25% of students postponed college during Covid, some indefinitely

Author: Jessica Dicker             Published:  4/16/2021         CNBC

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/16/college-enrollment-sank-due-to-the-covid-pandemic.html

The coronavirus crisis has had a devastating impact on many families’ finances.

And some students were forced to sacrifice college as a result.

One quarter of last year’s high-school graduates delayed their college plans, according to a survey from Junior Achievement and Citizens, largely because their parents or guardians were less able to provide financial support due to the pandemic.

The survey polled 2,000 teenagers in the U.S. between the ages of 13 and 19 who are not in college and 500 teens who graduated high school in 2020.

Increasingly, the sky-high price is the problem.

Students and their families are starting to question the return on investment, said Jack Kosakowski, president and CEO of Junior Achievement.

“We’ve had this ‘college thing’ up on a pedestal,” he said. “As costs have gone up, it’s forcing people to take a more realistic view.”

A separate survey of high school students found that the likelihood of attending a four-year school sank nearly 20% in less than a year — down to 53%, from 71%, according to ECMC Group, a nonprofit aimed at helping student borrowers.

High schoolers are putting more emphasis on career training and post-college employment, the report found.

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More than half said they can achieve professional success with three years or less of college, and just one-fourth believe a four-year degree is the only route to a good job. ECMC Group polled more than 1,000 high school students three times over the last year.

“There are phenomenal opportunities for people to build great careers that may not be a full four-year degree and you don’t have to borrow $100,000,” said Christine Roberts, the head of student lending at Citizens.

But students are not choosing these programs, either.

Historically, community colleges see an influx of students during economic downturns.

For starters, community college is significantly less expensive. At two-year public schools, tuition and fees are $3,770 for the 2020-2021 school year, according to the College Board. Alternatively, at in-state four-year public schools, tuition is $10,560 and at four-year private universities it averages $37,650.

A two-year program is not necessarily an alternative to a four-year degree. Increasingly, students transfer from community college to a four-year school to keep costs down.

Today, about half of all bachelor’s degree earners began their education at a community college, according to data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

Community college enrollment spiked during the last recession, but as the economy improved, enrollments steadily declined every year since, according to Martha Parham, senior vice president of public relations at the American Association of Community Colleges.

This time, in the aftermath of the Covid outbreak and the economic shock that followed, even fewer students enrolled.

Across the board, community college enrollment fell roughly 10%, according to Thomas Brock, director of the Community College Research Center, or CCRC. Although for some groups, including Black men, enrollment sank more than 20%.

“This is a trend that alarms everyone,” he said. Study will track Covid-19 transmissions by studying university students

Community college students likely are older, lower-income and often balancing work, children and other obligations. They are also disproportionately students of color — all groups that the pandemic hit especially hard.

The Junior Achievement report found that 60% of Black and 59% of Hispanic teens in 11th or 12th grade said that Covid affected how they will pay for college, compared to 45% of white teenagers.

“If you look at our students and who we serve, you can extrapolate that they have challenges,” Parham said.

When these students drop out, it is even harder to them get back on track, she added. Community colleges don’t have the same resources for outreach, Parham said. “That becomes a challenge.” College students in crisis: Will they graduate on time?

Although early indicators show four-year college enrollment will bounce back in the coming year, it’s too soon to tell if community college students will also return.

Since community colleges are open access, students can sign up for classes right up until the start of the semester, or even later, Brock said. “We won’t know until early fall.”

If students forgo this pathway to a career or a four-year degree, it could have dramatic consequences for their upward mobility, according to Barbara Mistick, president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.

“The higher education experience is a great equalizer,” she said.

The higher education experience is a great equalizer.
Barbara Mistick
PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF INDEPENDENT COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES

In fact, studies show that postponing a higher education has a steep economic cost.

The earnings gap experienced by delayers compared with on-time enrollees is at least $41,000 in the first 13 years after high school graduation, according to a report by the Community College Research Center. The lifetime penalty is at least three times higher.

Of course, those who put college on hold are less likely to return at all.

Historically, only 13% of college dropouts come back within five years, a separate National Student Clearinghouse report found, and even fewer graduate.

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WATCH: HBCUs Missing Millions in Federal International Development Funding

Author: Jarrett Carter Jr.        Published: 4/16/2021         HBCU Digest

 

D.C. area’s clean tech industry may be ‘sexy again’ — but experts explain why it’s still lagging behind other markets

Author: Sara Gilgore Staff Reporter     Published: 4/16/2021          DCINNO 

The clean technology industry is gaining attention, investment and momentum on a national scale. But despite Greater Washington’s strong startup ecosystem and talent pool, that sector continues to lag behind other markets.

That’s the consensus among D.C.-area leaders who recognize both how far the green business community has come in recent years — and how far it still needs to go.

The region counts a handful of prominent and fast-growing environmentally focused ventures as its own, even as more early-stage startups emerge in our backyard. The local landscape is “nascent but primed to grow rapidly,” said Patty Simonton, director of Bethesda Green’s Be Green Business program.

And though it’s “getting better,” it’s still “not where it should be,” said Seth Goldman, co-founder and CEO of Eat the Change, and co-founder of Bethesda Green. “When you think about the level of knowledge that exists amongst all of the policy-oriented people who live in the D.C. region, combined with a healthy [venture capital] climate, we should be a more prominent player.”

Seth Goldman, co-founder and CEO of Eat the Change, is also co-founder of Bethesda Green and the former leader and founder of Honest Tea.
Sara Gilgore
State of the local clean tech industry

It’s not necessarily for a lack of funds, investors or organizations dedicated to startups in the sustainability space.

The Maryland Clean Energy Center launched the Maryland Energy Innovation Accelerator and Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology rolled out a new energy-focused fund. Accelerators such as Pax Momentum and social entrepreneurship nonprofits like Halcyon increasingly designate slots in their cohorts to climate tech companies. And there’s Potential Energy D.C., a 5-year-old initiative that has evolved with the companies it supports to now entail an incubator and angel network that made its first investments in 2020.

The market is “completely different” today, said Dave McCarthy, its executive director. “Just a few years ago, it seemed like we were the John the Baptist character crying out in the desert eating locusts,” he said. “I wouldn’t say that we’ve quite made it to the land of milk and honey yet, but there are a lot of great companies here in D.C. doing a lot of great things and getting recognized for it.”

But he said while there’s tremendous talent at the Department of Energy, other federal agencies, local labs and think tanks, it remains largely untapped for the commercial market. Bethesda Green, a nonprofit with programming for startups tackling environmental challenges, is also working to change that. It’s now recruiting entrepreneurs for its Innovation Lab, which has recently expanded in its own right.

“The DMV region has been slow to grasp the importance of addressing the causes of climate change through innovative, commercial solutions over the years, but the word is finally getting out,” Simonton said. “The founders have always been there, researching and developing solutions. It’s just that now the ecosystem is better prepared to support them.”

Patty Simonton is director of Bethesda Green’s Be Green Business program.
Kristina Sherk
The industry’s progress and potential

Experts agree Greater Washington could become a clean tech powerhouse — if it can finally address its long-standing gaps in converting its research and knowledge into revenue-generating products.

Areas such as Boston have long mastered that tech transfer far better than the D.C. area. That’s what “drove much of New England’s economic growth in the technology space,” said Goldman, who grew up in the Boston area. “We need the universities and think tanks in D.C. to collaborate with local authorities to facilitate that same kind of transformation.”

Policy, particularly in D.C., has been critical to advancing this work. Mayor Muriel Bowser, in 2019, signed legislation that environmentalists widely hailed as one of the more ambitious municipal efforts in the country to combat climate change, in part mandating that all electricity sold in the city come from renewable sources by 2032 and that property owners make significant changes to their buildings to increase energy efficiency or face big fines, starting this year for some landlords.

On a federal level, the Trump administration’s budget negotiations included an extension of the investment tax credit for solar energy projects, which “helps to continue the boon for developers, hardware manufacturers, and investors large and small,” McCarthy said. The Biden administration’s pro-climate-tech stance also benefits local companies, particularly in hydrogen and storage tech, he said.

“We expect that currently developing federal legislation to promote climate change, infrastructure, corporate responsibility, income inequality, and social justice will provide incentives and responsibilities for District of Columbia businesses,” said Jeffrey Lesk, senior counsel with Nixon Peabody LLP, who has been working on renewable energy projects at the firm. “We believe this will provide an attractive landscape for businesses to incorporate solar — particularly socially-oriented solar programming — into their business planning.”

As to what that means for the region’s innovation economy?

“Clean tech is sexy again,” said Kiran Bhatraju, CEO of Arcadia, a D.C. clean energy startup. “And with the climate getting hotter every year, it’s not only necessary, but good business, to invest in solutions that will help us manage living on this earth sustainably.”

Kiran Bhatraju is co-founder and CEO of Arcadia.
Lindsay Galatro LGPHOTODC.com
Clean tech ventures see funding wins

Venture funding for climate-focused technology and firms reached a record high nationally with $16.4 billion last year. But locally, Goldman said, there’s “not a commensurate amount of climate entrepreneurs.” That’s slowly changing here, firm by firm.

Take Arcadia, which launched in 2014 with a platform that lets residents better manage their utility accounts and, thus, their energy usage. The company manages community solar projects, which allow anyone to get cheaper and cleaner energy at home if they can’t install or afford solar panels because they rent or the roofs don’t allow it, Bhatraju said. Its model doesn’t require credit checks or long-term contracts so it’s accessible to everyone “regardless of economic status,” he said.

This year, Arcadia is working with federal and state authorities to expand access to community solar, currently limited to 19 states that have passed legislation around it. It’s also continuing to hire for engineering, marketing, analytics, member experience, product design and product management roles, adding to 138 employees in the District and New York City, where it’s preparing to open an office. That’s after Arcadia made its first acquisition, Houston’s Real Simple Energy, in March, positioning Arcadia to penetrate the Texas market.

It’s also been successful at the venture game, raising a total $70 million to date, most in 2018 and 2019 from investors G2VP, Goldman Sachs, Energy Impact Partners, BoxGroup, Macquarie Capital and Inclusive Capital, among others.

Another company, Chantilly-based TrueAlgae, founded in 2017 and led by CEO and co-founder Nathaniel Jackson, is also gaining traction for its technology — a closed-loop system that grows microalgae to support sustainable food production, improves crop quality and shelf life, and cuts down the use of chemical fertilizers. The 11-person startup is now seeking funding from institutional investors after raising $3.5 million at the angel level — all in hopes to hire more sales folks to take its product to market.

That capital would also fund research and development, “to better understand how our product works for different crops and soil conditions,” said Angela Tsetsis, TrueAlgae’s chief commercial officer. The company is running dozens of trials in a variety of crops “from potatoes to cannabis,” she said. “Our goal is to convert as many of these trials into paying customers and further increase our reach.”

TrueAlgae is exploring other uses for the algae itself as well, including dietary supplements, food ingredients, animal feed and aquaculture products, Tsetsis said.

And it’s working to license its tech in agriculture markets globally, she said. “Because our system is simple to operate, it is completely feasible to build and train local entities to run our system and work with the local agricultural community.”

Angela Tsetsis is chief commercial officer of Chantilly-based TrueAlgae.
Courtesy TrueAlgae
Work beyond startup world

Real estate has been a growing focus locally for other energy-focused startups — not surprising given the new mandates on landlords to make their buildings more energy-efficient.

That includes companies from Tysons-based Senseware, whose universal sensor system captures temperature data for offices, to D.C.’s Aquicore, whose software platform helps building owners monitor energy usage. And beyond startups, there’s New Partners Community Solar, which started as a pro bono project for Nixon Peabody’s D.C. office in 2016.

The law firm had negotiated a green lease with Brookfield Properties for its own office. Its team created the community solar nonprofit and funded and developed the solar array on the building’s rooftop — and started donating the energy savings to vulnerable D.C. families, “thus creating the District’s first low-income community solar energy program and establishing D.C.’s first Community Renewable Energy Facility,” said Nixon Peabody’s Lesk, also president of New Partners.

The program grew from there. Brookfield donated two other rooftops and New Partners teamed up with low-income housing developers National Housing Trust and Mission First on additional projects to benefit more recipients, said Herb Stevens, CEO of New Partners. Today, the nonprofit’s portfolio serves more than 250 low-income households.

New Partners — funded with equity financing, loans, grants, pro bono legal services and other sources — has also supported a green jobs program for low-income residents of color, among other initiatives, Lesk said. Such efforts are not unusual in the nation’s capital, opening the door for more clean tech progress.

“As a consumer tech company grounded in a global, social and oftentimes political issue, being in D.C. is very important to us,” Bhatraju said. “We benefit from that by drawing from the community and people who want to contribute. It’s a pleasure being surrounded by people who are passionate about change and want to make an impact.”

Nixon Peabody senior counsels, from left: Herb Stevens, CEO of New Partners Community Solar, and Jeffrey Lesk, its president. They stand with a vertical solar wall and some more traditional rooftop panels at 1775 I St. NW in D.C.
Courtesy New Partners Community Solar

AABE Career Center Connecting Talent with Opportunity

Author:  AABE Staff              Published: 4/16/2021             AABE

Career Center_social web.jpg

5 insights to boost your career

 

Utility Playbook: Across the country, utilities are using the same playbook of dirty tricks.

Author: utility playbook Staff    Published: 4/15/2021          https://www.utilityplaybook.com/

Across the country, utilities are using the same playbook of dirty tricks.
Conservative Energy Network will break it down for you play-by-play.

Home Field Advantage

Buy Community Support With Naming Rights

“It doesn’t make much sense for any public utility to spend large sums of money on sponsorships considering how little, if any, competition exists in these industries. The First Energy deal with the Browns is especially troublesome considering the electric company does not service the stadium, taxpayers already paid for the stadium, and the naming fee will go to the team’s owner, even though he doesn’t own the stadium.”

Exclusive Contracts

Creating a monopoly

A utility that is given exclusive right to provide goods and services to a specific area. Customers cannot opt-out or choose to receive service by other means.

The Blitz

Attack Any Policymaker In Your Way

“By operating this type of game to target politicians to get them out of office, hide the money, hide the campaign donations, it harms democracy,” said Matt Kasper, research director at the Energy and Policy Institute, a national watchdog organization that monitors utilities.”

Pass Interference

Protect the monopoly

Protectionism: The idea that those utilities who currently enjoy a granted monopoly will work to protect that monopoly by various means including: regulatory capture, promotion of laws and regulations that enact barriers to entry for future competitors, or outright illegal activity.

The Handoff

Get Your Cronies to Carry the Ball

While affiliate transactions certainly aren’t uncommon, Entergy is the king of affiliate transactions between electric affiliates. … Affiliate transactions have recently come under scrutiny.

Owning the Referees

By using Regulatory Capture

Refers to the regulated industry having a substantial amount of influence on the decisions that regulators make. This can be through campaign contributions, the real or perceived assurance of industry employment by regulators following their time in government office (‘revolving door’), or simply taking advantage of regulators with limited experience and expertise.

No Salary Cap for Electricity CEOs

epi-logo

Investor-owned utilities paid their CEOs over $1 billion between 2017 and 2019.

These companies offered their CEOs nearly $450 million in compensation in 2019, a raise of nearly 26% over the previous year.
For comparison, wages in the U.S. as a whole increased only 2.6% in 2019.

The average compensation for the CEOs was approximately $11 million in 2019.

This is troubling because these salaries are not based on free-market conditions. They are paid for by customers with no say in the matter and approved by the same regulators that utilities spend millions of dollars to lobby, influence, and even bribe.

 

A Conversation Revisited with Will Shirley VP of NABS with NABS President Ronald Bethea on the NABS Green Economic Plan for Black America

Authors: Ronald Bethea and Will Shirley       1/10/2021         NABS

THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BLACKS IN SOLAR

T/A Blacks in Solar

1105 W Street SE Washington, D.C. 20020   Phone 202.506.7586

www.blacksinsolar.org

PRESS RELEASE

The Platform presented herein is in response to 5 years of solar industry research and data analysis Compiled by the POSITIVE CHANGE PURCHASING COOPERATIVE LLC of Takoma Park Maryland 20912

Founding/Charter Members

PEER Consultants, P.C.

 

 

 

 

From: Ronald K. Bethea: President of PCPC LLC and NABS Contact: 202-246-4924: www.positivechangepc.com

TO: Media RE: The National Association of Blacks In Solar 2020 – 2021 National Platform Calling For A Green Economic Development Plan for Black America

Washington DC — The National Association of Blacks in Solar (NASB) is soliciting your company’s input regarding market conditions in your market segment and is also requesting that members of the Congressional Black Caucus host an Executive Congressional Hearing on a Green Economic Development Plan for Black America developed by NABS. The hearing will include members of the CBC who serve on oversight committees that play key roles in climate change and renewable energy. In the first quarter of the new year, 2021, NABS will be developing a national solar-based economic development plan to combat climate change for African American communities nationally. The purpose of calling for A Green Economic Development Plan for Black America is as follows:

· Establishment of a process for evaluating social, political, economic environments priorities in the development of an individualized long-term solar strategy for HBCUs, Black banks, Black churches, Black municipalities, Black county governments, Black businesses, Black non-profits. and demanding that the Biden Administration invest 35% of the $1.7 trillion that his administration plans to invest in clean energy over his first four years to combat climate change.

· Community engagement over the last 12 years to educate the African American community about climate change and the solar industry with its many benefits has been a major problem. Because getting the solar industry, city, state and  federal government to invest advertising dollars with African American owned media to educate African American communities  has been a major issue nationally. The NABS will be solicitating funding from the public and private sectors to pay for syndication and broadcasting costs with the Urban One Radio Network of radio programs such as “Solar Now and the Future With its Economic Impact on Black America.” The program educates the black community locally and nationally about the economic impacts of climate change and provides environmental education to the black community. Through syndication, the program will be heard in 76 markets nationally, which will help drive public opinion in reaching our stated goals.

· Targeting African American-owned institutions, including HBCUs, black-owned banks, businesses, churches, farmers, and property owners, along with targeted funding for African American-owned commercial and residential units nationally through the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) and The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). The Biden administration is planning to implement these resources over his first term.

· Requesting full funding for a national HBCU Five-Year Green Economic Development Sustainability Plan developed by the Positive Change Purchasing Cooperative, LLC. and PEER Consultants, led by their CEO, Dr. Lilia Abron, P.E., BCEE receives the highest professional distinction accorded to an engineer, as an inductee of the National Academy of Engineers Class of 2020

The plan also includes:

A. Increasing the market share for African American solar design, installation, and work force development companies. The NASB will work on public policy issues with stakeholders from the public and private sectors such as the following:

1. African American Mayors Association

2. Public service commissions and black members of those PSC Commissions, nationally

3. Black state legislative caucuses and their members, nationally

4. Black city council members, county commissioners, nationally

5. Other non-profit organizations advocating for equity for African American communities in the solar industry.

B. Using Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) as a national organizing tool to cut energy costs for black-owned businesses and residential properties, nationally and to negotiate with Chain Store Franchisers on Solar for Black Franchisees.

C. Using the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) which provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to African American agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase or install renewable energy systems or to make energy efficient improvements.

D. Negotiating a position with major corporations to serve as off takers for NABS Member Projects on their books.

E. Open negotiation with the U.S. DOE Solar Training Network to establish a National Solar STEM Program, as well as establishing Solar Job Training Centers at Selected HBCUs and other locations around the country.

F. Open Negotiation with training platform owners to standardize solar job training in the black community nationwide through NABS members and partnerships..

G. Achieving a National Solar Consultancy for black Institutions, municipalities, counties, and communities

H. Creating a legal department that will work to develop public policy to work with other associations in pursuit of solar policies beneficial to African American and other communities of color nationally

I. Helping to establish offices of sustainability at all our HBCUs that need them.

J. Targeting all Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to become NABCEP continuing education certificate training providers through their continuing education and workforce development programs working in conjunction with African American owned solar companies to provide online training in their local area marketplaces for interested candidates.

K. Encouraging HBCUs with workforce development programs to work in conjunction with local solar companies in their market laces to help them develop apprenticeship training programs for individuals successful in completing the NABCEP continuing education or work development training programs.

L. Encouraging HBCUs with Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) to help identify students majoring in business administration at HBCUs to assist local solar companies in writing proposals targeting local and federal grants to develop training programs, reducing the time and resources needed for smaller solar companies in their marketplace to complete the application process for grants.

M. Encouraging HBCUs to enter into more public/private partnerships with solar companies and private investment companies to set up more solar farms on African American-owned farmlands and HBCU campuses nationally.

We are coming together to establish a budget for funding these initiatives from the Biden Administration to target assistance for your companies in the form of program assistance that will help bolster the solar marketplace in your solar market demographics and create greater opportunity for your company.

It is extremely important that you submit to us any inequities that exist in your marketplace that restrict your company’s growth going forward into 2021.

With your input, we can design solar program options that will help your company gain more solar contracts, increase solar job training in your communities, leverage your expertise in the deliverance of solar farm development for HBCUs in your market segments.

Based on five years of research and data collection, Positive Change Purchasing Cooperative LLC has discovered numerous discrepancies in the solar industry when it comes to black-owned solar companies achieving an equitable level of solar contracting. With your support and input, we can deliver a budget to President Biden Administration that relieves Black-owned solar companies of the unfair practices in the solar industry. The budget will also deliver to Black America the very first national plan that will accomplish the following:

A. Increase solar job training in our African American communities, nationally.

B. Help in the designing of solar programs that assist Black-owned solar companies in delivering solar power to Black municipalities, counties, towns, and businesses nationwide.

C. Create an incentive for HBCUs to enter into public -private partnerships with African American owned solar companies to build large scale solar farms to offset their energy costs after salaries, as their number two fixed cost.

D. Provide assistance to your company in securing a place in the growth metrics that other solar companies are poised to take advantage of beginning next year as the Biden Administration rolls out investment plans to combat climate change.

NABS has formed a national organization working specifically to help our African American-owned solar companies gain a market share by funding a “Green Economic Development Plan for Black America.”

Here’s how you can get on board with the process. The National Association of Blacks in Solar will offer you a complementary 1-year membership if you are able to complete the attached short survey of your company’s needs relative to expanding your participation in the solar market, especially in the Black community.

Once you complete the survey of your needs to better compete in the marketplace, we must work together to ensure your concerns are heard and acted upon in the coming years. After you complete the survey, we will email to all of you the final version of the 2021 National Policy Platform of the National Association of Blacks

in Solar. After receiving your responses, we will be setting up a national zoom call in early January 2021.

Ronald K. Bethea

Regards,

Ron Bethea, President, National Association of Blacks in Solar and President/CEO, Positive Change Purchasing Cooperative LLC: contact: Cell: (202) 246-4921: email: info@positivechangepc.com

Will R. Shirley, Vice-President, National Association of Blacks in Solar

President/CEO, Sundial Solar Power Developers, Inc. License #: 19590-SC

 

Complete the survey

 

DON’T BE LEFT OUT OF THE BIDEN GREEN ECONOMY PLAN!!

With your help The National Association of Blacks in Solar will achieve historic solar policy changes that will support African American -owned solar companies nationwide.
Please respond Yes or No in Comments Section Below.

1. Is your company facing problems gaining significant market share in your market demographics, because of the lack of public policy to address the following:

  • Renewable Portfolio Standards Legislation (RPS)
  • Net Metering & Rates
  •  Low-income Solar Access
  •  Community (Shared) Solar
  •  Incentives & Market Drivers
  •  Building a Modern Grid

2. Are you located in a regulated or deregulated market area? .

3. If your company operating in a deregulated market area, has your local PSC passed legislation that sets forth the required annual compliance reporting to the commission for electricity suppliers to demonstrate compliance with the applicable RPS, including acquisition of the number of RECs?

4. Is there a requirement that sets forth an alternative compliance fee amount that your suppliers must pay to your local DOE, if it has not complied with annual RPS and allows those fees to be passed on to their customers?

5. Has your local DOE put forth legislation to your local PSC for funding a Green Bank for financing funding solar projects in your market area?

6. Are you having problems locating off takers for large Mega Watt projects for which you are presently attempting to secure financing?

7. Has the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program been implemented commercial or residential by your local government in your market demographics?

8. Have you applied on behalf of a client and was your company approved?

9. Does your market demographics qualify for the Rural Energy for America Program Renewal Energy System & Energy Efficiency Improvement Loans & Grants program?

10. Have you applied on behalf of a client and was your company approved?

12. Has your company had problems in delivering solar services to your local governments?

11. Has your company had problems serving your local school districts or HBCUs in your market demographics?

12. Who is pushing public policy in your market demographics and is your company participating in structuring local solar policy that will help your company and your community?

13. Have local solar initiatives for low-and moderate-income residents and homeowners been launched in your market demographics?

14. Are you aware of the fact in 1976 National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) vs Federal Commission 425, US 662 1976 (“FPC,” FERC’s predecessor?

Intern, Allied for Climate Transformation, International Climate Action

Author: Indeed  Staff        4/13/2021             INDEED

Job details

Salary

$15 – $18 an hour

Job Type
Internship

Full Job Description

WRI Overview

World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. We are working to address critical challenges that the world must overcome this decade in order to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, water, sustainable cities, and the ocean.

WRI’s global agenda requires a staff that is diverse – with respect to race, gender, cultural, and international background. Diverse perspectives and experience enhance the way WRI selects and approaches issues, as well as the creativity and applicability of WRI’s policy research and analysis. WRI is committed to advancing gender, racial and social equity for human well-being in our mission and applies this principle to our organizational and programmatic practices.

Internships at WRI

In the US and across the world, communities of color are disproportionally affected by issues related to climate change and environmental degradation. Yet, action and support are not happening at the pace required and the environmental space addressing these issues remains dominated by white voices. WRI is creating access and opportunity to harness the power, creativity, and innovation of diversity by increasing representation of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) in the environmental space. We need a diverse set of voices to solve climate change and that begins with you.

Internships at WRI are learning experiences designed for current students, recent graduates, and other candidates who wish to gain knowledge about a specific area of our work. We strive to attract diverse, intellectually driven candidates who have a passion for sustainability and development. WRI provides many internship opportunities throughout the year in all our programs.

International Climate Action Initiative Overview

WRI has long been respected for its technical expertise and stakeholder engagement on climate action, including supporting implementation and enhanced ambition in a wide range of countries and contributing to successful international progress through the UNFCCC, the Paris Agreement process, and other fora. This work includes assessment of options and opportunities for increasing transparency and raising ambition of climate action, including by leveraging action in key sectors and convening across many types of stakeholders and actors, including business, cities, and states.

Internship Summary

Allied for Climate Transformation (ACT2025), which will convene key experts and stakeholders to identify together the necessary elements for the design of a strong “ambition, solidarity, and prosperity” package for the upcoming COP26 in the UK and COP27 in Africa. It will do so by convening, mobilizing, and strengthening key stakeholders’ capacity to inform, test and co-design and implement effectively such a package, so that it is perceived as just and supportive of vulnerable countries and communities’ priorities. The discussions will be based on existing, and new or emerging research and analysis. The consortium will deploy high level champions that would harness the analysis and push for decisive and transformational political signals. It will also supplement, inform other platforms, movements, or campaigns.

The application deadline for this internship is April 25, 2021.


Learning Outcomes

The intern will gain experience in the following areas:

Research

  • Conduct research and analysis on issues critical to the success of the ACT2025 consortium.
  • Conduct research on key themes of the Paris Agreement’s implementation, including on how Paris Agreement processes can be operationalized and made most effective.
  • Support the publication of WRI knowledge products.

Communications & Engagement

  • Engage with a diverse network of global stakeholders critical for the success of the climate negotiations in Glasgow.
  • Contribute to the development an effective communications strategy for ACT2025 to reach a global audience.
  • Organize convenings and other activities that will help deliver on the consortium’s outcomes.

Project Management

  • Support the management and coordination of a large international consortium.
  • Collaborate with WRI staff in developing and implementing project- and task-tracking processes.

Internship Qualifications

  • Knowledge of or interest in international climate diplomacy, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and Paris Agreement.
  • Excellent research and writing skills.
  • English-language skills required. Knowledge of other UN languages is a plus.
  • Ability to present complex data and information in a clear and concise manner.
  • Strong attention to detail.
  • Flexible, self-motivated, ability to think creatively.
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
  • Comfortable interning remotely

General Internship Requirements

  • Applicants must have personal health insurance coverage.
  • U.S. work authorization is required for this opportunity. WRI does not sponsor interns for visas.

Compensation

  • The pay range for this internship opportunity is between $15-18/hour, commensurate with qualifications.

Duration and Location

  • This is a three-to-six-month internship with flexible start and end dates based on the individual’s availability and need for the project.
  • This is a remote-based internship with the option to work out of the Washington D.C. office once it reopens.
  • WRI will provide a laptop for the duration of your internship.

How to Apply

The application deadline for this internship is April 25, 2021. Please submit a resume and cover letter. Applicants must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered.

The World Resources Institute (http://www.wri.org) is an environmental and development research and policy organization that creates solutions to protect the Earth and improve people’s lives. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, it is WRI’s policy to recruit, hire, and provide opportunities for advancement in all job classifications without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, parental status, protected veteran status, or disability. WRI’s global agenda requires a staff that is diverse – with respect to race, gender, cultural, and international background. Diverse perspectives and experience enhance the way WRI selects and approaches issues, as well as the creativity and applicability of WRI’s policy research and analysis. WRI, therefore, encourages applications from U.S. minorities, persons from other countries (especially developing nations), and from women of all backgrounds.

 

World Resources Institute
2 days ago

 

CORONAVIRUS DC launches program to help residents impacted by pandemic with back rent/utilities. Apply here

Author:  Khalida Volou             Published: 4/12/2021            WUSA9

DC residents who apply for rental assistance with STAY DC could be eligible to receive money to cover up to 12 months of back due rent and utilities.
https://www.wusa9.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/dc-launches-program-to-help-residents-with-rent/65-2668f8a8-fa63-483e-bff9-b29ca129845e
WASHINGTON — On Monday, D.C. leaders announced rental, mortgage and utility assistance for residents through its new STAY DC program aimed at helping residents impacted by the pandemic.

Residents who apply for rental assistance through STAY DC could be eligible to receive money to cover up to 12 months of back due rent and utilities, three months forward of rent and utilities and extended housing support for up to 18 months.

A total of $350 million in rental assistance funding with go to STAY DC to address housing instability for residents, Mayor Muriel Bowser said during a news conference Monday. The program is funded by the December Congressional Appropriation Act and the American Rescue Plan.

“We encourage anyone who is struggling, to access that assistance…,” said an official at a Monday news conference. “Now you don’t have to wait until you are facing eviction…”

This new program joins the existing assistance programs the District launched during the public health emergency. Which include:

  • Tenant-Based Rental Assistance Program: $1.5 million
  • COVID-19 Housing Assitance Program: $20 million
  • Housing Stabilization Grants: $ $11.5
  • DC Mortgage Assistance Program (DCMAP): $1 million
  • Emergency rental Assistance Program: $14 million
  • Emergency Solutions Grants: $27.7 million
  • Low Income House Energy Assistance Program: $16 million

“As you have seen today we have a big bucket of money to assist with rent, but we are not seeing the tenants take advantage of it,” said Anita Bonds At-large Council Member when discussing the state of evictions in the city.

Bowser said people should not wait to access these funds due to the moratorium and urging residents to take advantage of the funds now.

Officials said dozens of people have already started to apply and landlords can apply on behalf of their tenants. The city is partnering with landlords to get relief to the community.

If you are someone who needs rent, mortgage or utility assistance in D.C., click here to apply or call 833-4STAYDC.

Energy Department Announces New Round of Solar Desalination Prize Competition

Author: Staff Writer DOE SETO         Published: 4/12/2021       SETO

Energy dot gov Office of Energy Efficiency and renewable energy

Prize Seeks Systems that Purify Wastewater Produced from Oil and Gas Extraction 

Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $5 million in new funding for the second round of the Solar Desalination Prize, a competition designed to accelerate the development of systems that use solar-thermal energy to purify water with very high salt content. DOE also announced that eight semifinalists will advance in the first round of prize.  

Solar-powered desalination systems can help decontaminate water produced by oil and gas extraction—which totals several hundred billion gallons of wastewater annually—creating clean water for all kinds of everyday and industrial uses,” said Kelly Speakes-Backman, Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. “As more communities face water shortages due to climate change, these new systemcould expand the use of nontraditional water sources and ease the burden.”

Water desalination requires a lot of energy, which is a major part of its cost. Solar-thermal energy is a potential low-cost option for cleaning high-salinity water that conventional desalination technologies have difficulty treating cost-effectively. DOE’s Solar Desalination Prize seeds new ideas for desalination systems that can be used in diverse settings, especially small, modular technologies that can be deployed quickly. 

For Round 2, DOE is especially interested in new concepts for the collection and storage of solar-thermal energy, enabling desalination processes to run around the clock, and which can be widely used to provide heat for a variety of industrial processes. Individuals or groups can apply to compete but must eventually form a team. Register to learn more at the informational webinar on May 6, at p.m. ET.

The eight semifinalists in the first round are cross-functional teams that will receive $250,000 in cash and $100,000 in support vouchers to turn their innovative desalination concept into a fully operational prototype. In the next stage of the competition, they will complete a detailed, ready-to-build design of their solar-thermal desalination facility prototype for a chance to win $750,000 in cash and $100,000 in vouchers. Learn about the semifinalists.

All competitors have access to technical assistance and support via the American-Made Network, a group of DOE National Labs, incubators, investors, and industry experts who can facilitate connections with venture capital firms, industry representatives, and others.

This prize is part of the Water Security Grand Challenge, a DOE-led effort started in 2018 to advance transformational technology and innovation to meet the global need for safe, secure, and affordable water. The prize is also part of DOE’s American-Made Challenges, a series of prizes that incentivize the nation’s entrepreneurs to strengthen U.S. leadership in energy innovation and domestic manufacturing.

DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office partners with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to administer the Solar Desalination Prize.

Community Solar Collective Gives Member-Owners Power — Episode 127 of Local Energy Rules

Author: Maria McCoy         Published: 4/7/2021          ILSR

The electricity market is not built for community-focused, small-scale solar developers. To overcome the many barriers they face, cooperative solar developers are banding together in the People’s Solar Energy Fund.

For this episode of the Local Energy Rules podcast, host John Farrell speaks with Timothy DenHerder-Thomas, General Manager of Cooperative Energy Futures. The two discuss cooperatively-owned solar development and the People’s Solar Energy Fund, an initiative to pool together community-owned solar developers and scale up community solar nationwide.

Listen to the full episode and explore more resources below — including a transcript and summary of the conversation.

 

 

Episode Transcript

New $10,000 EIDL Grants: Do You Qualify?

Author: Gerri Detweiler            Published: March  15,2021       SCORE

Congress has allocated another $15 billion in EIDL advances (grants) as part of the American Rescue Plan signed by President Biden on March 11, 2021. This legislation includes a new $5000 supplemental grant for hardest hit businesses.

If you are not familiar with Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and grants due to the COVID-19 crisis, we recommend you read this article.

Please keep in mind this information is changing rapidly and is based on our current understanding of the programs. It can and likely will change. Although we will be monitoring and updating this as new information becomes available, please do not rely solely on this for your financial decisions. We encourage you to consult with your lawyers, CPAs and Financial Advisors.

By way of background, the CARES Act that was passed March 27, 2020 included a grant (or advance) for those who applied for an EIDL loan, in the amount of up to $10,000. The SBA later determined that those grants would be made in an amount of $1000 per employee. In addition, the funds available for grants were exhausted before all eligible businesses received them. The Economic Aid Act that passed December 27, 2020 included funding for Targeted EIDL grants, which will allow some of those business owners to get the full $10,000 grant.

The American Rescue Plan signed March 11, 2021 includes $10 billion in additional funding for these grants as well as another $5 billion to fund $5000 supplemental grants for businesses with ten or fewer employees that have suffered an economic impact of at least 50%.

Do I qualify for the Targeted EIDL Advance (grant)?

Targeted EIDL advances (grants) are an extension of the emergency EIDL grants in the CARES Act, but the requirements are somewhat different. Important: Only businesses that previously applied for an emergency EIDL advance (grant) and meet the new criteria will be eligible for the Targeted EIDL advance (grant).

To qualify for the full $10,000 targeted EIDL grant, a business must:

  • Be located in a low-income community, and
  • Have suffered an economic loss greater than 30%, and
  • Employ not more than 300 employees

In addition, the business must qualify as an eligible entity as defined in the CARES Act:

  • A small business, cooperative, ESOP Tribal concern, with fewer than 500 employees;
  • An individual who operates under as a sole proprietorship, with or without employees, or as an independent contractor; or
  • A private non-profit or small agricultural cooperative.
  • The business must have been in operation by January 31, 2020
  • The business must be directly affected by COVID-19

Economic loss is defined as “the amount by which the gross receipts of the covered entity declined during an 8-week period between March 2, 2020, and December 17, 2021, relative to a comparable 8-week period immediately preceding March 2, 2020, or during 2019.”  The SBA will develop a formula for seasonal businesses.

A low income community is defined in Section 45D(e) of the Internal Revenue Code of 7 1986 as follows:

“The term “low-income community” means any population census tract if the poverty rate for such tract is at least 20 percent, or in the case of a tract not located within a metropolitan area, the median family income for such tract does not exceed 80 percent of statewide median family income, or in the case of a tract located within a metropolitan area, the median family income for such tract does not exceed 80 percent of the greater of statewide median family income or the metropolitan area median family income.” (There are additional ways areas may qualify as a low-income community in the legislation.)

The SBA has released an online tool to help borrowers understand if they are in a low-income area, noting that “the business address must be located in a low-income community in order to qualify, so SBA encourages potential applicants to check the map to see if they meet the low-income community eligibility requirement before you apply.”

How do I demonstrate economic loss? 

Getting your business tax documents organized and up to date will be essential to applying for this grant and demonstrating you qualify.

In a recent If you have not previously applied for EIDL, you may apply at SBA.gov. You will be able to apply for the low interest rate EIDL loan through December 31, 2021 as long as funds are available. However, you will not be considered for an EIDL advance (grant) at this time.

Can an EIDL loan be forgiven? 

No. EIDL loans must be repaid over 30 years. Unlike PPP loans, there is no forgiveness process for these loans.

Can I also apply for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan?

Yes! In addition to the EIDL grants your business may qualify for a PPP loan. These loans may be fully forgiven if they are spent on the right expenses (primarily payroll) which essentially turns them into a grant. Businesses may apply for both PPP and EIDL if they qualify.

Where can I get help filling out the EIDL application?

We recommend you connect with your local SBA resource partner such as SCORE, Small Business Development Center or Women’s Business Center. Many are providing free help and education for EIDL grants and loans. Find local assistance at SBA.gov/local-assistance.

PHONE: 1-800-634-0245
TECHNICAL SUPPORT: help@score.org

What’s in Biden’s Infrastructure Plan?

Author:Alicia Parlapiano and JimnTankersley   

President Biden on Wednesday released his $2 trillion plan to shore up the nation’s infrastructure and create jobs. The sprawling proposal would be paid for with 15 years of higher taxes on corporations. Here’s how the spending breaks down:

Transportation

Among the proposals: Modernize 20,000 miles of highways and roads; repair 10,000 bridges; and, by 2030, build a network of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers.

The goal: To revitalize the aging or crumbling corridors that get American people and products from place to place, while reducing the sector’s reliance on fossil fuels that drive climate change.

Estimated cost in billions
Electric vehicle incentives
$174
Roads and bridges
$115
Public transit
$85
Passenger and freight railways
$80
Disaster resilience
$50
Other
$35
Airports
$25
Improve road safety
$20
Underserved communities
$20
Waterways and ports
$17

Buildings and Utilities

One of the largest investments includes more than $200 billion in tax credits and grants to improve and build affordable housing.

The goal: To make homes and commercial buildings more energy efficient; reduce the lead hazards of old water pipes; bridge the urban-rural digital divide; and modernize the electrical grid for greater reliability and wider deployment of low-carbon electricity.

Estimated cost in billions
Affordable housing
$213
High-speed broadband
$100
Electric grid and clean energy
$100
Public schools
$100
Water systems
$66
Eliminate lead pipes
$45
Child care facilities
$25
Veterans hospitals
$18
Community colleges
$12
Federal buildings
$10

Jobs and Innovation

The plan goes beyond physical infrastructure, proposing more than $500 billion to invest in the manufacturing sector, worker training and research and development.

The goal: The president has said that he wants to position America to compete against China and other rivals in the race to build and dominate industries of the future, like semiconductors and advanced batteries.

Estimated cost in billions
Domestic manufacturing
$52
National Science Foundation
$50
Supply chain support
$50
Semiconductor industry
$50
Work force development
$48
Clean energy manufacturing
$46
Research infrastructure
$40
New dislocated worker program
$40
Climate technology
$35
Small-business support
$31
Research and development
$30
Pandemic preparedness
$30
Research at H.B.C.U.s
$25
Community investment
$20
Innovation and competitiveness
$14
Underserved communities
$12
New rural partnership program
$5

In-Home Care

The plan also includes $400 billion to expand access to caregiving for those who are older and those with disabilities, and to improve pay and benefits for caregivers.

The goal: Broadens the traditional definition of “infrastructure” to include the provision of in-home care. From an economic standpoint, administration officials say, it is as much about the workers providing that care as it is about the patients. The money would help those workers, disproportionately women of color and low-paid, to earn more.

New Power Generation Quarterly: Annual Update — 2020

Author: Maria McCoy                4/1/2021         ILSR

 

Each year, federal agencies track new power plant construction to document how we produce energy. For years, they overlooked the power that customers generated for themselves from rooftop solar. This annual and quarterly report compiles data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration and the Solar Energy Industries Association to illustrate the growing influence of renewable energy, both large-scale and distributed, in the U.S. energy portfolio.

Though the COVID-19 pandemic dampened power capacity additions early in 2020, the sector — and especially the renewable energy sector — more than made up for the lull later in the year. Total power capacity added in 2020, an impressive 34.5 gigawatts, came just shy of 2018’s record of 34.7 gigawatts. In 2020, renewables made up their greatest ever portion of new generation capacity — 83 percent — rounding out a decade in which renewable energy resources provided the majority of new annual power capacity seven times out of ten.

Below are updated illustrations and analysis of national data on new power plant capacity, disaggregated by energy source. We present annual results from 2020 first, followed by more detail from the fourth quarter of last year, as part of our regular quarterly reporting.

Annual New Power Plant Capacity — 2020

A Record-Setting Year for Renewables

Just over 14 gigawatts of wind were installed in 2020, making wind number one in new power capacity for the first time since 2015. Developers made use of a boosted 60 percent tax credit, thanks to an extension measure passed in 2019. Lawmakers passed another tax credit extension at the end of 2020 as part of the federal stimulus package, so the 60 percent rate will be available for another year.

14 gigawatts of solar were installed in 2020 — five gigawatts more than the nine gigawatts installed in 2019, despite the federal solar tax credit dropping from 30 to 26 percent. Without a further extension, solar developers and customers will have two more years to take advantage of the 26 percent rate (thanks to the December 2020 stimulus package). The credit then decreases to 22 percent and finally drops to 10 percent for commercial projects, phasing out entirely for residential customers.

The COVID-19 pandemic affected the solar industry most in the second quarter of 2020. However, the lag in installations during that time intensified the pipelines for the second half of the year. Utilities also started to recover from interconnection backlogs by the end of the year. The Solar Energy Industries Association believes that this momentum will carry into 2021, as developers are still addressing pent up demand from periods of lockdown. Our research has also foreseen an increase in solar adoption; in Minnesota, given current incentives and electricity prices, we expect residential solar capacity alone to increase 475 megawatts by 2034.


Read about Why Utilities in Minnesota and Other States Need to Plan for More Competition and stay tuned for a 50-state residential solar model, expected release late 2021.


Despite a Setback, Distributed Solar Finishes Strong

In 2020, distributed solar systems represented nearly a third of new solar installed, accounting for 4.5 out of 14 total gigawatts. This is the most distributed solar ever installed in one year — about ten percent more than 2019’s total of four gigawatts of new small-scale solar. Residential solar developers quickly adapted to a digital marketing model during the pandemic. Additionally, as people spent more time at home, some became more interested in home improvement and energy savings.

In February of 2021, as Texas recovered from a massive grid failure, Texans explored their options for solar and energy storage. Solar installer SunRun saw a 350% increase in traffic to its website in the first week of the crisis, while EnergySage had a 1,400% increase in battery storage-related readership. As storms and natural disasters continue to wreak havoc on centralized energy systems, communities will turn to decentralized, resilient, and renewable energy systems.


Check out our podcast episode featuring Anne Hoskins, Chief Policy Officer at SunRun.


Details of the Biden Administration’s economic recovery plan, called “The American Jobs Plan,” were released on March 31, 2021. The plan includes updates to transmission lines, investment in public vehicles, and extended incentives for clean energy generation and storage. ILSR is a partner in the push for a 30 million solar homes stimulus: a plan that would help people save money, create jobs, address energy injustice, and protect our climate.

Given the extension of federal tax credits and the recognized value of solar for economic stimulus, 2021 will almost certainly be the biggest year yet for distributed solar energy.


Find out how much of the U.S. solar fleet is made up of smaller, distributed sources that help communities build wealth locally in our state-by-state visualization, updated March 2021.


Will Offshore Wind Take Off in 2021?

Though there has been little offshore wind development in the United States, our research found that 21 states have the potential to generate more than 100 percent of their electricity use with offshore wind alone. The December 2020 stimulus package included a 30 percent investment tax credit for offshore wind projects, which could be a game changer. In March 2021, the Biden Administration announced further plans to accelerate offshore wind development. These plans include permitting in the Atlantic, federal loan guarantees, and financial investments.


See how 47 states could meet 100% of their electricity needs using in-state renewables (including off-shore wind) in our 2020 report.


What will a supportive federal administration, generous tax credits, and a recovering economy mean for renewable energy in 2021? More than likely, this year will see more deployment of renewables than ever before, to the benefit of Americans of all colors and backgrounds. After a year of reckoning with racial, economic, and environmental injustices, polluting fossil gas is just an energy source we can’t afford.


Check out our other summary reports of 2020, including the 2021 Community Power Scorecard and Let’s Talk About Solar, Equity, and Monopoly Power in 2021.


Quarterly Power Plant Capacity Update – 2020 Q4

The fourth quarter was 2020’s biggest, with nearly 15 gigawatts of new power generation capacity installed. In fact, this was the most power capacity added in just one quarter since we started tracking the data in 2014. Renewable resources saw quarterly records for new installation. Meanwhile, fossil gas’s slight gain from a meager third quarter meant only 376 megawatts of new gas. Wind made up well over half of the new power generation this quarter, with 8.5 gigawatts installed. New solar capacity doubled from last quarter, with a majority of those gains coming from large-scale solar. With renewables dominating 9 of the last 12 quarters, renewable energy resources have locked in a commanding hold over new power generation.

In the chart below, we illustrate the past two years of new power plant capacity in the U.S., disaggregated by energy source on a quarterly basis.

Wind Takes All

Prior to 2020, 2019 was our greatest recorded year for new wind generation, with 8,859 megawatts of capacity added. In the fourth quarter of 2020 alone, 8,519 megawatts of wind were installed — nearly matching 2019’s record year. At 57 percent, wind also held its largest share ever of new quarterly power generation.

In 2020, wind developers not only hurried to use a tax credit they worried may expire, they also took advantage of a larger credit than was offered in 2019. At the end of 2019, Congress granted a one-year extension to the expiring production tax credit. Importantly, the 2019 measure increased the production tax credit from 40 to 60 percent for wind projects that begin construction in 2020.

Now, it turns out that wind developers will have another year to use the 60 percent credit — thanks to Congress’s December 2020 stimulus package.

Large and Small Solar Reach New Heights

Large and small-scale solar each saw record quantities of quarterly installation. Together, they accounted for nearly six gigawatts of new generation capacity this quarter.

The federal solar tax credit dropped to 26 percent of system cost in 2020 and was set to drop again to 22 percent in 2021. The stimulus package passed at the end of 2020 extended the 26 percent rate for another two years, but developers still rushed to take advantage of what they believed was their last chance to get the higher rate.

The COVID-19 pandemic affected development of small-scale solar the most compared to other power generation. However, after taking a dip in the second and third quarters of the year, the small-scale solar industry has made a recovery.

Interested in earlier trends and analysis of new power plant capacity? Check out our archive, illustrating how electricity generation has changed in previous quarters and years.

This article originally posted at ilsr.org. For timely updates, follow John Farrell on Twitter or get the Energy Democracy weekly update.

Featured Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

U.S. Department of Education  Discharges Over $1.6 billion in HBCU Capital Finance Debt

Author: Press@ed.gov       4/3/2021        USDEdu

Press Release

 U.S. Department of Education

Office of Communications & Outreach, Press Office   

400 Maryland Ave., S.W.

Washington, D.C. 20202

Press Office, (202) 401-1576

The U.S. Department of Education recently discharged approximately $1.6 billion of debt provided to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) that participate in the HBCU Capital Financing Program. This action will provide debt relief to 45 HBCUs – 13 public institutions and 32 private institutions.

“Our HBCUs have long been on an uneven playing field, financially, as compared to many other postsecondary institutions,” said Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “This relief will further support these mission-critical institutions and help to ensure they have more resources to educate and graduate students during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) signed into law in December 2020 provided authority and funding to discharge debts held by HBCUs under the HBCU Capital Financing Program. In combination with funds provided in the American Rescue Plan, signed by President Biden on March 11, 2021, and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), HBCUs will also receive more than $5 billion through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund programs.

Since 1994, the HBCU Capital Financing Program has provided low-cost loans to finance and refinance infrastructure improvements at the nation’s HBCUs.

Discharging these debts helps enable these institutions to focus their resources on supporting students, faculty, and staff for the duration of the COVID-19 national emergency. HBCUs can dedicate more funds to innovating the academic experience, supporting the socio-emotional development of their students, and continue as the leading producers of Black doctors and teachers during a time when the United States needs them most.

 

Institutions Receiving HBCU Capital Finance Debt Discharges
Alabama A&M University
Allen University
Alabama State University
Arkansas Baptist College
Saint Augustine’s University
Benedict College
Bennett College
Bethune–Cookman University
Barber-Scotia College
Central State University
Claflin University
Clark Atlanta University
Florida A&M University
Florida Memorial University
Grambling State University
Hampton University
Harris–Stowe State University
Huston-Tillotson University
Jarvis Christian College
Johnson C. Smith University
Lane College
Lawson State Community College
LeMoyne-Owen College
Livingstone College
Meharry Medical College
Miles College
Morgan State University
Morehouse College
Morehouse School of Medicine
Philander Smith College
South Carolina State University
Shaw University
Stillman College
Southern University at Baton Rouge
Southern University at Shreveport
Talladega College
Texas College
Texas Southern University
Tuskegee University
University of the Virgin Islands
Virginia Union University
Voorhees College
Wilberforce University
Wiley College
Xavier University of Louisiana

 

Biden’s Push for Electric Cars: $174 Billion, 10 Years and a Bit of Luck

Author: Niraj Chokshi           Published: 3/21/2021   New York Times

 

The president is hoping to make electric vehicles more affordable to turn a niche product into one with mass appeal.

A Tesla dealership in New York. While their prominence is rising, electric vehicles make up just 2 percent of the new car market.

Credit…

President Biden is a muscle-car guy — one of his most prized possessions is a 1967 Corvette that he got from his father. But he’s trying to make this an electric vehicle world.

The $2 trillion infrastructure plan that he unveiled on Wednesday is aimed at tackling climate change in part by spending up to $174 billion to encourage Americans to switch to cars and trucks that run on electricity, not gasoline or diesel. That is a large investment but it might not be enough to push most Americans toward E.V.s.

Despite rapid growth in recent years, electric vehicles remain a niche product, making up just 2 percent of the new car market and 1 percent of all cars, sport-utility vehicles, vans and pickup trucks on the road. They have been slow to take off in large part because they can cost up to $10,000 more than similar conventional cars and trucks. Charging E.V.s is also more difficult and slower than simply refilling the tank at far more prevalent gas stations.

Mr. Biden hopes to address many of those challenges through federal largess. He aims to lower the cost of electric vehicles by offering individuals, businesses and governments tax credits, rebates and other incentives. To address the chicken-and-egg problem of getting people to try a new technology before it is widely accepted, he hopes to build half a million chargers by 2030 so people will feel confident that they won’t be stranded when they run out of juice. And he is offering help to automakers to get them to build electric vehicles and batteries in the United States.

Author: Irene Brooks        Published:  3/29/2021         Infocast Virtual Masters Class

April 14-15 2021

A number of new insurance products have recently emerged as necessary components for renewable project acquisitions and financings, made even more vital by the lessons of the recent Texas market meltdown.

Effective and targeted use of these novel products, and precise knowledge of when they affect debt/risk profile, is essential to ensuring that your project attracts capital.

Attend this intensive, cutting-edge virtual course to hear the best practices for using these products to manage the growing and shifting myriad of risks, and make your renewable energy project attractive to today’s investors in an increasingly complex environment.

Don’t miss an expert-led discussion on the newest insurance products, including:

  • Production/Output Insurance
  • Offtaker Credit/Purchase Insurance
  • ITC Insurance
  • Reps & Warranties Insurance
  • Pricing Swaps/Hedges to address Merchant Pricing risk
  • Bespoke Products
REGISTER
CLASS INSTRUCTORS


Lead Instructor
Darin Lowder
Partner
FOLEY & LARDNER LLP

Co-Lead Instructor
Thomas Hoffmann
Partner
FOLEY & LARDNER LLP

CONTRIBUTORS

Adam Altenhofen
SVP of OriginationSOLTAGE, LLC

Jeffery R. Atkin
Partner and Co-Chair of Energy TeamFOLEY & LARDNER LLP

Jason Barglow
PartnerFOLEY & LARDNER LLP

Andrew Chen
Managing Director
CIT Group Inc.

Benjamin C. Cooper
Senior Vice President, Portfolio Management
KEYBANK

Jared Donald
Country Head, USA, AMP SOLAR

John Eliason
Partner
FOLEY & LARDNER LLP

Eric J. Heintz
Managing Director of Green Energy Finance
M&T BANK

Richard Matsui
CEOKWH ANALYTICS

Annie Tsai
Attorney
FOLEY & LARDNER LLP

Sven Wellock, CFA
Managing Director & Co-Lead of Energy – Renewables & Power

ING CAPITAL LLC

Hot off the presses: Advance Energy Economy

Author; AEE Staff               Published:  4/1/2021                     AEE

Don’t have time to read the whole report?

Check out our 2-page Report Highlights!

P.S. — More of an auditory learner? We’re reviewing the Market Report live in our upcoming webinar — State of Advanced Energy: Markets, Jobs & Lessons from the COVID Year!