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The April Edition of Green Energy Times is Here!

The April edition of Green Energy Times has gone to press and will soon be distributed in print form.

The online version can be downloaded HERE.

April 20 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Grim Colorado River Shows Future Of Water Restrictions Is Here” • The West is dry and getting drier. The US government predicts that Lake Mead’s water level will fall below 1,075 feet (328 meters) by June, the level that triggers official government water shortage procedures for the seven states that get their water from the Colorado River. [Earther | Gizmodo]

Lake Mead (Ricardo Frantz, Unsplash)

  • “WA Green Hydrogen Project Grows From 1 GW To 8 GW, Following Commitment From French Powerhouse” • Province Resources has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with French giant Total Eren. Province now saying it plans to install 8 GW of renewable energy capacity. Earlier this year, it announced a project goal of 1 GW. [pv magazine Australia]
  • “Carbon ‘Surge’ Expected In Post-Covid Energy Boom” • The International Energy Agency predicts a major increase in CO₂ emissions from energy this year, as world economies rebound. The IEA says total energy emissions for 2021 will still be slightly lower than in 2019, and increased use of coal in Asia will push global demand up by 4.5%. [BBC]
  • “Blinken Warns US Is Falling Behind China In Race To Capitalize On Climate Opportunities” • US Secretary of State Tony Blinken said that “coming up short” in efforts to address climate change “will have major repercussions” for US national security and its economy, warning that the country is falling behind China on renewable energy. [CNN]
  • “CNN To Host Climate Crisis Town Hall With Officials Of The Biden Administration ” • Senior Biden administration officials will answer questions on how President Joe Biden plans to remake US climate policy in a globally broadcast CNN town hall, the network announced. “CNN Town Hall: The Climate Crisis” will air Friday at 10 p.m. ET. [CNN]

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

NHSaves Virtual Button Up Workshop: April 25, 2021

Part of Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative’s Annual Meeting Series

Button Up New Hampshire, the popular home energy savings workshop series is coming virtually to the Plymouth Area. It will take place on Zoom on Monday, April 25th from 7:00 – 8:30pm including a live Q and A time. This free workshop is sponsored by NHSaves and hosted by the Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative (PAREI). It is one of many activities happening during PAREI’s Annual Meeting Series that will run from April 26th to May 4th.

NHSaves is a collaboration of New Hampshire’s electric and natural gas utilities (Eversource, Liberty Utilities, NH Electric Cooperative and Unitil). The utilities are working together to provide NH customers with information, incentives, and support designed to save energy, reduce costs, and protect the NH environment.

From the time PAREI was founded in 2004, their goal has been to provide Plymouth area community members with opportunities and resources to reduce their energy usage and produce renewable energy one home at a time. This NHSaves Button Up Workshop is a 1.5 hour presentation about how to improve the energy efficiency of your home. It is conducted by two certified energy auditors and covers basic building science principles as well as examples of whole house weatherization measures that will button up your home for the heating and cooling seasons.

This workshop also covers details about the energy efficiency programs offered by NH utilities (for existing homes and new construction) that provide energy audits, weatherization measures such as air sealing and insulating and rebates on new technologies and products such as electric and gas appliances and high efficiency electric heating/cooling equipment. Currently the utilities’ Home Performance with Energy Star program is offering up to a 75% incentive or up to $8000 to help homeowners pay for qualified energy improvements.

Plymouth area homeowners wishing to use energy more efficiently, conserve energy and save money on their heating and cooling bills, will find the workshop presentation very helpful. The public is welcome to attend this free workshop. Registration is not necessary, simply go to this Zoom link before 7:00pm on Monday, April 26th: https://ccsnh.zoom.us/j/93346217950

For more information, call the Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative’s office at 603-536-5030. For a full list of PAREI’s annual meeting events visit www.plymouthenergy.org

Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez Rollout Green New Deal for Public Housing Act

Building on the momentum of the repeal of the Faircloth Amendment in the House last year, the two legislators seek to increase investment in housing infrastructure.

GND 4 PH would improve living conditions for nearly 2 million – lowering utility costs, reducing environmental hazards like lead and water poisoning.

The bill would also create nearly quarter of a million good-paying, union jobs.

 On April 19, 2021, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) announced the introduction of the Green New Deal for Public Housing Act in partnership with public housing residents, affordable housing advocates, and climate change activists. The sweeping legislation aims to strengthen public housing communities, improve living conditions for residents, and create jobs by addressing the housing and climate crises through the retrofitting, rehabilitating, and decarbonizing of the nation’s entire public housing stock.

As the United States faces a deepening climate and housing crisis, public housing is burdened by government neglect, racial injustice, and chronic disrepair, including a $70 billion maintenance backlog. Residents of public housing routinely suffer worse health outcomes due to mold infestations, lead contamination, poor indoor air quality, and unsafe temperatures. Low-income households on average spend 16.3 percent of their total income on energy costs compared to 3.5 percent for other households, often forcing the choice between paying energy bills or other essential expenses like health care, medicine, groceries, and childcare.

Additionally, about 17.6 million American households are severely cost-burdened from paying more than 50 percent of their income on housing; there are currently no states in the country where a full-time worker earning the federal minimum wage can afford a modest two-bedroom apartment; and on a single night in December 2020 over 580,000 Americans were homeless.

The Green New Deal for Public Housing Act invests up to $172 billion over ten years in sustainable retrofits, dramatically improving living conditions for nearly 2 million people living in over 950,000 public housing homes. This legislation reduces public housing water bills by up to 30 percent per year, or $97 million, and energy bills by up to 70 percent per year, or $613 million. The bill also creates up to 240,000 good-paying, union jobs per year across the country while reducing annual carbon emissions by roughly 5.6 million metric tons, the equivalent of taking over 1.2 million cars off the road.

“At this time of unprecedented crisis, we must move forward to boldly address the systemic and existential threats facing us today and that includes combating climate change and making sure that every American has a safe and decent place to live,” said Sen. Sanders. “It is unacceptable that over half a million people in America, the richest country on Earth, are homeless. It is unacceptable that for so many working people it is incredibly hard to find affordable housing. It is unacceptable that our nation’s public housing is in a state of chronic disrepair and energy inefficiency after generations of government neglect. This legislation addresses our climate and affordable housing crises together in a way that transforms our energy system, rebuilds public housing, and creates hundreds of thousands of good paying jobs in low-income and working class communities.”

“The Green New Deal for Public Housing would increase affordable housing, reduce the cost of utility bills and eliminate environmental hazards like lead poisoning – all while creating nearly a quarter of a million good paying jobs,” said Rep. Ocasio-Cortez. “With America facing an affordable housing crisis and the perils of climate change, we must invest in our housing infrastructure now. We also must be honest about the scale of the problem. Just to address the backlog of critical maintenance repairs in NYCHA and nowhere else – chipping lead paint, broken heating systems, failing gas utilities – would require $40M, what is currently in the American Jobs Plan. This bill would invest up to $172 billion over ten years, improving the lives of nearly 2 million individuals and securing the long term future of the nation’s public housing stock.”

The Green New Deal for Public Housing would transition the entire public housing stock of the United States, as swiftly and seamlessly as possible, into zero-carbon, highly energy-efficient communities that produce on-site renewable energy, while ensuring all public housing is brought up to safe and sanitary conditions, and workforce capacity, family self-sufficiency programs, and community development are expanded.

In 2019, about 40 percent of total U.S. energy consumption was attributable to residential and commercial buildings. With its focus on transforming nearly 1 million units of public housing, the Green New Deal for Public Housing Act will spur economies of scale for weatherization, retrofitting, and renewable energy, making them more cost effective and livable throughout the country. The legislation also provides funding to electrify all buildings, add solar panels, and secure renewable energy sources for all public housing energy needs.

The Green New Deal for Public Housing Act would expand federal programs to provide residents with meaningful work investing in their communities, facilitate resident-owned and operated businesses, and allow for the participation in the management of public housing. The bill would expand resident councils so that public housing residents have a seat at the table for important decisions regarding their homes. The bill would also repeal the Faircloth Amendment, which limits the construction of new public housing developments, an important step toward providing affordable housing for all.

The bill also helps support families and sustainable communities by building new childcare and senior centers, expanding access to clean transportation, and creating community gardens and other community investments. Under the legislation, public housing will receive deep energy retrofits, community-generated renewable electricity, and upgrades to unsafe and unsanitary infrastructure, including buildings’ water and electrical systems.

The legislation envisions a federal-state partnership, creating new grant programs to swiftly and efficiently transition public housing, tribal housing, and Native Hawaiian housing to zero-carbon, energy efficient housing.

The bill also requires that the hundreds of thousands of jobs created by this investment be high-road, family-sustaining jobs by requiring strong labor standards, prevailing wages, and “Buy America” requirements. Public housing residents will lead the decision-making process for these investments and receive jobs training for the newly created jobs from this legislation.

The bill is cosponsored in the Senate by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), and endorsed by 20 organizations.

Read the bill summary here.
Read the legislative text here.
Read a section-by-section overview here.
Read organizational statements of support here.

 

HeatSmart CNY Upcoming Events – Earth Day Related!

Learn How You Can Fight Climate Change and Lower Your Energy Use at Virtual HeatSmart CNY Events

SYRACUSE, NY – Do you pay too much to heat your home? Is your home drafty? Do you want to end your dependency on fossil fuels or chopping wood? HeatSmart CNY will be holding a segries of virtual events to explain how you can switch to cleaner, greener heating and cooling with heat pumps.

Heat pumps are an exciting renewable technology which can extract heat from the ground or the air, and can both heat and cool buildings. Heat pumps and energy efficiency are a key way to reduce the environmental impact of homes and buildings, which make up a third of New York’s emissions.Heat pumps are also often cheaper, healthier, easier, and safer to operate than conventional heating systems.

HeatSmart CNY is a community program through the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board and Alliance for A Green Economy, dedicated to making it easier and more affordable to electrify and improve the energy efficiency of our homes and buildings. They are one of the many Clean Heating and Cooling Community projects funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority across the state.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has awarded over $9 million to support nearly 20 HeatSmart Community Campaigns throughout the state which conduct community outreach and education efforts to inform residents about the benefits of heat pumps, home energy efficiency improvements and other clean energy technologies.

Join HeatSmart CNY for the following virtual events to learn about what heat pumps are, how they work, and what incentives are available for you to install one. You can take a virtual tour of a home heated and cooled by heat pumps, have your questions answered by expert installers for free, and more. All events are free and open to the public.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Intro to Incentives for Cleaner and Greener Heating and Cooling

April 26, 2021 | 7 – 8 PM

RSVP here for the Zoom call link

Join HeatSmart CNY and Heat Smart Mohawk Valley for an online workshop on what incentives are available for you to go green.

They will discuss the thousands of dollars in incentives, tax credits, and financing options available for installing geothermal and air source heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, and improving energy efficiency with insulation and air sealing.

Sustainable Manlius EarthFest Presentation: Get Pumped with Heat Pumps!

April 29, 2021 | 7 – 8pm

RSVP here for the Zoom call link

Join Sustainable Manlius for a webinar to learn about heat pumps and how to get your home off fossil fuels. A local heat pump homeowner will also share their experience living with a heat pump.

RSVP for all upcoming EarthFest events here

Heat Pumps 101: Introduction to Cleaner and Greener Heating and Cooling

Mondays: May 10, June 14 2021 | 7 – 8 PM

May 10: RSVP here | June 14: RSVP here

This monthly webinar on the second Monday of the month explains the basics of how heat pumps work, incentives updates, and Q&A with expert installers.

How to Care for Your Air Source Heat Pump

May 22, 2021 | 2 – 3 PM

RSVP here for the Zoom call link

Do you have a ductless mini-split air source heat pump, or are you considering getting one? Join HeatSmart CNY for a webinar on best practices for using and maintaining it.

Heat Pump Case Studies and Testimonials

May 24, 2021 | 7 – 8 PM

RSVP here for the Zoom call link

Learn about the actual energy cost savings of multiple homeowners who have switched to renewable heat pumps in Central NY.

 

Virtual Tour of Utica House with Air Source Heat Pumps

June 28, 2021 6:30 PM

RSVP here for the Zoom call link

Join Maggie Reilly of New Hartford as she gives a virtual tour of her whole house air source heat pump system and solar PV array. Listen first hand to Maggie’s path to clean heat.

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For more information about HeatSmartCNY, upcoming workshops, and how to enroll to install a heat pump, please like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, call them at 833-315-4328, email Lindsay at lindsay@heatsmartcny.org, or visit their website at HeatSmartCNY.org.

Continue reading HeatSmart CNY Upcoming Events – Earth Day Related!

April 19 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Secretary Granholm Shows The Joe Biden Administration Is Focused On Electric Vehicle Matters That Matter” • Secretary Jennifer Granholm gets it. She went on a great rant about this in a recent MSNBC interview. She also touched on other cleantech and energy matters that are of critical importance. You can watch her in a video. [CleanTechnica]

Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm (MSNBC via YouTube screenshot)

  • “How BlackRock And Vanguard Can Advance The Net-Zero Emissions Movement” • The movement towards net-zero GHG emissions, is gaining traction, especially in finance. But to avoid the worst impacts of global warming, every organization in the field must have robust plans for shifting investment portfolios to net-zero by 2050 or sooner. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Experts Predict Wind Costs Will Tumble” • Technology and commercial advancements are expected to continue to drive down the cost of wind energy, a survey indicated. The study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory of 140 global wind power experts found cost reductions of 17%-35% by 2035 and 37%-49% by 2050 are on the cards. [reNEWS]
  • “Coal Financing Costs Surge As Investors Opt For Renewable Energy” • Coal financing costs have surged over the last decade as investors demand returns four times as high as the payoff required from renewable energy projects to justify the risk of investing in fossil fuels, as the world moves towards cleaner energy sources. [The Guardian]
  • “Consensus Appears To Be Taking Root In Corporate America: What’s Good For The Environment Can Be Good For Business.” • Ahead of Earth Day and Biden’s climate summit, corporations have increased sustainability drives and made trillion-dollar climate pledges. CNN Business has the news from Corporate America’s environmental enlightenment. [CNN]

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.

Senator Kennedy Introduces 25% NY State Geothermal Tax Credit Bill– Senator Tim Kennedy (D-NY 63) has introduced S8364, a bill that would provide a 25% New York State tax credit to pair with the federal 26% tax credit on geothermal heat pump system installations. The 2016 version of the bill was passed by the Assembly and Senate but vetoed by Governor Cuomo prior to his administration setting up a rebate program administered by NYSERDA . The bill is currently in the Senate Investigations And Government Operations Committee. See the text of the bill here.

 

NYSERDA: Heat Pump Case Studies – Check out this website that showcases 27 case studies of heat pump installations across New York State.

NYSERDA, Utilities Launch Heat Pump Marketing Campaign – “We are pleased to announce that the NYS Clean Heat Consumer Awareness and Education marketing campaign is live and in market. Visit CleanHeat.ny.gov to visit the campaign landing environment today. The campaign is a collaborative between NYSERDA and New York’s investor-owned utilities and will help raise awareness of the benefits of upgrading homes with clean heating and cooling systems. Residents will be directed to the new heat pump-focused website. Residents will see campaign messaging on a variety of channels including TV, radio, social media, digital advertising, and email. We encourage you to work with your suppliers and staff to ensure you’re ready for increased interest and leads.”

 

AWESome EarthKind podcast: Have you ever been told that what you’re planning to do is impossible? Are you concerned about the future, but feel that the climate crisis is too large an issue for you to do anything about? Denis Hayes became the national coordinator of the first Earth Day in 1970 after he dropped out of Harvard. That Earth Day mobilized millions of Americans and generated the momentum that led to the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and the creation of The Environmental Protection Agency. Listen to this episode as Denis shares insights into Earth Day, the “Sea of Energy” that surrounds us, the building that World Architecture Magazine called “The Greenest Office Building in the World”, the reality that we can overcome what seems impossible, and his hope for the future.  Listen to this AWESome
EarthKind episode on your favorite podcast playing apps (Apple, Spotify, Gogle Podcast.) or visit the website at www.AWESomeEarthKind.com.

 

Sponsored by

April 18 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “US And China Agree To Cooperate On Climate Change After Talks In Shanghai” • The US and China have agreed to cooperate on “addressing the climate crisis” after two days of high-profile meetings in Shanghai, despite rising tensions between them. The two countries said the climate crisis “must be addressed with seriousness and urgency.” [CNN]

Special Envoys John Kerry and Xie Zhenhua (Ministry of Ecology and Environment)

  • “Lisbon Orders Ten Electric Ferries” • Electric ferries have been available for years. You don’t often see large orders for them, but Lisbon is shaking things up. It is getting ten electric ferries, with the internal muscle and brains coming from ABB. Public ferry company Transtejo will put the electric ferries into service between 2022 and 2024. [CleanTechnica]
  • “In Response To Outages, Texas Politicians Aim To Penalize Wind And Solar” • Though gas plants played a larger role in the February power crisis, Texas lawmakers are pushing bills to make wind and solar plant owners pay for replacement power that would be ready if their plants underperform, along with grid balancing services. [Inside Climate News]
  • “Time To Repeal New England’s Anti-Consumer Dirty Energy Rule” • For years, ISO New England, which operates the New England grid, has resisted reforms of Minimum Offer Price Rule, except to continue prioritizing fossil fuel generator profits over consumers. Now, the new FERC chairman is prioritizing reform or replacement of the rule. [CleanTechnica]
  • “The EPA Knows Tanks Holding Heavy Fuels Emit Harmful Chemicals. Why Are Americans Still At Risk?” • In an 18-month investigation, Inside Climate News found that emissions from heated tanks of asphalt and No 6 fuel oil pose a risk to the health of millions of Americans. Federal and state regulators have failed to address the risks adequately. [Inside Climate News]

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

April 17 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “The Wuling Hong Guang MINI EV Is Creating An Awesome New Market” • In the middle of last year, General Motors, SAIC, and Wuling partnership released the Hong Guang MINI EV, with a $4,200 starting price. In the second half of 2020, 119,255 MINI EVs were sold in China, second only to the Tesla Model 3, which sold 139,925 units for the year. [CleanTechnica]

Wuling Hong Guang MINI EV (GM image)

  • “Renewables, Declining Costs Fuel The Global Energy Storage Market” • The continual expansion of intermittent renewables and declining technology costs are key factors fueling the global grid battery energy storage market, according to recent analysis by Frost & Sullivan. The market is expected to have a compound annual growth rate of 23%. [Solar Industry]
  • “Three Hundred Business Leaders Ask Biden Administration To Double Emissions Cuts” • A group of 300 major businesses signed an open letter to President Biden asking him to double the carbon emissions reductions the Obama administration had proposed. If enacted, emissions would be reduced 50% by 2030 from 2005 levels. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Brazil ‘Needs $10 Billion To Reach Zero Emissions’ Says Minister” • Ahead of US President Joe Biden’s climate summit, Brazil’s environment minister says the country needs $10 billion (£7.2 billion) a year in foreign aid to reach zero emissions by 2050. The move would mean that Brazil could achieve thefigure ten years earlier than now planned. [BBC]
  • “Massachusetts Backtracks On Renewable Energy Subsidies For Wood-Burning Biomass Plants” • After loud cries of opposition, the Baker administration says it no longer stands behind a plan it proposed last December to change state regulations to allow some wood-burning biomass power plants to qualify for renewable energy subsidies. [WBUR]

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

April 16 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Energy Transition Through The Eyes Of Solo Atlantic Voyager Zirk Botha” • “It is possible to meet all energy and water needs in a completely sustainable and renewable way.” This was what Zirk Botha had to say after finishing a grueling 72 days’ transatlantic solo rowing voyage from Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro to raise awareness of climate change. [ESI Africa]

Zirk Botha (Image supplied by juwi South Africa)

  • “JPMorgan Is Deploying $2.5 Trillion To Fight The Climate Crisis And Inequality” • JPMorgan Chase announced that it aims to finance or facilitate investments of $2.5 trillion over 10 years to support solutions that address climate change and contribute to sustainable development. The target includes $1 trillion for green initiatives, such as renewable energy. [CNN]
  • “Rising From The Ashes, Alaska’s Forests Come Back Stronger” • Michelle Mack, an ecologist at Northern Arizona University, did a study of regrowth in Alaskan forest that burned in 2004. It was published in the journal Science, and was unexpectedly hopeful. The burned boreal forests are on track to hold a lot more carbon than they did before the fires. [Grist]
  • “Bolsonaro Asks For Biden’s ‘Personal Engagement’ To Fight Amazon Deforestation” • Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro called for Joe Biden’s “personal engagement” in fighting deforestation in the Amazon rain forest, in a letter sent to the US President. He asked for support of the US government, its private sector, and American civil society. [CNN]
  • “Campbell Applauds Start Of Largest Renewable Power Project In Louisiana History” • The transition to renewable energy for Louisiana electric customers leaped forward with the start-up of a large wind farm in Oklahoma. Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell said wind energy will save Louisiana customers $1 billion over 30 years. [Bossier Press-Tribune]

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

April 15 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “The poorly understood power of seaweed” • Pia Winberg, a marine ecologist at the University of Wollongong, spent decades studying seaweed. She believes seaweed’s fast growth rate and ability to absorb vast amounts of carbon dioxide can help fight climate change, deacidify the oceans, and change the way we farm, both in the oceans and on land. [BBC]

Seaweed (Paul Levesley, Unsplash)

  • “States Leading The Charge On Renewable Energy – 2021 Edition” • The EPA says renewable energy can increase power grid reliability, improve air quality and create more jobs. As Congress prepares to debate President Joe Biden’s sweeping $2 trillion American Jobs Plan, SmartAsset looked at data to rank the states that are already leaders. [Yahoo Finance]
  • “30 GW US Offshore Wind Target To Support 77,000 Jobs” • Secretary of Energy Jennifer M Granholm joined the Secretaries of the Interior and Commerce at the White House to announce a goal to deploy 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030. About 77,000 jobs will be created, and the wind farms will generate electricity for over 10 million homes. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Wyoming Sets Aside Money To Sue States, Like Colorado, For Their Renewable Energy Policies” • A bill recently signed into law allocates $1.2 million to the Wyoming governor’s office to bring suits against states with laws and regulations that impede the state’s ability to export coal or force the early closures of coal-fired plants in the state. [The Fort Morgan Times]
  • “Uruguay’s Remarkable Shift To Renewables Offers A Blueprint For Energy Progress” • Until 2007, Uruguay was strapped for energy resources that forced it to rely on importing energy from South American neighbors. That has changed. Today, 98% of the country’s electricity is delivered reliably and affordably from renewable sources. [Earth Island Institute]

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