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Every day is Earthday.

Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart

email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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Your intrepid reporter

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  • Monday, March 18, 2019

    What Students Striking About Climate Change Want

    Global Climate Strike: Students around the world protest climate inaction; Here's why these young climate activists are striking

    Harmeet Kaur and Madison Park, March 15, 2019 (CNN)

    “Young climate activists are hoping to spark a widespread dialogue about climate change…And they're concerned about the inaction on this front…If human-generated greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate, the planet will reach 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels as soon as 2030…[According to a 2018 report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), warming] at that temperature would put the planet at a greater risk of events like extreme drought, wildfires, floods and food shortages for hundreds of millions of people…

    The common demand among students, although they vary country-to-country, is for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions…[According to the Youth Climate Strike website, U.S. students want] a national embrace of the Green New Deal…an end to fossil fuel infrastructure projects…[and] a national emergency declaration on climate change…

    …[They are also calling for a] mandatory education on climate change and its effects from K-8…a clean water supply…preservation of public lands and wildlife…[and for] all government decisions to be tied to scientific research…” click here for more

    Clean Versus Renewable In The New Energy Transition

    The devil's in the details: Policy implications of 'clean' vs. 'renewable' energy

    Lee Beck and Jennifer T. Gordon, March 14, 2019 (Utility Dive)

    “…Many of the proposed plans for confronting the climate crisis stress the imperative of decreasing emissions by transitioning to 100% "clean" or "renewable" sources of energy…The terms "clean" and "renewable" are often thought to be interchangeable…[but renewable] energy is derived from sources that can naturally replenish themselves — wind and sun are the two most obvious examples — while clean energy encompasses all zero-carbon energy sources…The clean energy or zero-carbon energy tent is wider; it not only leaves the door open to 100% renewables, but it also includes nuclear energy and the carbon-neutralizing impact of technologies like carbon capture and sequestration (CCS)…

    Hydrogen can be renewable if it is produced through electrolysis using renewables and water, or it can be produced from natural gas, coal, biomass and oil…Critics have pointed to a host of issues with some forms of clean energy; namely, questions abound regarding slow deployment of carbon capture technologies at a commercial level. Additionally, nuclear energy raises a number of concerns, from spent fuel storage and safety to non-proliferation…The differences between clean and renewable energy can have meaningful policy impacts…In the U.S., 38 states as well as the District of Columbia have some type of renewable portfolio standard (RPS)…If the standard includes other sources of clean energy, especially nuclear power to varying degrees, it can also be referred to as a Clean Energy Standard.” click here for more

    Tuesday, March 12, 2019

    The Green New Deal's Success

    Republicans who believe in climate change seek alternative to Green New Deal; "We have a voice in this, too," Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., said.

    Allan Smith, March 10, 2019 (NBC News)

    “…[Since Democrats introduced the Green New Deal] to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions and create a renewable energy economy…[Most Republicans have denounced it] as unrealistic, unaffordable and ill-conceived…[But] a growing number of House GOP lawmakers have been increasingly willing to say those four little words: "Climate change is real." And they're warning the rest of their party that Republicans must push for alternative solutions before it's too late…

    ...[It is also “an extremely important subject" and "is real" and "something that we have to address." according to] Reps. John Shimkus, R-Ill., the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce's Environment and Climate Change subcommittee, Billy Long, R-Mo., Bill Flores, R-Texas, Buddy Carter, R-Ga., and Anthony Gonzalez, R-Ohio, among others…[In direct opposition to the White House, they are calling for] “sensible, realistic, and effective policies to tackle climate change"…[in response to a new poll that shows] the Republican Party's aversion to acknowledging climate change is increasingly falling out of favor…[Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., and other Republicans are proponents of] a carbon tax — a fee on the carbon contents of fossil fuels…” click here for more

    The Best Way To Support New Energy

    Charging With the Sun

    Severin Borenstein, March 11, 2019 (UC Berkeley Energy Institute)

    …[There are three types of views about the value of shifting energy usage away from peak demand to when New Energy is abundant on the power system, views that are] naïve, glib, and correct…[It is naïve to think more New Energy is used if usage is shifted to midday because the system’s] generation changes incrementally (what economists call “on the margin”) as demand changes…[P]production on the margin is typically dirtier than the overall average and much dirtier than 100% wind or solar…[It is glib to think that a shift in usage increases New Energy usage because] the grid operator adjusts production from a controllable power plant, which is almost never wind or solar…

    …[But more demand for New Energy] in those hours means less curtailment; in other words, wind and solar are occasionally on the margin…[It is correct that shifting usage] from one hour to another causes prices to rise in hours that get more demand…[giving production from wind and solar] a larger share of the total revenues paid to producers without changing their production…That makes investment in a wind or solar plant more profitable, and that leads to more investment in these technologies…So, no, you’re not getting green electrons by charging your EV or heating water when the sun is shining. You are doing something more important: creating financial incentives for more renewable generation investment…” click here for more

    Monday, March 11, 2019

    Childbearing In A Time Of Climate Change

    More than a third of millennials share Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's worry about having kids while the threat of climate change looms

    Eliza Relman and Walt Hickey, March 4, 2019 (Business Insider)

    “…[A new informal] poll found that nearly a third of Americans — and about 38% of those between 18 and 29 years old — believe a couple should consider the negative effects of climate change when deciding whether or not to have children…[A December 2018 NY Times poll found 11% of respondents "didn't want children or weren't sure" because they were "worried about climate change," and 33% were having fewer children than they ideally wanted because of climate-change worries. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently made headlines] when she suggested that some young Americans are concerned about having children because of the threat that climate change could pose to future generations…[She said there is scientific consensus that climate change will make the lives of millennials’ children “very difficult" and said her peers] are grappling with the question: "Is it OK to still have children?"

    …[The informal SurveyMonkey Audience poll] found that nearly 30% of Americans either strongly agree, agree, or somewhat agree that a couple should consider the negative and potentially life-threatening effects of climate change when deciding whether or not to have children. Just more than 8% of Americans strongly agreed that climate change should be a consideration…About 18% of Americans strongly disagreed that the future impacts of climate change should be considered by would-be parents…[22%] said they neither agreed nor disagreed, and 7% said they did not know…Notably, younger people are much more likely to consider the threats of a planet more prone to extreme weather, droughts, floods, and wildfires when deciding whether to have kids…Agreement was also linked to the belief that climate change is man-made…” click here for more

    White House Budget Cuts New Energy 70%

    Trump Again Seeks Deep Cuts in Renewable Energy Funding

    Ari Natter, March 7, 2019 (Bloomberg News)

    “…[The Trump White House’s opposition to New Energy is made clear in severe proposed budget] cuts to the U.S. Energy Department division charged with renewable energy and energy efficiency research…[According to an anonymous spokesperson, the] Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy [EERE] would see its $2.3 billion budget slashed by about 70 percent, to $700 million…The request is unlikely to be granted by Congress, especially with Democrats in charge of the House, but the figure represents an opening bargaining position for negotiations by the White House…

    ...[EERE, which] provides hundreds of millions of dollars a year in grants and other financial assistance for clean energy, has financed research into technologies ranging from electric vehicles to energy projects powered by ocean waves. It has been credited with financing research to help make the cost of wind power competitive with coal, and cutting the costs of LED lighting…[The White House] has tried to gut the program before, only to be rebuffed by Congress…[C]onservative groups like the Heritage Foundation have called for the office to be eliminated entirely, saying energy innovation is best left up to the private sector…” click here for more

    Tuesday, March 5, 2019

    Climate Change Means Water Shortages

    Population and Climate Change Point to Future Water Shortages; A new study suggests that reductions in agricultural water use will probably play the biggest role in limiting future water shortages.

    28 February 2019 (Earth and Space Science News)

    “Climate change plus population growth are setting the stage for water shortages in parts of the U.S. long before the end of the century…Even efforts to use water more efficiently in municipal and industrial sectors won’t be enough to stave off shortages…[According to new U.S. Forest Service research, reductions] in agricultural water use will probably play the biggest role in limiting future water shortages…[Researchers found serious challenges are likely] in some regions of the U.S., notably the central and southern Great Plains, the Southwest and central Rocky Mountain States, and California, and also some areas in the South and the Midwest…

    The heart of the new analysis is a comparison of future water supply versus estimated water demand in different water-using sectors, like industry and agriculture…[R]eductions in per-capita water use rates are likely in most water-use sectors, but will be insufficient to avoid impending water shortages…Increasing the size of reservoirs does not look promising for fending off water shortages…Further reductions in groundwater reserves and greater diversions of in-stream flows could help…but come with serious social and environmental costs. If those costs are to be avoided, improvements in irrigation efficiency will need to become a high priority, and further transfers of water from agriculture to other sectors will likely be essential…” click here for more

    New Energy To Keep Booming In 2019

    New electric generating capacity in 2019 will come from renewables and natural gas

    Cara Marcy, January 10, 2019 (U.S. Energy Information Administration)

    “…23.7 gigawatts (GW) of new capacity additions and 8.3 GW of capacity retirements are expected for the U.S. electric power sector in 2019. The utility-scale capacity additions consist primarily of wind (46%), natural gas (34%), and solar photovoltaics (18%), with the remaining 2% consisting primarily of other renewables and battery storage capacity…A total of 10.9 GW of wind capacity is currently scheduled to come online in 2019...Planned natural gas capacity additions are primarily in the form of combined-cycle plants (6.1 GW) and combustion-turbine plants (1.4 GW)…[Solar is scheduled to add 4.3 GW of utility-scale electric power sector solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity…[and] an additional 3.9 GW of small-scale solar PV capacity…

    …Scheduled capacity retirements for 2019 primarily consist of coal (53%), natural gas (27%), and nuclear (18%), with a single hydroelectric plant…and other smaller renewable and petroleum capacity accounting for the remaining 2%...Most of the coal retirements are scheduled to occur at the end of 2019. Half of the planned retirement capacity for coal is at a single plant, Navajo, located in Arizona…The scheduled natural gas retirements (2.2 GW) consist mostly (2.0 GW) of steam turbine plants…that came online in the 1950s or 1960s…Two nuclear plants totaling 1.5 GW are currently scheduled to retire in 2019…” click here for more

    Monday, March 4, 2019

    Jay Inslee, The Climate Change Candidate For President

    Can Jay Inslee make the 2020 election about climate change?

    Paul Waldman, March 3, 2019 (Washington Post via Winston-Salem Journal)

    “Single-issue presidential campaigns are not generally successful, but what if the issue in question is the survival of most life on Planet Earth?...[Washington governor Jay Inslee is making climate change the centerpiece of his] 2020…That kind of clear vision may not be enough to win, but it's something you can't win without…[Inslee has been] a state representative, had a lengthy term in Congress, and] then was elected and reelected as governor…[His vision] is an administration organized around the climate crisis, an entire federal government working in unison to decarbonize the economy and help save the planet…

    …[Inslee also wants to get rid of the filibuster and the electoral college and] supports statehood for D.C. and Puerto Rico…[With Inslee in the race and the practical realities of climate change becoming more evident on an almost daily basis,] it's going to become harder for the other candidates not to put out comprehensive climate plans and demonstrate that commitment…[Most other candidates] haven't yet made their purpose as clear…[but Inslee is] telling us exactly what his presidency would be about. We don't know yet how compelling his case will be and how primary voters will react…but the race is definitely better for having him in it.” click here for more

    State New Energy Mandates Work

    Updated renewable portfolio standards will lead to more renewable electricity generation

    Richard Bowers, February 27, 2019 (U.S. Energy Information Administration)

    As of the end of 2018, 29 states and the District of Columbia (DC) had renewable portfolio standards (RPS), polices that require electricity suppliers to supply a set share of their electricity from designated renewable resources or eligible technologies. Although no additional states have adopted an RPS policy since Vermont in 2015, Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, California, and the District of Columbia extended their existing targets in 2018 or early 2019, continuing a trend in recent years across the United States…States with legally binding renewable portfolio standards collectively accounted for 63% of electricity retail sales in the United States in 2018…

    In addition to the 29 states with binding RPS policies, 8 states have nonbinding renewable portfolio goals…[In May 2018, Connecticut increased its overall RPS target in May 2018 to a 48% renewable generation share of electricity sales by 2030…[and] New Jersey increased its RPS target to 50% of eligible generation share of sales by 2030…In August 2018, Massachusetts increased its overall RPS target to 35% of sales by 2030…In September 2018, California increased its RPS target to a 60% renewable generation share of sales by 2030 and an additional 40% generation share of sales of carbon-free resources by 2045, for a total of 100% carbon-free power by 2045…In January 2019, the District of Columbia (DC) increased its RPS target to a 100% renewable share of sales by 2040…” click here for more

    Tuesday, February 26, 2019

    Panic Before It’s Too Late

    It is absolutely time to panic about climate change; Author David Wallace-Wells on the dystopian hellscape that awaits us.

    Sean Illing, February 24, 2019 (VOX)

    Editor’s note: Consider this post a tease for a long and informative read. Click through.

    “…[We could potentially avoid 150 million excess premature deaths by the end of century from air pollution (the equivalent of 25 Holocausts or twice the number of deaths from World War II) if we could limit average global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius or hold warming at 2 degrees without relying on negative emissions…[and] we’ve done more damage to the environment since the United Nations established its climate change framework in 1992 than we did in all the millennia that preceded it…[according to David Wallace-Wells’s just-released The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming

    …[The author told VOX that if] we continue on the track we’re on now,] we could be seeing roughly 64 times as much land burned every year as we saw in 2018, a year that felt completely unprecedented and inflicted unimaginable damage in California…And we see trajectories like this in basically every area of potential climate impact — from impact on agricultural yields, to public health issues, to the relationship between climate change and economic growth, climate change and conflict…And if we don’t change course rapidly, they’re going to get catastrophically worse…[There are experts who believe we’ll get to 2 degrees of warming] as soon as 2030…[but] 2050 is probably a safer assumption…[We’re all beginning to relearn the fact that we live within nature…None of us, no matter where we live, will be able to escape the consequences of this…” click here for more

    Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Right Now

    Decentralized Renewable Energy Systems: A Status-Quo Analysis

    February 22, 2019 (Advanced Science News)

    “The increasing share of decentralized intermittent renewable energy generation reinforces the necessity of balancing local production and energy consumption. Decentralized renewable energy systems are promising options to cope with this challenge. They are systems of interconnected buildings, which i) are powered by renewable energy sources (e.g., solar, wind), ii) combine multiple energy carriers (e.g., electricity, heat, hydrogen), and iii) integrate both storage (e.g., batteries, thermal tanks) and conversion (e.g., heat pump, electrolyzer) technologies. At the system level, they can range from single buildings, such as multi-family homes, to groups of buildings within neighborhoods, communities or city quarters.

    Despite high up-front investment costs, these systems can provide numerous benefits: by increasing self-consumption of renewable electricity produced on-site, they can substantially reduce overall energy costs. They demonstrate large synergy potential and high operational flexibility, thereby improving input resource utilization, alleviating stress from the local grid, reducing transmission and distribution losses, and creating a more reliable energy supply…The trend toward decentralized energy systems is likely to be enforced in the future due to widespread reductions in technology costs, further technological learning, and the coupling of [the energy, mobility and industry sectors]…” click here for more

    Monday, February 25, 2019

    Climate Change And Human Personality

    We Are The People of the Apocalypse; Clinical psychologist John F. Schumaker reveals the dangerous erosion of human personality at the heart of modern consumer culture.

    John F. Schumaker, December 14, 2018 (Films For Action)

    “…While the ever-deepening mental-health crisis is common knowledge, less understood is the even more serious ‘personality crisis’ that has rendered the consuming public largely unfit for democracy and nigh useless in the face of the multiple emergencies that beg for responsible and conscientious citizenship…50 years ago, [psychologist Erich Fromm used the term] ‘marketing personality’ to describe the one-dimensional, commodified and de-sensitized ‘eternal suckling’ that was…succumbing to a culturally manufactured ‘consensus of stupidity’ that could prove our ultimate undoing. Since then, the ‘social character’ has become so stunted, and the decline of true citizenship so complete, that some now speak of the ‘apocalyptic personality’ propelling our rush toward self-destruction…

    …[T]he climate crisis cries loudest for responsible citizenship and leadership. It is by far the greatest moral, ethical and psycho-social challenge encountered by our species. But the cultural conditions that foster collective responsibility, other-mindedness and conscience development have eroded…[C]limate concern is on a downward slope, with recent years showing the most precipitous decline…[Research shows] consumer culture has endowed its ‘unfinished personalities’ with minimal aptitude or motivation for constructive disobedience…[Today’s youths] are the most conventional and conformist generation in history – with most being huddled around the same dead zone of market-driven values, commercialized meanings, and digital distractions…Who we are has never been more incompatible with who we need to be. What we have become is the greatest threat to ourselves and the planet…” click here for more

    Conservative Voters Want Climate Change Solutions

    Survey Release: Midterm Voters Want Action On Clean Energy Policy

    Charles Hernick, December 6, 2018 (Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions Forum)

    “…[There is] strong support among Republicans and Democrats alike for government action to accelerate development and use of clean energy in the United States…[And] a supermajority of voters (81%) across party affiliations and all four regions of the country say they would vote for elected officials who support clean energy development such as wind and solar…[According to a national post-election survey from a conservative group, clean] energy was important to voters in 2018 and will be a key issue in future elections…Most voters want the United States to put more emphasis on producing domestic energy from wind, solar, and hydropower…

    Among voters, 74% say the U.S. should put more emphasis on solar power, 64% say the U.S. should put more emphasis on wind power, and 54% say the U.S. should put more emphasis on hydropower…[Only] 42% say the U.S. should put more emphasis on natural gas, 27% say the U.S. should put more emphasis on nuclear power, and 16% say the U.S. should put more emphasis on coal…Voters favor government action to accelerate the development and use of clean energy in the U.S. but prefer to drive development through free-market policies…Support is strong among Republicans (67%), Independents (76%), and Democrats (95%). Suburban women (85%) are notably outpacing the topline support for government action…When given a choice, nearly two-thirds of voters (63%) would prefer increasing clean energy development through competition and free-market policies, while 31% favor government mandates and quotas…” click here for more