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New Funding Opportunity Includes Emphasis on Building Energy Codes

energy.gov

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Building Technologies Office (BTO) has announced the availability of up to $11.5 million for a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) titled, “Building America Industry Partnerships and Research Priorities for High-Performance Housing Innovation – 2018.”

As part of this announcement, BTO supports research priorities in the residential building sector related to building energy codes. Further research in this area will help address current gaps, providing data and technical analysis around the market prevalence of key technologies and efficiency measures. This helps to inform future building technology research and development activities and building energy codes decision-making processes.

Topic 3 – Gap Analysis of Building Industry Standard Practices 

This topic focuses on research related to building industry standard practices. Construction practices vary significantly across the U.S. and there is often a shortage of information depicting how industry standards are applied in practice, including the influence of advancing technologies and construction practices. DOE supports further data and technical analysis of the market prevalence of key technologies and energy efficiency measures to inform decision-making processes related to building energy codes and standards, as well as inform future building technology research and development.  

More information, submittal requirements, and instructions for applying to this FOA (DE-FOA-0001824) can be found on the EERE Funding Opportunity Exchange website. To be eligible for consideration, a letter of intent must be submitted no later than 5/25/2018 5:00 PM ET. Questions about this FOA may be sent to BTOResidentialBuildingsFOA@ee.doe.gov.
 

SUBMISSION DEADLINES

  • Submission deadline for Letters of Intent:  5/25/2018 5:00 PM ET
  • Submission deadline for Full Applications: 6/11/2018 5:00 PM ET

May 22 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Officials tried to censor a report on national parks. Here’s what was in it.” • The Trump administration attempted to release a report from the National Park service about dangers to National Parks from rising sea levels with all references to climate change removed. It identified human-caused climate change as the main culprit behind the rising sea levels. [Grist]
Acadia National Park (Nate Parker Maine Photography | Getty Images)

Acadia National Park (Nate Parker Maine Photography | Getty Images)

  • A University of Colorado research scientist said she was “extremely happy” the National Park Service released a study on sea level rise even though it “probably destroyed” her career doing agency research. Maria Caffrey refused to accept NPS corrections that are said to have removed words linking global warming to human activity. [The Western Journal]
  • Power producers are rushing to build natural gas plants and pipelines to replace retiring coal, but in less than 10 years much of that infrastructure will be more expensive to operate than the cost to build new renewables, analysis released by the Rocky Mountain Institute says. That would leave investors saddled with billions in stranded assets. [Forbes]
  • Some Australian Coalition politicians want AGL punished for refusing either to sell the Liddell coal-burning power plant or to keep it open. They propose changes to fine it heavily or have it face class action. AGL would replace Liddell with a gas-fired plant, upgrades at another coal plant, and renewable energy generation. [The Sydney Morning Herald]
  • The main union representing workers at the doomed and decrepit Liddell power station has welcomed AGL Energy’s plan to transition the asset to a clean energy hub, even as conservative politicians insist on a forced sale of the asset to another buyer. The union praised AGL for striking a balance that secures future jobs. [RenewEconomy]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

Energy Has a Diversity Problem. We’re Calling on the Solar Industry to Fix It

Solar is no longer a fledgling industry. It’s more important than ever to improve diversity in hiring, say NAACP’s Rosemary Lytle and Vote Solar’s Melanie Santiago-Mosier.

from greentechmedia.com

According to a February report from The Solar Foundation, despite recent federal headwinds, overall solar employment is more than double what it was in 2010. But when paired with The Solar Foundation’s Diversity Report from last fall, a bleaker picture is revealed. For women, African Americans, Latinos and other communities of color, the data shows that the solar industry can and must to better when it comes to providing equitable access to good employment opportunities.

  • Women and people of color are less likely to earn executive-level wages compared to white men. Only 28 percent of men of color and 20 percent of white women earn $75 or more an hour, compared to 36 percent of white men.
  • Women of color are least likely to be “very satisfied” with their current wage and position, with only 19 percent of women of color choosing this response (compared to 47 percent of men of color respondents, 60 percent of white male respondents, and 45 percent of white female respondents).
  • Further, a mere 8 percent of African American respondents feel that they have successfully moved up the career ladder, while 50 percent feel stuck in their current positions. This differs greatly from 52 percent of white respondents and 58 percent of Asian respondents that feel they have successfully moved up the career ladder.
  •  African Americans make up just 7.4 percent of the solar workforce — compared to 13 percent of the total U.S. workforce — a negligible increase from 6 percent in 2014.

So how do we move forward from here?   Click here to read the full article.

Charlie Baker’s Record on Climate Action and Consumer Protection

from Blue Mass Group

Charlie Baker didn’t run for governor on a platform of consumer protection or climate action. But now that he thinks climate change is real and man-made, he talks a lot about his administration’s work on clean energy and climate change, even as his messaging to his base, and his reelection campaign, evoke themes of “hold the line on taxes” and small government.

There’s nothing wrong with the Governor’s beliefs on climate change evolving and he’s not unique in disliking taxation (as much as we desperately need more revenue). And yes, it’s also really important to have bipartisan action on climate change. As I see it, the problem is pretty simple: beneath a rhetoric of climate action and balanced “combo platter” of energy solutions, the Governor has approved policies that are bad for ratepayers, bad for the environment and bad for democracy.

A number of the Governor’s appointees are so bad they might as well be lobbyists for the fossil fuel industry, and overall, the Governor’s energy strategy is bad for consumers, prioritizes investor-owned utilities whose executives contribute to his campaign, and is dishonest, hiding “little known taxes” on energy bills and fees.

What has Charlie Baker’s administration done that is so awful? His administration has approved automatic rate increases, a gratuitously high return on equity for Eversource energy (more on this below), unprecedented fees on solar, cuts to compensation for renters and low-income renewable energy customers, a tax on electric bills to fund fracked gas pipeline expansion (struck down by the MA SJC) and the Governor has failed to maintain the few campaign pledges related to the environment around funding of environmental programs and meaningfully addressing gas leaks.

Click here to read more.

May 21 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Qualcomm Inc has been developing motor vehicle static charging technology with major carmakers for the past seven years. The company announced that its system is expected to be commercially available on EVs within two years, based on the fact that the cost of static wireless charging is now comparable with conductive charging. [Solar Magazine]
Solar Roadway project (Source: Designboom)

Solar Roadway project (Source: Designboom)

  • After months of pressure from the Australian government either to keep the old coal-fired plant open longer than planned or to sell it to somebody who will, the AGL board has decided to proceed with its original plan to close it. AGL said that an offer it got was in its best interests of neither the company nor its shareholders. [The Singleton Argus]
  • Sales of BMW electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles are up more than 49% year over year in 2018. BMW’s EV sales are up nicely so far this year, 73% in the US and 25% in the UK. But EV sales have surged far more in China, where sales are up 646%, thanks largely to a new, locally produced plug-in hybrid electric version of the 5 Series sedan. [CleanTechnica]
  • “This Clean Energy Champion Is Out To Break Vietnam’s Coal Habit” • The Goldman Environmental Prize for grassroots advocacy was awarded to its first Vietnamese recipient, 42-year-old clean energy champion, Nguy Thi Khanh, who hopes to end Vietnam’s reliance on coal and persuade the country to take a greener approach. [Forbes]
  • Utilities are welcoming a historic rooftop solar building code in California, but urging caution with its implementation to protect non-solar customers. Utilities and solar developers are calling at the same time for a dialogue among stakeholders to effectively integrate additional rooftop solar into the grid. The new code is to be effective in 2020. [Utility Dive]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

May 20 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Global warming is on track to cause a major wipeout of insects, compounding already severe losses, according to a new analysis. Insects are vital to most ecosystems and a widespread collapse would cause extremely far-reaching disruption to life on Earth, and scientists warn that much more carbon needs to be cut than nations have promised. [theindependentbd.com]
Monarch butterflies (Joel Sartore | NG | Getty Images)

Monarch butterflies (Joel Sartore | NG | Getty Images)

  • The alternative energy revolution, based on such renewable energy sources as wind, solar, and geothermal being fed into the overall electrical grid, is reviving an argument Thomas Edison and Nicola Tesla had well over a century ago. The grid supplies AC power, but renewable energy sources such as solar and batteries are DC. [RTInsights]
  • Jonathan Naughton, director of the University of Wyoming’s Wind Energy Research Center, expects that in the next five to seven years up to 5,000 MW of wind power could be built in the state. That is three times the capacity of Wyoming’s current fleet of wind projects. The local utilities want wind power because it is inexpensive. [Casper Star-Tribune Online]
  • When a New Mexico electric cooperative anxious to lower its rates and pursue greater use of renewable energy learned that doing so would cost it a net $37 million exit fee from its contract with its wholesale power provider, it did what once might have been unthinkable. Now co-op other members are weighing their options. [The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel]
  • Denver International Airport first installed solar power for sustainability reasons in 2008. Now, it has 11.6 MW of solar capacity, with most of the electricity being sold back to the grid. A 2015 survey indicated that the nation’s airports had 70 solar projects. Now more are coming, as the airports consider what to do with open land. [Longview News-Journal]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

May 19 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Could renewable sources meet 100 percent of our energy demand? Yes, according to new research which scrutinises the arguments against. “There are no roadblocks on the way to a 100% renewable future,” the research states, while pointing out that existing research already holds the answers to the common objections raised. [New Atlas]
Crescent Dunes solar thermal plant (Murray Foubister, Wikimedia Commons)

Crescent Dunes solar thermal plant (Murray Foubister, Wikimedia Commons)

  • The National Park Service released a report showing risks to national parks from sea level rise and storms. Report drafts obtained earlier by Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting showed officials had deleted every mention of humans causing climate change. But after a long delay, the report was published with the references restored. [Reveal]
  • A report from Microsoft Corp shows significant energy and carbon emissions reduction potential from use of the Microsoft Cloud, compared with on-premises datacenters. These gains can be as much as 93% for energy efficiency and 98% for carbon efficiency. They are partly due to Microsoft’s use of renewable energy. [Global Banking And Finance Review]
  • Consumers Energy and DTE Energy announced new goals in Michigan of 50% clean energy by 2030. The aim is to achieve this target through a combination of renewable investments (of at least 25%) and energy efficiency. They will be retiring coal-burning power plants, replacing them with of wind and solar generating facilities. [Windpower Engineering]
  • The city of San Francisco and its Municipal Transportation Agency announced that all public buses operating in the city will be electric no later than 2035. To achieve that goal, new buses purchased in 2025 and thereafter will be battery operated. Reaching that goal will require a significant expansion of SFMTA’s charging infrastructure. [CleanTechnica]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

May 18 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • For 400 consecutive months, which is over 33 years, the earth’s temperature has been above average, and climatologists are not mincing words as to why. The dubious milestone was reported in NOAA’s monthly global climate report. It also says this April had the third-warmest of any April since NOAA began collecting such records in 1880. [CNN]
Warming planet

Warming planet

  • A report in The Atlantic said that NASA’s Trump-appointed new administrator, Jim Bridenstine, told a town hall meeting, “Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. We’re putting it into the atmosphere in volumes that we haven’t seen, and that greenhouse gas is warming the planet. That is absolutely happening, and we are responsible for it.” [Newsmax]
  • The US solar sector employs more workers than the coal and nuclear industries combined. A report from a think tank headed by former US Energy Secretary Moniz shows that some solar jobs are typically uncounted, and 100,000 jobs have a part-time solar component. The report hints at the political powerhouse that solar is becoming. [pv magazine Australia]
  • New York state officials issued a proposed rule that is expected to help the state meet Gov Andrew Cuomo’s goal of cutting carbon emissions 40% by 2030. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation plan would put strict emissions standards on the state’s coal power plants, effectively phasing them out by 2020. [ThinkProgress]
  • A year after it was proposed, a $150 million solar PV project on Bent Mountain in Pike County, in the heart of Kentucky’s eastern coalfield, is still just a vision. Time may be running out for the venture, and this is thanks to foot-dragging by Kentucky Fuel, a coal company that is years behind in a nearby cleanup that must come first. [InsideClimate News]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

A One Day Round It Up for NOFA-NH

The Monadnock Food Co-op will hold a one day Round It Up donation drive for the Northeast Organic Farming Assocation of New Hampshire (NOFA-NA) on Friday, May 25, 2018. Customers will be able to round up their change at the register to support the Subsidized Farm Share Program, enabling Monadnock Region families in need to receive farm shares full of healthy, local produce.

The Farm Share Program works with certified organic NOFA-NH member farms to provide subsidized Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares to limited income New Hampshire residents, especially benefitting children, families and seniors. The program provides a season’s worth of local, farm fresh products-15 to 30 weeks of vegetables, fruit, dairy, eggs, meat, and/or bread. This year the co-op hopes funds raised from the Round It Up campaign will provide at least 1-3 low-income families with a farm share from Picadilly Farm.
“This is a unique opportunity to partner with NOFA-NH,” says Laura Carbonneau, Marketing Associate at the Co-op. “Our goal is to raise $350 for this great program. But we can only do it with the community’s help. This is a great example of how our community can come together to support one another.”

May 17 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • The Solar Energy Corporation of India announced plans to issue a tender for 2 GW of solar and wind energy capacity. SECI will auction 1 GW of solar and 1 GW of wind energy capacity at a location likely to be disclosed once the actual tender documents are released. Combining solar and windpower will optimize the transmission system. [CleanTechnica]
Solar and wind (Wikimedia Commons)

Solar and wind (Wikimedia Commons)

  • Queensland’s state-owned transmission company Powerlink says it has received enquiries about 30 GW of new generation projects, almost all of them renewables. Powerlink said it signed a connection agreement for up to 500 MW with Pacific Hydro for the first stage of the Haughton solar farm. But it is just one of 150 potential projects. [RenewEconomy]
  • With tariffs from the Trump administration and an energy market in flux, the solar economy faces a degree of uncertainty. But in Minnesota the sector is stronger than it is in most states. Last year solar jobs dropped 4% nationwide, while in Minnesota they rose 48.2% to a total of 4,256, according to the Solar Jobs Census. [Twin Cities Business Magazine]
  • Granite Air Center, Inc announced that it and partner Norwich Solar Technologies of White River Junction, Vermont, installed a 218.1-kW net-metered PV System on the main hangar rooftop at their facility in Lebanon, New Hampshire. With the new solar system, Granite Air will be able to see long-term energy cost reduction and stability. [AviationPros.com]
  • The European Investment Bank announced an agreement with Export-Import Bank of China to support the country’s move to a low-carbon economy. The EIB said it will provide China with a €300 million framework loan to fund energy, water, transport, and industry programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience. [The European Scientist]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.