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Campaign Launched for FREE Weatherize Assessments for 14 Upper Valley Towns

Vital Communities Partners with 14 Vermont Towns to Launch Weatherize Upper Valley

Vital Communities and volunteers in 14 Vermont towns will launch a new Weatherize Upper Valley initiative later this month to encourage more homeowners to invest in energy efficiency projects. Hartland, Hartford, Norwich, Thetford, Sharon, Royalton, Bethel, Randolph, Braintree, Brookfield, Windsor, Reading, Cavendish, and Weathersfield are participating in the pilot program this January through May.

The 14 towns—organized into four unique Weatherize campaigns—will host public kick-off events later this month (details below). Interested residents are encouraged to attend to learn more about home energy efficiency and the Weatherize process, meet their community’s certified weatherization contractors, and talk with neighbors who have completed home energy efficiency projects.

Continue reading Campaign Launched for FREE Weatherize Assessments for 14 Upper Valley Towns

January 16 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Northland has been developing a 400-MW pumped storage project that takes the form of an old flooded mine, sitting on a plateau just outside of Marmora, Ontario. The roughly $900-million project pumps water up into the mine pit when there is extra energy, and then lets it run out through a turbine when more energy is needed. [Huddle Today]
Pumped storage (Image: The Canadian Press)

Northland hydro (Image: The Canadian Press)

  • Ikea has said it won’t spend a single penny of its £524 million ($633 million) green fund in Britain until the government makes it easier to invest in renewable energy. In a rare attack on policies of a government, Ikea declared it would have to go elsewhere to finance projects, including wind farms, due to the UK’s “political context.” [Huffington Post UK]
  • King County Metro Transit, the public transit authority for King County, Washington, will be acquiring 120 new all-electric buses by the year 2020, going by a recent announcement from King County Executive Dow Constantine. Up to 73 of the buses will be made by the US-based firm Proterra at a cost of up to $55 million. [CleanTechnica]
  • The US EPA issued a notice of violation to auto manufacturer Fiat Chrysler Automobiles over alleged violations of the Clean Air Act pertaining to the installation, use, and failure to disclose of engine management software in a large number of vehicles sold in the US, according to a press release issued by the EPA. [CleanTechnica]
  • Florida Power & Light has completed three 74.5-MW solar parks in that state. FPL’s total solar installed capacity is now 335 MW. FPL plans to install four more 74.5-MW solar parks in Florida this year, at permitted sites in Alachua, Putnam and DeSoto counties. Construction is expected to start as early as
    the first quarter of 2017. [reNews]

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

January 15 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Opinion: “The Totally Insane Carbon Bubble” • Natural gas and the hydrogen made from it are the fossil industry’s last gasp. The industry is begging for a lifeline in order to live in gold-plated castles another generation or so. The US housing bubble? Child’s play. The carbon bubble? This is big, and scary, and ready to take a lot of casualties with it. [CleanTechnica]
Carbon bubble

Carbon bubble

  • For international experts stationed at a base in Antarctica, the frozen southern continent is a good gauge of climate change. “When I used to come to Antarctica in the 1990s, it never used to rain,” said Rodolfo Sanchez, director of the Argentine Antarctic Institute. “Now it rains regularly – instead of snowing.” [The Guardian]
  • Representatives of over 150 countries gathered in Abu Dhabi at the 7th Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). “Plummeting costs and rapid innovation have spurred investments that are positioning renewable energy solutions at the centre of energy discussion today,” said IRENA’s Director-General. [gulfnews.com]
  • Apple® today announced a significant commitment by a major Chinese supplier, Lens Technology, to run its Apple operations on entirely renewable energy. This commitment is combined with zero waste compliance from all final assembly sites. Apple is making efforts to help China’s transition to a new green economy. [Satellite PR News]
  • According to the EIA, in October 2016 residential electricity prices in Hawaii were 27.54¢/kWh, and on the island of Kaua’i, rates are 32.78¢/kWh, starting this year. Hawaii is the first state in the US where rooftop solar has become an almost standard item on homes. They are even put in places unthinkable elsewhere, facing north or in shady areas. [nwitimes.com]

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

 

January 14 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • While it may be hard to believe, nine Wyoming lawmakers introduced a bill to forbid utilities from providing any electricity to the state that comes from large-scale wind or solar energy projects by 2019. Allowed resources would be coal, natural gas, hydroelectric, nuclear power, oil, and net-metered individual resources. [Digital Journal]
Wind farm (Photo: Jürgen from Sandesneben, Germany, Creative Commons - Attribution-NoDerivs)

Wind farm (Photo: Jürgen from Sandesneben, Germany, Creative Commons – Attribution-NoDerivs)

  • Ticks are devastating the moose populations in Maine and New Hampshire. They attach themselves to a single moose by the tens of thousands. The adult females can expand to the size of a grape and engorge themselves with up to four milliliters of blood. With warmer winter temperatures, they kill 70% of the states’ moose calves. [The Boston Globe]
  • A report from the International Renewable Energy Agency describes the technical renewable energy potential of South East Europe as “vast.” It comes to 740 GW, of which 532 GW is wind and 120 solar. The report also says, “127 GW of this overall renewable energy potential could be implemented in a cost-competitive way today.” [CleanTechnica]
  • In his last presidential speech, President Obama urged bolder action on climate change, saying, “We’ve led the world to an agreement that has the promise to save this planet. But without bolder action, our children won’t have time to debate the existence of climate change. They’ll be busy dealing with its effects.” [Biofuels International Magazine]
  • New York State is to provide $360 million for eleven new renewable projects. The planned projects include two wind farms, one solar array, seven hydroelectric plants and a fuel cell facility. Together they will generate around 260 MW of electricity, enough to power more than 110,000 homes. [Energy Live News – Energy Made Easy]

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

January 13 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • In 2017, a high-tech ocean vessel powered by the sun, wind and sea water will start a 6 year journey, visiting 50 countries. The vessel is powered by 130 square meters of solar panels, two vertical axis wind turbines, two electric motors and equipment for electrolysis, which will use sea water to create hydrogen fuel. [Energy Matters]
Energy Observer (Image: Energy Observer)

Energy Observer (Image: Energy Observer)

  • According to the climate models used by researchers at UMass Amherst, the 48 contiguous US states are projected to cross the 2° C warming threshold about 10 to 20 years earlier than the global mean annual temperature. The Northeast is projected to warm by 3° C (5.2° F) by the time global warming reaches 2° C (3.6° F). [Fusion]
  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s call for wind farms in Long Island waters earned rave reviews from environmental activists. Leaders from the regional energy and ecology sectors are cheering Cuomo’s call for the Long Island Power Authority to approve what would be the nation’s largest offshore wind farm. [Innovate Long Island]
  • Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory will feature a giant 70-MW solar farm on the factory’s roof, the largest solar installation on a single rooftop in the world. Tesla’s goal is that the Gigafactory will be powered entirely with renewable energy. This installation will be more than seven times larger than the world’s next largest rooftop solar farm. [Yahoo News]
  • A New York firm says it can decommission the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant for far less money, and in much less time, than previously projected. But nuclear watchdogs of the Citizens Awareness Network say the “seductive” proposal needs intense scrutiny before regulators allow the deal to proceed. [Vermont Public Radio]

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

January 12 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • The Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook provides projections of domestic energy markets until 2050, and includes cases with different assumptions of macroeconomic growth, world oil prices, technological progress, and energy policies. It shows the US becoming a net exporter of fossil fuels. [Windpower Engineering]
    (This shows information being provided to Congress, but before you believe it, please compare it with the table and article linked at the December 12 Green Energy Times post, which shows how bad EIA projections have been historically.)
EIA Annual Energy Outlook Table

EIA Annual Energy Outlook Table

  • A “groundbreaking study” from by the US Retail Industry Leaders Association and the Information Technology Industry Council ranked all 50 US states based on the ease with which some of America’s “most recognizable brands” are able to buy domestic renewable energy. It connects that ability with economic growth. [CleanTechnica]
  • The latest step in Hawaii’s clean energy evolution will be the deployment of a 20-MW, 5-hour duration battery energy storage system paired with 28-MW of solar in Kaua’i to match peak demand. SolarCity and Tesla also have a project uniting solar with storage, a 52-MWh energy storage system at a 12-MW solar farm. [Energy Storage News]
  • The Hawaiian Electric Company, Hawaii’s dominant public utility, has a plan in place to achieve 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2050. But recently, the company said it foresees getting to that goal five years earlier than expected. In fact, HECO expects to provide 48% renewable power by 2020. [CleanTechnica]
  • Exxon Mobil has been ordered to hand over documents related to a Massachusetts investigation into whether it misled investors and the public about the impact of fossil fuels on the climate. The decision by a Suffolk Superior Court judge is a win for the state’s Attorney General, who is looking into possible deception on climate change. [News On 6]

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

 

January 11 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • At the 2017 State of the State Address, New York governor Andrew Cuomo proposed a commitment to develop up to 2.4 GW of offshore wind power in the Atlantic Ocean by 2030. He said this will prove critical to achieving the goal of meeting 50% of New York’s electricity needs with renewable sources by 2030. [SeeNews Renewables]
Senvion 6.2M126 turbines (Source: Senvion SE 2014, all rights reserved)

Senvion 6.2M126 turbines (Source: Senvion SE 2014, all rights reserved)

  • Apple Inc is the most environment-friendly company in the world, according to a report from the non-profit Greenpeace Foundation. Apple retained the top spot for the third year in a row. Google and Facebook, Inc, also earned high marks from the non-profit for their efforts to cut down on greenhouse emissions. [Investopedia]
  • Volkswagen has agreed to a draft $4.3 billion settlement with US authorities over the emissions-rigging scandal. The German car maker also said it would plead guilty to breaking certain US laws. VW said it was in advanced discussions with authorities. The agreement has yet to be approved by VW’s management and supervisory board. [BBC]
  • The Energy Information Administration expects 24 GW of new utility-scale power generation capacity additions for 2016, with renewables accounting for about 63% or 15 GW. Nearly 60% of the new renewables plants were scheduled to come online in the fourth quarter (Q4), including roughly 8.5 GW of wind and solar PVs. [SeeNews Renewables]
  • Residents of Vermont’s capital city still have time to vote on what they feel would be the best way for their community to go “net zero.” There are five finalists for designs that would enable Montpelier to reduce its energy use through savings and the increased use of renewable sources of power. Voting ends Thursday. [SFGate]

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

January 10 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Obama warns Trump against quitting Paris climate deal” • An article by President Barack Obama appeared in the journal Science. In it, he tells his successor that scrapping the UN’s 2015 climate pact would lead to economic and diplomatic harm, just as carbon emissions lead to environmental damage. Its text appears here. [Climate Home]
President Obama in the Oval Office (Photo: White House / Flickr)

President Obama in the Oval Office (Photo: White House / Flickr)

  • After eight years with Barack Obama in the White House, over a million US rooftops have solar panels installed. Utility scale solar powers more than 2 million homes. Generating low-carbon electricity employs 600,000 people in the United States, and 1.9 million Americans are employed in energy efficiency. [Energy Matters]
  • Governor Andrew Cuomo made it official, saying that the 2,000-MW Indian Point nuclear power plant will close by April 2021. His office said the closure will have “little to no effect on New Yorkers’ electricity bills.” It indicated the plant can be replaced by 1,000 MW of hydropower because demand has declined. [Times Herald-Record]
  • Vermont’s new Republican governor said Monday he would stick with his Democratic predecessor’s long-term goal of getting 90% of the energy needed in the state from renewable sources by 2050. For several years, Vermont has been working toward some of the most aggressive renewable energy goals in the country. [BurlingtonFreePress.com]
  • Exxon Mobil Corp promised nine years ago to stop donating to groups that spread misinformation about climate change. Yet between 2008 and 2015, the oil giant’s charitable arm gave over $6.5 million to groups that deny that burning fossil fuels is causing global warming, a new analysis by NextGen Climate shows. [Huffington Post]

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

 

January 9 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Scotland set two wind power records at the end of December, according to figures from WWF Scotland. The group said that for the first time, wind turbines generated enough power for all the nation’s electricity needs for four straight days, on December 23 through 26. December 24 saw a record of 74,042 MWh from wind. [Herald Scotland]
Two new wind power records for Scotland

Two new wind power records for Scotland

  • With the renewable energy plan, by 2020 China expects to see a reduction in 120 million tons of coal used for heating. China’s newly released 13th five-year plan has provisions for renewable energy development calling for promoting use of geothermal energy, wind power and solar energy for winter heating in north China. [teleSUR English]
  • For 2017, the average cost for small solar installations in the US is seen at around $3.78 (€3.59) per watt, before incentives, down by roughly 4% year-on-year, according to Solar Power Rocks. The group also ranked US states based on the their policies and incentives available for small solar. Massachusetts ranked first. [SeeNews Renewables]
  • Maui Electric Co produced 35.4% of its power from renewable energy in 2015, up slightly from the previous year. Wind farms provided 23.2%, solar’s share was 8.5%, biomass and bagasse produced 2.7%, and 1% was from biofuel. But Maui’s renewable generation was behind that of the Big Island’s, which stood at 48.7%. [Maui News]
  • Innovative Solar Systems, of Asheville, North Carolina, is once again dominating the solar energy market by having the largest pipeline of projects in development in the Texas market. ISS representatives report that the company has over 50 Utility Scale projects in development that range size from 35 MW to over 200 MW. [Your Renewable News]

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

 

January 8 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Dutch railway companies teamed up with energy company Eneco in 2015 to cut train ride emissions. Originally, 2018 was set as the target for changing to 100% renewable power sources. The 100% transition was completed one year ahead of schedule, however, and all Dutch trains are now powered by wind energy. [CleanTechnica]
Dutch train (Image by Sludge G, some rights reserved)

Dutch train (Image by Sludge G, some rights reserved)

  • Alaska’s finances are suffering disproportionately from climate change. Its glaciers lose roughly 42 cubic km (10 cubic miles) of ice per year, its sea ice continues to decline, its shorelines may be eroding at an accelerating rate, its permafrost is melting, and it suffers from forest fires at the greatest rate in 10,000 years. [Ars Technica UK]
  • Rwanda’s Green Fund expects to reach a milestone of creating 100,000 green jobs this year, according to its program manager. He told Sunday Times that in the next 12 months Rwanda’s Green Fund, a ground-breaking environmental and climate change investment fund, is particularly looking forward to boosting Rwanda’s climate resilience. [The New Times]
  • Automobiles are undergoing a big transition, increasingly better, smarter and cleaner. Especially exciting is the expanded portfolio of low and zero emissions vehicles that help protect air quality, increase our nation’s energy security, and reduce our reliance on foreign oil, a win for the U.S. economy all-around. [The Detroit News]
  • Since news broke Friday afternoon that Governor Andrew Cuomo reached a tentative deal to close Indian Point nuclear power plant within four years, officials and residents across the state have shared mixed opinions about the controversial subject. Safety, jobs, taxes, and carbon emissions are among the issues. [The Journal News | LoHud.com]

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

January 7 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Grafton Asset Management Inc, which had brought foreign investment into Canada’s oil and gas industry, is looking to add alternative energy to its portfolio for the first time, as it positions itself for the decline of fossil fuels. The company’s CEO worries about the industry’s future, saying, “I do look at it as a sun-setting business.” [Financial Post]
01-07-sun-setting-on-an-oil-field

Sun setting on oil field (Photo by Arne Hückelheim, Wikimedia Commons)

  • Opinion: “China is going all in on clean energy while Trump waffles. How is that making America great again?” • China announced that in the next three years it will invest $361 billion in renewable power, creating 13 million jobs. But the Trump administration talks about renewing an outdated love affair with coal and oil. [Environmental Defense Fund]
  • The state of Hawaii could derive more than half of all its electricity from geothermal resources, with the most realistic resource potentials on the Big Island of Hawaii and on Maui. Geothermal could fuel the whole demand of the island of Maui, according to the annual report of the state’s Energy Resources Coordinator. [ThinkGeoEnergy]
  • The DOE says that the US electricity system “faces imminent danger” from cyber-attacks and warned that a widespread power outage could be caused by a cyber-attack, undermining “critical defense infrastructure” as well as much of the economy and the health of its people. Grid operators say they are already on top of the problem. [Tyler Morning Telegraph]
  • The aging Indian Point nuclear power plant just north of New York City would close within four years under a deal being made with Governor Andrew Cuomo. Plant owner Entergy Corp would shut both reactors at the Westchester County facility by April 2021, according to a source familiar with the deal’s details. [Albany Times Union]

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