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March 30 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Biden Launches Major Push To Expand Offshore Wind” • The White House laid out an ambitious strategy to raise the first fleet of American offshore wind farms, announcing specific plans that could boost an eager industry and help the country meet climate targets. President Biden mandated a wind energy lease auction in the New York Bight as early as this year. [E&E News]

Block Island Wind Farm (Gary Norton, NREL)

  • “A Renewable Energy Bill Is Fueling A Fight Over Local Control In Indiana” • A bill in Indiana that would expand renewable energy is drawing unusual battle lines. It would propose doing away with local ordinances around renewables and instead develop a uniform set of statewide requirements. Many local groups are very opposed to this. [Gizmodo]
  • “En-ROADS Brings Climate Science To The Masses” • Climate science is complicated, and it’s easy to think the subject is much too complex for ordinary people to understand. Scientists use computer models to study it. But what if ordinary folks could do that? En-ROADS is an interactive simulation tool for the masses to study climate change. [CleanTechnica]
  • “India’s Greenko Plans $4.8 Billion Pumped Storage Project” • Media reports say Greenko plans to invest $4.3 billion to set up a 2-GW hybrid solar-wind project supported by 8,000 MWh of pumped hydro storage in Rajasthan. The project is likely to be completed by 2024 and will be the world’s largest renewable energy asset, the company said. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Biden Administration Launches Task Force To Ensure That Scientific Decisions Are Free From Political Influence” • A task force is being set up to review the federal government’s scientific policies to ensure that they are free from inappropriate political influence. Several top health officials say they had been pressured by the Trump administration. [CNN]

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

March 29 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Utilities Chart Renewable Energy Future As State Mandates Level Off” • Michigan’s mandates for renewable power and energy efficiency programs – first set in 2008 and increased slightly in 2016 – are scheduled to level off this year. It may make little difference, however, as the clean energy transition rolls on under market forces. [MiBiz]

Michigan wind farm (Peggy Sue Zinn, Unsplash)

  • “Greens Leader Proposes 700% Renewables For A Clean, Green Export Economy” • Australian Greens party leader Adam Bandt launched his next Federal Election policies centered on arresting climate change. “Imagine what we could achieve if we had a government that wasn’t backed by the fossil fuel industry,” he suggested. [pv magazine Australia]
  • “Supreme Court Of Canada Upholds National Carbon Tax” • In 2018, the Canadian government adopted a national carbon tax to start at $40 per ton and increase annually. Three of the country’s provinces – Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario – opposed the national carbon tax and took steps to block it in court. Last week, they lost their fight. [CleanTechnica]
  • “China Generated Over Half World’s Coal-Fired Power In 2020 – Study” • China generated 53% of the world’s total coal-fired power in 2020, nine percentage points more than five years earlier, despite climate pledges and the building of hundreds of renewable energy plants, according to a study by the energy and climate research group Ember. [Yahoo Finance]
  • “Massive Fire Rages At Indonesian Oil Refinery” • Firefighters in Indonesia are working to put out a massive fire that has broken out at one of the country’s largest oil refineries. The fire broke out at the Balongan refinery, run by state oil firm Pertamina. At least five people are injured and around 950 residents have been evacuated to safety. [BBC]

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

Forest Sustainability Webinar

 

Professional foresters with decades of experience have a lot of stories to tell. They have seen good practices and bad ones, well managed stands and those that have been left on their own.

After working in, advising on and observing the growth of northern New England’s forests, our panel of 3 foresters and 1 Forestry expert have a broad view of how we can best manage their growth, health and productivity. Who better to ask?

Our panel of Forestry Professionals will share 150+ years of Forest Experience!

Robbo Holleron, Independent Vermont Forester

Charlie Moreno, Independent NH Forester

Kevin Evans, Dartmouth College Forester

Richard Donovan, International Forestry Consultant

If we want our forests to remain as forests, we need to cut through the theories and talk to those who have experienced the droughts, the infestations and fires. What can they tell us about the best way to manage a forest for long term survival.

New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine and northern New York State are among the most heavily wooded regions of the U.S. How should these forests be treated? Should we stop all logging? Are managed forests healthier? Should sequestering the most carbon be our priority? How is that best accomplished? People want to do the right thing. But after hearing talks about climate change, proforestation and renewable heat using tree based biomass, they are confused.

Our goal with this webinar is to provide new insights based in science and experience.

“News Tip” Virtual Lacto-Fermented Vegetable Class

 

Lacto-Fermented Vegetables
Free Virtual Workshop Hosted by Monadnock Food Co-op

The Monadnock Food Co-op will host a free virtual workshop called “Lacto-Fermented Vegetables” on Sunday, April 29, 2021, from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner Lili Hanft will lead this workshop.

Participants will learn about the many health benefits of probiotic and enzyme-rich foods, the place fermented foods and beverages hold in cuisines around the world, and simple, tasty recipes for making ferments at home.

Before the workshop, participants will receive a handout with an ingredients list and recipes. They can make the recipe along with the presenter or just choose to watch.

While this workshop is free, registration is required. Visit monadnockfood.coop/event/ferment or call 603-283-5401.

Lili Hanft strives to inspire clients to get into their kitchens, explore local and seasonal foods, and feel empowered to transform their health. She is certified as a Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner through the Nutritional Therapy Association. Learn more at nutrientdensenourishment.wordpress.com.

Massachusetts Steps Up Energy-Saving Policies in Major Climate Law

Sets Appliance Efficiency Standards and Sets Path for Strong Building Codes

In a far-reaching climate bill scheduled to be signed today, Massachusetts commits to halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, while embracing new energy-saving policies to help achieve the targets. The law sets efficiency standards for 17 residential and commercial products and directs the state government to develop a stringent building code that municipalities may adopt to dramatically cut energy waste in new homes and buildings.

“Reducing our total energy use is a key step in tackling climate change. These efficiency standards are going to cut needless energy waste and most households and businesses won’t even notice until they see lower bills,” said Marianne DiMascio, state policy manager for the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP). “Local advocates and lawmakers persisted for years to get these standards done. Representative Josh Cutler and Senator Jason Lewis deserve tremendous credit for sponsoring this key provision.”

Slated to be signed by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, the law sets efficiency standards for products including computers, water coolers, and commercial cooking equipment. The standards will save Massachusetts consumers and businesses more than $100 million on their utility bills in 2025 alone, with greater savings each year as consumers purchase more efficient products. By 2025, they will cut carbon dioxide emissions by an amount equivalent to taking 24,000 cars off the road. Massachusetts is the 9th state or jurisdiction to adopt appliance efficiency standards since 2017.

The law also aims to strengthen building codes to make new homes and buildings more energy efficient. It directs the state’s Department of Energy Resources to develop a “stretch” energy code for net-zero energy buildings, which municipalities could choose to adopt.

“Massachusetts is setting a leading path forward on climate for others to join. We’re going to need more states to step up to this level, quickly,” said Bryan Howard, state policy director for the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). “Moving toward building codes that ensure new buildings use zero net energy is critical, especially because most buildings are around for decades or more. Developing a strong code that enables municipalities to go net zero will be critical for the Department of Energy Resources now.”

The law also includes important provisions to better ensure that strategies for reducing emissions are equitable:

Directs the Department of Public Utilities to consider equity as it works to meet state greenhouse gas reduction targets.
Orders the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center to create a clean energy equity workforce and market development program to support employment opportunities for certified minority- and women-owned small business and individuals living in environmental justice communities.
Establishes protections for low- and moderate-income individuals and environmental justice populations in meeting emissions reduction plans.
The law mandates the development of interim targets for adopting energy-saving technologies and implementation plans to meet them, including deployment goals for electric vehicles, electric vehicle charging stations, and air-source heat pumps.

Massachusetts scored second place in ACEEE’s most recent State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, published in December 2020. The state had been the top scorer or tied for the top score the previous nine years.

To read the press release online, visit: https://www2.aceee.org/e/310911/ing-policies-major-climate-law/2b958lj/807147751?h=kzggw3OguaGqtN5V7DGibk3ujFwthQrT0m2Dpf1nzwQ

March 28 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “The Real Reason Humans Are The Dominant Species” • From the time early humans first made fire to the fossil fuels that drove the industrial revolution, energy has played a central role in our development as a species. But the way we power our societies has also created humanity’s biggest challenge. It’s one that will take all our ingenuity to solve. [BBC]

Campfire (Manuel Meurisse, Unsplash)

  • “Volkswagen ID.Buzz Delivery Timeline Update” • There are a lot of cool electric cars on the market, and more coming every day, but there is no electric car that generates as much buzz as the appropriately named ID.Buzz from Volkswagen. Why the furor? The ID.Buzz is rather like a VW Microbus for the EV generation. [CleanTechnica]
  • “MIT Takes Deep Dive Into Dropping Lithium-Ion Battery Costs” • A research team at the MIT took a look into lithium-ion battery costs. In a paper published in the journal Energy and Environmental Science, they found that the cost of lithium-ion battery cells, relative to capacity, has fallen about 97% since their commercial introduction in 1991. [CleanTechnica]
  • “GOP Lawmakers Want To Boost Coal And Colstrip – Not Renewable Power” • While coal-fired power production is on the decline nationally, Republican lawmakers in Montana are out to buck that trend, advancing an agenda this session to keep the two remaining Colstrip power units going and de-emphasize wind and solar power. [KTVH]
  • “NIPSCO, EDP Renewables To Bring Wind Farm And Solar Park To Northwest Indiana” • EDP Renewables North America, LLC and Northern Indiana Public Service Company, LLC have executed a long-term Power Purchase Agreement and a Build & Transfer Agreement for a 204-MW wind farm and a 200-MW solar farm in Indiana. [The Chicago Crusader]

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.

NY-GEO Seeks Hot Water Equipment Advances – NY-GEO’s Policy Advisory Board has written up specifications for improvements to domestic hot water (DHW) equipment that would make it easier and more effective to connect DHW systems with ground and water loops. NY-GEO seeks manufacturers and industry stakeholders to cooperate in developing solutions. Click here for a copy of NY-GEO’s document.

UK: 600,000 Heat Pumps a Year: The Rate Assistance Project (RAPOnline) today published “Getting on track to net zero: A policy package for a heat pump mass market in the UK.” The UK has 3.5x the population of NY. The report calls 64,000 heat pumps (ASHP+GSHP) installed toward their 491,000 goal by April 2021 to be a “major policy failure”. It goes on to describe policy changes needed to meet the UIK goal of installing 600,000 heat pumps annually by 2028. Although the report is focused on the UK, it offers valuable insights on how to approach New York’s goals of accelerating heat pump installations . Thanks to NY-GEO member Bob Wyman for this tip.

“Polluter Pays Hearings Scheduled: A proposal backed by the NY Renews coalition to put a fee on carbon dioxide and other climate-warming pollutants with funds funneled into meeting the state’s renewable and emissions reduction mandates will get an airing after budget. The Climate and Community Investment Act S4264a – is slated for a Senate hearing before the environmental conservation and energy committees on April 13 … (Kevin Parker, the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee Chair is the main sponsor.)… ‘This hearing is a sign that the legislature is taking seriously the need for massive investments in climate, jobs and justice this year,’ Maritza Silva-Farrell, Executive Director of ALIGN and NY Renews Steering Committee Member said in a statement. ‘The CCIA will create the just, green recovery our state needs, and we’re excited to help this critical bill move through the legislature.’ Sen. Todd Kaminsky, who is co-hosting the hearings, likened the opportunity for public input to the multiple hearings in different parts of the state held for what became the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. With the virtual format ‘a lot of people can hop onto the same hearing and if we find were oversubscribed, we can always do another one,’ he said.” — Marie J. French of POLITICO NY & NJ Energy Find the full bill text and support memo here.

 

Sponsored by

March 27 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “The Soil Carbon Sink Doesn’t Grow With Atmospheric CO₂, Study Finds” • Soil’s capacity to store carbon may be less than previously thought, a study published in Nature says. The amount of carbon stored in soil is approximately triple that stored in living plants, but as rising CO₂ levels increase plant growth, soil carbon storage decreases. [CleanTechnica]

Carbon sink (Irina Iriser, Unsplash)

  • “New Flyer Announces Improved Electric Bus, More Sales” • New Flyer, an established manufacturer of electric buses, has announced a new and improved electric bus. It is the Xcelsior CHARGE NG, which lighter, more efficient, and has longer range than its previous buses. The new bus achieves this with three technological improvements. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Senate Democrats To Nullify Trump Methane Rollbacks With CRA” • Senate Democrats plan to nullify Trump administration rollbacks of methane regulations via the Congressional Review Act. The relatively obscure process can reinstate important Obama era methane regulations through a simple majority vote in the Senate. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Biden Invites Putin And Xi To First Climate Change Summit Of His Presidency” • The autocratic leaders of Russia and China have been invited to President Biden’s first major round of climate talks next month, he announced Friday, signaling that he plans to take a big tent approach to address the spiraling crisis of global warming. [msnNow]
  • “UK Can Power Transport Entirely With Renewables If Used Efficiently” • The UK will have enough renewable resources to meet demand for transport in 2050, T&E analysis finds. But this is only possible if it reserves the use of e-fuels for shipping and aviation, as use of e-fuels for road vehicles impractical in terms of the electricity it needs. [CleanTechnica]

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

Eden Renewables Now Accepting Applications for 2021 Green STEAM Scholarship with a Total Value of $15,000

APPLICATION DEADLINE FRIDAY, MAY 28, 2021

New York – Troy-based community solar developer Eden Renewables is now accepting applications for its annual scholarships with a total value of $15,000. Graduating high school seniors from selected schools in the Capital Region (see list) and pursuing a career in fields that benefit the environment are invited to apply before the deadline of May 28th.
Eden’s scholarship program was established in 2019 to support student interests in STEM subjects that investigate, design and implement solutions for local and global environmental issues. As part of Eden’s educational benefit, a portion of the educational funds is allocated to each school district in towns that host its community solar projects. The first such scholarship in the amount of $1,000 was awarded to Mariella Hirschoff of Maple Hill Junior-Senior High School.
Renamed this year to include the Arts, the Green STEAM Scholarship fund has since increased to $15,000 as a result of Eden’s success and expansion in the area, extending the scholarship offer to 10 school districts including Troy City as a homage to Eden’s home base.
Awards of $1,000-$3,000 will be made to 10-15 students, depending on the quantity and quality of applications received. At least one student will be selected from each school.
Eden’s Chief Development Officer Giovanni Maruca said, “We are growing our scholarship program and excited to be supporting more students pursuing their educational goals. Our Green STEAM Scholarship strives to support enrollment in environmental and sustainability studies and help increase the environmental workforce to meet the growing demand for green careers as we transition to a clean energy economy.”
The scholarships will be offered in each host town for the lifetime of the community solar farm, which is 25 years.
As in previous years, recipients will be selected on the basis of academic record, demonstrated leadership and participation in school and community activities, honors, work experience, and statement of goals and aspirations. Once selected, recipients will be notified and formally awarded at each school’s graduation ceremony.
To be eligible, applicants must be a high school senior attending one of the selected schools, have a minimum of 3.0 cumulative GPA, and be accepted into a 2 or 4-year college or university and enrolled in Green STEAM or related discipline. A letter of recommendation from a teacher, counselor, or employer, and a 500-word statement of purpose regarding educational plans and professional aspirations in Green STEAM must be submitted with the application to be considered.
The Green STEAM Scholarship is a component of Eden Education which provides students the chance to learn beyond school grounds and gain knowledge in STEM subjects with lesson plans that meet New York State learning standards.
More about Eden’s education program: https://edenrenewables.com/education

March 26 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Groundbreaking H3X Motor Brings Electric Aircraft One Step Closer To Reality” • The startup H3X says it has developed a compact electric motor that develops more than 3 times the power and weighs less than most commercially available motors. It claims its HPDM 250 motor has an output of 13 kW per kg (7.924 hp per lb). [CleanTechnica]

H3X motor (Image courtesy of H3X)

  • “Assisting Evolution: How Much Should We Help Species Adapt?” • It may no longer be enough to protect species from a changing environment – we may have to assist in their evolution if they are to survive the 21st Century. To protect natural species, it has come to the point that it may actually be necessary to guide their evolution artificially. [BBC]
  • “Solar Is Cheapest Electricity In History, US DOE Aims To Cut Costs 60% By 2030” • Solar power costs have been coming down for decades. That long and significant trend has already led to solar power becoming the cheapest option for new electricity in the world. And the US DOE aims to cut utility-scale solar power plant costs by 60% by 2030. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Eni And Strathclyde To Support Transition Of Workforces To The Renewable Energy Sector” • The University of Strathclyde, Italian oil company Eni, and Eni Corporate University signed an agreement to create a program to help people working in the oil and gas sector in Scotland to transfer their skills to the renewable energy technologies. [University of Strathclyde]
  • “Renewables Outstrip Fossil Fuels In UK In 2020” • Data from the UK government show that renewable electricity generation surpassed fossil fuels for the first year ever in 2020, providing 43% of the country’s electricity. Fossil fuels generated 38.5%, says the Energy Trends report from the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy. [reNEWS]

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