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July 16 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which had its 40th birthday on July 5, have been innovating and contributing to the Colorado and national economy through seven presidential administrations. The laboratory’s future is uncertain under President Trump, but workers are keeping up hopes. [The Denver Post]
NREL's Wind Technology Center (Helen H. Richardson | Denver Post)

NREL’s Wind Technology Center in Colorado (Helen H. Richardson | Denver Post)

  • The Energy Information Administration’s monthly Short Term Energy Outlook projects coal will fuel 31.3% of electricity in the US in 2017, compared with 31.1% for natural gas. Coal stood at 30.4% last year, and natural gas was at 33.8%. The coal industry takes the change, small as it is, as welcome news. [Huntington Herald Dispatch]
  • Governments may be seriously underestimating the risks of crop disasters. Research by UK Met Office scientists used advanced climate modelling to show that extreme weather events could devastate food production if they occurred in several key areas at the same time. Such an outcome could trigger widespread famine. [The Guardian]
  • So far, more than 13,000 subscribers have signed up for the 2017 green power program initiated by Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs in 2017, topping the goal of 10,000 for the year, the ministry said. Program subscribers receive a certain amount of green power at a premium price of NT$1.06/kWh (3.5¢/kWh). [Focus Taiwan News Channel]
  • “Are Deeper Cuts OPEC’s Only Option?” • Despite the November, 2016 Vienna crude oil agreement among OPEC and certain non-OPEC producers and its subsequent May 2017 extension, the global crude oil market is still burdened with excess supply and may be far from re-balancing. Observers worry about another price crash. [OilPrice.com]

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

July 15 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Record low renewable energy prices in Chile are here to stay and will likely push power prices even lower, Chile’s energy minister told Reuters, a development that would pressure the nation’s already squeezed diesel and natural gas industries. Chile, with ample solar and wind resources, has become a poster child for renewable energy. [ETEnergyworld.com]
Wind turbines on a beach

Wind turbines on a beach

  • Republicans are not all united against renewable energy. The House of Representatives voted down an amendment to block a requirement in the pending National Defense Authorization Act for the armed services to study the impact of climate change on the military. Those who voted against the measure included 43 Republicans. [CleanTechnica]
  • National Grid is holding “community meetings” to gather input and discuss details of its proposed Granite State Power Link project, which would bring hydropower from Canada through New Hampshire to southern New England. The Granite State Power Link project would also cross northeastern Vermont. [New Hampshire Public Radio]
  • A draft version of the DOE’s highly anticipated grid study states that wind and solar do not represent a serious threat to electric grid reliability, running counter to comments made by Energy Secretary Rick Perry earlier this year. Perry ordered the grid study to examine negative effects of Obama-era clean energy incentives. [Greentech Media]
  • “Bloomberg: Tesla Set To Win” • It looks like bad news for Big Oil as electric cars gained traction this past week. Bloomberg reports, “France plans to end the sale of gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles by 2040” and, “Volvo Car Group became the first major manufacturer to say it will start phasing out vehicles powered solely by fossil fuels.” [CleanTechnica]

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

Thinking of snow

Energy Indep VT

Ok, so it’s the middle of July. Skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing are probably the furthest things from a lot of people’s minds. But for those who cherish Vermont’s snowy winters and everything they bring with them, global warming and the failure of our national leaders to grapple with this crisis is alarming no matter what time of year it is.

In the past few months, Energy Independent Vermont has been thrilled to welcome several winter sports organizations into our campaign to put a price on carbon pollution in Vermont. One of these organizations, Snowriders International, is compiling a petition of Vermont winter enthusiasts who support carbon pollution pricing to deliver to Governor Phil Scott.

Can you add your name to the Snowriders International petition to Gov. Scott asking him to support a price on carbon pollution in Vermont?

SIGN THE PETITION

Maintaining Vermont’s winters is critical to maintaining our way of life. And this goes beyond those who simply enjoy skiing and snowboarding. So many Vermonters rely on snowy winters for their livelihood: restaurant workers, hotel employees, local small businesses–the list goes on and on.

And while Vermont’s action alone cannot save the winters we know and love, we cannot afford to sit by and do nothing: Not while the president and Congress refuse to act on climate and not while we have a tool that we know will reduce Vermont’s carbon emissions, cut taxes, help Vermonters transition to clean energy and strengthen our local economy.

Despite his recent commitments to make Vermont a climate action leader, Gov. Scott has consistently rebuffed and mischaracterized any pollution pricing proposals offered to him. It’s essential that we continue to remind him this is an idea that has the broad support of Vermonters. He must hear this, and he must hear it from all corners.

So please take just a few seconds to add your name to the Snowriders International petition to Gov. Scott asking him to support pollution pricing.

July 14 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Japan’s Renewable-Energy Revolution” • A set of images from a series of flights over the Tokyo and Kobe/Osaka regions of Japan show a range of PV projects on former golf courses, quarries, dams, man-made islands, and floating projects on ponds and reservoirs. They add a new look on energy and climate change. [Bloomberg]
Solar farm on the face of a dam (Photo: Jamey Stillings)

Solar farm on the face of a dam in Japan (Photo: Jamey Stillings)

  • Waste water from fracking has contaminated a watershed in Pennsylvania with organic chemicals, salts, radium, and alkaline earth metals. Some pollutants are associated with endocrine system changes and others with carcinogens. Fracking produces half of the oil and two-thirds of the natural gas extracted in the US. [CleanTechnica]
  • Indian Railways launched the first solar-powered DEMU (diesel electrical multiple unit) train from the Safdarjung railway station in Delhi. The train will run between railway stations in Delhi and Haryana. Each of six coaches has sixteen 300-W solar panels. The train also has battery backup power, on which it can run for at least 72 hours. [Economic Times]
  • The growth of electric vehicles in the UK has the potential to increase peak electricity demand by 3.5 GW by 2030 and 18 GW by 2050, National Grid says in its latest Future Energy Scenarios analysis. Without smart charging technology the 2030 figure could be as high as 8 GW. Peak UK demand today is around 60 GW. [Platts]
  • The University of Bridgeport successfully installed a megawatt-class microgrid. The 1.4-MW fuel cell power plant can make the university grid independent. The microgrid was tested by disconnecting the University from the electric grid with the fuel cell power plant powering the school’s critical infrastructure. [Energy Manager Today]

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

Utility programs can help low-income customers keep the lights on, but some do better than others

aceee-logo

By Ariel Drehobl, Research Analyst, Local Policy
As households ramp up air conditioners to stay cool this summer, many will find themselves with higher energy bills. Paying these bills will be easier for some than for others. Low-income households, who spend on average three times more of their income on energy bills than other households, will undoubtedly find it more difficult to adjust to higher bills in both the summer and winter months.
Many households can address high energy burdens by taking advantage of energy efficiency programs run by their utilities. These programs provide multiple benefits beyond energy and bill savings, such as fewer shut offs, healthier homes, less outdoor pollution, and more local jobs.
To better understand the scope and reach of low-income energy efficiency programs, ACEEE completed a new baseline assessment of the electric and natural gas programs that specifically target low-income households in the largest US cities. The assessment complements previous ACEEE research that explored best practice elements for low-income utility programs. This paper examines total investments in these programs, energy savings impacts, customer participation, and utilization of best practices for more than 70 utilities low-income programs. The paper also includes data tables that chronicle this information for each utility…
To continue reading the blog post, visit: http://aceee.org/blog/2017/07/utility-programs-can-help-low-income 

July 13 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Many Nebraska landowners are opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline slashing through their land. So they’re fighting the proposed oil pipeline with clean, renewable energy. Activists launched the Solar XL campaign to install solar panels on land that Nebraska locals refuse to sell – directly in the path of the pipeline. [Inhabitat]
Nebraska landowner

Nebraska landowner

  • For the past several years, scientists have been trying to get people to wake up to the dangers that lie ahead in rising seas due to climate change. A study from the Union of Concerned Scientists includes a list naming hundreds of US cities, large and small, that may not make it through the next 20, 50 or 80 years due to sea level rise. [CNN]
  • The largest solar park in the world is being grid-synchronized at Kurnool in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is the first ever solar park to reach 1 GW of grid-tied capacity. The Andhra Pradesh Solar Power Corporation noted on its website that the final 20 MW of the park is scheduled for commissioning by 13 July. [PV-Tech]
  • “America’s Leadership on Climate Is Still Strong” • Though President Trump is turning his back on the 2015 Paris climate agreement and putting fossil fuels first, others are still standing strong. More than 2,100 states, cities, universities, businesses, and investors have pledged to take action on climate change. [Natural Resources Defense Council]
  • Following Trump announced he would pull the US from the Paris climate agreement, Lyft announced that to drive climate action and EV use forward, its shared platform will provide at least 1 billion rides per year using electric autonomous vehicles by 2025. Lyft’s autonomous vehicles will be powered by 100% renewable energy. [EcoWatch]

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

Community Development Finance Authority Small Business Energy Audit Fund Grants

Low-Cost Energy Audits for Small Businesses Now Available  
Your small business may be eligible for a low-cost energy audit to help you save money and improve energy efficiency. The Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA) will cover up to 75% of audit costs for eligible businesses. Applications are now being accepted. To learn more, contact Joe Harrison, Director of Clean Energy Finance at CDFA (603-717-9123 / jharrison@nhcdfa.org).

NH Solar Shares has Launched!

NH Solar Shares is a partnership between the Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative and the NH Electric Cooperative to install community solar systems to benefit low-income families. Each array will be inspired by a task force of local volunteers and be built using funds from grants, crowd funding, individual donors, fundraisers and the state’s solar incentive.

NH Solar Shares graphic

The first array, pictured above, will be built in Plymouth, NH. Learn more here.

“We Are Still In”: Cities & Towns Pledge to Support Climate Policy & Renewable Energy

Like many other cities and towns across the country, the City of Keene plans to pass the “We Are Still In” Resolution, a move to show support for global climate policy and carbon reductions. Just last month, over 250 mayors from the U.S. Conference of Mayors passed a resolution to target 100% renewable energy by 2035. Read more here.

Is your city/town interested in passing a resolution? Visit here for resources on drafting language and here for a draft from NH’s town of Plainfield.

Pessamit Innu First Nation to Share Truth of Hydro Quebec and Northern Pass in NH: Two Events

Event #1:  The Pessamit Innu First Nation, a native community located on the north shore of the St Lawrence River in Quebec, Canada, will present the impacts of Hydro Quebec and Northern Pass at the Nashua Public Library on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at 7p.m.

WHAT: Northern Pass From the Source – Impacts in Quebec from the Pessamit Innu First Nation

WHERE: Nashua Public Library 2 Court Street, Nashua

DATE: Wednesday, July 19, 2017

TIME: 7 p.m. doors 6:30

RSVP: 603-224-8222, NHSC603@gmail.com https://sierra.secure.force.com/events/details?formcampaignid=7010Z000001ulTVQAY

 

Event #2:  Pessamit Innu First Nation Meet & Greet After Testifying at the NH Site Evaluation Com

The Pessamit Innu First Nation, a native community located on the north shore of the St Lawrence River in Quebec, Canada, will be available to meet other opposition leaders to the international transmission proposal called Northern Pass on Thursday, July 20, 2017 at 12:30 to 2 p.m. at the offices of The Nature Conservancy.

WHAT: Northern Pass Opposition Meet and Greet with the Pessamit Innu First Nation

WHERE: 22 Bridge Street, Concord NH – the Ralph Pill Building

DATE: Thursday, July 20, 2017

TIME: 12:30 p.m. until 2 p.m.

RSVP: 603-224-8222, NHSC603@gmail.com  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdMtEqVrv9hy6O9ylH0Lij1u_thV4U7ISWCZrn-W4ilSYmZGw/viewform

 

Chief Rene Simon, with tribal council members and elders, will tell the history of the nomadic hunting and fishing community. The connection between the land, the rivers, wildlife, and the seasons to their culture has been upended by the forced migration of the Pessamit Innu for the river flooding of the Quebec government planned, owned and operated damming system called Hydro Quebec.

Hydro Quebec has been damming rivers in the province for over 50 years with La Romaine, the newest construction, expected to become operational in 2020 and more in the future. The strategic plan of Hydro Quebec sites exportation of electricity to the United States as a priority, including the Northern Pass international transmission project that would traverse New Hampshire. Learn more about the highly controversial proposal, Northern Pass, and it’s destruction of the rivers, wildlife and ultimately the Pessamit Innu First Nation. Free and open to the public.