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April 15 Green Energy News

Opinion:

  • “Biomass Emissions Question Arises Again” A wide variety of publications have picked up a study from an anti-biomass organization. Rebuttals are coming from a number of sources, ranging from the biomass industry itself to environmental groups. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

  • Despite a rise in clean, renewable energy supplies in certain countries, and a partial shift from coal to natural gas in others, global greenhouse gas pollution continues to rise—and at an increasing pace in the most recent years. [Scientific American]
  • A University of Delaware environmental engineer, researching areas where powerful winds called low-level jets could power tethered airborne wind turbines, estimates they have a potential for 7500 GW, about three times the world electricity demand. [The Weather Channel]
  • Experts from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory say the bad news is that a major transformation of our energy supply system is needed to avoid a dangerous increase in global temperatures, and the good news is that we have about all the technologies we need to do it. [EIN News]

World:

  • The Platts Continental Power Index for electric prices in Germany and neighboring countries decreased to €35.06 ($48.50) per MWh in March, an 18% drop from February. Overall, the index is down by more than 39% since peaking at €50.50/MWh last November. [Triple Pundit]
  • The largest wind project in Canada is now up and running. Samsung Renewable Energy and Pattern Energy Group announced their South Kent Wind project is fully operational. The 270 MW project has the capacity to power 100,000 homes. [Power Online]
  • China may soon scrap its plans to construct a $5 billion solar power plant in Nevada and embark on massive renewable energy projects in Crimea, according to the Voice of Russia. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is scheduled to visit Russia in October. [Dallas Blog]
  • About 75% of New Zealand’s electricity comes from renewable sources, and the Government has pledged to raise that to 90% by 2025. But a senior executive from Citigroup told a conference audience the percentage could be greater. [Radio New Zealand]
  • Wales’ First Minister officially opened the country’s first purpose-built anaerobic digestion for generating power from food waste. The £6 million should process 11,000 tonnes of food waste from the local area, producing green energy and fertiliser in the process. [Business Green]
  • Pakistan’s Ministry of Water and Power has reportedly decided to give biomass and bagasse-fired power projects fiscal benefits that are available to independent power producers. [Business Recorder]
  • Articles in the Daily Mail, Sun and Sunday Times focus on comments in the IPCC reports Summary for Policy Makers and by an IPCC spokesperson on the role natural gas could play in the world’s emissions-reduction efforts, saying shale gas could help wean us off coal. [Carbon Brief]

US:

  • First Wind and Hawaiian Electric Company have announced that a request has been filed with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission to provide energy to the Oahu grid from a planned 20 MW AC solar photovoltaic energy facility near Mililani, Oahu. [Utility Products]
  • Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz issued his statement on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Working Group report on climate change mitigation, in which he said the report makes the need clear, and that the US is committed to doing its part. (Full text) [PennEnergy]

GMP statement re agreement with Mr. and Mrs. Nelson

Green Mountain Power issued the following statement today regarding the settlement reached between GMP and Donald and Shirley Nelson of Lowell, Vermont:

“We are pleased to announce that GMP has reached agreement with Don & Shirley Nelson to settle all pending claims. As part of the mutual agreement, GMP will purchase the Nelsons’ 540-acre farm in Lowell for $1.3 million. Under the agreement, the Nelsons will remain in the home for up two years and will retain 35 acres of property in Albany.

“The agreement meets the needs of the Nelsons as well as those of our customers. Kingdom Community Wind is an important part of our growing investment in renewable energy in Vermont. It is an ongoing priority for us to deliver clean, cost-effective, renewable energy to customers including wind, solar, and hydro-electricity.  Vermonters place a high value on the competitively-priced, low carbon energy developed at the site. Kingdom Community Wind is a critical part of that effort to ensure a clean-energy future in Vermont, and since 2012, the project has generated enough electricity to power more than 24,000 homes.

“We believe that this settlement represents an opportunity for both to move forward and we are pleased to have reached agreement.”

 

April 14 Green Energy News

Opinion:

  • “UN: Time Is Running Out for Climate-Change Action” A worldwide push over the next 15 years is the only way to avoid the disastrous effects of climate change, experts appointed by the UN said Sunday. [TIME]
  • “Time to think big and turn to renewable energy” Here’s what we know so far from the IPCC report: we are in the era of man-made climate change. The risks are increasing and we are not doing nearly enough to manage them. Nevertheless, a different pathway is possible. [Herald Scotland]

Science and Technology:

  • A Toronto company has yet another way to store energy. Off-peak energy can be used to compress air into huge balloons in deep water. When demand is high, you turn a valve on land and the compressed air rushes out through a hose, powering an electricity generator. [Windsor Star]

World:

  • Independent power producers (IPPs) using renewable energy had created about 14 000 jobs in South Africa over the past three years, Energy Minister Ben Martins said on Friday. IPPs either own and or operate facilities that generate electric power, typically to sell. [Independent Online]
  • Negotiations between London and Dublin over cross-border trading of onshore wind power have failed, according to the Irish Energy Minister. The breakdown leaves gigawatt-scale ambitions of various organizations unlikely to progress before 2020, if at all. [reNews]
  • Some reports have suggested Germany is slamming on the brakes to prevent renewable energy further pushing up prices. In fact, with these new reforms, the government’s main priority seems to be protecting big business while continuing to roll out renewables. [Business Spectator]
  • Unless Australia quadruples its use of low carbon energy by 2050 agriculture, coastal areas and their tourism industries and trade will be jeopardized, according to Australian National University’s Dr Frank Jotzo. [Yahoo!7 News]

US:

  • Solar power was once derided as a pipe dream and many industry players have floundered, but while the use in this renewable energy remains tiny compared with fossil fuels, it may be poised to completely reshape the energy market. [CNBC.com]
  • Delaware Technical Community College is home to the state’s largest combined use of carport, rooftop, and ground mount arrays in a solar installation. Standard Solar Inc. installed the 800 kW solar system at the college’s four locations. [Today's Energy Solutions]
  • The United States DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory has warned that failing to renew the production tax credit could cause growth in the wind sector to fall from 8.7 GW per year in 2008-2012 to between 3 GW and 5 GW per year. [Tax-news.com]

 

VBSR Networking Get-Together in Rutland

Small Dog Electronics and Green Mountain Power to Co-Host VSBR Networking Get-Together in Rutland

Burlington, VT – Vermont Business for Social Responsibility (VBSR) members and forward thinking business professionals are invited to attend the next VBSR Networking Get-Together on May 1, Co-hosted by Small Dog Electronics and Green Mountain Power (GMP). The event, held from 5:30 to 7:30, will feature networking, great food and drink, tours of GMP’s Energy Innovation Center and a celebration of the Small Dog Electronics Rutland store’s one-year anniversary.

The evening will begin at GMP’s Energy Innovation Center with a cash bar, networking and a chance to learn more about the new Energy Innovation Center. After experiencing how the space helps GMP to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of energy use, attendees will move next door to Small Dog’s retail location to toast the store’s one-year anniversary, enjoy hors d’oeuvres and learn what SR practices are being carried out by the company.

“We’re putting together a unique event,” noted VBSR Communications and Development Manager Scott Buckingham. “Rutland has been reinventing itself and is doing a great job of embracing not only new development, but sustainable business practices.” Buckingham credited the resurgence as the reason the VBSR Get-Together will be held at two locations. “With so many creative things going on Rutland, we felt we had to showcase more than one business; more than one story.”

The Networking Get-Together is free to attend and open to anyone interested in the triple bottom line approach to business. To learn more about the event, register to attend, or join Go! Vermont, Progressive Asset Management and Vermont Energy Investment Corporation as event sponsors, visit www.vbsr.org.

April 13 Green Energy News

The IPCC Report:

  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report was released today. It says there must be a “massive shift” to renewable energy, and the world must rapidly move away from carbon-intensive fuels. [BBC News]
  • The IPCC report says greenhouse gases need to be cut 70% before 2050 to control climate change, and the job will become harder and more expensive unless the transformation is made within 15 years. [Daily Mail]
  • The IPCC report says catastrophic climate change can be averted without sacrificing living standards. It concludes the transformation to a world of clean energy, ditching dirty fossil fuels, is eminently affordable. [Business Green]

Opinion:

  • “Fossil Fuel Industry’s Tired Battle Against Clean Energy Is Also A Losing One” The assault on successful renewable energy legislation continues, long after the facts have proven that state renewable policies deliver clean, affordable, and reliable energy solutions. [Forbes]

World:

  • Data from the Global Wind Energy Council show that 35,000 MW of new generating capacity was added worldwide in 2013, down from 45,000 MW in 2012. Now Windpower is poised for a comeback. Currently, 7000 MW is under construction in Texas alone. [CleanTechnica]
  • David Cameron’s commitment to the green agenda will come under the fiercest scrutiny yet this week when top climate-change experts will warn that only greater use of renewable energy – including wind farms – can prevent a global catastrophe. [The Guardian]

US:

  • Geologists in Ohio have for the first time linked earthquakes in a geologic formation deep under the Appalachians to hydraulic fracturing, leading the state to issue new permit conditions Friday in certain areas that are among the nation’s strictest. [Huffington Post]
  • Apple has acquired a hydroelectric project near the company’s new data center in Prineville, Oregon. Data centers use lots of electricity to power thousands of computers that hold digital information. [Greenfield Daily Reporter]
  • The growth of US wind energy, though 43% cheaper to produce now than four years ago, slowed down in 2013. It added a record 13,131 MW of power in 2012, but that fell 92% to only 1,087 MW last year — the lowest level since 2004. [The Sheboygan Press]
  • Oklahoma ranks fourth nationally in the amount of electricity generated from wind, according to the American Wind Energy Association’s annual report. More than 10.8 million MWh of electricity was generated by wind in Oklahoma, enough for about one million homes. [Enid News & Eagle]
  • Despite strong bi-partisan support, Maine Governor Paul LePage (R) vetoed a bill on Friday designed to fund a statewide solar energy program, calling the estimated 5-cent per month tax increase on power bills “regressive.” [Raw Story]
  • More than 7,000 MW of new wind turbines are scheduled to be built in Texas by the end of next year, potentially increasing Texas’ wind power capacity by almost 60%. The amount being installed is greater than any other state already has in place.[Dallas Morning News]

April 12 Green Energy News

Opinion:

  • “Are We Halfway to Market Dominance for Solar?” Electricity output from solar PVs is approaching 1% of total global electricity production, according to the IEA. That may not seem like much, but that 1% is actually halfway to the goal of market dominance. [Greentech Media]

Science and Technology:

  • In Europe, there are over 13,800 biogas plants pumping out 7.4 GW of energy. The market is expected to double there by 2020. Biogas is spreading rapidly in the US, used at 1500 wastewater treatment plants and about 200 at dairy and pig farms. [SustainableBusiness.com]

World:

  • Eminent bishop and Nobel peace prize winner Desmond Tutu has called on businesses to cut ties with the fossil fuels industry, in the same way as they did with South African companies during apartheid. [Blue & Green Tomorrow]
  • A radical shift from fossil fuels to low-carbon energy would slow world economic growth by only a tiny fraction every year, a new draft U.N. report on tackling global warming said on Friday. [The Japan Times]
  • The IPCC report says clean energy will have to dominate world energy supplies by 2050 to avoid catastrophic climate change. Right now, Over half a trillion dollars a year are spent subsidising fossil fuels – six times more than spent supporting renewable energy. [The Guardian]
  • When given the choice, 62% of UK residents polled said they would rather have a wind farm in their local council area than a fracking site, with just 19% preferring to have fracking nearby. [Smallholder]
  • In the UK, Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has taken personal control over blocking unpopular renewable energy projects until the election, as the war over wind farms intensifies. [Western Morning News]
  • Russian President Putin threatened the “extreme measure” of cutting off Russian gas for Ukraine unless paid for in advance. In a stark letter to 18 world leaders, Mr Putin said that, in such a “critical situation”, gas deliveries to the European Union could also be jeopardized. [Canada Free Press]
  • A UK community solar project launched in March in Plymouth has revealed it has raised £400,000 in just five weeks, meaning it can go ahead with plans to install free solar panels on schools and community buildings. [Blue & Green Tomorrow]

US:

  • Maryland’s Republican candidates for governor say fracking for natural gas in Maryland is a better energy source than alternative methods such as wind or solar. Democratic candidates are wary of fracking and want to go with more renewable energy. [Patch.com]
  • Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has signed into law a bill providing a $5 million tax credit to a company that installs at least $300 million in renewable power capacity to supply its own plant. Conservative Republicans say the bill is unfairly tailored to benefit Apple. [Greenfield Daily Reporter]
  • Ikea announced it will purchase its first wind farm in the US – a 98 MW project about 100 miles south of Chicago. It will be Ikea’s single biggest renewable energy project to date. Ikea’s goal is to produce as much as it consumes by 2020. Other companies are doing the same. [Energy and Capital]
  • Environment New York released a new report, “Shining Cities: At the Forefront of America’s Solar Energy Revolution,” ranking New York City number 8 of major cities for the amount of solar power installed. [Long Island Exchange]

Job Opportunity – NH HBI seeking PACT Instructors for Building Industry Classes

Home Builders Institute (HBI) is coming to NH and we need instructors!

Click here to view the job opening and contact Elizabeth Fischer-  603-296-5272 if you are interested in the position.

The New Hampshire Home Builders Association (NHHBA) is pleased to announce that the Home Builders Institute (HBI), a national leader for career training in the building industry, was recently approved by New Hampshire to begin offering their Pre-apprentice Certificate Training (PACT) program in New Hampshire.

HBI PACT provides students with the skills and experience necessary for successful careers through pre-apprenticeship training and job placement services. The program includes mentoring, nationally known certification programs, industry validated textbooks and curricula.

In addition, the HBI program builds character and self-esteem by providing students with the interpersonal skills needed to succeed on the job and in life. This gives graduates a solid foundation for becoming valuable members of their communities and responsible citizens.

Students who graduate from an HBI-licensed PACT program enter the job market with an industry-recognized, portable, pre-apprenticeship credential that is accepted by U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and qualifies them for Employment in the U.S. Building Industry.

“We are pleased to partner with HBI to bring this nationally recognized training to New Hampshire to help train the next generation of contractors who are vital to a robust New Hampshire economy”, stated  Dick Benson, Brix & Stix Construction, President of New Hampshire Home Builders Association.

New Hampshire Home Builders Association
119 Airport Road
Concord, NH 03301
Tel: 603-228-0351
Fax: 603-228-1877
Email: info@hbranh.com

Upcoming Button Up Workshops

Three Button Up worships for New Hampshire remain in the spring 2014 portion of the series. They are as follows:

9. Button Up Twin Mountain – April 16th

Host: Twin Mtn Energy Committee, Twin Mtn Fire Department, Twin Mtn Chamber of Commerce
Date: Wednesday, April 16th
Time: 6:30-8:00pm with registration/refreshments before
Location: Twin Mountain Town Hall, 92 School St, Twin Mountain, NH
Registration: http://buttonuptwinmountain.eventbrite.com

10. Button Up Conway – April 29th

Host: Red Jacket Mountain View Resort, Mount Washington Chamber of Commerce, Hampton Inn North Conway, North Conway Residence Inn, Storyland
Date: Tuesday, April 29th
Time: 6:30-8:00pm with registration/refreshments before
Location: Red Jacket Mountain View Resort, 2251 White Mountain Hwy, North Conway, NH
Registration: http://buttonupconway.eventbrite.com

11. Button Up Rochester – April 30th

Host: Strafford Regional Planning Commission
Date: Wednesday, April 30th
Time: 6:30-8:00pm with registration/refreshments before
Location: Strafford Regional Planning Commission, 150 Wakefield St, Rochester, NH
Registration: http://buttonuprochester.eventbrite.com

 

April 11 Green Energy News

World:

  • When nuclear reactors went offline after the Fukushima Disaster, Japan managed to replace half the missing capacity through energy efficiency and conservation measures that still endure, three years later. [ThinkProgress]
  • The UK Conservative manifesto will be putting focus on solar and offshore wind as it blocks any further spread of turbines on land. The Royal Academy of Engineering has warned government that this will lead to an increase in household energy bills. [H&V News]
  • Tynwald [The Manx legislature] voted overwhelmingly for a strategy on offshore energy production that could see wind farms developed in Manx territorial waters. The Council of Ministers’ report suggests that each wind farm could earn government £5 million a year. [Isle of Man Today]
  • The future for small-scale renewable power projects has been thrown into doubt by changes to European state aid rules, industry leaders have claimed. The European Commission changed its guidance on state aid for renewable energy. [Building.co.uk]
  • Lord Nicholas Stern, author of a landmark 2006 study on climate change, says his conclusion that global output could dive 5% to 20% without action to curb greenhouse gases was an underestimate. [Sydney Morning Herald]
  • A large renewable energy tidal array could be built off Alderney by 2020. OpenHydro and Alderney Renewable Energy have announced a joint venture to develop a 300 MW array, made up of 150 turbines. The array would produce power more than 150,000 homes. [BBC News]
  • The UK has successfully lobbied to have an article containing the phrase, “the measure should in principle not reward investments in generation from fossil fuel plants,” removed from the new EU state aid guidelines. [Solar Power Portal]

US:

  • These days, Ikea is assembling more than just furniture. About 150 miles south of Chicago, in Vermilion County, the home goods giant is building a wind farm large enough to ensure that its stores will never have to buy power again. [Chicago Tribune]
  • A study released by the nonprofit Environment California Research & Policy Center ranked more than 50 U.S. cities according to their solar energy capabilities. San Diego ranked No. 2, overshadowed by celebrity neighbor Los Angeles. [U-T San Diego]
  • Kansas moved up to No. 8 among states in the amount of installed wind energy capacity and was No. 6 in the total amount of electricity generated by wind in 2013. Only Iowa and South Dakota produced higher percentages of their power from wind energy than Kansas. [Kansas City Star]
  • Kentucky Governor Beshear announced funding for an environmentally-friendly methane gas recovery system in the city of Glasgow that will also save taxpayer dollars. The new system will capture gas from the Glasgow Regional Landfill and turn it into electricity. [RenewablesBiz]

April 10 Green Energy News

Science and Technology:

  • Scientists said on Wednesday they have developed a new way to make liquid ethanol efficiently without using corn or other crops needed in the conventional method for producing the biofuel. Instead, they use carbon monoxide. [Thomson Reuters Foundation]
  • Sustainable Innovations, LLC of East Hartford, Connecticut announced an advance for its hydrogen separation and compression systems. Sustainable Innovations’ system supports hydrogen generating systems for megawatt scale power-to-gas applications. [PR Web]
  • The team building working on Solar Impulse 2, a completely solar-powered aircraft, intend to have it take off from the Persian Gulf and make its way to India, as its starts on a trip around the world. The only time it will touch down would be to switch pilots. [Ubergizmo]

World:

  • Europe is stitching together a patchwork of measures that could reduce its natural gas imports from Russia by over a quarter by the end of the decade as a result of the Ukraine crisis, halting Moscow’s tightening grip over the region’s energy. [Investing.com]
  • In Romania, renewable capacity of 4,852 MW in end-February 2014, surpassing the 2020 goal. Wind projects reached 2,792 MW, PVs were at 1,149 MW, micro hydro was 542 MW, and biomass-based projects had a capacity of 99 MW. [ACTmedia]
  •  The European Commission is curbing subsidies for renewable energies to reduce drive electricity prices. They laid out stricter rules on the extent to which member states may support the generation of power from renewable sources such as solar, wind or biomass. [Utility Products]
  • The UK may not buy electricity from an independent Scottish state if imports from alternative markets are cheaper, the UK government has warned, putting further pressure on Scotland five months before its independence vote. [www.worldbulletin.net]
  • The Fukushima Renewable Energy Institute is opening three years after the Fukushima nuclear power plant suffered catastrophic meltdowns after the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit east Japan in March 2011. [The Japan Daily Press]
  • Marketwired Martifer Solar, successfully connected 78.4 MWp to the UK grid before the March 31st 1.6 Renewable Obligation Certificate deadline. Construction was completed in record time, only nine weeks, under the UK’s worst winter rainfall in 250 years. [RenewablesBiz]
  • An investigation of possible price collusion by British energy suppliers is likely to undermine the market framework that has helped make them more valuable than their European rivals. [Business Recorder]
  • Emissions from transportation may rise at the fastest rate of all major sources through 2050, the United Nations will say in a report due April 13. Heat-trapping gases from vehicles may surge 71 percent from 2010 levels, mainly from emerging economies. [Businessweek]

US:

  • EPA administrator Gina McCarthy went to lengths to emphasize the fact that states will have flexibility when deciding on how to implement new greenhouse gas regulations on existing power plants under new rules expected to be unveiled in June. [OilPrice.com]
  • Tucson Electric Power plans on reducing its coal-fired by 492 MW, or 32%, over the next five years, the company announced in its 2014 Integrated Resource Plan. The plan outlines how the company intends to meet energy demand requirements through 2028. [PennEnergy]
  • Hanwha Q CELLS celebrated the completion of the first utility scale solar project constructed on an active EPA Superfund site. The 10.86 MW Maywood Solar Farm is on 43 acres of the Reilly Tar & Chemical Superfund site in Indianapolis. [Inside Indiana Business]
  • Entergy is asking federal regulators for permission to end off-site emergency planning 16 months after the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant shuts down. NRC staffers are evaluating Entergy’s request. [vtdigger.org]
  • Disagreements between Entergy Nuclear and the Agency of Natural Resources surfaced this week in an exchange of letters over the proposed draft permit for Vermont Yankee’s continuing thermal discharge into the Connecticut River. [Barre Montpelier Times Argus]