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September 22 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “GM Says It Has Fixed The Chevy Bolt Battery Problem And New Cells Already In Production” • Good news. GM and LG say they have solved the battery cell manufacturing defect that led to several battery fires. LG stopped producing the cells in August, but resumed production recently. GM says it will begin replacing battery packs in October. [CleanTechnica]

Chevy Bolt (GM image)

  • “Appalachia Poised To Become Clean Energy Country” • In the clean energy transition, many fear that coal-dependent regions like Appalachia will lose out or be left behind. But RMI analysis challenges that assumption. It says Appalachia could be where the biggest economic benefit from the deployment of wind and solar projects happens in next decade. [CleanTechnica]
  • “China’s Xi Jinping Promises To Halt New Coal Projects Abroad Amid Climate Crisis” • Chinese President Xi Jinping made a key climate pledge in a pre-recorded address to the UN General Assembly. China will not build any new coal-fired power projects abroad and will increase financial support for low-carbon energy projects in other developing countries. [CNN]
  • “Tesla Megapack And Solar To Replace 562-MW New Mexico Coal Plant” • Tesla’s Megapack energy storage tech will be used to help New Mexico’s Public Service Company to replace a retiring 562-MW coal plant, the San Juan Generating Station. The coal plant is located near the San Juan Mine and produced power at $45/MWh in 2018 and 2019. [CleanTechnica]
  • “EV Production In Germany Shows What An EV Revolution Looks Like” • German automakers produced 53,221 EVs in July of this year. That was 21.7% of the total number of cars produced in Germany that month. In March of 2020, just 6.8% of the new cars were EVs and in January of 2019, only 3.2% of new cars were EVs, Energy Monitor said. [CleanTechnica]

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

September 21 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “BP Gambles Big On Fast Transition From Oil To Renewables” • Oil major BP agreed to sell a third of its majority stake in a very profitable project earlier this year. The deal exemplifies a larger strategy to liquidate the company’s fossil-fuel assets to raise cash for investments in renewable-energy projects that BP concedes won’t make money for years. [Reuters]

Lightsource BP solar farm (Lightsource BP image)

  • “Why Is There A CO₂ Shortage And How Will It Hit Food Supplies?” • When two large UK fertilizer factories stopped work because of soaring wholesale gas prices, they also stopped producing CO₂, a by-product. This means there has been a cut of 60% of the UK’s food-grade CO₂ supply. And CO₂ has many different uses for food. [BBC]
  • “Poland Ordered To Pay A $580,000 Fine For Each Day It Continues Operating A Controversial Coal Mine” • Poland is to pay a €500,000 ($586,000) fine for each day it takes coal from an open-pit mine near the Czech and German borders, Europe’s top court ruled. The KWB Turów mine supplies power to around 2.3 million Polish households. [CNN]
  • “More Than 200 Companies Joined A Pledge To Hit Net-Zero Carbon By 2040” • More than 200 companies, including Twitter, Salesforce, and Procter & Gamble, signed a climate pledge that aims to reduce their carbon emissions over the next two decades. The project is part of a collaboration between Amazon and the advocacy group Global Optimism. [CNN]
  • “Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Ahead Of Schedule” • The Vermont Yankee nuclear plant closed seven years ago, and the decommissioning process is still going on. Northstar, which specializes in the work, took ownership of plant in January of 2019. It is now over a third of the way through the project, the Northstar CEO Scott State said. [WCAX]

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

 

September 20 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Burundi Floods: Lake Tanganyika’s Water Levels Rise” • Natural disasters have forced more than 100,000 people to flee their homes in Burundi in recent years, according to Save the Children. Most of them lived on the shores of Lake Tanganyika where water levels had risen because of heavy storms, causing floods and landslides. [BBC]

Fishing on Lake Tanganyika (Worldtraveller, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

  • “Climate TRACE Lifts The Veil On Oil & Gas Emissions” • The production and refining processes for oil and gas account for about one-tenth of human-made greenhouse gases, making the sector one of the world’s largest emitters. With the launch of Climate TRACE, we are closer to clear answers about where those GHGs are coming from. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Nickel-Hydrogen Battery For Large Scale Renewables” • US start-up EnerVenue secured funding for a gigafactory to make nickel-hydrogen batteries for large-scale applications. The battery efficiency is 80% to 90%, depending on the cycle rate, and its energy density per square foot is at least equal to lithium-ion batteries, the company said. [PV Magazine]
  • “KNP Complex Fire Reaches Part Of Sequoia National Park’s Giant Forest, Threatening Some Of The World’s Largest Trees” • The KNP Complex Fire in California reached a “small area” of the Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park, home to some of the world’s largest trees, fire officials said. They have spent recent days preparing the trees for the threat of fire. [CNN]
  • “Australia Claims 1.2% Of Global CO₂ Emissions – Should Be 10%” • The hypocrites in Canberra blame the big emitters India and China for climate change, but the coal they are burning is ours. We dig the stuff out of the ground, sell it overseas, and wash our hands of the outcome. We claim to be low-carbon emitters, but the carbon they emit is ours. [CleanTechnica]

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

Just In! (from NY-GEO

Below are G.E.T.’s top picks from NY-GEO’s weekly “Just-In” Newsletter. Just In! features three fresh news item summaries on the NY-GEO home page every Monday. NY-GEO members get the full newsletter, which includes an advanced look at the website articles, plus event listings and job openings and several bonus article summaries with links, usually on the Saturday before website publication.

ASHRAE/NYSERDA Series on Community Heat Pumps -The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the NY Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) are offering a series of free webinars on community heat pumps running from September 29th, 2021 to May 25th, 2022. From the series website: “To meet New York’s 2050 goal by pivoting 4.5 million buildings to heat pumps, the market will need to install heat pumps in more than 400 buildings each day, every day, throughout the next 30 years. To support this effort, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has partnered with ASHRAE to develop the following series of 17 FREE webinars designed to engage and educate all stakeholders involved in community heat pump system design and implementation. Each free webinar offers 1.5 continuing education credits.”

Richmond, VA City Council passes a resolution to equitably phase out gas, including their own gas utility: City of Richmond – File #: RES. 2021-R049 (legistar.com) – From the resolution, which passed on an 8-0 vote. “BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That the Council hereby commits to working with the City’s Administration on an equitable plan to phase out reliance on gas and shift to accelerated investment in City-owned renewable energy and hereby recognizes that the continued operation of the City’s gas utility is an obstacle to the City’s goal of Net-Zero emissions in accordance (with) Resolution No. 2020-R024, adopted June 8, 2020.”

HeatSmart Campaign for New Rochelle – In conjunction with the Urban League of Westchester County, Comrie Enterprises, LLC will launch Adopt Clean Energy in New Rochelle on September 30, 2021, at 7 p.m. as one of the most recent New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) sponsored community outreach campaigns. Adopt Clean Energy educates customers about the benefits of clean heating and cooling technologies, connects contractors to customers, and helps residents make the switch to electrification. Congressman Jamaal Bowman, who…is Chair of the United States House Science Subcommittee on Energy, headlined the Mount Vernon launch and will headline the New Rochelle virtual launch…New Rochelle residents will view the virtual launch on Zoom by registering on the website www.adoptcleanenergy.earth. The invited speakers will include New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson, New Rochelle City Council members, New Rochelle’s representatives to the New York Senate and Assembly, and members of the Westchester County Executive office, Con Edison Representatives, and heat pump contractors.

Elected Call on Hochul to Revisit Rate Hike Tied to Brooklyn Pipeline – By Samantha Maldonado – The City – “A group of 31 state and local officials on Friday called on the governor to review a state commission decision that will result in customers paying for fossil fuel projects, including parts of a controversial pipeline in Brooklyn. Representing Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and Staten Island, the signatories of the letter — including Rep. Carolyn Maloney, and State Sens. Julia Salazar, Jabari Brisport, Liz Krueger and Diane Savino — ask Gov. Kathy Hochul to uphold the state’s climate law, which mandates cuts of greenhouse gas emissions in a way that provides substantial benefits to ‘disadvantaged communities.’”

September 19 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Blue Food Revolution Can Help Solve Climate Change, Malnutrition And Economic Crisis: Study” • Research shows how aquatic food sectors can play a vital role in providing healthy diets and a more sustainable, equitable, and resilient food system across the globe. The proceedings of the study were published in the journal Nature. [Republic World]

School of fish (jean wimmerlin, Unsplash)

  • “In Canada And Germany, The Climate Crisis Is Finally On The Ballot. But Can It Win?” • Climate change rarely makes or breaks an election. But the tide appears to be turning. The climate crisis is finally on the ballot. In Canada and Germany, it has become an important issue, and political parties supporting climate action are gaining strength. [CNN]
  • “Rolls-Royce Electric Airplane Takes Flight” • Rolls-Royce Aerospace has been a leader in developing electric propulsion systems for airplanes in order to help lead the world forward into a future of zero-emissions flight. The company has been working on the fastest electric airplane, able to fly at over 300 mph. Now they have flown it. [CleanTechnica]
  • “CarMax Survey Finds 56% Of Car Owners Likely To Buy An EV Or Hybrid Next” • CarMax, one of the largest US car sellers, did a survey to find out what people think of eco-friendly cars. In a survey of 1,049 current car owners, 56% of respondents said they intend to purchase either a hybrid or electric car the next time they buy a car. [CleanTechnica]
  • “GM Tells Bolt Owners To Park 50 Feet Away From Other Cars, Extends EV Production Halt” • General Motors told some Chevy Bolt owners to park 50 feet away from other cars so they won’t be at risk if a spontaneous fire breaks out, Bloomberg reported. GM has recalled around 142,000 Bolts sold since 2016 because the batteries can catch on fire. [CleanTechnica]

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

September 18 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “US Offshore Wind Industry Has Electrifying Future” • The Offshore Wind Market Report: 2021 Edition, written by a team of researchers at the DOE and NREL, says the US offshore wind industry made great progress in 2020 and early 2021. The offshore wind pipeline grew 24%, with 35,324 MW now in various stages of development. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore wind turbines (Mitchell Orr, Unsplash, cropped)

  • “Toss, Repair, Or Recycle Solar Panels? How Human Behavior Affects Fate Of Old Solar Panels” • By 2050, there could be 80 million metric tons globally of solar PVs reaching the end of their lifetime, with 10 million metric tons in the US alone. NREL researchers addressed this in an article published in the journal Nature Energy. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Biden Announces Global Goal To Reduce Planet-Warming Methane Emissions” • President Joe Biden announced the US and EU have launched a global pledge to reduce emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, by nearly 30% by the end of the decade. Methane emissions are driven by fossil fuels, coal mining and agriculture. [CNN]
  • “The Planet Is On A ‘Catastrophic’ Global Warming Path, UN Report Shows” • The planet is careening toward warming of 2.7°C above pre-industrial levels, according to a report on global emissions targets by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. This is far above the highest temperature scientists say the world should be allowing. [CNN]
  • “Gas Price Rises Prompt Urgent UK Government Talks” • The government is holding urgent talks with representatives from the energy industry as there is growing concern about a spike in wholesale gas prices. High global demand, maintenance issues at some gas sites, and lower solar and wind output are blamed for the price rise. [BBC]

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

Why did Ida cause so much less damage than Katrina? Because government did its job

Carl Pope

“A version of this article appeared in Salon

The most significant images from Hurricane Ida’s devastating landfall on the Gulf Coast are the ones we are not seeing: no refugees huddled in the Superdome, no shots of block after block of New Orleans under water, no miles of overtopped and crumbling levees. As the table below suggests, Ida, which hit New Orleans more directly than Katrina did in 2005 — and mustered greater and more concentrated destructive power — wreaked only a fraction of the loss of life and property damages.

Why is this so significant? Because the biggest reason that, as the mayor of New Orleans said, “We didn’t have a second Katrina,” had nothing to do with Ida’s relative strength. It had to do with $14.5 billion in federal investment in disaster prevention, mostly spent raising, strengthening and hardening the levees, surge barriers and pumping systems that protect New Orleans. These investments saved the city.

The lesson here is clear enough: Prevention works. Investment pays off. We do not need to wait for “stuff to happen” and then clean up the bodies. A focused and competent federal government, getting ready for disasters that haven’t yet happened, is an absolute key to the safety of millions and millions of Americans. FEMA alone spent $76 billion on Katrina disaster relief in Louisiana, most of that in New Orleans. So, the $14.5 billion spent on prevention has already, at the most conservative estimate, been repaid several times over to the Treasury and the taxpayers.

Continue reading Why did Ida cause so much less damage than Katrina? Because government did its job

Climate Change Is Making the U.S. Poorer Than It Realizes

Carl Pope

“A version of this article appeared in Bloomberg

The trillion-dollar spending package that the Senate has passed along to the House is being described as a once-in-a-generation fix for America’s deteriorating infrastructure. It should be viewed as only the first in a long series of such big investments, because Earth’s climate is changing faster than America’s existing roads, bridges and other infrastructure can withstand.

In the past 12 months, weather-related events have illustrated what’s happening. Salem, Oregon, hit 117 degrees Fahrenheit. The West is coping with its worst drought on record. In February, a polar vortex drove temperatures in Texas to 50 degrees below normal.

Most U.S. infrastructure was built to withstand once-in-a-century floods, fires, storms, and droughts, so that only 1% of it was vulnerable each year. But those disasters now happen every 20 years or less.

And our communities turn out to be far less equipped than expected to cope. Texas has still not weatherproofed its power plants. California’s public utilities are again cutting electricity in areas where power lines pose an unacceptable risk of catastrophic fire in high winds. Portland has had to close its transit systems when its wiring melted in unexpected heat.

Continue reading Climate Change Is Making the U.S. Poorer Than It Realizes

September 17 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “California Fires: General Sherman And Other Sequoias Given Blankets” • Firefighters are wrapping fire-resistant blankets around ancient trees as blazes tear through California’s world-famous Sequoia National Park. Officials fear the fire could reach the Giant Forest, a grove of some of the world’s biggest trees, within hours. [BBC]

Trees in Sequoia National Park (Josh Carter, Unsplash)

  • “Moving From Pain To Gain On Climate Solutions” • Since the Paris climate conference in 2015, the cost of renewable energy has fallen to below that of coal. But it’s not just economics. There are also gains for the environment, health, and energy security and access. There is no longer a trade-off between development and climate mitigation. [CleanTechnica]
  • “House Lawmakers Launch Investigation Into Climate Crisis Disinformation By Fossil Fuel Industry” • The House Oversight and Reform Committee announced it is to investigate fossil fuel industry disinformation on the climate crisis. The committee invited the heads of six oil companies and lobbying groups to testify before it next month. [CNN]
  • “White House Economists Say A Clean Energy Transition Will Lower Consumer Costs” • In a blog post shared first with CNN, White House economists argue that President Joe Biden’s climate agenda will not only cut carbon emissions but also bring down costs for consumers by increasing energy efficiency and cutting electricity costs. [CNN]
    Wind turbines in Idaho (ENERGY.GOV, public domain)
  • “Ford Adding 450 Manufacturing Jobs To Meet Demand For F-150 Lightning” • Interest in the F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck is exceeding Ford’s wildest dreams. The company is adding 450 workers at three factories in Michigan to make sure it can meet demand. Ford also has upped its annual production goal to 80,000 units. [CleanTechnica]

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

Our calls are making a difference!

THANK YOU to those who helped make the Senate campaign for climate legislation so successful: over 50,000 contacts in 3 weeks!

News broke a week ago in BloombergThe Hill, and NBC that the Senate Finance Committee is considering carbon pricing as part of the reconciliation bill. The Senate heard us when we asked them to go big on climate change with a price on carbon earlier this summer.

This is great news. It’s now way more likely that the climate provisions in the reconciliation package will meet President Biden’s goal of 50% emissions reductions by 2030. And, now it’s time to push with everything we’ve got to make this a reality. 

Please email President Biden to tell him you support a price on carbon in budget reconciliation.

Email President Biden

Even though Congress determines what’s in the budget reconciliation package, President Biden is working closely with Congressional leaders. The President’s influence could be the nudge that gets climate pricing into the bill. Please give him a nudge today.