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August 21 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Why solar towers and storage plants will reshape energy markets” • The 150-MW solar tower and molten salt storage plant to be built in Port Augusta has been made possible by a ground-breaking pricing and contract structure that could help completely reshape Australian power markets, including the end of “baseload” power as we know it. [RenewEconomy]
Visitors at a solar thermal power plant

Visitors at a solar thermal power plant

  • The Trump administration has decided to withdraw the official estimate of the Social Cost of Carbon and disband the inter-agency working group that developed it. Despite this, a group of prominent economists and lawyers have highlighted the metric’s continued validity for policymaking in a letter published in the journal Science. [eco-business.com]
  • GreenWish Partners, a renewable energy company run by a former Morgan Stanley executive, is planning to invest $800 million on solar-powered telephone towers across Africa. The project could fuel economic growth by providing power for essential services. Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest rates of energy access in the world. [Bloomberg]
  • According to the University of Minnesota’s Energy Transition Lab, starting in 2019 the overall cost of building grid-scale storage there will be less than that of building natural-gas plants to meet future energy demand in that state. Current plans for adding 1,800 MW of gas-fired “peaker” plants by 2028 may be unnecessary. [Yahoo Finance UK]
  • In late 2015, DME unveiled its Renewable Denton Plan to almost immediate controversy, as it pivoted on a $265 million investment in a new, gas-fired power plant. After management changes, a new plan is expected to identify clear steps to get 70% to 100% percent of Denton’s electricity from renewable energy by 2019. [Denton Record Chronicle]

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

August 20 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • As Monday’s total solar eclipse sweeps from Oregon to South Carolina, US electric power and grid operators will be glued to their monitoring systems in what may represent the biggest test yet of the renewable energy era. Utilities and grid operators have been planning for the event for years and have lined up standby power sources. [ETEnergyworld.com]
Eclipse, 2012 (Abby182000, Wikimedia Commons)

Eclipse of 2012, seen through clouds (Abby182000, Wikimedia Commons)

  • Increasingly, solar companies work with farmers to install solar panels on their land. In North Carolina, solar companies pay rents up to $1,400 an acre, far more than what most farmers could earn from planting crops or raising livestock. But PV arrays are low-impact, so farmers can raise livestock or grow crops on land covered with PVs. [CleanTechnica]
  • While President Donald Trump continues to dismantle Obama-era climate policies, an unlikely surge of Republican lawmakers has begun distancing themselves from the GOP’s hard line on climate change. The House Climate Solutions Caucus, a bipartisan backwater when it formed early last year, has more than tripled in size since January. [Politico]
  • “President Trump Has An Oil Problem” • After six months of regulatory rollback, Trump has done almost nothing that will create jobs on oil fields or offshore rigs. That’s because low oil prices, not environmental protections, are stunting job growth, and Trump’s push to nix federal regulations only makes oil cheaper. [CleanTechnica]
  • Nova Scotia Power plans to install 12 fast charging stations for electric cars across the province as part of a pilot project. NSP hopes Nova Scotians will soon be able to drive electric vehicles from Sydney to Yarmouth without having to worry about where they can charge their batteries. The pilot project will be ready for use in the spring of 2018. [The Register/Advertiser]

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

August 19 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Staying below 2 degrees is ‘possible and practical’ says RMI” • The latest UN Emissions Gap report showed that the world would still be heading for a temperature rise between 2.9 and 3.4 °C by 2100. A report from the Rocky Mountain Institute argues that staying below 2° C is both practical and possible given trends in renewable energy. [pv magazine]
Wind and solar, sun and clouds (Public domain image)

Wind and solar, sun and clouds (Public domain image)

  • In a European test of vehicle-to-grid technology involving 100 vehicles, the owners of the electric Nissans earned an average of $1,530 a year from the program, more than the cost of charging the vehicles. The test also showed that vehicle-to-grid schemes may actually slow the rate at which lithium-ion batteries degrade in normal use. [CleanTechnica]
  • The Baker-Polito administration in Massachusetts has awarded a $545,000 grant to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department to support the installation of a 436-kW solar canopy at the Franklin County Jail and House of Correction in Greenfield. The grant is the seventh by the Leading by Example State Solar Canopy grant program. [Solar Industry]
  • The Home Depot is developing mini solar farms on 50 of its store rooftops. In partnership with Current, a subsidiary of GE, and Tesla, the company is leasing its roof space to produce power through power purchase agreements in five states and the District of Columbia. This will reduce grid demand at each store by 30% to 35%. [AltEnergyMag]
  • The residents of Neptune, New Jersey know well the problems that can be created by a hurricane. Now, Neptune is one of 13 state municipalities getting money from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to study microgrids. One hundred fifty thousand dollars will be spent on a feasibility study to be completed by early next year. [NJTV News]

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

August 18 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Getting electricity and clean water to remote villages can make a huge difference to those who live there. Running power and water lines from a central location can be expensive, but water filtration systems and electricity generation can be provided to remote locations at low cost. An Italian startup has a $15,000 all-in-one modular solution. [CleanTechnica]
Modular electricity and water supply

Modular electricity and water supply

  • Ameren Corp and S&C Electric Co conducted a successful 24-hour islanding test at a recently built microgrid in Champaign, Illinois. The 50-kW microgrid combines 225 kW of solar and wind generation with a 250-kW/500-kWh battery system. The test proved it can provide a seamless transition from grid-connected to island mode. [Solar Industry]
  • “Climate change will likely wreck their livelihoods – but they still don’t buy the science” • In 50 years, Cameron Parish, Louisiana, will likely be no more, according to newly published calculations of the Louisiana government. Cameron Parish also has the greatest percentage of Trump supporters of any county in the US. [The Guardian]
  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that July was the second hottest month since record keeping began in 1880. At 61.89° F (16.63° C), last month was behind July 2016’s all-time record by just .09° F (0.05° C), and land temperatures in July were the hottest on record at 59.96° F (15.5° C). [The Japan Times]
  • Taiwan recently suffered from a massive blackout that affected millions of households and businesses. Now the government of Taiwan says that it is reaching out to Tesla to consider a solution similar to the massive 100-MW/129-MWh battery system that South Australia ordered after they had their own power outage issues. [Electrek]

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

August 17 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • The governor of Montana is worried about climate change. The eastern half of the Montana is now in the most severe drought in the nation. July farm losses are nearly $400 million more than last year’s, according to figures from the US Forest Service. And the state’s wildfire season is costing Montanans more than a million dollars a day. [MTPR]
A difficult year in Montana (Credit: Nate Hegyi | YPR)

A difficult year in Montana (Credit: Nate Hegyi | YPR)

  • Most Europeans can choose who they buy their power from and can choose to purchase power from renewable power plants, instead of accepting a “grey default” power offer. More and more consumers prefer to buy clean energy from solar, wind, hydro, geothermal or bio. Growth in demand for renewable power stands at 39% this year. [Press Release Rocket]
  • In Milan, architect Stefano Boeri created two high-rise apartment blocks that are adorned with a massive number of trees and plants, including 800 trees and 16,000 other plants. Combined, the two towers can convert around 44,000 pounds of carbon dioxide into oxygen annually. They also filter dust from the air. [CleanTechnica]
  • The Nederland, Colorado, city council unanimously voted to power their city with 100% renewable electricity by 2025. The vote came shortly after Orlando, Florida, and Nevada City, California, established similar goals last week. The Sierra Club said that Nederland is the 42nd US city to commit to 100% renewables. [North American Windpower]
  • As climate change pushes US cities to build protections against more powerful storms and more frequent floods, the Rockefeller Foundation is helping with a kind of financing that transfers some of the risk of innovative projects from cities to investors. The environmental impact bonds were pioneered by The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. [Bloomberg]

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

EVENT THURSDAY: Talkin’ Trash

Talkin’ Trash with Olivia Lapierre

When: Thursday August 17th

Where: Kilton Library Community Room in West Lebanon

Time: 6:30pm – 8:00pm

Co-sponsored by: Be Zero & the Sierra Club Upper Valley Group.

What does “zero waste” mean? Join Olivia Lapierre for the “Talkin’ Trash”event in which she defines zero waste, shares her journey to living low waste, and the benefits of this lifestyle. She will share tips on simple steps people can implement in their daily life. Olivia will also talk about the socio/cultural challenges of the lifestyle and why representation matters in climate activism!

About Be Zero: 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization – To inspire, educate, and activate individuals to dramatically reduce their individual plastic and trash footprint and to create simple and sustainable lifestyle habits.

GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF 76WEST CLEAN ENERGY COMPETITION

Dallas-Based Skyven Technologies Named $1 Million Grand Prize Winner – Will Expand Business to the Southern Tier; Grow Southern Tier’s Clean Energy Economy

Competition Complements “Southern Tier Soaring” – the Region’s Strategic Plan to Generate Robust Economic Growth and Community Development

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the six winning companies of the 76West Clean Energy Competition, one of the largest competitions in the country that focuses on supporting and growing clean-energy businesses and economic development. Skyven Technologies, a solar heating company from Dallas, Texas, has been awarded the $1 million grand prize, and will expand its operations in the Southern Tier. The competition complements “Southern Tier Soaring,” the region’s comprehensive strategy to generate robust economic growth and community development.

“New York is setting a national precedent in growing clean-energy businesses and battling climate change, and this momentum continues with the 76West Competition,” Governor Cuomo said. “Skyven Technologies and the rest of the winners from this competition will bring jobs and economic growth to the Southern Tier and beyond, ensuring that New York remains at the forefront of the new clean energy economy.”

A total of $2.5 million was awarded to six innovative companies from New York and across the United States. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul announced the winners at an awards ceremony in downtown Binghamton today, joined by more than 100 elected officials, entrepreneurs and local business leaders. The event also named a $500,000 winner and four $250,000 winners.

As a condition of the award, companies must either move to the Southern Tier or establish a direct connection with the Southern Tier, such as a supply chain, job development with Southern Tier companies, or other strategic relationships with Southern Tier entities that increases wealth creation and creates jobs. If the companies are already in the Southern Tier, they must commit to substantially growing their business and employment in the region.

The 76West winners are:

$1 million grand prize winner

  • Skyven Technologies – Dallas, TX: uses solar heating techniques to reduce fossil fuel consumption in agriculture and other industries
$500,000 award winner
  • SunTegra – Port Chester, NY (Mid-Hudson Valley): develops solar products that are integrated into the roof to provide clean energy and an alternate look to conventional solar panels
$250,000 award winners
  • Biological Energy – Spencer, NY (Southern Tier): provides technology that increases wastewater treatment capacity while reducing energy use
  • EthosGen – Wilkes-Barre, PA: Captures and transforms waste heat to resilient, renewable on-site electric power
  • SolarKal – New York, NY (New York City): provides a brokerage service to help businesses simplify the process of going solar
  • Visolis – Berkeley, CA: produces high-value chemicals from biomass instead of petroleum, which reduces greenhouse gases
 The second round of the 76West Competition was launched in December 2016 and received applications from around the world, including Switzerland, South Africa and Israel. Of these, 15 semifinalists were chosen and participated in a marathon pitch session on July 11, at Alfred State College. Judges selected eight finalists, who then pitched their companies to a different panel of judges on July 13, in Corning, New York with six winners being selected.

In addition to announcing the 76West winners, Lt. Governor Hochul recognized Binghamton for being the first city in the Southern Tier designated as a Clean Energy Community by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. The Clean Energy Communities initiative recognizes municipalities that complete four of 10 high-impact clean energy actions. To earn the designation, Binghamton converted all city street lights to energy efficient LED technology, installed an electric vehicle charging station, completed energy code enforcement training, and streamlined the approvals process for local solar projects. The city is now eligible to apply for $250,000 in grants to fund additional clean energy projects.
NYSERDA administers the 76West Competition which supports New York’s nation-leading Clean Energy Standard which will ensure that 50 percent of the state’s electricity comes from renewable energy by 2030, under the comprehensive Reforming the Energy Vision, a strategy to build a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers. 76West fosters cleantech economic development and leadership and expands innovative entrepreneurship in the Southern Tier.

August 16 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • A year or so from now, electric customers of Rochester, New York, could have easy access to 100% renewable energy at a price lower than their current rates. The mayor is preparing legislation stating the city’s intent to pursue community choice aggregation, which would let the city negotiate an energy-supply contract. [Rochester City Newspaper]
Rochester, New York (Evilarry, Wikimedia Commons)

Rochester, New York (Evilarry, Wikimedia Commons)

  • A study from the University of California, Berkeley gives us more reason to move from fossil fuels to renewable energy. The study says the US wind and solar power boom has helped prevent the premature deaths of thousands of people and has saved the country billions of dollars in healthcare and climate-related costs in a single year. [AlterNet]
  • Soon plastic waste will no longer clog up Costa Rica’s landfills. The country announced it will have a ban on single-use plastics by 2021. Costa Rica wants to become the world’s first country to achieve a comprehensive national strategy to eliminate single-use plastics, a goal that coincides with a 2021 goal of being carbon neutral. [CleanTechnica]
  • London Mayor Sadiq Khan launched plans to turn his city into the world’s first National Park City and one of the greenest cities on Earth. He will create a £9 million fund to increase the cities’ trees and green infrastructure, and proposed building more green roofs, walls, and rain gardens. The first goal is to protect London’s Green Belt. [CleanTechnica]
  • Dutch Airports will run on 100% renewable energy generated in the country starting next year. Dutch airport owners Royal Schiphol Group made a deal with energy firm Eneco, which will provide 200 GWh of clean power annually for the next 15 years. Wind farms will be built to support the airports in the years ahead. [Innovators Magazine]

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

August 15 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Residents of a remote community on the central coast of British Columbia received funding to build a run-of-river hydroelectric plant. The Wuikinuxv Village, on the banks of the Wanukv River, has about 80 people in it. It is accessible only by float plane or boat, so life is challenging, and it has depended on diesel power in the past. [BCLocalNews]
Wanukv River (Photo: CCIRA)

Wanukv River (Photo: CCIRA)

  • “Huge Climate Opportunity If RGGI Governors Step Up” • The governors of nine Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states are about to make a momentous decision: how much they will cut power plant pollution, and how fast they will cut it. Big carbon cuts could add $3.2 billion to state coffers and reduce air pollution. [Natural Resources Defense Council]
  • A coalition of business, environmental and community leaders has backed Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan to make offshore wind the focus of New York’s renewable energy plan. The New York Offshore Wind Alliance voiced its support for developing green energy off the state’s coastline ahead of a series of public meetings. [reNews]
  • New analysis of flow rates and precipitation suggest flooding in urban areas is intensifying while rural areas dry up. To identify links between global warming and river flow patterns, scientists at the University of New South Wales surveyed flow rate and rainfall data from 5,300 river monitoring sites and 43,000 rain gauges in 160 countries. [UPI.com]
  • The US DOE’s recently commissioned study on the national electric grid hit a new legal road block this week when the Sierra Club filed a lawsuit against the agency to reveal the third parties consulted on the study, according to Reuters. Energy Secretary Rick Perry ordered the 60-day study in April but its release has been delayed. [OilPrice.com]

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

August 14 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • A tiny Tesla house is on a tour of Australia, showing off the Powerwall and educating the public on how to generate, store and use renewable energy. Oh yes, and the tiny home is towed by a Tesla Model X. The tiny home is completely powered by renewable energy courtesy of a 2-kW solar power system and a Powerwall battery. [Gizmodo Australia]
Tesla Tiny House in Melbourne (iStock photo)

Tesla Tiny House in Melbourne (iStock photo)

  • Last year, California’s 1.4 million dairy cows fell under a statewide mandate to find a way to curb their environmental footprint in order to achieve the state’s goal to reduce methane emissions 40% from 2013 levels by 2030. The state government says now it is receiving more applications for anaerobic digesters than it can currently fund. [Triple Pundit]
  • Alberta produces about 80% of Canada’s oil. But as oil prices have dropped, there have been lay-offs, and the unemployment rate in the once-booming province stands at nearly 8%. Now Alberta’s renewable energy capacity is doubling roughly every two years, and interest in green energy training has been growing swiftly. [Huffington Post Canada]
  • A proposed solar thermal power plant in South Australia’s mid-north has been contracted to supply all the state government’s power needs. Work on the A$650 million SolarReserve facility will start in 2018. The state government said the 150-MW plant, to be ready in 2020, would dispatch energy to the grid even when the sun was not shining. [The Guardian]
  • Despite moves made by Ohio’s legislature to thwart large-scale wind farm development, there is still a steady demand for small installations to power factories and small businesses. Projects with just a few turbines put Ohio among the top 10 for wind capacity installed since 2003, according to a report from the US DOE. [Midland Daily News]

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