NewEnergyNews: QUICK NEWS, May 20: INSURANCE COMPANIES PREPARE FOR CLIMATE CHANGE; UK’S GREEN BANK BRINGS THE BIG BUCKS; UTILITY GOES FOR BETTER SUN, WIND FORECASTS

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YESTERDAY

  • TODAY’S STUDY: Global Nuclear Now
  • QUICK NEWS, October 17: Top 5 Climate Change Solutions; EVs To Lead By 2030; Diversity In Solar
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • TODAY’S STUDY: How Get The Stacked Values Of Battery Storage
  • QUICK NEWS, October 16: Worse Than ‘The New Normal’; New Energy To The Rescue; How Rooftop Solar Cuts Everybody’s Power Bills
  • THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • Weekend Video: Bloomberg To Colbert – New Energy Is The Answer
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  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Why Geoengineering Has Comes With Big Risks
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-The Immense Potential Of Ocean Wind
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-The Best Place To Build New Energy Is China – Survey
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Japan’s Mitsubishi Sees EV Price Beating Gas Cars
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, October 12:

  • TTTA Thursday-Big Work Now Ahead On Climate Change
  • TTTA Thursday-New Energy Ready To Take Over In The New South
  • TTTA Thursday-How The Ocean Can Store New Energy
  • TTTA Thursday-Indiana Nun Fights For Solar
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: New Hampshire Makes A New Energy Compromise That was ‘Worth It’
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Survey Shows Utilities Expect New Energy Expansion
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    Founding Editor Herman K. Trabish

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  • TODAY AT NewEnergyNews, October 18:

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Can California hit 1.5M zero-emission vehicles by 2025?
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Corporate demand pushes new generation of utility green tariffs

    Monday, May 20, 2013

    QUICK NEWS, May 20: INSURANCE COMPANIES PREPARE FOR CLIMATE CHANGE; UK’S GREEN BANK BRINGS THE BIG BUCKS; UTILITY GOES FOR BETTER SUN, WIND FORECASTS

    INSURANCE COMPANIES PREPARE FOR CLIMATE CHANGE For Insurers, No Doubts on Climate Change

    Eduardo Porter, May 14 2013 (NY Times)

    “…[N]atural catastrophes across the United States pounded insurers last year, generating$35 billion in privately insured property losses, $11 billion more than the average over the last decade…And the industry expects the situation will get worse…Most insurers, including the reinsurance companies that bear much of the ultimate risk in the industry, have little time for the arguments heard in some right-wing circles that climate change isn’t happening…[and accept that it is caused by humans. But]…the focus of insurers’ advocacy efforts is zoning rules and disaster mitigation [instead of prevention].

    …[The concentration of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere [recently] reached 400 parts per million…The milestone puts the earth nearer a point of no return, many scientists think, when vast, disruptive climate change is baked into our future…[So] why hasn’t corporate America done more to sway its allies in the Republican Party to try to avert a disaster that would clearly be devastating to its own interests?”

    “…[The insurance industry may want to avoid] controversies over energy policy. But perhaps its executives simply don’t feel so vulnerable. Like farmers, who are largely protected from the ravages of climate change by government-financed crop insurance, insurers also have less to fear than it might at first appear…The federal government covers flood insurance, among the riskiest kind in this time of crazy weather. And insurers can raise premiums or even drop coverage to adjust to higher risks. Indeed, despite Sandy and drought, property and casualty insurance in the United States was more profitable in 2012 than in 2011, according to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.

    “But the industry…[is evolving. Insurance companies] dropped their support for [the Heartland Institute, and Heartland VP Eli Lehrer, who led an insurance-financed project, left to help]…start the R Street Institute, a standard conservative organization…[that] believes in climate change and supports a carbon tax…[I]t is financed largely with insurance industry money…[Some Republicans in the House and Senate] would be open to legislation to help avert climate change…[and Exelon is sympathetic, probably] because a carbon tax would give an edge to gas over its dirtier rival, coal…[but] with the exception of 2004 and 2005, when a string of hurricanes from Ivan to Katrina caused damage worth more than $200 billion…they haven’t yet experienced hefty, sustained losses attributable to climate change…[T]he best hope for those concerned about climate change…[is] that global warming isn’t just devastating for society, but also bad for business.”

    UK’S GREEN BANK BRINGS THE BIG BUCKS UK Green Investment Bank mobilises £2.3bn investment in UK’s low-carbon infrastructure

    09 May 2013 (Green Investment Bank)

    “The UK Green Investment Bank plc (GIB)…investment impact of its first five months of operation (up to 31st March 2013)…[1] Committed funds to 11 transactions with a total value of £2.3 billion…[2] Directly committed £635 million, resulting in a funding ratio that sees £1 from GIB mobilising almost £3 of private sector money…[3] Supported transactions in all of its priority sectors: offshore wind, energy efficiency and waste; and…[4] Completed all transactions on fully commercial terms in line with co-investors.

    “…[P]rovisional results indicate that, once operational, these investments will, on an annualised basis…[1] Save over 2.5 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions; the equivalent today of taking around 1 million cars off UK roads; and…[2] Generate around 10TWh of renewable electricity; the equivalent today of the annual domestic electricity consumption of around 2.3m UK homes.”

    “Projects that have been backed include…[1] A new clean energy centre at Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge to help the NHS Trust reduce their emissions and save money…[2] An equity stake in an offshore wind farm; and…[3] A local authority managed recycling centre in Wakefield, West Yorkshire to reduce waste sent to landfill and capture energy from waste.

    “GIB has also made progress in building an enduring institution…[1, The] Bank will move into a new permanent home [in Edinburgh] in August…[2] A team of 74 people has been recruited and…[it] rise to 100 by the end of this calendar year…[3] A strong transaction pipeline is in place…[and, 4] An investment alliance with Abu Dhabi backed clean energy firm, Masdar has been signed to bring in additional funding…over the next seven years…”

    UTILITY GOES FOR BETTER SUN, WIND FORECASTS Xcel Energy and NCAR power up renewable energy forecasts

    2013 May 8 (Xcel Energy)

    “Xcel Energy…expanded [its] agreement with the National Center for Atmospheric Research for sophisticated renewable energy forecasting…[A]n existing relationship… has saved Xcel Energy’s 3.4 million electricity customers in eight states millions of dollars [including more than $6 million in 2010]…

    “In the next two years, NCAR scientists and engineers will develop custom forecasting systems to enable Xcel Energy control centers in Minneapolis, Denver, Golden, Colo., and Amarillo, Tex., to anticipate sudden changes in wind, shut down turbines ahead of potentially damaging icing events and even predict the amount of energy generated by private solar panels [and it will eventually publish the results]…”

    “The new project represents the latest venture by NCAR into renewable energy, which includes a three-year, nationwide project to create 36-hour forecasts of incoming energy from the sun for solar energy power plants…The systems will help Xcel Energy provide reliable power…and reduce costs while…[using more] wind and solar…in its territories served by Public Service Co. of Colorado, Northern States Power Co.-Minnesota, NSP-Wisconsin and Southwestern Public Service Co…

    “…The specialized system relies on a suite of tools, including highly detailed observations of atmospheric conditions, an ensemble of powerful computer models, and artificial intelligence techniques to issue high-resolution forecasts for wind farm sites…[They] will provide ‘probabilistic forecasts,’ estimating the chances that a particular weather event will occur. This means that utility managers will be able to make decisions based on whether there is an 80 percent chance of certain weather events at a wind farm the next day or a 20 percent chance…Ultimately, Xcel Energy will control the systems…”

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