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EGEB: New global climate action and infrastructure bill, tiny homes, more

In today’s EGEB:

  • US congressman John Larson introduces global climate action and infrastructure bill.
  • Leclanche builds largest solar-plus-storage facility in the Caribbean.
  • Starbucks achieves 100% renewable energy in Illinois.
  • Study shows that tiny-home dwellers reduce energy consumption by 45%.

Electrek Green Energy Brief: A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

Congressman John Larson (D-CT) introduced global climate action and infrastructure bill The America Wins Act to the US House of Representatives on August 2. HR4142 would, according to Larson’s website:

Invest $1 trillion in the nation’s infrastructure over 10 years, creating millions of jobs, and providing a boost to the economy and the middle class that is sorely needed. This bill is fully paid for by taxing harmful pollution, with a portion of the revenue reserved to be passed to consumers in the form of a tax rebate and dedicated funding to assist those in coal country who have been struggling.

Infrastructure to be improved includes but is not limited to roads, bridges, tunnels, transit, rail, and schools. The American Society of Civil Engineers has given US infrastructure a D+ rating. The Daily Energy Insider explains:

Foremost among these changes is a tax on carbon pollution, which would begin taxing companies at $52 per ton and would raise costs 6% annually above inflation. Larson says this would, consequently, cut greenhouse gas emissions by 52% over the next 10 years and raise $2.3 trillion in revenue along the way.

The bill would also invest $44 billion in clean energy research.

Saint Kitts and Nevis gets largest solar-plus-storage in Caribbean

The nation of Saint Kitts and Nevis is partnering with Swiss battery maker Leclanche to build the largest solar-plus-storage facility in the Caribbean. Construction will begin in October and complete in September 2020.

“A solar-plus-storage system is a battery system that is charged by a connected solar system, such as a photovoltaic (PV) one,” explains

According to Renewables Now, “Leclanche noted that the electricity generated by the plant will meet between 25% and 30% of the nation’s current power generation needs… The company has teamed up with local partner Solrid to fund, own, and operate a 35.6-MW solar plant coupled with a 44.2-MWh battery storage system on the island of Saint Kitts.”

The facility will be in the Basseterre Valley, and will cost the citizens of Saint Kitts and Nevis nothing.

Illinois Starbucks now on 100% renewable energy

Starbucks sources 100% renewable energy for more than 9,000 stores in the US and Canada since 2015. And last week, its latest milestone was achieving 100% renewable energy — using wind power — in all 340 of its Illinois stores, according to Energy Manager Today.

Starbucks receives electricity and renewable energy certificates (RECs) from Enel Green Power North America’s HillTopper wind farm in Logan County, Illinois, which became operational in December.

Starbucks is aiming to invest in 100% renewable energy globally by 2020.

Tiny home = tiny carbon footprint

It would seem logical that if your home is small, you’d use less energy and consume less — and new research now confirms it. Virginia Tech PhD candidate Maria Saxton conducted a study of 80 people who lived in homes that were at least 400 square feet or less for at least a year.

Saxton discovered that most tiny home dwellers reduce their energy consumption by 45% once they go small. Here are more of her findings:

As a whole, I found that after downsizing, people were more likely to eat less energy-intensive food products and adopt more environmentally conscious eating habits, such as eating more locally and growing more of their own food. Participants traveled less by car, motorcycle, bus, train and airplane, and drove more fuel-efficient cars than they did before downsizing.

They also purchased substantially fewer items, recycled more plastic and paper, and generated less trash. In sum, I found that downsizing was an important step toward reducing ecological footprints and encouraging pro-environmental behaviors.

In other words, with the exception of eating out (tiny kitchens may be tricky at times to maneuver in), if you’ve got less space to fill, you buy less stuff. So it’s easier on the wallet, too.

Photo: Colorado State Highway 291

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.