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July 14 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Japan’s Renewable-Energy Revolution” • A set of images from a series of flights over the Tokyo and Kobe/Osaka regions of Japan show a range of PV projects on former golf courses, quarries, dams, man-made islands, and floating projects on ponds and reservoirs. They add a new look on energy and climate change. [Bloomberg]
Solar farm on the face of a dam (Photo: Jamey Stillings)

Solar farm on the face of a dam in Japan (Photo: Jamey Stillings)

  • Waste water from fracking has contaminated a watershed in Pennsylvania with organic chemicals, salts, radium, and alkaline earth metals. Some pollutants are associated with endocrine system changes and others with carcinogens. Fracking produces half of the oil and two-thirds of the natural gas extracted in the US. [CleanTechnica]
  • Indian Railways launched the first solar-powered DEMU (diesel electrical multiple unit) train from the Safdarjung railway station in Delhi. The train will run between railway stations in Delhi and Haryana. Each of six coaches has sixteen 300-W solar panels. The train also has battery backup power, on which it can run for at least 72 hours. [Economic Times]
  • The growth of electric vehicles in the UK has the potential to increase peak electricity demand by 3.5 GW by 2030 and 18 GW by 2050, National Grid says in its latest Future Energy Scenarios analysis. Without smart charging technology the 2030 figure could be as high as 8 GW. Peak UK demand today is around 60 GW. [Platts]
  • The University of Bridgeport successfully installed a megawatt-class microgrid. The 1.4-MW fuel cell power plant can make the university grid independent. The microgrid was tested by disconnecting the University from the electric grid with the fuel cell power plant powering the school’s critical infrastructure. [Energy Manager Today]

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

Utility programs can help low-income customers keep the lights on, but some do better than others

aceee-logo

By Ariel Drehobl, Research Analyst, Local Policy
As households ramp up air conditioners to stay cool this summer, many will find themselves with higher energy bills. Paying these bills will be easier for some than for others. Low-income households, who spend on average three times more of their income on energy bills than other households, will undoubtedly find it more difficult to adjust to higher bills in both the summer and winter months.
Many households can address high energy burdens by taking advantage of energy efficiency programs run by their utilities. These programs provide multiple benefits beyond energy and bill savings, such as fewer shut offs, healthier homes, less outdoor pollution, and more local jobs.
To better understand the scope and reach of low-income energy efficiency programs, ACEEE completed a new baseline assessment of the electric and natural gas programs that specifically target low-income households in the largest US cities. The assessment complements previous ACEEE research that explored best practice elements for low-income utility programs. This paper examines total investments in these programs, energy savings impacts, customer participation, and utilization of best practices for more than 70 utilities low-income programs. The paper also includes data tables that chronicle this information for each utility…
To continue reading the blog post, visit: http://aceee.org/blog/2017/07/utility-programs-can-help-low-income 

July 13 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Many Nebraska landowners are opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline slashing through their land. So they’re fighting the proposed oil pipeline with clean, renewable energy. Activists launched the Solar XL campaign to install solar panels on land that Nebraska locals refuse to sell – directly in the path of the pipeline. [Inhabitat]
Nebraska landowner

Nebraska landowner

  • For the past several years, scientists have been trying to get people to wake up to the dangers that lie ahead in rising seas due to climate change. A study from the Union of Concerned Scientists includes a list naming hundreds of US cities, large and small, that may not make it through the next 20, 50 or 80 years due to sea level rise. [CNN]
  • The largest solar park in the world is being grid-synchronized at Kurnool in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is the first ever solar park to reach 1 GW of grid-tied capacity. The Andhra Pradesh Solar Power Corporation noted on its website that the final 20 MW of the park is scheduled for commissioning by 13 July. [PV-Tech]
  • “America’s Leadership on Climate Is Still Strong” • Though President Trump is turning his back on the 2015 Paris climate agreement and putting fossil fuels first, others are still standing strong. More than 2,100 states, cities, universities, businesses, and investors have pledged to take action on climate change. [Natural Resources Defense Council]
  • Following Trump announced he would pull the US from the Paris climate agreement, Lyft announced that to drive climate action and EV use forward, its shared platform will provide at least 1 billion rides per year using electric autonomous vehicles by 2025. Lyft’s autonomous vehicles will be powered by 100% renewable energy. [EcoWatch]

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

Community Development Finance Authority Small Business Energy Audit Fund Grants

Low-Cost Energy Audits for Small Businesses Now Available  
Your small business may be eligible for a low-cost energy audit to help you save money and improve energy efficiency. The Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA) will cover up to 75% of audit costs for eligible businesses. Applications are now being accepted. To learn more, contact Joe Harrison, Director of Clean Energy Finance at CDFA (603-717-9123 / jharrison@nhcdfa.org).

NH Solar Shares has Launched!

NH Solar Shares is a partnership between the Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative and the NH Electric Cooperative to install community solar systems to benefit low-income families. Each array will be inspired by a task force of local volunteers and be built using funds from grants, crowd funding, individual donors, fundraisers and the state’s solar incentive.

NH Solar Shares graphic

The first array, pictured above, will be built in Plymouth, NH. Learn more here.

“We Are Still In”: Cities & Towns Pledge to Support Climate Policy & Renewable Energy

Like many other cities and towns across the country, the City of Keene plans to pass the “We Are Still In” Resolution, a move to show support for global climate policy and carbon reductions. Just last month, over 250 mayors from the U.S. Conference of Mayors passed a resolution to target 100% renewable energy by 2035. Read more here.

Is your city/town interested in passing a resolution? Visit here for resources on drafting language and here for a draft from NH’s town of Plainfield.

Pessamit Innu First Nation to Share Truth of Hydro Quebec and Northern Pass in NH: Two Events

Event #1:  The Pessamit Innu First Nation, a native community located on the north shore of the St Lawrence River in Quebec, Canada, will present the impacts of Hydro Quebec and Northern Pass at the Nashua Public Library on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at 7p.m.

WHAT: Northern Pass From the Source – Impacts in Quebec from the Pessamit Innu First Nation

WHERE: Nashua Public Library 2 Court Street, Nashua

DATE: Wednesday, July 19, 2017

TIME: 7 p.m. doors 6:30

RSVP: 603-224-8222, NHSC603@gmail.com https://sierra.secure.force.com/events/details?formcampaignid=7010Z000001ulTVQAY

 

Event #2:  Pessamit Innu First Nation Meet & Greet After Testifying at the NH Site Evaluation Com

The Pessamit Innu First Nation, a native community located on the north shore of the St Lawrence River in Quebec, Canada, will be available to meet other opposition leaders to the international transmission proposal called Northern Pass on Thursday, July 20, 2017 at 12:30 to 2 p.m. at the offices of The Nature Conservancy.

WHAT: Northern Pass Opposition Meet and Greet with the Pessamit Innu First Nation

WHERE: 22 Bridge Street, Concord NH – the Ralph Pill Building

DATE: Thursday, July 20, 2017

TIME: 12:30 p.m. until 2 p.m.

RSVP: 603-224-8222, NHSC603@gmail.com  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdMtEqVrv9hy6O9ylH0Lij1u_thV4U7ISWCZrn-W4ilSYmZGw/viewform

 

Chief Rene Simon, with tribal council members and elders, will tell the history of the nomadic hunting and fishing community. The connection between the land, the rivers, wildlife, and the seasons to their culture has been upended by the forced migration of the Pessamit Innu for the river flooding of the Quebec government planned, owned and operated damming system called Hydro Quebec.

Hydro Quebec has been damming rivers in the province for over 50 years with La Romaine, the newest construction, expected to become operational in 2020 and more in the future. The strategic plan of Hydro Quebec sites exportation of electricity to the United States as a priority, including the Northern Pass international transmission project that would traverse New Hampshire. Learn more about the highly controversial proposal, Northern Pass, and it’s destruction of the rivers, wildlife and ultimately the Pessamit Innu First Nation. Free and open to the public.

We aren’t doomed by climate change. Right now we are choosing to be doomed.

We could prevent New York Magazine’s climate change doomsday scenario, but keep voting not to.

Credit: KC Green

Credit: KC Green

New York Magazine has stirred up a firestorm of debate by publishing a worst-case scenario for climate change this week, “The Uninhabitable Earth” by David Wallace-Wells.

Responses range from Mashable’s “Do not accept New York Mag’s climate change doomsday scenario,” to climatologist Michael Mann’s critical Facebook post, to Slate’s “New York Magazine’s global-warming horror story isn’t too scary. It’s not scary enough.”

The debate hinges on whether the piece goes too far in scaring people about the worst possible effects of climate change, or is justified considering the stakes. Since Wallace-Wells quotes my recent primer Climate Change: What Everyone Needs to Know— and since I have long maintained that plausible worst-case climate scenarios deserve vastly more attention than they receive — I will share my thoughts.

Read more at ThinkProgress.

July 12 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • The future of fresh local produce could include distributed farming, with more foods being grown in smaller systems right near the point of sale, instead of everything being shipped in from larger growing operations. Now, Infarm, a Berlin startup, is aiming to put tiny vertical farms into the grocery stores themselves. [CleanTechnica]
Infarm's in-store garden

Infarm’s in-store herb garden

  • ViZn Energy Systems Inc is integrating its zinc iron flow battery storage system for a record low price of 4¢/kWh. A ViZn 30-MW, 4-hour system added to a 100 MW solar plant can generate a seven percent internal rate of return with a 4¢/kWh power purchase agreement, 20% below the lowest published values. [AltEnergyMag]
  • Green Mountain Power can seem more like a disruptive high-tech start-up than Vermont’s largest electric utility. It has emerged as a leading national innovator in renewable energy, demonstrating how electricity can be generated, stored, and distributed in ways that are cheaper, cleaner, and more resilient to interruptions. [Triple Pundit]
  • Engineering giant Siemens and AES, an international power company based in Arlington, Virginia, are partnering to expand into the alternative energy market, selling industrial-scale batteries. They formed a company, Fluence, based in the District of Columbia, to compete against such established players as Tesla. [Standard-Examiner]
  • Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has committed the state to greenhouse gas reductions consistent with the global accord reached in Paris, despite President Trump’s decision to pull the United States from that accord. Colorado has joined the US Climate Alliance, which now includes 13 states and Puerto Rico. [Grand Junction Daily Sentinel]

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

ViZn Energy Systems Enables 24/7 “Solar Nights” at Lowest Ever Published Cost

Utility scale solar and wind power “on-demand” for 33 percent less than coal

AUSTIN, Texas – July 11, 2017 – ViZn Energy Systems Inc. (ViZn), a leading provider of utility scale energy storage systems, is working to make the sun shine all night by integrating its zinc iron flow battery storage system for a record low price of 4¢/kWh. A ViZn 30 MW, 4-hour system added to a 100 MW solar plant can generate a seven percent internal rate of return (IRR) with a 4¢/kWh power purchase agreement (PPA) – 20 percent below the lowest published values.

Now, utilities can add energy storage to a wind or solar farm at a lower price than coal-fired generation (6¢/kWh per Bloomberg New Energy Finance), paving a clear path toward 100 percent renewable penetration. This calculation is independent from any additional revenue streams derived from the ancillary services made possible by ViZn battery systems.

“The lowest cost and most abundant energy now comes from solar and wind, and these systems can now produce power 24/7 because of energy storage. More importantly, ViZn’s flow battery systems do it at a fraction of the cost of lithium ion. “Solar Nights™” are now a reality and they are powered by clean, domestically produced, low cost, and infinitely available energy,” stated Ron Van Dell, CEO of ViZn Energy Systems.

Currently, leading lithium ion batteries last for only 7 to 10 years and are engineered to provide either one energy service-focused or one power service-focused cycle per day. ViZn’s full-service zinc-iron flow battery system can deliver both power and energy services for 20 years with no fade and can operate two, full-duty cycles per day. ViZn’s versatility uniquely enables utilities to balance intermittent renewable energy while dispatching to address high value ancillary services such as frequency regulation, spinning reserve, transmission and distribution deferral, black start, and congestion relief.

“Nearly every utility daily demand curve in the world has a morning peak and a late afternoon peak and almost every solar and wind farm is financed for a 20-year economic lifetime. It is not hard to understand how a fade-free battery that delivers two cycles per day for 20 years is able to contract for output at record low energy storage system prices,” further commented Van Dell.

ViZn is currently delivering systems in the U.S., Canada, Central America, Europe, and India. ViZn Energy’s flow batteries experience zero capacity fade over 20 years and they have full access to 100 percent of their state of charge, giving them significantly more usable output than competitive batteries. They are also uniquely capable of performing both rapid, high-power discharges and slower, long-duration releases at lower power – unlike other comparable storage technologies which can only do one or the other. The inherently safe zinc-iron chemistry uses globally abundant materials and is non-flammable, non-toxic, and is easily recyclable at the end of its life.