NewEnergyNews More: December 2015

NewEnergyNews More

Every day is Earthday.

Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart



Your intrepid reporter


    A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.


Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

  • ---------------
  • Wednesday, December 23, 2015


    Poll: Post Paris Deal, Most Republicans Back Action On Climate Change

    Jacky Nagelen, December 22, 2015 (Reuters via Newsweek)

    “A majority of U.S. Republicans who had heard of the international climate deal in Paris said they support working with other countries to curb global warming and were willing to take steps to do so, according to a [Deccember 22] Reuters/Ipsos poll…The desire for action is notable for an issue that has barely made a ripple on the campaign trail among 2016 Republican presidential candidates…though Democratic candidates, such as Hillary Clinton, have welcomed it...More than half, or 58 percent, of Republicans surveyed said they approved of U.S. efforts to work with other nations to limit global warming…Forty percent said they would support a presidential candidate who did so…[Sixty-eight percent] either somewhat or strongly agree that they are willing to take individual steps…Republicans surveyed were split on whether they would support a candidate who believes climate change is primarily man-made, with 30 percent saying they would vote for such a candidate and 27 percent saying they would not…Republicans were less enthusiastic about fighting climate change than Democrats, but more willing to address it than the party's presidential candidates. Ninety-one percent of Democrats approve of the United States taking action…” click here for more


    Wind Energy Is Actually Booming in the US. You Just Have to Look for It.

    December 22, 2015 (VICE News)

    “…Wind now accounts for 70 gigawatts of the nation's generation capacity, which is enough to power 19 million households. Fifty thousand turbines are now in operation in the United States and costs have dropped 66 percent in the last six years…Wind energy contributes as much as 5 percent of the nation's electrical supply and…73,000 jobs across 50 states…Wind energy generation is highest in the Midwest, the Great Lakes region, and the Northeast, with big boosts occurring in the Southeast. Job creation has been distributed across the country even in regions without wind turbines…[M]anufacturing the blades and other components of wind energy systems is employing 20,000 people nationwide. …Three states — Iowa, South Dakota, and Kansas — already get over 20 percent of their electricity from wind power…” click here for more


    Solar energy from discarded car batteries; A new MIT development could benefit both the environment and human health.

    Nancy W. Stauffer, December 22, 2015 (MIT News)

    “MIT researchers have developed a simple procedure for making a promising type of solar cell using lead recovered from discarded lead-acid car batteries…As new lead-free car batteries come into use, old batteries would be sent to the solar industry rather than to landfills. And if production of this new, high-efficiency, low-cost solar cell takes off…manufacturers’ increased demand for lead could be met without additional lead mining and smelting. Laboratory experiments confirm that solar cells made with recycled lead work just as well as those made with high-purity, commercially available starting materials…Much attention in the solar community is now focused on [this] emerging class of crystalline photovoltaic materials called perovskites. The reasons are clear: The starting ingredients are abundant and easily processed at low temperatures, and the fabricated solar cells can be thin, lightweight, and flexible — ideal for applying to windows, building facades, and more. And they promise to be [15% to 20% efficient, which matches today’s silicon-based solar cells]…”click here for more

    Tuesday, December 22, 2015


    Report card shows which states are best prepared for climate change; Readiness for extreme heat, droughts, wildfires, flooding among factors considered

    Thomas Sumner, December 22, 2015 (Science News)

    “…[S]ome U.S. states are better prepared for climate change threats than others… [According to States at Risk; America’s Preparedness Report Card, eighteen states got an overall D or worse…on factors such as extreme heat, summer droughts, wildfires and flooding. The letter grades are tabulated by comparing what precautionary steps a state has taken relative to the climate threats it is expected to face in the future…California was the only state with a far-above-average level of preparedness for coastal flooding as sea levels rise. The top five states on the list are [California, New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut]…Arkansas earned itself a dunce cap, with three F grades and a D. The state has taken fewer actions to prepare for wildfires than any state studied despite having more than 1.3 million residents living in areas with an elevated wildfire risk…The five states with the lowest grades [are Missouri, Mississippi, Nevada, Texas, and Arkansas]…” click through for interactive map


    What Just Happened in Solar Is a Bigger Deal Than Oil Exports; The impact: $73 billion in new investment in the U.S.

    Tom Randall, December 17, 2015 (Bloomberg News)

    “The clean-energy boom is about to be transformed. In a surprise move, U.S. lawmakers agreed to extend tax credits for solar and wind for another five years. This will give an unprecedented boost to the industry and change the course of deployment in the U.S…The extension will add an extra 20 gigawatts of solar power—more than every panel ever installed in the U.S. prior to 2015, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF)…The wind credit will contribute another 19 gigawatts over five years. Combined, the extensions will spur more than $73 billion of investment and supply enough electricity to power 8 million U.S. homes…By the time the new tax credit expires, solar and wind will be the cheapest forms of new electricity in many states across the U.S…

    “The tax credits, valued at about $25 billion over five years, will drive $38 billion of investment in solar and $35 billion in wind through 2021…Stocks soared. SolarCity, the biggest rooftop installer, surged 34 percent yesterday. SunEdison, the largest renewable-energy developer, climbed 25 percent, and panelmaker SunPower increased 14 percent…[The tax credits came as] part of a broader budget deal that also lifts the 40-year-old ban on U.S. oil exports…” click here for more


    Ford Adds Another $4.5 Billion To Its Electric Car Ambitions

    Kristen Korosec, December 10, 2015 (Fortune)

    “Ford is betting big on electric vehicles by promising to invest another $4.5 billion and add 13 new electric cars to its lineup by 2020 along with expanding research into batteries... In just five years, more than 40% of the company’s models will come in electrified versions…The 2017 Ford Focus Electric, the first of the 13 new electric cars, will start production late next year with a battery that has a 100-mile range. The vehicle will also be able to charge to 80% in 30 minutes, about two hours faster than the current model Focus Electric. This will be the first Ford electric car to have a fast-charging capability…Ford currently sells three electric cars: the Focus is all-electric, the Fusion is available as a hybrid and plug-in hybrid, and C-Max is available as a hybrid and plug-in hybrid…[but] has already started to expand its electric vehicles research and development program…By 2020, most major automakers will have an all-electric vehicle—or more plug-in hybrids— in their car lineups…” click here for more

    Monday, December 21, 2015


    Taking on the Critics of the COP21 Agreement

    December 21, 2015 (The TakeAway via WNYC/PRI radio)

    "When he first ran for president in 2007 and 2008, then-Senator Obama promised action on climate change…A number of Obama cheerleaders were disappointed with the president's environmental record in his first term, particularly after what many described as a disastrous deal in Copenhagen, in 2009…But the deal struck earlier this month in Paris meets at least some of the ambition Obama seemed to promise before he took office…

    click to listen

    “Now comes the hard part: Implementing it…The Paris climate change agreement is based on voluntary pledges by many different countries to cut carbon emissions. Critics may say this makes the agreement unenforceable, but Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, says that doesn't mean it is doomed to fail…Sachs believes the Paris agreement is a ‘diplomatic triumph’…[and] nations around the world can meet these voluntary pledges…[if they and] U.S. politicians can find the political will to stick to the agreement…” click here for more


    Solar energy catches a break; developers who raced to qualify for tax credits before the end of 2016 get 5 more years

    Christopher Martin, December 20, 2015 (Bloomberg News)

    “A U.S. tax break for solar energy [just] approved by Congress…will slow growth next year by about 24 percent – and that’s great for the industry…[The five-year extension of solar’s 30% federal investment tax credit (ITC) will ease pressure on developers racing to prepare for its expiration at the end of 2016 and avoid the inflated costs that would have come from such a rush to build. A near-term decline] will be more than offset by increased spending over the next several years…[The ITC extension] will drive about $38 billion of investment in solar power through 2021…Congress agreed to the renew the credit as part of a broader budget deal that also included a retroactive extension of the production tax credit for wind power that expired at the end of 2014. That’s now expected to lead to an additional $35 billion in wind investments…” click here for more


    American wind power breezes past 70-gigawatt milestone

    December 21, 2015 (American Wind Energy Association)

    “American wind power just passed the 70 gigawatt (GW) mark, meaning enough wind turbine capacity is now installed to supply over 19 million typical American homes with low-cost electricity…[It also means there’s now enough wind power installed in America to light the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree for over 440,000 years…[or] drive 26 million electric cars around the world…Last week, Congress passed a multi-year extension of the performance-based PTC and alternative Investment Tax Credit as part of the government spending bill, securing the predictable business environment needed to keep U.S. factories open and further scale up American wind power…There are currently over 50,000 operating wind turbines in the U.S., at more than 980 utility-scale wind farms across 40 states and Puerto Rico…[A recent Department of Energy study found] wind energy is poised to double from nearly five percent of U.S. electricity today to 10 percent by 2020, and double again to 20 percent by 2030…” click here for more

    Wednesday, December 16, 2015


    Porter Ranch Residents Seek More Info on Gas Leak; As a gas leak in the area edges toward a second month, residents say they are not getting enough information.

    John Cadiz Klemack, December 15, 2015 (NBC News)

    “Nearly two months after methane began leaking out of a natural gas storage facility above Porter Ranch, residents are frustrated at the slowness of repairs and what they have described as a lack of communication and information, especially when it comes to health concerns…One of the law firms representing residents against Southern California Gas Company…has arranged for six [air quality sampling canisters to be placed around the community] with another six expected — to share data of what residents have been breathing for the 53 days…[Famed citizen-advocate and environmental advocate Erin Brockovich has been helping with the effort and is consulting with law firm Weitz & Luxenberg, which] may be handling part of the likely legal fallout from the ongoing gas leak…[SoCal Gas said it has already been] using the same canisters as well as other technology — and sharing the twice-daily air samples on its website for residents. The company said those samples continue to show readings the EPA deems not harmful…” click here for more


    Congress strikes deal to extend wind, solar tax credits and lift oil export ban

    Gavin Bade, December 16, 2015 (Utility Dive)

    “House Republicans unveiled a broad spending and tax legislation package…[The tax extenders legislation] includes multi-year extensions for [for wind energy's $0.023/kWh production tax credit (PTC) and solar energy’s 30% federal investment tax credit (ITC) and lifts] the 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports from the U.S…[If passed, the would extend the wind PTC] through 2020 and would decline in value each year after December 2016 until it is phased out entirely. The solar ITC would be drawn down gradually through 2022…

    “…[The] legislation was paired with a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September 2016…When Congress failed to extend the wind PTC in 2013, development fell 92% and 30,000 wind industry jobs were lost. The 2014 restoration brought back 23,000 jobs…Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates that [solar] deployment would amount to 73 GW by 2022 without the ITC, but a five-year extension would result in 95 GW of installed capacity in that period…” click here for more


    Disclosures on fracking lacking, study finds; Firms withholding chemical reports at higher rate

    Liz Mineo, December 15, 2015 (Harvard Gazette)

    “As the growth of hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking,’ transforms more rural landscapes across the heartland into industrial zones, companies are less willing to disclose the chemicals they inject into the ground…[T]he process of extracting oil and gas from shale beds ― has emerged as a dominant, if controversial, force, bringing jobs and wealth to many communities but also spreading unease about its environmental impacts, notably water contamination. Companies drill into the Earth and inject at extreme pressure a mix of water, sand, and chemicals to fracture rock and release oil or gas…28 states require companies to report the chemicals they use…But the amount of information withheld has increased the past three years…An earlier report by the federal Environmental Protection Agency found that between 2010 and 2012, 11 percent of the chemicals used in fracking were unreported…[Hydraulic fracturing chemicals reporting: Analysis of available data and recommendations for policy makers from Harvard] found that between 2012 and April 2015, that rose to 16.5 percent…” click here for more

    Tuesday, December 15, 2015


    A natural gas leak with seemingly no end

    Ingrid Lobet, December 14, 2015 (NPR/Marketplace)

    "A giant stream of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is blowing hundreds of feet into the air in Los Angeles County for the seventh week…[The California Air Resources Board says it is already 25% of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. It] cancels out hundreds of smaller efforts over more than a decade to clamp down on escapes of the…far more powerful climate-warming gas than carbon dioxide…[This] has created a high risk work environment for those trying to extinguish the leak. And many residents of nearby Porter Ranch say an additive in the gas is making them ill…

    “Pilots flying low have been told by the Federal Aviation Administration to stay clear of the plume for fear of igniting the vapors. More than 1,800 families have sought relocation due to the fumes. Southern California Gas Co. officials say it will be months before the [gas pouring out of the ground near a damaged storage well can be stopped. Experts] say this is the biggest, most complex leak that they have ever seen…All the methods the company has tried so far to kill the well have failed. Now experts who fought the Kuwait oil field fires have joined the effort. The safety of the some 100 workers on the site is also a concern…[On some days, the company cannot perform certain work because of the gas’s volatility]…” click here for more


    Paris Climate Change Deal Could Spell The Beginning Of The End Of The Fossil Fuel Age

    Mike Scott, December 13, 2015 (Forbes)

    “…[Although many say it falls short of the ideal, the historic climate change agreement just reached in Paris] may come to be seen as the beginning of the end of the fossil fuel age [if its lack of enforceability is overcome by the spur it gives the private sector]…There are three elements…[1] An enduring, legally binding treaty on climate action which contains emission reduction commitments from 187 countries starting in 2020. It will enter into force once 55 countries covering 55% of global emissions have acceded to it…[2] The COP (Conference of the Parties) agreed a set of decisions with immediate effect to accelerate climate action and to prepare for the implementation of the Paris Agreement once it enters into force…[3, and] the large number of commitments for additional action to reduce emissions and increase resilience were made by countries, regions, cities, investors, and companies…

    “The agreement to limit average temperature rises to ‘well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels’ was more ambitious than had been expected and is a significant victory for the Association of Small Island States…” click here for more


    How the buildings we live in add to the threat from global warming

    Jennie Jarvie, December 9, 2015 (LA Times)

    “…From urban high-rises to squat suburban malls, buildings are responsible for about 40% of global energy use and 30% of greenhouse gas emissions…[and] this amount could be significantly reduced by introducing relatively simple new practices and technologies…Most of the average building's emissions come from everyday needs: to warm and cool our environment, provide light, cook food [and surf] the Internet…To achieve the goal of preventing global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius — 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit — experts say improving buildings' energy efficiency is crucial…[There is] much potential for long-term, cost-effective cuts in greenhouse gas emissions: Energy consumption in new and old buildings could be reduced by an estimated 30% to 80% by harnessing existing technologies…[if consumers change] their habits…In developed nations, the priority is retrofitting old buildings and making them more efficient: installing double-pane windows, insulating walls and roofs, upgrading to LED lighting…In developing nations, the focus centers more on utilizing modern technology to design sophisticated new structures that introduce natural light and ventilation, as well as installing [rooftop solar panels and geothermal technology]…” click here for more

    Monday, December 14, 2015


    Why energy efficiency is the cheapest path to climate action

    David Labrador, December 9, 2015 (GreenBiz)

    “…[E]nergy efficiency can be a low-cost pathway to keeping global warming to the critical 2 degrees Celsius mark [according to How Energy Efficiency Cuts Costs for a 2-Degree Future from Fraunhaufer ISI and ClimateWorks. The detailed study of the world’s largest and fastest-growing economies] finds that, by leveraging energy efficiency as a significant complement to decarbonizing the energy supply, those countries can realize savings of $2.8 trillion and achieve a net-zero cost to society by 2030 while still achieving decarbonization and minimizing climate change…[It] compared a business-as-usual pathway with an energy-intensive pathway, which included limited energy efficiency, and an energy-efficient pathway, which was much more efficiency-intensive…” click here for more


    Anti-wind power groups full of hot air

    Gabe Elsner, December 14, 2015 (The Hill)

    “…[F]ossil fuel-funded special interest groups like Americans for Prosperity are working to mislead the public and elected officials regarding the wind industry…The wind PTC and solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) have fueled a new American energy industry, with which AFP’s fossil fuel beneficiaries do not want to compete. Instead, the fossil fuel industry funds front groups to push their political goals…[as documented in Attacks on Renewable Energy Policies. The] Production Tax Credit has helped spark technological innovation, expand high-tech manufacturing in the United States, and create jobs. As a result of the tax break and good, old-fashioned American ingenuity, wind’s costs have fallen 66% in the last six years…[The PTC and ITC] can speed the transition from fossil fuels to clean technology while supporting private sector investment and economic opportunity…All forms of energy in the United States benefit from federal incentives…Overall taxpayer handouts for dirty fossil fuels like oil, gas, and coal dwarf the incentives provided for renewable energy and energy efficiency deployment…” click here for more


    Nevada lands $1 billion Faraday electric car plant

    Seth A. Richardson, December 11, 2015 (Reno Gazette Journal via USA Today)

    “…Nevada appears to have reeled in another factory project from a huge California-based automotive startup…[Electric car company Faraday Future] wants to bring a proposed $1 billion factory to North Las Vegas…[T]he state has put together a $335 million incentives package to lure the automaker…The deal would bring 4,500 direct jobs to southern Nevada with an average wage of $22 per hour as well as 9,000 indirect jobs…Not much is known yet about Faraday. It is based in a Los Angeles suburb, has several former Tesla executives in top positions and appears to be backed by a Chinese billionaire. It is expected to show its first model at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next month…The $335 million deal to bring the proposed 3 million square-foot facility to Southern Nevada includes around $215 million in tax incentives and $120 million in infrastructure spending…Faraday agreed to invest $1 billion into the state to qualify…” click here for more

    Wednesday, December 9, 2015


    How Climate Change Deniers Are Trying to Derail the Paris Talks; The GOP is making its presence felt at the conference.

    Jonathan M. Katz, December 8, 2015 (Mother Jones)

    “…To troll [the last week of the Paris climate talks], the climate change deniers at the Heartland Institute…[staged] a ‘counter-conference’…While there are intense arguments about how to address climate change, there is no real debate among scientists about the core facts: Human contributions to the greenhouse effect are making the Earth hotter, which is bad for life. We can already see it happening…Which is probably why the denial event drew such a paltry crowd…[And yet, top EU negotiator, Spain's Miguel Arias Cañete, signaled that he is giving up fighting for an international agreement because of] the US GOP…[C]limate negotiators here know better than anyone that the Republican Congress will not approve any climate change deal President Barack Obama puts in front of them…[C]limate change deniers seem confident they're having an effect on the deal, and by extension the future of the planet...[At the Heartland conference, Sen. Jim Inhofe, the chair of the US Senate Environment and Public Works committee, gloated] that the Paris talks would fail…” click here for more


    EDPR, Bloomberg Announce N.Y.'s Largest Corporate Wind Energy Buy

    8 December 2015 (North American Windpower)

    “…[EDP Renewables] secured a 20-year power purchase agreement from Bloomberg LP, a global business and financial information company, for 20 MW of wind power that will be used to offset the energy use of Bloomberg's New York offices…According to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the deal is the largest wind energy purchase by a corporation on record in New York State…Bloomberg has agreed to buy over 25% of the energy generated by the 79 MW Arkwright Summit wind project in Chautauqua County, N.Y. The project will feature 44 wind turbines…The Arkwright Summit project is located less than 30 miles from the retired BPU Jamestown Coal Plant, one of more than 205 U.S. coal-fired power plants that have been retired in the past five years as part of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign, in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies…Coupled with previously announced renewable energy projects, Bloomberg will power 51% of its New York State energy needs from clean energy sources once the Arkwright Summit project is complete…” click here for more


    Find out if your house is a good candidate for solar energy; Sun, space and location can determine if your home can be updated with solar panels.

    Lina Bradford, December 8, 2015 (C/NET)

    “…Not every home is the ideal candidate for a solar energy update…Here are some tips to help you decide if solar energy is a viable option for your home…Check with Google’s [ Project Sunroof ]to see if the house has unobstructed access to the sun's rays for most or all of the day…[Or] go outside and check a few times throughout the day…Next, find out how many days of sun your area of the country gets per year…[with] solar maps provided by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory…[Also, if your only available roof area for solar panels is north-facing] your home may not be a good candidate…Check to see if you have enough room for the panels you need…[to get the] electricity you use…If you feel confident that your home is a good candidate, it is time to contact a professional…” click here for more

    Tuesday, December 8, 2015


    James Cameron: Halting Climate Change is as Simple as Changing Our Diets

    James Cameron, December 8, 2015 (Newsweek)

    “…[Climate change is] happening now, with worsening droughts, agriculture crashes, and rising sea levels that will prompt the mass displacement of millions of people…[The emissions reduction targets being proposed are not enough but climate negotiators]have an additional arrow in their quiver…Animal agriculture is a huge contributor to greenhouse gas emissions through its production of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxides…[I]t’s actually larger than the entire transportation sector…We need transportation, of course. But we don’t need to eat animals [and animal products]…And we’re actually much healthier if we don’t…About 85 percent of Amazon deforestation is directly attributable to animal agriculture…Our diet is unhealthy for us and unhealthy for the planet…[B]y making a conscious, ethical decision about what we put on our plates, we could quite possibly change the world.” click here for more


    Why is so little solar energy being used?

    Kathleen Story, December 7, 2015 (UK Examiner)

    “…[W]hy is less than one percent of electricity in the United States obtained from sunshine? Engineers M.A. Delucchi and M.Z. Jacobson published their analysis that the world could be run 100 percent by wind, water, and solar power by 2030. They projected 50 percent wind, 20 percent solar thermal, 14 percent solar photovoltaic plants, 6 percent solar photovoltaic rooftop systems, 4 percent geothermal power plants, 4 percent hydroelectric power plants, and 1 percent each ocean-wave devices and tidal turbines…[The most common method of capturing solar energy is solar panels, photovoltaics…Only about 0.4 percent of electricity in the United States is from photovoltaics. The percentage in other countries like Germany is much higher, in peak times over 50 percent. Solar power is free, carbon-free, and available around the world…Power companies may be against solar use since entire cities could take themselves off the grid by turning their buildings into their own energy sources. The Maine Public Utilities Commission published a study in March 2015 showing rooftop solar is worth 33.7 cents per kilowatt hour as it reduces costs of fuel, generating plants and transmission equipment. Maine's 2014 average residential price is 15.27 cents…[U]tilities are only concerned with their bottom line and are not taking into account the costs of pollution and fossil fuels on the environment.” click here for more


    Mass. environment group releases wind energy report

    Rebecca Turco, December 8, 2015 (ABC-6-News)

    “…[B]y 2020, an increase in [Massachusetts] wind power could cut out as much carbon pollution as taking 151,107 cars off the road – even more, if the state adopts offshore wind farms, which can produce almost double the amount of energy as traditional land turbines [according to Turning to the Wind from Environment Massachusetts. The group]…is campaigning state lawmakers to approve renewable energy tax credits…Opponents are concerned these wind farms would be noisy eye-sores, though advocates counter the offshore turbines would be likely 15 or more miles out into the water…If Massachusetts does install offshore wind farms in the next five years, Environment Massachusetts estimates as much as 400 megawatts of wind energy would be produced – enough to power 137,827 homes…” click here for more

    Monday, December 7, 2015


    A sneaky new rhetoric is holding back progress on climate change

    Levi Tillemann, December 34, 2015 (Quartz)

    “…[T]oday the big danger is not climate-change deniers but those who serve up cynicism in insidious new forms…The environmental movement is now confronting people who admit the reality of climate change but scoff at attempts to combat it…[T]he argument that US efforts to address climate change are pointless unless China, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, steps up…cedes climate-change leadership to the economic planners of China. It relies on a profoundly nihilistic sentiment…[A]ttacks on the economics or environmental shortcomings of technologies that address the long-term challenges of greenhouse gas emissions [make it seem as if New Energy technologies are] to blame…Skepticism sounds good in theory…[but not when it overrides] environmental concern…[J]ournalists have a right and duty to examine the potential effects and downsides of environmental policies, technologies, industries and business models…[But if] 99 reputable scientists say that climate change is being driven by humans for every one contrarian…the conversation shouldn’t be treated as a simple ‘he said, she said’ debate…” click here for more


    The Tea Party leader taking a stand for solar energy: 'I will do what's right'; Debbie Dooley is a self-described ‘crusader’ for solar power in Florida, where she is up against major public power utilities. But she has already won a similar battle in Georgia, and she says her message is that of a true conservative

    Richard Luscombe and Tom Pietrasik, 6 December 2015 (The Guardian)

    “Debbie Dooley is a firebrand Republican and an outspoken founding member of the Tea Party…Along with a diverse grassroots citizens’ coalition including environmentalists and other left-leaning activists, Dooley is taking on Big Energy and its big-spending conservative backers…She is at the spearhead of a campaign to place an initiative before Florida voters next year that would give consumers the freedom to choose to buy their solar energy from smaller private companies and bypass the mega-bucks utilities…[Dooley’s] Green Tea coalition of environmentally conscious conservatives is a key component of the Floridians for Solar Choice amalgam…[Big public power utilities like] Florida Power and Light, Duke Energy, Tampa Electric and Gulf Power are among the donors who have ploughed millions of dollars into a rival group, Consumers for Smart Solar, which is promoting its own initiative…[T]he attacks from right wingers on Dooley [have become more caustic in recent months but she says she is fighting to save the environment for her grandson while her ‘fellow Republicans’ deny their policies damage the environment because they are] ‘greedy for economic reasons.’” click here for more


    Report Touts Wind Energy's Potential To Curb Carbon Emissions

    Ambar Espinosa, December 7, 2015 (Rhode Island National Public Radio)

    “…[Rhode Island’s offshore wind can power 350,000 homes and offset the carbon emissions of nearly 400,000 cars by 2020, according to Turning to the Wind from Environment America…Federal lawmakers haven't consistently renewed the Production Tax Credit (PTC) responsible for spurring wind energy growth over the past 20 years. It expired last year…[T]ax credit programs, including the Offshore Wind Investment Tax Credit, provide benefits that ultimately result in reduced carbon emissions…” click here for more

    Wednesday, December 2, 2015


    Science Guy Bill Nye’s radically simple blueprint for ending climate change

    Ashley Rodriguez, December 1, 2015 (Quartz)

    “Bill Nye ‘The Science Guy’ instilled an early appreciation for science in young Americans who grew up watching his TV show in the ’90s. And now, he’s using his voice to spark a national conversation about climate change…[His new book Unstoppable outlines how today’s ‘Next Great Generation’] can use science to curb climate change within their lifetime…It’s just so overwhelming, you can’t even contemplate doing [anything, he says, but] the longest journey begins with but a single step…[He recommends beginning with] efforts at the household, local, national and global levels that would enable us to ‘do more with less’ and reduce our carbon footprint]…The big thing is to electrify ground [and air] transportation…[C]ompared to mobilizing for World War II, it’s not that big a job…Consumers are now making choices based on the environment, which is perhaps the most powerful thing you can do. That’s good news…” click here for more


    New York City Aims for Vast Electric Car Fleet by 2025

    Michael M. Grynbaum, December 1, 2015 (NY Times)

    “By 2025, New York City is planning to employ the largest municipal fleet of electric vehicles in the country, along with a sprawling network of charging stations to go with it…[In Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan],around 2,000 city-owned sedans, used by local agencies like the Transportation Department and the Parks and Recreation Department, would be replaced with electric vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf over the next decade…The city owns a total of roughly 11,000 sedans and sport utility vehicles…The electric vehicles — a majority of which are expected to operate entirely without fuel — would make up about half of the city’s nonemergency fleet…The program is expected to require a capital investment of between $50 million and $80 million over 10 years, to support the creation of additional charging capacity for the vehicles…[Fuel savings will] help offset additional costs…The conversion, which would occur in phases as existing vehicles are retired, is projected to help cut the city government’s vehicle emissions by about 50 percent by 2025…” click here for more


    Stanford study finds promise in expanding renewables based on results in three major economies; A new Stanford study found that renewable energy can make a major and increasingly cost-effective contribution to alleviating climate change.

    Terry Nagel, December 1, 2015 (Stanford News)

    “…[A new Stanford study compares the experiences of three large economies in ramping up renewable energy deployment and concludes that renewables can make a major and increasingly cost-effective contribution to climate change mitigation [according to A Tale of Three Markets: Comparing the Solar and Wind Deployment Experiences of California, Texas, and Germany about] the experiences of Germany, California and Texas, the world's fourth, eighth and 12th largest economies, respectively. It found, among other things, that Germany, which gets about half as much sunshine as California and Texas, nevertheless generates electricity from solar installations at a cost comparable to that of Texas and only slightly higher than in California…[It also found that Germany's success in deploying renewable energy at scale is due largely to favorable treatment of ‘soft cost’ factors such as financing, permitting, installation and grid access…[which allows] some countries to deliver up to four times the average deployment of other countries, despite offering only half the financial incentives…[It also found an] increase in the share of intermittent solar and wind power need not jeopardize the stability of the electric grid…” click here for more

    Tuesday, December 1, 2015


    How ISIS and Boko Haram Profit From Climate Change; The Paris climate summit is also about national security, with jihadist groups snatching up land largely emptied by extreme weather and declaring ‘caliphates.’

    Christopher Dickey, November 30, 2015 (The Daily Beast)

    “…[‘What greater rejection of those who would tear down our world, than marshaling our best efforts to save it?’ President Obama just asked in Paris. And French Presidend Hollande responded: ‘These are two major challenges we must overcome. We must leave our children more than a world free of terror, we owe them a planet protected from disasters, a viable livable planet.’ Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore] has noted the inconvenient truths about climate change as a security challenge many times…[O]n its face there is little connection between what happened in Paris on the 13th and the suffering of millions around the world who’ve been affected already by rising temperatures, droughts and sea levels…But the Paris terrorists were linked to the so-called Islamic State and its affiliates in an incipient global jihadist insurgency that has managed to seize and hold lands, declaring ‘caliphates’ in spaces that were largely emptied by recent extreme weather and human abuse of natural resources…[C]limate change is forcing about 20 million people a year out of their homes, and by 2050 that figure could be 150 million…It is precisely from those populations, uprooted and uncared for, that [Boko Haram and Isis grew strong]…” click here for more


    Wind, Solar Power to Supply More Energy Than Shale, Goldman Says

    Chris Martin, November 30, 2015 (Bloomberg News)

    "...New wind turbines and solar panels worldwide will provide more energy over the next five years than U.S. shale-oil production has over the past five, according to The Low Carbon Economy from] Goldman Sachs…The leading renewable-energy technologies will add the equivalent of 6.2 million barrels of oil a day to the global energy mix, exceeding the 5.7 million barrels a day pumped from U.S. shale oil wells since 2010…While countries are setting targets for emission reductions in 2030 and 2050 [in this week’s Paris climate talks], Goldman Sachs said the biggest shift will occur over the next decade as demand for renewable energy, LED lighting and plug-in vehicles accelerates…Wind and solar [are already] saving a gigaton of carbon dioxide emissions annually…[They are on track to exceed 100 gigawatts in new installations and] the market for four leading low-carbon technologies is now worth more than $600 billion per year…” click here for more


    Solar Power In Europe: Can Germany And France Lead In Renewable Energy Despite Cloudy Climates?

    Jess McHugh, November 30, 2015 (International Business Times)

    “…The concerted effort of the German government to encourage renewable energy is referred to as Energiewende, meaning ‘energy transition’…Renewable energy, including solar power, is set to account for 33 percent of all domestic power consumption in Germany in 2015, compared to 10 percent in the U.S…The thrust in France has come primarily from top-down government initiatives, including subsidies and the installation of solar farms. The legislative body of France passed a law in March which dictates that all new commercial buildings constructed across the nation must be at least partially covered in plants or solar panels…Around 17.5 percent of all energy in France comes from renewable energy…[T]he United States has lagged behind Germany and France when it comes to renewable energy: Alternative energy sources account for only about 13 percent of electricity production in the U.S. Subsidies and grid-connectedness vary greatly state by state, with some states like Massachusetts or California enjoying highly developed solar infrastructures while others like South Carolina or Nebraska have very few subsidies…Solar power in the U.S. would also face additional geographic challenges [until concerns about intermittency are put to rest with a more integrated grid or more affordable energy storage]…” click here for more