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Sustainable Development Update
September 14, 2017

Sustainable Development Focus

Here’s how California plans to spend $1.5B in cap-and-trade money

San Jose Mercury News - Sep 12 As California’s newly strengthened “cap and trade” climate-change program rakes in the cash, top lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown have reached a deal to spend nearly $1.5 billion in the coming year on such programs as clean-vehicle rebates, methane reduction, and fire prevention. That amount is on top of the $900 million the Legislature has already divvied up according to annual formulas, including $375 million to help fund a bullet train between San Francisco and Los Angeles, one of the governor’s top priorities. The proposed spending details of Senate Bill 93 and Senate Bill 19 were published late Monday night. Because of a new voter-approved constitutional amendment requiring that bills be published for a full three days before they can be voted on, they can’t be approved until late Thursday night. Where would the money go? $895 million would go to an array of programs to replace gas and diesel-burning cars, trucks, buses, and port equipment with cleaner models, a priority for which a group of lawmakers have been lobbying; $225 million for fire prevention and response; $165 million to agriculture, including $99 million to curb methane; $61 million for urban forestry, healthy forests, and wetlands restoration; $44 million for programs to promote energy efficiency; $40 million to improve the state’s recycling infrastructure; and $11 million for energy research at the University of California.

For Prologis and Kilroy Realty, sustainability is an economic opportunity

Bisnow - Sep 5 For Prologis Vice President of Sustainability Jeannie Renne-Malone, commitment to better environmental practices is just business as usual across the company's 684M SF global portfolio. Greater power efficiency leads to improved operational efficiency for the customer, and careful attention to design ensures a high retention and occupancy rate. “We hear from customers that they also have sustainability goals and interest in efficient lighting and operational efficiency,” Renne-Malone said. Having investor and management buy-in is a necessary piece of the sustainability puzzle. Kilroy Realty Corp. Senior Vice President of Sustainability Sara Neff said Kilroy was able to quickly integrate sustainability practices across all of its operations because she had senior management’s full support. Kilroy builds, owns, and manages its entire portfolio, and sees sustainability as a way to improve operational efficiency. Neff inherited a leasing program that was already green, and expanded upon it by increasing energy- and water-efficiency projects and launching a green janitorial program. Kilroy’s portfolio is 52 percent LEED-certified, and Prologis recently achieved its target of 20 percent corporate carbon emissions reduction ahead of its 2020 goal. 

Batteries for homes, businesses surged in U.S. in second quarter

Reuters - Sep 7 The U.S. energy storage market fell 11 percent in the second quarter as utilities connected fewer large projects to the grid, but batteries deployed in homes and businesses hit a record thanks to state incentives in California and Hawaii and lower prices on the technology. Overall, the U.S. deployed 38 megawatts of new energy storage during the period, down from 42.8 megawatts a year ago, according to a report released last Thursday by GTM Research and the Energy Storage Association. More than 40 percent of that was installed in homes and businesses, up from just 9 percent in the first quarter.

Plan to spend $3B for electric car rebates stalls in Legislature

San Diego Union-Tribune - Sep 7 Plans for the California Legislature to spend $3 billion over 12 years to provide rebates for motorists to buy zero-emissions vehicles failed to cross the finish line in the waning days of the legislative session in Sacramento. The bill is still technically alive but was stripped of its funding and dramatically altered. Instead, Assembly Bill 1184 exists as a directive to the California Air Resources Board to produce a report due in 2019 to study the best ways to implement rebate legislation. In its original form, the bill’s $3 billion price tag was six times higher than the nearly $500 million so far spent on rebates.

Could London-style toll zones reduce LA traffic?

KPCC - Sep 8 A new campaign on billboards and social media that informs Angelenos they spend more than 100 hours a year stuck in traffic doesn't come as much of a surprise, but one of its proposed solutions is: congestion pricing. It's a system that has proven successful in cities like London, Stockholm, and Singapore: Charge drivers a toll to use certain roads during rush hour. Now the Southern California Association of Governments is promoting the idea as part of its "100 Hours" campaign to raise awareness about traffic issues as it ponders long-term solutions. In Los Angeles, which has a different layout and traffic patterns than centralized European cities like London or Stockholm, a few different densely crowded neighborhoods could be designated toll zones, or as the Association of Governments dubs them, "Go Zones." It would require a big leap for the proposal to become reality. The Association of Governments can't make policy, and many politicians shy away from the idea of tolling, due to low public acceptance of the idea.

Nevada PUC approves net metering rules expected to reboot the state’s rooftop solar industry

Greentech Media - Sep 5 The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada unanimously approved a draft order on Friday that establishes new rules and regulations for how net-metered solar customers will be compensated in the state, bringing an end to nearly two years of policy debate. The decision comes after utility regulators voted to phase out net metering credits and hike fixed fees on all residential solar customers in December 2015. The rate change undercut the economics of investing in home solar and slowed Nevada’s booming rooftop solar market to a halt. Hundreds of solar workers were laid off and several installers pulled out of the state. But with Friday’s decision, Nevada’s rooftop solar market is officially back in business, say rooftop solar advocates. 

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