Three surprising facts on affordable clean energy and global energy consumption:
1: One in five people still lacks access to modern electricity.
2: Three billion people rely on wood, coal, charcoal, or animal waste for cooking and heating.
3: Energy is the dominant contributor to climate change, accounting for around 60% of total global greenhouse gas emissions.
This is why affordable clean energy is one of the sustainable development goals being emphasized by the Council on Foundations, and we’re pleased they featured us!
By: Natalie Ross, Council on Foundations
Sustainable Development Goals
Goal 7: Affordable Clean Energy: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all
Why do we need Goal 7?
1 in 5 people still lacks access to modern electricity, let alone affordable clean energy
3 billion people rely on wood, coal, charcoal, or animal waste for cooking and heating
Energy is the dominant contributor to climate change, accounting for around 60% of total global greenhouse gas emissions
In 2015, only 10% of US energy consumption came from renewable sources
What are some of the targets?
Ensure universal access to affordable, reliable, and modern energy services
Increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix
Double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency
Featured: Berks County Community Foundation & The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies, Met Ed / Penelec Sustainable Energy Fund
Berks County Community Foundation (BCCF) and the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies (CF Alleghenies) jointly operate the Metropolitan Edison Company (Met Ed)/Pennsylvania Electric Company (Penelec) Sustainable Energy Fund, which provides loans and grants to companies and nonprofits throughout Pennsylvania. The seed money for both pieces of the fund came in the late 1990s as a result of deregulation and settlement agreements from First Energy, which operates Met Ed and Penelec, two of Pennsylvania’s largest electricity providers.
Both community foundations have used these funds to find innovative solutions to energy issues in Pennsylvania. A combination of grants and mission-related investments has maximized the impact of these funds. For example, a loan from the Penelec portion of the fund to Johnstown, Pennsylvania-based Gautier Steel allowed them to efficiently construct a new mill, upgrade the water treatment plant, and install LED lighting. Combined, these efforts should have combined savings of over $240,000, 3.5 million kWh, and 3,000 metric tons of carbon emissions. Simultaneously, this supports the economy of Johnstown and fights climate change, addressing more than just one goal.
Across the state, the fund has provided grants for nonprofits to do energy audits, which allow organizations like the Animal Rescue League and an arena and performing arts center to maximize the efficiency of their energy use and save money for their missions. A number of LEED-certified buildings have been constructed with the help of grants and loans from the Sustainable Energy Fund.
The benefits of sustainable energy are clear and extensive. Most of its costs lie in the start up phase. Through projects like the Met Ed/Penelec Sustainable Energy Fund partnership between BCCF and CF Alleghenies, philanthropy can provide innovative ways to surpass the initial hurdles and achieve a future powered by affordable clean energy.