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Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

December 11 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “‘World’s First’ Fully-Electric Commercial Flight Takes Off” • An all-electric powered seaplane has taken flight for a test flight in Vancouver. It was the first flight of what the operators say is the aviation industry’s “first all-electric commercial fleet.” The six-passenger Harbour Air aircraft is fitted with a magniX electric motor system. [BBC]

Electric seaplane taking off (Harbour Air And magniX)

  • “93-MWh Tesla Megapack Coming To Alaska To Save Customers Cash ” • A new 46.5-MW, 93-MWh Tesla Megapack system installed in Alaska by the Homer Electric Association, Inc, will be used to offset electricity that otherwise would have come from a peaker plant. The new battery pack will be installed at the Soldotna Power Plant. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Green Mountain Power Introduces Plan That Allows Homeowners To Sell Solar Power Direct To Businesses” • Green Mountain Power is creating a platform that will allow residential customers with rooftop solar systems to sell the electricity they generate directly to businesses for the first time in America. The program is currently limited in scope. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Canada Applauded For Zero Carbon Commitment At COP25” • Climate advocates are applauding an international pledge by Canada to introduce legislation for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson made the pledge in a speech at the opening of high-level negotiations at COP25 in Madrid. [National Observer]
  • “The Arctic Saw Near-Record Heat Again In 2019. It’s An Ominous Sign For The Future Of The Planet” • In 2019, average air temperatures in the Arctic were 1.9°C (3.42 °F) above normal, the second-hottest recorded since 1900, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s annual Arctic Report Card. [CNN]

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

December 10 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Renewable Energy Installations In Michigan Up By 57% In 2018” • The annual report from the Michigan Public Service Commission shows continued growth of distributed energy in the state, with a 57% growth of installations for 2018. The year saw 1,952 renewable energy installations with a combined capacity of 13,910 kW. [Daily Energy Insider]

Rooftop solar system (Shutterstock image)

  • “Newly Identified Jet-Stream Pattern Could Imperil Global Food Supplies” • During the summer of 2018, highly amplified jet stream patterns remained stuck in place for unusually long periods of time, producing disastrous weather patterns. The patterns are believed to be twenty times more likely because of climate change. [Scientific American]
  • “Oil Producers And Companies In Carbon-Intensive Industries ‘Will Lose Half Their Value Within Ten Years'” • The UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment warns that carbon-intensive firms could lose 43% of their market value with the “inevitable policy response” to the climate emergency. Very progressive companies could see gains of 33%. [iNews]
  • “Renewables ‘To Become France’s Main Energy Source By 2027’” • Renewable energy is forecast to become France’s dominant energy source by 2027, according to an analysis by GlobalData. This would see it take the lead from nuclear power, which is currently the country’s most important electricity generating technology. [Energy Live News]
  • “UK Hits Renewable Energy Record As Wind Shatters 16-GW Threshold” • The UK hit an all-time renewable energy record as wind generation broke the 16-GW threshold Sunday. According to National Grid said onshore and offshore wind generated up to 43.7% share of electricity, more than double the 20.5% that was produced by nuclear plants. [Energy Live News]

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

Window Dressers Build Events in Vermont

WindowDressers Insulating Window Inserts are built at Community Workshops across Maine and Vermont. Typically, a rotating crew of 10-12 volunteers per half-day shift come together to assemble the inserts over several days. No special skills are necessary and every simple job is taught on-site by our experienced volunteers. Below is the schedule for Vermont locations:

Bristol: Jan 31,- Feb1; Charlotte: Jan:24-26; Montpelier: Jan 13-19; Thetford / Strafford: Jan4-12

To learn more and sign up click here.

December 9 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Alliance For Clean Energy New York Pushes For Carbon Fee On Thermal Generating Stations” • New York State has an energy standard calling for 70% of its electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030. But the Alliance for Clean Energy New York says the state is unlikely to meet that goal without a fee on carbon emissions. [CleanTechnica]

Solar array (Image: Alliance for Clean Energy)

  • “Polluting Firms ‘Will Be Hit By Climate Policies'” • Carbon-intensive firms are likely to lose 43% of their value due to policies designed to combat climate change, according to a report commissioned by the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment. Meanwhile the most progressive companies will see an uplift of 33% in their value. [BBC News]
  • “India Can Generate 18,000 MW Of Renewable Energy Using Biomass: Power Minister R K Singh” • India can generate around 18,000 MW of renewable energy using biomass and an additional 7,000 to 8,000 MW from bagasse cogeneration in sugar mills, according to the country’s power and renewable energy minister, R K Singh. [ETEnergyworld.com]
  • “Power Prices Predicted To Fall As Much As 20% Over Next Three Years Thanks Mostly To Renewables” • The Australian Energy Market Commission forecasts that power prices will come down in all but two Australian states and territories over the next three years. The prices in Queensland are expected to fall by 20%. [NEWS.com.au]
  • “Climate Activists Block Train Taking Coal To A New England Power Plant, Climate Organizer Confirms” • Climate activists blocked a train in Hooksett, New Hampshire, Sunday that was carrying a shipment of coal. They were trying to shut down the last major coal-fired power plant in New England, an organizer said. [NewsCenterMaine.com WCSH-WLBZ]

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

December 8 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “California Ends New Fracking Pending Results Of Scientific Study” • Despite plenty of petrodollars sloshing around California’s capitol in Sacramento, Governor Gavin Newsom halted approvals of new hydraulic fracturing in the state until the projects can be reviewed by an independent panel of scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. [CleanTechnica]

Fracking well in Texas

  • “Soil: The Secret Weapon in the Fight Against Climate Change” • Battered by effects of climate change, agriculture is also an important – in fact a necessary – partner in fighting it. The science is clear: We cannot stay beneath the most dangerous climate thresholds without sequestering a significant amount of carbon in our soils. [EcoWatch]
  • “New England Grid Operator: Region Has Enough Power For Winter Despite Station Closing” • ISO New England says this will be the first winter without the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Massachusetts. But officials say the reactor’s retirement coincided with some solar and wind projects and several dual-energy power plants coming online. [CBS Boston]
  • “Michael Lewis: ‘Don’t Bet Against The US. It Has An Incredible Capacity For Self-Reinvention’ ” • In his most recent book, The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy, Michael Lewis applies his insider’s eye to unsung heroes of government administration, in light of the reckless dismantling of the US civil service under President Trump. [The Guardian]
  • “Seychelles: The Island Nation With A Novel Way To Tackle Climate Change” • In the first deal of its kind, the East African nation swapped 5% of its national debt for a cash injection to fight the effects of climate change on the ocean. In return, it promised to protect 30% of its national waters, which is an area twice the size of the UK – by the end of next year. [BBC]

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

December 7 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “BMW Group Joins ‘Getting to Zero Coalition,’ First Carmaker To Do So” • BMW Group joined the “Getting to Zero Coalition” ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid. By 2023, BMW Group will be offering 25 electrified models. Its factories in Europe have been powered by 100% green electricity since 2017. [CleanTechnica]

BMWs boarding a ship (Image courtesy of BMW Group)

  • “Australia Bushfires North Of Sydney ‘Too Big To Put Out'” • A “mega blaze” raging across a 60 km (37 mile) front north of the Australian city of Sydney cannot currently be put out, fire officials have warned. The severity of the blazes so early in the fire season has caused alarm, and prompted calls for greater action to tackle climate change. [BBC]
  • “Permafrost Hits A Grim Threshold” • According to research based upon field observations conducted from 2003 to 2017, a large-scale carbon emission shift has occurred in the Arctic. The region had been a carbon sink, but the “entire Arctic” now emits more carbon than it absorbs. This can only be described as worse than bad news. [CounterPunch]
  • “Trump’s Tariffs Cost Americans 62,000 Solar Jobs” • Trump’s tariffs have harmed Americans by raising prices, cutting jobs, and losing the US billions in investment opportunities. From 2017–2021, the Solar Energy Industries Association expects 62,000 fewer jobs in the solar industry, which is more than the entire US coal mining industry. [CleanTechnica]
  • “FPL’s Turkey Point First US Nuclear Plant To Get License Out To 80 Years” • When the NRC authorized a subsequent license renewal for two units of the Turkey Point Nuclear Generating facility in Florida, it marked the first time a reactor’s lifespan has been extended from 60 to 80 years. It is an example of the NRC failing to do its job, opponents said. [Utility Dive]

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

December 6 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Vineyard Wins Connecticut Offshore Wind Tender With 804-MW Bid” • Connecticut announced it selected Vineyard Wind LLC’s 804-MW Park City Wind Project as the winner in a major solicitation for offshore wind projects. It had “a price lower than any other publicly announced offshore wind project in North America.” [Renewables Now]

Offshore wind farm (Beverley Goodwin, CC 2.0 generic)

  • “EPA Watchdog Says White House Budget Office Blocked Part Of Its Investigation Into Controversial Trucks Rule” • The EPA inspector general report concluded that the EPA, and possibly the budget office, bypassed key steps when it rushed through Pruitt’s proposal to lighten regulations on some heavy-duty trucks using older, less-efficient engines. [CNN]
  • “As He Scaled World’s 14 Highest Peaks, Nepalese Climber Shocked By Climate Change Effects” • Nepalese climber Nirmal “Nims” Purja smashed the record for taking the shortest time to climb all 14 of the world’s 8,000-meter-high mountains. But his expeditions made him acutely aware of the environmental changes the world is undergoing. [CNN]
  • “Transmission Line Foes Press For Full Environmental Review” • Opponents of a $1 billion Central Maine Power transmission project, proposed to bring Canadian hydropower to the New England grid, urged the Army Corps of Engineers to complete a full environmental impact review. CMP says that would delay a final decision by a year. [ETEnergyworld.com]
  • “Honolulu Makes History With Comprehensive Plastic Bill” • A comprehensive plastic phase-out bill, was approved 7–2 at the Honolulu City Council (the governing body for the island of Oahu). Activists have been working for nearly a decade. What they got is the strongest plastic phase-out bill in the country, and likely in the world. [CleanTechnica]

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

Senator Tim Ashe to Speak at Energy & Climate Action Conference at Lake Morey

12th Annual VECAN conference
Saturday, Dec. 7 at Lake Morey Resort
 
What: 12th Annual Community Energy and Climate Action Conference put on by VECAN (Vermont Energy and Climate Action Network), a program of the Vermont Natural Resources Council.
Who: Town energy committees, local energy leaders, clean energy businesses, organizations, state agency partners, and any Vermonter who wants to play a role in solving the climate crisis.
When: This Saturday, December 7
 
Time: 9am – 4:30pm. Find the full agenda here: http://bit.ly/2sGPqpA.
 
HighlightsAt 3:15pm, Senator Pro Tempore Tim Ashe will speak on the theme of Combating Climate Change in Every Committee Room: A 2020 Legislative Preview.
Contact: Please contact Stephanie Gomory in advance at sgomory@vnrc.org or by phone (802-505-5587) day-of to arrange interviews and access.

The Many Co-benefits of a Good Climate Solution

by John Gage, Citizens’ Climate Lobby New Hampshire state coordinator

The cheapest and quickest way to reduce climate pollution is to put a price on it and let efficient market forces unleash the investment, innovation, and transition to clean energy solutions required.  We can protect household budgets during the process, and protect US businesses from free-polluting foreign competition while strongly encouraging other countries to follow our lead, with a simple three-part solution:

  1. Carbon Fee:  Charge fossil fuel producers and importers a carbon fee, starting at $15 per ton of CO2e and increasing it by $10 more each year, based on the pollution generated from their products;

  2. Dividend:  Return all the money collected back to all households each month equally – one share per adult, a half-share per child – to recoup each of us for damages from the pollution; and

  3. Border Carbon Adjustments:  Put a corresponding carbon fee on energy-intensive imports from countries that don’t match our carbon price and remove the fee from our exports to keep the US globally competitive.

The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019 (HR763) does that, and the effect is powerful.

Fossil fuel producers will pass their increasing costs down to businesses, incentivizing both to invest in, develop, and use other energy solutions.  Businesses will pass their temporarily higher energy costs down to consumers, and compete to reduce their costs.  Consumers cannot pass down their higher costs, so their purchasing power is protected by the dividend.  Producers and consumers will make more fully-informed choices and clean energy options will rapidly become less expensive than polluting ones.

There are many benefits to this climate solution:

It’s Effective:  Carbon emissions will be reduced by 40% by 2030 and 90% by 2050.  This will hold warming below 2˚C this century when other countries follow our lead.

It’s Bipartisan:  73 members of Congress (as of Nov 20129)- from both parties – are cosponsors of HR763.

It’s Good for People:  Two-thirds of all households will break even or receive more in their dividend than they spend due to higher prices from the fee.  Check out how you’ll do here:  citizensclimatelobby.org/calculator/.

It Cleans the Air and Water:  13,000 lives will be saved annually in 10 years as producers and consumers are incentivized to chose clean energy solutions and pollution drops as a result.

It Helps the Poor:  The lowest 10% of households by income will get an average of 9% more income each month by year five simply because they have smaller-than-average carbon footprints.

It Creates Jobs:  2.1 million new jobs (net) will be created in ten years from the extra spending that enables by low-income households.

It’s Efficient:  Businesses will pay the steadily increasing fossil fuel energy prices and pass some of those higher costs down to consumers, and be incentivized to reduce that cost by increasing efficiency and making clean energy choices.

It Protects Businesses:  The border carbon adjustment will protect US businesses and jobs by putting the cost of pollution into the price of imports and taking it out of exports in trade with countries that haven’t yet matched our carbon price.

It has Global Reach:  The border protection will strongly incentivize all other countries to match our carbon price, driving global emissions down as required for our safety.  Eighty-eight countries already have or are planning to use carbon pricing to reduce their carbon emissions, forty-six are already doing so but most with an insufficient price.  We can show them how to do it right.

Congress can not do this without our help.  Status quo-profiting businesses and politicians supported by them have actively worked against this for decades.  They got the benefits, we got the pollution and are paying for it.  If we want change we must create the political will for it ourselves.  By speaking up together for our common interests we can make it happen.

We will get the economic and job benefits of leading the next big global transition, reduce pollution, and make great strides towards ensuring a safe climate for our children and life on Earth.  Please read more about the Energy Innovation Act and send Congress an email now:  cclusa.org/energy-innovation-act/.  Businesses, organizations, and elected leaders can help by endorsing the bill:  energyinnovationact.org/endorse/.  Thank you!

December 5 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “NV Energy Wins Approval For 1.19 GW Of Solar, 590 MW Of Energy Storage In Nevada” • Nevada utility NV Energy said it has approval from the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada for 1.19 GW of new solar projects and 590 MW of energy storage in Nevada. The projects will help NV Energy double its renewable energy capacity. [Renewables Now]

Solar PV plant (Gilles Paire | Shutterstock.com)

  • “Even 50-Year-Old Climate Models Correctly Predicted Global Warming” • Climate change doubters like to claim that computer simulations conducted decades ago didn’t accurately predict current warming. Now, the most sweeping evaluation of these older models – some half a century old – shows most of them were indeed accurate. [Science Magazine]
  • “40 Years Of Atmospheric River Storms Left Staggering Price Tag In Western US, Study Finds” • Flooding from ‘atmospheric rivers’ caused about $43 billion in damage in western states in the last 40 years, a study from the US Army Corps of Engineers and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography found. Climate change is making the flooding worse. [The Weather Channel]
  • “Study Makes Case For Oregon Offshore Wind Power” • In a study, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimated the levelized cost of energy from a 600-MW commercial project off Coos Bay would come in at a relatively inexpensive $63/MWh. That’s less than a third of the $197 cost of power from a 24-MW project that died in 2016. [Portland Business Journal]
  • “Radiation Hotspots ‘Found Near Fukushima Olympic Site'” • The Japanese government is keen to use the Olympics to showcase Fukushima’s recovery from the 2011 tsunami and nuclear disaster. But Greenpeace has said it detected radiation hotspots near the starting point of the upcoming Olympic torch relay in Fukushima. [The Guardian]

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