Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Heisting-Simons family launched a $48 million Clean Energy Initiative to promote clean energy by funding local, state and national energy stakeholders.
According to the organizations, the initiative will support state-based solutions that will ensure the U.S. has an energy system that is clean, affordable and reliable. The initiative will bolster collaborative, state-based approaches that encourage utilities to adopt technologies that have only recently become available and affordable.
Since 2010, the firms note, solar energy prices have plummeted by 80%, wind energy prices have been cut in half and the cost of LED lighting has fallen by 80%. U.S. consumers stand to benefit from these developments if state policymakers work with utilities to accelerate their adoption – the Clean Energy Initiative will help provide the technical assistance for the transition.
The initiative will include analysis to determine grid optimization for different power types, potential for enhanced efficiency and methods to make the grid more robust. This analysis will help identify the biggest opportunities for new technologies and support regulatory strategies that ensure reliable and affordable energy for the U.S.
The Clean Energy Initiative will help galvanize states to take advantage of this opportunity as they implement the EPA's Clean Power Plan.
A key feature of the Clean Power Plan is that it lets states choose the best combination of energy efficiency, renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power, and improvements in current power plants. The EPA rules and associated state policies have the potential to increase renewable energy production three- to four-fold by 2025, an amount of growth that could power 28 million to 41 million homes for a year. This energy savings is the equivalent to the annual output of 35 to 60 coal plants.
With support from the new Clean Energy Initiative, together these state-based policies could help achieve efficiency savings and renewable energy capacity additions equivalent to the yearly output of 100 to 140 coal plants – or 13% to 17% of the total electricity generated by the U.S. fleet.
With technical support, research and advocacy funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies and Heising-Simons family contributions, states will develop their own strategies to limit carbon pollution and, ultimately, achieve the Clean Power Plan's aim to cut carbon pollution from the power sector by 30% below 2005 levels.