NewEnergyNews More: April 2017

NewEnergyNews More

Every day is Earthday.

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  • Tuesday, April 25, 2017

    Private Sector Takes Over The Climate Fight

    Report: Fortune 500 Companies Accelerating Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency Efforts; Clean energy actions saving companies $3.7 billion a year, cutting annual carbon pollution equivalent to 45 coal-fired power plants.

    April 25, 2017 (World Wildlife Fund)

    “Despite efforts in Washington to sideline action on climate change, a growing number of Fortune 500 companies are taking increasingly ambitious steps to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, procure more renewable energy and reduce their energy bills through energy efficiency…Sixty-three percent of Fortune 100 companies have set one or more clean energy targets. Nearly half of Fortune 500 companies – 48 percent – have at least one climate or clean energy target, up five percent from an earlier 2014 report…[Significant numbers of companies are] setting 100 percent renewable energy goals and science-based GHG reduction targets that align with the global goal of limiting global temperature rise to below two degrees Celsius [according to Power Forward 3.0: How the largest U.S. companies are capturing business value while addressing climate change…” click here for more

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    How Sea Level Rise Would Change The Map

    Animated map of what Earth would look like if all the ice melted

    April 22, 2017 (Business Insider)

    “…Sea levels have been rising at a greater rate year after year, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates they could rise by another meter or more by the end of this century…[If we keep burning fossil fuels indefinitely, global warming will eventually melt all the ice at the poles and on mountaintops, raising sea level by 216 feet. This graphic from National Geographic shows how that] would dramatically reshape the continents and drown many of the world's major cities.” click here for more

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    Wind Jobs Top 100,000 As Wind Energy Booms

    The US wind industry now employs more than 100,000 people

    Brady Dennis, April 23, 2017 (Washington Post via Denver Post)

    “…[Wind turbine technician is the] fastest-growing occupation in the United States…The number of workers maintaining wind turbines, a job with a median pay of about $51,000 a year, is set to more than double between 2014 and 2024, [according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics]…That’s a more rapid growth rate than that of physical therapists, financial advisers, home health aides and genetic counselors…[That growth hints at the flourishing of the U.S. and renewables industries. In 2016, for the first time, more than 100,000 people in the United States were employed in some manner by the wind industry and the] industry grew by double digits once again…[It now provides] about 5.5 percent of overall generation…” click here for more

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    Monday, April 24, 2017

    The Health Impacts Of Climate Change

    It’s the mother of all human health issues

    Jeffrey Delviscio, April 24, 2017 (STAT)

    “…[Human civilization as we know it today is] the product of a lucky greenhouse…[Climate change is a threat and to it that] represents a set of new risks to our health, our infrastructure, our relatively stable existence…[A]ges before humans began adding to that change, the climate system created the perfect conditions for human existence during a period called the Holocene…Agriculture started, human urbanization started because there was a remarkably] long period of time, 10,000 to 12,000 years of the Holocene, in which temperatures didn’t really move that much globally…[Climate change] could introduce some nasty disruptions…Swings in temperatures, changing weather patterns, and sea level rise could all have serious effects on human health…[producing] more heat-related morbidity and mortality…” click here for more

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    New Energy Is Everywhere

    The Surprising List of States Leading U.S. on Renewable Energy; New report ranks states on their recent clean energy momentum, and leaders emerge among both blue and red states, although California is No. 1 overall

    Zahra Hirji, April 21, 2017 (Inside Climate News)

    “…[Different states are leaders in New Energy and they are] led by Republicans and Democrats alike…Kansas led the nation in largest increase in renewable energy generation between 2011-15. Hawaii ranked No. 1 in residential solar power. In California, electric vehicles made up the highest percentage of new car sales last year…And in Iowa, in-state companies could most easily procure renewable energy from utilities and third-party providers in 2016…[The Union of Concerned Scientists analysis used] a dozen metrics to gauge a state's participation in the clean energy industry over time. They measured a state's existing and planned adoption of renewable energy sources, the impact of the industry on jobs and reviewed policies designed to grow the industry. Every state was ranked in each category, and overall…[California was the leader overall but some smaller states and some Republican-led states] also excelled…” click here for more

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    Study Shows LA Does Not Need Aliso Canyon

    L.A. County study decries state claims for need of Aliso Canyon storage plant

    Ivan Penn, March 31, 2017 (LA Times)

    “A scathing Los Angeles County study has concluded that the troubled Aliso Canyon natural gas facility isn’t needed to ensure reliability of electricity and gas service in the region this summer or the coming winter…That review sharply contrasts with the dire warnings issued last summer by state regulators, who stirred up fears of blackouts and the possibility of snuffed-out pilot lights…[According to the county’s study from EES Consulting, which NewEnergyNews is attempting to obtain, the] California Public Utilities Commission and the California Energy Commission have produced reports that…[are ‘confusing and inconsistent’ on] the need for Aliso Canyon…” click here for more

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    Tuesday, April 18, 2017

    Study Puts 10-Year Timer On Climate Change

    Study: 10 Yrs. to Stop Climate Damage or Else! (as Pruitt Calls for U.S. to ‘Exit’ Paris Accord)

    Julia Travers, April 17, 2017 (EnviroNews)

    “…[I]n stark contrast with the mindset of Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt, who on April 13, called for a complete ‘exit’ from the historic Paris Agreement…[a new study urges zero net anthropogenic emissions well before 2040] to assure the attainability of a 1.5°C target by 2100…The U.S., which is the world’s second largest contributor of greenhouse gases after China, committed to reduce emissions by between 26 and 28 percent, below 2005 levels by 2025 [in the Paris agreement]… The recent climate analysis recommends a reduction in global fossil fuel consumption from 95 percent to less than 25 percent by 2100. The report also takes carbon uptake by plants, oceans and soil into account and calls for a decrease in deforestation…[to get] a 42 percent decrease in emissions by the end of the century…If renewable energy only continues to grow at the current approximate rates of between 2 percent and 3 percent annually, the researchers estimate a 3.5°C global temperature rise by 2100…” click here for more

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    The War Between Wall Street And Solar

    How Wall Street Once Killed the U.S. Solar Industry… and how it could happen again.

    Robinson Meyer, April 17, 2017 (The Atlantic)

    “…[The global solar industry] is a $65-billion business, and the United States has been involved in it from the beginning…Yet North American firms produce only about 3 percent of the world’s solar panels. China and Taiwan, meanwhile, make more than 60 percent of them…Labor in East Asia is often cheaper…but that’s not the only factor…[Computer chips and solar panels were commercialized before 1980 but] the United States still leads the computer-chip industry, holding more than half of global market share for 20 years…A new paper in Science Advances argues that [enormous market changes in the 1970s and 1980s labeled ‘financialization’ drove firms to financial assets with fast-rising valuations instead of] creating new wealth for the long term…Solar’s too long-term; it’s in direct competition with fossil fuels; and it’s very capital-intensive. There has to be some kind of corporate restructuring for innovation to occur. There has to be some kind of policy that makes a break with the way it is now…” click here for more

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    New Energy To Power Healthcare

    Partners HealthCare enters into contract with Antrim Wind Energy

    Abby Kessler, April 17, 2017 (Monadnock Leger-Transcript)

    “…[Partners HealthCare will purchase 75 percent of an Antrim Wind Energy] wind facility’s 28.8 MW] capacity once the project is operational…[Construction is expected to begin] this year…The partnership represents the largest direct delivery renewable energy purchase in the northeast by an end user…The contract [with Antrim will enable the construction of the wind farm and] is part of Partners’ plan to become ‘net carbon positive’ by 2025…[The project] will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 110 million pounds of CO2 per year, or the equivalent of removing 10,000 cars from the road…” click here for more

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    Monday, April 17, 2017

    The Work Ahead On Climate Change

    More people than ever are worried about climate change, but it won’t last; The relationship between weather and public opinion is complicated.

    Jeremy Deaton, April 14, 2017 (ThinkProgress)

    “…[A] record number of Americans are worried about global warming [according to a recent Gallup poll]…[but] over the last year, social scientists have] found that a stray heat wave or über-powerful storm can drive interest in climate change, but the effects vary — and they don’t last…This means that scientists and advocates can’t wait for the weather to change attitudes about the carbon crisis. They have to do the hard work of educating the public themselves…When the environmental movement flexes its muscle, it can move public opinion…This is where advocates should focus their attention: on well-defined battles where it is possible to shift public opinion. Environmentalists can’t assume Americans will come around as the mercury rises. They have to rouse the public and pressure politicians, just as fossil fuel interests have done for decades…” click here for more

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    More Installer Bids = Lower Home Solar Cost

    Electrek green energy brief: More quotes means better solar pricing...

    John Fitzgerald Weaver, April 17, 2017 (Electrek)

    “Big installers charge more, some people are ok with that, the solution is to get multiple quotes…[according to] Using Residential Solar PV Quote Data to Analyze the Relationship between Installer Pricing and Firm Size…Large installer quotes are $0.33/W (about 10%) higher, on average, than non-large installer quotes offered to the same customer…The difference falls to $0.21/W after controlling for systematic differences between large and nonlarge installer quotes…[$0.21/W of the install price is significant] for installs that cost between $2.75-4.50…[It] is a 4-7% difference in pricing. The report suggests that some people simply want to buy from larger, more well-known name brands – and that they will simply pay more. Others within the research group would have benefited from connecting with local installers…[Using online solar shopping tools] was shown to lower costs $.30/W – for an average system that’s $2,000 that could be put toward a battery system…” click here for more

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    Why Investors Should Still Think New Energy

    Investing in Solar and Wind in a Coal and Oil Moment

    Norm Alster, April 15, 2017 (NY Times)

    “Alternative energy investments like wind and solar power have not performed well in recent years. To make matters worse, the Trump administration has opted for a resurgence of coal and other carbon fuels, not an emphasis on alternative energy…Yet there is a reasonable argument that the outlook for investing in renewable energy may actually be quite good…For one thing, wind and solar power have been rapidly winning market acceptance…[W]ind is now being harnessed to produce 5.5 percent of America’s electricity…And the solar industry now employs over 260,000 workers nationwide…The reliance of [and increasing number of red states] on wind and solar could foreshadow continuing support for alternative energy within sectors of the Republican party, despite the pro-fossil-fuel stance of the president…the Guinness Atkinson Alternative Energy fund [and the First Trust Global Wind Energy ETF are good places to start]…” click here for more

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    Tuesday, April 11, 2017

    Climate Change Is Not Fair Weather

    Climate Change Is Hitting Home, And It's Not Fair

    Heather Goldstone, April 10, 2017 (The Point)

    “Surveys consistently show that a majority of Americans think climate change is happening, but that it won’t affect them. Scientists say otherwise. Researchers already are seeing impacts - often dramatic, sometimes counterintuitive - on both natural systems and human communities. And, while everyone will be affected, some will be hit sooner and harder…While there may be winners and losers in the natural world, it's hard to argue that any people will win when it comes climate change. But there are dramatic racial and socioeconomic disparities in the impacts of pollution and climate change, with the poorest and most vulnerable hit hardest…All told, the climate change story is not a happy one…[T]he harsh unfairness of it can be overwhelming…” click here for more

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    More New Energy For The Buck

    The world spent less money to add more renewable energy than ever in 2016; $241.6 billion in investment gets you 138.5 gigawatts of renewable energy

    Megan Geuss, April 10, 2017 (Ars Technica)

    “…[Investors spent less money in 2016 to add more renewable energy capacity than in any previous year. In total, [they] only spent about $241.6 billion in renewable energy investments in 2016, down 23 percent from 2015…[but it added 138.5 GW of capacity in] wind, solar, biomass, and waste-to-energy, geothermal, small hydro, and marine sources like wave and tidal energy]…That represents a nine percent increase year-over-year from the 127.5 gigawatts added in 2015…[The falling investment but rising capacity] reflects the plummeting prices of certain kinds of renewable energy, especially solar photovoltaic panels and wind installations…[T]hat’s a good thing for reducing pollution that contributes to climate change…[T]he proportion of global energy derived from renewable sources rose from 10.3 percent to 11.3 percent year-over-year [according to the study]…” click here for more

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    Tracking The Falling Cost Of Small Solar-Plus-Storage

    NREL study aims to fill gaps in residential energy storage cost benchmarking Andy Colthorpe, April 7, 2017 (Energy Storage News)

    “…[Data from Q1 2016 on a 5.6kW PV array with a 3kW/6kWh lithium-ion battery and a 5kW/20kWh lithium battery with the same size PV array shows that] a DC-coupled ‘small battery’ system could cost US$27,703, while an AC-coupled could cost US$29,568 on a new installation where solar and battery were installed together…[R]etrofitting, which is more commonly associated with AC-coupled systems, to an existing PV system raises the installed price to US$32,786…[A] ‘large battery’, DC-coupled, could cost US$45,237 - significantly more than the ‘small battery’ systems. The AC-coupled version of that would be US$47,171. Part of the higher cost consists of need for more, and bigger, inverters [according to a new study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. It assumes the systems] are used for PV optimisation purposes to boost self-consumption, including peak demand shifting and time-of-use shifting, but one obviously offers the more robust backup solution…” click here for more

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    Monday, April 10, 2017

    Can States Take Trump Down On Climate?

    New York, California Lead State Efforts On Climate Change As Trump Retreats

    Chelsea Harvey, April 9, 2017 (Fusion via Newsweek)

    “…[The sweeping executive order signed by President Trump moved to roll back the Obama administration’s flagship Clean Power Plan to curb greenhouse gas emissions from power plants is] the latest in a series of efforts by Congress and the White House to repeal various Obama-era rules…[But] state governments are stepping up…California and New York currently maintain some of the nation’s most ambitious state-level climate action plans, including goals in both states to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below their 1990 levels by the year 2030, and 80 percent by the year 2050. Both states also have plans for the advancement of clean energy and energy efficiency programs and both participate in carbon pricing schemes…[And] New York and California are hardly the only states in the nation with climate action plans…Altogether, 34 states, including both red and blue states, have adopted some form of a climate action plan…” click here for more

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    Michigan Wind Adds To Property Values

    Property values surge in Michigan counties with wind energy – but why?

    Andy Balaskovitz, April 5, 2017 (Midwest Energy News)

    “Agricultural land was the only property type in Michigan to have increased in overall value since 2008 and through the Great Recession…[and areas that had] significant wind energy development…[also had] some of the greatest property value increases…While the reasons for those increases are complex, some energy analysts and researchers are quick to suggest that the correlation with wind farms may not be coincidental…[In 2014, lease payments to Michigan landowners for wind turbines totaled $4.6 million and the four counties that hosted the most wind turbines in 2014-2015] saw more than $45 million directed to communities in those areas…[Farms] with turbines on their property invested twice as much in their farms in the last five years than neighboring landowners without turbines…” click here for more

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    Coal Mining Museum Is Solar-Powered

    Kentucky Coal Mining Museum in Harlan County switches to solar power

    Travis M. Andrews, April 6, 2017 (Washington Post)

    “Housed in a former commissary building and tucked into the hollers of Harlan County — the heart of Kentucky mining country — is a museum dedicated to all aspects of extracting coal from the state’s mountains…Mining equipment decorates its walls, while a two-ton block of coal at the front door greets visitors…Not much about the Kentucky Coal Mining Museum screams modern…[But the] museum is switching to solar power in hopes of saving money on energy costs…[The installation of solar panels is expected to] save at least $8,000 to $10,000 off the energy costs…About 85 percent of Harlan County voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election. The disparity between Hillary Clinton’s [promise to put coal companies out of business] and Trump’s campaign promises [to eliminate environmental regulations] almost assuredly played a factor in that vote…[Experts say] deregulation won’t be enough to bring back coal jobs…” click here for more

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    Tuesday, April 4, 2017

    Believe The President – Or Your Own Eyes

    These stunning timelapse photos may just convince you about climate change

    Chelsea Harvey, April 3, 2017 (Washington Post)

    “Melting glaciers, from Greenland to Antarctica, have become symbols of global warming — and monitoring their retreat is one major way scientists are keeping tabs on the progress of climate change…Below is a time-lapse video, using images captured by [photographer James Balog of] the Extreme Ice Survey team, documenting changes at Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska. Between 2007 and 2015, the glacier retreated by 550 meters, or more than 1,800 feet...[The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets receive the most press and may have the greatest long-term potential to raise global sea levels but] melting mountain glaciers come with their own set of consequences….[As the glaciers shrink away, less water becomes available to nearby communities…[and experts have also raised the possibility that melting mountain glaciers could result in huge floods capable of destroying nearby homes and infrastructure…” click here for more

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    The Big Job Benefits From New Energy

    New Report Shows Major Job and Economic Growth from Wind and Solar Tax Credits

    April 3, 2017 (Natural Resources Defense Council)

    “…[Federal tax credit extensions are leading to new wind and solar projects that will create more than 220,000 jobs and add nearly $23 billion to the U.S. economy in 2017 [according to a new report that] also outlines the significant benefits that tax credits provide to U.S. states…The report analyzed the impact of renewable energy tax credits on employment and gross domestic product (GDP) gains in 16 selected states…Iowa, already fourth in the country in wind jobs, is likely to see additional job creation…and its economy stands to gain more than 3,300 jobs each year in 2017 and 2018…Nevada, home to some of the cheapest solar power in the country, is projected to add more than 1,400 jobs in both 2017 and 2018…Ohio adds more than 10,000 jobs in 2018, and the state’s GDP is expected to get a boost of nearly $1.2 billion that year…Pennsylvania is projected to gain nearly 9,300 jobs each year in 2017 and 2018, and its GDP gets a boost of more than $1 billion per year…[and Virginia will add about 5,000 jobs each] year…” click here for more

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    Trump Admin Study On Coal Shown Flawed

    Donald Trump's energy plan based on 'debunked' study funded by coal industry, environmentalists claim; 'In taking a sledgehammer to US climate action, the administration will push the country backward, making it harder and more expensive to reduce emissions'

    Ian Johnston, March 28, 2017 (UK Independent)

    “Donald Trump’s plan to ditch Barack Obama’s flagship policy on climate change is based on a flawed study paid for by the coal industry…The current administration hopes [undoing Obama-era New Energy advances] will enable the US to become self-sufficient in energy, create jobs in the coal industry and mean cheaper energy costs for consumers…[But] World Resources Institute said...[the Trump administration is citing] only one ‘debunked’ study [by NERA and, of four studies on the Obama plan, only NERA] showed electricity bills increasing unequivocally…[The EPA study found that bills would initially increase, then fall and the two other studies] found electricity bills would unequivocally fall…” click here for more

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    Monday, April 3, 2017

    The Ethics Of Energy

    Jeremy Grantham puts down a marker on climate change investing; The spike in the coal price underlines the challenge investors face in dealing with climate change

    Dan McCrum, April 2, 2017 (Financial Times)

    “…[Climate change raises serious questions for] portfolio managers around the world: when, and how, should investors take climtarget="_blank"ate change into account when deciding what to buy and sell?...[They] used to be shunted to teams responsible for developing policies on environmental, social and governance issues…[but the potential consequences for financial stability from climate change require] a reassessment of the value of a large range of assets as costs and opportunities become apparent…[Divesting all polluters could result in having an empty] portfolio…[Too little commitment leaves those concerned] wanting better options and data…The point is that analysis and activism start to collide as investors are forced to consider both the potential effects of climate change and the weight of money taking account of carbon…[but there] are really successful areas to be involved with…” click here for more

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    Solar Eye Candy

    This Solar Panel Design Moves With the Sun Through The Arc of a Day; Smartflower is a new solar panel that provides 40-50 percent more efficiency that traditional panels

    John Gendall, March 31, 2017 (Architectural Digest)

    “…[The Arnold Schwarzenegger-endorsed Smartflower is] a photovoltaic array that mimics the sun-seeking inclinations of a flower…[This design reportedly] results in 40-50 percent more efficiency than a traditional photovoltaic array…Unlike solar panels, which are normally fixed into place on rooftops, Smartflower is kinetic, allowing it to position itself to maximize sun exposure. In the morning, when the sun rises, its panels fan out, creating a flower-like arrangement, which then rotates throughout the day in response to sunlight. In its dormant, night-time position, it undergoes a cleaning process, minimizing the sunlight interference that dust build-up can present…[T] he system can be installed in any open space then easily plugged in…” click here for more

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    Wind Puts The Economy To Work

    Wind Power Grows America’s Economy And Keeps Our Air Clean

    Hannah Hunt, April 2017 (Total Health Magazine)

    “…[H]ere's one thing all Americans can agree on: we want to have clean air and a healthy economy. Because of technologies like wind energy, we don't have to choose one over the other…Growing wind power powers American job creation and economic development, while over time increasing U.S. energy independence by using a homegrown, emission-free electricity source…Over 100,000 Americans are employed by the wind industry today, across all 50 states…Over 25,000 of these [are well-paying manufacturing positions at the nation's more than 500 factories that build the blades, towers, and other parts that go into wind turbines and provide]…Importantly, many of these new manufacturing jobs are found across the Rust Belt, hiring workers where they're needed the most. Ohio leads the way with 62 wind factories, while Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan boast 26 each…And these jobs will continue growing. Wind manufacturing jobs will grow to 33,000 by the end of President Trump's first term…By 2020, there could by 248,000 wind-related jobs…” click here for more

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