Get Email Updates!

Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

July 12 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • California greenhouse gas emissions fell below 1990 levels, meeting an early target years ahead of schedule and putting the state well on its way toward reaching long-term goals to fight climate change, officials said. The California Air Resources Board announced pollution levels were down 13% since their 2004 peak, while the economy grew 26%. [The Japan Times]

San Gabriel Mountains and Los Angeles (AP photo)

  • The General Synod of the Church of England voted almost unanimously in favor of divesting from companies that fail to align themselves with the Paris Climate Agreement. The Church will “assess companies’ progress by 2023” to evaluate performance on climate goals and divest from oil and gas companies deemed to be failing. [CleanTechnica]
  • UK tidal power company Tidal Lagoon Power struck back at the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and its recent decision not to support the 320-MW Swansea Tidal Lagoon project in Wales. TLP said the department’s statement on tidal lagoons as a whole was “designed to mislead” and was “a manifest distortion of the truth.” [CleanTechnica]
  • “World’s only carbon-negative country Bhutan is giving us renewable energy goals” • Bhutan’s Prime Minister had the goal of making his country carbon neutral to make sure Bhutan does not contribute to the releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Now he has added a new policy of maintaining a minimum of 60% forest coverage. [India Today]

Paro Taktsang, Bhutan

  • A federal appeals court backed Florida Power & Light and Duke Energy Florida in a class-action lawsuit that sought to recover $2 billion in money paid by utility customers under a controversial 2006 nuclear-power law. The law, allowing utilities to collect money for nuclear projects that might never be built, was argued to be unconstitutional. [Citrus County Chronicle]

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

July 11 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Investment in clean technologies is closely tracking last year and has already hit $138.2 billion, analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance shows. This is just 1% lower than for the first half of 2017, though the direction of investment is changing. Both windpower and smart technologies (including batteries) have seen increased investment. [Climate Action Programme]

Rooftop solar system on a School in Western Australia (Photo: Orderinchaos, Wikimedia Commons)

  • EVs could drive a 38% rise in US electricity demand, according to the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The NREL study indicates that rising electricity demand could lead to sustained absolute growth of 80,000 GWh per year over the next thirty years. This could add a growth of 1.6% per year over that period for utility companies. [Utility Dive]
  • According to data released by the German Association of Energy and Water Industries, wind, solar, hydropower, and biogas met 36.3% of Germany’s electricity needs between January and June 2018, while coal provided just 35.1%. This is the first time coal has fallen behind renewable power over such a long period of time in Germany. [EURACTIV]
  • The city council of Concord, New Hampshire, voted to establish a goal of transitioning the city to 100% renewable energy, the Sierra Club announced. The vote was unanimous. The resolution adopts a goal of using 100% renewable energy for electricity by 2030 and for all sectors including heat and transportation by 2050. [North American Windpower]
  • The Indian state of Maharashtra has banned plastic packaging along with such other plastic items as drinking straws and cutlery. The goal is for all of India to do the same by 2022. Maharashtra’s ban is more far-reaching than those of other places. Even colorful plastic garlands that often adorn Hindu temples will no longer be legal. [WBHM]

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

July 10 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “China and EU can lead on climate action” • When Donald Trump announced that the US would withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, he surrendered its influence. The upcoming EU-China summit in Beijing will be yet another moment when the world leaders can emphasise the successes in decarbonizing their respective economies. [Climate Home]

Mulan wind farm, China (Photo: Creative Commons)

  • The UK’s first independent infrastructure review poured cold water on plans to invest billions of pounds in a string of new nuclear power stations. It was in favor of cheaper wind and solar power. The National Infrastructure Commission warned ministers against deals for more than one follow-up to the Hinkley Point C project before 2025. [Telegraph.co.uk]
  • The 750-MW Rewa solar power project, one of the world’s largest single-site solar power plants, has started operations. Located in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, it is the first solar project in the country to supply power to an inter-state open access customer. It will supply electricity to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. [pv magazine India]
  • Since records began in the early 1900s, hurricanes have only reached a maximum strength of category five during six seasons: 1932, 1933, 1961, 2005, 2007, and 2017. But some scientists now warn that as the Earth gets warmer as a result of climate change, hurricanes will produce more wind and rain, and we may see some of Category Six. [Express.co.uk]
  • Dwindling populations of bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds could be the winners in the push to add more solar power to New York’s energy grid. A three-year project will identify the ecological and economic benefits of adding so-called pollinator friendly wildflowers and habitat on solar farms in Central New York and the Hudson Valley. [The Journal News]

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

Request for Proposal- Funds available for renewable energy installations in Windham County!

The Windham County Renewable Energy Program is looking for project proposals of renewable energy installations in Windham County. The projects require a minimum of 50% cash or in kind match. This program has funded 9 projects within Windham County (see below). Questions on the RFP must be submitted in writing by July 20th and will be compiled, answered and posted to this page.
 
Funds Available: $66,000 (minimum award: $10,000 maximum award: $66,000)
Proposal deadline: July 31 at 4 pm
Grant Timeline: effective immediately, projects completed by May 31, 2019.
Eligibility: Projects must be within Windham County.
 
For more information on project priorities, application requirements, and selection criteria, please see the fillable budget sheet please click here or contact Marion Major at mmajor@windhamregional.org.

July 9 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • A US judge ordered Chinese wind turbine maker Sinovel Wind Group to pay a $1.5 million fine after the company was convicted of stealing key technology from the Massachusetts-based AMSC. The US Justice Department said Sinovel has already paid AMSC, formerly known as American Superconductor Corp, $32.5 million. [The Epoch Times]

Wind turbines in China (STR | AFP | Getty Images)

  • Australian rooftop solar panel installations soared by almost half in the first six months of 2018 as businesses eclipse residential take-up for the first time. In the January-June half, rooftop PV installations reached 701.9 MW, up 48.1% from the same time a year earlier, according to Green Energy Markets, a consultancy. [The Sydney Morning Herald]
  • Western states are running into critical water issues because of climate change. Desalination plants can address the issue, but they are expensive and use a lot of power. So the US DOE is putting $21 million toward fourteen projects aimed at developing technology to cut the cost of using solar energy to power thermal desalination. [CleanTechnica]
  • City officials in St Paul, Minnesota, have set a goal to get the city’s carbon footprint to net zero by 2050. “The high-level goal is we want city buildings operating as carbon neutral by 2030, and all buildings by 2050,” said Russ Stark, a former president of the St Paul City Council who is now the city’s chief resilience officer. [TwinCities.com-Pioneer Press]
  • The solar industry has developed rapidly in recent years, with global capacity increasing from just 1.5 GW in 2005 to 98 GW in 2017. GTM Research’s recent report, Top 15 Global Utility Solar PV Developers, details the world’s largest solar PV developers. Together, they account for 20% of installed utility-scale solar capacity worldwide. [Power Technology]

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

July 8 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • In New Jersey, 25,000 homes – worth nearly $10 billion – will be at risk of chronic flooding by 2035. Those properties could flood 26 times or more annually, according to a recent study by the Union of Concerned Scientists, making New Jersey the state that will be hit the hardest in the contiguous US in terms of value of property at risk by 2035. [NJ.com]

Flooding in Sea Bright, New Jersey

  • “The roiled solar power market shows how Trump’s tariffs can disrupt an industry” • A 30% US tariff on imported solar panels should have caused prices here to jump. But when tariffs are unleashed, as businesses are learning, things don’t always go as expected. In the US, prices have not changed, but worldwide solar prices declined 35%. [Los Angeles Times]
  • China had 53% of the global new solar capacity in 2017, up from 45% in 2016. But its new solar policy reduces the amount of solar to be installed in China. Most forecasters project a downturn in PV production, but IHS Markit predicts that the global solar market will increase by around 11% to 105 GW in 2018 in spite of Chinese policy. [CleanTechnica]
  • The UK has already decided to ban the sale of new cars and vans with internal combustion engines by 2040 but some are calling for that ban to happen sooner to improve air quality near many roads and highways. The CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, told The Guardian he supports the calls to move up the effective date of the ban. [CleanTechnica]
  • Incoming EPA chief Andrew Wheeler said in a new interview that he believes humans have played a role in climate change, but the EPA will likely not change much under his leadership. He said that he will continue to pursue alternatives to the Clean Power Plan, which he has criticized for going “outside the four corners of the Clean Air Act.” [The Hill]

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

July 7 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Time is running out for the world’s forests, warns a report by the UN agriculture agency. It urges fostering an all-inclusive approach to benefit both trees and those who rely on them. Halting deforestation, managing sustainably, restoring degraded forests, and adding tree cover all need action to avoid damaging consequences. [UN News]

Forest in Germany (Bob Ionescu, Wikimedia Commons)

  • The Trump administration drafted a new proposal to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, but it is far less stringent than the climate plan formalized in 2015 by the Obama administration. The new proposal accepts, for now, the idea that CO2 is a pollutant, but it is likely to spur only small tweaks to the nation’s energy system. [The New York Times]
  • Last year had the lowest share of total US energy consumption by fossil fuels in more than 100 years, but they still have an 80% market share. The Energy Information Administration found petroleum, natural gas, and coal use have been decreasing for the last three years. Coal especially has taken hits, the others are both down. [Daily Energy Insider]
  • A coalition of seven Dutch political parties, with 113 out of 150 seats in parliament, unveiled a climate policy proposal that is breathtaking in its ambition. If it becomes law, it will codify the most stringent targets for greenhouse gas reductions of any country in the world, requiring the country to reduce carbon emissions by 95% by 2050. [Vox]
  • Swiss Re is one of the world’s leading providers of reinsurance, insurance, and other forms of insurance-based risk transfer. It announced it will not provide reinsurance to businesses with more than 30% exposure to thermal coal across all business lines. It is just the latest company to tighten the screws on the future of thermal coal. [CleanTechnica]

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

Gas Dominates New Capacity in May but Renewables Poised for Big Gains by 2021

SUN DAY CAMPAIGN: Brief News Update

 

NATURAL GAS DOMINATES NEW ELECTRICAL CAPACITY ADDITIONS

WITH NO NEW WIND REPORTED FOR THE MONTH OF MAY

 

PROPOSED RENEWABLES OVER THE NEXT THREE YEARS

TO NEARLY TRIPLE NET NEW CAPACITY

FROM COAL, OIL, GAS & NUCLEAR COMBINED

According to an analysis by the SUN DAY Campaign of data just released by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), natural gas accounted for 85.0% of new electrical generating capacity additions in May (2,087-MW) with only anemic growth by utility-scale solar (312-MW), biomass (50-MW), hydropower (4-MW), and geothermal (2-MW).

According to the latest issue of FERC’s monthly “Energy Infrastructure Update” (with data for the first five months of 2018), for the second month in a row, no new utility-scale wind capacity was reported. There were also no new capacity additions by coal, oil, or nuclear power.

Year-to-date, gas holds a strong lead (6,646-MW) accounting for 61.9% of all new generating capacity, followed by wind (18.2%) and solar (17.9%). Renewables, including hydropower, biomass, and geothermal, accounted for 37.1% of new capacity additions during the first five months of 2018. The balance (1.0%) came from waste heat, oil, nuclear, and “other” (e.g., fuel cells & storage).

Renewable sources now account for 20.66% of total available installed generating capacity – more than double that of nuclear power (9.12%) and approaching that of coal (23.04%). *

Moreover, over the next three years (i.e., through June 2021), FERC reports that — based on proposed generation additions and retirements — coal will experience a net reduction in capacity of 15,898-MW while gas will experience a net growth of 71,097-MW.

In comparison, net additions by renewables are forecast to nearly triple the net new capacity of coal, oil, gas, and nuclear combined (56,217-MW) and total 156,981-MW (wind: 90,981-MW; solar: 52,216-MW; hydropower: 12,014-MW, geothermal: 1,115-MW, and biomass: 655-MW). **

# # # # # # # # #

The latest issue of FERC’s 7-page “Energy Infrastructure Update” was released on July 5, 2018. It can be found at: https://www.ferc.gov/legal/staff-reports/2018/may-energy-infrastructure.pdf .  For the information cited in this update, see the tables entitled “New Generation In-Service (New Build and Expansion),” “Total Available Installed Generating Capacity,” and “Proposed Generation Additions and Retirements by June 2021.”

* Capacity is not the same as actual generation. Capacity factors for nuclear power and fossil fuels tend to be higher than those for most renewables although, for the first quarter of 2018, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that renewables accounted for more than 20% of the nation’s total electrical generation, roughly equal to their share of installed generating capacity.

** FERC only reports data for utility-scale facilities (i.e., those rated 1-MW or greater) and therefore its data does not reflect the capacity of distributed renewables, notably rooftop solar PV which accounts for approximately 30% of the nation’s installed solar capacity.

July 6 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Syrian seeds could save US wheat from climate menace” • A Kansas greenhouse has in it a buzzing horde of flies laying waste to 20,000 wheat seedlings. But as researchers watched, there was one species of growth that remained untouched. That species, grown from Syrian seeds, could end up saving US wheat from climate change. [The Guardian]

Syrian wheat harvest (Amer Almohibany | AFP | Getty Images)

  • A newly published study projects that a Trump administration proposal for propping up struggling coal and nuclear plants could lead to premature deaths from pollution. Resources for the Future found that for every 2 to 4.5 coal mining jobs the plan protects, there would be 1 human death due to emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. [The Hill]
  • EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned. Now, a former coal lobbyist will be the EPA’s new acting head. Andrew Wheeler was confirmed by the Senate in April to be the Deputy Administrator, though he was criticized by Democrats for his past ties to energy lobbyists. One client of the law firm where he worked was coal mining company Murray Energy. [CNN]
  • US tariffs on $34 billion (£25.7 billion) of Chinese goods have gone into effect, signalling the start of a trade war between the world’s two largest economies. China has retaliated by imposing a similar 25% tariff on 545 US products, also worth a total of $34 billion. Beijing accused the US of starting the “largest trade war in economic history.” [BBC]
  • The heads of ten local Massachusetts chambers of commerce sent a letter to House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Harriette Chandler, asking them to support an increase in the renewable portfolio standard as they pass bills during the final months of the two-year legislative session. They cited potential economic benefits. [Worcester Telegram]

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

July 5 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Swedish utilities and power generators have already installed so many wind turbines that the nation is on course to reach its 2030 renewable energy target this year. By December, Sweden will have 3,681 wind turbines installed, lobby group Swedish Wind Energy Association estimated. The turbines will supply enough power to meet the 2030 goal. [Business Day]

Wind turbines in Sweden (Supplied image)

  • A study published by the UK National Oceanographic Centre warned that rising sea levels could cost the world economy £10 trillion ($14 trillion) a year by 2100. It argued that failure to meet the UN’s 2° C warming limits could have catastrophic effects. The findings were published in the science journal Environmental Research Letters. [Express.co.uk]
  • The cost of burning coal is rising, while the cost of renewable forms of energy is going down, according to a recent study commissioned by the Sierra Club. An independent company, Energy Strategies, was contracted for the study. Its analysis showed that wind and solar power tend to be less expensive for consumers than coal. [Utah Public Radio]
  • The renewable energy sector created 47,000 new jobs in India in 2017, employing 432,000 people, according to a recent report by the inter-governmental International Renewable Energy Agency. In all, India had 20% of the more than 500,000 new green jobs created globally in 2017. There are now 721,000 green sector jobs in India. [Business Standard]
  • Global warming may eventually be twice what is projected by climate models, and sea levels may rise six metres or more even if the world meets the 2°C target, according to an international team of researchers from 17 countries. The findings are based on observational evidence from three warm periods over the past 3.5 million years. [UNSW Newsroom]

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