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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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  • Tuesday, May 3, 2016

    The Children Win Again In Climate Change Court Fight

    Climate Change Litigation - The Children Win In Court

    James Conca, May 1, 2016 (Forbes)

    “Against all odds, another group of children who are suing the government to protect the environment against the harm of global warming in their future, have won in court…King County Superior Court Judge Hollis Hill ordered [the State of Washington’s Department of Ecology] to promulgate a carbon emissions reduction rule by the end of 2016 and make recommendations to the state legislature on science-based greenhouse gas reductions in the 2017 legislative session. Judge Hill also ordered the Department of Ecology to consult with the young plaintiffs in advance of that recommendation…[The lawsuit] alleges that the Federal Government is violating the Plaintiffs’ constitutional and public trust rights by promoting the use of fossil fuels…[Their basis is that, for over fifty years, the United States Government and the Fossil Fuel Industry have known that carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels causes global warming and dangerous climate change, and that continuing to burn fossil fuels destabilizes the climate system…[Similar cases in Oregon,] North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Massachusetts, all supported by Our Children’s Trust, [are]seeking the legal right to a healthy atmosphere and stable climate…” click here for more

    The Solar Deal Gets Better Every Day

    Cost of solar energy falls every time the sun rises

    Audrey Hoffer, April 21, 2016 (Washington Post)

    “…The increasing ease of the process and the financial returns have made going solar practically mainstream…Nationwide, [solar] grew 10 times between 2008 and 2015…[With net metering, the power from a solar owner’s system that isn’t used onsite goes into the grid and the owner gets bill credit for it. Whatever the amount of credit,] your household remains connected to the grid and you receive an electric bill from the utility…Eventually, the savings on the electric bill will add up to what you paid for the system, which means from then on you’re basically getting free electricity…Tax breaks and other incentives reduce the cost of electricity and cover a large portion of a system’s cost…[The average $16,000 system installed in Washington, D.C., last year was five kilowatts, with 20 panels…After a 30 percent tax credit of $4,800 and [another upfront credit of $5,500, the] cost would be $5,700. This size system typically provides an electric savings of $950 per year at today’s rates…[You can also lease. Solar providers] own the system, so you don’t pay for installation. You pay for the electricity, but at cheaper rate than the utility charges…” click here for more

    New England’s Offshore Wind

    Lawmakers seek greater role for wind power

    Christian M. Wade, May 1, 2016 (Eagle-Tribune)

    “Towering turbines in Maine and New York -- and off the Atlantic Coast -- could ease a looming energy crunch in Massachusetts, and wind energy companies want the state to support their budding industry…Lawmakers are discussing plans to force utilities to enter long-term contracts with clean energy providers to replace the energy created by retiring nuclear and coal-fired power plants, while cutting carbon emissions and potentially lowering electricity prices…The outcome of those talks could affect the state's energy production and electricity costs for decades…Environmentalists want wind -- in addition to solar and hydropower -- to play a major part in the renewable energy mix…The demand for new sources of electricity is drawing some of the world's biggest wind companies to the region, and a range of projects are in various stages of development to feed power-hungry Southern New England…” click here for more

    Monday, May 2, 2016

    Millenials, New Energy, And The Vote

    Millennials love clean energy, fear climate change, and don’t vote. This campaign wants to change that.

    David Roberts, April 30, 2016 (VOX)

    “…[Millennials born between 1980 and 2000…are, in many ways, an incredibly attractive political target. There's a lot of them, they lean Democrat, they are more concerned about climate change than older cohorts, and they absolutely love clean energy…The problem is, too few of them vote…[Youth voter turnout in presidential elections has fallen below 50 percent, and Baby Boomers now outvote their children's generation by 30 percentage points. [E]co-billionaire Tom Steyer’s] Super PAC, NextGen Climate, is launching a $25 million [national campaign to register and mobilize young voters in seven key battleground states to help elect climate champions…If recent history is any guide, a swing of a few percentage points in the millennial vote could shift [2016 swing state] senatorial and presidential elections…[And] 76 percent of 18‐29 year olds say climate change is a serious problem facing America…[63 percent call] it a very serious problem…[and] 64 percent say the federal government should do more to address climate change…” click here for more

    The Sun In Brooklyn

    Brooklyn residents create solar energy

    Joe Mauceri, April 27, 2016 (Pix 11 News)

    “…Most of us have no idea whether our energy comes from a power plant or a solar array…[But Bob Sauchelli, the first customer on the Brooklyn Microgrid, knows he] buys power directly from his neighbor's solar panels…Like many green energy customers, Sauchelli was already paying his energy company a premium for a renewable energy source, like wind or solar. The problem is, he couldn't see the positive economic and environmental effects first hand…Which is why Lawrence Orsini and LO3 energy created the Brooklyn Microgrid…In addition to helping keep money in the community, the microgrid could help supply power for local hospitals, fire departments, and grocery stores in the event of an emergency…Sauchelli says while green is good for the environment, he's happy to know he's also helping some green in his neighborhood too…” click here for more

    Record Wind On The Great Plains

    Wind energy setting records in Minnesota

    Paul Huttner, April 29, 2016 (Minnesota Public Radio)

    “...[April winds in the Midwest] have blown harder than average…with average wind speeds ranging from 12 to 15 mph and nearly half the days of the month producing peak wind gusts…[as high as] 40 and 50 mph…[They have been producing] unprecedented power production across the Upper Midwest…[On one November day, more than 50 percent of Xcel Energy’s] total energy output was produced by wind…[due to the strong winds and sophisticated new wind forecasting software allowing siting for increased production. It has allowed the ramping] down of coal plants at times of heavy wind production…[Data on the impact of climate change on wind speeds] seems to be inconclusive at this point…[The] question has not been comprehensively addressed by the atmospheric and climate science community yet…” click here for more

    Monday, April 25, 2016

    Clinton Rejects Koch – ‘Not Interested’ in Climate Deniers’ Support

    Clinton snubs Koch endorsement over climate change denial; Democrat frontrunner rejects faint praise from oil billionaire, saying ‘not interested in endorsements from people who deny climate science’

    Megan Darby, 25 April 2016 (ClimateHome)

    “…Speaking of his disgust with the Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, oil billionaire Charles Koch told ABC News Democrat frontrunner Hillary Clinton might] make a better leader…Clinton, who has been attacked by Democrat rival Bernie Sanders for taking campaign contributions from oil interests, rebuffed the quasi-endorsement…‘Not interested in endorsements from people who deny climate science and try to make it harder for people to vote,’ she tweeted.” click here for more

    Pentagon Turns To New Energy To Cut Costs

    Pentagon looks to reduce $4 billion energy bill

    Rebecca Kheel, April 25, 2016 (The Hill)

    “An average soldier on the battlefield in 2009 carried about 14 pounds of batteries to power radios, GPS, night vision systems and other electronics…These days, that’s closer to 9 pounds…[Though politicians continue polarizing debates about New Energy, it is a key to reducing the weight soldiers carry in batteries. The Pentagon’s programs are aimed at the climate change threat, but] officials say their efforts are more focused on reducing costs and improving capabilities…[A]fter fuel convoys in Iraq and Afghanistan were attacked…the military changed out some generators to be more energy-efficient, started using microgrids to net generators together and installed solar panels…Another major change is that dismounted soldiers now use rechargeable batteries [that can be recharged with solar blankets or any energy source they find in the field, such as discarded car batteries] instead of disposable AA batteries…[that leave] a trail for the enemy to follow…” click here for more

    The Utilities-And-Solar Debate

    Solar Energy War: Utilities Set Their Sights on Rooftop Solar; There's clearly a war on rooftop solar, but it may not be as simple of a debate as you might think.

    Travis Hoium, April 24, 2016 (Motley Fool)

    “…The core disagreement between utilities and solar companies is over the price homeowners are credited for solar electricity they export to the grid…[I]n most states customers are credited with their full retail rate, known as net metering…Companies like SolarCity, Sunrun, and SunPower…can sell electricity to homeowners for less than their retail rate…offering savings to go solar…But utilities argue that they can buy solar electricity from large solar farms at a more cost-effective rate…[The Warren Buffett/Berkshire Hathaway-owned NV Energy] has signed contracts in the last two years with First Solar and SunPower to buy solar energy for $0.039 per kWh and $0.046 per kWh, respectively -- far below [the $0.114 per kWh credit it would give to a rooftop solar owner…[I]t's hard to argue that the utility doesn't have a point…Customers have the choice to go solar, but in most cases they're also reliant on compensation from the grid to make their solar choice work. And that tension between choice and compensation is the battle between solar companies and utilities…[Rooftop solar companies] have a good point that they bring choice to a market…I just wouldn't expect them to win the argument that net metering will make sense forever given the low-cost solar alternatives and potential cost shift to non-solar customers in high-penetration markets…” click here for more

    Tuesday, April 19, 2016

    The Meat Of The Climate Debate

    The link between climate change and meat consumption is harrowingly real; Adjusting our diets will greatly reduce the costs associated with global warming. The public just needs to buy in

    Annick De Witt, April 16, 2016 (Salon)

    “…[T]he media have slowly but steadily fed the public information about the staggering impact of our meat-eating habits on the environment, and on climate change in particular…[Research shows] low-meat diets could reduce the costs of climate change mitigation by as much as 50 percent by 2050…[But new research shows] most people are still not aware of the full extent of meat’s climate impacts…[M]eat reduction as an effective option for addressing climate change] was only clear to 6% of the US population, and only 12% of the Dutch population…[T]he outstanding effectiveness of reducing meat consumption could be a game-changer: knowing that it makes such a big difference may motivate people to change. This is particularly so, because the research results also show a direct relationship between this knowledge and people’s willingness to consume less meat as well as their actual meat consumption…The inspiring and empowering narrative about climate change and the impact of our diets could be:] eat a little less meat and get healthier…” click here for more

    The Texas Template For Wind

    The Mystery of Wind Energy in Texas

    Kyle Downey, April 10, 2016 (Law Street)

    “…[Texas] has a longstanding reputation for supporting the interests of the fossil fuel industry…and politicians there fiercely deny the scientific validity of climate change…In 2001, Texas received only 1 percent of its energy from wind. Only 15 years later, wind provides almost 10 percent of the state’s energy…[and its 17,713 MW of installed wind capacity is almost three times the 6,212 MW] of the second place state, Idaho…[After the 1999 Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) revealed wind] to be a reliable and affordable source of electricity…[T]he legislature updated it in 2005…[and the Public Utility Commission created Competition Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ) and fund to build gigantic transmission lines connecting the windy zones] to the highly populated urban areas…[I]mplementing renewable energy is rarely as easy as being a pro-clean energy state…[but on] December 20, 2015, wind turbines generated a record high of 40 percent of Texas’s energy for 17 hours of the day…[showing] the extreme potential of wind within the region..[and proving] the newly built transmission lines are capable of handling almost an entire day’s worth of wind energy without malfunction, contrary to the arguments of many fossil fuel advocates…” click here for more

    The Threat Of Solar Value Deflation

    How cheap does solar power need to get before it takes over the world?

    Brad Plummer, April 18, 2016 (VOX)

    “…[Solar is growing at double-digit rates each year but] still has some hard economic obstacles to overcome before it can become a major energy source and provide (let's say) one-third of our power…[According to Solar power needs a more ambitious cost target, value deflation causes the electricity generated by solar to be less valuable as more comes online so its installed cost must drop from today’s $3 per watt to $0.25 per watt by 2050]…That's a mind-bogglingly low number, and it could require thinking about solar innovation in a radically new way…[The authors said] we're still many years away from value deflation becoming a crippling problem. But that's why it's dangerous to get complacent…[Batteries and utility load shifting can help fend off value deflation — but only partly…Achieving the $0.25-per-watt goal…[will require] not just ruthlessly cutting costs for existing technology but also plunking down money on future ideas…” click here for more

    Monday, April 18, 2016

    The Clinton-Sanders Climate Change Exchange

    The Clinton-Sanders exchange on climate change was a dumpster fire

    David Roberts, April 17, 2016 (VOX)

    Editor’s note: It is worth clicking through to read all of this lengthy debate summary.

    “…[C]limate change finally got a decent chunk of time in Thursday night's Democratic primary debate…It was not particularly substantive…What it revealed, for the most part, are the candidates' flaws — Clinton's defensiveness and inability to articulate a broad vision; Sanders's monomania about money in politics and propensity to back whatever the left wants, even when it is mutually contradictory…[It included Clinton’s] long, complex, and not always pretty [history with the oil and gas industry and Sanders’ implication that the small difference in the donations they have received is] de facto evidence that the fossil fuel companies already think she's on their side…Next, Sanders pressed Clinton on whether she supports a [probably politically untenable] carbon tax, now widely seen as the sine qua non of serious climate policy…Then the discussion turned to fracking, which, for reasons unclear, has become a kind of stand-in for climate seriousness…

    “Clinton remains temperamentally averse to absolutes and simple prescriptions, so she always ends up sounding lawyerly. She seems unable to mount a convincing case for incrementalism, unlike the current president, who can make incrementalism sing. She is the anti-Obama, all notes and no music…[Incrementalism] has accumulated for Obama into a serious climate legacy…Clinton wants to build on Obama's progress. Sanders wants to go for another grand legislative solution. She remains unable to articulate a compelling larger vision; he remains unable to explain how he would overcome the obvious political obstacles…When they grapple honestly with those differences — that will be the climate debate I've been waiting for.” click here for more

    Solar To Dominate By 2030 – Futurist

    Ray Kurzweil: Here's Why Solar Will Dominate Energy Within 12 Years; Growth is exponential—just like processing power.

    David Z. Morris, April 16, 2016 (Fortune)

    “…[Futurist Ray Kurzweil said solar] could become the dominant force in energy production in a little over a decade. That may be tough to swallow, given that solar currently only supplies around 2% of global energy—but Kurzweil’s predictions have been overwhelmingly correct over the last two decades, so he’s worth listening to…[His basic point] was that while solar is still tiny, it has begun to reliably double its market share every two years—today’s 2% share is up from just 0.5% in 2012…Many analysts extend growth linearly from that sort of pattern, concluding that we’ll see 0.5% annual growth in solar for the foreseeable future, reaching just 12% solar share in 20 years. But linear analysis ignores what Kurzweil calls the Law of Accelerating Returns—that as new technologies get smaller and cheaper, their growth becomes exponential…[Kurzweil says that if] the current 2% share doubles every two years, solar should have a 100% share of the market in 12 years…[but] Kurzweil’s prediction is only partially grounded in the real world…[because fossil fuel giants are definitely not going down without a fight…” click here for more