NewEnergyNews More: August 2017

NewEnergyNews More

Every day is Earthday.

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  • Tuesday, August 15, 2017

    New Forest To Offset Bad U.S. Climate Policies Has 120,000 Pledges

    'Donald Trump forest' climate change project gains momentum

    Matt McGrath, August 15, 2017 (BBC News)

    “A campaign to plant trees to compensate for the impact of President Trump's climate policies has 120,000 pledges…The project was started by campaigners upset at what they call the president's ‘ignorance’ on climate science…Trump Forest allows people either to plant locally or pay for trees in a number of poorer countries…The organisers say they need to plant an area the size of Kentucky to offset the Trump effect…Based in New Zealand, the project began in March this year and so far has gained pledges from around 450 people based all around the world. In the first month, 15,000 trees were pledged - that's now gone past 120,000…Some people have paid for trees to be planted in forest restoration projects in Madagascar, Haiti, Ethiopia, and Nepal. Others have simply bought and planted a tree themselves and sent a copy of the receipt to the project…” click here for more

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    Wind Becoming The Go-To Power

    Interactive Map Shows You How Wind Power Is Taking Over America

    August 14, 2017 (IFL Science)

    "…[A new tool maps] every utility-scale wind project and wind-related manufacturing facility in the United States…In 2016, [wind provided over 6 percent of all energy used in the country, after 30 years] of rapid growth…[The tool’s time-lapse feature traces that growth…California took the lead, establishing the earliest modern wind projects in the early 1980s. Since then, several other states have upped their game, including Iowa, Kansas, Texas, and South Dakota, who get as much as 20 percent of their energy from wind…[Wind] supports more than 100,000 jobs across 50 states and the Bureau of Labour puts wind turbine service technicians at the top of its fastest growing occupations list…” click here for more

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    88,000 Jobs And The Fight Over Solar Imports

    Why 88,000 American jobs in solar energy are at risk

    Charles Hernick, August 14, 2017 (The Hill)

    “…[An August 15] hearing will determine the fate of 88,000 American jobs…The U.S. International Trade Commission must decide whether an influx of lower-cost solar panels, mostly produced in Asian countries, has an excessively harmful effect on domestic manufacturers that make comparable solar cells…[The outcome will have an immediate jobs impact and] set a precedent for how similar cases will be handled…The case was brought by Suniva and SolarWorld, which together employ a little over a thousand workers. [They] claim there are too many imported solar panels that are too cheap…The commission will assess whether there has been injury done and whether it was a direct result of the inexpensive imports, and it will then make a formal recommendation to the president if it has determined that a trade remedy — a tariff increase — is appropriate. The tariff the two companies have requested on imported cells would effectively double their cost, which would obviously be a disaster for the broader solar industry…” click here for more

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    Monday, August 14, 2017

    Climate Is The Elephant In The Room

    If you care about identity politics your priority has to be saving the planet; You expect to find climate change denial on the right. But from the left too, there is a strange silence about the single most pressing issue facing humanity

    Matthew Todd, 14 August 2017 (UK Guardian)

    “…[The climate crisis gets much less attention in the daily news than other stories even though it is] smashing temperature records, raising sea levels, driving diseases into places they’ve not been before, and which may lead, as Professor Stephen Hawking suggests, to a need for the human race to flee the planet…Partly it’s because of the tens of corporate millions spent by the biggest polluters to create doubt that stalls legislation…But what is surprising is that the left are not more fired up…[This is something] on which all other issues rest and rely…This is not a case of either/or – it is possible to campaign on multiple issues at the same time, but for too long, too many progressives have stayed silent over climate change…[We can start] by watching Al Gore’s new film An Inconvenient Sequel…The Earth itself could not be clearer…[I]n Iraq birds are falling from the sky as the country suffers through 50C heat. Spain has just broken its all-time temperature record, hitting a shocking 46C amid a European heatwave named Lucifer. We are on the verge of something literally unimaginable from which scientists say there will be no way back…” click here for more

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    Long-Term, NatGas Is Not The Answer

    Switching from coal to natural gas will not save our planet; If as little as 3 percent of natural gas leaks in the course of fracking and delivering it to the power plant through a pipe, then it’s worse than coal.

    Bill McKibben, August 8, 2017 (Seattle Times)

    “…[The natural-gas industry recently claimed ‘the U.S. leads the world in absolute reductions in carbon emissions, due in large part to the increased availability and affordability of natural gas.’ This is true on the surface…[But methane, which is the scientific name for natural gas, traps heat about 80 times more effectively, molecule for molecule, than CO2…If as little as 3 percent of natural gas leaks in the course of fracking and delivering it to the power plant through a pipe, then it’s worse than coal…And, sadly, it’s now clear that leakage rates are higher than that. In January 2013, aerial surveys of a Utah fracking basin, for instance, found leak rates as high as 9 percent. Data from a Harvard satellite survey showed that between 2002 and 2014, U.S. methane emissions increased more than 30 percent…[Some experts] say that because of the boom in fracking and the conversion to gas, America’s total greenhouse-gas emissions may actually have gone up…” click here for more

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    Why Wind Is Such A Good Choice

    5 Things You Should Know About Wind Energy

    August 8, 2017 (U.S. Dept. of Energy)

    “…From utility-scale wind farms to small distributed wind applications to the nation’s first offshore wind project, the U.S. wind industry continued to grow in 2016…Across all 50 states, wind energy powered more than 101,000 jobs in the United States in 2016, an increase of 32% from 2015…The first American offshore wind farm began operating off the coast of Rhode Island [in December 2016]…More offshore wind projects are anticipated in the near future, bringing with them the promise of new jobs and low-cost, carbon-free energy…Prices of wind turbines and their installation costs have plummeted over the past eight years…[Combined with the ongoing development of larger, more efficient wind turbines and record-low interest rates, land-based wind power prices] compare favorably to natural gas prices in 2017 and beyond…” click here for more

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    Tuesday, August 8, 2017

    Govt. Study Finds White House All Wrong On Climate

    Government Report Finds Drastic Impact of Climate Change on U.S.

    Lisa Friedman, August 7, 2017 (NY Times)

    “The average temperature in the United States has risen rapidly and drastically since 1980, and recent decades have been the warmest of the past 1,500 years, according to [Draft of the Climate Science Special Report,] which has not yet been made public…[It] concludes that Americans are feeling the effects of climate change right now…[That] directly contradicts claims by President Trump and members of his cabinet who say that the human contribution to climate change is uncertain, and that the ability to predict the effects is limited…‘Evidence for a changing climate abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans,’ [it reports]…‘Many lines of evidence demonstrate that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse (heat-trapping) gases, are primarily responsible for recent observed climate change,’ [it adds]…” click here for more

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    Another Big Quarter For Wind

    Wind industry development up 40% in strong second quarter; Kansas now fifth state with over 5,000 megawatts of wind installed

    July 27, 2017 (American Wind Energy Association)

    “Over 40 percent more wind power projects are under construction or advanced development in America than at this time last year, according to [the industry’s second-quarter market report]…Across the country, 29 wind projects, representing a combined 3,841 megawatts (MW), announced that they either began construction or entered advanced development in April through June 2017, for a total of 25,819 MW of wind projects currently underway. That is up more than 7,500 MW from the 18,279 MW underway as of one year ago, an impressive feat because nearly 10,000 MW of additional wind projects came online over that time period and therefore were subtracted from the under-construction total…[S]ix major commercial and industrial customers buying U.S. wind power for the first time, including Apple and General Mills…Strong wind power development continued in rural America this quarter, where wind has become a major source of new investment and jobs in many communities…Momentum behind offshore wind continued this quarter following last year’s completion of the first American offshore wind project off Rhode Island… During the second quarter, the Maryland Public Service Commission awarded offshore renewable energy credits (ORECs) to two planned offshore wind energy projects that will total 368 MW…[and] Massachusetts, in partnership with local electric distribution companies, issued a request for proposals for between 400 MW and 800 MW of offshore wind power…” click here for more

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    Eclipse To Clip Solar A Bit

    Solar eclipse on August 21 will affect photovoltaic generators across the country

    August 7, 2017 (U.S. Energy Information Administration)

    “On August 21, a solar eclipse [over approximately 90 minutes] will obscure the sunlight needed to generate electricity at approximately 1,900 utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants in the United States. However, relatively little solar PV capacity lies in the path of totality—where the sun will be completely obscured by the moon—and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) does not anticipate the eclipse will create reliability issues for the bulk power system.

    …[According to A Wide-Area Perspective on the August 21, 2017 Total Solar Eclipse, generators] outside of the path of totality will be less affected…The path of totality only affects 17 utility-scale solar PV generators, mostly in eastern Oregon. Hundreds of plants totaling about 4.0 gigawatts (GW) of capacity—mostly in North Carolina and Georgia—will be at least 90% obscured. Another 2.2 GW and 3.9 GW of capacity are in areas that will be at least 80% and at least 70% obscured, respectively…

    During the eclipse, electricity generators in the areas affected by the eclipse will have to increase output from other sources of electricity generation to supplement the decrease in solar power…[NERC] does not anticipate any impacts on the reliability of North America’s bulk power system attributable to the eclipse…Based on the amount of sunlight obscured for each of the state’s generators, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) estimates that California will experience a reduction in solar generating capacity of almost 4.2 GW [of its 8.8 GW of utility-scale solar PV capacity] during the eclipse, which is estimated to partially darken the state from 9:02 a.m. to 11:54 a.m. local time…” click here for more

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    Monday, August 7, 2017

    The Injustice Of Climate Change Impacts

    In Sweltering South, Climate Change Is Now a Workplace Hazard; Workers laboring outdoors in southern states are wrestling with the personal and political consequences of a worsening environment.

    Yamiche Alcindor, August 3, 2017 (NY Times)

    “…[Galveston, TX, landscaper Adolfo Guerra’s co-worker vomited and convulsed after hours of mowing lawns in stifling heat. The man was quickly covered with ice and recovered. The landscapers spend] nine hours a day six days a week doing yard work…[The episode reveals] the dangers that exist for outdoor workers as the planet warms…[Instead of a polar bear, environmental justice advocates say, the climate change] icon should be a kid who is suffering from the negative impacts of climate change and increased air pollution, or a family where rising water is endangering their lives…[The seemingly small average warming of 2 degrees to 3 degrees Fahrenheit] leads to a much greater chance of extreme [weather and] heat waves, scientists say…[And the] unleashing of the fossil energy sector that Mr. Trump has championed could have [more immediate] repercussions…Communities surrounded by refineries and chemical plants, [face significantly increased levels of asthma and lung disease]…” click here for more

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    Welcome National Wind Week

    Announcing the first ever American Wind Week; Nationwide event launches dedicated to U.S. leadership in wind power

    August 7, 2017 (American Wind Energy Association)

    “…[American Wind Week, the first annual celebration of U.S. leadership in wind power, will run] through August 12…[It is intended to recognize that] wind power is now the largest source of U.S. renewable energy capacity and supports over 100,000 U.S. jobs across all 50 states…Wind power has grown to be a mainstream source of affordable, reliable electricity in the United States. A standard two-megawatt (MW) wind turbine in the U.S. generates enough electricity to power more than 550 average American homes, nearly twice the productivity of wind turbines in China and Germany. Today there are over 52,000 wind turbines in 41 states, producing enough electricity for 25 million average American homes…Close to 99 percent of U.S. wind power capacity can be found in rural communities…[and, nationwide,] U.S. wind projects built over the last decade represent over $143 billion of investment…Wind jobs grew 9 times faster than the overall economy last year, and “wind turbine technician” is the fastest growing job in America, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics…” click here for more

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    Solar’s Fight Against Old Energy

    Dirty energy's quiet war on solar panels

    Basav Sen, August 5, 2017 (The Hill)

    “…In statehouses all over the country, there's a growing movement by [fossil fuel] industry front groups to undermine net metering and other renewable energy incentives…These front groups include the Edison Electric Institute, the utility industry’s trade association, and outfits such as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and Americans for Prosperity, both of which are funded by the Koch brothers…These groups scored recent victories against net metering in Indiana and Maine, and have turned the renewable energy mandate for utilities in wind-rich Kansas — known in the industry as a Renewable Portfolio Standard — into a toothless voluntary goal…Industry groups and the politicians they effectively buy claim that distributed solar energy imposes costs on customers who don’t install solar panels, because solar users don't pay their fair share of the costs of maintaining the grid…[I]ndependent energy experts — even those who don't support net metering in all circumstances — argue that the practice can be a “reasonable proxy for the value of solar.” The case against the utility and Koch-led attack on renewables is strong on logic, but evidently weak on campaign cash, which is why the onslaught of anti-net metering and anti-renewables bills continues…The truth is the best antidote…When people learn the benefits of renewables, they push back against these policies, defying partisan political stereotypes…” click here for more

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    Tuesday, August 1, 2017

    The Simple Facts On Climate Change

    The Facts; 11 Facts About Climate Change

    Libby Plummer and Cara Mcgoogan, 31 JUly 2017 (Wired)

    “…While a dwindling band of refuseniks still insist that is doesn't exist, climate change is already here, and it's only going to get worse, with some of the severe effects having already started to take hold…1. Temperatures are breaking records around the world…2. There is no scientific debate about the reality of climate change…3. Arctic sea ice and glaciers are melting…4. Sea levels are rising at their fastest rate in 2,000 years…5. Climate change will lead to a refugee crisis…6. We will consume all of Earth's 2017 resources by August…7. Two-thirds of the Great Barrier Reef has been damaged as a result of climate change…8. The ocean is 26 percent more acidic than before the Industrial Revolution…9. Global flooding could triple by 2030…10. More greenhouse gases are in our atmosphere than any time in human history…11. Earth could warm by 6 degrees this century…” click here for more

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    Leaked DOE Finds New Energy Beats Old Energy

    Coal and nuclear are uneconomic — more bombshells from Perry’s draft grid study; “High levels of wind penetration can be integrated into the grid without harming reliability.”

    Joe Romm, July 17, 2017 (ThinkProgress)

    “…[A leaked July draft of Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s grid study debunks his attack on renewable energy…[Its findings] are fairly well known to energy experts but may come as an unpleasant surprise to Perry and the White House. For instance, a large fraction of America’s aging fleet of coal and nuclear plants are simply not economic to operate anymore…The release of the study has been delayed several weeks — and the findings in the draft might explain why.

    The study was specifically requested to back up Perry’s claims that EPA regulations, along with renewable power sources like solar and wind power, were undermining the U.S. electric grid’s reliability…But the leaked July draft concludes the grid is as reliable than ever…[and finds that since 2002, most baseload power plant retirements have been due] to relatively high operating cost…It’s increasingly clear that, for the foreseeable future, gas prices will stay low, demand growth will stay lower (thanks in large part to energy efficiency), and renewables will keep getting cheaper. And it doesn’t make sense to keep an uneconomic plant running when you know it’s going to keep losing money…” click here for more

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    Old Energy Backs Study Of Solar Benefits

    Energy industry wants to brighten solar market

    July 23, 2017 (San Francisco Chronicle)

    “Energy business owners, industry observers and environmentalists are optimistic about] an interim study of the economic benefit of solar power [in Oklahoma] was approved July 7…[State Reps. Forrest Bennett, D-Oklahoma City; Claudia Griffith, D-Norman; Ben Loring, D-Bartlesville; and Cyndi Munson, D-Oklahoma City, proposed analyzing potential job growth from solar power and what's preventing its development. The request also proposes examining how solar power is connected to the grid and studying existing state rules for consumers who resell surplus electricity to a utility, known as net metering…” click here for more

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