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July 23 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Ambitious pro-coal plans were put on full display at the Republican National Convention. But the same day that US Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) spoke to the convention in support of the coal industry, a federal court issued a ruling that upheld the EPA’s veto of the notorious Spruce No 1 mine in her home state. [CleanTechnica]
Perhaps this abandoned coal mine in West Virginia is a valuable antique. Photo by ForestWander. CC BY-SA 3.0 US. Wikimedia Commons.

Perhaps this abandoned coal mine in West Virginia is a valuable antique. Photo by ForestWander. CC BY-SA 3.0 US. Wikimedia Commons.

  • What if rather than using fuels that add carbon dioxide, we could create fuels that recycle carbon dioxide from the atmosphere? Researchers at Arizona State University are exploring the idea of creating fuels that do just that. They are synthesizing carbon-neutral liquid fuels. Think of them as fuels created out of thin air. [AZoCleantech]
  • Lawyers for Entergy say the company will support a proposal to provide $1 billion in subsidies to nuclear power plants struggling to remain profitable. This comes after the Public Service Commission changed the proposal’s language, removing requirements that the plant be licensed and be struggling financially. [The Journal News | LoHud.com]
  • Illinois’ 25 largest wind farms generate $30.4 million in annual property taxes and $13.86 million in extra income annually for landowners who lease their land to their developers, according to a study released at Illinois State University. The study said the total economic benefit for the life of the projects is $6.4 billion. [Bloomington Pantagraph]
  • The New York State Energy and Research Development Authority will soon release its offshore wind blueprint. The Long Island Power Authority postponed its board of trustees meeting until after the release. The 90-MW Deepwater ONE project awaits their vote, and environmentalists are disappointed at the delay. [North American Windpower]

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

July 22 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • A recent drought shut down the Amazon Basin’s carbon sink, the ability of a natural zone to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere, by killing trees and slowing trees’ growth rates, a study has shown. In the first basin-wide study of the impacts of the 2010 drought, data showed trees’ mortality rate went up while growth rates declined. [BBC]
The vast tropical forests of Amazonia account for almost one-fifth of the world's terrestrial vegetation carbon stock.

The vast tropical forests of Amazonia account for almost one-fifth of the world’s terrestrial vegetation carbon stock.

  • The European Commission presented proposals on binding greenhouse gas emissions intended to “set clear and fair guiding principles to Member States to prepare for the future and keep Europe competitive.” The plan would ensure that all Member States reduce the emissions by at least 40% from 1990 levels by 2030. [CleanTechnica]
  • Energy giant EDF will make its long-awaited final decision on the planned nuclear power station at Hinkley Point next week. The company has called a meeting of its board of directors on July 28. The agenda includes the final investment decision on the construction of two reactors at Hinkley Point C in Somerset. [Energy Voice]
  • Elon Musk, Tesla Motors chief executive, has unveiled a ‘master plan’ for his company to broaden its product portfolio into electric trucks and buses, car sharing and solar energy systems. The strategy additionally includes plans to go into more competitive markets to develop car and ride-sharing programs. [E&T magazine]
  • A coalition of over 150 local businesses and institutions ranging from farms and credit unions, to hotels, main street shops, manufacturers and solar companies has sent a joint letter to the Vermont Public Service Board urging the regulators to support renewable energy and protect the state’s net energy metering program. [Solar Industry]

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

Vermont Net Metering News

150+ Local Businesses & Institutions Urge Support for Renewable Energy & Vermont Net Metering Rule Improvements

MONTPELIER, VT – More than 150 local businesses and institutions ranging from farms and credit unions, to hotels, main street shops, manufacturers, and solar companies urge support for renewable energy and maintaining Vermont’s strong net metering program.  The net metering program is currently in the final stages of being revised by the Public Service Board.

“As businesses and other institutions that support Vermont’s highly popular and successful net metering program, we ask you to reconsider the newly proposed net metering rule that would drastically undermine this bedrock Vermont energy program,” the coalition letter states.

“Many of us are part of the vast renewable energy supply chain in Vermont including manufacturers, contractors, and other value-added businesses who benefit from a robust clean energy industry in Vermont. Many of us are customers of net metering who chose to make the investment in a more renewable, energy independent future for Vermont.  And many of us are hosts of solar projects, such as farmers, that benefit from a stable source of revenue…”

The widely supported letter demonstrates the vast and diverse economic engine generated by Vermont’s growing climate economy – particularly the renewable energy sector.

Continue reading Vermont Net Metering News

July 21 Green Energy News

Headline News:
  • Vattenfall has committed to the construction of the 92.4-MW Aberdeen offshore wind farm off northeast Scotland for £300 million. The Swedish utility acquired the 25% stake in the project previously controlled by Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group ahead of the final investment decision. [reNews]
Rendering of the project, which Donald Trump opposed, saying it would ruin the view from his golf course. (Vattenfall image)

Rendering of the project, which Donald Trump opposed, saying it would ruin the view from his golf course. (Vattenfall image)

  • It’s no news that Greenland is in serious trouble, but now, research has helped quantify just how bad its problems are. A satellite study, published last week in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, suggests that the Greenland ice sheet lost a whopping 1 trillion tonnes of ice between the years 2011 and 2014 alone. [The Independent]
  • New York, Massachusetts, and Maryland have filed lawsuits in their respective state courts seeking millions of dollars in damages from VW for emissions from diesel engines. The attorneys general for each state say they will name people who lied, who destroyed evidence, and who, in upper management, knew and failed to act. [gas2]
  • Los Angeles has its first apartment building that was designed, built, and permitted so tenants could use solar power and achieve net-zero energy usage. The 20 eco-apartments are sited downtown. The Development Design Manager at Hanover Company, which was responsible for them, described them. [CleanTechnica]
  • Hawaiian Electric Industries, parent company of the state’s dominant electric utility Hawaiian Electric Co, announced Tuesday that it is not for sale following regulatory rejection of its acquisition by Florida-based NextEra Energy. HEI also has withdrawn an application to import liquefied natural gas from Canada. [Utility Dive]

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

July 20 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • The final Republican platform would pull the United States out of the international climate accord, open national forests for logging, and declare coal a “clean energy resource.” It would also end limits to CO2 emissions, pull the US out of the United Nations climate process, and end all subsidies to renewable energy. [Deutsche Welle]
Republicans would reclassify coal as a "clean energy resource."

Republicans would reclassify coal as a “clean energy resource.”

  • The UK imports millions of tons of American wood pellets every year to be burned in power stations for ‘climate friendly’ electricity. But the practice is devastating forests, and the UK government’s own research shows that it’s worse for the climate than the coal it replaces, as forests that offset carbon emissions are being destroyed. [The Ecologist]
  • The Scottish courts have quashed planning consent for 2.3 GW of offshore wind farms off the country’s east coast. In doing so, it sided with claims by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, which was acting to protect birds and other wildlife. The Scottish Government said it remains committed to offshore wind. [reNews]
  • The Obama Administration announced it has partnered with six federal agencies to pursue a new catalytic goal to deploy 1 GW of solar power systems for low-to-moderate-income families by 2020. The new objective is a tenfold increase of the president’s initial target of 100 MW set in his Climate Action Plan. [SeeNews Renewables]
  • The Vermont Public Service Board issued an order scaling back support for solar, bringing loud complaints from environmentalists and industry officials. The changes include a sharp reduction in the amount of power utilities will be required to buy from customers who generate their own power for net metering. [Barre Montpelier Times Argus]

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

July 19 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • A building boom is underway offshore in Europe with hundreds of turbines being installed. With low oil prices, all this building work might seem to make little economic sense. But with falling prices for offshore wind power, the cost of electricity from new offshore wind is almost 30% cheaper than new nuclear. [The Ecologist]
Offshore wind farm. Photo by Tycho. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Offshore wind farm. Photo by Tycho. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

  • Scientists have found yet another issue with fracking. Asthma patients are 1.5 to four times more likely to have asthma attacks if they live near bigger or a larger number of unconventional natural gas development wells, according to a study published Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine. [CNN]
  • Australian infrastructure investor Lyon Group says it plans to build the world’s biggest solar plus storage project in South Australia in the next two years, and sees a huge future for combined solar and battery storage plants. The first project for South Australia includes 100 MW of solar PVs and 40 MW of storage. [RenewEconomy]
  • Up to 6% of Britain’s peak electricity requirement, or 9.8 GW, could be met by businesses better managing their electricity demand and onsite generation, according to a new report from the Association for Decentralised Energy. Demand-side responses have the potential to save UK consumers £600 million by 2020. [City A.M.]
  • The US DOE just awarded a new round of $15 million in funding for three projects focusing on lowering the cost of algae biofuel production. The new effort follows upon an $18 million round last year. Some researchers say algae could be 10 or even 100 times more productive than traditional bioenergy feedstocks. [CleanTechnica]

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

July 18 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Siemens has signed a cooperation agreement with Cuban utility Union Electrica to modernize the country’s energy infrastructure and boost renewables. The German company and the state-owned utility will pursue projects and services for power generation, transmission and distribution, renewable energy, and automation. [reNews]
Wind farm. Siemens photo.

Wind farm. Siemens photo.

  • “The Truth About Australia’s Soaring Electricity Prices” • Wind and solar has again been blamed for South Australia’s high power prices. Just because this is often repeated, it doesn’t’ make it true. The spikes in electric costs have been around since before the first solar panel or wind turbine was installed. [Energy Matters]
  • The energy intelligence software and demand response solutions firm EnerNOC has announced that the London Underground has agreed to join the firm’s demand response network. The London Underground will be paid for doing its part to participating in efforts to stabilize the grid during periods of peak and unstable demand. [CleanTechnica]
  • Most congressional Republicans with even a hint of moderation on climate change are distancing themselves from Donald Trump and won’t be present for his nomination in Cleveland this week. Four of the five Republican senators with a record of supporting climate action are skipping the convention, which begins on Monday. [Grist]
  • The South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce is stepping up its fight against South Carolina Electric & Gas’ annual rate increases to help pay for new reactors at the VC Summer Nuclear Station near Jenkinsville. If approved, it will be the ninth rate increase related to the nuclear plant since 2009. [Charleston Post Courier]

July 17 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Birds and reptiles in fragmented habitat in the Southwest will be hit hardest by global warming in the decades ahead, according to a study by scientists with the US Geological Survey and the Northern Arizona University. The researchers did studies of approximately 30 animals. [Summit County Citizens Voice]
Global warming will take a toll on reptiles and birds in the Southwest. @bberwyn photo.

Global warming will take a toll on reptiles and birds. @bberwyn photo.

  • Germany’s RWE has solid funding until the end of the decade, its chief executive said, brushing aside concerns over its financial health. German utilities have had to rethink their strategies after the country decided to shut the country’s nuclear reactors by 2022. Instead, they are developing renewable power capacity. [Reuters Africa]
  • Taking cues from Trump’s tirades, Republicans are ramping up the rhetoric against the EPA. A House Energy and Commerce Committee meeting was the latest venue for Republican ranting that climaxed in a condemnation of the Clean Power Plan as “un-American” and “overly burdensome on the American economy.” [CleanTechnica]
  • Coal is looking at taking a starring role during the Republican national convention, as it gains greater support. The fossil fuel was included in the draft political platform ahead of this week’s convention in Cleveland. The draft platform includes a sentence in support of “clean coal,” an edit offered by a Texas delegate. [Washington Examiner]
  • The first turbine of the largest wind farm in the southeastern US now stands above a North Carolina corn field. The other 103 to be erected in the roughly $400 million project will be built before the end of the year, according to a spokesman for Avangrid Renewables, formerly Iberdrola Renewables. [Virginian-Pilot]

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

July 16 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • EDF EN Canada has selected general contractor Borea Construction to build the 224.4-MW Nicolas Riou wind project in Quebec, according to an EDF spokesperson. Vestas is slated to start delivery in spring 2017 of 65 V117 3.45MW turbines with 116.5m hub heights. The contract includes a 10-year service agreement. [reNews]
EDF EN's La Mitis wind farm in Quebec (EDF EN image)

EDF EN’s La Mitis wind farm in Quebec (EDF EN image)

  • France hasn’t historically been a major player in the solar market, but it is going to be shutting down a lot of old nuclear reactors in the coming years, and solar is on the way. A big sign of change in both of these respects is that France has announced solar tenders to have 20 GW of solar power capacity installed by 2023. [CleanTechnica]
  • Donald Trump’s choice for vice president, the conservative governor of Indiana, Mike Pence, denies climate change and is an outspoken coal advocate. His record has made him a favorite in the very conservative wing of the Republican Party and earned him large contributions from the fossil fuel industry. [InsideClimate News]
  • The Long Island Power Authority has formally recommended to its board of directors a proposal from Deepwater Wind, a Rhode Island company, to construct a 90-MW, 15-turbine wind farm in federally leased waters approximately 30 miles east of Montauk, New York, the utility’s chief executive officer has confirmed. [East Hampton Star]
  • The asking price for the 13 TransCanada hydro dams on the Connecticut and Deerfield Rivers has passed $1 billion. The dams, totaling about 560 MW of power, were bought by TransCanada in 2005 for about $500 million. The high price tag means Vermont alone will not make an offer, but is still a potential partner for a proposed deal. [Vermont Biz]

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

July 15 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Salt Lake City announced Wednesday its commitment to transition to 100% renewable energy sources by 2032. The city also plans to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2040. In the resolution, city officials stated that changes in water systems and extreme-weather events are increasingly having effects locally. [EcoWatch]
Salt Lake City. Photo by Skyguy414. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons. 

Salt Lake City. Photo by Skyguy414. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

  • “From Global Temps to Clean Energy, Broken Records Define the Climate Crisis” • We’re living in a time of records. More renewable energy came on stream in 2015 than ever, 147 GW, equal to Africa’s entire generating capacity. Other records were broken. But are the good records enough to help us deal with the bad? [AlterNet]
  • A newly published investigation reveals systematic failures and retaliation against contractor employees who speak up about health and safety concerns throughout the DOE. In a news conference Thursday, three senators released the results of a two-year investigation from the Government Accountability Office. [Aiken Standard]
  • New figures from the US Energy Information Administration show that energy intensity continued its twenty-five year decline in 2015 in nearly every world region. According to the EIA, global energy intensity, measured as energy consumption per unit of GDP, has decreased by nearly one-third between 1990 and 2015. [CleanTechnica]
  • A new report counts 66,000 clean-energy related jobs in Pennsylvania, up 15% from the last study, two years ago. “Clean Jobs Pennsylvania” said the employment at 5,900 businesses statewide was about 1% of the state’s total non-farm jobs. Most of the jobs, about 80%, were in the energy efficiency sector. [Pittsburgh Business Times]

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