Hi, it’s Ben, the guy on the right, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and now Head Stamper at StampStampede.org a non-profit, trans-partisan organization fighting to amend the constitution to get money out of politics.
While VPIRG’s taking on big money in politics at the state level, the Stampede helps to build the movement by encouraging Americans to legally rubber stamp paper currency with a demand to get money out of politics. So far there are over 25,000 of us! We are literally making our money talk by turning it into media.
We’re stamping messages such as:
Not 2 B used 4 Bribing Politicians
Stamp Money Out of Politics
What we are creating together is a “Petition on Steroids,” because once it goes into circulation, each stamped dollar is seen by 875 people.
It’s monetary Jiu Jitsu—using money to get money out of politics. If 1 person stamps 3 bills a day for a year, the message will reach 1 MILLION people. It’s totally legal (and fun too).
Click here to get a stamp and join the Stampede! They cost $10 and the first 25 people to order get a FREE PINT OF BEN AND JERRY’S ICE CREAM.
PS—I’ll be joining VPIRG at UVM on Wednesday, October 15th from 2-4:00 in the Davis Center. Stop by and grab a stamp, register to vote, and get some free ice cream!
- “Did the UN Summit Shift the Dial?” The UN Climate Summit has come and gone and leaders from many countries have made announcements, pledges or at least offered moral support. But are we any better off as a result? Reflecting on the last few days in New York, I would have to argue for the “yes” case. [Energy Collective]
Science and Technology:
- Modern lithium batteries come with their own environmental baggage. Scientists at Sweden’s Uppsala University, seeking a more eco-friendly alternative, have created a new smart battery made from organic materials that they say produces just as much power as its lithium counterpart. Plus, it’s recyclable. [Big Think]
- “ALEC feigns leap off faltering climate denial bandwagon; Fools no one.” The American Legislative Exchange Council had a really bad week. Coming under fire for its climate denial, the typically secretive ALEC answered with a cringe-inducing position statement on climate and renewable energy. [Natural Resources Defense Council]
- A week and a half after Scotland voted not to split away from the United Kingdom and the Government is already back on track, approving the Middle Muir wind farm for construction. The 60 MW Middle Muir wind farm is comparatively small, but illustrates the importance of certainty to investors. [CleanTechnica]
- Thousands of solar- and wind-power supporters across Australia turned out for protests at key federal government ministers’ electorate offices calling for “no reduction” to the Renewable Energy Target. In all, there were rallies at 30 locations around the country calling for the government to “accept the RET”. [The Daily Telegraph]
- In the Philippines, the National Renewable Energy Board has recommended an increase in the volume of wind power projects that may avail of tariff incentives. The NREB has proposed to the Department of Energy an increase in the installation cap for wind from the existing 200 MW to 500 MW. [InterAksyon]
- After finalizing the financial plan for the facility, Covanta, a US firm, has made a deal with Dublin City Council to construct, own and operate a €500m waste to energy plant, which will be designed to handle 600,000 tons of waste annually and generate 58 MW of energy. [Hydrogen Fuel News]
- More than 11 GW of renewable energy capacity have been installed in Japan over the past two years, when the country’s notable feed-in tariff incentive plan was launched, according to the country’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Of this, 10.88 GW was solar power. [CleanTechnica]
- The Tehachapi Energy Storage Project — the biggest battery energy storage project to date in North America — has now opened. The 32 MWh battery energy storage system built by Southern California Edison has lithium-ion batteries stationed in a special 6,300 square-foot facility in a substation in Tehachapi, California. [CleanTechnica]
- A 3-year, $6.3 million dollar project to improve every aspect of the American wind turbine production process/industry was recently begun via a partnership between Sandia National Laboratories, Iowa State University, and TPI Composites (an operator of a wind turbine blade factory). [CleanTechnica]
- The Sierra Club announced joining with Ratepayer and Community Intervenors to file a lawsuit in the New York Supreme Court challenging a Public Service Commission ruling. The ruling would add $140 million to residents’ electric bills to upgrade and expand a coal-fired power plant in Chautauqua County. [Triple Pundit]
- AllEarth Renewables and Claire Solar Partners have completed a 2.2 MW solar tracker farm in South Burlington, Vermont. JA Solar provided PV modules for the project. It is the largest in North America with distributed inverters and dual-axis trackers to maximize production. [Your Renewable News]
- One of the largest battery-based energy storage systems in the US, capable of running 2,500 homes, will soon be powering up UC San Diego. The system will be added to the school’s microgrid, which distributes 92% of the electricity used on campus. The battery will provide 2.5 MW and store 5 MWh. [NBC 7 San Diego]
- The Oregon Global Warming Commission has endorsed the Obama administration’s proposed regulations to reduce carbon emissions from power plants, while urging the Environmental Protection Agency to grant more flexibility to Oregon and other states to meet their targets. [Portland Tribune]
REV Conference & Annual Meeting Luncheon
Hello REV members,
Please register for the REV conference if you plan on attending – fees increase on Thursday: www.revconference.org/register.
ALSO — REMEMBER, you must RSVP to attend the Annual Meeting Luncheon on Friday 10/17 from 12:45-2 pm. This is your opportunity to hear what REV has worked on, vote on new Board members, and discuss your ideas as to what REV should be working on moving into 2015. The annual meeting fee is paid for through your conference registration. If you are not attending the conference, but still wish to attend the annual meeting luncheon, there is a $25 fee. You can RSVP to the annual meeting during the registration process, or you can email email@example.com.
We hope to see you there!
PO Box 1036
Montpelier, VT 05601
Science and Technology:
- A new Copper-Indium-Gallium-Selenide thin-film solar cell conversion efficiency record was recently achieved by researchers at the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research in Stuttgart. The new conversion efficiency record of 21.7% beats the previous record of 21%. [CleanTechnica]
- Chinese solar manufacturer JA Solar Holdings says it has attained 20% solar energy conversion efficiency in its multi-crystalline silicon solar cell, which it says is a world record for a multi-Si solar cell efficiency. This is just 9 months after it had set a previous record of 19% efficiency in its multi-Sci cells. [CleanTechnica]
- Brazilian auctions to be held in November received bidding applications from 1115 projects totalling 53.87 GW. Wind power has the greatest capacity share. Wind’s chief competition is from 39 combined cycle gas projects totalling 20.61 GW and 224 solar photovoltaic projects totalling 6.1 GW. [Windpower Monthly]
- Cutting the renewable energy target will leave Australians reliant on natural gas and drive up electricity bills, a group of consumer and community advocates say. They have written to prime minister Tony Abbott urging him to reject recommendations of a review that called on the government to cut the target. [Echonetdaily]
- Britain’s first ever floating solar panel project has just been built in Berkshire. The 800-panel green energy project was installed earlier this month on a reservoir at Sheeplands Farm, a 300-acre soft fruit farm near Wargrave. The project will supply 200 kW. The developer says larger systems could be easily built. [Telegraph.co.uk]
- Saskatchewan’s government-owned power utility is set to launch a carbon-capture-and-storage project this week. SaskPower says it is the world’s first and largest commercial-scale, carbon-capture operation of its kind. It will capture carbon dioxide emissions from burning coal to store them deep underground. [Financial Post]
- Solar Frontier, the solar arm of Japanese oil refiner Showa Shell Sekiyu, has revealed bold plans to build a solar manufacturing facility in Buffalo, upstate New York. The company was attracted by low solar costs that make PV in the US an attractive energy option for many. [pv magazine]
- A 1.8 MW solar project has been installed in New Bedford, Massachusetts. In all, 16.25 MW of projects are now installed or under construction. When all 16 MW of projects are completed New Bedford will have exceeded the city’s 2011 goal of purchasing 10 MW of power from renewable sources within five years. [SouthCoastToday.com]
- Panda Power Funds and Texas officials gathered to dedicate the company’s 758 MW natural gas-fueled, combined-cycle power plant in Temple, Texas. The plant is one of the most advanced gas-fueled power stations in the nation, establishing new standards within its class. [Today's Energy Solutions]
- Carbon emissions in the US are higher than expected for 2014. Carbon dioxide emissions due to the consumption of coal were more than 12% higher during the first half of 2014 than during the first six months of 2012, while those from natural gas and petroleum rose by 7.3% and 0.8% respectively. [Business Green]
- Unsatisfied with the pace at which the federal government is acting to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, several US states are forging ahead with their own initiatives. The first year of the California program was a resounding success, with the state’s economy expanding while at the same time adding renewable energy. [OilPrice.com]
- In Oregon, the Department of Transportation is building solar stations along the roads. It has already built two solar stations and is looking into a third, built without state money and on property already owned by the state and cleared for development as highway right-of-way. [Construction Equipment Guide]
- “INSIGHT-Taxes, fees: the worldwide battle between utilities and solar” It’s still less than one percent of energy capacity worldwide, but the surge in installations of rooftop solar panels is beginning to hit utilities and their business model of charging customers on the basis of consumption. [Reuters]
- “Will US-India Summit Bring Historic Climate Action?” This week’s meeting of President Obama and Indian Prime Minister Modi is an opportunity to accelerate climate action in economically advantageous ways for both countries and for the world, if they take immediate action to curb climate change. [Natural Resources Defense Council]
Science and Technology:
- Concrete is the most-used construction material in the world and a major contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions. But by using a different chemical formula to make the material, new research suggests it’s possible to significantly reduce concrete’s carbon footprint. [Scientific American]
- “7 Ways Energy Efficiency Affects National Security” Whether electricity, natural gas, or gasoline, the American economy wastes most of the energy it consumes. That waste puts our national security at risk by making the US more vulnerable to instability abroad and economic disruptions at home. [Care2.com]
- The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is providing a $25 million loan for the construction and development of SunEdison’s 20 MW solar photovoltaic power plant in Jordan to help address the country’s energy shortages through utilizing its world-class solar resource. [Utilities-ME.com]
- The Asian Development Bank has agreed to finance a $65 million private sector power project being set up on Pakistan’s Poonch river, upstream from Mangla Dam. The project envisages construction and operation of a 102 MW run-of-the river hydroelectric generation facility. [DAWN.com]
- In an unprecedented speech delivered on behalf of the king of Morocco, the country’s prime minister denounced the long-term consequences of colonialism. He pointed to Morocco’s pioneering efforts at developing human resources as well as renewable energy, including solar and wind power. [Morocco World News]
- Elon Musk will soon be building what amounts, essentially, to being another “Gigafactory”, in New York State as per a recent agreement with the government there. This time it is a manufacturing plant that will produce more than a gigawatt of solar panels a year. [CleanTechnica]
- The proposed $8 billion California wind energy project could blow the socks off the regional renewable energy market. The key to the project, the thing that helps fulfill the Los Angeles vision of a sustainable, secure energy source, would be a massive compressed air energy storage system using salt caverns in Utah. [CleanTechnica]
- Federal energy regulators have given final approval for construction of a 330-mile electric transmission line to carry lower-cost Canadian hydroelectric power to New York City. Supporters say the line will make the state less bound to the Indian Point nuclear power plant in Westchester County. [Oneida Dispatch]
Science and Technology:
- A new study found that in the long run, natural gas does little to curb emissions since it would boost consumption (high supply means it will be cheaper) and displace renewable energy. Even without the methane leaks, the overall climate benefits of gas are likely to be small. [ZME Science]
- In Scotland, a new wind farm will have the potential to power 28,000 homes in South Lanarkshire and will generate community benefit funding of £6.37 million over its lifetime. It is noteworthy that it will have the tallest turbines in the UK at a height of 152 metres (500 ft). [Scotsman]
- The International Energy Agency says the global renewable expansion will slow over the next 5 years unless lawmakers provide clear conditions and policy certainty. Future investments are likely to fall from the $250 billion in 2013 and the pace of development likely to slow even though technology costs continue to fall. [Breaking Energy]
- Penetration rates of no-carbon generation have increased from 50% to 56% in recent years in Europe, as European Union countries work toward renewable energy and greenhouse gas emissions targets. Renewable generation and nuclear generation are both considered no-carbon sources. [Energy Collective]
- Fresh statistics from the Department of Energy and Climate Change estimate renewables met a record-breaking 46.4% of electricity use in 2013, up from 39.9% in 2012. The Scottish government says this indicates Scotland is on track to meet its targets of 50% by 2015, and 100% by 2020. [Utility Products]
- The UK government is pressing ahead with plans to allow shale gas companies to drill under people’s homes without their consent despite 99% of respondents opposing the consultation proposals. It would change the trespass laws for shale and geothermal developers. [Business Green]
- Officials in the California community of Victor Valley on Friday unveiled what is claimed to be the United States’ first carbon-neutral wastewater treatment plant. Biogas produced from food waste and sewage powers the plant while keeping tons of garbage out of landfills. [TakePart]
- Activists delivered 6,000 cards and letters to the state New Mexico regulators asking for more renewable energy in a plan to replace coal-fired power from the San Juan Generating Station. The owner is seeking to use natural gas, nuclear, and increased capacity in remaining coal-fired units in addition to solar. [Bakken.com]
- According to the latest Monthly Energy Review put out by the US Energy Information Administration, the US dumped significantly more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere in the first half of 2014 than it did in the same period over the previous two years, reversing a decline in emissions from 2010-2012. [KCET]
- As increasing levels of solar, wind, geothermal and biomass are integrated onto the grid, utility hiring is impacted. Solar, however, has the most employment, averaging 41 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees per 100 MW of PV interconnections vs. 12 FTEs per 100 MW of total renewable capacity. [Fierce Energy]
- A collaborative study of Long Island’s offshore wind resources is underway for the development of the Deepwater ONE project, a 210 MW offshore wind farm to be located approximately 30 miles east of Montauk, proposed by Deepwater Wind in response to a request for proposals for renewable energy. [Fierce Energy]
- In the State of New York, a looming power supply shortage is spurring regulatory action to support a smarter, less centralized and more robust power grid. The initiative could revolutionize the utility industry in that state, while solving the supply problem — in both a functional and business sense. [Energy Collective]
- Entergy expects to complete a detailed decommissioning site assessment for the Vermont Yankee plant in the next 30 days. Also, Entergy has slightly revised its schedule for moving the plant’s spent fuel into more-stable dry cask storage, saying it will be done by 2020. [Brattleboro Reformer]
A Quote for the Day:
- “Climate action is not just a defensive play, it advances the ball. We can turn our challenge into an opportunity to modernize our power sector, and build a low-carbon economy that’ll fuel growth for decades to come,” Environmental Protection Agency Gina McCarthy told Resources for the Future, a non-profit research group. [USA TODAY]
Science and Technology:
- The first net zero energy sky scraper is being built in Jakarta, the capital and the largest city in Indonesia. Scheduled to be ready for inauguration in 2019, the 99-story building will include a mosque, a sports center and a 2000 seat auditorium for performing arts. It will be powered by wind, solar and geothermal energy. [Archinect]
- A new report from Navigant Research examines the global demand response market with a focus on two key sectors: commercial/industrial and residential. The report says the total worldwide capacity of demand response programs is expected to grow from 30.8 GW in 2014 to more than 196.6 GW by 2023. [Transmission and Distribution World]
- Welsh tidal power developer Tidal Energy has signed an energy-supply deal with EDF, becoming one of the first tidal ventures in the world securing its spot in the grid. The Power Purchase Agreement provides a guarantee that EDF will purchase electricity and renewable certificates at a pre-agreed price during the first year of operations. [E&T magazine]
- WRB Enterprises has secured a solar supply contract with the Jamaican Public Service Company grid for a 20 MW PV project scheduled for completion in 2015. Construction on the project will begin within 60 days, with WRB subsidiary Content Solar overseeing the completion of the $60 million plant. [pv magazine]
- It is approximated that there is about 29 gigawatts of electricity that can be produced via geothermal energy sources in Indonesia, but only about 5%, or roughly 1,340 megawatts, of the country’s geothermal resources are currently utilized. By the end of 2014, three new geothermal plants will be operational. [Hydrogen Fuel News]
- In the UK, the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s quarterly energy statistics show gas partially replaced coal power between May and July this year. Low carbon energy sources such as wind, solar and nuclear generated almost 5% more electricity than in the same three months last year. [Carbon Brief]
- A new pan-European offshore wind cost-cutting initiative has been launched aiming to spearhead grid-connection of at least 30 GW of projects in UK, Danish and German waters by 2025. The venture seeks to achieve a levelized cost of energy below £100/MWh ($163/MWh) through knowledge management and other cost reductions. [Recharge]
- The global offshore wind power market is expected to significantly grow from 7.1 GW in 2013 to 39.9 GW by 2020 as more countries get involved, says GlobalData. The company’s latest report also revealed that the global offshore wind energy space registered substantial growth between 2006 and 2013, rising from 0.9 GW to 7.1GW. [Maritime Journal]
- The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) paper predicts an “auspicious future” for sustainable biomass, outlining that total biomass demand could reach 108 exajoules worldwide by 2030, which would represent 60% of total global renewable energy use, if its full potential is realized. [Business Green]
- Following Google, Facebook has cut ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council, bringing the number of corporations that have done so to at least 87. Facebook and Google’s high-profile departure from ALEC will likely put pressure on corporations still sending funds to the conservative group, such as Yahoo and eBay. [Business Spectator]
- According to a new report from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, utilities and their shareholders could see substantial declines in revenues as solar penetrations increase – assuming they don’t seize the solar opportunity themselves. Solar reduces both utility power sales and new equity investment. [Greentech Media]
- A new report by the Energy Information Administration shows that the Texas power grid has been catching up with added windpower capacity in the state, as a massive, multi-year, multi-billion dollar infrastructure upgrade has been taking effect. This cut the number of curtailments and negative pricing events in Texas. [RenewablesBiz]
- The state of Vermont has received 26 requests totaling more than $6 million, for the first $2 million in funding that will be distributed from the Windham County Economic Development Fund. The fund was established after Entergy Vermont Yankee signed an agreement with the state regarding closing the nuclear power plant. [Brattleboro Reformer]
Addison County Transit Resources (ACTR), a Vermont non-profit corporation with 501(c)(3) status, is seeking proposals for the design, installation and maintenance of a solar electrical system optimized for the Community Transportation Center (CTC) at 297 Creek Road, Middlebury, Vermont. The CTC was designed to support a rooftop Solar Photovoltaic System (PV). The building’s electrical system was designed and installed to be “PV ready.” ACTR has grant money in hand for this project and intends to maximize the potential wattage based on current and future load demands using the best available photovoltaic technology. The contractor will need to design and build a Solar PV System subject to all applicable federal and state regulations and local permits.
Proposals are due on October 2 to:
Angela McCluskey, firstname.lastname@example.org and Nadine Canter Barnicle, email@example.com
Addison County Transit Resources | P.O. Box 532, 297 Creek Road, Middlebury VT 05753 | (802) 388- 2287
Click here for the Full ACTR Proposal or visit actr-vt.org/actr-procurement-practices.
Mark Curran Honored for Good Business Practices
Black River Produce Co-Founder Recognized with VBSR’s
Terry Ehrich Award for Excellence in Socially Responsible Business
Burlington, VT – On Tuesday, September 9th, nearly 150 members and friends of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR) came to Shelburne Farms for an event in honor of Mark Curran, Co-founder of Black River Produce and winner of the 2014 VBSR Terry Ehrich Award for Excellence in Socially Responsible Business. The sold-out dinner and award ceremony was a celebration of local food, relationships, and socially responsible business practices.
“We were thrilled to be able to honor Mark this with award,” noted VBSR Executive Director Andrea Cohen. Named for the late owner of Hemmings Motor News and a founding member of VBSR, the award is given to a VBSR member who best exemplifies Terry Ehrich’s commitment to the environment, workplace, progressive public policy and community. “Mark and his business partner Steve Birge have worked hard to grow Black River Produce in a sustainable way. They’ve been instrumental in supporting our local food movement and have taken a number of steps to reduce their carbon footprint and increase their energy efficiency while growing quality jobs in our state.”
Chuck Ross, Secretary of Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets opened the award ceremony by discussing the importance of Vermont’s local food economy while highlighting how much Black River Produce has done to further that mission. After glowing remarks from VBSR Board Vice Chair, Chris Miller of Ben & Jerry’s, Mark spent a few minutes discussing how his upbringing shaped him into the business person he’d become.
Curran explored how far his company has come (opening a new meat processing facility), how they had grown sustainably (reinvesting in the company), and how they practice social responsibility (supporting local farmers, utilizing renewable energy and biodiesel trucks). Curran also took time during his address to thank and highlight the leadership and vision of his business partner Steve Birge. Attendees expressed their appreciation of the moment by honoring both Mark and Steve with a standing ovation.
The 2014 Terry Ehrich Award Ceremony and Dinner was sponsored by Black River Produce, Prudent Living, Inc., Let’s Grow Kids, Main Street Landing, Housing Vermont and Vermont Rural Ventures, People’s United Bank, Efficiency Vermont and Renewable NRG Systems.
- “Can energy utilities keep their customers, or will they flee the grid?” One of the great imponderables for the global electricity industry at the moment is to what extent they have a captive audience. For decades, most consumers have had no choice but to use electricity supplied through the grid, and were happy to do so. [RenewEconomy]
- “Wall Street & Main Street Vote For Clean Energy” When Congress returns after Labor Day, it will pick up the debate over the clean energy provisions in the tax extenders package. But, as in so many areas, Washington is behind the curve. The debate is over. Clean energy won. [CleanTechnica]
- Major new analysis produced by Australia’s ClimateWorks, along with Australian National University, shows that 15 of the world’s biggest economies can move to “net carbon zero” by 2050, and it need impose no extra costs over business as usual. In fact, electricity bills will be lower than what they are now. [CleanTechnica]
- A UN summit on climate change agreed to raise billions of dollars for developing countries in an effort to forge a wide-ranging deal to slow global warming. The one-day summit set goals to halt losses of tropical forests by 2030 and hike the share of electric vehicles in cities to 30% of new vehicle sales by 2030. [Times of Malta]
- Kyushu Electric Power, the utility on the southwestern Japanese island of Kyushu, says it will temporarily stop reviewing grid-access applications from renewables developers until it can determine how much more capacity it can accept. The utility will continue to accept grid-access applications for home systems below 10 kW in size. [Recharge]
- A day after world leaders gathered for a United Nations Climate Summit in an attempt to garner the political will needed to confront climate change, New York’s Empire State Building played host Wednesday to an alliance of civil society, private sector and diplomatic leaders planning a transition to a carbon-neutral future. [Al Jazeera America]
- The world needs to more than double its annual investment in renewable energy by 2030 in order to achieve the target to restrict global rise in temperature of 2° C by the end of the century, the International Renewable Energy Agency has stated in one of recently published reports. [CleanTechnica]
- Continued growth of wind energy in Iowa places it ahead of other states in meeting a proposed rule that would require existing power plants to cut carbon emissions. Iowa would be required to cut carbon emissions 16% by 2030, under the proposed rule, but that target is lower than the 30% national average. [DesMoinesRegister.com]
- New Jersey’s Public Service Electric & Gas has begun building a 10.14-MW solar farm at a landfill in Bordentown. It will be the biggest system of solar arrays yet to be built in New Jersey by the utility. The solar system at the capped former garbage dump complies with an initiative to develop landfills and brownfields. [NJ Spotlight]
- A proposed $1.5 billion energy storage site in rural Utah that is part of a larger, ambitious clean energy initiative would be an economic boon to the state and could potentially make the area a hub for similar projects, state officials said Wednesday. The Millard County facility is about 130 miles southwest of Salt Lake City. [Reading Eagle]
- A group of wealthy businessmen with ties to the Obama political machine has put out an email blast asking Americans to submit public comments to the EPA in favor of the president’s “aggressive plan to tackle climate change.” The EPA is accepting comments from the public through December 1. [WND.com]