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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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  • Tuesday, January 15, 2019

    A Plan To Attack Climate Change

    Seven-point plan to help tackle growing threat of climate change: Report

    January 14, 2019 (The Economic Times)

    A seven-point plan may help policy-makers devise new, coherent and collaborative strategies to fight the greatest global environmental threats…[P]oliticians and legislators can develop a new way to tackle the growing threat of climate change…[in response to the recent IPCC report showing] that the human impacts on the environment are already tipping the world into…[the Anthropocene, a] new era is defined by the effect human-kind has already caused on Earth, from mass extinctions of plant and animal species to polluted oceans and altered atmosphere…

    [The paper argues] there also needs to be a new way to tackle the geographical, boundary, spatial, ecological and socio-political complexities of the issue…[because] there are multiple threats to the resilience of the Earth systems…[It offers no 'simple solutions', but outlines] seven guiding principles to help tackle the growing environmental threat brought by man-made climate change. These include selecting existing, robust policies to help formulate policy decisions, the need for decisions to be made consistently across regional, national and global boundaries, and a more conclusive look at the true extent that the environment is being impacted…” click here for more

    New Energy Is Reshaping The Power System

    Renewable Energy Boom Is Pushing The Grid To Its Limits, Prompting Operators To Reinvent Themselves

    Jean-Marc Ollagnier, January 14, 2019 (Forbes)

    “…[The earnings growth of many electricity distribution utilities will likely] remain under severe pressure until around 2025. The ever-growing amount of distributed energy resources (DER), such as renewable energy sources like home solar photovoltaics and energy storage, are making the grid more difficult and costly to manage for operators…[and] stagnant or even decreasing total electricity demand in some geographies is also putting additional pressure on earnings…[The 2018 Digitally Enabled Grid research] found that 95 percent of respondents agree that deployment of distributed generation is increasing at a more rapid rate than distribution companies can build needed hosting capacity in high demand areas. In addition, 99 percent of respondents believe that parts of their grid will have reached maximum capacity in the next five years…

    […In the longer term, electric] distribution utilities have the potential for a bright future, both as profitable businesses and playing a key role as a pivotal component in the future power system…[because, according to 97 percent of respondents,] earnings will grow beyond 2025, thanks to expected improvements in process efficiency and network performance as well as new sources of revenue from additional services…The key to adapting to this new landscape is for distributors to develop greater operational agility to further drive cost savings, and to pursue potential new business opportunities by tapping into digital technologies [like advanced analytics, robotics, digital twins and drones] and implementing new business models…[We advise process optimization --by implementing digital asset management, deploying smart infrastructure and supporting more connected workers…” click here for more

    Monday, January 14, 2019

    Cliches Changed By Global Weirding

    Idioms Updated for Climate Change

    Ginny Hogan, January 21, 2019 edition, (The New Yorker)

    “…[Some clichés need to be rewritten now. They include] • A rising tide floods all houses…• A bird in the hand is worth more than it used to be because they’re going extinct…• She vanished into oddly thick air!...• Stop and smell the flower…• A rose by any other name would wilt and die without water, which we’re running out of…• Can we please address the elephant in the room? Why has this elephant been displaced from Africa? It doesn’t belong in New York City…• Ugh, she’s giving me the tepid shoulder again…• There’s got to be at least one other fish left in the sea…

    • Let’s save it for a rainy day—and by that I mean let’s never, ever do it…• You can lead a horse to a dried-up reservoir, but you can’t make it drink dirt…• Who let the cat out of the bag? Please be more careful with her. She’s our last cat…• You’re on thin ice, buddy. In fact, we all are. If there’s a part of the world that still has thick ice, we need to know about it immediately…• You killed two birds with one stone! Unfortunately, those were the only two birds we had left…• Shoot for the moon, and even if you miss—damn it, we missed. Well, humans had a good run. Better luck next time…” click here for more

    Coal Country Facing The Change

    West Virginia can lead in renewable energy too

    Editorial, January 11, 2019 (West Virginia Gazette)

    “Americans use energy…We think more of it should come from West Virginia…West Virginia is the nation’s fifth largest producer of U.S. energy, according to the EIA’s State Profile using 2016 figures; second in coal, seventh in natural gas, 15th in crude oil…But any developer who proposes a new energy generation or transportation project faces strong opposition from one group or another…[H]ydropower is one of the world’s oldest sources of energy…With industrialization, humans learned how to capture the energy embedded in carbon based fuels of coal, oil and natural gas…Despite climate change concerns, the world will continue to rely on fossil fuels…But every form of energy has a cost, both financially and environmentally…

    Humans won’t go back to the old ways of horsepower. We’ve got to continually develop and improve energy production, transmission and distribution…For generations, thousands of West Virginians have made their livelihood supplying energy to the nation and the world. That can and should continue. Young West Virginians have opportunities to go into the traditional energy industries of coal, oil and natural gas, and also into renewable green energy…The challenge now is to learn how to design and build energy infrastructure that is accepted in today’s social environment of opposition…But West Virginians are up for it. Hats off to the many mountaineers — past, present and future — who take on the challenge…” click here for more

    Tuesday, January 8, 2019

    A Climate Scientist’s Solutions

    What Would An Effective Solution To Climate Change Look Like?

    Quora, January 7, 2019 (Forbes)

    “…Katharine Hayhoe, Ph.D. Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, proposed four key] climate solutions…Generate energy from clean sources that don’t produce carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases…Reduce heat-trapping gas emissions from other important sectors, like agriculture, land use change, industrial processes, wastewater treatment and more…[Use] resources more efficiently…[Suck some carbon dioxide] out of the atmosphere and put it into the soil, where it helps restore the land, or turn it into fuel, or stone, or other useful products…There’s no one silver bullet that will fix it [she said]…[B]ut there is a lot of silver buckshot…

    …[The best] buckshot are solutions that fix other things at the same time: like increasing clean energy use, which grows the local economy, reduces air pollution, and increases energy security; reducing food waste, which also tackles hunger; …educating women and girls, which reduces infant mortality, increases economic security, and allows them the freedom to choose how many children they have…[Simple solutions should be implemented] in our own lives, our homes, our communities and our organizations…Regional solutions [can be] implemented across a business, an industry, a city, a state or a province…[There are] national and international solutions as well…[W]e need all options on the table and all hands on deck.” click here for more

    A New Energy Primer

    Renewable Energy: What's True, What's False

    Kevin Krajick, January 7, 2019 (Columbia University’s State of the Planet)

    “…In Renewable Energy: A Primer for the Twenty-First Century, Columbia Business School professor and energy entrepreneur Bruce Usher takes readers briskly through the essentials…He spices it up with weird historical surprises…[like the fact that in] 1900, one-third of U.S. vehicles were electric…Renewable energy is growing faster than any other form of power, more than 8 percent annually for the past 6 years…[L]ike any commodity, consumers are going to choose primarily on the basis of price…[A] virtuous cycle in business occurs when growth in demand for a product results in economies of scale that lower manufacturing costs, further increasing demand for the product…[I]n solar power it means that the lower the cost of manufacturing solar panels, the greater the demand, and the greater the demand the greater the manufacturing efficiencies and the lower the cost, which further increases demand…

    …[T]he strongest growth is in wind and solar. Globally in 2017, wind grew 10 percent and solar grew by 32 percent…In theory, nuclear could provide cheap and emissions-free power, but today’s power plants cost a multiple of wind and solar, despite efforts to develop better plants…[Hydropower is the largest single source of renewable energy, but] most of the world’s best rivers already have dams…In the long term, [White House opposition] will have no effect on the transition from fossil fuels to renewables and electric vehicles…[But it] will have a significant long-term effect on something far more important: the planet…In the U.S., the politicized debate over climate change is overshadowing the economic fundamentals. It’s taking the country backwards…” click here for more

    Monday, January 7, 2019

    The Costs Of Climate Change Come Home

    How Much Climate Change Will Steal From Your Pocket This Year

    Joel Anderson, December 4, 2019 (Yahoo Finance)

    “…[The Fourth National Climate Assessment] presented a pretty grim outlook on the economic impacts of climate change…[It] suggested that climate change could ultimately cost different sectors of the economy hundreds of billions of dollars a year by the end of this century…[But] global warming is already costing you money and will only cost you more over time…A September 2017 report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) revealed that the Office of Management and Budget had placed the estimated cost to American taxpayers over the last decade at $350 billion, or $35 billion a year…[which is] about the entire budget for the state of New Jersey…

    …[Y]ou’re already paying more at the grocery store and those bills will continue to rise…[C]rop yields worldwide could fall by as much as 25 percent from 2030 to 2049…[driving food prices increases] as high as 84 percent…[T]he average person should expect to lose about a quarter of their income to the costs of climate change by 2100…[Millennials are] expected to lose nearly $8.8 trillion in lifetime income…[The frequency and cost of weather-related events will grow along with] your insurance bill…[Your 401k may be compromised by fossil fuel reserves] that are most likely never going to end up on the open market…” click here for more

    The New Energy Refrigerator

    Bill Gates-led fund is investing in a startup to build a cheap battery using a “refrigerator on steroids”

    Akshat Rathi, December 21, 2019 (Quartz)

    “…[To fully replace carbon-based fuels with already cost-competitive New Energy, large amounts of cost-effective energy storage is needed] for when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow…[Google-founded startup Malta’s answer is] heat pumps, chilled chambers, and molten salt…[It has] raised $26 million toward building its first full-scale pilot plant. The funding round was led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures, which was set up by Bill Gates with support from the likes of Jeff Bezos, Michael Bloomberg, Jack Ma, and Mukesh Ambani…[The Malta technology uses] excess electricity from solar panels and wind turbines to run a large heat pump…[which is] essentially a refrigerator on steroids…

    …[Malta] extracts heat from a chamber full of antifreeze-like chemicals, lowering the temperature to –70°C (–94 °F). That heat is dumped in another chamber where salt—not exactly table salt, but similar—is heated to as high as 565°C (1,050°F). These insulated chambers hold the energy until…a heat engine—essentially like a steam turbine inside a power plant—is used to convert the heat and the cold back to usable electricity…[Only about half the energy is recovered, but] the overall cost of the system could be potentially lower than one using lithium-ion battery packs…[Malta] already has interest from data centers, large industries, and the defense sector…” click here for more

    Tuesday, December 18, 2018

    The New Green Deal Is Shutdown Serious

    This is what a government shutdown over climate change would look like

    Eric Holthaus, December 17, 2018 (Grist)

    “…[The president says a border wall to limit immigration is worth a government shutdown and some say [Green New Dealers should think about climate change as an existential threat that deserves the same commitment]…The first step would be making climate change a core and unrelenting talking point of the party’s platform — and then winning elections specifically with a populist mandate to take immediate, large-scale action on it…The policy platform that has emerged from [midterm] electoral wins — the Green New Deal — has already pushed the larger Democratic Party to quickly consider positions that would have been deemed outright radical just a few months ago, like a nationwide 100 percent renewable energy mandate by 2030 and a green jobs guarantee. This kind of rapid shift in dialogue is consistent with the “moon shot” approach that scientists say is necessary to prevent catastrophic warming…

    …Highly visible groups of young people, led by the Sunrise Movement, have already made clear that they’re not going to go easy on Democratic leadership if it ignores climate change…[Policy change could emerge] if its members continue speaking with clear, moral language inspired by past civil rights struggles…Likely incoming Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi promised dialogue with Sunrise protesters, though she’s yet to agree to the protesters’ request to direct a special committee explicitly to develop a Green New Deal plan…[Senate] Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has already made clear that a Green New Deal is the only way forward…[and] Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey became the second likely Democratic presidential contender (along with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders) to endorse the idea of the sweeping program…[but it will still require a massive push from voters…” click here for more

    New Energy Beats The Market

    Renewable Energies Are Finally Becoming Cheaper Than Fossil Fuels

    Annie Qureshi, December 17, 2018 (Blue & Green Tomorrow)

    “…[Not that long ago, New Energy was] expensive and just not feasible in an economic sense…A 1994 article by Harvard Business Review suggested it might be nearly impossible…[But wind and solar] have become cheaper and more efficient…[and] the construction of coal and gas power plants is more inefficient than the new wind and solar systems…[Moving away from] fossil fuels causes unrest in many countries…[and many] economists] say the 100 percent conversion to renewable energy will cost the global economy billions of dollars…[They forget that not transitioning] will cost the world more in natural disasters and death…

    A crucial step in the reduction of greenhouse gases is the rapid replacement of coal, oil, and gas with renewable energies…The simple reason for the superiority of solar and wind power over conventional extractive industries, such as oil and gas, is that extractive models inevitably run out, increasing costs…In contrast, there is plenty of sun and wind…[T]he green energy generation model is about rising yields and falling costs…This change will be among the most significant human transformations ever, on par with the Industrial Revolution and the rise of the Information Age in the 1990s. The only thing that could kill these developments dead in their tracks is government subsidies for coal, oil, gas or nuclear power – even if this is at the expense of the planet…” click here for more

    Monday, December 17, 2018

    A Concrete Climate Concern

    Climate change: The massive CO2 emitter you may not know about

    Lucy Rodgers, 17 December 2018 (BBC News)

    Concrete is the most widely used man-made material in existence. It is second only to water as the most-consumed resource on the planet…[But cement, the key ingredient in concrete,] is the source of about 8% of the world's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions…If the cement industry were a country, it would be the third largest emitter in the world…Production has increased more than thirtyfold since 1950 and almost fourfold since 1990. China used more cement between 2011 and 2013 than the US did in the entire 20th Century…[But] emerging markets of South East Asia and sub-Saharan Africa - driven by rapid urbanisation and economic development…[will require] cement production to increase by a quarter by 2030…[Production involves dust-producing quarrying, the use of massive kilns, which require large amounts of energy, and a chemical process that] emits staggeringly high levels of CO2…

    [I]mprovements in the energy-efficiency of new plants and burning waste materials instead of fossil fuels has seen the average CO2 emissions per tonne of output fall by 18% over the last few decades…[and] digitalisation, machine learning and an increasing awareness of sustainability are all having an impact on the cement industry's culture…[But the] sector is dominated by a small number of major producers who are reluctant to experiment or change business models. Architects, engineers, contractors and clients are also, rather understandably, cautious about using new building materials…[while global] CO2 emissions need to decline by 45% from 2010 levels by 2030…” click here for more

    GE Can Beat The Market With New Energy

    General Electric May Be Forced to Bet on Renewable Energy; With many legacy businesses crumbling, GE may see a rare bright spot in renewable energy.

    Travis Hoium, December 16, 2018 (The Motley Fool)

    Despite General Electric (NYSE:GE) being a world leader in wind energy, renewable has always been…overshadowed by power plants, oil and gas, aviation, GE Capital, and healthcare, which generated more revenue and profits…[but power plants are in structural decline, oil and gas hasn't been as profitable as expected, and GE Capital is a shell of its former self…Despite being a small business for General Electric, the company's renewable energy business is actually one of the largest in the world. In the third quarter of 2018 alone, GE's renewable energy segment generated $2.9 billion in revenue, or an annualized rate of $11.6 billion, beating what some of the biggest renewable energy companies in the world make in an entire year…

    [GE] could acquire its way to dominance in solar, energy storage, and smart devices. It could also leverage GE Capital to develop and build renewable energy projects using other companies' technology…[And] it could leverage existing relationships…Housing multiple groups of technologies under one roof could help lower the cost of integration across technologies and bring unique product and service offerings to market…GE could build a solar farm with wind turbines and energy storage all on one site…[and sell smoothed] streams of electricity to utilities…If GE is profitable and has tax liabilities, it could even use the tax credits that come with renewable energy development…[The renewable energy industry could use a company with GE's scale to help it gain more mainstream recognition and grow to the scale of other energy industries…” click here for more

    Tuesday, December 11, 2018

    U.S. Emissions Trending Down This Decade

    U.S. Power Plant Emissions Down 45% Since 2010

    Lucas Davis, December 10, 2018 (U.C. Berkeley Hass Energy Institute)

    “…[T]he U.S. electric sector in 2010 was very different. Nearly twice as much power came from coal as from natural gas…U.S. power plants emitted 15 billion pounds of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and small particulates…Nitrogen oxides (NOx), small particulates (PM2.5), and carbon dioxide (CO2) are all way down [according to a new report]. But the decrease for sulfur dioxide (SO2) is stunning – down 75% since 2010. These pollutant reductions mean reduced asthma, heart disease, lung cancer, and a whole host of other significant benefits…[Economic] damages from the U.S. power sector have decreased since 2010 from $245 billion to $133 billion (in real 2014 dollars)…[That is a 46% decline, with 88% from reducing sulfur]…

    …[T]he aggregate gains are almost entirely due to lower damages from coal. Burning coal is about 18 times worse than burning natural gas in terms of local pollutants…[The damage reductions fall] into three categories…About 40% from the shift to cleaner plants, e.g., coal to natural gas…About 40% from emissions reductions at existing plants, e.g. scrubbers..About 20% from less fossil fuel generation overall, e.g. more renewables…[The report does not] causally disentangle how much of this transformation was due to cheap natural gas, versus policies like the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards or Renewable Portfolio Standards…[And damages] from the U.S. power sector are still enormous and, in virtually all cases we have still failed to put a “price” on emissions. Moreover, carbon dioxide emissions have not declined nearly as much…” click here for more

    100% New Energy Movement Rolls On

    The 100% renewable energy movement is unstoppable…This sets the stage for the debate to shift to what resources we will use to decarbonize, and how quickly we will move.

    Christian Roselund, December 6, 2018 (PV Magazine)

    “…[Cincinnati just became] the 100th municipality to either achieve 100% renewables in its electricity supply or to set a goal for 100%...[T]his is in addition to a 100% renewable energy mandate in Hawaii and California’s mandate for full decarbonization of electricity, with both setting a target date of 2045…Sierra Club estimates that 48.7 million people, or 15% of the U.S. population, live in cities or states that have set a 100% mandate. This is in addition to more than 34 million who live in Washington D.C. and four states that have pledged to reach at least 50% renewable energy by 2040 or sooner…[And] the 2018 mid-term elections brought to Congress a new group of Democratic politicians who have led a movement calling for the entire nation to move to 100% renewable energy by 2030…[Reaching just] 80% by 2030 could require an average of around 100 GW of combined wind and solar deployments each year for the next 10 years, or 5x the current level…

    [Now] the debate is likely to shift away from whether or not electricity will be decarbonized…[to] about when and how fast this will happen, as well as what resources will be included…[Xcel Energy Colorado plans] to move to 100% zero-carbon electricity by 2050…[but] Colorado Governor-elect Jared Polis is calling [100% renewables by 2040]…The nuclear industry and its advocates will fight tooth and nail to ensure that new mandates are not limited to renewables…[But nuclear technologies] currently commercially available cannot compete with large-scale solar and wind on cost…[There is also likely to] be an increased focus on changes in the transportation electrification]…” click here for more