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March 19 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Wind Generated 35% Of British Electricity Last Week” • Wind energy accounted for 35.6% of Great Britain’s electricity generation for the week running March 8 to March 14, beating out all other generation sources. Further, offshore wind provided 21.4% of Great Britain’s electricity, beating out nuclear energy, which provided 21.3% [CleanTechnica]

Turbine of the Walney Extension offshore wind farm

  • “Germany Renewables Share Jumped To 72.4% Last Week” • It seems to be something of a trend. In the tenth week of the year, Germany got 65% of its electricity from renewable resources. In the eleventh week, the figure rose to 67.6%. In the twelfth week, Germany the figure hit 72.4%, not including 10.9% from nuclear power. [RenewEconomy]
  • “Maine Renews Net Metering As Lawmakers Prep New Clean Energy, Utility Reform Bills” • Maine lawmakers passed a bill to eliminate gross metering in the state and reestablish net metering for solar customers. Gov Janet Mills is thought to be likely to sign it. Other legislating to boost the state’s renewable energy is coming. [Utility Dive]
  • “New Community Solar Project In Hartland, Vermont Converts Brownfield To Brightfield” • Long View Forest Inc and Encore Renewable Energy announced that they commissioned a 745-kW community solar array in Hartland, Vermont. The project is on a 28-acre “brownfield” property formerly used as a saw mill and lumber treatment facility. [EIN News]
  • “California Sets A New Solar Output Record – And It Isn’t Even Spring Yet” • California continues to break new ground in terms of integrating higher levels of solar, even when no one expects it. Data from the California Independent System Operator shows that on March 16 solar output peaked at 10,765 MW around 2:45 PM local time. [pv magazine USA]

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

Register Now: Symposium on Energy in the 21st Century

Fifteenth Annual
Symposium on Energy in the 21st Century
Transportation, Energy Storage, Integrating Renewables into Grid 
Energy Innovations Around the World
April 12, 2019
ONLY THREE WEEKS LEFT TO REGISTER for this outstanding Symposium!!
Speakers and Panel:
JEFF LOGANSpecial Adviser to the IPCC Special Report on Renewable Energy. NREL 
JOHN RHODES, Chair NY PSC, CEO Department of Public Service

Director Energy & Transportation, NRDC
JOHN BRUCKNER, President NY National Grid
NATE BLAIR, NREL Manager Distributed Systems and Storage Analysis
PAM MACDOUGALL, NREL Transportation & Grid Integration
RHEA JEZER, President Energy21 & Symposium Director.

Most cutting edge, up to date State, Federal and International information on energy storage, transmission, electric vehicles, solar, the grid, etc. NOT TO BE MISSED! Great networking.

REGISTER now and add optional TOUR. SPACE IS LIMITED. Low registration fee.
Questions? Contact Rhea Jezer ,

Community Solar: Clean Energy for Everyone

Travis Tench

City dwellers may laugh at the idea of putting solar on their roofs, but there’s an alternative: community solar.

A 375kW community solar installation atop a warehouse in Bronx, NY. Photo by Travis Tench.

This arrangement goes by many names, including shared solar, community shared solar, and community distributed generation (CDG), but the concept is the same. Instead of buying and installing solar panels on your home or property, you subscribe to a piece of a large local solar project built nearby, often along with a few dozen to a few hundred other people who live in the same area. A portion of the electricity generated by these projects gets credited directly to your utility bill, you get a discount on electricity, and you don’t have to pay anything to join.

Community solar allows households, small businesses, and places of worship to receive the benefits of solar energy without the cost or hassle of a rooftop installation. Roughly half of residences in the U.S. can’t host a solar installation because the occupants don’t own the property, or because the roof is too old, too shady, or facing the wrong way for optimal sun exposure. Community solar eliminates these issues, making solar power more accessible to more people than ever before.

In order to be eligible, a resident must live in the same electric utility zone as the project. This might seem like a limiting factor, but it also ensures that the project a group of subscribers is supporting is a local one and that all the energy produced is going into the local grid system. And because this local, clean electricity generation helps out with things like transmission losses and congestion on the grid, potentially alleviating the need for costly grid upgrades, this energy is highly valued and that’s passed on to subscribers in the form of savings.

A 5.5-MW project in New Windsor, NY. This is the largest community solar project in New York’s Hudson Valley, producing enough power for about 750 homes. Photo by Green Street Power Partners.

“Too many people either don’t have access to renewable energy or don’t think renewables are a real option for them. This is how we change that,” said Mark Chambers, Director of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. “Community shared solar is one of the best ways to ensure that clean, affordable energy is available for everyone.”

In addition to allowing people to participate in solar projects, community solar is also helping states meet their climate and clean-energy goals. New York State, for example, has ambitious goals of meeting 50% of its energy needs from clean energy resources like solar and wind by 2030 while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% from 1990 levels. In order to hit this target, the state will have to add 13,700 megawatts of distributed solar within 12 years—about nine times the total solar installed to date, according to the Acadia Center’s EnergyVision 2030 report. This is a tall order, but community solar will play an important part in helping to reach this goal by increasing the number of people who can participate in solar projects.

Although community solar has only been around nationwide for about a decade and in most states it’s only been an option for a few years, it’s quickly growing in popularity. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), 1,294 MW of community solar has been installed in the U.S. through the third quarter of 2018, and nineteen states now have legislation to support community solar projects for their residents. The solar industry now also employs over 242,000 people nationwide, a number which is expected to increase in 2019, according to The Solar Foundation’s 2018 Solar Jobs Census report.

The clean energy transition is underway, but it will take all of us doing our part. With community solar, that is now easier than ever before.

Travis Tench is Director of Outreach at Powermarket, an NYC-based company that works with solar developers to establish and manage community solar programs. A list of current community solar projects is available at

March 18 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Alaska Mine Seen As A Threat To Pacific Northwest, Salmon” • Fishermen, business owners, Alaska Native organizations, and environmental groups have protested a proposed open-pit copper and gold mine at the headwaters a pristine salmon habitat for decades. Now the federal government is inching toward approving it. [The Spokesman-Review]

Stream in threatened salmon habitat (Associated Press)

  • “The Answer To The UK’s Renewable Energy Future Is Blowing In The Wind” • The UK’s offshore wind sector is booming. Auctions for new capacity held in 2017 resulted in deals at half the price of those signed just two years prior, while we are seeing a steady drumbeat of new records relating to clean power production. [City A.M.]
  • “New Alternative To Trump’s Wall Would Create Jobs, Renewable Energy, And Increase Border Security” • A group of scientists and engineers has proposed to several US members of Congress that the US and Mexico build a series of guarded solar, wind, natural gas, and desalination facilities along the entirety of the border, instead of a wall. [Big Think]
  • “Trump And Republicans Are Isolated On Climate Change” • President Trump and congressional Republicans are increasingly outliers in an otherwise emerging consensus across America that climate change is a problem and that the government should pass new laws to address it. The shift is accelerating, and Republicans are starting to break ranks. [Axios]
  • “Construction Of Texas’ Largest Solar Farm Gets Underway Near Midland” • Enel Green Power North America, Inc started construction of what will be the largest solar farm in Texas. The company’s 497-MW Roadrunner solar project is expected to generate around 1,200 GWh of electricity annually when it is fully operational. [El Paso Times]

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

Green Energy Times, March 2019

The March issue of Green Energy Times is now available as a pdf file for download.

The articles will be available as web posts soon.

March 17 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “SEC Charges Volkswagen And Martin Winterkorn With Massive Fraud” • The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Volkswagen and its former chief executive, Martin Winterkorn, with defrauding investors. The SEC says that Winterkorn was in on the whole diesel emissions cheating scheme as far back as 2007. [CleanTechnica]

Screenshot of a pre-scandal VW ad

  • “Many In Germany Still In A Diesel-Fueled Daze, In Denial About EV Transition” • The German auto industry has been through quite a scandal surrounding dieselgate. But that’s not stopping some from clinging to diesel. The Verge reports that diesel-energy enthusiasts are showing their frustration through weekly protests. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Wyoming Coal Producer Had $718 Million Loss In 2018” • A year-end financial report indicates that coal producer Cloud Peak Energy could be 30 days away from declaring bankruptcy following a $718 million loss and a failure to renegotiate with creditors. A media report says it cannot make interest payments on its debt. [Scottsbluff Star Herald]
  • “Tesla Model Y Will Be World’s Safest Crossover & Quickest Affordable Crossover Or SUV” • Tesla vehicles are designed and built to be the safest consumer vehicles on the planet. The Model 3 got the highest score ever from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And the Model Y is expected to be close to that. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Covanta Energy Criticizes New State Carbon Emissions Policy” • Long Island’s four waste-to-energy power plants may face millions of dollars in higher costs and potential shutdown if a new state policy to reduce carbon emissions is approved by regulators in the coming year, say officials at Covanta Energy, which owns three of the plants. [Newsday]

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

March 16 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “UN Resolution Pledges To Plastic Reduction By 2030” • One hundred and seventy countries have pledged to “significantly reduce” the use of plastics by 2030. The non-binding resolution was made over throwaway items like plastic bags. An initial proposal to phase out single-use plastic by 2025 was opposed by several nations including the US. [BBC]

Plastic litter on a beach (Getty images)

  • “Shell Rebukes Trump And Doubles Down On Electricity” • Royal Dutch Shell has made it clear this week that, at least publicly, it has no interest in doing business as usual. It called on the US Trump administration to tighten methane restrictions and announced it plans to be the largest power company in the world by the early 2030s. [CleanTechnica]
  • “How Arkansas Eliminated Third-Party Solar Barriers In A Red State” • A Republican-sponsored bill passed in Arkansas this week is seen as a major boost for solar power as it will allow third-party financing and increase project size limits in the state. The bill was passed in the Senate with a vote of 28-2 and in the House by 83-5. [Utility Dive]
  • “Exelon Joins Supporters Backing 100% Clean Energy In Illinois” • Exelon says it joined environmental organizations, community leaders, business groups, and lawmakers to support legislation that will move Illinois to 100% carbon-free power for customers in northern Illinois and meet US Climate Alliance commitments. [Windpower Engineering]
  • “Millstone Strikes Deal To Stay Open 10 More Years” • The Millstone Nuclear Power Station will stay open for another 10 years, a prospect that had been in some doubt recently even after it was selected as a winner of the final carbon-free energy competition by the Malloy administration. The announcement came just before a deadline. [CT Post]

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

March 15 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Global Climate Strikes Are Happening Now. Young Environmental Activists Skip School In A Call To Action.” • Tens of thousands of students in over 100 countries and 1,500 cities worldwide are walking out of class and piling into the streets, demanding that world leaders take action on a threat to their survival – climate change. [CNN]

Climate strike in Wellington, New Zealand

  • “An Open Letter Endorsing The Global School Strike For Climate” • More than 240 scientists have already signed a document supporting students around the world in their demand for bold action to make sure the world they grow up in is livable. This article contains the text of that open letter by climate scientists. [Scientific American]
  • “New Fuel Cell Material Can Run Efficiently In Reverse, Storing Energy” • Researchers have developed a fuel cell that can be run efficiently in both directions, either using hydrogen or methane to produce electricity or using electricity to produce these fuels. Their measurements suggest that they get 75% efficiency in a cycle. [Ars Technica]
  • “Musk Adds New Model Y To Electric Car Line-Up” • Tesla has launched its latest car, the Model Y, its second mass-market electric vehicle. The first release is a long-range version with a price tag of $47,000 (€41,500, £35,489). CEO Elon Musk said a standard-range model priced at $39,000 would be available in 2021. [BBC]
  • “Money Talks: US Clean Energy Jobs Outnumber Fossil Fuel Jobs 3-To-1” • The US economy still added 110,000 new jobs in the clean energy sector in 2018, including clean energy, clean vehicles, and energy efficiency. That brought US clean energy jobs to 3.26 million last year, almost three times the number of fossil fuel jobs. [CleanTechnica]

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

NY-GEO 2019 – $50 Discount Extended

Conference Program is 98% set

Only 1 Exhibit Booth Still for Sale

Join us for the fifth annual NY-GEO Renewable Heating & Cooling Conference at the Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady, New York on April 10th & 11th, 2019! There is currently a $50 discount on registrations good until March 22nd, when full prices take effect.

The NY-GEO annual conference is the best place to learn how to heat and cool without burning fossil fuels while meeting the movers and shakers of the industry as New York begins to embrace this incredible opportunity.

Timothy Cawley, President of Consolidated Edison, will be the Wednesday morning keynote at NY-GEO 2019. The PSC’s recent Energy Efficiency Order has brought utilities front and center in the transition to renewable heating and cooling. Mr. Cawley’s keynote will be important in helping to set the tone for the expansion of the relationship between the goethermal industry and New York’s utilities.

 PSC Chair John B. Rhodes will once again keynote the Day 1 Dinner this year. This will mark the 4th straight year the Chair of the PSC will address the conference, providing continuous updates on NY State Policy from the highest level !

March 14 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Kids Around The World Plan To Skip School This Friday To Demand Action On Climate Change” • Young people around the world are not interested in excuses when it comes to dealing with climate change. Many believe that their generation will be left to deal with catastrophic consequences, if nothing is done to stop global warming. [CNN]

Climate strike in Brussels (Eric Lalmand | AFP | Getty Images)

  • “Trump Administration Concedes Coal Is Collapsing On Its Watch As Renewables Soar” • Coal production will drop nearly 8% in 2019 and 4.5% in 2020, a new analysis from the Trump administration says. But over the same two years, total renewable power generation will rise 30%, according to Energy Information Administration projections. [ThinkProgress]
  • “The ‘Ecological Foundations Of Society’ Are In Peril, A Massive UN Report Warns” • Human activities are degrading the global environment fast enough to endanger the “ecological foundations of society” and human health, a landmark UN report says. By dealing with that, we can have less poverty and hunger while preserving the environment. [CNN]
  • “SunPower And Sierra Club To Partner On Residential Solar Incentive Program” • Grassroots environmental organization Sierra Club has partnered with one of America’s leading solar manufacturers, SunPower, on a new incentive and rebate program open to the organization’s more than 3.5 million members and supporters. [CleanTechnica]
  • “US Adds 10.6 GW Of Solar In 2018” • The United States added 10.6 GW of new solar PV capacity in 2018, down slightly on that installed in 2017. Nevertheless, there is an expectation that the market will rebound in the years ahead. These are the high-level findings from the US Solar Market Insight 2018 Year-in-Review Report. [CleanTechnica]

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