U.S. States and Cities: The Unstoppable Move Toward 100% Renewable Energy
A study published in August 2019, Renewables on the Rise: A Decade of Progress Toward a Clean Energy Future, describes the “explosive growth in the key technologies developed to power America with clean, renewable energy (RE).” At present, America produces almost five times as much RE from solar and wind as in 2009; currently wind and solar power provide nearly 10% of the U.S.’ electricity. States have ramped up their investments in energy efficiency combined with natural gas efficiency programs, and thus the U.S. has saved more than two times as much energy in 2017 over 2009. Though the federal government lacks leadership to combat climate change, cities and states are adopting bold renewable energy targets. Five states set targets of 100% renewable electricity standards, 127 cities have committed to 100% renewable energy, and 6 cities have achieved it. We will address how states and cities are changing their approach to reducing carbon emissions, those that lead in RE usage and/or have achieved their goals, and the businesses that partner with them. We will include a discussion of what new opportunities may exist for energy professionals to apply their experience and help these states, cities and businesses meet their goals.
Nancy Najarian Clean Energy Consultant NAJ Enterprises, LLP
Nancy Najarian is a clean energy consultant and international development professional with over 15 years’ experience initiating, designing, and managing projects in the U.S. and developing countries. Currently a consultant to US multinational, medium and small firms, she has won over $275M in new business contracts and grants for clients in the past five years. In addition to new business development, Ms. Najarian creates strategic partnerships, and develops strategies to achieve market entry for companies working in the business to government (B2G), business to business (B2B) and Business to Consumer (B2C) markets. In support of this work, she manages and writes technical proposals and papers on renewable energy, energy efficiency (including for ESCOs), infrastructure, construction, and sustainability projects in the U.S. and worldwide. As a passionate supporter of renewable energy, Ms. Najarian advocates on the national, state and local levels for policies and laws supporting increased use of renewable energy and energy efficiency. Her advocacy work includes organizing educational forums for elected national, state and local officials that highlight policy changes, regulatory reforms, and laws necessary to support the growth of renewable energy and energy efficiency. Ms. Najarian also employs her skill at communicating technical concepts in lay terms, and provides background information to clean energy advocates so they better understand all aspects of proposed laws and policies. At the 2019 AEE World Energy Conference & Expo, Ms. Najarian presented a Poster and Paper Sharing and Learning Best Renewable Energy Practices in the Developing World. Based in Northern Virginia, Ms. Najarian is a member of AEE’s National Capital Chapter and Council on Women in Energy and Environmental Leadership (CWEEL). She received her B.A. from New York University, her M.S. from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and is a LEED Green Associate.