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Green Energy Times’ August issue is available.

The August, 2016 issue of Green Energy Times is now available and is being delivered to stores.

An online copy is available as a pdf file at This Link. (12 megabytes)

Individual articles will be posted over the next few days.

Baker-Polito Administration Announces $700,000 in Funding for Offshore Wind Research Projects

 
BOSTON – August 26, 2016 – The Baker-Polito Administration today announced $700,000 in funding for nine academic and research institutions across Massachusetts to advance studies relating to offshore wind development, building on the Commonwealth’s existing nation-leading offshore wind innovation activities. The funding will support three offshore wind research projects to identify industry workforce training and safety requirements; establish a multi-university partnership focused on innovation and driving down costs; and develop a new technique to monitor the structural health of wind blades.
 
“Tapping into the Commonwealth’s world-class academic and research institutions will make Massachusetts a leader in the growing offshore wind sector in the United States,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These research projects will identify ways to make offshore wind projects more cost-effective and beneficial to the ratepayers of Massachusetts.”
 
“These projects will help further establish Massachusetts as a leader in this emerging industry and position our institutions to compete for federal research funding in the future,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “The development of cost-effective offshore wind projects will help diversify the Commonwealth’s energy portfolio, while reducing our carbon footprint.”
 
“Cost-effective offshore wind has the potential to be a major part of the Commonwealth’s energy supply, helping us reach our greenhouse gas reduction targets,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “This research funding will put the Commonwealth’s technology and innovation expertise to work and help ensure that offshore wind achieves its fullest potential.”
 
Funded through the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC)’s Renewable Energy Trust, the research is part of a broader initiative to make the Commonwealth a national leader in offshore wind research and development. By leveraging the expertise of Massachusetts colleges, universities and research centers, these projects are designed to expand local offshore wind expertise while making projects more affordable for developers and ratepayers.
 
“Our concentration of academic and research institutions and our innovation ecosystem are uniquely equipped to advance the emerging national offshore wind industry,” said MassCEC Interim CEO Steve Pike. “These projects will enhance Massachusetts reputation as a hub of innovation for the offshore wind industry.”
 
The following academic and researching institutions will receive funding:
 
Bristol Community College, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy – $248,000 – Bristol Community College will lead an effort to identify the workforce requirements associated with the development and construction of offshore wind projects, examining the number of jobs by trade, the health and safety training requirements for offshore wind jobs and the economic benefits to the Commonwealth these jobs would provide. This effort will help to establish training and health and safety programs to maximize local employment and ensure worker safety.
 
The Massachusetts Research Partnership in Offshore Wind – $300,000 – Six Massachusetts academic and research institutions – Northeastern University, Tufts University, University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, University of Massachusetts Lowell and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution – will develop a multi-disciplinary framework for offshore wind research, focusing on increasing innovation within projects and reducing costs by examining risks, finances and regulations associated with the industry.
 
University of Massachusetts Lowell – $150,000 – The University of Massachusetts Lowell will develop a new system for monitoring the structural health of wind turbine blades, which will use low-cost microphones to detect sound changes caused by damage to a blade. This project will be field-tested atMassCEC’s Wind Technology Testing Center in Charlestown.  The project is also being supported by the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s WindSTAR research center and the University of Texas at Dallas.
 
The funding announcement follows the Baker-Polito Administration’s recent signing of comprehensive energy legislation which spurs the development of an emerging offshore wind industry to create jobs and represents the largest commitment by any state in the nation to offshore wind. The programs receiving awards build on Massachusetts’ ongoing efforts to lead interagency and community working groups, assess cost-effective offshore wind transmission routes and study marine wildlife in association with offshore wind permitting.
 
“Massachusetts is a national leader in innovation and technology because of our world class academic and research institutions,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst).  “Through the collaboration by these institutions these projects will put the Commonwealth on a path to building a national model for offshore wind and reducing the impacts of climate change.”
 
“These research projects will help utilize the abundant talent in our colleges and universities,” said State Senator Mark Montigny, Assistant Majority Leader and Chairman of the Senate Rules Committee (D-New Bedford). “The South Coast has a rich history of employment tied to the ocean and the opportunities created by this funding will help protect this tradition through advancements in offshore wind.”
 
“The legislature and administration have taken the bold step to call for the nation’s largest offshore wind farm,” stated Representative Thomas A. Golden, Jr. (D-Lowell), Chairman of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy. “I commend the administration for taking this important work a step further by enlisting the robust, academic resources that we have right in our own back yard. This funding will accelerate critical research towards developing a thriving, competitive off-shore wind industry in the Commonwealth.”
 
“These offshore wind research projects will go a long way in reaffirming our Commonwealth’s commitment to providing renewable sources of clean energy and reducing our carbon footprint,” said State Senator Eileen Donoghue (D-Lowell). “This is a tremendous opportunity for our research institutions to play an active role in shaping Massachusetts’ energy future. I am excited to see what the University of Massachusetts Lowell can accomplish given its reputation as an innovative leader in the technical field.”
 
“I’m proud to see that Mass Maritime Academy has once again been recognized as a leader in innovation and will play a key role in identifying the economic development opportunities related to offshore wind,” said State Representative David T. Vieira (R-East Falmouth). “The framework that the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution will help develop will ensure Massachusetts stays at the forefront of the offshore wind industry. My thanks to Governor Baker and Secretary Beaton for recognizing the excellence of these Cape-based institutions and investing in their work.”
 
About MassCEC
 
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) is dedicated to accelerating the success of clean energy technologies, companies and projects in the Commonwealth—while creating high-quality jobs and long-term economic growth for the people of Massachusetts. Since its inception in 2009, MassCEC has helped clean energy companies grow, supported municipal clean energy projects and invested in residential and commercial renewable energy installations creating a robust marketplace for innovative clean technology companies and service providers. Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton chairs MassCEC’s board of directors.

August 26 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • In central Texas, a crew is repurposing an abandoned oil and gas well. They are developing a way to turn oil and gas wells into vaults for storing electricity, pumping water into the earth to be heated and pressurized. When it is released, it races through a turbine-generator above ground, generating electricity. [The Guardian]
A new startup is proposing turning abandoned oil and gas wells into energy storage vaults. Photo: Jurgen Vogt / Alamy / Alamy

A new startup is proposing turning abandoned oil and gas wells into energy storage vaults. Photo: Jurgen Vogt / Alamy / Alamy

  • A CNN meteorologist is speaking out about going from questioning climate change to siding with the 97% of scientists who acknowledge human activities are warming the planet beyond repair. “As I tell my 11-year old, It’s OK to be wrong as long as you learn from your mistakes,” Chad Myers wrote this week. [Huffington Post]
  • Continuing to defy projections, wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources have set a series of records for domestic electrical generation during the first half of 2016, says a report from the US Energy Information Administration. Renewable generation was up 14.5%, natural gas rose by 7.7%, and coal declined 20.1%. [Greentech Lead]
  • The Vermont Green Line says it has entered into a partnership with Citizens Energy Corp to give low-income Vermont residents access to large quantities of renewable energy. Citizens Energy will finance its share of the Vermont Green Line and use its profits to help those in need in Vermont. [North American Windpower]
  • Bowling Green’s commitment to renewable energy will surge with construction of a 20-MW solar field that is to be completed in December. The project would bring that Ohio city’s mix of energy from renewable sources to 38.16% when completed, a large increase from its current level of 12.04%. [Toledo Blade]

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

Five Years Since Irene, Report Warns of Severe Weather Damage From Climate Change

bernieBURLINGTON, Vt., Aug.  25 – As Vermonters mark the fifth anniversary of Tropical Storm Irene, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) pointed to a new report from the Congressional Budget Office that warns damage from severe weather in future decades is expected to become increasingly common in Vermont and throughout the United States because of climate change.

Tropical Storm Irene, which began as a hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean, was one of   Vermont’s worst natural disasters. The 2011 storm caused torrential flooding that caused the death of six people in the state, forced thousands from their homes and washed away hundreds of bridges and miles of roads.

“Just five years ago, no one thought a northern state like Vermont would be hit by such a strong tropical storm,” Sanders said.  “But that’s what happened, and it caused tragic loss of life and nearly $1 billion in damage in our small state.”

The new CBO report requested by Sanders and Sen. Patty Murray says that costs from hurricane damages in the United States are expected to increase 39 percent in the coming decades because of the effects of climate change.  “This report confirms that Irene may have been the first such storm to hit Vermont, but it likely won’t be the last,” Sanders said.

By 2075, annual expected hurricane damages, as well as federal spending for relief and recovery, will likely increase by a third and could be nearly double what we spend today relative to the size of the economy. Annual expected hurricane damages for the United States is currently $28 billion, of which roughly $18 billion is covered by the federal government, according to the report. Roughly 45 percent of the increase is attributable to climate change and 55 percent to coastal development.

The report also found that, by 2075, 10 million Americans — more than five times the share of Americans who are at risk today — will live in areas that could face significant loss from hurricanes.

“Climate change is real, it is caused by human activity and it is already causing devastating harm. Extreme weather disasters like hurricanes will devastate communities and cost the American taxpayers billions of dollars,” Sanders said.

“When it comes to addressing climate change, the most expensive option is to do nothing at all,” Sanders said. “We have a financial and moral obligation to combat climate change. We must aggressively transition away from fossil fuels to energy efficiency and sustainable energy.”

To read the CBO report, click here.

August 25 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • A study raises questions about how much exports of Canadian liquefied natural gas would reduce carbon emissions abroad, a core justification for developing such an industry. The CD Howe Institute report said Canada’s LNG exports would likely increase emissions in most potential markets, aside from Asia. [Prince George Citizen]
LNG Carrier Galea. Photo by Wolfgang Meinhart. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

LNG Carrier Galea. Photo by Wolfgang Meinhart. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

  • Solar energy systems are proliferating across Ohio, growing by more than 23% in just the past year, in-depth analysis of state records reveals. This is despite Ohio lawmakers passing a law last year to suspend mandates requiring power companies to increase the percentage of power get from the sun or wind. [cleveland.com]
  • Two new wind farm contracts announced this week have been hailed as the final ones necessary to ensure the Australian Capital Territory reaches its goal of using 100% renewable energy by 2020. The two contracts will have wind farms produce 200 MW of renewable power under the Territory’s reverse auction process. [PS News]
  • The Vermont Public Service Board has approved Green Mountain Power’s plans to distribute $302,719 from a Nuclear Electric Insurance Limited fund to various projects around the state. Anaerobic digester research, renewable energy education, and Rutland solar development are the latest beneficiaries. [vtdigger.org]
  • The growth of jobs in the solar and wind industries could easily absorb coal-industry layoffs over the next 15 years and provide full-time careers, if investments are made to retrain workers. That’s according to a new study by researchers at Oregon State University and the Michigan Technological University. [Utah Public Radio]

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

 

August 24 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • A study of the UK’s offshore wind energy potential has suggested that the total amount of economically feasible installed capacity offshore might be up to 675 GW. This could provide more than six times the UK’s present electricity demand. Steady winds and shallow waters make offshore wind in the UK especially attractive. [CleanTechnica]
Specialist ships are needed to build offshore wind turbines. Nightman1965 / shutterstock.

Specialist ships are needed to build offshore wind turbines. Nightman1965 / shutterstock.

  • Green Mountain Power and Efficiency Vermont are partnering on a community-wide rapid energy transformation project in Panton to reduce energy costs, lower fossil fuel use, and improve comfort. The project is called eVolve Panton, and it will put Panton at the forefront of energy innovation in Vermont. [Vermont Biz]
  • As residents of Louisiana this week struggle to recover from a 1,000-year flood, “one of the worst floods in modern history,” there is a chance that federal aid may not be so forthcoming thanks to a trio of Bayou State Republicans, who back in 2013 voted against helping victims of another storm: Hurricane Sandy. [eNews Park Forest]
  • Kuwait’s Ministry of Electricity and Water has reportedly scrapped plans to build a nuclear power plant citing cost concerns. The country had planned to obtain a licence for the project from the United Nations. The ministry said alternative energy sources like wind and solar power were more cost-effective. [Gulf Business News]
  • The EPA told Texas to improve its regulation of fracking, linking the energy extraction method to seismic activity in the state. Its annual report to the state body that oversees fracking concluded, “there is a significant possibility that North Texas earthquake activity is associated with disposal wells.” [The District Sentinel News Co-op]

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

 

August 23 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Navigating through the icy waters of the Arctic, a Greenpeace ship is delivering solar panels to the Inuit community of Clyde River, Nunavut. Delivering solar panels and a team to install the systems for the Clyde River community is Greenpeace’s way of offering a better solution to meet increasing demands for energy. [CleanTechnica]
Arctic Sunrise.

Arctic Sunrise.

  • A strong national commitment to nuclear energy goes hand in hand with weak performance on climate change targets, researchers at the University of Sussex and the Vienna School of International Studies have found. Pro-nuclear countries have been slow to implement wind, solar, and hydropower technologies. [(e) Science News]
  • Cumulative utility-scale capacity reached 75 GW by the end of June and there’s a possibility the 100 GW mark could be attained by the end of this year. A report states figures at the end of June indicate 2016 will be the 6th consecutive record year for utility-scale solar, with 10 GW of new solar plants to that point. [Energy Matters]
  • The Climate Investigations Center, a progressive group that monitors energy and environmental outliers, says the coal lobbying influence is waning. CIC released a survey this month of the lobbying spend and the influence of climate change on it. Banks and utilities are reducing support for the coal industry. [CleanTechnica]
  • This year, the high power demands that come with hot Texas weather did not produce shortages that lead to soaring prices, partly because of renewable energy sources. Power generators didn’t earn their usual profits from the summer price spikes. Now they want regulators to essentially guarantee them those profits. [Houston Chronicle]

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

Governor Hassan at Solar-Powered Brewery

Governor Hassan has scheduled a ceremonial signing of House Bill 1116 at Throwback Brewery later this month, and we welcome you to join us at the event. This is the legislation that doubled New Hampshire’s net metering cap earlier this year.

ReVision Energy recently installed a 48-kilowatt rooftop array at the brewpub, making it our state’s largest solar-powered brewery. It’s an ideal venue to celebrate efforts to grow our clean energy economy.

BILL SIGNING

Friday, August 26 at 9:30 am

Throwback Brewery

7 Hobbs Road, North Hampton, NH

More information can be found HERE

August 22 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “UK energy mix faces seismic shift” • These last weeks have been a time when an inescapable set of signals emerges, all pointing in the same direction. The idea that renewables are not competitive with fossil fuels and nuclear power has lost all basis in fact. It’s time to wake up to the energy revolution. [Climate Home]
Wind turbine and moon. Pic: Pixabay

Wind turbine and moon. Pic: Pixabay

  • New York state committed to getting 50% of its power from renewable sources by 2030, and conservation groups are creating tools to help. The Nature Conservancy is launching an initiative called “Renewables on the Ground” to facilitate good decision making for siting wind farms and large solar installations. [Public News Service]
  • A team of Australian National University scientists brought economically competitive solar thermal energy generation closer to reality. They hit a record in efficiency for the technology with a design that boosts conversion of sunlight to steam to 97%. This could produce a 10% reduction in the cost of solar thermal electricity. [RenewEconomy]
  • A business based in South Canterbury, New Zealand has signed an Asian Development Bank contract to supply solar/battery mini-grids in the Cook Islands. The systems have been designed to supply nearly all the electricity requirements of four islands. Currently, the islands’ electricity is supplied by diesel generators. [Timaru Herald]
    Tuvaluan workers help install a solar array on the roof of the Tuvalu Government Building. Supplied photo.
  • A small Central American developing country of nearly five million people, Costa Rica has taken a step towards creating a society without fossil fuels as nearly 100% of its electricity comes from five renewable sources – hydropower, geothermal, wind, solar and biomass. In 2015, they did not use fossil fuels for electricity for 299 days. [The American Bazaar]

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

August 21 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Energy for 500 Alberta schools is being completely offset by a 17-turbine wind farm near Provost, Alberta. A 20-year power purchase agreement was reached between BluEarth Renewables and the Alberta Schools Commodities Purchasing Consortium, which represents numerous school boards across the province. [Edmonton Journal]
BluEarth Renewables' Bull Creek wind project is offsetting 100% of the energy used by 500 Alberta schools. Photo Supplied.

BluEarth Renewables’ Bull Creek wind project is offsetting 100% of the energy used by 500 Alberta schools. Supplied photo.

  • In a rare endeavor, Crystal Serenity has embarked on a 32-night journey through the Northwest Passage, the Arctic region north of Canada that was unattainable until just 100 years ago. Crystal Serenity is about to become the largest ship ever to attempt the Northwest Passage. There are nearly 1,000 passengers aboard. [RusTourismNews]
  • Even the inexpensive electric automobiles, with their limited ranges and charging requirements, could be used for 87% of the trips taken by gasoline-powered cars traveling US highways today. These findings come in a new study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology published in the journal Nature Energy. [TakePart]
  • At least three municipalities in Finland are considering founding solar parks within their city limits to create energy from the sun. In one community about an hour north of Helsinki, a biogas facility would make use of biomass from the local community and agriculture, in addition to the solar-powered electricity. [YLE News]
  • Texas is uniquely poised to meet the Clean Power Plan’s standards. That also means that even if those Environmental Protection Agency regulations fall by the judicial wayside, Texas would still be likely to improve emissions dramatically. State leaders don’t have to do anything other than let old coal power plants retire. [mySanAntonio.com]

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

August 20 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • In India, a dam-top solar project of the Kerala State Electricity Board on the Banasura Sagar Dam at Padinharethara in Wayanad district is ready for commissioning. A trial run was successfully conducted recently, and the Power Minister is scheduled to commission the project at Padinharethara before the end of August. [The Hindu]
Solar panels erected atop the Banasura Sagar Dam at Padinharethara in Wayanad district.

Solar panels erected atop the Banasura Sagar Dam at Padinharethara in Wayanad district.

  • When produced using renewable energy, hydrogen could cost nearly the equivalent of 50-cent-per-gallon gasoline, according to a study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The NREL plan assumes large-scale production of hydrogen through electrolysis, but with renewable energy used for power. [Green Car Reports]
  • The oil and gas sector is headed for much more “turbulent times” beyond the ongoing oil bust, former Vice President Al Gore said in an interview with the Houston Chronicle. He said the industry will go through the same pains as the coal sector unless it adopts more renewable and sustainable sources of power and fuel. [Houston Chronicle]
  • This summer’s dry conditions have resulted in a drop in output from the hydroelectric power generation plants belonging to Vermont’s largest consumer utility, Green Mountain Power. Rivers have been running low due to a dearth of rainfall, meaning less water rushing through the turbines of hydro plants to produce power. [NECN]
  • The University of California switched on a 60-MW solar energy plant that it intends to expand to 80 MW by mid-2017, at which point it will be the largest solar purchase by any university in the United States. Five Points Solar Park has 271,200 panels and will supply roughly 14% of the system’s electricity demands. [Clean Energy Authority]

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