ALABAMA

ALABAMA

Alabama has a population of 4.9 million and the state spreads across more than 50 thousand square miles, making it the 30th largest state by area. Alabama is known for its iron and steel natural resources, and, less commonly, for being the home of the largest snail population in the US. Of all the snails in the country 43% can be found in Alabama!

Warmer waters and winters are contributing to a rise of invasive species and pests in Alabama threatening the state’s ecosystems and consequently its economy — agriculture and forestry account for 22% of the workforce — and the health of its citizens. Extreme heat, insect-carried diseases, and air and water pollution disproportionately affect the elderly, as well as people living in poverty and folks of color. For Alabama, ranking 42nd in the country for healthcare, climate-related health risks are particularly concerning.

As a coastal state, Alabama is also impacted by sea level rise directly resulting from climate change. Experts project that by mid-century, floods are likely to exceed six feet beyond the high tide line, exposing $8 billion worth of property value and the homes of more than 13,500 people. In a ten-foot increase scenario, the number of people vulnerable to displacement will more than double. More frequent, more severe rainstorms compound these issues.

Alabama ranks among the top 15 states in energy use per capita, primarily due to the industrial sector, but its production of energy still exceeds its consumption. The state ranks 6th in net energy production and 5th in nuclear power production. While Alabama has sizeable deposits of coal, the proportion of coal contributing to the state’s net generation has been halved to 19% since 2009. Nuclear contributes 31%; gas 40%; coal 19%. Renewable resources are growing in Alabama, with 8% of in-state electricity coming from hydroelectricity and 2% from biomass, thanks to the state’s vast forests.

Alabama lacks a comprehensive climate change plan, and state officials have historically been resistant to confronting the issue. From 2009 to 2011, calls for action within a Democratically-controlled legislature devolved into prohibitions on the EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gases led by the then Republican majority. Despite bureaucratic lethargy, however, Alabama’s residents are calling for action. 63% of Alabaman’s believe climate change is happening, 70% support regulation of CO2, and almost 80% support funding renewable energy research.

Hurricane Sally makes landfall near Gulf Shores, Alabama

CURRENT NEWS

PLANS TO ACCELERATE RENEWABLES

Deep Red Alabama Dives Headlong Into Green Energy

03/21/22
Renewable energy can make strange bedfellows along the political divide, and the latest example is Alabama. The state without an official nickname has been wandering in the doldrums of the green energy revolution while others…

How can Alabama create jobs and fight inflation? By supporting solar power. Find out more.

03/03/22
“I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.” ~Thomas Edison confided…

Lightsource bp secures funds for 100-MW Alabama solar project

12/21/21
Lightsource bp, the UK solar company half owned by BP Plc (LON:BP), on Monday said it has closed a financing package of USD 100 million for a 130-MW direct current (DC)/100-MW alternating current (AC) solar…

Alabama Power gets thumbs up for 80-MW solar project

12/08/21
Alabama Power, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO), said yesterday it has obtained approval for an 80-MW solar project that will help Mercedes-Benz Cars meet its sustainability goals.

Alabama Coal Plant Tops List of Emitters

By Darrell Proctor 04/30/21
A report from a Colorado-based group that provides analysis and market reports to the energy industry says an Alabama power plant has the highest emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) of any coal-fired facility in the…

KEY RESOURCES

Alabama State Profile and Energy Estimates

09/23/21
Alabama has a wide variety of energy resources, with deposits of coal, as well as some crude oil and natural gas reserves. Located along the Gulf of Mexico, southern Alabama consists of a coastal plain…

Energy State Bill Tracking Database

09/10/21
The searchable Energy Storage Legislation Database displays information in interactive maps and charts, tracking state activity from 2017 to the present.

Environment and Natural Resources State Bill Tracking Database

09/01/21
The National Conference of State Legislatures tracks environment and natural resources bills that have been introduced in the 50 states, territories and Washington, D.C.

The First National Flood Risk Assessment

10/06/20
The First Street Foundation Flood Model represents the culmination of decades of research and development made possible by building upon existing knowledge and frameworks regularly referenced in the identification of flood risk.

The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in Alabama

09/19/20
Between 2017 and 2019, Alabama experienced nine severe storms, three tropical cyclones, one flood, and one freeze. The damages of each event led to losses of at least $1 billion.

Alabama and the surging sea

08/13/20
A vulnerability assessment with projections for sea level rise and coastal flood risk.

State-by-State: Alabama

07/31/20
Alabama is vulnerable to sea level rise, flooding, coastal storms and increasing temperatures – all which threaten the state’s agriculture and energy industries as well as human health

Alabama Solar

05/06/20
Data Current Through: Q4 2019

Going Solar in Alabama

05/06/20
Every day, the sun channels energy onto your roof. Solar panels let you capture some of that energy and use it to power your home, business, or electric car while lowering your electricity bill. By…

What you can do to protect Alabama’s natural health and beauty

05/06/20
From our previous two stories in this series, we looked at how Alabama’s changing climate is giving us more extreme weather and pests. In this, our final installment, we’ll share an important way you can…

Wind Energy in Alabama

05/06/20
Find wind data and information in Alabama, including maps, capacity, ordinances, and more in these areas:

Utility-scale solar projects brighten Alabama’s tech recruitment efforts

05/06/20
In the last three months alone, the Tennessee Valley Authority has announced plans for large solar installations in North Alabama tied to data centers being constructed by Google in Jackson County and Facebook in Huntsville.

Renewable energy options will boost Alabama competitiveness

05/06/20
This year, TVA entered into a 20-year agreement to purchase 80 megawatts of solar power from NextEra’s solar facility near Florence, and just last month Google and TVA reached a deal to develop a data…

Untax the Sun — Solar For ALL of Alabama

05/06/20
Alabama Power places an unfair tax on customers that use solar power. Solar power should be available to ALL of Alabama – free from unfair taxation!

About Energy Alabama

05/06/20
Energy Alabama is accelerating Alabama’s transition to sustainable energy. We are a nonprofit membership-based organization that has advocated for clean energy in Alabama since 2014. Our work is based on three pillars: education, advocacy, and…

Alabama and Walmart in Solar Farm Deal

05/06/20
Community and business leaders, as well as representatives from Walmart, Alabama Power and Clenera, gathered at the new 72-megawatt AL Solar A project in east Alabama on Thursday, March 15, to celebrate its successful launch…

Southern Research, energy companies, researchers join to open Energy Storage Research Center

05/06/20
Industry leaders joined Southern Research officials to formally open the Energy Storage Research Center (ESRC), a facility on Southern Research’s engineering campus where collaborative efforts will aim to accelerate the development and deployment of next-generation…

Alternative Fuels and Renewable Energy

05/06/20
This program encourages and promotes the use of alternative transportation fuels as a way to increase the overall efficiency of the transportation system, improve air quality and promote energy independence.

Energy policy in Alabama

05/06/20
Energy policy involves governmental actions affecting the production, distribution, and consumption of energy in a state. Energy policies are enacted and enforced at the local, state, and federal levels and may change over time.

MORE NEWS

How climate change has affected each state

By Stephanie Parker   10/22/21  
The latest United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report is yet another reminder of the dire effects of climate change. While climate projections often look to the future when discussing the worst impacts…
CNN

Alabama flash flooding kills 4 and spurs rescues from homes and cars

By Jason Hanna and Gregory Lemos   10/07/21  
Heavy rain sparked deadly flash flooding in parts of Alabama from Wednesday into Thursday, killing four people -- including a 4-year-old girl -- as crews rushed to rescue people from cars and homes, officials said.

Climate change tops talk during Sen. Michael Bennet’s telephone town hall Sept. 3

By Katie Roth   09/11/21  
U.S. Senator Michael Bennet held a telephone town hall event on Friday, Sept. 3 to answer questions and address concerns for Coloradoans. Though Bennet spends a lot of time in Washington D.C., he has been…

Sally, Zeta, Ida: Recent hurricanes are driving change with Alabama utilities

By John Sharp  Photo: John Sharp , al.com   09/08/21  
Hurricane Ida’s 150-mph winds were a powerful oddity few storms that blow into the Gulf of Mexico can match.

Counties most concerned about climate change in Alabama

By Stacker   09/06/21  
Nationally, 72% of Americans believe global warming is happening. But when public opinion researchers zoom in on Americans, they find that attitudes and opinions about climate change can vary drastically from county to county—even when…

Rural Electric Co-ops in Alabama Remain Way Behind the Solar Curve

By James Bruggers  Photo: Robert Nickelsberg , Getty Images   08/25/21  
When members of a small rural electric cooperative in southern Alabama were asked in a survey whether they would support a community solar project, they said yes and the co-op board went on to authorize…

White House says Alabama will benefit from infrastructure bill

By Jonathan Grass  Photo: WSFA 12 News   08/11/21  
In a show of bipartisan support, the U.S. Senate passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in a 69-30 vote Tuesday. The $1 trillion infrastructure bill, a priority for President Joe Biden, includes around $550…

Alabama gets $27.2 million to reduce effects of climate change

By Eddie Burkhalter   08/09/21  
President Joe Biden on Thursday approved $27.2 million to Alabama to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Conservative Climate Caucus? Not for Alabama

By John Sharp  Photo: Rick Bowmer , AP   07/18/21  
Alabama is becoming warmer, its soils drier, annual rainfall amounts increasing and sea levels rising about once inch every year, according to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report release five years ago.

Alabama Power receives approval for Butler County solar facility

By William Thornton   07/13/21  
Alabama Power today received approval for a large scale Butler County solar project that it says can put out enough electricity annually to power almost 15,000 homes.

Floods Are Increasing in Supposedly Low-Risk Areas

By Thomas Frank  Photo: Michael Spooneybarger Alamy   04/13/21  
The federal flood insurance program paid $1.2 billion in claims in 2020, breaking the $1 billion threshold for a record sixth consecutive year, according to an E&E News analysis of federal records.

Homeowners, group seek action on Alabama Power’s solar fee

By Kim Chandler   04/11/21  
 Homeowners and an environmental group are asking federal regulators to step in over Alabama Power’s fees on home solar panels, fees they argue purposely discourages the use of solar in the sun-rich state.

Alabama Reports $4.8B Invested into State in 2020

By Nayeli Pineda   04/09/21  
Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, Alabama’s economic development continues to grow.

Explained: Why Joe Biden’s presidency could be critical for a 60,000-year-old underwater forest

By Dipanita Nath   01/24/21  
Among the petitions before United States President Joe Biden from environmentalists is one to save a unique forest off the coast of Alabama. Unique because the entire forest is underwater — 10 fathoms (60 feet)…

Book Review: A Fervent Call to Protect ‘America’s Amazon’

By Lina Tran   01/22/21  
When the sun warms Tombigbee River, chubby mussels the color of caramel know it’s fishing time. The lady fisher mussel — one of Alabama’s many endangered species — unspools a tenuous line of mucus. At…

5 trends powering Alabama’s economic recovery and growth in 2021

By Jerry Underwood   01/21/21  
The COVID-19 pandemic threw a monkey wrench in Alabama’s economy last year, interrupting a golden period of substantial growth and casting doubt on whether the momentum could be regained.

‘One of a kind’: calls to protect Alabama’s 60,000-year-old underwater forest

By Paola Rosa-Aquino  Photo by Ben Raines   01/20/21  
When divers jump into a particular stretch of water off the coast of Alabama, they travel back to a time before humans arrived in North America. Submerged below the waters are the remains of a…

A Ray of Hope in a Slimy Southern Cave

By Michael Ray Taylor  Photo by Bradley Jones   01/16/21  
One day in 2019, back when crossing state lines to go caving seemed perfectly safe, I drove eight hours from Arkansas to central Tennessee and soon found myself in a muddy belly crawl. Pushing a…

Alabama Power hydro generation benefits from 2020 rainfall

By Michael Sznajderman  Photo by Nik Layman   01/12/21  
Lots of rain in 2020 meant lots of clean, renewable, low-cost hydropower for Alabama Power customers. Preliminary figures show the company produced significantly more hydropower in 2020 than projected, placing 2020 as the eighth-best year…

Partners Working Together to Help Landowners Restore and Manage Longleaf Pine Forests in Mississippi and Alabama

By Enviva   01/06/21  
Around Lucedale, Mississippi, an unusual mix of partners is working together to restore one of the South’s iconic forests. The Longleaf Alliance (LLA), Wildlife Mississippi, the Mississippi Forestry Association, Enviva, and other partners are working…

Top 10 environmental stories of 2020 in Alabama

By Dennis Pillion   12/31/20  
From coal ash and solar panels to whales and snakes, Alabama saw plenty of environmental stories in 2020 that had nothing to do with COVID-19. Well, almost nothing. Here’s a rundown of the biggest non-COVID…

The environmental justice issue no one wants to talk about

By Angely Mercado   12/29/20  
Environmental justice is having a moment. The term, which encompasses the many ways by which low-income people and communities of color suffer an unequal burden from pollution, contamination, and climate change, has seen a surge…

As COVID Spikes Again in Alabama, Environmental Injustice Prompts a “Moral Moment”

By Ashira Morris  Graphic: Annabel Driussi for Our Daily Planet   12/16/20  
In Tuscaloosa’s predominantly Black West End neighborhood, an oil refinery, a Michelin tire plant, and a train yard full of oil cars pollute the air with toxins. People in the area face a higher risk…

Why the South Is Organizing Its Own Green New Deal

By Casey Williams  Photo by Joe Raedle   11/30/20  
“How do you shel­ter in place with no shel­ter?” KD Minor, a com­mu­ni­ty orga­niz­er from Lake Charles, asked dur­ing a vir­tu­al con­fer­ence in August. Minor began coor­di­nat­ing relief before Lau­ra hit, pro­vid­ing res­i­dents with gas…

Too Many Storms, Not Enough Names

By Greg Allen  Photo by David J. Phillip   11/30/20  
The last hurricane of the season, Iota, was the latest in the year that any storm has reached Category 5 status. It slammed into Nicaragua and Honduras in mid-November, killing dozens of people. That was…

Alabama high schoolers making state a little greener

By Dennis Pillion   11/29/20  
Even during a pandemic, a group of Alabama high schoolers from across the state are joining together to help make their state a little bit greener.

This Fixer wrote the book on addressing poverty, wastewater, and climate change in rural America

By Chip Giller  Photo by MCarson Photography   11/25/20  
As the founder of the Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice, Flowers works toward health and economic equity through the lens of climate justice. She was recently awarded a MacArthur “Genius” Grant and is…

‘Waste’ Activist Digs Into The Sanitation Crisis Affecting The Rural Poor

By Dave Davis  Photo by Michael Carson   11/23/20  
It was Flowers' activism that spurred scientists to conduct the hookworm study. For 20 years, she's worked with advocacy organizations, philanthropists, business leaders and elected officials to shed light on the gaps in access to…

Farmers Are Warming Up To The Fight Against Climate Change

By Daniel Charles   11/20/20  
Farmers swarmed Capitol Hill wearing caps with the words "Don't Cap Our Future." And it worked. The legislation died, derailing the boldest plan Congress had crafted to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Governor announces National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Projects in Alabama

By Brandon Moseley   11/20/20  
“These projects represent a continuation of Alabama’s coastal recovery from the 2010 BP Oil Spill,” Ivey said. “They will restore some of what was damaged, while at the same time making our coastal communities more…

Mold, Possums and Pools of Sewage: No One Should Have to Live Like This

By Catherine Coleman Flowers   Photo by Audra Melton   11/14/20  
My story starts in Lowndes County, Ala., a place that’s been called Bloody Lowndes because of its violent, racist history. It’s part of Alabama’s Black Belt, a broad strip of rich, dark soil worked and…

Google secures 100% solar energy for Alabama and Tennessee data centers

By Mason Adams   11/10/20  
Google’s data centers in Alabama and Tennessee will be powered by a 100 MW Tennessee solar farm built by Florida-based Origis Energy and facilitated by the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Alabama Mussel Proposed for Endangered Species Act Protection, Protected Critical Habitat

By Tierra Curry  Photo by Frank Chitwood   11/02/20  
In response to a petition and 2016 lawsuit from the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed today to protect the Canoe Creek clubshell under the Endangered Species Act, with 36…

From Arms to Renewables: How Workers in This Southern Military Industrial Hub Are Converting the Economy

By Taylor Barnes   11/01/20  
After the storms passed, neighbors came together, chainsaws in hand, to clear the streets. Yost's son, Dan, and his fraternity brothers hooked cars to downed trees to drag them off the road and trekked through…

Alabama Power requests renewable energy proposals

By Michael Sznajderman   10/20/20  
Alabama Power is seeking proposals for potential renewable energy projects, starting this week. On Oct. 19 the company issued a request for proposals (RFP) for renewable energy resources. The deadline to submit a proposal is…

To batteries and beyond: Compressed air, liquid air and the holy grail of long-duration storage

By Kavya Balaraman  Photo by Adeline Kon   10/14/20  
In 1991, generation and transmission cooperative PowerSouth — then known as the Alabama Electric Cooperative — started operating a 110 MW compressed air energy storage (CAES) plant in McIntosh, Alabama.

UA partners with Alabama Power and Techstars on energy-focused accelerator

By Brandon Moseley   10/12/20  
The EnergyTech accelerator organization will support startups in energy technology and advance the University of Alabama’s educational and research mission.

University of Alabama partners with Alabama Power, energy-focused accelerator

10/08/20  
Students will be given the opportunity to intern with participating startups in the accelerator, learning how to build a company in the dynamic energy sector. The accelerator will provide hands-on learning around energy, technology, entrepreneurship…

Read Doug Jones’ answers to 9 questions on climate change in Alabama

By Brian Lyman   10/05/20  
Alabama has already begun to see the impact of climate change, in shifting rainfall patterns and changes to wildlife in and around Mobile Bay. Has the state lost opportunities to tackle the crisis?

Trispot Darter Fish Gains Protected Critical Habitat in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee

Photo by Bernard Kuhajda   09/29/20  
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today designated just over 175 river miles, including 9,924 acres, as protected critical habitat for the threatened trispot darter in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.  

New spillgates on the way to replace ones that have reliably served Martin Dam for nearly a century

By Michael Sznajderman   09/29/20  
For nearly a century, the spillgates atop Martin Dam have helped Alabama Power manage the company’s original source of renewable energy: flowing water.

Alabama’s Power Grid Reimage After Hurricane Sally Includes Solar

By John Sharp   09/29/20  
A.J. Felton was scrambling early last week to find out an estimated time in which the power would be restored to his Daphne house. Frustrations were mounting. He was getting no feedback from his utility…

Southern Company Net-Zero Implementation Plan Filled with Loopholes for Continued Use of Fossil Fuels

By Daniel Tate   09/24/20  
Southern Company released more information this week on how it plans to reach “net zero emissions,” and while the plan remains scant on key details, the company has made one thing clear: it is leaning into the…

Can Gas-Fired Power Plants Coexist With a Net-Zero Target? Yes, Southern Company Insists

By Jeff St. John   09/23/20  
Like many other utilities with similar decarbonization goals, Southern Company doesn’t yet see a clear path to eliminating natural-gas-fired power plants “unless and until technology emerges that can affordably and efficiently replace it,” CEO Tom Fanning said…

The United States Has Become a Disaster Area

By Emma Marris  Photo by Ringo Chiu   09/22/20  
If you are reading this in the United States, you are experiencing a disaster—maybe more than one. Hurricane Sally hammered Alabama and the Florida panhandle last week, submerging homes and leaving tens of thousands without…

Devastation left in the wake of Hurricanes Sally and Laura along the US Gulf Coast

By J. L'Heureau   09/22/20  
Power restorations, debris hauling, and the rebuilding of damaged critical infrastructure continue in communities along the northern Gulf Coast portion of Florida and southern Alabama in the wake of Hurricane Sally, which made landfall as…

Weary Gulf Coast mayors say hurricane season has changed for the worse

By Ashley Cusick  Photo by Jabin Botsford   09/20/20  
It has been a tough summer across much of the Gulf Coast, where storm after storm has taken aim and two hurricanes — Laura and Sally — have decimated homes and claimed lives in a…

Hundreds Rescued as Floods From Hurricane Sally Hit Florida and Alabama

By William Widmer  Photo by Emily Kask   09/16/20  
Floodwaters rushed through parts of Alabama and Florida on Wednesday, turning roads into rivers, submerging cars and sending several out-of-control construction barges into waters along the Florida Panhandle as Hurricane Sally dumped a torrent of…

Alabama Public Service Commission Upholds and Increases ‘Sun Tax’ on Solar Power Users

By James Bruggers  Photo by John Greim   09/02/20  
The Alabama Public Service Commission, which regulates the investor-owned Alabama Power Co., not only rejected a petition by the Southern Environmental Law Center to end the company's extra monthly fee for customers with their own…

Alabama Power to request proposals for potential renewable energy projects

08/31/20  
Under the renewables RFP, a variety of projects will be accepted for consideration. They include, among others, solar, wind and geothermal projects, energy from tidal or ocean current, and low-impact hydro and biomass. Projects involving…