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The February Issue of Green Energy Times

The February issue of Green Energy Times has been published and is now being distributed.

The entire issue is available as a pdf file HERE.

Individual articles are being posted now.

New Hampshire Energy Week

The NH Clean Tech Council, The Nature Conservancy, the NH Community Development Finance Authority, NH Businesses for Social Responsibility and other partners are collaborating to engage leaders from all NH Sectors in discussion and work to ensure that NH’s Energy Future doesn’t leave anyone behind. NH Energy Week brings us all together to highlight the many ways NH is already making important progress toward a reliable, affordable, sustainable energy future.

To see the schedule and register for particular events please here.

Don’t miss your opportunity to participate in deploying NH’s energy future NOW!

NY Geothermal Conference – 10% discount ends March 1st

Learn About New York’s NEW Geothermal Incentive Program & Renewable Heating & Cooling Policy Framework !!!

10% Early Bird Registration Discount Until March 1st !
 The New York Geothermal Energy Organization (NY-GEO) presents New York’s premier geothermal conference:
NY-GEO 2017

40% x 2030* with
Geothermal Heating & Cooling
*New York State’s greenhouse gas reduction target
April 19-20
Albany, NY
Attendees at last year’s NY-GEO-2016 – Breaking New Ground in Renewable Heating & Cooling came  from 111 different communities in 25 states, 4 provinces and 5 countries.
Save the Dates Now – Check our website  NY-GEO.ORG for more details and $ave 10% with your Early Bird Registration until March 1st.

Workshops are keyed to Engineers, Architects, Building Owners & Managers, Installers, Designers, Contractors, Consultants and Policy Makers.   Get AIA, PDH and LEEDs Continuing Education Credits!

Be part of the geothermal surge!

Click Here to Learn More about Sponsoring or Exhibiting at NY-GEO 2017

11th Annual Soup Bowls for Hunger, 3/30, Rutland, VT High School

Mark your calendars for the 11th Annual Soup Bowls for Hunger which will be held on Thursday, March 30, 2017 at the Rutland High School (RHS) Cafeteria.

Enjoy a bowl of soup, crackers, roll, dessert, and beverage and choose your own handcrafted bowl to take home. Bowls are being made by RHS Ceramics Program Teacher Darren Spafford, local high school students and professional potters.

This event is sponsored for the seventh year by Delta Kappa Gamma Society of women educators. All proceeds will be donated to the Rutland Community Cupboard and other local food shelves.

Tickets are $20 per person (make checks payable to: Soup Bowls for Hunger) and must be purchased at Rutland High School. There will be two sittings (4:45 PM and 6:15 PM) with top quality bowls available at each sitting.

There will also be raffles for various donated items and a silent auction.  Music will be provided by Dan Graves. To purchase tickets, contact Lynn Colomb at 770-1116, Rutland High School Main Office at 773-1955, or Ann Bannister at 747-0569, beginning March 1st.

February 22 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • A new report on Australia’s rising power prices over the past decade, from the Australian National University, has undermined claims that South Australia’s high electricity prices have been driven by the state’s uptake wind and solar. It shows that its rises have been less in SA than in the states that are dependent on coal. [RenewEconomy]
Wattle Point wind farm near Edithburgh (Wikimedia Commons)

Wattle Point wind farm near Edithburgh, South Australia (Wikimedia Commons)

  • Almost every railway station in India will soon be fed with solar power if the plans in India’s new union budget are implemented. The Indian Finance Minister announced that the 7,000 railway stations across the country will be fed with solar power as per the Indian Railways mission to implement 1,000 MW of solar power capacity. [CleanTechnica]
  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged to enact a national carbon tax by 2018. After meeting with US president Donald Trump, he said that Canada would aggressively pursue its climate change goals. But according to a study by four leading environmental groups, Canadian fossil fuel subsidies totaled $3.3 billion last year. [CleanTechnica]
  • As the world’s number one exporter of crude oil, renewable energy may be the last thing that comes to mind when thinking of Saudi Arabia. But it is now turning to solar and wind power in a SGD 71 billion ($50 billion) bid to cut dependency on oil amid growing energy demands domestically, according to the Saudi energy minister. [VR-Zone]
  • A new study says Pacific Northwest utility ratepayers could save hundreds of millions of dollars if the region’s only commercial nuclear power plant is closed and its output replaced with renewable energy. The Portland-based McCullough Research consulting firm estimated savings from $261.2 million to $530.7 million over 10 years. [The Columbian]

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

February 21 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Tocardo Tidal Power is preparing to deploy the InToTidal project at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney. The company said the Universal Foundation System is the start of Tocardo’s planned 20-year commercial demonstration project at the site. The semi-submersible platform features five 300-kW devices. [reNews]
Tocardo turbines (Tocardo image)

Tocardo turbines (Tocardo image)

  • Scientists have built a better flow battery. Using a predictive model of molecules and their properties, University of Utah and University of Michigan chemists developed a charge-storing molecule around 1,000 times more stable than current compounds. Their results are reported in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. [Phys.Org]
  • Research from the Colorado School of Public Health at CU Anschutz found a strong association between the diagnosis of acute lymphocytic leukemia among children and levels of nearby oil and natural gas development. Children living near oil and gas wells are far more likely to develop the leukemia than those that aren’t. [CleanTechnica]
  • Researchers from the University of California Irvine studied data collected from 1991 to 2015 on glaciers found in the Queen Elizabeth Islands in the Arctic. They found that, from 2005 to 2015, surface melt off of these glaciers rose by 900% – something they say is attributable to warming air temperatures in the region. [CBC.ca]
  • Kevin de León has promised to lead the resistance to President Trump, and a new bill could make good on that promise. The California Senate leader has introduced legislation that would have the Golden State get 100% of its electricity from climate-friendly energy sources by 2045. The current renewable energy mandate is 50% by 2030. [KHOU.com]

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

 

February 20 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Local Aboriginal tribes – the Ngadjuri and Nukunu – have both recognized and celebrated the abundance of South Australian wind and solar power resources. They added huge artworks to the base of two of the 105 massive wind turbines that will form the Hornsdale wind project outside Jamestown, near Port Pirie. [Aboriginal Art Directory News]
Celebrating wind power

Celebrating wind power

  • “Expect to see more emergencies like Oroville Dam in a hotter world” • Like many extreme events, the Oroville emergency is a combination of natural weather likely intensified by climate change. California regularly sees “atmospheric rivers” that deluge the state with rainfall, but a hotter world will make them worse, scientists say. [The Guardian]
  • Hundreds of scientists, some in lab coats, held a rally in Boston Sunday to draw attention to their concerns about the Trump administration’s policies. Speakers and signs criticized those in the administration who deny that climate change is real, who question the collection and distribution of data on science, and other policies. [Inside Higher Ed]
  • Business is booming for solar companies in Maryland, as sun-sourced energy becomes more affordable and accessible. The state added 1,160 solar jobs in 2016. This is a 27% jump from the previous year, bringing the industry’s employment to more than 5,400, according to an annual solar jobs census by the Solar Foundation. [Baltimore Sun]
  • Nevada lawmakers will debate a number of energy-related issues soon, including the state’s renewable portfolio standards and efficiency programs. NV Energy, a major utility in the area, is asking regulators to boost incentives for rooftop solar customers, arguing that it would make solar economically advantageous for customers. [Las Vegas Sun]

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

CORNELL COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SCHOHARIE AND OTSEGO COUNTIES: Hemlock Woolly Adelgid: Finding Hemlock Stands

Seeking volunteers to train and survey hemlock stands to eradicate the hemlock woolly adelgid
The Otsego County Conservation Association (OCCA) and Mohican Farm are collaborating with the Catskill Regional Invasive Species Program (CRISP) and Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties to host a special training for outdoor enthusiasts interested in volunteering to help CRISP and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation identify and map stands of Eastern hemlock as part of its efforts to counter the accelerating invasion of the highly destructive hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) in New York State.
The workshop will be held on Saturday, February 25, from noon to 3 p.m. at Mohican Farm, 7207 St. Hwy. 80, in the Town of Springfield. The initial classroom session will address HWA identification, lifecycle, ecological impact, best management practices, and survey methods and protocols, followed by a hands-on field session to practice survey protocols and GPS navigation in a nearby hemlock stand. The workshop is free and open to land and forest owners, master gardeners, students, and others eager to arrest the HWA. Space is limited; preregistration is required for planning purposes by calling 607.282.4087 or emailing programdirector@occainfo.org. With your permission, your email address will be used to set up an iMap account (See http://www.nyimapinvasives.org/) prior to the workshop. Appropriate winter dress/footwear is recommended. A snow date is planned for March 4, if needed.
Classroom Program:
  • Hemlocks as a core part of the Catskills’ and New York forest ecosystem and which species are likely to be impacted; the hemlock wooly adelgid, its introduction, spread, and biology; locations in the Catskills and NYS in general.
  • Best management methods for HWA, covering insecticides and biological controls, weighing the ecological costs of a mass loss of hemlock against the ecological costs of insecticides; past use and missteps of biological control and the current intense efforts that go into ensuring bio-controls are safe to release, including success stories to date.
  • How citizens can help stop HWA and preserve the hemlocks across the New York landscape; hemlock hedges as good release locations for bio-control agents; the need for citizen scientists to help survey for HWA, so agencies can prioritize when/where to release or use insecticides; CRISP citizen scientist survey protocol, iMap discussion as a reporting tool, and creating iMap accounts for volunteers.
Field Program:
  • Practice survey methodology in a nearby hemlock stand that can serve as a volunteer survey area. Learn survey protocols and practice methods on nearby hemlocks, covering diameter-at-breast-height measurements, crown transparency, live-crown ratios, new growth tip measurements, HWA density measurements, and GPS navigation
  • Optional (if time permits), participants will split into smaller groups, depending on group size and partner leader staff, and survey additional hemlock stands.

For more information visit our website at http://cceschoharie-otsego.org/events or call 518.234.4303.  Cooperative Extension is an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities and provides equal program and employment opportunities.  Accommodations for persons with special needs may be requested by contacting Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties prior to a program.

Easy as Two Plus Two:

How to Regain our Democracy

By George Harvey

As a former conservative Republican (in fact, a former NRA life member), I believe I am as disappointed as any Democrat by what I am seeing in Washington today. The White House and Congress are not guided by any conservative thinking or traditional belief system. It is not the good of the economy or the safety of the people that guides them. It is not about America being first; they are giving away our leading place in the world to China and have an as-yet-unexplained relationship with Russia.

If they were guided by what is good for businesses in general, they would not be threatening the fastest growing businesses in the country. If they were guided by free market thinking, they would allow the industries that peddle obsolete technologies to die a quick death, instead of working to save them from progress.

Perhaps the one beneficial result of the Citizens United decision of the U.S. Supreme Court is that we can all see pretty much precisely who benefited from the election. And based on this, two things are obvious. One is whose interests the current government actually represents. The other is where their weakness lies.

It is clear that the majority was purchased by elements of the fossil fuels industry and related businesses. It is worth speculating about why they chose to put up such a huge effort for this election, instead of earlier ones.

We could guess that they did not steal the election in 2008, because they were strong enough that they felt no need to do so. But since that time their position has deteriorated to the point that it is no longer tenable. They purchased the 2016 election, at a fairly high cost, because they felt they had to. They are in business for the next quarter, and they want the next quarter to be profitable, every quarter until they retire. After that, a drought worthy of the Pharaoh or a flood like Noah’s can come, for all they care. They can get a mansion on high ground with deep wells and an off-grid solar system. But in the meantime, they want to do business, and the cost of a congress is small compared to their profits.

The reason why they felt a need to buy a government is clear, when you look at what they are up against. Their market is contracting because of efficiency. They are competing with each other. They are losing market share to renewable power sources that are increasingly competitive; the wind and sun are now our least expensive power sources. The fossil fuels businesses are losing customers who decide to generate their own power. They have to maintain infrastructure that “distributed” power sources such as wind and solar do not need. They are increasingly facing resistance from governments concerned about pollution and climate change; the United Nations is taking the position that fossil fuels must be put out of business over the next thirty years or so, which will reduce their revenues by hundreds of billions of dollars every year, and the simultaneous loss in stranded assets is calculated to be up to $100 trillion.

Right now, even with all the fracking, the oil and gas industry is in a depression. Coal is nearly dead. There is no recovery in sight, unless some government steps in and supports them at the expense of the taxpayers they govern.

They may be acting like confirmed autocrats, in total control, but the problems that prompted them to try to take over control of our democracy are also their weakness. We can take our democracy back. We can do it rather painlessly. We can save a considerable amount of money as we do it. We can even see our health improve in the process.

Would you give two degrees and
two miles for America’s freedom?

Let’s start with saving money. A general rule is that a people who use fossil fuels for heat reduce their consumption about 3% for every 1° F they turn their thermostat down. By turning the thermostat down 2° F, we can reduce our consumption of oil or natural gas for heating by about 6%.

The United States uses about four billion gallons of oil and about 4.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas each year for residential heat. Turning down the thermostat 2° F would save about 240 million gallons of oil, valued at $600 million, and 282 billion cubic feet of gas, valued at $2.82 billion. Turning down our thermostats by 2° F would save us about $3.42 billion each year at the household level. A penny saved is a tax-free penny earned.

On average, we drive 13,496 miles per year. Together, we consume roughly 138 billion gallons of gasoline in the process. If we reduced our driving by only two miles per day, it would cut 730 miles out of our driving, reducing our consumption by about 5.4%. That would save us from using about 7.45 billion gallons of gasoline. At $2.28 per gallon, that would save us $16.98 billion.

If all of us turned down our heat by just 2° F and reduced our driving by two miles per day, we would save about $20.4 billion per year, just in the cost of fuel. It would also cut about $10 billion from our medical expenses.

But making reductions like these would also make a powerful point. Something over half of all Americans disapprove of Donald Trump. If those people made reductions of 2°F and 2 miles, they would save over $10 billion. But their gain is the fossil fuels industry’s loss. It is an industry already in depression, and if we respond to its grab for power by cutting its sales, it will hurt more than it can bear. And the fossil fuels industry’s loss cut into its support of the Autocratic Party in the White House and Congress.

We can get our democracy back. And we can start by doing what is good for us anyway. We cut 2° F and two miles, and we tell the fossil fuels industry that they have to give us the congress and White House back. We push, and we keep pushing, cutting fossil fuel use as fast as we can, until they yell, “Uncle Sam!”

February 19 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • An Australian company says it will build solar and battery facilities in South Australia this year with enough storage capacity to meet the power shortfall that caused blackouts in the state 10 days ago. A partner of Lyon Group said he was “very confident” his firm would install two 50-MW battery storage facilities this year. [The Australian Financial Review]
Solar PV panels in China's Fujian province (AP)

Solar PV panels in China’s Fujian province (AP)

  • The air Indians breathe is turning more toxic by the day and an average of two deaths happen each minute due to air pollution, says a new study based on 2010 data. According to medical journal The Lancet, over a million Indians die every year due to air pollution and some of the worst polluted cities of the world are in India. [thenortheasttoday.com]
  • The threat of a catastrophe at California’s Oroville Dam may be over. California’s Department of Water Resources lifted the evacuation order. But the dam’s troubles have also temporarily brought down one of the state’s major renewable energy assets, likely replacing 819-MW of hydro capacity with natural gas for a time. [POWER magazine]
  • Earlier this month, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources accepted 30 new cities and towns into the state’s Green Communities program, an initiative that provides grants to municipalities that adopt a series of energy efficiency policies and set a goal of reducing their energy consumption by 20% within five years. [SouthCoastToday.com]
  • Nevada lost over 2,500 rooftop solar installation jobs in 2016 after less generous net metering rates were approved by the state Public Utilities Commission. Both the Assembly and the Senate have created special subcommittees on energy to focus on ways to make rooftop solar financially attractive for homeowners again. [Las Vegas Review-Journal]

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

UNH ​Breakfast Panel: Local Climate Impacts on Maple Trees and Syrup with US Senator Maggie Hassan

Maple syrup is a New Hampshire institution, but climate change could have tragic impacts on the future harvest in NH unless we act now. Concerned Granite Staters are invited to celebrate and learn how to protect this home-grown delight at the annual pancake breakfast on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at 7:30am. Register for the breakfast here: http://tinyurl.com/hjyy9pf.

DATE: Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017
LOCATION: UNH Huddleston Hall Ballroom, 73 Main Street, Durham, NH

Doors open at 7:30 AM     Program starts at 8:00 AM

Join local environmental groups and the UNH Sustainability Institute for a Local Climate Impacts Pancake Breakfast at the UNH Huddleston Hall Ballroom in Durham at 7:30am. Hear from local maple syrup producers, scientists, and elected officials about the impacts of a changing climate on the NH maple syrup industry. Then, supporters can take action with local organizations and enjoy pancakes with real New Hampshire maple syrup.

This year, our special guest is US Senator Maggie Hassan and other panelists include Jeff Moore of Windswept Farms of Loudon and NH Maple Producers Association, Ray LaRoche of Maple Meadow/LaRoche Farm in Durham, and UNH Professor Cameron Wake.

Doors Open at 7:30am and the program will begin at 8:00am. This event is FREE and open to the public.

The Climate Impacts Maple Breakfast is sponsored by Moms Clean Air Force, Environment New Hampshire, Union of Concerned Scientists, League of Conservation Voters, and New Hampshire Sierra Club, in partnership with the UNH Sustainability Institute.

***PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES WITH SENATOR HASSAN, STUDENTS, LOCALS, AND MAPLE SYRUP PRODUCTS***