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December 6 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Going 100% renewable: An exciting new energy game” • An exciting new home energy game opened up for me this week when I made enquiries with my energy retailer. The average Australian emits 4.5 times the global average CO2, so the goal is to lower our household carbon emissions. It is an exciting game we play every day. [The Fifth Estate]
Wind turbines at sunrise (Wind Data Centre)

Wind turbines at sunrise (Wind Data Centre)

  • In Scotland, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds is in support of the Dounreay Tri floating wind demonstration project of Swedish engineering company Hexicon AB. The conservation charity said it has submitted a consultation response to Marine Scotland in support of the project west of the Pentland Firth. [SeeNews Renewables]
  • Former Vice President Al Gore has met President-elect Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka Trump to discuss climate policy. The meeting “was a sincere search for areas of common ground,” according to Mr Gore, a climate change activist. Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka reportedly wants to make the subject one of her signature issues. [BBC]
  • Two Vermont towns, Stowe and Hyde Park, have recently commissioned municipally owned solar plants, making them the first towns in the state to do so. Together, the plants will produce 2.7 MW of solar electricity. This is enough to power 229 average residences of in the towns, about 7% of the total number of homes. [pv magazine USA]
  • With two solar facilities moving toward completion and a third in the planning stages, Pownal, Vermont is becoming a leading community. The total countywide capacity from solar sources is approximately 3.7 MW, of which 2.2 MW are in Pownal, but a 2.2-MW array is under construction, and a smaller array is also planned. []

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

The Meaning of Standing Rock

Transportation_CARLPOPE_VNBy Carl Pope

Today was supposed to be the deadline for thousands of protesters encamped to prevent completion of the Dakota Access pipeline across Lake Oahe on the Missouri River to evacuate their camp-sites. Instead it has become a moment of celebration, as the Army Corps of Engineers and the Obama Administration have concluded that a new Environmental Impact Statement is needed to determine the best route across the Missouri River.  But the incoming Trump Administration is likely to reverse the decision, with uncertain legal results for the environmental assessment process.

The resistance by the Standing Rock Sioux nation and its allies to the proposed Dakota Access pipeline routing signaled a new stage in evolving community resistance to fossil fuel extraction and transportation – but also reveals some ugly fissures within America as we enter a four year, almost certainly traumatic presidency.

Standing Rock has been the largest, and one of the longest, Native American resistance protests in modern America. It differs from earlier fossil fuel protests like those against Keystone XL or Shell’s basing Arctic drilling vessels in the Port of Seattle because the protesters attempted to physically disrupt the construction, not just symbolically protest it.
They have succeeded, for the moment. Months ago construction slowed, Corps of Engineers permits were suspended, and the President had already called for consideration of alternative routes.  Native American vetoes of fossil fuel projects had become an acknowledged part of the regulatory and permitting landscape in Canada, but only recently have the tribes inserted themselves routinely into these processes in the US. They have some won victories already, as when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied the permit for a coal and oil export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington, saying the project would impair fishing grounds guaranteed to the Lummi Nation by treaty.

Continue reading The Meaning of Standing Rock

VICTORY for the Standing Rock Sioux

Big news! The Obama administration just announced that it will not be granting the final easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline. This means Energy Transfer Partners — the company building the pipeline — will have to halt construction on the Standing Rock Sioux’s Treaty lands.

This is a huge victory for the Standing Rock Sioux and the Water Protectors who have been fighting for months to protect their land and water from the risky project. 

And it happened thanks in part to people like you. You sent thousands of messages and phone calls to President Obama to stand with the Standing Rock Sioux and other tribes.

This announcement means the Obama administration will review the project’s environmental impacts. And it will explore alternative routes for the pipeline.

But the victory is threatened by Donald Trump’s Presidency. Trump has already said he supports the pipeline. And he owns stock in the company that wants to build it. 

Indigenous peoples will build on this victory and keep fighting for their survival. So as we contemplate four years of a Trump administration, a few things are clear: we ALL have to keep fighting. And we have to show up for each other. 

Our country has been stoked by the flames of fear, bigotry, and division. Now, it’s time to come together and support the Standing Rock Sioux in their fight for justice.

Erich Pica, 
Friends of the Earth

December 5 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • About 20,000 passengers were stranded at an airport in Chengdu, China as flights were grounded because of heavy smog and a thick fog that left the city in a dark haze. The air quality index in Chengdu registered 280, a level considered “very unhealthy.” In some industrial cities south of Beijing, the air quality levels reach up to 875. [Digital Journal]
Pollution is a popular discussion topic on social media. (File photo: Fred Dufour, AFP)

Pollution is a popular discussion topic on social media. (File photo: Fred Dufour, AFP)

  • Opinion: “Through climate change denial, we’re ceding global leadership to China” • China was no more prepared for the results of the American election than the US. But it has been quick to size up the environmental implications of a Trump victory, and officials in Beijing are contriving to cast China in a fresh leadership role. [Los Angeles Times]
  • On Sunday afternoon, tribe members and their numerous allies celebrated, crying tears of joy, over the fact the Dakota Access Pipeline project would be rerouted away from land that’s deemed sacred. Even so, the decision to re-route the pipeline could be reversed once President Barack Obama leaves office next month. [CNN]
  • The Solar Energy Industries Association reports that over 147 solar companies employ nearly 2000 people in Connecticut. The installed capacity of solar PVs in Connecticut is 265 MW, ranking it 17th in the US. The state’s 2015 solar installation ranks 14th nationally, growing 64% in 2015, with 91 MW installed for the year. [CleanTechnica]
  • Comments from utility DTE Energy’s CEO Gerry Anderson provided may be the best assessment of the future of coal: “I don’t know anybody in the country who would build another coal plant.” He says coal is dying because of its cost, and that is the case “regardless of what Trump may or may not do with the Clean Power Plan.” []

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

December 4 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Senator Diane Feinstein has urged the US Department of Agriculture to revisit her request for federal aid to help crews clear over 100 million dead trees posing hazards throughout California’s forests. Dried out, free-standing timber throughout the state threatens nearby structures and increases the risk of forest fires. []
California forest in trouble

California forest in trouble

  • Interview: “EPA boss: Here’s the good news about climate change (yes, that exists)” • Climate change is happening now. We’re causing it. And frankly, it can seem terrifying. But – and this is a critical “but” – there’s still room for hope. That’s the message we may take from an interview with the outgoing head of the EPA, Gina McCarthy. [CNN]
  • As heavy rains pound some parts of Kenya, livestock are dying in other areas due to prolonged drought. The National Drought Management Authority says pastoralists in arid regions have suffered huge losses. Climate scientists say that pastoralists and livestock keepers are the people in the country most hurt by climate change. [Daily Nation]
  • Columbia, Missouri could more than double the amount of wind energy it uses with a proposed contract coming before the city council Monday. The Columbia City Council will take under consideration a contract a contract with Iowa-based Crystal Lake Wind III LLC to purchase wind energy for $19.55/MWh (1.955¢/kWh). [Columbia Daily Tribune]
  • New Mexico’s Kit Carson Electric Cooperative says it wants to serve all of its customers on sunny summer days with locally generated solar power by 2022. To hit that target, Reyes said, the co-op wants outside investors to build dozens of small solar arrays, of about 1 MW each, across its service territory. [Santa Fe New Mexican]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

December 3 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Wayland, Massachusetts is harnessing the power of the sun thanks to four new solar arrays. The town expects to save more than $100,000 per year through a partnership with Ameresco, based in Framingham. Ameresco will maintain and operate the arrays, which have over 4,200 panels, for the next two decades. [Wicked Local Wayland]
Wayland Middle School (Photo by Andrew Bakinowski, Ameresco)

Wayland Middle School (Photo by Andrew Bakinowski, Ameresco)

  • An official with the company seeking to buy the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant says it can dismantle the power plant for the money currently in its decommissioning fund. The CEO of NorthStar says if his company can’t dismantle the plant for the $580 million in the fund, then his company would make up the difference. [Electric Light & Power]
  • Batteries are not the cheapest way to store grid power. There are many different kinds of storage technologies, each with different characteristics. To be a sensible economic investment, the benefits have to outweigh the costs. Storage has to match the type of demand, considering how much power is needed, and for how long. [Gizmodo Australia]
  • According to a Greenpeace report, deaths from air pollution are underreported in India by 600,000 people per year. It kills over 1.6 million people in India, and the same number in China, every year. The main culprit is fossil fuels, particularly coal, and as use of these products increases, so do deaths caused by their pollution. [New Kerala]
  • When the Block Island Wind Farm officially goes online this month only four of its five offshore turbines will be operating. Turbine 2 broke down in early November during routine testing. It turned out that a 6-inch drill bit had been left behind between the turbine’s generator and direct-drive system during assembly of the 6-MW turbine. [ecoRI news]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

December 2 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Mayors could override Trump on the Paris climate accord – here’s how” • In a recent op-ed, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg wrote, “If the Trump administration does withdraw from the Paris accord, I will recommend that the 128 US mayors who are part of the Global Covenant of Mayors seek to join in its place.” [Business Insider]
Sunny day flooding is now a regular occurrance in Miami, thanks to sea levels rising. (Photo by B137, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

Sunny day flooding now hits Miami regularly, thanks to rising sea levels. (Photo by B137, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

  • The House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology tweeted a misleading article at Breitbart about the state of the global climate. It read, “Global Temperatures Plunge. Icy Silence from Climate Alarmists.” Senator Bernie Sanders responded to the tweet, asking, “Where’d you get your PhD? Trump University?” []
  • The Canadian province of Alberta, known for its notoriously dirty oil sands, has just made a symbolically significant about-face on energy policy, with potentially major implications for North American wind power. First up is a tender for 5 GW of wind power. Alberta will also pay its coal plants $1 billion to shut down. [CleanTechnica]
  • Two Illinois nuclear plants on life support got at least 10 more years after Exelon won a bid for ratepayer-financed subsidies. The governor and Democratic legislative leaders agreed on legislation requiring ratepayers statewide to finance hundreds of millions annually in support for the nukes along with other clean energy. [Crain’s Chicago Business]
  • The global solar PV market is set to increase nearly 70 GW in 2016, reaching 294.69 GW, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData. A new report from GlobalData investigating the global solar PV market concluded that capacity will increase from around 225 GW in 2015 to 294.69 GW by the end of 2016. [CleanTechnica]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

How Does A Flow Battery Work? – Webinar Invitation

If you’ve ever wanted to know all about how a flow battery operates from A to Zinc, then this is the webinar for you! Friday, December 2, at 12pm CT ViZn Energy will explain everything from the electrodes and electrolytes and how they interact to charge/discharge the batteries to scalability and the types of applications flow batteries are best suited for. We’ll also compare/contrast different flow battery chemistries and other energy storage technologies. Use the link below to register:

December 1 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • New research from Ohio State University determined that a calving event creating an enormous iceberg in West Antarctica in 2015 was even more notable than first thought. It was the result of a deep, subsurface rift that formed approximately 20 miles inland. This implies that the glacier is deteriorating faster than thought. [CleanTechnica]
Rift in Antarctic glacier twenty miles from the sea

Rift in Antarctic glacier, twenty miles from the sea

  • The recently completed Kamuthi Solar Power Plant in Tamil Nadu is the largest solar power plant in the world. Since Delhi, Mumbai, and many other Indian cities have chronic pollution problems, this news brings the much-needed respite for India. The Kamuthi power plant is will supply enough power for over 150,000 homes. [Northbridge Times]
  • The oil cartel OPEC has agreed its first supply cut in eight years, after more than two years of depressed oil prices because of a supply glut on the market. OPEC’s president said that a cut of 1.2 million barrels a day would start from January. The price of Brent crude jumped 10% to $51.94 a barrel, and US crude rose 9% to $49.53. [BBC News]
  • Michigan’s largest utility, DTE Energy, is moving ahead with efforts to phase out its use of coal and will not be swayed by any potential changes to federal energy policy. DTE Energy intends to embrace renewable energy more aggressively in the coming years regardless of what changes come from the recent election. [Hydrogen Fuel News]
  • The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority may become the first US state entity to participate in a federal auction for an offshore wind site. NYSERDA submitted documentation and a bid deposit to take part in an auction for a 79,350-acre Wind Energy Area 12 miles off the Long Island coast. [Windpower Engineering]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

November 30 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • US Wind, a subsidiary of Italy’s Toto Holding SpA based in Maryland, has revealed some details about its application to build an offshore wind farm off the state’s coast. The company is proposing to build a 750-MW wind park containing up to 187 turbines. It would be the first large-scale offshore wind farm for the US. [SeeNews Renewables]
Wind turbines at sea (Photo: Harvey Barrison, CC BY SA)

Wind turbines at sea (Photo: Harvey Barrison, CC BY SA)

  • Details of a production cut agreement are due to be finalized at a formal OPEC meeting in Vienna. But key OPEC members appear to disagree over the plan, and some analysts believe there might not be a deal. With analysts speculating, Brent crude oil was down $1.76 per barrel at $46.48, and US crude was down $1.80 at $45.28. [BBC]
  • Three Dutch coal plants opened in 2015 are already threatened with early closure. Their owners failed to foresee a rapid rise in renewable power generation, falling demand, and calls to phase out coal. It was a costly error that other countries could learn from, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis says. [Climate Home]
  • Texas grid operator ERCOT announced a new record for wind on Monday, as wind provided more than 15,000 MW to the state. It is not the hour-by-hour records that are impressive, however. Wind power will provide at least 14.7% of the state’s electricity in 2016, according to ERCOT, up from 11.7% in 2015. [Greentech Media]
  • A new joint venture has formed to develop a fast-charging network for European electric vehicles has been signed by Ford, BMW, Daimler, and Volkswagen Group (including Audi and Porsche). The DC electric vehicle fast-charging stations will reportedly offer up to 350 kW in power, while Tesla’s max out at 120–135 kW. [CleanTechnica]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.