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Green Energy Times January Issue

The January, 2019 issue of Green Energy Times is now available online. You can download it HERE.

Individual articles will be posted over the next few days.

January 20 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Iran To Construct 3000 New Small-Scale Solar Plants In Rural Areas” • Iran’s Deputy Energy Minister said 3000 new small-scale solar plants are going to be constructed in the country’s underprivileged and rural areas by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20, 2019). He said this adds to 2000 plants already operating. [Al-Bawaba]

Small solar system (Shutterstock image)

  • “Frustration Over Feed-In Tariff Pushes Tasmanian Solar Producers Towards Batteries ” • There are about 28,500 Tasmanians with home PV systems. Over half of them installed their PVs before September 2013, when the feed-in tariff was about 28¢/kWh. Now that the FIT is dropping to 8.5¢/kWh, many are getting batteries. [ABC News]
  • “It’s Up To California To Save Us From This Trump Rollback” • As President Donald Trump races to gut the auto mileage and emissions program of the Obama administration, the California Air Resources Board, an agency little known outside the state, could help protect us from the rollback. At stake are the health of the world and US competitiveness. [CNN]
  • “Addressing The Microgrid Stability Challenge With MVDC” • Microgrids are generally isolated from one another. As their numbers increase, the opportunity for them to be mutually supportive increases. Medium voltage direct current technology makes it possible to connect microgrids together with precise control. [Transmission and Distribution World]
  • “Bringing Hydroelectric To Dams Like Newburgh Just Got Easier” • Last year, Rep Larry Buschon successfully guided legislation through Congress to make developing hydropower easier. He hopes it will renew interest in developing hydropower at the dams in Newburgh, Indiana, and Union Town, Kentucky, along with others. [Evansville Courier & Press]

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

Special Non-Profit & Government Employee Pricing at BuildingEnergy Boston

Receive Over $100 Off Registration!

In an effort to diversify our community and make the amazing content of BuildingEnergy Boston more accessible, NESEA offers special pricing to government and non-profit employees.

With non-profit/government employee pricing, you can purchase a full conference pass for $540 ($120 off the regular price) or a one-day pass for $360 ($90 off the regular price). View full pricing information here.

Use the code BOS19NPGOVFULL for a 2-day pass or BOS19NPGOV1DAY for a 1-day pass. Questions? Email us at registration@nesea.org or call us at (413) 774-6051 ext. 19.

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January 19 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Keene, NH, Commits To 100% Renewable Energy Goal” • The city council of Keene, NH, voted 14-1 to adopt a goal of moving to 100% renewable energy, the Sierra Club has announced. Keene joins four other New Hampshire communities, Concord, Cornish, Hanover, and Plainfield, that have established the 100% renewable goal. [North American Windpower]

Fall foliage

  • “Idaho’s New Governor: ‘Climate Change Is Real’” • Idaho Gov Brad Little has broken with Republican Party leaders on climate change, declaring unequivocally that the phenomenon is real. He said, “I’m old enough that I remember feeding cows all winter long in deep snow … boy, back in the old days when I was a kid, we had winters.” [High Country News]
  • “Vermont’s Largest Solar Canopy Comes Online” • Vermont’s largest solar canopy, Encore Renewable Energy’s 156-kW solar carport in Burlington, has begun producing electricity at the ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain. Built in 2003, the science and nature center was the first LEED-certified building in Vermont. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Coal Ash Is Contaminating Groundwater In At Least 22 States, Utility Reports Show” • A clear picture of coal ash contamination in the US is emerging, as utilities report serious groundwater contamination in at least 22 states. In many cases, immediate environmental action has been required, and several states are moving on this. [InsideClimate News]
  • “DC Mayor Signs Historic Climate Legislation For 100% Renewables” • DC Mayor Muriel Bowser signed the “Clean Energy DC Omnibus Act of 2018,” which the DC Council had passed unanimously in December. The District is leading on climate action by requiring a 100% renewable electricity supply by 2032. [Windpower Engineering]

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

January 18 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “UK Signals Shift From Nuclear To Renewables” • The UK’s government has signalled a big shift away from nuclear energy and towards renewables after Hitachi announced it was scrapping work on a new reactor because of the plummeting costs of offshore wind and solar power. Only one nuclear plant is still being developed in the UK. [The Week UK]

Wind turbine (Christopher Furlong | Getty Images)

  • “Reason Australian Households Are Paying An Extra $200 A Year For Electricity” • Privatisation of the electricity industry has not delivered what it promised, a report has found. A report, from the Australia Institute, says customers now pay $100 to $200 per year extra to cover the costs of things like advertising, sales, and marketing. [NEWS.com.au]
  • “Energy Dept Tackles Challenge Of Rooftop Solar & Income Inequality” • Economic justice advocates are taking note that rooftop solar power deployment in the US has a taken on a racial tinge, with significantly more penetration in predominantly white neighborhoods. The DOE is acting to take on part, though not all, of that issue. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Ford Says An Electric F-150 Is Coming” • Speaking to the press at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Ford’s president of global markets, said, “Here’s what’s going to happen next to future-proof that global juggernaut of commercial vehicles. We’re going to be electrifying the F-Series, both battery-electric and hybrid.” [CleanTechnica]
  • “AG Healey Endorses Version Of ‘Green New Deal’ – 100% ‘Renewable’ Energy” • Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey committed herself to an ambitious new clean energy goal as part of a broader plan included a promise to fight gun violence and reduce barriers to mental health treatment, among other issues. [NewBostonPost]

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

BRIEF NEWS UPDATE: FERC Data Suggest New Renewable Capacity Could Be 4x Greater Than Fossil Fuels by 2021

SUN DAY CAMPAIGN

NOTWITHSTANDING A STRONG SHOWING  BY NATURAL GAS IN 2018, 

FERC REPORTS NEW RENEWABLE ENERGY CAPACITY  COULD QUADRUPLE THAT OF FOSSIL FUELS

OVER NEXT THREE YEARS

Contact:         Ken Bossong, 301-270-6477 x.6            

Washington DC – According to an analysis by the SUN DAY Campaign of the latest data released by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), natural gas dominated new electrical generating capacity in 2018. However, renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) may be poised to swamp fossil fuels as new generating capacity is added over the next three years.

FERC’s “Energy Infrastructure Update” report (with data through November 30, 2018) notes that new natural gas generation placed in service during the first 11 months of 2018 totaled 16,687 MW or 68.46% of the total (24,376 MW). Renewable sources accounted for only 30.12% led by wind (3,772 MW) and solar (3,449MW).*

However, the same report indicates that proposed generation and retirements by December 2021 include net capacity additions by renewable sources of 169,914 MW. That is 4.3 times greater than the net new additions listed for coal, oil, and natural gas combined (39,414 MW).

Net proposed generation additions from wind alone total 90,268 MW while those from solar are 64,066 MW — each greater than that listed for natural gas (56,881 MW). FERC lists only a single new 17-MW coal unit for the three-year period but 16,122 MW in retirements. Oil will also decline by 1,362 MW while nuclear power is depicted as remaining largely unchanged (i.e., a net increase of 69 MW).

FERC’s data also reveal that renewable sources now account for 20.8% of total available installed U.S. generating capacity.** Utility-scale solar is nearly 3% (i.e., 2.94%) while hydropower and wind account for 8.42% and 7.77% respectively.

# # # # # # # # #

* FERC only reports data for utility-scale facilities (i.e., those rated 1-MW or greater) and therefore its data does not reflect the capacity of distributed renewables, notably rooftop solar PV which accounts for approximately 30% of the nation’s installed solar capacity.

** Capacity is not the same as actual generation. Capacity factors for nuclear power and fossil fuels tend to be higher than those for most renewables. For the first ten months of 2018, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that renewables accounted for 17.6% of the nation’s total electrical generation – that is, a bit less than their share of installed generating capacity (20.8%).

Source:

FERC’s 6-page “Energy Infrastructure Update for November 2018” was released in early January 2019. In a seeming departure from its norm, FERC did not announce the release of this report on its web page and a specific release date does not appear on the report itself. However, it is assumed the report was issued within the past week. It can be found at: https://www.ferc.gov/legal/staff-reports/2018/nov-energy-infrastructure.pdf.  For the information cited in this update, see the tables entitled “New Generation In-Service (New Build and Expansion),” “Total Available Installed Generating Capacity,” and “Proposed Generation Additions and Retirements by October 2021.”

View the Session Lineup for BuildingEnergy Boston

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View this Year’s Conference Sessions!

You won’t want to miss the content at this year’s BuildingEnergy BostonConference + Trade Show, March 14–15 at the Westin Boston Waterfront.

This is our most diverse and envelope-pushing session lineup to date (with topics like prefabricated & offsite construction, carbon-neutral cities, and healthy building materials). View all 45 of this year’s accredited sessions here.

Thursday Session 1 (10:30am–12pm)

Thursday Session 2 (1:30pm–3pm)

Thursday Session 3 (3:30pm–5pm)

Friday Session 1 (8:30am–9:30am)

Friday Session 2 (10am–11:30am)

Friday Session 3 (1pm–2pm)

Friday Session 4 (2:30pm–3:30pm)

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Book a Room & Offset Your Carbon Footprint!

We are partnering with TripZero to offer you the best hotel rates while helping to offset the carbon footprint created by conference travel. NESEA’s room block at the Westin expires February 20, but it may sell out sooner, so make your reservation now through our secure portal.

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New Report on Community Solar Programs for Low- and Moderate-Income Customers

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) have released a new report, Design and Implementation of Community Solar Programs for Low- and Moderate-Income Customers.

The report reviews existing and emerging low- and moderate-income (LMI) community solar programs, discusses key questions related to program design, outlines how states can leverage incentives and finance structures to lower the cost of LMI community solar, and examines marketing and outreach considerations.
Community solar has the potential to vastly increase access to solar for low- and moderate-income communities, especially for renters, but programs need to be specifically designed with those customers in mind in order to have the maximum benefit. This report can help state program officials to design effective programs.
Read the report here.
CESA hosted a webinar with report authors Jenny Heeter and Lori Bird from NREL in August 2018 to discuss the report’s findings – watch it here.
This report was produced for CESA by NREL and was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office.
This report is one of several resources prepared for CESA members participating in the State Energy Strategies project, led by CESA Project Director Diana Chace. Through this three-year effort, CESA is helping the states of Connecticut, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, and Rhode Island and the District of Columbia to develop and implement low- and moderate-income solar programs. Webinars and case studies highlighting the work the states are doing through this project will be forthcoming later this year.

Documentary Film – “Modified” will be screened in Wilton, NH

The Souhegan Sustainability Fair is hosting an intriguing and thought-provoking film – “Modified – a food lover journey into GMOs”.
 
Date: Sunday, Feb 3rd at 4:30 pm
Location: Wilton Town Hall Theatre
Q & A following with the policy chair person from NOFA-NH (New England Organic Farmers’ Association – NH) 
Admission is free
 
To see more about the event look here: www.facebook.com/events/231852631046646/
 
Hope to see you all there!

January 17 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “World’s Coffee Under Threat, Say Experts” • The first full assessment of risks to the world’s coffee plants shows that 60% of 124 known species are on the edge of extinction. Though only two species are used for the coffee we drink, scientists say the figure is “worrying”, because wild coffee is critical for sustaining the global coffee crop. [CNN]

Coffee harvest (Getty Images)

  • “New York Governor Cuomo Announces Mammoth Offshore Wind And Distributed Solar Increases” • In his annual State of the State address, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced plans to significantly upgrade the state’s renewable energy targets, including quadrupling its offshore wind target to 9 GW by 2035. [CleanTechnica]
  • “Climate Is The Biggest Risk To Business (And The World)” • Companies and investors are waking up to the dangers of climate change. Business leaders and experts surveyed by the World Economic Forum said extreme weather, migration caused by climate change, and natural disasters are the three risks they are most likely to face in 2019. [CNN]
  • “Renewables Now Most Competitive Form Of Power Generation In GCC Countries” • The most competitive forms of power generation in Gulf Cooperation Council countries (all Arab countries on the Persian Gulf except Iraq) are renewable, according to a report published by the International Renewable Energy Agency. [Windpower Engineering]
  • “EPA Nominee Calls Climate Change ‘A Huge Issue,’ But Not ‘The Greatest Crisis'” • Andrew Wheeler, acting administrator of the EPA and nominee to lead it, said he gives climate change an “eight or nine” on a one-to-ten scale of concern but thinks it is not the greatest crisis. He is still reviewing the EPA’s climate change report of two months ago. [CNN]

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

Ice Harvest Festival at Hanford Mills Museum: Winter’s Coolest Tradition

Ice Harvest Festival
February 2, 2019 10 am – 3 pm
Hanford Mills Museum
51 County Hwy 12, East Meredith, NY
607/278-5744
Take part in a traditional ice harvest, just as communities did a century ago. Festival also features ice carving, ice fishing, horse-drawn sleigh rides, snowman village, hot soup buffet, food trucks, blacksmithing and cooking demonstrations, and exhibits by local businesses and farmers. Kids 12 and under get in free; Adults and Teens, $9; Seniors, $7
Hanford Mills Museum in the Catskills’ East Meredith will hold the 30th anniversary Ice Harvest Festival on Saturday, February 2, 2019. Visitors can take part in a traditional ice harvest using historic tools and techniques. Each year seven to eight tons of ice are harvested.
“We call Ice Harvest the region’s coolest tradition; it’s a day of winter fun and hands-on history,” says Hanford Mills executive director Liz Callahan. “There were 75 people at the first Ice Harvest in 1989, and now we regularly welcome 1,200 or more to the Ice Harvest Festival. It’s an opportunity to embrace winter, enjoy the outdoors, and learn about the past in a unique way.”The popular winter event celebrates an activity that was essential before mechanical refrigeration. People would cut ice from frozen ponds and rivers and then store it in ice houses. In the warmer months, the ice would be used to keep food and agricultural products cold. “Ice was viewed as a winter crop by area farmers,” explains Callahan. The ice harvested at the festival will be used to make ice cream at Hanford Mills Museum’s Independence Day Celebration on July 4.

Festival features a range of activities

The SUNY Delhi Hospitality Center Ice Team will be transforming blocks of ice into works of art. The Dave Brandt Chapter of Trout Unlimited will offer children the chance to ice fish. Visitors can enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh rides around the Museum site. The Hot Soup Buffet features soup and chili made by area restaurants. There will be blacksmith and historic cooking demonstrations. The Catskill Interpretive Center will have art supplies for visitors to sketch on site, and information on the new Catskill Art Club. Local vendors include Byebrook Farm Farmstead Gouda, Catharina’s Hats and Mittens, Cabana Coffee, and the Cooperstown Distillery.  Heat Smart Otsego will offer tours of the Museum’s advanced pellet boiler and district heating system and provide information on clean heating and cooling technologies.

The hot soup buffet will feature chili and soup from Alfresco’s Italian Bistro, the Autumn Café, Brooks House of BBQ, Cross Roads Café, Fiesta Mexican Grill & Cantina, the Green Earth Café, Mel’s at 22, Morey’s Family Restaurant, Oneonta Bagel Company, the Otesaga, Signatures Restaurant, Simply Thai, and the SUNY Delhi Hospitality Program. The College Association of Delhi, Inc. will make rolls, and Junkyard Bakehaus provides cookies. Sales from soup and cookies benefit the Museum’s educational programs.

See hanfordmills.org for more information and updates. If the ice is 8 or more inches deep, the public can fully participate in the ice harvest. Because snow acts as an insulator, during the weeks leading up to the Ice Harvest Festival, Museum staff members shovel the pond. “Our staff works hard to ensure a good crop of strong clear ice,” says Callahan. “With the recent single digit temperatures, it’s certainly good ice-making weather.” In recent years, the depth of the ice has ranged from 7 inches to more than 18 inches.

Admission and Information

Children 12 and under receive free admission. Admission for adults and teens is $9; senior admission is $7. Discounts available for teachers, first responders, veterans, members of the military, EBT cardholders, and AAA members. Hanford Mills Museum members receive free admission.