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Offshore Oil Well Leaked for Months, Public Kept in Dark for a Year

THIS COULD HAPPEN ANYWHERE THAT THERE IS OFFSHORE OIL

Australia’s oil regulator is refusing to disclose the location and the company behind a 10,500 liter leak of petroleum into the ocean last year.

An Australian offshore oil and gas well leaked continuously into surrounding waters for two months in 2016 but information about the discharge was only released this week in the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority’s (NOPSEMA) annual offshore performance report.

According to The Guardian, the report provided scant details about the spill, which was only found after a routine inspection. After the publication asked about the spill, NOPSEMA divulged that the leak went on for two months at a rate of about 175 liters a day.

A NOPSEMA spokesman explained that the leak was caused by seal degradation but refused to reveal the exact location of the spill, just that it happened in the North West Shelf—an extensive oil and gas region off the coast of Western Australia.

Click here to read the entire article.

 


 

Public invited to tour Kingdom Community Wind this summer

Tours by Green Mountain Power Back for Fifth Season

Green Mountain Power is again offering its popular free public tours of the 21-turbine Kingdom Community Wind project in Lowell, Vermont, during June, July and August. Registration is open for Vermonters and out-of-state visitors to experience a working wind farm and learn how GMP is harnessing the power of wind.
 
“The best way to understand the benefits of wind power is to see it, and we love how excited people are when they experience the turbines up close,” said Dorothy Schnure, a spokesperson at GMP. “KCW has helped us to lower rates and it continues to be a successful, cost-effective project.” 
 
Tours of the GMP wind project in Lowell have become a popular Vermont activity during the summer. More than 1,200 people have visited the site every summer since tours began in 2013, coming from all over the state, as well from across the country and overseas. Visitors to the plant frequently enjoy local restaurants and shops, making for an enjoyable outing and helping the local economy.
 
Many of the visitors responded to a survey with comments like: “The towers are a great addition to the area and are a much needed step in the direction of getting away from fossil fuels.,” “Liked the openness of the discussions among the GMP people and the visitors.,” “I particularly like KCW’s attention to environmental issues.,” “I liked the care and attention given to the local communities prior to constructing KCW, as well as the continuing initiative to maintain the landscape and ecosystem on and surrounding the ridge line.”
 
Each tour lasts approximately 90 minutes, and includes a visit to two of the turbines.  The tours are free, but advance registration is required. 
 
To register for a tour, please sign up on the Green Mountain Power website at www.greenmountainpower.com/kingdom-community-wind-tours  or call Gert Tetreault at 802-744-6664.
 
2017 tour dates:
All tours are at 10 am. School groups are welcome and can be arranged by calling 802-655-8418.
Thursday, June 1 
Wednesday, June 7 
Saturday, June 24 
Wednesday, July 5
Wednesday July 12
Saturday, July 22
Wednesday, August 2
Wednesday, August 23
Wednesday, August 30
 

May 22 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • The EPA recognized the University of California as a leader in renewable energy, UC officials announced. The UC ranked sixth among all participants in the Green Power Partnership for its on-site generation of renewable energy. The EPA commended the University for using more than 112 million kWh of green power annually. [Daily Bruin]
UC Davis (Photo: Tony Webster via Flickr, Creative Commons)

UC Davis (Photo: Tony Webster via Flickr, Creative Commons)

  • Swiss voters have backed the government’s plan to provide billions of dollars in subsidies for renewable energy, ban new nuclear plants and help bail out struggling utilities in a binding referendum. Provisional final figures showed support at 58.2% under the Swiss system of direct democracy, which gives voters final say on major policy issues. [Newshub]
  • Scottish Power won the right to build two offshore wind farms in the US, which it says could eventually power 400,000 homes. The two sites combined are more than double the size of the energy giant’s operations in the UK. One farm, off the coast of Massachusetts, is expected to be complete in 2022 and the other, off North Carolina, in 2025. [BBC]
  • With reduced federal action, local officials from throughout Colorado talked with climate experts in Aspen about whether local efforts to curb greenhouse-gas emissions will be enough to save a warming planet. An example of the issues importance is the state’s wildfires, which increased by a factor of ten over the past 50 years. [Vail Daily News]
  • America’s forests are undertaking a slow migration. Scientists writing in the journal Science Advances looked at tree population surveys starting in the 1980s. What they found is that the trees in eastern America are moving north and west. Conifer trees like pines are moving north, and deciduous trees like maples and elms are moving west. [Newsy]

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

May 21 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • The Upper Afan Valley near Swansea is already home to the biggest windfarm in England and Wales, but in July work will begin there on one of the UK’s largest battery storage schemes. Co-locating the plant with the windfarm reduced needs for power lines, so it was about £5 million cheaper than building it on a standalone site. [The Guardian]
Pen y Cymoedd wind project near Swansea (Photo: Vattenfall)

Pen y Cymoedd wind project near Swansea, Wales (Photo: Vattenfall)

  • A study by scientists at the NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, predicts the warming of the Gulf of Maine will cause a dramatic contraction of suitably cool habitat for a range of key commercial fish species there. The species negatively affected include cod, haddock, redfish, plaice and pollock. [Press Herald]
  • Mercedes-Benz Energy and Vivint Solar will partner in the US to introduce a joint offering to consumers, according to a press release. Customers in the US will be able to purchase solar-plus-storage systems combining Vivint Solar’s solar energy expertise with the new Mercedes-Benz customizable home energy storage systems. [CleanTechnica]
  • Sugar River Power, a small power producer, has restored a hydro dam in Claremont, New Hampshire. The company bought the dam in January. When the twin turbines of the hydroelectric plan operate at full capacity, they are capable of generating 1.35 MW of power, enough to power 1,300 homes, one of the company’s owners said. [Valley News]
  • EV sales in California during the first quarter of 2017 were up 91% compared to the same quarter a year ago. Industry observers give much of the credit to the Chevy Bolt, the first all-electric car from General Motors that went on sale in the Golden State last December. A total of 2,735 Californians opted for the Bolt in the first quarter of the year. [CleanTechnica]

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

May 20 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Star Renewable Energy has been awarded funding to develop the UK’s first water source heat pump or medium temperature district heating to service existing buildings. The 2.5-MW water source heat pump on the Clyde at the Gorbals will be deployed by September 2018 and will be Britain’s largest inner city 80° C heat pump. [Energy Live News]
River Clyde in Glasgow (Image: Thinkstock)

The River Clyde in Glasgow will be used as a heat source (Image: Thinkstock)

  • President Donald Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget request would slash EPA spending by almost a third, according to a copy of the proposal obtained by CNN. The budget blueprint, which the White House plans to submit to Congress next week, would cut the EPA’s total budget by more than 30% and its operational budget by 35% from current levels. [CNN]
  • “Offshore wind won a German power auction without needing any subsidies” • The price of offshore wind power has been dropping so quickly that it threatens to upend the electricity industry around the world. Choosing free zero-pollution power over costly dirty power isn’t a tough choice for utilities or most countries. [ThinkProgress]
    Dutch offshore wind farm (Credit: AP | Peter Dejong, File)
  • The Global Seed Vault, which was built under a deep mountain in Arctic Svalbard to secure a million packets of the world’s most precious seeds from all natural and man-made calamities, has been flooded by melting permafrost. The seeds are safe, for the time being, but scientists are alarmed. No one envisioned that this would happen. [International Business Times UK]
  • Pacific Gas and Electric Co announced the cost to participate in its 100% solar energy program has dropped by 30% for residential customers and by nearly 50% for some business customers. The cost reduction is thanks in part to PG&E’s continued investment in clean energy infrastructure throughout its service area. [Electric Light & Power]

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

May 19 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Researchers in Antarctica have discovered rapidly growing banks of mosses on the ice continent’s northern peninsula, providing striking evidence of climate change in the coldest and most remote parts of the planet. Because of the warming of the last 50 years, they found two species of mosses growing at an accelerated pace. [ScienceAlert]
Green Antarctica (Photo: Matt Amesbury)

A green Antarctica – this is not a good sign. (Photo: Matt Amesbury)

  • One of the world’s most beloved toy makers, the LEGO Group, announced that it had reached its 100% renewable energy goal three years ahead of schedule thanks to the completion and commissioning of the 258-MW Burbo Bank Extension Offshore Wind Farm. LEGO has not stopped, as it still has solar panels going up in China. [CleanTechnica]
  • A planned coal-fired 4,000-MW ultra-mega power project plant in India has been scrapped because the government wants to focus on green energy. Gujarati state officials had planned it, but the government decided the state was already sufficiently supplied with energy and focusing on renewables was a better longer term strategy. [malaysiandigest.com]
  • In a survey of 1,000 US adults, 54% believe “government regulations are necessary to encourage businesses and consumers to rely more on renewable energy sources.” Just 38% say “the private marketplace will ensure that businesses and consumers rely more on renewable energy sources, even without government regulations.” [Environment News Service]
  • Ameren Corp has completed an advanced utility-scale microgrid at Ameren’s Technology Applications Center, adjacent to the University of Illinois campus in Champaign, Illinois. The $5 million facility includes solar, wind, and natural gas generating capacity with battery storage, and can operate at between 4 kV and 34.5 kV. [Electric Light & Power]

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

‘Climate of Hope’ on Daily Show

Reposted from Carol Pope’s Blog

Climate of Hope

Dear friend:

If, like me, 11PM programs are not your daily bread, you may have missed my conversation along with Mike Bloomberg on the Daily Show last night, discussing our book, Climate of Hope. This will be — I’m pretty sure — my highest ratings ever, so I’m sharing a link so if you’re curious if Mike ended up owing Trevor a $billion dollars — or not — you can check it out.

http://www.cc.com/episodes/r2l597/the-daily-show-with-trevor-noah-may-3–2017—michael-bloomberg–carl-pope–-sanaa-lathan-season-22-ep-2210

More seriously, on the day when President Trump may have tilted towards abandoning the best, most terrific international agreement the US ever negotiated — the bottom up Paris Climate Accord — it was an honor to be able to explain why, whatever Trump says, the US is going to keep its honor and its commitment — and get richer and healthier doing so.

Who knew Climate Change could be funny?

How the Power Grid Works

Illustration from ChooseTexasPower.org.

 

How the Power Grid Works

 

 

May 18 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “The first GOP member of Congress to say ‘impeachment’ after Trump’s latest scandal is a climate hawk.” • Representative Carlos Curbelo’s district in low-lying South Florida is especially vulnerable to rising seas and climate change. He has bucked his party to become one of the most vocal proponents for climate action in Congress. [Grist]
The Everglades National Park is in Carlos Curbelo’s district. (National Park Service photo, Wikimedia Commons)

The Everglades National Park is in Carlos Curbelo’s district. (National Park Service photo, Wikimedia Commons)

  • Among thousands of delegates meeting in Bonn to develop the rule book for the Paris deal, the Climate Vulnerable Forum, representing 48 countries, said the deal was crucial to their survival. In a swipe at President Donald Trump’s oft-used phrase, they said that “no country would be great again” without swift action. [BBC]
  • The Trump administration is weighing huge cuts to the budget of the DOE’s renewable energy and energy efficiency program. It has a proposal to slash it by 70%, from $2,073 million in 2017 to a proposed $636 million for 2018. That’s according to a draft 2018 budget proposal obtained by the news and information company Axios. [Common Dreams]
  • Students, ratepayers, “raging grannies,” developers, politicians, and activists packed a public meeting hall to give state regulators and executives from Portland General Electric an earful, telling them to stay away from natural gas. There was no way their strident message for Oregon’s three public utility commissioners could be misinterpreted. [OregonLive.com]
  • On Sunday, Swiss voters will decide the fate of a law proposing billions of dollars in subsidies for renewable energy, a ban on new nuclear plants, and a partial utilities bailout. Polling so far suggests the law will be approved in the binding referendum. A survey this month for state broadcaster SRG showed 56% of voters back the law. [Reuters]

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

New York’s New Electric Vehicle Rebate

Last year, the NY state legislature took a major step forward by approving New York’s first consumer electric vehicle rebate program in the 2016-17 budget!

The New York rebate offers a discount of $500 – $2,000 for the sale or lease of an electric vehicle. Known as the Drive Clean rebate, the amount is determined primarily by the car’s electric range. This discount is in addition to the federal tax credit of up to $7,500. Since more than half of the models now on the market have a base price of under $35,000 to begin with, this rebate means that New Yorkers can take $5,000 – $10,000 off the retail price of most electric cars.

Transportation currently accounts for more greenhouse gas emissions, about 35 percent, than any other sector in New York. In order to slash air pollution and meet the state’s climate goals, a large-scale transition away from gas-guzzlers toward clean electric vehicles is needed.

In New York, EVs are about 70 percent lower in emissions than similarly sized conventional cars, even factoring in emissions from electricity sources. Currently, 25 percent of New York’s electricity comes from renewable sources, and as New York continues to replace its coal power plants with renewable energy, EVs will rapidly become even cleaner.

Encouraging the transition to electric vehicles is an all-around win for our climate, our public health, and our economy.