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Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

March 24 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • The Earth’s life support system is failing. Nearly everywhere, the various forms of non-human life are in decline, according to a series of landmark international reports. This ongoing decline endangers economies, livelihoods, food security, and the quality of life of people everywhere. Nevertheless, there are reasons to hope, the reports say. [National Geographic]
Specimens (Frans Lanting, National Geographic Creative)

Specimens (Frans Lanting, National Geographic Creative)

  • Rod Cushing, of Johnson Controls in North America, said that the University of Hawaii Maui College would most likely be the first campus to supply 100% of its energy requirements. This is sixteen years earlier than expected. The college plans to achieve this through use of “on-site photovoltaic systems coupled with battery storage.” [Study Breaks]
  • San Francisco and Oakland sued five major oil companies, claiming they kept secret for decades their knowledge that their operations were causing global warming. Lawyers for Chevron say they will not contest that climate change is real and accept findings reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. [CleanTechnica]
  • A world addled by climate change has seen a four-fold increase in major flooding events since 1980, and a doubling of significant storms, droughts, and heat waves, Europe’s national science academies jointly reported. In Europe, where precise data reaches back decades, the number of severe floods has jumped five fold since 1995. [Sin Chew Jit Poh]
  • Despite a surprise veto threat that rattled Congress, President Donald Trump signed a $1.3 trillion spending bill, avoiding a federal government shutdown and sparing energy-related programs the steep cuts once envisioned by the White House. The Senate had worked through the night, passing the legislation by a vote of 65-32. [Platts]

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

March 23 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Wood pellets: Renewable, but not carbon neutral” • In the race to meet clean energy standards, biomass energy is often touted as carbon neutral. To satisfy European Union demand, forests in the United States are clear-cut and turned into wood pellets and shipped overseas, to the tune of 7 million metric tons of pellets annually. [Phys.Org]
Mountains in the southern US (Credit: David Allen)

Mountains in the southern US (Credit: David Allen)

  • Global energy demand increased by 2.1% in 2017 at more than twice the previous year’s rate. At the same time, carbon emissions increased for the first time since 2014, jumping by 1.4%. These are the two key messages from the International Energy Agency’s newest resource, the Global Energy and CO2 Status Report, 2017. [CleanTechnica]
  • Congress passed a $1.3 trillion federal spending bill after Republicans, in order to get needed Democratic support, agreed to remove provisions that would have gutted environmental and campaign finance laws. EPA funding was not reduced, and the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy saw an increase. [InsideClimate News]
  • Environment Massachusetts says the state has the potential to generate more offshore wind energy than any other on the East Coast. They released a report that said if wind turbines were placed in every suitable location off the coast of Massachusetts, they could generate nearly 20 times more electricity than the state used in 2016. [Rhode Island Public Radio]
  • “California Utilities Say Climate Change Caused Recent Fires, Not Them” • California’s largest public utility companies are defending themselves against lawsuits claiming they were negligent in the way they dealt with debris and brush under power lines. The utilities insist the culprit is climate change and fossil fuels companies. [CleanTechnica]
  • The development of coal-fired power plants continues to fall, with new construction down by 73% between 2015 and 2017, thanks in large part to tighter restrictions in China and a lack of private financing in India. Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, and Coal Swarm found a 41% drop in newly completed coal plants in the same time. [CleanTechnica]

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

Webinar – NH Legislative Energy Policy Update

NH Sustainability AssocCurious about current NH energy bills? We’ve got answers! Please join us at Noon on Friday, March 30th and we will bring you up to speed on all of the energy-related bills currently making their way through our state Legislature. Register at:

-Kate Epsen, Executive Director, NHSEA
-Jim O’Brien, Director of External Affairs, The Nature Conservancy

Due to the popularity of this webinar we ask registrants who are unable to attend to please cancel their reservations to ensure adequate space for other participants.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

NY-GEO 2018 – Check out the 55 second video!

NY Geo

Click here to see our new 55 second video about

NY-GEO 2018

The conference you can’t afford to miss…


Meet America’s Premier Heat Pump Manufacturers: 
Waterfurnace, Enertech, Eartlinked, GeoSmart, Bosch, and GeoStar Visit their exhibits and learn what’s next at the Manufacturer’s Panel on Day 2. Renewable jobs are the hot spot in America’s economy. They will get hotter as geothermal heating & cooling moves quickly into the mainstream. Get the inside scoop on how these Americanmanufacturers are seeing the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. 
Join us for the fourth annual NY-GEO Renewable Heating & Cooling Conference at the Radisson in Albany, New York on April 18 & 19!
The NY-GEO annual conference is the best place to learn how to heat and cool without burning fossil fuels while meeting the movers and shakers of the industry as New York begins to embrace this incredible opportunity.
Join us for a fantastic program that will help policy makers, installers, organizers, architects, clean energy activists, contractors, building owners and mangers, engineers and more to plug into the renewable heat momentum building in New York and across the northeast! 
We urge you to register soon. Exhibit space is sold out. There is just one prime sponsor slotstill open. Ad space in our program booklet is still open but the deadline for reserving ads is March 26th.
We have scholarship funds to help if our admission price is more than you can afford, but those funds will run out soon.
For Building Professionals: 
NY-GEO 2018 provides 5 AIA, PDH, BPI or LEED (self reporting) continuing education credits. Three of the classes will be taught by Steve Kavanaugh – co-author of the ASHRAE published Geothermal Heating and Cooling: Design of Ground Source Heat Pump Systems (2014). Click here for a description of his classes.
Also, check out our contest – Who can give the most concise, accurate and inspiring description for how geo works? Entries end 4/19/18.





March 22 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • The UK offshore wind industry committed to working with the Government on a “transformative” sector deal that could spur £48 billion in new investments in the country’s infrastructure and increase offshore wind capacity to 30 GW by 2030. The deal is expected to reduce costs for electricity by 9% while more than doubling industry employment. [CleanTechnica]
Offshore wind farm (Shutterstock image)

Offshore wind farm (Shutterstock image)

  • Microsoft announced what it calls “the single largest corporate purchase of solar energy ever in the United States,” buying 315 MW from two new solar projects in Virginia as part of its ongoing renewable energy efforts. The power will come from 750,000 solar panels spread across 2,000 acres at the Pleinmont I and II projects. [GeekWire]
  • The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission approved unanimously a $1.6 billion plan to build two massive wind farms along the Texas-New Mexico border. The vote is a key step needed for Xcel Energy to move forward with its plans. Texas regulators are expected to act on the proposal in the coming weeks. []
  • In a step towards a cleaner environment, the number of coal-based fired power plants under development has seen a steep decline, especially in India and China, according to a report by Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, and CoalSwarm. The report warns, however, that emissions from operational plants are still far too high. [Business Standard]
  • From Maine to Florida, the winds blowing off the Atlantic Coast could be the power source for a clean energy future, according to a report, Wind Power to Spare: The Enormous Energy Potential of Atlantic Offshore Wind, released by Environment America and Frontier Group. So far, only one wind farm is operating in the country. [Environment America]

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

Green Mountain Power Offers New “Bring Your Own Device” Program to Cut Energy Peaks

Home Battery Storage Owners Can Reduce Energy Costs for All Customers Through GMP’s  “BYOD” Program

Green Mountain Power (GMP) has announced a new program to partner with  customers to reduce costs during high energy use times. During peak times such as cold winter nights, GMP will share access with customers’ home or business battery storage systems, rather than purchasing expensive surplus power. In return, GMP will issue credits to customers based on the amount of energy transferred from the customer’s battery to the grid. This is one of the first “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) programs using batteries to be offered by a utility, and provides value to the people or private companies who sell and install the batteries, the customers who sign up, and all customers GMP serves.
“This is so important as we partner with customers on a new energy future that is home-, business-, and community-based and leverages the latest innovations in grid modernization to drive down costs and provide value for all customers,” said Mary Powell, GMP CEO. “Battery storage is a meaningful part of that energy future.
“Green Mountain Power has been sharing energy with customers through our distributed energy resource platform for some time,” Powell explained. “We call the new program ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) because customers can now purchase any compatible batteries through any source and still receive credits on their bills. Of course, more importantly, they’re helping to keep costs down for all energy users.”
The BYOD program allows customers to find new ways to obtain backup power in a cost-competitive way, while participating in GMP’s grid transformation efforts to benefit all customers. For example, GMP customers can install battery storage with Waterbury-based solar energy company SunCommon and then share access to the storage with GMP to drive down costs for all. SunCommon is an enthusiastic participant in the BYOD program.
“Vermonters are excited to store a little sunshine for a stormy day and SunCommon is ready to help them do just that,” said James Moore co-founder of SunCommon. “Energy from the sun can power our lives and build vibrant communities. Solar storage and GMP’s innovative program brings this bright future one step closer. Kudos to GMP for their vision and support of local clean energy.”
Another local company planning to participate in the program is Grassroots Solar, Inc. in Dorset that designs and installs off-grid and grid tied solar and storage systems for homes and businesses in Vermont. 
“I’m excited to see the BYOD pilot program from GMP. As we install more solar in Vermont, battery storage is now part of an energy management system and is going to be a key tool in modernizing our grid,” said Bill Laberge owner of Grassroots Solar, Inc.  “Batteries with shared access can help the utility manage the grid and help customers pay for their investment. Now that’s a win-win situation.”
As part of the program, customers will allow GMP access to their battery systems through internet connections. In order to receive bill credits, customers will allow GMP to discharge their batteries back onto the grid to drive down costs.  GMP will make every effort to re-charge battery storage when adverse weather events are on the horizon so that customers can count on that back-up.
For a link to more information about the program go to:

March 21 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • The European Union’s scientific research centre has explored the idea of linking the power grids of Europe and China, in order to tap into the immense clean energy potential of the Middle Kingdom and the countries of Central Asia. A study by the EU’s Joint Research Centre into a super-grid link has mapped three potential routes. [EURACTIV]
Benefits and challenges (Shutterstock image)

Benefits and challenges (Shutterstock image)

  • US electric generation last year was down 1.5% from the year before, a drop of 105,000 GWh. But both coal and natural gas saw larger declines. Coal use was down by 2.5%, a smaller decline than it has seen recently. But coal’s decline will continue; no new coal plants were opened, and 6.3 GW of coal capacity were retired in 2017. [Ars Technica]
  • McDonald’s, one of the planet’s most recognizable companies, has become the first restaurant chain in the world to set a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target approved by the Science Based Targets initiative. Its goal is to reduce emissions by 36% at all McDonald’s restaurants and offices by 2030 from a 2015 baseline. [CleanTechnica]
  • A spokesman for Michigan utility Consumers Energy said, “By 2040, we’re going to stop burning coal here in Michigan to generate electricity, we’re also going to reduce our carbon footprint by 80 percent.” Consumers Energy says its goal was set because renewable sources are less expensive than burning fossil fuels. [Newburgh Gazette]
  • The UK is well on the way to a new era of subsidy-free renewable energy projects that will largely kill off prospects for new gas power stations, according to industry analysts. Falling costs of wind and solar projects combine with advances in battery technology to unlock about £20 billion of investment between now and 2030. [The Guardian]

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

March 20 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Bay State Wind signed a letter of intent to work with NEC Energy Solutions to develop energy storage system for its 800-MW offshore wind farm. Massachusetts-based NEC Energy Solutions will develop a 55-MW/111-MWh storage system to support the proposed offshore wind farm off the coast near Martha’s Vineyard. [CleanTechnology News]
Offshore windpower

Offshore windpower

  • XEV, a company few have ever heard of, is showing off its LSEV 3D-printed electric car at the China 3D Printing Cultural Museum in Shanghai this week. It will be featured next month at the Beijing auto show, according to a China Daily report. The diminutive two-seater could be the world’s first mass-produced 3D-printed EV. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Don’t Bet On A Decline In Chinese Solar PV Production” • China’s the “One Belt One Road” initiative is promising $1.2 trillion for struggling economies worldwide. One of the goals of the program is to marginalize American world influence. The solar panels and other goods the US has subjected to a tariff are tools for the program. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Solar Surprise: Small-Scale Solar A Better Deal Than Big” • For a Public Utilities Commission eyeing the least cost solar energy, the greatest benefit will be at a scale of less than about 10 MW to 20 MW. For a city or community looking to maximize the value of the citizens’ solar investment, smaller systems are best. [CleanTechnica]
  • The Dutch government has begun to follow through on its renewable energy pledges by awarding Swedish firm Vattenfall two contracts for what will be the world’s first wind farms to be built entirely without public money. The Dutch government announced that its call for tender for zero-subsidy offshore wind bids had paid off. [EURACTIV]

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

Deadline Nears for Weatherize Upper Valley

The deadline is March 31 for residents in 11 Vermont and New Hampshire towns to sign up to participate in Weatherize Upper Valley. The Vital Communities program encourages homeowners to invest in energy efficiency projects by offering free or discounted home energy assessments and chances to win cash prizes.

Residents in Orford, Piermont, Lyme, Lebanon, Plainfield, and Cornish, New Hampshire, and Springfield, Chester, Woodstock, Pomfret, and Bridgewater, Vermont, can sign up for their energy assessment through March 31 by visiting Homeowners who sign weatherization contracts by May 31 will be entered into drawings for cash prizes up to $500 toward the cost of their energy improvements.

Weatherize Upper Valley teams up community volunteers with certified weatherization contractors to provide professional home energy assessments, proposals, and quotes. Before March 31, participants in Vermont can request free comprehensive home energy walk-throughs and New Hampshire residents can request their $100 energy audit from our Weatherize partner contractors.

“In the past six weeks more than 140 homeowners have signed up for home energy assessments with Weatherize partner contractors to explore opportunities for energy improvements,” said Sarah Brock, energy program manager at Vital Communities. “During our first round of Weatherize Upper Valley in 2017, 101 people signed contracts to invest in home energy efficiency projects. We hope to see similar results this year. The first step for homeowners is to sign up for an assessment with their community’s Weatherize contractors by visiting by March 31.”

Weatherize Upper Valley is a program of Vital Communities made possible with support from Energy Emporium, Dead River Company, Perry’s Oil Service and Patten’s Gas, the Canaday Family Foundation, the Harris and Francis Block Foundation, Lintilhac Foundation, Lyme Foundation and Jane’s Trust Foundation. Participating weatherization contractors include Building Energy, van de Ven Construction, Vermont Foam Insulation, Weatherization and Renovation of Montpelier, Farnum Insulators and Earthshare Construction in Vermont. ABC Energy Savings, Build Basic Green, Building Alternatives, Quality Insulation, Shakes to Shingles, Earthshare Construction and Yankee Thermal Imaging are participating with New Hampshire communities.

NH Energy Week Wraps Up Celebrating New Hampshire’s Municipal, Business and Legislative Energy Champions

With events in Keene, Dover, and Concord, including breakfast for 300 at the LEED Certified Grappone Center, NH Energy Week concluded last Thursday evening with an Energy Award Ceremony and Reception.

The Honorable Kelly Ayotte chaired the Award Selection Committee responsible for selecting the winner of each category from a roster of nominations submitted by the nine NH Energy Week partner organizations: The Nature Conservancy; NH Clean Tech Council; Environmental Defense Fund; Ceres; CRES Forum; New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility; CDFA; New Hampshire Brewers Association, and the New Hampshire Municipal Association.
Selection Committee members include:
·      Rich Grogan, NH Small Business Development Center
·      Maureen Smith, Orr& Reno
·      Jeff Feingold, editor of the New Hampshire Business Review
The three award categories and winners are:

 Municipal Energy Champion: City of Claremont

Business Energy Champion: Worthen Industries
Legislative Energy Champion: NH State Representative Herb Richardson (R-Lancaster)

 Each award winner was presented a trophy designed and made by Vivian Beer, a New Hampshire based furniture designer/maker and winner of the 2016 HGTV’s Ellen’s Design Challenge.

Special thanks to CRES Forum, Worthen Industries and Granite Apollo for sponsoring the award ceremony and reception. And thank you to the Premier Energy Week Sponsors Timberland, NH Saves and Coca Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England.