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Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

May 16 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Flying Giant Returning To Ireland After 300 Years” • Giant birds that have been part of Irish folklore could be returning to the island after an absence of more than 300 years. There is a pair of cranes nesting on a rewetted peat bog owned by former peat producer Bord na Móna. The peat harvests had stopped at the site in January. [BBC]

Crane in Spain (Santiago Lacarta, Unsplash)

 

  • “May 15 Is The New ‘Unofficial’ Start To Hurricane Season” • Officially, the hurricane season starts on June 1. But named tropical systems have formed earlier than that in the Atlantic every year for the past six years. The National Hurricane Center is now issuing their routine ‘tropical weather outlook’ forecasts starting on May 15, rather than June 1. [CNN]
  • “Exxon Mobil’s Messaging Shifted Blame For Warming To Consumers” • Exxon Mobil Corp has used language to systematically shift blame for climate change from fossil fuel companies and onto consumers, according to a paper by researchers at Harvard University. The paper was published in the journal One Earth. [Scientific American]
  • “Bitcoin Mining Imperils New York State’s Renewable Energy Goals” • The cryptocurrency business has crept into Western New York state almost unnoticed. Digihost’s bid to buy North Tonawanda’s nearly defunct Fortistar power plant, which is fueled by methane and oil, presents an imminent threat to our carbon footprint. [Buffalo News]
  • “GOP Representative Meijer: Republican Resistance To Climate Science Could Doom The Party” • Representative Peter Meijer, a young Republican congressman from Michigan, said he believes his party has to dramatically change their position on climate science. If they don’t, he says, they could doom themselves with younger voters. [Hill Reporter]

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

May 15 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Ravenswood Generating Station On Track To Become A Renewable Energy Hub” • Ravenswood Generating Station could be home to renewable energy transported from upstate New York by 2026, its owner announced. The proposed Catskills Renewable Program would supplying an estimated 15% of New York City’s energy. [Queens Daily Eagle]

Ravenswood Generating Station in Queens (King of Hearts, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

  • “Does Nuclear Power Really Keep The Lights On?” • The nuclear industry is fond of telling us the sun does not always shine and the wind does not always blow. But things are a bit more complicated than that. Advances in renewable energy and storage mean that baseload power provided by nuclear reactors is no longer needed. [MSN]
  • “US West Likely To Have Tough 2021 Due To Drought” • US officials expect climate-fueled heat and drought to drive a fire season in the West at least as bad as last year. Projections are so bad that hatcheries in Northern California are trucking salmon to the ocean instead of releasing them into dangerously low rivers with unsafely warm waters. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Pipeline Company Shut Down Its Own Pipeline, Paid Ransom” • The ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline did not actually affect its operations, but made the company afraid it wouldn’t be able to figure out how much to bill its customers, according to a CNN report. So it shut down, causing fuel panic in the Southeast, and paid ransom. [CleanTechnica]
  • “EPA Issues First Climate Update Since 2016” • The five years since the EPA last updated its climate-science scorecard have been five of the six hottest years on record, in which California has endured three of its five most destructive wildfires. Now, the EPA published new data showing in greater detail how climate change is affecting the US. [NWI Times]

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

Efficiency Maine Initiative to Boost Recovery of Maine’s Hospitality Industry

Maine’s hospitality sector is being invited to upgrade heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, LED lighting, and refrigeration equipment. For a limited-time, Efficiency Maine is offering enhanced financial incentives to accelerate conversions to high-efficiency equipment in the hospitality industry, as well as assist businesses as they gear up for this year’s tourist season and beyond.

This initiative, which will also reduce carbon emissions from the hospitality industry, falls under Efficiency Maine’s Commercial and Industrial Prescriptive Program.

“As Maine embarks on a new, hopeful tourist season there’s no better time for the proprietors and managers of our restaurants and places of lodging to consider upgrading the systems that will help make their establishments more comfortable, attractive, and energy efficient,” said Rick Meinking, senior program manager for commercial initiatives at Efficiency Maine. “Whether it’s improving an air conditioning system, installing high-efficiency lighting, or upgrading refrigeration equipment, these incentives aim to bolster success in Maine’s hospitality sector.”

Restaurants, hotels, motels, inns, and bed and breakfasts qualify for this enhanced, limited-time opportunity. Airbnbs, camps, cabins, cottages, and nonpermanent structures are not eligible.

Greater incentives are available for high-performance heat pumps, packaged terminal heat pumps, vertical packaged terminal heat pumps, an array of refrigeration measures, and LED retrofit lighting. Detailed incentive information on the qualifying equipment can be found in the Hospitality Retrofits Funding Opportunity Notice.

“With these new incentives from Efficiency Maine, our state’s hospitality businesses can make significant energy efficiency investments to help them save money and fight climate change,” said Dan Burgess, director of the Governor’s Energy Office. “We applaud Efficiency Maine’s leadership in putting this program forward to support small businesses and help Maine achieve its ambitious climate and clean energy goals.”

The limited-time offer began on April 1, 2021. The application deadline is July 1, 2021. Accepted projects must be complete by September 3, 2021. Interested businesses can get more information about this funding opportunity on the Efficiency Maine website.

Efficiency Maine’s Commercial and Industrial Prescriptive Program offers fixed incentives to reduce the cost of projects and to improve energy efficiency for various sectors, including businesses, municipalities, schools and higher education facilities, manufacturing and other industrial facilities, as well as other non-residential facilities, and multifamily and condominium buildings with five or more units.

To learn more about the Efficiency Maine Prescriptive Program and how to maximize its benefits visit https://www.efficiencymaine.com/at-work/ci-prescriptive-incentive-program/.

May 14 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “The Most Intense Firestorms In The World” • When a wildfire reaches epic proportions, it changes everything around it – even creating its own weather. A pyrocumulmonimbus, or “pyroCb” is a thunderstorm generated by fire that creates positive feedback loops, with winds, lightning, and sometimes deadly downdrafts that spread the fire outwards. [BBC]

Smoke from a PyroCb (David Peterson, NASA Earth Observatory)

  • “Paris Seeks To Ban Through Traffic In City Center By 2022” • A plan to drastically reduce car traffic in the center of the French capital Paris by 2022 has been put forward by the city council. The scheme would ban through traffic in four central districts, giving priority instead to cyclists, pedestrians, and the public transportation system. [BBC]
  • “‘An 8th-Grader Could Have Hacked’ The Colonial Pipeline” • Its owners should not be surprised that the Colonial Pipeline was hacked. An outside audit of its cyberattack defenses, delivered to the company more than three years ago, described “atrocious” information management practices and “a patchwork of poorly connected and secured systems.” [CleanTechnica]
  • “Eviation Is Closer To Launching Commercial Electric Airplane Service – Alice Gets An EPU” • Eviation Aircraft is developing efficient electric aircraft with the goal of making electric aviation competitive. It is a step closer to launching commercial electric flights, after taking delivery of its first electric propulsion unit for its first aircraft, Alice. [CleanTechnica]
  • “The Transformation Of Appalachian Coalfields Into Solar Farms Is Starting” • Sun Tribe Development plans to be the first to generate large-scale renewable power on the coalfields of Central Appalachia, Energy News Network reports. It is developing up to 75 MW of solar power on deforested mine lands in Virginia and Tennessee. [CleanTechnica]

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

May 13 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “The Strange Deal That Created A Ghost Town” • The JM Gavin coal-burning power station is the seventh-largest emitter of CO₂ of all power stations in the US. In 2019 it emitted 12.9 million tonnes of CO₂ into the atmosphere. The power plant’s emissions are also responsible for the demise of the entire community of Cheshire, Ohio. [BBC]

Cheshire, Ohio in 2004 (Analogue Kid, CC-BY-SA 2.5)

  • “Want A Heart Attack? Move Closer To A Natural Gas Fracking Site” • Fracking might not be good for your heart. The Journal of Environmental Research published a study that found middle-aged men living near fracking sites in Pennsylvania were more than 5% more likely to die of a heart attack than their counterparts where fracking is banned. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Tesla Suspends Bitcoin Vehicle Purchases Due To Impacts Of Mining And Transactions On The Environment” • In the past, Tesla has accepted Bitcoin as payment for cars. But Elon Musk has tweeted that Tesla suspended use of Bitcoin for vehicle purchases. He said the reason was Bitcoin’s growing dependence on energy from nfossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Gas Stations Dry As Pipeline Shutdown Drives Panic, Chaos” • Long lines of drivers formed at gas stations across the South – except for the stations that had already run out of gas – as the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline caused panic buying and chaos. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said the pipeline will soon be operating. [CleanTechnica]
  • “US Environmental Agency Releases Climate Report Delayed By Trump” • The US EPA said for the first time that climate change is being driven at least in part by humans. The agency made the acknowledgement in a new report that had been delayed by the Trump White House since 2017. Mr Trump called human-caused climate change a “hoax.” [BBC]

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

Mow Electric! Commercial Mower Demonstration Day – Rochester, VT

May 12 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “EMEC Assesses New York Tidal Turbine Output” • EMEC delivered the world’s first internationally recognized power performance assessment to Verdant Power for its Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy array in New York. In a 39-day test, Verdant Power’s turbines had availability of over 99% and generated 187 kW at peak flood tide velocity. [reNEWS]

Tidal turbine deployment (Verdant Power image)

  • “Drought Emergency Declared In Most Of California Amid ‘Acute Water Supply Shortfalls'” • California Governor Gavin Newsom expanded a drought emergency across most of the parched state, covering a vast stretch of the central and northern regions of the state as it endures its second major drought in less than a decade. [CNN]
  • “Throwing Money At Schemes Ineffective – Charity” • A report by Third World Network says rich countries “throwing money” at enhancing biodiversity is ineffective. It calls for “a profound re-organisation of the global post-pandemic economy to prevent further harm to the planet,” and it recommends nothing less than a “change in our entire economic model.” [BBC]
  • “Keene Passed Its Community Power Plan. What Comes Next?” • Keene became the first municipality in New Hampshire to pass a community power program, in a move to give the city more control over the local electricity supply. But there are still details that need to be addressed. One is to submit the plan to the NH Public Utilities Commission. [The Keene Sentinel]
  • “Tesla Transitions To LFP Battery Cells For Megapack Battery Installations” • Multiple news sources are reporting that Tesla has begun using lithium-iron phosphate (aka LiFPO₄) battery cells in its Megapack grid-scale storage systems. LFP has advantages, and some disadvantages, when compared to other more commonly used lithium batteries. [CleanTechnica]

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

May 11 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “BNEF Predicts Electric Cars Will Be Cheaper In Europe Than Conventional Cars By 2027” • Recently, Transport & Environment asked Bloomberg New Energy Finance to determine when EVs will become less expensive to manufacture than conventional cars with gasoline engines. The answer from BNEF is that will happen in 2027. [CleanTechnica]

Charging Porsches (Porsche image)

  • “Big Island On Pace To Meet Renewable Energy Goals In Two Years” • Three large solar projects in the works on Hawaii island are bolstering the island’s renewal energy supply. They are big enough that the island should hit 100% of its renewable energy standards by 2023, Hawaiian Electric Co says. By 2024, that rate could jump to 110%. [Honolulu Civil Beat]
  • “Renewable Energy Sources Grew At Fastest Rate In Two Decades Last Year” • Renewable sources of electricity, including wind and solar, grew at their fastest rate in two decades in 2020 and are set to expand even more rapidly over the next two years, with high-capacity renewables likely to account for about 90% of new global power capacity. [The Globe and Mail]
  • “How Big Utilities’ Climate Pledges Fall Short” • Can a utility company be carbon neutral by 2050 if it builds a gas plant now? Maybe if it shuts off the gas plant well before its 40 years of useful life are complete, leaving electric customers to pay off millions in debt. Here is an edition of the Local Energy Rules podcast that addresses this issue. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Forests The Size Of France Regrown Since 2000, Study Suggests” • An area of forest the size of France has regrown naturally across the world in the last 20 years, a study suggests. The restored forests have the potential to soak up the equivalent of 5.9 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide – more than the annual emissions of the US. [BBC]

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

May 10 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Biden Administration Outlines The ‘America The Beautiful’ Initiative” • In a clean break from the anti-nature politics and policies of the previous administration, the new Biden-Harris administration has begun to outline a different vision for how the US can work collaboratively to conserve and restore public lands, waters and wildlife. [New American Journal]

Mountains (Taylor Wright, Unsplash)

  • “Inside Kenya’s Small-Scale Renewable Energy Revolution” • Demand for solar energy in Kenya has risen over the past few years as ratepayers turn to it to beat the high cost of electricity. Kenya Power said industrial customers accounting for nearly 55% of its sales revenues have begun generating their own electricity using solar power. [Construction Kenya]
  • “US Passes Emergency Waiver Over Fuel Pipeline Cyber-Attack” • The US government issued emergency legislation after the largest fuel pipeline in the US was completely shut down by a ransomware cyber-attack. The Colonial Pipeline carries 2.5 million barrels a day – 45% of the East Coast’s supply of diesel, gasoline, and jet fuel. [BBC]
  • “Legacy Auto Paid To Advertise EVs On SNL Last Night, While Tesla’s Elon Musk Hosted” • In a move that proves that Tesla is the leader of the auto industry in at least one sense, legacy automakers – Ford, Audi, and VW scrambled to get some EV advertising on Saturday Night Live last night. And Lucid joined them in this endeavor. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Asian Development Bank To End Financing Of Coal, Oil, And Gas” • The Asian Development Bank may stop financing new coal-fired power capacity, as well as oil and gas exploration and production, according to a draft policy statement. The draft will be deliberated by ADBs board of directors in October. Critics say the policy is already ten years late. [Energy Voice]

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

Just In! (from NY-GEO)

Below are G.E.T.’s top picks from NY-GEO’s weekly “Just-In” Newsletter. Just In! features three fresh news item summaries on the NY-GEO home page every Monday. NY-GEO members get the full newsletter, which includes an advanced look at the website articles, plus event listings and job openings and several bonus article summaries with links, usually on the Saturday before website publication.

Queens Multifamily Project Wins GeoStar Top Job Competition – Congratulations to ZBF Geothermal and owner Zach Fink, the winner of the 2021 GeoStar Top Job Competition !! ZBF’s project, Beach Green Dunes II, is the largest passive housing building in NYC with a geothermal heating and cooling system installed.  This 100% affordable building has 500 apartments, and was designed as an investment case study for financing high efficiency affordable housing buildings in NYC. The geothermal system consists of 36 boreholes to a depth of 450 feet each. These boreholes provide heating and cooling to the 125,000 square foot building, including a cafe serving locally grown food, and 127 apartments – some with an ocean view! To see recordings of all the Top Job presentations as well as text of the Q&A and the slides, click here.

Acton Projects 385,000 Annual Conversions to Heat Pumps Needed by 2030 – Complex Systems Analyst Jerry Acton of the GreyEdge Group has been analyzing the number of buildings that will need to convert to heat pumps in order to meet New York’s climate goals. In his May 4th presentation, as part NY-GEO’s Electrify with Heat Pumps Series, Acton laid out a path to achieving an 88% reduction in building greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. In order to reach that goal, Acton estimates New York would need to see 385,000 annual conversions in the residential sector by 2030. As shown in his slide below, about 2/3rds of those conversions would need to come from houses currently heating with fossil gas and the other third from houses heating with fuel oil, propane and kerosene. The Recording and Slides from this webinar are here.

Ithaca to Require Net-Zero Construction by 2026 – “The rules, which will go into effect on August 4, 2021, require that all new buildings be constructed to produce 40% fewer greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than those built to NYS code. The IECS (Ithaca Energy Code Supplement) will become more stringent in 2023, requiring an 80% reduction in emissions. Starting in 2026, net-zero buildings that do not use fossil fuels will be required (with exceptions for cooking and process energy). Partly due to broad community support and the increasing urgency of global climate change, Common Council voted to accelerate the implementation timeline from the originally proposed step-up dates of 2025 and 2030.
The IECS offers the flexibility for builders to comply using the prescriptive Easy Path, which is a customized point-based system, or using the performance-based Whole Building Path. Using the Easy Path, GHG reductions are achieved from electrification of space and water heating (e.g., heat pumps), renewable energy (e.g., community solar), and affordability improvements which reduce construction costs (e.g., efficient building shape). See the full press release here.

Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick

 

Nick Goldsmith, IECS project manager and Sustainability Coordinator for both the City and the Town of Ithaca

 

 

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