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September 16 Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Duke University Buys 101 MW Of Solar From Duke Energy” • Under the terms of a deal with Duke Energy, Duke University will purchase roughly 101 MW of solar capacity from three solar facilities in North Carolina. That power, combined with other efforts, is projected to result in a 69% reduction in the university’s carbon emissions by 2022. [pv magazine USA]

Duke University (Duke University image)

  • “What’s The Secret Sauce Behind New “Forever” Solar Panels?” • Violet Power, a startup based in Oregon, looks to build the first modern, integrated PV factory in the US, producing both solar components and finished solar panels instead of relying on imported components. The company said it will back its PVs with by a 50-year warranty. [CleanTechnica]
  • “The Climate Crisis Could Be Making Hurricane Sally Worse. Here’s How” • Scientists believe global warming is influencing hurricanes and making their impacts worse. And Hurricane Sally looks to be checking all their boxes. Hurricanes are intensifying faster, moving more slowly, and producing more rain than they had before climate change. [CNN]
  • “The Himalayan Invention Powered By Pine Needles” • In the western Himalayas, a local inventor discovered an unusual use for pine needles that is reviving the local economy, and the forest floor. Instead of being a fire hazzard and making the forest floor inhospitable to many species, the pine needles are providing jobs and generating electricity. [BBC]
  • “Sudan: Unlocking Renewable Energy To Expand Energy Access” • The UN Development Programme released a roadmap to unlock the potential of Sudan’s renewable energy and expand energy access. The roadmap was developed through a series of consultations organised by the UNDP, which were requested by the Republic of Sudan. [ESI Africa]

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

September 15 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Atlantic Remains Busy As Sally Gets Stronger” • There were five named storms in the Atlantic on Monday before Rene disapated. This is only the second time on record this has happened. Hurricane Sally strengthened Monday evening to a Category 2 hurricane as it makes its way towards a landfall late Tuesday or early Wednesday. [WLTX]

Five storms (National Hurricane Center)

  • “Where Does The Heat Go?” • Reporting in the journal Earth System Science Data, the group of over 30 researchers from world scientific institutions tracked and quantified global heat storage from 1960 to 2018 to answer the question, “Where does the heat go?” The new study represents the most accurate, state-of-the-art heat inventory study to date. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Climate Change Denier Hired For Top Position At NOAA” • David Legates, a University of Delaware professor of climatology who has rejected the scientific consensus that human activity is causing climate change, confirmed with NPR this weekend that he was hired as NOAA’s deputy assistant secretary of commerce for observation and prediction. [Yahoo News]
  • “Trump Baselessly Questions Climate Science During California Wildfire Briefing” • President Trump asserted that climate change is not playing a role in the catastrophic wildfires overtaking forests across the west, contradicting an official briefing him who pleaded with him to listen to the science. He said the main problem is forest management. [CNN]
  • “Renewable Energy Surges In EU Power Mix On Trajectory To Reach 60% By 2030” • Renewable energy’s share of the power generation mix across the EU surged by almost 10 percentage points to 40% during the first half of 2020, and it could reach as much as 60% by the end of the decade, according to European utility federation Eurelectric. [Recharge]

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

September 14 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Applying the Pareto Principle: Conversion of Commercial Transportation to Reduce Effects of Climate Change” • With a commitment to just 20% of a set of clean practices, it is possible to reduce a carbon footprint by 80%. That’s what’s known as the Pareto principle. If we apply that to commercial transportation, it could make a big difference. [CleanTechnica]

Port of Barcelona (Andy Mitchell, Wikimedia Commons)

  • “BP Says Oil Demand May Have Peaked Already” • BP Plc said the relentless growth of oil demand is over. This makes it the first supermajor to call the end of an era many thought would last for another decade or more. Oil consumption may never return to levels seen before Covid-19 crisis took hold, BP said in a report that breaks from orthodoxy. [Energy Voice]
  • “The Mosquito Apocalypse And The Aftermath Of Hurricane Laura” • The aftermath of Hurricane Laura continues for many in Louisiana. Now, they are dealing with a mosquito apocalypse, while Louisiana has been all but forgotten by the national media. Walt Handelsman, a cartoonist for The Advocate, a Baton Rouge paper, shared an image. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Investors That Manage $47 Trillion Demand World’s Biggest Polluters Back Plan For Net-Zero Emissions” • Climate Action 100+, which represents investors that manage assets totalling over $47 Trillion, has demanded the world’s biggest corporate polluters back strategies to reach net-zero emissions and, it promised to hold them to public account. [The Guardian]
  • “16-Meter Seawall Planned For Fukushima Daiichi” • The operator of the damaged nuclear power plant in Fukushima plans to build a taller seawall to help protect against future high seismic sea waves. The move comes in response to the projection made in April by a government panel on the scale of a potential future tsunami. [NHK World]

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

September 13 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Five Key Reasons To Stop The Mountain Valley Pipeline” • It’s time to stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline and its dangerous attempts to transport dirty fracked gas across Appalachia. This massive dirty energy project would jeopardize sensitive rivers and streams, drinking water sources, the climate, and people in local communities. [CleanTechnica]

Blue Ridge Mountains (Ken Thomas, Wikimedia Commons)

  • “Elon Musk Explains Why Tesla Solar Power Is So Cheap” • While researching the falling costs of solar power, I was struck to see that the average cost of a rooftop solar power system in the US is $2.19/watt, but Tesla is now offering rooftop solar power for $1.49/watt across the country. So, I asked Tesla CEO Elon Musk about it. He explained it. [CleanTechnica]
  • “28 People Have Been Killed And Dozens More Are Missing As Fires Ravage The West Coast” • Deadly wildfires have blanketed swaths of the states on the West Coast with unhealthy smoke, complicating the efforts to fight the blazes and find dozens of missing people, and compounding the misery of thousands who have been displaced. [CNN]
  • “Kites Of Renewable Energy Generate Wind Power By Flying Through The Air” • A German startup is bringing kites to green energy production by building small flying wind turbines that use a tenth of the material at half the cost of traditional options. The kite has small onboard wind turbines and finds where to fly by using smart algorithms. [Good News Network]
  • “Lease A 2020 Chevy Bolt From Costco For Just $154 A Month” • Savvy US shoppers can now lease a new 2020 Chevy Bolt for as little as $154 a month through COSTCO. There are terms and conditions, of course, but if you qualify you could be driving an electric car for less than what some people pay to fill their cars with gas each month. [CleanTechnica]

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

September 12 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Should Food’s Environmental Damage Be Included In Its Purchase Cost?” • What would food cost if its environmental damage were to be factored into its actual retail price? If grocers and manufacturers took into account the environmental impact of meat, milk, cheese, and other foods, they would actually cost much more than they do. [CleanTechnica]

Farmer and tractor tilling soil (Image from Climate.gov)

  • “Shanghai Electric Wind Power Orders Soar 505%” • Shanghai Electric reported orders for wind power equipment were up over 505% in the first six months of 2020, compared with the same period last year. The company signed a licensing agreement with Siemens Gamesa in 2018 to produce and sell the latter’s 8.0-167 DD turbine in China. [reNEWS]
  • “The Fires Raging Out West Are Unprecedented. They’re Also A Mere Preview Of What Climate Change Has In Store” • Over 3 million acres have burned in California. Three of the five largest fires in state history are burning now, as are huge swaths of Oregon and Washington. In most years, this would be when the fire season gets active. [CNN]
  • “Solar Power Was 60% of New US Power Capacity in June” • In June, 60.1% of all new power generating capacity added in the US was solar power plants. Another 37.5% was wind power plants. And 2.4% was hydropower. A quick look at the math on that shows that 100% of new power capacity came from renewable energy sources in June. [CleanTechnica]
  • “US Showers Tiny Wind Turbines With Big Love” • A recent development for the turbine cost-cutting is that NREL selected seven US wind firms for funding through its Competitiveness Improvement Project. The CIP funding will enable a Vermont company, Star Wind, to take steps toward certifying its uniquely styled 45 kW turbine. [CleanTechnica]

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

Vermont Everyone Eats Program Engages Restaurants and Feeds Vermonters Statewide

Westminster, Vermont. “Vermont Everyone Eats”, the program designed to provide nutritious meals to Vermonters impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, is going statewide.  Already underway in various forms in pockets around the state – from Brattleboro to Burlington, from Hardwick down to Chester, and communities in between – the program will soon be brought to scale and made available in a dozen or more regional “Hubs” thanks to a $5 million Coronavirus Relief Fund allocation through the Agency of Commerce & Community Development (ACCD)  to Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA), the statewide administrator and fiscal agent for this unique and innovative program.

Vermont Everyone Eats (VEE) has been made possible by a Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) grant to Vermont from the federal CARES Act passed by Congress and signed into law on March 27th.  The stated purpose of the grant for VEE, approved in July as part of the bill H.966 and called “Restaurants and Farmers Feeding the Hungry,” is “to provide assistance to Vermonters who are food insecure due to the COVID-19 public health emergency by engaging Vermont restaurants that have suffered economic harm due to [that] emergency to prepare meals using foodstuffs purchased from Vermont farms and food producers.” It was one of many initiatives supported by that funding, and state agencies and non-profit organizations throughout Vermont have been busy ramping up a wide range of programs and services to provide relief to thousands of residents whose lives were upended by the pandemic and to help them recover from its impact.

Continue reading Vermont Everyone Eats Program Engages Restaurants and Feeds Vermonters Statewide

From the Vermont Natural Resources Council

Fantastic news! Yesterday, the Vermont House passed the Vermont Global Warming Solutions Act (H.688) with 102 representatives taking a stand for real climate action in Vermont. The 102-45 vote margin means we expect there will be enough votes to override Governor Scott’s decision – if he chooses to veto this pollution-reducing, job-creating bill.

This is a strong step forward for long-overdue progress to combat the climate crisis, and it would not have been possible without all of you who reached out to your legislators to urge them to support it. Thank you so much for all that you have done to get us to this point!

The Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) puts in place a solid foundation to hold the state accountable to its commitment to reduce climate pollution and build resilience for the disruptive changes that we know are coming. It ensures that the state centers the needs of rural, low-income, and vulnerable Vermonters at the forefront of our planning decisions. And, as we begin to rebuild our economy from the ravages of the pandemic, it enables Vermont to take advantage of the significant job creating opportunities that climate action offers.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has proven, we ignore science at our peril. Yesterday’s progress is the near-final step forward on ensuring Vermont finally does our part to combat the climate crisis.

Find a full press release about this victory here.

Thank you again – and onward!

Sincerely,

Johanna Miller, Energy and Climate Program Director

Vermont Natural Resources Council

PS: If you haven’t already, check out this op-ed from Rep. Laura Sibilia, Vice Chair of the House Energy & Technology Committee, who outlines why this policy is so important to creating resilient rural communities in a changing climate. Also check out this op-ed from the Times Argus placing the Solutions Act in a global context.

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September 11 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Tens of thousands of fires are pushing the Amazon to a tipping point” • Fires continue to rage at high levels through the Amazon in Brazil for the second year in a row, raising concerns among scientists that the rainforest’s destruction could eventually reach a point of no return. And the government of Brazil is doing little to curb illegal fires. [CNN]

Fire in the Amazon (Christian Braga | Greenpeace)

  • “The Remarkable Floating Gardens Of Bangladesh” • Much of Bangladesh is prone to floods and waterlogging, and agriculture suffers from floods. In one part of Bangladesh, a traditional method of cultivation uses floating vegetable gardens. Now farmers are reviving this old practice to reduce the vulnerability they have from climate change. [BBC]
  • “BP Invests In Offshore Wind To Power 2 Million American Homes” • BP is moving into offshore windpower for the first time with a $1.1 billion investment in the US. BP plans to make major investments into bioenergy, hydrogen, and carbon capture and storage. It aims to raise $25 billion by selling oil and gas assets over the next five years. [CNN]
  • “Oregon Wildfires: Half A Million People Flee Dozens Of Infernos” • More than half a million people in Oregon are fleeing deadly wildfires that are raging across the Pacific Northwest, authorities say. Governor Kate Brown said at least four fatalities have been confirmed. More than 100 wildfires are currently scorching 12 western US states. [BBC]
  • “Could Exxon Be … Running Out Of Cash?!” • Could Exxon be running out of cash? An article by Yahoo! Finance reported that ExxonMobil Corp faces a $48 billion shortfall through next year. This year alone, Exxon needed to borrow $23 billion to pay its bills. Instead of expanding as planned, Exxon is now reviewing where it can cut expenses. [CleanTechnica]

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

Social and Environmental Justice

September 10, 2020

By James Hansen

We older people are leaving young people a tough row to hoe. So when they figure out something on their own, the best thing that we can do is support their efforts.

That’s the philosophy that Dan Miller and I had in writing the op-ed below (A Socially and Environmentally Just Way to Fight Climate Change), published yesterday in The Hill.

It is heartening to see young people thinking through a policy that is needed to solve the climate problem and at the same time benefits low and middle income people.

More than 350 student government presidents agreed on a bipartisan statement to follow the science – climate, energy, and economics – endorsing (Students for Carbon Dividends), as I described in a Communication in July.

Continue reading Social and Environmental Justice

A socially and environmentally just way to fight climate change

September 9, 2020

By James E. Hansen And Daniel H. Miller, Opinion Contributors

A majority of the public is in favor of action on climate change, and putting a fee or tax on the carbon content of fossil fuels is generally accepted — including among conservatives — as a key method for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, while the cost of climate solutions was a major issue preventing action in the past, now some progressives insist that climate action also meet the goals of social and environmental justice. Because of that, some progressive groups such as the Climate Justice Alliance have come out against “putting a price on carbon.”

These progressive groups oppose carbon pricing because they view it as a regressive tax that disproportionately affects lower income people who must spend a higher percentage of their income on heating, cooling and transportation. This was one of the reasons that the Sierra Club did not support a Washington State carbon pricing initiative.

While it is true that most carbon taxes are regressive, there is one carbon pricing policy that is actually anti-regressive and helps lower income people the most. It’s called Fee and Dividend and it is quite simple: A fee is collected from fossil fuel companies at the point where fossil fuels enter the domestic market — at the mine, well or port of entry. The fee starts small — about $15 per ton of carbon dioxide embedded in the fuel – and goes up $10 every year.

Continue reading A socially and environmentally just way to fight climate change