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For 8 years, Green Energy Times has been a great FREE resource to educate readers on energy independence, energy efficiency, and sustainable living, 6-times per year.  We could use our readers’ support to keep this paper operational and free through any donation you are able to contribute.  If every reader could provide $1 per issue (or a donation of $6… or more), it would be greatly appreciated.  With the increase demand of the paper, this fundraising campaign will help pay for printing more copies and expanding our distribution in our current and new regions.

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November 21 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Nebraska officials voted to allow the Keystone XL pipeline to cross the state, a key step toward the completion of the Keystone Pipeline network. The state’s Public Service Commission voted 3-2 in favor of the expansion pipeline, days after the existing Keystone Pipeline spilled 210,000 gallons of oil in South Dakota. [Houston Chronicle]
Pipeline construction (Houston Chronicle photo)

Pipeline construction (Houston Chronicle photo)

  • Middlebury College will significantly reduce its carbon footprint thanks to an innovative partnership with Goodrich Family Farm in Salisbury, Vermont, Vanguard Renewables of Wellesley, Massachusetts, and Vermont Gas. A facility at Goodrich Family Farm will combine cow manure and food waste to produce Renewable Natural Gas. [vtdigger.org]
  • Every hour, Chinese workers install an array of solar panels at least the size of a soccer field. Already home to the world’s largest solar plant and floating solar installation, over half of the world’s current construction on solar power installations is taking place in China. Meanwhile others, including the US, are increasingly falling behind. [HuffPost]
  • MIT and Lamborghini have partnered to develop an electric car. The Terzo Millenio is powered using supercapacitors instead of traditional batteries, allowing it to charge faster and hold more power. The vehicle can induce its own health check, and if any damage is detected the car can fill in cracks with nanotubes. [Energy Digital]
  • Whitefish Energy is stopping its work to restore Puerto Rico’s electricity grid because it is owed more than $83 million by the island’s power authority, the company says. The Whitefish CEO told CNN that repeated requests for agreed payments were not met. The company’s contract had already been cancelled and is under investigation. [MyHighPlains]

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

Ice Harvest Festival at Hanford Mills Museum is February 3, 2018

Annual festival offers hands-on history and winter fun

Each year on the first Saturday in February, Hanford Mills Museum holds an Ice Harvest Festival. Adults and children can take part in a traditional ice harvest using historic tools and techniques. Before refrigeration, cutting ice from frozen ponds and rivers was an essential winter activity. The ice was stored in ice houses until it was needed in the warmer months to keep food and milk cold.

The Ice Harvest Festival, which will be held on February 3 from 10 am to 3 pm, also features ice carving, ice fishing, horse-drawn sleigh rides, snowman village, hot soup buffet, food trucks, blacksmithing and cooking demonstrations, and exhibits by local businesses and farmers.

The Ice Harvest Festival regularly brings 1,000 or more people to the small hamlet of East Meredith in Delaware County. Starting in December, Museum staff monitors and grooms the ice to ensure a good crop of clear strong ice.

“We have families who come year after year, and are also glad to welcome people coming for the first time. Some people who came as children are now bringing their own children,” says Museum Executive Director Liz Callahan. “Visitors value the opportunity to take part in an authentic experience and to connect with the history of the area.”

The ice harvested at the festival will be used to make ice cream at the Museum’s Independence Day Celebration on July 4.

See the website for more information, hanfordmills.org.

Admission and Information

Children 12 and under receive free admission. Admission for adults and teens is $9; senior admission is $7. AAA and other discounts available. Museum members receive free admission. Those living in zip codes (13757, 13739, 13786, 13750, and 13806) neighboring Hanford Mills also receive free admission.

Because GPS may take drivers on roads that are not winter-friendly, the Museum has a list of suggested routes available at http://www.hanfordmills.org/visit-a-historic-workingmill/our-location or by calling 607/278-5744. In particular, when driving from the Albany area on Interstate 88, they recommend taking exit 16 (Emmons/West Davenport) instead of exit 18 or 19.

November 20 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Dozens of Catholic leaders wrote a letter to President Donald Trump calling for the United States to resume its leadership role in addressing climate change. They asked the president to honor US commitments to the Green Climate Fund and to participate meaningfully in the framework convention deliberations. [Crux: Covering all things Catholic]
Warming seas, melting ice (NASA photo, Wikimedia Commons)

Warming seas and melting ice (NASA photo, Wikimedia Commons)

  • One of the fathers of climate science is calling for a wave of lawsuits against governments and fossil fuel companies that are delaying action on what he describes as the growing, mortal threat of global warming. Former NASA scientist James Hansen says the litigate-to-mitigate campaign is needed alongside political mobilization. [The Guardian]
  • In order to prevent mass-scale evaporation of water, the state government of Maharashtra has given a nod to a proposal that involves setting up floating solar panels on the reservoir at Ujjani Dam. The solar panels will be set up on a water surface of 4,640 acres, to generate 1,000 MW of electricity, making it one of the largest projects of its type. [EnergyInfraPost]
  • China, the world’s biggest carbon emitter, is poised to install a record amount of solar-power capacity this year, prompting researchers to boost forecasts as much as 80%. About 54 GW of solar power will be put in place this year, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said, raising a forecast of more than 30 GW that BNEF made in July. [Bloomberg]
  • Australia’s chief scientist contradicted the government’s claims that Labor’s 50% ­renewables target by 2030 is “a road to ruin.” Dr Alan Finkel is issuing a major report that shows the plan for more renewable energy sources will not lead to major blackouts despite the government’s claims that the “huge renewable target” is irresponsible and “crazy.” [PerthNow]

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

November 19 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • A study showed that Wisconsin ranked 9th in carbon dioxide releases due to farming practices. Converting unused land to produce crops for ethanol production releases a lot of carbon dioxide from the soil. The authors said most of the state’s new farm land had previously been pastures or forests, with some wetlands. [Wisconsin State Farmer]
Corn field and ethanol plant (Photo: Associated Press)

Corn field and ethanol plant (Photo: Associated Press)

  • A cost-effective catalyst has been developed to recycle two of the main causes behind climate change – carbon dioxide and methane. In a study, published in the journal Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, scientists have described how they created an advanced nickel-based catalyst to create synthesis gas for fuel or chemical feedstock. [The Indian Express]
  • Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer BYD will be opening its first assembly facility in Canada next year in Ontario. This is in anticipation of surging demand for electric trucks in the country, the company has revealed. BYD chose to move into Canada because it has a friendlier environment for EVs than the US currently has. [CleanTechnica]
  • The Hydrogen Council coalition launched its first quantified study of the role of hydrogen, developed with support from McKinsey and Company. It shows that hydrogen could generate $2.5 trillion worth of business, creating more than 30 million jobs by 2050, and it could account for almost 20% of final energy consumed by then. [The Peninsula Qatar]
  • Empire District Electric Company has filed with Missouri state regulators a plan to move forward into wind-generated energy with the development of an additional 800 MW of wind energy by the end of 2020. According to a spokesperson for the electric utility, the project would save customers an average of $10 per month. [Cedar County Republican]

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

November 18 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Norway’s government has been told its state-run fund should drop its investments in oil and gas stocks, worth £28 billion ($37 billion). Norges Bank, the fund’s manager, said the step would make the country “less vulnerable to a permanent drop in oil and gas prices.” Its advice was not based on a price forecast or the sector’s sustainability. [BBC News]
Norwegian offshore oil rig (Photo: Norsk olje og gass, Wikimedia Commons)

Norwegian offshore oil rig (Photo: Norsk olje og gass, Wikimedia Commons)

  • Siemens is to release 2% of its global workforce, mainly in Germany, as its power and gas division continues to suffer from the onslaught of clean energy expansion. “The market is burning to the ground,” Siemens board member Janina Kugel, who is in charge of group human resources, told journalists in a call. [Power Engineering International]
  • A major New England transmission line planned by Eversource Energy and Hydro-Quebec has won a Presidential Permit from the US DOE. The federal permit marks a significant milestone for the $1.6 billion, 192-mile Northern Pass, first proposed in 2010. The line would carry electricity from Canada to the New England power grid. [MassLive.com]
  • “If we act on climate change now, the economic prize will be immense” • Climate negotiators are meeting in Bonn. Beyond the intricacies of the climate negotiations, here is one key thing to remember: about $1 trillion is already being invested in climate solutions, ranging from renewables and energy efficiency to public transport. [The Guardian]
  • Investors are now better able to gauge the climate risks likely to impact their investments thanks to a new risk management tool developed by Deutsche Asset Management and Four Twenty Seven and published for COP23, which maps more than a million physical corporate locations alongside climate models to assess their climate risk. [CleanTechnica]

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

Local Solar Installer Involved in Partnership Delivering Emergency Solar Power to Puerto Rico

ReVision Energy Partners with Amicus Solar Cooperative and Amurtel to Bring Solar Outreach Systems to Puerto Rico

Local solar installer ReVision Energy is partnering with Amicus Solar Cooperative, a nationwide purchasing cooperative of solar energy companies, and Amurtel, a non-profit working in disaster relief, to build Solar Outreach Systems (SOS) to bring dozens of desperately needed portable solar energy systems to power storm-ravaged areas in Puerto Rico.

Millions of Americans living in Puerto Rico (Boriqueñas) remain without power due to Hurricane Maria, many still without passable roads, access to clean drinking water, in need of basic supplies, and unable to receive the medical care they would otherwise have with functional electricity.

“We have already secured the solar panels that will enable us to build up to 100 portable emergency power units that will power communications systems, computers, laptops, cell phones and lighting for the hardest hit areas,” said Phil Coupe, co-founder of ReVision Energy and the company’s volunteer coordinator with Amicus and Amurtel. ReVision Energy is a founding member of Amicus Solar. ReVision Energy’s N. Andover, MA warehouse will be used as a staging area to begin construction on the first portable solar power units.

Located close to the equator where there is a powerful solar resource, Puerto Rico is an ideal geography for harnessing solar energy, but with so few solar energy systems in place right now, not many businesses or homes are able to take advantage of this abundant renewable energy. Having to depend on what’s left of the island’s power grid means that many Puerto Rican communities could be without power for up to a year. The Solar Outreach Systems, which are portable community-based communication and emergency power hubs, will immediately assist on-the-ground relief efforts.

The SOS units will be deployed by the Aireko Foundation, an offshoot of Aireko Energy Solutions, which is a Puerto Rico-based member of Amicus.  These units will be loaned to the communities for the duration of their need and then be redeployed to other disaster areas as needs and events dictate.  “The aftermath of Hurricane Maria has been as difficult and often even harder than the path of the storm itself, especially for those communities in the interior of the island.  After more than a month, reestablishment of electric power for those communities is still unknown, and the quality of water is not the best – for those communities that are lucky enough to have this service, which are very few.  Sadly, those communities are far from returning to their normal lives,” said Hector Rivera Russe of Aireko Energy Solutions. “I’m deeply touched by how my Amicus partners, alongside Amurtel, have jumped without hesitation, to putting their time, resources and effort to give relief to my people in Puerto Rico.  I will always be thankful to them.”

This Amicus-Amurtel SOS partnership is actively fundraising for the Power on Puerto Rico project to design, build, and deploy 10 initial portable, off grid solar systems for remote community centers where the public can charge cell phones, rechargeable lights, radios, and other low load, high value items that will offer immediate relief to disaster victims. A goal of 100 units will be deployed through this effort. Tax deductible donations of materials, services and cash contributions are being coordinated through http://www.amurtel.org/get-involved/donate/

 

November 17 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Elon Musk unexpectedly disappeared from stage during the Tesla Semi Truck unveiling, and then to everyone’s surprise, a Tesla Roadster 2.0 appeared. The base model will be the fastest production car ever made when it comes to market in 2020. Musk said, “The point of all this is just to give a hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars.” [CleanTechnica]
Tesla Roadster 2.0

Tesla Roadster 2.0

  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled the highly anticipated Tesla Semi Truck in Hawthorne, California. This truck promises to transform not just the trucks that move goods around the world but the entire shipping industry. It has a number of safety improvements, but it will probably also cost less to operate than internal combustion semi trucks. [CleanTechnica]
  • Instead of traditional 25-year deals, Indian power distributors are negotiating ten-year agreements with coal power providers. The distributors believe the development of renewables and storage makes long term agreements redundant because solar and wind have become the country’s least expensive power resources. [Power Engineering International]
  • TransCanada announced that it has shut down the Keystone pipeline in South Dakota because it discovered 210,000 gallons of oil has spilled from the pipeline. The state of Nebraska will decide next week if it will allow a stretch of the Keystone pipeline to be built through the state. Waterways or wildlife areas appear not to have been impacted. [Anadolu Agency]
  • The Canadian Environment and Climate Change Minister helped bring more than 25 new governments on board for a Canadian and British push to power past coal at COP23. Those in the new alliance include major European industrial nations, such as France and Italy. Others range from New Zealand to the US state of Oregon. [National Observer]

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

New York News: Keep Your Solar Installations Tax-Free

It has been brought to the attention of the G.E.T. staff that some NY communities are starting to tax solar installations.  This will have the effect of discouraging solar installations and even can discourage people from moving to such an area or new businesses from moving to an area.  You can submit NY Exemption Form RP 487 to get grandfathered into the tax exemption of your solar installation.

Real Property Tax Exemption

Form RP 487 from NYS Department of Taxation and Finance:

This is filed with the local property assessor. Some municipalities and School Districts have opted out and will include the value of the solar in your property tax assessment without the exemption. For a list by county of communities and school districts that have opted out go to:

November 16 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • The Airbus Vahana project is ready for flight testing, just as Boeing, Uber, and others jumping into the electric plane game and electric airplanes and other vertical take-off and landing aircraft taking off. The Airbus Vahana project says it will not need a runway, will be self-piloted, and can automatically detect and avoid obstacles and other aircraft. [CleanTechnica]
Airbus Vahana

Airbus Vahana

  • Puerto Rico just met the halfway mark to restoring power, and the lights went out. Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló had just tweeted that power was back to 50% of utility customers when the outage hit San Juan. Fifty-six days after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico is still experiencing the longest blackout in US history. [Grist]
  • At least 15 countries have joined an international alliance to phase out coal from power generation before 2030, delegates at UN climate talks in Bonn said on Thursday. The alliance aims to have 50 members by the next UN climate summit in 2018 to be held in Poland’s Katowice, one of Europe’s most polluted cities. [Reuters]
  • The World Resources Institute announced at the COP23 talks that $2.1 billion in private investment funds have been committed to efforts to restore degraded lands in the Caribbean and Latin America. The WRI’s Initiative 20×20 has already put 10 million hectares (about 25 million acres) of land under restoration thanks to 19 private investors. [Mongabay.com]
  • Levels of carbon pollution from Britain’s electricity generation have almost halved in just a few years, making the country’s power system one of the world’s cleanest, a report said. Emissions associated with each unit of electricity produced fell 47% between 2012 and 2016 as coal was replaced by more gas and renewables. [Epping Forest Guardian]
  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Acting Chairman Neil Chatterjee has said he is “sympathetic” to a rule that would prop up struggling US coal and nuclear power plants. He apparently has an interim plan to keep financially troubled plants operating while his agency considers a market-changing cost proposal from the DOE. [POWER magazine]

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