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Climate Change Leadership Academy Welcomes Applicants

Vital Communities and Upper Valley Adaptation Workgroup Invite Applicants for New Climate Change Leadership Academy

 Vital Communities and the Upper Valley Adaptation Workgroup invite community members to apply for the first ever Upper Valley Climate Change Leadership Academy. The six Academy meetings between October 2019 and April 2020 will include expert presentations, group discussions, and collaborative work sessions on the topic of climate change. Academy participants will also develop and launch climate-change service projects in their communities.

Interested community members can apply online before September 15 at vitalcommunities.org/adaptation. Applicants do not need prior knowledge about climate change to participate. There is no fee to apply. Once selected, participants will pay a $30 enrollment fee to cover the entire six-month session; scholarships are available.

“A lot of people want to do something about climate change, but it can be hard to figure out what,” says Erich Osterberg, associate professor of earth sciences at Dartmouth College and a member of the Upper Valley Adaptation Workgroup. The new academy will offer participants practical ways to turn that desire into action, he says.

The Upper Valley Climate Change Leadership Academy will meet the second Wednesday evening of each month (except December) in Lebanon. Participants are expected to attend all six meetings and must attend at least five to graduate. The Academy wraps up in April with a public presentation of participants’ projects, which may include art, public education, community workdays, and any other activity that generates positive community impact related to climate change.

“The Upper Valley Adaptation Workgroup has hosted semiannual forums for years, recently with support from Vital Communities,” says Sarah Brock, energy program manager at Vital Communities. “We’re excited to try this new approach that will help people take their concern for climate resilience and turn it into strong climate leadership for their communities and the Upper Valley.”

Details and a brief application are available at vitalcommunities.org/adaptation.

 

 

August 23 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “The Future Of Food: Why Farming Is Moving Indoors” • Ten shipping containers dominate a corner of a Brooklyn parking area, each full of climate control tech, growing herbs that are distributed to local stores on bicycles. This is literally urban farming. Lighting, humidity, and temperature are all controlled in hydroponic indoor farming. [BBC]

Tobias Peggs at Square Roots farm (Square Roots image)

  • “Bernie Sanders Unveils Comprehensive $16.3 Trillion Green New Deal Plan Amid Climate Crisis” • Sen Bernie Sanders added progressive meat to the bones of the Green New Deal with the release of a comprehensive $16.3 trillion climate change program ahead of a campaign stop in Paradise, California, the city leveled by a devastating 2018 wildfire. [CNN]
  • “Amazon Fires: ‘Our House Is Burning’, Macron Warns Ahead Of G7” • French President Emmanuel Macron has said the record number of fires in the Amazon rainforest is an “international crisis” that needs to top the agenda at this weekend’s G7 summit. Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said Macron’s calls evoke “a misplaced colonialist mindset.” [BBC]
  • “Russia Launches Floating Nuclear Reactor In Arctic Despite Warnings Of ‘Chernobyl On Ice'” • Russia is launching the world’s first floating nuclear reactor for a journey on the Arctic Ocean, despite environmentalists warning of serious risks. It will leave the Arctic port of Murmansk to begin its 5,000 km journey to northeastern Siberia. [The Japan Times]
  • “Ancient Tropical Plants Produce Cones In UK For First Time On Record” • Cycads have produced male and female cones outdoors in the UK for the first time in 60 million years, in an event that botanists say is a clear indication of climate change. The cycads are on the cliffs of a botanic garden on the Isle of Wight, off England’s south coast. [CNN]

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

August 22 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Middlebury College And Project Partners Celebrate Groundbreaking For Anaerobic Digester” • Representatives of Middlebury College, Vanguard Renewables, Vermont Gas, Goodrich Farm, and the State of Vermont gathered for the groundbreaking of the largest anaerobic digester east of the Mississippi River. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

  • “Duke Energy Spreads FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) About Renewables In North Carolina” • The Environmental Working Group is calling out Duke Energy for its outrageous claim that introducing more solar power into the state will cause a surge in emissions. Duke said emissions come from natural gas plants ramping up and down. [CleanTechnica]
  • “China Looks Inland To Boost Renewable Energy Deployment” • China, which already accounts for 45% of all investments in renewables worldwide, will increase deployment of solar power schemes inland over the coming decade. Gansu and Xinjiang provinces will see the highest concentration of solar projects in the future. [Utilities Middle East]
  • “Vistra Energy To Close Four Illinois Power Plants” • Vistra Energy announced that four power plants will retire to meet the requirements of the recently approved revisions to the Multi-Pollutant Standard rule imposed by the Illinois Pollution Control Board. Without the rule change, the company’s entire downstate fleet was at risk of near imminent retirement. [Stockhouse]
  • “Canada Subsidizes Fossil Fuels, Can’t Talk Climate Change In Election Year” • Canada continues to subsidize fossil fuels, and progress on eliminating subsidies for the sectors creating greenhouse gases depends on the results of the Canadian election. But if charities advertise that climate change is real, they will lose their charity status. [CleanTechnica]

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

August 21 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Germany: 72% Of Power Needs To Be Met By Non-Hydro By 2030” • The share of renewables in Germany reached 53.4% of the country’s power mix in 2018 and is expected to reach 72.7% by 2030. Non-hydro renewable energy is expected to meet the country’s power demand after nuclear and coal is phased out, according to GlobalData. [ESI Africa]

Water over a small hydro dam (Featured image: Stock, ESI Africa)

  • “Renewables To Reach 30% Of US Energy By 2030” • The contribution of renewable power to total installed capacity in the US is expected to double to 30% by 2030 from today, a study from GlobalData forecasts. The study also projects that the share of coal-based capacity will decline from 27.2% in 2018 to 13.5% in 2030. [reNEWS]
  • “ZeroAvia Testing Hydrogen-Powered Electric Airplanes” • ZeroAvia, based in California, announced the it is developing electric airplanes powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The airplanes would carry 10 to 20 passengers on flights of no more than 500 miles. ZeroAvia claims they will be cheaper to make and operate than conventional aircraft. [CleanTechnica]
  • “California Has More Clean Energy Jobs Than Fossil Fuel Jobs” • Clean energy jobs in California now outnumber jobs in the fossil fuel industry five to one, a study has found. More than 512,000 people are employed in jobs related to clean energy, from installing solar panels to building electric cars. This is one in seven such jobs in the US. [The Mercury News]
  • “North Carolina Clean Energy Plan Could Reduce Power Sector Emissions Up To 70% By 2030” • North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality released a draft Clean Energy Plan that calls for the state to reduce power sector greenhouse gas emissions between 60% and 70% by 2030, relative to the levels of 2005. [Utility Dive]

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

August 20 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “At The Bottom Of A Glacier In Greenland, Climate Scientists Find Troubling Signs” • Scientists in NASA’s OMG (Oceans Melting Greenland) program are investigating how ice is being attacked. They have found that the melt results not only by rising air temperatures but also by the warming ocean, which is eating away the ice from underneath. [CNN]

Greenland ice (Eric Rignot)

  • “It’s Official: Wind Power Is Catching Up To Natural Gas” • If you blinked, you missed it. The US DOE has released a report indicating that the price of wind power is becoming competitive with natural gas for electricity generation in some markets. Good luck finding the press release, though. It’s a no-show on the DOE home page. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Canada Election: Charities Warned Against Climate Change Ads” • Canada’s election watchdog warned environmentalists that saying climate change is real could break the law. The issue arose because one party running in October’s election denies climate change is a threat, so paid advertisements about climate change could be considered partisan activity. [BBC]
  • “Study: Offshore Wind Could Save California Ratepayers $1-2 Billion” • Castle Wind, a joint venture between Trident Winds and EnBW North America, released a study that indicates offshore wind off the coast of California with a capacity of 7 to 9 GW could save ratepayers $1-2 billion on a net present value basis by 2040. [The Maritime Executive]
  • “NEC Rolls Out 20-MW Storage In New England” • NEC Energy Solutions will install more than 20 MW of energy storage in six projects at municipal power plants in New England. The projects are in Madison, Maine, and Ashburnham, Templeton, Wakefield, Middleton, and Taunton, Massachusetts. The Taunton system will be one of the region’s largest. [reNEWS]

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

 

August 19 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Greta Thunberg: How Is Her Climate Mission Going?” • Teen activist Greta Thunberg is now five days into her boat journey across the Atlantic ocean, as she sails to attend two big climate change conferences in the US. The journey will take around two weeks on a high speed yacht, called the Malizia II. She said the food is good and she has not been seasick. [BBC]

Greta Thunberg at sea (@GretaThunberg, via Twitter)

  • “Embraer, Bell, Brazil, And Uber Elevate Are Shaping Our Urban Air Mobility Future” • The Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition is over and heads are spinning. Aviation startups are challenging our current air mobility system with urban air mobility. Embraer, Bell, Brazil, and Uber Elevate are a few of the innovators. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Indonesia Has The Potential To Generate 788,000 MW Of Power From Renewable Energy Sources” • Indonesia, which has a pollution problem, has a potential to generate 788,000 MW of power from renewable energy sources such as wind power, solar, tidal, and geothermal. This is more than 14 times the country’s current electricity consumption. [REVE]
  • “Andhra Pradesh To Target Only Corrupt Green Projects” • Andhra Pradesh has shown a sign of changing its controversial stand that contracts with renewable energy companies should be renegotiated to bring down tariffs. A top-ranking official told ET that the state was only targeting projects where corruption was evident. [Economic Times]
  • “Offshore Wind To Hit ‘193 GW By 2030’ Says NREL” • The global offshore wind market could reach a total installed capacity of 193 GW by 2030, a report from the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory has found. NREL is projecting accelerated growth in the next decade, with cumulative capacity ranging from 154 GW up to the 193 GW. [reNEWS]

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

August 18 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Bye Aerospace And OXIS Energy To Commercialize Lithium-Sulfur Batteries For Urban Air Mobility ” • Bye Aerospace is a busy electric aviation company developing the future of our urban air mobility world. It has two electric airplanes along with development projects. It is working with Oxis Energy to commercialize lithium-sulfur battery. [CleanTechnica]

Bye Aerospace eFlyer (Image courtesy Bye Aerospace)

  • “China Storms Past US And Japan To Take Lead In Wind And Solar Power” • China has come to dominate worldwide solar and wind energy generation, in terms of both its own capacity and its companies’ share of global markets, leaving previous renewable market powerhouses, particularly the US and Japan, to play catch-up. [Nikkei Asian Review]
  • “Climate Deniers Get More Media Play Than Scientists: Study” • Climate deniers have had far more media attention than prominent climate scientists, a report shows. “Climate change contrarians have successfully organized a strong voice within politics and science communication,” according to the report’s authors. [Japan Today]
  • “Can Big Investors Save The World?” • While young people throng the streets demanding action on man-made climate change, older groups of big investors are also actively fighting a green campaign. Climate Action 100+ is one such group of more than 360 investors with more than $34 trillion (£28 trillion) in assets under management. [BBC]
  • “Unprecedented Heatwave ‘Kills Thousands Of Fish’ In Alaska” • Large numbers of salmon died prematurely in Alaskan rivers in July, local reports say, and scientists believe the cause could be the record heatwave. “Climate change is here in Alaska. We are seeing it. We are feeling it. And our salmon are dying because of it,” a biologist said. [The Independent]

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

August 17 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “The Volkswagen Triplets Are Going 100% Electric” • German car maker Volkswagen AG announced that it is replacing its inexpensive A-segment cars, which are powered by fossil fuels, with 100% electric vehicles. A-segment cars are the smallest under the European standard, and the VW vehicle will be the only full EV in its class. [CleanTechnica]

Škoda Citigoᵉ iV, made by VW (Image courtesy of Škoda)

  • “And Now, The Really Big Coal Plants Begin To Close” • When the Navajo Generating Station in Arizona shuts down this year, it will be one of the largest carbon emitters to close in American history. Of all the coal plants to be retired in the US in recent years, none has emitted more. But it will not be alone. Other large plants are also closing. [Scientific American]
  • “Tesla Makes Solar Affordable Again With New Monthly Rental Plans” • Tesla is making solar affordable again with a new solar rental program that lets homeowners simply rent a solar system for a flat monthly rate. To further sweeten the deal, there is no upfront installation cost at all and there is no long-term contract. Details will vary by state. [CleanTechnica]
  • “In Trying To Gut Endangered Species Act, Trump Administration Puts Profits Ahead Of People” • New Endangered Species Act regulations sweep aside important protections for threatened and endangered species to benefit exploitative industries. Political motives are overruling science, and the intention of the act is being ignored. [CNN]
  • “Tesla Energy Storage Potential Given Boost At Company And Industry Levels” • Tesla’s Megapack battery announcement earlier this month may have gone somewhat under the radar. The new Megapack has 3 MWh of storage and an inverter capacity of 1.5 MW. It has a 60% increase in energy density over the Powerpack. [Seeking Alpha]

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

August 16 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Renewable Energy Can Generate Billions Of Dollars In Health Benefits, Study Finds” • Ten states across the Midwest and Great Lakes region could see $4.7 billion in health benefits in 2030 if they stick with current renewable energy standards, according to a study from MIT. Building the renewable infrastructure would cost $3.5 billion. [The Verge]

Wind farm in Kansas (Drenaline, Wikimedia Commons)

  • “Solar Power Is Now Cheaper Than The Grid In Hundreds Of Chinese Cities” • Some 344 Chinese cities were found to have solar systems producing energy at lower prices than the grid, without any subsidies, research published in the journal Nature Energy says. According to the authors, that could encourage further investment in renewable energy. [CNN]
  • “July Was Earth’s Hottest Month On Record” • According to NOAA, Earth faced unprecedented heat in July, its hottest month on record. July’s temperature across land and ocean surfaces worldwide was 1.71°F above the 20th-century average of 60.4°. It was the highest for July since records began in 1880, besting the record set in 2016 by 0.05°. [CNN]
  • “New Research Points To Fracking As Cause Of Spikes In Atmospheric Methane” • Cornell researchers studying rising methane emissions found there is a way to tell where it is coming from. The percentage of carbon-13 is higher than normal in fracked methane, so they can show that the increased methane emissions are fracked. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Renewable Energy Projects Took 80% Of All Energy Financing In 2018” • In India, renewable energy projects took up a vast majority, nearly 80%, of the total energy financing last year, while financing for coal-fired power plants decreased by a staggering 90%, according to the report, “Coal versus Renewables Finance Analysis.” [Saurenergy]

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

New York legislators and renewable heat advocates call on Public Service Commission to mandate investor-owned utilities to comply with State climate goals

Following the passage and signing into law of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), New York State legislators and renewable heat advocates are calling on the Public Service Commission (PSC) to require investor-owned utilities to meet state climate goals by expanding energy efficiency programs.

Clean energy advocates with the Renewable Heat Now Campaign sent a letter to the PSC on August 13th, with three specific demands:

● The utilities must comply with the 5 TBtu heat pump targets established in the December 2018 order. Currently, the Joint Utilities have stated their goal as only 2.7 TBtu, far short of the PSC’s goal.

● In order to meet the nation-leading targets outlined in New Efficiency: New York, the utilities must be mandated to expand efficiency programs to rapidly scale up energy retrofits for commercial (for-profit and not-for-profit) and residential buildings, including robust incentives and more and affordable financing options for insulation, air sealing, and heat pump installation.

● The utilities must provide strong incentives to support conversion to renewable, efficient heating and cooling to all customers, regardless of their current heating fuel. All electric customers – including those who heat with fracked gas – will pay for these programs through charges on their utility bills, and it is unfair, discriminatory, and contrary to the state’s climate goals to leave gas customers with no rebates for heat pumps. New York will reach its climate goals only if it transitions a large percentage of customers who are heating with fossil fuels – including fracked gas – to heat pumps.

Legislators are closely following the State’s New Efficiency: New York proceeding and offer the following comments:

“Last year, the Public Service Commission ordered New York’s utilities to implement measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also reducing rate payers’ costs through energy efficiency. Con Edison’s utility filings fell short of these requirements,” said Senator Julia Salazar. “We recently passed the historic Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act through the state legislature in order to plan and commit to environmental justice. A month later, Con Edison cut power in our Brooklyn communities during one of the hottest days of the year, after the company failed to properly maintain the grid with our ratepayer dollars. The Commission must send a strong message to the utility companies that business as usual is completely unacceptable, and that all New Yorkers deserve access to heat pumps and energy efficiency measures, regardless of where they live or how much money they have.”

“Following passage of the historic Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) this year, New York State is committed to meeting ambitious climate goals and energy efficiency standards over the next few decades,” said Assembly member Patricia Fahy. “Last year, the Public Service Commission (PSC) ordered utility companies operating in New York State to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while reducing ratepayers’ costs through implementing new energy efficiency standards. We urge the PSC to ensure utility companies are adhering to these standards and expanding access to heat pumps and other energy efficiency measures for all New Yorkers.”

State Senator James Sanders Jr. said: “As the sponsor of the Green New Deal for New York on the state level, I fully support the Renewable Heat Now Campaign’s efforts to make the five boroughs a cleaner, greener, place that preserves the environment and protects the earth. My legislation aims to make our state greenhouse gas emissions neutral by 2030 by transitioning from a fossil fuel-based economy to one based on 100% clean renewable energy. The Renewable Heat Now Campaign’s proposal to the Public Service Commission goes hand in hand with the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which I hope will be speedily implemented in order to continue on the path to make our world a better place for future generations to thrive and flourish.”

“This year, New York became a leader by passing the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. In order for us to reach the important milestones outlined in the legislation, we must hold all parties accountable. I urge the NYS Public Service Commission to uphold their December 2018 order and begin making plans for more stringent targets for all investor-owned utility companies to ensure we achieve our climate goals,” said Senator Rachel May.

“With passage of the historic Climate Leadership and Protection Act, utilities need to step up their game and develop energy efficiency programs that align with New York’s energy efficiency goals and help customers reduce energy consumption in their homes, schools, and workplaces. With buildings accounting for some 30% of greenhouse gas emissions, we will not achieve our goals unless the Public Service Commission mandates more stringent requirements for utilities, including robust programs to support the switch to air-source and ground-source heat pumps. We face a climate crisis and we have no time to lose,” said Senator Jen Metzger.

“To meet our State’s robust clean energy statutes, our economy is not only going to have to quickly ramp up our generation of renewable electricity, but we’ll also have to use it to heat and cool our buildings and power our vehicles,” said Assemblyman Steve Englebright. “That’s why we need our utilities to invest in energy efficiency programs and support meaningful rebates to promote homeowner conversion to renewable energy heating and cooling devices such as heat pumps as well as comply with the stronger PSC targets for renewable heat energy.”

Renewable heat advocates plan on attending the September 19th PSC meeting to shine light on the process and press for a strong, comprehensive role for heat pumps in the energy efficiency program.

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Senator Salazar: 917-370-4440

Assemblymember Fahy: 518-455-4178

Senator Sanders: 718-523-3069

Senator May: 315-478-8745

Senator Metzger: 845-344-3311