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September 23 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Companies End Effort to Buy Navajo Generating Station” • The companies negotiating to purchase the largest coal-fired power plant in the southwestern US have broken off their pursuit of that goal. This means the 2,250-MW Navajo Generating Station near Page, Arizona, remains scheduled to close by year-end 2019. [Power magazine]

View from the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (National Park Service photo)

  • “Putting a dollar value on one of oil’s biggest subsidies: military protection” • Securing America’s Future Energy, a clean-energy advocacy group composed of retired military and business leaders, published a paper on the costs to the US military of defending oil supplies. They said the cost is at least $81 billion per year. [Vox]
  • “Portugal third in renewable energy production” • Portugal got 54.1% of its electricity from renewable resources in 2016, Eurostat reported. Portugal was one of only EU five countries that got more than half their electricity from renewable sources: 50%, Austria (72.6%), Sweden (64.9%), Portugal (54.1%), Denmark (53.7%) and Latvia (51.3%). [The Portugal News]
  • “The World’s First Hydrogen-Powered Train is Now On Track in Germany” • French train-building company Alstom delivered its first two hydrogen-powered trains to Germany. They are the first of many Alstom already has on order. Germany is lowering its emissions from the transportation sector, and diesel trains are to be phased out. [Jalopnik]
  • “217 scientists sign letter opposing logging as a response to wildfires” • The House version of the 2018 Farm Bill now being considered would expand logging on public lands in response to increases in wildfires. A group of 217 scientists, educators, and land managers signed an open letter calling on lawmakers to consider what they are doing. [Wildfire Today]

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

Waterbury, VT EV Fest on Wednesday

Come check out Waterbury LEAP’s first Electric Vehicle Fest Wednesday September 26th between 5:30pm – 7:730pm.

September 22 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Homeowners who live on the coast are sleepwalking toward climate catastrophe” • Sea levels are rising faster than predicted. Relative sea levels in vulnerable places like South Florida are roughly four inches higher now than in 1992; projections by the Army Corps of Engineers and others see rises in South Florida of 12 inches by 2030. [CNN]

Mar-a-Lago (Onasill Bill Badzo, Wikimedia Commons)

  • “Canceling Georgia nuclear plant could cost owners billions” • In a letter to the three owners of Plant Vogtle, the DOE said that if the construction project is canceled, the government is “prepared to move swiftly to fully enforce its rights under terms of the loan guarantee agreements, including the repayment provisions.” []
  • “New Jersey Makes Way For 1.1-GW Offshore Wind” • The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities voted unanimously to move forward with its expansive offshore wind development plans, opening an application window for 1,100 MW of offshore wind capacity, the largest single-state solicitation of offshore wind to date in the US. [CleanTechnica]
  • “McGill University to partner with Xebec to develop Power-to Gas process for renewable energy storage” • McGill University announced it will work with Xebec Adsorption Inc to develop a prototype reactor to produce Renewable Natural Gas. The process uses electricity generated by renewable sources and CO2 from waste. [pv magazine International]
  • “Australia set to run on 100% renewable energy within 15 years” • The Australian renewables energy industry will install more than 10 GW of new solar and wind power before the end of 2019. If that rate is maintained, Australia would reach 50% of its renewables target in 2025, and it could reach a 100% target by the early 2030’s. [Small Caps]

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

The British Are Coming to Squam Lakes Natural Science Center!

The nature of New England will be on full display to the world this October. BBC and PBS have announced they are bringing the popular annual BBC series Autumwatch to New Hampshire, specifically the Squam Lakes region, to celebrate autumn in New England. 

This live televised event will focus on the wildlife, history, culture, food, and arts of our region. It will be hosted by travel journalist Samantha Brown, BBC presenter Chris Packham, and wildlife cinematographer Bob Poole. 
Squam Lakes Natural Science Center will play an integral role in the event. Producers first contacted the Science Center in 2017 to talk about it being a possible location. After many conversations and site visits, it was confirmed that Autumnwatch would come to Squam Lake. Production team members and drone camera operators have been visiting the site regularly and capturing footage of the changing landscape throughout the seasons. 
The Science Center will provide expert naturalists to speak about and show wildlife native to New Hampshire. In addition, live cameras will be set up around the Science Center’s 200+ acre property to photograph the wildlife in the area at all times of day and night. The Science Center will also provide the crew with pontoon boats to film footage on Squam Lake. The live studio and production crew will be based at Camp Deerwood in Holderness.
This live televised event will air on PBS stations Wednesday, October 17 from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m., Thursday, October 18 from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m., and Friday, October 19 from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. Additionally, four live shows will be broadcast throughout the United Kingdom on BBC2 at 8:00 p.m. (British time). Regular UK hosts Michaela Strachan and Gillian Burke will join Chris Packham for the BBC shows.

Oct. 4th DEC Lunch: Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Ratepayer Advocacy after Restructuring

The next DEC Pizza Lunch will be held on October 4th
With the sale a few weeks ago of the last of Eversource’s generation assets in the Granite State, the restructuring of New Hampshire’s electric industry is finally complete – a mere 22 years after the Legislature opted for restructuring. An open electricity grid, the opportunity to choose electric suppliers, emerging technologies like distributed generation and utility-scale storage, and the growth in energy efficiency programs all offer opportunities to reduce costs for consumers while giving them more control over how they use energy. And yet it is harder than ever to make sure ratepayers do not end up bearing the brunt of mistakes and outright rent-seeking by industry participants.  As the official advocate for New Hampshire’s residential utility customers, Consumer Advocate Don Kreis will discuss the challenges and opportunities.
Thursday, October 4th
Fahey First Floor Commons – Dartmouth College

About Don Kreis:

D. Maurice (“Don”) Kreis has served as New Hamp
shire’s Consumer Advocate, representing the interests of residential utility customers, since 2016. Don has previously served as general counsel of the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission, a hearing officer with the Vermont Public Utility Commission, and associate director of the Institute for Energy and the Environment at Vermont Law School. Having spent a decade as a reporter prior to law school, Don continues to dabble in journalism as the author of the column “Power to the People” on the news web site

September 21 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Offshore mussels from Brussels” • Mussels were cultivated at an offshore wind farm in the Belgian North Sea as part of a test project of a Belgian consortium that includes DEME Group, other companies, and research institutions. They are researching the potential of offshore wind turbine foundations as a habitat to grow the seafood. [reNews]

Mussels grown at an offshore wind farm (DEME Group image)

  • “Solar Energy Largely Unscathed by Hurricane Florence’s Wind and Rain” • Faced with Hurricane Florence’s powerful winds and record rainfall, North Carolina’s solar farms held up with only minimal damage while other parts of the electricity system failed. The state’s nuclear and coal power plants had some problems. [InsideClimate News]
  • “US Solar Installation Costs Declined In 2017, Little Progress So Far In 2018” • The eleventh edition of Berkeley Lab’s Tracking the Sun report published this week shows that the installed price of solar continued to fall across the country in 2017 but only saw small declines through the beginning of 2018. Tariffs on solar PVs may be to blame. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Corporate & Regional Leaders Launch Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment” • A group of 38 businesses, cities, states, and regions partnered with the World Green Building Council to launch the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment. They intend to start a movement towards decarbonizing the built environment. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Northern Indiana utility ditching coal in favor of renewable energy in next 10 years” • The Northern Indiana Public Service Company announced that it will speed up the retirement of its coal-fired generation by as much as ten years – planning to replace the entire fleet with wind, solar, and batteries within ten years. [Indianapolis Star]

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

September 20 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Flood frequency of world’s largest river has increased fivefold, study finds” • Flooding on the Amazon River has increased fivefold over the last two or three decades, a new study has found. Analysis of more than 100 years of river level records from the Amazon showed that both floods and droughts had become more frequent. [The Independent]

Flooded Amazon (Photo: Jochen Schöngart, National Institute for Amazon Research)

  • “Buoyant gas industry may be blindsided by renewables” • The global gas industry, boosted by new projects to feed booming demand, claims to be in the best shape in five years. Not everybody is buying into the industry’s confidence. Analysts warn it is getting ahead of itself, pointing to renewable energy as a threat. [Reuters]
  • “Shell Announces Methane Emissions Target For Oil & Gas Of 0.02% By 2025” • Royal Dutch Shell, better known simply as Shell, announced a target to reduce and maintain its methane emissions intensity for all its oil and gas assets below 0.02% by 2025. To achieve the goal the company will implement a variety of programs. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Nearly 400 Investors With $32 Trillion In Assets Step Up Climate Action To Support Paris Agreement” • Nearly 400 investors, with assets worth $32 trillion, announced The Investor Agenda, a first-of-its-kind global agenda aimed to accelerate and scale-up actions critical to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Electric For All Campaign From Volkswagen – 10 Million EVs Based On MEB Platform” • Volkswagen officially launched its “Electric For All” campaign this week with the official introduction of its MEB platform. The platform is where the powertrain, suspension, brakes, and other vital components all come together. [CleanTechnica]

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

Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan Challenges Federal Exemptions of Mercury Products

In a petition to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, Attorney General T.J. Donovan, challenged a decision by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to exempt several large categories of mercury products from inventory reporting. Mercury exposures at high levels can harm the brain, heart, kidneys, lungs and immune systems of people of all ages, and mercury in the bloodstream of developing babies and young children may harm their nervous systems and ability to think and learn.

Earlier this summer, the EPA issued its final rule (mercury rule) on the reporting requirements for mercury products under federal law. The law requires a complete and accurate inventory of mercury supply, use and trade in the United States. EPA’s mercury rule will exempt any product that contains a mercury-added product as a component of the larger product.  Examples of products containing a mercury-added product include a mercury battery in a watch or toy, or a mercury switch or relay in a lamp or pump. Many of these products are imported and are not manufactured in the U.S. Under the mercury rule, manufacturers of these mercury-added products will not have to report important information on the uses and amount or quantity of mercury contained inside.

“Vermonters have a right to know what is inside the products we use,” said Attorney General Donovan. “Our mercury labeling laws allow Vermont to run one of the best state programs to reduce mercury exposure. The EPA’s new mercury rule places Vermonters at risk and takes a step backwards by eliminating the reporting requirements for some of the largest uses of mercury.”

Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Secretary Julie Moore strongly agreed that Vermont should take a lead in challenging EPA’s rule: “Vermont has long been a leader in mercury regulation. More than 20 years ago, Vermont became the first state to implement legislation that required manufacturers to label certain mercury-added products sold or distributed in Vermont to inform consumers of mercury content and proper disposal in an effort to reduce exposure to this potent neurotoxin. The changes being proposed to EPA are in direct opposition to the steps we have taken to reduce the risks mercury poses to Vermonters’ health.”

The mercury rule will also exempt large producers and importers of mercury and mercury-added products (2,500 pounds of elemental mercury or 25,000 pounds of mercury compounds) and will allow reporting to occur less frequently.

For more information on mercury and Vermont’s mercury-added product manufacturer requirements, including labeling, please visit the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation’s Mercury Education and Reduction Campaign website:

Scholarships available for Green School Energy Challenge

Ready to take action on climate and energy with your class?
Sign up for Green School Energy Challenge

Vermont Energy Education Program (VEEP) moved the kick-off date for Green School Energy Challenge 2018/19 to October 25, so there’s still time for you to join this year’s cohort and lead your class in saving energy and reducing carbon emissions. GSEC is an academics-to-action professional learning program bridging science and engineering with social aspects of addressing climate change — also saving money for communities and empowering youth. VEEP provides the curriculum resources, equipment, and support you need to take on a classroom or school project. PD hours or graduate credits available.

VEEP also has two scholarships available for the program; please contact us or indicate on your registration form if cost is a barrier to you or your school participating in the program. Register and more info >

Battenkill Community Paddle & Clean Ups – Sunday Sept 23

Volunteers show off their collected can bounty during clean up.

Come out on Sunday September 23 beginning at Noon for a fall paddle & clean up at three sites on the Battenkill.   Battenkill Conservancy is once again inviting the any and all river lovers to meet at one of 3 launch sites to enjoy a group paddle and clean up of the river.  Volunteers will meet at one of three designated sites to launch a canoe or kayak and collect cans and other debris deposited along a specific stretch of the river.  Mike Bodnar of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation has worked with the groups to provide sturdy collection bags and remove the any garbage free of charge.  For the upper stretch of the paddle and clean up, Battenkill Valley Outdoors, located on Route 313, will be offering equipment and shuttle services for a limited number of volunteers.  The 2nd meet up site will begin at the Schmidt Meadow Preserve off Skellie Road in Jackson and go down river to the Hollingsworth & Vose Center Falls take out area.  The 3rd site begins on Hegeman Bridge Rd, Greenwich where its crosses the Battenkill and volunteers will paddle to the Middle Falls Canoe/Kayak launch.  BkC’s reusable “Collect a Can” shopping bags will be given to all participants to collect returnable cans. Refreshments and snacks will be waiting at the take out areas and rides back to each launch site will be provided.

The Community Paddles begin at Noon with volunteers expected to be back at their cars by 3pm.    Volunteers who do not have their own canoe or kayak and plan to meet up at Battenkill Valley Outdoors must pre-register as equipment availability is limited to 12 people.  To pre-register or for additional information, email or call 518-677-2545.