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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.

2021 04 06 – Electrify With Heat Pumps – Noon – NY-GEO is presenting a weekly Tuesday at Noon series of seminars presenting much of the content that had been planned for our 2020 conference. The opening April 6th session will include an introduction to the series, a review of national and New York State developments and a keynote address from NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen Harris. This Kickoff is modelled on the traditional dinner session from the annual conference – an event that brings together and showcases the industry like no other. Register for free here.

 

Energy Square Housing Project in Kingston features Geothermal Heating & Cooling –  See minute 17:50 in this video for discussion of the combined geothermal and solar technology that results in a net zero building. Residents have no energy bills! RUPCO, Inc. developed this project, which includes 57 residential units, 1 commercial unit, and 1 community service facility unit. Tenants include Extremely Low, Very Low and Low-Income households, including 7 ESSHI awarded units and 2 units set aside for persons who are homeless.  See a full article on Energy Square here. Thanks to Lenny Skrill from NYS Homes and Community Renewal for this tip.

 

NY Utilities Release Annual Heat Pump Report Card – NY’s regulated electric utilities have released a report detailing some of the results of their first year running heat pump rebate programs under the state’s New Efficiency: New York initiative. The New York State Clean Heat Program 2020 Annual Report notes: “Despite this challenge, (of beginning in April of 2020 when the NY economy was put on a COVID PAUSE) over 5,700 Clean Heat projects were installed and incentivized in 2020, with another 1,000 identified as in development for 2021. Approximately 80% of projects submitted were ASHP (air source heat pump) technologies in residential buildings. Over 1,000 individuals across the heat pump supply chain were trained toward growing a quality-oriented skilled labor force…  As of this writing, there are over 300 Participating Contractors in the program and recruitment activities continue with the goal of ever increasing the pool of ASHP and GSHP contractors.” The report details the heat pump activities of individual utilities as well as NYSERDA.  It also notes a few “pain points” including delays in payments and barriers to larger installations.

 

 

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April 4 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Strong Winds Off The Coast Could Power A Clean Energy Economy In North Carolina” • To learn the direction of energy production in North Carolina, look to a weather vane. Last year, Duke Energy and Dominion Energy of Virginia called off the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Now the weather vane points toward the wind. [Raleigh News & Observer]

Offshore wind turbines (Ragnar1904, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

  • “New Diamond Battery Will Last 28,000 Years, Powered By Nuclear Waste” • A US-based startup uses radioactive isotopes from nuclear waste with ultra-slim layers of nanodiamonds to make a battery that will last up to 28,000 years. The Nano Diamond Battery hopes to start selling the batteries within the next two years. [Indiatimes.com] (Not endorsed by GET!)
  • “Plot to Manipulate Weather/Climate Backed by Bill Gates Scrubbed” • A plan to manipulate the weather/climate in an ambitious experiment went public last month. Now it appears plan has been scrubbed, after getting push-back from people around the world and in Sweden, where the initial experiment was to unfold. [Weatherboy]
  • “How Long Does It Take To Charge An Electric Car? A Few Seconds” • This is nothing new to millions of electric car owners, but it’s something that should be shared, emphasized, and repeated every day for the many, many, many more people who don’t have an electric car. Charging the car at home takes up almost none of your time. [CleanTechnica]
  • “How To Electrify Entire US Federal Vehicle Fleet” • NREL’s Federal Fleet Project helps agencies plan their vehicle buying with data-driven decision-making. The decision making process entails categorizing vehicles by application, comparing how the vehicle is used in the real world, and identifying which vehicles would optimally go electric first. [CleanTechnica]

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

April 3 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Energy Transition To Renewables Likely To Accelerate Over Next Two To Three Years” • The energy transition to renewables in the US is “likely to accelerate” over the next two to three years, says a report. The analysis by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis claims that coal and gas are set to become the “biggest losers.” [nsenergybusiness.com]

Oklahoma wind turbines (USGS image, public domain)

  • “Climate Change Cut Global Farming Productivity 21% Since 1960s” • Despite important agricultural advancements to feed the world in the last 60 years, a new study shows that global farming productivity is 21% lower than it could have been without climate change. The study was published in the journal Nature Climate Change. [The Tribune]
  • “Renewables Can Power The Economy Of An Independent Scotland – Lorna Slater” • Nicola Sturgeon was right to point out in debate that 97% of our electricity came from renewables last year. But Scotland’s potential is great enough to provide 25% of Europe’s renewable energy, and renewables can be a driver for an independent Scotland. [The Scotsman]
  • “The Fossil Fuel Industry Used Deception To Conceal Damage To BIPOC – NAACP Report” • The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People just published a report that identified ten tactics that the fossil fuel industry used to excuse not accepting accountability for its impacts on the environment and human health. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Long Reliant On Oil And Gas, Oklahoma Is Emerging As A Leader In Renewable Energy” • Oklahoma has been developing a fair amount of windpower, but that is not all. About 11 GW of solar and storage projects being developed in Oklahoma have applied for approval from the Southwest Power Pool to feed power onto the grid. [The Oklahoman]

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

Try Out an E-Bike in the Upper Valley

The 2021 Upper Valley E-Bike Library kicks off April 18 in Hartford! Four bikes, including a “cargo bike,” will be available for people to borrow for a couple of days or a couple of hours. From there, the library will move on to Hanover, Sharon, Norwich, Lebanon, Thetford, Cornish/Plainfield, Hartland, and New London, staying about a month in each town. Watch your local listservs for updates!

Green Drinks–the Basics of Forest Carbon Management for Landowners

Thursday April 15, 5:30 PM

Register at: https://forestcarbonmanagement.eventbrite.com

Join Ali Kosiba, state Climate Forester, to learn the basics of managing
your forest for carbon. Ali has a Ph.D. in Natural Resources and an M.S. in
Forest Science from UVM. She will discuss how forests sequester and store
carbon, and the various ways landowners can take a more active role in this
process.

Going Electric on Two Wheels

John Lyon, the manager of Wilkins Harley-Davidson in Barre, VT, shows off one of the LiveWires in his showroom. (Courtesy photo)

Brett Yates

Harley-Davidsons All-electric LiveWire

John Lyon, the manager of Wilkins Harley-Davidson in Barre, VT, has ridden Harley-Davidson motorcycles since the age of 16. Its no surprise, given that his grandparents opened the dealership together in 1947 in his great-grandmothers garage, and it has remained in the family ever since, steadily selling nostalgiccruisers to longtime brand enthusiasts.

Loyalists are a unique breed,” Lyon observed. “They love Harley-Davidsons history, its heritage. Harley-Davidson produces motorcycles that are constantly a throwback to the past.

The Harley-Davidson LiveWire ($29,799), released in 2019, is a notable exception. A futuristic sportbike, it remains, so far, the only electric motorcycle in mainstream production by a major manufacturer. Lyon took to it immediately, and he now uses it for commuting as weather permits.

As the industrys first recognition of the green energy revolution by a legacy brand, the debut of the LiveWire marked a watershed for electric motorcycles, previously the domain of high-tech start-ups and custom builders. We know there are states that are banning internal combustion engines in the future, so to be relevant in that time period, we have to start talking about this now,Lyon noted.

Per mile, its more exhilaration than any other machine Ive ever ridden,he rhapsodized. The torque curve is to the peak of any graph, meaning weve put it on a [dynamometer] and we have to have people hold it down on the dyno because its too aggressive of a machine to be on a measuring tool that usually measures internal combustion engines.Because electric motorcycles dont have a clutch (Just twist the throttle and go,Lyon explained), they sometimes interest new riders hoping to avoid learning how to shift gears.

Harley Davidson Livewire

While the LiveWire seeks to tap into a younger market, Lyon expects that the company one day will begin to manufacture electric touring motorcycles for its conventional clientele, too. “I’m sure theyre being discussed right now,he conjectured.

Most of the traditionalists have been OK with the ideaof going electric, Lyon said, but they just want it to go farther than it currently goes on one charge.The LiveWire offers 146 miles of city range and 95 miles of combined city and highway range, with a charging speed of 40 minutes from empty to 80% (or one hour for a full battery) just long enough for a quick lunch.

Other Electric Motorcycles

Riders with “range anxiety” may instead favor Energica Motor Company, an Italian all-electric manufacturer whose three bikes the Eva EsseEsse9 ($21,600), the Eva Ribelle ($22,400), and the Ego ($24,110) each boast 249 miles of city range and 143 miles of combined city/highway range.

In early 2021, Rob Swartz opened Energica of New England in Gardner, MA, 10 miles south of the New Hampshire border. Committed to the single brand, he doesnt sell any gas-powered motorcycles.

Founded in 2014, Energica has gained attention as the exclusive motorcycle supplier of the FIM MotoE World Cup, in which professional road racers, between May and September this year, will compete on seven circuits across Europe, providing an environmentally friendly alternative to the FIMs top division, MotoGP. In Swartzs view of Energica, the engineering involved and the technology involved is far superior to anything out there.

Energicas most powerful models accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 2.6 seconds, using 145-horsepower engines, compared to the LiveWires 105. And for customers willing to accept a smaller battery, the price of a new Energica motorcycle can dip as low as $17,600.

Zero Motorcycles FX

Prices in the electric motorcycle market, range from $2,495 for the CSC City Slicker (top speed: 47 mph) to $117,000 for the plush Arc Vector (shipped from England). There are plenty of limited-production and made-to-order options, and giants like Honda and Yamaha have signaled intentions to enter the market soon. But for the customer who wants to drive to a dealership today and come home with an electric motorcycle, the choices are Harley-Davidson, Energica, and Zero Motorcycles, which has the most extensive electric line-up of the three.

Stretching from the FX ($8,995) to the SR/S ($19,995) and topping out at 223 miles of city range, Zero manufactures ten electric motorcycles, targeting commuters, tourers, and off-road enthusiasts. Cyclewise in New Haven, VT, hosts the brands only New England showroom.

The specific buyer for Zero knows what theyre looking for. Its not so much a conversion thing,commented Cyclewise sales manager Andy Duggento.

According to Duggento, Cyclewise sells eight to 15 electric motorcycles from Zero in an average year, compared to 50 or 60 gas-powered Ducatis in the same period. But he expects Zeros numbers to grow, Its the future, and we were on board early with that.

His favorite model is the FX, which he called a small, lightweight street bike.Electric motorcyclesinstantaneous acceleration makes them, in his words, very thrilling.

Its probably the most unique riding experience youll ever have on a motorcycle,he went on. The biggest thing I get from people is the noise. Loud pipes save lives.But theres something to be said about you being in tune with everything around you.

Tax Credits for Electric Motorcycles

As with electric cars, the federal government extends a tax credit (up to $2,500) to buyers of electric motorcycles. State-level incentives are limited to California, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Arizona, but many electric utilities offer rebates, including $1,000 from the New Hampshire Electric Co-op. And between March 1 and June 20, 2021, Green Mountain Power will rebate electric motorcycle purchases by $500.

This new rebate joins Green Mountain Powers customer rebate for e-bikes, which takes the form of a $200 discount at participating bike shops in Vermont, such as Green Mountain Bikes in Rochester. According to store owner Doon Hinderyckx, who has sold bicycles for more than 30 years, e-bikes are more fun, period.While electric motorcycles continue to aim for a foothold in a gasoline-dominated industry, e-bike sales have exploded over the past year, with millions of purchases in 2020. EZ Bikes and Scooters in Exeter, NH, has stocked them since 2009.

Electric Bicycles and Scooters

People are looking to get outdoors because of Covid-19 theyve been stuck inside for so long,said EZ Bikes and Scooters co-owner Teresa Hemenway.

An e-bike is like a regular bicycle, but it has a battery-powered motor (250 to 750 watts) that supplies additional propulsion when the rider pedals. Some varieties allow the rider to activate the motor with a throttle.

According to Hemenway, most of her e-bike customers are over the age of 45. Theyve been accustomed to riding a bike but maybe havent for a while or arent as physically strong as they once were. The electric bike allows them to bike the way they used to.

Hemenway also mentioned a customer who, after suffering a bout of polio in his youth, thought hed never ride a bike again. He now puts thousands of mileson his e-bike every year.

Lately, automobile companies like Jeep and Porsche have begun to produce e-bikes, alongside traditional bicycle manufacturers like Trek and Cannondale and a host of newer firms. EZ Bikes & Scooters carries a few e-bikes by Admotor and Scootstar, but the Magnum line (starting at $1,399) dominates its showroom with probably 20 different styles,in Hemenways estimation.

Hemenway cited the brands road bikes, mountain bikes, and folding bikes. They make a bike for every person, every body size, and also every application.

In addition, the shop sells electric motor scooters by Beijing-based NIU, which Hemenway called one of the fastest-growing electric scooter companies in the world.According to technician Steve Phillips, the primary advantage of electric scooters over their gas-powered counterparts is that they dont require much care, which can help owners recoup their higher upfront cost.

Maintenance is going to be close to nothing,Phillips noted. Compare that to a gas scooter youre having to do oil changes, periodically replacing belts, cleaning carburetors, making sure theres good fuel in the scooter, because small gas engines are a little more temperamental than a car or a pickup truck.

The downside on the electric front, unsurprisingly, is range: only 40 miles on the N Sport model ($2,899), which makes it very suited toward urban areas.But on the New Hampshire Seacoast, riders tend to use scooters for long pleasure journeys rather than commutes, leaving the electric versions to early adopters of new technology,as Phillips put it.

The most popular models tend to be 50cc-compliant, so theyre vehicles that you need a regular drivers license to operate, but you dont need a motorcycle endorsement,he noted.

NIU scooters are made for seated riders, but EZ Bikes & Scooters also sells an electric kick scooter, Magnums iMax S1+, for standing riders. With a range of 15 to 20 miles, this small, portable vehicle appeals mostly to younger people, 16 to 24, who are living in downtown Portsmouth,in Phillipss experience.

No federal tax credit exists for either variety of electric scooter, except for models that reach speeds above 45 mph, which qualify for the e-motorcycle incentive. In February, Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a bill whereby the IRS would refund 30% of the cost of a new e-bike, but it has not yet come to a floor vote.

Brett Yates is a contributing writer for Green Energy Times. He lives in Mendon, Vermont.

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The online version can be downloaded HERE.

April 2 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Evidence Of Antarctic Glacier’s Tipping Point Confirmed For First Time” • Researchers at Northumbria University have confirmed for the first time that Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica could cross tipping points, leading to a rapid and irreversible retreat which would have significant consequences for global sea level. [EurekAlert!]

Pine Island Glacier calving event (NASA image, public domain)

  • “Latest FERC Reports Show Renewables Significantly Out-Performed Nuclear Power In 2020” • Several reports by the Energy Information Administration and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission show that the mix of renewable energy sources significantly out-performed and expanded their lead over nuclear power in 2020. [Solar Power World]
  • “Volkswagen’s European Factories Up To 95% Powered By Renewables” • In 2020, Volkswagen Group increased the share of renewables powering its European factories from 80% to 95%, and ten of its factories became 100% renewably powered. The target is for Volkswagen’s factories to reach 100% renewable power by 2023. [CleanTechnica]
  • “UK Labour Party Pushes For Electric Vehicle Revolution” • The UK EV market has been hot, but it could be much hotter, and the Labour Party wants to make it so. Party leadership want to increase access to EVs, increase charging infrastructure, and speed up EV adoption. Incentives include interest-free loans and credits for scrapping polluting cars. [CleanTechnica]
  • “In A Record Year For Clean Energy Purchases, Southeast Cities Stand Out” • Cities around the country bought more renewable energy last year than ever before, data from the Rocky Mountain Institute and World Resources Institute shows. About half of the “most noteworthy” of the cities are in the area stretching from Texas to Washington, DC. [Energy News Network]

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