NewEnergyNews More: October 2016

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


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  • Monday, October 31, 2016

    From Oil To New Energy In Texas

    Texas oil? So dated — solar and wind energy are taking over the Longhorn State; Texas is looking to remain America's energy hub in the renewable era by pioneering wind and solar production

    Matthew Rosza, October 25, 2016 (Salon)

    “…[Texas, a state synonymous with Big Oil, could] wind up leading a renewable-energy revolution...[Many] wind companies have evolved to include solar and wind because solar has become so cost] competitive with not only wind, but with fossil [fuel] generation…Texas — which produces 37 percent of America’s crude oil and 28 percent of its natural gas — [already] has more than 10,000 wind turbines, allowing it to produce more power from wind than the combined power produced by 25 other states from all energy sources…[and the state] expects more than 10,000 megawatts of solar-generating capacity to be installed across the state by 2029, which is almost the size of all the operational solar farms in the United States today.” click here for more

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    The Wind Boom In Iowa Gets Bigger

    Iowa reaches new high mark for wind energy; Alliant, MidAmerican Energy expanding major projects

    Erin Murphy, October 28, 2016 (Des Moines Gazette)

    “…Wind energy provided 35.8 percent of the electricity generated in Iowa in the year spanning August 2015 to July 2016…That’s the highest percentage ever for Iowa, which has the highest [percent of wind energy in its electricity mix] in the nation [and Kansas and South Dakota are next at just more than 25 percent. In 1983, Iowa approved] the first state renewable energy requirement, and U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, authored the federal tax credit for wind energy production…Iowa is second in the country to Texas in [total] wind energy production, with installed capacity of more than 6,000 megawatts, which is enough electricity to power the equivalent of more than 1.6 million average U.S. homes…Texas’ capacity is more than 18,000 megawatts…Nearly $12 billion in capital investment on wind energy projects has been made in Iowa and the industry supports roughly 7,000 jobs, according to the [most recent market report from the American Wind Energy Association]…” click here for more

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    A New Look At Hawaii’s Wave Energy

    Wave power still has a lot of potential

    October 30, 2016 (Republican Herld)

    “…Hawaii-based Navy researchers started feeding power from two experimental offshore wave energy devices into the grid on nearby Oahu, representing the first time the American public could access electricity derived from ocean waves. The trickle of energy from these experimental devices doesn’t amount to anything substantial yet, but…at least a quarter of U.S. electricity needs [could be generated] by harnessing wave power…[The obstacle is] the high costs of getting started, technical issues with maintaining offshore equipment, and the challenges of scaling up for mass consumption…[Two of the biggest wave energy endeavors in the world, Pelamis and Aquamarine,] went belly up recently…But [there are still] the experimental wave farm off Oahu, two larger projects are being built off the coast of the United Kingdom, while three additional projects are underway around Australia. Funding for these projects has come from not only the host governments but also the private sector…[including] American defense contractor Lockheed Martin…” click here for more

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    Tuesday, October 25, 2016

    Will Voters Back Trump’s Coal Or Clinton’s Climate Action November 8?

    The 2016 presidential election will be the biggest referendum on global climate change ever

    Valerie Volcovici and Devika Krishna Kumar (with Nichola Groom, Richard Valdmanis, Jessica Resnick-Ault, Ross Colvin), October 25, 2016 (Reuters via Business Insider)

    “…If the American voter had to choose between Republican nominee Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton based on their energy policies alone, the presidential election…[would be] the biggest referendum on global climate change since the term was coined…How the country decides on Nov. 8 will have far-reaching implications for the price of electricity and gas at the pump, as well as the future of the U.S. energy industry, which employs about 10 million people...Trump's vision is an America where oil derricks pump furiously again, coal miners get back to work, and the country puts its own economy ahead of foreign nations worried about the effects of fossil fuels on sea levels, droughts, and storms.

    Clinton sees an America where half a billion solar panels power homes, cars run on electricity, oil use is cut by a third, and the clean energy sector provides a deep well of new jobs supported by government mandates and subsidies…Environmental advocates argue that a failure to agree on strong measures like the Paris accord would doom the world to ever-hotter average temperatures, bringing with them deadlier storms, more frequent droughts and rising sea levels as polar ice caps melt…Clinton says she wants to address that by making America a ‘clean energy superpower’…[by] phasing out fossil fuels, embracing clean energy sources like solar and wind, strengthening environmental protections and leading the world in curbing carbon dioxide emissions blamed for climate change…” click here for more

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    Solar Building Corporate Balance Sheets

    Corporate America Loves Solar Energy; Household companies like Target, Apple, and Walmart are some of the biggest solar customers in the U.S. today.

    Travis Hoium, October 24, 2016 (Motley Fool)

    “…[W]hen large companies choose to go solar, they're doing so based on the dollars and cents of the investment. You may not know if the Target or Walmart store you're shopping at has solar, but if it does, it's saving the company money. And today, U.S. corporations are installing solar energy rapidly as a way to save millions of dollars…[According to Solar Means Business 2016 from the Solar Energy Industries Association, there is] over 1 GW of solar for corporate customers, enough to power 193,000 homes. Target led the way with 147.5 MW, with 70 MW installed so far in 2016, while Walmart is using 145.0 MW. Apple's 93.9 MW and Costco's 50.7 MW means those companies are also among the top five installers…Seven out of ten among the top ten corporate customers have installed SunPower solar panels, reflecting the company's corporate focus. SolarCity, meanwhile, has Walmart as a major customer…One incredible stat from the report is that more than three quarters of the commercial solar installations and half of the capacity are at data centers…” click here for more

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    New Wires For More Wind Means Lower Power Prices

    New Wind Energy Study Aims to Break Transmission Barriers

    Tina Casey, October 24, 2016 (Triple Pundit)

    “As the cost of wind energy continues to fall, the U.S. wind industry is poised to continue its spectacular growth rate. There is just one problem, and it’s a big one: New wind farms can require new transmission lines, and lately some of those new transmission lines have become bogged down in the approval process…[T] he challenge is to get local property owners, other local stakeholders and the voting public firmly in its corner to approve new transmission routes…The wind industry is taking its case to consumers…[According to The Consumer Benefits of Wind Energy in Iowa, the industry is looking to Iowa as a test case for building public support for new transmission lines nationwide…Iowa already has a thriving wind industry thanks in large measure to the interest of legendary investor Warren Buffett…Adding 10,000 MW of wind beyond the amount that is currently operating and planned would save Iowa consumers about $12.6 billion on net over the next 25 years, with average annual savings in excess of $500 million…The average household would on net save $3,200 on their electric bills, while the average industrial customer would save $825,000…” click here for more

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    Monday, October 24, 2016

    Small Wins In Climate Fight Point The Way To Victory

    The Guardian view on climate change: good news – but not yet good enough; Eleven of the last 12 months have been the hottest on record. Though progress on cutting carbon emissions is encouraging, more must be done

    Editorial, 23 October 2016 (UK Guardian)

    "The Montreal protocol is the most successful environmental treaty in history…[but some of the chemicals left in place] had an effect on the climate thousands of times higher than carbon dioxide. This month, world governments agreed to address that by eliminating the substitute chemicals – called HFCs – potentially reducing rising temperatures by as much as 0.5C in a relatively short time…The International Civil Aviation Organisation agreed this month to measures to combat the [GHG] impact of flying…[and this week international shipping will debate similar rules…These progressive moves, though belated and insufficient, must be welcomed. They represent an unprecedented run of helpful measures…[and] the Paris accord itself has now been ratified…[BUT] September was the hottest on record…making 11 out of the last 12 months record-breakers. This year is expected to set a new record – as last year did, and 2014 before it…To achieve what is needed before the window closes, we must recapture the sense of urgency that motivated the Montreal protocol…Climate change may be slow-burning…but it is no less threatening…” click here for more

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    Seeing The Real Wind At Last

    The 8 Most Interesting Things Going On in the Wind Market

    October 21, 2016 (Electrical Construction and Maintenance)

    “The first offshore wind farm in the u.s. was just completed…[The price of wind is probably going to get a lot cheaper… The wind industry could provide 20% of total U.S. power by 2030… The tallest wind turbine in the U.S. was just built in Iowa…[and] 31% of [Iowa’s] electricity was generated from wind last year. That’s the highest percentage by any state in the country by far, leading second-place Kansas by 7%. What’s the nationwide average? About 5%... Global employment grew by more than 5% in 2015, thanks in large part to high installation rates in China, the U.S. and Germany… Wind has become a cash crop for farmers…Landowners who sign [lease] agreements usually get between $7,000 and $10,000 per turbine, per year… Scotland just produced enough wind energy to power the entire country for a day…” click here for more

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    Al Gore Calls Florida Solar Amendment “Phoney Baloney”

    Utilities behind solar amendment are trying to trick voters into ending net metering, Al Gore says

    Josh Gillin, October 21, 2016 (Politifact)

    “…[While campaigning for Hillary Clinton in Florida, former Vice President Al Gore] said the utility companies that back Amendment 1 make it sound like it fosters solar, but the true aim is darker..[and it is] a ‘phony baloney’ initiative propped up by utilities…[The Florida Supreme Court determined the language of Amendment 1, called ‘Rights of Electricity Consumers Regarding Solar Energy Choice’ is] not misleading and approved it 4-3. It is widely considered a deliberate attempt by utilities to erect barriers to competition and prevent third-party leasing of solar…[Audio surfaced this month of a utility lobbyist saying the amendment, backed by almost $22 million from utilities, would] ‘completely negate anything they (pro-solar interests) would try to do either legislatively or constitutionally…’

    [C]ritics like Gore say it will allow utility companies to end a process called net metering…[which] allows someone to sell excess solar-generated power to the utilities…[and get] a lower bill because they draw less electricity from the traditional, power plant-supplied grid…Utility companies nationwide have argued that this is unfair, because homes with solar panels are getting all the benefit of being connected to the grid without having to pay as much for the upkeep of generators and transmission lines…A Brookings Institution study in May looked at net metering in several states and concluded that when solar customers sell their power back to the electric utility through net metering, it actually helps non-solar customers in a few ways…The amendment is widely considered to be deceptively worded and erects barriers to solar power that would favor traditional utilities. Gore is right to warn solar proponents it would work against their broader efforts…[But] he went a bit too far to say the amendment would automatically grant utilities unchecked ‘authority’ to kill net metering. We rate his statement Half True.” click here for more

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    Tuesday, October 18, 2016

    The Lack Of Climate Change In The Election

    For Clinton and Trump, There’s Little Debating a Climate Change Divide

    John Schwartz and Tatiana Schlossberg, October 18, 2016 (NY Times)

    “…[Climate change is missing from the list topics chosen for the third presidential debate that includes debt, immigration, foreign affairs, the economy and the Supreme Court…The fate of the planet has come up only in a single question asked by a member of the audience at the second debate, Ken Bone, who received more attention for his red sweater than for the fact that he works for a coal-fired power plant...Michael D. McCurry, a chairman of the Commission on Presidential Debates, said that the moderator and the candidates, not the commission, set the content…Neither of the presidential campaigns responded to requests for comment...[These are the Clinton and the Trump websites on the subject]…This lack of attention might lead some observers to conclude that Americans are unconcerned about climate change, but…[most] Americans say they are interested…but they just do not hear much about it…” click here for more

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    Trump And Clinton On Climate Change And New Energy

    On Energy And Climate Change, Clinton And Trump Differ Sharply

    Christopher Joyce, October 17, 2016 (National Public Radio)

    “This presidential election has rarely focused on climate and energy, even though it is an area where the candidates differ sharply and climate change and energy policy are issues of deep concern to millions of Americans…[In the last debate, Donald Trump argued] the Obama administration is] ‘waging a war on coal’ …[and] putting energy companies in West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania] ‘out of business’…[He wants to increase offshore oil and gas exploration along the Atlantic coast…[He] squarely backs the traditional fossil fuel industry…Clinton says she wants all of the above. She wants traditional fossil fuels, but…[she intends to make the U.S.] ‘the 21st-century clean-energy superpower and create millions of new jobs and businesses…[She wants] to generate enough renewable energy to power every home in America with half a billion solar panels installed by the end of her first term…Donald Trump has expressed disbelief in man-made climate change…[Hillary Clinton supports the Paris Agreement, says voters should not risk] ‘putting a climate denier in the White House’…[and should elect] a president who believes in science’…” click here for more

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    New Energy Keeps Booming

    Two Charts That Show How Renewable Energy Has Blown Away Expectations

    Jessica Shankleman, October 15, 2016 (Bloomberg News)

    “The world’s most prominent energy forecaster will raise its outlook for wind and solar installations following a decade of underestimating growth…The International Energy Agency, which was established as a watchdog of the industry in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis, will ‘significantly’ raise its estimates for renewables…The findings will feed into the World Energy Outlook report due in November, which is used by many forecasters as a starting point for trends in the industry…[but has] been criticized for publishing conservative estimates that failed to predict the rapid growth of wind and solar…The agency has been a key voice in guiding policymakers toward cleaning up the pollution blamed on global warming. Its annual outlook includes scenarios countries could adopt to keep global warming to the United Nations goal of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) since the industrial revolution…This year’s forecasts seek to reflect the growing number of countries adopting climate change policies, as well as the global deal to curb carbon emissions and global warming…” click here for more

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    Monday, October 17, 2016

    Chemical Mulitnationals Bet on Climate Solutions

    How the Chemical Industry Joined the Fight Against Climate Change

    Hiroko Tabuchi and Danny Hakim, October 16, 2016 (NY Times)

    “It might seem surprising to find the world’s chemical companies on the front lines of preventing climate change, fighting to disrupt their own industries…[But] companies including Honeywell and DuPont were among the most active backers of a move away from [hydroflurocarbons (HFCs)], a profitable chemical that has long been the foundation for the fast-growing air-conditioning and refrigeration business…The companies were driven less by idealism than by intense competition, and a bet that they could create more environmentally friendly alternatives…[and] some environmentalists say the aggressive move…provides a template for other industries…The chemical industry’s response stands in stark contrast to the foot-dragging, and in many cases the outright obstruction of climate regulations, by…the [Exxon Mobil, Chevron and other oil giants’] lobbying against rules to curb greenhouse gases for decades, even though their own researchers have warned of the risks of climate change...Some environmentalists contend that the chemical companies were allowed to have too much input into the HFC deal and that it could have been more ambitious…” click here for more

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    World Wind Gets Bigger

    WWEA Half-Year Report: Worldwind Wind Capacity Reached 456 GW

    October 10, 2016 (World Wind Energy Association)

    "...[The 21 GW of new installations built globally in the first half of 2016 matched the previous year's 1H total [ according to the World Wind Energy Association]...Worldwide wind capacity has reached 456 GW [and is] expected to reach 500 GW by the end of the year...Germany, India and Brazil [led] in market growth...All wind turbines installed worldwide by mid-2016 can generate around 4.7% of the world’s electricity demand...The global wind capacity grew by 5% within six months (after 5.8 % in the same period in 2015 and 5.6 % in 2014) and by 16.1 % on an annual basis (mid-2016 compared with mid-2015)...In the second half of 2016, an additional capacity of over 40 GW is expected to be erected worldwide, which would bring new annual installations to at least 65 GW...The total installed wind capacity is expected to reach 500 GW by the end of 2016." click here for more

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    SolarReserve Power Plant Possibilities Rising

    World's Largest Solar Project Would Generate Electricity 24 Hours a Day, Power 1 Million U.S. Homes

    Lorraine Chow, October 12, 2016 (EcoWatch)

    "The race to build the world's largest solar power plant is heating up...[SolarReserve just proposed] a massive concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in Nevada that [would] be the largest of its kind...[The $5 billion project] would generate between 1,500 and 2,000 megawatts of power, enough to power about 1 million homes...[and] as much as a nuclear power plant, or the 2,000-megawatt Hoover Dam...[The Sandstone installation would require at least 100,000 mirrored heliostats that would capture the sun's heat and concentrate] it onto 10 towers equipped with a molten salt energy storage system. The molten salt, heated to more than 1,000 degrees, then boils water and creates a steam turbine that can drive generators 24/7. Compared to photovoltaic arrays, the appeal of CSP systems is that solar power can be used after sunset...[SolarReserve's revolutionary 110-megawatt Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Plant proved the technology and is now powering Nevada homes..." click here for more

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    Thursday, October 13, 2016

    Bob Dylan, 2001 – Highwater - For Charlie Patton

    Highwater - For Charlie Patton

    Editor’s note: Today’s posts are for all the sad folks I have had to listen to for most of my adult life who said they couldn’t get past the voice (actually many voices) that this year’s Nobel Laureate for Literature spoke so much truth in. It is also for illiterate who say he never matched what he did early in his career. (No music here because the Dylan folks limit access to the recordings via video.)

    Highwater risin', rising night and day

    All the gold and silver are being stolen away

    Big Joe Turner looking east and west from the dark room of his mind

    He made it to Kansas City, Twelfth Street and Vine

    Nothin' standing there

    Highwater everywhere


    Highwater rising the shacks are sliding down

    Folks lose their possessions, the folks are leaving town

    Reformation shook it, broke it, then she hung it on the wall

    Say you dance with whom they tell you to or you don't dance at all

    It's tough out there

    Highwater everywhere


    I got a cravin' love for blazin' speed

    I got a hopped up Mustang Ford

    Jump into the wagon, love

    Throw your panties overboard

    I can write you poems, make a strong man lose his mind

    I'm no pig without a wig, I hope you treat me kind

    Things are breakin' up out there

    Highwater everywhere


    Highwater rising, six inches above my head

    Coffin's dropping in the street like balloons made out of lead

    Water poured into Vicksburg, don't know what I'm gonna do

    Don't reach out for me, she said, can't you see I'm drowning too

    It's rough out there

    Highwater everywhere


    Well, George Lewis told the Englishman, the Italian and the Jew

    You can't open up your mind, boys, to every conceivable point of view

    They got Charles Darwin trapped out there on Highway 5

    Judge says to the high sheriff, I want him dead or alive

    Either one, I don't care

    Highwater everywhere


    Well, the cuckoo is a pretty bird, she warbles as she flies

    I'm preachin' the word of God, I'm puttin' out your eyes

    I asked Fat Nancy for someth'n' to eat, she said take it off the shelf

    As great as you are man, you'll never be greater than yourself

    I told her I didn't really care

    Highwater everywhere


    I get up in the mornin', I believe I'll dust my broom

    Keepin' away from the women, I'm givin' them lots of room

    Thunder rollin' over Clarksdale, everythin' a lookin' blue

    I just can't be happy, love, unless you're happy too

    It's bad out there

    Highwater everywhere

    click here for more

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    Bob Dylan, 1989 – Political World

    Political World

    Editor’s note: Today’s posts are for all the sad folks I have had to listen to for most of my adult life who said they couldn’t get past the voice (actually many voices) that this year’s Nobel Laureate for Literature spoke so much truth in. It is also for illiterate who he never matched what he did early in his career.

    We live in a political world

    Love don't have any place

    We're living in times

    Where men commit crimes

    And crime don't have any face.


    We live in a political world

    Icicles hanging down

    Wedding bells ring

    And angels sing

    Clouds cover up the ground.


    We live in a political world

    Wisdom is thrown in jail

    It rots in a cell

    Is misguided as hell

    Leaving no one to pick up a trail.


    We live in a political world

    Where mercy walks the plank

    Life is in mirrors

    Death disappears

    Up the steps into the nearest bank.


    We live in a political world

    Where courage is a thing of the past

    Houses are haunted

    Children unwanted

    The next day could be your last.


    We live in a political world

    The one we can see and feel

    But there's no one to check

    It's all a stacked deck

    We all know for sure that it's real.


    We live in a political world

    In the cities of lonesome fear

    Little by little

    You turn in the middle

    But you're never sure why you're here.


    We live in a political world

    Under the microscope

    You can travel anywhere

    And hang yourself there

    You always got more than enough rope.


    We live in a political world

    Turning and trashing about

    As soon as you're awake

    You're trained to take

    What looks like the easy way out.


    We live in a political world

    Where peace is not welcome at all

    It's turned away from the door

    To wonder some more

    Or put up against the wall.


    We live in a political world

    Everything is hers and his

    Climb into the frame

    And shout God's name

    But you're never sure what it is.

    click here for more

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    Bob Dylan, 1978 – Where Are You Tonight (Journey Through Dark Heat)

    Where Are You Tonight (Journey Through Dark Heat)

    Editor’s note: Today’s posts are for all the sad folks I have had to listen to for most of my adult life who said they couldn’t get past the voice (actually many voices) that this year’s Nobel Laureate for Literature spoke so much truth in. It is also for the illiterate who say he never matched what he did early in his career. (No music here because the Dylan folks limit access to the recordings via video.)


    There's a long distance train rolling through the rain, tears on the letter I write

    There's a woman I long to touch and I miss her so much but she's drifting like a satelite

    There's a neon light ablaze in the green smoky haze, and laughter down on Elizabeth Street

    And a lonesome bell tone in that valley of stone where she bathed in a stream of pure heat

    Her father would emphasize you got to be more than street-wise but he practiced what he preached from the heart

    A full-blooded Cherokee, he predicted it to me the time and the place it would start.

    There's a babe in the arms of a woman in a rage

    And a longtime golden-haired stripper onstage

    And she winds back the clock and she turns back the page

    Of a book that nobody write

    Oh, where are you tonight ?


    The truth was obscure, too profound and too pure, to live it you have to explode

    In the last hour of need, we entirely agreed, sacrifice was the code of the road

    I left town at dawn, with Marcel and St. John, strong men betitled by doubt

    I couldn't tell her what my private thoughts were but she had some way of finding them out

    He took dead-center aim but he missed just the same, she was waiting putting flowers on the shelf

    She could feel my despair as I climbed up her hair and discovered her invisible self.

    There's a lion in the road, there's a demon escaped

    There's a million dreams gone, there's a landscape being raped

    As her beauty fades and I watch her undrape

    I won't but then again, maybe I might

    Oh, if I could just find you tonight.


    I fought with my twin, that enemy within, 'til both of us fell by the way

    Horseplay and disease is killing me by degrees while the law looks the other way

    Your partners in crime hit me up for nickels and dimes, the man you were loving couldn't never get clean

    It felt outa place, my foot in his face, but he should-a stayed where his money was green

    I bit into the root of forbidden fruit with the juice running down my leg

    Then I dealt with your boss, who'd never known about loss and who always was too proud to beg

    There's a white diamond gloom on the dark side of this room and a pathway that leads up to the stars

    If you don't believe there's a price for this sweet paradise, just remind me to show you the scars.

    There's a new day at dawn and I've finally arrived

    If I'm there in the morning, baby, you'll know I've survived

    I can't believe it, I can't believe I'm alive

    But without you it just doesn't seem right

    Oh, where are you tonight?

    click here for more

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    Tuesday, October 11, 2016

    Fighting Climate Change With A 4-Day Week

    To fight climate change, institute a four-day workweek

    Alex Williams, October 10, 2016 (Quartz)

    “…[Three-day weekends might] be one of the easiest steps we could take to radically reduce our environmental impact—and future-proof our economy…A reduction in working hours generally correlates with marked reductions in energy consumption…[If Americans followed European levels of working hours, they] would see an estimated 20% reduction in energy use—and hence in carbon emissions…[I]nstituting a three-day weekend could be the simplest and most elegant way to make our economy more environmentally friendly…[In 2007, Utah extended hours on Monday to Thursday and eliminated] Fridays…In its first ten months, the move saved the state at least $1.8 million (£1.36 million) in energy costs…[But] Utah abandoned the experiment in 2011 after residents complained they were unable to access services on Fridays…[The change has to be accompanied by a shift in our expectations but the] key to capturing the benefits of automation without drastic social dislocation depends in part on developing] an extended weekend, together with a universal basic income…” click here for more

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    Wind Rebuilding

    U.S. Tax Credit Powers Wind-Farm Upgrades; Wind-power producers rush to renovate existing facilities in boon for turbine manufacturers

    Rebecca Smith, October 7, 2016 (Wall Street Journal)

    “…[Backed by the federal commit to grow the U.S. wind industry, wind producers and turbine makers are repowering existing wind farms…Upgrading wind farms makes sense for wind producers because modern turbines generate far more electricity than those built two or three decades ago. That means some existing wind farms will get overhauled to generate more renewable power, while others will produce the same amount of electricity but with fewer turbines…Renovating an existing wind farm is also often simpler than building a new one—they are already connected to transmission lines and have zoning approvals—so the projects often make better financial sense than starting from scratch…The market for refurbished capacity [also] represents an enormous opportunity for turbine manufacturers…Existing facilities qualify for the [federal production tax credit] if refurbished enough to satisfy IRS rules, which require investments to equal 80% of the market value of the facility being replaced…[One analyst] estimated that 15% of the U.S. installed base of 75,000 megawatts of wind capacity is ripe for retrofits…” click here for more

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    Solar Energy Booming, Solar Companies Going Bust

    The Solar Energy Paradox: Why Solar Is Booming and Companies Are Going Out of Business; Why are solar companies going out of business as the industry grows? The explanation is fairly simple, and it may continue to happen over and over again.

    Travis Hoium, October 7, 2016 (The Motley Fool)

    “There may not be a business with a higher potential than the solar industry has today…[T]he solar industry is growing and cutting costs, leading to an even bigger market. By 2020, the solar industry is projected to install nearly 100 GW of solar annually, which would be enough to power 16.4 million homes…[Yet] solar companies continue to struggle -- and even go out of business. In just over a year, First Solar, SunPower, and SolarCity have seen their stocks plunge, and SunEdison has filed for the biggest U.S. bankruptcy of the year…[As companies build manufacturing plants (usually with borrowed money), the falling cost of panels drives them out of business while solar developers] use lower panel prices to be more competitive…Solar developers are effectively bankrupting themselves by getting big eyes when it comes to growth, and then dueling each other…With solar panel prices down 20%-25% in the last few months, and the cost of financing rising for some developers, we'll likely see more solar companies go out of business in the next two years. Whether or not that leads to a more sustainable industry or not -- only time will tell…” click here for more

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    Monday, October 10, 2016

    Parties Divided On What Climate Scientists Know – Poll

    Clinton, Trump supporters worlds apart on views of climate change and its scientists

    Brian Kennedy, October 10, 2016 (Pew Research Center)

    “Supporters of Hillary Clinton are far more likely than those of Donald Trump to be concerned about climate change, to believe climate change is mostly the result of human activity, to say a range of policy and individual actions can be effective in addressing climate change and to think scientists understand climate change, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis…About half of Clinton supporters (51%) say climate scientists understand very well whether or not climate change is occurring compared with just 17% of Trump supporters who believe that…[They] are similarly divided over whether climate scientists understand the causes of climate change: 41% of Clinton supporters say climate scientists understand this very well compared with 15% of Trump supporters…Few voters give climate scientists high marks for understanding the best ways to address climate change. About a third of Clinton supporters (32%) and just one-in-ten Trump supporters (10%) say climate scientists understand the ways to address climate change…” click here for more

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    Florida Solar Fight Outlined

    How Florida Residents May Lose The Battle For Attainable Solar Energy

    Curtis Silver, October 10, 2016 (Forbes)

    “…[An amendment on Florida’s November ballot may threaten the future of solar power in the state. To make solar affordable, many states allow] customers to lease the panels through a third-party and sell excess electricity back to the utility grid…Florida is one of five states that does not allow…[ Amendment #1 would allow this but] would also give the current utility companies the right to compensate for their solar losses by adding new fees to solar consumers’ [non-existent] bills. This could lead to a quick death for the future of solar power…[The utility companies] don’t want consumers hopping off the grid and harnessing and storing their own energy…[According to the Florida Department of State Division of Elections site, energy companies account for 80% of the $21 million spent to support this amendment, including] Duke Energy, FPL, Koch, Exxon Mobil, TECO, NRECA and Gulf Power…[The shortcoming of the amendment is that it actually gives solar owners no real access to third party financing and it allows the utilities to charge new fees that could] negate any savings from going full solar…” click here for more

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    Colorado Regulators, Stakeholders Approve New Wind Build

    Big Colorado wind power project wins approval

    October 1, 2106 (The Daily Progress)

    “…[A 300 turbine, 600 MW wind installation and a 90-mile transmission line, which would be one of the biggest U.S. wind electric power projects, has] won approval from the Colorado Public Utilities Commission…[The PUC gave its approval after Xcel Energy and a large number of local government agencies] reached an agreement…[The Rush Creek] project will likely cost as much as $1.1 billion and it is expected to eliminate a million tons of carbon emissions compared with other energy sources…Rush Creek could have the transmission capacity to move up to 2,000 megawatts of renewable energy from that part of Colorado…Progressive 15, an economic development group promoting northeastern Colorado, said wind energy is becoming a major part of Colorado's rural economy…The Independence Institute, which criticized the project, said Xcel Energy has already met its renewable energy targets set by the state and doesn't need more generation capacity…[Other critics] said regulators are rushing the project without a detailed analysis of whether ratepayers will benefit…[Electricity from Rush Creek] is expected to start flowing in late 2018.” click here for more

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    Tuesday, October 4, 2016

    Attitudes On Climate, By The Numbers (Part 1)

    The Politics of Climate

    Cary Funk and Brian Kennedy, October 4, 2016 (Pew Research Center)

    “Political fissures on climate issues extend far beyond beliefs about whether climate change is occurring and whether humans are playing a role, according to a new, in-depth survey by Pew Research Center. These divisions reach across every dimension of the climate debate, down to people’s basic trust in the motivations that drive climate scientists to conduct their research… Seven-in-ten liberal Democrats (70%) trust climate scientists’ a lot to give full and accurate information about the causes of climate change, compared with just 15% of conservative Republicans… Some 54% of liberal Democrats say climate scientists’ understand the causes of climate change very well. This compares with only 11% among conservative Republicans and 19% among moderate/liberal Republicans…Some 55% of liberal Democrats say climate research reflects the best available evidence most of the time, 39% say some of the time. By contrast, 9% of conservative Republicans say this occurs most of the time, 54% say it occurs some of the time…” click here for more

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