SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
1. You Raised $1,184 For Clean Energy!
SACE Facebook "Like" DriveIf you’ve recently become a fan of SACE on Facebook and “liked” our page, take a minute to pat yourself on the back! What for? Because our latest fundraiser and ‘friendraiser’ wouldn’t have been such a success without you! Between August 13th and August 31st, one of our donors graciously matched $1 for every new person who "liked" the SACE Facebook Page. In just 3 weeks, you’ve helped us earn $1,184 to support clean energy alternatives in the Southeast! You answered our call to action and reached out to your own connections – your family, friends and coworkers. Your outstanding efforts have strengthened the demand for a clean energy future and raised awareness of the critical energy issues that our region faces. Your voice is critical to this fight and we thank you for taking the time to encourage other voices to join in!The funds and friends raised during this campaign will move us even closer to ensuring clean, safe and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Together we will raise our voices and continue to push for action through our everyday advocacy, education and outreach. We could not be at the forefront of this effort without your support. Thank you for standing with us and for being our partner in this battle for a clean energy future!
2. You Asked, They Did It: 54.5 MPG by 2025
Clean Cars Become An American RealityAugust 28, 2012 was an historic day for America’s transportation future. The Obama Administration issued new clean car standards that will dramatically cut oil consumption, reduce overall emissions from the transportation sector and save Americans millions of dollars annually. These standards will help communities and individuals reduce emissions and fuel costs. What makes this event historically important, though, is that this move is the most significant action our country has ever taken to reduce carbon pollution. Did you know that our transportation sector accounts for more than 20% of our overall carbon pollution? These new standards will set us on a path to dramatically transform the future of transportation for our country. The first phase of clean car standards issued by the Obama Administration in 2009 raised fuel economy to 35.5 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2016. The just-announced standards cover new cars and light trucks for model years 2017-2025 and ensure that we will get at least 54.5 miles per gallon (or equivalent) in our cars by 2025. That’s close to twice the mpg that cars get today! According to analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists, these standards will cut carbon pollution from vehicles in the United States by 570 million metric tons in 2030 — the equivalent of taking a third, or 85 million, of today’s cars and trucks off the road for an entire year. These standards will cut oil imports by one-third, and save consumers more than a trillion (yep, that’s a ‘t”!) dollars in fuel costs. With these new standards, we expect even greater innovation—creating even more jobs in our economy. The 2009 standards have already brought us a new wave of technology, from battery improvements in electric cars and more hybrids to improved performance through weight reduction and aerodynamics. In fact, regulators are seeing automakers exceeding the standards of three years ago with an average of 28.9 mpg for 2012 cars. Today’s new standards are also creating new business opportunities for vehicle manufacturers and suppliers, chemical and electronics industries as well as fleet operators and electric utilities. Lower emissions, less oil use, more financial savings and more jobs: we can already see the benefits of a brighter, cleaner transportation future ahead. We applaud the Obama Administration for their leadership on this issue, helping us all save money, make more money, and breathe a little easier.
3. Down 4 Cars or So
SACE’s 2011 Carbon Footprint
SACE is pleased to announce that our carbon dioxide emissions are down from 2010 to 2011 by about 20 metric tons! That is the equivalent of taking about four cars off the road for an entire year. After calculating our footprint, we purchased offsets for the equivalent of 177 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. As with our last two carbon audits, we calculated Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. Essentially, this means we calculated carbon dioxide emissions associated with our biodiesel manufacturing, office energy consumption, air and ground transportation and overnight stays related to work. Our emissions have consistently gone down since we started tracking our CO2 emissions in 2009, as shown in the table below. The chart below compares our 2009-2011 emissions. We reduced our emissions from air travel for the third year in a row, but our ground transportation – from rental vehicles and from employee commuting – increased.Wind Energy Brings Our Impact Down to Zero
NativeEnergy enables businesses to help finance the construction of wind, biogas, solar and other carbon reduction projects with their Help Build Carbon Offsets program. They reviewed our carbon footprint calculations and gave us four projects that we could choose from to buy our carbon offsets. We chose the Iowa Farms Wind Project, which will offset a total of 92,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide during the first ten-year crediting period of the project. There are two farmers that are leasing land to 5045 Wind Partners, LLC, which has partnered with NativeEnergy, to build two 1.6 MW wind turbines. In addition to helping the local community, the turbines will also enhance grid reliability and stability through geographic dispersion of renewable energy; this, in turn, helps balance the variability of wind energy.Looking Ahead: Managing our Footprint in 2012
Moving forward, we anticipate that our Knoxville carbon emissions will continue to decline for several reasons. First, we made several energy efficiency improvements to our office. Second, we recently installed a 9.6 kW solar photovoltaic array that is projected to offset 12,000 kWh of electricity a year. Third, we have a Nissan Leaf company car, which already reduced some of our transportation emissions last year, and will further reduce them as the recharging infrastructure is built out across the Southeast, enabling us to use the car more and more. The components of our footprint will further change in 2012, as it did in 2011, because we sold our biodiesel operations to Clean Energy Biofuels, and we closed two of our smaller offices in Athens, Georgia and Savannah, Georgia. We’re optimistic about our efforts to emit even less carbon dioxide in 2012, and look forward to sharing the details of our footprint with you next year!
4. Did You Join Hands on August 4?
Communities Worldwide Stand to Protect Their BeachesOn Saturday, August 4, 180 communities in 32 states and 15 countries came together to protect their local beaches from the impacts of offshore drilling and other fossil fuels. The events were organized by Hands Across the Sand, an international effort to give a voice to concerned coastal residents who do not want offshore oil and gas drilling along their coast. Thousands of individuals stood up for our treasured coastal places, and with good cause. The impacts of offshore oil and gas operations start with the exploration process itself. Exploration is carried out using airgun technology, which is highly disorienting and injurious for marine creatures such as dolphins, sea turtles, and whales, and can cause declines in fishery populations. In fact, the 2010 Gulf oil spill, which decimated the marine food chain, was the result of merely drilling an exploration well. Some shrimpers and oystermen in the Gulf report their harvests are down by 75 percent since the 2010 spill. To prevent a similar fate for the Atlantic coast, two SACE staffers were intricately involved in Hands Across the Sand events in the Southeast. Chris Carnevale, SACE Coastal Climate and Energy Coordinator, and Liz Kazal, Mississippi Campus Organizer for the Southern Energy Network (SACE’s Campus Program), each coordinated a Hands gathering in their respective states: South Carolina and Mississippi.Residents of Charleston, SC and Biloxi, MS joined hands to stand in solidarity with coastal communities around the world and to highlight local battles they were drawing attention to. In Charleston, participants expressed concerns for South Carolina’s tourist industry and the unnecessary risks that offshore drilling brings given the state’s immense potential for renewable energy generation. The event in Biloxi, on the other hand, brought people from nearby towns to demonstrate opposition to the potential leasing of Gulf waters surrounding the Gulf Islands National Seashore to oil and natural gas exploration and drilling. Even though these events took place on different coasts in different cities, the concerns of local residents were remarkably similar. The resounding message from coast to coast is that the risks of offshore drilling significantly outweigh the benefits, particularly given the vast opportunities for clean, renewable energy in our region. Both of these gatherings – and many more around the world – drew people motivated by one simple premise: saying “no” to offshore drilling and “yes” to clean energy makes sense for our coastal treasures, our economies and our way of life.
5. Energy Efficiency: The New Energy Superhero of the Southeast
Progress For Our RegionSACE recently completed its review of 2011 energy efficiency savings for major utilities in Georgia, Florida, the Carolinas and Tennessee. We are proud to announce that all major Southeastern utilities are now offering demand side management energy efficiency programs, and have shown marked improvement in the past five years. In fact, from 2009-2011, efficiency savings have almost tripled! In 2011 alone, consumers saved about 1,800 GWh of electricity in the Southeast. At this rate, consumers are reducing demand for a typical coal plant in the Southeast about every 16 months. While this does not put any of our utilities in the category of national efficiency leader, it is a marked improvement and, more importantly, regulatory filings indicate that the utilities plan to continue to save even more energy. Just like our little energy superhero in the above picture, we need our utilities to take a stand against energy waste. And what better way is there to accomplish this than to implement super energy efficiency programs? So, do we have any utilities with “super” energy efforts in our region? We took a closer look and analyzed utility energy efficiency savings and costs from 2011 data to find out. The results might surprise you: the Southeast may yet have a few potential superheroes of its own!Most Utilities in the Southeast are a Third of the Way to 1%
The chart to the right lists the utilities we work with from the highest to lowest annual savings as a percentage of sales from left to right. Most utilities in the Southeast are in the 0.2 -0.3% range. While this is relatively low on a national scale, for utilities in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina it’s a tenfold improvement over 2006 when none of those state’s utilities reported more than 0.02% savings. Duke Energy Remains the Leader of Efficiency in the Southeast
As shown in the chart above, Duke Energy saved about 0.70% of its sales with energy efficiency in 2011. This is significantly more than any of the other utilities in the Southeast. We congratulate Duke for it successful implementation of energy efficiency programs and growth from 2010 to 2011.Florida Utilities Have Higher Costs than Their Peers
The Florida utilities that are required to invest in energy efficiency have much higher costs than their peers in the Southeast, with the exception of JEA. The chart to the right shows a simplified utility energy efficiency levelized program cost, listed from lowest to highest cost from left to right. Duke Energy and JEA should be congratulated again for achieving such high savings at such low cost. However, energy efficiency programs at the Florida utilities besides JEA are more expensive than those of their peers. In FPL’s case, its programs are more than 2 times more expensive than SCE&G’s programs, although they are achieving comparable savings. Many Southeastern Utilities are Continuing to Grow Energy Efficiency
Over the next several years, many of these utilities are expecting to grow their energy efficiency programs. We will be writing in detail about the plans for power plants and energy efficiency across the Southeast in the near future, but here’s a preview: The biggest potential gains are at regional utility giant TVA, which plans to ramp up its programs to double its current efforts over the next few years. For more information on our 2011 energy efficiency analysis, see our fact sheet and sources here.