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February Green Energy Times

The February, 2018 Green Energy Times has gone to press and will be delivered to local distribution centers soon.

The issue can be downloaded HERE.

Individual articles will be uploaded soon.

Granite Staters Host Unofficial Hearing Against Offshore Drilling

Opponents urge protection of people, wildlife, communities, and businesses in Rye, NH

On Wednesday, February 21, the public is invited to attend and speak at an Unofficial Public Hearing about a recent federal proposal that would open up 90% of the nation’s coastline—including all of New Hampshire’s shores—to oil and gas drilling at the Rye Public Library 581 Washington Road in Rye, NH. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. and attendance is free.

The proposal, issued by the Department of Interior earlier this month, threatens the fishing, tourism, and recreation economy worth millions. It has met with steep opposition from New Hampshire’s elected leaders, as well as Seacoast fishing businesses, homeowners, and tourism industries. The public meeting scheduled by the federal agency in Concord will not allow spoken public comment. Only information about their drilling plans will be available.

Sponsors include New Hampshire Sierra Club, Conservation Law Foundation, League of Conservation Voters, Surfrider, 350 New Hampshire, Natural Resource Defense Council, and Resolve Seacoast.

WHAT:  The Unofficial Public Hearing Opposing Offshore Drilling

A Public Hearing style meeting of the people concerned about the offshore drilling proposal by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management of the US Department of the Interior hosted by local community groups.
WHEN: February 21, 2018 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.   
WHERE: Rye Public Library 581 Washington Road Rye, NH 03870
WHO: The meeting is free.
VISUALS: The brief presentation at the beginning of the meeting will give an overview of the federal proposal to allow drilling.
ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES:
Press conference with local voices opposed to offshore drilling is planned on March 5, 2018 in Concord at 11 a.m. at the Legislative Office Building, as well as sign waving outside the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management hearing at the Holiday Inn Downtown Concord on Main Street starting at 3 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 26th Public Information Forum on Community Choice Aggregation in Albany, NY

“Affordable renewable electricity for all – The Promise & Potential of Community Choice Aggregation”

Monday, Feb. 26th 6:30-8:30 pm:  Public Information Forum on Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) at the Albany Public Library,161 Washington Ave. Albany, large auditorium:

Making a rapid transition to renewable electricity is one of the most critical acts we can take to “decarbonize” our atmosphere.  Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), approved for NY State by the Public Service Commission (PSC), may be the way to make this happen quickly in an entire municipality, with people paying no more than they are now for their default electricity supply.  In early March the PSC will decide if community solar can be part of the CCA mix!
When a local government agrees to join a CCA, by default all customers in the community will purchase their electricity through the CCA unless they opt out. Multiple governments join together in the CCA. The large volume of customers enables the CCA to obtain lower prices while promoting renewable energy. CCAs are more common on the West Coast but NYS now allows them; the first started over a year ago in Westchester.

Come listen to Kelly Strait of the Public Service Commission and Robyn Reynolds of the Capital District Regional Planning Commission (a NYSERDA subcontractor) explain what CCA is, why the PSC and NYSERDA are hoping communities will work to adopt it, and how it can contribute to the clean energy revolution in a big way. Also present will be Sue Hughes-Smith, member of the Rochester People’s Climate Coalition who will discuss their efforts to start a CCA. The forum will consist of three short presentations by our speakers followed by an hour of lively questions and answers.

Also on hand will be CCA Administrators – for-profit and non-profit businesses that communities contract with to make the CCA happen. The administrators will be on hand to answer our questions about CCAs and what the administrator’s role is.

(Note: Please park in the back parking lot of the library on Elk Street since the front door to the library closes at 8 pm.)
Co-sponsors include: Green Education and Legal Fund (GELF), Sierra Club Hudson-Mohawk Group, PAUSE/350.org, Stop NY Fracked Gas Pipeline (SNYFGP)

New York Geothermal Conference Filling Fast

NY GeoThings are filling up fast at NY-GEO 2018. There are only:

2 booths and*

1 table left in the exhibit area*

1 Prime Sponsorhip, and

Limited ad opportunities in the Program Book

If you’re thinking about snapping up any of these opportunities, we urge you to act quickly. *Amazing but true – NYSERDA may be able to provide you with a rebate for half the cost of a table or booth.

We hope you’ve heard about the restoration of the 30% federal tax credit for geothermal systems. This will be a major stimulus for industry growth. It’s a great reason for you to attend NY-GEO 2018 – the best place to learn how to heat and cool without burning fossil fuels while meeting the movers and shakers of the industry as New York embraces this incredible opportunity.

The NYPA Geothermal Challenge is another market driver you need to know about. NYPA developed it to stimulate and finance the installation of best-in-class, large-scale geothermal systems at colleges and universities, K-12 schools, government buildings, and hospitals.

New This Year – We’ll have a professionally developed conference book that will be a keepsake for geothermal stakeholders. Advertising in this book will be a great way market your services or products.

Join us for a fantastic program that will help policy makers, installers, organizers, architects, clean energy activists, contractors, building owners and mangers, engineers and more to plug into the renewable heat momentum building in New York and across the northeast!

NY-GEO 2018 provides 5 AIA, PDH, BPI or LEED (self reporting) continuing education credits. Three of the classes will be taught by Steve Kavanaugh – co-author of the ASHRAE published Geothermal Heating and Cooling: Design of Ground Source Heat Pump Systems (2014). Click here for a description of his classes.

Every year a Top Job is chosen at the conference. Don’t miss this competition that highlights the versatility, and benefits of this amazing technology. Installers – If you’ve got a favorite geothermal job you’d like to showcase, why not register for Top Job today?

In addition, Phoenix Energy Supply is providing a phenomenally convenient and inexpensive way to earn Accredited Installer status from the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA). You can take the course on-line and take the exam at the conference, and with support from NYSERDA, it will cost you less than half the list price. Click here to learn more.

Register now for the renewable heating event of the year. Feel free to email us at nygeoinfo@gmail.com with any questions.

February 20 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Scientists at the University of Sheffield in the UK released a study that suggests using granulated basaltic rocks from volcanic eruptions could provide several positive benefits for agriculture and the climate. The benefits include improving soil fertility, cutting amounts of pesticides needed, and increasing carbon sequestration. [CleanTechnica]
Spreading basaltic rock

Spreading basaltic rock

  • The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Australia’s premier research organization, announced a new form of graphene it says can filter polluted water and make it drinkable in one step. It is a combination of graphene film and nanometer-size channels that allow water to pass but block pollutants. [CleanTechnica]
  • The energy taxes that are currently in place in the world’s top economies are not extensive enough to aid in the mitigation of anthropogenic climate change to a large degree, a study said. The study from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development looked at energy taxes in 42 different OECD and G20 economies. [CleanTechnica]
  • A new report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis shows that major power systems can be able to cope well with increasing shares of intermittent renewables. The study says that increased generation of renewable resources does not make the grid less reliable or compromise the security of supply. [Business News Americas]
  • Solar manufacturer SunPower, based in California, reported tepid results in its Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2017 results last week. Revenues were down 35% year-over-year and First Quarter and Full Year 2018 revenues well below expectations. SunPower is still in the early days of looking to make the best of the solar tariff ruling. [CleanTechnica]

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

 

February 19 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Meet the new ‘renewable superpowers'” • A world powered by renewable energy will prize a very different set of resources than we do today. Which countries hold the key to unlocking wind and solar energy, and how will this shake up the world order? University of Swansea’s Andrew Barron discusses some of the issues. [eco-business.com]
Child looking at wind turbines (Image: Ben Paulos, CC BY 2.0)

Child looking at wind turbines (Image: Ben Paulos, CC BY 2.0)

  • “La Plata Electric Association grapples with era of change” • Texas utility LPEA is locked into a contract for the next 30 years with its electricity provider, Tri-State. Tri-State generates most of its electricity by burning coal and only promises to increase prices. Expensive and dirty power is not what most LPEA members want. [The Durango Herald]
  • While the rest of the world is warming, one part of the US is getting colder. The Corn Belt has seen summer temperatures drop 1°C (1.8°F) while rainfall increased by 35%. According to research published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, this time it is agricultural production, not greenhouse gases, that is to blame. [IFLScience]
  • “Tell the EPA: The economic cost of repealing the Clean Power Plan is just too high” • Repealing the CPP would deny Americans the opportunity to create 560,000 jobs and add $52 billion in economic value. That is in addition to the more than 3 million clean energy jobs in the US already, a nonpartisan environmental business group’s report says. [Kansas City Star]
  • President Donald Trump’s 2019 budget request would slash funding for farm bill conservation programs by about $13 billion over 10 years, on top of cuts already sustained in the 2014 farm bill. In a study, we found that it is highly uncertain whether the benefits these programs have produced can maintained with such cuts. [The Conversation]

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

February 18 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “With the US pursuing fossil fuels, alternative, renewable forms of energy could be an even bigger boon to China” • While President Donald Trump’s administration has moved to cut the US government’s clean energy budgets by up to 70%, China has been steadily moving in the opposite direction by exploring alternatives. [Jefferson Public Radio]
Goldwind wind farm (Photo: Pzavislak, Wikimedia Commons)

Goldwind wind farm in China (Photo: Pzavislak, Wikimedia Commons)

  • EPA chief Scott Pruitt staged a quiet visit to Massachusetts, along Federal Energy Regulatory Commission member Neal Chaterjee. The two toured the Northfield Mountain Generating Station pumped storage facility in Northfield. The visit was one day before FERC finalized new rules to benefit energy storage facilities. [MassLive.com]
  • Australia currently mines the majority of the world’s lithium and also mines all of the minerals needed to make batteries on its home soil, but a report by Future Smart Strategies warns that a failure to look beyond this natural advantage, to opportunities that lie further down the supply chain, could cost the nation dearly. [CleanTechnica]
  • After Massachusetts chose a $950 million project headed by Maine utility Central Maine Power as its backup option to bring Canadian power to their state, Maine Gov Paul LePage’s energy czar said his boss would “push this right through” the rest of the permitting process that is handled by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. [Maine Public]
  • With state officials eyeing $56 billion of wind farm projects off the American coastline, developers are worried the turbines will need to be stamped with a big “Made in the USA.” Most are made in Europe, but the states in the Northeast that are jumping into wind power are betting they can create their own wind turbine industry. [WatertownDailyTimes.com]

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

February 17 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Clean energy – not natural gas – drove decarbonization in 2017” • Last year, for the first time, power sector emissions were reduced more by energy conservation and renewable energy than switching from coal to natural gas. This happened despite all Trump administration and fossil fuels industry attempts to limit clean energy. [Environmental Defense Fund]
US wind farm

US wind farm

  • According to project developer Statoil, the world’s first floating wind farm, Hywind Scotland, has been generating electricity at a level that surpasses expectations through its first three full months of production. Where bottom-fixed offshore wind farms operate at 45% to 60% of rated capacity, Hywind Scotland has averaged 65%. [CleanTechnica]
  • Despite the current Presidential regime’s attempts to defend the coal industry, the US is home to a utility breaking world records for renewable energy development. With 47 GW of renewable capacity already built, NextEra plans to double its rate of install in the next few years, aiming for a total of 10.1 to 16.5 GW for the 2017-2020 period. [CleanTechnica]
  • Massachusetts regulators said that Central Maine Power’s New England Clean Energy Connect will bring power from Canada to the Bay State if Eversource does not resolve its Northern Pass permitting problems in New Hampshire by March 27. The 1,200-MW New England Clean Energy Connect would run through 145 miles of western Maine. [MassLive.com]
  • EDF pledged to step up its renewable energy efforts as its sliding nuclear business sees revenues fall. The French energy giant’s annual results for 2017 show a 16% drop in earnings before interest and tax. Earnings in the UK fell by around a third as the company received lower prices than it expected for its nuclear power output. [Energy Live News]

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

February 16 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Federal regulators are allowing Anbaric Development Partners to move ahead with a shared transmission system for offshore wind off the coast of Massachusetts. The US company plans to solicit customers and sell transmission rights to the 2-GW to 2.4-GW Massachusetts Ocean Grid. Three developers already hold leases off the coast. [reNews]
Offshore wind substation (Credit: Statkraft)

Offshore wind substation (Credit: Statkraft)

  • The top US intelligence official warned Congress about the threat of “abrupt” climate change, despite Trump administration efforts to drive climate out of national security discussions. The Director of National Intelligence submitted written testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee identifying climate change as a significant concern. [Vox]
  • US regulators have removed all market barriers to electric storage, so operators can dispatch power from multiple storage systems, including batteries. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has completed a ruling that allows energy storage companies to directly compete against power plants in wholesale power markets. [Digital Journal]
  • Southern California Edison, which serves customers in the greater Los Angeles area, has just announced it is cooperating with BMW to offer a $10,000 rebate to customers who purchase a BMW i3 electric car between now and April 30. To qualify, customers must prove they are an SCE customer and the car must be purchased, not leased. [CleanTechnica]
  • Eviation Aircraft is now aiming to bring its 9-seat electric aircraft to market by 2021 after it closed a battery supply agreement with South Korea’s Kokam, the company’s CEO has revealed. The Israel-based firm went with Kokam because it could expect a relatively high degree of flexibility and access to customization. [CleanTechnica]

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

New Hampshire Lawmakers to Adopt Clean Energy Practices

More than fifty New Hampshire businesses are calling in a letter for the New Hampshire Legislature to advance clean energy policies that they say will support economic growth and business development.

David Greer, with the rooftop solar system on his company, Wirebelt of America, says “I just love the stuff!” Image from Green Energy Times, December 2013.

David Greer, with the rooftop solar system on his company, Wirebelt of America, says “I just love the stuff!” Image from Green Energy Times, December 2013.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Hypertherm, Hannaford Supermarkets, Velcro Companies, Timberland and Worthen Industries are among the businesses that have signed on to a series of “Clean Energy Principles” and sent a letter highlighting those principles to state lawmakers.

“As businesses and employers invested in New Hampshire, we believe that transitioning to a clean energy economy will improve our own competitiveness and our state’s prosperity, health and security,” the letter begins.

It then lists the five principles:

  • “Energy efficiency and clean energy solutions are essential to our businesses. Strengthening investments in market-driven clean energy programs will help New Hampshire businesses be more competitive and grow our workforce.”
  • “Clean energy solutions help us protect the beautiful natural resources of our state, our tourism economy, our health and our way of life.”
  • “Strong state policies to enhance access to energy efficiency and renewable energy will shift our economy away from imported fossil fuels, reduce energy costs and support locally produced clean energy resources — keeping our energy dollars in New Hampshire’s economy.”
  • “Investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy make us more resilient by reducing exposure to fossil fuel price volatility.”
  • “Developing clean energy systems and technologies to meet the needs of a changing global economy provides economic opportunities for the businesses and people of our state.”

One of the businesses signing on to the letter is Wire Belt Company of America in Londonderry, whose CEO, David Greer, said, “Clean energy is good for businesses and New Hampshire’s economy, and it is the right thing to do for our planet. Renewable energy helps businesses like ours compete with other states who have lower energy costs.”

In fact, Greer said, “We plan to almost double the size of our rooftop solar system because it helps cut our energy costs and gives us more predictability.”

According to Colleen Vien, sustainability director at Timberland, “access to renewable energy empowers businesses to make decisions and investments that benefit the environment, the economy and our bottom line.”

New Hampshire currently ranks last among the New England states in energy-efficiency investment, and lawmakers have an opportunity to do more to help decrease demands on the energy grid — helping to reduce overall energy costs for all consumers, the businesses argue.

Michelle Veasey, executive director of New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility and an organizer of the statement, said the signatories “are encouraging lawmakers to adopt policies that position New Hampshire to be competitive and innovative. Lawmakers have an opportunity to follow the lead of the private sector and put the state on a sustainable path towards a thriving economic future.”

Another organizer of the statement, Alli Gold Roberts, senior manager for state policy at Ceres, a nonprofit that works with investors and businesses to promote sustainability initiatives and polices, said, “Investing in clean energy is good for business, and we applaud businesses for elevating their voices in support of strong, clean energy policy.”

Among businesses signing the letter: 36Creative; 7th Settlement Brewery; 900 Degrees Pizzeria Admix; Alnoba; AutoBeGreen; Bowst Interactive; Bruss Project Management; Co-op Food Stores; Dartmouth Hitchcock; Filtrine; FoodState; Gale River Motel; GDS Associates Inc.; Global Round Table Leadership; Good Start Packaging; Grappone Automotive; Gravity Group New England; Great Bay Community College; Green Alliance; Green Energy Options; Hannaford Supermarkets; Henry Whipple House; Hypertherm; mage 4; LighTec Inc.; Lucky & Me; Merritt & Merritt; MicroSpec Corp.; Nemo Equipment; NESG; New England Commercial Solar Services; Outdoor Industry Association; Pause, a Mindfulness Practice; Pax World Funds; Pete and Gerry’s; Petersen Engineering; ReVision Energy; Ridgeview Construction; Stephenson Strategic Communications; Stonyfield Farm; Strategic Potential LLC; The Hvizda Team; Throwback Brewery; Timberland; Velcro Companies; Wire Belt Company of America; W.S. Badger and Co.; Worthen Industries; and Yes! Ventures.

Many thanks to our Sponsor:

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