“The UN’s Devastating Climate Change Report was Too Optimistic” • While deniers claim the latest IPCC report is “too alarmist,” one former IPCC lead author said, “If anything it is the opposite. Once again, with their latest report, they have been overly conservative (ie, erring on the side of understating, underestimating the problem).” [Motherboard]
Dry countryside (Shutterstock image)
“US Corporations Break 4-GW Renewable Energy Record” • Large US companies are acting on renewable energy goals at a record pace. During the course of this year, through August, they have already procured nearly 4 GW of utility-scale wind and solar capacity, breaking the previous full-year record, set in 2015, by nearly 750 MW. [Solar Power World]
“Australia Should be ‘Exporting Sunshine, Not Coal’, Economist Jeffrey Sachs Tells Q&A” • Economist Jeffrey Sachs has criticised successive Australian governments for “defending a 19th or 20th century industry” rather than taking decisive action to address climate change. He said Australia should be “exporting sunshine, not coal.” [The Guardian]
“Post IPCC 1.5°C Report, UK Government Seeks Advice on Net-Zero Emissions Target” • A week after the IPCC report warned that limiting global warming to 1.5°C requires unprecedented action, the government of the UK is seeking advice from its Committee on Climate Change on setting a date for a net-zero emissions target. [CleanTechnica]
“UK’s Largest Companies Pledge Hundreds of Millions of Pounds to Tackle Climate Change” • Around thirty of the top businesses across the UK have announced significant pledges, worth hundreds of millions of pounds, to tackle climate change. The pledges mark the government’s first ever Green GB & NI Week. [GOV.UK]
FORTY-FIVE YEARS AFTER THE START OF THE 1973 ARAB OIL EMBARGO:
ENERGY FROM RENEWABLE SOURCES HAS TRIPLED
BUT ENERGY FROM FOSSIL FUELS AND NUCLEAR POWER HAS ALSO GROWN ALONG WITH CO2 EMISSIONS
Contact: Ken Bossong, 301-270-6477 x.6
Washington DC – Forty-five years ago, on October 17, 1973, Arab oil producers cut production by 5% and instituted an oil embargo against Israel’s allies including the United States. Production cuts deepened in the ensuing weeks. By year’s end, production had been cut to 25% of September levels. The embargo lasted until March 1974. The experience prompted then-President Richard Nixon to call for a national effort to secure “energy independence” and thereby launch a decades-long quest to refashion the nation’s energy policies and energy consumption.
An analysis by the SUN DAY Campaign of both historic and recent data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) suggests that while progress has been made on some fronts, in other ways America’s energy situation may have actually worsened over the past 45 years. 
On the plus side, renewable energy sources (i.e., biofuels, biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) have nearly tripled the amount of energy, as measured in quadrillion Btu’s (quads), they contribute to the total energy mix. In particular, since 1973, wind, solar, and biofuels have emerged from being essentially non-existent to become significant players in the energy market today while biomass and geothermal both showed strong growth.
Also encouraging is that the share of U.S. energy provided by fossil fuels (i.e., coal, gas, oil) has dropped from over 92% in 1973 to just under 80% today. Moreover, the amount of energy, again measured in quads, coming from coal in 2018 is almost the same as in 1973 notwithstanding a much larger economy. In addition, numerous analyses show that the energy intensity of the U.S. economy has improve by at least 50% since the embargo.
However, those gains have been offset, at least in part, by an increase of over 40% in total domestic energy consumption including a 25% increase in the use of fossil fuels. As a consequence, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuel use are 10.5% higher in 2018 than in 1973 due primarily to natural gas whose emission levels are 40% greater than 45 years ago.
In addition, nuclear power’s share of the nation’s energy mix has grown from about 1.5% in 1973 to over 8% today — along with its attendant safety, proliferation, and radioactive waste concerns.
RENEWABLE ENERGY: In 1973, renewable energy consisted of just hydropower (2.89 quads) and wood (1.46 quads) plus a trace of geothermal (0.02 quads). Combined, they accounted for 6.2% of the U.S. energy mix. By 2018, renewable energy consumption had nearly tripled (an increase of 271%) and provided 11.8% of the nation’s energy use.
In the 45 years since the embargo, energy from hydropower has remained almost unchanged and its share of total energy use actually declined from over 4% to about 3% today. While wood expanded by almost half from 1.46 quads to 2.17 quads, its share of the total has grown only slightly from 2.1% to 2.2%.
The growth by renewables is primarily attributable to wind, biofuels, solar, and biomass waste. Combined, they played essentially no role in the nation’s energy mix in 1973. By 2018, wind was contributing 2.82 quads, biofuels 2.23 quads, solar 0.95 quads, and waste 0.49 quads. Combined, solar and wind alone now account for almost four percent (i.e., 3.7%) of the nation’s energy use and almost 10% of its electrical generation. In addition, over the past 45 years, geothermal has increased by 10-fold to 0.21 quads but still remains a small component (0.2%) of the total energy mix.
FOSSIL FUELS: In 1973, fossil fuels provided almost 64.5 quads of energy (oil – 31.13 quads, gas – 20.87 quads, coal – 12.46 quads) which accounted for 92.1% of total U.S. energy use. By 2018, their combined total had grown by a quarter to 80.5 quads but their share of the nation’s energy mix was down to 79.8%.
Coal use in 2018 (12.54 quads) was barely higher than its consumption in 1973 (12.46 quads) and substantially lower than the 22.80 quads used at its high point in 2005. Oil use today (36.51 quads) is 17.3% higher than the 1973 level (31.13 quads) but, again, still significantly lower than its all-time high (40.3 quads) also recorded in 2005. However, natural gas is on track to set a new record in 2018 (31.44 quads) — a level more than 50% higher than the amount used in 1973 (20.87 quads).
CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS: CO2 emissions from the consumption of fossil fuels are 10.5% higher in 2018 than in 1973. The increase is overwhelmingly due to expanded use of natural gas whose CO2 emissions are 40.5% higher today than they were 45 years ago. Notwithstanding significantly higher levels recorded in 2005, by 2018 CO2 emissions from oil were only 0.9% higher than in 1973 while those from coal were actually 1.2% below their 1973 level.
NUCLEAR POWER: Use of nuclear power increased nearly eight-fold from roughly 1.07 quads in 1973 to 8.42 quads today, expanding its share of the nation’s energy mix from 1.5% to 8.4%.
TOTAL ENERGY USE: Energy use from all sources totaled 69.9 quads in 1973and is on track to hit 100.9 quads in 2018 — an increase of 44.3%. That would roughly match the all-time record of 101.0 quads set in 2007. Multiple analyses, though, note that the U.S. economy has grown at a significantly faster rate over the past 45 years than its increase in energy consumption with the result that energy intensity today has declined significantly. In fact, without the numerous energy efficiency improvements made since 1973, the U.S. would require about 50% more energy to deliver the current GDP. 
# # # # # # # # #
 See EIA’s “Monthly Energy Review” issued on September 25, 2018 with data through June 30, 2018. The data in this analysis is drawn from the following tables:
EIA provides data for CO2 emissions in calendar year 1973 as well as for the first half of 2018. For the full 2018 calendar year, the data employed in this analysis was double that for the first half of the year.
For energy consumption from each energy source, EIA provides data for 1970 and 1975 but not 1973. Inasmuch as the beginning of the embargo – October 17, 1973 – is roughly the mid-point between January 1, 1970 and December 31, 1975, this analysis used the average of the 1970 and the 1975 figures.
Event Promotes Innovative Solutions & Opportunities to Energy Challenges
Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Sustainable Energy Association (NHSEA) announces the 10th anniversary of the annual Local Energy Solutions (LES) Conference. Hosted for the first time on a Friday this year, November 16, the event returns to the solar-powered, sustainable Grappone Center in Concord and promises to attract 300 energy experts, policymakers, and other energy champions for a day of networking and information sharing.
As the premiere conference for clean energy and energy efficiency in the Granite State, the LES Conference has a history of providing the latest news, updates, best practices, and information on a wide range of energy topics. Additionally, the conference has a reputation for its positivity, focusing on practical, economical solutions to move NH towards a clean energy future.
This year, the event will feature two keynote speakers: Commissioner Martin Honigberg of the NH Public Utilities Commission, and Commissioner Taylor Caswell of the NH Dept. of Business & Economic Affairs. Attendees will also have access to 15 unique multi-track sessions, an electric vehicle showcase, 4 new pitch breakout sessions, a 3-course plated luncheon, and the 10th anniversary reception from 4:30-6:00pm.
“NHSEA is so proud to co-host this conference with the Local Energy Solutions Workgroup. Year after year, we’ve seen such forward momentum and impact emerge from this event, and we look forward to continuing that tradition this year by welcoming our speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, and attendees,” says NHSEA Executive Director, Madeleine Mineau.
“This is the event of the year for energy committee members,” says NHSEA’s Director of Local Energy Solutions, Henry Herndon. “But the conference goes beyond that. It serves policymakers, industry, municipal and school staff, and the NH business community. Anyone who has even the slightest interest in energy issues will find the conversations and networking valuable and inspiring.”
The 2018 LES Conference is presented by NHSaves and co-hosted by NHSEA and the LES Workgroup. Registration and more details are available at www.nhsea.org.
“Message from Hurricanes Michael and Maria: Renewable Energy Makes More Sense than Ever” • To face the growing threat of climate change, we can no longer rely on old energy systems. We must develop new ones that can withstand more frequent hazards. We can build infrastructure in a smarter, more sustainable way. [USA TODAY]
PVs in Puerto Rico (Lester Jimenez | AFP | Getty Images)
“Trump: Climate Change Scientists Have ‘Political Agenda'” • US President Donald Trump accused climate change scientists of having a “political agenda,” as he cast doubt on whether humans were responsible for the earth’s rising temperatures. He said he does not believe climate change is a hoax, but he has doubts about a human cause of the change. [BBC]
“Australia Heading for a ‘Battle Royale’ on Solar Power” • The sharply rising levels of rooftop and grid-level solar power will force tough discussions as Australia reaches a solar peak, energy chiefs say. With an average of six new rooftop solar installations every minute, the generation and distribution systems need to change. [The Sydney Morning Herald]
“Germany: Tendered PV Projects Need No Public Subsidy in August” • No public incentive was paid in August for PV installations up to 10 MW and selected under the country’s tender mechanism. This was because market prices were higher than the price including the feed-in premium tariff, awarded in the tender. [pv magazine International]
“Ten Facts from the World’s Most Terrifying Climate Change Report” • The IPCC report is not messing around. It has 91 expert authors, a mind-melting 6,000 scientific references and comments from 42,000 experts. They all agree. We need to reduce our carbon emissions substantially, right now, or we’re screwed. Here are ten chilling facts. [Techly]
“5.7-MW Solar Project Now Producing Energy on Former Landfill in Vermont” • A 5.7-MW solar project on a former landfill in Brattleboro, Vermont, is now online. The project was jointly developed by Sky Solar and Encore Renewable Energy. The solar array sits on land owned by the Windham Solid Waste Management District. [Solar Power World]
Brattleboro landfill solar array
“Investors Won’t Want to Miss This $10 Trillion Opportunity” • In the last five years, global enterprises have invested a stunning $1.5 trillion in renewable power. But the opportunity that lies ahead is monumental, with one estimate pegging the number at more than $10 trillion to replace the current carbon-based power systems. [Motley Fool]
“Offshore Wind Technology Takes Off” • Compared to other renewable energy technologies, offshore wind still makes up a small part of global power generation. Today, there is slightly less than 19 GW of installed offshore capacity. Costs have been falling rapidly and installed capacity is expected to grow to 128 GW by the year 2030. [Utilities Middle East]
“Pioneer Turbine Sets New Benchmark For Tidal Renewable Energy” • In its first year of testing, the world’s most powerful floating tidal turbine has generated 3 GWh of electricity. The SR2000 FloTEC project from ScotRenewables has shown it can provide low-cost, low-risk and reliable energy to the European power grid very predictably. [Phys.Org]
“‘It’s a Big Deal for Us’: The Magic Kingdom is Going Green” • By the end of 2018, Disney will flip the switch on a sprawling 50-MW solar power facility with more than a half-million solar panels, just outside Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Disney plans to reduce its net greenhouse-gas emissions 50% worldwide by 2020, compared to 2012. [The Sydney Morning Herald]
If You Live in the Upper Valley, The Lebanon, NH Pipeline Is Your Issue, Too!
Please Come to Lebanon City Hall On October 17th To Support The Citizen’s Petition Demanding No Pipeline Here!
Sustainable Lebanon To Present Petition to City Council, Rally on City Hall Steps, October 17th, 6:30 PM
On October 17, at 6:30 pm, concerned Lebanon, NH citizens and their supporters will rally on the steps of Lebanon City Hall to send city government the message, “No Pipeline Here!” They will then go inside at 7:00 pm to deliver to the City Council a petition signed by over 1,100Lebanon residents. The petition, circulated by Sustainable Lebanon, asks the City Council to take every legal and regulatory action at its disposal to prevent the natural gas storage facility and pipeline from proceeding.
Last March, Liberty Utilities secured a gas distribution franchise from the NH Public Utilities Commission (PUC), which provides it a license to build a fracked gas storage depot and construct a pipeline through Lebanon and Hanover streets, despite objection from thousands of residents and both municipalities. Catastrophic climate events along with concerns about health and safety have convinced Sustainable Lebanon that we have to move quickly to stop burning fossil fuels.
WHO: Lebanon residents who oppose the pipeline, including the grassroots volunteer group Sustainable Lebanon.
WHAT: A rally with concerned citizens and their supporters on the steps of City Hall, followed by a petition delivery to City Council with over 1,100 signatures.
WHEN:October 17, Rally 6:30 pm; City Council Meeting, 7:00 pm
WHY: The fracked gas pipeline proposed would threaten the health and safety of Lebanon residents and exacerbate climate change. Lebanon residents oppose the pipeline and are calling on City Council to take every legal and regulatory action to stop it.
Sustainable Lebanon, a grassroots volunteer group founded in 2017, inspires and supports sustainable practices in Lebanon – working with residents, businesses, nonprofits, and the municipality, in a way that is inclusive, coordinated, and focused on a positive long-term vision.
“Wind and Solar Farms can Make Their own Weather” • Some forms of renewable energy could change the climate more directly than had previously been thought. If wind turbines and solar panels were deployed across the Sahara, more rain would fall and more plants would grow, according to research in the journal Science. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]
The Sahara (Terri Colby | Chicago Tribune – TNS)
“40% of China’s Coal Plants Are Losing Money, Reports Carbon Tracker” • Carbon Tracker unveiled technology that uses satellite imagery and machine learning to identify risks from fossil fuel plants. It shows that about 40% of all Chinese coal plants are losing money and their owners could save $390 billion by closing them down. [CleanTechnica]
“Gas from Paper Production Waste to Power Natural Gas Vehicles in Sweden” • Under an agreement between energy company Gasum and paper company Stora Enso, biomethane will be from waste waters at the latter’s Nymölla Mill in southern Sweden. The plant will turn the mill’s waste water effluent into liquid biogas. [NGV Global]
“‘Cheap as Chips’ Flexibility Poses ‘Huge Threat’ to Nuclear” • Cheap flexibility from storage, demand-side response, and distributed generation pose a “huge threat” to the nuclear industry, former UK energy secretary Ed Davey said. The falling costs of such technologies raise “serious questions” about the pursuit of new nuclear plants. [Utility Week]
“New York State Invests $40 Million in Solar Energy and Storage Projects” • New York Gov Andrew Cuomo announced that $40 million will be available in early November to support solar projects with integrated energy storage. This investment aims to help the state reach its energy storage target of 1,500 MW by 2025. [Energy Manager Today]
“What Tiny Bhutan Can Teach the World about Being Carbon Negative” • High up in the Eastern Himalayas is one of the greenest countries in the world. While many nations are struggling to reduce their carbon emissions, the Kingdom of Bhutan is already carbon negative: it takes more greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere than it emits. [CNN]
“Bill Nelson Says Global Warming Led to Hurricane Michael’s Strength: ‘Listen to the scientists’” • Florida Sen Bill Nelson bluntly assigned blame for how an October tropical storm swiftly grew into the most powerful hurricane to ever hit the Florida Panhandle: It is global warming. He said “Florida is ground zero” on climate change. [TBO.com]
“Building Equitable Circular Societies” • A Circular Economy is a regenerative system in which resources are kept in use for as long as possible, with maximum value recirculated. Products and materials are offered as a service so they can be recovered and regenerated at the end of each service life. Instead of cradle to grave, it is cradle to cradle. [CleanTechnica]
“That $3 Trillion-a-Year Clean Energy Transformation? It’s Already Underway” • To keep global warming in check, the world will have to invest an average of around $3 trillion a year over the next three decades in transforming its energy supply systems, a the IPCC report says. It will not be cheap, but it is already underway. [InsideClimate News]
“New DC Renewable Energy Goal – 100% Renewable Adoption by 2032” • The IPCC report said quick action is needed on climate change. The DC council met to consider major climate legislation, and came up with an aggressive plan to cut carbon emissions. The new goal would be 100% clean electricity by 2032, up from 50%. [Hydrogen Fuel News]
Our current administration continues to cut our environmental protections, the most recent being the plan to dissolve the EPA Office of the Science Advisor. We are now increasingly on our own.
I would urge everyone to take advantage of the 3rd Annual Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living Fair at Doane Stuart School on October 20th from 10 am to 4 pm. This is an entirely free public event.
Over 50 organizations, vendors and 23 workshop presenters will offer workshops on a variety of topics. It is the largest event of its kind in the Capital District and beyond.
Come and learn about Community Solar that even renters can purchase, Geothermal, Energy Efficiency including Home Audits, Waste Reduction, Plant Based Eating, Zero Energy Buildings and Clean Energy Workforce opportunities.
We also will have electric vehicles on site for Q and A by attendees.
Meet people who know how our energy survival is so vital now and must be put into practice by all of us.
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