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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A new analysis finds good news and challenges for a growing movement to better align corporate and government energy procurement with carbon-free power.

The big picture: Princeton researchers sized up the effects of commercial and industrial buyers ensuring their facilities' demand is met around-the-clock with zero-carbon resources.

  • That's different — and much harder — than various companies' and local governments' initiatives to procure enough renewable power to match annual demand.
  • That's because while matching aggregate usage — often via "renewable energy certificates" — drives renewables deployment, it still means pulling power from grids with fossil fuels.

What they found: 24/7 clean procurement will help create a portfolio of "clean firm" resources that complement intermittent wind and solar — like long-duration storage, geothermal, advanced nuclear and gas with CO2 capture.

It also finds users' 24/7 clean procurement punches above its weight on climate benefits because it "accelerates full-scale transformation of electricity grids."

Catch up fast: The paper comes as a limited but growing number of big energy users are looking to match their consumption of some facilities on an hourly basis with clean power.

  • They include Google, which has a target of having all its operations run round-the-clock on carbon-free power by 2030, and Microsoft.
  • Google (which funded the research) says it's making progress, and for instance, in May announced a deal with AES to provide Northern Virginia data centers with 90% power from zero-emissions sources on an hourly basis.

Yes, but: There's a "potentially significant cost premium for early leaders, a premium paid to accelerate innovation, maturity, financeability, and widespread availability of clean firm resources."

Go deeper: Canary Media dives deep into the topic.

Go deeper

14 hours ago - Axios Denver

Denver takes steps to cut greenhouse gases from commercial buildings

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Denver is rapidly moving toward electrifying buildings and homes by eliminating gas ranges and fireplaces.

Driving the news: The Denver City Council unanimously approved an ordinance last week that will require large office and apartment buildings to use solar power and switch to electric and water heating systems by 2030.

Food delivery "ghost kitchens" face major obstacles

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The growing popularity of food delivery has given rise to startups that open "ghost kitchens" — kitchens in warehouses or trailers that prepare food solely for delivery and have no option to dine in.

  • But they can come with a whole host of problems.

The big picture: The concept of "ghost kitchens" has been dubbed the next big thing in the future of services, with high profile backers like Uber founder Travis Kalanick. But these kitchens can be hard to run or unsafe.

19 mins ago - Health

Federal judge blocks Biden vaccine mandate for health workers

President Biden delivers remarks on the Omicron COVID-19 variant at the White House on Nov. 29. Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday blocked the Biden administration from enforcing a coronavirus vaccine mandate for health care workers at federally funded facilities nationwide.

The big picture: The order comes one day after a federal judge in Missouri halted the mandate, which has a Jan. 4 deadline, in 10 states.

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