NewEnergyNews

NewEnergyNews

Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...

While the OFFICE of President remains in highest regard at NewEnergyNews, this administration's position on climate change makes it impossible to regard THIS president with respect. Below is the NewEnergyNews theme song until 2020.

The challenge now: To make every day Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Floating solar offers unique bargains that U.S. utilities are missing
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • TODAY’S STUDY: The Policy Fight For EVs
  • QUICK NEWS, August 20: Climate Crisis Gets Primary Debate – CNN, September 4; Wind Prices Now Beating NatGas

    THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • TODAY’S STUDY: The Wind Boom Now
  • QUICK NEWS, August 19: Any Kind Of Intelligence, Even Artificial; Rent Solar And Save
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • Weekend Video: Why Climate Change Is Winning
  • Weekend Video: Farming Solar In PA
  • Weekend Video: The Joke Is The Joker, Not The Climate Crisis
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-July’s Record Heat Fits The Pattern
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Building The World’s New Energy Future
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-China Seizes New Energy Opening
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    Founding Editor Herman K. Trabish

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    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

    email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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

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

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  • THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, August 22:

  • The Climate Crisis And Everyday Life
  • Corporates Lead Next Wave Energy Transition
  • Billions In Health Benefits From New Energy

    Thursday, August 22, 2019

    The Climate Crisis And Everyday Life

    Death, blackouts, melting asphalt: ways the climate crisis will change how we live; From power cuts to infrastructure failure, the impact of climate change on US cities will be huge – but many are already innovating to adapt

    Pam Radtke Russell, 20 August 2019 (UK Guardian)

    “Between record heat and rain, this summer’s weather patterns have indicated, once again, that the climate is changing…US cities, where more than 80% of the nation’s population lives, are disproportionately hit by these changes…In urban areas, heatwaves are exacerbated by vehicles, industrial processes and the presence of heat-retaining concrete and asphalt…[And, especially in low-lying poorer areas,] record rainfall often accumulates…[I]f emissions continue at the current pace residents in cities around the nation will...Experience an average temperature increase of 8.2F (4.5C)…[and live] in climates similar to the current climates of cities 528 miles (850kms) south…

    …[C]ities are already dealing with the impacts…[A]n average of 658 people die every year from heat-related causes…[Increased air pollution] can cause respiratory problems…[78 people have died in 2019 as a result of] heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding…[E]xcess demand for electricity for air conditioning can cause the grid – or portions of it – to fail…[These impacts are beginning to have economic consequences. Between 2007 and 2011, Cook County, Illinois, saw] flood losses at a cost of $660m (£545m)…Some cities are taking steps to mitigate the impacts by improved communication with at risk populations, adding trees, plants and green infrastructure, painting roofs and pavement white to cool the city, and increasing access to air conditioning…” click here for more

    Corporates Lead Next Wave Energy Transition

    Corporates usher in new wave of US wind and solar growth; It's not driven only by climate change. It's economics

    21 August 2019 (American Wind Energy Association and Wood Mackenzie)

    The largest corporations in the world are signing agreements for massive amounts of wind and solar power…[It is] the beginning stage of a corporate renewables procurement boom, driven not just by goals around mitigating climate change but also by highly competitive renewable project economics…[A new forecast shows] up to 85 gigawatts of renewable energy demand exists within the largest U.S. companies through 2030…

    …[Corporate leaders such as AT&T, General Motors and Facebook contracted more than six gigawatts of power purchase agreements (PPAs) in 2018 alone, representing a new record…[Over the last five years, the power mix for Fortune 1000 companies has remained] at approximately 5 percent. At nearly 1200 terawatt-hours, the non-renewable power demand for these corporations represents an enormous opportunity…C&I customers are procuring more wind than solar power…[but] demand for solar power is growing rapidly…[though] persistent tariffs on solar modules or the expiration of the Investment Tax Credit could hamper solar’s long-term competitive edge…” click here for more

    Billions In Health Benefits From New Energy

    Renewable energy can generate billions of dollars in health benefits, study finds; Researchers at MIT foresee a healthier Rust Belt as a result of renewables

    Justine Calma, August 15, 2019 (The Verge)

    “Ten states across the Midwest and Great Lakes region of the US could see $4.7 billion in health benefits in 2030 [if they build out the wind and solar mandated by] current renewable energy standards…That’s about a 34 percent return on the $3.5 billion price tag…[Health risks associated with the climate crisis range from] annoying allergy seasons to a jump in heat-related illnesses and deaths…[But New Energy offers health benefits, according to new research, because it both limits greenhouse gases and] exposure to fine particulate matter coming from [fossil fuel] power plants. And there’s a vast body of evidence that shows how particulate matter, or soot, can adversely affect respiratory and cardiovascular health…

    …[ In 2016, the Rust Belt generated 42 percent of its power from coal, compared to 30 percent for the US as a whole. And that was before the Trump administration’s push to revive the struggling industry…[I]f those states switch to more renewable energy, air quality will improve. As the pollution rates diminish, so should lung cancer, heart attacks, and strokes among people living there…[which could] reduce the medical bills and lost wages associated with those health effects…[leading to] estimated benefits of $4.7 billion in 2030 if current standards are adopted…[And if states in that region up the percentage of New Energy from 13% to 19.5%,] it would result in $13.5 billion in health benefits in 2030 compared to $5.8 billion in costs…[Going to 26% percent New Energy] would lead to $20 billion in health benefits versus $9 billion in costs to implement…” click here for more

    Wednesday, August 21, 2019

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: Floating solar offers unique bargains that U.S. utilities are missing

    Floating solar offers unique bargains — U.S. utilities are missing out; Siting photovoltaics on water is proving reliable worldwide and the PVs could meet almost 10% of U.S. electricity needs at market-competitive costs, according to NREL.

    Herman K. Trabish, April 4, 2019 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: Floating solar continues to make progress.

    Solar arrays floating on man-made bodies of water can now be cost-competitive with ground-mounted solar and offer unique benefits to utilities. While the technology has a number of advantages, growth in the U.S. has been limited by a lack of definitive data on benefits and financing obstacles due to banks that are reluctant to loan money for projects.

    Floating photovoltaic (FPV) solar, sometimes called "floatovoltaics," is still a peculiarity in the U.S., but the technology has been proven commercially viable in over 100 projects globally. The world's first commercial-scale project was built in California, but in the last two years, China has seized the opportunity and now holds over 90% of the world's 1.1 GW installed capacity, according to an October 2018 World Bank report. FPV could cost-competitively provide almost 10% of U.S. power, according to a December 2018 National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) study. And it offers other unique benefits many U.S. utilities can take advantage of, early movers in the domestic market told Utility Dive.

    Floating solar arrays are essentially the same as ground-mounted or building rooftop arrays. But they are sited on water bodies, mostly man-made "wastewater storage ponds, reservoirs, remediation and tailing ponds, and agricultural irrigation or retention ponds," according to NREL. Using the "extremely conservative assumptions" of only 27% of U.S. man-made water bodies, and only 12% of those bodies' surface area, "we concluded floating solar could produce almost 10% of U.S. electricity," NREL Energy-Water-Land Lead Analyst and report co-author Jordan Macknick told Utility Dive.

    "As of mid-2018, the cumulative installed capacity of floating solar was approaching 1.1 GW," the World Bank reported. That was the U.S. ground-mounted solar installed capacity in 2000. Projects over 1 MW "began to emerge in 2013," the World Bank reported. The first over-10 MW project was built in 2016. By 2018, 100 MW-plus plants were operating in China and planned in India and Southeast Asia.

    China "has almost 1 GW of installed capacity, most on collapsed coal mines where water has pooled in highly toxic unusable lakes," Dubratkova said. "As many as 40 countries around the world with limited land and low cost solar are considering projects." Just 1% of the world's man-made water body surfaces could theoretically host over 400 GW of nameplate generation, the World Bank foundclick here for more

    NO QUICK NEWS

    Tuesday, August 20, 2019

    TODAY’S STUDY: The Policy Fight For EVs

    The 50 States of Electric Vehicles: Q2 2019

    August 2019 (North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center)

    Executive Summary

    Q2 2019 ELECTRIC VEHICLE ACTION

    In Q2 2019, 43 states plus DC took a total of 425 actions related to electric vehicles…Of the 425 actions catalogued, the most common were related to Regulation (109), followed by Financial Incentives (99), and Market Development (88).

    TOP ELECTRIC VEHICLE ACTIONS OF Q2 2019

    Five of the quarter’s most notable electric vehicle actions are noted below.

    Electric Vehicle Study Completed in Vermont, New Study Initiated

    The Vermont Public Utility Commission (PUC) released its final electric vehicle report in June 2019, following a year-long investigatory proceeding. The report includes numerous recommendations for government, utilities, and third parties. State lawmakers also enacted a bill in June 2019 that directs the PUC to prepare a report on additional specific issues related to electric vehicles, including tariff designs and fees to support transportation infrastructure.

    Regulators Approve Electric Vehicle Programs for Pepco, Delmarva, and DTE

    Regulators in DC, Delaware, and Michigan approved electric vehicle investment and rate plans for Pepco, Delmarva Power & Light, and DTE Electric, respectively, during Q2 2019. Programs proposed by Delmarva and DTE were approved in full, while DC regulators partially approved Pepco’s program and opened a new proceeding to continue working on the transportation electrification program.

    Minnesota Utilities File Transportation Electrification Plans

    Minnesota Power, Otter Tail Power, and Xcel Energy filed transportation electrification plans in June 2019, pursuant to the Public Utilities Commission’s February directive. The plans include new rate options for residential, commercial, and DCFC vehicle charging, as well as deployment of utility-owned charging infrastructure and investments in fleet electrification.

    Hawaii and Maine Lawmakers Approve New Electric Vehicle Rebate Programs

    Legislators in Hawaii and Maine enacted bills creating new electric vehicle rebate programs during Q2 2019. In Hawaii, the Public Utilities Commission will administer the program, which will provide rebates of $4,500 for Level 2 charging stations and $35,000 for DC fast chargers developed for public, commercial, or multi-family use. Rebate amounts for Maine’s new program will be determined by Efficiency Maine.

    Seven States Exempt Charging Stations from Public Utility Regulation

    Policymakers or regulators in seven states took actions exempting electric vehicle charging stations from public utility regulation in Q2 2019. Lawmakers in Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Vermont passed bills establishing this exemption, while utilities commissions in Kentucky and Iowa issued decisions to clarify that charging stations do not fall under their jurisdiction.

    TOP ELECTRIC VEHICLE POLICY TRENDS OF Q2 2019

    States Establishing Guidelines for Utility Transportation Electrification Plans

    Recently, several states have been authorizing or directing utilities to file transportation electrification plans and developing guidelines for such plans. These plans often include a combination of direct utility infrastructure deployment, incentive programs, new rate options, and customer education and outreach. In Minnesota, the Public Utilities Commission directed utilities to file transportation electrification plans by June 30th, while Arizona regulators recently adopted an electric vehicle policy implementation plan that directs utilities to develop a joint, comprehensive transportation electrification plan by December 31st . In Oregon, regulators approved rules for transportation electrification plans in April 2019. Legislation enacted in New Mexico directs utilities to file transportation electrification plans by January 2021, while a bill enacted in Washington authorizes utilities to file transportation electrification plans.

    States Exempting Electric Vehicle Charging Stations from Public Utility Regulation

    Seven states have established exemptions from public utility regulation for electric vehicle charging stations so far in 2019. At least 32 states have adopted such an exemption in at least certain jurisdictions, which reduces regulatory burden and typically allows charging station owners to charge users by the kWh for electricity consumed. Five of the exemptions approved in 2019 (in Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Vermont) were the result of legislation, while two exemptions (in Kentucky and Iowa) were affirmed by regulators. Notably, Montana’s legislation exempts charging stations from classification as public utilities, but prohibits owners from charging users by the kWh. While these exemptions are fairly noncontroversial, other related issues are proving more contentious. For example, in Iowa, regulators are now considering whether charging stations covered by the regulatory exemption should be required to purchase electricity from the incumbent utility.

    Policymakers Setting Targets for Zero-Emission State Fleet Vehicles

    Policymakers in multiple states have recently adopted requirements for the procurement of zero-emission or electric vehicles by state agencies. Oregon lawmakers approved a requirement for 25% of new light-duty state vehicles to be zero-emission vehicles by 2025, while the Vermont General Assembly enacted legislation requiring 50% of vehicles purchased or leased by the Department of Buildings and General Services to be hybrid or plug-in electric vehicles. In Maryland, all school buses purchased by county boards of education must be zeroemission vehicles beginning in October 2022. The New York State Senate has passed a bill requiring all passenger vehicles purchased by the state to be zero-emission vehicles by 2030, and other bills adopting zero-emission vehicle procurement targets remain under consideration in Massachusetts and New Jersey.

    QUICK NEWS, August 20: Climate Crisis Gets Primary Debate – CNN, September 4; Wind Prices Now Beating NatGas

    Climate Crisis Gets Primary Debate – CNN, September 4 8 Democratic presidential candidates will participate in CNN climate town hall

    Mark Preston, August 19, 2019 (CNN)

    “…CNN is devoting the evening of Sept. 4 to the climate crisis. Eight of the [nine qualifying] Democratic candidates have accepted CNN's invitation to discuss this critically important issue: former Vice President Joe Biden; Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey; South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg; Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota; former Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas; Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont; Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts; and businessman Andrew Yang…Citing a scheduling conflict, Sen. Kamala Harris of California declined…CNN anchors Erin Burnett, Anderson Cooper, Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon will moderate individual candidate segments, and CNN Chief Climate Correspondent Bill Weir will join in the questioning throughout…

    …[In back-to-back appearances, candidates will take questions directly from a live studio audience in New York drawn from Democratic voters and a CNN moderator. A late April CNN poll showed 96% of Democrats favored aggressive action to slow the effects of climate change. The United Nations projects temperatures will rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by as early as 2030 and] has warned that governments must take ‘rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society’…[including sea level rise] leaving hundreds of millions of people displaced and forced to migrate to dry areas…[and plant and animal extinctions and drought causing] lower crop yields…July 2019 was the hottest month ever recorded on Earth…” click here for more

    Wind Prices Now Beating NatGas Wind power prices now lower than the cost of natural gas; In the US, it's cheaper to build and operate wind farms than buy fossil fuels.

    John Timmer, August 17, 2019 (Ars Technica)

    “…[Wind hardware prices are dropping and] new turbine designs are increasing the typical power generated by each turbine…[As a result, wind farms can be built and operated] for less than the expected cost of buying fuel for an equivalent natural gas plant…[Wind’s federal production tax credit (PTC) is phasing out, leading to some long-term uncertainty…[Growth in coal and nuclear are essentially at a standstill. Wind’s new 7.6GW was 20% of new U.S. capacity, third behind natural gas and solar…[ U.S. installed capacity is now] nearly 100GW…[It supplied 6.5% of total electricity in 2018 and Kansas, Iowa, and Oklahoma get over 30%,] with the two Dakotas not far behind. The Southwest Power Pool, which serves two of those states plus wind giant Texas, is currently getting a quarter of its electricity from wind…[The 2018 national average wind price fell] below $20/MWh for the first time…That puts wind in an incredibly competitive position…

    …[N]atural gas—on its own, without considering the cost of a plant to burn it for electricity—is already over $20/MWh…[Photovoltaics have reached prices that are roughly equivalent to wind…[U]nless natural gas prices reverse the expected trend and get cheaper, wind and solar will remain the cheapest sources of new electricity in the US…[The levelized cost of electricity, which eliminates the impact of incentives and subsidies on the final prices, places natural gas around $50/MWh and] wind below $40/MWh in 2018…[I]t's clear that the economic case for wind energy will remain solid as the tax credits for the construction of renewable energy fade out over the next few years…[but developers are starting projects sooner rather than later to capture them, there could be] a bubble in construction for the next couple of years, followed by a dramatic drop off.” click here for more

    Monday, August 19, 2019

    TODAY’S STUDY: The Wind Boom Now

    U.S. Wind Industry Second Quarter 2019 Market Report

    August 2019 (American Wind Energy Association)

    Executive Summary

    2019 Wind Project Installations

    • The U.S. wind industry installed 736 MW of new wind power capacity in the second quarter of 2019. The industry has commissioned 1,577 MW in the first half of the year, a 53% increase over the first half of 2018.

    • Project owners commissioned four new projects across two states in the second quarter. Texas led with 734 MW installed, followed by California with 2 MW.

    • There are now 97,960 MW of cumulative installed wind capacity in the United States, with more than 57,000 wind turbines operating across 41 states and two U.S. territories.

    Wind Capacity Under Construction or in Advanced Development

    • Construction activity reached a new record of 20,908 MW at the end of the second quarter, with an additional 20,892 MW in advanced development. The combined 41,801 MW represents a 10% year-over-year increase and a new high water mark for the industry.

    • Projects totaling 4,448 MW started construction and a further 2,842 MW entered advanced development during the second quarter. The combined 7,290 MW marks the second-highest volume of new announcements on record.

    • 15 states have over 1,000 MW under construction or advanced development. Texas hosts 22% of the total development pipeline, followed by Wyoming (12%), New Mexico (7%), Iowa, (6%), and South Dakota (5%).

    • In terms of offtake, 47% of capacity in the pipeline has a PPA in place, while 20% is utility-owned and 8% has a hedge contract.

    Wind Power Procurement Activity

    • Project developers announced 1,962 MW of new PPAs in the second quarter, contributing to a total of 4,799 MW for the year.

    • Corporate customers signed 52% (1,013 MW) of capacity contracted in the second quarter. Six companies purchased wind for the first time, including Hormel Foods, Cisco Systems, and Ernst & Young.

    • Utilities signed contracts for 949 MW of wind capacity, led by Associated Electric Cooperative and Minnesota Municipal Power Agency. Ameren Missouri also announced plans to add 300 MW of wind capacity under direct ownership in the second quarter.

    Turbine Technology Trends

    • Vestas turbines represent 49% of turbine installations in the first half of 2019, while GE Renewable Energy accounts for 42% and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy represents 9%.

    • Average turbine capacities continue to increase, with 14% of turbines installed year-to-date rated between 3.4 MW to 3.6 MW. In the second quarter, the Patriot Wind project became the sixth operating project in the country with turbines rated above 3.5 MW.

    • Looking forward, the majority of projects underway that have reported turbine models are using turbines with a nameplate capacity between 2 MW and 3 MW, while 33% have selected turbines rated 3 MW or higher.

    • The U.S. wind industry commissioned 736 MW of wind power capacity in the second quarter of 2019.

    • Installations for the year total 1,577 MW, a 53% increase over the first half of 2018.

    • In addition to new capacity installations, project owners partially repowered 150 MW in the second quarter.

    • The industry is closing in on the 100 GW milestone. There are now 97,960 MW of cumulative installed wind capacity in the United States, with more than 57,000 wind turbines operating across 41 states and two U.S. territories.

    • Developers commissioned four new wind projects totaling 736 MW in two states during the second quarter.

    • Texas led second quarter capacity additions with 734 MW, including the 478 MW Hale Wind project. California added a 1.7 MW single-turbine project.

    • Year-to-date the industry has added 11 projects across 7 states totalling 1,577 MW.

    • Texas leads in installations for the year (734 MW), followed by Iowa (536 MW).

    • Project owners also partially repowered 407 MW across two projects in Iowa in the first half of the year (not shown on map)

    • Texas continues to lead the nation in installed capacity, surpassing 25 GW of wind power in the second quarter.

    • 19 states have over 1,000 MW of installed capacity.

    • The near-term U.S. wind project pipeline grew to a new record in the second quarter of 2019. There are now 41,801 MW of wind power capacity either under construction (20,908 MW) or in advanced development (20,892 MW), including 3,152 MW of offshore wind. The total pipeline increased 7% over the first quarter and 10% year-over-year as developers continue to find offtake for PTC-qualifying projects.

    • Project developers announced 7,290 MW in combined new activity for the second quarter of 2019, with projects totaling 4,448 MW starting construction and a further 2,842 MW entering advanced development.

    ’ • Project developers continue to move their near-term pipelines forward. Fifteen projects previously in advanced development moved into the construction phase in the second quarter. Wind projects currently under construction have been underway for an average of roughly 12 months, while projects in advanced development have been underway for 14 months, on average. Over 63% of the 41,801 MW underway started construction or entered advanced development in 2018 or 2019.

    • Construction activity reached a new record in the second quarter, with a total of 20,908 MW now under construction.

    • Construction activity increased 21% over the previous quarter as 4,448 MW started construction in the second quarter.

    • Total wind capacity under construction is up 10% year-over-year…

    QUICK NEWS, August 19: Any Kind Of Intelligence, Even Artificial; Rent Solar And Save

    Any Kind Of Intelligence, Even Artificial Climate Collapse: Is AI The Antidote?

    Tom Vander Ark, August 19, 2019 (Forbes)

    “…The climate crisis is biological, ecological and political. It’s at least catastrophic, if not existential…and it will take a portfolio of efforts to begin mitigating the impending disasters…[There are likely to be] four impacts of the climate crisis on education…[First, it will be the most dominant issue in the lives of young people…[and] monopolize the weather, the science, and—after it becomes painfully obvious to even the climate deniers—the politics of the next 30 years… 55% of teachers don't teach or talk about climate change. However, four in five parents wish they did…[T]he climate collapse will become central to learning in science, math and social studies…[Second, the] global tilt toward populism and nationalism is…a political sugar rush,..

    Education can help young people figure out who they are, what they are good at, what the world needs, and what they care about—and help them make their initial contribution…[Third, artificial intelligence] holds the promise of extraordinary benefits…[It can make] wind energy more predictable…[boost] grid and storage intelligence…[improve weather forecasts to get more value from New Energy…[and help landowners visualize the carbon mitigation potential of the land they manage…AI will help combat the climate crisis, but it won’t save us…[Fourth, educators must] teach young people the design skills to mitigate and adapt to the damage we’ve created…” click here for more

    Rent Solar And Save Tesla pitches a solar rental program to boost its renewable energy business

    Jonathan Sheiber, August 18, 2019 (TechCrunch)

    Tesla is pitching customers on a new rental offering for solar power …Tesla has seen its share of the market decline significantly since its acquisition of SolarCity three years ago. In the second quarter Tesla deployed only 29 megawatts of new solar installations, while the number one and two providers of consumer solar, SunRun and Vivint Solar installed 103 megawatts and 56 megawatts respectively…[Tesla said the new program will deliver significant savings] for potential customers who live in states with high energy costs…

    Unlike SunRun and Vivint, which both used partnerships with homebuilders and retailers like Home Depot, BJ’s Wholesale, Costco and Sam’s Club to acquire customers, Tesla ended door-to-door marketing and abandoned its partnership with Home Depot…[It has relied] almost entirely on direct sales…and eschewed the no-money-down lease model, which SolarCity had used so effectively…Under the new system, Tesla is offering customers the option to rent solar systems for anywhere from $65 for a small installation to $195 for its largest installation…[It requires] a fully refundable $100 charge…[and $1,500 to remove the system once it has been installed…” click here for more

    Saturday, August 17, 2019

    Why Climate Change Is Winning

    Big Oil’s dark money continues to buy crisis for the planet's climate. From Real Time with Bill Maher via YouTube

    Farming Solar In PA

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3xbFAmD6U4

    Growing solar projects on Pennsylvania farmlands is good for farmers and even better for their bottom lines. From NBC 10 Philadelphia via YouTube

    The Joke Is The Joker, Not The Climate Crisis

    The pathetic story of this president and the climate crisis. From CNN via YouTube

    Friday, August 16, 2019

    July’s Record Heat Fits The Pattern

    July was the globe’s hottest month in recorded history according to NOAA—the latest data point in an irrefutable warming trend that’s being felt both globally and locally.

    August 15, 2019 (Climate Central)

    “…NOAA named this past July the hottest month on record, confirming statements from the World Meteorological Association and Europe’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (July was 2nd according to NASA). While this event is historic, it is by no means an exception. The past five years have been the warmest on record globally, leading to unprecedented heat that is projected to intensify as the climate warms…Across the country, this decade has seen twice as many record highs as record lows…

    The 2010s have the greatest imbalance of record highs in 133 of the 244 cities analyzed (55%)…While the 1930s do hold notable heat records, only 34 of the cities analyzed (14%) still have this as their decade with the highest percent of record highs…Dust Bowl-era heat is being overtaken by more recent human-caused warming from greenhouse gases. The urban heat island effect also contributes—especially to warming nights…” click here for more

    Building The World’s New Energy Future

    How two global organizations are helping to lay the foundations for a renewable energy future

    Anmar Frangoul, August 16, 2019 (CNBC)

    “Businesses and governments are searching for ways to increase their use of renewable energy and reduce their impact on the environment…[Organizations such as REN21] play a role in this discussion and debate…REN21 members include governments, industry associations, non-governmental organizations and academic institutions…It was set up in 2004 following the International Conference on Renewable Energy in Bonn and issues reports…[on] the global transition to renewable energy…to inform policy making…

    [S]hining light on data in a concise and clear way will be a crucial tool if attitudes are to change and the world is to transition to more renewable sources of energy…[An example is that more than 80% of global energy is used for heating and cooling as well as for transport but renewables are barely increasing] in those two sectors…[The imbalance is directly linked to] the lack of political attention in those two sectors as opposed to the electricity one…[and data can help shift focus] from an electricity transition to an energy transition…” click here for more

    China Seizes New Energy Opening

    The U.S. left a hole in leadership on climate. China is filling it

    Luiza Ch, Savage, August 15, 2019 (Politico)

    “…China is making greater and faster strides than expected away from fossil fuels — becoming the world’s largest investor in solar and wind technology and boasting more jobs in solar energy than in coal-mining…[as] part of a long-term economic strategy to dominate in critical technologies… China remains the world’s leading emitter of greenhouse gases, accounting for roughly 30 percent of global carbon dioxide pollution…But the moves are giving China a growing leadership role on the world stage — precisely at a time when Washington’s voice is becoming less relevant…[China fell behind in the Industrial Revolution, but] saw the potential to lead the clean energy revolution…

    …[Critics have complained that China’s Paris Agreement] pledges would still allow the country to increase emissions for more than a decade…[They] contend that cuts in U.S. emissions promised by the Obama administration would hurt economic growth…[They also argue the U.S.’s second-largest share of world emissions — 15 percent — has dropped not because of policy but because of] power producers switching to cheaper natural gas from coal…[But China is not just fighting climate change. It is advancing its] economic competitiveness…China is responsible for a third of wind turbines and solar panels in the world — and its investments have had the side effect of driving down the global price of solar and wind technologies by nearly three-quarters in the last decade…

    These efforts have allowed China to reduce the share of coal in its overall energy mix from 80 percent to 60 percent…[I]f China continues to fully implement the policies that it already has in place to cut coal consumption — and ramps up its energy efficiency efforts — the nation could cap its coal consumption by as early as next year…China has also pursued electrification at an eye-popping pace. It now has almost half the world's electric vehicles, half the world’s charging infrastructure, and 99 percent of the world's electric buses…Alongside aggressive green investments, China has also retooled its climate diplomacy…China’s climate diplomacy [has marginalized Washington’s role and turned to] working with individual U.S. states…” click here for more

    Thursday, August 15, 2019

    Where To See The Climate Crisis In The U.S. Now

    The Climate Crisis Is Not Evenly Distributed, But It's Already Here; A new report details which areas of the United States are already undergoing the most serious change.

    Charles P. Pierce, August 14, 2019 (Esquire)

    “…[T]he most extreme consequences [and impacts] of the climate crisis are already here in the United States…Alaska is the fastest-warming state in the country, but Rhode Island is the first state in the Lower 48 whose average temperature rise has eclipsed 2 degrees Celsius…[Because of higher winter temperatures, other] parts of the Northeast — New Jersey, Connecticut, Maine and Massachusetts — trail close behind…[The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that if Earth heats up by an average of 2 degrees Celsius, virtually all the world’s coral reefs will die; retreating ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica could unleash massive sea level rise; and summertime Arctic sea ice, a shield against further warming, would begin to disappear]…

    Scientists do not completely understand the Northeast hot spot. But fading winters and very warm water offshore are the most likely culprits…[C]limate change is a cycle that feeds on itself…Warmer winters mean less ice and snow cover…[As they] retreat, the ground absorbs the solar radiation and warms…[I]n every Northeast state except Pennsylvania, the temperatures of the winter months of December through February have risen by 2 degrees Celsius since 1895-1896…

    …[I]ce breaks up in New England lakes nine to 16 days earlier than in the 19th century…[B]eaches are disappearing in Rhode Island…And the ripple effects of a warmer planet shake entire ecosystems…[On lake’s warmer]water has resulted in an algae bloom that's made swimming in the lake impossible…[Warmer temperatures have spurred [the southern pine] beetle’s migration north, where it has damaged more than 20,000 acres of the state’s Pine Barrens, a vast coastal forested plain that Congress has defined as a national reserve…The crisis is here, now.” click here for more

    Smart Energy Businesses Are Moving To New Energy

    US renewable energy growing rapidly, expert says

    Blair Shiff, August 13, 2019 (Fox Business)

    “…The U.S. is seeing] an era of energy independence and energy abundance, which we won't have predicted six or eight years ago…[Since] 2009, U.S. oil and gas production outpaced all other countries' natural gas production…[and, according to U.S. Energy Association executive director Barry Worthington, is rushing to build liguified natural gas export terminals approved during the Obama administration. It is also] taking a leadership position in renewables…

    [R]enewable energy deployment in the United States is ‘very, very rapid’…[as falling prices lead wind and solar to] sizable gains year after year…[R]enewable energy is rather modest when it comes to a total percentage, but it's still growing quickly…[Big oil companies like Exxon, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and Shell are diversifying because] customers want to buy renewable electricity…[and smart businesses give] customers what they want…” click here for more

    How Low Can Storage’s Price Go?

    Getting to 100% renewables requires cheap energy storage. But how cheap? New research gives energy storage a cost target.

    David Roberts, August 9, 2019 (VOX)

    “…[Some say] renewables can supply 100 percent of US energy, with sufficient help from cheap energy storage and savvy management of demand…[Others say renewables] need assistance from nuclear power and natural gas or biomass with carbon capture and storage…[It is a critical debate] as a whole host of states and cities are passing laws targeting ‘100 percent clean energy.’ Some, like Hawaii, specifically target 100 percent renewables. Some, like Washington state, target 100 percent ‘clean,’ allowing room for non-renewable sources…[Wind and solar are ‘variable’ and not ‘dispatchable’ the grid must adjust] to them…[and] needs lots of flexibility…[The most promising source of flexibility] is energy storage…

    With cheap-enough storage, we can add a ton of [renewables] to the grid and absorb just about any fluctuations…[F]or renewables to get to 100 percent, research suggests storage must see] around a 90 percent drop from today’s costs…[to] approximately $30–70/kWh…[That is] not outside the realm of possibility, but well beyond the edge of most mainstream projections…[But energy] storage is developing rapidly and within striking distance of transformative costs…[and] a whole portfolio of storage options is available, with lots more options in development…A US energy grid run entirely on renewable energy (at least 95 percent of the time), leaning primarily on energy storage to provide grid flexibility, may be more realistic, and closer to hand, than conventional wisdom has it.” click here for more