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Certified Passive House Designer/Consultant (CPHD/C) Training: Scholarships Available

$500 SCHOLARSHIP available to the first 10 participants courtesy of our sponsor, Green Mountain Power

DATE: Mon, Nov 13  –  Fri, Nov 17, 2017 9 am – 5 pm

LOCATION: Green Mountain Power, Montpelier, VT 

NAPHN’s Certified Passive House Designer/Consultant course is the premier training program for low-energy, net zero and Passive House building professionals. This course is specifically designed to teach the international Passive House Standard to American professionals making Passive Houses in the U.S. construction industry.

5 days of in-class instruction, and additional e-learning modules. On successfully passing the exam, participants will receive a five year registration as an internationally accredited Certified Passive House Designer or Consultant.

This course is for all building professionals: architects, MEP and structural engineers, builders and construction managers working in the design and construction of new build and retrofit Passive House buildings.

Provided in collaboration with the Passive House Academy (PHA), the Passive House Institute (PHI), and Vermont Passive House, and is accredited by the AIA for 35 LUs.

The first 10 participants will each receive  $500 IN TUITION ASSISTANCE. Click HERE for Registration Information and details.  www.PHAUSVT.org

October 17 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Increasing amounts of renewable energy has sparked worries in the federal government over grid reliability and resilience. But some grid operators are successfully demonstrating that large amounts of intermittent resources can be integrated and sustain system reliability as successfully as, for example, a natural gas plant. [Utility Dive]
Large solar array in the Southwest (Credit: Array Technologies Inc)

Large solar array in the Southwest (Credit: Array Technologies Inc)

  • Arizona had faced some of the nation’s steepest emissions cuts under the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. But Arizona utilities and regulators said they plan to continue working toward the lower carbon emission goals that had been set in the plan, even though EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said this week that the agency is scrapping the program. [Arizona Daily Sun]
  • Ireland and Northern Ireland’s integrated electricity system could save €19 million a year from 2019-20 by using battery-based energy storage to stabilize the grid, according to a report by Queen’s University Belfast. It showed that 360 MW of battery storage could provide the same fast frequency response as 3 GW of conventional power. [reNews]
  • After months of internal controversy, the clean energy target favored by Australian chief scientist Alan Finkel was dumped by the government in favor of a new “national energy guarantee,” which will impose both reliability guarantees and emissions reduction guarantees on retailers and some large energy users. Opposition is fierce. [The Guardian]
  • The solar power industry is booming across Trump country, fueled by falling development costs and the subsidies for solar and wind power, which many Republicans in Congress continue to support. With falling development costs, solar firms now see strong prospects in conservative states with no clean energy mandates. [Reuters]

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

October 16 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Wind technician is the fastest growing occupation in the US. As utilities rapidly increase the amount of power they get from wind farms, workers who climb hundreds of feet to keep turbines running smoothly are in high demand. Students in Minnesota’s wind power training programs sometimes get jobs before they graduate. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]
Inside the nacelle of a Vestas turbine (Glen Stubbe | Star Tribune)

Inside the nacelle of a Vestas turbine (Glen Stubbe | Star Tribune)

  • The news of Luminant closing coal-burning power plants in Texas boosts the expected capacity of 2018 power plant closures to over 13,600 MW, or a whopping 79% more than the known closures for this year. It is not a record high (nearly 18,000 MW went offline in 2015), but it is clear that Trump administration claims that it will save coal are foundering. [Engadget]
  • The France-based energy giant Total, along with partner energy group Erg, is now looking to expedite the sale of its Italian gas/petrol station network, TotalErg, due to investor worries about the impact of the growing electric vehicle market. TotalErg operates around 2,600 gas/petrol service stations throughout Italy. [CleanTechnica]
  • “The war on coal is over. Coal lost.” • According to a new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists, many old American coal power plants are being retired or converted to natural gas, and new coal power plants aren’t being built because they’ve become more expensive than natural gas, wind, and solar energy. [The Guardian]
  • Australia’s competition watchdog said the country’s residential electricity price rise, 63% over inflation during the past decade, was mainly due to higher network costs. Transmission “poles and wires” took up 48% of a household bill, 22% was wholesale costs, 16% was retail and other costs, 8% was retail margins, and 7% was Green schemes. [The Guardian]

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

Innovative, Effective Responses to Climate Change

The recent news about climate change, hurricanes, firestorms etc is sobering and relates to a significant, often overlooked, cause of climate change namely, the massive amounts of food that we throw away.

This ends up in landfills and, in rotting, emits methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.  We seem to be challenged by climate change wherever we look.

However, challenges often stimulate innovative and effective solutions. In the NY Capital District, a company called FoodScraps360 keeps food waste from the landfill by collecting and composting food scraps from homes and businesses. This is only one of a burgeoning number of examples, in our region, around the country, and around the world, of people finding ways to address climate change through information, action, and resourcefulness.

In that spirit, there will be fifty local environmental companies and organizations, both for-profits and nonprofits that will gather at the Renewable Energy and Sustainability Fair at The Doane Stuart School on October 28, 10-4 pm, to present workshops and exhibits on climate action, recycling, and sustainable lifestyles. The Fair’s keynote speaker will be Judith Enck, former EPA Regional Administrator in the Obama administration. Admission and parking are free.

The fifty exhibits and presentations will include: “drive and ride” electric vehicles, a solar boat, cell phone chargers powered by the sun, solar heat pumps, solar and geothermal companies, ways to pay electric bills via renewable energy, a workshop about investing in green energy funds, and information on conservation, sustainability, and how to lower your carbon footprint. There will also be children’s activities and a tour of Doane Stuart’s “green roof.”

October 15 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Clean energy provides jobs boom in state” • Clean Energy Economy Minnesota released an analysis showing that Minnesota gained 2892 clean energy jobs over the last year, a growth rate almost four times faster than the rest of the economy. The clean energy sector now employs over 57,000 people across the state. [St. Cloud Times]
Solar array in Ramsey, Minnesota seeded with a pollinator  habitat by Prairie Restorations, Inc (Photo: Courtesy of PRI)

Solar array seeded with a pollinator habitat by Prairie Restorations, Inc (Photo: Courtesy of PRI)

  • “Zombie oil” that ought to stay in the ground is kept alive thanks to federal and state governments feeding it billions of dollars, a study shows. The subsidies are not cash handouts. They’re a mix of tax breaks, tax credits, and regulations that forego government revenue, transfer liability, or provide services at below-market rates. [Motherboard en_us]
  • A futuristic car that not only uses the sun as power but supplies energy back to the grid has been hailed as “the future” as the annual World Solar Challenge wrapped up in Australia. The Dutch entrant, Nuna 9, won the race for the third-straight time, crossing the finish line after travelling at an average speed of 81.2 kmh (55.5 mph). [The Guardian]
  • EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s move to roll back the Clean Power Plan will have little impact in Oregon. The economics of power generation left coal behind some time ago. Consumer demand for cleaner sources of power, and government insistence on them, are pushing utilities to investment more in renewable power sources. [Bend Bulletin]
  • Few people ever venture into data centers, places with massive series of servers kept in buildings like giant warehouses. But in Stockholm, anyone who goes inside one of these information labyrinths will discover that they’re not just housing data. All the heat they give off is helping to warm homes in the city of over 900,000 people. [BBC]

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

Renewable Energy Innovators, Changemakers Recognized at REV2017

Earlier in October the 17th Annual Renewable Energy Vermont Conference & Expo, REV2017, brought together 505 attendees, including 28 government officials from across New England and Quebec to focus on “Renewables For All”. Recognizing entrepreneur, citizen, and renewable energy champions and innovators for their outstanding contributions toward securing our sustainable energy future, Renewable Energy Vermont (REV) presented three awards.

“In today’s climate, it’s even more important to recognize our neighbors who quietly work every day to help others save money and protect our environment through renewable energy. Our clean energy transformation needs and takes all of us collaborating together”, said Jeff Forward, Chair of the Renewable Energy Vermont board.

This year, the Renewable Energy Innovation Award, which recognizes a project, company, organization, or individual contributing innovative, influential, and transformative efforts for implementing renewable energy and climate action in Vermont, was awarded to the Way To Go Challenge.

Way To Go! focuses on getting K–12 schools and businesses to cut climate pollution from transportation and daily commutes.  Using transportation options, other than driving solo, helps us reach our goal of reducing 1 million lbs of carbon pollution in Vermont. That means cleaner air, more time, and less money spent on gas for everyone. Learn more at waytogovt.org. Deb Sachs of Williston, VT accepted the award on behalf of the project partners.

The Renewable Energy Champion Award recognizes an individual, typically in the renewable trades, who represents and tirelessly champions, the benefits of developing, creating, informing, and striving to improve our state with the deployment of renewable energy generation. Linda Gray, wife of Tom Gray of Norwich, VT, accepted the award given to Tom posthumously.

Tom Gray was a champion ahead of his time and beloved renewable energy pioneer. The Vermonter started what is now the American Wind Energy Association. Under Tom’s direction, AWEA supported the efforts of communities, entrepreneurs, and states to pursue clean, renewable wind energy. Tom was deeply passionate about global warming and renewable energy as an economic and climate solution and also active in his community, serving on the local planning commission and various political committees. Tom passed away last month after sustaining a head injury in a fall. On October 22 at 1 p.m. there will be a memorial service at Georgia Mountain Community Wind to celebrate Tom’s life and spread his ashes at the wind site, in accordance with his final wishes.

“Tom’s work isn’t done, so that means it is left to us,” Linda Gray told the audience after receiving the award.“ Please keep working, please keep planning, please keep advocating for clean energy and climate action,” she said in an emotional close to the morning’s award ceremony.

Over the two days, REV2017 heard from speakers such Governor Phil Scott, Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman, Attorney General TJ Donovan, Quebec Delegate Marie-Claude Francoeur new Public Utilities Commission Chairman Anthony Roisman, Speaker of the House Mitzi Johnson, and Senate Majority Leader Becca Ballint. Joining the REV conference from northern Minnesota was a special guest speaker, Jason Edens, who has worked tirelessly to break cycles of energy poverty with renewable energy.

Wandering the exhibition floor one couldn’t help but notice a significant international presence at this year’s conference. Building on the success of a trade mission to the annual New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers Conference in Prince Edward Island this summer, REV hosted a delegation of business, nonprofit, and government representatives from Quebec.

One neighbor from the north drew distinction as the winner of the Energy Innovation Pitches, as Melissa McGrail Sherbrooke, Quebec based LEKLA rose to the top of the field. LEKLA specializes in the design, manufacturing, and installation of solar powered off grid multipurpose energy stations. Trade mission participant, and REV2017 sponsor, The Lion Electric Co. also drew great attention with their 100% electric school bus which attendees enjoyed exploring at the conference.  Photos of awardees, LEKLAWay To Go, and Linda Gray receiving the award for Tom Gray.

Photos from REV2017 can be viewed here. REV2018 will convene on October 18 & 19 in South Burlington, VT.

October 14 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Congress has approved a loan of nearly $5 billion loan that will further burden the already bankrupt US territory of Puerto Rico. But various solar companies and nonprofits are continuing to work together to offer aid to the storm-ravaged island while also promoting a more sustainable future and resilient energy system. [Common Dreams]
Renewable energy technology (Photo: SolarCity)

Renewable energy technology (Photo: SolarCity)

  • California has put its utilities on notice: When you’re putting together your next integrated resource plans, you’d better have non-gas generating options for meeting peak demand. That’s what Governor Jerry Brown mandated to utilities when he signed SB 338 into law yesterday, requiring that peak loads be met by alternatives to fossil fuels. [solarpaces.org]
  • Wind energy is expected to overtake coal in Texas news that two large coal-fired power plants are set to close in the next year. The utility firm Luminant announced that it would close the Sandow Power Plant and the Big Brown Power Plant in early 2018. The plants have a capacity of 2,300 MW, enough to power 2.1 million Texas homes. [Washington Examiner]
  • In Puerto Rico, Barrio Obrero fire station installed a 4-kW solar system that will provide it with full power. The station has been without reliable power since Hurricane Maria struck. While the federal government has focused on supplying diesel power, Tesla, Sonnen, New Star Solar, and others are building reliable microgrids. [CNBC]
  • In March of this year, Paris suffered through a period of intense smog, during which the air over the city was dirtier than the air over Beijing. The city has since made a series of moves to reduce pollution from vehicles. Now it is considering a plan that seeks to remove all gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles from its streets by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

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

Media Alert: Application deadline approaches for CSWD Recycling Market Development grant program

Two weeks remain to apply for grant funds from the Chittenden Solid Waste District.
Williston, VT — The deadline for applications in CSWD’s Recycling Market Development Grant Program is approaching: Applications are due to CSWD by 2pm on Tuesday, October 31st. 
The Chittenden Solid Waste District (CSWD) launched this new grant program to encourage innovation for hard-to-recycle products and packaging from Chittenden County.
“We have made huge strides in the past by encouraging investment in recycling markets for specific materials, like asphalt shingles, drywall, and other construction debris,” says Nancy Plunkett, CSWD’s Director of Special Projects. “And we’re excited to support the vision of a new generation of innovators in tackling waste.”
The program will invest up to a total of $30,000 into projects that support or develop recycling markets for targeted materials — those that make up a significant portion of the landfill waste stream, and for which current recycling markets are limited or non-existent. Some examples of hard-to-recycle materials include rigid foam plastic (e.g. Styrofoam), plywood, vinyl siding, tires, glass aggregate, mattresses, carpeting, and more.
“Waste is fundamentally a design flaw,” says Jonny Finity, CSWD’s Marketing & Communication Manager. “Any time you see a garbage truck driving down the road, it should be a reminder of the opportunity we have to design new ways to use, reuse, or recycle the stuff that we call ‘trash.'”

To apply, or to learn more about the program, visit the  Recycling Market Development Program webpage.

October 13 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Pioneering Community Solar in the Granite State” • Legal and regulatory roadblocks forced solar advocates in Keene, New Hampshire, to develop a comprehensive framework for adding a 43-kW rooftop array to Monadnock Food Co-op, whose focus on sustainability and downtown location made it a natural partner. [ilsr.org]
Solar power in winter (Photo: 1010uk via Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

Solar power in winter (Photo: 1010uk via Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

  • Southern California Gas Co and the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory installed a bioreactor to test power-to-gas technology as a way to store excess renewable power. In the facility, renewable energy produces hydrogen, and archaea microorganisms in the bioreactor consume hydrogen and carbon dioxide to produce methane. [Renewables Now]
  • Queensland’s tender for 400 MW of large-scale renewables and 100 MW of energy storage has received 115 proposals from 79 different entities with a wide range of technologies. Proposals included 2.2 GW of wind, 6.4 GW of solar, around 500 MW of other renewable energy technologies, and 6 GW of energy storage proposals. [Energy Storage News]
  • The Carbon Disclosure Project published new research, which reveals that 1,389 companies disclosing their plans or current practices to CDP are putting a price on carbon emissions. This is “because they understand that carbon risk management is a business imperative.” This is a phenomenal increase from 150 companies in 2014. [CleanTechnica]
  • Facing questions on Capitol Hill over his proposal to subsidize coal and nuclear power plants, Energy Secretary Rick Perry said the notion of a free market in energy generation is a “fallacy.” One lawmaker accused Perry of “killing off competitive electricity markets just to save generation assets that are no longer economical.” [Yahoo Finance UK]

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

9th Annual Statewide Clean Energy Conference To Be Held in Concord

Concord, NH – The NH Sustainable Energy Association and NH Local Energy Solutions Workgroup will co-host the 9th annual Local Energy Solutions (LES) Conference on October 28th 2017 at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord, NH from 8:30am-4:00pm.

The LES Conference is NH’s premiere conference for clean energy, featuring “pitch challenge” sessions to group problem-solve our most topical energy challenges, policy, technology and project tracks with over a dozen sessions, and panel discussions led by local, state, and regional energy leaders. The 2017 agenda covers the hottest topics in clean energy, including solar project siting, net-zero building, beneficial electrification, net metering, community energy systems, and more.

New to this year’s conference is the Electric Vehicle showroom, where attendees will have the opportunity to test drive the latest and greatest models and get questions answered by local auto dealers.

Attendees will enjoy a broad range of educational and networking opportunities throughout the popular day-long event. In addition, the conference offers complimentary continental breakfast, a locally-sourced plated luncheon, and the opportunity to win prizes valued at over $1,500 to some of the Granite State’s top restaurants and accommodations, including Loon Mountain, The Mountain View Grand, and other outstanding NH brands.

As a special keynote event, we are bringing a special input session on the 10 Year State Energy Strategy to you! The NH Office of Strategic Initiatives is hosting sessions around the state to consider updates to this important document: we will hold such a session right at LES, and help bring your input straight to OSI and the Governor so that they can better reach as many interested citizens as scarce public resources allow.

The LES Conference is co-hosted each year by NHSEA, the only statewide non-profit dedicated exclusively to advancing clean energy and energy efficiency through education and advocacy, and the LES Workgroup, an ad-hoc group of publicly and privately employed energy professionals that provide guidance to local communities looking to switch to renewable energy or implement energy efficiency. NHSEA members, students and NH state legislators can attend the conference for free – become a member today!

Learn more and register at www.nhenergy.org. Press can attend for free, email Brianna (brianna@nhsea.org) for the code.