Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

Styrofoam Collection – Hanover, NH

Sustainable Hanover is holding a Styrofoam collection event to collect foam packing blocks, coolers, clean meat and produce trays, egg cartons, and clean plates and cups.  All the foam items must have #6 recycle symbols stamped on the bottom.  Foam packing peanuts are not accepted at this event but can be dropped off at the Hanover Hardware Store where they will be used again.

Saturday, February 11, 2023 (Snow date is the 12th.)

10:00AM to 12:00 Noon

Hanover Public Works – 194 Lebanon St., Hanover, NH

Donations are requested to help pay for trucking expenses.

The Styrofoam will be trucked to the Gilford Solid Waste Center, Gilford NH, pressed into blocks and sold to be repurposed elsewhere.

February 2 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “The Black & White Building In London Showcases Wood Construction Techniques” • The Black & White building shows that commercial buildings can be truly green. Many so-called “green” buildings cover a steel and concrete core with a pretty wooden façade, but the frame of the Black & White building is structurally engineered wood. [CleanTechnica]

The Black & White building (Ed Reeve, courtesy of AHEC)

  • “Renewables Account For 92% Of Brazil’s Power Produciton In 2022” • The Brazilian Power Trading Chamber announced that 92% of the country’s 2022 electricity production came from renewable energy sources. There was a 64.3% increase in output of solar power plants in 2022, compared to 2021. Windpower output increased by 12.6%. [Renewables Now]
  • “Chinese Electric Cars Are Filling European Streets” • Chinese EVs are making their way into European markets at large. XPeng announced its first deliveries to Norway in October 2020. Now, Chinese EVs from XPeng, BYD, and MG are common sights in Oslo, to say nothing of models from Volvo and Polestar, both owned by Chinese firm Geely. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Biden Administration Takes Another Step Toward Advancing A Controversial Oil Drilling Project In Alaska” • The Bureau of Land Management advanced the massive ConocoPhillips Willow oil drilling project on Alaska’s North Slope, releasing the final environmental impact statement before the controversial project can be approved. [CNN]
  • “Vermont Lawmakers Revisit Renewable Energy Standard As Greenhouse Gas Emissions Deadlines Loom” • With Vermont’s 2025, 2030, and 2050 greenhouse emission deadlines slowly but surely approaching, state lawmakers are working quickly to make sure the legally binding deadlines are met. Some want to revisit the Renewable Energy Standard. [WPTZ]

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

February 1 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “The Decline And Fall Of Fossil Fuels” • The latest projections from FERC say natural gas capacity will not grow in the US in the near term. Fossil fuels were in decline overall, but now no part of the fossil fuels or nuclear industry is projected to grow. So about 100% of net generating capacity growth to 2026 is expected to made up of renewables. [Green Energy Times]

Wind farm in Iowa. (Voice of America, public domain)

  • “Royal Navy Orders Investigation Into Nuclear Submarine ‘Repaired With Glue’” • The Royal Navy has ordered an urgent investigation amid claims that workers on a Trident nuclear armed submarine fixed broken bolts in the vessel’s reactor chamber using glue. Reportedly, the bad repairs were found when a bolt fell off during an inspection. [The Guardian]
  • “Exxon Announces Record Profits For 2022” • ExxonMobil announced record profits for the year 2022, reporting it made $55.7 billion over the past year and drawing ire from the left. Other major energy companies also posted record earnings for the year. Democrats have been critical of corporate profits at a time when consumers faced high prices. [The Hill]
  • “Big Return To Coal In Europe Killed Off By Record Renewable Energy” • As Russia cut off gas supplies to Europe last year, countries put more coal power on standby to fill the gaps. But the bloc fended off a feared dramatic increase in burning coal, the most polluting fossil fuel, by installing large amounts of solar and wind generating capacity. [Sky News]
  • “Amazon Buys Record 8.3 GW Of Renewable Energy In 2022” • Tech giant Amazon announced it had secured more renewable energy in 2022 than any other company had bought in a year, as part of its drive to power its stores, data centres, and fulfilment centres entirely using clean energy by 2025. It bought 8.3 GW of wind and solar power in 2022. [Computing]

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

ABCs of Multifamily Electrification Strategies

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

11:00 – 12:00 PM ET

Join this webinar to learn about electrification strategies for multifamily buildings of varying ages, climate zones, and sizes. This discussion will highlight key factors to consider when pursuing electrification projects and diverse case studies from multifamily organizations.  Presenters:

Jackie Montesdeoca, Elevate
Wesley Stanhope, Building Evolution Corporation
Brett Webster, Rocky Mountain Institute

Click here to register

Two Webinars Feb 1 and 3: Community-Led Resilience Hubs, & the Affordable Heat Act

Rural and energy-burdened areas often experience a “resilience divide” due to characteristics like low population density and a population that is inadequately included, valued, or compensated. Join the Vermont Energy and Climate Action Network (VECAN) on Wednesday, February 1st at 12:00 noon to learn about Community-Led Resilience Hubs in Vermont. For more info and to register, click HERE.

And, on Friday February 3rd at 12:00 noon, join us and coalition partners for a webinar on the Affordable Heat Act. We’ll share a brief, 10-minute overview of the core components of the policy; what it is intended to deliver and by when; and how it aims to meet essential goals regarding equity, affordability and climate accountability – all while we help Vermonters afford and access cleaner heat measures as we accelerate an essential, just energy transition. Followed by ~45 minutes of Q&A. For more info and to register, click HERE.

Two US Oil Giants Reap $90B in Combined Profit on the Backs of Consumers

 

 

Fossil fuel giant Exxon Mobil announced record-smashing profits today, further underscoring the need for officials in Washington to rein in Big Oil’s runaway enrichment at the expense of consumers struggling with high energy bills.

Exxon posted $56 billion in earnings for the full year 2022, breaking its 2008 record and setting a new high for Western oil majors. Combined with Chevron’s $35.5 billion 2022 profits reported last week, the two giants totaled more than $91 billion in earnings – another record.

Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, released the following statement:

“Big Oil has imposed a private tax on the American people – to the tune of more than $90 billion from just two companies alone.

“It’s past time for the American people to take that money back. A windfall profits tax would tax Big Oil on its inflated revenues – due only to the rising global price of oil and having nothing to do with Big Oil’s costs or investments – and return the money to American consumers.

“This industry is out of control. Big Oil is price gouging us to record profits while destroying the ability of future generations to live on our planet. Meanwhile, consumers spent last year paying high prices to put fuel in their cars and are spending more to heat and power their homes this winter. It is long past time to crack down on this out-of-control industry.”

January 31 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Norway Discovers Huge Trove Of Metals, Minerals And Rare Earths On Its Seabed” • A Norwegian study found a “substantial” amount of metals and minerals ranging from copper to rare earths on the seabed of its extended continental shelf, authorities said. These resources are in high demand for the role they play in the transition to a greener economy. [CNN]

Trondheim (Simon Williams, Unsplash)

  • “Solar, Wind Produce Record Fifth Of EU Power” • According to the “European Electricity Review,” published by energy think tank Ember, wind and solar generated over a fifth (22%) of EU electricity in 2022, for the first time overtaking fossil gas (20%). The coal power share increased by 1.5 percentage points to generate 16% of EU electricity in 2022. [reNews]
  • “Renewable Energy Revolution To Create 100 Million Jobs By 2030” • The International Renewable Energy Agency calculated that $131 trillion will have to be spent by 2050 for the energy transition we need to limit global temperature rises to levels that can be managed. Even by 2030, this could create 100 million jobs, according to the ILO. [The National]
  • “US Government Funding Helps Biofuels Move Forward” • Biofuels may not be the ideal way to address climate change, but they can help reduce our carbon emissions. Two pieces of news in recent weeks that show the US government is still trying to help biofuels improve, come from cleaner sources, and work better with infrastructure. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Renewables Are Cheaper Than Coal At All But One Site In The US” • Researchers at Energy Innovation and UC Berkeley said that of 210 US coal plants, only one, Wyoming’s Dry Fork facility, could operate at a cost lower than new wind or solar plants. For all the rest, shutting down today to be replaced by wind and solar would save money. [The Register]

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

The Decline And Fall of Fossil Fuels

FERC projects that natural gas capacity will not grow in the next three years. That means nearly 100% of net generating capacity growth is expected to made up of renewables.

Wind farm in Iowa. (Voice of America, public domain)

George Harvey

The SUN Day Campaign released its January 2023 analysis of data and projections from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and Green Energy Times is reprinting it. Here, however, we want look at the same report from a slightly different angle.

We should start with a note on the past. On July 15, 2020, just two and a half years ago, G.E.T. posted a little news item at its web site, “Fossil Fuels Are Failing, FERC Data Shows.” (https://bit.ly/FFAF-FERC) That post said the United States had finally reached the important point that fossil fuels had entered an overall decline for generating capacity of electricity.

The post looked at projections by FERC about highly probable construction of new generating plants and retirement of old ones, from June of 2020, to May, 2023. It showed that the net change in combined capacity of the fossil fuel plants would fall to less than zero in that time. The reason was that coal-burning power plants were no longer being built, and the net capacity growth of gas-burning power plants (capacity of new plants minus capacity of plants being retired) was insufficient to replace the capacity of coal plants being retired.

Specifically, FERC projected that from June, 2020 to May, 2023, there would be a net growth of 17,480 megawatts (MW) of natural gas generating capacity, a net loss of 20,696 MW of coal capacity, and a net loss of 3,982 MW of oil capacity. So combined capacity of fossil fuels generating was expected to fall 7,198 by May, 2023. (https://bit.ly/May-2020-data)

Now, in late January of 2023, we can see how well FERC did with its projections. The short story is that fossil fuels declined a good deal more than expected. Gas capacity grew by 16,050 MW, 1,430 MW less than projected. Coal capacity fell by 26,710 MW, 6,014 more than projected. Over all, including the small change in oil-burning capacity, U.S. fossil fuel generating capacity fell by 12,470 MW, about 173% of what FERC had projected. Data for this is in the above report combined with FERC’s Infrastructure Update for January, 2023. (https://bit.ly/Nov-2022-data)

Now that we have looked at FERC’s 2020 projections, we can look at its current projections of the coming three years. While FERC’s latest projections the use of both coal and oil continues to fall, they show that natural gas capacity has stopped its net growth and entered a period of net decline. The decline was first seen in September, 2022, but it has continued since, except for very small growth in the most recent report.

This means that not only is capacity of fossil fuels in decline overall, as we noted in 2020, but that there is no single part of the fossil fuels industry that shows net growth.

It is interesting that the rate of overall decline changed abruptly, starting at just about the time that the Inflation Reduction Act was passed in August, 2022. We could see natural gas additions slowing before that point, which was not surprising because the cost of electricity generated by solar and wind power had fallen below that of that generated by natural gas, even when the cost of backup batteries for renewables is taken into account. Now, the net growth of natural gas capacity is expected to be negative for the coming three years, overall.

It might be good to look at the growth of wind and solar generating capacity. It is clear that while fossil fuel capacity is no longer growing and is going into decline, the growth of solar and wind capacity has exceeded earlier projections. In 2020, FERC projected a growth of 26,154 MW of solar capacity in three years, for 56.8% growth. Solar capacity exceeded that projection, however, as 29,580 MW were installed, a growth of 64.2%, bringing solar capacity to 76,040 MW. The current projection is that in the next three years, solar capacity increase by 88%, with additions of 67,147 MW and no retirements.

For windpower, in 2020, FERC projected a net capacity growth of 26,559 MW. At that time, wind capacity was 109,750 MW, so the growth would have taken it to 136,309 MW. Now FERC lists wind capacity at 141,100 MW, nearly 5 MW higher than they had projected. Their most recent projection is for a net 17,449 to be added over the coming three years.

So current projections for wind and solar capacity are that they will have net capacity additions of 84,598 MW over the next three years. And at the same time, there would be practically no growth of fossil fuel burning generating capacity.

That means approximately 100% of net generating capacity growth in the next three years is expected by FERC to be additions of renewable capacity.

By the way, for those who view such news as some sort of political propaganda, there are four members of the FERC board that issued these reports, and all of them were appointed by former president Donald Trump.

January 30 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “US Renewable Energy Farms Outstrip 99% Of Coal Plants Economically” • Coal in the US is now being economically outmatched by renewables to the point that it’s more costly for 99% of the country’s coal-fired power plants to keep running than it is to build an entirely new solar or wind energy operation nearby, an analysis found. [The Guardian]

Wind farm (Zbynek Burival, Unsplash)

  • “Bingo! The SAIC-GM-Wuling Joint Venture Gets It” • We need more affordable cars. We are finally starting to see more of them, but they are still mostly available only in China. However, just like the solar panel and mobile phone revolution, the affordable vehicles will start finding their way to more parts of the world sooner rather than later. [CleanTechnica]
  • “King Charles’ Newest Eco-Activism: Royal Wind Farm Profits Will Go To The People” • King Charles III announced that an expected surge in profits from wind farm deals that could have elevated royal investment accounts should, instead, be spent on the public. A spokesperson said the king wished a windfall to be redirected “for the wider public good.” [CleanTechnica]
  • “TenneT Hails Strong North Sea Performance” • Beating last year’s figures, TenneT transmitted over 29 TWh of energy from wind farms in the Dutch and German North Sea to land in 2022. In total, 21.13 TWh was fed into the German grid, while 7.91 TWh were transmitted to the Netherlands, up from 4.71 TWh because of a new wind farm. [reNews]
  • “Xcel To Test Power Storage Tech In Becker” • Xcel Energy is bringing state-of-the-art storage technology to the Sherco Power Plant in Becker. Xcel Energy has partnered with Form Energy, an American technology company, to deploy an iron-air battery system at the Sherco Plant. The plant’s capacity will be 10 MW, and 1,000 MWh. [WJON]

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

Just In! (from NY-GEO)

Just In! is NY-GEO’s weekly news feed for members. NY-GEO’s calendar-year memberships are open to everyone and available for as little as $35. See more information on memberships hereClick here to see some of the work a NY-GEO membership supports. We also feature three of the top news item summaries on the NY-GEO home page every Monday.

NYSERDA Releases Carbon Neutral Buildings Roadmap – “… the Carbon Neutral Buildings Roadmap (the “Roadmap”), is the first report in a new series, NYSERDA’s Future of Buildings. The Roadmap lays out a guiding framework and general solution set for the critical work that must be undertaken to modernize New York State’s building stock while reducing their use of fossil fuels. The Roadmap provides a longterm vision of the built environment in 2050, including recommendations on key policies, potential focus areas for technology advancement and programmatic needs, while also highlighting the near-term actions that are technologically ready, economically viable, and are being adopted in the market today.”  Thanks to Anshul Gupta of the Climate Reality Project for this tip.  Roadmap website and link to 188 page report and 20 page summary here.

Hochul, Lawmakers, Activists Agree: It’s Time For All-Electric Buildings In NY – Rebecca C. Lewis – City & State – “ A bill to ban new gas hook-ups is getting a renewed push in Albany… The governor has already included her own version of the “all-electric building act” in her State of the State address earlier this month” New York Policy Advocate at Earthjustice, Liz “Moran said she felt confident that with a finalized scoping plan from the Climate Action Council… – electric buildings will get through this year.  ‘We already know this is technologically feasible,’ Moran said.” Another goal of advocates is passage of the NY HEAT Act, which would further incentivize electric retrofits and remove subsidies for new gas hookups.  (from 2023 01 24 – City & State First Read)  Full article here.

Front Group Ad Tracker – “The Energy and Policy Institute’s (EPI) new tool shows that (some) utilities continue to stall and limit climate action by funding front groups to spread climate misinformation and false solutions to solve the crisis through advertising on social media networks. Using data from the Meta Ad Library API and existing code from Brown University, EPI’s tool exposes the amount each utility front group is spending, between the beginning of 2018 to present, and the specific regions the advertisements target.” Thanks to Caleb Heeringa of Gas Leaks for this tip. Link to the EPI website and their report that analyzes front group advertisements.

All-Electric New Building Sponsor on Capitol Pressroom – In this 12 minute slot on the Capitol Pressroom, Brooklyn Assembly Member Emily Gallagher shared her support of phasing out fossil fuel hookups in new construction as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the state.

Assembly Member Emily Gallagher