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From Bona Fide Green Goods

Just in case you happened to miss the largest event in climate change in history, on September 21st over 400,000 people filled the streets of New York City in what was billed as The People’s Climate March. People came from all over the world to call on leaders to do something now to fight global warming, an opening act for the UN Climate Summit that followed the march on September 23rd. While the media was a bit slow on the draw for coverage, they eventually realized they didn’t want to miss out on the buzz that had been created.

Peoples Climate March - Report Back
Peoples Climate March – Report Back

Just when we thought the will was flickering out, this event has brought the conversation about our planet’s future back. It seems the leaders of the world have stopped pointing fingers and are willing to step up to the plate, finally. A special thanks to Bill McKibben for his tireless work and his energy for keeping this movement alive. Thank you to all who participated and those who continue to do all you can for our planet.

Join Bernie at the University of New Hampshire

Join Sen. Bernie Sanders for an events in New Hampshire.
Vermont’s independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders will be speaking at the University of New Hampshire at a student town meeting Friday, October 10 at 5 p.m. Join Sen. Sanders and UNH students to discuss how we:

  • Deal with the Issue of Wealth and Income Inequailty
  • Get Big Money Out of Politics
  • Make College Education Affordable
  • Combat Climate Change
  • Stop Violence Against Women

While this is a meeting organized by students, members of the general public are more than welcome to attend and participate. For more information, please call 802-862-1505.

Granite State Room, Memorial Union Building
83 Main Street
Durham, New Hampshire 03824
(Click here for directions.)

Click here to RSVP »

RE2014 Conference and Expo

Earlybird Registration Ends Thursday

Register Before October 2nd and Save $30

RE2014

Hurry! Thursday, October 2nd is your LAST chance to register at the early bird conference rates! Register now and save $30 on the price of attending. General admission rates will increase from $230 for the two-day conference to $260 at 11:59 EST.

See other registration rates at www.revconference.org/register

Register to Attend

Agenda Highlight

Wind Energy: The Facts on Production, Wildlife, Sound and ROI 

Large-scale wind farms are one of our most affordable and environmentally benign forms of electric generation. Yet the “buzz” often highlights misinformation that creates confusion about this resource.  Listen to a fascinating presentation that looks at ten years of media coverage on wind energy in Vermont. Learn the scientific facts on sound and public health, how wind farms are working to protect wildlife and the importance of identifying a viable wind location based on wind resource data.

See the detailed agenda online atwww.revconference.org/agenda

About the Conference

For more than a decade, the Renewable Energy Vermont Conference has been the leading event for the renewable energy sectors in Vermont, New Hampshire and Northern New York.

Learn more at: www.revconference.org

REV FTSFree Trade Show

Our exhibit hall is free and open to the public. Network with more than 50 businesses and organizations from throughout the region. Learn about innovations in technology, and meet with leaders in the clean energy sector.

Visit: www.revconference.org/agenda

 

Lower Rates from Green Mountain Power

GMP-Logo_NewGreen Mountain Power Lower Rates for Customers Take Effect Today

2.46% Rate Decrease is GMP’s Second Decrease in Three Years

Colchester, VT – Green Mountain Power is pleased to announce that effective today, October 1, 2014, electric rates for residential and commercial customers decrease by 2.46%. The rate decrease is the second decrease by GMP in three years and is part of the company’s mission to deliver reliable, clean and cost-effective power to customers. The rate decrease was approved by the Vermont Public Service Board and comes at a time when other energy companies in the region are seeking double-digit rate increases to meet customer demand.

“Lowering energy costs while providing leadership in the generation of clean reliable power is at the heart of the work we do everyday at GMP,” said GMP President and CEO Mary Powell. “Our long-term energy contracts and local clean energy generation like Kingdom Community Wind allow us to lower energy bills for customers. For Vermont’s families and businesses, this is great news.”

Commercial customers, in particular manufacturers and other energy intensive industries, will greatly benefit from lower electricity costs. Businesses like Weidmann International Corp, a Northeast Kingdom company that employs more than 300 Vermonters, believe that this decrease will help them operate competitively.

“The rate reduction is welcome news. Electricity is a large part of our cost and anything that can lower that cost really helps us stay competitive. I appreciate GMP’s focus on lowering rates and I hope they can keep the momentum going,” said John Goodrich, VP and General Manager for Weidmann International Corp in St. Johnsbury.

Rutland Mayor Chris Louras said that lower rates will provide substantial savings to local government and that translates to significant savings to taxpayers. Currently the city and Rutland schools pay more than $1.3 million for electricity a year.

“These savings are a boon to the city and city taxpayers,” Louras said. ”While inflation in most sectors continues to march forward, GMP’s efforts to reduce costs and rates, even as they invest in renewable energy and grid resiliency, will offset cost increases in other areas and save the taxpayers real dollars.”

This is the second rate decrease that GMP has proposed for its customers since 2012. In addition, GMP continues its work to leverage the smart grid to empower customers to use innovative new products and services that reduce energy consumption, especially at peak times, giving the customer more control over energy use allowing them to reduce costs further. GMP is also pleased to share with customers additional savings as a result of no storm adjustor for the last quarter of 2014.

Paula Palin, a residential customer in Colchester, said, “It’s really great that GMP is lowering rates ­ that will help my family manage our bills. I’m glad to see rates going down at a time when so many other costs are going up.”

GMP partnered with key stakeholders before it filed the rate decrease, including the Department of Public Service, IBM, AARP and Associated Industries of Vermont. GMP and key stakeholders agreed to two-part approach that includes a 1.46% overall rate decrease and an additional 1% decrease on the energy portion provided directly to customers through a revenue sharing agreement from the sale of Vermont Yankee in 2002. Customers will receive a credit on their bills over the next two years to ensure that rates remain low.

About Green Mountain Power Green Mountain Power (GMP) serves approximately 265,000 residential and business customers in Vermont and has a vision to be the best small company in America by empowering customers to save money and move to clean energy sources. GMP recognizes the role of electric utilities is changing and is focused on a new way of doing business to meet the needs of customers with integrated services, while continuing to generate clean, cost-effective and reliable power in Vermont. In 2014, Vote Solar named GMP a Solar Champion. More information at: www.greenmountainpower.com. Connect with GMP on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @GreenMtnPower.

October 1 Green Energy News

Opinion:

  • “Why Local Energy Ownership Matters” Solar and wind projects can mean big bucks for communities – but only if they keep them local! The number of jobs and economic returns for communities are substantially higher when electricity generation from wind and sun can be captured by local hands. [CleanTechnica]
  • “How a Top Liberal State Is Creating an Electricity Market That Conservatives Should Love” Imagine an electricity market that gives small businesses and consumers the same ability to compete and make money that utilities have always had. The market simply prioritizes consumer-side distributed energy. [Energy Collective]

Science and Technology:

  • The record-setting heat wave in Australia last year was “largely attributable” to human-caused climate change, according to a synthesis report released Monday. Heat waves in Japan, Korea, China and Europe were also “substantially influenced” by global warming, the report found. [Huffington Post]
  •  Synthetically produced hydrogen can store huge amounts of power. Germany will require about 30 TWh of storage capacity, when the nation is 100% renewably powered. Existing gas infrastructure can store up to 200 TWh in gas generated. Wind plants with the ability to store energy as hydrogen are already starting up. [Business Spectator]

World:

  • Malmö, in southern Sweden, is the third largest city in the country. Various neighborhoods throughout the city are transforming from brownfield industrial sites into eco-friendly enclaves through the use of renewable energy, energy efficiency, green building and alternative transportation. [GreenBiz.com]
  • A floating power station using the solar energy stored in Grand Cayman’s warm tropical waters could provide the first firm renewable energy supply capable of replacing diesel generators on the island. The project would be the world’s first commercial power plant using ocean thermal energy conversion. [Cayman Compass]
  • Samsung Renewable Energy and Pattern Energy Group LP signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with the Ontario Power Authority for the 100 MW Belle River Wind project in Ontario. They will jointly develop, own, and operate the project, which will be built in Lakeshore, Ontario. [PennEnergy]
  • Michael Renner, senior researcher with Worldwatch Institute writes that nuclear energy’s share of global power production has declined steadily from a peak of 17.6% in 1996 to 10.8% in 2013. Renewables increased their share from 18.7% in 2000 to 22.7% in 2012. [Domestic Fuel]

US:

  • Six new pro-EV bills were recently signed into law in California by Governor Jerry Brown. The new efforts to promote the use of electric vehicles include increase in direct incentives, measures to improve the ease of ownership, and the granting of special access to the state’s ubiquitous carpool lanes for EV owners. [CleanTechnica]
  • A long-term plan to eliminate dependence on fossil fuels in Vermont’s capital of Montpelier is getting a boost from two new projects: one to install more solar panels at an insurance company and another to meet more heating needs with a new biomass heating facility. [BurlingtonFreePress.com]
  • California Governor Jerry Brown has signed an Environmental Defense Fund-sponsored bill that accelerates the use of demand response, a voluntary, cost-effective tool that relies on people and technology, not polluting, water-intensive power plants, to meet the state’s rising electricity needs. [RenewablesBiz]
  • The city of Lowell, Massachusetts has signed a contract through which Hampshire Power will supply electricity to about 31,000 residential and 4,200 commercial ratepayers citywide. The deal will provide Lowell ratepayers with renewable power at a rate that is 33% lower than the default grid power. [GazetteNET]
  • The US DOE has drafted a federal loan guarantee opportunity that, if it goes into effect, could help provide $12.6 billion for nuclear power projects. The program would be available for advanced reactors, small modular reactors, uprates, plant upgrades, and fuel cycle projects. [Nuclear Street - Nuclear Power Portal]

Stamp Money out of Politics

Hi, it’s Ben, the guy on the right, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and now Head Stamper at StampStampede.org a non-profit, trans-partisan organization fighting to amend the constitution to get money out of politics.

Stamp Money out of Politics at stampstampede.org

While VPIRG’s taking on big money in politics at the state level, the Stampede helps to build the movement by encouraging Americans to legally rubber stamp paper currency with a demand to get money out of politics. So far there are over 25,000 of us! We are literally making our money talk by turning it into media.

We’re stamping messages such as:

Not 2 B used 4 Bribing Politicians

Or

Stamp Money Out of Politics

What we are creating together is a “Petition on Steroids,” because once it goes into circulation, each stamped dollar is seen by 875 people.

It’s monetary Jiu Jitsu—using money to get money out of politics. If 1 person stamps 3 bills a day for a year, the message will reach 1 MILLION people. It’s totally legal (and fun too).

Click here to get a stamp and join the Stampede! They cost $10 and the first 25 people to order get a FREE PINT OF BEN AND JERRY’S ICE CREAM.

Stamping 'til the cows come home,

Ben Cohen
Head Stamper

PS—I’ll be joining VPIRG at UVM on Wednesday, October 15th from 2-4:00 in the Davis Center. Stop by and grab a stamp, register to vote, and get some free ice cream!

 

September 30 Green Energy News

Opinion:

  • “Did the UN Summit Shift the Dial?” The UN Climate Summit has come and gone and leaders from many countries have made announcements, pledges or at least offered moral support. But are we any better off as a result? Reflecting on the last few days in New York, I would have to argue for the “yes” case. [Energy Collective]

Science and Technology:

  • Modern lithium batteries come with their own environmental baggage. Scientists at Sweden’s Uppsala University, seeking a more eco-friendly alternative, have created a new smart battery made from organic materials that they say produces just as much power as its lithium counterpart. Plus, it’s recyclable. [Big Think]
  • “ALEC feigns leap off faltering climate denial bandwagon; Fools no one.” The American Legislative Exchange Council had a really bad week. Coming under fire for its climate denial, the typically secretive ALEC answered with a cringe-inducing position statement on climate and renewable energy. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

World:

  • A week and a half after Scotland voted not to split away from the United Kingdom and the Government is already back on track, approving the Middle Muir wind farm for construction. The 60 MW Middle Muir wind farm is comparatively small, but illustrates the importance of certainty to investors. [CleanTechnica]
  • Thousands of solar- and wind-power supporters across Australia turned out for protests at key federal government ministers’ electorate offices calling for “no reduction” to the Renewable Energy Target. In all, there were rallies at 30 locations around the country calling for the government to “accept the RET”. [The Daily Telegraph]
  • In the Philippines, the National Renewable Energy Board has recommended an increase in the volume of wind power projects that may avail of tariff incentives. The NREB has proposed to the Department of Energy an increase in the installation cap for wind from the existing 200 MW to 500 MW. [InterAksyon]
  • After finalizing the financial plan for the facility, Covanta, a US firm, has made a deal with Dublin City Council to construct, own and operate a €500m waste to energy plant, which will be designed to handle 600,000 tons of waste annually and generate 58 MW of energy. [Hydrogen Fuel News]
  • More than 11 GW of renewable energy capacity have been installed in Japan over the past two years, when the country’s notable feed-in tariff incentive plan was launched, according to the country’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Of this, 10.88 GW was solar power. [CleanTechnica]

US:

  • The Tehachapi Energy Storage Project — the biggest battery energy storage project to date in North America — has now opened. The 32 MWh battery energy storage system built by Southern California Edison has lithium-ion batteries stationed in a special 6,300 square-foot facility in a substation in Tehachapi, California. [CleanTechnica]
  • A 3-year, $6.3 million dollar project to improve every aspect of the American wind turbine production process/industry was recently begun via a partnership between Sandia National Laboratories, Iowa State University, and TPI Composites (an operator of a wind turbine blade factory). [CleanTechnica]
  • The Sierra Club announced joining with Ratepayer and Community Intervenors to file a lawsuit in the New York Supreme Court challenging a Public Service Commission ruling. The ruling would add $140 million to residents’ electric bills to upgrade and expand a coal-fired power plant in Chautauqua County. [Triple Pundit]
  • AllEarth Renewables and Claire Solar Partners have completed a 2.2 MW solar tracker farm in South Burlington, Vermont. JA Solar provided PV modules for the project. It is the largest in North America with distributed inverters and dual-axis trackers to maximize production. [Your Renewable News]
  • One of the largest battery-based energy storage systems in the US, capable of running 2,500 homes, will soon be powering up UC San Diego. The system will be added to the school’s microgrid, which distributes 92% of the electricity used on campus. The battery will provide 2.5 MW and store 5 MWh. [NBC 7 San Diego]
  • The Oregon Global Warming Commission has endorsed the Obama administration’s proposed regulations to reduce carbon emissions from power plants, while urging the Environmental Protection Agency to grant more flexibility to Oregon and other states to meet their targets. [Portland Tribune]

From Renewable Energy Vermont:

Register Now!
REV Conference & Annual Meeting Luncheon

Hello REV members,

REV_Logo_SmPlease register for the REV conference if you plan on attending – fees increase on Thursday: www.revconference.org/register.

ALSO — REMEMBER, you must RSVP to attend the Annual Meeting Luncheon on Friday 10/17 from 12:45-2 pm. This is your opportunity to hear what REV has worked on, vote on new Board members, and discuss your ideas as to what REV should be working on moving into 2015. The annual meeting fee is paid for through your conference registration. If you are not attending the conference, but still wish to attend the annual meeting luncheon, there is a $25 fee. You can RSVP to the annual meeting during the registration process, or you can email  julie@revermont.org.

We hope to see you there!

PO Box 1036
Montpelier, VT 05601
(802) 229-0099

September 29 Green Energy News

Science and Technology:

  • A new Copper-Indium-Gallium-Selenide thin-film solar cell conversion efficiency record was recently achieved by researchers at the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research in Stuttgart. The new conversion efficiency record of 21.7% beats the previous record of 21%. [CleanTechnica]
  • Chinese solar manufacturer JA Solar Holdings says it has attained 20% solar energy conversion efficiency in its multi-crystalline silicon solar cell, which it says is a world record for a multi-Si solar cell efficiency. This is just 9 months after it had set a previous record of 19% efficiency in its multi-Sci cells. [CleanTechnica]

World:

  • Brazilian auctions to be held in November received bidding applications from 1115 projects totalling 53.87 GW. Wind power has the greatest capacity share. Wind’s chief competition is from 39 combined cycle gas projects totalling 20.61 GW and 224 solar photovoltaic projects totalling 6.1 GW. [Windpower Monthly]
  • Cutting the renewable energy target will leave Australians reliant on natural gas and drive up electricity bills, a group of consumer and community advocates say. They have written to prime minister Tony Abbott urging him to reject recommendations of a review that called on the government to cut the target. [Echonetdaily]
  • Britain’s first ever floating solar panel project has just been built in Berkshire. The 800-panel green energy project was installed earlier this month on a reservoir at Sheeplands Farm, a 300-acre soft fruit farm near Wargrave. The project will supply 200 kW. The developer says larger systems could be easily built. [Telegraph.co.uk]
  • Saskatchewan’s government-owned power utility is set to launch a carbon-capture-and-storage project this week. SaskPower says it is the world’s first and largest commercial-scale, carbon-capture operation of its kind. It will capture carbon dioxide emissions from burning coal to store them deep underground. [Financial Post]

US:

  • Solar Frontier, the solar arm of Japanese oil refiner Showa Shell Sekiyu, has revealed bold plans to build a solar manufacturing facility in Buffalo, upstate New York. The company was attracted by low solar costs that make PV in the US an attractive energy option for many. [pv magazine]
  • A 1.8 MW solar project has been installed in New Bedford, Massachusetts. In all, 16.25 MW of projects are now installed or under construction. When all 16 MW of projects are completed New Bedford will have exceeded the city’s 2011 goal of purchasing 10 MW of power from renewable sources within five years. [SouthCoastToday.com]
  • Panda Power Funds and Texas officials gathered to dedicate the company’s 758 MW natural gas-fueled, combined-cycle power plant in Temple, Texas. The plant is one of the most advanced gas-fueled power stations in the nation, establishing new standards within its class. [Today's Energy Solutions]
  • Carbon emissions in the US are higher than expected for 2014. Carbon dioxide emissions due to the consumption of coal were more than 12% higher during the first half of 2014 than during the first six months of 2012, while those from natural gas and petroleum rose by 7.3% and 0.8% respectively. [Business Green]
  • Unsatisfied with the pace at which the federal government is acting to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, several US states are forging ahead with their own initiatives. The first year of the California program was a resounding success, with the state’s economy expanding while at the same time adding renewable energy. [OilPrice.com]
  • In Oregon, the Department of Transportation is building solar stations along the roads. It has already built two solar stations and is looking into a third, built without state money and on property already owned by the state and cleared for development as highway right-of-way. [Construction Equipment Guide]

September 28 Green Energy News

Opinion:

  • “INSIGHT-Taxes, fees: the worldwide battle between utilities and solar” It’s still less than one percent of energy capacity worldwide, but the surge in installations of rooftop solar panels is beginning to hit utilities and their business model of charging customers on the basis of consumption. [Reuters]
  • “Will US-India Summit Bring Historic Climate Action?” This week’s meeting of President Obama and Indian Prime Minister Modi is an opportunity to accelerate climate action in economically advantageous ways for both countries and for the world, if they take immediate action to curb climate change. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

Science and Technology:

  • Concrete is the most-used construction material in the world and a major contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions. But by using a different chemical formula to make the material, new research suggests it’s possible to significantly reduce concrete’s carbon footprint. [Scientific American]
  • “7 Ways Energy Efficiency Affects National Security” Whether electricity, natural gas, or gasoline, the American economy wastes most of the energy it consumes. That waste puts our national security at risk by making the US more vulnerable to instability abroad and economic disruptions at home. [Care2.com]

World:

  • The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is providing a $25 million loan for the construction and development of SunEdison’s 20 MW solar photovoltaic power plant in Jordan to help address the country’s energy shortages through utilizing its world-class solar resource. [Utilities-ME.com]
  • The Asian Development Bank has agreed to finance a $65 million private sector power project being set up on Pakistan’s Poonch river, upstream from Mangla Dam. The project envisages construction and operation of a 102 MW run-of-the river hydroelectric generation facility. [DAWN.com]
  • In an unprecedented speech delivered on behalf of the king of Morocco, the country’s prime minister denounced the long-term consequences of colonialism. He pointed to Morocco’s pioneering efforts at developing human resources as well as renewable energy, including solar and wind power. [Morocco World News]

US:

  • Elon Musk will soon be building what amounts, essentially, to being another “Gigafactory”, in New York State as per a recent agreement with the government there. This time it is a manufacturing plant that will produce more than a gigawatt of solar panels a year. [CleanTechnica]
  • The proposed $8 billion California wind energy project could blow the socks off the regional renewable energy market. The key to the project, the thing that helps fulfill the Los Angeles vision of a sustainable, secure energy source, would be a massive compressed air energy storage system using salt caverns in Utah. [CleanTechnica]
  • Federal energy regulators have given final approval for construction of a 330-mile electric transmission line to carry lower-cost Canadian hydroelectric power to New York City. Supporters say the line will make the state less bound to the Indian Point nuclear power plant in Westchester County. [Oneida Dispatch]