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November 14 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • At their sole function at COP23, US delegates promoted “clean” fossil fuels as a solution to reduce emissions. The Governor of California Jerry Brown ridiculed the attempt to promote fossil fuels, and dozens of activists chanted “Keep it in the ground” over the speech of executive director of the United States Energy Association. [Deutsche Welle]
Attendees at the US pro-coal speech (Twitter image)

After the walkout, the audience was members of the press and a few White House guests (Twitter image)

  • Protesters interrupted an event sponsored by the US climate delegation at the UN climate summit in Bonn, Germany on Monday with a repackaged version of the song “God Bless the USA” before staging a mass walkout. Then the room was empty, aside from the press, panelists, and White House guests in the front row. [Common Dreams]
  • The Rocky Mountain Institute published a report at COP23 that provides cities worldwide with “22 ready-to-implement, no-regrets solutions that have proven success” to help move them toward climate-neutrality and provide results within a year. The solutions in The Carbon-Free City Handbook have been proven in use. [CleanTechnica]
  • Iberdrola said it decided to phase out its coal generation capacity completely and accordingly asked for permission to decommission two plants totaling 874 MW in Spain. About 170 employees at the plants will either be relocated to other facilities or engaged in the decommissioning process, which will cost €35 million ($40.8 million). [Renewables Now]
  • Two years ago, Gov Jerry Brown signed a law ordering California utilities to get 50% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2030. It looks like they may hit that goal a decade ahead of schedule. An annual report by California regulators found the state’s three big utilities are on track to reach 50% by 2020. [San Francisco Chronicle]

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

November 13 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • According to Agora Energiewende, shutting down twenty lignite-burning power plants in Germany would not lead to electricity shortages in the country, even during the coldest parts of the winter; it would only mean a reduction in the amount of electricity is exported. It would also get the country halfway to its carbon reduction goals. [CleanTechnica]
Coal-burning power plant

Coal-burning power plant

  • Electric buses have been selling like hotcakes in China. The EV-loving city Shenzhen is taking it one step further. In Shenzhen, electric buses will make up all public bus transportation by the end of this year. The city already has 14,000 electric buses on the streets, with only has a few hundred diesel-powered buses left to replace. [CleanTechnica]
  • Global emissions of CO2 in 2017 are projected to rise for the first time in four years, dashing hopes that a peak might soon be reached. The main cause of the expected growth is greater use of coal in China as its economy expanded. Researchers are unsure of whether the rise in emissions is a one-off or the start of a new period of CO2 build-up. [BBC News]
  • An effort by Vermont utility regulators to settle the long-standing and contentious issue of how much noise neighbors of industrial wind projects should be subject to ended up satisfying no one. Both proponents of wind power and those who say the noise poses a health risk to people who live near turbines were upset with the result. [Westport News]
  • TDI New England wants to lay a high-voltage transmission cable under Lake Champlain. It has pledged $20 million for low-income energy retrofits in Western Massachusetts if its New England Clean Power Link wins a major contract in the Bay State. The retrofits would include things other programs do not pay for, a spokesperson said. [MassLive.com]

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

Video: James Hansen and Daniel Galpern: Making the Carbon Majors Pay for Climate Action

Direct from Bonn, Germany at COP-23, November 12, 2017
Dr. James Hansen and his legal advisor, Daniel Galpern, Esq., discuss making the fossil fuel companies, the ‘Carbon Majors’, pay for the damage they have done to society, not only in terms of climate change and all of its impacts, but also health impacts.  This Climate Matters show, videotaped at COP-23 in Bonn, Germany, furthers the idea that the polluters must pay for the damage their pollution causes. 

ONE MILLION for Climate Action

One million for Climate Action

Click here to find an event near you.

More on Joseph Mangum in Puerto Rico

The forests around Utuado, Puerto Rico, were largely destroyed by the storm. US Department of Agriculture Photo, Master Sgt. Joshua DeMotts | 1st Combat Camera Squadron

The forests around Utuado, Puerto Rico, were largely destroyed by the storm.
US Department of Agriculture Photo, Master Sgt. Joshua DeMotts | 1st Combat Camera Squadron

By George Harvey

I last posted on the Green Energy Times website about the work Joseph Mangum was doing in Puerto Rico in “Joseph’s First Two Days in Puerto Rico.” It appeared on October 31, with news of his work in Puerto Rick, helping restore the island, shortly after he arrived in San Juan. For those who don’t know, Joseph runs Sunnyside Solar in West Brattleboro, Vermont. He was accompanied on much of his trip by his friend Mark Lamoureux, who works installing solar systems in Keene, New Hampshire.

At the time that article was posted, we knew he would probably be out of touch with us for some time. There was no electricity for most of the island, no internet access, and phone service. And he was going into the island’s interior, where things were hardest hit.

It was over a week before I started getting news I could write about. At first, the phone connections were so poor that I was unable to make out about half the words he said. Nevertheless, I was able to get a sense of what was going on. Emails came a little later. They were short, because he could not spend much time working at a computer, but they had more information. Joseph has installed all five systems, though not exactly as planned. He has also distributed food, water purification systems, and seeds.

He started San Juan area, in a place called San José. The first of the 1-kilowatt (kW) systems was installed in a bicycle shop. The system powers tools, and local people can gather there and get hit by a breeze from a fan as they charge their cell phones.

After that, Joseph and Mark went to Juncos. It is south of San Juan and well inland. The coastal communities have had a lot more attention from the federal government than those in the interior, and while power outages are a reality in San Juan, the situation Juncos is much worse. They installed two systems there.

Continue reading More on Joseph Mangum in Puerto Rico

November 12 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Stories of Kauai are turning heads at the United Nations Climate Conference. The island’s strides in clean energy, along with the progress in the rest of the state, are catching attention. Sen Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, is part of a five-person legislative delegation representing the American people at the UN Climate Conference. [Thegardenisland.com]
Kauai (Photo: Christopher Michel, Wikimedia Commons)

Kauai (Photo: Christopher Michel, Wikimedia Commons)

  • Pope Francis blasted “shortsighted human activity” for global warming and rising sea levels and urged leaders at climate talks in Germany to take a global outlook as they negotiate ways to curb heat-trapping emissions. Francis met with a delegation of Pacific leaders and told them he shares their concerns about rising sea levels. [CTV News]
  • “Letter from Bonn: Pollution Killing More Indians Than Wars, Govt Must Understand Urgency of Now” • India loses more people to pollution than it would possibly to a war. Yet, successive governments resort to ad hoc measures, lacking implementation of a long term strategy to ensure clean air to people and address their right to life. [News18]
  • “Stop rewarding failure: Protect consumers, not profits” • More than a decade ago, our nation decided to pursue more nuclear power generation. But what we did not support was providing corporate welfare, putting all the project’s risks on the backs of electric customers, instead of on the people who decided to take the risk of investment. [The Augusta Chronicle]
  • “COP 23: Bill McKibben says the drive for 100% renewables is too slow. Time to accelerate!” • It may be possible for the world to reach 100% renewable energy by 2050, or sooner. But Bill McKibben said preventing absolute catastrophe requires action on emissions far faster than what market conditions alone would produce. [Red, Green, and Blue]

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

November 11 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Officials of Dairyland Power inaugurated a $167 million wind farm in the southwestern part of Wisconsin. The 98-MW Quilt Block project, with 49 turbines, is the state’s fourth largest wind farm and boosts the Wisconsin’s wind capacity by 15%. It is expected to provide enough energy for over 35,000 average households. [The Courier Life News]
Wisconsin farmland (Dairyland Power Cooperative image)

Wisconsin farmland (Dairyland Power Cooperative image)

  • Senate Republicans have put forward their own tax reform plan this week which, unlike the tax reform bill proposed by the House, does not take aim at renewable energy provisions such as the wind Production Tax Credit. The House plan proposed eliminating the vehicle tax credit and added a retroactive tax hike on the wind industry. [CleanTechnica]
  • Practically the entire island of Puerto Rico went dark again after a major power line repaired by Whitefish Energy failed. Even though that the failure may have had nothing to do with Whitefish’s work, it is still a demonstration that microgrids and renewable energy are the way to go for grid resiliency and reliability. [CleanTechnica]
  • The China National Renewable Energy Center advises the Chinese government to increase its 2020 solar target to 200 GW, up from its current 110 GW. The boom of installations saw the country pass its existing 2020 target last August. CNREC also advises increasing to wind and bioenergy targets and halting approvals of coal power capacity. [PV-Tech]
  • The South Carolina House speaker is proposing six laws aimed at protecting consumers from financial consequences of a failed project to build two nuclear reactors. South Carolinautilities spent more than $9 billion on two nuclear reactors before abandoning them. They had collected nearly $2 billion from ratepayers as they did. [New Jersey Herald]

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

November 10 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Cities Stand United on Paris Agreement at COP23” • Cities face a new reality of monster storms, unprecedented flooding, dangerous and record-breaking heat and drought, wildfires, and other challenges. More than 350 US “Climate Mayors” have pledged to commit to reduce emissions 80% by 2050, as laid out in Paris. [Natural Resources Defense Council]
Bonn, site of COP23 (Pixabay image)

Bonn, site of COP23 (Pixabay image)

  • Self-driving systems don’t have to be perfect to save tens of thousands of lives, the RAND Corporation says in a report, The Enemy of Good: Estimating the Cost of Waiting for Nearly Perfect. If autonomous vehicles systems drive only slightly better than humans, they could prevent hundreds of thousands of fatalities worldwide over the next 30 years. [CleanTechnica]
  • The failure of wealthy nations to deliver on short-term climate commitments could hinder the rollout of a landmark treaty, a bloc of 134 developing countries, including India and China, warned Thursday at UN negotiations in Bonn. The diplomatic spat has underscored the difficulty of reaching a consensus at the 196-nation talks. [Phys.Org]
  • Apple signed a deal to power to a Nevada data center with one of the cheapest contracted starting prices for solar power in the US. The deal was signed with NV Energy, owned by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway. The start price is 3.099¢/kWh with a 2% a year escalator, making it very inexpensive energy. The project has a capacity of 50 MW. [Electrek]
  • The federal government is ignoring threats to life presented by climate change, according to a claim of a lawsuit against Trump administration officials. The suit was filed in federal court in Philadelphia, on behalf of two Pennsylvania children and the Clean Air Council. Donald Trump, Scott Pruitt, and Rick Perry are named as defendants. [Public News Service]
Protecting future generations (Photo: Pezibear | Pixabay)

Protecting future generations (Photo: Pezibear | Pixabay)

  • The US car industry will be wrecked if President Trump relaxes emissions standards, California Governor Jerry Brown said. He said China would dominate car manufacture because it was heavily promoting the electric vehicles that would dominate the future. He said President Trump and US car-makers had not understood the scale of the challenge. [BBC]

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

Video: Young People’s Burden: Averting Climate Disaster – COP-23

Click here to view a video of Jim Hansen and his granddaughter, Sophie at COP-23:  Young People’s Burden.

Dr. James Hansen and his granddaughter, Sophie Kivlehan, confront the leaders of the world with the truth of the burden they have placed upon young people. You will find this Climate Matters show, videotaped at COP-23 in Bonn, Germany, to be most pertinent and pointed.

Video: Climate Change Progress Post-Paris: Is the U.S. Still In?

Click here to listen to the environmental awareness lecture by Ken Kimmell, President of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) that was held at Dartmouth College on Monday, October 30th, 2017.
Ken Kimmell is president of the Union of Concerned Scientists, a leading science-based nonprofit that combines the knowledge and influence of the scientific community with the passion of concerned citizens to build a healthy planet and a safer world. Mr. Kimmell has more than 30 years of experience in government, environmental policy, and advocacy. He is a national advocate for clean energy and transportation policies and a driving force behind UCS’s “Power Ahead” campaign to build a large and diverse group of clean energy leadership states.  This event was sponsored by the Porter Family Fund for Sustainability in the Curriculum, the Environmental Studies Program at Dartmouth, and the Irving Institute for Energy and Society.