Get Email Updates!

Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

May 21 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Qualcomm Inc has been developing motor vehicle static charging technology with major carmakers for the past seven years. The company announced that its system is expected to be commercially available on EVs within two years, based on the fact that the cost of static wireless charging is now comparable with conductive charging. [Solar Magazine]
Solar Roadway project (Source: Designboom)

Solar Roadway project (Source: Designboom)

  • After months of pressure from the Australian government either to keep the old coal-fired plant open longer than planned or to sell it to somebody who will, the AGL board has decided to proceed with its original plan to close it. AGL said that an offer it got was in its best interests of neither the company nor its shareholders. [The Singleton Argus]
  • Sales of BMW electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles are up more than 49% year over year in 2018. BMW’s EV sales are up nicely so far this year, 73% in the US and 25% in the UK. But EV sales have surged far more in China, where sales are up 646%, thanks largely to a new, locally produced plug-in hybrid electric version of the 5 Series sedan. [CleanTechnica]
  • “This Clean Energy Champion Is Out To Break Vietnam’s Coal Habit” • The Goldman Environmental Prize for grassroots advocacy was awarded to its first Vietnamese recipient, 42-year-old clean energy champion, Nguy Thi Khanh, who hopes to end Vietnam’s reliance on coal and persuade the country to take a greener approach. [Forbes]
  • Utilities are welcoming a historic rooftop solar building code in California, but urging caution with its implementation to protect non-solar customers. Utilities and solar developers are calling at the same time for a dialogue among stakeholders to effectively integrate additional rooftop solar into the grid. The new code is to be effective in 2020. [Utility Dive]

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

May 20 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Global warming is on track to cause a major wipeout of insects, compounding already severe losses, according to a new analysis. Insects are vital to most ecosystems and a widespread collapse would cause extremely far-reaching disruption to life on Earth, and scientists warn that much more carbon needs to be cut than nations have promised. [theindependentbd.com]
Monarch butterflies (Joel Sartore | NG | Getty Images)

Monarch butterflies (Joel Sartore | NG | Getty Images)

  • The alternative energy revolution, based on such renewable energy sources as wind, solar, and geothermal being fed into the overall electrical grid, is reviving an argument Thomas Edison and Nicola Tesla had well over a century ago. The grid supplies AC power, but renewable energy sources such as solar and batteries are DC. [RTInsights]
  • Jonathan Naughton, director of the University of Wyoming’s Wind Energy Research Center, expects that in the next five to seven years up to 5,000 MW of wind power could be built in the state. That is three times the capacity of Wyoming’s current fleet of wind projects. The local utilities want wind power because it is inexpensive. [Casper Star-Tribune Online]
  • When a New Mexico electric cooperative anxious to lower its rates and pursue greater use of renewable energy learned that doing so would cost it a net $37 million exit fee from its contract with its wholesale power provider, it did what once might have been unthinkable. Now co-op other members are weighing their options. [The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel]
  • Denver International Airport first installed solar power for sustainability reasons in 2008. Now, it has 11.6 MW of solar capacity, with most of the electricity being sold back to the grid. A 2015 survey indicated that the nation’s airports had 70 solar projects. Now more are coming, as the airports consider what to do with open land. [Longview News-Journal]

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

May 19 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Could renewable sources meet 100 percent of our energy demand? Yes, according to new research which scrutinises the arguments against. “There are no roadblocks on the way to a 100% renewable future,” the research states, while pointing out that existing research already holds the answers to the common objections raised. [New Atlas]
Crescent Dunes solar thermal plant (Murray Foubister, Wikimedia Commons)

Crescent Dunes solar thermal plant (Murray Foubister, Wikimedia Commons)

  • The National Park Service released a report showing risks to national parks from sea level rise and storms. Report drafts obtained earlier by Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting showed officials had deleted every mention of humans causing climate change. But after a long delay, the report was published with the references restored. [Reveal]
  • A report from Microsoft Corp shows significant energy and carbon emissions reduction potential from use of the Microsoft Cloud, compared with on-premises datacenters. These gains can be as much as 93% for energy efficiency and 98% for carbon efficiency. They are partly due to Microsoft’s use of renewable energy. [Global Banking And Finance Review]
  • Consumers Energy and DTE Energy announced new goals in Michigan of 50% clean energy by 2030. The aim is to achieve this target through a combination of renewable investments (of at least 25%) and energy efficiency. They will be retiring coal-burning power plants, replacing them with of wind and solar generating facilities. [Windpower Engineering]
  • The city of San Francisco and its Municipal Transportation Agency announced that all public buses operating in the city will be electric no later than 2035. To achieve that goal, new buses purchased in 2025 and thereafter will be battery operated. Reaching that goal will require a significant expansion of SFMTA’s charging infrastructure. [CleanTechnica]

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

May 18 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • For 400 consecutive months, which is over 33 years, the earth’s temperature has been above average, and climatologists are not mincing words as to why. The dubious milestone was reported in NOAA’s monthly global climate report. It also says this April had the third-warmest of any April since NOAA began collecting such records in 1880. [CNN]
Warming planet

Warming planet

  • A report in The Atlantic said that NASA’s Trump-appointed new administrator, Jim Bridenstine, told a town hall meeting, “Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. We’re putting it into the atmosphere in volumes that we haven’t seen, and that greenhouse gas is warming the planet. That is absolutely happening, and we are responsible for it.” [Newsmax]
  • The US solar sector employs more workers than the coal and nuclear industries combined. A report from a think tank headed by former US Energy Secretary Moniz shows that some solar jobs are typically uncounted, and 100,000 jobs have a part-time solar component. The report hints at the political powerhouse that solar is becoming. [pv magazine Australia]
  • New York state officials issued a proposed rule that is expected to help the state meet Gov Andrew Cuomo’s goal of cutting carbon emissions 40% by 2030. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation plan would put strict emissions standards on the state’s coal power plants, effectively phasing them out by 2020. [ThinkProgress]
  • A year after it was proposed, a $150 million solar PV project on Bent Mountain in Pike County, in the heart of Kentucky’s eastern coalfield, is still just a vision. Time may be running out for the venture, and this is thanks to foot-dragging by Kentucky Fuel, a coal company that is years behind in a nearby cleanup that must come first. [InsideClimate News]

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

A One Day Round It Up for NOFA-NH

The Monadnock Food Co-op will hold a one day Round It Up donation drive for the Northeast Organic Farming Assocation of New Hampshire (NOFA-NA) on Friday, May 25, 2018. Customers will be able to round up their change at the register to support the Subsidized Farm Share Program, enabling Monadnock Region families in need to receive farm shares full of healthy, local produce.

The Farm Share Program works with certified organic NOFA-NH member farms to provide subsidized Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares to limited income New Hampshire residents, especially benefitting children, families and seniors. The program provides a season’s worth of local, farm fresh products-15 to 30 weeks of vegetables, fruit, dairy, eggs, meat, and/or bread. This year the co-op hopes funds raised from the Round It Up campaign will provide at least 1-3 low-income families with a farm share from Picadilly Farm.
“This is a unique opportunity to partner with NOFA-NH,” says Laura Carbonneau, Marketing Associate at the Co-op. “Our goal is to raise $350 for this great program. But we can only do it with the community’s help. This is a great example of how our community can come together to support one another.”

May 17 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • The Solar Energy Corporation of India announced plans to issue a tender for 2 GW of solar and wind energy capacity. SECI will auction 1 GW of solar and 1 GW of wind energy capacity at a location likely to be disclosed once the actual tender documents are released. Combining solar and windpower will optimize the transmission system. [CleanTechnica]
Solar and wind (Wikimedia Commons)

Solar and wind (Wikimedia Commons)

  • Queensland’s state-owned transmission company Powerlink says it has received enquiries about 30 GW of new generation projects, almost all of them renewables. Powerlink said it signed a connection agreement for up to 500 MW with Pacific Hydro for the first stage of the Haughton solar farm. But it is just one of 150 potential projects. [RenewEconomy]
  • With tariffs from the Trump administration and an energy market in flux, the solar economy faces a degree of uncertainty. But in Minnesota the sector is stronger than it is in most states. Last year solar jobs dropped 4% nationwide, while in Minnesota they rose 48.2% to a total of 4,256, according to the Solar Jobs Census. [Twin Cities Business Magazine]
  • Granite Air Center, Inc announced that it and partner Norwich Solar Technologies of White River Junction, Vermont, installed a 218.1-kW net-metered PV System on the main hangar rooftop at their facility in Lebanon, New Hampshire. With the new solar system, Granite Air will be able to see long-term energy cost reduction and stability. [AviationPros.com]
  • The European Investment Bank announced an agreement with Export-Import Bank of China to support the country’s move to a low-carbon economy. The EIB said it will provide China with a €300 million framework loan to fund energy, water, transport, and industry programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience. [The European Scientist]

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

May 16 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Elon Musk Harpooned Baseload Power” • In its first four months of operations the “big battery,” the Hornsdale Power Reserve, frequency control ancillary services prices went down by 90% in South Australia. The 100-MW battery has received over 55% of the FCAS revenues. This cuts into opportunities for fossil fuels deeply. [CleanTechnica]
Hornsdale Power Reserve

Hornsdale Power Reserve

  • Pacificorp, a Berkshire Hathaway electric utility in six Western states, projects new resources of 2.7 GW of wind, 1.86 GW of solar, 1.877 MW of incremental energy efficiency, and 268 MW of demand response. Pacificorp also expects to repower 999 MW of wind. But it foresees no new fossil fuel resources in the decades to come. [pv magazine USA]
  • Morocco is close to completing the largest concentrated solar power farm in the world. The site near the city of Ouarzazate aims to produce enough energy to power more than a million homes by the end of the year and reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 760,000 tons per year. The first phase was officially turned on in 2016. [CNN]
  • Britain’s windfarms provided more electricity than its eight nuclear power stations in the first three months of 2018, marking the first time wind has overtaken nuclear across a quarter. During the first quarter, wind power produced 18.8% of electricity, second only to gas, said a report by researchers at Imperial College London. [The Guardian]
  • “Renewables Investment Nudges Out Fossil Fuel And Nuclear” • In 2017 the clean energy industry reached a critical turning point. Growth and cost reductions have both far outperformed expectations based on policy frameworks alone. Improvements in cost, scale, and technology fundamentally have changed market dynamics. [Forbes]

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

Emerald Ash Borer: Slow the Spread! New Signs Warn Motorists, “Don’t Move Ash Firewood”

Motorists in the areas of Plainfield, Groton, Calais, Williamstown, Washington, and Barre may notice new flashing road signs reading “Don’t move ash firewood beyond this point.” The signs are part of an inter-agency partnership between the Agency of Transportation, the Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation (VTFPR) and the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (AAFM) to slow the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), which has been detected in the vicinity.  Signs are located on state highways and are visible to motorists leaving the EAB-infested areas.

EAB’s most common and damaging mode of transportation is by hitching a ride on firewood into a new area. To slow the spread, VTFPR is recommending that no ash firewood that has not been heat-treated be transported out of the known infested area, including loads of mixed firewood that may include ash logs that were harvested within the infested area. Ash firewood may be transported within the infested area.

The signs will be in place through Memorial Day weekend. In addition to their message, they serve as a visual reminder of where the borders of the infested area lie.

Vermonters outside the EAB-infested area and throughout the state should always ask their firewood dealer where the wood is coming from. The rule of thumb is to not move any untreated firewood more than 50 miles, and Vermonters living outside the infested area can do their part to slow the spread of EAB by making sure they are not purchasing infested ash.

EAB overwinter as larvae under the bark of ash trees where they feed on the inner bark tissue. Once infested, ash trees rapidly decline and are killed in 3-5 years. This pest is known to be established in 32 states and three Canadian provinces, and is responsible for widespread decline and mortality of hundreds of millions of ash trees in North America.

Vermonters are encouraged to look for signs and symptoms of the emerald ash borer and report suspicious findings on VTinvasives.org. Detailed information about the pest and what to look for may be found at the same website. Vermonters can also learn more about what EAB damage looks like and how to report a potential sighting by visiting http://agriculture.vermont.gov/Emerald_Ash_Borer. Video and pictures of EAB damage in Vermont can also be found there.  Private land owners looking for information about managing ash in woodlots and UVA (current use) plans should contact their county forester, contacts for which can be found at http://fpr.vermont.gov.

Ash Borer

We Have a Problem

By George Harvey

The status quo is widepread environmental destruction. We have all the solutions we need, but some people prefer the status quo. For now, they are getting their way.

Populations of black-footed kittiwakes have declined nearly 80% since the 1980s. (RSPB photo)

Populations of black-footed kittiwakes have declined nearly 80% since the 1980s. (RSPB photo)

We have a problem. The bad news is that we are losing our wildlife populations at a rate of over 2% per year or more. That is not 2% of the animals, a number that nature could replace; it is 2% of the population size. This means that every 35 years, the number of birds and bats, snakes and lizards, amphibians, and fish in the world is reduced by half. This has been going on for many decades.

I wrote about my own observations of this in the CleanTechnica article, “Watching Nature Collapse.” The evidence of loss of wildlife populations in that article was anecdotal. But science backs it up.

On July 11, 2015, a study conducted by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, together with a number of universities worldwide, was written up in an article in The Scotsman, “World seabird populations in catastrophic decline.” It said seabird populations had fallen 70% over a period of 60 years, which is pretty close to 2% per year. Most of the blame goes to the effects of the use or misuse of fossil fuels and their products.

On October 27, 2016, BBC News ran an article “World wildlife ‘falls by 58% in 40 years.’” The article was about a study by the WWF. I checked this, because the article did not say specifically what the word “wildlife” meant. I spoke with a WWF scientist who told me the study was done on animals representative of “all vertebrate species.” These declines are a bit faster than 2% per year. He also agreed with an estimate that we are losing another multicellular species about every ten or fifteen minutes. Most of the blame goes to the use or misuse of fossil fuels and their products and effects.

Continue reading We Have a Problem

May 15 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Researchers at the University of Sydney have spent 18 months looking at emissions from the entire tourism value chain, from the airplanes to the hotel, food preparations, and even souvenirs. The total is equivalent to 4.5 gigatons of carbon dioxide per year. This is about 8% of all emissions and possibly four times earlier estimates. [CleanTechnica]
Aircraft emissions

Aircraft emissions

  • Cypress Creek Renewables, the nation’s fifth-largest solar developer and last year’s top utility-scale installer, says it will take a $1.5 billion hit due to the Trump administration’s solar tariffs. Greentech Media confirmed that the company stopped investing in 1.5 GW of projects, roughly 20% of its pipeline, because of the tariffs. [Greentech Media]
  • A consortium in Sweden is working on an experimental program that could slash carbon emissions from manufacturing steel. The CEO of Hybrit, a joint venture between Swedish steel maker SSAB, power utility Vattenfall, and LKAB, Europe’s largest iron ore producer, said, “Our pilot plant will only emit water vapor.” [CleanTechnica]
  • “Russia Will Use Floating Nuclear Plant To Power Arctic Oil Exploration. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?” • Thanks to global warming, much of the Arctic ice has melted, making it easier to drill for more oil. But exploring for oil is energy intensive. What to do? Use a floating nuclear plant to power the oil explorations, of course! [CleanTechnica]
  • Almost half of Australia’s large businesses are actively moving to cheaper renewable energy, including many going off the grid by building their own generators and battery storage, as power bills threaten their bottom line. Businesses of all sizes, including 46% of large operations, have responded to high bills by seeking green alternatives. [The Guardian]

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