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March 15 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Researchers at the University of Maryland claim to have found a way to strip away lignin and hemicellulose from wood. They say that the result, which they call “nanowood” costs less and has insulating qualities that are superior to many insulation materials commonly used in building construction today. Nanowood is also stronger. [CleanTechnica]


  • “Solar saves carbon faster and more effectively than nuclear power” • Renewable electricity, chiefly from wind and solar power, adds electricity generation and saves carbon faster than nuclear power does or ever has, according to a data-rich new study by Amory Lovins and three colleagues at Rocky Mountain Institute. [Solar Builder]
  • US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke claimed the “carbon footprint on wind [energy] is significant.” But wind power’s carbon footprint is among the smallest of any energy source. The carbon footprints of coal and natural gas are close to 90 and 40 times larger, respectively, the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory says. []
  • Encore Renewable Energy has commissioned a 200-kW roof-mounted solar array at the von Trapp Brewing & Bierhall in Stowe, Vermont. The electricity generated by the array will provide a clean source of electricity for Stowe Electric Department, with all renewable energy credits associated with the array being retired. [Solar Power World]
  • After breaking a few energy storage records with its battery system projects in Australia, Tesla looks to come back to the US to build a new world’s largest Powerpack battery system in Colorado. Xcel Energy had requested bids for major renewable energy and storage projects in Colorado, and Tesla is one of the companies bidding. [Electrek]
  • Georgia Power, which announced a goal of 1.6 GW of renewable energy by 2021, is going to hit that goal with solar alone before the end of 2019. The company’s current goal for 2021 includes residential, community solar, and larger projects. Georgia Power already has 970 MW of solar capacity online and 649 MW of large scale project coming. [pv magazine USA]

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

Help stop bee-killing pesticides in Vermont — Voting soon!

Sierra ClubThe Vermont House of Representatives needs to hear from you as soon as possible to ask for key improvements to H.915. Instead of protecting our bees and butterflies from bee-killing neonicotinoid (neonic) pesticides — 10,000 times more toxic than DDT — it relies upon public service announcements, compiling survey results and passive measures for neonic-free seeds. In short — it’s better than nothing, but could it be substantially improved by stopping the retail sale of neonics.

For eight years Vermont lawmakers have discussed protecting pollinators.  The legislature’s own Pollinator Protection Committee (PPC), recommends prohibiting retail outlets from selling these toxic chemicals to consumers and banning their use on ornamental (non-agricultural) plants. However since 2010, bills that would actually protect our pollinators fail to pass, such as this year’s H.688 which contained a ban on retail neonics and other PPC recommendations.
Neonics don’t just harm pollinators which come into contact with treated plants, they last for years in the soil and easily runoff into lakes and streams. In Vermont, neonics have been found in pollen in honeybee hives and already three of our bumblebee species are believed to be extinct.

Please submit your comments now and call your Representative right away, asking them to strengthen and pass H.915.

There are 630 products on store shelves in Vermont that contain these insecticides which are lethal to key pollinators. We also know that professional pesticide applicators dumped 15,000 pounds of neonics on golf courses, lawns and ornamental plants in 2016. If we truly care about our pollinators, these non-essential uses would be prohibited.
Connecticut and Maryland have already banned the consumer use of neonics. Vermont can follow that strong lead by passing legislation to help safeguard our bees, butterflies and birds from the widespread use of bee-killing pesticides.
You can also call your Representative today at (802) 828-2228 and urge them to strengthen and pass H.915 for our bees.
Thank you in advance for taking action to protect Vermont’s pollinators.
Judy Bellairs, Forest and Wildlife Committee, Vermont Chapter
Co-Chair, Pollinator Team, Sierra Club Grassroots Network

VECAN (Vermont Energy & Climate Action Network) News

This March, there are several grant opportunities, workshops, and other events planned. Read below to learn about what’s going on in the world of climate and energy in Vermont this month and beyond:
  • Reminder: New England Grassroots Environment Fund Grant Applications Due this Week – Applications due by March 15, click here for more information and to apply online.
  • Weatherization Workshop – March 21st at 5:30 pm 157 Main Street in Brattleboro.
  • Act 174 Regional Energy Plan – Lamoille County Regional Planning Commission (LCRPC) will hold a public hearings on its regional energy plan on March 13 at 5 pm at the LCRPC office in Morristown.
  • Mid-Season Legislative Lowdown – Get the latest information and what is (and isn’t) happening in the statehouse on climate and clean energy as we pass the mid-point of the legislative session.
  • Help us keep communities in the loop – Submit an event through our online calander form here.
  • Waterbury LEAP Energy Fair – Save the date April 7th for the largest energy fair in the state!
  • Hinesberg Energy Committee hosts Home Energy Workshops – Read below for more information on workshops happening on March 21, April 11, and May 2 starting at 6:30 pm at NRG Systems in Hinesberg.
  • Northwest Vermont Regional Energy Forum April 19th at 5:30 pm in St. Albans, learn how starting a town energy committee can help your town save energy and money.
  • Free Weatherization Services for Apartment Owners from 3E Thermal

Learn more at!

NH Energy Week Kicks off in Keene

NH Energy WeekJoin civic, business, and legislative leaders at free events throughout the week
The 2nd Annual NH Energy Week started on Monday, March 12th 2018 at Scores Sports Bar & Grille in Keene where 100 people gathered to share energy stories and discuss affordable clean energy opportunities that exist in the region and across the state.
The Executive Director of Keene Housing, Joshua Meehan explained to the crowd, “As a provider, the reality that Keene housing is facing is that federal funding is continually going down. We have to find other opportunities to save money so we can provide housing to the people we serve. Energy is the easiest way to find money to work with.” (See picture attached)This event was sponsored by Filtrine and was hosted by the Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce, the Southwest Region Planning Commission and the New Hampshire Clean Tech Council.

Previewing the event, the NH Union Leader wrote about Keene’s Filtrine Manufacturing Company which spent more than $300,000 last year to install a wood-chip boiler that will reduce its oil consumption by 90 percent to heat its 100,000 square-foot building. The new boiler will pay for itself in six to seven years, thanks partly with help from a state grant.

NH Energy Week has become an opportunity to showcase the many ways companies, municipalities and organizations are investing in efficiency and clean energy projects throughout the state.

On Wednesday, March 14th NH Energy Week continues with a lunch for state legislators and an Energy Roundtable at 7th Settlement Brewery in Dover. Register here.

There are still a few tickets left for the NH Energy Breakfast on Thursday, March 15th that will feature Governor Chris Sununu, Commissioner Taylor Caswell and two panel discussions tackling Energy Investment and Infrastructure Opportunities and Workforce Development Opportunities in the Clean Tech sector. Register here.

The final event during NH Energy Week will be an Award Ceremony and Reception at O’s Steak and Seafood in Concord on Thursday evening. Please join all nominees and special guest former U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte who will present each award. Register here.

The 2018 NH Energy Week is hosted by The Nature Conservancy, NH Clean Tech Council, NH CDFA, Businesses for Social Responsibility, Environmental Defense Fund, Ceres, CRES Forum, NH Brewers Association, and NH Municipal Association.

Follow us on twitter for more information: @NHEnergyWeek or visit

Wind & Solar Provide 100% of New U.S. Generating Capacity in January

Contact:         Ken Bossong, 301-270-6477 x.6 , The SUN DAY Campaign
Washington DC – According to an analysis by the SUN DAY Campaign of data in the latest issue of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) “Energy Infrastructure Update” (with numbers through January 31, 2018),wind and solar accounted for all new electrical generation placed into service in the first month of this year. 
Moreover, for the first time, the total installed capacity of renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) has surpassed a milestone — accounting for over one-fifth (i.e., 20.39%) of total available U.S. generating capacity. Combined, wind and solar alone now exceed one-tenth (i.e., 10.18%) of installed capacity. **
FERC data show that 12 new “units” of wind, totaling 1,230 megawatts (MW), came into service in January 2018 along with 11 units of solar (356-MW) for a total of 1,586-MW.  
That is slightly more than the combined solar + wind total a year ago (i.e., January 2017) when 909-MW of wind and 623-MW of solar came on-line. However, then, there were also 1,454-MW of new gas capacity, 102-MW of new nuclear, and 1-MW each of new oil and biomass capacity. In January2018, no new coal, gas, oil, nuclear, biomass, geothermal, or hydropower capacity was reported.   
The new wind capacity includes the 300-MW Red Dirt Wind Project (Kingfisher County, OK), 229-MW Magic Valley Wind Project (Willacy County, TX), 200-MW Red Pine Wind Project (Lincoln County, MN), and the 197-MW Bearkat Renewable Energy Project (Glasscock County, TX). The new solar capacity includes four new Florida Power & Light solar farms in Florida, each comprising 75-MW.


Extreme Weather and the Climate Crisis e-book

ExtremeWeatherandtheClimateCrisisEBook_Page_01Every new year seems to arrive on the heels of another unfortunate climate record set. And 2017’s is among the most startling: Climate-related and other natural disasters caused a staggering $306 billion in total damages in the US, making last year by far the most expensive one on record for disasters in the country.

And globally, in the wake of Hurricanes Maria, Irma, and Harvey, an immensely destructive wildfire season in the American West, and a dire drought in South Africa, one question has been hard to escape: Is the climate crisis making weather more extreme?

The simple answer is yes.

In our new free e-book, Extreme Weather and the Climate Crisis: What You Need to Know, we explain how events like these are influenced by climate change and offer ways you can get involved in the fight for solutions.

We already have the practical, clean-energy solutions to make a real impact and help stop the destruction from extreme weather events from getting ever-worse. Now, we need you to take the next step.

Download our free e-book now to learn more about how our changing climate is making events like torrential rains, floods, heatwaves, hurricanes, the “polar vortex,” and drought more frequent and/or intense – and what you can do about it.

– Your friends at Climate Reality 

March 14 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • About half of all plants and animals in 35 of the world’s most biodiverse places are at risk of extinction due to climate change, a report claims. The report was published the University of East Anglia, the James Cook University, and the WWF. It projected loss of nearly 80,000 plants and animals in 35 diverse and wildlife-rich areas. [CNN]
Indian tigress wearing a radio collar

Indian tigress wearing a radio collar

  • An Australian first trial is taking wind farms from passive producers that sell all their output in a slab to more active participants in the energy market. Neoen Australia’s South Australian Hornsdale 2 wind farm carried out a trial that could see wind replace coal, gas, and even pumped hydro in providing energy stability. [The Sydney Morning Herald]
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger is steaming mad at oil companies. He plans to do something about their reprehensible, irresponsible behavior that has put billions of people at risk around the world. During an interview with Politico, he said he is personally going to take them to court “for knowingly killing people all over the world.” [CleanTechnica]
  • Transmission system operator 50Hertz Transmission GmbH said it got 53.4% of its power from renewables in 2017, surpassing 50% for the first time. The installed renewable energy capacity in the operator’s area rose to 31 GW last year from about 29 GW in 2016. Its area of distribution is the Northeast of Germany, the former East Germany. [Renewables Now]
  • The largest community solar power project in the state of New York is now complete, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo. It is located in the Sullivan County town of Callicoon. The 2 .7-MW solar array can produce enough power to provide electricity for 350 households and small businesses. It runs on 9,800 individual solar panels. [Albany Times Union]

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

NY-GEO 2018 – Learn How Utilities See Geothermal

NY Geo
Utility companies can play a key role in bringing geothermal heating & cooling quickly into the mainstream. How are NY’s utilities seeing their role in the renewable HVAC revolution?
Join us for the fourth annual NY-GEO Renewable Heating & Cooling Conference at the Radisson in Albany, New York on April 18 & 19!
The day 2 opening panel will feature Mackay Miller from National Grid, Joseph Hally from Central Hudson, Christopher Raup from Con Edison and Lisa Boba from NYSEG. These executives will give their take on both the benefits and challenges they anticipate for their customers during the transition to renewable heating and cooling.
The NY-GEO annual conference is the best place to learn how to heat and cool without burning fossil fuels while meeting the movers and shakers of the industry as New York begins to embrace this incredible opportunity.
Join us for a fantastic program that will help policy makers, installers, organizers, architects, clean energy activists, contractors, building owners and mangers, engineers and more to plug into the renewable heat momentum building in New York and across the northeast!
We urge you to register soon. Exhibit space is sold out. There is just one prime sponsor slot still open. Ad space in our program booklet is still open but the deadline for reserving ads is March 26th.
We have scholarship funds to help if our admission price is more than you can afford, but those funds will run out soon.
For Building Professionals:
NY-GEO 2018 provides 5 AIA, PDH, BPI or LEED (self reporting) continuing education credits. Three of the classes will be taught by Steve Kavanaugh – co-author of the ASHRAE published Geothermal Heating and Cooling: Design of Ground Source Heat Pump Systems (2014). Click here for a description of his classes.
In addition, Phoenix Energy Supply is providing a phenomenally convenient and inexpensive way to earn Accredited Installer status from the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA). You can take the course on-line and take the exam at the conference, and with support from NYSERDA, it will cost you less than half the list price. Click here to learn more.



More Than 350 Households and Small Businesses to Benefit from Sullivan County’s 2.7 Megawatt Solar Array

Project Supports Governor Cuomo’s Mandate of 50 Percent of Electricity to Come from Renewable Energy by 2030

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the completion of the state’s largest community solar project which will result in reduced energy bills for more than 350 households and small businesses. The 2.7-megawatt solar array, located in Sullivan County, is critical to supporting Governor Cuomo’s mandate for half of all electricity consumed to come from renewable energy sources by 2030.

“An investment in renewable energy is an investment in the future and sustainability of New York’s environment, and the overall health of this state,” Governor Cuomo said. “This Sullivan County project will deliver energy savings to residents throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley region, while supporting the establishment of a cleaner, greener New York for all.”

The solar array is located in Callicoon, Sullivan County and includes approximately 9,800 solar panels. The project will reduce greenhouse gases by 1,670 metric tons annually, the equivalent to taking approximately 360 cars off the road.

The Sullivan County project is owned by Delaware River Solar. It received nearly $1.3 million in funding through Governor Cuomo’s $1 billion NY-Sun initiative, which is building a self-sustaining solar industry in New York State. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority administers the NY-Sun initiative.

These community-based projects increase access to solar in areas where residents may or may not own property or have room to install solar panels at their location by enabling them to subscribe to a local community solar project. Once households and businesses subscribe, energy is still delivered through their regular electric provider while the power produced from the solar array is fed directly back to the electric grid. As a result, the grid is supplied with clean, renewable energy while subscribers get credit on their electric bills.

In February, Governor Cuomo announced that solar power in New York increased more than 1,000 percent from December 2011 to December 2017, leveraging more than $2.8 billion in private investments. There are more than 12,000 people engaged in solar jobs across New York.

March 13 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • The three largest California electric utilities are well on their way to meeting the state’s mandate of sourcing 33% of energy from renewable sources by 2020. But they did not procure any new renewable energy capacity last year, and the California Public Utilities Commission has proposed they procure nearly none in 2018. [Inhabitat]
California solar array

California solar array

  • AGL, the biggest coal generator in Australia, says there will still be too much baseload power in New South Wales, even after the ageing Liddell coal plant is closed in 2022. AGL vowed to replace Liddell with a mixture of wind, solar, battery storage, demand management, a new generator, and an upgrade of the Bayswater coal-fired power station. [RenewEconomy]
  • “Clean Energy Is Key to New England’s Fuel Security” • ISO New England, which operates the New England power grid, filed comments with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, raising concerns that reliance on natural gas could undermine grid security due to potential wintertime shortfalls in gas supply. [Natural Resources Defense Council]
  • A new analysis from the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group has revealed that cities are actually generating up to 60% more greenhouse gasses than currently estimated due to the impact of trade in goods and services, but this means cities now have even greater opportunities to deliver on the Paris Climate Agreement goals. [CleanTechnica]
  • Each year, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance rates each state’s energy policies based on how they help or hinder local clean energy action. In 2018, 21 states had a failing grade, 17 were mediocre, 11 had a passing grade, and just 2 excelled at enabling residents to act individually and collectively to take charge of their energy future. [CleanTechnica]

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