Sustainability

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Note from the editor

Business and policy drivers are leading electric utilities and other companies to increase their reliance on renewable energy and set carbon reduction targets as part of their overall sustainability goals.

Integrating new wind and solar into the power grid, building sustainable supply chains for clean energy components, and reducing the environmental impacts of the energy transition are ongoing challenges.

And as utilities struggle to meet their decarbonization targets, two recent studies point to the importance of culture change in helping companies achieve their goals.

Companies, policymakers and others increasingly recognize that it's not enough to simply increase the total amount of renewables and decrease the total amount of carbon and other emissions. Creating a more sustainable economy requires a focus on equity as well.

The following articles touch on these and various other aspects of sustainability.

Larry Pearl Senior Editor

As Biden targets 100% clean electricity, strategies emerge to reliably integrate rising renewables

System controls, flexibility through DER, and new policies supporting market economics are coming

• Published April 19, 2021

Austin housing project offers Tesla large-scale test bed to address challenges with energy products

• Published July 21, 2021

Emerging solar panel recycling market ripe with opportunity, but barriers remain

The U.S. is likely to see significant volumes of end-of-life panels, creating opportunities for safe, sustainable recycling or reuse. Some states are looking at product stewardship to avoid disposal.

• Published July 29, 2021

No 'green halo' for renewables: First Solar, Veolia, others tackle wind and solar environmental impacts

From the toxics and wastewater in manufacturing to the difficulty of recycling PV panels and turbine blades, solar and wind in particular create impacts the industries are trying to reduce.

• Published Dec. 14, 2020

Pacific Northwest poised to test 100% renewables as utilities weigh gas vs. storage

• Published Dec. 17, 2020

Energy equity depends on data, and experts say there isn't enough of it

Energy testbed Pecan Street is expanding its residential network into Detroit to gather more insights from communities of color regarding the clean energy transition.

• Published July 8, 2021

As utilities risk missing carbon reduction targets, analysts stress need for organizational change

Separate studies indicate utility culture change can make unfulfilled emissions reduction promises real.

• Published July 1, 2021

As US aims to boost clean energy supply chain, critical minerals gap largely human-caused, analysts say

There's no shortage of rare earth minerals needed to transition to a clean energy economy, experts say. The problem is getting them out of the ground — and out of China.

• Published June 17, 2021

Cities push ahead on Energy Efficiency as a Service as private sector plays catch up

Forms of EEaaS have existed for decades as alternative funding mechanisms in cities. Now, as technologies accelerate and COVID-19 continues, the private sector wants in.

• Published Oct. 5, 2020

Equity, security and load: FERC conference considers the challenges and potential of electrification

U.S. electricity load could double by 2050. The industry is focused on how to meet that need equitably and securely, panelists at a recent technical conference said.

• Published May 3, 2021

The latest in sustainability efforts for utilities

Business and policy drivers are leading utilities to increase their reliance on renewable energy and set carbon reduction targets for 2021 and beyond. However, simply increasing the total amount of renewables will not be enough, the fight for a sustainable economy will require a focus on equity as well.

included in this trendline
  • Austin housing project offers Tesla large-scale test bed to address challenges with energy products
  • Pacific Northwest poised to test 100% renewables as utilities weigh gas vs. storage
  • 2021 Outlook: Greening natural gas while planning for service reliability
Our Trendlines go deep on the biggest trends. These special reports, produced by our team of award-winning journalists, help business leaders understand how their industries are changing.
Davide Savenije Editor-in-Chief at Industry Dive.