Thursday, 18 January 2018

January 18 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Residents in 30 towns across Vermont, including Brattleboro, Dummerston, Londonderry, Marlboro, Newfane, Putney, and Weston, are petitioning to put climate change on their respective Town Meeting Day agendas and ballots. Vermont has a goal to power the state with 90% renewables by 2050, but is far from meeting this mark. [Commons]
A red-tailed hawk rests at a solar farm in Michigan. (Photo: Deb Nystrom, Wikimedia Commons)

A red-tailed hawk rests at a solar farm in Michigan. (Photo: Deb Nystrom, Wikimedia Commons)

  • As the founder and CEO of BlackRock, Laurence D Fink controls over $6 trillion in assets. On January 16, the chief executives of most of the major business corporations in the world received a letter from him telling them they have to develop a social conscience if they wish BlackRock to continue investing in their businesses. [CleanTechnica]
  • A boom in solar power could wipe out $1.4 billion a year of summertime revenue for Texas fossil-fuel generators. Almost 15 GW of solar power may be installed in the coming years, and every GW stands to reduce peak summer wholesale electricity prices by about $2.76/MWh, analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance shows. [BloombergQuint]
  • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is building a reactor that will make a renewable form of natural gas in a two-step process. First, supplies of cheap solar and wind-powered electricity will be used to split hydrogen from water. Then the hydrogen will be combined by microbes with carbon dioxide to make natural gas. [E&E News]
  • A clean energy group in Ohio has new data that they say can change the debate on clean energy during the 2018 campaign season. The Ohio Conservative Energy Forum is pointing to a poll that shows conservative voters are 36 percent more likely to vote for someone who supports energy efficiency and increases the use of renewables. [WOSU]

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

January 18 Green Energy News posted first on Green Energy Times

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

January 17 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “China Is the New World Leader in Renewable Energy” • China is becoming dominant in the realm of renewable energy, a report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis says. And the US decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement was an important catalyst for the growth in China’s renewable energy leadership. [Futurism]
PVs in China (Image: Wikimedia Commons | WiNG)

PVs in China (Image: Wikimedia Commons | WiNG)

  • At the Detroit auto show, Ford announced it is more than doubling its previous commitment to electric cars to $11 billion by 2022. By then, The Verge says, it will have 16 electric models in its product lineup, for a total of 40 models that are hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or fully electric. By comparison, GM says it will have 16. [CleanTechnica]
  • Scotrenewables Tidal Power SR2000 tidal current turbine delivered impressive generation throughout heavy North Atlantic storms that battered the Orkney Islands in late autumn and early winter. The turbine showed it is capable of generating through around 99% of conditions experienced at the Orkney site. [Renewable Energy Magazine]
  • An “energy revolution” is being predicted for the UK over the next decade, as farmers and landowners look to invest in energy storage technology. The renewable energy storage systems, which include both batteries and thermal storage systems, can run from very small units to technologies for power plant and grid-scale installations. [FarmingUK]
  • UK investment in wind and solar power has crashed since the Government reduced the amount of help available, new figures show. The dramatic slump, a 56% fall in a single year, sparked an accusation that the Government is failing in its environmental strategy, despite its “green veneer.” Meanwhile, much of the world powers ahead. [The Independent]

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

January 17 Green Energy News posted first on Green Energy Times

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Headline News:

  • The latest weather reports from Alaska are alarming. In December, 2017, the average temperature in Alaska was 19.4° F according to a report from NOAA. That average is 2.1º F more than the previous high temperature record set in 1985. For the month, Alaska was 15.7º F warmer on average, compared to data going back to 1925. [CleanTechnica]
Above average temperatures in Alaska

Above average temperatures in Alaska

  • Data from both the Energy Information Administration and Rhodium Group show that solar and wind power represented 94.7% of the US net new electricity capacity (15.8 GW out of 16.7 GW) added in 2017. However, that is mainly because fossil fuel power continued to fade away, as 11.8 GW of utility-scale fossil fuel plants closed. [Engadget]
  • “Is An Oil Price Spike Inevitable?” • The oil glut is over, at least when it comes to US commercial inventories. Brent touched $70 last week, and discoveries continuing to sit at record lows, so there is a chance that $70 a barrel is only the beginning. One thing, however, is certain: The oil market is notoriously difficult to predict. []
  • “Edible insects: Do insects actually taste any good?” • Edible insects are often portrayed as something of a sustainable super-food, an environmentally friendly alternative to livestock. But who is already eating them and do they actually taste any good? (Spoiler: Hornet larvae taste like sweet mussels when cooked and seasoned properly.) [BBC]
  • A massive oil tanker that sank off the coast of China could affect marine life for decades, experts say. The 900 foot-long tanker was carrying about a million barrels of ultra-light crude oil at the time of the collision. China’s State Oceanic Administration said several oil slicks have already been found, including one covering over 22 square miles. [CNN]

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

posted first on Green Energy Times

Monday, 15 January 2018

January 15 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Green Mountain Power suffered “several millions” of dollars of lost revenue over the past 18 months because the electric grid in northern Vermont is not robust enough, its director of power planning told the Public Utility Commission. The Washington Electric Co-op has experienced a similar setback for the same reason. []
GMP control room (Photo: John Herrick | VTDigger)

GMP control room (Photo: John Herrick | VTDigger)

  • London’s air quality is within legal limits in mid-January for the first time in 10 years, City Hall has said. The capital breached limits for nitrogen dioxide by 6 January every year for the last decade, Mayor Sadiq Khan said. So far this year, London’s NO2 has not exceeded limits, although it is likely to do so later this month, Mr Khan admitted. [BBC]
  • Cape Town, home to Table Mountain, African penguins, sea, and sunshine, is a world-renowned tourist destination. But it could also become famous as the world’s first major city to run out of water. Most recent projections suggest that its water could run out as early as March, after three years of very low rainfall and increasing consumption. [BBC]
  • The falling cost of renewable energy means nuclear power cannot compete with cheap solar power in developed countries, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency report for 2017. Global renewable energy costs are falling so fast they could be consistently cheaper than fossil fuels by 2020, IRENA says. [Energy Matters]
  • An ambitious project to protect Florida’s Treasure Coast waterways from damaging algae faces critics who decry it as shortsighted and discriminatory against the Miccosukee Indian Tribe. The plan would feed fresh water to the Everglades, as nature had once done, but the water is loaded with agricultural nutrients now. [MyPalmBeachPost]

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

January 15 Green Energy News posted first on Green Energy Times

Sunday, 14 January 2018

January 14 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Global warming will increase the risk of river flooding over the coming decades, endangering millions more people around the world, a study from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research said. It found that flood defenses especially need to be improved in the United States, Indonesia, Central Europe, and parts of India and Africa. [Sun.Star]
Flooding in Germany (AP image)

Flooding in Germany (AP image)

  • The Australian summer heat is fierce. A section of highway from Sydney to Melbourne started to melt. Heat-struck bats fall dead from the trees. In suburban Sydney, temperatures hit 47.3° C (117° F), though they cooled to 43.6° C (110.5° F) the next day. It is now hotter without an El Niño than it used to be with one. And it may be the new normal. [BBC]
  • The Tesla Model 3 is now on show, and attracting huge crowds. One is being featured at the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto and another at the Century City mall in Los Angeles. But a customer who orders a Model 3 today will have to be patient. There are approximately 400,000 people with reservations for them in line already. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Puerto Rico is taking a big step toward revamping how it gets power – and it could be a model for the rest of the US” • More than three months after the storm, 1.5 million Puerto Ricans remain without power, and hundreds of thousands have no clean water. It could happen elsewhere in America. And the solutions for Puerto Rico can inform us. [Business Insider]
  • “Carbon Taxing May Be Coming To Energy Conscious States” • After President Trump said the US would abandon the Paris Climate Agreement, many state and local governments decided to continue with it. Massachusetts State Representative Jennifer Benson proposed taxing carbon much as countries around the world do. [The Drive]

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

January 14 Green Energy News posted first on Green Energy Times

Live webcast – Holding fossil fuel companies liable for climate change – Jan 25

The Union of Concerned Scientists and the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at University of California—Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law invite you to a timely and stimulating conversation exploring whether and how the fossil fuel industry can be held liable for the harms climate change is inflicting on communities across the country.

Live Webcast: Holding Fossil Fuel Companies Liable for Climate Change Harms
Date: Thursday, January 25
Time: 9:00 p.m. EST / 6:00 p.m. PST


The event will be webcasted live from the Fowler Museum at UCLA. You will receive an email with details on accessing the webcast upon registration.

The fossil fuel industry is responsible for decades of climate science disinformation and attempts to obstruct climate action. A recent scientific paper in Climatic Change for the first time quantifies the outsized role that carbon pollution traced to these companies has played in exacerbating climate impacts. In the face of the current climate change policy void at the federal level, legal experts are seriously exploring whether and how fossil fuel companies can be held liable.

A handful of recent lawsuits filed by cities and counties in California have put this issue front and center, and New York City also filed suit for climate damages on January 10. But the fossil fuel industry is fighting back—ExxonMobil is now threatening to countersue in California and has begun legal maneuvers that may be time-consuming and costly for the cities and counties.

Featuring scientific and legal experts, as well as perspectives from affected communities, the panel will address how companies involved in the extraction, production, and marketing of fossil fuels can be held to account for the ever-mounting costs of climate harms and preparation.

Live webcast – Holding fossil fuel companies liable for climate change – Jan 25 posted first on Green Energy Times

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Power On Puerto Rico

In response to the ongoing humanitarian disaster in Puerto Rico, a group of U.S. solar companies and a global disaster relief agency are mobilizing to bring portable emergency power trailers to remote areas of the unincorporated U.S. territory.

Roughly 40% of Puerto Rico is still without power and clean drinking water after the catastrophic Hurricane Maria tore across the island in September. Hundreds of thousands of island residents are risking serious illness daily as they are forced to collect water from streams and other untreated water sources that are known to be contaminated. Without access to power to charge cell phones or computers and roads destroyed or blocked by fallen trees, many island residents are isolated and unable to get information on aid opportunities.

Amurtel, a non-profit disaster relief agency, and Amicus, a purchasing cooperative of 45 American solar companies, have created a partnership to bring emergency solar power and drinking water systems to those struggling to recover from the hurricane. The effort, called Power On Puerto Rico, is enlisting volunteers from Amicus member-companies to design and build Solar Outreach Systems (SOS) that will be delivered to the areas of greatest need.  These areas are identified by Amurtel volunteers in Puerto Rico who are working closely with the University of Puerto Rico “Instituto para el Desarrollo de las Comunidades” (Community Development Institute).

Three enclosed trailers that will be converted into Solar Outreach Systems once all materials arrive at ReVision Energy’s decarbonization facility in North Andover, MA

Three enclosed trailers that will be converted into Solar Outreach Systems once all materials arrive at ReVision Energy’s decarbonization facility in North Andover, MA

Located close to the equator where solar energy is most abundant, Puerto Rico is an ideal geography for harnessing solar energy. The Solar Outreach Systems, which are portable community-based communication, water purification and emergency power hubs, will immediately assist on-the-ground relief efforts.

The SOS units will be deployed by the Aireko Foundation, an offshoot of Aireko Energy Solutions, which is a Puerto Rico-based member of Amicus. These units will be loaned to the communities for the duration of their need and then be redeployed to other disaster areas around the globe as needs and events dictate.

“The aftermath of Hurricane Maria has been as difficult and often even harder than surviving the storm itself, especially for those communities in the interior of the island. After more than two months, reestablishment of electric power for those communities is still unknown, and the quality of water is not the best – for those communities that are lucky enough to have this service, which are very few. Sadly, those communities are far from returning to their normal lives,” said Hector Rivera Russe of Aireko Energy Solutions. “I’m deeply touched by how my Amicus partners, alongside Amurtel, have jumped without hesitation, to putting their time, resources and effort to give relief to my people in Puerto Rico. I will always be thankful to them,” said Russe.

The first three SOS units are being manufactured in the North Andover, MA warehouse of ReVision Energy, a founding member of Amicus recently named the #1 Rooftop Solar Installer in New England by Solar Power Industry magazine. “We are chomping at the bit to build these portable emergency power units,” said Phil Coupe, a co-founder of ReVision Energy. “The great news is that we already have more than enough volunteers to build the units once we obtain all the necessary components.”

Each SOS is comprised of an enclosed trailer with exterior solar panels and power outlets, along with batteries and a water purification system inside the trailer. Once parked in a sunny location, the exterior solar panels are deployed and switched on to provide 300-400 watts of emergency power while simultaneously purifying up to 600 gallons of clean potable water a day. Each SOS unit can charge up to 10 phones and five laptops simultaneously. Two large outdoor floodlights affixed to the roof of the SOS units will enable community members to have light at night.

The first 10 Puerto Rican communities that will receive SOS’s have already been identified, and are anxiously awaiting their units. Each community will be responsible for the maintenance and security of their unit, but there will be no cost associated with the use.

Power On Puerto Rico is a powerful way that individuals can help fellow Americans in crisis. Although all of the SOS design work, and many of the components, have been donated, Amurtel and Amicus need additional funds to finish manufacturing the SOS units and to deliver them. The estimated cost of each SOS unit is $15,000 to purchase the trailer base, water purification system, charging outlets, lights and batteries.

How can you help? Tax deductible donations of materials, services and cash contributions are being coordinated through

Power On Puerto Rico posted first on Green Energy Times