Does Department of Energy Activity = Clean Energy for Alabama?

The last 30-60 days have seen a flurry of activity coming out of the Department of Energy (DOE). This federal activity could mean huge opportunities for growth in clean energy for Alabama. Here are some of the topics being covered by recent grant announcements or notices of intent.

  • Extreme residential energy efficiency
  • University R&D on energy efficient technology
  • Commercial energy efficiency
  • Distributed energy and storage integration

Of course it isn’t unusual to see such a large amount of federal activity during this time of year but the variety of topics is encouraging! Our mission to transition Huntsville to 100% clean and efficient energy by 2025 and Alabama by 2035 aligns well with DOE’s recent announcements. We wholeheartedly believe that the most cost effective energy is energy you do not need to use. This is why we put so much focus on energy conservation and efficiency. Then and only then should renewable energy, energy storage, and other forms of distributed generation be considered.

We’re hard at work with our partners to bring some of DOE’s investment in clean energy to Alabama. As always, we can never have enough committed team members and we hope you’ll join us.

-Daniel

Redstone Arsenal Goes Solar

The recent announcement that Redstone Arsenal will house the largest solar installation in the state is great news for Huntsville and Alabama, but also a reminder of how much work remains to be done. If solar installations are a force multiplier for the military, they are also a force multiplier for communities throughout our state. If our local communities adopted the same commitment demonstrated by the US Army we could open up a significant wealth creation opportunity and in doing so build stronger and more resilient communities.

Consider this quote from Richard Kidd, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Energy and Sustainability, “We look at renewable energy as a means to secure energy for our installations. We are not doing these projects for politically motivated reasons or because of the mandate (energy goal of 25 percent production of energy from renewable sources by 2025). We are doing them for mission effectiveness.”

Redstone Arsenal goes solar!

He clearly states that renewable energy is simply the strongest way to secure clean, reliable and affordable energy in order to accomplish the Army’s mission. Losing power for a week is not an option when lives are on the line. Not to mention that this monumental effort is being accomplished with private money. No additional burden to taxpayers and the Army gets predictable and affordable prices. What could be better?

Spoiler alert! What would be better is a thoughtful but determined approach by towns and cities across Alabama to begin their switch to clean energy as well.

Just the fact that there were no prime contractors from the great state of Alabama bidding on this opportunity demonstrates how far behind we are.

But we, too, can do this. The magnitude of Redstone’s announcement may fade but the challenge will remain: how we respond as a community and as a state to this wholly feasible opportunity to generate our own clean, reliable and affordable energy. Will our communities also start to build resiliency? Will we see wisdom in the Army’s electricity choices? It won’t happen overnight but let us begin now.

Energy Alabama to Activate Transition to Clean Energy for Alabama

Energy Alabama Formed to Activate Community on Transition to Clean Energy for Alabama

Launch of 501(c)(3) organization to use interactive local projects to spur clean energy.

Huntsville, AL, August 19, 2014–Energy Alabaama was founded on June 17th, 2014 to accelerate Alabama’s transition to sustainable, clean energy. To demonstrate the economic and technical feasibility of this project, Energy Alabama created its NetZeroHSV Initiative in Huntsville, Alabama to realize ‘net zero energy’ use (100% clean and efficient energy use) within 10 years. The NetZeroHSV Initiative wholly focuses on the intersection of clean energy with good business practices, a healthy environment, and the social well-being of the community.

“This is a challenging mission,” says Daniel Tait, CEO of the Energy Alabama. “Huntsville has put a man on the moon in less than 10 years. We thrive on solving the nation’s biggest issues.”

This ‘moonshot’ program will allow for the application of the best clean energy practices utilized by both the military and other communities around the world while adapting for local realities and monitoring progress to net zero energy use. Based on a recent report from Stanford University a 100% clean and efficient energy Alabama would result in a 4% boost the State’s economy and net employment increase of over 165,000 40-year jobs.

Energy Alabama is accelerating the transition to sustainable, clean energy throughout Alabama. We do this by widely promoting sustainable energy as a feasible, state-wide goal, by executing high-impact clean energy projects across the State, and by providing people with information, incentives and opportunities to help make clean energy choices. We work with policy makers, public agencies, local governments, educational institutions, utilities, business and civic leaders and individuals to transform Alabama’s energy marketplace and beyond. Energy Alabama is committed to powering Huntsville with 100% clean and efficient energy by 2025 and Alabama by 2035.

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Daniel Tait at (256) 303-7773 or email at dtait@alcse.org.