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Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

November 18 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “US Suspends More Oil And Gas Leases Over What Could Be A Widespread Problem” • The Trump administration’s push to expand fossil fuel production on federal lands is hitting a snag: its own refusal to consider climate impacts. After advocacy groups sued, the Bureau of Land Management office in Utah voluntarily suspended 130 leases. [InsideClimate News]

Pump jacks (BLM image)

  • “‘Ice Battery’ At Retreat Lowers Energy Costs” • An ice battery has been brougth back into service at the Brattleboro Retreat. At low demand times, cheap electricity can be used to freeze water in containers. Then when the day is warm, the ice is used to cool water, which is run to air handlers to cool air, avoiding the use of more costly electricity for AC. [Brattleboro Reformer]
  • “Engie, EDPR Select MHI Vestas 10-MW Turbines For Lion Floater” • Engie and EDPR have selected MHI Vestas to supply three 10-MW turbines to the 30-MW Golfe du Lion floating offshore wind project 16 km off the coast of Mediterranean coast of Southern France. The companies plan to use Port La Nouvelle as the assembly harbor. [reNEWS]
  • “US Solar Panel Prices Continue Dropping, Solar+Storage Increasing – Tracking The Sun Report” • Tracking the Sun is an annual report from Berkeley Lab on prices and trends among grid-connected, distributed solar PV systems in the US. It covers 1.6 million systems, representing 81% of all distributed PVs in the US through the end of 2018. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Are We Really In A 6th Mass Extinction? Here’s The Science” • A mass extinction is usually defined as a loss of about three quarters of all species living across the entire Earth over a “short” geological period of time. “Short” is defined as anything less than 2.8 million years. And given current science, the 6th Extinction is already under way. [ScienceAlert]

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

November 17 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “World’s Largest Floating Wind Turbine Launching Soon In Portugal” • Portugal is about to be the home of the largest floating wind turbine in the world, an 8.4-MW ABS-classed offshore wind turbine. This is continental Europe’s first large-scale floating wind farm. It is scheduled to go online by the end of 2019, a press release says. [CleanTechnica]

Floating wind turbine (Principle Power via Twitter)

  • “Saudi Aramco Flotation Values Oil Giant At $1.7 Trillion” • Saudi Arabia has placed a preliminary valuation on state oil company Aramco of between $1.6 trillion (£1.22 trillion) and $1.7 trillion. The company has published an updated prospectus for its initial public offering, seeking more than $25 billion for the sale of 1.5% of its shares. [BBC]
  • “Two Of America’s Biggest Coal Plants Closed This Month” • This week, Arizona’s 2.25-GW Navajo Generating Station burned its last load of coal after no buyers turned up during a two-year search. And the bankrupt owner of Pennsylvania’s 2.7-GW Bruce Mansfield unit began its shutdown, almost two years ahead of schedule. [Quartz]
  • “Trump Administration Fights Ban On Farming Pesticides, Sucks Up To Corporate Behemoths” • The Trump administration is doing everything it can to protect three pesticides from bans in other countries and continue their global distribution. Why? The pesticides generate enormous profits to big companies that are frequent donors to US politicians. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Sprint Commits To 100% Renewables Across All Operations By 2025” • Adding to its sustainable business practices, Sprint announced new corporate environmental goals. Among them is a commitment to source 100% renewable electricity across its entire operations, including all retail stores, offices, call centers, and network sites, by 2025. [Solar Power World]

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

November 16 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “US Readies First Wind-Powered Steel Plant” • A $250 million Nucor Corp. “micro” mill taking shape in Sedalia, Missouri. It will be the first US steel production plant that will run on wind energy. A report last year from the group Mighty Earth noted that steel represented 7% of global carbon emissions worldwide in 2013. [E&E News]

“Micro” steel mill being built in Missouri (Nucor Sedalia via Facebook)

  • “3-GW Wind Power Project In Wyoming Moves Closer To Approval” • The Chokeberry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project is slated to have a capacity of 3 GW. If the huge Wyoming wind farm is completed, it will be the largest in the US. The Bureau of Land Management recently released a favorable environmental impact assessment. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Warming Winters May Lead To More Snow For Western New York” • Climate data going back to 1970 show that Buffalo’s average winter temperature has warmed 3.2°F. That means Lake Erie stays open much longer. And that means that more water vapor rises off the lake each year during winter, which increases the amount of snow for snowy Buffalo. [WGRZ.com]
  • “Germany Adopts Climate Protection Act” • The Bundestag, Germany’s parliament, has adopted the climate protection act enshrining in law plans to make the country greenhouse gas emission neutral by 2050. However, some renewable energy groups, including BEE, pointed out shortcomings in the law that need to be addressed. [reNEWS]
  • “We’ll Be Measuring Sea Level Rise In Feet, Not Inches” • For a long time, climate reports focused on moderate estimates of the effects. The Tampa Bay Climate Science Advisory Panel says water levels have increased by 7.8 inches since 1946. But it says the sea level on the Tampa Bay area could be 8½ feet higher in 2100 than it was in 2000. [Tampa Bay Times]

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

November 15 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “As Deadly Australia Bushfires Rage, Sydney May Be Running Out Water” • Australia’s deadly bushfires are driven by the worst drought in decades, but fears are now growing that things could get worse. Sydney, home to more than 5 million people, faces a warning that dams could run dry by 2022, according to CNN affiliate 7News. [CNN]

Australian bushfire (80 trading 24, Wikimedia Commons)

  • “Los Angeles Places Largest Single Electric Bus Order In US History – 130 BYD K7M Buses” • The Los Angeles Department of Transportation and BYD announced the largest electric bus contract in US history. The company will build 130 of its K7M electric buses for the city’s public transportation system at its factory in Lancaster, California. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Italian Council Is Flooded Immediately After Rejecting Measures On Climate Change” • Veneto regional council was flooded for the first time in its history. “Ironically, the chamber was flooded two minutes after the majority League, Brothers of Italy, and Forza Italia parties rejected our amendments to tackle climate change,” a Council member said. [CNN]
  • “Dutch Government Slashes Highway Speed Limit To Tackle Climate Change” • The Dutch government put forward a new climate change package. It includes a controversial proposal to lower the day-time speed limit on motorways to just 100 km/h (62 mph) from the current 130 km/h (80 mph). At night, the limit will stay the same. [CNN]
  • “There’s Now Evidence An Ancient ‘Political Superpower’ Failed Due To Climate Change” • At its height, the Assyrian state stretched from Egypt to western Iran. Then, in an astonishing reversal of fortune, the Neo-Assyrian Empire fell from its zenith to complete political collapse within the span of just decades. It looks like a result of climate change. [ScienceAlert]

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

Thank you for standing up to National Grid, Now we Need a Plan for Renewable Heat

Renewable Heat Now to Governor Cuomo: 

Thank you for standing up to National Grid, Now we Need a Plan for Renewable Heat

Albany, New York – Today, for the third month in a row, New Yorkers from across the state convened in Albany for the Public Service Commission (PSC) monthly meeting. Inexplicably, the Energy Efficiency Order, expected in September, was once again not on the agenda. Following the PSC meeting, a campaign letter was delivered to the Governor’s Office praising his Tuesday morning letter to National Grid giving them 14 days notice of his intention to revoke their downstate gas franchise and laying out steps he can take to spearhead the transition to renewable heating.

The campaign held a press conference afterwards to praise Governor Cuomo’s letter to the utility and urging him to go further in laying out a plan for a managed transition off of fossil heating onto renewable heating.

Lee Ziesche of Sane Energy Project said, “Every month that we have to come back to Albany to demand action from the PSC is critical time wasted to implement the climate solutions we desperately need. Our message is clear: Stop spending our ratepayer dollars on fracked gas infrastructure and make a plan that follows climate science and gets us off gas now.”

Veronica Cruz, from State Senator Julia Salazar’s office said, “Senator Salazar continues to support all efforts to oppose expansion of the use and reliance of natural gas or other harmful and dangerous sources of energy and power. She supports especially the demands to hold National Grid accountable. Senator Salazar continues to stand in solidarity with the Renewable Heat Now campaign and all who are fighting for real solutions to global warming.”

Ruth Foster of Stop the Fracked Gas Pipeline, a group fighting National Grid’s proposed E37 Albany Loop Pipeline said, “We need to stop all new fossil fuel infrastructure projects and we need to shut down the existing ones as fast as we can. Governor Cuomo claims to be a climate leader, yet every day he sits in a building heated by fracked gas. That’s not right. We call on NYPA to heat this building with geothermal heat pumps.”

Andrew Pezzullo Hudson Valley Organizer with Food and Water Watch said, “Affected communities, business owners and NYCHA residents should feel vindicated by the strong language [re: National Grid] coming from Governor Cuomo’s office., but to take this rhetoric and turn it into climate solutions that make material impacts in New Yorker’s lives and policy that takes our climate crisis seriously, New York needs a plan. It needs a plan to transition from fossil fuels to renewable heating. The plan cannot include fossil fuel companies and utilities building more pipelines. We need an Energy Efficiency Order now.”

Addressing the issue of badly needed workforce development in the renewable heating sector, Cari Gardner of the New York Progressive Action Network said, “Workforce development in the renewable heating sector is badly needed, in fact one of the biggest needs is for qualified drillers for geothermal. Gas drillers can become geothermal heat pump drillers.” She went on to say, “Low income household’s lives can be made better when their homes are weatherized and have affordable, safe, heating and air conditioning.  This will help to prevent the many illnesses currently caused by the pollution of fracking, transporting and burning dirty fuels. We must we willing to make massive systems changes.”

Joanne Coons of NYGEO highlighted the many benefits of geothermal energy. “Buildings should be like trees reaching down for energy from the  earth and outward to the sky for energy from the sun. Our buildings should be energy producers, not energy consumers.”

Lindsay Speer of Alliance for a Green Economy said, “It is crucial for the Governor and Public Service Commission to create a plan to efficiently electrify the heating sector in an orderly way, and hold the utilities to working in the public interest. Experts calculate that 3.5 million heat pump conversions will be needed by 2030 if we are to meet the greenhouse gas emissions targets in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. We New Yorkers are rising to this challenge, and we need decisive and swift action from Governor Cuomo, the Public Service Commission, and the utilities to shift our energy system appropriately. Our futures depend on it.”

November 14 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Record European Electric Bus Order (157 Volvo Buses), And Volvo Trucks Launches Urban Electric Trucks” • Volvo is not widely known in North America for buses or trucks. However, in Europe, the company is quite a big producer of commercial vehicles. And it is now rolling out some big electric vehicle news in those industries. [CleanTechnica]

Volvo Electric Bus in Sweden

  • “”The Climate Crisis Will Profoundly Affect The Health Of Every Child Alive Today, Report Says” • If the world continues to produce the same amount of CO₂ emissions, children born today live in a world 7.2°F (4°C) warmer by their 71st birthday, according to a report in the medical journal The Lancet. And that is really bad for their health. [CNN]
  • “How To Cut US Carbon Pollution By Nearly 40% In 10 Years” • A study from economists at Columbia University found that a tax plan with broad support in Congress would reduce American carbon pollution by almost 40% within a decade. It would go well beyond the commitment the US made under the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. [The Atlantic]
  • “Venice Floods: Climate Change Behind Highest Tide In 50 Years, Says Mayor” • Severe flooding in Venice that has left much of the Italian city under water is a direct result of climate change, the mayor says. The highest water levels in the region in more than 50 years would leave “a permanent mark,” Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro tweeted. [BBC]
  • “Corporate Green Energy Adoption Flourishes” • Corporations have finally put their collective weight into a green energy rush this year. The average size of the renewable energy acquisition by US corporates rose from 85.6 MW during the third quarter of 2018 to a whopping 411.4 MW in the third quarter of this year, according to GreenBiz. [CleanTechnica]

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

Is Hartford, VT Prepared? Emergency Preparedness Scenario Game Event

November 13 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Another Nail In Coal’s Coffin? German Steel Furnace Runs On Renewable Hydrogen In World First” • German manufacturing giant Thyssenkrupp has completed a successful, first-of-its-kind demonstration of running a steel furnace entirely on hydrogen, a development that is likely to further dent the future prospects for the global coal industry. [RenewEconomy]

H₂O – they way to get away from CO₂ (Photo courtesy of Thyssenkrupp)

  • “Proposed New Rule Would Amp Up EPA War On Science” • A new rule proposed by the EPA would upend decades of scientific research – studies that have confirmed that air pollution leads to shortened life spans or that mercury impairs brain function in young children – by requiring all that confidential data be made public. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Climate Change: Do More Now Or Risk Catastrophe, Warns Energy Agency” • The world’s existing climate policies will not be enough to end the upward march of record energy emissions rising beyond 2040 without a “grand coalition” of governments and investors, according to the International Energy Agency. In 2018, emissions set a record. [The Guardian]
  • “Australia Bushfires: Fresh Warnings In Queensland And New South Wales” • Australian authorities warn that massive bushfires will continue to pose a threat, despite “catastrophic” conditions easing. “We’ve got […] the worst of the season still ahead of us as we head into summer,” the New South Wales Rural Fire Services Commissioner said. [BBC]
  • “Greta Thunberg Leaves US With Simple Climate Crisis Message: Vote” • As Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who ignited a youth movement with her Friday school strikes, departs the US to sail back across the Atlantic, she is leaving behind a simple message for those who care about the climate crisis: you must vote. [The Guardian]

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

11th Annual Local Energy Solutions Conference Coming to Concord

Community power, offshore wind, energy innovation to feature prominently at the state’s premier conference for clean energy 

New Hampshire’s state capitol will once again play host to the state’s premier conference for clean energy. Over three hundred attendees will descend on November 15th at the solar-powered Grappone Center from 8:00-4:30 for the 11th annual Local Energy Solutions (LES) Conference.

New to the event this year is the morning panel of experts discussing energy innovation, featuring Steve Walker of NH-based IMBY Energy, Dr. Glenn Shwaery from the UNH School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, and Sharon Nall of the NH Dept. of Environmental Services. Also joining the panel is the keynote speaker, renowned host of the Energy Transition Podcast, Chris Nelder. Chris is the author of two books on energy and investing, as well as more than 200 articles on energy in publications such as Nature, Scientific American, Slate, The Atlantic, Quartz, Financial Times, Greentech Media, SmartPlanet, and the Economist Intelligence Unit. He is also a Manager in the Mobility practice at the Rocky Mountain Institute in Boulder, Colorado, where he heads the EV-grid Integration team.

The conference also features prominent experts in offshore wind, including the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s Chief for the Office of Renewable Energy Programs, James Bennett, and Bill White, Managing Director for EnBW North America.

The event will also feature a session dedicated to Community Power, enabled by recent legislation and eagerly anticipated by the state’s cities and towns as a way to control costs, diversify their energy mix, and become more energy independent. Attendees will also get the chance to check out the new XL Fleet Ford F-250 hybrid pick-up truck and the country’s only minivan hybrid, the Chrysler Pacifica, as well as nearly a dozen other electric and hybrid vehicles during the afternoon Electric Vehicle Showcase.

“Advancing a New Hampshire-based energy economy is all about pulling together diverse perspectives to create a system-wide view of energy,” says Henry Herndon, Director of Local Energy Solutions with Clean Energy NH. “That’s what Local Energy Solutions is all about – bringing together businesses, community leaders, policymakers, utilities, state agencies, students and everyone in-between to advance our collective understanding of energy in New Hampshire in a holistic way.”

Registration and more details about the LES Conference including agenda and exhibitors are available online at www.cleanenergynh.org. The event is free for legislators, and reduced admission is available for students. The LES Conference is co-hosted by Clean Energy NH, the state’s leading clean energy educator and advocate, and the NH Local Energy Solutions Workgroup, an ad-hoc group of energy professionals representing the private, public, and non-profit sectors dedicated to supporting local energy work across New Hampshire. Auburn, NH based Freedom Energy Logistics is the premiere sponsor of the event.

November 12 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Formula 1 Launches A Plan To Become Carbon Neutral By 2030” • Formula 1 has launched a plan to become carbon neutral by 2030. The intention is to wipe out the carbon footprint of activity at race tracks, including road and air transport of staff and equipment to the events. F1 says it will offset any emissions that cannot be cut. [BBC]

Formula 1 race in 2018 (Wikimedia Commons)

  • Australia’s Deadly Bushfires Bring Threat Of ‘Long And Dangerous Day Ahead'” • Two Australian states are bracing for a day of “catastrophic” risk as firefighters battle over 100 deadly active bushfires. Clouds of smoke seen as far away as New Zealand. Queensland and New South Wales have declared a state of emergency. [CNN]
  • “The Most Destructive Hurricanes Are Hitting The US More Often” • Big, destructive hurricanes are hitting the US three times more frequently than they did a century ago, according to a study. Looking at 247 hurricanes that hit the US since 1900, the researchers found the top 10% of hurricanes are happening 3.3 times more frequently. [NBCNews.com]
  • “Renewable Energy Gives Farmers Another Reason To Love It” • As if the case for renewable energy needs any more making, along comes a new study showing that wind and solar power are good for the water table and they could help farmers survive periods of drought. Most other electric generation technologies compete with irrigation. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Two Rural Colorado Utilities Take Tri-State Complaints To State Regulators” • La Plata Electric Association and United Power want to provide cleaner, lower cost electricity. But they are currently limited by their contract agreement with Tri-State to generate just 5% of renewable power locally. They asked state regulators to step in. [Colorado Public Radio]

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