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December 9 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • For the first time, the UK’s wind turbines have set a record by generating more than 10,000 MW of electricity. This has given RenewableUK cause for celebration. The record of 10,104 MW was set between 2:00 and 2:30 pm on December 7, during which time wind provided 23% of Britain’s total electricity demand. [Blue & Green Tomorrow]
Wind turbines at sunrise

Wind turbines at sunrise

  • A memo obtained by the Center for Media and Democracy outlining Donald Trump’s energy agenda for when he takes Office next January has revealed the full extent to which Donald Trump is going to lay waste to America’s climate record and clean energy industry. It lists 14 key energy and environment policies planned. [CleanTechnica]
  • In a document obtained by Bloomberg, President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team asked the Energy Department how it can help keep nuclear reactors “operating as part of the nation’s infrastructure” and what it could do to prevent them from being forced out of the market by cheaper natural gas and renewable resources. [Bloomberg]
  • A new NRDC report finds that the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy is irrevocably underway. Several major utilities interviewed by S&P Global Market Intelligence indicated that their fossil fuel retirement and clean energy investment plans have not changed because of the recent election results. [Natural Resources Defense Council]
  • Air pollution in Paris has hit dangerous levels prompting city officials to curb car use and make public transport free of charge until Friday. The city’s Metro and bus services have been free since Tuesday and set days of travel have been allocated for cars with odd and even numbers, in an attempt to reduce levels of pollutants. [CNN]
    Smog in Paris

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

December 8 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • The European Union will start to phase out coal subsidies and reduce its energy usage by 30% before 2030 pursuant to the terms of a major clean energy package announced in November. It expects to lower household utility bills, integrate renewables into power markets, and limit use of unsustainable bio-energy, among other benefits. [CleanTechnica]
For those in the business of generating smoke, electricity can be a valuable by-product.

For those in the business of generating smoke, electricity can be a valuable by-product.

  • Cape Light Compact, the electric utility serving the 21 towns in Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, has announced that its aggregation power supply load is going with 100% renewable power. The Compact has teamed up with NextEra Energy Services to provide low price electricity to all of its customers. [CapeCod.com News]
  • The Dutch government released a long-term energy plan stipulating that no new cars with combustion engines may be sold from 2035 on. Also, all of the houses in the country, which has been for over 50 years the EU’s largest natural gas producer, will be disconnected from the gas grid by 2050. The measure has broad parliamentary support. [CleanTechnica]
  • Renewable energy demand from companies in the Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 “is significant and growing quickly,” according to a report published by US business group Advanced Energy Economy. Of the Fortune 100 companies, 71 have set renewable energy or sustainability targets. This is up from 60 just two years ago. [CleanTechnica]
  • The staff at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station appear to be “overwhelmed” and struggling to improve performance at the facility, which has a poor safety record and is set to close in less than three years. This is according to an internal memo from a federal regulator, which had been inadvertently sent to a local environmental advocate. [The Boston Globe]

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

Attention to Our Cape Cod Readers: Woods Hole Research Center Presents – What’s Next for Climate Change?

woods-hole-research-center

 

The 2016 Election and COP22:
What’s Next for Climate Change?
WCAI science editor Heather Goldstone will moderate a panel discussion with five voices for the environment:
  • Phil Duffy, WHRC President
  • Dylan Fernandes, Mass. State Representative-elect for Barnstable, Dukes & Nantucket District
  • Anne Kelly, Senior Program Director, Policy & BICEP Program at CERES
  • Bill Moomaw, Professor Emeritus of the Center for International, Environment and Resource Policy at Tufts University
  • Rev. Deborah Warner, Rector, Church of the Messiah, Woods Hole
The optimism at the recent COP22 meeting has been undercut by the uncertainty surrounding the upcoming Trump presidency. The panel will focus on the 2016 election’s potential impact on climate science and policy from a variety of perspectives. Please join us for this important discussion.
Monday, December 19
5 – 7 p.m.
 
Wine & cheese reception at 5 p.m.
Presentation begins promptly at 5:30 p.m.
Location: Woods Hole Research Center
149 Woods Hole Road, Falmouth, MA
Parking and seating are limited. Reserve early!

TOMORROW: Energy Code Commentator: The New Standard 90.1-2016!

The Energy Codes Commentator presents…

TOMORROW:  The New Standard 90.1-2016!

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Building Energy Codes Program is excited to host the next event in its Energy Code Commentator training series!

What You Need to Know About the New Energy Standard for Commercial Buildings: ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2016

  • Drake Erbe, Standard 90.1 Committee Chair
  • Richard Lord, 90.1 Committee Vice Chair
  • Eric Richman, Lighting Subcommittee
  • Mike Rosenberg, Energy Cost Budget Subcommittee

Thursday, December 8th at 1pm (eastern)

What’s the Energy Code Commentator?

The DOE Building Energy Codes Program hosts a webinar-based training series called the Energy Code Commentator.  The series spans a variety of special topics of interest to all energy code stakeholders–for both residential & commercial buildings. Events will be held regularly on the second Thursday of each month at 1pm (eastern).  Check out the DOE Building Energy Codes Program training portal for the scheduled lineup and recordings of past events!

If you have suggestions for future topics or speakers, please submit them to BuildingEnergyCodes@ee.doe.gov.

December 7 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Opinion: “Trump’s Lies Threaten Wind Techs: Fastest-Growing US Job” There are reasons why Trump’s vendetta against what he calls “the windmills” hurts his own voters. First, wind techs, the guys who climb the towers to do maintenance, are blue-collar workers from red states. And theirs is the fastest growing job in the US. [CleanTechnica]

12-07-34-trump-voters-support-clean-energy

  • As global temperatures continue to rise, a huge chunk of polar sea ice covering an area about the size of India, or twice the size of Alaska, has melted, climate scientists said. The scientists said that the warm ocean temperatures, the warming atmosphere and wind patterns like El Niño, are preventing ice from forming. [Science World Report]
  • Google has confirmed it will hit its target of offsetting 100% of the energy used at its data centres and offices against power from renewable sources. The firm first made the commitment in 2015 to go 100% renewable by 2017. In a blog, the company said it was now the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy in the world. [BBC]
  • Donald Trump’s plan to erect a huge sea wall at his Irish golf course has been withdrawn in the light of stiff opposition from environmentalists. The original application cited rising sea levels as a result of climate change as a key reason for the protective barrier. A new plan with smaller wall is expected to be submitted shortly. [BBC News]
  • The largest battery in New England – and once the world – was built 45 years ago and is still working. It’s hidden, on top and deep inside a mountain in north-central Massachusetts. Northfield Mountain is now undergoing re-licensing to run for another 50 years, providing grid load leveling for solar and wind power. [New England Public Radio]

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

 

GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES $3.6 MILLION AVAILABLE TO HELP LOW-TO MODERATE-INCOME RESIDENTS ACCESS CLEAN, AFFORDABLE SOLAR


Funding through NY-Sun Will Address Barriers to Solar for Low- to Moderate-Income Residents Living in Properties Not Served by Conventional Solar

 

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $3.6 million in funding is available to increase access to solar energy in low- to moderate-income communities across the state. The funding will help affordable housing providers and community organizations overcome barriers they often face in advancing solar and clean energy projects. Solar energy helps New York meet its nation-leading Clean Energy Standard for 50 percent of electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030. Expanding this renewable energy source will also help New York reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2030.

“Clean energy is key to combatting climate change and we must ensure that the development and use of these cutting edge technologies are not only available to the wealthy,” Governor Cuomo said. “Through this effort, we are helping New Yorkers to save money and are building a cleaner and more resilient New York for all.”

Multiple barriers unique to serving low to moderate income communities can delay the progress of solar projects, including financing, procurement, marketing and customer outreach, and other components necessary for successful project development. Community organizations and affordable housing providers are critical partners in developing solutions to these barriers and achieving access to solar for LMI households. However, these entities often lack the financial resources, solar market experience or staff capacity to bring a solar project from concept to operation. This funding opportunity aims to fill this gap by providing these on-the-ground allies with the resources they need to get solar projects off the ground and delivering clean power where it matters most.

Applications will be accepted through August 31, 2018 or until funds are exhausted. Individual project awards will not exceed $200,000. For more information on this funding opportunity, visit www.nyserda.ny.gov/ASPTA.

A webinar will be held on December 15 from 10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. To register for the webinar, click here.

December 6 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Going 100% renewable: An exciting new energy game” • An exciting new home energy game opened up for me this week when I made enquiries with my energy retailer. The average Australian emits 4.5 times the global average CO2, so the goal is to lower our household carbon emissions. It is an exciting game we play every day. [The Fifth Estate]
Wind turbines at sunrise (Wind Data Centre)

Wind turbines at sunrise (Wind Data Centre)

  • In Scotland, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds is in support of the Dounreay Tri floating wind demonstration project of Swedish engineering company Hexicon AB. The conservation charity said it has submitted a consultation response to Marine Scotland in support of the project west of the Pentland Firth. [SeeNews Renewables]
  • Former Vice President Al Gore has met President-elect Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka Trump to discuss climate policy. The meeting “was a sincere search for areas of common ground,” according to Mr Gore, a climate change activist. Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka reportedly wants to make the subject one of her signature issues. [BBC]
  • Two Vermont towns, Stowe and Hyde Park, have recently commissioned municipally owned solar plants, making them the first towns in the state to do so. Together, the plants will produce 2.7 MW of solar electricity. This is enough to power 229 average residences of in the towns, about 7% of the total number of homes. [pv magazine USA]
  • With two solar facilities moving toward completion and a third in the planning stages, Pownal, Vermont is becoming a leading community. The total countywide capacity from solar sources is approximately 3.7 MW, of which 2.2 MW are in Pownal, but a 2.2-MW array is under construction, and a smaller array is also planned. [vtdigger.org]

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

The Meaning of Standing Rock

Transportation_CARLPOPE_VNBy Carl Pope

Today was supposed to be the deadline for thousands of protesters encamped to prevent completion of the Dakota Access pipeline across Lake Oahe on the Missouri River to evacuate their camp-sites. Instead it has become a moment of celebration, as the Army Corps of Engineers and the Obama Administration have concluded that a new Environmental Impact Statement is needed to determine the best route across the Missouri River.  But the incoming Trump Administration is likely to reverse the decision, with uncertain legal results for the environmental assessment process.

The resistance by the Standing Rock Sioux nation and its allies to the proposed Dakota Access pipeline routing signaled a new stage in evolving community resistance to fossil fuel extraction and transportation – but also reveals some ugly fissures within America as we enter a four year, almost certainly traumatic presidency.

Standing Rock has been the largest, and one of the longest, Native American resistance protests in modern America. It differs from earlier fossil fuel protests like those against Keystone XL or Shell’s basing Arctic drilling vessels in the Port of Seattle because the protesters attempted to physically disrupt the construction, not just symbolically protest it.
 
They have succeeded, for the moment. Months ago construction slowed, Corps of Engineers permits were suspended, and the President had already called for consideration of alternative routes.  Native American vetoes of fossil fuel projects had become an acknowledged part of the regulatory and permitting landscape in Canada, but only recently have the tribes inserted themselves routinely into these processes in the US. They have some won victories already, as when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied the permit for a coal and oil export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington, saying the project would impair fishing grounds guaranteed to the Lummi Nation by treaty.

Continue reading The Meaning of Standing Rock

VICTORY for the Standing Rock Sioux

Big news! The Obama administration just announced that it will not be granting the final easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline. This means Energy Transfer Partners — the company building the pipeline — will have to halt construction on the Standing Rock Sioux’s Treaty lands.

This is a huge victory for the Standing Rock Sioux and the Water Protectors who have been fighting for months to protect their land and water from the risky project. 

And it happened thanks in part to people like you. You sent thousands of messages and phone calls to President Obama to stand with the Standing Rock Sioux and other tribes.

This announcement means the Obama administration will review the project’s environmental impacts. And it will explore alternative routes for the pipeline.

But the victory is threatened by Donald Trump’s Presidency. Trump has already said he supports the pipeline. And he owns stock in the company that wants to build it. 

Indigenous peoples will build on this victory and keep fighting for their survival. So as we contemplate four years of a Trump administration, a few things are clear: we ALL have to keep fighting. And we have to show up for each other. 

Our country has been stoked by the flames of fear, bigotry, and division. Now, it’s time to come together and support the Standing Rock Sioux in their fight for justice.

Regards,
Erich Pica, 
President,
Friends of the Earth

December 5 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • About 20,000 passengers were stranded at an airport in Chengdu, China as flights were grounded because of heavy smog and a thick fog that left the city in a dark haze. The air quality index in Chengdu registered 280, a level considered “very unhealthy.” In some industrial cities south of Beijing, the air quality levels reach up to 875. [Digital Journal]
Pollution is a popular discussion topic on social media. (File photo: Fred Dufour, AFP)

Pollution is a popular discussion topic on social media. (File photo: Fred Dufour, AFP)

  • Opinion: “Through climate change denial, we’re ceding global leadership to China” • China was no more prepared for the results of the American election than the US. But it has been quick to size up the environmental implications of a Trump victory, and officials in Beijing are contriving to cast China in a fresh leadership role. [Los Angeles Times]
  • On Sunday afternoon, tribe members and their numerous allies celebrated, crying tears of joy, over the fact the Dakota Access Pipeline project would be rerouted away from land that’s deemed sacred. Even so, the decision to re-route the pipeline could be reversed once President Barack Obama leaves office next month. [CNN]
  • The Solar Energy Industries Association reports that over 147 solar companies employ nearly 2000 people in Connecticut. The installed capacity of solar PVs in Connecticut is 265 MW, ranking it 17th in the US. The state’s 2015 solar installation ranks 14th nationally, growing 64% in 2015, with 91 MW installed for the year. [CleanTechnica]
  • Comments from utility DTE Energy’s CEO Gerry Anderson provided may be the best assessment of the future of coal: “I don’t know anybody in the country who would build another coal plant.” He says coal is dying because of its cost, and that is the case “regardless of what Trump may or may not do with the Clean Power Plan.” [Madison.com]

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