NewEnergyNews: QUICK NEWS, December 15: THE BIGGEST METHANE LEAK EVER; PARIS DEAL HAILS THE NEW ENERGY AGE; THE NEED FOR BETTER BUILDINGS

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  • TODAY AT NewEnergyNews, September 20:

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Is 100% renewable energy the best goal to cut power sector emissions?
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Have California's efforts to value distributed resources hit a roadblock?

    Tuesday, December 15, 2015

    QUICK NEWS, December 15: THE BIGGEST METHANE LEAK EVER; PARIS DEAL HAILS THE NEW ENERGY AGE; THE NEED FOR BETTER BUILDINGS

    THE BIGGEST METHANE LEAK EVER A natural gas leak with seemingly no end

    Ingrid Lobet, December 14, 2015 (NPR/Marketplace)

    “A giant stream of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is blowing hundreds of feet into the air in Los Angeles County for the seventh week…[The California Air Resources Board says it is already 25% of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. It] cancels out hundreds of smaller efforts over more than a decade to clamp down on escapes of the…far more powerful climate-warming gas than carbon dioxide…[This] has created a high risk work environment for those trying to extinguish the leak. And many residents of nearby Porter Ranch say an additive in the gas is making them ill…

    “Pilots flying low have been told by the Federal Aviation Administration to stay clear of the plume for fear of igniting the vapors. More than 1,800 families have sought relocation due to the fumes. Southern California Gas Co. officials say it will be months before the [gas pouring out of the ground near a damaged storage well can be stopped. Experts] say this is the biggest, most complex leak that they have ever seen…All the methods the company has tried so far to kill the well have failed. Now experts who fought the Kuwait oil field fires have joined the effort. The safety of the some 100 workers on the site is also a concern…[On some days, the company cannot perform certain work because of the gas’s volatility]…” click here for more

    PARIS DEAL HAILS THE NEW ENERGY AGE Paris Climate Change Deal Could Spell The Beginning Of The End Of The Fossil Fuel Age

    Mike Scott, December 13, 2015 (Forbes)

    “…[Although many say it falls short of the ideal, the historic climate change agreement just reached in Paris] may come to be seen as the beginning of the end of the fossil fuel age [if its lack of enforceability is overcome by the spur it gives the private sector]…There are three elements…[1] An enduring, legally binding treaty on climate action which contains emission reduction commitments from 187 countries starting in 2020. It will enter into force once 55 countries covering 55% of global emissions have acceded to it…[2] The COP (Conference of the Parties) agreed a set of decisions with immediate effect to accelerate climate action and to prepare for the implementation of the Paris Agreement once it enters into force…[3, and] the large number of commitments for additional action to reduce emissions and increase resilience were made by countries, regions, cities, investors, and companies…

    “The agreement to limit average temperature rises to ‘well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels’ was more ambitious than had been expected and is a significant victory for the Association of Small Island States…” click here for more

    THE NEED FOR BETTER BUILDINGS How the buildings we live in add to the threat from global warming

    Jennie Jarvie, December 9, 2015 (LA Times)

    “…From urban high-rises to squat suburban malls, buildings are responsible for about 40% of global energy use and 30% of greenhouse gas emissions…[and] this amount could be significantly reduced by introducing relatively simple new practices and technologies…Most of the average building's emissions come from everyday needs: to warm and cool our environment, provide light, cook food [and surf] the Internet…To achieve the goal of preventing global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius — 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit — experts say improving buildings' energy efficiency is crucial…[There is] much potential for long-term, cost-effective cuts in greenhouse gas emissions: Energy consumption in new and old buildings could be reduced by an estimated 30% to 80% by harnessing existing technologies…[if consumers change] their habits…In developed nations, the priority is retrofitting old buildings and making them more efficient: installing double-pane windows, insulating walls and roofs, upgrading to LED lighting…In developing nations, the focus centers more on utilizing modern technology to design sophisticated new structures that introduce natural light and ventilation, as well as installing [rooftop solar panels and geothermal technology]…” click here for more

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