Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

The June-July Edition of Green Energy Times Has Gone to Press

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You can download the June-July 2024 edition of Green Energy Times by clicking HERE.

Posts of individual articles will come in due course.

June 24 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Sheep And Solar: A ‘Beautiful Symbiotic Relationship’” • It’s quite appealing to think that agrivoltaics could meet 20% of US electric generation with less than 1% our farmland. Of course, vegetation must be managed to maintain electricity production. This is increasingly done with sheep. Combining sheep and solar has multiple benefits for farmers. [CleanTechnica]

Sheep and solar panels (Oregon State University, CC BY-SA 2.0)

  • “Vattenfall Dements Onshore Foundations Deal” • Vattenfall and Cemvision entered an agreement for near-zero emission cement for turbine bases. The new cement could reduce CO₂ emissions by 95% compared to traditional cement and can be used in power distribution and prefabricated concrete elements as well as hardware foundations. [reNews]
  • “Australian Capacity Tender Flooded By 40 GW Of Renewable Energy Projects” • Federal Energy Minister Chris Bowen said that over 40 GW of renewable energy projects were registered in the first national Capacity Investment Scheme tender, which aims to increase dispatchable renewable capacity for Australia’s clean energy transition. [pv magazine International]
  • “Bill Nye Says Record-Breaking Extreme Heat ‘A Taste Of The Normal Of The Future’” • After a week of record-breaking heat in the US, science educator Bill Nye told “This Week” co-anchor Martha Raddatz that the extreme weather is “a taste of the new normal.” Heat and floods have been amplified by climate change caused by human activity. [ABC News]
  • “Senate In Massachusetts Passes Bill Curtailing Use Of Plastics Including Bags, Straws” • The state Senate in Massachusetts has passed a wide-ranging bill curtailing the use of plastics, including carry-out plastic bags at retailers. A growing number of states are addressing concerns about plastics that harm wildlife, pollute waterways, and clog landfills. [ABC News]

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

June 23 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Iceland’s Ice Is Melting So Fast It’s Boosting Hydropower” • Iceland gets more than 70% of its electricity from hydropower fed by glacial meltwaters. So as the Earth heats up and glaciers melt faster, hydroelectric plants have more water to spin turbines and power the grid. It is a silver lining for a country mourning the decline of its glaciers. [Scientific American]

Reykjavík (Tom Podmore, Unsplash)

  • “Ukraine Rushes For Solar Panels As Russia Hits Its Power Grid” • Waves of devastating Russian drone and missile attacks again crippled Ukrainian power plants, causing blackouts and forcing Ukrainians to plan for the worst. President Volodymyr Zelensky said that all hospitals and schools in Ukraine must be equipped with solar panels “as soon as possible.” [Kyiv Post]
  • “Conservationists Tout Indiana Old Mines, Brownfields To Develop Renewable Energy” • In a report called “Mine the Sun,” The Nature Conservancy says the quickest way for Indiana to gain energy independence is to utilize unused sites, such as abandoned mines, brownfields, or dumpsites, to develop solar and wind farms. [95.3 MNC]
  • “Energy Giant Doubles Order From Qcells’ Georgia Solar Panel Plant ” • A little more than a year ago, a Virginia energy company announced plans to buy millions of Georgia-built solar panels in the largest “community solar” purchase in US history. This week, Summit Ridge Energy said it plans to nearly double that huge commitment. [AJC.com]
  • “Petrol Sales In Norway Drop 8% Year Over Year” • Norway has been the European leader in terms of EV market share, with even 90%+ of sales being plugin sales in recent years. The majority of vehicles on its roads, though, are still fossil-powered. It takes time for cars to be retired. Now we see that in Norway, sales of petrol fell 8% in May, YOY. [CleanTechnica]

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

June 22 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Coal Capacity Factor Drops from 55% to 35% in 10 Years in PJM” • Use of the coal fleet in PJM, the largest US wholesale electricity market, has fallen over the last decade, driven largely by higher relative fuel costs. Since 2013, the PJM operators have retired about 34 GW of coal capacity and switched about 2 GW of coal capacity to other sources. [CleanTechnica]

PJM region, based on EIA data

  • “Sunrise Wind Receives Final Approval From US Department of the Interior” • Sunrise Wind, New York’s largest offshore wind project, had its construction and operations plan approved by the US Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. It is the final permit needed from BOEM to move the project forward. [Renewable Energy Magazine]
  • “Driving On Sunshine: Car Cover Charges EVs With Solar Power” • Solar company GoSun has rolled out a foldable car cover that harnesses the power of the sun to add miles of range for EV drivers. The solar cover, which can charge EVs with electricity generated by the sun, is said to be able to provide about 30 miles of energy. [NBC Los Angeles]
  • “Philippines Emerges As Southeast Asia Renewable Power Pacesetter” • The Philippines has leapfrogged its Southeast Asian neighbors to become a regional leader in clean-power projects as fewer investment restrictions and green-minded policies attract investment. Changes have helped secure a pipeline of 99 GW of wind and solar developments. [The Japan Times]
  • “New York Approves Plan To Add Six Gigawatts Of Energy Storage By 2030” • Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the New York State Public Service Commission has approved a new framework for the state to achieve 6 GW of energy storage by 2030. The nation-leading amount is at least 20% of the state’s peak power load. [Power Engineering]

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

June 21 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Domestic Solar Power Output Up 80% In A Year” • Electricity generated from domestic rooftops in Ireland is up 80% in a single year, a new report has found. According to the current Scale of Solar report, solar energy could power 280,000 homes this year. Overall solar power output, including energy from commercial solar farms, went up by 43%. [Newstalk]

Solar tiles on rooftops in Ireland (Stephen Craven, CC-BY-SA 2.0, cropped)

  • “What The ‘Warming Stripes’ Tell Us About Climate Change” • Created by climate scientist Ed Hawkins, the “warming stripes” are visual representations of annual or monthly temperature anomalies for a specific location or region over the past 100+ years. The visualization uses a color scale to represent anomalies of temperatures. [Earth.Org]
  • “Pyrolysis Is The Latest Climate-Killing Plastics Scam From ExxonMobil” • Fossil fuel companies are touting a new way to deal with plastic waste called pyrolysis, and to hear the industry spin it, it is the greatest thing since ice cream. It is nothing short of a flimflam, the point of which is to keep profits high for fossil fuel companies. [CleanTechnica]
  • “UK Offshore Wind Farms Vulnerable To Cyberattacks” • The Alan Turing Institute issued a warning about the vulnerability of offshore wind farms to cyberattacks, highlighting potential risks to the UK’s renewable energy goals. The research shows that old software and the remote sites of wind farms put them at risk of cyber threats. [Energy Live News]
  • “EnergyX Announces Major Lithium Development In Ark-La-Tex Region” • Energy Exploration Technologies Inc (EnergyX) announced a major lithium project, Project Lonestar Lithium. The project aims to solidify EnergyX’s position as a leader in the global energy transition and bid to help secure the US battery supply chain. [CleanTechnica]

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

June 20 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “One City, Two Offshore Wind Hubs, 9000 MW” • New York City’s boroughs of Brooklyn and Staten Island, are both set to host hubs for offshore wind farms. Both claim to be among the largest in the US. They are further evidence that that US offshore wind industry is back on its feet, despite interferance of the fossil fuel industry and other setbacks. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore wind hub (Courtesy of Atlantic Offshore Terminals)

  • “Principle Power Inks South Korean MOU” • Principle Power signed an agreement with shipyard HSG Sungdong to advance serial manufacturing of its floating wind foundations in South Korea. The non-exclusive MOU outlines cooperation by the companies on engineering developments for mass production of the WindFloat technology. [reNews]
  • “Climate Change Stoked US, Mexico Heatwave, A Report Says” • Human-induced climate change made recent extreme heat in the US southwest, Mexico and Central America around 35 times more likely, scientists say. The World Weather Attribution group studied excess heat between May and early June, when the US heatwave was mainly in the Southwest. [BBC]
  • “Superyachts For The Super Rich Cause A Whole Lot Of Environmental Damage” • Many of the super rich crave the unparalleled luxury that superyachts offer. While they may gratify their appetites in such floating homes, they don’t often pay much attention to the greenhouse gas emissions that they create as they do. [CleanTechnica]
  • “US Energy Storage Market Soars 84% In Q1” • The US energy storage market set a first-quarter record for capacity installed in Q1 2024, with 1,265 MW deployed across all segments, according to a report from Wood Mackenzie and ACP. This is the highest storage capacity ever installed in a first quarter in the US. It is an 84% increase from Q1 2023. [CleanTechnica]

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

June 19 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Mississippi Just Got Its First Utility-Scale Wind Farm” • Wind energy development has long been stuck in the doldrums in the Southeastern US. Until very recently, nine states in the region had exactly 0 MW of commercial wind capacity, even as turbines spread across every other US state. Mississippi, however, has just bucked that trend. [Canary Media]

Wind turbines in Mississippi (AES Corp)

  • “Seven Countries Now Generate 100% Of Their Electricity From Renewable Energy” • According to newly compiled figures, seven countries, Albania, Bhutan, Nepal, Paraguay, Iceland, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, produced more than 99.7% of the electricity they consumed using hydro, solar, wind, or geothermal power. [MSN]
  • “US Acknowledges Northwest Dams Devastated The Region’s Native Tribes” • The US government acknowledged, for the first time, the harmful role it played over the past century in building and operating dams in the Pacific Northwest. Though they made electricity, he dams ruined Native American tribes by flooding villages and blocking salmon runs. [ABC News]
  • “Solar PV Installations Will Reach Up To 660 GW In 2024” • Global PV installations will be 600 to 660 GW (dc) in 2024, says analysis from PV expert Bernreuter Research. “Once market participants come to the conclusion that the crash of the solar module price has reached its bottom, demand will accelerate,” says Johannes Bernreuter. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Octopus Energy To Invest $2 Billion In US Clean Power” • Octopus Energy, the UK’s largest electricity supplier, announced plans to invest $2 billion in renewable energy projects across the US by the end of the decade. Octopus Energy’s entry into the US clean power market begins with acquisition of two solar farms for a total capacity of 100 MW. [Business Matters]

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

June 18 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Clean Energy Mandate For Vermont Utilities Becomes Law After Democrats Override Veto” • Lawmakers overrode a veto of Vermont’s renewable energy standard. It has a multi-year plan that requires utilities to have 100% renewable portfolios by 2035. It also mandates that more of the power come from in-state generation projects. [Vermont Public]

Vermont lighthouse (Gautam Krishnan, Unsplash)

  • “Low-Carbon Steel: Volkswagen AG & Vulcan Green Steel Enter Into Partnership” • Volkswagen AG and Vulcan Green Steel have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a partnership for low-carbon steel. The partnership is one of a series of initiatives by the Volkswagen Group to expand the use of green steel in its vehicle production. [CleanTechnica]
  • “$20 Billion For European Offshore Substations” • Around 137 substations will be installed in waters off continental Europe this decade, requiring $20 billion in total investment, according to Rystad Energy analysis. Offshore substations are particularly beneficial for projects over 200 MW in capacity and located more than 15 km from shore. [reNews]
  • “Judge Orders Railway To Pay Washington Tribe Nearly $400 Million For Trespassing With Oil Trains” • BNSF Railway must pay nearly $400 million to a Washington state Native American tribe. A federal judge had found that the company intentionally trespassed by running 100-car trains carrying crude oil across the tribe’s reservation repeatedly. [ABC News]
  • “Equinor Solidifies New York Offtake Contract For Empire Wind 1” • Equinor has announced the execution of the Purchase and Sale Agreement with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority for the renewable power generated by the Empire Wind 1 offshore wind project. (The capacity is 2.1 GW – GHH.) [Renewable Energy Magazine]

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

June 17 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Wind And Solar Power Half The Cost Of Coal And Gas, One-Third The Cost Of Nuclear, Says Lazard” • New data out of the US has confirmed that large-scale wind and solar are significantly cheaper sources of electricity generation than coal and gas. They even undercut fossil fuels on price with the addition of energy storage, in some cases. [RenewEconomy]

Willow Springs wind farm in Texas (Ørsted image)

  • “Goodbye Big Oil, Hello Big Solar” • Bloomberg contributor David Fickling has an interesting perspective on energy. He writes that the world’s seven largest solar companies are already supplying more total energy than the seven largest oil and gas companies. That is probably a surprise to most readers, so let’s look into his thinking. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Too Much Of A Good Thing? In Spain Green Energy Can Exceed Demand” • Spain’s total wind generation capacity, its prime renewable source in recent years, has doubled since 2008. Solar energy capacity, meanwhile, has increased by a factor of eight over the same period. But there are concerns that there are times when supply exceeds demand. [BBC]
  • “Potentially Deadly Heat Wave Envelops Most Of The Nation” • More than 55 million people across the nation were under an alert for extreme heat on Sunday and through most of the week ahead as temperatures are forecast to hit triple digits in some parts of the country. An Excessive Heat Watch was issued Sunday for parts of New England. [ABC News]
  • “Wildfire Near LA Spreads To Over 14,000 Acres, Sparking Evacuations” • The Post Fire, a wildfire in southern California, doubled in size overnight, causing the evacuation of more than 1,000 campers from a park, closing a popular recreation area on Father’s Day and threatening a major freeway in and out of Los Angeles, authorities said. [ABC News]

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

June 16 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Environment Canada Says It Can Now Rapidly Link High-Heat Weather Events To Climate Change” • Environment and Climate Change Canada says it can now quickly identify links between events of extreme heat and climate change. It can estimate the degree to which human-induced climate change played a role within a week. [CBC]

Where does weather come from? (NASA, Unsplash)

  • “UBC $23 Million Energy Hub Combines Hydro, Solar, And Hydrogen” • Metro Vancouver has a hydrogen fueling station that operates on renewable energy thanks to a new $23-million hydrogen energy centre at the University of BC. The Point Grey campus is home to the Smart Hydrogen Energy District, the first of its type in the province. [Times Colonist]
  • “NRDC Report: Cleaner Cars Drive Benefits For Health And Wallets” • The clean car policies of the Biden administration will deliver unprecedented benefits to the American people, which will include billions of dollars of savings, more vehicle options and less pollution, a new report from NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) shows. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Severe Weather Hits Northern Plains As Major Heat Wave Set To Move Across Country” • A flood watch continues in South Florida as showers are expected after flooding. Thunder storms are hitting the northern plains, bringing a risk of tornadoes. A severe heat wave is under way in the Southwest. Another heat wave is coming to the Northeast. [ABC News]
  • “Industry, Clean Power Groups Breathe A Sigh Of Relief As Senate Approves Energy Regulators” • Three nominees to serve on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which had risked losing a quorum, were approved by the US Senate. The votes were cheered by industry, renewable power, and environmental groups alike. [Rhode Island Current]

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

Eversource and Margaritas – A Case Study in Energy Efficiency

The Nashua, NH Margaritas Restaurant utilizes the NHSaves® program to save energy and money. (Courtesy photo)

Eversource Staff

Margaritas is a Mexican restaurant chain with company-owned locations in New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, along with franchises in Maine, New

Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The restaurants are inspired by central Mexico and are designed to offer a celebratory, getaway feel to guests. Each location has unique attributes and challenges to finding efficiencies in the space.

Leadership at Margaritas sought to reduce costs and discovered an opportunity to make energy efficiency improvements. They chose to partner with PRISM Energy Services, a company with the experience and expertise to understand which incentive programs could best support the Margaritas projects and bundle programs for maximum impact. Margaritas strategically designed the focus of these energy efficiency projects on the locations with the highest opportunity to save both money and energy.

To accomplish real change across the restaurant chain, Eversource was able to offer Margaritas a multi-measure, multi-year improvement plan. With locations ripe for improvements and incentive programs to support these projects, Margaritas committed to a long-term plan with PRISM, Eversource, and its natural gas supply companies Unitil and Liberty. Working together, the three NHSaves® utility partners incentivized Margaritas’ selected efficiency measures, making this initiative financially attractive.

Margaritas chose to begin with three New Hampshire locations: Nashua, Dover, and Keene. To improve energy efficiency in each facility, reduce utility spend, and improve comfort for guests and team members, Margaritas tackled the following efficiency upgrades in some or all of the locations:

  • Updated the kitchen exhaust hoods, including added controls
  • Improved walk-in cooler controls
  • Switched to all-LED lighting
  • Installed a new Energy Management System (EMS) and faucet aerators
  • Added controls to rooftop units

Each upgrade had associated electricity savings and together they totaled an estimated 219,300 kWh annual savings. The EMS, kitchen hood, faucet aerators, and rooftop unit measures also resulted in additional natural gas savings. Since the projects were completed, Margaritas has already experienced the benefits of the improvements.

Jodenne Scott, Vice President of Finance and Accounting of Margaritas Restaurants, said, “We have seen some significant changes in usage and are very pleased. We have seen electrical usage drop almost 20% in our Nashua location and there have been significant gas savings as well. Installing these upgrades and working with Eversource and PRISM has been incredibly effective. These improvements help us improve the working order of the restaurants all while doing something positive for the environment. The process is also seamless.

Due to the successes in New Hampshire, Margaritas plans to upgrade restaurants in Massachusetts leveraging the established relationship with Eversource and the other NHSaves® utility partners for continued incentives and support. The Framingham project is underway, and Margaritas plans to replicate improvements to create a strategy for energy consumption and carbon reduction goals across the entire restaurant chain.

For more information and ways to save, visit nhsaves.com