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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



Your intrepid reporter


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  • Tuesday, March 20, 2018

    The Big Climate Change Legal Battle Looming

    Big oil faces big test in climate-change court showdown with SF, Oakland

    Kurtis Alexander, March 19, 2018 (San Francisco Chronicle)

    “A San Francisco judge who must decide whether to hold the world’s largest oil companies responsible for global warming is ordering up what many are calling the most comprehensive, and unusual, debate on climate change that the courts have seen…Fossil-fuel corporations including Chevron, ExxonMobil and Shell are scheduled to present their views on climate science in federal court [March 21] alongside attorneys for San Francisco and Oakland. The two cities are among several communities suing the oil giants for their alleged role in sea- level rise...U.S. District Judge William Alsup has given both sides eight questions to answer…[that] cover the basics of climate change and the latest scientific findings on what’s driving the phenomenon…Alsup appears to be searching for [ways to put on the oil companies on the record that climate change is happening and what is causing it. The cities] argue that the extraction and production of fossil fuels has heated the planet and begun lifting ocean levels above roads, homes and utilities’ infrastructure…[They] also claim that the oil and gas industries knew of the harm they were causing but sought to cover it up, much the way tobacco firms undermined research into lung cancer in past decades…” click here for more

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    Three Solar Buys To Look At

    3 Growth Stocks in Solar Energy; Growth isn't equally distributed in the solar energy industry and there are three companies that stand out from the competition, each in their own way.

    Travis Hoium, March 19, 2018 (Motley Fool)

    “The solar energy industry is on a massive growth swing, increasing installations from 7.7 GW to over 100 GW annually over the past decade…Three companies that I think have the right strategy behind them and growth ahead of them in 2018 are SolarEdge Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:SEDG), SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR), and Vivint Solar Inc (NYSE:VSLR)…[SolarEdge has] arguably been the best value creator for investors over the last few years…[R]evenue has nearly tripled since 2014 and it has generated consistent profits…[SunPower] finally seems to have a strategy it can grow with long term…Residential solar has stagnated in the U.S., but that doesn't mean Vivint Solar isn't going to grow significantly in 2018. Growth will be driven by a transition from solar leases…to cash and conventional loan sales, where cash is received upfront and the developer no longer owns the panels themselves. The financial impact is that Vivint Solar's revenue can grow even if megawatts installed stay flat…[I]nvestors should keep in mind that growth hasn't always been the only measure of value creation to pay attention to in the solar industry long term. Keep an eye on margins and profitability…” click here for more

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    New Wind Technologies To Protect Wildlife

    New deterrent system may help prevent eagle deaths caused by wind turbines

    Kale Williams, March 19, 2018 (The Oregonian)

    “Researchers at Oregon State University are working on a system [developed with the support of the U.S. Department of Energy that] uses a vibration sensor at the base of the blade, an acoustic sensor on the generator housing and a camera on the base of the tower…[T]he camera will be able to detect when a bird is approaching, determine [the type of bird,] and…the computer would trigger a deterrent in the form of a brightly colored facsimile of a person designed to play into [the bird’s] aversion to human beings…To test the system, [the researchers] used a compressed air launcher to fire tennis balls at wind turbine blades equipped with the sensors…When a strike is detected, video recordings of the moment of impact can be analyzed to determine exactly what hit the blade [to improve the detector’s] success rate…” click here for more

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    Monday, March 19, 2018

    Gotta Get Serious About New Energy

    We'll Need Another 363 Years to Completely Revolutionise Earth's Energy Systems; But we're not giving up.

    David Nield, 17 March 2018 (ScienceAlert)

    “…[W]e need a complete energy overhaul by 2050 to avoid catastrophic climate change, but at our current rate of progress…it's going to take another 363 years [according to new research]…Rather than adding 1,100 megawatts of clean energy a day, we've managed an average of just 151 megawatts…Replacing an entire planet's energy network is costly and time-consuming, not to mention politically and technically challenging…Stopping energy production from fossil fuels tomorrow would be fantastic from an environmental standpoint – but it would also leave a lot of people out of work, send plenty of companies to bankruptcy, and leave many areas without power…In other words, shifting to better energy solutions is complicated…Part of the issue is that a lot of the effects of global warming will be delayed: by the time rising sea levels, uninhabitable regions, and mass migration are right in front of us, it'll be too late to make the necessary changes…There is some hope: the progress we're making on electrifying heat production [is good and]… governments around the world are waking up to the seriousness of the problem…The opportunity to reach the necessary energy goals by 2050 may have passed, but any step in the right direction…is going to help pull us away from the worst-case scenarios…” click here for more

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    Big Money Bets Big On Plug-In Cars

    Over $1 Billion Bet on Electric Car Batteries Already This Year; Venture capital investment in energy storage has already doubled last year's total.

    Dave Partosiak, March 18, 2018 (The Drive)

    “…[This year alone, venture capital firms have poured in a record $1 billion into battery technology…[doubling] what firms invested last year…[China’s Farasis raised] $790 million in an agreement with one of China’s largest auto manufacturers, BAIC, to supply] 1 million battery packs over the next five years…This year, the number of investments in battery companies from venture capitalists is likely to hit 60, up from 37 last year. The first billion dollars have only been spread across 15 companies…[L]arger automotive manufacturers have been creating their own venture capital firms to invest in battery technology…[Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi’s new $1 billion venture capital fund will] invest $200 million a year over the next five years…A lot of this money is going into research for alternative materials…” click here for more

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    Hollywoodland’s 100% New Energy Pitch

    Study shows Los Angeles can reach 100% renewable energy by 2030 with help from solar

    Kathie Zip, March 8, 2018 (Solar Power World)

    “…[W]ith a combination of new wind and solar sources, investments in storage and energy efficiency and smart management of the grid, the Los Angeles Department of Power and Water (LADWP) can achieve a 100% clean energy system by 2030…[A] transition to an electricity grid fully powered by renewable energy can be accomplished quickly, without costing ratepayers more than they would otherwise pay [according to a new assessment]…[T]he study compares a status quo scenario with two possible options: One that relies more heavily on utility scale renewables, and one that relies more on distributed renewable energy sources, like rooftop solar…A 100% renewable plan that relies more heavily on local distributed solar energy is actually cheaper than continuing to rely on fossil fuels…[LADWP — the nation’s largest municipal utility serving almost 1.5 million residential customers and businesses — is considering] scenarios for moving Los Angeles to a 100% renewable energy grid, at the request of the City Council…[It] does not anticipate coming out with its plan until mid-2020…” click here for more

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    Tuesday, March 13, 2018

    It’s Official – Feds Find Humans Are Causing Climate To Drastically Change

    The government is nearly done with a major report on climate change. Trump isn’t going to like it

    Chris Mooney, March 12, 2018 (Washington Post)

    “The country’s top independent scientific advisory body has largely approved a major climate report being prepared by scientists within the Trump administration — suggesting that another key government document could soon emerge that contradicts President Trump’s skepticism about climate change and humans’ role in driving it…The U.S. National Academies on Monday released a public peer review of a draft document called the U.S. National Climate Assessment, a legally required report that is being produced by the federal Global Change Research Program…The final version is expected later this year…[The process highlights how despite the changing political context] technical government studies of climate science continue…The report, 1,506 pages long in draft form, says U.S. temperatures will rise markedly in coming decades, accompanied by many other attendant effects. It predicts that Northeastern fisheries will be stressed by warmer ocean waters, that the Southeast will suffer from worsening water shortages, that worse extreme-weather events will tax water and other types of infrastructure, and far more…” click here for more

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    New Energy Is Winning In The Free Market

    Is The Corporate Demand For Solar Energy Stronger Than Trump's Tariffs?

    Ken Silverstein, March 12, 2018 (Forbes)

    “…[The corporate push for renewables may be] more powerful than current federal policies and especially just-imposed solar tariffs…[Their] efforts that have not escaped even the most cynical politicians…While the movement started with Silicon Valley’s tech giants like Amazon and Apple, it has now gained a lot of traction among major retailers like CostCo., Wal-Mart and Target. And companies long a part of the American fabric are also active…[like] General Motors and General Mills…Building up the brand to appeal to environmentally-aware consumers is one reason. But so too is economics and free markets: Indeed, wind costs have fallen by 67% since 2009 while utility-scale solar has dropped by 86% since that time…Santa Barbara-based Wiser Capital has said that 83% of the small-to-mid-size company managers that it surveyed will be investing in solar energy projects by 2020…[PriceWaterhouseCoopers found 72% of surveyed companies] are pursuing renewables…[O]ne thing will remain a constant no matter who occupies the White House — the free market, which is led by consumer demand and economic opportunities. And that will eventually trump the current obstacles…” click here for more

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    Big $$$ Goes To MA Ocean Wind Jobs

    Vineyard Wind to develop nation-leading offshore wind labor pool in Massachusetts

    Michelle Froese, March 12, 2018 (Windpower Engineering)

    “…Vineyard Wind’s $2 million Wind Workforce initiative will recruit, mentor, and train local, Massachusetts residents for high-skills careers in the offshore wind industry. The program, which will be undertaken in partnership with vocational schools, community colleges, and other local organizations, is part of Vineyard Wind’s proposal to construct a large, utility-scale wind energy project off the coast of Massachusetts…[and support the Massachusetts legislature’s goal to make the state the nation’s leading center for offshore wind farm development…[It is expected that development] of offshore wind will bring billions of dollars of private investment into Massachusetts, helping to diversify and grow the region’s economy through modernization of local ports, new services such as transport vessels, ongoing research offshore, and skilled workforce training…Vineyard Wind’s proposal to construct an 800MW wind farm approximately 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard includes plans for up to 3,600 new jobs, including 1,000 new hires before 2022…” click here for more

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    Monday, March 12, 2018

    The Right Climate Change Question

    Getting Climate Change Right: In Light Of The Stars

    Adam Frank, March 9, 2018 (National Public Radio)

    “…With the right question, we could finally see how the climate crisis looming over our fate is actually a harbinger. It's the signpost of a transition for humanity as a true planetary species…The right question, however, can only be seen in light of the stars…[In the popular consciousness, this question — "Did we change the Earth's climate?" — still] feeds off political polarization and tribal inclinations…[The right question is] "What else did we expect to happen?" …In light of the stars, meaning in light of what we've learned from the universe's many, many worlds (including our own), we can see that planetary climates are a kind of vast machine. They have their own rules based on physics and chemistry…Of course we triggered climate change. We've been using planetary-scale amounts of energy to build and maintain this amazing planetary-scale project of civilization. Of course the Earth noticed…Are we to join the universe's winners who met their climate challenge and moved forward — or will we fade away with the cosmic losers too stubborn to see the truth before their eyes?” click here for more

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    New Energy Is Minnesota’s 2ND-Biggest Power

    Study: Renewable energy now Minnesota's 2nd-largest electricity source

    Elizabeth Dunbar, March 1, 2018 (Minnesota Public Radio)

    “Renewable energy is overtaking nuclear as Minnesota's second-largest source of electricity generation, while coal remains the largest source…Coal made up 39 percent of the energy Minnesota generated inside its borders in 2017. That percentage is expected to go down dramatically in the next decade after Xcel Energy retires a large portion of its Sherco coal plant in Becker…When hydroelectric was added to wind and solar generation in 2017, it surpassed what Xcel's two nuclear plants produced [according to a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance]. And while nuclear capacity is static, Minnesota has been adding new wind and solar capacity every year…Policy incentives for new solar energy facilities have been and will continue to be important to the growth of solar…Unlike solar, wind energy is at the point where it's cheaper than coal, even without subsidies. Natural gas prices also remain low…Minnesota is also importing less electricity from other states, thanks to the growth of wind and solar capacity.” click here for more

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    NY To Put $1.4BIL Into New Energy

    NY Gov Cuomo Announces $1.4 Billion in Awards for 26 Large-Scale Renewable Energy Projects, the Largest Single Commitment to Renewable Energy by a State in U.S. History

    March 9, 2018 (Office of the NY Governor)

    “…[Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the single largest commitment to renewable energy by a state in U.S. history at $1.4 billion, which will advance 26 large-scale renewable energy projects across New York. The competitive awards, driven by the Governor's Clean Energy Standard mandate, are expected to generate enough clean, renewable energy to power more than 430,000 homes and create over 3,000 short- and long-term well-paying jobs. In the face of a concerted federal assault from Washington, New York is taking aggressive action…” click here for more

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    Tuesday, March 6, 2018

    Are Climate Change Politics Shifting?

    Climate Change and the Political Landscape; How conservative lawmakers can start addressing the risks without losing their seats

    Steve Pierson and Leonard Smith, March 6, 2018 (Scientific American)

    “…[T]here remains a large disconnect between the scientific community’s view of anthropogenic climate change and that publicly held by many lawmakers. A fundamental challenge faced by some Republicans is that they cannot get too far ahead of their constituents on this issue…[But lawmakers can without risking their seat by better understanding] the science of climate change and how their districts or states may be affected…[including the] potential costs of the impacts…[and] the costs to mitigate future impacts. Given the potential consequences of climate change for agriculture, tourism, national security, fishing, insurability, extreme weather events, infrastructure and more, a representative or senator could host community meetings bringing together local stakeholders and scientists to discuss the risks and opportunities…The political ground has shifted significantly…[The Republican-led Climate Solutions Caucus (CSC)] has now reached 68 members, with equal numbers from each party by design…” click here for more

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    Good Buys In Wind Energy

    3 Top Energy Stocks to Buy in March; If you are looking for energy stocks, don't get stuck in the oil and gas market. Here are three opportunities that you shouldn't pass up.

    Reuben Gregg Brewer, Jason Hall, And Matthew DiLallo, March 5, 2018 (Motley Fool)

    “…[Renewable power producer Brookfield Renewable Partners LP (NYSE:BEP)] generated 30% more cash flow last year due to improving hydropower conditions and savvy acquisitions, including a stake in wind and solar power operator TerraForm Power (NASDAQ:TERP) for a great price. Those strong results enabled Brookfield to increase its distribution to investors by another 5%...[Though it] performed well over the past year, its valuation has fallen in recent months along with the sell-off in the stock market…[and it is] down more than 8% since the start of this year…[so] investors right now can buy this top-tier renewable partnership for an even better price and lock in a very generous 6.5% yield…[Another compelling reason to buy] is Brookfield's interest in TerraForm Power, which recently made a needle-moving acquisition that should boost that company's earnings by 24%, allowing Brookfield to increase its dividend 6% more than initially expected this year…[Vestas Wind Systems and TransCanada Corporation could also be good buys right now]…” click here for more

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