NewEnergyNews More: November 2014

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  • Wednesday, November 26, 2014


    Here's Why People Don't Believe In Climate Change

    Natasha Bertrand, November 25, 2014 (Business Insider)

    “…[More than one-quarter of Americans] don't believe that the planet Earth's climate is changing, even though 97% of scientists believe it is…[The] most common response was that they had not noticed a change in the weather around them, and that the weather was actually getting colder where they lived [according to Believers, Sympathizers, & Skeptics from the Public Religion Research Institute and the American Academy of Religion]…The second most common response was that temperatures are not rising because of human actions, instead they are just fluctuating as part of a larger natural cycle…[though] there is plenty of evidence that humans have contributed to changes in global temperatures…The third most popular response, with 12% of deniers selecting it, is that there is not enough scientific evidence…A small minority of skeptics (4%) responded that they have alternative theories…2% said they believe God is in control and 5% believe [it is all propaganda]…” click here for more


    Solar power charging ahead in America

    Trevor Hughes, November 24, 2014 (USA Today)

    “America is building so much solar power that 10% of the country's energy needs could be generated by the sun in 15 years…[though the country presently] gets less than 1% of its energy from the sun. But the country also tripled its solar generation capacity in three years, and increased it tenfold from 2007 to 2013 [according to Star Power from Environment America]… Solar installations come in many forms, from the small panels installed above streetlights in New Jersey to the backyard panels serving homes in Vermont or the cooperative solar ‘farms’ built in the desert canyons of Colorado…Solar fans say the sun's energy is cleaner than burning fossil fuels, which contribute to climate change, and can be installed in every state…The report says the country's rapid increase in solar installations is due in large part to individual states' efforts…Last year alone, California helped customers install 620 megawatts of solar power, a 73% increase from a year earlier...[T]he rapid increase in installations has driven costs down faster than anyone expected…” click here for more


    Power Electronics Market to Rise 77% to $23 Billion for Discrete Components in 2024; Silicon will remain predominant with an 87% share, but new SiC and GaN technologies will be the fastest-growing – at 30% and 32% annual rates respectively…

    November 19, 2014 (Lux Research)

    “Power electronics – used to convert and manage electricity in devices ranging from mobile phones to pumps and motors – will grow to a market worth $23 billion for discrete components in 2024, up from $13 billion today according to Sizing-up the $23 Billion Discrete Power Electronics Market in 2024 from Lux Research…Consumer electronics and IT will account for 48% of the market in 2024, or about $11 billion… The transportation market, worth nearly $1.2 billion in 2024, will be the big driver for both SiC and GaN…[but] SiC and GaN remain a small total share of the market. For SiC, high costs will make SiC transistors less viable in many applications, while GaN's adoption will be held back by delayed product roll-outs and capacity expansions…” click here for more

    Tuesday, November 25, 2014


    The Audacity Of John Podesta; He’s driving the White House’s go-it-alone climate strategy, but will any of it stick after the president is gone?

    Ben Geman, November 22, 2014 (National Journal)

    “…The Environmental Protection Agency is at the center of [the White House climate-change] agenda, with its controversial rule to limit carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants…[It is] the administration's stated intent to go around Congress on everything from energy to immigration. And [John] Podesta is elbow-deep in it…[That] has revived the Republican criticism that Obama has a penchant for handing lots of power to people who aren't vetted by or responsive to Congress…[Podesta] has been ambitious, [but] his approach both forceful and deliberate. And he's brought to the climate agenda a level of inside clout that has been missing…But whether he has created policy that is durable—regulations and initiatives not easily unwound by a freshly anointed GOP Congress or, after 2016, a Republican president—is far less certain.

    “The White House knows this and is racing to get its new EPA rule well-enough rooted in the economy before Obama's term ends that any attempt to yank it up later would be prohibitively difficult...Podesta is on the clock, too…He has long had deep ties to Hillary Clinton, and a source close to her confirms that he's being considered for a senior role in her likely 2016 campaign…Everything shifted after Obama's reelection…[T]he White House released a broad climate policy blueprint, accompanied by…[a commitment] to imposing the long-awaited mandatory carbon-pollution standards on coal-fired power plants…To help the White House see this through…[Podesta agreed] to a short posting, which would include a strong focus on climate…[S]enior White House climate policy aide Dan Utech…credits Podesta with pushing forward the major pillars of the second-term plan…[I]ncoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is promising to [do whatever is possible to] throw up roadblocks…” click here for more


    Solar and Wind Energy Start to Win on Price vs. Conventional Fuels

    Diane Cardwell, November 23, 2014 (NY Times)

    The cost of electricity from wind and solar resources in some markets now beats coal and natural gas and the trend is accelerating, especially in the Great Plains and Southwest. The price of solar has fallen 70% since 2008 and the Midwest PPA price of wind fell over 50% in the last 5 years. Austin Energy recently completed a power purchase agreement (PPA) for solar at under $0.05 per kilowatt­hour. In Oklahoma, Grand River Dam Authority announced a PPA it said would save customers an estimated $50 million and American Electric Power tripled its wind acquisitions on the strength of low bids. Investment banking firm Lazard’s most recent levelized cost of energy (LCOE) analysis shows utility-­scale solar energy is as low as $0.056 per kilowatt­hour with subsidies and about $0.072 unsubsidized, wind is as low as $0.014 per kilowatt-hour with subsidies and $0.037 without, natural gas is $0.061 per kilowatt-hour, and coal is $0.06 per kilowatt-hour. The LCOE fails to include fossil fuel health and societal impacts, the economic impacts of fossil fuel price volatility or the increasing costs of climate change. For renewables, it fails to consider the costs to integrate variable resources into power markets. click here for more


    Energy Efficient Lighting for Commercial Markets;LED, Fluorescent, HID, Halogen, and Incandescent Lamps and Luminaires in Commercial Buildings: Global Market Analysis and Forecasts

    4Q 2014 (Navigant Research)

    “The ongoing sea change between fluorescent and light-emitting diode (LED) lighting technologies amounts to a significant disruption for the lighting industry…Due to the much longer lifespan of LED lamps, Navigant Research expects overall revenue from lamp sales to decrease in the coming decade. To avoid this inevitable decline, companies are broadening their offerings by expanding to lighting controls and lighting services. Just like the tech giants (e.g., Hewlett-Packard and IBM) of decades past had to make the shift from hardware to software and services, today’s lighting giants are becoming providers of complete lighting solutions rather than just the physical elements that emit light. According to Navigant Research, global lamp revenue is expected to decline from $18.5 billion in 2014 to $12.8 billion in 2023…” click here for more

    Monday, November 24, 2014


    Wind Energy Provides Over Two-Thirds Of New U.S. Generating Capacity In October 2014; For Eighth Time In Past Ten Months Renewables Dominate New U.S. Electrical Generating Capacity

    Ken Bossong, November 24, 2014 (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission/Sun Day)

    "…[W]ind power provided over two-thirds (68.41%) of new U.S. electrical generating capacity in October 2014…[with five wind farms] accounting for 574 MW of new capacity…[S]even ‘units’ of biomass (102 MW) [were 12.16% of new capacity] and five units of solar (31 MW) [were 3.69% of new capacity] respectively…[T]hree units of natural gas [made up the remaining 132 MW and 15.73% of new capacity, according to the latest Energy Infrastructure Update report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) Office of Energy Projects]…

    “…[F]or the eighth time in the past ten months, renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) accounted for the majority of new U.S. electrical generation…Natural gas [led in April and August]…Renewable energy sources now account for 16.39% of total installed operating generating capacity in the U.S.: water - 8.44%, wind - 5.39%, biomass - 1.38%, solar - 0.85%, and geothermal steam - 0.33%. Renewable energy capacity is greater than that of nuclear (9.23%) and oil (3.97%) combined…” click here for more


    Congress must not let wind energy jobs blow away

    Sierra Club Exec Dir Michael Brune and United Steelworkers Pres Leo Gerard, November 20, 2014 (The Hill)

    "The winds that froze Americans a week after the midterm elections could [could be harnessed to create clean electrical power and family-supporting jobs and] help solve the problems voters told pollsters most concerned them – jobs and the economy…The wind industry currently employs more than 50,000 American workers…Wind energy creates good-paying jobs for the workers who build, maintain, and operate wind turbines, and who support operations…Over 500 U.S. manufacturing facilities – including some whose workers are represented by United Steelworkers – build components for wind turbines…

    “Yet Congress has created a significant headwind for the industry by failing to renew a modest tax credit called the Wind Production Tax Credit or PTC. The PTC slightly narrows the huge divide that separates wind and subsidized traditional fuels…[Many Congressional opponents of the PTC get contributions from] Koch Industries, led by Charles and David Koch. The pair of billionaire right-wing activists has fought against the PTC through their advocacy group Americans for Prosperity…Congress has a narrow window of opportunity to extend the PTC, and if they take it, we expect it to pass with a strong bipartisan vote…We urge Congress to continue to invest in a future…” click here for more


    Report: America could power itself 100 times over with solar energy

    Chris Mooney, November 20, 2014 (The Washington Post)

    "…Staggering amounts of solar radiation strike the Earth each day; the only trick is capturing more of it…[ An Environment America Research and Policy Center report...argues that the U.S…[can] produce more than 100 times as much electricity from solar PV and concentrating solar power (CSP) installations as the nation consumes…[and] every single state could generate more solar electricity than its residents currently consume…[The map] was created by comparing technical estimates of solar potential from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory with state level electricity sales data from the Energy Information Administration…35 million homes and businesses could potentially install solar on their roofs…[Not] all of this solar potential will necessarily ever be exploited…[We] only need to exploit some of it…” click here for more

    Wednesday, November 19, 2014


    Why don't some state officials want you to read this report on 'green’ energy jobs? Report on ‘green’ energy jobs was put on ice during debate

    Dan Gearino, November 16, 2014 (The Columbus Dispatch)

    “A state agency paid almost $435,000 for a survey to tally clean-energy jobs in Ohio but never released the results…The Ohio Development Services Agency says the study went unused because it was based on dubious methods and came to flawed conclusions…Others, including experts in survey methods, disagree…[Ohio Alternative Energy Job Survey Analysis]was conducted by ICF International [and Wright State University]…Among its findings…[1] Ohio had 31,322 jobs in the state’s ‘alternative energy economy’ as of 2012, a number that is larger than other commonly cited studies…[2] More than one-third of the jobs were for goods and services related to energy efficiency…[3] Solar power was tied to more jobs (5,619) than any other renewable-energy source…

    “…[Each] could have been relevant in the recent debate over Senate Bill 310…[which] puts a two-year freeze on state standards for renewable energy and energy efficiency, and it makes…other changes that critics say will damage the state’s green economy…[O]pponents repeatedly said that 25,000 jobs were at stake, a statistic from a 2012 study commissioned by a trade group for green-energy companies. The opponents did not know that the state had paid for a survey that says the industry is 25 percent larger…The report would have hurt the case of legislative Republicans who wanted to pass the bill…” click here for more


    SunEdison and TerraForm Power Sign Definitive Agreement To Acquire First Wind For $2.4 Billion

    November 17, 2014 (MarketWatch)

    Leading global solar developer SunEdison, Inc. will become the world's biggest renewable energy development company. In partnership with global owner/operator of renewable energy power plants TerraForm Power, it acquired First Wind, one of the leading developers, owners and operators of wind projects in the U.S., for a total of up to $2.4 billion. They doubled their total addressable market and increased their total pipeline, backlog and leads to 8.0 GW, with immediate value creation for SunEdison and DPS accretion for TerraForm Power. SunEdison raised its 2015 installation guidance from 1.6-1.8 GW to 2.1-2.3 GW and accelerated timing of IDRs by approximately one year. TerraForm acquired 521 MW of operating wind and solar power plants with $72.5 million in CAFD and raised its 2015 dividend guidance to $1.30 per share, an increase of 44%. Transaction financing is fully committed and drop down growth funding is secured and there is $2.4 billion of committed bridge financing to fund the transaction, which is expected to close during Q1 2015. There is also $1.5 billion of non-recourse capital secured from six global banking institutions and First Reserve Infrastructure to fund future growth. Morgan Stanley, Barclays, BofA Merrill Lynch, Citi, Lazard, Goldman Sachs, and Marathon Capital participated. click here for more


    Navigant Research Leaderboard Report: Smart City Suppliers; Assessment of Strategy and Execution for 16 Smart City Suppliers

    Q4 2014 (Navigant Research)

    “…Interest in smart cities continues to grow, driven by a range of social, economic, and technological developments that are having an impact on cities around the world…[and] the supplier ecosystem for smart cities continues to expand. Established suppliers are moving into the market from the energy, transport, buildings, and government sectors, while startups are addressing a range of emerging opportunities. This has created a complex and dynamic market that requires suppliers to be innovative in their product offerings and in the way they engage with cities and their partner networks. According to Navigant Research, the global smart city technology market is expected to be worth more than $27.5 billion annually by 2023, compared to $8.8 billion in 2014…” click here for more

    Tuesday, November 18, 2014


    US Leads the World on Wind Energy Production

    November 14, 2014 (Sustainable Business)

    “…[T]he latest data shows [the U.S.] leads the world on wind energy production…Even though China has a third more wind turbines installed…US wind farms are pumping out 20% more electricity…accounting for over 5% of US electricity this year for the first time…Electricity from wind now powers 15.5 million US homes [while wind installations in China sit idle waiting for transmission infrastructure]. As of September, 46,600 wind turbines generate 62.3 gigawatts (GW) of energy, and there's another 13.6 GW under construction across 105 projects in 21 states…Among them is the world's biggest - the 3 GW Chokecherry wind farm in Wyoming, which will power a million homes…Besides having outstanding wind resources - the Midwest has been called the Saudi Arabia of wind - supportive policies on the state and federal levels have led to impressive growth…With this growth has come economies of scale, bringing costs and electricity prices down. Turbines have become much more efficient…Siting decisions have evolved to mitigate wildlife impacts, while increasing output…” click here for more


    Solar energy company expands to Missouri

    November 14, 2014 (AP via KSDK/Gannett)

    “Global solar energy company Sungevity is opening a new office in Kansas City that could bring almost 600 new jobs to Missouri…[The California-based company plans to make the state the home of a new sales and service center that could lead to 595 jobs in the next several years…[Sungevity] provides solar energy for homeowners. The state is working to make millions of dollars in incentives available…[and a] Department of Economic Development spokeswoman [said] the company could get more than $11.8 million from the state…Money from the Missouri Works program would be available if Sungevity meets job creation and investment criteria.” click here for more


    Wave Energy Developers Line Up for Hawaii Test Site

    Pete Danko, November 5, 2014 (Breaking Energy)

    “…[A]t least three full-scale wave energy converters, all intended to produce significant grid power when deployed in arrays, are now in line to be tested in Hawaii…[Columbia Power Technologies] signed a $3 million contract with the U.S. Navy that will support deployment of the company’s StingRAY device offshore from Marine Corps Base Hawaii Kaneohe Bay…[and the U.S. Department of Energy just] selected Northwest Energy Innovations and Ocean Energy to receive a total of $10 million to deploy devices at the same test site, on the windward side of Oahu…The Wave Energy Test Site in Hawaii will feature two grid-connected berths…[but it isn’t yet] clear when exactly the three devices…[will] go in the water…[and] there could actually be a fourth device bound for Hawaii, through another Navy contract…[T]he StingRAY and [Northwest’s] Azura are broadly similar – both are point absorbers, the most common format for deep-water wave energy generation…Ocean Energy uses an entirely different technology, known as oscillating water column…All of these devices – along with others being tested at the European Marine Energy Centre in Scotland and elsewhere – are striving against some tough odds to advance the proposition of wave energy for utility-scale generation…” click here for more

    Monday, November 17, 2014


    Solar-Energy Roadway Test Begins in the Netherlands

    November 11, 2014 (AP via NY Times)

    “SolaRoad, a project that tests roadways as a way to collect solar energy, [just started] in the Netherlands with about 230 feet of a bike path in the town of Krommenie, near Amsterdam. The path is built of Lego-like solar panels set in concrete and protected by heavy glass…[E]ach square meter of road generated 50 to 70 kilowatt-hours of energy per year, or enough for the initial strip to supply power to one or two Dutch households. The test is scheduled to run three years and will cost 3 million euros ($3.7 million)…[D]espite the high costs of developing the first SolaRoad, successor projects may be more profitable as solar cells grow cheaper and more efficient[according to Sten de Wit of the engineering firm TNO]…” click here for more


    Exclusive Pilot Program With Wind Energy Corporation Brings Clean Energy To Select Ford Dealers

    November 10, 2014 (Ford Motor Co.)

    “…[Wind Energy Corporation] will invest nearly $750,000 to install wind sail and solar panel systems at four Ford dealerships; each Windy System™ will help power dealership facilities, electric vehicle charging stations and lot lighting…[Each] Windy System is expected to deliver 20,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, enough to power two average-sized homes for a year or charge [a] Ford Focus Electric 870 times, [or a] Fusion Energi and C-MAX Energi 2,600 times each…Under a pilot program exclusive to [Ford Motor Company], Wind Energy will install wind sail and solar panel systems at [Dana Ford Lincoln, Staten Island, New York, Tom Holzer Ford, Farmington Hills, Michigan, The Ford Store, Morgan Hill, California, and Fiesta Ford, Indio, California]…Each Windy System™ includes…an integrated 7-kilowatt solar array…. Participating dealers are electric vehicle-certified and were selected by Ford and Wind Energy Corporation for both their exceptional commitment…” click here for more


    Materials for Advanced Batteries; Cathodes, Anodes, Electrolytes, Separators, and Other Materials for Advanced Batteries: Supply Chain Logistics and Market Sizing and Forecasts

    4Q 2014 (Navigant Research)

    “…[A] new wave of advanced battery chemistries is starting to significantly penetrate the stationary, portable, and transportation markets. These advanced battery chemistries include lithium ion (Li-ion), redox flow, sodium metal halide, and advanced carbon lead-acid (ACLA)…The expected growth of the supply chain is even more stunning…Total materials shipments are anticipated to increase from 304,516 MT in 2014 to 846,891 MT in 2023. The vast majority of those materials will likely be going into Li-ion batteries, which are expected to have a leading market share in all three of the major application areas: stationary, portable devices, and transportation…[O]ther chemistries will be making vast leaps in growth over the next 10 years, principally vanadium oxide and iron chromium flow batteries. According to Navigant Research, the primary component materials for advanced batteries are expected to increase from a $7.3 billion market in 2014 into a $19.3 billion market in 2023…” click here for more

    Wednesday, November 12, 2014


    Why the U.S.-China Emissions Pact Could Be a Climate Change Breakthrough

    Bruce Einhorn, November 12, 2014 (Bloomberg BusinessWeek)

    “…[U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping] announced the world’s two largest economies had reached an agreement on greenhouse-gas emissions, with the U.S. committing to a new, more aggressive target and China promising to begin reducing its carbon emissions. That’s significant because China had been unwilling to make any such promises, arguing that developed countries like the U.S. needed to take the lead…Some climate-change experts agree that something really significant has just happened…[China] has been devoting considerable resources to developing wind and solar power and is trying to reduce its reliance on the most polluting types of coal. But [it is] for the first time committing to reducing output of carbon dioxide…[O]ther countries that had been reluctant to make any pledges will no longer be able to use Chinese inaction as a convenient excuse…The fact that Xi made the announcement together with Obama is an important sign the two countries are trying to move beyond their disputes over issues…[And] Obama’s pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions at 26 to 28 percent below their levels in 2000 is an improvement over current policy…” click here for more


    Benefits of Texas Wind Energy Estimated to Exceed $3.3 Billion Annually

    Peter Kelly-Detwiler, November 10, 2014 (Forbes)

    “…[T]he overall societal benefits of the wind resource [to the state of Texas] add up to about $3.3 billion annually. The gross annual savings to consumers are estimated at $1.2 billion…The valuation is comprised of…1) A reduction in the price of energy to Texas residents, since wind displaces more expensive resources on the margin, valued at $973 million…2) A cut in sulfur dioxide (SO2) pollution, with an assigned cost of $652 million…3) A reduction in nitrogen oxide pollution, valued at $71 million…4) Minimized carbon dioxide emissions, to the tune of $1,008 million…5) Hedges against fuel price volatilities, valued at almost $61 million…6) Savings against expected increases in other fuel prices, estimated at over $491 million…

    “…[Prices are valued] in three distinct areas: a reduction in overall power prices; a hedge against price volatility; and savings against future expected price increases…Analysts can disagree on the specific valuations regarding costs to society for various avoided pollutants. But there’s general agreement among the scientific community concerning the negative impacts…The carbon dioxide cost number used in the analysis is the mid-range estimate from the U.S. government’s Social Cost of Carbon working group, while the sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide cost numbers are the median values contained in a peer-reviewed journal article by Harvard School of Public Health researchers…[I]t appears fairly clear: the economic value of wind resources to Texas is considerable…” click here for more


    Solar industry is heating up again after stumbling during recession…

    Mark Glover, November 8, 2014 (Sacramento Bee)

    "The solar power industry, viewed more than a decade ago as a game-changing, jobs-producing juggernaut in California, took its lumps during the recession…But now it’s coming back with a vengeance, both here and globally…[G]rowth is fueled partly by a sunnier economy, falling manufacturing costs, federal tax incentives and increasing consumer and corporate enthusiasm for renewable energy…[T]he U.S. Department of Energy shows that the United States currently has about 16 gigawatts of installed solar power, or enough to power more than 3 million average American homes…

    “China’s solar power supply is more than 23 gigawatts, and it has set a goal of 35 gigawatts in 2015. Japan surpassed 14 gigawatts early this year and is working toward a goal of doubling that by 2020…[Many foresee] solar’s growth path [as] similar to what the mobile phone industry experienced nearly a generation ago…[But] Japan solar investors who were betting on relatively high renewable-energy rates over the long term are now voicing concerns…[German] solar power installations have declined for two years…[though] a handful of major U.S. companies are now offering their workers substantial discounts on solar installations for their homes, making it another employee benefit like health care…” click here for more

    Tuesday, November 11, 2014


    Enlisting Wind And Solar: New Website To Track Major Clean Energy Projects At Scores Of Military Bases In 15 States; Military-focused Web Tool How and Where US Installations are Investing in Clean Energy; Projects in: AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, HI, MS, NM, NY, NC, OK, TN, TX, UT and VA.

    November 6, 2014 (AltEnergyMag)

    “…[With] renewable energy projects at roughly 40 military installations, located in…Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Virginia…the Department of Defense is leading the nation in clean energy and energy efficiency — creating jobs, reducing energy expenses and driving economic growth in communities across the country. The DoD’s leadership in renewable energy, advanced biofuels and building and equipment efficiency also helps save taxpayers money and paves the way for more wide-scale commercial adoption of clean energy and energy efficiency technologies…” click here for more


    U.S. Military Veterans Deployed into Solar

    Kathleen Zip, October 14, 2014 (Solar Power World via PV Solar Report)

    “One week per month, The Veteran Asset (TVA) offers scholarships [for a rigorous five-day solar photovoltaic training course] to qualified U.S. military veterans…[and placement efforts and assistance in launching their solar careers…TVA is a tax-exempt nonprofit 501(c)(3)organization, whose mission is helping U.S. military veterans (Active/Guard & Reserve), obtain careers in the renewable energy sector. TVA recruits, facilitates top-notch Solar PV training and ultimately provides placement services – at no cost to the veteran…The hand-selected veteran recruits are provided a 32-hour course…[at] the Ambassador Energy College training facility in Murrieta, CA. On the final day of the course, the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Entry Level Exam is proctored…[The] majority of those who have graduated the program since May 2014 have found gainful employment within the solar industry…” click here for more


    Air Force, Anti-Fracking Veteran Risks Jail, Stands Her Ground; Blockaders Arrested at Crestwood Midstream Salt Cavern Gas Site…

    November 11, 2014 (PR Newswire)

    “U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sergeant Colleen Boland (retired) [joined] renowned anti-fracking author, biologist Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D… and eight other protesters…[to form] a human blockade at the gates of Texas-based Crestwood Midstream as an Amrex Chemical tractor-trailer attempted to enter. The driver at first stopped about twenty yards in front of the protesters, then pulled up to within two feet of the human blockade and revved the engine [but the protestors stayed until they were arrested by Schuyler County sheriffs and charged with trespass and disorderly conduct]…

    “Crestwood's own documents confirm their intent to use the facility to store and transport natural gas fracked out of the Marcellus shale…[A recent study indicates] that methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and the major component of natural gas, is potentially a greater threat than CO2 with respect to climate instability…Boland served on the National Space Council at the White House, the Pentagon, and in over 20 countries including Brunei, Oman, India, Solomon Islands, Korea and Japan…[A recent Defense Department report found] climate change poses an immediate threat to national security…” click here for more

    Monday, November 10, 2014


    The Koch brothers’ underhanded attack on wind energy; The duo's anti-Obama spin on a bipartisan issue is beyond despicable

    Lindsay Abrams, November 7, 2014 (Salon)

    “…A coalition of conservative groups lead by the Koch-affiliated American Energy Alliance (and including the Koch-affiliated Americans for Prosperity, the Koch-affiliated Competitive Enterprise Institute, among others) are…urging congressional Republicans to allow a key wind energy tax credit to expire…According to the American Wind Energy Association, capacity and construction drop a full 84 percent when the wind production tax credit (PTC) isn’t available. In a letter addressed to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the groups warn that Democrats will try to extend the PTC during the lame-duck session. Forget that doing so will save jobs and promote clean energy, they argue: cooperating would be tantamount to endorsing climate action…[But unlike the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, wind] has bipartisan support…

    “Last March, 144 Congressional members, lead by Sens. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Reps. Steve King (R-Iowa) and Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa) called for the PTC’s renewal…Terry Branstad, a Republican, once wrote a letter to the Wall Street Journal calling them out for trying to politicize the PTC…Even Joni Ernst, Iowa’s newly elected Tea Party senator…has publicly supported the wind credit…The letter itself is proof that the [fossil-fuel baron] Koch brothers…fear that their cronies in the federal government aren’t on their side…” click here for more


    Here Comes the Sun: America's Solar Boom, in Charts; It's been a bit player, but solar power is about to shine.

    Tim McDonnell, Novemeber 7, 2014 (Mother Jones)

    “…By 2016, solar power will be as cheap or cheaper than electricity from the conventional grid in every state except three [according to an energy analyst at Deutsche Bank]. That's without any changes to existing policy…[Within a few years,] in most of the United States, there will be no economic reason not to go solar…In the past decade, the amount of solar power produced in the United States has leaped 139,000 percent. A number of factors are behind the boom: Cheaper panels and a raft of local and state incentives, plus a federal tax credit that shaves 30 percent off the cost of upgrading…Still, solar is a bit player, providing less than half of 1 percent of the energy produced in the United States. But its potential is massive—it could power the entire country 100 times over…[Obstacles include] pushback from old-energy diehards, competition with other efficient energy sources, and the challenges of power storage and transmission. But with solar in the Southwest already at "grid parity"—meaning it costs the same or less as electricity from conventional sources—Wall Street is starting to see solar as a sound bet…” click here for more


    Demand Response for Commercial & Industrial Markets; Market Players and Dynamics, Key Technologies, Competitive Overview, and Global Market Forecasts

    4Q 2014 (Navigant Research)

    “Demand response (DR)… was implemented [in the 1970s] as a component of the energy conservation focus of demand-side management (DSM) programs to encourage consumers to use less electricity during peak hours or to shift their energy use to off-peak times. Utilities have offered interruptible rates to commercial and industrial (C&I) customers for many years…Since 2010, C&I DR programs have matured…As DR has become a larger part of the resource base, regulators and other market participants are calling for tighter requirements to ensure reliable operations and efficient markets…[Market factors] like low natural gas prices and coal and nuclear retirements [will] affect the growth path…Currently, almost all of the C&I DR activity is taking place in the United States…[but] over the next 10 years…all world regions continue or start the pilot phase of DR and then build out full-scale markets or programs. According to Navigant Research, global C&I DR capacity is expected to grow from 26.8 GW in 2014 to 132.3 GW in 2023…” click here for more

    Wednesday, November 5, 2014


    The new GOP Senate is already gearing up to cause climate mayhem

    Ben Adler, November 5, 2014 (Grist)

    “…[Republicans] biggest win by far was taking control of the U.S. Senate…This is not good news for the climate. The party that controls the majority and the committee chairmanships controls the agenda. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will now be the majority leader. McConnell deflects questions about whether he accepts climate science by saying he isn’t a scientist and citing climate-denying conservative pundit George Will. But he is clear about where he stands on fossil fuels, especially coal…Attacking President Obama for not sharing his passion for burning carbon was central to McConnell’s reelection campaign…Republican Lisa Murkowski of Alaska takes the gavel [of the Senate Energy and Commerce Committee]. Leading climate denier James Inhofe of Oklahoma will be taking over the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and fellow denier Ted Cruz (R-Texas) will be chairing the Committee on Science and Technology…The Republicans have two top energy-related demands: stop EPA from regulating CO2 and approve the Keystone XL pipeline…

    “In the House, Republicans have voted to strip the EPA of its authority to regulate GHGs. That measure died in the Senate because of Democratic opposition…[But] Obama will make a stand on EPA authority if he must. And before it even comes to that, Senate Democrats will likely throttle any EPA authority repeal with a filibuster…Keystone is more vulnerable...Republicans won’t just pass Keystone approval on its own for Obama to veto. They will continue their strategy of attaching it to unrelated bills, from anodyne energy-efficiency measures to the budget. No one really knows what Obama thinks about Keystone, but it is widely assumed that he was happy to let it go through until activists rose up in protest. Obama would probably like to mollify his base after the midterms by rejecting Keystone, but there’s no guarantee he won’t be willing to trade it away with newly empowered Republicans…[E]xpect to see a lot of little bits of bad news for the climate and the broader environment in the budget negotiation process. EPA funding will be cut…Programs that especially irk Republicans, like those that promote renewable energy and anything pertaining to smart growth, will fare especially poorly…” click here for more


    Facebook, Politics and the Midterms

    Dante Chinni, Natalie Andrews and Matt Stiles, November 3, 2014 (Wall Street Journal)

    "The political talk about energy and the environment on Facebook may be most notable for where it [wasn’t]. There [were] no House districts in Texas or Louisiana (big energy producing states) where those topics even made up 6% of the Facebook political conversations…In Facebook’s analysis, energy and environment conversations concerned topics such as ‘climate change, fracking, renewable energy’…[The map shows] the topic largely missed areas where energy extraction is a big or contentious issue…[T]he top district for energy and environment discussions [was] New York’s sixth district in Queens, which sits far from big oil and gas territory…There [were] a few places where the chatter [seemed] more tied to larger energy/environment debate [such as Colorado where oil and gas production is a big business]…[On] the top 100 districts for energy and environment chatter on Facebook – some more obvious places appear, including North Dakota (where an energy boom has fundamentally changed the eastern part of the state) and Pennsylvania’s third, fifth and twelfth districts (where much fracking has been a big topic) and West Virginia’s first and second districts (coal country)…[But of the] bottom 100 House districts for energy/environment political talk on Facebook, more than a quarter, 26, [were] in Texas and [other] major energy producing areas…” click here for more


    Windy weekend generated 50pc of Ireland’s electricity demand, says IWEA

    Colm Gorey, 23 October 2014 (Silicon Republic)

    "Some good news came of the tail of [Ireland’s] Hurricane Gonzalo…[T]he high winds generated 50pc of the country’s energy demands through its wind turbine network…The findings by EirGrid come from a measurement of the turbines’ energy output between 6pm Friday, 17 October, and midnight on Sunday, 19 October, which resulted in a new record peak of 1,784MW at 6.45pm that Friday…Ireland’s wind turbine network [often generates] 40pc of the country’s electricity…This new record had the potential to power more than 1.15m homes across the country…” click here for more

    Tuesday, November 4, 2014


    Why Is UN Report So Certain Humans Caused Climate Change?

    John Roach, November 3, 2014 (NBC News)

    “The science laid out in [ the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's newest climate assessment ] is clear and stark: Our fossil-fueled economy has irreversibly changed the global climate…Climate change science hasn't changed dramatically in recent years, but rather firmed up as researchers investigate various questions…The new synthesis report takes into consideration thousands of newly published papers that have explored various aspects of global climate change…

    “Despite advances in observations, models and framing…[the] basic conclusions remain the same — climate change is already happening, is in large part caused by human activities, and will cause significant impacts if emissions are not reigned in…[though]the new report does provide more information than ever…Governments from around the world now will use the report to support negotiating positions when they meet next month in Lima, Peru, to lay the groundwork for a new international agreement on limiting greenhouse gas emissions…[though] they seem quite distracted by other things right now…” click here for more


    Utilities feel burned by solar-energy users

    Dan Gearino, November 2, 2014 (Columbus Dispatch)

    “…[Utilities] say their current rate structure doesn’t allow them to cover costs related to renewable-energy owners. The result, the companies say, is that the costs get passed on to other consumers… Jim Lazar, an electricity consultant in Washington state who advises regulators across the country…thinks the answer will vary depending on the political climate of each state…Utilities in most states are not yet feeling a pinch because of electricity generated by home-based systems. Fewer than 1 percent of U.S. households have renewable energy installed…

    “But as solar-panel prices continue to drop and the systems become more popular, utility companies fear that electricity sales will take a sudden dive, depriving them of the money needed to maintain the grid for everyone else…Within the industry, this scenario is often called the ‘death spiral,’ a kind of doomsday for the regulated-utility business model…[U]tility companies and industry groups are proposing additional surcharges for solar owners…[and] arguing that wealthy solar owners receive subsidies that are unavailable to the many people who struggle to pay their electricity bills…Meanwhile, ‘green’ power advocates say utilities are standing in the way of progress toward an economy that relies less on large power plants…” click here for more


    Props to a wind hero fighting for his political life. Get out the vote, Iowa! From AmericanWindEnergy via YouTube

    Monday, November 3, 2014


    “This is a fight…” From NextGen Climate via YouTube


    "There is no ambiguity" on climate change, U.N. concludes

    November 2, 2014 (CBS News)

    “Climate change is happening, it's almost entirely man's fault and limiting its impacts may require reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero this century, the U.N.'s panel on climate science said Sunday…[The final] volume of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's giant climate assessment didn't offer any surprises, nor was it expected to since it combined the findings of three earlier reports released in the past 13 months…But it underlined the scope of the climate challenge in stark terms. Emissions, mainly from the burning of fossil fuels, may need to drop to zero by the end of this century for the world to have a decent chance of keeping the temperature rise below a level that many consider dangerous. Failure to do so, which could require deployment of technologies that suck greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere, could lock the world on a trajectory with ‘irreversible’ impacts on people, like altering the male-female ratio, and on the environment, the report said. Some impacts are already being observed, including rising sea levels, a warmer and more acidic ocean, melting glaciers and Arctic sea ice and more frequent and intense heat waves…” click here for more


    US Navy, Energy Dept. team to develop wave energy devices; Agency to spend $10 million to test new technologies in deep water Navy facility

    Michael Cooney, October 29, 2014 (Network World)

    “…[T]he US Navy and Department of Energy [will] spend $10 million to test two deep-water wave energy devices [in new deep-water test berths at the Navy’s Wave Energy Test Site (WETS) off the waters of Marine Corps Base Hawaii. The advanced marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) technology] converts the energy of waves, tides, rivers, and ocean currents into clean, renewable electricity…Ocean Energy USA will test a full-scale deployment of their Ocean Energy Buoy…[which] works by harnessing the energy from air that is compressed by the natural rise and fall of ocean waves, and converting it into electricity. The Energy Department and the Navy will collect data throughout the deployment…[to validate] the mooring design and device durability in the open ocean environment, measuring power output at full scale, and evaluating the cost of energy produced…

    Northwest Energy Innovations will build and test a full-scale model of its Azura WEC device…[which] extracts power from both the vertical and horizontal motions of waves to maximize energy capture…[The test will] gather comprehensive data and evaluate how the device performs in the open ocean…” click here for more