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

How Mississippi’s tornadoes unfolded overnight and why they were so deadly

By Jason Samenow 03/25/23
At least 23 people are dead in Mississippi following a terrifying Friday night in which large, destructive tornadoes tore across the state. The violent twisters formed amid a severe weather outbreak that unleashed damage from…
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Alabama landfill fire raises questions about how landfills are regulated

By Mary Scott Hodgin 03/02/23
You know that smell when you're passing by and somebody is burning trash in their backyard? I can remember the first time I ever smelled it. It's memorable. And apparently, it happens on a giant…
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Biden-Harris Administration Announces $25,945,000 for Clean Water Infrastructure Upgrades Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in Alabama

02/26/23
Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced over $25,945,000 to Alabama from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure through this year’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF). The funding will support Alabama communities in upgrading essential…
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Big profits, big bills: Alabamians pay some of the nation’s highest electricity costs

By Patrick Wilson 02/07/23
Joshua Remley and his wife Elizabeth were shocked last year when their monthly power bill topped $700, well above the $170 to $250 or so they paid when they moved into their house four years…
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GAO: Severe weather has repeatedly interrupted TVA power production across Alabama, other states

By Paul Gattis 02/02/23
Severe weather events in the past have restricted TVA’s ability to provide electricity and more proactive steps are needed to avoid future outages, a government report said.
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How bad will 2023 tornado season be? Climate change may have fueled Alabama storms, experts say

By The Associated Press 01/13/23
A La Nina weather pattern, warm moist air coming from an unusually toasty Gulf of Mexico, likely juiced by climate change, and a decades long eastward shift of tornadoes came together to create the unusually…
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Justice Dept. Tries to Shift Environmental Justice Efforts From Symbolic to Substantive

By Glenn Thrush and Lisa Friedman 05/12/22
The Biden administration’s choice of Lowndes as the site of its first big environmental justice inquiry was based on the magnitude of the county’s problems. But it also sent a message. The county was a…
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Damaging storms, tornadoes sweep across Deep South

By Matthew Cappucci and Jason Samenow 03/31/22
A substantial severe weather outbreak swept across the Deep South Wednesday and Wednesday night as intense thunderstorms barreled across the region. Numerous tornadoes touched down amid scores of reports of wind damage.
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Mysterious methane clouds reported over Alabama coal mines

By Dennis Pillion 03/30/22
European satellites have detected significant plumes of methane gas hovering over Alabama’s most productive coal region, leaving state environmental authorities and mining industry representatives stumped as to how so much gas is getting into the…
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3 Gulf Coast states get $1.9B in HUD disaster grants

03/23/22
Three Gulf Coast states are getting $1.9 billion in federal grants to help recover from hurricanes and floods over the past two years and become more resilient to climate change, the U.S. Department of Housing…
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Deep Red Alabama Dives Headlong Into Green Energy

By Tina Casey 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…
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Mercedes opens a battery plant in Alabama, part of a Southern wave.

By Jack Ewing 03/16/22
The auto industry’s shift to battery power is expected to lead to job losses because it takes fewer workers to build an electric vehicle than it does to build a car with a gasoline engine.…
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PLANS TO ACCELERATE RENEWABLES

Analysis finds Renewables cheaper than all Southeast coal plants

By Maggie Shober 03/02/23
Energy Innovation has released updated analysis comparing the cost of continuing to operate coal plants to replacing them with solar, wind, or batteries. The results are clear: continued reliance on coal is expensive, and each…

Nucor (NUE) to Build New Tower Production Plant in Alabama

03/02/23
Nucor Corporation NUE recently announced that its Towers & Structures business will construct a new state-of-the-art transmission tower production plant — the first of two new tower production plants the company plans to build. It…

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.

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

The United States Has Become a Disaster Area

By Emma Marris   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…
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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…
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Weary Gulf Coast mayors say hurricane season has changed for the worse

By Ashley Cusick   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…
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Alabama Public Service Commission Upholds and Increases ‘Sun Tax’ on Solar Power Users

By James Bruggers   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…
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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…
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Cities With the Highest Flood Risk in Every State

By Andrew Lisa   08/23/20  
Floods accounted for three of the 14 natural disasters that caused at least $1 billion in damage in the United States in 2019. In total, flooding impacted 14 million Americans last year and put another…
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Southern Company announces historic first at Alabama’s National Carbon Capture Center

By Sean Ross   05/22/20  
Southern Company, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), on Wednesday announced an expanded focus for the National Carbon Capture Center located in Wilsonville, Alabama.
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Cleaner air during pandemic shows need for alternative fuels and electric vehicles

By Mark Bentley and Phillip Weidmeyer   05/22/20  
Photos of a smogless Los Angeles skyline set against a brilliant blue sky have emerged as an iconic image to showcase the impact of decreased air pollution during America’s COVID-19 quarantine.
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ADEM receives EPA grant to “help keep our waters clean”

By Bill Britt and Brandon Moseley   05/15/20  
The Alabama Department of Environmental Management recently received a $500,000 competitive grant from the U.S Environmental Protection Agency as part of ADEM’s efforts to keep trash out of Alabama’s waterways and from entering the Gulf…
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Origis Energy to build 80-MW solar project for Alabama electric co-op

By Kelsey Misbrener   04/29/20  
PowerSouth Energy Cooperative and Origis Energy signed a PPA for a new 80-MW solar project to be constructed in Covington County, Alabama. The Wing Solar project will be PowerSouth Energy Cooperative’s largest solar project once…
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Wet Alabama winter and spring mean more hydro energy for customers

By Stacy White   04/27/20  
Strong storms in April have added to the above-average rainfall in Alabama this year. Those rains boosted the amount of low-cost, renewable hydro energy going to serve Alabama Power customers. “This period has been record-setting…
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Ten years after Gulf of Mexico oil spill, Trump administration weakens regulations

By Steven Mufson   04/20/20  
A decade ago on April 20, the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig leased by BP was working a mile below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico when a surge in pressure and a blowout triggered…
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Abnormally Warm Gulf Of Mexico Could Intensify The Upcoming Tornado And Hurricane Seasons

By Matthew Cappucci   03/31/20  
Water temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico are running more than three degrees above average, increasing the prospects for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes this spring and potentially stronger hurricane activity in the summer and fall.
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Deep in Trump Country, mixed feelings on the environment

By Patrik Jonsson   12/30/19  
With his black Ford pickup, Gator-Tail skiff, and Go-Devil motor, Bubba Nelson comes off as the quintessential delta man. Here in Alabama’s Baldwin County, in the heart of the massive and dynamic Mobile-Tensaw River Delta,…
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What Climate Change Could Mean for Alabama’s Coast

By Andrew Yeager   11/15/19  
Climate scientists caution against linking any single weather event to climate change. But they say the phenomenon does mean extreme weather such as hurricanes or flooding is more likely. Sea levels are rising too. Birmingham…
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Clean energy group criticizes Alabama Power’s proposed gas plant purchase

By Ellen Meyers   11/07/19  
A clean energy advocacy group panned Alabama Power Company's proposal to purchase an 885-MW combined-cycle gas generation facility, saying the utility's plans do not match its actual capacity needs and failed to consider renewables.
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Changing Climate: In Pursuit of the Disappearing Alabama Oyster. Will They Ever Return?

By Hank Black   11/06/19  
Oysters, one of the vital signs of the health of Alabama’s coastal waters, were once a jewel of the state’s economy and a local delicacy. Now, wild oysters from the Mobile Bay area have almost…
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Cloudy Future for Dauphin Island, a Canary in the Coal Mine of Climate Change

By Hank Black   11/01/19  
Along coastal Alabama lies Dauphin Island, a narrow, shifting strip of sand inhabited by a laid-back vacation town that is becoming more endangered with every passing storm and every incremental rise in the warming waters…
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Rural Alabamians want action and a voice on climate change

By Anthony Daniels   10/22/19  
Distrust in politicians, not disbelief in science is the deciding factor in many rural Americans’ views on climate change. After all, for farmers, ranchers, and those living in agrarian communities in Alabama and across the…
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Climate and change: How to decarbonize Alabama

By Brian Lyman   09/27/19  
While Solar Power Will Be The Key To Reducing The State's Carbon Emissions, Alabama's Major Utilities Still Don't Make Rooftop Usage Easy.
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Climate and change: Rising temperatures transforming Alabama

By Brian Lyman   08/29/19  
Rainfall Shifts. More Severe Droughts. Transformation Of Aquatic Life. It's All Happening Now.
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Southern Company’s “Low to No Carbon” Pledge Misleads Investors, Public

By Daniel Tait   08/27/19  
Southern Company has spent the past year misleading investors with a “low- to no-” carbon pledge that it claimed would lead the utility sector at addressing climate change.
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Heat, stagnation: Impact of climate change in Alabama

By Eddie Burkhalter   08/01/19  
With summers getting hotter, more U.S. cities are seeing longer periods of stagnant air and worsening air quality, according to experts.
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It’s time for energy freedom in Alabama

By Gregory Cox   07/04/19  
Alabama is ranked 13th in the nation as having the greatest solar potential, yet only 0.26% of its energy comes from solar, leaving the state far behind others when it comes to total installed solar…
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