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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, June 28, 2016

    Voters, Including Republicans, Move On Climate

    Republican Voters Evenly Split on Climate Change, Poll Finds

    Jack Fitzpatrick, June 28, 2016 (Morning Consult)

    “Most voters, including about half of Republicans, believe the climate is changing and the federal government should step in to cut greenhouse gases…[In the conservatively oriented poll by Just Win Strategies and TargetPoint Consulting ] 68 percent of all respondents said they want federal government action [on emissions]…Among Republicans, 48 percent supported that statement, and 46 percent opposed it…[T]he vast majority of Democrats (86 percent) and about two-thirds of independents (67 percent) [want action. The poll] also found that only 12 percent of respondents said they were more concerned about environment and climate] than any other issue…[It also] found that despite many Republican officials’ reluctance to directly address climate change, GOP voters don’t uniformly deny that the Earth’s temperature is increasing. Republicans were split evenly at 45 percent…[compared to] 89 percent of Democrats and 72 percent of independents…[A slight majority of Republicans (53 percent) said] they believe they will feel the effects of climate change in their lifetime or already are…90 percent of Democrats and 73 percent of independents [agreed]...” click here for more

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    World’s Biggest Wind Turbine

    World's biggest wind-power turbine unveiled for giant offshore renewable-energy project; The future for alternative energy takes huge leap forwards with structure capable of powering 10,000 homes.

    James Billington, June 27, 2016 (International Business Times)

    “The world's biggest wind-power turbine…would be one of Earth's biggest man-made structures when fully assembled…[with a 180 meter swept area and capable of powering] 10,000 homes…[Denmark’s LM Wind Power] is readying these giant blades for Adwen's offshore eight-megawatt turbine in France, part of three wind farms that can produce 500-megawatts of energy…[The blades, which increase energy yield 1% per year, are] made from a newly developed material that can withstand harsh off-shore weather…[and conduct lightning strikes safely to ground. The huge] wind-power blades represent a big leap towards lowering the cost of energy offshore, and are also a major move towards [the new energy] future…” click here for more

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    The Landmark New York Solar Price Deal

    New York utilities and solar companies compromise on price of solar energy sold to utilities

    June 27, 2016 (The Buffalo News)

    “New York’s biggest utilities and some of the nation’s largest solar energy developers, including SolarCity…have formed an unlikely alliance to try to hammer out a mutually acceptable proposal on how much solar power system owners will be paid for the electricity they sell back to the utility…[Utilities now complain] they effectively pay solar customers higher retail prices for power they could purchase from conventional sources at a much lower wholesale price. But solar advocates say the retail price is warranted…The compromise plan would reduce the payments but also place a value on the environmental benefits of solar power and its role in helping utilities avoid having to make costly upgrades to the power grid…If it works, New York would stand out as the rare exception among states that have tackled the highly contentious issue [of net metering…A group of big industrial customers opposes the compromise, arguing it would continue, or possibly expand, subsidies for solar power at the expense of other customers…[An alternative proposal is for a ‘full value tariff’ that] would be structured much like a cellphone bill…” click here for more

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    Monday, June 27, 2016

    Dems Platform Calls For More Climate Change Science

    Democrats adopt climate change science investigation in platform

    Devin Henry, June 27, 2016 (The Hill)

    “Members of the Democratic National Committee’s platform panel have formally endorsed federal investigations into climate research at fossil fuel companies, including a high-profile probe into Exxon Mobil Corp…The platform didn’t name Exxon, but the company has become the highest-profile target for Democratic attorneys general, who are looking into claims it misled the public about the extent of its knowledge about climate change…Exxon has denied the allegations and fought back against the investigations, calling them an infringement on the company’s First Amendment rights and, as the video below demonstrates, congressional Republicans have so far protected the company]…Despite the climate science amendment — and a call to use 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 — the committee rejected a host of other environmental issues, including a call to ban fracking, end fossil fuel production on federal lands and put a price on carbon pollution…” click here for more

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    SolarCity Could Become Tesla

    Tesla applies for 6 new trademarks to sell solar energy under the ‘Tesla’ brand

    Fred Lambert, June 26, 2016 (ElekTrek)

    “…[Though the Tesla plan to acquire SolarCity and fold the solar installer’s operations into Tesla’s own business] is still contingent on board approval and shareholder votes at both companies…the automaker is going ahead with trademark applications to sell solar products under its ‘Tesla’ brand…[Tesla] filed 6 new trademark applications [that] range from solar cells and solar modules…[to] the installation and repair of solar panels…[They also cover] the monitoring of solar energy generation and the financing of solar installations…If the Tesla – SolarCity merger goes through, Elon Musk said that he plans to sell both Tesla’s current products and SolarCity’s offering under the same roof and to use the same sales force. Based on these trademark applications, it looks like it could be a possibility that the whole product line could become ‘Tesla’ badged and the ‘SolarCity’ brand would be phased out…” click here for more

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    What The Wind Industry Has Built

    Wind energy is already an American industry

    Paul Vigeant, June 26, 2016 (South Coast Today)

    “…[The United States] leads the world in land-based wind energy…More than 50,000 turbines stand along ridge lines, prairies and hilltops across the United States. Installed capacity recently surpassed 70 gigawatts — enough to power more than 19 million typical American homes — and is expected to double in the next five years…[Wind] installed more electric generating capacity last year than any other energy source in America…[and] is on track to supply 10 percent of the country’s electricity by 2020, 20 percent by 2030 and 35 percent by 2050…[E]nergy supplied by the wind is as cheap or cheaper per megawatt hour than natural gas. And the cost of wind has shown a steady decline — 66 percent from 2009 to 2014, while volatile natural gas prices have brought consumers painful price spikes…A typical wind turbine has more than 8,000 components, and those pieces are manufactured in 500 plants in 43 U.S. states…The U.S. Department of Labor projects that the fastest growing occupation in the next 20 years will be wind turbine technician, a job that requires training, but no college degree, and paid a median annual salary of $51,050 in May 2015…” click here for more

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    Monday, June 20, 2016

    Welcome To The Heat Dome

    Learn a New Climate Change Phrase: 'Heat Dome'; As the Southwest faces scorching temperatures, this phrase is dominating weather discussions.

    Jessie Guy-Ryan, June 18, 2016 (Atlas Obscura)

    “…[Behind skyrocketing temperatures prompting the National Weather Service’s Excessive Heat Warning is an] increasingly common meteorological phenomenon…[Heat domes] are created when a high-pressure system forms in the mid- to upper-atmosphere; the air pressure pushes warm air down towards the surface and traps it there, resulting in higher — often much higher — than normal temperatures…[Heat bubble] better describes the shape…[I]t’s difficult to understate the extremity of a heat dome’s effects; last year, a heat dome over the Middle East resulted in a heat index of 165º — the second-highest heat index ever recorded anywhere — in Iran…

    "This weekend’s heat dome has the potential for similar record-shattering effects [because its height is] well outside the normal climate range…As with many other extreme weather events around the world, climate change may be making heat domes more common…[ Meteorologist Ryan Maue examined climate data going back to 1953, concluded that heat domes are getting both more frequent and more extreme, and] believes the overall rise in global temperatures due to climate change has created an environment more conducive to extreme weather, including heat domes…In 2013, National Climatic Data Center scientist Jake Crouch made a similar assertion…” click here for more

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    The Crucial Concept Of Storing Solar

    How is Solar Energy Stored

    Benedette Cuffari, June 14, 2016 (AZO Cleantech)

    “…[S]olar energy technologies are easy to install, and require little maintenance compared to other energy sources…[Over 22,700 MW of cumulative solar energy is currently being operated in the U.S., enough to power more than 4.6 million average American homes but storing it cost-effectively remains] a challenge engineers are striving to overcome…Current technologies that allow the storage of solar energy include [thermal storage, or storing its heat], compressed air energy storage (CAES), hydrogen storage, pumped hydroelectric storage, flywheels, and batteries…While solar energy storage systems can be expensive, research organizations such as the Department of Energy’s Energy Storage Program and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in the United States are looking towards enhancing the development and deployment of current and future energy storage technologies…FERC has created a pricing structure called Pay-for-Performance, in which the agency regulates the electricity grid by paying storage technologies and other resources a higher price for their services, allowing for more cost-effective options to be available…” click here for more

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    Pacific Ocean Windpower Coming On

    California tries to capture offshore wind energy; Proposal off Morro Bay looks for approval

    Rob Nikolewski, June 16, 2016 (San Diego Union-Tribune)

    "…[Offshore wind, already richly developed and growing in Europe, is beginning to face the technological, economic, and political challenges on the Pacific coast…Trident Winds LLC, has applied for a lease to construct an offshore facility in California…that would dwarf offshore sites proposed along the East Coast or the Great Lakes…The company is targeting 2025 as its startup date…That's nine years beyond the expected debut this fall of the country's first offshore wind project, the Block Island Wind Farm off the coast of Rhode Island…[The Golden State lags behind because of the Pacific Ocean’s] underwater terrain…[T]he West Coast's continental shelf plunges quickly and steeply…[making largely still-unproven floating wind farms the only option. Floating] wind projects are tethered, or moored, by cables to the ocean floor…Trident Winds plans to build a floating array of about 100 [2 to 3 MW turbines 33 nautical miles off Morro Bay]...One transmission cable running along the seafloor would send electricity to the shore…Trident sees its flotilla of turbines eventually growing to a net capacity of 1,000 MW…” click here for more

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    Tuesday, June 14, 2016

    Can’t Stop The New Energy

    Cheap gas, coal won't hobble renewables: energy report

    Marlowe Hood, June 13, 2016 (PhysOrg)

    “…Renewables are set to attract $7.8 trillion (6.9 trillion euros) by 2040, nearly four times as much as carbon-based power over the same period, [according to the New Energy Outlook 2016 from Bloomberg New Energy Finance]… The impact of cheap gas and coal will be offset, it projected, by drops of 41 and 60 percent, respectively, in the price of power from wind and solar panels…[But the shift] will not happen quickly enough to keep global warming below two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), much less the more ambitious goal embraced by the world's nations last December…To achieve even the two-degree target, additional investment of $5.3 trillion in zero-carbon power—on top of the projected $7.8 trillion—would be needed by 2040, the report concludes…The energy sector accounts for two-thirds of the greenhouse gas emissions that drive global warming…Currently, 80 percent of global energy consumption is drawn from fossil fuels…China's slowing economy and retreat from coal [is important but energy demands in India] are forecast to nearly quadruple in the next quarter century…[making it the key] to the future global emissions trend…” click here for more

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    The Big Money In Combined Storage and New Energy

    Energy storage for renewables can be a good investment today, study finds; Systems that bank energy can add value to solar and wind projects.

    David L. Chandler, June 13, 2016 (MIT News)

    “…[The complicated economic and technology] decision may be critical to the future growth of renewable energy…[ Value of storage technologies for wind and solar energy by MIT researchers] shows how to evaluate the technology choices available, including batteries, pumped hydroelectric storage, and compressed air energy storage, and demonstrates that even with today’s prices for these technologies, such storage systems make good economic sense in some locations, but not yet in others…[What matters] to potential investors is the price curve rather than the demand curve…[The value of storage] varies widely by location, because of large variations in the frequency and magnitude of spikes in the price and how the solar and wind resources fluctuate over time…[Mostly] the costs of such systems don’t yet make them profitable enough without policy support…[But] market adoption already makes sense in [locations like Texas, California, and Massachusetts], and could be boosted with modest public policy support, which in turn would stimulate technological improvement in storage to encourage further growth…” click here for more

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    Saving Water Is A Way To New Energy

    Water conservation has saved energy, cut greenhouse gas emissions, study finds

    Joshua Emerson Smith, June 7, 2016 (LA Times)

    “…[During California’s initial emergency conservation program that stretched from June 2015 through February, energy savings from water conservation totaled 922,543 megawatt-hours — enough to power 135,000 homes for a year, according to [data from the UC Davis Center for Water-Energy Efficiency…The electricity saved from less water consumption [460 gigawatt-hours at a cost of $44.8 million] was substantial enough that during peak summer months last year, savings equaled the effect of all energy efficiency programs offered by major investor-owned utilities in the state combined [459.4 gigawatt-hours at a cost of roughly $172.6 million] — and at less than a third of the cost…[The emergency conservation program] saved more than 423 billion gallons of water, leaving resources stored underground or in reservoirs.” click here for more

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    Monday, June 13, 2016

    Climate Change Denial Is No Accident

    Biggest US coal company funded dozens of groups questioning climate change; Analysis of Peabody Energy court documents show company backed trade groups, lobbyists and thinktanks dubbed ‘heart and soul of climate denial’

    Suzanne Goldenberg and Helena Bengsston, 13 June 2016 (UK Guardian)

    “Peabody Energy, America’s biggest coalmining company, has funded at least two dozen groups that cast doubt on manmade climate change and oppose environment regulations, analysis by the Guardian reveals…The funding spanned trade associations, corporate lobby groups, and industry front groups as well as conservative think-tanks and was exposed in court filings last month…The coal company also…[funded] twice as many Republican groups as Democratic ones…[The now bankrupt Peabody, the] world’s biggest private sector publicly traded coal company, was long known as an outlier even among fossil fuel companies for its public rejection of climate science and action…[Environmental groups say the breadth of the funding of denial] took them by surprise…[B]ankruptcy filings from the country’s second-biggest coal company, Arch Coal Inc, revealed funding to a group known mainly for its unsuccessful lawsuit against the climate scientist Michael Mann…” click here for more

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    The Phase Change To New Energy Is At Hand

    Renewable Energy Is Now Inevitable, Energy Secretary Says, Citing Price

    Jeff McMahon, June 3, 2016 (Forbes)

    “Climate change may have inspired the clean-energy revolution, but [the plunging prices in solar, wind and efficient innovations like LED lighting have and making it ‘inevitable,’ according to] Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz…[He added that a ‘phase change’ is coming, after which] clean energy will be the norm…[Indicators he cited include] Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) in the range of 3¢ to 4¢ per kilowatt hour for wind and solar energy…[putting the levelized cost of energy for wind at] 3.2¢, solar at 4.3¢, natural gas at 5.2¢ and coal at 6.5¢…[To describe the inevitability, Secretary Moniz quoted CEO Tom Fanning of notoriously conservative utility Southern Company that it is not possible to ‘keep the waves off the beach…’” click here for more

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