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March 18 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • President Trump’s nominee for deputy administrator of the EPA, Andrew Wheeler, has spent much of his career working for less oversight from the agency. He is a longtime aide to Sen James Inhofe, known for his climate-denying antics on the Senate floor. After that job, Wheeler became a lobbyist for the fossil fuels industry. [89.3 KPCC]
Corsa Coal's Acosta Deep Mine in Pennsylvania, with a US flag draped over the mud (Justin Merriman | Getty Images)

Corsa Coal’s Acosta Deep Mine in Pennsylvania, with a US flag draped over the mud (Justin Merriman | Getty Images)

  • North Korea’s Foreign Minister went to Sweden, prompting speculations about a meeting between US President Trump and Mr Kim Jong-Un, leader of North Korea. Sweden is happy to help resolve tensions on the Korean peninsula arising from the North Korean construction of a nuclear reactor and pursuit of nuclear military power. [The Straits Times]
  • The conservative Liberal Party has won the election of South Australia state, ending the Australian Labor Party’s streak of 16 years in power in the state. Along with promises of tax cuts for small businesses, Marshall’s campaign promised to scaling back the Australian Labor Party approach to renewable energy which he described as reckless. [Xinhua]
  • February is traditionally the slowest selling month in China, but with electric car sales at around 34,000, there’s not much to complain about. Numbers were up 88% year over year, making this by far the best February ever. During the month, BYD stepped into first place, dethroning the Beijing brand BAIC from its leading position. [CleanTechnica]
  • In a closed-door meeting at the Heritage Foundation, EPA chief Scott Pruitt told a group of conservatives that he has plans for additional science reform at the agency, attendees said. The EPA has not formally shared details of the plan, but it is widely expected to resemble an efforts that Republican lawmakers have been pushing. [Scientific American]

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

March 17 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Chinese suppliers of solar panels may be facing epic headwinds in the year ahead, as rising production capacity is set to coincide with growing trade protectionism in the US and India and a downturn in domestic demand. Chinese solar manufacturing supplied 55% to 83% of global demand for various solar products last year. [South China Morning Post]
Solar panels in China

Solar panels in China

  • The former site of a coal mine could be producing solar power by the end of 2020. Plans were unveiled by electricity provider TransAlta for a mine shut down in 2006. Reclamation work had begun the following year to restore it to forest and pasture land. But now, TransAlta believes it’s a prime location for a new solar project. [The Olympian]
  • Some Rwandans in remote areas of the country have decided not to wait for the government to provide them with electricity. Instead, they invested in off-grid energy to change lives in their villages. One village will soon bid farewell to darkness, thanks to a hydropower project that was designed by a local entrepreneur and built by local people. [KT Press]
  • Officials from state and local governments, Alabama Power, and Walmart celebrated the launch of AL Solar A, a 79.2-MW solar energy project developed by Alabama Power to help Walmart reach its corporate renewable energy goals. The project features more than 338,662 solar panels spread across 1,100 acres just south of LaFayette. []
  • In Florida, Gulf Power customers may be surprised to learn that some of the energy they use comes from wind. At the beginning of 2016, Gulf Power became the leading purchaser of wind energy in the state. That year it provided more than 1.7 million MWh of wind-generated energy, enough to power 131,842 houses. []

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

March 16 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Massachusetts Gov Charlie Baker released a $1.4 billion bond bill that would authorize spending on climate change preparedness and environmental protection. The bill provides $300 million to respond to the impacts of climate change, including $170 million to repair dams and sea walls and help coastal communities. []
Storm at Lynn, Massachusetts

Storm at Lynn, Massachusetts (The waves are hitting a sea wall in front of the buildings.)

  • The Southern Environmental Law Center and Environmental Defense Fund are suing the EPA for failing to release information about the Heartland Institute’s efforts to attack climate science. Officials at the Heartland Institute, a promoter of climate denial, publicly stated that EPA requested their assistance in a review of climate science. [Augusta Free Press]
  • The New Hampshire Senate has passed a bill allowing larger businesses to get into net metering. The bill would increase five-fold the size of net metering systems, from 1 MW, perhaps a size for a midsize store or a town hall, to 5 MW, which might be used by facilities like those of BAE Systems or Foss Manufacturing. [New Hampshire Business Review]
  • Xcel Energy filed a stipulation with a coalition of 14 diverse groups, asking the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to approve a process that could lead to $2.5 billion in clean energy investments in rural Colorado, without bill increases. Upper portfolio estimates are 1,000 MW of wind, 700 MW of solar and 700 MW of natural gas. [Windpower Engineering]
  • According to an alert from the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, Russia has hacked into many of our government entities and domestic companies in the energy, nuclear, commercial facilities, water, aviation, and critical manufacturing sectors. This is essentially most of what makes our country go. [Forbes]

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

Colby-Sawyer Hosts Acclaimed Filmmaker, Author and Activist John de Graaf

NEW LONDON, N.H. – Colby-Sawyer College presents a screening of “Redefining Prosperity: The Gold Rushes of Nevada City” followed by a discussion with producer John de Graaf. The free event, open to the public, will be held on Wednesday, March 21, at 7 p.m. in Clements Hall in the Curtis L. Ivey Science Center.

The newly released one-hour documentary features Nevada City citizens and the back-to-the-land movement that helped revitalize and unite the former California Gold Rush town while generating a deeper dialogue about sustainable environments. Following the film, de Graaf will answer questions and discuss the campaign “And Beauty for All,”  a national effort to restore ecosystems and revitalize communities.

Colby-Sawyer’s Director of Sustainability and Innovation Jennifer White ’90 worked with the college’s Cultural Events Committee to bring the co-founder of Take Back Your Time and The Happiness Initiative to New Hampshire.

“John’s enduring work sits at the intersection of community wellbeing, economic prosperity and environmental sustainability,” said White. “He understands how to uncover the leverage points that we can all access to promote positive change in our lives — the same foundations at the core of what drives our operations and programming at Colby-Sawyer.”

Fifteen of de Graaf’s documentaries, including the popular “Affluenza,” have been broadcast nationally on PBS. His books include the bestseller Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic, now in its third edition, and What’s the Economy For, Anyway? His work and speaking engagements involve exploration of the intersection of happiness, work-life balance, consumerism, health and sustainability. de Graaf has taught at The Evergreen State College and recently served as an adviser to the government of Bhutan as it develops its Gross National Happiness project proposal for the United Nations.

March 15 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Researchers at the University of Maryland claim to have found a way to strip away lignin and hemicellulose from wood. They say that the result, which they call “nanowood” costs less and has insulating qualities that are superior to many insulation materials commonly used in building construction today. Nanowood is also stronger. [CleanTechnica]


  • “Solar saves carbon faster and more effectively than nuclear power” • Renewable electricity, chiefly from wind and solar power, adds electricity generation and saves carbon faster than nuclear power does or ever has, according to a data-rich new study by Amory Lovins and three colleagues at Rocky Mountain Institute. [Solar Builder]
  • US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke claimed the “carbon footprint on wind [energy] is significant.” But wind power’s carbon footprint is among the smallest of any energy source. The carbon footprints of coal and natural gas are close to 90 and 40 times larger, respectively, the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory says. []
  • Encore Renewable Energy has commissioned a 200-kW roof-mounted solar array at the von Trapp Brewing & Bierhall in Stowe, Vermont. The electricity generated by the array will provide a clean source of electricity for Stowe Electric Department, with all renewable energy credits associated with the array being retired. [Solar Power World]
  • After breaking a few energy storage records with its battery system projects in Australia, Tesla looks to come back to the US to build a new world’s largest Powerpack battery system in Colorado. Xcel Energy had requested bids for major renewable energy and storage projects in Colorado, and Tesla is one of the companies bidding. [Electrek]
  • Georgia Power, which announced a goal of 1.6 GW of renewable energy by 2021, is going to hit that goal with solar alone before the end of 2019. The company’s current goal for 2021 includes residential, community solar, and larger projects. Georgia Power already has 970 MW of solar capacity online and 649 MW of large scale project coming. [pv magazine USA]

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

Help stop bee-killing pesticides in Vermont — Voting soon!

Sierra ClubThe Vermont House of Representatives needs to hear from you as soon as possible to ask for key improvements to H.915. Instead of protecting our bees and butterflies from bee-killing neonicotinoid (neonic) pesticides — 10,000 times more toxic than DDT — it relies upon public service announcements, compiling survey results and passive measures for neonic-free seeds. In short — it’s better than nothing, but could it be substantially improved by stopping the retail sale of neonics.

For eight years Vermont lawmakers have discussed protecting pollinators.  The legislature’s own Pollinator Protection Committee (PPC), recommends prohibiting retail outlets from selling these toxic chemicals to consumers and banning their use on ornamental (non-agricultural) plants. However since 2010, bills that would actually protect our pollinators fail to pass, such as this year’s H.688 which contained a ban on retail neonics and other PPC recommendations.
Neonics don’t just harm pollinators which come into contact with treated plants, they last for years in the soil and easily runoff into lakes and streams. In Vermont, neonics have been found in pollen in honeybee hives and already three of our bumblebee species are believed to be extinct.

Please submit your comments now and call your Representative right away, asking them to strengthen and pass H.915.

There are 630 products on store shelves in Vermont that contain these insecticides which are lethal to key pollinators. We also know that professional pesticide applicators dumped 15,000 pounds of neonics on golf courses, lawns and ornamental plants in 2016. If we truly care about our pollinators, these non-essential uses would be prohibited.
Connecticut and Maryland have already banned the consumer use of neonics. Vermont can follow that strong lead by passing legislation to help safeguard our bees, butterflies and birds from the widespread use of bee-killing pesticides.
You can also call your Representative today at (802) 828-2228 and urge them to strengthen and pass H.915 for our bees.
Thank you in advance for taking action to protect Vermont’s pollinators.
Judy Bellairs, Forest and Wildlife Committee, Vermont Chapter
Co-Chair, Pollinator Team, Sierra Club Grassroots Network

VECAN (Vermont Energy & Climate Action Network) News

This March, there are several grant opportunities, workshops, and other events planned. Read below to learn about what’s going on in the world of climate and energy in Vermont this month and beyond:
  • Reminder: New England Grassroots Environment Fund Grant Applications Due this Week – Applications due by March 15, click here for more information and to apply online.
  • Weatherization Workshop – March 21st at 5:30 pm 157 Main Street in Brattleboro.
  • Act 174 Regional Energy Plan – Lamoille County Regional Planning Commission (LCRPC) will hold a public hearings on its regional energy plan on March 13 at 5 pm at the LCRPC office in Morristown.
  • Mid-Season Legislative Lowdown – Get the latest information and what is (and isn’t) happening in the statehouse on climate and clean energy as we pass the mid-point of the legislative session.
  • Help us keep communities in the loop – Submit an event through our online calander form here.
  • Waterbury LEAP Energy Fair – Save the date April 7th for the largest energy fair in the state!
  • Hinesberg Energy Committee hosts Home Energy Workshops – Read below for more information on workshops happening on March 21, April 11, and May 2 starting at 6:30 pm at NRG Systems in Hinesberg.
  • Northwest Vermont Regional Energy Forum April 19th at 5:30 pm in St. Albans, learn how starting a town energy committee can help your town save energy and money.
  • Free Weatherization Services for Apartment Owners from 3E Thermal

Learn more at!

NH Energy Week Kicks off in Keene

NH Energy WeekJoin civic, business, and legislative leaders at free events throughout the week
The 2nd Annual NH Energy Week started on Monday, March 12th 2018 at Scores Sports Bar & Grille in Keene where 100 people gathered to share energy stories and discuss affordable clean energy opportunities that exist in the region and across the state.
The Executive Director of Keene Housing, Joshua Meehan explained to the crowd, “As a provider, the reality that Keene housing is facing is that federal funding is continually going down. We have to find other opportunities to save money so we can provide housing to the people we serve. Energy is the easiest way to find money to work with.” (See picture attached)This event was sponsored by Filtrine and was hosted by the Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce, the Southwest Region Planning Commission and the New Hampshire Clean Tech Council.

Previewing the event, the NH Union Leader wrote about Keene’s Filtrine Manufacturing Company which spent more than $300,000 last year to install a wood-chip boiler that will reduce its oil consumption by 90 percent to heat its 100,000 square-foot building. The new boiler will pay for itself in six to seven years, thanks partly with help from a state grant.

NH Energy Week has become an opportunity to showcase the many ways companies, municipalities and organizations are investing in efficiency and clean energy projects throughout the state.

On Wednesday, March 14th NH Energy Week continues with a lunch for state legislators and an Energy Roundtable at 7th Settlement Brewery in Dover. Register here.

There are still a few tickets left for the NH Energy Breakfast on Thursday, March 15th that will feature Governor Chris Sununu, Commissioner Taylor Caswell and two panel discussions tackling Energy Investment and Infrastructure Opportunities and Workforce Development Opportunities in the Clean Tech sector. Register here.

The final event during NH Energy Week will be an Award Ceremony and Reception at O’s Steak and Seafood in Concord on Thursday evening. Please join all nominees and special guest former U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte who will present each award. Register here.

The 2018 NH Energy Week is hosted by The Nature Conservancy, NH Clean Tech Council, NH CDFA, Businesses for Social Responsibility, Environmental Defense Fund, Ceres, CRES Forum, NH Brewers Association, and NH Municipal Association.

Follow us on twitter for more information: @NHEnergyWeek or visit

Wind & Solar Provide 100% of New U.S. Generating Capacity in January

Contact:         Ken Bossong, 301-270-6477 x.6 , The SUN DAY Campaign
Washington DC – According to an analysis by the SUN DAY Campaign of data in the latest issue of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) “Energy Infrastructure Update” (with numbers through January 31, 2018),wind and solar accounted for all new electrical generation placed into service in the first month of this year. 
Moreover, for the first time, the total installed capacity of renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) has surpassed a milestone — accounting for over one-fifth (i.e., 20.39%) of total available U.S. generating capacity. Combined, wind and solar alone now exceed one-tenth (i.e., 10.18%) of installed capacity. **
FERC data show that 12 new “units” of wind, totaling 1,230 megawatts (MW), came into service in January 2018 along with 11 units of solar (356-MW) for a total of 1,586-MW.  
That is slightly more than the combined solar + wind total a year ago (i.e., January 2017) when 909-MW of wind and 623-MW of solar came on-line. However, then, there were also 1,454-MW of new gas capacity, 102-MW of new nuclear, and 1-MW each of new oil and biomass capacity. In January2018, no new coal, gas, oil, nuclear, biomass, geothermal, or hydropower capacity was reported.   
The new wind capacity includes the 300-MW Red Dirt Wind Project (Kingfisher County, OK), 229-MW Magic Valley Wind Project (Willacy County, TX), 200-MW Red Pine Wind Project (Lincoln County, MN), and the 197-MW Bearkat Renewable Energy Project (Glasscock County, TX). The new solar capacity includes four new Florida Power & Light solar farms in Florida, each comprising 75-MW.


Extreme Weather and the Climate Crisis e-book

ExtremeWeatherandtheClimateCrisisEBook_Page_01Every new year seems to arrive on the heels of another unfortunate climate record set. And 2017’s is among the most startling: Climate-related and other natural disasters caused a staggering $306 billion in total damages in the US, making last year by far the most expensive one on record for disasters in the country.

And globally, in the wake of Hurricanes Maria, Irma, and Harvey, an immensely destructive wildfire season in the American West, and a dire drought in South Africa, one question has been hard to escape: Is the climate crisis making weather more extreme?

The simple answer is yes.

In our new free e-book, Extreme Weather and the Climate Crisis: What You Need to Know, we explain how events like these are influenced by climate change and offer ways you can get involved in the fight for solutions.

We already have the practical, clean-energy solutions to make a real impact and help stop the destruction from extreme weather events from getting ever-worse. Now, we need you to take the next step.

Download our free e-book now to learn more about how our changing climate is making events like torrential rains, floods, heatwaves, hurricanes, the “polar vortex,” and drought more frequent and/or intense – and what you can do about it.

– Your friends at Climate Reality