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The April, 2018 Green Energy Times is Available

The April, 2018 Green Energy Times is being distributed and can be downloaded HERE.

Individual articles are being uploaded and will be available soon.

April 24 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • France is sitting on a tidal energy “goldmine” that could see as much as 2 GW of projects at Le Raz Blanchard off the Normandy coast by 2027, according to developer Atlantis. The company has submitted a strategic plan to the French government outlining how 1 GW of tidal power could be delivered by 2025 and 2 GW by 2027. [reNews]
Atlantis tidal turbine (Atlantis image)

Atlantis tidal turbine (Atlantis image)

  • SoCalGas and Opus 12 announced a successful demonstration of a new process to convert unwanted carbon dioxide in raw biogas into methane via a single electrochemical step, Kallanish Energy reports. This represents a simpler method of converting excess renewable electricity into storable natural gas, according to the companies. [Kallanish Energy]
  • The novel “supermaterial” graphene could hold the key to making one of the oldest building materials greener, scientific research suggests. Graphene has been incorporated into traditional concrete production by scientists at the University of Exeter to develop a composite stronger and more water-resistant than existing concrete. [The Guardian]
  • New York State has announced a new energy efficiency target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 and tackle climate change. The scheme aims to reduce energy consumption by 185 trillion British thermal units below the energy use forecast for 2025. This is equivalent to the energy consumed by 1.8 million New York homes. [Energy Live News]
  • For the first time in history, the production cost of renewables is lower than that of fossil fuels, according to Kaiserwetter, a renewable energy asset manager. Fossil fuels presented costs between US $49 and $174 per MWh in the G20 countries during 2017, while renewable energy projects were between $35 and $54. [Windpower Engineering]

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

April 23 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “How to unlock renewables? Cheaper, cleaner, better batteries” • Advances in energy storage technology have propelled an explosion in portable electronics and radically changed the way people live, work and communicate. Batteries can help to make clean energy-based power plants a viable alternative to thermal power stations. [eco-business.com]
Albany Wind Farm (Juan Alberto Garcia Rivera, CC BY 2.0)

Albany Wind Farm in Western Australia (Juan Alberto Garcia Rivera, CC BY 2.0)

  • “Renewables Are Booming In Oil Country” • The rapid growth of the renewable energy sector has been astonishing. Both solar and wind continue to decline in operating costs, while increasing in energy efficiency. The combination is making it difficult for coal to recover and poses a challenge in what had been oil-dominant areas. [OilPrice.com]
  • When Gov. Jerry Brown leaves office next year, California will lose a climate advocate who has carried the nation’s fight against global warming as Washington has stood down. Many of the Democratic candidates seeking to replace Brown say they will stick to his climate agenda. Some of them want to step up the effort. [San Francisco Chronicle]
  • Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that he is giving $4.5 million to the UN Climate Change Secretariat to cover a US failure to help fund the international Paris climate accord. Bloomberg’s charitable foundation said the money will support work by developing countries to achieve emissions targets. [Voice of America]
  • “America’s Smart Grid Dreams Fading Without Congressional Support” • The US Congress has not allocated funding explicitly for the Smart Grid since the Obama stimulus package in 2009. Without Congressional support, the grid could develop in slow and piecemeal fashion, putting it at increased risk of being made up of incompatible parts. [Forbes]

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

April 22 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • The nonprofit Kopernik runs its Wonder Women program in Eastern Indonesia to empower local women with the resources needed to start their own cleantech businesses. Kopernik trains local women on a variety of clean tech solutions including solar lanterns, water filters, and biomass stoves needing half the fuel of traditional fires. [CleanTechnica]
Kopernik

Kopernik

  • “We can fix this: Don’t be dispirited by Big Oil’s power in the age of Trump – real climate change solutions are in reach” • How much time do we have? The scientists have long warned us that warming by 2° (3.6° F) would be reckless. We are far more than halfway there, but with clear and ambitious targets, we can limit warming. [New York Daily News]
  • The world’s most powerful wind turbine, which was installed in the sea off the coast of Aberdeen, is the first of eleven such beasts that will make up the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. The wind farm will cost £300 million to build. A single propeller rotation can reportedly power an average home for a whole day. [Wired.co.uk]
  • Average used plug-in electric vehicle resale prices rose by 41% in the UK during the first quarter of the year, according to a report at Autorola. The overall used car resale price rose 5.3% during the first quarter, an increase that is presumably comes with lower discretionary income among much of the population in recent times. [CleanTechnica]
  • The Sierra Club held its second annual Arkansas March for Science rally today at Little Rock, the state capitol. The Sierra Club has a message for local elected officials: science matters to everyone. It is demanding that the elected officials both support and rely on science when making important public policy decisions. [THV11.com KTHV]

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

April 21 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • The UAE was the second-largest investor in the renewable energy sector in the Middle East and Africa last year, investing $2.2 billion, up 2,815% over the previous year. The UAE recorded the second highest growth after Rwanda’s 8,665% as the African country invested $400 million in the renewable energy sector in 2017. [ZAWYA]
Shams 1 solar thermal plant (Masdar | Handout via Thomson Reuters Zawya)

Shams 1 solar thermal plant in the desert (Masdar | Handout via Thomson Reuters Zawya)

  • Five New England liberal arts colleges have joined together to create a solar power facility that will offset 46,000 MWh of the total amount of electricity they use. The participating colleges are Bowdoin, Amherst, Hampshire, Smith, and Williams. The facility will be built in Farmington, Maine, and is expected to open in 2019. [MassLive.com]
  • “Market forces are driving a clean energy revolution in the US” • Transforming US energy systems away from coal and toward clean energy was once a vision touted mainly by environmentalists. Now it is shared by market purists. Today, affordable renewable energy is driving coal production and coal-fired generation out of business. [Source]
  • Ride-hailing service Lyft has announced a plan to purchase enough carbon credits to make all its global operations carbon neutral. Lyft will also fund “emission mitigation efforts, including the reduction of emissions in the automotive manufacturing process, forestry projects, and the capture of emissions from landfills.” [CleanTechnica]
  • A report released by the Elemental Excelerator, which is based in Honolulu, said Hawaii can achieve 84% of its clean energy goal by 2030, more than double the state’s target for that year, and that it would be cheaper than not doing anything. The report said reaching 100% renewable energy by 2045 could save the state $7 billion. [Pacific Business News (Honolulu)]

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

April 20 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • How can you create public transport in the jungle without polluting it? The isolated Achuar peoples of Ecuador have come up with an ingenious solution. Since April 2017, a canoe powered solely by solar energy travels back and forth along the 67-km (42-mile) stretch of the Capahuari and Pastaza rivers that connect their settlements. [BBC]
Commuting to school in a solar-powered canoe

Commuting to school in a big solar-powered canoe

  • The Canada Green Building Council has announced the first building certified under their new Zero Carbon standard, an office building in Waterloo, Ontario. The building was built by the Cora Group and designed by Stantec. Waterloo is a hotbed of technology startups (it is where the Blackberry came from) and continues to thrive. [Treehugger]
  • No coal was used for power generation by stations in the UK during the 55 hours from 10:25 pm in London on Monday, April 16, until 5:10 am on Thursday, April 19, according to grid data compiled by Bloomberg. During the same time, wind turbines produced more power. Coal is increasingly losing out to power sources that are renewable. [Bloomberg]
  • Two years ahead of schedule, Bowdoin College has achieved carbon neutrality. Onsite carbon emissions were reduced by 29%, with remaining emissions offset with renewable energy credits from wind farms. Bowdoin also announced a renewable energy project partnership that will result in the largest solar array in the state of Maine. [Bowdoin]
  • With Earth Day only days off, Democratic and Republican legislators from from both chambers of the Pennsylvania General Assembly are introducing legislation to make the state a leader in efforts to solve climate change. Newly introduced legislation would transition Pennsylvania to 100% renewable energy by 2050. [Bucks Local News]
  • The Senate narrowly confirmed Rep Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla), a former Navy pilot with no scientific credentials and who doesn’t believe humans are primarily to blame for the global climate crisis, to lead NASA. He joins a Cabinet already loaded with deniers of the near-universal scientific consensus on climate change. [Huffington Post]\

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

April 19 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • On Monday, the Puerto Rican power utility boasted that it had restored electricity to 97% in the nearly seven months since Hurricane Maria. Two days later, the precarious electric grid collapsed as a result of a minor accident, plunging the entire island into a blackout. According to officials, the power should be restored in 24 to 36 hours. [The Guardian]
Living without power (Getty Images)

Living without power (Getty Images)

  • Many Puerto Rican families staying on the mainland since Hurricane Maria were relying on FEMA to extend vouchers they depend on for housing until May 14. But on April 16, FEMA told evacuees the aid would be cut off by April 20. The fact that the FEMA has not restored utilities at their homes does not qualify them for help. [Orlando Weekly]
  • In a walk-the-talk move, California Gov Brown now has a solar plus storage microgrid serving his new home, a ranch north of Sacramento. Like 1.4 billion others in the world, the isolated home had no access to an electric grid. The Brown Ranch microgrid has 48 solar panels and 10 SimpliPhi PHI 3.4 kWh, 48-V batteries. [Microgrid Knowledge]
  • Wind power generated a record 6.3% share of all US electricity last year, according to the American Wind Energy Association’s newly released US Wind Industry Annual Market Report 2017. Last year, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, and South Dakota generated over 30% of their electricity from wind energy, data in the the report showed. [OilPrice.com]
  • Walmart announced that suppliers have reported reducing more than 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in the global value chain, as part of Walmart’s Project Gigaton initiative. Project Gigaton seeks to work with suppliers to reduce emissions from the company’s value chain by a billion metric tons, by 2030. [Windpower Engineering]

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

Jobs at Better Future Project

Starting this summer, the Better Future Project will be expanding work nationally and helping to coordinate the national student fossil fuel divestment movement! 

If you or someone you know would be a good fit to join the growing team as a Campus Organizer, Better Future Projects is now hiring!  Click here to see job opportunities.

 

April 18 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • In its quarterly Renewable Energy Index, Green Energy Markets said the amount of renewable energy generated in Australia is set to exceed the original Renewable Energy Target of 41,000 GWh in 2020. That target was scrapped in 2015 by the federal government, because it took the position that the goal was impossible. [ABC Online]
Wind turbines (Fabrizio Bensch | Reuters file photo)

Wind turbines (Fabrizio Bensch | Reuters file photo)

  • Increasing the pace of global renewable energy adoption by at least a factor of six is critical for meeting energy-related emission reduction needs of the Paris Climate Agreement. However, it can still limit global temperature rise to 2° C, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency’s long-term renewable energy outlook. [ETEnergyworld.com]
  • Green Mountain Power has done a lot to put distributed energy resources in the hands of its customers. But less than 3% of the Vermont utility’s customer base is currently using one of these offerings, a report from the Rocky Mountain Institute said. That adoption rate will have to grow tenfold or more to meet state clean energy goals. [Greentech Media]
  • A bill passed by the New Jersey legislature calls for 600 MW of energy storage for the state within three years. It also calls on the New Jersey Public Utilities Board to analyse further storage use and to make revisions for community solar, energy efficiency, peak demand reduction, and solar renewable energy certificate programs. [Energy Storage News]
  • Westinghouse Electric Co, emerging from bankruptcy, is ready to supply six nuclear reactors to India on schedule, US Energy Secretary Rick Perry said. “The Trump administration thinks nuclear energy is very important. It’s important domestically, it’s important internationally.” The two countries are moving on a 2008 agreement. [Economic Times]

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

CSWD announces new recycling guidance on bottle caps

Put caps back on bottles and jars before recycling
It’s perhaps the most hotly debated “blue-bin” recycling question of the decade: Should you put the cap back on that bottle before you recycle it? Or does the cap go in the trash?
The Chittenden Solid Waste District (CSWD), the municipality that oversees recycling in Chittenden County, is laying the debate to rest with updated instructions on preparing bottles and jars for recycling: Rinse. Re-CAP. Recycle.”
The CSWD Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Williston is a sorting facility, where machines and people tumble, toss, pick, and sort blue-bin items into same-category materials. Those sorted materials are sold into global commodities markets, where processors buy them for manufacturers to make new products, and the cycle begins again. 
Items smaller than two inches fall through gaps in the MRF’s sorting machinery and ultimately get swept up with other contaminants – i.e., trash – and trucked to Coventry for burial in Vermont’s last remaining landfill. That’s why up to now, CSWD encouraged the public to put small caps in the trash. But demand for recycled plastic is high, and with that demand comes opportunity. 
Manufacturers value the plastic used to make bottle caps, which are generally made of high density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP). Sometimes, HDPE and PP can be worth even more than the plastic used to make the bottle itself! But caps are too small to be sorted solo. To make it to market, the caps must be firmly attached to their bottle. 
Doing your part is easy: Empty the bottle (Rinse), put the cap back on (Re-CAP), and put the capped bottle in your blue bin or cart (Recycle). Re-attaching the caps gives all of that plastic the best chance of being properly sorted and on to a new life as a different product. And it isn’t just plastic bottles and their caps that count – this same new practice applies to plastic jugs, plastic tubs (like margarine or yogurt), and glass jars.
To help educate residents about the impact of their recycling decisions, CSWD offers regularly scheduled public tours of the MRF. Visitors go behind the scenes to find out what happens to blue bin recycling once it leaves the bin or cart – and see exactly how it’s sorted and prepared for global markets. Find the full schedule or sign up for a tour at www.cswd.net/learn.