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2017 (first) Annual Campaign

For 8 years, Green Energy Times has been a great FREE resource to educate readers on energy independence, energy efficiency, and sustainable living, 6-times per year.  We could use our readers’ support to keep this paper operational and free through any donation you are able to contribute.  If every reader could provide $1 per issue (or a donation of $6… or more), it would be greatly appreciated.  With the increase demand of the paper, this fundraising campaign will help pay for printing more copies and expanding our distribution in our current and new regions.

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November 24 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • A privately held real estate investor based in Missouri believes that the waterfront site of a former coal-fired thermal power station in Massachusetts could be turned into an offshore wind port. Commercial Development Company Inc said it intends to invest significant resources to reposition the Brayton Point facility for post-coal utilization. [Renewables Now]
Brayton Point (Commercial Development Company image)

Brayton Point (Commercial Development Company image)

  • Marine Renewable Energy Collaborative installed its Bourne Tidal Test Site in the Cape Cod Canal. It is ready for test engineers to assess tidal energy equipment performance and output. The next step in preparing the site for testing is to install data acquisition, processing and transmission systems on top of the platform. [Renewable Energy Magazine]
  • A study by scientists at the University of Bath shows that the fatty acids released into the air while frying food may help clouds that cool the atmosphere to form. Fatty molecules in the air form complex structures that endure longer than most molecules, allowing moisture to gather and form into clouds, which in turn cool the air. [Daily Sabah]
  • According to ClimateWise, a global network of 28 insurance industry organizations, not only is 2017 likely to be the most expensive year on record due to natural disasters and extreme weather events all over the globe, but over the past decade only 30% of catastrophic losses were insured, leaving a climate risk protection gap of $1.7 trillion. [CleanTechnica]
  • In Australia, the Turnbull government’s goal of reducing emissions by 28% by 2030 only requires an additional 1.5 GW of new large-scale renewables, Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimated. That target “could decimate large-scale wind and solar construction,” while a 45% reduction target advocated by the Labor party would “continue the current boom.” [Bloomberg]

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

November 23 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • UPS is continuing to electrify its delivery vehicles. It recently announced an e-bike delivery vehicle in downtown Pittsburgh, as the latest example. In addition to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions, the deployment of the electric delivery/cargo bike will also clearly reduce traffic congestion, air pollution, and noise pollution. [CleanTechnica]
UPS electric delivery bike

UPS electric delivery bike

  • Bloomberg New Energy Finance has some good news for us. Global electric car sales (including plug-in hybrids) surged 63% in the third quarter of this year and are up 23% since the second quarter. BNEF is now confident EV sales will top 1,000,000 units this year. But there is also bad news. China accounted for almost all of those increases. [CleanTechnica]
  • Two glaciers on Pine Island Bay are the largest and fastest-melting in Antarctica. They act as a plug holding back enough ice to pour 11 feet of sea-level rise into the world’s oceans, enough to inundate every coastal city on the planet. Finding out when these glaciers will collapse is one of our most important scientific questions. [Mother Jones]
  • In India, imports of coal from North America have increased rapidly on the back of a regional ban on the use of petroleum coke and a domestic coal shortage, according to recent reports. Though other sources give lower figures, shipping data compiled by Thomson Reuters, suggest that India’s imports of coal from North America have tripled. [CleanTechnica]
  • Earlier this month, the French nuclear safety institute released data showing that a cloud of radioactive pollution was over much of Europe, raising speculations of an accident at a nuclear facility in Russia or Kazakhstan. Now, the Russian meteorological service reports levels of ruthenium 106 in the Urals 1,000 times higher than normal. [CleanTechnica]

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

November 22 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Preliminary results from Mexico’s latest energy auction have broken the record for solar costs. According to Electrek, Italian developer Enel pitched two solar lots at $17.70/MWh, or just 1.77¢/kWh, the lowest bid achieved anywhere in the world so far. The Mexican government said the average price in the auction was $20.57/MWh. [Greentech Media]
Utility-scale solar system in Mexico

Utility-scale solar system in Mexico

  • The chances of a hurricane flooding parts of Texas, like Harvey did, have soared sixfold in just 25 years because of global warming and will likely triple once again before the end of the century, a study says. What was once an extremely rare event, 20 inches of rain over a large area of Texas, could soon be almost common. [The Japan News]
  • Bloomberg New Energy Finance released a report forecasting thats the global energy storage market will “double six times” from now to 2030, from less than 5 GWh last year, to more than 300 GWh and 125 GW of capacity by the end of the next decade. An estimated $103 billion will be invested in energy storage over that period. [Greentech Media]
  • Transitioning quickly to wind, rather than gas, would be more cost-effective and decarbonise Europe’s energy sector more quickly, a report finds. The fall in the cost of renewables has gone far beyond all expectations, tipping the economics in favor of decarbonization, but it requires good policy, according to experts from Artelys. [Offshore Wind Journal]
  • TechCrunch reports that Uber has struck a deal with Volvo to purchase 24,000 self-driving XC90 SUVs beginning in 2019. The SUVs will be equipped with autonomous driving systems developed by Uber and integrated into the XC90s at the Volvo factory. The contract, which runs from 2019 through 2021, is valued at $1.4 billion. [CleanTechnica]

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

Renewable Heat Now Rally Dec 6 and Petitions to Sign

Renewable Heat Now is a campaign organized by Alliance for a Green Economy, New Yorkers for Clean Power, NY-GEO, HeatSmart Tompkins, Sane Energy Project, and Frack Action.  The organizations are working together to accelerate the adoption of ground-source (geothermal) and air-source heat pumps in New York State to reduce the amount of fossil fuels used to heat and cool homes and workplaces. The campaign educates the public about heat pumps and also advocate for New York State policies that will enable all New Yorkers to afford to make the switch to these renewable-ready heating and cooling technologies.

Heating our buildings accounts for almost 40% of the greenhouse gas emissions in New York State. To meet NY’s goals of a 40% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030, a rapidly shift off of oil and gas for heating homes & other buildings in NY must be made. Ground-source (geothermal) and air-source efficient-electric heat pumps are a great heating & cooling solution for New York.

Join the Renewable Heat Now rally and press conference in Albany, NY on Wednesday, December 6 when the campaign is taken to the Million Dollar Staircase. Afterward, signed petitions will be brought to Governor Cuomo.

  1. Here is the Facebook link for the Nov 27, 7:00pm Rally Prep/Info Session(join by phone or by computer): https://www.facebook.com/events/360755781030176/
  2. And here is the Facebook event for the December 6 Rally: Off Oil & Gas, Renewable Heat Now! https://www.facebook.com/events/1487068878040763/
  3. Carpool sign-up site: https://www.groupcarpool.com/t/m57s92
  4. There is a bus coming from NYC, stopping in White Plains and New Paltz: http://bit.ly/2maMuOw
  5. Here is a link to TWO IMPORTANT PETITIONS for everyone to sign by Dec 4 (to be delivered to Governor Cuomo on Dec 6): http://renewableheatnow.org/take-action/

Petition for Affordable Renewable Heat in NY: http://renewableheatnow.org/sign-the-renewable-heat-now-petition/

Petition to Stop the Sheridan Hollow Fracked Gas Power Plant: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/stop-the-sheridan-hollow-fracked-gas-power-plant

Please have folks sign both. BOTH are important! Thanksgiving is a perfect time to recruit family and friend signatures.

November 21 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Nebraska officials voted to allow the Keystone XL pipeline to cross the state, a key step toward the completion of the Keystone Pipeline network. The state’s Public Service Commission voted 3-2 in favor of the expansion pipeline, days after the existing Keystone Pipeline spilled 210,000 gallons of oil in South Dakota. [Houston Chronicle]
Pipeline construction (Houston Chronicle photo)

Pipeline construction (Houston Chronicle photo)

  • Middlebury College will significantly reduce its carbon footprint thanks to an innovative partnership with Goodrich Family Farm in Salisbury, Vermont, Vanguard Renewables of Wellesley, Massachusetts, and Vermont Gas. A facility at Goodrich Family Farm will combine cow manure and food waste to produce Renewable Natural Gas. [vtdigger.org]
  • Every hour, Chinese workers install an array of solar panels at least the size of a soccer field. Already home to the world’s largest solar plant and floating solar installation, over half of the world’s current construction on solar power installations is taking place in China. Meanwhile others, including the US, are increasingly falling behind. [HuffPost]
  • MIT and Lamborghini have partnered to develop an electric car. The Terzo Millenio is powered using supercapacitors instead of traditional batteries, allowing it to charge faster and hold more power. The vehicle can induce its own health check, and if any damage is detected the car can fill in cracks with nanotubes. [Energy Digital]
  • Whitefish Energy is stopping its work to restore Puerto Rico’s electricity grid because it is owed more than $83 million by the island’s power authority, the company says. The Whitefish CEO told CNN that repeated requests for agreed payments were not met. The company’s contract had already been cancelled and is under investigation. [MyHighPlains]

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

Ice Harvest Festival at Hanford Mills Museum is February 3, 2018

Annual festival offers hands-on history and winter fun

Each year on the first Saturday in February, Hanford Mills Museum holds an Ice Harvest Festival. Adults and children can take part in a traditional ice harvest using historic tools and techniques. Before refrigeration, cutting ice from frozen ponds and rivers was an essential winter activity. The ice was stored in ice houses until it was needed in the warmer months to keep food and milk cold.

The Ice Harvest Festival, which will be held on February 3 from 10 am to 3 pm, also features ice carving, ice fishing, horse-drawn sleigh rides, snowman village, hot soup buffet, food trucks, blacksmithing and cooking demonstrations, and exhibits by local businesses and farmers.

The Ice Harvest Festival regularly brings 1,000 or more people to the small hamlet of East Meredith in Delaware County. Starting in December, Museum staff monitors and grooms the ice to ensure a good crop of clear strong ice.

“We have families who come year after year, and are also glad to welcome people coming for the first time. Some people who came as children are now bringing their own children,” says Museum Executive Director Liz Callahan. “Visitors value the opportunity to take part in an authentic experience and to connect with the history of the area.”

The ice harvested at the festival will be used to make ice cream at the Museum’s Independence Day Celebration on July 4.

See the website for more information, hanfordmills.org.

Admission and Information

Children 12 and under receive free admission. Admission for adults and teens is $9; senior admission is $7. AAA and other discounts available. Museum members receive free admission. Those living in zip codes (13757, 13739, 13786, 13750, and 13806) neighboring Hanford Mills also receive free admission.

Because GPS may take drivers on roads that are not winter-friendly, the Museum has a list of suggested routes available at http://www.hanfordmills.org/visit-a-historic-workingmill/our-location or by calling 607/278-5744. In particular, when driving from the Albany area on Interstate 88, they recommend taking exit 16 (Emmons/West Davenport) instead of exit 18 or 19.

November 20 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Dozens of Catholic leaders wrote a letter to President Donald Trump calling for the United States to resume its leadership role in addressing climate change. They asked the president to honor US commitments to the Green Climate Fund and to participate meaningfully in the framework convention deliberations. [Crux: Covering all things Catholic]
Warming seas, melting ice (NASA photo, Wikimedia Commons)

Warming seas and melting ice (NASA photo, Wikimedia Commons)

  • One of the fathers of climate science is calling for a wave of lawsuits against governments and fossil fuel companies that are delaying action on what he describes as the growing, mortal threat of global warming. Former NASA scientist James Hansen says the litigate-to-mitigate campaign is needed alongside political mobilization. [The Guardian]
  • In order to prevent mass-scale evaporation of water, the state government of Maharashtra has given a nod to a proposal that involves setting up floating solar panels on the reservoir at Ujjani Dam. The solar panels will be set up on a water surface of 4,640 acres, to generate 1,000 MW of electricity, making it one of the largest projects of its type. [EnergyInfraPost]
  • China, the world’s biggest carbon emitter, is poised to install a record amount of solar-power capacity this year, prompting researchers to boost forecasts as much as 80%. About 54 GW of solar power will be put in place this year, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said, raising a forecast of more than 30 GW that BNEF made in July. [Bloomberg]
  • Australia’s chief scientist contradicted the government’s claims that Labor’s 50% ­renewables target by 2030 is “a road to ruin.” Dr Alan Finkel is issuing a major report that shows the plan for more renewable energy sources will not lead to major blackouts despite the government’s claims that the “huge renewable target” is irresponsible and “crazy.” [PerthNow]

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

November 19 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • A study showed that Wisconsin ranked 9th in carbon dioxide releases due to farming practices. Converting unused land to produce crops for ethanol production releases a lot of carbon dioxide from the soil. The authors said most of the state’s new farm land had previously been pastures or forests, with some wetlands. [Wisconsin State Farmer]
Corn field and ethanol plant (Photo: Associated Press)

Corn field and ethanol plant (Photo: Associated Press)

  • A cost-effective catalyst has been developed to recycle two of the main causes behind climate change – carbon dioxide and methane. In a study, published in the journal Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, scientists have described how they created an advanced nickel-based catalyst to create synthesis gas for fuel or chemical feedstock. [The Indian Express]
  • Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer BYD will be opening its first assembly facility in Canada next year in Ontario. This is in anticipation of surging demand for electric trucks in the country, the company has revealed. BYD chose to move into Canada because it has a friendlier environment for EVs than the US currently has. [CleanTechnica]
  • The Hydrogen Council coalition launched its first quantified study of the role of hydrogen, developed with support from McKinsey and Company. It shows that hydrogen could generate $2.5 trillion worth of business, creating more than 30 million jobs by 2050, and it could account for almost 20% of final energy consumed by then. [The Peninsula Qatar]
  • Empire District Electric Company has filed with Missouri state regulators a plan to move forward into wind-generated energy with the development of an additional 800 MW of wind energy by the end of 2020. According to a spokesperson for the electric utility, the project would save customers an average of $10 per month. [Cedar County Republican]

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

November 18 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Norway’s government has been told its state-run fund should drop its investments in oil and gas stocks, worth £28 billion ($37 billion). Norges Bank, the fund’s manager, said the step would make the country “less vulnerable to a permanent drop in oil and gas prices.” Its advice was not based on a price forecast or the sector’s sustainability. [BBC News]
Norwegian offshore oil rig (Photo: Norsk olje og gass, Wikimedia Commons)

Norwegian offshore oil rig (Photo: Norsk olje og gass, Wikimedia Commons)

  • Siemens is to release 2% of its global workforce, mainly in Germany, as its power and gas division continues to suffer from the onslaught of clean energy expansion. “The market is burning to the ground,” Siemens board member Janina Kugel, who is in charge of group human resources, told journalists in a call. [Power Engineering International]
  • A major New England transmission line planned by Eversource Energy and Hydro-Quebec has won a Presidential Permit from the US DOE. The federal permit marks a significant milestone for the $1.6 billion, 192-mile Northern Pass, first proposed in 2010. The line would carry electricity from Canada to the New England power grid. [MassLive.com]
  • “If we act on climate change now, the economic prize will be immense” • Climate negotiators are meeting in Bonn. Beyond the intricacies of the climate negotiations, here is one key thing to remember: about $1 trillion is already being invested in climate solutions, ranging from renewables and energy efficiency to public transport. [The Guardian]
  • Investors are now better able to gauge the climate risks likely to impact their investments thanks to a new risk management tool developed by Deutsche Asset Management and Four Twenty Seven and published for COP23, which maps more than a million physical corporate locations alongside climate models to assess their climate risk. [CleanTechnica]

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

Local Solar Installer Involved in Partnership Delivering Emergency Solar Power to Puerto Rico

ReVision Energy Partners with Amicus Solar Cooperative and Amurtel to Bring Solar Outreach Systems to Puerto Rico

Local solar installer ReVision Energy is partnering with Amicus Solar Cooperative, a nationwide purchasing cooperative of solar energy companies, and Amurtel, a non-profit working in disaster relief, to build Solar Outreach Systems (SOS) to bring dozens of desperately needed portable solar energy systems to power storm-ravaged areas in Puerto Rico.

Millions of Americans living in Puerto Rico (Boriqueñas) remain without power due to Hurricane Maria, many still without passable roads, access to clean drinking water, in need of basic supplies, and unable to receive the medical care they would otherwise have with functional electricity.

“We have already secured the solar panels that will enable us to build up to 100 portable emergency power units that will power communications systems, computers, laptops, cell phones and lighting for the hardest hit areas,” said Phil Coupe, co-founder of ReVision Energy and the company’s volunteer coordinator with Amicus and Amurtel. ReVision Energy is a founding member of Amicus Solar. ReVision Energy’s N. Andover, MA warehouse will be used as a staging area to begin construction on the first portable solar power units.

Located close to the equator where there is a powerful solar resource, Puerto Rico is an ideal geography for harnessing solar energy, but with so few solar energy systems in place right now, not many businesses or homes are able to take advantage of this abundant renewable energy. Having to depend on what’s left of the island’s power grid means that many Puerto Rican communities could be without power for up to a year. The Solar Outreach Systems, which are portable community-based communication 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 as needs and events dictate.  “The aftermath of Hurricane Maria has been as difficult and often even harder than the path of the storm itself, especially for those communities in the interior of the island.  After more than a month, 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.”

This Amicus-Amurtel SOS partnership is actively fundraising for the Power on Puerto Rico project to design, build, and deploy 10 initial portable, off grid solar systems for remote community centers where the public can charge cell phones, rechargeable lights, radios, and other low load, high value items that will offer immediate relief to disaster victims. A goal of 100 units will be deployed through this effort. Tax deductible donations of materials, services and cash contributions are being coordinated through http://www.amurtel.org/get-involved/donate/