NewEnergyNews More: June 2017

NewEnergyNews More

Every day is Earthday.

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  • Tuesday, June 27, 2017

    Now Is The Time, We Are The Ones

    An Especially Good Time to Address Climate Change; People Are Taking Action and Raising Hope that We Will Win the Climate War

    Deborah L. Williams, June 25, 2017 (Santa Barbara Independent)

    “…Given the compelling scientific evidence about the existence and impacts of human-caused climate change, it seemed tragic that the United States would [pull out of the Paris climate agreement and] turn its back on the world and future generations…[Americans oppose the move] by a 2-to-1 margin…[But] there are many reasons for hope, as well as opportunities for meaningful action…[Individuals, communities, and states have a larger and more impactful role than ever to play as stewards of the earth and guardians of inter-generational equity…

    Many cities, states, and individuals recognize that inaction is not an option, and are stepping up…At the individual level there has never been a better time to conserve wherever possible…[Communities] can and should adopt the 100 percent Renewable Energy Resolution…[California is showing what can be done at the state level. Despair is not] an option…For the sake of our children and grandchildren, our natural heritage, our national security, our economy, our health, and our moral responsibilities, there has never been a better time to act…” click here for more

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    The Many Other Ways To Use Solar

    11 Ways To Use Solar Energy Besides The Home

    Jenna Cyprus, June 2017 (Earth911)

    “…[Solar panels on rooftops can save thousands a year but that] is not the only place they can be applied…Some smartphone cases come with solar panels on the back… [S]ome boats have been designed to run entirely on solar panels and accessories…[Solar-friendly devices for campers include] solar-powered tents, charging stations, cook stoves and more. There’s no more need for propane tanks…[Flashlights] store solar energy…[Portable solar panel chargers can] charge your laptop, camera or tablet…Solar panels can be installed onto a pool’s cover, insulated pool sheets can retain heat in the water, or solar tubes can] heat the water…[Fitness trackers will soon be] solar-powered…[Cities are] using photovoltaic (PV) energy to partially power trains, subways, buses, cars, planes and even roadways…Cities, commercial properties and residential areas are using outdoor solar-powered] lighting…[Space heaters and water heaters are also now] solar-powered…[And any sign that uses flashing lights or backlighting, such as school zone signs or billboards, can now be operated using solar panels…[I]ncredible uses of solar power can reduce our environmental impact one charger at a time.” click here for more

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    New Energy Is The New Way To Run The Grid

    Report: “Baseload” an Outdated Term for Today’s Changing Electricity Grid; Flexibility key to delivering cost-effective & reliable service

    June 26, 2017 (Natural Resources Defense Council)

    “The nation’s electricity grid operators are increasingly turning to more flexible resources and low-cost renewable energy options like wind and solar, rendering outdated the notion that ‘baseload’ generating plants are required to reliably power America’s homes and businesses…[Advancing Past “Baseload” to a Flexible Grid: How Grid Planners and Power Markets Are Better Defining System Needs to Achieve a Cost-Effective and Reliable Supply Mix found the term ‘baseload’ is outdated because today’s] grid planners increasingly value] resource flexibility to make it easier to balance supply and demand in real time…[B]aseload plants are limited in providing this flexibility because they cannot be easily turned on and off without incurring significant costs…Portfolios of different resource types [including flexible conventional power, variable renewables, distributed generation, energy efficiency, demand response, and emerging technologies like battery storage] can reliably and cost-effectively serve customers’ needs…” click here for more

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    Monday, June 26, 2017

    What Climate Change Really Means

    How Climate Change Will Transform the Way We Live

    Laura Entis, June 25, 2017 (Fortune Magazine)

    “…[Nearly 50 flights out of Phoenix were cancelled as the heat rose past the airline’s 118 degrees maximum operating temperature…It’s difficult not to connect the delays to climate change—scientists estimate the planet’s overall temperature has increased by 1.8 degrees since preindustrial times. Last year was the hottest on record, followed by 2015, followed by 2014…[Here are a few other ways scientists expect climate change to] impact day-to-day life in the U.S. within the next century…[S]ummer will take place indoors…[because it will be] unsafe to go outside for extended periods of time…Roads and train tracks will melt and buckle under the heat…Those with resources, particularly residents of first-world countries, will be spared the most serious repercussions, at least at first. But for the billions of poor people living in developing nations, global warming has already proven deadly...[Scientists urge action, even if it’s minor things like driving less, turning down your thermostat, or reducing your meat intake, because we] can’t afford to not think this is a problem…” click here for more

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    New Energy Now Bigger Than Nuclear

    Renewables Now Provide More Electricity Than Nuclear Power; 2nd Month In A Row: Solar + Wind Top 10%, Now Surpassing Hydropower…

    June 25, 2017 (Sun Day)

    “…[F]or the first time since the beginning of the nuclear era - renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar - inc. small-scale PV, wind) are now providing a greater share of the nation's electrical generation than nuclear power…For the first third of this year, renewables and nuclear power have been running neck-in-neck with renewables providing 20.20% of U.S. net electrical generation during the four-month period (January - April) compared to 20.75% for nuclear power. But in March and April, renewables surpassed nuclear power and have taken a growing lead: 21.60% (renewables) vs. 20.34% (nuclear) in March, and 22.98% (renewables) vs. 19.19% (nuclear) in April…While renewables and nuclear are each likely to continue to provide roughly one-fifth of the nation's electricity generation in the near-term, the trend line clearly favors a rapidly expanding market share by renewables. Electrical output by renewables during the first third of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016 has increased by 12.1% whereas nuclear output has dropped by 2.9%...In fact, nuclear capacity has declined over the last four years…” click here for more

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    The Rump Angers Iowa With Ignorant Wind Remarks

    Trump made Iowans really mad by ranting about wind energy

    Jeva Lange, June 23, 2017 (The Week)

    “…[The president] is a little bit obsessed with the evils of wind energy, a topic that did not go over so well at his rally in Iowa…where the rapid growth of the state's wind energy industry has been a bipartisan success story…[E]nvironmentalists and politicians said the president's suggestion that wind is unreliable was outdated and off-base…Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley (Iowa), a longtime supporter of wind energy in his state, said that [the president’s] anti-wind ambitions would only be enacted ‘over my dead body’…[And the president’s ignorant remarks about wind’s threat to bald eagles were completely uninformed. Just 134,000 to 327,000 birds of any kind] die in wind turbine collisions annually compared to a minimum of 365 million that die from collisions with windows of towering buildings like urban hotels]…” click here for more

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    Tuesday, June 20, 2017

    What Power Mix Will Beat Climate Change (Part 1)?

    'Full toolbox' needed to solve the climate change problem

    19 June 2017 (Carnegie Instituion for Science via EurekAlert)

    “Solving the climate change problem means transitioning to an energy system that emits little or no greenhouse gases into the atmosphere…[but making the transition will depend on making use of energy technologies such as bioenergy, nuclear energy, and carbon capture technology, according to a new] study from a group of 21 published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences…[Wind, solar, and hydroelectric should play a central role in future American energy systems but they] concluded that a much broader array of energy technologies is necessary to transition to a zero-emissions future as quickly and seamlessly as possible…The team is particularly concerned about having backup energy sources to deal with variability in solar and wind, because current energy storage technology is not sufficient to cover gaps in production on a national scale…Careful evaluations of energy system transitions consistently show that broader portfolios form an important base to ensure success…” click here for more

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    What Power Mix Will Beat Climate Change (Part 2)?

    4 Reasons Nuclear and Fossil Fuel Supporters Criticizing 100% Renewable Energy Plan Are Wrong

    Mark Jacobson, June 19, 2017 (EcoWatch)

    "…[The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences paper arguing a 100% New Energy mix from wind, solar, and hydroelectric powers will threaten reliability] is replete with false information…[It claims] nuclear, fossils with carbon capture and biofuels reduce costs of decarbonization…[but an independent assessment of our 100 percent wind, water and solar plans] concludes neither fossil fuels with CCS or nuclear power enters the least-cost, low-carbon portfolio…[It claims we propose technologies that can't be scaled up…[but underground thermal energy storage in rocks, hydrogen fuel cells, and demand response are proven technologies now in use. It also claims we made modeling errors but multiple data sets show] this is absolutely false…[Finally, it claims our climate model] has never been adequately evaluated…[but it has been used in] 11 published multi-model inter-comparisons and 20 published evaluations…[a 2008 Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry Journal comprehensive review concluded it] is ‘the first fully-coupled online model in the history that accounts for all major feedbacks among major atmospheric processes based on first principles’ and hundreds of processes in it still not in any other model…” click here for more

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    New Energy Is NO Threat To U.S, Grid

    No evidence that changing power mix endangers electric system reliability; Expert report by Analysis Group finds that low-priced natural gas, not renewable energy policies, is fundamental cause of coal and nuclear plant closures

    June 20, 2017 (American Wind Energy Association)

    “…[Market forces, primarily low-cost natural gas and flat demand for electricity, are] causing some coal and nuclear power plants to retire, and not state and federal policies supporting renewable energy development…[and] the changing electricity resource mix poses no threat to reliability of the nation’s power system [according to Electricity Markets, Reliability and the Evolving U.S. Power System from the Analysis Group, which is intended] to answer independently the questions raised recently by Energy Department Secretary Rick Perry…Factors such as rapid growth in deployment of advanced energy technologies, and state policies supporting such technologies also contribute to reducing the profitability of less economic assets, but such factors are secondary to market fundamentals…[In addition, the] retirement of aging resources is a natural element of efficient and competitive market forces…Many advanced energy technologies can and do provide reliability benefits…Given the many attributes associated with a reliable electric system, the term ‘baseload resources’ is an outdated term in today’s electric system…” click here for more

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    Monday, June 19, 2017

    More Artists Join The Climate Fight

    Mainers hope their artwork can help lobbyists’ effort to combat climate change; Work from a Canton and Winslow artist is featured in a conference in Washington, D.C., devoted to public awareness of global warming.

    Kate McCormick, June 18, 2017 (Morning Sentinel via Press Herald)

    “…[A]rtist Laurie Sproul found herself deeply frustrated as she searched for ways that she, as an individual, could take action against what she saw as the impending threat of climate change…[I]n the middle of a snowstorm, she and her mother trekked to a climate change conference…[and connected with the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, which lobbies] members of Congress…Sproul now volunteers with the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, helping them use art to start conversations…[She hopes] her art can help break down barriers to discussions on climate change…By all appearances, there is little executive or legislative will to act on climate change, but behind the scenes the Citizens’ Climate Lobby has been successfully working to build consensus around the group’s carbon fee and dividend proposal, which proponents say is the most effective, market-friendly, bipartisan and fair approach to curbing carbon emissions…” click here for more

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    U.S. Power Just Hit 10% Wind And Solar

    Wind and solar in March accounted for 10% of U.S. electricity generation for first time

    June 14, 2017 (U.S. Energy Information Administration)

    "For the first time, monthly electricity generation from wind and solar (including utility-scale plants and small-scale systems) exceeded 10% of total electricity generation in the United States, based on March data…[W]ind and solar made up 7% of total U.S. electric generation in 2016…[It follows seasonal and geographic] patterns…Based on seasonal patterns in recent years, electricity generation from wind and solar will probably exceed 10% of total U.S. generation again in April 2017, then fall to less than 10% in the summer months. Since 2014, when EIA first began estimating monthly, state-level electricity generation from small-scale solar photovoltaic systems, combined wind and solar generation has reached its highest level in either the spring or fall…” click here for more

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    The Dangers Of Oil And Gas Drilling, Detailed

    Study of oil and gas drilling finds pollution and connections to earthquakes; Fracking pollutes, causes quakes, new analysis says

    Davin Hunn, June 18, 2017 (Houston Chronicle)

    "Oil and gas drilling in Texas shale plays pollutes the air, erodes soil and contaminates water, while the disposal of millions of gallons of wastewater causes earthquakes, a consortium of the state's top scientists concluded…In the most comprehensive analysis of the environmental and social impacts of drilling and hydraulic fracturing, The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas found that the shale oil boom that delivered so much prosperity to Texas also has degraded natural resources, overwhelmed small communities and even boosted the frequency and severity of traffic collisions as workers and equipment rush to oil fields. Fracking, which uses a high-pressured concoction of water, sand and chemicals to free oil and gas from dense shale rock, is also spreading rapidly across Texas, [Environmental and Community Impacts of Shale Development in Texas] noted… click here for more

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    Tuesday, June 13, 2017

    Fighting Climate Change Is Far Cheaper Than Paying For It

    If You Think Fighting Climate Change Will Be Expensive, Calculate the Cost of Letting It Happen

    Dante Disparte, June 12, 2017 (Harvard Business Review)

    “…[The Trump Administration’s argument for leaving the COP21 Paris Agreement] echoes a common political talking point: that fighting climate change is bad for the economy…[But] climate change itself is bad for the economy and investing in climate resilience is not only a national security priority, but an enormous economic opportunity...The share of national GDP at risk from climate change exceeds $1.5 trillion in the 301 major cities around the world. Including the impact of human pandemics – which are likely to become more severe as the planet warms — the figure increases to nearly $2.2 trillion in economic output at risk through 2025.

    … The correlation between climate change, human pandemics, and economic and other risks, cannot be isolated; they’re all connected…That makes the shift away from a carbon-based economy as inexorable as the rising tide and temperature. Indeed, the renewable energy sector is one of the fastest growing employers in the U.S., with solar alone accounting for nearly 400,000 jobs, proving that investing in climate resilience not only makes for good policy, it makes for good business. The business opportunities of investing in climate change, renewable energy, and human adaptation are big enough to create a new generation of billionaires…” click here for more

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    Solar Makes Buildings Better

    Creating “Better Buildings” With Solar Energy; A program of the U.S. Department of Energy, the Better Buildings Initiative partners with organizations to facilitate and track energy improvements.

    June 12, 2017 (U.S. Department of Energy Better Buildings Initiative via Facility Executive)

    “While renewable energy can be a costly capital investment, businesses and organizations are opening up their wallets to secure more reliable and affordable sources of energy for their buildings and facilities. Solar energy has seen dramatic reductions in cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of energy produced over the past few years, and with solar energy’s levelized cost of electricity down from 27 cents in 2010 to seven cents in 2016, solar power has grown into an attractive energy option…As more companies and organizations see the successes of their efforts to reduce the energy used within their buildings and plants (upgrading lighting, water heating, and space conditioning systems, with more efficient options), they are looking at what’s next. And often, that’s when renewables come in as a viable option to supplement energy needs and enhance the energy performance of commercial buildings, industrial plants, or education facilities…Through the Better Buildings Initiative, the U.S. Department of Energy is working across industries to provide guidance and to document effective approaches for installing renewable technologies including solar, wind, and geothermal…” click here for more

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    Show-Me-State Sees How Good Wind Can Be

    Columbia to purchase city's cheapest wind energy contract yet

    Soo Rin Kim, June 6, 2017 (The Missourian)

    “…[The Columbia, Missouri, City Council unanimously approved a] contract with the Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission to purchase up to 35 megawatts of wind energy beginning in 2021…The estimated total cost of the project in the first year is $3 million…The price is expected to rise 2 percent every year...[Iron Star Wind Project] will generate the wind power and use the Grain Belt Express Clean Line to transmit the energy from western Kansas, where wind power can be produced at one of the lowest costs in the country…In 2016, Columbia bought wind energy from Crystal Lake Wind Farm in Iowa for $45.96 per megawatt-hour and from Bluegrass Ridge Wind Farm in northwestern Missouri for $68.69 per megawatt-hour…” click here for more

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    Monday, June 12, 2017

    Exxon Stockholders Rebel, Demand Climate Truth

    Exxon shareholders order climate study — against company’s wishes

    Collin Eaton, May 31, 2017 (SFGate)

    “Exxon Mobil investors passed a resolution on Wednesday asking the company to publish an annual report on the impact of climate change policies on the value of its sprawling oil and gas operations…At the oil company’s annual meeting in Dallas, 62.3 percent of shareholders voted in favor of the non-binding proposal; 37.7 percent voted against it…It’s a historic vote for investors who have failed to pass the vast majority of climate-related shareholder resolutions put forward in recent years…[73% of Chevron shareholders recently rejected a proposal to require a study of] how to transition to a low-carbon future…Exxon opposed the resolution [calling for an analysis of scenarios in which global climate change policies, including the Paris climate accords, cause energy demand to fall]…” click here for more

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    Massachusetts Gets Ready For An Ocean Wind Boom

    Competition for offshore wind ramps up in Massachusetts

    Philip Marcello, June 11, 2017 (AP via Cape Cod Times)

    “Massachusetts’ bid to become the nation’s leader in offshore wind power is ramping up…The state’s electric utilities — National Grid, Eversource and Unitil — are slated to release by June 30 their requirements for projects seeking to develop the state’s first ocean-based wind farm…That sets in motion an ambitious effort to put Massachusetts ahead of states like New York, New Jersey and Maryland also seeking to establish their presence in the nascent U.S. industry…[A new Massachusetts law calls for 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind] by 2027…” click here for more

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    Trump Backs ‘Dying Coal’ Over Solar Revolution

    Solar Energy Is Revolutionizing Markets While Trump Tries To Prop Up A Dying Coal Industry

    Kevin Maney, June 10, 2017 (Newsweek)

    “Protecting coal jobs today makes as much sense as protecting typing pool jobs around the time personal computers caught on in the 1980s…Solar technology will destroy coal and oil as energy sources even if President Donald Trump stamps his feet, holds his breath and refuses to play with the rest of the world. Solar is on the same kind of Moore’s law–like path that has made computing power so cheap. Solar tech isn’t improving at computing’s breakneck pace, but it’s on a predictable, sustainable and impressive trajectory toward cheaper and better. By about 2030—13 years from now—solar will be able to produce electricity at half the cost of coal and lower than the cost of any carbon source…In that sense, the Paris Agreement on climate change is almost meaningless, addressing something technology and economics will take care of anyway…[Trump’s decision to exit the Paris accord only ensures the U.S. will] end up being really good at mining coal nobody wants…” click here for more

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    Tuesday, June 6, 2017

    Without Paris, A Carbon Price Is Critical

    Forget the Paris accord. Here’s what can really fight climate change.

    Michael Gerson, June 5, 2017 (Washington Post)

    “…[The President claims the Paris climate agreement’s] relatively modest, entirely voluntary agreement that essentially maintains the current momentum of reductions in carbon emissions would somehow destroy the U.S. economy. It wouldn’t. Some [Paris agreement] advocates seem to imply that a relatively modest, entirely voluntary agreement that essentially maintains the current momentum of reductions in carbon emissions would somehow save the world. It can’t…Here is the climate bottom line, as far as science can currently describe it: In order to keep the rise in average global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius and thus avoid the worst climate disruption, it will be necessary to keep more than 80 percent of existing coal reserves in the ground, unexploited…[The best hope for keeping hydrocarbons in the ground is for non-carbon-based alternatives] to cost less. Putting a price (such as a tax) on carbon emissions would help…[To avoid the worst climate disruption, we need] massive, urgent, strategic, public and private investment in energy research and development…[Trump did not] propose this rather obvious, market-oriented alternative to the Paris agreement…” click here for more

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    Consumers Getting Smarter About The Smart Grid

    Survey finds growing awareness of smart grid programs but still low participation

    David J. Unger, June 5, 2017 (Midwest Energy News)

    “…[ Nearly three-fourths of] U.S. energy consumers are increasingly aware and broadly supportive of the smart grid, but relatively few of them participate in most smart-grid related programs and products…Seventy-two percent of respondents were familiar with smart meters in 2017, up from 52 percent in 2015...Slightly less — 70 percent — were familiar with the smart grid…[up from 47 percent in 2015, according to Consumer Pulse and Market Segmentation Study–Wave 6. Utilities across the country] are investing billions into grid modernization efforts and deploying smart meters, smart switches and various other ‘smart’ technologies across the power distribution network…Many view the power system as becoming more of a two-directional system, in which the line between production and consumption is blurred…This requires a shift in perception given that the power grid has, largely by design, operated inconspicuously without much thought from the average consumer…” click here for more

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    EVs Come Clean As More Grids Go New Energy

    Number one argument against electric cars is now completely debunked

    Fred Lambert, June 5, 2017 (electrek)

    “…[W]hile there are places where the grid is so dirty that it doesn’t make a big difference whether someone drives an electric car or a very efficient gas-powered car, most of the US electric grid is clean enough that it doesn’t come close to the efficiency of electric cars…As the grid gets cleaner, thanks to solar, wind, hydro and other renewable energy sources, the electric car’s advantage is increasing every day and the latest data shows that it’s not even a contest anymore…The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) updated their state-by-state study of the emission generation from electricity [based on 2014 EPA data] to account for the average electric car’s equivalent mpg on the electric grid…[T]he grid got a lot cleaner since, but even the jump from 2009 to 2014 shows a massive improvement…The average electric car in the US now gets the equivalent efficiency of a non-existent 73 mpg gas-powered vehicle – and that’s before accounting for refining, transportation, etc., when it comes to petrol…” click here for more

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    Monday, June 5, 2017

    New Antarctica Melting Could Mean Deeper Waters

    Massive Crack in Larsen C Ice Shelf Grew 11 Miles in 6 Days

    Lorraine Chow, 1 June 2017 (EcoWatch)

    "The widening crack in Antarctica's Larsen C Ice Shelf has grown even longer. An iceberg the size of Delaware is now precariously hanging on to the main ice shelf by 8 miles of ice…[T]he rift lengthened by another 11 miles between May 25 and May 31 2017…Until recently, the crack was running parallel to the edge of the ice shelf but it took a ‘significant’ turn towards the ocean…[T]wo previous sections of the Larsen ice shelf have broken off and disappeared into the sea. Larsen A collapsed in 1995. Then in 2002, Larsen B began to rapidly break apart. Within six weeks, a 1,235 square mile chunk of ice slipped away, which scientists attributed to warmer air temperatures. Prior to that, the Larsen B ice shelf had been stable for 12,000 years…It's unclear if Larsen C will respond in a similar ways…The loss of this portion of the ice shelf will not raise sea levels since it is already floating on the water. However, as these ice shelves disintegrate, the land-locked glaciers they hold back may begin sliding into the sea. If all of the ice the Larsen C ice shelf holds back slides into the ocean, it will raise sea levels globally by four inches.” click here for more

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    The Rump’s Skewed Facts On New Energy And Jobs

    The real story behind Trump's claim that Paris would kill 2.7 million jobs

    Chris Isidore, June 1, 2017 (CNN Money)

    “Massive job losses. Lower wages. Shuttered factories. Brownouts and blackouts…That's the grim future that President Trump said he was trying to avoid when he announced that the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate change deal…[He cited a NERA Economic Consulting study in claiming the Paris Accord] could cost America as much as 2.7 million lost jobs by 2025…The study was done on behalf of a conservative public interest group, the the American Council for Capital Formation…Trump cited what the report calls the most likely outcome, which was the one that would hurt the economy the most…[The study] doesn't say anything about widespread blackouts and brownouts that would shut down factories…[It is a stark contrast to arguments of major business leaders who] argue that the economy will be hurt by Trump's decision…Environmental experts also say the NERA study overestimates how much it will cost to cut carbon emissions…[because it] assumes that efforts to cut emissions would fall almost exclusively on heavy industry…[and] grossly overstates the changes in output and jobs…” click here for more

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    Utility Execs Face Big Changes From New Energy

    Distributed Generation Growth Makes Utility Execs Worry about Revenues, Reliability: Study

    Lisa Cohn, June 5, 2017 (Microgrid Knowledge)

    “…Fifty-nine percent of utility executives surveyed…expect small-scale distributed generation to stress their network hosting abilities and 66 percent of executives said they expect their role to transition toward distributed energy integration and market facilitation, [according to Accenture’s Power Surge Ahead: How Distribution Utilities Can Get Smart with Distributed Generation]…Utility executives say they are worried about the impact on their revenues of the booming growth of distributed generation…Fifty-eight percent of the executives surveyed think distributed generation will reduce their revenues by 2030…[V]ertically integrated utilities must grabble with the one-two punch of lowered energy sales revenues and boosted network costs to provide reliable delivery…[T]he biggest stress on utilities’ network hosting capacity will come from energy prosumers who are investing in small-scale distributed generation. A second challenge is medium- or high-voltage connected distributed generation, including large-scale solar plants…About 60 percent of executives surveyed said they expect increased numbers of grid faults by 2020 as a result of distributed renewable energy…” click here for more

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