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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



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  • Monday, October 23, 2017

    Climate Change Makes Us All Hobbits

    Forward Thinking: Lord of the Rings and climate change

    Kay Cramer, October 22, 2017 (The Daily Item)

    “…At the opening of the Lord of the Rings (LOTR) by J.R.R. Tolkien, the rising power of the Dark Lord is becoming evident…[but not in the Shire of] the quiet, gentle Hobbits…[and they] don’t want to believe the warnings or change their way of life…When the threat finally becomes explicit, [Frodo] reluctantly accepts the challenge and, working with other races (elves, dwarves, men and women, eagles), defeats the Dark Lord…[Similarly, scientists have recognized the threat of human-produced climate change for decades, [but changes in the U.S.] have come slowly and have been easy to overlook…

    Just as war finally came to Frodo and his friends, the dire effects of climate change are approaching and we need to take off the blinders and start dealing with them…It is inspiring to read stories of Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and other Pennsylvania cities and towns embracing renewable energy resources…In the U.S. House of Representatives, the [bipartisan] Climate Solutions Caucus is working to effect change…The final outcome in LOTR was mixed: the earth was saved from the evil power of the Dark Lord, but much of beauty and wonder was lost in the struggle…Our own lives will change; we will be called on to sacrifice and live more mindfully…[and] the lives of future generations will be very different…[but] we can meet the challenge…” click here for more

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    Finding A Sweet Spot For New Energy In The Markets

    Trump Isn't The Biggest Threat To The Energy Revolution

    Jeff McMahon, October 21, 2017 (Forbes)

    “…[The president] has threatened the energy revolution with a cost-recovery rule for coal and nuclear power…[and some say he] will stunt its growth through a pending trade case…[But many argue he cannot] stop the development of a clean, intelligent electric system…[because the U.S. is too far along the road] for the fundamental trajectory of the value proposition to change…But that doesn't mean the energy revolution is a lock-in either…[They say the biggest threat faced by the new energy revolution] is the need to reform regulations so they make room for new technologies while ensuring the survival of legacy players…In the face of that challenge, looming separately now in each of the 50 states, there's a worry that regulators might surrender to Newton's First Law: a body at rest tends to remain at rest…[It's proving challenging for regulators] to find ways for new parties to enter electricity markets…while simultaneously finding new revenue streams for old utilities…” click here for more

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    DOE Should Slow Its Move For Nuclear And Coal Supports

    Costly market distortions won’t improve grid resiliency

    Charles Hernick, October 19, 2017 (The Hill)

    “Energy policy in the minds of American consumers is simple: People want the lights to come on when they hit the light switch, and no one wants to pay more than necessary. Overwhelmingly, most Americans want clean energy too — irrespective of party…That’s why [the Department of Energy (DOE) moving to fast in its push for a Federal Energy Regulatory proceeding] to address questions on the need for reform, eligibility, rates and implementation [of the grid’s wholesale power market. And] it is completely unwarranted since the Department’s own grid study concluded that there is not actually an imminent reliability emergency…Winter is coming — but a tight rulemaking timeline and a policy favoring just [coal and nuclear power] is not necessary…[Hasty implementation of the proposed Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule is] a solution in search of a problem…Moreover, the plan to save at-risk coal and nuclear plants is expensive, costing ratepayers between $1 billion and $4 billion annually through 2030…” click here for more

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    Tuesday, October 17, 2017

    Top 5 Climate Change Solutions

    Top 5 things to reverse global warming

    Anna Wolfe, October 15, 2017 (Clarion-Ledger via USA Today)

    “…[Reversing global warming] will take a coordinated effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, like carbon dioxide, while deploying measures to draw down and capture carbon, like building more forests…[according to the analysis in Paul Hawken’s Drawdown. Its top five proposals are 5-tropical] forest restoration…[4-shifitng] to a diet of mostly plants…[can reduce] emissions by more than 66 gigatons…[3-using the wasted food that] drives roughly 8 percent of greenhouse gas emissions…[2-increasing onshore wind from roughly 3 percent of the world's electricity to 21.6 by 2050,] would result in a reduction of carbon emissions of 84.6 gigatons…[1-changing to refrigeration technology that eliminates] HFCs, the primary chemical used now, because it has] an up to 9,000 times greater capacity to warm the atmosphere than carbon dioxide…” click here for more

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    EVs To Lead By 2030

    World petrol demand 'likely to peak by 2030 as electric car sales rise'; Wood Mackenzie predicts global oil growth will plateau about 2035 – earlier than some previous forecasts

    Adam Vaughan, 16 October 2017 (UK Guardian)

    “…[Beyond 2025, as battery-powered cars go mainstream, global oil gasoline demand will peak, according to The rise and fall of black gold; When will peak oil demand strike?]…The UK and France have recently said they will phase out sales of new petrol and diesel cars by 2040. China, the world’s biggest car market, is mulling a similar move, which would have a significant impact on oil demand…Of the 96m barrels of oil consumed globally each day, 60m are used for transport…[The researchers say] countries that rely strongly on tax income from fuel duty, such as the £28bn the tax brings in for the UK each year, falling gasoline demand will pose a challenge for governments...Battery-powered cars are expected to have a bigger impact later…” click here for more

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    Diversity In Solar

    Making Solar Accessible For All: Key Takeaways From The Industry Diversity Study

    Pari Kasotia and Melanie Santiago-Mosier, October 16, 2017 (Solar Industry)

    “…While the solar industry performs better than most other industries [on diversity], tremendous room for improvement remains…[to increase] solar access to all communities and individuals, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, household income, geographic localities or any other factors that have historically constrained their participation in the solar industry, both as a solar professional and a solar consumer…[2017 U.S. Solar Industry Diversity Study shows an upward trend in access to solar but growth among people of color] has remained relatively stagnant over recent years…Findings also show that people of color lag behind in gaining management and executive-level positions, as well as in earning wages at the highest wage bracket. The findings are gravest for women of color, who are grossly excluded from the highest-wage category…” click here for more

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    Monday, October 16, 2017

    Worse Than ‘The New Normal’

    This Isn’t ‘the New Normal’ for Climate Change — That Will Be Worse

    David Wallace-Wells, October 11, 2017 (New York Magazine)

    “…For years, we’ve conceived of climate change in terms of sea level, meaning it was often possible to believe its devastating impacts would be felt mostly by those living elsewhere, on the coasts; extreme weather seems poised to break that delusion, beginning with hurricanes. And then the unprecedented California wildfires broke out over the weekend, fueled by the Diablo Winds…It is tempting to look at this string of disasters and think, Climate change is here…[As much as 30 percent of the strength of hurricanes is] attributable to climate change, and wildfire season [is] both extended and exacerbated by it…But the truth is actually far scarier than ‘welcome to the new normal.’

    The climate system we have been observing since August, the one that has pummeled the planet again and again and exposed even the world’s wealthiest country as unable (or at least unwilling) to properly respond to its destruction, is…a beyond-best-case scenario for warming and all the climate disasters that will bring. Even if, miraculously, the planet immediately ceased emitting carbon into the atmosphere, we’d still be due for some additional warming, and therefore some climate-disaster shakeout…But of course we’re very far from zeroing out on carbon…” click here for more

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    New Energy To The Rescue

    For clean-energy jobs, sky's the limit…Renewable energy jobs, most of which are in wind and solar, grew by 16 percent to around 6,200 in Minnesota from 2015 to 2016…

    Mike Hughlett, October 16, 2017 (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

    “…As wind and solar energy have grown, they’ve created a tide of jobs nationwide in fields from construction to manufacturing. Renewable energy jobs, most of which are in wind and solar, grew by 16 percent to around 6,200 in Minnesota from 2015 to 2016, according to [Minnesota’s clean energy sector is substantial, with 57,351 clean energy jobs located across the state]…A wind building boom is expected to continue over the next five years. Solar should grow, too, even though its immediate future is clouded by threats of heavy U.S. tariffs on solar equipment imports, which would ratchet up the industry’s costs…The growth of wind and solar — along with a huge build-out of natural gas-fired power plants — is also eliminating jobs in some traditional energy sectors. U.S. coal mining jobs have plummeted as power companies move away from coal-based generation…The state’s community and technical colleges, which Peterson represents, have been beefing up wind and solar energy offerings…Wind and solar energy have taken off because of a combination of falling costs for equipment, federal tax breaks and environmental concerns. Coal plants are a major emitter of greenhouse gases, while wind and solar produce none. And while President Donald Trump has been championing coal, utilities are expected to keep moving to more renewable energy sources…” click here for more

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    How Rooftop Solar Cuts Everybody’s Power Bills

    How rooftop solar is saving billions on energy bills for all consumers

    Giles Parkinson, 16 October 2017 ReNew Economy)

    “…[Without rooftop solar, the aggregate cost of electricity in the Australian state of New South Wales] would have been several billion dollars higher over the past year…[Impact of small solar PV on the NSW wholesale electricity market] reinforces previous estimates of the broad benefits of the more than 6GW of rooftop solar installed on more than 1.7 million household and business rooftops…That capacity is often demonised by vested interests as ‘free-loading’ on the network and other consumers, but the study proves otherwise…[In] NSW alone the savings from rooftop solar – by reducing demand at crucial times and challenging the dominance of the big generators in the wholesale market – were between $2.3 billion and $3.3 billion in the 12 months to April, 2017…That’s how much the wholesale price is lowered from what it would have been if rooftop solar was not present in the market. Even though rooftop solar only provides 2 per cent of total generation, the study found it clipped prices by $29-44/MWh – up to 50 per cent higher than the actual price…” click here for more

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    Tuesday, October 10, 2017

    Why Tariffs On Solar Will Backfire On The President

    Trump Is About to Stifle U.S. Solar Power. Why?

    Justin Talbot-Zorn, October 9, 2017 (Fortune)

    “…[The president has reportedly] lashed out at his senior economic advisers for their tepidness on trade policy…[and demanded protectionist tariffs]… But the looming solar tariffs aren’t about industrial jobs or Chinese competition or trade fairness—they’re about protecting fossil fuel interests and blocking Americans from harnessing the power of the sun…While it’s conceivable that tariffs could lead to some new domestic panel production, it is clear is that prices for most solar installations would rise, driving demand for new solar down just when the] world has been banking on residential, commercial, and utility-scale solar as important drivers of U.S. emissions reductions…[Instead of promoting domestic job creation and economic growth,] solar tariffs would be self-defeating…[They may seem like] a chance to look tough on China and other big manufacturing competitors while giving a gift to political supporters in the fossil fuel industry…But on a closer look, restricting the growth of solar would present [the president] with some serious headaches…[M]any red state Republicans will wince at the local job losses…Even the Heritage Foundation, the Koch-backed American Legislative Exchange Council, and other right-wing organizations have joined environmental groups in opposing the tariffs…” click here for more

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    Private Sector Seizes Wind Opportunity

    As Federal Support Wanes, Private Industry May Fuel Next Generation Of Wind Power Technology

    Amy Mayer, Octobger 9. 2017 (NPR Morning Edition/KCUR-Iowa)

    “…[A] chill around federal funding for renewable energy has researchers increasingly turning to industry partners to bring the next generation of innovation to the marketplace…[Wind power is now over 6% of the U.S. installed electric generation capacity and] researchers continue striving for ways to expand its reach, even as the funding for their work becomes less available…[An Iowa State University researcher on wind turbine acoustics was recently awarded] a half-million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation and additional support from the state of Iowa…[With] the maturation of the industry and the changing priorities of the federal government, the Department of Energy proposed budget would make further reductions to all renewable energy programs, including wind…Even with diminishing federal support, the wind industry continues to grow [and researchers are counting on the companies that value it to step with support for their work on innovation]…” click here for more

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    The EV Boom Needs 1000s More Plugs

    NREL Evaluates National Charging Infrastructure Needs for Growing Fleet of Plug-In Electric Vehicles

    October 4, 2017 (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

    “…Sales of PEVs—which include plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and all-electric vehicles (EVs)—have surged recently. Most PEV charging occurs at home, but widespread PEV adoption would require the development of a national network of non-residential charging stations. Strategically installing these stations early would maximize their economic viability while enabling efficient network growth as the PEV market matures…[According to National Plug-In Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Analysis from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory,] a few hundred corridor fast-charging stations could enable long-distance EV travel between U.S. cities. Although many of these early-market stations could be underutilized at first, NREL’s analysis of driving patterns and vehicle characteristics suggests how corridors could be prioritized and station spacing set to enhance station utility and economics…About 8,000 fast-charging stations would be needed to provide a minimum level of urban and rural coverage nationwide. In a PEV market with 15 million vehicles, the total number of non-residential charging outlets or ‘plugs’ needed to meet urban and rural demand ranges from around 100,000 to more than 1.2 million…” click here for more

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    Monday, October 9, 2017

    Research Shows Feedback Loop Accelerating Climate Change

    One of the oldest climate change experiments has led to a troubling conclusion

    Chris Mooney, October 5, 2017 (Washington Post)

    “…[C]limate change doubters and skeptics may be right that computer simulations and data models don’t tell the whole story. A peer-reviewed 26-year record of observational data in Long-term pattern and magnitude of soil carbon feedback to the climate system in a warming world] reinforces fears about the possibility of a climate change “feedback” involving the planet’s soils, one that could pile on top of and substantially worsen the ongoing warming trend triggered by the burning of fossil fuels…Starting in 1991, a team of researchers have been studying the same 18 plots of forest soil in the Harvard Forest in Massachusetts. Six of the plots are entirely undisturbed, representing the natural state of the forest floor; six are artificially heated through underground cables to 5 degrees Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit) above the normal temperature; and six are ‘disturbed,’ meaning that they contain heating cables, but the cables are not actually powered, so the temperature is not altered…[The latest update of the findings showed] that 17 percent of the carbon has now been lost from the upper layer of soil of the heated plots over the period of the study. Extrapolating to the scale of the planet, the researchers suggest, that could be a big deal…” click here for more

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    Solar Growth Leads The World

    Solar energy is fastest growing source of power

    October 4, 2017 (Associated Press via USA Today)

    “…[S]olar energy was the fastest-growing source of power last year, accounting for almost two-thirds of net new capacity globally…[T] he rise was due to a boom in photovoltaic panel installations, particularly in China, thanks to a drop in costs and greater support from governments [according to the International Energy Agency’s Renewables 2017]…It is the first time that solar energy growth surpasses any other fuel as a source of power. Coal, in particular, had continued to grow in recent years despite global targets to reduce carbon emissions…[The Agency] said solar panels capacity grew 50% last year, with China accounting for almost half the expansion. The country has become a leader in renewable energy production, with the United States the second-largest market.” click here for more

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