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September 20 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Clean Energy Is America’s Next Frontier & Path to a Safer Climate” • A new report from the NRDC shows how the United States can meet our short- and long-term climate goals relying primarily on today’s proven clean energy solutions – and with tremendous climate and health benefits that far surpass the cost. [Common Dreams]
Proven clean energy solutions (Photo: istock)

Proven clean energy solutions (Photo: istock)

  • A team of scientists from the Energy Department’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has figured out a way to convert CO2 directly into ethanol and ethylene, using a process powered by solar energy. The team made ethanol, skipping all the steps that involve planting corn, growing it, harvesting it, and processing it into biofuel. [CleanTechnica]
  • Renewable electricity is close to reaching a tipping point almost everywhere in the world and “nobody is going to make coal great again,” BNEF founder Michael Liebreich told a clean energy industry event in London. He said solar and onshore wind power had surpassed all orthodox expectations over the past two decades. [www.businessgreen.com]
  • Over $2 billion has been spent by the federal government on fire suppression efforts so far this budget year, according to the US Forest Service. The predictions that wildfires will become increasingly common and severe over the course of the century as a result of anthropogenic climate change have something substantial to them. [CleanTechnica]
  • Eradication of the world’s wildlife is not slowing. The most recent IUCN Endangered Species List includes numerous examples that were recently common but now are “disappearing faster than they can be counted.” Among noteworthy species are North American ash trees, as they fall to invasive beetles driven by a warming climate. [CleanTechnica]

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

New Hampshire sports 3+2 National Drive Electric Week events!

By Randy Bryan

2017 Drive Electric Week at Red Hook Brewery.  Courtesy photo.

2017 Drive Electric Week at Red Hook Brewery. Courtesy photo.

Three NH towns hosted National Drive Electric Week events last week, plus a combined NH-VT event held in VT and a spin-off event in the Seacoast. These were organized by local electric vehicles supporters, with Drive Electric NH offering some coordinating help.  Records were set this year in the number of events, number of vehicles, and crowds.  Each event had over 25 e-cars and at least 4 local dealerships, plus e-bikes and solar companies.  The visiting crowds were ever larger and more interested.  NH is honored to have Governor Sununu proclaim NH Drive Electric Week for the state.

Concord – Sat 9th Sept.  Concord held its 6th annual Drive Electric event on Main St in front of the Statehouse, next to the Farmer’s Market.  Sponsors NH Sierra Club, NH Division of Environment Services, NH Auto Dealer Assn, and ConVerdant Vehicles did the organizing.  Great Job!

Upper Valley – NH/VT.. – Sept 9th, White River Junction VT hosted the VT-NH Upper Valley Drive Electric Event at the Dothan Brook School, with great attendance of e-cars and visitors from NH and VT.  Kudos to Vital Communities, Upper Valley Sierra Club, NH and VT Town Energy Committees and their sponsors!

Plymouth – Thurs 14th Sept.  For Plymouth’s 1st annual event, they started off well.  Kudos to the local Sponsors/organizers New Hampshire Electric Cooperative and Common Man Inn and Spa.

Durham – Sat 16th Sept.  It was Durham’s 3rd annual event, sharing Wagon Hill Farm with the Durham Days Fair.  Congratulations to Charlie Forcey and the Durham Energy Committee as the local organizers.

Newington/Portsmouth – Sat 16 Sept. A new spin-off of the Durham event was held at the Red Hook Brewery to facilitate ride-drives.  As organized by James Penfold, a caravan of EVs from the Durham event drove to the Brewery and set up for a 2nd show.

Looking forward, Drive Electric NH hopes to help stage more events like these, at more locations, throughout the year.

September 19 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • While politicians elsewhere waffle on climate change, officials in Los Angeles are tackling the problem head on with a radical plan to lower the temperature of the city. Mayor Eric Garcetti intends to cut the average temperature in LA by 3° F over the next two decades. As part of that effort, LA streets are getting a new coat of white paint. [CleanTechnica]
Painting LA's streets white (Twitter | LA Street Services)

Painting LA’s streets white (Twitter | LA Street Services)

  • “What Hurricane Harvey Taught Us About Risk, Climate & Resilience” • People know the climate is changing, but they don’t know how serious it is. Over 70% of Americans agree that the climate is changing, but less than half of us believe it will affect us personally. Why? Perhaps because the when we imagine it, it is always far off. [CleanTechnica]
  • Early this year, the Mail on Sunday ran a hyperbolic article on climate change, claiming that world leaders had been “duped” by manipulated climate data. But the Mail on Sunday belongs to the Independent Press Standards Organization, which ruled that the article violated its code of ethics. The paper has been ordered to display the article’s inaccuracies. [Ars Technica UK]
  • Global nuclear power generation grew by 1.4% in 2016, the 2017 World Nuclear Industry Status Report said. By comparison, solar power output grew by 30% and wind by 16%. Of all capacity additions, 63% were renewable, as renewable energy auctions hit record low of prices of $30/MW in many places worldwide. [pv magazine International]
  • Idaho Power wants to retire two coal-fired power plants as part of a 20-year plan to provide electricity in Idaho and Oregon. The plants have a combined capacity of 700 MW. The decision to close them was based on economics, because they will be unable to operate at competitive prices, according to an Idaho Power spokesman. [Power Engineering Magazine]
  • Five Japanese nuclear power plants that have passed safety clearances by the Nuclear Regulation Authority may be at risk of having their cooling systems crippled during huge eruptions of nearby volcanoes. The Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan found volumes of volcanic ash could be 100 times previously estimated amounts. [Japan Today]

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

September 18 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Scientific models saved lives from Harvey and Irma. They can from climate change too.” • The impacts of hurricanes Harvey and Irma were blunted because weather models accurately predicted the hurricane paths days in advance. Scientific models for climate change use the same core physics as those for weather prediction. [The Guardian]
Evacuation ahead of Irma (Photo: Stephen M. Dowell | AP)

Evacuation ahead of Irma (Photo: Stephen M. Dowell | AP)

  • Scientists have learned that urban trees  –  even just a single tree  –  can help homes and office buildings save energy by blunting the wind’s chilling power. Trees keep pedestrians more comfortable as they walk down the street, and they help lower building heating costs by cutting the wind. Even trees without leaves can slow the wind down. [CleanTechnica]
  • Last week, the US Energy Department was gushing about its latest report on solar costs, with a record-breaking 29% decline in utility-scale solar leading the charge. Enjoy it while you can. A big tariff decision is coming down the pike as early as next week, and that could throw a Hoover Dam’s worth of cold water on the US solar industry. [CleanTechnica]
  • Virginia regulators rejected Appalachian Power’s bid to offer electricity from 100% renewable sources at an undetermined rate, as APCo failed to prove the tariff “is in the public interest and that its costs and associated rate are reasonable, just, and not likely to unreasonably prejudice or disadvantage renewable energy customers.” [Southeast Energy News]
  • An attorney for a legislative panel investigating the failure of the VC Summer nuclear power project in South Carolina said a report on the reactors was “designed to never see the light of day.” He said it shows that the owners intended to keep the report secret, while they knew for two years that the reactors could not be completed as planned. [WBTW]

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

September 17 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • A survey of 903 Canadian vertebrate species spanning over four decades has found that half are in serious population decline. Declining species lost a total of 83% of their numbers between 1970 and 2014, says the report from the World Wildlife Fund. Causes include pollution, climate change, habitat loss, and invasive species. [The Weather Channel]
St Lawrence beluga (Nick Caloyianis, National Geographic Creative | WWF-Canada)

St Lawrence beluga (Nick Caloyianis, National Geographic Creative | WWF-Canada)

  • Following a meeting of environment ministers, the EU climate commissioner said Trump officials had indicated the US would either stay in the 2015 accord or review its terms. But the White House had insisted it will leave the Paris climate accord, and despite reports to the contrary, spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that its position was unchanged. [BBC]
  • On Thursday morning, Florida Power and Light tweeted that all substations and 1,000 main power lines have been restored in Florida in the wake of Irma. And the process of allowing people to return to homes was underway in most areas outside the storm-ravaged lower Florida Keys. FPL is working to fix over 12,000 cases of damage. [ExpressNewsline]
  • California lawmakers will go home for the year without voting on a landmark renewable energy bill. The bill would have required state regulators to chart a path to 100% carbon-free electricity by 2045, though this could have included such energy sources as nuclear plants and gas-fired power plants that capture their carbon emissions. [The Desert Sun]
  • Dubai has officially launched the world’s largest single-site concentrated solar power project at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. The project, which will be built at a total cost of $3.9 billion, was unveiled by the UAE’s Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. [Gulf Business News]

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

September 16 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “What can Kodiak teach the world about renewable energy? A lot.” • Since 2007, Kodiak Island has transformed its grid so that it now generates almost 100% of its power with renewable energy. The electric rates are stable and have actually dropped slightly since 2000. It is a model with lessons for remote communities from the Arctic to the equator. [KTOO]
Turbines on Kodiak Island (Photo: Eric Keto | Alaska’s Energy Desk)

Wind turbines on Kodiak Island (Photo: Eric Keto | Alaska’s Energy Desk)

  • MetStat is a company that provides analysis on precipitation and weather event frequency to industries like utility companies that need to know where to put their infrastructure so it won’t be damaged by extreme weather events. It has now released an analysis of Hurricane Harvey. It found that the storm was a once in 25,000 year event. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Sachs: Big Oil will have to pay up, like Big Tobacco” • Here is a message to investors in the oil industry, whether pension and insurance funds, university endowments, hedge funds or other asset managers: Your investments are going to sour. The growing devastation caused by climate change is going to blow a hole in your fossil-fuel portfolio. [CNN]
  • A report from Carbon Tracker concluded that phasing out unprofitable coal plants in the United States could end up saving consumers $10 billion per year by 2021, while boosting the country’s competitiveness. It said that by the mid-2020s it will be cheaper to replace 78% of the existing coal power plants in the US than keep them running. [CleanTechnica]
  • Hurricane Irma cut the power to about 6.7 million customers across Florida, and though about two-thirds of them had power back by Thursday, the outages could last weeks in some areas. Some homeowners, some businesses, and even some cities were able to take advantage of the Sunshine State’s solar power while the grid was down. [InsideClimate News]

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

September 15 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Is Oil Industry Threatened By More Than Electric Vehicles?” • Execs at a number of top fossil fuel companies have suggested that even after demand for oil and natural gas peaks, demand for petrochemical feedstocks for plastics, fertilizers, and other chemicals will stay strong. But plastics pose a serious problems that have to be addressed. [CleanTechnica]
Oil and Agriculture

Oil and Agriculture

  • Donald Trump has indicated that Hurricanes Irma and Harvey have not changed his view on climate change. When a reporter asked for his thoughts on the hurricanes and climate change, he said, “We’ve had bigger storms than this.” But he had earlier said of Hurricane Harvey, “There’s probably never been anything like this.” [Independent.ie]
  • Drax, a UK power company, announced that it is seeking planning permission to install a 200-MW battery onsite. If approved and commissioned, the storage facility would be the biggest in the world, dwarfing the 129-MW lithium-ion battery project that is currently being built in Australia by Tesla and Neoen. [RenewEconomy]
  • A US district judge cited tribal sovereignty in dismissing a lawsuit aimed at shutting down a coal-fired power plant and adjacent mine near the Arizona-New Mexico border. The lawsuit targeted the 2015 approval by the US government of a lease extension for the Navajo Mine and the Four Corners Power Plant. [Power Engineering Magazine]
  • Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority signed off on power purchase contracts between the Connecticut’s two utilities and developers of 28 renewable energy generation projects, selected by bid. In all, the projects are expected to generate just over 700 GWh of electricity per year for the state, PURA documents say. [Hartford Business]

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

9th Annual Local Energy Solutions Conference – October 28, Concord, NH

Join the Local Energy Solutions Workgroup for the 9th Annual 2017 Local Energy Solutions Conference – October 28

70 Constitution Ave, Concord, NH
Special early-bird registration discounts available until October 1st
For more information, and to register, visit https://www.nhsea.org/local-energy-solutions-conference or click the web ad at the right.
 LES

REV2017 is coming!

REV 2017

  • What: 17th Annual Renewable Energy Vermont Conference & Expo
  • Where: Sheraton Hotel, 870 Williston Road, Burlington, VT 05403
  • When: October 2nd & 3rd

For more than a decade, the Renewable Energy Vermont Conference has been the leading event for the renewable energy sectors in Northern New England. Organized by the nonprofit trade association, Renewable Energy Vermont, this annual forum brings together business leaders, system operators, architects, builders, manufacturers, engineers, scientists, policy makers, and regulators. Additionally, you can earn American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits for attending.

This year’s conference themes include:

  • Achieving Our Clean Energy, Customer & Community Driven Future
  • Equitable and Affordable Access to Clean, Renewable Electricity, Heating, & Transportation
  • Emerging Technologies, Business, & Financing Models
  • Integrating Innovation & Distributed Energy on the Grid & in Town Plans
  • Deep Dives into the Latest Policy & Regulatory Issues
  • Long-term Planning for a More Sustainable New England

Learn more at http://www.revconference.org/ and register at http://www.revconference.org/register

September 14 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Harrowing Storms May Move Climate Debate, if Not GOP Leaders” • For years, climate change activists have faced a dilemma: how to persuade people to care about a grave but seemingly far-off problem and win their support for policies that might cost them in utility bills and at the pump. Now, people can see the problem for themselves. [New York Times]
Sailboat in Georgia (Credit: Luke Sharrett | The New York Times)

Sailboat in Georgia (Credit: Luke Sharrett | The New York Times)

  • The bristlecone pine tree, famous for its wind-beaten, gnarly limbs and having the longest lifespan on Earth, is losing a race to the top of mountains throughout the Western United States, putting future generations in peril, researchers said. Climate change is warming its territory, giving a competitive edge to another species. [The Columbian]
  • “Will Hurricane Harvey Launch a New Kind of Climate Lawsuit?” • Scientists can now link “acts of God” to climate change. Researchers are getting good at determining how much humans have weighted the dice. The field of “extreme event attribution” could give victims the power to hold someone accountable, say lawyers. [Inside Science News Service]
  • The European Marine Energy Centre has produced hydrogen gas using electricity generated from tidal energy in Orkney, Scotland. This is the first time that hydrogen has been created from tidal energy. Tidal turbines fed power into an electrolyzer, which used the electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. [The Maritime Executive]
  • A coalition of environmentalists, clergy and solar and wind energy companies launched a campaign calling for half of Maryland’s electricity to come from renewable sources. A policy adopted last year requires that renewable energy account for 25% of the state’s electricity portfolio by 2020. The new campaign calls for 50% by 2030. [Baltimore Sun]

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