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July 22 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced plans to rebuild 78 miles of power transmission infrastructure in the North Country. It will help New York meet the Governor’s Clean Energy Standard that mandates that 50% of the state’s consumed electricity comes from renewable energy sources like wind and solar by 2030. [LongIsland.com]
Transmission lines (Photo: blickpixel)

Transmission lines (Photo: blickpixel)

  • A group of businesses and investors have written to Prime Minister Theresa May, urging her to raise the UK’s ambitions. The group represents thousands of companies with hundreds of billions in revenue, and hundreds of investors managing assets worth more than £19 trillion. The letter is a clarion call from the UK business sector. [CleanTechnica]
  • The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has issued its first approval of an offshore wind Site Assessment Plan to the Bay State Wind offshore wind farm being developed by DONG Energy and Eversource Energy. The area off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, that has the potential for at least 2 GW of capacity. [CleanTechnica]
  • “A Beach Town’s Dilemma: Protect Homes or Save the Shore?” The sandy beach in front of homes in the north San Diego County town of Del Mar is shrinking, and the high tide is edging closer. A report to the town says seas will rise 5 to 12 inches by 2030, and 1 to 2 feet by 2050. None of the options addressing this is ideal. [Scientific American]
  • Hanwha Q CELLS has signed an MOU with Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power to build an 80-MW rotating floating solar project on a reservoir in South Korea, which would be the largest of its type in the world. Recently, China completed the largest floating solar project in the world, at 40 MW, and it has a 70-MW project under way. [PV-Tech]

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

July 21 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Just as the Trump Administration was celebrating its “Made in America Week,” the Financial Times reported that CSX is not planning to buy new locomotives to haul additional coal. In fact, it is laying off 700 workers. Its CEO told the Financial Times that “Fossil fuels are dead,” and that “coal is not a long-term issue” for the company. [CleanTechnica]
CSX train (Photo: Don O’Brien, flickr.com, Creative Commons)

CSX train (Photo: Don O’Brien, flickr.com, Creative Commons)

  • Governor Phil Scott affirmed Vermont’s commitment to meeting the state’s long-term goal of getting 90% of its energy from renewable sources by 2050, and he created a commission to advise him on the best way to do it. He asked the 21-member commission to report back to him with an action plan by July 31, 2018. [Valley News]
  • A report by energy market analysts EnAppSys says renewable energy sources set a host of records in the UK in the second quarter of 2017. Renewable energy was up 56% from the same period last year. Meanwhile the report also showed coal plants struggled in the quarter and produced less than 2% of total generation. [Power Engineering International]
  • Under a newly approved settlement agreement between Microsoft Corp and utility Puget Sound Energy, the tech giant will be able to purchase clean energy from the wholesale market to power its Puget Sound facility in Washington state. Under the terms of the contract, Microsoft will buy only carbon-free energy. [North American Windpower]
  • Germany’s offshore wind farms delivered to the grid 8.48 TWh of electricity in the year’s first six months, Deutsche Windguard figures show. German offshore wind has already produced more electricity in 2017 than in the whole of 2015, which had 8.29 TWh. About 900 MW of new offshore capacity is expected to be added in 2017. [reNews]

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

Exclusive Pre-Screening: An Inconvenient Sequel

Date: Thursday, July 27, 2017
Time: 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM
Location:Majestic 10, 190 Boxwood St, Williston, VT 05495

Join VPIRG and our friends at Ben & Jerry’s and Seventh Generation on Thursday July 27 at 7:00pm for an exclusive free screening of AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL before the film is released nationwide.

A decade after AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH brought the climate crisis into the heart of popular culture, comes the riveting and rousing follow-up that shows just how close we are to a real energy revolution.  This showing comes in advance of even the film’s limited release in New York and LA, but these free tickets are limited—so register right now to reserve your seat.

This sequel follows Vice President Gore around the world as he pursues the inspirational idea that while the stakes have never been higher, the perils of climate change can be overcome with human ingenuity and passion.

We know a lot of you are not just concerned about the climate crisis, but wondering what we can do in the face of inaction from Congress and the Trump administration. The truth is, there is so much we can do to fight back—and this film should provide the inspiration to do just that.

Seating will be general admittance. The program will begin at 7:00 — but check-in will begin at 6:00pm. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early to check-in at will call and get their seats.

 

July 20 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • The energy costs of operating the world’s largest oil fields can rise dramatically as extraction rates begin dropping, according to a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change. As extraction begins to ramp down, the net energy from the process can begin to fall rapidly, so that each unit of oil becomes more carbon intensive. [CleanTechnica]
Offshore oil structure

Offshore oil structure

  • SolarReserve has received an environmental approval from the Chilean government to build a 390-MW solar thermal power station with 5,100 MWh of energy storage. This is SolarReserve’s third approval of a solar thermal project that will provide Chile with a continuous, 24-hour supply of energy, at a competitive price. [PennEnergy]
  • Major transmission company Transgrid says 100% renewable energy is both feasible and affordable. It is urging policy makers to “step out in large ways” because incremental change will not deliver climate goals or potential cost savings. Transgrid’s head of regulation said the company would benefit from such a move, but so would consumers. [RenewEconomy]
  • The San Diego County Water Authority issued a request for proposals for a pumped storage facility, which would provide energy when needed by releasing water it has pumped into a reservoir during low demand times. The facility will be up to 500 MW in capacity. The DOE says US pumped storage capacity is 184 GW. [pv magazine USA]
  • An attorney for a group fighting the Keystone XL pipeline says the organization plans to appeal a South Dakota judge’s decision upholding state regulators’ approval for the pipeline to cross the state. Dakota Rural Action, a conservation and family agriculture group, plans to raise the issue to the South Dakota Supreme Court. [PennEnergy]

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

July 19 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Google set up an independent business outside the Alphabet umbrella called Dandelion. The new company was created to promote new geothermal system technology. Dandelion will attempt to do for residential heating and cooling what SolarCity has done for rooftop solar. It uses new, less expensive, drilling technology. [CleanTechnica]
Dandelion geothermal system

Dandelion geothermal system

  • Responding to the US withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, California Governor Jerry Brown and Michael Bloomberg have launched America’s Pledge. It is a new initiative that they hope will gather together and quantify all the action being taken by states, cities, and business across the US to meet the agreement’s goals. [CleanTechnica]
  • Northern Power Systems, a wind turbine maker based in Vermont, says it has seen a surge of interest in wind power in distributed energy (behind-the-meter, on-site power generation) applications in the US. Specifically, the advantages have become evident in dairy and farming operations, the company says. [North American Windpower]
  • In California, Marin County, San Mateo County, and the city of Imperial Beach, sued 37 fossil fuel companies for damage they claim the companies knew would occur as a result of their contribution to rising sea level and global warming. The lawsuits seek compensatory damages, disgorgement of profits, and punitive damages. [Shadowproof]
  • German utility company EWE says it is planning to build the world’s largest battery based on flow technology in a pair of salt caves currently used to store natural gas. The caves have a total volume of 3.5 million cubic feet – enough to store up to 700 MWh of electricity with an output capacity of 120 MW, according to Digital Trends. [CleanTechnica]

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

July 18 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “How China Floated to the Top in Solar” • After years of growth and pollution, China is changing tact and embracing sustainability – no longer beholden to the singular tenet of growth at any cost. China is now the world’s largest renewable energy investor. And the US has relinquished its leadership role, following the policies of Donald Trump. [Time]
Fisherman and solar panels (Kevin Frayer | Getty Images)

Fisherman and solar panels (Kevin Frayer | Getty Images)

  • Green Mountain Power, the largest utility in Vermont, is promoting another aggressive clean energy offer to its customers. Now through September 30, GMP customers can visit Freedom Nissan in South Burlington and claim a $10,000 rebate on the purchase of a new 2017 Nissan LEAF, by presenting a special code supplied by GMP. [CleanTechnica]
  • ThinkProgress obtained a copy of Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s grid study, and it has many surprises  for those who are not energy experts. They may be unpleasant surprises to Perry and the White House. For instance, a large fraction of America’s aging fleet of coal and nuclear plants are simply not economic to operate anymore. [RenewEconomy]
  • Seven electricity providers in the western US and Canada plan to join the California Independent System Operator’s western energy imbalance market. CAISO dispatches generating units every five minutes to balance supply and demand. The rapid response allows for better integration of wind and solar resources. [Power Engineering Magazine]
  • States’ authority to enact clean energy policy was significantly bolstered last week in an important federal district court decision. The US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois dismissed a challenge from fossil fuel companies that objected to an Illinois program to support nuclear generation because it hurt their bottom line. [Solar Industry]

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

July 17 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Heritage at Risk: How Rising Seas Threaten Ancient Coastal Ruins” • The shores of Scotland’s Orkney Islands are dotted with ruins that date to the Stone Age. But after enduring for millennia, these archaeological sites, along with many others from Easter Island to Jamestown, are facing an existential threat from climate change. [Yale Environment 360]
Ruins on Scotland's Rousay Island coast (Adam Markham)

Ruins on Scotland’s Rousay Island coast (Adam Markham)

  • Commercial vehicles wing of Tata Motors showcased the first Bio-CNG or bio-methane bus at the Urja Utsav event in Pune, Maharashtra. Along with the new alternative fuel bus, Tata Motors also showcased three engines compatible with bio-methane fuel for light, intermediate, and medium commercial vehicles. [Financial Express]
  • The US-based masterminds behind a microgrid in Brooklyn unveiled their first Australian project in South Australia. They say it could herald the start of an industry-changing, renewable energy sharing revolution. The project will see up to 6 MW of distributed solar generation made available on a local peer-to-peer trading platform. [RenewEconomy]
  • It might sound counterintuitive that the Trump administration is contemplating a “replacement” version of former President Barack Obama’s climate change rules, but that’s what miners and major labor groups are pushing in meetings with the EPA and the White House. They want a Trump Clean Power Plan based on “clean coal.” [Washington Examiner]
  • Florida generates less solar energy than some cloudier states, including Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey. Four electric utilities, which  supply power to around 75% of Florida ratepayers, effectively, control Florida’s power market, dictating how and at what price residents get their energy, and they see rooftop solar as a threat to their bottom line. [CleanTechnica]

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

July 16 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which had its 40th birthday on July 5, have been innovating and contributing to the Colorado and national economy through seven presidential administrations. The laboratory’s future is uncertain under President Trump, but workers are keeping up hopes. [The Denver Post]
NREL's Wind Technology Center (Helen H. Richardson | Denver Post)

NREL’s Wind Technology Center in Colorado (Helen H. Richardson | Denver Post)

  • The Energy Information Administration’s monthly Short Term Energy Outlook projects coal will fuel 31.3% of electricity in the US in 2017, compared with 31.1% for natural gas. Coal stood at 30.4% last year, and natural gas was at 33.8%. The coal industry takes the change, small as it is, as welcome news. [Huntington Herald Dispatch]
  • Governments may be seriously underestimating the risks of crop disasters. Research by UK Met Office scientists used advanced climate modelling to show that extreme weather events could devastate food production if they occurred in several key areas at the same time. Such an outcome could trigger widespread famine. [The Guardian]
  • So far, more than 13,000 subscribers have signed up for the 2017 green power program initiated by Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs in 2017, topping the goal of 10,000 for the year, the ministry said. Program subscribers receive a certain amount of green power at a premium price of NT$1.06/kWh (3.5¢/kWh). [Focus Taiwan News Channel]
  • “Are Deeper Cuts OPEC’s Only Option?” • Despite the November, 2016 Vienna crude oil agreement among OPEC and certain non-OPEC producers and its subsequent May 2017 extension, the global crude oil market is still burdened with excess supply and may be far from re-balancing. Observers worry about another price crash. [OilPrice.com]

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

July 15 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Record low renewable energy prices in Chile are here to stay and will likely push power prices even lower, Chile’s energy minister told Reuters, a development that would pressure the nation’s already squeezed diesel and natural gas industries. Chile, with ample solar and wind resources, has become a poster child for renewable energy. [ETEnergyworld.com]
Wind turbines on a beach

Wind turbines on a beach

  • Republicans are not all united against renewable energy. The House of Representatives voted down an amendment to block a requirement in the pending National Defense Authorization Act for the armed services to study the impact of climate change on the military. Those who voted against the measure included 43 Republicans. [CleanTechnica]
  • National Grid is holding “community meetings” to gather input and discuss details of its proposed Granite State Power Link project, which would bring hydropower from Canada through New Hampshire to southern New England. The Granite State Power Link project would also cross northeastern Vermont. [New Hampshire Public Radio]
  • A draft version of the DOE’s highly anticipated grid study states that wind and solar do not represent a serious threat to electric grid reliability, running counter to comments made by Energy Secretary Rick Perry earlier this year. Perry ordered the grid study to examine negative effects of Obama-era clean energy incentives. [Greentech Media]
  • “Bloomberg: Tesla Set To Win” • It looks like bad news for Big Oil as electric cars gained traction this past week. Bloomberg reports, “France plans to end the sale of gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles by 2040” and, “Volvo Car Group became the first major manufacturer to say it will start phasing out vehicles powered solely by fossil fuels.” [CleanTechnica]

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

Thinking of snow

Energy Indep VT

Ok, so it’s the middle of July. Skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing are probably the furthest things from a lot of people’s minds. But for those who cherish Vermont’s snowy winters and everything they bring with them, global warming and the failure of our national leaders to grapple with this crisis is alarming no matter what time of year it is.

In the past few months, Energy Independent Vermont has been thrilled to welcome several winter sports organizations into our campaign to put a price on carbon pollution in Vermont. One of these organizations, Snowriders International, is compiling a petition of Vermont winter enthusiasts who support carbon pollution pricing to deliver to Governor Phil Scott.

Can you add your name to the Snowriders International petition to Gov. Scott asking him to support a price on carbon pollution in Vermont?

SIGN THE PETITION

Maintaining Vermont’s winters is critical to maintaining our way of life. And this goes beyond those who simply enjoy skiing and snowboarding. So many Vermonters rely on snowy winters for their livelihood: restaurant workers, hotel employees, local small businesses–the list goes on and on.

And while Vermont’s action alone cannot save the winters we know and love, we cannot afford to sit by and do nothing: Not while the president and Congress refuse to act on climate and not while we have a tool that we know will reduce Vermont’s carbon emissions, cut taxes, help Vermonters transition to clean energy and strengthen our local economy.

Despite his recent commitments to make Vermont a climate action leader, Gov. Scott has consistently rebuffed and mischaracterized any pollution pricing proposals offered to him. It’s essential that we continue to remind him this is an idea that has the broad support of Vermonters. He must hear this, and he must hear it from all corners.

So please take just a few seconds to add your name to the Snowriders International petition to Gov. Scott asking him to support pollution pricing.