Green Project

Clean Energy Initiative

NDN’s Clean Energy Initiative centers on transforming discussions about 20th century energy policy into a new framework where energy policy is deeply integrated with economic policy and America’s 21st century challenges.  
Our Electricity 2.0 Program focuses on the issues surrounding the modernization of the electric grid structure for the 21st Century, including the need to replace, renovate and expand our infrastructure with an equal goal to address the issue of renewable energies, a more open energy network, greater consumer choice and the development of a new business model for the  21st Century.



Department of Defense and Next Generation Energy Technology  On July 25 we hosted a panel discussion on the incredible impact of the Military’s investment in clean energy.  Jon Powers, Federal Executive for White House office of Climate Energy Quality was joined by Dr. Holmes Hummel of Department of Energy, Dr. Jeff Marqusee of Department of Defense and Jeff Weiss, of Distributed Sun, LLC.



Heather Zichal On June 25, we hosted Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Heather Zichal, who spoke on the successes of the Obama administration's All of the Above energy policy and what the President has accomplished with this comprehensive national energy plan.



Ken SalazarKen Salazar, On April 25, we hosted United States Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who outlined the Administration's upcoming energy strategy at a luncheon at NDN. The Obama Administration, and the DOI have made remarkable progress through their 'all-of-the-above' approach to energy over the last three years.


The Role of Consumers in Shaping Energy Use - On April 6 we hosted a panel titled "The Critical Role of Consumers in Shaping The Future of Energy Use." The event, which was co-hosted with Opower, spotlighted the panel examined the role that customers can and should play in driving energy policy and proactively managing their home energy.


Solar Tariff Panel - On March 16 NDN's Clean Energy Initiative hosted a panel titled "Solar Tariffs:  Smart Policy or Protectionism?" Leading experts from the field joined us to discuss the issues involved with China, international trade, the labor market and solar technology. This panel was the seventh in our ongoing "Clean Energy Solution Series".relationship between consumer energy use and new technologies for over

Gina McCarthy

Gina McCarthy, On January 20, Ms. McCarthy, Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation for the Environmental Protection Agency, spoke to our 6th Clean Energy Solution Series on the impact of the newly released EPA national standards for mercury and other air toxins which will ultimately prevent 90% of mercury, 88% of natural gas emissions, and 41% of sulpher dioxins. 


Progress and Promise of the Electric Vehicle - On December 6, 2011 the fifth of our Clean Energy Solution Series feataured a panel of industry thought leaders for a discussion on the future of the Electric Vehicle.  This panel highlighted the recent emergence of the electric vehicle in today’s economy and how innovations in clean energy have opened doors for growth and opportunities of the electric car. 


Paul Tonko (NY-12)

Congressman Paul Tonko (NY-12) -  On October 21, 2011 our New York Clean Energy Forum featured Congressman Tonko who made the case for distributed generation throughout our country.  He pointed out the attributes of off-grid energy both in terms of saving the consumer money but also in terms of long term energy efficiency.  Tonko says Smart Grid/Smart Energy projects should continue to be funded through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, as they will ultimately engage the consumer with their energy use and resulting energy efficiency.  


Jack Hidary - On October 4, 2011, Jack Hidary, the well known energy Jack Hidaryentreprenaur spoke to our New York Clean Energy Forum on 'The Gamechanger:  China’s Unstoppable Clean Energy Exports'. Combining his considerable expertise in finance, science, technology, Jack's speech  focused on China's  master business plan every five years.  That plan, coupled with the enormity of China’s population, landmass, and financial resources, puts a footprint on every country and every major business in this global economy.  


Wind TurbineEconomics of Wind Energy and the Relevance of Tax Credits - On September 27, 2011, we held the fourth event in our Clean Energy Solution Series featuring a panel discussion on the the economic ramifications of wind energy presenting the case for investment of wind energy and outlined the realities of wind energy and other renewable energy in the political climate of the 112th Congress. 

FERC Panel


Transmission Reform:  What Does It Mean for Renewables? - On July 28, 2011, the third in our Clean Energy Solution Series featured a panel discussionon the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Rulemaking, Order 1000 and the potential of a modernized electric grid structure to provide nationwide consumers with renewable energy.


The Speed of Solar: A Review of the Tremendous Impact of Solar - On June 27, 2011, we held the second event in out "Clean Energy Solution Series", which spotlighted the success of rooftop solar energy, particularly for Sungevity Rooftop Energy. The rooftop solar industry, now no longer a cottage industry selling to the wealthy in the state of California, is now mainstream and viable in almost every state.


Wireless Technology:  New Technologies and the Electric Grid - On June 16, we held our first Clean Energy Solution Series on how wireless communications can create innovation opportunities for clean energy technologies and the smart grid.  We also released new national polling which shows public support for new approaches on energy outside the scope of the current debate.

Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)

Senator Jeff Bingaman - On January 31, 2011 Senator Bingaman, Chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee outlined his priorities for an energy agenda for the 112th Congress at a packed luncheon of over 250 people at the National Press Club. The Senator outlined four elements which he said should be at the heart of a comprehensive energy legislation to make the United States competitive in global energy markets.  To read more follow the links below:

Understanding the Transformative Potential of Microgrids and Distributed Power - On December 10, 2010, four industry pioneers; in localized generation and power management discussed the overwhelming success of cogeneration.  Cogeneration has revolutionized industrial power in the US, but also the huge, untapped potential of microgrids harnessing cogen and distributed power to modernize American electricity.  

Michael Moynihan to Present at the CITI Conference on Broadband Networks & Smart Grid

Michael Moynihan presents E 2.0 at Georgetown Energy and Cleantech Conference

Accelerating the Clean Energy Economy: Key Pathways, Policies, and Pitfalls 6/29/10: with Michael Moynihan, Dan Carol, Robert Shapiro, and Aimee Christensen NDN hosted a panel on the imperative of moving towards a clean energy economy and how this transition will take shape. The lively discussion explored the financial and regulatory incentives for clean energy development, as well as the necessary legislative actions to put these incentives into place.

NDN in New York - Electricity 2.0: Unlocking the Power of the Open Energy Network 5/21/10: with Michael Moynihan Clean Energy Initiativei Director Michael Moynihan hosted a presentation in New York, examining the electricity industry and why the uptake of renewables has been so slow. He argued that the answer lies in the outdated and complex structure of Electricity 1.0, a closed, highly regulated network created a century ago, fundamentally incompatible with clean technology and renewable power. It's now time for America to upgrade to Electricity 2.0, an open, distributed network capable of fostering innovation and a clean technology revolution.

Congressman Edward Markey, Nick Sinai, Clem Palevich, Jigar Shah and Michael Moynihan to speak on Electricity 2.0: Envisioning the Future of Electricity 5/11/10: This important event focused on charting a course to the electricity future. In addition to protecting our climate and enhancing energy security, clean electricity has the potential to power a new wave of prosperity. It can serve as a platform for entrepreneurs and innovators to create new jobs and build new industries.


Electricity 2.0: Unlocking the Power of the Open Energy Network (OEN) 2/4/10: By Michael Moynihan In a major new policy paper, Clean Energy Initiative Director Michael Moynihan argues that America must upgrade to Electricity 2.0, an open, distributed network, to unlock the potential of clean technology and unleash a renewable revolution.

Solar Energy: The Case for Action 8/1/08: By Michael Moynihan While a variety of renewable fuels have different strengths, the subject of this paper, solar power -- ubiquitous, not tied to any nation or territory, clean and free once capital equipment to capture it has been installed -- holds special promise.

Investing in Our Common Future: U.S. Infrastructure 10/13/07: By Michael Moynihan Michael Moynihan looks at the current state of public investment in infrastructure and proposes a set of measures to restore our national political will and improve funding mechanisms to rebuild and advance U.S. infrastructure.

The NDN’s Clean Energy Initiative works to develop a legislative, regulatory and advocacy framework to address climate change, enhance energy security, transition to a low-carbon economy, and accelerate the development of clean technologies and infrastructure.

Celebrating the Earth

New York City -- Forty years have passed since John McConnell, a peace activist and plastics pioneer, proposed the first Earth Day at a Unesco conference in San Francisco as a way to focus attention on our role as stewards of the planet. In that period, environmentalism has grown into a worldwide passion so ingrained that we routinely recycle bottles, paper and plastics and on Earth Day, at least in my small New York town, walk instead of drive children to school. In that sense Earth Day and environmentalism have been astonishingly successful.

At the same time, however, when we look about the planet it is clear that for all the steps taken so far the climate has actually gotten worse. Environmentalism can celebrate major victories in the United States of cleaning up our air and our water. However, we have meanwhile developed millions of acres of land with almost no regard for the environment. And the rise of China, India and the other rapidly developing countries has virtually doubled sources of pollution. Moreover, science suggests that it has been precisely during the last decade or so of human history that the earth's climate has begun to experience dramatic stress from people as our greenhouse emissions have altered the earth's absorption of energy from the sun.

As an optimist, I belive the world will collectively meet these challenges which are fundamentally about managing growth. The key element, recognized by McConnell when he chose the Unesco conference to propose the idea of Earth Day is global cooperation. The last Administration retreated from working with other countries. The new Administration has redidicated itself to solving climate change but faces immense challenges, particularly, in the weak global economy.

Most major action is precipitated only by crisis. When the threat is is both distant and global rather than local in nature, acting in advance is that much more difficult. The foresight demonstrated at Rio, Kyoto and the other key international meetings on the environment are, therefore, remarkable in history. But science suggests that cooperation is not only remarkable, but also vital to our survival.

On this Earth Day, therefore, I believe we should honor the idea of preserving the planet. But we also honor the key element in achieving that goal, namely working together to solve the problem. Not so coincidentally, 40 years ago, man first landed on the moon and people first saw the famous picture of the earth from the moon. What they saw was a fragile planet, no bigger than a pea in Neil Armstrong's words, but for the first time, the whole earth as one, with one set of challenges, hopes and possibilities and a single destiny.

Boehner On CO2 Emissions Just Another Case of Long Road Back for GOP

We've written extensively on the utter bankruptcy of the Republican Party, and this morning on "This Week," House Minority Leader John Boehner was absolutely full of it on climate change. Courtesy of Politico:

"The idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen that is harmful to our environment, it is almost comical," Boehner said. "Every time we exhale, we exhale carbon dioxide. Every cow in the world, when they do what they do, you have more carbon dioxide."

Let's add this to the list of all the other things that resemble "what cows do" that the Boehner led Republican Party has tried to peddle to the American people this Congress, along with a bogus stimulus plan, an "alternative budget" without numbers, and a joke-of-a-budget that proposes an across the board spending freeze (at the worst possible time for the economy). Unfortunately for the Republicans, there does not seem to be a credible leader or policy idea, at least at the federal level (and the hopes for the future at the state level seem to shoot themselves in the foot every time they open their mouths).

As one smart Democratic communications operative said to me about Boehner's line on carbon dioxide emissions, the Republicans have already established how out of touch they are on economics (and established their complete lack of interest in working with the president to fix the economy). Energy policy is really one of the last few places where, perhaps, the two parties could work together. Boehner on the morning shows spewing such irresponsible, unscientific untruths shows yet another example of how long the road back is going to be.

Boehner leads a minority up against some of the hardest political times in the history of the party. One of its top strategists on Friday said that its insistence on religious tests risks long-term political viability, and the Republican Party continues to demonstrate just how ill suited they are for actual governing. (As if the last eight years weren't enough.) Unless something changes for the party quickly, it's leaders' days in those roles are likely numbered, and its relevance is likely to continue to diminish.

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