The April 15 editon of Green Energy Times is now available.
Distribution is still under way, so be patient if you do not see it right away.
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Earth Day: April 22, 2015
April 22, 2015 is the 45th annual celebration of the first Earth Day in 1970, when 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Back then, thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment, while grassroots groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife realized they shared common values—and a unified environmental movement was born.
The spirit of that first Earth Day lives on every year when April 22 rolls around, but nowadays hundreds of millions of people around the world honor the planet and pledge to do their part to protect it. The non-profit Earth Day Network (EDN), founded by the organizers of the first Earth Day in 1970, helps organize events and rallies around the world by providing information and resources and serving as a central clearinghouse for local listings. EDN’s international network tops 22,000 organizations in 192 countries, while its U.S. program assists more than 30,000 educators and helps activists coordinate thousands of community development and environmental protection activities throughout the year.
If you’re looking to participate in an Earth Day event or rally near you, EDN’s “Find an Earth Day Event” database has you covered. Browse by country, state/province and city. And if you can’t find something near you, Earth Day Network can provide the resources to start your own. Even if it’s last minute, it still counts.
Even if you can’t attend an event in person, you can help the cause by “pledging an act of green” — committing to do something on behalf conservation and the environment (even simply reducing home energy consumption) and posting accordingly to the EDN website — or by signing onto one or several of the group’s petitions. The Climate Petition tells leaders to phase out fossil fuels, while the “Support Environmental Education” drive calls on Congress to reinstate funding to schools for sustainability topics.
Another way to help spread awareness on April 22 is posting about your commitment to the environment via social media. Tell your Facebook friends or Twitter followers why protecting the planet is so important to you and to all of us. Start a Reddit discussion on green initiatives in your town or neighborhood. Post your favorite nature images to your Pinterest board or Flickr account.
Anyone near Washington DC might want to head for the National Mall on Saturday April 18 for the Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day Rally, a joint project of the Global Poverty Project and Earth Day Network, which will feature live musical performances by My Morning Jacket, Train, Fall Out Boy, Mary J. Blige, Usher and No Doubt, while Don Cheadle, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim will address the crowd as well. If you can’t make it to the Mall in person, Youtube is providing a free livestream of the day’s festivities and should run the clips indefinitely.
Contacts: Earth Day Network, www.earthday.org; Global Poverty Project, www.globalpovertyproject.com; Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day Rally, www.youtube.com/globalcitizen/live.
Source: EarthTalk®,by Doug Moss & Roddy Scheer and is a registered trademark of Earth Action Network Inc. View past columns at: www.earthtalk.org. Or e-mail your questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The European Commission announced approval for Germany to invest nearly €30 billion in the development of 20 offshore wind farms. Germany notified the EU of its plans to invest in 17 wind farms set to be located in the North Sea, and another 3 in the Baltic Sea, amounting in total to 7 GW of new capacity. [CleanTechnica]
Wind Lift I, a special crane ship for installing offshore wind turbines. Photo by kaʁstn, Wikimedia Commons.
- In a report from Climate Policy Initiative and the Indian School of Business, CPI found that, in absence of any subsidies, wind power is already cheaper than the total cost of power from a new built imported coal plant, at 9¢/kWh for electricity from wind power and 11¢/kWh for electricity from imported coal. [Business Standard]
- Nebraska Public Power District, the state’s largest utility, announced plans to replace a coal-fired power plant unit with one that runs on hydrogen, cutting its carbon emissions by over 1 million tons per year, even as the state battles proposed new federal rules on coal plants. It will generate 125 MW with the unit. [Reuters Africa]
- US wind power saved 68 billion gallons of water in the US in 2014, according to a report by the AWEA. This is an increasingly valuable benefit in droughts. In California, wind energy saved 2.5 billion gallons of freshwater in 2014, while Texas led the nation with savings of 13 billion gallons of water. [Renewable Energy Magazine]
- The Australian government found $4 million for the climate contrarian Bjørn Lomborg to establish his “consensus centre” at an Australian university, even as it struggled to impose deep spending cuts on the higher education sector. The center will be at the University of Western Australia’s business school. [The Guardian]
For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.
Urban and Suburban Carbon Farming
to Reverse Global Warming
Conference on 5/3
Please join us for “Urban and Suburban Carbon Farming to Reverse Global Warming.” Learn how soil restoration is key to reversing climate change and about the contributions urban and suburban dwellers can make!
This one-day conference, presented by Biodiversity for a Livable Climate, Green Cambridge, and the Climate Action Business Association, will take place at Harvard Science Center, 1 Oxford Street, Cambridge, Mass., on Sunday, May 3rd, 2015.
An exciting line-up of scientists, farmers, educators, and visionary community leaders — including special guest, local food pioneer Mel King — will present on topics of interest to gardeners, homeowners, government officials, educators, students … and all others concerned about health, economic well-being, and our ecological future.
Speakers and Panelists:
Thomas Akin, Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA
Lenni Armstrong, DePave Somerville
Jonathan Bates, ecologist and permaculture consultant
Duke Bitsko, Bioengineering Group
Phil Colarusso, Ocean and Coastal Protection unit, US EPA
Eric ‘T’ Fleischer, Battery Park City Parks Conservancy, Manhattan, New York
Bruce Fulford, City Soil & Greenhouse
Allison Houghton, Greater Boston CSA
Jennifer Lawrence, sustainability planner, City of Cambridge
Ellen Mass, Friends of Alewife Reservation
David Morimoto, Biology, Lesley University
Charlotte O’Brien, Carbon Drawdown Solutions
Luisa Oliveira, senior planner for landscape design, City of Somerville
Eric Olson, Sustainable International Development, Heller School, Brandeis University
Nathan Phillips, Earth and Environment, Boston University
Mark Smith, Brookwood Community Farm
Adam Sacks, executive director, Biodiversity for a Livable Climate
Quinton Zondervan, executive director, Climate Action Business Association and president, Green Cambridge
For more information and to REGISTER, visit bio4climate.org/cambridge
Conference fee is $50, sliding scale. Volunteer opportunities are available.
Biodiversity for a Livable Climate
- As it turns out, the solution to a serious problem discovered last year at Ivanpah, the first solar power tower in the US, actually has turned out to be “one weird trick.” A mishap in January produced the Eureka moment for safe solar power tower development. Now there are no more dead birds at all. [CleanTechnica]
Tower at Ivanpah. Photo by Craig Dietrich. Wikimedia Commons.
- The remote Faroe Islands in northern Europe are to benefit from a major energy storage system. The power generator and distributor for the Faroes commissioned the project, which will see 2.3 MW of lithium-ion batteries used to maximise the potential of a new 12-MW wind farm installation. [PV-Tech Storage]
- One of Australia’s largest power generators, AGL Energy, has adopted a new policy. AGL will not finance or build new coal-fired power stations, and it will not extend the operating life of any existing coal-fired power stations beyond 2050. The announcement came at the opening of AGL’s 102-MW Nyngan Solar Plant. [The Australian Financial Review]
- BP shareholders voted overwhelmingly to publish regular updates on how its strategies were affecting climate change, making it one of the first global oil companies to disclose such details. The plan was proposed by a group of investors the annual general meeting and got support of 98% of investors. [News24]
- In a poll of US parents, 81% said they want to live in a solar-powered home. The majority (67%) also wants solar to be the world’s primary energy source when their children grow up. And 95% believe it’s their responsibility to teach their children about alternative energy for a better environment for the future. [CleanTechnica]
For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.
5th Annual 5K Run and Free Fair
Celebrate Earth Day in Londonderry, NH
Start of 5K race. Photo courtesy of LOCO Sports and Stonyfield.
On Saturday, May 16, 2015 Stonyfield, local, organic yogurt maker, in collaboration with LOCO Sports, will host the fifth annual Stonyfield Earth Day 5K & Fair. The event will take place from 10 am to 1 pm at the Stonyfield Yogurt Works location, 10 Burton Drive in Londonderry, NH. This family-friendly road race and fair is open to the public so that everyone can join the fun! Rated one of the top ten 5k races in New England with about 2500 runners and 4000 attendees at the free fair, this is one opportunity locals won’t want to miss!
Runners and walkers should sign up as early as possible to take advantage of new offers this year. The first 1400 pre-registered 5k entrants get an Adidas custom tech race tee. Additionally, the first 200 kids to register for the children’s race will obtain a free pass to The NH Children’s Museum and a pass to Charmingfare Farm.
Local brings a whole new aspect for the event this year including:
- Smuttynose and Rustic Crust. Smuttynose will be bringing their well-known race beer tent (runners will get beer tickets, non-runners must pay for beer). Complementing the tasty local beer will be free local pizza at the Rustic Crust pizza truck.
- A Market, Applegate, Pete and Gerry’s Eggs and Pretzel Crisps will provide free, healthful food for attendees.
- Live music will be provided by Pat and The Hats, a popular, local-to-New Hampshire ban. The band will be playing for the duration of the fair.
- Kids will also be able to enjoy: face painting, balloonists, a kids zone bounce house, laser tag, dunk tanks, exciting interactive exhibits from The Discovery Museum and SEE Science Center and Vertical Dreams with their rock-climbing wall. Little ones will have a chance to meet Gurt the Stonyfield Cow, Slider from the NH Fishercat’s, Max from the Manchester Monarchs, Geoffrey the Giraffe from Babies “R” Us and several other mascots.
- A dedicated runners’ tent will be on site, complete with three chiropractic practices, and massages for all by Seacoast Career School.
- Transportation from Grace Limousines with shuttles to and from the race to free nearby parking lots.
- Frank FM (106.3) and 105.5 JYY will be broadcasting live all day on-site.
- NH Roller Derby will be providing a demo on site for fair goers. NH Roller Derby is a non-profit sports organization that promotes women’s athleticism while giving back to the local community.
- The “Bunny Hop” will return this year, with free ‘bunny tails’ to bring attention to the endangered New England Cottontail rabbit. Stonyfield will be donating a portion of race proceeds to New Hampshire’s Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program to help support species conservation efforts.
General registration is $30 and tickets can be purchased from March 1 through May 12 midnight. Race day registration may be available, pending space. The Kids Race is for children 10 and under and is free; children can be registered at the fair. Affordable youth pricing for big kids over 10 is also available for $20 a ticket. Runners can head to http://stonyfield5k.com/ for more information.
WHEN: Saturday, April 18, 2015: 9:00 am – 12:00 noon and 1:30 to 4:00 pm
WHERE: Chase Hall, Vermont Law School, South Royalton, VT
WHAT: “ BEES, or not to BE”, a FREE public presentation at VT Law School
Honey bees are dying at alarming rates, with reported yearly loses of 20 to 50% in some apiaries. Without pollination, there is concern that our agriculture and our food production system will be dramatically and economically challenged.
Why is this happening to honey bees? Are other pollinators at risk? What can be done to support honey bees and our native pollinators? These are just a few of the questions that arise.
BEES, or not to BE is a day long program on Saturday, April 18 at Vermont Law School’s Chase Hall. It will address these and other questions involving honey bees and wild pollinators. Sponsored by the Sierra Club of the Upper Valley and Vermont Law School’s Center for Agriculture and Food Systems., it is free and open to the public.
The morning panel from 9:00 until 12:00 will focus on honey bees, recent research involving pesticides and honey bees as well as the challenges honey bees face with pathogens and climate change. It will also cover what beekeepers can do to keep their hives healthy and alive, and what beekeepers and others around the country are doing in support of all our pollinators.
The afternoon panel from 1:30 to 4:00 will describe our diverse native pollinators, their habits and habitats. It will offer ways we can encourage pollinators with native food plants and nest sites and describe how attracting beneficial insects can reduce pest populations naturally.
The public can attend either or both sessions. There will be a break between 12 and 1:30. Those attending the full day can bring a brown bag lunch or walk to a local eatery.
Morning Session Key Speakers: Mary Anne Frazier, Senior Extension Associate at Penn State Center of Pollinator Research, and Ross Conrad, author of Natural Beekeeping, a regular contributor to Bee Culture Magazine, and owner of Dancing Bees Apiary in VT.
Afternoon Session Key Speakers: Jarrod Fowler, lecturer of Entomological Horticulture at the Stockbridge School for Agriculture, UMass Amherst, USDA NRCS Technical Service Provider of Pollinator Habitat Enhancement Plans for New England farmers, landowners, and wildlife; Lionel Chute, Director, Sullivan County Natural Resources, (NH) and District Manager of the Sullivan County Conservation District; Cat Buxton, consultant, teacher and community organizer promoting food system change through education and advocacy.
For more information contact Betsy Eldredge at email@example.com or Nina Swaim at firstname.lastname@example.org. Campus map at http://www.vermontlaw.edu/community/the-campus/map-directions
Hope to see you there! — Betsy and Denis
Senate Committee vote 4-0 for NH C-PACE!
Greetings all and more good news,
This morning, NH’s Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 4-0 on House Bill 205, the bill that rewrites the NH C-PACE statute in a way palatable to so many stakeholders, and fits nicely with our program design. It is scheduled to go to the Senate Floor on Thursday, April 23 for a vote. We are optimistic about these next steps: having unanimous support in NH’s feisty House and now in the Senate Committee, bodes well. Then, if all goes well, on to the Governor!! For more information, check out our updated C-PACE page on our website: http://jordaninstitute.org/c-pace.html.
Here are two fun articles about the Jordan Institute and Resilient Buildings Group, and some of our clients/partners/friends in this week’s Concord Insider: http://www.theconcordinsider.com/article/meet-few-of-the-concord-groups-at-the-head-of-the-efficiency-pack
There’s a great conference on historic preservation this Friday, sponsored by the NH Preservation Alliance. For more information:
Neighbors come together to install solar at up to 20% discount; Governor encourages additional communities to enroll
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced communities across the state have come together to bring clean and affordable solar power to their localities at a discounted cost of up to 20 percent. With 26 campaigns launching through Reforming the Energy Vision, communities can obtain solar installations as a large group rather than an individual household—making it cheaper for everyone involved. In addition, the program is helping remove many of the obstacles that inhibit solar options, such as feasibility studies and finding the right contractor.
“Solar power is helping to save money and conserve energy across the state – and one of the best ways for local communities to install solar infrastructure is to come together and take advantage of even more cost-effective rates,” Governor Cuomo said. “I encourage anyone considering solar for their home or business to learn more about our resources and join the campaign today.”
A recent study by the University of Connecticut and Yale University demonstrates the neighborhood effect solar power can have: if your neighbor installs solar, you’re much more likely to do so as well.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has partnered with 26 community campaigns across the state to encourage more New Yorkers to sign on to the Community Solar NY program. The solarize campaigns are located in Long Island, the Capital Region, the Finger Lakes, Central New York, Southern Tier, North Country, and the Bronx. They are managed by community partnerships that include local municipalities, planning organizations, sustainability groups, state legislators, business groups, and Native American tribes, among others.
The 26 current solarize campaigns are below, and more details can be found here :
· Solarize Brookhaven : Town of Brookhaven
· Solarize Albany: Albany County
· Solarize the Flower City : Rochester
· Solarize Saratoga Springs : Saratoga Springs
· Solarize Central New York (12 campaigns): Onondaga County, Syracuse, Dewitt, Manlius, Fayetteville, Minoa, Skaneateles, Spafford, Marcellus, Pompey, Lafayette, Tully, Fabius, Camillus, Elbridge, Van Buren, Baldwinsville, Lysander, Solvay, Geddes, Salina, Liverpool, Clay, Cicero, Cayuga County, Auburn, Cortland County, Oswego County, Oswego, Minetto, Scriba, Fulton, Granby, Hannibal, Volney, Madison County, Oneida, Wampsville, Canastota, Lenox, Chittenango, Cazenovia-Hamilton
· Solar Schuyler : Schuyler County
· Solarize Williamson : Town of Williamson
· Solarize Northeastern Tioga County : Northeastern Tioga County
· Solarize the Village of Canton : Village of Canton
· Solarize Tri-Lakes: Town of Franklin, Tri-Lakes Region
· Solarize South Fork (2 campaigns): Town of Southampton, Village of Southampton, Town of East Hampton, Villages of Sag Harbor and East Hampton
· Solarize Troy : City of Troy and Rensselaer County
· Solarize Akwesasne: Akwesasne
· Building Power : Northwest Bronx
Community Solar NY is helping to support these campaigns by providing marketing materials, a streamlined customer acquisition platform, technical assistance and funding, and by sharing best practices to help community projects succeed.
Programs like this are part of the Governor’s Reforming the Energy Vision plan, which spurs clean energy innovation and investment. Programs include the $1 billion NY-Sun Initiative, to advance the scale-up of solar and move the state closer to having a sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry, and K-Solar, which provides technical and financial support to enable public schools to install solar with no upfront costs.
Richard Kauffman, Chairman of Energy and Finance for New York said, ”Communities are at the core of Reforming the Energy Vision and it is validating to see so many neighborhoods enthusiastically choose to inspire the next generation of New Yorkers by investing in clean and reliable solar power.”
John B. Rhodes, President and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority said, “Governor Cuomo’s groundbreaking energy strategy calls for expanding power production systems located at businesses, homes, schools and in communities. Community Solar NY is off to a very strong start, demonstrating that communities are excited to adopt solar and to reduce their costs by working together.”
Dr. Susan Spencer, ROCSPOT, President and Founder; Solarize the Flower City, said, “Solarize programs offer enormous opportunity for education and awareness-building in the community, which gives people the ability to choose solar technology for their energy needs. This directly addresses energy poverty, and builds a community’s economic potential.”
Sam Maggio, Solar Schuyler, Founder/Coordinator, said, “Solar Schuyler has ignited tremendous excitement in our community from Winery, Microbrew and Bed and Breakfast owners to homeowners, and the people who work for solar installers or who have affiliated businesses are extremely excited about the future work. In addition, our business development community sees Solar Schuyler as a viable job creator and enhancement to the local economy.”
About Reforming the Energy Vision
Under Governor Cuomo’s strategic Reforming the Energy Vision plan, New York State is actively spurring clean energy innovation, bringing in new investments and improving consumer choice and affordability through initiatives such as the Clean Energy Fund, $1 billion NY-Sun Initiative, $1 billion NY Green Bank, $40 million NY-Prize competition for community microgrids and others. New York is pioneering a new statewide approach, giving customers new opportunities for energy savings, local power generation, and enhanced reliability to provide safe, clean, and affordable electric service for all customers.
The Burgar Hill wind farm has been in operation for 13 years and faces the windiest conditions in the UK
- A wind turbine in Orkney has become the first in the UK to generate more than 100,000,000 kWh of electricity. It sits on the island’s exposed Burgar Hill, the windiest location for a wind farm in Europe. It was erected as a prototype in 2002, and produces enough power, on average, to supply 1,400 homes. [Scotsman]
- America’s power generation fleet has changed so much since the 1950s, and especially over the last decade, that the amount of carbon we emit per MWh of electricity produced has dropped to its lowest point in recorded history. In fact, 2015 could be the cleanest ever for our power industry. [Environmental Defense Fund]
- Arkansas County’s Grand Prairie will soon become home to an 81-MW PV facility, according to Entergy Arkansas. It will be the largest solar power plant in the state. The project will cover nearly 500 acres and will be capable of generating enough clean energy to power about 13,000 homes. [PennEnergy]
- The Dow Chemical Company announced new sustainability goals, to be accomplished by 2025, which include creating products that offset three times more carbon dioxide than they emit throughout their life cycle and delivering $1 billion in cost savings or new cash flow by valuing nature in business decisions. [Environmental Leader]
- California might just have broken another solar record, with 6,000 MW of solar power flowing into the state’s grid over about four hours on Wednesday. That’s according to a graph generated by computers at the California Independent System Operator, which manages most of the state’s power grid. [KCET]
For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.