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May 16 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “California Is In A Water Crisis, Yet Usage Is Way Up. Officials Are Focused On The Wrong Problem, Advocates Say” • A group advocating for affordable access to clean water, said that urban communities don’t seem to understand the severity of the water crisis in the way that rural communities do, where water could literally stop flowing out of the tap. [CNN]

Napa Valley (Fredrick Lee, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

  • “The East Coast Diesel Crisis Highlights The Urgency For Widespread EV Adoption” • News on availability of diesel oil has some trucking companies worried, according to a report from FreightWaves. There are solutions that would help both truckers and everyone else. One critical solution is switching from diesel vehicles to EVs. [CleanTechnica]
  • “European Ministers Back CO₂ Emission Standards For Cars And Vans” • Environment Committee MEPs are in favor of a pathway towards zero-emission road mobility in 2035 for new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. The plan would mitigate negative economic impact of the transition with targeted funding. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Government To Ban New Fossil Fuel Electricity Generation” • The Government of New Zealand is planning to ban electricity companies from investing in new baseload generation from fossil fuels like coal and gas. New Zealand had already banned new offshore oil and gas exploration in 2018, and committed to 100% renewable electricity by 2030. [NZ Herald]
  • “Elon Musk On Tesla’s Aspiration Of Reaching 20 Million Cars Made Per Year By 2030” • Elon Musk shared his thoughts on his aspiration to produce 20 million electric cars annually by 2030 in an interview. The basis of the aspiration is his belief that Tesla must replace 1% of the world fleet per year to have a meaningful effect on climate change. [CleanTechnica]
  • “US Wildfire Dangers Seen Spreading East As Climate Risks Grow” • From New Jersey to Georgia, states thousands of miles from wildfire hotspots in the west face a growing risk from forest blazes as global warming makes “safe havens” increasingly rare, researchers warned. Wildfires pose at least a moderate risk to more than 30 million US properties. [Devdiscourse]

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

May 15 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Creaky US Power Grid Threatens Progress On Renewables, EVs” • The nation’s transmission network, plagued by outages and increasingly severe weather, needs a trillion-dollar overhaul to handle the Biden administration’s promised clean-energy revolution and deal with climate change. Unfortunately, no one is taking charge of that problem. [Reuters]

Transmission lines (Ernest Brillo, Unsplash)

  • “How We Can Stop Lithium Mining From Depleting Water Resources, Draining Wetlands, And Harming Communities In South America” • To deal with climate change, we must move away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy. However, many green technologies depend on lithium, and extracting lithium can be destructive. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Supply Chain Issues Are Getting Worse, And Climate Change Is A Main Culprit” • Supply chain disruptions have caused problems from bare grocery store shelves to shortages of microchips. The product shortages are caused in part by the fact that most of our goods are transported across long distances to be used for manufacturing. [Salon]
  • “Texans Asked To Turn Up Thermostats After Sweltering Heat Knocks Six Power Plants Offline” • The Electric Reliability Council of Texas made the appeal in a statement saying that soaring temperatures increased demand and caused six power generation facilities to trip offline. That resulted in the loss of about 2,900 MW of electric power. [CNN]
  • “Hydrogen Valley Vision For Washington Gets Boost From Aussies’ Proposed Plant” • An Australian company, Fortescue Future Industries, is eying property next to the soon-to-close coal power plant in Centralia, Washington, to build a big hydrogen fuel production facility. The company publicized its plans during a hydrogen symposium. [OPB]

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

May 14 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Interior Nixes Oil And Gas Lease Sales In Alaska And Gulf Of Mexico” • The Department of Interior is cancelling three oil and gas lease sales off the coasts of Alaska and in the Gulf of Mexico. The leases would have opened up more than a million acres for development in oceans ecosystems vital to endangered species, fishermen, Native peoples, and others. [CleanTechnica]

Alaska (Landon Arnold, Unsplash)

 

  • “Norway Turns Its Back On Gas And Oil To Be A Renewable Superpower” • Norway has unveiled plans for a major expansion of its offshore wind energy production by 2040, aiming to turn a country that has built its wealth on oil and gas into an exporter of renewable electricity. The government set a target to develop 30 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2040. [Euronews]
  • “France’s Power Sector Further Strained By Extended Outages And Repairs” • France’s nuclear power plants are to have repairs and extended outages, leading to a 25% decrease in power output next winter, an analysis from Baringa Partners LLP said. The shortage will happen just as EU countries scramble for energy as they reduce imports from Russia. [Oil Price]
  • “Climate Change Doubled Chance Of South African Floods That Killed 435 People, Analysis Shows” • Human-induced climate change made the extreme rainfall that triggered deadly floods in South Africa in April heavier and twice as likely to happen, according to a rapid analysis published by the World Weather Attribution project. [CNN]
  • “US Energy-Related CO₂ Emissions Rose 6% In 2021” • In 2021, US energy-related CO₂ emissions increased by 296 million metric tons, or 6%, compared with 2020 levels. This increase followed a rise in economic activity and energy consumption when the initial economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic began to subside. [CleanTechnica]

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

May 13 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Six Years Late And 250% Over Budget: Georgia’s Newest Nuclear Plant” • The Municipal Energy Authority of Georgia, announced that the Vogtle 3 and 4 nuclear generating stations approaching completion in that state are now likely to cost roughly $34 billion. They were originally estimated to cost $14 billion and to be operational in 2017. [Oil Price]

Vogtle construction in 2011 (Charles C Watson Jr, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

  • “Fight Fascists And Save Money: Go Electric” • The price of a gallon of gasoline is surging, straining drivers’ pocketbooks. At the pump prices seem extreme, but we’ve been here before. Gas prices were similarly high in 2006, 2008, and for a while after 2011. For US consumers, a switch from fossil fuels to electricity is one solution. [CleanTechnica]
  • “As Water Runs Short In California, Commission Rejects $1.4 Billion Desalination Plant” • As a water crisis looms in California, the state’s coastline protection agency unanimously rejected the development of a $1.4 billion desalination plant in Huntington Beach that would have converted ocean water into municipal water for Orange County residents. [CNN]
  • “Saving The Books And Cooking The Planet” • Oil and gas companies are increasingly using mergers and acquisitions to offload emissions from their balance sheets and meet corporate climate targets without actually reducing emissions, according to an Environmental Defense Fund report that examined mergers and acquisitions in 2017 through 2021. [CleanTechnica]
  • “US Distributed Wind Energy Potential Can Meet Half Of National Electricity Demand” • A study funded by the Wind Energy Technologies Office used highly detailed data and new modeling techniques to identify sites with the highest potential for distributed wind energy. Distributed wind has nearly 1,400 GW of economic potential. [CleanTechnica]

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

 

May 12 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “First Floating Tidal Power Delivered To Nova Scotia Grid” • Sustainable Marine said it has successfully harnessed the tidal currents in Canada’s Bay of Fundy, delivering the first floating in-stream tidal power to Nova Scotia’s grid. The project has enabled Sustainable Marine to acquire skills and resources to deliver turnkey projects. [Marine Link]

Tidal turbines and installation ship (Sustainable Marine image)

  • “Ukraine Halts Some Russian Gas Flows To Europe” • Ukraine suspended the flow of some Russian natural gas to Europe, blaming Moscow for diverting supplies from the vital pipeline network. The Ukrainian gas transmission system operator said it decided to suspend operations at a major transit point because of “interference by the occupying forces.” [CNN]
  • “BP Bids For New Dutch Offshore Wind Leases” • BP submitted bids for two offshore wind leases in the Netherlands that together have the potential for generating capacity of 1,400 MW. The bids were submitted in the tender process for rights to develop the Hollandse Kust West Wind Farm Zone sites numbered 6 and 7, about 53 km off the country’s west coast. [reNews]
  • “European Energy And Vestas Forge Offshore Turbine Team” • European Energy and Vestas have teamed up for a joint venture aiming to develop and build three of Vestas’ new V236 15.0-MW offshore wind turbine at three test positions which are now under development by European Energy about four km off the coast near the city of Frederikshavn. [reNews]
  • “This California Desert Could Hold The Key To Powering All Of America’s Electric Cars” • Lithium is abundant in the Salton Sea Basin. People working to extract it say there could be enough to make batteries for all the electric cars expected to be built in this country for many years, freeing the US from reliance on foreign lithium suppliers. [CNN]

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

NHSAVES® UTILITY PARTNERS EARN 2022 ENERGY STAR® SUSTAINED EXCELLENCE AWARD FOR NINTH YEAR IN A ROW

NHSaves® utility partners Eversource, Liberty, New Hampshire Electric Cooperative and Unitil are proud to have received the 2022 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year—Sustained Excellence Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy for the ninth year in a row. This award is reserved for ENERGY STAR partners demonstrating outstanding leadership, year over year.
Throughout 2021, the NHSaves ENERGY STAR Homes program certified over 850 homes, promoted certified homes to over 4,000 home show visitors, held health and safety protocols, trainings, and worked one-on-one with numerous building trades’ allies. The NHSaves utility partners were able to offer incentives for every homebuilder to build more energy efficient homes, from Drive to ENERGY STAR for new home builders, version 3.1 for electric and fossil fuel heated homes, and the Drive to Net Zero Home Competition for homeowners and homebuilders interested in going even further. These efforts have successfully increased the market share of new ENERGY STAR certified homes in New Hampshire and improved the new home housing market.
“We are extremely proud of this program and the ability to help builders overcome barriers to building an efficient ENERGY STAR home. We are confident that our program is working, growing, and moving the efficient housing market forward in New Hampshire. “ – Mike Loughlin, Energy Efficiency Program Manager, Eversource
The Sustained Excellence award is the highest honor bestowed by the ENERGY STAR program. The work done on the ENERGY STAR Homes program by the NHSaves utility partners, stood out among many highly competitive submissions this year, due to their demonstration of exemplary commitment and dedication to leadership in energy efficiency. The NHSaves utility partners are proud to be recognized for having made a long-term commitment to fighting climate change and protecting public health through energy efficiency. They are among the nation’s leaders in driving value for the environment, the economy, and New Hampshire.
“We know it’s going to take all of us working together to tackle the climate crisis, and the 2022 ENERGY STAR award-winning partners are demonstrating what it takes to build a more sustainable future,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “These companies are showing once again that taking action in support of a clean energy economy can be good not only for the environment, but also for business and customers.”
 
Winners are selected from a network of thousands of ENERGY STAR partners. For a complete list of 2022 winners and more information, visit energystar.gov/awardwinners.

Efficiency Maine Introduces Free Virtual Consultations to Help Businesses Considering Energy-Efficiency Projects

Commercial rebate recipients share building improvement success stories

Efficiency Maine has been providing incentives to businesses and institutions around the state to upgrade their building systems, and recently began offering free virtual consultations for businesses interested in learning more about how to get started on an energy-efficiency project.

“There’s never been a better time to switch from outdated oil and propane heating systems to heat pumps, as well as upgrade lighting systems to LEDs,” says Rick Meinking, senior program manager for commercial initiatives at Efficiency Maine. “To help businesses get started, we’re excited to offer customers a no cost, no obligation virtual consultation with a member of the Efficiency Maine team. We hope that these discussions will help customers define the solutions that will reduce their business’s energy use and costs.”

Commercial and industrial businesses interested in assessing their needs before starting a project can sign up for a virtual consultation on the Efficiency Maine website. Businesses ready to get started with a project can call 866-376-2463 or send an email to CIP@efficiencymaine.com.

Efficiency Maine offers a variety of incentives for businesses of all sizes. Many are already experiencing the money-saving benefits of updated systems.

Fryeburg Academy installed two heat-pump based variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems with heat recovery in their campus student union and is now saving more than $900 a year.

“It’s been a wonderful addition to campus,” said Dave Powers, facility manager at Fryeburg Academy. “It’s comfortable in the winter. Now in the summer, for the people who work year-round, they have an air-conditioned space. During this winter’s cold snaps, the heat worked great. Prior to this project, I would’ve had all kinds of issues keeping up with the heat during this last cold spell.

“Every penny that we save on utility expenses, we can put into educating the students,” said Powers. “It’s really great to be able to put the money into programming and not into utilities.”

Mastway Development, the developer of the mixed-use campus Stevens Commons located in Hallowell, also upgraded to energy-efficient technology with the help of Efficiency Maine. Mastway Development installed three VRF systems in the newly constructed Cleveland Hall, a student residence for the University of Maine at Augusta located in Stevens Commons.

“The new VRF systems have been a game changer for us,” said Matt Morrill, chief executive officer of Mastway Development, which is currently working on the revitalization of Stevens Commons. “Switching from inefficient oil-fired steam systems to an all-in-one product that provides both heating and cooling makes a world of difference in comfort and savings. That, coupled with the Efficiency Maine rebates, have allowed us to make the numbers work on redevelopment projects that otherwise would not have been feasible. The team at Efficiency Maine was very accommodating and helped us gather early estimates that resulted in the project being completed on time and on budget.”

Some of Maine’s smaller businesses also are benefiting from Efficiency Maine’s incentives. For instance, Wheelers Insurance in South Paris upgraded their heating system from an oil boiler to two high-efficiency heat pumps, saving approximately $200 a year.

“We have noticed that it is more cost efficient, the rooms are more comfortable, and we’re doing our part to help the environment,” said Leanna Bowie, marketing manager of Wheelers Insurance. “The process of working with Efficiency Maine was super smooth. It was a matter of filling out an application and arranging for the work to be complete.”

“Overall, the experience was convenient and it added value to our business,” added Wheelers Insurance Chief Executive Officer Michael Newsom.

Humble Comfort Food and Spirits in Brewer worked with Efficiency Maine to upgrade the restaurant’s heating, cooling, and lighting. Humble installed two heat pumps that both heat and cool, and also upgraded from fluorescent lighting to LEDs. With the upgrades, the business has reduced energy costs by about $200 a year.

“The restaurant is much brighter and warmer since the new lighting was installed,” said restaurant owner, Meghan Black. “I remember the first day I walked past the heat pump and it blew warm air in my face. It was the best feeling in the world.

“I have definitely seen a decrease in my electricity bill since the new lights went in,” Black continued. “It was a hard year at the restaurant, and the lights and the heat pump made me excited to get back to work.”

May 11 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Renewables ‘Primed For Record 2022’” • Renewable power is set to break global records in 2022, despite higher costs and supply chain bottlenecks, according to the International Energy Agency. The world added a record 295 GW of renewable power capacity in 2021, but 320 GW of renewable capacity is expected to be added this year. [reNews]

Offshore wind workers (EnBW image)

  • “The Insanity Of Expanding Nuclear Energy” • Former nuclear regulatory top dogs from the US, France, Germany and Great Britain issued a joint statement in January strenuously opposing any expansion of nuclear power to combat climate change. There is not a single good reason to build new nuclear plants, and many reasons not to. [E/The Environmental Magazine]
  • “Tulane Scientists Develop Powerful Family Of 2-D Materials” • A team of scientists at the Tulane University School of Science and Engineering has developed a new family of two-dimensional materials. Researchers say the development has some promising applications, including in advanced electronics and high-capacity batteries. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Great Barrier Reef Suffers Sixth Mass Bleaching Event With 91% Of Reefs Surveyed Affected” • Warmer waters from climate change caused coral bleaching in 91% of reefs surveyed along the Great Barrier Reef this year, an Australian government agency said. It was the sixth mass bleaching event of the reef on record and the fourth since 2016. [CNN]
  • “In Las Vegas, Grass Lawns Are Outlawed” • The removal of lush green grass is happening a lot these days in Las Vegas, as it is now illegal to grow even small lawns for aesthetic use. There are many issues with lawns, including build-ups of chemicals, but the biggest problem is that there just isn’t enough water anymore to irrigate them. [CleanTechnica]

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

May 10 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “World’s Largest Solar Power Carport Launched” • A 35-MW solar power carport with 90,000 solar panels was activated in the Netherlands. It is located on the parking site used for the annual Lowlands music festival, which has tens of thousands of visitors each year. The parking area covers 35 hectares and has 15,000 parking spaces. [CleanTechnica]

Carport groundskeeper hard at work (Solarfields image)

  • “Climate Change: ‘Fifty-Fifty Chance’ Of Breaching 1.5°C Warming Limit” • The likelihood of crossing a key global warming threshold has risen significantly, according to a new analysis. UK Met Office researchers say that there’s now around a fifty-fifty chance that the world will have warmed by more than 1.5°C within the next five years. [BBC]
  • “BYD K6 Minibuses Being Piloted In Kenya’s Matatu Industry” • A huge chunk of the pollution in large cities such as Nairobi is from emissions from the transport sector. Adoption of electric buses is bound to help reduce emission levels. The electric BYD K6 minibus, with a seating capacity of around 20 passengers could be a big help. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Avoid Using Gas As ‘Transition’ Fuel In Move To Clean Energy, Study Urges” • Countries should move from coal to renewable energy without shifting to gas as a “transition” fuel to save money, as high gas prices and market volatility have made the fossil fuel an expensive option, according to analysis from TransitionZero. [The Guardian]
  • “GM Reveals More Cadillac Lyriq Specs” • Cadillac has begun series production of the Lyriq, its first battery-electric offering. The Debut Edition lists for $59,990 and comes with a single rear motor making 340 hp and 325 pound-feet of torque. The first of those cars to be produced are expected to be delivered to their owners in June. [CleanTechnica]

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

May 9 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “California Sets 3-GW Floater Goal For 2030” • California set a floating offshore wind target of 3 GW by 2030 as part of a raft of new goals for the state. The California Energy Commission believes that with that end-decade goal, the state can deliver up to 15 GW by 2045 and possibly 20 GW by 2050. The targets are contained in a draft AB 525 report. [reNews]

Towing a floating wind turbine (Principle Power image)

  • “Sold Out! Every EV Volkswagen Can Manufacture In 2022 Is Already Spoken For” • Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen Group, says it is “basically sold out on electric vehicles in Europe and in the United States” for all of this year, The Verge reports. That means anyone hoping to buy an EV from VW, Audi, or Porsche may have to wait until 2023. [CleanTechnica]
  • “A First In The US, Unions Announce Deal To Build Offshore Wind Farms (Video)” • Offshore wind developer Ørsted and North America’s Building and Trade Unions agreed to a “historic” national project labor agreement for offshore wind projects along the Atlantic Coast. The agreement sets better standards for an industry set to grow. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Tesla’s Recycled Batteries: Almost 92% Reuse Of Raw Materials” • Tesla’s recycled batteries have provided almost 92% of their original raw materials back to Tesla for future use, according to new information in Tesla’s 2021 Impact Report. Tesla’s factories are already using an in-house, closed-loop recycling system. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Start Making Preparations For An Active Hurricane Season Now” • Researchers at Colorado State University predicted an above-average Atlantic hurricane season for 2022. Experts expect at least 19 named storms, nine of which will become hurricanes, and four of which will be significant hurricanes with a category 3 or higher intensity. [Lake County News]

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