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The February Green Energy Times is Available Online

The February, 2015 Green Energy Times can be downloaded at these links:

Download the whole issue (pdf)
Read individual articles (web pages) 

February 28 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “We Could Be Turning the Corner on Climate Change” – Efforts to reduce carbon emissions appear to be starting to work, and the link between economic growth and energy consumption is breaking. For example, last year, coal consumption fell for the first time in China, by 2.9% from 2013. [SustainableBusiness.com]
  • A redox flow battery designed at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory more than doubles the amount of energy this type of cell can pack in a given volume, allowing it to rival lithium-ion batteries. If the device reaches mass production, it could find use in fast-charging transportation and grid storage. [Gizmag]
  • A report from the International Renewable Energy Agency published in January confirms that onshore wind-generation costs are competitive with those of the fossil-fuel sources. The latter are in the $45-140/MWh range, wind comes in at an average $55/MWh. Irena also confirms that costs are falling. [Windpower Monthly]
  • The Vermont House has advanced a wide-ranging bill on a Renewable Energy Standard and Energy Transformation program, or RESET. The requirement would be that utilities get 55% of their power from renewable sources by 2017, ramping up to 75% by 2032. Some have met or exceeded those goals already. [Valley News]
  • Massachusetts utility companies are preparing to buy enough renewable energy to power 136,000 homes under the major initiative announced for Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island on Tuesday. The companies may buy up to 817 GWh of electricity per year under a request for proposals. [Boston Globe]

February 27 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • The second Global Sustainable Investment Review report confirms that global sustainable investment reached $21.4 trillion by 2014, up from $13.3 trillion at the same time two years earlier. Sustainable investment now accounts for 30.2% of the professionally managed assets in the regions covered. [CleanTechnica]
  • India’s renewable energy industry is likely to generate business opportunities worth $160 billion in the next five years, the Economic Survey said the day before a budget that is set to boost clean energy funding. The Prime Minister set clean-energy targets that include raising solar capacity to 100 GW by 2022. [Reuters India]
  • If you haven’t installed solar panels on your roof because it’s too expensive, Google really wants to help. Google is once again boosting its investment in SolarCity’s residential solar power model by $300 million. SolarCity combined this with a new financing structure to produce a new fund worth $750 million. [ThinkProgress]
  • Electricity users would have to pay a little extra to help cover costs of Exelon’s nuclear power plants under Illinois legislation. Exelon maintains the bill would save jobs and keep service steady and reliable. It would also have residential customers pay about $2 more each month to keep the nuclear plants running. [Chicago Tribune]
  • A $3 billion deal will unite Iberdrola USA with UIL Holdings Co to create a massive power and utility company serving 3.1 million customers in New York, Connecticut, Maine and Massachusetts. Iberdrola USA will pay $52.75 per share of UIL in a deal announced after the close of business Wednesday. [Portland Business Journal]

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

Last Minute, Legislative Assault on Energy Efficiency

Take Action – Support Efficiency

Yesterday the House Ways and Means committee voted to pass an amendment that would limit Efficiency Vermont’s electric efficiency work. That work has saved Vermonters nearly $850 million. If enacted, this provision would increase the amount of money Vermonters spend on energy by $10-$14 million in the next 10 years.

Tomorrow, we expect the full Vermont House to consider another amendment that would eliminate Efficiency Vermont’s weatherization work.

Please take one minute right now to call the State House at 800-322-5615 and leave a message for your representative to let them know you support efficiency, and want them to oppose any cuts to efficiency programs.

The state has set a goal of weatherizing 80 thousand homes by 2020. If we continue with business as usual we will fall short by more than 40,000. We need to ramp up efforts to cut energy use, and cutting successful programs that do exactly that is a bad idea.

Again, please take a minute to call the State House and tell your representative to stand up for weatherization and efficiency programs that save Vermonters and ratepayers significant

 

Here’s how to leave a message for your representative at the State House:

  • Call toll-free 800-322-5616 as soon as you can. The office is open from 8am-4:30pm.Ask to leave a message for your Representatives.
  • Provide your Name, Town, and Phone Number.

A Potential Message:

  •  Please stand up for efficiency and weatherization, and vote against any attempts to cut efficiency investments.

 

February 26 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • The UK’s Department of Energy & Climate Change awarded contracts worth more than £315 million to 27 projects. ScottishPower got one to build a 714-MW offshore wind farm, RWE Innogy GmbH won for three onshore wind projects totaling 166 MW, and Lightsource will build a 14.67-MW solar facility. [Bloomberg]
  • SunEdison, the world’s largest renewable energy development company, is planning to supply electricity to 20 million unserved people around the world. The initiative will be led by a company group focused on developing sustainable business models and technologies for renewable energy in rural areas. [AltEnergyMag]
  • Under a new plan by governors of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, electric distribution companies will collaborate with state agencies on a bidding process for proposals for clean energy resources including wind, solar, small hydro, biomass, fuel cells and other low-carbon sources. [Lexington Herald Leader]
  • Iberdrola Renewables, the owner and operator of the Blue Creek Wind Farm, along with Ohio State Senator Cliff Hite presented checks to Van Wert County, Ohio for more than $2,070,000, and Paulding County for $666,000. Iberdrola pays the counties $18,000 per year for each Iberdrola turbine they have. [Delphos Herald]
  • In Hawaii, the Big Island’s electric utility has asked Ormat Technologies to supply it with more geothermal power. The additional 25 MW will come from a new power plant at a new location, Hawaii Electric Light Co said Tuesday. The precise location has not yet been announced, under a nondisclosure agreement. [Thegardenisland.com]

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

Rally to Save Cape Wind

Saturday, 1 pm, Boston Common
Better Future Project

Dear friends,

Our campaign to save Cape Wind has become more urgent than ever. Last Wednesday, National Grid announced that they were joining the effort to expand the Spectra gas pipeline — one of several polluting and unnecessary new gas pipelines proposed for our state. We need to tell Marcy Reed, President of National Grid in Massachusetts, to invest in wind turbines, not gas pipelines — starting with Cape Wind. By reinstating National Grid’s contract to buy 50% of the power from Cape Wind, Marcy Reed can save our nation’s first offshore wind farm and help put Massachusetts on the path to a clean energy future.

It may be cold out, but the campaign is heating up. Ten other organizations, including Clean Water Action, Environment Massachusetts, and Mothers Out Front, have joined us as partners, supporters or endorsers of the campaign, and hundreds of people have already RSVP’d for Saturday’s rally.

RSVP now for the Rally to Save Cape Wind!

WHAT: Rally to Save Cape Wind

WHEN: Saturday, February 28, 1 pm

WHERE: Boston Common — meet at the Park Street T stop (check out the rideshare board, if you need a ride).

RSVP now!

We know National Grid is listening – we’ve been invited to meet with Ed White, their vice president of customer and environmental strategy, tomorrow. We need to show National Grid the power of our movement, which means we need to make this rally as big as it can be.

RSVP now for the Rally to Save Cape Wind! 

Don’t forget to dress warm!

See you Saturday,

Laura Borth, Downing Cless, Carolyn Barthel, Sabine von Mering, Emily Hart, Emily Kirkland, Craig Altemose, and the rest of the Save Cape Wind team

PS: Nearly 2,500 people have signed our petition to National Grid asking them to reinstate their contract with Cape Wind. We’re delivering the petitions tomorrow, so time is running out – sign the petition now and send the link to your friends today!

February 25 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • President Barack Obama, exercising his veto power for the first time in five years, rejected on Tuesday a measure green-lighting the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. It is unlikely GOP lawmakers will be able to reverse Obama’s veto, as that would require a two-thirds vote in each chamber. [CNN]
  • As part of its first major retrofit in 30 years, two custom-designed wind turbines have started generating power for the Eiffel Tower. Located above the World Heritage Site’s second level, about 400 feet off the ground, the sculptural wind turbines are now producing 10,000 kWh of electricity annually. [ThinkProgress]
  • SunEdison Inc, a US solar panel maker and project developer, expects its annual installations to more than double this year. The company intends to complete solar and wind power facilities with 2,100 to 2,300 MW of capacity during 2015. Last year it completed 1,048 megawatts of solar farms. [Bloomberg]
  • The UK’s renewable sources of energy like wind turbines could soon generate more electricity than nuclear power stations. Nuclear power is in a slow decline from its peak of 25% in 1995 to its current 19%. The contribution of renewables more than doubled from 6.8% in 2010 to 14.9% in 2013, and it continues to grow. [New Scientist]
  • Africa’s first grid-connected biogas plant will begin supplying power by March 1. The $6.5 million Gorge Farm Energy Park anaerobic digester in Kenya will consume an annual 50,000 tons of organic waste sourced from a neighboring 1,977-acre farm owned by VegPro Group, one of the plant’s investers. [Starr 103.5 FM]

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

And Green Energy Times Thanks President Obama:

Sanders Applauds Veto of Keystone Pipeline Bill

Sen Sanders Logo

WASHINGTON, Feb. 24 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a member of the Senate energy and environment committees, issued the following statement today after President Barack Obama vetoed a bill to allow construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline:

“I applaud the president for vetoing the Keystone pipeline bill. This veto tells the world that our nation takes seriously the planetary crisis of global warming and that we will not support legislation that would let a Canadian oil company ship some of the dirtiest oil on the planet across the United States.

“Climate change is real, it is caused by human activity and it is already causing devastating problems. Our job now is to aggressively transform our energy system away from fossil fuels into energy efficiency and sustainable energy. I urge my Senate colleagues to sustain the president’s veto.”

Contact: Michael Briggs (202) 224-5141

February 24 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • New Coal Plants in China: A (Carbon) Bubble Waiting to Burst” – China’s coal consumption growth has slowed down and fell in 2014. At the same time, coal-fired power generating capacity is growing rapidly. This represents an investment bubble that will burst as overcapacity becomes too large to ignore. [Energy Collective]
  • The government of the Australian state of Victoria has made good on a pre-election promise to support the state’s first solar-powered town. Energy audits and retrofits to reduce consumption have already begun in Newstead as the first step towards a community micro-grid using 100% renewable power. [The Fifth Estate]
  • Senvion is delivering 18 wind turbines for the Nordergründe offshore wind farm in the German North Sea. Each turbine has a rated power of 6.15 MW, enabling it to supply about 4,000 households with energy. The Nordergründe offshore wind farm will be completed in the fall of 2016. [Renewable Energy Magazine]
  • A Swedish group is building the world’s first ‘climate positive’ data center, in the famous copper mining and snow sports city of Falun. The proposed data center will work in tandem with a local energy system, using its waste heat for a variety of purposes and incorporating various renewable sources. [The Stack]
  • A new Massachusetts state Senate report on climate change is a call for the state to set policies in the face of deepening environmental impacts. Its title is its bottom line: “No Time to Waste: Our climate clock is ticking and our natural resources, public health and the future of our economy are at stake.” [The Recorder]

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

February 23 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Apple plans on investing €1.7 billion (£1.3 billion) into Europe, which is the biggest investment the American company has ever made on European soil. The plan is to create two new data centres in County Galway, Ireland, and Denmark’s central Jutland. The facilities will run on 100% renewable energy. [ITProPortal]
  • Wei-Hock “Willie” Soon, a prominent climate change denier and researcher, quietly took more than $1.2 million in payouts from the energy industry, including the Koch brothers and other oil lobbyists, for the past 14 years, newly released documents obtained by Greenpeace have shown. [eNews Park Forest]
  • An initiative to integrate more renewable energy into the Central America power system took one step forward last week as regional vice-ministers, directors of energy, and directors of climate change met in El Salvador to discuss the region’s energy future, the International Renewable Energy Agency reports. [solarserver.com]
  • SunEdison, a US-based company, has announced it will set up 15.2 GW of solar and wind energy capacity in India over the next 5 years. India has an ambitious target of adding 100 GW renewable capacity by 2022. India’s installed renewable energy capacity currently stands at just above 32 GW. [CleanTechnica]
  • Engineers in Norway and Sweden, two of the countries trying hardest to develop wave power technology, have announced “breakthroughs” in their methods, which the inventors believe will make wave power competitive. The latest Norwegian experiment has been installed in a redundant fishing vessel. [eco-business.com]

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

NESEA Speakers at BuildingEnergy 15: Thomas Holmes, Andrew Padian, and Marc Zuluaga

Multifamily Ventilation 302

Thomas Holmes

Thursday, March 05, 2015
2:00 pm to 3:30 pm
Multifamily

Central ventilation systems in multifamily buildings are a vital building system that often compromises overall building performance (ie they don’t perform to code almost 100% of the time).

Andrew Padian

Correcting ventilation problems can produce significant energy savings in multifamily buildings while also improving occupant comfort and health. Central ventilation system restoration is an emerging energy retrofit that has had its bumps along the way.

Marc Zuluaga

This session explores the lessons learned from projects that encountered a variety of design and implementation problems along the way, but ultimately achieved good performance results.

CEU Information: 

1.5 AIA, BPI, GBCI Continuing Education Units Available.

To learn more about NESEA’s BuildingEnergy 15 conference and see more speakers and programs, follow THIS LINK.