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The November Green Energy Times is Here!

The November, 2019 edition of Green Energy Times has been published and is being distributed. It has also been uploaded onto the internet and can be viewed HERE.

Individual articles are being uploaded and will be available soon.

November 21 Green Energy Times

Headline News:

  • “Presidential Contenders Join Fellow Senators In Urging New England To Speed Clean Energy Transition” • Seven US senators from four New England states have urged the regional grid operator to speed the addition of clean energy resources and take a more active role in addressing climate change as well as accommodating state resource policies. [Utility Dive]

Capitol building (Credit: Creative Commons)

  • “A Third Of Tropical African Plants Face Extinction” • A third of tropical African plants are on the path to extinction, according to a new assessment. Much of western Africa, Ethiopia, and parts of Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are the hardest hit regions, standing to lose more than 40% of their richness of plants. [BBC]
  • “Soaring Fossil Fuel Production Is On Track To Blow Past Climate Goals” • The world’s top 10 fossil fuel-producing countries are on track to extract far more oil, gas and coal by 2030 than scientists say the planet can handle without experiencing catastrophic warming, according to a report published Wednesday. [Mother Jones]
  • “Municipal Power Companies In Florida Plan 223.5-MW Solar Power Plant” • Twelve municipal power companies in Florida, with cooperation with the Florida Municipal Power Association and Florida Renewable Partners, have banded together to build a massive 223.5-MW solar power plant with 900,000 panels to serve their customers. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Tesla And Rivian Join California’s Lawsuit Against Trump’s EPA And NHTSA” • The National Coalition for Advanced Transport, which includes makers of EVs and related products and utilities, supports the efforts of California’s Air Resources Board to reduce emissions. It is opposing Trump administration fuel economy roll-backs. [CleanTechnica]

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

November 20 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Homes To Sell Renewable Energy To Businesses In Vermont’s First Of A Kind Local Energy Marketplace” • Called Vermont Green, a pilot project by LO3 Energy also looks to solve some haunting industry issues, among them achieving 100% renewable energy, replacing net metering, and simplifying green energy purchases. [Microgrid Knowledge]

Eco-friendly house (anweber | Shutterstock)

  • “EasyJet 1st Airline In World To Go Carbon Neutral, Starting Today” • EasyJet announced that from today all of its flights will be carbon neutral, the first airline to do so. From now, EasyJet’s 331 airplanes will have their carbon emissions balanced through carbon removal efforts. In the future, it will switch to sustainable fuels and electric aircraft. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Australia Fires: ‘Catastrophic’ Alerts In South Australia And Victoria” • Heat and winds are threatening to widen Australia’s bushfire crisis, with three states warned to expect their worst conditions of the season so far. In addition to South Australia and Victoria, South Australia issued a “catastrophic” alert, the highest danger rating. [BBC]
  • “Nikola Pushes Deeper Into Battery Electric Vehicles With Next Generation Battery Tech” • The Nikola Motor Company has news of a pending acquisition of a team that developed a next generation battery technology. It claims the battery has double the capacity of what is currently available, costs half as much, and has an acceptable lifespan. [CleanTechnica]
  • “New Jersey More Than Doubles Offshore Wind Target To 7.5 GW” • New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order backing a goal of 7.5 GW of offshore wind by 2035, more than doubling the state’s existing 3.5-GW target for 2030. At present, the state is heavily reliant on natural gas and nuclear power for its electricity. [Greentech Media]

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

 

November 19 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Company Backed By Bill Gates Claims Solar Breakthrough, Looks To Replace Fossil Fuels In Industrial Plants” • Heliogen, a company backed by Bill Gates, says it has developed a way to create concentrated solar energy at temperatures hot enough to replace fossil fuels in industrial processes that make significant contributions to global CO₂ emissions. [GeekWire]

Heliogen commercial facility in California (Heliogen Photo)

  • “Principle Power Wins US Grant For Deepwater Floater R&D” • A consortium led by Principle Power has been selected for a $850,000 grant for a project to develop new mooring systems for deepwater floating wind platforms. Principle Power’s research and development initiative will investigate a variety of mooring components. [reNEWS]
  • “A Huge Red Flag? India Shutters Power Plants Citing Lack Of Demand” • Half of India’s power generation capacity using coal and nuclear power is being shut down because of lackluster demand, the Indian Express reports. It added that while some of the shutdowns have lasted just a few days, other power plants have been closed for months. [OilPrice.com]
  • “Neoen plans 50% expansion of South Australia’s Tesla Big Battery” • French renewable energy company Neoen confirmed it plans to increase the capacity of the Tesla Big Battery system in South Australia. The 100-MW/129-MWh Hornsdale Power Reserve will be expanded with an additional 50 MW/64.5 MWh of capacity by Tesla. [Renewables Now]
  • “Israeli Startup UBQ Says It Has The Answer To Recycling And The Circular Economy” • UBQ Materials can make raw material for plastics from ordinary household refuse. Swiss consulting firm Quantis found that using a ton of UBQ’s pellets for the same amount of polypropylene saves the equivalent of about 15 tons of CO₂ emissions. [CleanTechnica]

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

November 18 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “US Suspends More Oil And Gas Leases Over What Could Be A Widespread Problem” • The Trump administration’s push to expand fossil fuel production on federal lands is hitting a snag: its own refusal to consider climate impacts. After advocacy groups sued, the Bureau of Land Management office in Utah voluntarily suspended 130 leases. [InsideClimate News]

Pump jacks (BLM image)

  • “‘Ice Battery’ At Retreat Lowers Energy Costs” • An ice battery has been brougth back into service at the Brattleboro Retreat. At low demand times, cheap electricity can be used to freeze water in containers. Then when the day is warm, the ice is used to cool water, which is run to air handlers to cool air, avoiding the use of more costly electricity for AC. [Brattleboro Reformer]
  • “Engie, EDPR Select MHI Vestas 10-MW Turbines For Lion Floater” • Engie and EDPR have selected MHI Vestas to supply three 10-MW turbines to the 30-MW Golfe du Lion floating offshore wind project 16 km off the coast of Mediterranean coast of Southern France. The companies plan to use Port La Nouvelle as the assembly harbor. [reNEWS]
  • “US Solar Panel Prices Continue Dropping, Solar+Storage Increasing – Tracking The Sun Report” • Tracking the Sun is an annual report from Berkeley Lab on prices and trends among grid-connected, distributed solar PV systems in the US. It covers 1.6 million systems, representing 81% of all distributed PVs in the US through the end of 2018. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Are We Really In A 6th Mass Extinction? Here’s The Science” • A mass extinction is usually defined as a loss of about three quarters of all species living across the entire Earth over a “short” geological period of time. “Short” is defined as anything less than 2.8 million years. And given current science, the 6th Extinction is already under way. [ScienceAlert]

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

November 17 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “World’s Largest Floating Wind Turbine Launching Soon In Portugal” • Portugal is about to be the home of the largest floating wind turbine in the world, an 8.4-MW ABS-classed offshore wind turbine. This is continental Europe’s first large-scale floating wind farm. It is scheduled to go online by the end of 2019, a press release says. [CleanTechnica]

Floating wind turbine (Principle Power via Twitter)

  • “Saudi Aramco Flotation Values Oil Giant At $1.7 Trillion” • Saudi Arabia has placed a preliminary valuation on state oil company Aramco of between $1.6 trillion (£1.22 trillion) and $1.7 trillion. The company has published an updated prospectus for its initial public offering, seeking more than $25 billion for the sale of 1.5% of its shares. [BBC]
  • “Two Of America’s Biggest Coal Plants Closed This Month” • This week, Arizona’s 2.25-GW Navajo Generating Station burned its last load of coal after no buyers turned up during a two-year search. And the bankrupt owner of Pennsylvania’s 2.7-GW Bruce Mansfield unit began its shutdown, almost two years ahead of schedule. [Quartz]
  • “Trump Administration Fights Ban On Farming Pesticides, Sucks Up To Corporate Behemoths” • The Trump administration is doing everything it can to protect three pesticides from bans in other countries and continue their global distribution. Why? The pesticides generate enormous profits to big companies that are frequent donors to US politicians. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Sprint Commits To 100% Renewables Across All Operations By 2025” • Adding to its sustainable business practices, Sprint announced new corporate environmental goals. Among them is a commitment to source 100% renewable electricity across its entire operations, including all retail stores, offices, call centers, and network sites, by 2025. [Solar Power World]

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

November 16 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “US Readies First Wind-Powered Steel Plant” • A $250 million Nucor Corp. “micro” mill taking shape in Sedalia, Missouri. It will be the first US steel production plant that will run on wind energy. A report last year from the group Mighty Earth noted that steel represented 7% of global carbon emissions worldwide in 2013. [E&E News]

“Micro” steel mill being built in Missouri (Nucor Sedalia via Facebook)

  • “3-GW Wind Power Project In Wyoming Moves Closer To Approval” • The Chokeberry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project is slated to have a capacity of 3 GW. If the huge Wyoming wind farm is completed, it will be the largest in the US. The Bureau of Land Management recently released a favorable environmental impact assessment. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Warming Winters May Lead To More Snow For Western New York” • Climate data going back to 1970 show that Buffalo’s average winter temperature has warmed 3.2°F. That means Lake Erie stays open much longer. And that means that more water vapor rises off the lake each year during winter, which increases the amount of snow for snowy Buffalo. [WGRZ.com]
  • “Germany Adopts Climate Protection Act” • The Bundestag, Germany’s parliament, has adopted the climate protection act enshrining in law plans to make the country greenhouse gas emission neutral by 2050. However, some renewable energy groups, including BEE, pointed out shortcomings in the law that need to be addressed. [reNEWS]
  • “We’ll Be Measuring Sea Level Rise In Feet, Not Inches” • For a long time, climate reports focused on moderate estimates of the effects. The Tampa Bay Climate Science Advisory Panel says water levels have increased by 7.8 inches since 1946. But it says the sea level on the Tampa Bay area could be 8½ feet higher in 2100 than it was in 2000. [Tampa Bay Times]

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

Solarize Kearsarge Nears Completion

Nancy Teach at home. Photo courtesy Granite State Solar.

George Harvey

As Green Energy Times goes to press, Granite State Solar (GSS) is finishing the last installations of the Solarize Kearsarge Campaign, in the area of Kearsarge, New Hampshire. This is timely, as it means customers are able to take advantage of higher federal tax incentives that will be reduced with the new year.

GSS, which is based in Bow, N.H., started the campaign in April of this year. This was covered by a post on the GET website, “Solarize Kearsarge Kicks Off April 13.” (http://bit.ly/GET-Kearsarge) Solarize Kearsarge was a cooperative effort of Kearsarge Climate Action and Vital Communities to help residents in Andover, Newbury, New London, Sutton, Warner, and Wilmot get solar photovoltaic systems installed at their homes. GSS was chosen as the preferred installer by Solarize Kearsarge from among several in the area.

The campaign got quite a lot of attention. In the end, 189 people contacted GSS, 130 of these scheduled site visits, and these led to 41 contracts being signed. Installations came to a little over 358 kilowatts (kW) and a total of 1047 solar panels.

GSS did not take a cookie-cutter approach to individual installations, with the idea that some were roof mounts, some ground mounts, and everything else the same. In truth, every system was designed based on its own needs. There were roof mounted systems and ground mounted systems, but the latter were divided into those that were stationary and those with AllEarth trackers. Solar panels for systems ranged not only in size, but in type, with some made by Panasonic and most Hanwa Q-Cells.

For anyone who would like to know what it is like to participate in a Solarize campaign, we could describe the experience of Nancy Teach, a homeowner from Andover, N.H. She was one of those people who had studied the situation thoroughly. She already appreciated the benefits of solar power, having had her own system at an earlier residence. She was still undecided about installers when she heard about the Solarize Kearsarge Campaign.

“To me, solar is the responsible thing to do,” Teach said. “I had solar in my previous home, and I knew I really wanted to do it again. When I heard about Solarize Kearsarge, I decided it was time.”

“I contacted a total of five solar installers even though Granite State Solar was the preferred Solarize Kearsage vendor,” Teach said. “I wanted to be part of the process. The other companies I met with were comparable, but Granite State Solar was different. I was impressed with Eric, a solar advisor with GSS, who came to my home and did a free site evaluation. His knowledge and overall thoughtfulness was impressive.”

Teach’s solar system is expected to produce 7,420 kWh of electricity in a good year. It has nineteen Q-Cell 325 watt panels, each with its own Enphase IQ7 inverter. The total system size is 6.175 kW.

“Installation went very quickly,” Teach said. “The entire Granite State Solar install team that came to my home was very dog friendly, which is very important to me. I trusted them here when I wasn’t in. After installation was completed, Jaimie in the Granite State Solar office was excellent and kept me informed about the entire approval process with the town. She even helped with paperwork for the state rebate, and I’ve already received my check from the PUC.”

Because Teach’s system was done in 2019, it is eligible for the 30% Federal Tax Credit. That tax credit drops to 26% in 2020, which is still a respectable incentive. There is also a rebate available from the State of New Hampshire.

Granite State Solar’s web site is www.granitestatesolar.com.

November 15 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “As Deadly Australia Bushfires Rage, Sydney May Be Running Out Water” • Australia’s deadly bushfires are driven by the worst drought in decades, but fears are now growing that things could get worse. Sydney, home to more than 5 million people, faces a warning that dams could run dry by 2022, according to CNN affiliate 7News. [CNN]

Australian bushfire (80 trading 24, Wikimedia Commons)

  • “Los Angeles Places Largest Single Electric Bus Order In US History – 130 BYD K7M Buses” • The Los Angeles Department of Transportation and BYD announced the largest electric bus contract in US history. The company will build 130 of its K7M electric buses for the city’s public transportation system at its factory in Lancaster, California. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Italian Council Is Flooded Immediately After Rejecting Measures On Climate Change” • Veneto regional council was flooded for the first time in its history. “Ironically, the chamber was flooded two minutes after the majority League, Brothers of Italy, and Forza Italia parties rejected our amendments to tackle climate change,” a Council member said. [CNN]
  • “Dutch Government Slashes Highway Speed Limit To Tackle Climate Change” • The Dutch government put forward a new climate change package. It includes a controversial proposal to lower the day-time speed limit on motorways to just 100 km/h (62 mph) from the current 130 km/h (80 mph). At night, the limit will stay the same. [CNN]
  • “There’s Now Evidence An Ancient ‘Political Superpower’ Failed Due To Climate Change” • At its height, the Assyrian state stretched from Egypt to western Iran. Then, in an astonishing reversal of fortune, the Neo-Assyrian Empire fell from its zenith to complete political collapse within the span of just decades. It looks like a result of climate change. [ScienceAlert]

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

Thank you for standing up to National Grid, Now we Need a Plan for Renewable Heat

Renewable Heat Now to Governor Cuomo: 

Thank you for standing up to National Grid, Now we Need a Plan for Renewable Heat

Albany, New York – Today, for the third month in a row, New Yorkers from across the state convened in Albany for the Public Service Commission (PSC) monthly meeting. Inexplicably, the Energy Efficiency Order, expected in September, was once again not on the agenda. Following the PSC meeting, a campaign letter was delivered to the Governor’s Office praising his Tuesday morning letter to National Grid giving them 14 days notice of his intention to revoke their downstate gas franchise and laying out steps he can take to spearhead the transition to renewable heating.

The campaign held a press conference afterwards to praise Governor Cuomo’s letter to the utility and urging him to go further in laying out a plan for a managed transition off of fossil heating onto renewable heating.

Lee Ziesche of Sane Energy Project said, “Every month that we have to come back to Albany to demand action from the PSC is critical time wasted to implement the climate solutions we desperately need. Our message is clear: Stop spending our ratepayer dollars on fracked gas infrastructure and make a plan that follows climate science and gets us off gas now.”

Veronica Cruz, from State Senator Julia Salazar’s office said, “Senator Salazar continues to support all efforts to oppose expansion of the use and reliance of natural gas or other harmful and dangerous sources of energy and power. She supports especially the demands to hold National Grid accountable. Senator Salazar continues to stand in solidarity with the Renewable Heat Now campaign and all who are fighting for real solutions to global warming.”

Ruth Foster of Stop the Fracked Gas Pipeline, a group fighting National Grid’s proposed E37 Albany Loop Pipeline said, “We need to stop all new fossil fuel infrastructure projects and we need to shut down the existing ones as fast as we can. Governor Cuomo claims to be a climate leader, yet every day he sits in a building heated by fracked gas. That’s not right. We call on NYPA to heat this building with geothermal heat pumps.”

Andrew Pezzullo Hudson Valley Organizer with Food and Water Watch said, “Affected communities, business owners and NYCHA residents should feel vindicated by the strong language [re: National Grid] coming from Governor Cuomo’s office., but to take this rhetoric and turn it into climate solutions that make material impacts in New Yorker’s lives and policy that takes our climate crisis seriously, New York needs a plan. It needs a plan to transition from fossil fuels to renewable heating. The plan cannot include fossil fuel companies and utilities building more pipelines. We need an Energy Efficiency Order now.”

Addressing the issue of badly needed workforce development in the renewable heating sector, Cari Gardner of the New York Progressive Action Network said, “Workforce development in the renewable heating sector is badly needed, in fact one of the biggest needs is for qualified drillers for geothermal. Gas drillers can become geothermal heat pump drillers.” She went on to say, “Low income household’s lives can be made better when their homes are weatherized and have affordable, safe, heating and air conditioning.  This will help to prevent the many illnesses currently caused by the pollution of fracking, transporting and burning dirty fuels. We must we willing to make massive systems changes.”

Joanne Coons of NYGEO highlighted the many benefits of geothermal energy. “Buildings should be like trees reaching down for energy from the  earth and outward to the sky for energy from the sun. Our buildings should be energy producers, not energy consumers.”

Lindsay Speer of Alliance for a Green Economy said, “It is crucial for the Governor and Public Service Commission to create a plan to efficiently electrify the heating sector in an orderly way, and hold the utilities to working in the public interest. Experts calculate that 3.5 million heat pump conversions will be needed by 2030 if we are to meet the greenhouse gas emissions targets in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. We New Yorkers are rising to this challenge, and we need decisive and swift action from Governor Cuomo, the Public Service Commission, and the utilities to shift our energy system appropriately. Our futures depend on it.”