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GEMM May Newsletter



Keeping you informed on the latest in renewable energy and sustainability.


Welcome to the May edition of the GEMM Energy Monthly Newsletter. We aim to bring you the latest in renewable energy advancements, highlight sustainability efforts, showcase GEMM's current projects, and provide valuable insights for a brighter, more sustainable future.

 

Minnesota’s Shift To Geothermal Technologies 

In Minnesota, buildings significantly contribute to carbon emissions, with buildings in areas like St. Louis Park representing over 60% of total carbon emissions. This high level has prompted legislative actions to adopt networked geothermal systems, which are far more sustainable for heating and cooling multiple buildings than traditional methods. These systems are vital to Minnesota’s strategy to decrease reliance on natural gas and achieve a net-zero carbon footprint by 2050.


The state has initiated several measures to support this transition, including legislative bills that offer planning grants and rebates for geothermal systems, and mandates for utility companies to engage in pilot projects. Despite the environmental and economic advantages, the adoption of geothermal energy faces significant challenges, such as high initial costs and the need for specialized labor. Ongoing legislative support and incentives are crucial to overcoming these obstacles, underscoring the state's commitment to sustainable energy solutions and demonstrating the potential of geothermal technology.


Source: AP News 

Networked geothermal is catching on in Minnesota. New legislation aims to push the technology further

 

Wind Power Is Paving The Way For A More Sustainable Future. 

The year 2023 was a significant milestone for wind power, marking a 50% global increase in new wind power capacity installations - a new world record!  According to the latest report by the Global Wind Energy Council, the industry still has significant work to do to align with international climate goals. Specifically, to meet the COP28 Pledge and maintain the Paris Agreement's target limit on global warming, the industry will need to reach an annual installation rate of 320 gigawatts by 2030. The aforementioned programs are incentives created by various entities to make the world more sustainable.


The report further mentions that key players like China, the US, Brazil, and Germany together accounted for 77% of the new installations. Regions like Africa and the Middle East are set for rapid growth in wind power, with several large projects planned that are expected to significantly increase their contributions to global wind energy capacity in the coming years.


The article also emphasized challenges associated with high initial capital costs, the demand for more resilient supply chains, and the integration of wind energy into existing grid systems. However, it is estimated that through continuous investment and innovation, these obstacles will be overcome, helping to reduce costs and improve technology.


Source: Facilities Net

2023 was a record year for wind installations as world ramps up clean energy, report says

 

GEMM & Volvo Update

GEMM recently delivered an actionable Energy Master Plan for Volvo that exceeds sustainability goals set by their headquarters in Europe. While details are still being finalized, we are optimistic about the potential to transform Volvo's facilities into models of innovative energy efficiency. We will continue to provide updates as our conversations progress, with a shared vision of advancing environmental stewardship and sustainable development within the automotive industry.

 

Maryland’s Climate Pathway

As part of the Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022, Maryland’s Building Energy Performance Standards (BEPS) is now promoting sustainability in large commercial buildings. BEPS is requiring buildings larger than 35,000 square feet (excluding parking garages) to achieve zero direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2040. This initiative aims to enhance energy efficiency as measured by Energy Use Intensity (EUI).

Key Points:

  • Covered Buildings: This Includes commercial structures over 35,000 square feet, with exemptions for historic buildings, schools, manufacturing sites, agricultural structures, and federal buildings.

  • Compliance Requirements: Starting in 2025, covered building owners must begin reporting their energy usage through the EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool. By 2030, these buildings must meet specific GHG emissions and EUI standards leading up to the 2040 net zero GHG emissions goal.

Starting June 1, 2025, owners of covered buildings must submit an Initial Benchmarking Report detailing the building's total energy consumption and GHG emissions from the previous year. Annual reports will continue to be due on June 1st each year after as well.


 

GEMM’s Progress on 2101 Condominiums: Mini Case Study


2101 Condominiums board members had clear visions of improving their property, but were running into challenges in acquiring actionable energy improvement plans. GEMM was hired to make these visions a reality. 


After completing an Energy Master Plan, GEMM found the best way forward is to prioritize building upgrades based on necessity and subsequently develop a multi-phase, actionable plan for restoring the building.


The implementation timeline was structured in phases—starting with critical repairs, then upgrading building systems, and finally enhancing the living experience for residents. By breaking down the project into manageable phases, we ensured that each step was both practical and beneficial, aligning with the resident’s goals and the building’s immediate needs.


 

We're excited to continue this journey with you, by sharing news and insights on sustainability and progressing our path toward a better future. Stay tuned for our newsletter next month.



Best Regards,

Nabil Rezqui

Grid & Energy Masterplanning

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