Trump Tries To Stop Alternative Energy – He fails miserably

What can I say about Trumps environmental policies in general and his energy policies specifically that hasn’t been said before. They SUCK. The economic surge in their direction is so strong that they can’t be stopped. But will it be in time?

Business

U.S. solar takes hit from Trump tariffs but is cheaper than ever: report

Reuters 13 hours ago

By Nichola Groom

(Reuters) – U.S. solar installations fell 15 percent in the third quarter as the Trump administration’s tariffs on overseas-made panels forced developers to put off large projects, according to a report commissioned by the industry’s primary trade group.

Current weakness in the utility-scale market, however, will be offset by larger volumes of projects than had been expected over the next five years because solar energy is now cheaper than ever, the report said.

Quarterly installations of utility-scale solar were 678 megawatts, the lowest quarter since 2015 and a more than 30 percent decline from a year ago, the report by Wood Mackenzie for the U.S. Solar Energy Industries Association said. The total market, which includes residential and commercial installations, came in at 1.7 gigawatts.

The slowdown is a shift for solar, which has experienced runaway gains in the last decade. Through the first three quarters of the year, solar accounted for 30 percent of electricity generating capacity additions.

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California Mandates Solar In Residential Housing

I know I posted about this before, but this time they made it final. So this is a way to celebrate. 49 States to go..

California Becomes 1st State to Require Solar Panels on New Homes. Here’s How It Will Reduce Utility Costs

Natasha Bach
Fortune

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/california-becomes-1st-state-require-181816746.html

California has taken the final step to be the first state in the nation to require solar panels on new homes.

The California Building Standards Commission on Wednesday unanimously upheld a May 9 decision to require solar panels on homes up to three stories. The requirement goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020.

Currently, just 9% of single-family detached homes in California have solar panels. But as the state pushes toward decreasing greenhouse gas emissions—and with a 2045 goal to transition to a fully renewable energy grid devoid of fossil fuels—this rule will help accelerate that progress. Aside from energy efficiency, solar panels reduce ozone-damaging household emissions, most of which come from natural gas-generated electricity.

In the long-term, solar panels benefit homeowners. While the upfront cost for building a home will increase—by as much as $10,000, according to the California Energy Commission, or as much as $25,000-30,000, according to home construction company Meritage Homes—long-term energy bill savings will be considerable.

Reuters reports that a homeowner could expect to save $19,000 in energy costs over 30 years, while Meritage Homes predicts reduced operating costs could amount to as much as $50,000-60,000 over a 25-year period.

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It is OK to dance. Go there and read. More next week.

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COAL – The gift that keeps on giving .. death

I have a severe head cold this week and last so I will be brief. The negative effects of burning coal will be with us for at least 100 years. Maybe more if humans make it that far.

https://www.sj-r.com/news/20181128/report-groundwater-contamination-at-coal-fired-power-plants-across-illinois

Report: Groundwater contamination at coal-fired power plants across Illinois

Coal ash disposal sites throughout Illinois, including at City Water, Light and Power’s Dallman Power Station in Springfield, have contaminated surrounding groundwater supplies, according to a report released Wednesday by a consortium of environmental groups.

CWLP officials responded that the city’s ash ponds do not pose a risk to Springfield’s water supply.

The report’s results are based on data sets made public for the first time earlier this year as part of new federal regulations of coal ash, a toxic byproduct of coal-fired power generation that is commonly stored in unlined ponds or landfills near the plants. The report by the Environmental Integrity Project, Earthjustice, Prairie Rivers Network and the Sierra Club found toxic pollutants emanating from 22 of 24 coal ash dump sites for which the data became available in March.

The coalition called for new legislative standards that would protect groundwater and regulate the closure of coal ash ponds to be drafted next year.

“Illinois needs to act now to strengthen rules that protect the public from coal ash,” said Andrew Rehn, a water resources engineer from Prairie Rivers Network. “We’re reaching a turning point as Energy companies are proposing to leave coal ash in floodplains of rivers and exposed to groundwater. We need stronger rules that provide permanent protection with a financial guarantee and give the public a voice in these decisions.”

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Go there and read. More next week if I live.

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Want To Save The Planet – Block the sun

It is a short article. So I will be brief. This is a film that reduces solar absorption by 10%. Combine that with a white roof and you got some major savings. Plus you dampen green house gases at the same time. HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!

https://www.engadget.com/2018/11/12/heat-rejecting-film-reduce-air-conditioning/

Heat-rejecting film could reduce air conditioning costs

It blocks 70 percent of incoming solar heat.

Climate change can be a vicious cycle when folks crank up the air conditioning during heat waves and add even more CO2 to the atmosphere. Scientists from MIT and the University of Hong Kong have developed a new type of window coating that could curb that trend. It remains highly transparent up to 89 degrees F (32 degrees Celsius), but beyond that, it becomes translucent like frosted glass. As a result, it reflects back up to 70 percent of the sun’s incoming heat, reducing interior temperatures and the load on your air conditioner.

To maximize heat blocking, the researchers inserted tiny water-filled spheres into a standard poly material. At temperatures starting around 85 degree F, the spheres start to shrink, squeezing out the liquid and forcing the poly fibers closer together. That gives the glass a frosted appearance, blocking 70 percent of the incoming heat while still letting a lot of visible light through.

Such films have been tried before but didn’t block heat that well. The MIT and Hong Kong teams realized that the water filled spheres needed to match the wavelength of infrared light responsible for most solar heating. After expanding the bubble size to 500 nanometers, the film became a much more effective heat-blocker.

MIT heat-rejecting film

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Google this if you want extra. Go there and reat the uplinks. More next week.

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How Many Times Can I Write, Coal Is Dead – I will let you know when I get tired

This was is the way it always going to happen. The market shifts after a slow pivot.Then it was going to bust loose suddenly. Clean Energy was going to chase coal all across the globe as it fought a rear guard action. Then it would become a novelty – OH LOOK they still use that stupid stuff. Then people will marvel at all the damage it had done and it would go away.

https://www.indystar.com/story/news/environment/2018/11/02/indiana-utility-says-renewables-save-customers-4-billion-over-coal/1837469002/?fbclid=IwAR1N_p2XCFjH-OlFdVwiFlr3-lpQufzWCNqvsJuKrEvccVWfIkz6lX20VFY

This Indiana utility may have just put the final nail in coal’s coffin

The embers of the coal industry have been slowly fading in recent years, despite efforts by the Trump administration to reignite the flames.

But an announcement this week from a northern Indiana utility — in the heart of a state that ranks in the top 10 for both coal production and consumption — suggests the end may be nearer than some expect.

After having already announced plans to speed up the retirement of its coal power plants, the Northern Indiana Public Service Company said this week that it will switch to renewable energy to make its electricity instead.

Why? Because it’s cheaper. A lot cheaper, they said, to the tune of more than $4 billion over a few decades. Still, those long-term savings might come with a short-term price. The utility is asking for a raise in its rates to upgrade infrastructure.

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Can The Gulf Be Saved – Will the Gulf be saved

I have been watching the PBS series Sinking Cities. So far they have done New York (hurricane Sandy) and Tokyo (any Cyclone you care to mention. They have done a pretty good job of talking about the design efforts and how much money it would take to save these cities. They have also been pretty clear that low lying areas with have to be abandoned. They may even eventually do something on New Orleans, though I am sure that there are other bigger cities at risk like Houston. But what about the Gulf in General. There is no land to cede, no design that will work. I love the Gulf Coast. I have lived in Tampa and New Orleans and my favorite place in the whole world. after the Smoky Mountains, is Apalachicola – I have a shirt from there on now.

https://www.curbed.com/2018/11/7/18069386/restoration-mississippi-river-delta-coastal-louisiana-erosion

Man vs. nature

Can engineering save Louisiana’s coastli

Down at the southern tip of Louisiana, on a barrier island called Grand Isle, the stilts holding up the houses are getting taller. There are about 20 feet of air between the ground and the top of the pilings holding up a new two-story house on the island’s main drag, running parallel to the Gulf of Mexico. Its neighbors, a few hundred single-family homes and weekend getaways with house names on wooden signs, are almost all raised up off the ground. C’est La Vie is propped about 8 feet up. The Salty Oyster: 12 feet. Riptide: about 15. A nameless rectangular bunker made entirely of cast concrete is 10 feet up on top of a grid of concrete columns and a cinderblock ground floor. Down the road, another set of 10-foot pilings is all that’s left.


Building at any height on Grand Isle is a bold proposition. Seven miles long, a mile across at its widest point and just a few feet above sea level, it’s a tall wave away from disappearing into the Gulf. With a steady onslaught of hurricanes, sea-level rise, and land subsidence, the island’s very existence is improbable. And yet remarkable efforts have been made to preserve this small strip of land, including the dredging and piping of sediment from the Mississippi River to build back its southern shore and replanting the disappearing marsh to its north.

Saving the island is partly about saving the homes of roughly 1,100 full-time residents and the estimated 20,000 who come to Grand Isle during the summers, but it’s also a strategic defense for coastal Louisiana and the Mississippi River Delta, where subsiding land and rising waters have caused the loss of more than 2,000 square miles of land between 1932 and 2016, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. That’s about a football field’s worth of land roughly every 100 minutes in recent years. In addition to being a scenic vacation destination, Grand Isle is a crucial buffer that’s helping Louisiana hold on to its delta a little longer.

“You see stories in the media on global climate change and cities like San Francisco or Miami, how they’re going to, 50 years from now, be having recurring tidal flooding and things like that,” says Corey Miller, outreach and engagement director of the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana. “Here in Louisiana, we’re experiencing a little bit of an early glimpse at what that’s going to look like.”

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The Economic Civil War In America – Rich white guys face off

It turns out that it is rich white progressives verses rich white recessivesthat is politically rivening this country. This leaves all of us in the middle angry and confused. I disagree with Buffet on this one, but I see why he is fighting the fight.

https://www.afr.com/news/world/north-america/warren-buffett-and-casino-boss-sheldon-adelson-clash-in-nevada-over-electricity-20181030-h17bc5

Warren Buffett and casino boss Sheldon Adelson clash in Nevada over electricity

by Trevor Hunnicutt

New York | Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and investor Warren Buffett are set for a desert showdown over electricity next week as the two billionaires’ interests collide on election ballots in Nevada.

At issue in the November 6 election is the cost and control of power from the neon lights shining on the Las Vegas Strip to the state’s gold mines.

A measure supported by Republican donor Adelson, who is also Las Vegas Sands Corp’s chairman, would force state legislators to break up control over much of the state’s electricity in effect held by a unit of Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, NV Energy. It would allow customers to choose their own power provider by 2023.

Buffett has supported liberal causes and backed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Unlike previous western duels, both sides in Nevada are showing up with cash. The energy tussle is shaping up as one of the more costly of an election season in which Democrats are trying to wrest control of at least one chamber of US Congress from Republicans.

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Go there and decide for yourself. More next week.:

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Illinois Promotes Oil Train Crashes – Wham bam thank you ma’am

Following Dotards move to deregulate oil trains, Illinois bit hook ,line and sinker. Let me be clear, this deregulation will cause accidents and it will take lives. Let’s just hope a crash does not happen in Chicago or East St. Louis.

Putting On The Brakes: Transportation Department Rolls Back Oil Train Regulation

October 24, 2018
Madelyn Beck

The U.S. Department of Transportation has removed a regulation meant to force trains carrying crude oil or other flammable liquids to adopt electronic braking technology by 2020. Electronically Controlled Pneumatic brakes — or ECP brakes — are meant to stop train cars and keep them from slamming into each other when a train derails.

Illinois is both a train hub and an oil train hub, and the regulatory change will have several effects in the state.

One is cost savings to the railroad industry. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, “the expected costs of requiring ECP brakes would be significantly higher than the expected benefits of the requirement.”

It would cost the industry between $375 and $554 million to install the braking systems in the next four to five years, hundreds of millions more than it would save in damages, according to the department. That’s an update from when this was first calculated under the Obama administration, which found that the benefits may outweigh costs. The change can partially be explained by reduced oil train traffic in general due to pipelines and lower oil prices between 2015 and 2017. Fewer trains means fewer potential accidents and damages.

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Go there and read so much more. More next week.

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Sparkling Bottled Water Company Cleans Ocean – It is only fair to give industry credit

In all fairness the headline should read TRYS to clean ocean. Why do I even cover this story? Well plastic is a really really energy intensive industry. Second we made a big point of the Dutch Boy’s attempt to clean up the north Pacific Gyre. So it is only far to point out when industry is trying too. Though to be fair Sparkling Water tackled a much smaller  (some would say manageable) problem.

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sodastream-builds-massive-marine-device-to-collect-plastic-waste-from-the-ocean-off-the-coast-of-honduras-300726688.html

SodaStream Builds Massive Marine Device to Collect Plastic Waste from the Ocean off the Coast of Honduras


News provided by

SodaStream International Ltd.

Oct 15, 2018, 09:00 ET

CEO Daniel Birnbaum Leads 300 SodaStream Executives from Around the World, Local Youth and Environmental NGOs to Clean Caribbean Sea and Roatán Shores

AIRPORT CITY, Israel, Oct. 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — SodaStream International Ltd. (NASDAQ: SODA) today announced the launch of the “Holy Turtle” – a massive ocean contraption designed to clean plastic waste from open waters. The innovative device will be initially piloted today in the Caribbean Sea, off the coast of Roatán, Honduras, as part of a bold ocean clean-up lead by CEO Daniel Birnbaum. This is the first-known attempt of a commercial company to undertake a physical clean-up of trash from open waters. SodaStream’s clean-up delegation includes 150 SodaStream executives from 45 countries, international environmental specialists, NGO Plastic Soup Foundation and hundreds of children from 7 different local schools with local Honduran government officials.

The “Holy Turtle” is a 1,000 ft. long floating unit designed to be gently towed by two marine vessels along kilometers of open waters. The contraption is uniquely engineered to capture floating waste while its large vent holes act to protect wildlife. The device design was inspired by oil spill containment systems and was developed by ABBCO in Florida, USA, who are leading experts in oil spill containment.

SodaStream’s Roatán initiative was inspired by a video filmed by Caroline Powers in October 2017 featured on BBC highlighting underwater photography of a floating trash patch off the Caribbean coast of Roatán. Moved by the disturbing video, SodaStream CEO, Daniel Birnbaum, himself an experienced skipper and naval officer, lead a search for a solution to clean up this floating waste. Birnbaum noted, “We can’t clean up all the plastic waste on the planet, but we each need to do whatever we can. The most important thing is to commit ourselves to stop using single-use plastic.”

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Go there and read. Have some hope. More next week.

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Death Is Near – UN releases a report that says by 2050 we are toast

That report said that the World had to shift to renewables by 2050 or face dramatic changes. The report says that Society as we know it will be destroyed. Everybody went wild. But I prefer to keep things positive. Even Utility Companies are trying to change and Duke is one of the worst.

https://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/news/2018/10/10/duke-energy-pegs-battery-investmentat-500m.html

Duke Energy pegs battery investment at $500M

By  – Senior Staff Writer, Charlotte Business Journal
Updated

Duke Energy Corp. expects to spend $500 million over the next 15 years installing more than 300 megawatts worth of storage batteries on its Carolinas grid.

Charlotte-based Duke (NYSE: DUK) released the estimate Wednesday morning, days after proposing its first microgrid project — including a two-megawatt solar farm and a four-megawatt storage battery — for residential and business customers. That will serve the remote mountain town of Hot Springs, on the North Carolina-Tennessee border north of Asheville.

Duke says it plans to expand the use of batteries beyond storing and dispatching of energy. Its long-range plan includes deploying batteries for other purposes such as system balancing, increasing reliability of “end of the line” power supplies and to defer other traditional grid upgrades.

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Go there and cheer up. More next week.

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