brewery to deliver over 30 tons of chilled water along with hot process water. But like any business, they have challenges to conquer before they can reach their full potential. Michael says, “We struggle with the low cost of natural gas. Until there is a serious effort to tax CO2 emissions to offset the low cost of the fuel source, we will be challenged. We will continue to innovate to improve our economics vs fossil fuels. This is driving us to develop solutions that provide heating and cooling. Plus, solutions allow a solar system to provide 100% of a client’s thermal needs.”

In the next five years, SunDrum® Solar’s team will have to tackle the Natural Gas pricing and political collateral to persevere renewable energy due to existing government shortfalls. But that doesn’t stop them from having a precise plan to move forward. While sharing what the next step would be, Michael says, “It will be to develop partnerships to scale our solutions both domestically and internationally once our international patents are approved.” It is indeed inspiring to see how innovation and skill lead to wonderful establishments such as SunDrum® Solar. They pride themselves in delivering high-performance solutions for their client’s total energy needs and in turn, reduces their carbon-footprint overall. It not only serves their customer but the entire world. 

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Genie Energy: Supply. Advisory. Sustainable Generation. We are energy.

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Genie Energy: Supply. Advisory. Sustainable Generation. We are energy.

Renewables

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Genie Energy, Ltd., was founded by Howard Jonas, Genie’s Chairman, in 2004.  The company is headquartered in Newark, New Jersey and is led by its CEO, Michael Stein.

Genie’s principal businesses provide electricity and natural gas to residential and business customers through its portfolio of energy suppliers. These suppliers successfully compete against public utilities and their affiliates by offering a diverse portfolio of services to meet the diverse needs of their customers. The company’s advisory and brokerage business supplies larger commercial/industrial customers and municipalities. The offering includes traditional supply and environmentally friendly green electricity and carbon offset natural gas. Genie’s solar businesses provide traditional rooftop and community solar supply options including projects featuring cutting-edge bi-facial solar panels. Suites of essential home and business solutions such as security and monitoring, automation, high-speed data, wireless phone and connectivity, satellite services and more are also available. 

“The best ideas typically come from those who examine old problems from a new perspective.”

An innovation driver 

Sustainable solutions are always top of mind for Genie Energy. Today, Genie companies serve over 525,000 residential customers, and tens of thousands of businesses across the globe. In addition, they provide Solar power to thousands of customers throughout the US and Scandinavia. In all, over 50% of Genie customers’ consumption rely on Solar electricity generation or have their usage backed by Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) or Carbon Offset natural gas. In addition, the company provides solar power to thousands of customers throughout the US and Scandinavia. “Our commitment to consumer choice and ability to tailor solutions to meet the unique preferences and requirements of our customers is our USP across our channels and markets,” says Stein.

Genie recently launched “Petrocycle,” an Israel-based oil recycling company which has developed a unique and proprietary process to clean and purify used motor oil.  The process cleanses the oil of its accumulated impurities, including sulphur, without ‘hydrotreating’.  Hydrotreating is an inefficient and expensive process that until now, has been the standard for recycling oil worldwide. Petrocycle expects to begin recycling hundreds of thousands of liters of used oil per month beginning this September with the ambitious goal of reducing the world’s dependence on new oil exploration and production. 

With Genie supply companies already actively supplying electricity in many municipalities throughout IL, NJ and MA as part of state run aggregation programs, Genie’s energy advisory companies are also developing new ways for large consumers to reduce their energy bills. Recently, a large county in New York asked Genie whether there was any way it could help to reduce the high energy costs incurred by its municipal buildings. “Typically, a county will simply issue an RFP inviting suppliers to bid on their energy consumption, following the familiar aggregation model,” shares Stein. “Given the size, and the municipalities’ risk profile, our team recognized that there was an opportunity to do something extraordinary with a more creative approach.  We worked with the County’s municipal stakeholders over many months to provide them with direct access to the wholesale markets for their supply. This access allowed them to generate substantial savings by cutting out the “middleman” supplier. We also designed a risk management program that minimizes their exposure to the inherent volatility of the wholesale market.”

Genie Energy-Where talent meets opportunity

Genie Energy’s corporate culture provides robust opportunities for its employees to innovate and create, while adhering to a rigorous code of business ethics and transparency. Genie strives to create and foster a work environment where everyone feels challenged and satisfied at the end of the day. The company encourages employees to develop new skills and expand their expertise to areas that suit their interests. The Company’s emphasis on continuous innovation and efficiency encourages all to share ideas, with an assurance that their input will be appreciated and rewarded. “The best ideas typically come from those who examine old problems from a new perspective. By encouraging creativity and blue-sky thinking, we work to achieve an environment where everyone thinks about and can suggest innovations in areas outside their span of responsibility,” remarks Stein. “We have our eyes and ears open and encourage our downline managers to operate similarly.” 

Moreover, we encourage our people to take creative risks and support them with the appropriate input, guidance, and support,” emphasizes Stein. “We want people walking around thinking, ‘Wow, Genie is full of new ideas and innovation! I can make anything happen here, and I can be a part of it.”

Genie recognizes the extraordinary contributions made by those who have served the country’s armed forces or who must overcome disabilities through its “Veterans and Special Needs Program.” The program incentivizes Genie’s sales and business development partners to offer robust incentives for veterans and individuals with special needs in their employ.

Michael Stein, CEO, Genie Energy.
Michael Stein, CEO, Genie Energy.

“Our management team constantly reminds our colleagues, and vice versa, that if the goal is not lofty it is probably not worth pursuing.”

Overcoming adversity

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged our conventional operating systems and methods, and pushed us to innovate processes enabling our colleagues to work more effectively. New collaborative tools not only enable us to work outside the office, but they have also allowed us the opportunity to forge closer connections with our current customers and in particular our commercial prospects. “The coronavirus pandemic has provided our industry with an interesting opportunity to adapt and innovate – and that’s a challenge we love,” says Stein. “In response, we have further diversified our product set and sales channels.”

After the onset of the pandemic, Genie introduced a portfolio of well-recognized essential home and business services like security/monitoring, broadband internet, streaming services, satellite TV, and wireless offerings for its residential customers. As a significant portion of America’s labor force transitioned to work-from-home, these connected services became top-of-mind for upgrades and improvement.  Genie leveraged its considerable buying power to negotiate terms helping many of these workers upgrade these essential home-based services while reducing costs.  

This spring, Genie also began offering access to community solar projects in New York State.  Community solar solutions can provide residential and business owners, AND renters, significant savings — around 10-20% — on their monthly electric bills, which is especially important when so many are struggling with reduced employment. Best of all, the savings come without the need for investment and financing of traditional programs to build, install and maintain solar arrays at the customer’s premise, since the arrays are built to serve the needs of entire communities from remote but nearby locations. Community solar also strengthens local economies by creating local jobs. 

“In addition, commercial customers of all sizes can take advantage of services provided by our sister companies offering point-of-sale services, affordable payment processing, and even international money transfer,” shares Stein. “The bottom line is that Genie Energy products and services work well at home, and can be taken to work with you too…!” 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many energy supply firms are struggling with old business models that are either less productive or which no longer function at all.  Genie, on the other hand, has confronted the challenge head-on and is better serving its customers and expanding its business. “Our management team constantly reminds our colleagues, and vice versa, that if the goal is not lofty it is probably not worth pursuing,” says Stein. 

Genie strives to make philanthropy and community involvement a core part of the company culture. Outside of the office, the company supports organizations that contribute to the community and encourages its employees to do the same. In fact, three Genie employees including CEO Michael Stein volunteer their personal time as EMTs for ambulance corps in their neighborhoods, and have each personally answered hundreds of calls during the pandemic. Our ranks also include foster parents, youth mentors and leaders in local houses of worship. As a company, Genie supports food pantries, healthcare organizations, and at-risk youth programs with direct cash support. Through personal and corporate initiatives alike, Genie is giving back to communities as it becomes a leader in the worldwide renewable energy supply space.

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10 Most Innovative Renewable Energy Companies, 2020.

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Most
Innovative
Renewable Energy Companies, 2020.

“A transition to clean energy is about making an investment in our future.”

Bojan Paduh, Founder, Electronic Recycling Association.

On the Cover

Bojan Paduh

“I formed the ERA because I saw a great need for better management of the waste created by electronics.”

EEP

Chuck Hurchalla

“Our mission is simple….to advise, design, procure and build solutions that provide measured value to our client’s sustainable footprint through effective energy management and increased efficiency while maximizing savings to the organization.”

Chuck Hurchalla, President, Evolution Energy Partners (EEP).

EnergyPal

“EnergyPal was born to fix the solar buying experience once and for all. We are 100% online, digital, and are disrupting the industry each day.”

Usman Noor

“I aim to make 8MSolar the most well regarded commercial and residential solar installer in the Eastern US.”

SunDrum® Solar

“I started the company to prove that solar electric and solar thermal can co-exist together to provide economical solutions vs fossil fuels.”

Michael Stein

“The best ideas typically come from those who examine old problems from a new perspective.”

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Electronic Recycling Association: Tackling the E-waste problem.

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Electronic Recycling Association: Tackling the E-waste problem.

Renewables

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ERA

We live in an era where we are surrounded by gadgets. Name an electronic device and you can find it around you. From smartphones to laptops, routers to printers, scanners etc. devices seem to have become an inseparable part of our lives. Life seems to be incomplete without them. While they make our lives easier, their disposal is contributing to the growing problem of electronic waste.

Globally, we only recycle 10% of our e-waste, a number that’s as shocking as it is depressing. As for the 90% we don’t recycle, it ends up getting landfilled, incinerated, or illegally traded. E-waste contains a laundry list of chemicals that are harmful to people and the environment, like: mercury, lead, beryllium, brominated flame retardants, and cadmium, i.e. stuff that is as bad as it sounds. When electronics are mishandled during disposal, these chemicals end up in our soil, water, and air.

To make matters worse, electronic waste is sometimes illegally exported to countries that don’t have laws on handling and disposing of it. Once there, it’s dumped. Sometimes, valuable materials are recovered, but often in unsafe working conditions.

While it might feel disheartening about the damage being done to our planet, there are some who are tackling the problem. One of those is Electronic Recycling Association (ERA), a non-profit organization committed to curb the e-waste monster. Having taken this responsibility for the last 16 years, ERA has been known for offering simple, actionable & effective solutions to help individuals and organizations manage their e-waste. “I formed the ERA because I saw a great need for better management of the waste created by electronics,” says Bojan Paduh, Founder & President of ERA.

“We want more people to be involved in the reuse side of the e-waste industry so that we have more available for donation to charities and individuals who can’t afford to purchase new equipment.”

That’s how it always begins, very small

The idea for the Electronic Recycling Association came to Bojan Paduh as the result of an experience he had when he first moved to Canada. His family had emigrated from Croatia in 1996 and didn’t bring many modern conveniences with them. Shortly after they settled, the church group that his family belonged to gave Bojan a computer. While it may seem insignificant to some, this small gift had an immeasurable impact on his life. Armed with this precious piece of technology, he began to learn the art of computer science, giving him access to information at the click of a button and the ability to complete school assignments that really stood out among his peers.

One day on a school trip to a landfill Bojan noticed that a lot of computers were being dumped there. Computers that still had significant useful life in them, a fact he wouldn’t have known if it weren’t for that computer he was given as a young adult. He was surprised that people would just throw away working technology, and so he started collecting those dumped computers and fixing them up. It was a hobby for him, but he quickly discovered that people really wanted and needed these computers that he was fixing. And thus ERA was born.

Trash to Table

With a focus on refurbishing and reusing computers & accessories, ERA supplies donated IT equipment to charitable groups. Team ERA realizes that reusing computers and related accessories before recycling them can completely transform the ways the e-waste created by an organization is managed. By offering industry leading data destruction for all equipment they receive, they have securely repurposed hundreds of tons of equipment.

With Imperial Oil and Shell as their biggest clients, their target market are organizations that replace their IT equipment regularly. As avoiding harm to the environment is its top priority, ERA accepts any IT related devices without any clauses like age, quality or condition of the device. “We are also happy to help the smaller companies that only need a pickup every year or so. Everyone has electronics to get rid of at some point and we have clients in every industry,” says Julia.

Safe disposal of e-waste includes different processes like pickup, maintaining inventory, destruction of data, certification, recycling fees etc. and each has a cost involved. Though other e-waste disposal service companies offer good money for old electronics, they deduct their service costs leaving their clients with a very small amount in hand. On the other hand, with no sorting or boxing required, ERA has a smooth & streamlined pickup service that ensures its clients convenience and a pleasant working experience. By offering the majority of its services at no charge, ERA offers organizations an opportunity to improve their corporate responsibility profile and join hands with ERA in their crusade for saving the environment.

Diamonds in the Crown

ERAs commitment towards environmental protection can be witnessed in the form of recognition and partnership with some of the important organizations in the world. 

  • ERA is the recipient of the prestigious “Emerald Award” for its dedication towards a social cause and its ability to demonstrate extraordinary commitment to the environment.

  • ERAs partnership with Ruckify and United Way helps towards providing more donations to multiple recipients together. Their partnership also includes taking care of promotion & media, logistics, pickup services and refurbishment.

  • ERA has paired with Shell Canada from which it receives large donations of electronics. Not only Shell chooses to contribute towards ERA’s donation requests but they also choose their own recipients as well.

  • Having partnered with Alberta’s Promise a government initiative, ERA is dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth. They plan to do this by inspiring ideas, actions, and investment between business, agencies and community partners.

Bojan Paduh, Founder, Electronic Recycling Association.
Bojan Paduh, Founder, Electronic Recycling Association.

“Our motto is to reduce electronic waste and the negative impact it has on our environment, and to reuse unwanted computers and related electronic equipment through recovery, refurbishment and computer donation programs,” emphasizes Julia Armstrong, Marketing and Donations Manager, Electronic Recycling Association.

Ramping up Growth

Expansion of operations for non-profit organizations has never been easy. They have to strike a delicate balance between growth and sustainability. Despite facing their share of successes and failures, ERA’s prime strategy has navigated the balance between the two opposing interests quite successfully. For some time they have been expanding their outreach programs and have been opening new branches across other cities. 

Getting approved and audited by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) turned out to be a major game changer. Being ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 certified has helped ERA not only improve its environmental processes and procedures, but has also allowed bigger organizations to partner up with them without worrying about credibility. 

The particular work culture has been an important factor in the growth of the non-profit. At ERA everyone is aware that their position or the title is not what makes them a leader. Rather every team member believes in facing challenges together. Due to a collaborative culture, it is important for CEO Bojan Paduh that the employees feel satisfied at the end of the day, and are given work tasks which are in sync with their skills & interests. “This not only allows everyone to shine in their own unique ways but in turn makes the company more productive and efficient,” adds Julia.

Indeed, a friend in need

The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly been a painful experience for everyone. With business shutting down in bulk & employees forced to work from home, the need for personal computers has grown considerably. Despite the drastic decrease in the amount of inventory from businesses ERA is working diligently to fulfill requests for personal devices. In order to help individuals struggling due to COVID-19 to study and work from home, ERA has come up with an additional support program (Lending Laptop Program) which includes donating laptops to people who cannot afford one.

Though the pandemic has proven to be a speed-bump, ERA is trying to get back on track. As a part of its business strategy, ERA, has plans to expand to the east coast and the US. “We want more people to be involved in the reuse side of the e-waste industry so that we have more available for donation to charities and individuals who can’t afford to purchase new equipment,” adds Julia. With a clear vision for itself and a mission to change the world for good, ERA can certainly be an industry leader in the making.

Students at St. Peter School give out a cheer as they had a special visit by The Calgary Flames’ mascot, Harvey the Hound thanks to The Electronic Recycling Association (ERA) who donated 20 refurbished laptops which where presented to deserving students in Calgary on Wednesday June 17, 2015.
Students at St. Peter School give out a cheer as they had a special visit by The Calgary Flames’ mascot, Harvey the Hound thanks to The Electronic Recycling Association (ERA) who donated 20 refurbished laptops which where presented to deserving students in Calgary on Wednesday June 17, 2015.
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How Evolution Energy Partners is transforming energy management.

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How Evolution Energy Partners is transforming energy management.

Renewables

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EEP

Established as a division of UGI Corp., a Fortune 500 publicly traded Energy Company, Evolution Energy Partners LLC was taken private by Chuck Hurchalla, President, Evolution Energy Partners (EEP) in 2015. Known for offering the best in class sustainability, energy efficiency, procurement, and analytical solutions, EEP is a full-service energy management, engineering, and consulting company. The ambition of EEP is embodied in the slogan ‘Energy Solutions that Improve Your Bottom Line.’ EEP, with its experienced team, helps its clients achieve their utility spend, energy consumption, and long-term energy management goals. With a collective work experience of over 70 years, their management team, with its incisive skills, is capable of assisting any commercial, industrial, and institutional customers in reducing their energy consumption and utility squander. 

Our mission is simple….,” says Chuck, “to advise, design, procure and build solutions that provide measured value to our client’s sustainable footprint through effective energy management and increased efficiency while maximizing savings to the organization.” 

Headquartered in Exton, Pennsylvania, Evolution Energy Partners also maintains offices in New Jersey, Massachusetts and Ohio. EEP works with companies in a wide range of sectors, ranging from manufacturing, hospitality, retail, offices, condominium, senior housing, hospitals, student housing, government, non -profit, primary and secondary education. It is currently serving more than 500 customers across North America, comprising more than 3,000 individual utility meters.

“In 2019 the cost of building green energy operations became less expensive than building fossil fuel-fired plants. This was a paradigm shift in the market. As the more and more green generation is brought to the market, the more economical it will be to purchase green energy.”

Culture at EEP

Chuck notes that the success of any organization depends not just upon a vision or product, but the employees who carry out the vision and build the product. Creating an atmosphere where employees can feel comfortable, spontaneously express themselves is therefore important to EEP. The company fosters a work culture that allows its employees to thrive and grow. Being a people-centric organization, EEP maintains complete transparency with its employees and customers. It is due to their open and ethical policies, EEP enjoys a whopping 98% customer retention rate and allows their long-term employees to remain with them for years.

Voices of Success

No matter what an enterprise puts in the picture, it is the conviction and belief of its customers that makes the difference. Here are the ‘opinions that matter’:  

“As part of the university’s strategic approach to effective cost management, and its desire to become a sustainable, eco-friendly institution, the university expanded its decade long partnership with EEP. Their energy procurement advice, and access to multiple markets and pricing options, enabled us to reduce market risk and utilities costs in excess of 15% over several years. In addition, their efficiency engineering process and vendor relationships, helped us upgrade our lighting infrastructure, appearance, and safety of our campus. Chuck and his team are fantastic partners for the university, and they always have our best interest in their minds.”– Jim T., CFO, College Campus.

“I have had the pleasure of working with the Evolution Energy Team for approximately 20 years. They have assisted our hospitals with all facets of our energy supply needs involving natural gas, electricity, and fuel oil. Their services have included essential services such as scheduling oil deliveries to more sophisticated services such as developing hedging strategies, budget forecasting and identifying fuel oil/natural gas arbitrage opportunities. These services have allowed our hospitals to save hundreds of thousands of dollars.” –Brian C., Vice President – Hospital Sector.

“The opportunity to drive sustainability on a continuous basis while impacting the bottom line of our customers is uncommon. If you can do something good for the environment and save money for your customers every day – it is a good day! Every day is a good day at EEP!” cheers Chuck.

Chuck Hurchalla, President, Evolution Energy Partners (EEP).
Chuck Hurchalla, President, Evolution Energy Partners (EEP).

“Our mission is simple….,” says Chuck, “to advise, design, procure and build solutions that provide measured value to our client’s sustainable footprint through effective energy management and increased efficiency while maximizing savings to the organization.”

Taller than the rest

On their journey towards helping their clients and saving the environment, EEP has received numerous awards: 

  • Inc 5000 List 2020

  • Philadelphia Business Journal Soaring 76 2020

  • Philadelphia Business Journal Best Places to Work 2020

  • Philadelphia Business Journal Soaring 76 2019

  • C10 Insights Top 10 Smart Energy Consulting Services Company – 2019

  • Better Business Bureau Accredited Business

  • U.S. Green Building Council Member

  • LEED AP O+M on Staff 

Even with these many awards, EEP is unstoppable and hungry for more. With their undying passion for helping their clients and saving the environment, EEP is certainly a brand that proudly stands out and succeeds.

Creating new opportunities

With the world entering the COVID-19 storm in March 2020, EEP defined a clear path for its customers. To continue supporting its client’s requirements to minimize their energy spend amidst the pandemic, EEP provided guiding procedures including detailed lower occupancy and cost-saving measures. Despite the different phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, EEP ensured that its customers continue to receive the required educational guidelines and procedures. As life is slowly getting back to normal, their current focus is on preparing their customers when they return to the workplace. Looking forward to defining new opportunities, EEP is committed to ensuring that their customers take full advantage of every prescribed cost-saving measure.

Green energy is the future 

Chuck is convinced energy will continue to evolve to a green economy over the next few years. “In 2019 the cost of building green energy operations became less expensive than building fossil fuel-fired plants. This was a paradigm shift in the market. As the more and more green generation is brought to the market, the more economical it will be to purchase green energy,” says Chuck.

Transitioning to the green energy economy is a mandate not going to be an easy task, especially when no one knows what it will look like. However, with opportunity abounds and EEP at the forefront, the future certainly looks promising.

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8MSolar: Leading the Solar Revolution.

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8MSolar: Leading the Solar Revolution.

Renewables

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Launched in 2015 by two friends Usman Noor and Ali Buttar, 8MSolar is a Solar EPC firm known for its innovative solar solutions. Headquartered in North Carolina, 8MSolar is on a mission to provide best in class Solar PV solutions to clients in the residential, commercial, non-profit, and government sectors. 8MSolar is a NABCEP certified Solar PV Installer, a Chapter 87 Engineering Firm and is licensed as an Unlimited Commercial General Contractor in NC. Formed with the aim to provide the best solar systems, 8MSolar has a combined experience of 15 years of providing residential and commercial PV systems as well as electricity generation.

 “We are a full-service Solar PV design & installation firm with in house engineering and unlimited commercial construction capabilities,” shares Usman.

The beginning 

8MSolar was established to help generate clean electricity while reducing environmental impact and to offer energy independence to everyone. Though the journey has been fun, they have had their share of challenges. In starting a second solar company in a new state, they divested their interests from their first successful solar installation firm in Ohio. As they could not capitalize on their previous success, they had to create a new brand from scratch. The first year was indeed difficult. However, with persistence and an unwavering focus on delivering high-quality products, 8MSolar earned a solid reputation for itself in the industry and has glowing reviews from residential and commercial clients.

“We provide custom engineered solar PV solutions for each customer we work with. We approach each project as its own entity and deliver the best possible solution based on the demands of our clients.”

Advancing Energy Independence

8MSolar is renowned for its best in class engineering, top-notch installation, and excellent service. 8MSolar’s offerings include premium solar energy generation systems and services including solar system design & engineering, installation, testing, commissioning and troubleshooting existing solar PV systems. 8MSolar is also a Tesla Powerwall certified installer. 8MSolar is proud to be preferred partners with some of the largest names in the solar photovoltaic industry such as Solar Edge, Silfab Solar, Solaria, REC and Tesla. The company is also able to provide guidance on solar tax credits & rebate programs. “We provide custom engineered solar PV solutions for each customer we work with. We approach each project as its own entity and deliver the best possible solution based on the demands of our clients,” says Usman. “The purpose behind this is to generate clean renewable energy, reduce the carbon footprint of our homes, businesses and to preserve our planet for ourselves and our future generations.” 

Every solar system installed by 8MSolar is carefully planned, designed and installed to meet stringent safety and quality standards before it is put into service. To do so 8MSolar ensures up to date product knowledge through continuing education, and the staff is diligently trained on every new solar development. “All our employees have mandated solar PV training twice a year,” shares Usman. “Our sales associates and design teams interact with all our hardware manufacturing partners and actively participate in training sessions.” Its matchless expertise in solar technology and attention to the finest detail makes 8MSolar completely outshine its competitors. 

Usman Noor, Co-Founder, 8MSolar.
Usman Noor, Co-Founder, 8MSolar.

“I aim to make 8MSolar the most well regarded commercial and residential solar installer in the Eastern US.”

Being preferred partners with all the major solar equipment manufacturers, 8MSolar is completely hardware agnostic and is able to advise the best solar components and designs irrespective of hardware alliances. It is also the only organization whose owners hold all the licenses themselves. This ensures a level of continuity and a commitment to excellence from the top of the organization down to the installation personnel. Committed to exceeding customer expectations, they personally get involved in the planning, engineering, and execution of every solar project. “We always want to put ourselves in our customer’s shoes,” emphasizes Usman. The superior standards set by 8MSolar are not only adopted by local cities but their competitors too. Being the only solar firm in NC to hold both unlimited construction and in house engineering licenses, 8MSolar believes in providing the highest quality solar design & construction. 8MSolar unparalleled quality of work and unwavering focus on customer satisfaction fuels their relentless growth. “Our project goals are complete customer satisfaction and high quality affordable solar energy production,” says Usman. He continues, “One example of us looking out for our customers would be how we handled the Duke Solar Rebate for a customer named D. Hays. Mr. Hays filed for the rebate per our recommendations but Duke Energy’s website faulted out and his submission failed. He did not get any notification and initially was not given the rebate. 8MSolar representatives worked with him to find out a way to extract his browser history and show the submission to Duke based on his browser history report. This was successfully transmitted to Duke and got him a very substantial rebate”

“8M was the lowest bid for my solar project,” shares Hays. “They were honest and upfront all the way through the project. They took care of dealing with my HOA and securing all permits needed. They listened to me and worked with me throughout the whole process. They got the job done on the agreed upon time. Their crew and representatives were respectful and cleaned up after themselves. I like the fact they have a local office to deal with and look forward to working with them in the future. I was one of those caught up in Duke Energy’s web-site crash the morning of January 2nd, 2020. I was initially put on a waitlist, which translated to, “I would not be getting my NC Solar Rebate”. Duke Energy offered very little help in straightening out the mess their website caused by failing during my (and countless other individuals) application process. The first Duke Energy rep. I reached out to was actually quite rude to me. Usman Noor and his team worked effortlessly in helping me to eventually secure my promised rebate.”

Due to its sheer consistency of performance, 8MSolar was again recognized as an industry leader and one of the best-rated residential installers in a recent survey conducted by “Build Solar” and sponsored by Enphase Energy. By repeating its success year after year, 8MSolar has proved that its success is not a fluke and that it is here to stay for a longer run. In fact in 2020, 8MSolar was also recognized as one of the Top 100 solar installers in the entire United States by Solar Power World.

Thriving through the pandemic

COVID-19 has had a major impact on businesses across sectors. 8MSolar being a service business is no exception and saw slow sales in March and April. The COVID-19 pandemic indeed slowed down installations and caused some cancellations lingering into May & June. However, the company refocused on delivering no contact proposals and design consultations. 8MSolar rebounded strongly and is positive about a successful Q3 and Q4. With business rebounding strongly and predicted to get back up to 2020 forecasts, 8MSolar continues to see strong growth and is expanding its operations with a new service group and a larger office recently purchased in Wake Forest, NC. 8MSolar will now be serving North Carolina solar clients through both its Cary and Wake Forest locations.

Usman now sees a future of steady growth. The company is looking forward to expanding its operations in South Carolina and Virginia next. “I aim to make 8MSolar the most well regarded commercial and residential solar installer in the Eastern US,” says Usman. 

With a clear vision, great leadership, and world-class products, 8MSolar is indeed driving the future of the solar industry.

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EnergyPal: The best solar buying experience.

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EnergyPal: The best solar buying experience.

Renewables

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With a countless number of solar companies in the market, there are very few who have succeeded in delivering true value to homeowners. Known for delivering the best solar technology experience, EnergyPal is a leading multinational solar technology brand that offers world-class solar and battery energy solutions. Launched in 2015 by a group of experts, technologists, and entrepreneurs sharing the same passion, EnergyPal’s vision is to be the largest online marketplace for affordable clean energy.

Led by CEO Mackie Hilborn, EnergyPal has achieved steady growth with its software-enabled remote energy advisors and dedication to customer satisfaction. Operating in most of the USA and several Canadian provinces, EnergyPal has a widespread network across the American states of Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York (Long Island), Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas. Across Canada, it operates in Ontario, Alberta, and Nova Scotia which is a hot spot right now.

Committed to empowering customers and providing quantifiable value to homeowners across the USA and Canada, EnergyPal maintains a personal touch with each customer and ensures every project is done right. With best in class product offerings backed by years of experience and extensive research, EnergyPal is dedicated to securing savings for customers and improving the planet and energy use for the future generations to come. 

“We are energy geeks who love to help homeowners go solar. The purpose of our service is to help homeowners reduce their electric bills, save money, and make it easy to find the best possible clean energy system for their home,” says Mackie.

“EnergyPal was born to fix the solar buying experience once and for all. We are 100% online, digital, and are disrupting the industry each day.”

Solar customer service with a difference  

EnergyPal believes in doing things better and offers innovation and customer service with a noticeable difference. While focusing on offering homeowners quality energy solutions at lower prices, EnergyPal has also taken customer care to the next level. It wants every customer to be happy and content with its services. “From founding to multi-national reach, we focus on delivering unmatched value and customer support,” mentions Mackie. To ensure that everyone has access to the benefits of solar energy, the products are priced reasonably. Advantaged with its proprietary recommendation engine software, economy of scale, and unmatched product mix, homeowners going solar save time and money. “We keep our costs lower, and give you more choice, using our highly efficient and user-friendly digital platform,” emphasizes Mackie. By assigning an expert to each of its customers, EnergyPal ensures that every customer feels valued, gets unbiased facts and guidance to select the best solution for their home, and has any issue resolved to their satisfaction. “Great products, lower prices, expert guidance, and dedicated support is our formula for creating happy customers,” says Mackie.

Here’s what some of their clients are saying:

“EnergyPal provided me with a wealth of information and guidance, and some very good proposals, in an unbiased way. The focus was always on my needs and specifics, with no sales pressure. My EnergyPal Advisor was always responsive, resourceful, and creative in helping me decide on my solar solution to going carbon-free. I recommend them wholeheartedly.” – Jerome E.

“I have never had a better experience in making a major decision like this. My EnergyPal Advisor is a cut above. She educated and walked me through every step of this new installation and I can assure you there were many questions. I am confident I have made a decision that is best for me personally. This EnergyPal Advisor has been an excellent representative professionally, with kind transparency and ethical, business procedures. She did everything she could to make this event understandable and easy. No big sales methods needed here.” – Ardyth R.

EnergyPal is a company driven by ideas and results, not hierarchy. With higher purpose, clear vision, great leadership, world-class products, and extraordinary commitment to customer service, EnergyPal is clearly a solar industry leader.

EnergyPal believes that no advertisement or commercial can compare to a happy and satisfied customer. After experiencing their great product delivery and customer service, EnergyPal customers refer their friends and family to EnergyPal as well. “Public and brick-and-mortar solar companies spend a lot of money on marketing and sales to acquire customers, and thus they end up charging customers thousands of dollars more for their products. Our platform allows us to provide solar at wholesale prices to the customer, and at the same time provide personalized support,” discusses Mackie. “EnergyPal was born to fix the solar buying experience once and for all. We are 100% online, digital, and are disrupting the industry each day.” Having developed the industry’s most cost-effective quoting and comparison platform, EnergyPal operates with much lower expenses and passes on the savings onto its valued customers. With most of its business coming from the word of mouth, EnergyPal is no doubt a brand of people’s choice. 

To accelerate its growth and fulfill its mission, EnergyPal has collaborated with eminent organizations like the National Geographic, the David Suzuki Foundation, Mike Holmes, and other influences. With support from the Canadian government and top US solar manufacturers and financiers, EnergyPal is promoting energy independence to all homeowners. “We want to accelerate the world’s transition to affordable and sustainable energy,” shares Mackie

Safely providing through the pandemic 

The Covid-19 pandemic has indeed brought significant disruption to much of the world. Covid-19 has had a huge impact on the solar industry with some businesses having to dramatically change their procedures and others closing down permanently. Fortunately, EnergyPal has thrived with its remote, digital operating practices, where customers reach EnergyPal virtually and by phone only, avoiding any in-person or home visits. Moreover, as all of its workers are remote workers, it enabled them to work from the safety and comfort of their home offices while maintaining full compensation.

Post the pandemic, EnergyPal plans to continue to lead the solar industry as a fully digital provider of quality solar and battery solutions while enabling its employees to enjoy great work from home careers and helping customers transition to clean energy.

EnergyPal is a company driven by ideas and results, not hierarchy. With higher purpose, clear vision, great leadership, world-class products, and extraordinary commitment to customer service, EnergyPal is clearly a solar industry leader.

Both you and the Earth benefit from our hard work,” says Mackie, “making solar simple and more affordable.” 

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San Francisco just banned gas in all new buildings. Implications for Australia.

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San Francisco just banned gas in all new buildings. Implications for Australia.

Renewables

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Cities

Last week San Francisco became the latest city to ban natural gas in new buildings. The legislation will see all new construction, other than restaurants, use electric power only from June 2021, to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

San Francisco has now joined other US cities in banning natural gas in new homes. The move is in stark contrast to the direction of energy policy in Australia, where the Morrison government seems stuck in reverse: spruiking a gas-led economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Natural gas provides about 26% of energy consumed in Australia — but it’s clearly on the way out. It’s time for a serious rethink on the way many of us cook and heat our homes.

Despite the government spruiking a 'gas-led economic recovery', natural gas is clearly on the way out. It's time for a serious rethink on the way many Australians cook and heat our homes.

Cutting out gas

San Francisco is rapidly increasing renewable-powered electricity to meet its target of 100% clean energy by 2030. Currently, renewables power 70%  of the city’s electricity.

The ban on gas came shortly after San Francisco’s mayor London Breed announced all commercial buildings over 50,000 square feet must run on 100% renewable electricity by 2022.

Buildings are particularly in focus because 44% of San Franciscos’ citywide emissions come from the building sector alone.

Following this, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed the ban on gas in buildings. They cited the potency of methane as a greenhouse gas, and recognised that natural gas is a major source of indoor air pollution, leading to improved public health outcomes.

From January 1, 2021, no new building permits will be issued unless constructing an “All-Electric Building”. This means installation of natural gas piping systems, fixtures and/or infrastructure will be banned, unless it is a commercial food service establishment.

No new building permits will be issued unless constructing an “All-Electric Building”. This means installation of natural gas piping systems, fixtures and/or infrastructure will be banned, unless it is a commercial food service establishment.

Switching to all-electric homes

In the shift to zero-emissions economies, transitioning our power grids to renewable energy has been the subject of much focus. But buildings produce 25% of Australia’s emissions, and the sector must also do some heavy lifting.

A report by the Grattan Institute this week recommended a moratorium on new household gas connections, similar to what’s been imposed in San Francisco.

The report said natural gas will inevitably decline as an energy source for industry and homes in Australia. This is partly due to economics — as most low-cost gas on Australia’s east coast has been burnt.

There’s also an environmental imperative, because Australia must slash its fossil fuel emissions to address climate change.

While acknowledging natural gas is widely used in Australian homes, the report said “this must change in coming years”. It went on:

This will be confronting for many people, because changing the cooktops on which many of us make dinner is more personal than switching from fossil fuel to renewable electricity.

The report said space heating is by far the largest use of gas by Australian households, at about 60%. In the cold climates of Victoria and the ACT, many homes have central gas heaters. Homes in these jurisdictions use much more gas than other states.

By contrast, all-electric homes with efficient appliances produce fewer emissions than homes with gas, the report said.

Zero-carbon buildings

Australia’s states and territories have much work to do if they hope to decarbonise our building sector, including reducing the use of gas in homes.

In 2019, Australia’s federal and state energy ministers committed to a national plan towards zero-carbon buildings for Australia. The measures included “energy smart” buildings with on-site renewable energy generation and storage and, eventually, green hydrogen to replace gas.

The plan also involved better disclosure of a building’s energy performance. To date, Australia’s states and territories have largely focused on voluntary green energy rating tools, such as the National Australian Built Environment Rating System. This measures factors such as energy efficiency, water usage and waste management in existing buildings.

But in 2020, just 2% of buildings in Australia achieved the highest six-star rating. Clearly, the voluntary system has done little to encourage the switch to clean energy.

The National Construction Code requires mandatory compliance with energy efficiency standards for new buildings. However, the code takes a technology neutral approach and does not require buildings to install zero-carbon energy “in the absence of an explicit energy policy commitment by governments regarding the future use of gas”.

An economically sensible move

An estimated 200,000 new homes are built in Australia each year. This represents an opportunity for states and territories to create mandatory clean energy requirements while reaching their respective net-zero emissions climate targets.

Under a gas ban, the use of zero-carbon energy sources in buildings would increase, similar to San Francisco. This has been recognised by Environment Victoria, which notes

A simple first step […] to start reducing Victoria’s dependence on gas is banning gas connections for new homes.

Creating incentives for alternatives to gas may be another approach, such as offering rebates for homes that switch to electrical appliances. The ACT is actively encouraging consumers to transition from gas.

Banning gas in buildings could be an economically sensible move. As the Grattan Report found, “households that move into a new all-electric house with efficient appliances will save money compared to an equivalent dual-fuel house”.

Meanwhile, ARENA confirmed electricity from solar and wind provide the lowest levelised cost of electricity, due to the increasing cost of east coast gas in Australia.

Future-proofing new buildings will require extensive work, let alone replacing exiting gas inputs and fixtures in existing buildings. Yet efficient electric appliances can save the average NSW homeowner around A$400 a year.

Learning to live sustainability, and becoming resilient in the face of climate change, is well worth the cost and effort.

Should we be cooking with gas?

Recently, a suite of our major gas importers — China, South Korea and Japan — all pledged to reach net-zero emissions by either 2050 or 2060. This will leave our export-focused gas industry possibly turning to the domestic market for new gas hookups.

But continuing Australia’s gas production will increase greenhouse gas emissions, and few Australians support an economic recovery pinned on gas.

The window to address dangerous climate change is fast closing. We must urgently seek alternatives to burning fossil fuels, and there’s no better place to start that change than in our own homes.

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How regulators can help entrepreneurial energy companies to innovate.

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How regulators can help entrepreneurial energy companies to innovate.

Renewables

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Entrepreneurship

The big idea

How regulatory policies are implemented can make a huge difference for entrepreneurs in clean technology. In a study, we found that giving state-level regulators more discretion in approving hydropower facilities in the United States led to faster adoption of this clean energy source.

We reviewed regulatory approvals of entrepreneurial hydroelectric power facilities from 1978 to 2014 and found that, on average, when regulators had a relatively high level of discretion, entrepreneurs received a license 22.5% sooner. We calculated hydropower ventures that use innovative run-of-the-riverpumped storage and marine technologies can generate up to US$7,740 per day in renewable energy – $2.8 million annually – from faster licensing.

Why it matters

Government regulation can pose a significant barrier for new ventures seeking to enter regulated markets, such as electric power, because they typically lack the resources and experience to meet requirements posed by regulations.

A study points to one way to speed up adoption of innovations in clean energy technology – more flexibility among state regulators.

For large established companies, by contrast, operating in regulated markets can be beneficial because they have the resources and experience to overcome regulatory hurdles, while smaller competitors don’t. Large incumbents can also set the rules of the game in their favor by influencing lawmakers to create cumbersome legislation that makes it harder for new ventures to establish themselves.

Our findings suggest entrepreneurs using novel clean technologies should seek to enter jurisdictions where regulators have greater discretion from legislators who craft laws.

There are also important implications for policymakers. Instead of focusing on policy prescriptions, they should examine how those policies are actually implemented by regulators. The degree of regulatory discretion may be one of the reasons policies with good intentions fail to make a measurable difference.

How we did our work

We sought to discover the conditions under which clean-tech entrepreneurs were able to enter regulated markets in the absence of a formal policy change. To do this, we examined the role of the regulatory agencies that are responsible for implementing the laws created by legislators.

We looked specifically at regulatory discretion – the flexibility that agencies have to interpret and implement public policy – and its role in influencing market entry of new ventures. To measure discretion, we looked at the number of laws, known as administrative procedures acts, that limit the freedom of regulatory agencies to interpret and implement policies.

We found that when regulators have low discretion, their decision-making is directed by legislators, who are often lobbied by existing companies in efforts to prevent new ventures from entering their markets. However, when regulators have high discretion, they are more insulated from pressure from legislators and can make decisions based on their mission to serve the public interest.

How regulatory policies are implemented can make a huge difference for entrepreneurs in clean technology.

What’s next

We are delving deeper into understanding how the implementation of policies can influence the development of new renewable energy technologies in the U.S. and globally. One of our projects explores the role of business stakeholders, such as environmental activists, in influencing regulators’ decision-making.

Our research suggests that activists may have a greater impact on entrepreneurial energy innovation when regulators have more discretion. Because discretion places more responsibility for regulatory decision-making on the regulatory agency than on legislators, it allows activists to influence regulators by challenging their legitimacy and reputation.

Future research should explore how variation in policy implementation affects the development of other emergent renewable energy technologies, such as wave and tidal power, biomass, biogas, hydrogen and geothermal. In regulated markets, although entrepreneurs may be able to develop feasible technologies, commercializing them is dependent upon regulators who can be influenced by established companies, legislators and stakeholder activists.

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Joe Biden’s climate plan and its impact on Canada.

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Joe Biden’s climate plan and its impact on Canada.

Renewables

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Biden

The crucial words came during the second United States presidential debate on Oct. 22. In a discussion about climate change and energy, Democratic candidate Joe Biden declared that he would lead a transition to renewable energy:

“I would transition from the oil industry, yes.”

He also promised to eliminate federal subsidies to the oil industry and move to net-zero emissions by 2050. President Donald Trump, sensing a major blunder by his opponent, called on voters in Pennsylvania, Texas, Oklahoma and Ohio to vote against Biden’s energy plans.

The moment was noteworthy because it highlighted the new political importance of climate change and energy policy in U.S. politics. The Democratic candidate, now the president-elect, enthusiastically committed to taking action on climate change and energy transition. What’s equally significant is that Biden’s strong climate change position doesn’t appear to have hurt him in the key swing state of Pennsylvania or in the general election more broadly.

Serious climate plan

Although Biden’s climate plan is not as ambitious as the Green New Deal advocated by the left of the Democratic Party, his plans are serious.

He has called for a “Clean Energy Revolution” that includes mandatory emission cuts from electric utilities and support for electric vehicles. An interesting aspect of his overall plan is a commitment to spend at least 40 per cent of funds in historically disadvantaged areas.

Biden’s energy revolution will be limited by several factors, however.

His efforts will be constrained by the Democrats’ failure so far to win the Senate — two runoff elections in Georgia in early January will determine what party controls the chamber — combined with continued opposition from the fossil fuel industry and communities dependent upon fossil fuels.

Implications for Canada

Nevertheless, Biden can be expected to move ahead in response to climate science and pressure by some of his key constituencies, such as young people and progressives. This has significant implications for Canada and Canadians.

Any Canadians hoping for U.S. government support for the ongoing expansion of Canada’s fossil fuel infrastructure are likely going to be disappointed.

An example of this is the Keystone XL pipeline. Designed to bring Canadian oilsands bitumen to American refineries, its approvals were halted by former president Barack Obama in 2015 and renewed by Trump.

Although the Alberta and Canadian governments continue to champion the project, Biden has said he will cancel regulatory authorization, declaring that the U.S. has no need for oilsands crude.

Canadian industry can expect to see more competition from U.S. firms climbing on the climate change bandwagon.

Politically, this is a relatively painless action for Biden to burnish his climate change credentials. Canadian government and industry arguments about the need for more pipelines face an uphill battle.

More competition

A second implication is that Canadian industry can expect to see more competition from U.S. firms climbing on the climate change bandwagon. American companies will ramp up clean energy technologies and products. The question is whether Canadian-based industry will be up to the challenge and receive adequate government support.

There is some indication that even some of the most anti-environmental politicians are slowly starting to recognize the urgency to take climate action. Ontario’s Premier Doug Ford has vigorously campaigned against any form of a carbon tax and rolled back measures supporting renewable energy.

Biden's strong climate change position doesn't appear to have hurt him in the key swing state of Pennsylvania or in the general election more broadly. Here's what it means for Canada.

Yet he also recently committed $295 million to the Ford car company for its plans to build electric vehicles in Ontario.

This realization of the significant economic opportunities offered by green technologies opens up the door to a more evidence-based discussion of how public policy can support both a green economy and economic growth.

Managing the energy transition

A third implication is that Canada needs to have a serious discussion about how we can manage an energy transition to renewable fuels just as Biden is pledging to do south of the border.

The transition is coming. The question is whether Canada will turn it into an opportunity to clean our air and environment, or make the transition more difficult by delaying action and spending vast sums to maintain fossil fuel production and employment.

The energy transition is a challenge facing all countries, but it will be particularly difficult for Canada because so much of our economy and large regions of our country are heavily dependent on the exploitation of fossil fuels.

Assistance for affected communities and industries is vital, but at the moment, many politicians are more comfortable denying the necessity and inevitability of the changes that are coming.

Emulate Biden plan

A final implication is that programs designed to help Canadians transition to clean energy should take a leaf out of the Biden plan and target assistance to communities that have been historically disadvantaged by industrialization and fossil fuel development.

Indigenous communities that have been marginalized and harmed by other people’s exploitation of natural resources, as well as racialized and poor communities exposed to dangerous environmental risks, need to be integrated into clean energy spending.

The president-elect is committed to moving on the issue of climate change. Important parts of his electoral coalition are also adamant that he oversee a transition to renewable energy. Equally important, his policies reflect the overwhelming scientific evidence that aggressive action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is required to avoid serious economic and social consequences.

Can Canada respond similarly?

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