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November 3, 2021

US rejoins coalition pushing for 1.5 degrees

Celsius goal at COP26

Return of U.S. boosts informal alliance of small vulnerable

countries and big Western states.

The U.S. has rejoined a group of countries pushing for higher targets

at the COP26 U.N. climate talks.

The return of the world's second-largest emitter and richest nation boosts the group, called the High Ambition Coalition, which is an informal alliance of small vulnerable countries and big Western states including the EU.

The return of the U.S. was first reported in the Guardian and confirmed by U.S. State Department spokesperson Whitney Smith.


World leaders announce plan to make green tech cheaper than alternatives

UK, US and China among countries representing two-thirds of

global economy to agree to push green energy and cars

A plan to coordinate the global introduction of clean technologies in order to rapidly drive down their cost has been agreed at the Cop26 summit.


Unlocking the Transition: As Tesla, Ford and others invest billions in EVs, will the power system be ready?

The new White House zero emission vehicle target of 50% of new car sales by 2030 has a long way to go, a short time to get there, and big challenges along the way.

Transitioning transportation, the nation's biggest source of carbon emissions, to clean electricity is urgent, but will not be easy, according to charging companies, auto industry analysts and others.

President Joe Biden's Aug. 5 Executive Order calls for 50% of annual U.S. new car sales to be zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) by 2030. However it is estimated that only 2.1% of newly purchased vehicles are ZEV.

Newer numbers, however, suggest "an exponential ZEV uptake" has started, said Garrett Fitzgerald, electrification principal at the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA).


California proposes demand response, other measures to shore up summer grid reliability

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has been implementing multiple measures to help ensure grid reliability during the summer months, following a record-breaking heatwave in the state in 2020 that forced the California Independent System Operator to initiate outages.


Electric vehicle adoption poised to surge, say experts, if Congress OKs $100B in purchase incentives

There are potentially more than $200 billion in electric transportation investments contained in President Joe Biden's jobs and infrastructure plans, including purchase incentives that could immediately accelerate the United States' electrification plans, according to electrification advocates watching negotiations in Congress.

The EV-related proposals include more than $100 billion in tax credits that could knock up to $12,500 off the sticker price of a new electric car or truck, depending on where and how it is produced. Used electric vehicle (EV) buyers could get up to $4,000 back.


Utilities are taking the reins in the Northeast and asking for customer-sited storage

Virtual power plants are making behind-the-meter storage more attractive to utilities.

Residential energy storage adoption is growing in the Northeast, and no state mandates are behind the rising numbers.

Surprisingly, utilities are the ones encouraging customers to get batteries and enroll them in virtual power plants (VPPs). Instead of being threatened by customer-sited renewable energy systems, VPPs make solar and storage an agreeable resource for utilities.


November solar policy snapshots

A guide to recent legislation and research throughout the country.


The road to cleaner air

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act just passed by Congress provides $2.5 billion in funding specifically for zero-emission electric school buses.

The humble yellow school bus, an iconic symbol of American education, is getting an exciting upgrade in 2021. The bipartisan infrastructure investment package just passed by Congress provides $2.5 billion in funding specifically for zero-emission electric school buses and an additional $2.5 billion for all types of low-emission school buses (which could include electric buses).


Charged up for an electric vehicle future

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a policy in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that puts us on track to install thousands of electric vehicle charging stations across the country. Here's why that matters.

In the U.S., transportation is the greatest contributor to climate warming emissions, and the majority of those emissions come from everyday cars and trucks. Personal vehicles also emit toxic air pollution which harms our health. That’s why PIRG has been working for years to increase adoption of clean, emissions-free electric vehicles (EVs) by calling for 100% of car sales to be fully electric by 2035 (or sooner).

To get there, we need to do three things: make electric vehicles cheaper and easier for people to buy, strengthen emission standards and build out infrastructure to support electric cars.

The bipartisan infrastructure package puts one of those key pieces

of the puzzle into place.

One of the primary barriers to the adoption of electric vehicles is lack of access to public charging stations. Currently, electric vehicle drivers may face “range anxiety;” drivers fear they could be stranded on the road without access to fuel. To support the transition to electric vehicles, we need to dramatically increase the buildout of charging stations across the country.

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