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This week: Major oil companies appear to be finally dropping serious coin into low-carbon energy, the United States tops the clean-power investment podium again, and Alberta runs spellcheck on the plan that will ultimately purge coal from its wires.

Petros Move Money into the Low-Carbon Zone

Perhaps it was the crushingly low oil prices—or maybe it was the skyrocketing worldwide growth of renewable energy—but a string of recent low-carbon investments by major oil producers suggests serious change is afoot. As evidence, Bloomberg cites recent moves by Exxon, Total SA, and Canada’s own Enbridge, which last week said it will invest $282 million in three French wind farms in a bid to double its low-carbon generating capacity. The petros have long dabbled in clean energy, but “they typically stayed close to their roots by focusing on ethanol and other biofuels,” Bloomberg notes. “This round of investments takes them into the heart of the clean-energy industry.”

2. Corporate Clean Power “Buyer’s Club” Aims to Move 60 GW Onto Grids

A coalition of NGOs launched the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance in an effort to develop 60 GW of renewable energy from the private sector by 2025. Facebook and Microsoft are down with the plan, which seeks to lower barriers to clean-power procurement.

3. The Maritimes Got Ambitious on Clean Energy, and It’s Paying Off

The Maritimes have been quietly pulling ahead in the clean energy race. Ambitious policies have PEI close to meeting 30 per cent of its electricity needs with wind, while Nova Scotia has more installed wind capacity than B.C., a province 20 times its size.

4. Canada’s Climate and Clean Energy Opportunity Now Ripe

Following a decade of federal indifference to the climate and clean energy opportunity, Ottawa is racing to catch up—starting with an aggressive deadline for a national climate framework. Clean Energy Canada’s brain trust weighs in on what it all means.

5. Clean Power Investors Helping Make America Great Again

Investors seeking to make bank from renewable energy are shrugging off America’s regulatory uncertainty; for them, the U.S. remains the most attractive country in the world. So revealed Ernst & Young in its latest annual ranking (where Canada dropped to 9th place.)

6. Regan’s Recipe for British Columbia’s Carbon Tax

Chris Regan, the chair of Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission, suggests B.C. continue increasing the carbon tax, but reserve a portion of its revenue to protect the province’s trade-exposed sectors. The government’s new climate plan is expected out next month.

7. China Increasing Electricity Storage to Address Waste

China will boost its capacity to store electricity 10-fold by 2020—from today’s roughly 105 MW to 14.5 GW. The nation is struggling to resolve bottlenecks that prevent up to 40 per cent of power generated at its massive wind and solar farms from reaching load centres.

8. Alberta Puts the Finishing Touches on its Grid Transformation Plan

The government agency behind Alberta’s power grid is finalizing the plan that will detail how it will boost the proportion of renewable energy on the wires to 30 per cent by 2030. Auctions are now the way to go, and bidding will begin on the first round of projects by year end.

9. Uruguay Briefly Logs 100% Renewable Electricity

Engineering consulting firm SEG Ingeniería tweeted that, on one day last week, Uruguay met 100 per cent of its electricity needs from hydro, wind, biomass, and solar. The nation’s aggressive decarbonization program has attracted billions’ worth of overseas investment.

10. Electric Vehicle Owners to Sell Surplus Power Back to Grid

Nissan LEAF owners in the U.K. will soon have the option to sell the surplus electricity stored in their car batteries back to the grid. Last week the automaker inked a partnership with large Italian utility Enel SpA. (So much for range anxiety?)

PEI wind image: Wind Energy Institute of Canada, Flickr. | RECAI image: Ernst & Young. | Alberta transmission line image: Valard LP, Flickr.

Did you miss last week’s Clean Energy Review? Catch up here.

Special Event: Making Canada a Destination for Renewable Energy Investment
In Ottawa? Join us June 9 for a free Clean Energy Live special event featuring speakers from Ernst & Young, Innergex Renewable Energy, and ArcTern Ventures. Register now.

Clean Energy Review is sponsored in part by Genus Capital Management, a leading provider of fossil-fuel-free investments. 
Coming Attractions

FRONT BURNER: From May 16-17 CANSIA is hosting Solar Ontario & Game Changer Award Gala in Niagara Falls, ON.

May 17: Silence in the Streets: The Future of Transport in B.C., a webinar hosted by the B.C. Sustainable Energy Association.

May 25: I’m Right and You’re An Idiot: The Toxic State of Public Discourse and How to Clean it Up, hosted by Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue in Vancouver, B.C.

May 27: Climate Action & the Opportunity for Clean Energy in B.C., with Keynote Luncheon Address by The Honorable Mary Polak, Minister of Environment, hosted by Clean Energy B.C. in Vancouver, B.C.

May 31: Intelligent energy design: Canada’s path to prosperity in a carbon-constrained world, hosted by The Energy Roundtable in Toronto, ON.

June 1: MaRS Cleantech 2016 Canada Demo Day, hosted by MaRS in San Francisco, CA.

June 1-2: Clean Energy Ministerial 7, hosted by United States Department of Energy in San Francisco, CA.

June 2-3: Alberta and Saskatchewan Renewable Energy Finance Summit, hosted by Canadian Clean Energy Conferences in Calgary, AB.

June 3: Energy Connections Summit, hosted by the B.C. Sustainable Energy Association in Vancouver, B.C.

June 9: The Attractiveness Index: How to Make Canada the Destination for Renewable Energy Investment, hosted by Clean Energy Canada in Ottawa, ON.

June 19-22: Electric Vehicle Symposium & Exhibition, hosted by the Electric Drive Transportation Association in Montreal, QC.


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