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January 20 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Climate change threatens the sugar maples in northern hardwood forests. As global temperatures rise, drought could stunt their growth, a decades-long study found. The number of sugar maple trees will decrease, diminishing the amount of maple syrup available and eliminating the stunning colors of these forests during autumn. [Newsweek]
Sugar maples, threatened (Photo: Muffet, Wikimedia Commons)

Sugar maples, threatened (Photo: Muffet, Wikimedia Commons)

  • Despite initiating a slew of regulatory rollbacks allegedly aimed at helping the struggling coal sector regain jobs, the entire sector grew by just 771 jobs during President Trump’s first year in office. Moreover, several key coal-producing states like Ohio, Kentucky, Montana, and Wyoming lost more coal jobs than they gained in the year. [ThinkProgress]
  • The government in Canada says it plans to invite expressions of interest in a renewable energy power program that could include offshore wind. The Honourable Jim Carr, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, announced C$200 million (US$161 million) of funding for innovative emerging renewable power to expand renewable energy sources. [Offshore Wind Journal]
  • Panasonic is building a smart city in Colorado. Called CityNow, the futuristic city is rising outside Denver and will be a living lab experiment for creating towns that can survive a disaster, run on clean, renewable power, and contain sustainable infrastructure that improves people’s lives, according to a report from Inhabitat. [Proud Green Building]
  • Opinion: “It’s Time for Electric Companies to Pivot” • Renewable energy is rapidly changing the electric grid, and utilities need to adapt or face still greater disruption in their industry, according to a report from the Rocky Mountain Institute. Two directions in particular appear likely to offer opportunities for growth, the report says. [IEEE Spectrum]

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

January 19 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Norway is aiming to be the first country in the world to switch to 100% electric planes for short-haul flights, the country’s airport operator Avinor has announced. The company wants all of the country’s short-haul airliners to be electric by 2040, in what is the most goal yet adopted for the embryonic electric aviation sector. []


  • A new ISO-NE report finds that New England’s grid is vulnerable to a season-long outage of any of several major energy facilities, such as the 688-MW Pilgrim nuclear plant, which recently went offline when a cold snap caused the loss of a power line to the plant. The most concerning trend is increased reliance on natural gas. [RTO Insider]
  • Capital Stage AG, a Hamburg-based solar and wind park operator, has announced a partnership with the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund to co-invest in a Power Capital portfolio, consisting of more than 20 solar farms with a total generating capacity of 140 MW. The investment is ISIF’s first for solar park developments in Ireland. []
  • UK house-holders can cut their domestic energy bills by up to 66% by turning their homes into mini-power stations, according to Japanese car giant Nissan. Excess energy collected via solar panels on sunny days and stored in a fridge-sized home-battery during off-peak times could be sold back to the national grid when demand for it is at its highest. [This is Money]
  • Wind power generation in the UK, which exceeded 10 GW for the first time on January 13, reached 13.6 GW on January 17, according to data by Drax Electric Insights. At 13.6 GW, it supplied 29% of the country’s total power between 1245 and 1315 local time, UK power producer Drax Group Plc said in a social media post. [Renewables Now]
  • In Massachusetts, the Northampton City Council voted unanimously to pass a resolution showing support for the ideal of achieving 100% renewable energy reliance. It is a goal that’s been championed by a number of other Massachusetts communities; six other municipalities have already signed resolutions supporting it. []

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

January 18 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Residents in 30 towns across Vermont, including Brattleboro, Dummerston, Londonderry, Marlboro, Newfane, Putney, and Weston, are petitioning to put climate change on their respective Town Meeting Day agendas and ballots. Vermont has a goal to power the state with 90% renewables by 2050, but is far from meeting this mark. [Commons]
A red-tailed hawk rests at a solar farm in Michigan. (Photo: Deb Nystrom, Wikimedia Commons)

A red-tailed hawk rests at a solar farm in Michigan. (Photo: Deb Nystrom, Wikimedia Commons)

  • As the founder and CEO of BlackRock, Laurence D Fink controls over $6 trillion in assets. On January 16, the chief executives of most of the major business corporations in the world received a letter from him telling them they have to develop a social conscience if they wish BlackRock to continue investing in their businesses. [CleanTechnica]
  • A boom in solar power could wipe out $1.4 billion a year of summertime revenue for Texas fossil-fuel generators. Almost 15 GW of solar power may be installed in the coming years, and every GW stands to reduce peak summer wholesale electricity prices by about $2.76/MWh, analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance shows. [BloombergQuint]
  • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is building a reactor that will make a renewable form of natural gas in a two-step process. First, supplies of cheap solar and wind-powered electricity will be used to split hydrogen from water. Then the hydrogen will be combined by microbes with carbon dioxide to make natural gas. [E&E News]
  • A clean energy group in Ohio has new data that they say can change the debate on clean energy during the 2018 campaign season. The Ohio Conservative Energy Forum is pointing to a poll that shows conservative voters are 36 percent more likely to vote for someone who supports energy efficiency and increases the use of renewables. [WOSU]

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

January 17 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “China Is the New World Leader in Renewable Energy” • China is becoming dominant in the realm of renewable energy, a report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis says. And the US decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement was an important catalyst for the growth in China’s renewable energy leadership. [Futurism]
PVs in China (Image: Wikimedia Commons | WiNG)

PVs in China (Image: Wikimedia Commons | WiNG)

  • At the Detroit auto show, Ford announced it is more than doubling its previous commitment to electric cars to $11 billion by 2022. By then, The Verge says, it will have 16 electric models in its product lineup, for a total of 40 models that are hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or fully electric. By comparison, GM says it will have 16. [CleanTechnica]
  • Scotrenewables Tidal Power SR2000 tidal current turbine delivered impressive generation throughout heavy North Atlantic storms that battered the Orkney Islands in late autumn and early winter. The turbine showed it is capable of generating through around 99% of conditions experienced at the Orkney site. [Renewable Energy Magazine]
  • An “energy revolution” is being predicted for the UK over the next decade, as farmers and landowners look to invest in energy storage technology. The renewable energy storage systems, which include both batteries and thermal storage systems, can run from very small units to technologies for power plant and grid-scale installations. [FarmingUK]
  • UK investment in wind and solar power has crashed since the Government reduced the amount of help available, new figures show. The dramatic slump, a 56% fall in a single year, sparked an accusation that the Government is failing in its environmental strategy, despite its “green veneer.” Meanwhile, much of the world powers ahead. [The Independent]

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

Master Gardener Volunteer Annual Seed Swap – Middleburgh, NY

The Schoharie and Otsego Master Gardener Volunteers will host the Annual Master Gardener Seed Swap on Saturday, January 27, 2018. Participation is free, and you do not have to donate seeds to benefit.  A selection of 2017 seeds will be available as supplies last.
The Schoharie Master Gardener Seed Swap will be held at the Middleburgh Library in Middleburgh, NY.  The Otsego Master Gardener Seed Swap will be held at the Kinney Memorial Library in Hartwick, NY.  Both will run from 10 to 11:00 a.m.
National Seed Swap Day is designated as the last Saturday in January.  The mission is to conserve and promote crop diversity in local communities through a planned event at which neighbors gather to exchange seeds and chat about plans for the upcoming season.
For more information on this event, visit our website at or email  Cooperative Extension is an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities and provides equal program and employment opportunities.  Accommodations for persons with special needs may be requested by contacting Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties prior to the program at 518-234-4303 or 518-296-8310.

January 16 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • The latest weather reports from Alaska are alarming. In December, 2017, the average temperature in Alaska was 19.4° F according to a report from NOAA. That average is 2.1º F more than the previous high temperature record set in 1985. For the month, Alaska was 15.7º F warmer on average, compared to data going back to 1925. [CleanTechnica]
Above average temperatures in Alaska

Above average temperatures in Alaska

  • Data from both the Energy Information Administration and Rhodium Group show that solar and wind power represented 94.7% of the US net new electricity capacity (15.8 GW out of 16.7 GW) added in 2017. However, that is mainly because fossil fuel power continued to fade away, as 11.8 GW of utility-scale fossil fuel plants closed. [Engadget]
  • “Is An Oil Price Spike Inevitable?” • The oil glut is over, at least when it comes to US commercial inventories. Brent touched $70 last week, and discoveries continuing to sit at record lows, so there is a chance that $70 a barrel is only the beginning. One thing, however, is certain: The oil market is notoriously difficult to predict. []
  • “Edible insects: Do insects actually taste any good?” • Edible insects are often portrayed as something of a sustainable super-food, an environmentally friendly alternative to livestock. But who is already eating them and do they actually taste any good? (Spoiler: Hornet larvae taste like sweet mussels when cooked and seasoned properly.) [BBC]
  • A massive oil tanker that sank off the coast of China could affect marine life for decades, experts say. The 900 foot-long tanker was carrying about a million barrels of ultra-light crude oil at the time of the collision. China’s State Oceanic Administration said several oil slicks have already been found, including one covering over 22 square miles. [CNN]

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

Green Mountain Power Alerts Customers to Phone Scam

Scammers Are Targeting Businesses and Customers Demanding Immediate Payment
Colchester, VT – Green Mountain Power is warning customers about a bill payment phone scam that threatens customers with disconnection within the hour if they do not pay immediately.   Customers received calls claiming to be from GMP and giving the customer a fake toll-free number to call, which is answered by a recording claiming to be Green Mountain Power.
These calls are not from Green Mountain Power, and customers should hang up if they receive a call with such demands. If customers have any questions about their account status, they should call the authorized phone number for GMP, 888.TEL.GMPC (888.835.4672).
“Customers should be very wary of giving any information out over the phone unless they initiate the call,” said Kristin Carlson, vice president strategic and external affairs. “Customers should know we will never demand immediate payment through credit cards or pre-paid cards.”


 Customers receiving any call with these demands should follow these steps:
–        Do not provide payment or any other personal information;
–        Do not engage with the caller;
–        Immediately hang up;
–        Do not call back the number; and
–        Call GMP Customer Service at 888-835-4672 to report what happened and share any information you are able to provide, including name of the caller, caller’s phone number, and substance of the call.
Customers are encouraged to report this scam by contacting the Vermont Attorney General’s Office Consumer Assistance Program at 800.649.2424 (in-state only) or 802.656.3183 (from out of state numbers)  or by visiting GMP encourages customers to sign up for the recently-launched Attorney General’s Office Scam Alert program by visiting this web address where subscribers may opt to receive scam and fraud alerts from the by text message, email, or phone.

January 15 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Green Mountain Power suffered “several millions” of dollars of lost revenue over the past 18 months because the electric grid in northern Vermont is not robust enough, its director of power planning told the Public Utility Commission. The Washington Electric Co-op has experienced a similar setback for the same reason. []
GMP control room (Photo: John Herrick | VTDigger)

GMP control room (Photo: John Herrick | VTDigger)

  • London’s air quality is within legal limits in mid-January for the first time in 10 years, City Hall has said. The capital breached limits for nitrogen dioxide by 6 January every year for the last decade, Mayor Sadiq Khan said. So far this year, London’s NO2 has not exceeded limits, although it is likely to do so later this month, Mr Khan admitted. [BBC]
  • Cape Town, home to Table Mountain, African penguins, sea, and sunshine, is a world-renowned tourist destination. But it could also become famous as the world’s first major city to run out of water. Most recent projections suggest that its water could run out as early as March, after three years of very low rainfall and increasing consumption. [BBC]
  • The falling cost of renewable energy means nuclear power cannot compete with cheap solar power in developed countries, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency report for 2017. Global renewable energy costs are falling so fast they could be consistently cheaper than fossil fuels by 2020, IRENA says. [Energy Matters]
  • An ambitious project to protect Florida’s Treasure Coast waterways from damaging algae faces critics who decry it as shortsighted and discriminatory against the Miccosukee Indian Tribe. The plan would feed fresh water to the Everglades, as nature had once done, but the water is loaded with agricultural nutrients now. [MyPalmBeachPost]

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

January 14 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Global warming will increase the risk of river flooding over the coming decades, endangering millions more people around the world, a study from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research said. It found that flood defenses especially need to be improved in the United States, Indonesia, Central Europe, and parts of India and Africa. [Sun.Star]
Flooding in Germany (AP image)

Flooding in Germany (AP image)

  • The Australian summer heat is fierce. A section of highway from Sydney to Melbourne started to melt. Heat-struck bats fall dead from the trees. In suburban Sydney, temperatures hit 47.3° C (117° F), though they cooled to 43.6° C (110.5° F) the next day. It is now hotter without an El Niño than it used to be with one. And it may be the new normal. [BBC]
  • The Tesla Model 3 is now on show, and attracting huge crowds. One is being featured at the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto and another at the Century City mall in Los Angeles. But a customer who orders a Model 3 today will have to be patient. There are approximately 400,000 people with reservations for them in line already. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Puerto Rico is taking a big step toward revamping how it gets power – and it could be a model for the rest of the US” • More than three months after the storm, 1.5 million Puerto Ricans remain without power, and hundreds of thousands have no clean water. It could happen elsewhere in America. And the solutions for Puerto Rico can inform us. [Business Insider]
  • “Carbon Taxing May Be Coming To Energy Conscious States” • After President Trump said the US would abandon the Paris Climate Agreement, many state and local governments decided to continue with it. Massachusetts State Representative Jennifer Benson proposed taxing carbon much as countries around the world do. [The Drive]

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

Live webcast – Holding fossil fuel companies liable for climate change – Jan 25

The Union of Concerned Scientists and the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at University of California—Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law invite you to a timely and stimulating conversation exploring whether and how the fossil fuel industry can be held liable for the harms climate change is inflicting on communities across the country.

Live Webcast: Holding Fossil Fuel Companies Liable for Climate Change Harms
Date: Thursday, January 25
Time: 9:00 p.m. EST / 6:00 p.m. PST


The event will be webcasted live from the Fowler Museum at UCLA. You will receive an email with details on accessing the webcast upon registration.

The fossil fuel industry is responsible for decades of climate science disinformation and attempts to obstruct climate action. A recent scientific paper in Climatic Change for the first time quantifies the outsized role that carbon pollution traced to these companies has played in exacerbating climate impacts. In the face of the current climate change policy void at the federal level, legal experts are seriously exploring whether and how fossil fuel companies can be held liable.

A handful of recent lawsuits filed by cities and counties in California have put this issue front and center, and New York City also filed suit for climate damages on January 10. But the fossil fuel industry is fighting back—ExxonMobil is now threatening to countersue in California and has begun legal maneuvers that may be time-consuming and costly for the cities and counties.

Featuring scientific and legal experts, as well as perspectives from affected communities, the panel will address how companies involved in the extraction, production, and marketing of fossil fuels can be held to account for the ever-mounting costs of climate harms and preparation.