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Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

A One Day Round It Up for NOFA-NH

The Monadnock Food Co-op will hold a one day Round It Up donation drive for the Northeast Organic Farming Assocation of New Hampshire (NOFA-NA) on Friday, May 25, 2018. Customers will be able to round up their change at the register to support the Subsidized Farm Share Program, enabling Monadnock Region families in need to receive farm shares full of healthy, local produce.

The Farm Share Program works with certified organic NOFA-NH member farms to provide subsidized Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares to limited income New Hampshire residents, especially benefitting children, families and seniors. The program provides a season’s worth of local, farm fresh products-15 to 30 weeks of vegetables, fruit, dairy, eggs, meat, and/or bread. This year the co-op hopes funds raised from the Round It Up campaign will provide at least 1-3 low-income families with a farm share from Picadilly Farm.
“This is a unique opportunity to partner with NOFA-NH,” says Laura Carbonneau, Marketing Associate at the Co-op. “Our goal is to raise $350 for this great program. But we can only do it with the community’s help. This is a great example of how our community can come together to support one another.”

May 17 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • The Solar Energy Corporation of India announced plans to issue a tender for 2 GW of solar and wind energy capacity. SECI will auction 1 GW of solar and 1 GW of wind energy capacity at a location likely to be disclosed once the actual tender documents are released. Combining solar and windpower will optimize the transmission system. [CleanTechnica]
Solar and wind (Wikimedia Commons)

Solar and wind (Wikimedia Commons)

  • Queensland’s state-owned transmission company Powerlink says it has received enquiries about 30 GW of new generation projects, almost all of them renewables. Powerlink said it signed a connection agreement for up to 500 MW with Pacific Hydro for the first stage of the Haughton solar farm. But it is just one of 150 potential projects. [RenewEconomy]
  • With tariffs from the Trump administration and an energy market in flux, the solar economy faces a degree of uncertainty. But in Minnesota the sector is stronger than it is in most states. Last year solar jobs dropped 4% nationwide, while in Minnesota they rose 48.2% to a total of 4,256, according to the Solar Jobs Census. [Twin Cities Business Magazine]
  • Granite Air Center, Inc announced that it and partner Norwich Solar Technologies of White River Junction, Vermont, installed a 218.1-kW net-metered PV System on the main hangar rooftop at their facility in Lebanon, New Hampshire. With the new solar system, Granite Air will be able to see long-term energy cost reduction and stability. [AviationPros.com]
  • The European Investment Bank announced an agreement with Export-Import Bank of China to support the country’s move to a low-carbon economy. The EIB said it will provide China with a €300 million framework loan to fund energy, water, transport, and industry programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience. [The European Scientist]

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

May 16 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Elon Musk Harpooned Baseload Power” • In its first four months of operations the “big battery,” the Hornsdale Power Reserve, frequency control ancillary services prices went down by 90% in South Australia. The 100-MW battery has received over 55% of the FCAS revenues. This cuts into opportunities for fossil fuels deeply. [CleanTechnica]
Hornsdale Power Reserve

Hornsdale Power Reserve

  • Pacificorp, a Berkshire Hathaway electric utility in six Western states, projects new resources of 2.7 GW of wind, 1.86 GW of solar, 1.877 MW of incremental energy efficiency, and 268 MW of demand response. Pacificorp also expects to repower 999 MW of wind. But it foresees no new fossil fuel resources in the decades to come. [pv magazine USA]
  • Morocco is close to completing the largest concentrated solar power farm in the world. The site near the city of Ouarzazate aims to produce enough energy to power more than a million homes by the end of the year and reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 760,000 tons per year. The first phase was officially turned on in 2016. [CNN]
  • Britain’s windfarms provided more electricity than its eight nuclear power stations in the first three months of 2018, marking the first time wind has overtaken nuclear across a quarter. During the first quarter, wind power produced 18.8% of electricity, second only to gas, said a report by researchers at Imperial College London. [The Guardian]
  • “Renewables Investment Nudges Out Fossil Fuel And Nuclear” • In 2017 the clean energy industry reached a critical turning point. Growth and cost reductions have both far outperformed expectations based on policy frameworks alone. Improvements in cost, scale, and technology fundamentally have changed market dynamics. [Forbes]

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

Emerald Ash Borer: Slow the Spread! New Signs Warn Motorists, “Don’t Move Ash Firewood”

Motorists in the areas of Plainfield, Groton, Calais, Williamstown, Washington, and Barre may notice new flashing road signs reading “Don’t move ash firewood beyond this point.” The signs are part of an inter-agency partnership between the Agency of Transportation, the Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation (VTFPR) and the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (AAFM) to slow the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), which has been detected in the vicinity.  Signs are located on state highways and are visible to motorists leaving the EAB-infested areas.

EAB’s most common and damaging mode of transportation is by hitching a ride on firewood into a new area. To slow the spread, VTFPR is recommending that no ash firewood that has not been heat-treated be transported out of the known infested area, including loads of mixed firewood that may include ash logs that were harvested within the infested area. Ash firewood may be transported within the infested area.

The signs will be in place through Memorial Day weekend. In addition to their message, they serve as a visual reminder of where the borders of the infested area lie.

Vermonters outside the EAB-infested area and throughout the state should always ask their firewood dealer where the wood is coming from. The rule of thumb is to not move any untreated firewood more than 50 miles, and Vermonters living outside the infested area can do their part to slow the spread of EAB by making sure they are not purchasing infested ash.

EAB overwinter as larvae under the bark of ash trees where they feed on the inner bark tissue. Once infested, ash trees rapidly decline and are killed in 3-5 years. This pest is known to be established in 32 states and three Canadian provinces, and is responsible for widespread decline and mortality of hundreds of millions of ash trees in North America.

Vermonters are encouraged to look for signs and symptoms of the emerald ash borer and report suspicious findings on VTinvasives.org. Detailed information about the pest and what to look for may be found at the same website. Vermonters can also learn more about what EAB damage looks like and how to report a potential sighting by visiting http://agriculture.vermont.gov/Emerald_Ash_Borer. Video and pictures of EAB damage in Vermont can also be found there.  Private land owners looking for information about managing ash in woodlots and UVA (current use) plans should contact their county forester, contacts for which can be found at http://fpr.vermont.gov.

Ash Borer

We Have a Problem

By George Harvey

The status quo is widepread environmental destruction. We have all the solutions we need, but some people prefer the status quo. For now, they are getting their way.

Populations of black-footed kittiwakes have declined nearly 80% since the 1980s. (RSPB photo)

Populations of black-footed kittiwakes have declined nearly 80% since the 1980s. (RSPB photo)

We have a problem. The bad news is that we are losing our wildlife populations at a rate of over 2% per year or more. That is not 2% of the animals, a number that nature could replace; it is 2% of the population size. This means that every 35 years, the number of birds and bats, snakes and lizards, amphibians, and fish in the world is reduced by half. This has been going on for many decades.

I wrote about my own observations of this in the CleanTechnica article, “Watching Nature Collapse.” The evidence of loss of wildlife populations in that article was anecdotal. But science backs it up.

On July 11, 2015, a study conducted by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, together with a number of universities worldwide, was written up in an article in The Scotsman, “World seabird populations in catastrophic decline.” It said seabird populations had fallen 70% over a period of 60 years, which is pretty close to 2% per year. Most of the blame goes to the effects of the use or misuse of fossil fuels and their products.

On October 27, 2016, BBC News ran an article “World wildlife ‘falls by 58% in 40 years.’” The article was about a study by the WWF. I checked this, because the article did not say specifically what the word “wildlife” meant. I spoke with a WWF scientist who told me the study was done on animals representative of “all vertebrate species.” These declines are a bit faster than 2% per year. He also agreed with an estimate that we are losing another multicellular species about every ten or fifteen minutes. Most of the blame goes to the use or misuse of fossil fuels and their products and effects.

Continue reading We Have a Problem

May 15 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Researchers at the University of Sydney have spent 18 months looking at emissions from the entire tourism value chain, from the airplanes to the hotel, food preparations, and even souvenirs. The total is equivalent to 4.5 gigatons of carbon dioxide per year. This is about 8% of all emissions and possibly four times earlier estimates. [CleanTechnica]
Aircraft emissions

Aircraft emissions

  • Cypress Creek Renewables, the nation’s fifth-largest solar developer and last year’s top utility-scale installer, says it will take a $1.5 billion hit due to the Trump administration’s solar tariffs. Greentech Media confirmed that the company stopped investing in 1.5 GW of projects, roughly 20% of its pipeline, because of the tariffs. [Greentech Media]
  • A consortium in Sweden is working on an experimental program that could slash carbon emissions from manufacturing steel. The CEO of Hybrit, a joint venture between Swedish steel maker SSAB, power utility Vattenfall, and LKAB, Europe’s largest iron ore producer, said, “Our pilot plant will only emit water vapor.” [CleanTechnica]
  • “Russia Will Use Floating Nuclear Plant To Power Arctic Oil Exploration. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?” • Thanks to global warming, much of the Arctic ice has melted, making it easier to drill for more oil. But exploring for oil is energy intensive. What to do? Use a floating nuclear plant to power the oil explorations, of course! [CleanTechnica]
  • Almost half of Australia’s large businesses are actively moving to cheaper renewable energy, including many going off the grid by building their own generators and battery storage, as power bills threaten their bottom line. Businesses of all sizes, including 46% of large operations, have responded to high bills by seeking green alternatives. [The Guardian]

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

Big News about Geothermal Energy at Open House May 19

Bob and Becky

Something well established, but smartly re-engineered, has quietly entered into the Capital District home energy market.

Find out what this exciting development is by attending an Open House featuring a pioneering geothermal heating and cooling system.  This Open House showcases a modernized energy system revealing new features and benefits during the house tour.

This free public event will be hosted by the environmentally-minded homeowners Becky Meier and Bob Connors at 1409 County Rte 5 Canaan, NY on Saturday, May 19 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Discover what an innovative firm called Dandelion Energy is modeling.  Dandelion will also release its incredible 2018 geothermal financial package at this event and attendees can learn if their home qualifies for it. They have made geothermal energy even more affordable, especially with their optional financing.

Dandelion currently serves homes with (hot air) vents. There will be technical staff present to answer operational questions too.

May 17th Dartmouth Energy Collaborative Lunch: Can’t Take the Heat? Field Experiments in Residential Energy Conservation

The next DEC Pizza Lunch will be held on May 17th  Praveen Kopalle, Associate Dean for the MBA Program, Signal Companies’ Professor of Management, Professor of Marketing at the Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College will present his research on field experiments in residential energy conservation.

Can’t Take the Heat? Field Experiments in Residential Energy Conservation

In this study, we examine the results of a field experiment on minute level and appliance specific electricity consumption. The experiment took place during critical peak load pricing days in 2013-2014 in a neighborhood in Austin, Texas. The study includes five treatment groups: (i) installation of Nest Thermostat, (ii) setting up an online account to track energy consumption at the appliance level, (iii) sending a text message, (iv) sending an actionable text message, and finally, (v) sending a text message that has peak load pricing information.  The households were randomly assigned to each of the five treatment groups and one control group.  We ran a triple differences model and included household and day fixed effects.  Using data at the appliance-minute-level, we estimate a price elasticity of electricity demand of -0.17, and find that over 60 percent of this response can be attributed to air conditioning. The results of the field experiment are also consistent with more recent research at the intersection of marketing and neuro-science.

Thursday, May 17th 
12:15pm-1:15pm
Fahey – First Floor Commons

RSVP Here

Thank you,
The Dartmouth Energy Collaborative

(The Dartmouth Energy Collaborative is co-sponsored by the Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society, the Revers Center for Energy and the Dartmouth Sustainability Office)

Please contact Kristin Miller at Kristin.j.miller@Dartmouth.edu with questions.

May 14 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • China Power and General Electric have launched a joint bid for a contract to construct the 2,400-MW Batoka Gorge hydropower project being co-developed by Zimbabwe and Zambia. Energy and Power Development Minister Simon Khaya Moyo said they paid him a visit at his offices and expressed strong interest in the undertaking. [Chronicle]
Batoka Gorge

Batoka Gorge

  • Power generation in West Virginia is changing, though some do not want to embrace the shifting priorities and others say it is a mistake to bet the bank on one horse. China Energy is interested in investing up to $84 billion in shale gas and petrochemical projects in the state. That would create some jobs, but it would cost others. [WV News]
  • According to the recently published Energy Atlas of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, European countries are distributing €110 billion in subsidies and free CO2 certificates to producers of fossil fuel energy. This means coal and gas power plants receive three times as much in subsidies as the renewable energy sources do. [Devdiscourse]
  • Russia is offering to put up floating nuclear power plants in the Philippines as the country explores the possibility of nuclear power generation. Russian state-owned Rosatom and the Philippine Department of Energy agreed in November of 2017 to cooperate on a possible Philippine foray into nuclear power generation. [GMA News]
  • Tata Power Co, one of India’s largest private power utilities, is planning to invest as much as $5 billion to ramp up its renewable capacity fourfold, according to its CEO. The 103-year-old power utility plans to increase its clean-energy capacity to 12,000 MW by 2028, with an investment of up to ₹40 million ($594,000) per megawatt. [ThePrint]

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

May 13 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Tesla’s giant Powerpack battery in South Australia has been in operation for about 6 months now and we are just starting to discover the magnitude of its impact on the local energy market. A report now shows that it reduced the cost of the grid service that it performs by 90% and it has already taken a majority share of the market. [Electrek]
Tesla battery system in South Australia

Tesla battery system in South Australia

  • According to Catherine Von Burg, CEO of battery maker Simpliphi Power, 2017 was a blockbuster year for the company, with sales more than tripling from 2016. The spike in sales has Simpliphi Power bursting out of its Ojai, California headquarters and scrambling around the surrounding area looking for more manufacturing space. [CleanTechnica]
  • The Yale Program on Climate Change Communications carried out a study that reveals a jump in the number of Republicans who agree that climate change is caused by carbon emissions from human activities. The results showed a 9-point uptick in GOP voters who said they believed climate change was fueled by emissions. [Earth.com]
  • Scientists researched sea level rise in five Florida communities and the flooding can cause. Three of the communities already find themselves partially submerged regularly, unrelated to storm events. The scientists forecast that all will have greater problems within 17 years, and the areas that are flooding now could double in size in that time. [Ocala]
  • China’s major power plants generated 528.34 billion kWh in March, up 2.1% year on year, data showed. Thermal power production was up 1.4% in March. Electricity generated by wind and solar farms in March saw strong year-on-year growth of 30.6% and 27.9%, generating 30.57 billion kWh and 7.8 billion kWh, respectively. [Xinhua]

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