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Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

Just In! (from NY-GEO)

Below are G.E.T.’s top picks from NY-GEO’s weekly “Just-In” Newsletter. Just In! features three fresh news item summaries on the NY-GEO home page every Monday. NY-GEO members get the full newsletter, which includes an advanced look at the website articles, plus event listings and job openings and several bonus article summaries with links, usually on the Saturday before website publication.

Upstate NY Has the Cleanest Electricity in the US, Long Island Among the Dirtiest – The USEPA has released 2019 data showing upstate New York has by far the cleanest supply of electricity of any eGRID subregion in the country. Upstate electricity suppliers emitted 233 pounds of CO2e per MWh of power produced, slightly more than half of the California region’s (CAMX) 2nd place rate, and slightly more than a quarter of the national average of 889 lbs./MWh. New York City/Westchester ranked 5th cleanest of the 27 eGRID subregions at 555 lbs per MWh. In contrast, Long Island ranks the 7th dirtiest at 1,219 lbs. per MWh. The eGRID data reinforces the importance New York’s wind projects being developed off the shores of Long Island. As a state, New York ranks 6th cleanest, just ahead of California. Vermont is cleanest, followed by Idaho and Maine. Wyoming, which borders Idaho, is dirtiest, just below West Virginia and Kentucky. Thanks to NY-GEO member Bob Wyman for this tip.

Building Decarbonization Coalition is Expanding to New York – From the organization’s website: “Creating safe, healthy & affordable communities through all-electric, clean energy homes & buildings…The Building Decarbonization Coalition unites building industry stakeholders with energy providers, environmental organizations and local governments to power California’s homes and workspaces with clean energy.” BDC is looking to hire a New York Director. See Job listings in blue below or near the bottom of this webpage.

Flagstaff, AZ – Gas Utilities Fight To Stay In Business – NPR – Facing the rising threat of wildfire and extreme drought, Flagstaff, Ariz., unveiled an ambitious effort two years ago to cut the heat-trapping emissions that drive climate change. A critical part of Flagstaff’s climate plan proposed that all new construction get to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 and that the city promote “aggressive building electrification” to decrease reliance on fossil fuels. As in many places, buildings are a big source of Flagstaff’s greenhouse gases, mainly because many are heated by burning natural gas.
But in February 2020, the Arizona Legislature blocked much of Flagstaff’s plan for its buildings. With the backing of the state’s main gas utility, the Legislature passed a bill that prevents municipalities and counties from banning new gas infrastructure and hookups. The Arizona law was a test case for a strategy the natural gas sector is now deploying nationwide. Gas utilities, with help from industry trade groups, have successfully lobbied lawmakers over the past year to introduce similar “preemption” legislation in 12 mostly Republican-controlled state legislatures, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). NPR article here. Thanks to NY-GEO member Joanne Coons for this tip.
Induction Cooking – As we electrify heating systems with geothermal heat pumps, it’s helpful to know about other electrification measures that can help wean us from fossil fuel use. The Kitchen Electrification Group has put together some great resources on cooking without fossil fuels by using induction ranges and cooktops. Several California cities and towns have induction equipment loan programs to help consumers get familiar with induction cooking appliances, which are very efficient and precise (forget what you know about typical electric ranges, whose heat can be hard to adjust). There are published survey results here, which include the chart below. Thanks to NY-GEO member Irene Weiser for this tip.

 

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February 28 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Environmental Collapse: It’s Time Economists Put The Planet On Their Balance Sheets” • A ‘ground-sparing’ economic report on biodiversity indicates that economic practice has to change because the world is finite. Climate change results from a larger issue, the threat to our life support systems from the plunder and demise of our natural environment. [RenewEconomy]

Earth (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, public domain)

  • “Texas Shows Us Our Water Future With Climate Change: It Ain’t Pretty” • Earlier this week, 1 in 22 Americans didn’t have water or was on a boil water alert. Texas did not suffer alone, as people in Oklahoma and Louisiana also lost water. Sadly, the storm was just a glimpse of how climate change will impact our water supplies. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Bill Gates Is Wrong About Nuclear Power” • In his new book, Bill Gates argues that nuclear power is needed to respond to climate disaster because it’s the only emissions-free source of energy that can be supplied around the clock. He fails to see that the paradigm it fits in is obsolete, it is not needed, and it still has unsolved waste issues. [The Hankyoreh]
  • “Renewable Energy Lasting Solution To Oil-Price Crisis” • As petroleum prices soar, it is time to examine the overall energy scenario for India. Rises in petroleum costs are tied to increased inflation. Also, India imports almost 100% of its petroleum, so higher costs also imply less favorable trade balance. These are not problems for renewables. [The Hans India]
  • “SMT Energy Announces Partnership With Goldman Sachs Renewable Power” • SMT Energy and Goldman Sachs Renewable Power announced a strategic partnership to develop renewable energy assets in the US. In the partnership’s first transaction, GSRP is acquiring 55 MW of community solar facilities in upstate New York from SMT. [ThomasNet News]

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

February 27 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “InstaVolt Teams Up With Everrati To Give Iconic Cars An Electric Future” • InstaVolt and Everrati are teaming up on work on the world’s most iconic and classic cars. Everrati reengineers classic cars into zero-emissions vehicles and then restores them. The cars get state-of-the-art electric drivetrains, electric power units, and battery packs. [CleanTechnica]

Salvaged jalopy, now an EV (Image courtesy of Salon Privé)

  • “EVs Are Already At Price Parity, But The Electric CARS Act Would Make Them Irresistible” • Bloomberg Green contributor Nathaniel Bullard makes the case that EVs are already at price parity with conventional cars because inexpensive new cars have pretty much vanished. Now, congress is looking at legislation that will give EVs a clear advantage. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Oil Is Up Nearly 70% Since The Election, A Record In The Modern Era” • The oil market is starting the Biden era with a bang, and Covid-weary Americans returning to the roads this spring and summer will be greeted with higher prices at the pump. Since the election, US oil prices are up sharply to $63.50 at Thursday’s close, a rise of 69%. [CNN]
  • “Largest US Electric School Bus Order Ever – Montgomery County Orders 326 Buses (Just To Start)” • Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland decided to fully electrify its fleet. It chose Highland Electric Transportation to transition its school bus fleet from fossil fuels to electricity. It started with an order for 326 electric school buses. [CleanTechnica]
  • “USA’s First Zero-Emissions Delivery Zone Is In Santa Monica, California” • The City of Santa Monica has decided to be a leader in electrification efforts as the first city in the US to implement a zero-emissions delivery zone. This will be done with the support of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, Nissan, IKEA, Shopify, Motiv Power Systems, and others. [CleanTechnica]

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

February 26 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “How The Race For Renewable Energy Is Reshaping Global Politics” • Andrew Forrest, chairman of Fortescue Metals Group, searched the world for five months to find sites for hydropower and geothermal energy. The experience told him that in fifteen years, energy will be completely changed. And that will change politics globally. [InsideClimate News]

Wind turbines (Thomas Richter, Unsplash)

  • “A Clean Energy Milestone: Renewables Pulled Ahead Of Coal In 2020” • The ongoing rise of wind and solar power, combined with the steady performance of hydroelectric power, was enough for renewable energy sources to surge ahead of coal, according to 2020 figures released this week by the US Energy Information Administration. [InsideClimate News]
  • “UK’s Largest Commercial EV Order Yet – British Gas Orders 2,000 Electric Vans” • British Gas, the largest energy and home services company in the UK, put in an order for 2,000 electric vans, which it says is a record number. The company has a fleet of 12,000 vehicles, and it intends to have every single one of its vehicles electric by 2025. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Texas Natural Gas Production Fell ~45% During Cold Front” • Natural gas production in Texas fell almost 45% from 21.3 Bcf/d during the week ending February 13 to a daily low of 11.8 Bcf/d on February 17, according to IHS Markit estimates. Temperatures in the state averaged nearly 30°F lower than normal during the week of February 14. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Chinese $4,500 Budget Electric Car Takes On Tesla” • An EV selling in China for $4,500 (£3,200) is outselling Tesla’s more upmarket cars. The Hong Guang Mini EV is being built by a joint venture of state-owned SAIC Motor, China’s top automaker, with General Motors. January sales in China of the budget electric car were around double those of Tesla. [BBC]

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

February 25 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “DHL Teams With Volvo Trucks To Speed Up Transition To Fossil-Free Trucking” • If there is any question that trucking is turning to electric drive systems, DHL Freight and Volvo Trucks are showing the answer. They have partnered to speed up the introduction of heavy duty electric trucks to be used for regional transport throughout Sweden. [CleanTechnica]

Charging a big truck (Image courtesy of Volvo Trucks)

  • “From Ignorance To Greed To Ideology To Propaganda: The Failures Of Texas’ Grid” • There were a number of failures in Texas last week that were much bigger issues than renewable energy. The grid failures were predictable and avoidable. The state, utilities, and most municipalities all failed the citizens and businesses of Texas. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Coal Projected To Exit US Electricity By 2033. Trump Might Have Killed It” • The biggest problem for coal is economics. It shouldn’t be surprising that Bloomberg and Morgan Stanley project that coal is on its way out, and will be gone from the US market by 2033. And Trump’s help for coal was not enough to counter his help for natural gas. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Heat Pumps And Efficiency – Some Key Solutions To Texas’ Electricity Woes” • Texas’ woes were caused as much by increased demand as by failures of the grid. In poorly weatherized homes, 35% used gas furnaces and 60% used lower efficiency electric heating. High efficiency heat pumps provide part of the answer for heat and cooling. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Australia Emerges As APAC Renewable Energy Leaders” • Research from IHS Markit revealed that Australia leads the Asia Pacific region when it comes to renewable energy production with 89% of all power sources under construction being solar, wind, hydro, or other renewables. They are to deliver around 80 GW of cpacity in coming years. [Energy Matters]

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

How Multifamily Real Estate Companies Approach Energy Management and Savings

A growing number of private multifamily real estate companies are integrating energy efficiency into their planning and operations. The results? They are lowering their operating costs, increasing property values, and contributing to climate change mitigation efforts. A new ACEEE topic brief profiles the energy-saving practices of three U.S. companies and examines an energy efficiency retrofit project each has undertaken. We include detailed information on each project’s scope of work, funding, and outcomes.

Learn more in the new ACEEE topic brief, Leading by Example: How Multifamily Real Estate Companies Approach Energy Management and Savings.

Thermal-RECs: A Big NH Advantage – Webinar Thursday, February 25th

Thermal Renewable Energy Certificates (T-RECs) have been transformative to the biomass heating market in New Hampshire—the first state in the nation to establish T-RECs as part of their Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS).

However, right now a bill is being considered that would Eliminate all new T-REC generators.  Other portions of this bad bill would devastate the important logging and forestry industries in our state.  

Learn all about T-RECs in this Webinar.
And then send an email to your NH Representative to Oppose HB213

Click HERE to sign up for the T-REC Webinar on Feb 25th at 3 PM

Charlie Niebling of Innovative Natural Resource Solutions (INRS) will be our featured speaker. Charlie was instrumental in the creation of NH T-RECs so he has a lot to say on the subject.

This NHPUC program was established in 2012 and it has been very successful—generating more than an estimated $1.8 million each year for system owners.

With T-RECs, system owners are paid for offsetting the use of fossil fuels with wood chips, wood pellets, other biofuels (liquid, solid, gas), solar thermal and geothermal systems.  As a result system owners can reduce their annual heating fuel costs by between 30% and 70% below the cost of fossil fuels.

In New Hampshire, for every net Megawatt of heat generated by biomass or other qualified method, a system owner gets one Class 1 NH Thermal REC.  Then each T-REC can be sold, netting about $20 (average during the past few years).

Learn all about T-RECs and then send an email to your NH Representative.
Keep T-RECs working for New Hampshire.

Click HERE to sign up for the Feb 25th Webinar
“Thermal RECs: A Big New Hampshire Advantage – (Now Endangered!!)”

Free Biomass Webinars in March 2021

Why Texas froze (and California fried): This disaster was 90 years in the making

TAKING THE INITIATIVE: Carl Pope’s Blog, Feb 23, 2021

The catastrophe that swept Texas last week was 90 years in the making. Its roots lie in a decision during the 1930s to escape federal regulation of power rates under the terms of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal by forcing all Texas utilities to avoid importing or exporting power across state lines, thereby pretending that Texas electricity was not actually part of the national economy.

As the biggest oil and gas producer in the world, Texas had already set itself up in the business of regulating the global price of oil through the Texas Railroad Commission, which set limits on oil and gas production to keep oil prices artificially high. So, going it alone on electricity prices seemed like a logical extension — except that in the case of electricity, Texas business wanted low prices, not high ones.

Implicit in the creation of what Texans call their “power island” was an understanding that cheap electricity was the only significant goal. Reliability came a distant second and clean air was not even on the radar screen. When Texas deregulated its electricity sector in 1999, it went further than most states. ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, kept prices low by refusing to pay utilities for keeping standby generation capacity in case of an extreme weather event. Since Texas also remained disconnected from other regions which might have provided backup power in the case of a shortage, the state denied itself any kind of safety net, either in-state or elsewhere.

Extreme heat waves were very much on the Texas radar, because high-demand summer days were frequent — and profitable for generators. So money was made, and summer blackouts were few, for almost 20 years. As the climate spun out of control, however, even in summer Texas barely avoided resorting to rolling blackouts to manage record demand during worsening hot spells. (In fact, in El Paso, on the state’s western border, they happened.)

Continue reading Why Texas froze (and California fried): This disaster was 90 years in the making

February 24 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Wind Turbine Blades Can Be Recycled” • The wind industry has one of the lowest composite waste rates. Over 85% of the turbine can be recycled, and composite blades are a small part of the overall materials. Despite how little of the negative impact the blades is, the wind industry is taking the problem on with a project called DecomBlades. [CleanTechnica]

Transporting a wind turbine blade (Acroterion, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

  • “Regulators Examine Texas Energy Market After Natural Gas Prices Soared 10,000%” • Federal regulators are looking closely at the Texas energy market after natural gas prices rose by up to 10,000% during last week’s deep freeze. They warn that extreme weather will play havoc with energy sources, including natural gas, coal, nuclear, and wind. [CNN]
  • “Modular Battery System From Xerotech Could Electrify The Construction Equipment Market” • Combining seven variants of modules with a choice of battery cell chemistry, a new “turnkey” modular battery system by Xerotech promises to revolutionize the construction equipment market by offering manufacturers a battery pack for just about everything! [CleanTechnica]
  • “Renewable Energy Boom Could Force Coal Power To Close Early, Says New Report” • An analysis of the Australian energy market has found a number of coal-fired power stations could be financially unviable by 2025. The report was by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis and advisory firm Green Energy Markets. [ABC News]
  • “Green Hydrogen To Power First Zero Carbon Steel Plant” • A new industrial initiative, backed by EIT InnoEnergy, will build the world’s first large-scale steel production plant powered by green hydrogen, in north Sweden. The H2 Green Steel industrial initiative will mobilize €2.5 billion of investment to deliver the green steel project. [reNEWS]

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