Clean Energy Business Network April 3 Newsletter

Source: Clean Energy Business Network, April 3, 2020

Don’t miss a valuable webinar next week from Weave, a CEBN member, on resources to support businesses through COVID-19.

This week, SBA is now accepting applications for its Paycheck Protection Program, BCSE releases a Minnesota Energy Factsheet, and Pelosi signals a limited phase four package.  

SBA Paycheck Protection applications now open
Today, the SBA released a revised application form to apply for forgivable loans for small businesses to keep employees on payroll and make other essential payments like rent and utilities. Small businesses and sole proprietorships may begin applying now, while independent contractors and self-employed individuals may apply beginning April 10. IRS has also issued interim final rules clarifying much but not all uncertainty surrounding implementation of this program.

MN state energy factsheet shows energy transition underway This week the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, Clean Energy Economy Minnesota and BloombergNEF released the Minnesota Energy Factsheet as a resource to policymakers, journalists, industry, and the interested public. The facts are clear: Minnesota’s companies, utilities, and people are moving quickly towards a low-carbon economy. The 2020 Minnesota Energy Factsheet summarizes year-over-year progress for clean energy in Minnesota, and contextualizes those gains against the national numbers.

COVID-19 relief package: what does it mean for your business?
CEBN has updated its recent blog post about the $2 trillion COVID relief package recently enacted by Congress. Find new information in the post about the SBA Paycheck Protection Program, which provides forgiven loans to employers who keep staff on payroll for 8 weeks, as well as concerns about eligibility for startups with equity ownership.
Pelosi signals more targeted relief for phase four
Congress may return as soon as April 20 to begin work on the next phase of COVID-19 response. Speaker Pelosi previously said phase four would focus on economic “recovery” through infrastructure investments, but is now indicating it will more likely be an expansion of existing disaster relief efforts. Provisions are likely to include more funds to support states, cities, and small businesses; expanded unemployment benefits; and more direct payments to citizens. A recovery/infrastructure bill is still anticipated later in the year.

EPA/NHTSA finalize rule to roll back federal fuel standards
The Trump administration finalized a rule this week to reduce fuel efficiency standards for cars, reversing an Obama-era target of 55 mpg fleetwide by 2025. The new rule requires automakers to produce vehicles averaging 40 mpg by 2026. Major automakers including Honda, Volkswagen, Ford, and BMW North America have already agreed to follow California’s more stringent fuel standards of 50 mpg by 2026. Volvo announced it will join this group.    

Cleantech Open Accelerator 2020: applications now open
Cleantech Open is the world’s largest cleantech accelerator, providing entrepreneurs and corporate innovators the resources they need to launch and grow successful cleantech businesses. It provides 100-150 companies each year a program of customer discovery, mentoring, training, investor meetings, startup-corporate matching, and showcasing.  
VIRTUAL EVENTS   Webinar: Resources to support businesses through COVID-19 This webinar from Weaver on April 8 will cover resources available to help businesses manage the impact of COVID-19 including SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan, the Paycheck Protection Program, and other business/tax considerations from recent legislation.

NECEC: Investor Corporate Customer Connect event 
On June 25, NECEC’s Investor Corporate Customer Connect in NYC will bring together participants with investors, corporates and customers. Apply to be considered to participate.
  Other Events and Activities: POWER Conference: April – May (Webinar Series) International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum, April 21-22 ASES SOLAR 20/20 Renewable Energy Vision, June 23-26 PlugVolt Battery Seminar July 20-23 .

AL: Researchers harnessing marine energy at all scales

CA: State sets goals to double clean energy by 2030

ND: Small town proposes largest-ever carbon capture project
Energy News Network

NY: New energy code for building efficiency
Smart Cities Dive

WA: H2O splitting breakthrough suggests cheaper renewables
Science Daily