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July 28 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • A general trend has been observed in energy markets, and this is especially noteworthy in the UK and US. It is the downslide of coal energy and the rise of renewables. Of particular note, solar PV electricity generation surpassed coal-based electricity production for the first time in the UK during May 2016. [CleanTechnica]
New Rooftop solar in the UK. Photo by Tom Chance (some rights reserved)

New Rooftop solar in the UK. Photo by Tom Chance (some rights reserved)

  • The Democrats adopted their party platform at their national convention. The energy and environment section is titled “Combat Climate Change, Build a Clean Energy Economy, and Secure Environmental Justice.” It begins with this statement: “Climate change is an urgent threat and the defining challenge of our time.” [Global Warming]
  • The team that evaluates responses to New England’s Clean Energy Request for Proposals, targeting 5,000 GWh, will need more time to conclude the process due to the complexity of the analysis and the volume of bids. The evaluation phase was issued in November, 2015, and was initially scheduled to end on July 26. [SeeNews Renewables]
  • Amid a blistering heat wave and some strong weather, electricity prices in New York soared this week. According to Platts, New York ISO real-time prices went above $800/MWh (80¢/kWh) on Monday afternoon, and Zone A West real-time prices soared in to more than $1,500/MWh ($1.50/kWh). [Utility Dive]
  • China has installed 22 GW of grid-connected solar PV in the first half of 2016. According to PV-Tech, China’s National Energy Administration announced at an industry event in Beijing that the country had logged 22 GW of grid-connected solar PV in the first half of the year, with 11.3 GW in June alone. [CleanTechnica]

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

Tesla Powerwalls Keep Lights on During Recent Storm in Vermont

Colchester, Vt. –Green Mountain Power’s first customers with Tesla Powerwall Battery got to test the system’s capabilities during recent storms. The cutting edge battery storage technology was used during this weekend’s severe storm to keep the lights on. Three customers in impacted areas were able to use the Powerwall to provide back-up power to their homes for the duration of the outage, meaning they never lost power.

“Storms bring so much devastation and getting power back on as safely and quickly as possible for customers is our top priority.  We are so pleased to see this new technology solution being put in action for the benefit of our customers during these bad weather events,” said GMP President and CEO Mary Powell. “Leveraging innovations like the Powerwall and other new products and services, will help Vermonters use more cost-effective and locally produced energy so that one day we’ll rely first on these new systems and on the grid as a back-up system.

The Tesla home battery can be paired with small-scale solar such as rooftop panels to store locally generated energy, or it can be used without solar as a battery to store power from the grid. During a storm or emergency, the battery is able to power essential parts of the home like lights, a refrigerator, and furnace.  Customers can also leverage time-of-use rates to charge and discharge the battery at times that will save them money.

Jill Fraga who lives in Lincoln had her Powerwall battery provide back up power her home for 14 hours.

“This is a game-changer for our family and will be especially important during winter storms when it’s dark and cold,” said Fraga. “Not losing power and being able to go about our lives provides stability, safety and peace of mind. I’m so happy GMP is offering the Powerwall for customers and that Vermont is leading the way on a new energy future.”

For other customers, in Ripton, where there was significant storm damage, the Powerwall kept the lights on for 16 hours while crews repaired damage to poles and wires and in Hinesburg the battery provided power for 2 hours through an outage.

In addition to storing power for use during outages, the Powerwall also allows GMP to reduce peak demand on the system, providing cost savings to all customers.

GMP has worked closely with customers to help make the Powerwall an affordable option. Customers can lease one for $37.50 a month or $1.25 a day, with no upfront cost.

Customers can call or go online to learn more about the Tesla Powerwall. To sign up for a Tesla Powerwall or for more information, please visit:

http://products.greenmountainpower.com/product/tesla-powerwall/

 

July 27 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • A new study suggests that the increasing acidification of the oceans is likely to interfere with the ability of fish to reproduce. Researchers found that elevated levels of CO2, which make the waters more acidic, saw significantly lower levels of spawning. The scientists say the changes are “subtle but ecologically important.” [BBC]
Researchers say that the Ocellated Wrasse is likely to be impacted by the increasing acidity of the oceans. Natascia Tamburello.

Researchers say that the Ocellated Wrasse is likely to be impacted by the increasing acidity of the oceans. Natascia Tamburello.

  • If anthropogenic global warming is to be limited to under 2° Celsius (3.6° Fahrenheit) then technology will need to be developed to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, in addition to completely ceasing greenhouse gas emissions by 2085, according to a study from the National Center for Atmospheric Research. [CleanTechnica]
  • According to the UN’s 2016 New and Renewable Energy Investment Trend Report on July 25, the installed capacity of new and renewable energy-powered power plants newly built in the world last year grew 25.5% to 118 GW from the previous year. This volume accounted for 53.6% of all new power generation. [BusinessKorea]
  • The US reached 74,821 MW installed wind power capacity by mid-2016 and there are now more than 18,200 MW of wind farms under construction or in advanced stages of development. The American Wind Energy Association said activity approached record levels in the second quarter with record low wind costs. [SeeNews Renewables]
  • Opinion: “South Australia’s ‘absurd’ electricity prices: renewables are not to blame” • Reading many newspapers over the past few weeks you’d think South Australia had become a horrible case study in the dangers of too much renewable energy. Those articles missed the fact that SA power prices doubled as gas prices doubled. [The Guardian]

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

New Renewable Energy Business Listing Aims to Help Vermonters Save Money & Reduce Pollution

Renewable Energy Vermont Launches New Tool for Property Owners

MONTPELIER, VT—Renewable Energy Vermont in partnership with the Renewable Energy Resource Center, a project of Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, have launched a new resource for Vermonters looking to install solar photovoltaic panels (PV), solar hot water systems, or modern wood pellet boilers. The project was made possible due to funding from the Vermont Clean Energy Development Fund (CEDF). The Vermont Renewable Energy Business Listing (VREBL) located online at www.revermont.org/vrebl/ offers a detailed, one stop listing of experts ready to help homeowners, farmers, and businesses affordably reduce climate pollution and save money with clean energy solutions.

“The new online Renewable Energy Business Listing details more than 70 local businesses offering expert advice and experience in helping Vermont property owners increase their energy independence by installing renewable energy solutions,” stated Ansley Bloomer, Renewable Energy Vermont Assistant Director.

The online tool enables consumers to find a renewable energy installer near them, as well as compare company experience and qualifications.  Consumers may search the list by technology type, business location, installation experience, and other credentials.

“With net metering rates set to change starting in 2017, and new incentives for modern wood heat now available, it’s a good time for Vermont homeowners and businesses to consider installing clean energy solutions,” encouraged Bloomer.

The new tool is one of several ways that Renewable Energy Vermont (REV) aims to help consumers make informed choices about their energy future.  REV’s website also includes an informed buyer guide – www.revermont.org/resources/how-to-be-an-informed-buyer/ and other resources for electricity consumers.

Installers of solar PV panels, solar hot water and wood pellet boilers who are not already listed may contact REV at info@revermont.org in order to obtain an application form to join the listing.

Renewable Energy Vermont represents businesses, non-profits, utilities, and individuals committed to reducing our reliance on dirty fossil fuels by increasing clean renewable energy and energy efficiency in Vermont.  Vermont’s clean energy economy supports at least 17,700 sustainable jobs at 2,519 businesses, representing approximately 6% of Vermont’s workforce. 

Together, we will achieve 90% total renewable energy (electric, thermal, transportation) by 2050.

 

 

July 26 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • More than a year after it first took to the skies, Solar Impulse 2 has completed an epic around-the-world journey without burning a single drop of fuel. The revolutionary single-seat solar-powered plane touched down Tuesday morning in Abu Dhabi, at the same airport from which it took off back in March 2015. [Huffington Post]
Completing a dream: the first Round-the-World solar flight in history. Solar Impulse blog.

Completing a dream: the first Round-the-World solar flight in history. Solar Impulse blog.

  • Opinion: “Clean Energy Is Booming in Historically Red States – and It’s Splitting Conservatives Apart” • Policy fights pitt right-wing grassroots activists against well-funded conservative advocacy groups aligned with fossil fuel producers and power utilities. Fossil fuels have the upper hand for now, but the situation may be shifting. [AlterNet]
  • Climate change is leaving migratory birds with nowhere to go. A study showed that the Arctic region is rapidly becoming unsuitable for shorebird breeding as global warming heightens. Published in the journal Global Change Biology, it said migratory bird breeding in the Arctic could be wiped out by the year 2070. [Nature World News]
  • The Celtic Interconnector, a roughly 700-MW link between France and Ireland to increase competition and support the growth of renewables, is entering the Initial Design and Pre-Consultation phase. EirGrid Plc and RTE completed feasibility studies for the €1-billion project, and they agreed to move to the next phase. [SeeNews Renewables]
  • Six weeks after Trump appeared before petroleum producers in North Dakota and gave a speech tailor-made to win their support, the fossil fuel industry seems unexcited about responding. Of the $63.5 million Trump and the Super PACS raised in June, about $580,000 came from people connected to the fossil fuel industry. [InsideClimate News‎]

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

New Report:

19 Proposed Fracking Pipelines Would Push Us Past Point of No Return, Report Finds

by 

The U.S. will burst through its emission-reduction target under the Paris climate agreementif the 19 natural gas pipelines proposed in the Appalachian Basin come to fruition, according to a new study.

The report, A Bridge Too Far: How Appalachian Basin Gas Pipeline Expansion Will Undermine U.S. Climate Goals, was published today by the environmental group Oil Change International in partnership with 11 other local, regional and national organizations.

As Reuters noted from the report, these pending projects would pipe natural gas fromfracking fields in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia to states from Louisiana to New York and unlock at least 15.2 billion cubic feet per day of production. Combined, these 19 proposed pipelines would enable 116 trillion cubic feet of additional gas production by 2050. Some of the pipeline operators include Spectra Energy Co, Williams Cos Inc and EQT Corp.

The Paris climate agreement signed in June set a goal limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius. The climate target in the U.S. is an emissions cut of 83 percent from 2005 levels by 2050.

Read more at EcoWatch.

July 25 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Solana Beach could become the first city in San Diego County to create its own power company, with the goal of moving to 100% renewable energy. The city is searching for a company to provide a power system based completely on solar, wind, geothermal, or other renewable sources of electricity. [The San Diego Union-Tribune]
Parabolic trough solar thermal electric power plant at Kramer Junction, California. Photo by kjkolb. CC BY-SA 2.5. Wikimedia Commons

Parabolic trough solar thermal electric power plant at Kramer Junction, California. Photo by kjkolb. CC BY-SA 2.5. Wikimedia Commons.

  • “Why fossil fuel industry needs South Australia ‘experiment’ to fail” • Price spikes, such as what recently happened in South Australia, used to be an important part of the business model for coal and gas generators. With the advent of renewable power, the spikes have all but gone away, so when one comes, they blame renewables. [RenewEconomy]
  • A sharp fall in solar module prices will help renewable energy producers, who have won solar projects at aggressive tariffs but are yet to procure equipment or start construction, leading to higher margins, according to company executives and analysts. Module prices have already declined by as much as 10% in the first half of 2016. [Livemint]
  • State officials say Minnesota should look at strengthening its renewable energy law. Minnesota is on track to meet a requirement of 25% renewable electricity generation by 2025. But that has not been enough to help reach another state goal, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change. [Fergus Falls Daily Journal]
  • With four days of convention activities, energy consumption and emissions will rise around Philadelphia. To help offset this increased energy usage, WGL Energy Services, Inc has donated enough carbon offsets to cover the hotel stays of all 28,000 convention attendees for all four days of the Democratic event. [Stockhouse]

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

July 24 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • An aircraft powered by solar energy has left Egypt on the last leg of the first ever fuel-free flight around the world. Solar Impulse 2 climbed out of Cairo on Sunday in darkness, bound for Abu Dhabi. The journey should take between 48 and 72 hours. The carbon fibre plane set off on its epic challenge in March last year. [euronews]
Solar Impulse 2 taking off.

Solar Impulse 2 taking off.

  • Opinion: “The Switch: soon solar will be the cheapest power everywhere” • Solar is already the cheapest available power across large swathes of the tropics, writes Chris Goodall – its cost down 99.7% since the early 70s. Soon it will be the cheapest electricity everywhere, providing clean, secure, affordable energy for all. [The Ecologist]
  • According to the United Nations weather agency, global temperatures for the first six months of 2016 have been high enough to set this year up as the hottest year in recorded human history. Considering the heat waves we are in, the idea that we are currently in the midst of the hottest year in history isn’t too hard to believe. [The Inquisitr]
  • Beginning next month, the manure of northern Missouri pigs will provide energy to far-flung power users connected to a national pipeline system for natural gas. The gas production facility poised to come online is only the start of what is intended to be a much broader marriage of renewable energy and agribusiness. [STLtoday.com]
  • This spring, there has been a dramatic decline in the health of Eastern white pines across New England and Northeast Pennsylvania. Needles on trees have turned color and fallen from the trees. The severely affected trees decline further and die. The cause is not entirely known, but climate change may be part of the problem. [Scranton Times-Tribune]

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

July 23 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Ambitious pro-coal plans were put on full display at the Republican National Convention. But the same day that US Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) spoke to the convention in support of the coal industry, a federal court issued a ruling that upheld the EPA’s veto of the notorious Spruce No 1 mine in her home state. [CleanTechnica]
Perhaps this abandoned coal mine in West Virginia is a valuable antique. Photo by ForestWander. CC BY-SA 3.0 US. Wikimedia Commons.

Perhaps this abandoned coal mine in West Virginia is a valuable antique. Photo by ForestWander. CC BY-SA 3.0 US. Wikimedia Commons.

  • What if rather than using fuels that add carbon dioxide, we could create fuels that recycle carbon dioxide from the atmosphere? Researchers at Arizona State University are exploring the idea of creating fuels that do just that. They are synthesizing carbon-neutral liquid fuels. Think of them as fuels created out of thin air. [AZoCleantech]
  • Lawyers for Entergy say the company will support a proposal to provide $1 billion in subsidies to nuclear power plants struggling to remain profitable. This comes after the Public Service Commission changed the proposal’s language, removing requirements that the plant be licensed and be struggling financially. [The Journal News | LoHud.com]
  • Illinois’ 25 largest wind farms generate $30.4 million in annual property taxes and $13.86 million in extra income annually for landowners who lease their land to their developers, according to a study released at Illinois State University. The study said the total economic benefit for the life of the projects is $6.4 billion. [Bloomington Pantagraph]
  • The New York State Energy and Research Development Authority will soon release its offshore wind blueprint. The Long Island Power Authority postponed its board of trustees meeting until after the release. The 90-MW Deepwater ONE project awaits their vote, and environmentalists are disappointed at the delay. [North American Windpower]

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

July 22 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • A recent drought shut down the Amazon Basin’s carbon sink, the ability of a natural zone to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere, by killing trees and slowing trees’ growth rates, a study has shown. In the first basin-wide study of the impacts of the 2010 drought, data showed trees’ mortality rate went up while growth rates declined. [BBC]
The vast tropical forests of Amazonia account for almost one-fifth of the world's terrestrial vegetation carbon stock.

The vast tropical forests of Amazonia account for almost one-fifth of the world’s terrestrial vegetation carbon stock.

  • The European Commission presented proposals on binding greenhouse gas emissions intended to “set clear and fair guiding principles to Member States to prepare for the future and keep Europe competitive.” The plan would ensure that all Member States reduce the emissions by at least 40% from 1990 levels by 2030. [CleanTechnica]
  • Energy giant EDF will make its long-awaited final decision on the planned nuclear power station at Hinkley Point next week. The company has called a meeting of its board of directors on July 28. The agenda includes the final investment decision on the construction of two reactors at Hinkley Point C in Somerset. [Energy Voice]
  • Elon Musk, Tesla Motors chief executive, has unveiled a ‘master plan’ for his company to broaden its product portfolio into electric trucks and buses, car sharing and solar energy systems. The strategy additionally includes plans to go into more competitive markets to develop car and ride-sharing programs. [E&T magazine]
  • A coalition of over 150 local businesses and institutions ranging from farms and credit unions, to hotels, main street shops, manufacturers and solar companies has sent a joint letter to the Vermont Public Service Board urging the regulators to support renewable energy and protect the state’s net energy metering program. [Solar Industry]

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