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NewEnergyNews More

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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    A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.

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  • Monday, August 29, 2016

    The History Of Climate Change

    Humans Kickstarted Climate Change Nearly 200 Years Earlier Than Scientists Thought

    Jasmine Solana, August 28, 2016 (Futurism)

    “…Most experts agree that human activity has played a major role in making climate change happen, but the consensus is that it is a fairly recent trend. New research, however, has found…that global warming began during the early stages of the Industrial Revolution and is first detectable in the Arctic and tropical oceans around the 1830s…[D]irect measurements of climate were rare before the 1900s, which was why anthropogenic climate change was generally talked about as a 20th century phenomenon. But [using 500 years of data on tree rings, corals, cave decorations, and ice cores form a natural archive of the Earth’s temperatures throughout history], along with thousands of years of climate model simulations, [Early onset of industrial-era warming across the oceans and continents] pinpointed the early onset of warming to around the 1830s, and found the early warming was attributed to rising greenhouse gas levels…” click here for more

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    To Buy Or To Finance Solar, That Is The Question

    Breaking Down Solar Energy Options

    Cathy Allen, August 26, 2016 (AFRO)

    “…Solar power systems can cost $15,000 to $30,000 before any rebates and incentives. Once installed, the owners receive rebates, tax credits and/or state renewable incentives that can reduce the total cost by 50 percent. Most solar installation companies will manage all the paperwork and adjust the purchase price to reflect the net amount…[Owners are responsible for maintenance of the system but the] equipment is very durable [comes with warrantees] and can withstand the elements…[Maintenance is primarily] cleaning panels…Many banks are now offering tailored solar systems loans to homeowners with FICO scores 640 or above…[with 10-to-20-year terms and] interest rates ranging from 3 percent to 8 percent…Typically, a solar system will save between 40 percent to 70 percent on electricity over about 20 to 25 years…[With leasing and power purchase agreements (PPA)] the solar company owns and maintains the system. There is little to zero cost for installation [but electricity savings are only] 10 percent to 30 percent…[and the homeowner does] not get the benefits of tax credits or renewable incentives or rebates…[Using solar energy through any financial arrangement is a step forward] in protecting our wallets and the environment.” click here for more

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    Wind Fits The National Power Mix

    Wind power keeps the lights on and lowers costs

    Michael Goggin, August 26, 2016 (The Hill)

    “…An electricity grid drawing power from different types of generation protects consumers against both fuel price fluctuations and outages at specific plants…[W]ind energy has proven critical to maintaining a cost-effective, reliable electric grid. During 2014’s Polar Vortex weather event, demand skyrocketed as buildings ran their furnaces at full output during the extreme cold. Supply was also reduced, as the frigid temperatures unexpectedly knocked many conventional power plants offline, in some cases due to fuel supply constraints…[W]ind turbines kept turning…[and] saved consumers across the Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic regions over $1 billion in just two days…[Technological advances now allow wind turbines to reach stronger, steadier winds and generate 90% of the time and this] number increases even further when grid operators aggregate the output of all wind plants, and all sources of supply and demand, over large regions…Coal, nuclear and natural gas plants don’t generate electricity 100 percent of the time either…[and] often experience outages from unforeseen events. When these things happen, other plants on the electric grid [like wind installations] step in, illustrating the importance of a diversified energy mix…Wind power’s greatest contribution to a reliable, diverse electricity mix is its ability to produce energy with no fuel cost or fuel price risk…while creating cleaner air.” click here for more

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    Tuesday, August 23, 2016

    The Climate Change Fight Will Boost The Economy

    How a War on Climate Change Could Restore Economic Growth in America

    Wade Roush, August 23, 2016 (Xconomy)

    Editor’s note: Lots of valuable history and economics in this one.

    "…[Slow economic growth and climate change are likely the biggest challenges facing the U.S. right now and] both problems pose a threat to our way of life, so we can’t prioritize just one…It would be fruitless to fixate on growing the economic pie, and/or slicing it up more equitably, if we knew that whole pie was about to be charbroiled…[But] the two problems have a common solution…[T]he massive investments needed to blunt the effects of climate change—in areas like zero-carbon energy and transportation technology and climate-change adaptation—are exactly the same kinds of investments we would make if we wanted to restore our aging infrastructure, strengthen manufacturing, provide millions of people with new skills, put them to work in rewarding jobs, and boost overall productivity…[T]echnological change does not regress—it only goes forward. The question is whether we’re smart and level-headed enough to tackle both of our scariest threats at once…” click here for more

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    Solar Shingles Versus Solar Panels

    The company that offered integrated solar roofs before Elon Musk

    Lacy Cooke, August 17, 2016 (inhabitat)

    “…[SolarCity is working on a solar roof that would replace solar panels with solar shingles or tiles integrated into the building’s structure and wiring but] SunTegra Solar Roof Systems (formerly Integrated Solar Technology) has already installed integrated solar systems in the northeastern United States and California…Their tile can produce 67 watts, and their shingle can produce 100 watts. Additionally, the SunTegra shingles utilize ‘50 percent fewer parts’ than traditional rooftop solar panels, and can be rapidly installed in ‘half the time.’ Their systems are lighter than racked panels too. Ventilation built into SunTegra’s units help them stay cool…While SunTegra’s units are around 15 percent more expensive than traditional rooftop panels, if homeowners need a new roof, pricing can be competitive. None of SunTegra’s roofs have leaked, and the company notes they’ve received ‘exceptional wind, snow, and fire ratings…’” click here for more

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    How Very Much Oil & Gas Don't Need Their Tax Breaks

    The Impact of Removing Tax Preferences for U.S. Oil and Gas Production

    Gilber Metcalf, August 2016 (Council on Foreign Relations)

    “…Reform advocates argue that eliminating tax preferences for producers of oil and gas could increase government revenues by billions of dollars each year while defenders of the existing tax regime contend that changing it would lead to large declines in domestic oil and gas production and to significant job destruction…[This report] models firm behavior in response to the potential loss of each of the three major tax preferences in the United States. The potential losses are measured as equivalent price impact (EPI), the percentage drop in the price of oil or gas that would reduce the profitability of drilling a well as much as tax reform would…

    “…[It finds] that removing tax preferences would increase the global price of oil by only 1 percent by 2030. Domestic oil production could drop 5 percent and global consumption could fall by less than 1 percent in that timeframe. Meanwhile, domestic natural gas prices could rise between 7 and 10 percent, and both domestic gas production and consumption could fall between 3 and 4 percent…[It concludes] none of the three preferences directly and materially improve U.S. energy security or mitigate climate change. If eliminated, however, they could enhance U.S. influence to advocate for international climate action and generate fiscal savings.” click here for more

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    Monday, August 22, 2016

    Having Children In A Time Of Climate Change

    Should We Be Having Kids In The Age Of Climate Change?

    Jennifer Ludden, August 18, 2016 (National Public Radio)

    Editor’s note: This is a deeply thoughtful piece worth taking a full-length look at.

    …[Because of climate change, philosopher Travis Rieder of the Johns Hopkins University Berman Institute of Bioethics is suggesting to college students that they think hard about having children, about how many they should have, and about adoption because they have] a moral duty to future generations that will live amid the climate devastation being created now…[His wide Sadiye] wanted a big family…But by the time Sadiye began feeling ready for motherhood, Travis' research had delved into the morality of adoption, which led to the ethics of procreation and to its impact on the climate…By midcentury, possibly before, the average global temperature is projected to rise by more than 2 degrees Celsius, the point scientists and world leaders agree would trigger cataclysmic consequences. Last year's historic Paris climate agreement falls short of preventing that…Adding to that challenge, the world is expected to add several billion people in the next few decades…[Without dramatic action], the world is on track to hit 4 degrees Celsius of warming by the end of the century, and worse beyond that…[But can you actually expect people to forgo something as deeply personal as having children? To deny the biological imperative that's driven civilization? …” click here for more

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    Tips On Picking Solar Panels

    To be Solar, or not to be? Part 2: What solar panels should I choose?

    John Fitzgerald Weaver, August 21, 2016 (electrek)

    “…That solar panels allows us to collect photons from the skies and drive – literally if it’s an electric vehicle – our modern world is almost magical…[After considering a house’s structural readiness for a rooftop array, it is necessary to decide what hardware you want to include – solar panels, inverters and racking are the three main components to a system…[The solar panel decision comes down to how much electricity you want and how much up front money] you want to spend…Premium manufacturers like SunPower, Kyocera and SolarWorld have products that have been steadily generating electricity for 30 years and more. Any panel in the top ten list by volume is probably a safe investment…The most efficient product that you and I have access to is SunPower’s 21.5% X Series…[but] they cost 2.5 times the best priced Tier 1 panels on the market…The end argument for efficiency comes down to a dance between need and price…[There should also be a warranty on power production and hardware but there is no reason to] wait for the latest and greatest technology that is just around the corner…” click here for more

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    4 Things To Think About Before Buying An EV

    Thinking about buying an electric car? A 4-point decision guide; A 4-point decision guide; A decision’s got to be made. Is an electric car the right choice?

    John O’Dell, August 14, 2016 (Christian Science Monitor)

    “…If you are considering either a battery-electric vehicle (BEV) that runs on electricity only, or a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) that has a shorter all-electric range and then switches to using a mix of electric and gasoline powertrains…[Think about what] driving green worth…[as well as noneconomic reasons like air quality and] dependence on oil…[Next, think about how far you need to drive. But] having to drive long distances is the exception for most drivers. AAA in 2015 found that the average motorist drives 29.2 miles per day…[Then, think about what the car will be used for because a] plug-in hybrid might be a better choice as a family car...An all-electric car can fit into a one-car lifestyle if you use it primarily as a commuter car. If you want to go on a road trip, you can always rent a car…[Finally, think about charging because charging can take up to 17 hours with a normal 120-volt household outlet but] about four hours to charge at 240 volts if it has a 24 kWh battery pack…” click here for more

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    Thursday, August 18, 2016

    Netherlands May Outlaw Combustion-Powered Cars

    Climate change: Netherlands on brink of banning sale of petrol-fuelled cars; 'We need to phase out CO2 emissions and we need to change our pattern of using fossil fuels if we want to save the Earth,' says a Dutch Labour Party member

    Jess Staufenberg, August 18, 2016 (UK Independent)

    “…If the measures proposed by…[the Netherlands Labour Party to ban the sale of petrol- and diesel-fuelled cars banned by 2025]are finally passed, it would join Norway and Denmark in making a concerted move to develop its electric car industry…Germany saw all of its power supplied by renewable energies such as solar and wind power on one day in May as the economic powerhouse continues to phase out nuclear energy and fossil fuels…[B]oth India and China have demanded that citizens use their cars on alternate days only to reduce the exhaust fume production which is causing serious health problems for the populations of both nations…According to Quartz, sales of electric cars have surged in the Netherlands with an all-time high last December. Meanwhile, the country has one of the lowest levels of CO2 emissions from new cars in the European Union…Norway has hit its target of selling 50,000 electric cars three years ahead of its own target, in part owing to strong financial…One point of concern for the Netherlands will be ensuring the current design of electric cars can be adequately scaled-up for densely populated urban environments…” click here for more

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    Wind Looking Ever Greater In Great Britain

    Britain's vast national gamble on wind power may yet pay off

    Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, 14 August 2016 (UK Telegraph)

    “…Opposition to wind power from the conservative press, Tory backbenchers, and free market economists dates] to the 1990s and early 2000s when…[taxpayer subsidies went to undependable, low-output pre-modern turbines but the cost] calculus is starting to vindicate Britain's vast investment…The UK is already world leader in offshore wind. The strategic choice now is whether to go for broke, tripling offshore capacity to 15 gigawatts (GW) by 2030…Scale is the crucial factor in slashing costs, so [the gamble is worth taking. New] turbines are five times taller than their primitive 20th Century ancestors, reaching 720 feet and [reliably] generating seven or eight megawatts (MW) each…The biggest offshore companies have together vowed to cut costs to €80 per MWh - or £69 - by 2025…[which will be close to the UK] wholesale price of electricity…The industry's research arm Inwind is already drawing up plans for the next generation of 10-20 MW turbines. The Sandia National Laboratories in the US are exploring 50 MW monsters…that could in theory halve costs again…” click here for more

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    China To Bring Sun To India

    India’s solar dreams, too, are made in China

    Soumya Sarker, August 17, 2016 (Quartz India)

    “The Indian solar energy sector is in the middle of unprecedented growth, fed by rapidly declining tariffs, improved technology and a global oversupply of photovoltaic (PV) panels and other material, mainly in China…[Though smaller than the US, China or Japan, India’s market is expanding the fastest…India expects to add as much as 5.4 GW [to its 7.8 GW]of solar capacity in 2016, making it the fourth-largest solar market globally…[The US installed capacity] is 25 GW…The local industry cannot cope with the recent surge in demand so Chinese imports are inevitable…[A number of new plants are being planned but until] that happens, it is likely that the extraordinary growth of the Indian solar energy sector will be fuelled by imports, mostly from China…” click here for more

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    Study Puts Costa Rica High In Global Geothermal

    Costa Rica Ranks High In Geothermal Energy Production; Costa Rica ranked 3rd in America and 11th in the world for production of geothermal energy

    August 15, 2016 (Costa Rica News)

    "Costa Rica ranked third [among North and South America nations and eleventh globally on] production of energy using geothermal techniques [in a study by The International Geothermal Institution…[Costa Rica has] six geothermal plants located in two sites…Although many environmentalists maintain the belief that geothermal generation of energy in Costa Rica causes environmental harm in the country’s national parks, The Costa Rican Institute of Electricity has revived 19,398 hectares of jungle that were previously pasture deserts…The company hopes that by 2019 Costa Rica will open [another] new geothermal plant…[and by 2025] aspires to have built [up to nine]…” click here for more

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    Tuesday, August 16, 2016

    New Energy Reviving Ruined Land

    Turning Trash Into Solar Treasure

    Courtney McCormick, August 15, 2016 (NJ Spotlight)

    “By generating solar energy on old landfills and brownfields, PSE&G is helping to put historically ‘dirty’ spaces back to work in an environmentally friendly manner…Across the United States, there is a growing understanding that [if we install solar panels for the good of the environment, but sacrifice forests, farmland, or other open spaces to do it, the gain is compromised by the loss. That is one of the reasons] PSE&G’s Solar 4 All program has invested $550 million [over the last seven years to build 45 megawatts of grid-connected solar farms on old landfills and brownfield contaminated industrial sites.] In California, more than 100 megawatts of solar farms have been built on old landfills, industrial properties, federal Superfund sites — and even a mothballed weapons test site…In Massachusetts, dozens of old municipal landfills and brownfields now host nearly 131 megawatts of solar power…In Wyoming, a $500 million, 237-megawatt wind-power project was built on a depleted surface coal mine…” click here for more

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