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April 15 Green Energy Times is Available

The April 15 editon of Green Energy Times is now available in local stores.

The edition’s pdf version is available. Please follow this link: April 15, 2015 GET online.

For individual articles as web pages, please follow this link: Read individual articles.

Earth Day Events & Ways to Show Support on

Earth Day: April 22, 2015

earth

April 22, 2015 is the 45th annual celebration of the first Earth Day in 1970, when 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Back then, thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment, while grassroots groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife realized they shared common values—and a unified environmental movement was born.

The spirit of that first Earth Day lives on every year when April 22 rolls around, but nowadays hundreds of millions of people around the world honor the planet and pledge to do their part to protect it. The non-profit Earth Day Network (EDN), founded by the organizers of the first Earth Day in 1970, helps organize events and rallies around the world by providing information and resources and serving as a central clearinghouse for local listings. EDN’s international network tops 22,000 organizations in 192 countries, while its U.S. program assists more than 30,000 educators and helps activists coordinate thousands of community development and environmental protection activities throughout the year.

If you’re looking to participate in an Earth Day event or rally near you, EDN’s “Find an Earth Day Event” database has you covered. Browse by country, state/province and city. And if you can’t find something near you, Earth Day Network can provide the resources to start your own. Even if it’s last minute, it still counts.

Even if you can’t attend an event in person, you can help the cause by “pledging an act of green” — committing to do something on behalf conservation and the environment (even simply reducing home energy consumption) and posting accordingly to the EDN website — or by signing onto one or several of the group’s petitions. The Climate Petition tells leaders to phase out fossil fuels, while the “Support Environmental Education” drive calls on Congress to reinstate funding to schools for sustainability topics.

Another way to help spread awareness on April 22 is posting about your commitment to the environment via social media. Tell your Facebook friends or Twitter followers why protecting the planet is so important to you and to all of us. Start a Reddit discussion on green initiatives in your town or neighborhood. Post your favorite nature images to your Pinterest board or Flickr account.

Anyone near Washington DC might want to head for the National Mall on Saturday April 18 for the Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day Rally, a joint project of the Global Poverty Project and Earth Day Network, which will feature live musical performances by My Morning Jacket, Train, Fall Out Boy, Mary J. Blige, Usher and No Doubt, while Don Cheadle, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim will address the crowd as well. If you can’t make it to the Mall in person, Youtube is providing a free livestream of the day’s festivities and should run the clips indefinitely.

Contacts: Earth Day Network, www.earthday.org; Global Poverty Project, www.globalpovertyproject.com; Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day Rally, www.youtube.com/globalcitizen/live.

Source: EarthTalk®,by Doug Moss & Roddy Scheer and is a registered trademark of Earth Action Network Inc. View past columns at: www.earthtalk.org. Or e-mail your questions: earthtalk@emagazine.com.

April 20 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Photo by Rob Hooft. Wikimedia Commons.

    Photo by Rob Hooft. Wikimedia Commons.

    The Detroit Zoo is headed for greener pastures with its plan for the first biodigester at a US zoo. The $1.1 million project will convert 400-500 tons of manure and other organic waste annually. The biodigester will save the zoo $70,000-$80,000 in energy costs and $30,000-$40,000 in waste disposal fees. [Crain’s Detroit Business]

  • Toshiba Corp on Monday said it has started operations at a demonstration facility using renewable energy and hydrogen in the city of Kawasaki, Japan. Solar power is used in the electrolysis of water to produce hydrogen, which is then stored and used in fuel cells to generate electricity and hot water. [SeeNews Renewables]
  • BWE Partnership is aiming to start construction of Scotland’s first large-scale solar PV project by year-end. The 9.5-MW New Mains of Guynd plant will be sited on 50 acres of farmland in Carmyllie, Arbroath. BWE Partnership has a grid connection agreement with Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution. [reNews]
  • When AGL Energy announced it was moving away from coal over the next three decades, it suggested the government help in the process. The Australian Industry Minister ruled out federal government funding closure of dirty coal-fired power stations, saying it would cost $3 billion for one station alone. [The Australian Financial Review]
  • SunPower announced it has begun construction on the 86-MW Prieska solar power plant in South Africa’s Northern Cape province. Expected to be fully operational in 2016, the project will be the third solar power plant constructed by SunPower under the South Africa government’s renewable energy program. [Your Renewable News]

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

April 19 Green Energy News

Headline News:

Hazelwood Power Station has an estimated social cost of more than $900 million a year.Photo: Justin McManus

Hazelwood Power Station has an estimated social cost of more than $900 million a year.Photo: Justin McManus

  • The Hazelwood brown coal power plant is one of the largest greenhouse gas emitters in the Australian state of Victoria. Two Harvard fellows have attempted to find the cost of unseen impacts of the plant’s emissions, based on work by the US National Academy of Science. They estimate it at about $900 million a year. [The Age]
  • “ExxonMobil’s Dangerous Business Strategy” – Total, ENI, Statoil, and Shell are advocating for a carbon price (such as a tax or permit system) to hasten the transition to low-carbon energy and are beginning to prepare internally for it. However, ExxonMobil’s business model continues to deny reality.[Mareeg Media]
  • Many large companies in the UK could save as much as £2.6 billion (~$3.9 billion) via reduced fuel costs by switching the country’s 1.8 million small or medium vans to be electric-powered instead of conventional diesel- or gas-powered, according to recent research from the “Go Ultra Low” campaign. [CleanTechnica]
  • Poseidon Water will open a desalination plant costing $1 billion in Carlsbad, California, this November. The plant will require 35 MW of electricity, of which a tiny fraction will come from solar panels on the roof. The rest will come from the grid, and 70% of the power in San Diego County comes from nonrenewable sources. [OCRegister]
  • In 2013, computer simulations by the Hawaii Electric Company showed the grid could not handle more distributed solar power, and they put a moratorium on new rooftop solar connections. Then Lyndon Rive, CEO of SolarCity, got HECO to run actual tests, and based on the results, the moratorium was ended. [Reading Eagle]

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

April 18 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • The European Commission announced approval for Germany to invest nearly €30 billion in the development of 20 offshore wind farms. Germany notified the EU of its plans to invest in 17 wind farms set to be located in the North Sea, and another 3 in the Baltic Sea, amounting in total to 7 GW of new capacity. [CleanTechnica]
Wind Lift I, a special crane ship for installing offshore wind turbines. Photo by kaʁstn, Wikimedia Commons.

Wind Lift I, a special crane ship for installing offshore wind turbines. Photo by kaʁstn, Wikimedia Commons.

  • In a report from Climate Policy Initiative and the Indian School of Business, CPI found that, in absence of any subsidies, wind power is already cheaper than the total cost of power from a new built imported coal plant, at 9¢/kWh for electricity from wind power and 11¢/kWh for electricity from imported coal. [Business Standard]
  • Nebraska Public Power District, the state’s largest utility, announced plans to replace a coal-fired power plant unit with one that runs on hydrogen, cutting its carbon emissions by over 1 million tons per year, even as the state battles proposed new federal rules on coal plants. It will generate 125 MW with the unit. [Reuters Africa]
  • US wind power saved 68 billion gallons of water in the US in 2014, according to a report by the AWEA. This is an increasingly valuable benefit in droughts. In California, wind energy saved 2.5 billion gallons of freshwater in 2014, while Texas led the nation with savings of 13 billion gallons of water. [Renewable Energy Magazine]
  • The Australian government found $4 million for the climate contrarian Bjørn Lomborg to establish his “consensus centre” at an Australian university, even as it struggled to impose deep spending cuts on the higher education sector. The center will be at the University of Western Australia’s business school. [The Guardian]

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

Reverse Global Warming

Urban and Suburban Carbon Farming
to Reverse Global Warming
Conference on 5/3

Please join us for “Urban and Suburban Carbon Farming to Reverse Global Warming.” Learn how soil restoration is key to reversing climate change and about the contributions urban and suburban dwellers can make!

This one-day conference, presented by Biodiversity for a Livable Climate, Green Cambridge, and the Climate Action Business Association, will take place at Harvard Science Center, 1 Oxford Street, Cambridge, Mass., on Sunday, May 3rd, 2015.

An exciting line-up of scientists, farmers, educators, and visionary community leaders — including special guest, local food pioneer Mel King — will present on topics of interest to gardeners, homeowners, government officials, educators, students … and all others concerned about health, economic well-being, and our ecological future.

Speakers and Panelists:

Thomas Akin, Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA
Lenni Armstrong, DePave Somerville
Jonathan Bates, ecologist and permaculture consultant
Duke Bitsko, Bioengineering Group
Phil Colarusso, Ocean and Coastal Protection unit, US EPA
Eric ‘T’ Fleischer, Battery Park City Parks Conservancy, Manhattan, New York
Bruce Fulford, City Soil & Greenhouse
Allison Houghton, Greater Boston CSA
Jennifer Lawrence, sustainability planner, City of Cambridge
Ellen Mass, Friends of Alewife Reservation
David Morimoto, Biology, Lesley University
Charlotte O’Brien, Carbon Drawdown Solutions
Luisa Oliveira, senior planner for landscape design, City of Somerville
Eric Olson, Sustainable International Development, Heller School, Brandeis University
Nathan Phillips, Earth and Environment, Boston University
Mark Smith, Brookwood Community Farm
Adam Sacks, executive director, Biodiversity for a Livable Climate
Quinton Zondervan, executive director, Climate Action Business Association and president, Green Cambridge

For more information and to REGISTER, visit bio4climate.org/cambridge

Conference fee is $50, sliding scale. Volunteer opportunities are available.

Karl Thidemann
Biodiversity for a Livable Climate

 

April 17 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • As it turns out, the solution to a serious problem discovered last year at Ivanpah, the first solar power tower in the US, actually has turned out to be “one weird trick.” A mishap in January produced the Eureka moment for safe solar power tower development. Now there are no more dead birds at all. [CleanTechnica]
Tower at Ivanpah. Photo by Craig Dietrich. Wikimedia Commons.

Tower at Ivanpah. Photo by Craig Dietrich. Wikimedia Commons.

  • The remote Faroe Islands in northern Europe are to benefit from a major energy storage system. The power generator and distributor for the Faroes commissioned the project, which will see 2.3 MW of lithium-ion batteries used to maximise the potential of a new 12-MW wind farm installation. [PV-Tech Storage]
  • One of Australia’s largest power generators, AGL Energy, has adopted a new policy. AGL will not finance or build new coal-fired power stations, and it will not extend the operating life of any existing coal-fired power stations beyond 2050. The announcement came at the opening of AGL’s 102-MW Nyngan Solar Plant. [The Australian Financial Review]
  • BP shareholders voted overwhelmingly to publish regular updates on how its strategies were affecting climate change, making it one of the first global oil companies to disclose such details. The plan was proposed by a group of investors the annual general meeting and got support of 98% of investors. [News24]
  • In a poll of US parents, 81% said they want to live in a solar-powered home. The majority (67%) also wants solar to be the world’s primary energy source when their children grow up. And 95% believe it’s their responsibility to teach their children about alternative energy for a better environment for the future. [CleanTechnica]

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

Earth Day

5th Annual 5K Run and Free Fair
Celebrate Earth Day in Londonderry, NH

Start of 5K race. Photo courtesy of LOCO Sports and Stonyfield.

Start of 5K race. Photo courtesy of LOCO Sports and Stonyfield.

On Saturday, May 16, 2015 Stonyfield, local, organic yogurt maker, in collaboration with LOCO Sports, will host the fifth annual Stonyfield Earth Day 5K & Fair. The event will take place from 10 am to 1 pm at the Stonyfield Yogurt Works location, 10 Burton Drive in Londonderry, NH. This family-friendly road race and fair is open to the public so that everyone can join the fun! Rated one of the top ten 5k races in New England with about 2500 runners and 4000 attendees at the free fair, this is one opportunity locals won’t want to miss!

Runners and walkers should sign up as early as possible to take advantage of new offers this year. The first 1400 pre-registered 5k entrants get an Adidas custom tech race tee. Additionally, the first 200 kids to register for the children’s race will obtain a free pass to The NH Children’s Museum and a pass to Charmingfare Farm.

Local brings a whole new aspect for the event this year including:

  • Smuttynose and Rustic Crust. Smuttynose will be bringing their well-known race beer tent (runners will get beer tickets, non-runners must pay for beer). Complementing the tasty local beer will be free local pizza at the Rustic Crust pizza truck.
  • A Market, Applegate, Pete and Gerry’s Eggs and Pretzel Crisps will provide free, healthful food for attendees.
  • Live music will be provided by Pat and The Hats, a popular, local-to-New Hampshire ban. The band will be playing for the duration of the fair.
  • Kids will also be able to enjoy: face painting, balloonists, a kids zone bounce house, laser tag, dunk tanks, exciting interactive exhibits from The Discovery Museum and SEE Science Center and Vertical Dreams with their rock-climbing wall. Little ones will have a chance to meet Gurt the Stonyfield Cow, Slider from the NH Fishercat’s, Max from the Manchester Monarchs, Geoffrey the Giraffe from Babies “R” Us and several other mascots.
  • A dedicated runners’ tent will be on site, complete with three chiropractic practices, and massages for all by Seacoast Career School.
  • Transportation from Grace Limousines with shuttles to and from the race to free nearby parking lots.
  • Frank FM (106.3) and 105.5 JYY will be broadcasting live all day on-site.
  • NH Roller Derby will be providing a demo on site for fair goers. NH Roller Derby is a non-profit sports organization that promotes women’s athleticism while giving back to the local community.
  • The “Bunny Hop” will return this year, with free ‘bunny tails’ to bring attention to the endangered New England Cottontail rabbit. Stonyfield will be donating a portion of race proceeds to New Hampshire’s Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program to help support species conservation efforts.

General registration is $30 and tickets can be purchased from March 1 through May 12 midnight. Race day registration may be available, pending space. The Kids Race is for children 10 and under and is free; children can be registered at the fair. Affordable youth pricing for big kids over 10 is also available for $20 a ticket. Runners can head to http://stonyfield5k.com/ for more information.

 

SATURDAY!!! Toxins and pollinators at Vt Law School

WHEN:     Saturday, April 18, 2015:   9:00 am – 12:00 noon and 1:30 to 4:00 pm
WHERE:   Chase Hall, Vermont Law School, South Royalton, VT
WHAT:     “ BEES, or not to BE”, a FREE public presentation at VT Law School

Honey bees are dying at alarming rates, with reported yearly loses of 20 to 50% in some apiaries. Without pollination, there is concern that our agriculture and our food production system will be dramatically and economically challenged.

Why is this happening to honey bees? Are other pollinators at risk? What can be done to support honey bees and our native pollinators? These are just a few of the questions that arise.

BEES, or not to BE is a day long program on Saturday, April 18 at Vermont Law School’s Chase Hall. It will address these and other questions involving honey bees and wild pollinators.   Sponsored by the Sierra Club of the Upper Valley and Vermont Law School’s Center for Agriculture and Food Systems., it is free and open to the public.

The morning panel from 9:00 until 12:00 will focus on honey bees, recent research involving pesticides and honey bees as well as the challenges honey bees face with pathogens and climate change. It will also cover what beekeepers can do to keep their hives healthy and alive, and what beekeepers and others around the country are doing in support of all our pollinators.

The afternoon panel from 1:30 to 4:00 will describe our diverse native pollinators, their habits and habitats. It will offer ways we can encourage pollinators with native food plants and nest sites and describe how attracting beneficial insects can reduce pest populations naturally.

The public can attend either or both sessions. There will be a break between 12 and 1:30. Those attending the full day can bring a brown bag lunch or walk to a local eatery.

Morning Session Key Speakers: Mary Anne Frazier, Senior Extension Associate at Penn State Center of Pollinator Research, and Ross Conrad, author of Natural Beekeeping, a regular contributor to Bee Culture Magazine, and owner of Dancing Bees Apiary in VT.

Afternoon Session Key Speakers:  Jarrod Fowler, lecturer of Entomological Horticulture at the Stockbridge School for Agriculture, UMass Amherst, USDA NRCS Technical Service Provider of Pollinator Habitat Enhancement Plans for New England farmers, landowners, and wildlife; Lionel Chute, Director, Sullivan County Natural Resources, (NH) and District Manager of the Sullivan County Conservation District; Cat Buxton, consultant, teacher and community organizer promoting food system change through education and advocacy.

For more information contact Betsy Eldredge at betsy.eldredge@dartmouth.edu or Nina Swaim at nina.swaim@icloud.net.  Campus map at http://www.vermontlaw.edu/community/the-campus/map-directions

Hope to see you there! — Betsy and Denis

New Hampshire HB205 and Other News:

Senate Committee vote 4-0 for NH C-PACE!

Greetings all and more good news,

This morning, NH’s Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 4-0 on House Bill 205, the bill that rewrites the NH C-PACE statute in a way palatable to so many stakeholders, and fits nicely with our program design. It is scheduled to go to the Senate Floor on Thursday, April 23 for a vote. We are optimistic about these next steps: having unanimous support in NH’s feisty House and now in the Senate Committee, bodes well. Then, if all goes well, on to the Governor!! For more information, check out our updated C-PACE page on our website: http://jordaninstitute.org/c-pace.html.

Here are two fun articles about the Jordan Institute and Resilient Buildings Group, and some of our clients/partners/friends in this week’s Concord Insider: http://www.theconcordinsider.com/article/meet-few-of-the-concord-groups-at-the-head-of-the-efficiency-pack
and
http://www.theconcordinsider.com/article/concord-sure-is-doing-the-whole-green-thing

There’s a great conference on historic preservation this Friday, sponsored by the NH Preservation Alliance. For more information:

http://www.nhpreservation.org/news-a-events/signature-events/preserving-community-character-conference.html.

We are delighted to work with the Preservation Community to make commercial buildings energy efficient and resilient to last the next 100 years.

Cheers,

Laura