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Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

September 24 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • The world’s periglacial zones, home to nearly all of the world’s permafrost, will “almost completely disappear” by the year 2100 even in the most optimistic of scenarios about greenhouse gas emissions reductions, a study says. As all that permafrost melts, vast quantities of methane and carbon dioxide will be released. [CleanTechnica]
Drunken forest, the effect of supporting permafrost melting (Jon Ranson, NASA Science blog, Wikimedia Commons)

Drunken forest, as underlying permafrost melts (Jon Ranson, NASA Science blog, Wikimedia Commons)

  • “They Voted For Trump. Obama’s Solar Panels Saved Them From Irma’s Wrath.” • Hurricane Irma knocked out the power while residents Titusville, Florida, sheltered in the Apollo Elementary School. But Classroom 408 had electricity, thanks to an economic stimulus program set in motion by President Barack Obama. [Daily Beast]
  • Two years ago, 85% of the electricity in Aztec, California, came from fossil fuels. Now, hydropower supplies 37% of its electricity and 6% comes from a solar farm. Last month, officials from Guzman Energy, which sells power to the city, told the City Commission that Aztec could get 40% of its power from wind in the near future. [Farmington Daily Times]
  • The clean energy revolution continues and solar is leading the charge. In a recently published report, the US DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratories has documented that the cost of utility-scale solar, generated from large plants has decreased by 30% within the past year. Utility-scale solar power is a potential game-changer. [Gears Of Biz]
  • Southern California Edison is collaborating with Tesla at a battery storage facility in Ontario, California. The batteries can store enough energy to power 15,000 homes for four hours. SCE provides electricity to over 14 million people in a 50,000 square mile area across California, and sees potential for batteries to support renewable power. [CNBC]

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

September 23 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “US Solar Industry Could Be Devastated By Today’s Tariffs Ruling – May Lead To Crushing Tariffs” • The US International Trade Commission granted a petition for relief from cheaper imported solar panels by two bankrupt US manufacturers. But the remedy will likely mean tariffs that are job-crushing for solar installers. [CleanTechnica]
Solar array

Solar array

  • A professor of agricultural and biological engineering at the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State, has developed a solution for about half the plastic waste that goes to American landfills. After 10 years of research, he says he has found a biodegradable material that can be used in place of the plastic used to wrap and preserve food. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Are Hurricanes Winds of Change for Insurers’ Climate Risk?” • The insurance industry faces a long-term challenge as climate change makes natural disasters more severe. The Trump administration’s push to ax some of the tools insurers need to prepare for disasters could force companies to take a more public position on climate change. [Bloomberg BNA]
  • Exposure to air pollution increases the risk of decline in kidney function and kidney disease, study in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology says. It found that effects of particulate matter exposure on the kidneys are seen starting at fairly low levels, and rise linearly with exposure to rising levels of particulate air pollution. [CleanTechnica]
  • New York City hopes to use innovative technology to meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 75% by 2050 by installing 100 MWh of energy storage. This may also allow the city’s consumers to avoid buying dirtier power – something that could save electricity customers there millions each year, according to a new study. [Forbes]

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

September 22 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Hurricane Maria has dealt a new blow to Puerto Rico’s bankrupt electric company – causing widespread power outages and imposing costly repairs on a utility that was already struggling with more than $9 billion in debt, poor service and sky-high rates. Puerto Rico’s electric rates are already more than twice the national average. [Chicago Tribune]
San Juan after Hurricane Maria (Alex Wroblewski | Getty Images)

San Juan after Hurricane Maria (Alex Wroblewski | Getty Images)

  • The cities of San Francisco and Oakland have filed separate lawsuits against five of the largest oil companies in the world, public documents show. They are suing Chevron Corp, BP, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil Corp, and Royal Dutch Shell, for the roles played by those companies in anthropogenic climate warming and rising sea levels. [CleanTechnica]
  • Georgetown University partnered with Origis Energy USA to build a solar power system to provide nearly 50% of the campus’s electricity by the 2019-20 academic year. Origis will install 105,000 solar panels on a 518-acre property in Maryland. The panels are expected to produce 75,000 MWh of power each year. [Georgetown University The Hoya]
  • Anthropogenic climate warming could lead to temperatures of the water in some parts of the world exceeding the survival limits of their fish species, according to research from the University of Washington. Water temperatures in the tropical parts of the oceans are already nearing the upper temperature range for many fish living there. [CleanTechnica]
  • Facebook switched all electric accounts at its Menlo Park headquarters to Peninsula Clean Energy’s ECO100 option, making Facebook the largest participant in Peninsula Clean Energy’s 100% renewable energy option. PCE is San Mateo County’s electric supplier, formed as a Joint Powers Authority of all 20 cities in the county. [InMenlo]

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

September 21 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Every General Motors manufacturing plant in Ohio and Indiana will now be completely powered by wind energy thanks to a 200-MW power purchase agreement. The automaker is now the sole user of the 100-MW Northwest Ohio Wind Farm, and another 100 MW will come from the HillTopper Wind Project in Illinois. [Power Engineering Magazine]
Wind farm

Wind farm

  • Reports from Nicaragua say that President Daniel Ortega has confirmed his country will finally sign the Paris Climate Agreement. This means the US and Syria would be the only two countries in the world that are not active parties to it. The Nicaraguan position had been that the Paris Climate Agreement it did not go far enough. [CleanTechnica]
  • The US Climate Alliance, a coalition of states backing the Paris Climate Accord, announced that North Carolina had joined in defiance of President Trump’s decision to exit the United Nations pact. Washington Gov Jay Inslee said, “If we were a country, we would be the third-largest economy of any nation in the world.” [Washington Examiner]
  • A survey conducted by the European Commission in March found that 92% of European Union citizens consider climate change a serious problem, with 74% calling it “very serious.” An impressive 89% of Europeans believe that it is important for their own national government to set targets to increase renewable energy use by 2030. [CleanTechnica]
  • Hurricane Maria knocked out power across the island of Puerto Rico, home to 3.5 million people, officials have said. The head of the disaster management agency said none of the customers of Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority had power. The US National Hurricane Center said “catastrophic” flooding was sweeping parts of the island. [BBC]

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

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.