energy education


I was originally going to post about the growth of off shore Wind Farms in the Northeast as reported by Bloomberg. This article caught my eye instead. If the Utility Companies are this desperate then that is a good thing. You know you can’t stop the invisible hands of the market.

https://www.ecowatch.com/north-carolina-solar-2440926788.html

Solar Battle Continues as Duke-Backed Energy Bill Passes North Carolina House

By Molly Taft, Laura A. Shepard and Monika Sharma

Alongside Highway 401 in northern North Carolina is a 21st-century twist on a classic rural scene. A few miles outside of Roxboro, sheep graze among 5,000 panels at the Person County Solar Park, keeping the grass tidy on the rural installation.

Fields like these aren’t just scenic settings for roadtripping tourists to snap photos. Solar has “been some of the only economic development to happen in rural North Carolina in the last 30 years,” explained Richard Harkrader, CEO of a local solar company.

For companies like Harkrader’s Carolina Solar Energy, the Tar Heel State is a great place to do business. Abundant sunshine, ample support for clean energy and smart public policy have spurred the rapid growth of solar. Today, North Carolina boasts more solar capacity than every state except California. In the first quarter of 2017, North Carolina added more solar than any other state, and its solar industry employs more people than Wake Forest University.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Sometimes it takes famous and rich people to push the boundaries of what is possible. God bless these people for doing it.

http://www.ecowatch.com/celebrities-solar-energy-2381311838.html?xrs=RebelMouse_fb&ts=1493665530

These 5 Celebs Are Big Solar Buffs

Solar energy is cheaper and more efficient than ever. The price of utility-scale solar dropped 85 percent from 2009 to 2016, and newer panels can power up on even cloudy days. Rooftop solar is now cost-competitive with the traditional grid in much of the U.S. Heck, some cutting-edge companies see a market so ripe for the picking they’re developing entire roofs made of solar panels to sell to homeowners.

Forty years ago, the total global installation of solar was around two megawatts, enough to power around 330 homes. Today, it’s closer to 224,000 megawatts. (You do the math!) And as you might expect, the more the price falls, the more attractive it becomes to, well, everyone.

So naturally the people cheering the loudest about the thrifty benefits of this sustainable energy source have been … celebrities!

Hey, wait a minute!

Sure, famous folks can sometimes seem like they live in a different universe from the rest of us, but just like you and me, a growing number of celebs care deeply about the future of our planet. (And not just because no planet, no EGOT!) And the very best of them not only practice what they preach by incorporating solar energy into their own lives, they also use their place in the spotlight to advocate for climate solutions. Below are a few of our favorite sunshine-loving superstars:

Cate Blanchett

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Go there and read. More next week.

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It has taken the last 30 years to get to the point where we can have this conversation. Is it in time? I do not know, but it sure feels good.

Solar Power vs. Wind Power Pros and Cons

Solar Power vs. Wind Power Pros and Cons

After doing some research on renewable energy systems or alternative energy systems as many will call them, I wanted to get the information out there as far as the advantages and disadvantages of the 2 main renewable energy systems, wind turbine generators and photovoltaic solar panels.

Both solar panel and wind generator systems are similar as far as how they are setup. You can have the wind generator grid tied or off grid, same as solar panels. Both the solar panel (photovoltaic panel) and wind generator will need a battery bank if you are using an off grid system. Both of these renewable energy systems will produce clean energy and help the environment as well as save you money in your home!

Advantages and Disadvantages of Wind Generator Systems and Solar Panel Systems

Now onto some of the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative energy system. None of this information is from my own personal experience as I do not have the financial funds to support the research. So the information about these renewable energy systems have came from researching the internet, talking to people that have these alternative energy systems, and of course some calculations of my own (prices, efficiency, etc.).

Wind Turbine Generator System Pros and Cons

The main advantage of wind generator is that they can produce electricity day or night as long as there is wind. Wind generators need less space on your land to produce sufficient electricity. Wind generators are able to produce more electric for the same price. If you spend $1,000.00 on wind generator you can produce 1kW – 2kW, with solar panels you may only produce around .5kW – .75kW with the same $1,000.00. Wind generators have moving parts, so there is always wear and tear on these moving parts. Bearings can go bad, propeller blades can be struck by objects, and heat may be generated. Your wind generator will be installed on a tower or pole of some sort to gain height where there is more wind, allowing lighting to possibly strike your wind generator. As wind hits the propeller blades there will be noise created, think of a fan and how they sound, or even taking a rope and swinging it fast in circles. You will get some of this noise from your wind generator. The propellers of the wind generator can also produce shadows flickering. Birds can get killed from flying into your wind generator’s propellers. There are vertical wind generators which will prevent this. So the quick break down of the wind generator system:

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Go there and read. More next week.

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THIS!  Donald Trump wants to return the United States to the 1950s. Unfortunately the Earth doesn’t have the atmosphere for it. We used it up. Yet, they are gonna try. We could die as a result.

http://trib.com/business/energy/bill-would-penalize-utilities-for-wind-generated-electricity-for-wyoming/article_fa25328e-aa4b-561f-9955-0995b9118e23.html

featured

Bill would penalize utilities for wind-generated electricity for Wyoming customers

A bill proposed by six state lawmakers would charge utilities a penalty if they use wind or solar energy to provide Wyoming consumers with electricity.

If Senate File 71 were law, there would be six permissible resources for generating electricity for Wyomingites, including natural gas and coal. Wind and solar are not on the list, except for individual use.

Utilities would have a year to reach the first compliance milestone of the bill, in which each company would have to get 95 percent of its Wyoming-sold energy from the approved resources.

The following year, 2019, companies must reach 100 percent compliance.

Under the bill, if electricity were generated by wind or solar in Wyoming to serve customers in the state it would come with a $10-per-megawatt-hour penalty. That penalty would be double the suggested tax hike on wind also under consideration this legislative session.

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Go there and read while you can. More next week.

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Instead of investing in renewables and conservation. They fought them tooth and nail. Now they are paying the price.

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/06/29/power-to-the-people

Power to the People

Why the rise of green energy makes utility companies nervous.

     Mark and Sara Borkowski live with their two young daughters in a century-old, fifteen-hundred-square-foot house in Rutland, Vermont. Mark drives a school bus, and Sara works as a special-ed teacher; the cost of heating and cooling their house through the year consumes a large fraction of their combined income. Last summer, however, persuaded by Green Mountain Power, the main electric utility in Vermont, the Borkowskis decided to give their home an energy makeover. In the course of several days, coördinated teams of contractors stuffed the house with new insulation, put in a heat pump for the hot water, and installed two air-source heat pumps to warm the home. They also switched all the light bulbs to L.E.D.s and put a small solar array on the slate roof of the garage.

The Borkowskis paid for the improvements, but the utility financed the charges through their electric bill, which fell the very first month. Before the makeover, from October of 2013 to January of 2014, the Borkowskis used thirty-four hundred and eleven kilowatt-hours of electricity and three hundred and twenty-five gallons of fuel oil. From October of 2014 to January of 2015, they used twenty-eight hundred and fifty-six kilowatt-hours of electricity and no oil at all. President Obama has announced that by 2025 he wants the United States to reduce its total carbon footprint by up to twenty-eight per cent of 2005 levels. The Borkowskis reduced the footprint of their house by eighty-eight per cent in a matter of days, and at no net cost.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Nuclear power is not green. To create it you have to destroy the environment. To run it you risk ruining the environment. To decommission it you destroy the environment. Nuclear power is not clean. How could anybody ever say that radiation is clean. But the Big Greens cut a deal with Exelon and then came to Springfield and crammed it down our throats.

http://www.stltoday.com/news/state-and-regional/illinois-gov-rauner-signs-bill-sparing-nuclear-plants/article_2714be00-b10a-5611-b8e2-6d0e47fe5830.html

Illinois Gov. Rauner signs bill sparing 2 nuclear plants

  • By JOHN O’CONNOR AP Political Writer

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner approved a plan Wednesday that will provide billions of dollars in subsidies to Exelon Corp. to keep two unprofitable nuclear plants from closing prematurely.

The Republican appeared at Riverdale High School in Port Byron to sign legislation he said will save thousands of jobs by rewarding Exelon for producing carbon-free energy.

In addition to $235 million a year for Exelon to prop up nuclear plants in the Quad Cities and Clinton, the plan provides hundreds of millions of dollars in energy-efficiency programs and assistance to low-income energy users.

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Go there and see the picture of Rauner dancing in victory. I will be updating this for a couple of days.

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Let me make this point right up front. The United States does not need the the pipeline heading for Illinois. More bluntly put Humanity does not need this pipeline. We need to leave the tar sands in Canada and Fracked oil in North Dakota IN THE GROUND. But even worse here, Native Americans are being locked up, while the malicious militia men were released in Oregon.  (ps this article largely consists of photos…the text is paltry but I think people need see the conflict for themselves.)

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/inpictures/2016/10/north-dakota-native-americans-protest-pipeline-161028150518748.html

Standing Rock tribe protests over North Dakota pipeline

Clashes erupt as police break up protest camp in the path of pipeline construction that threatens sacred land.

| | US & Canada, United States

Cannon Ball, United States – Thousands of Native Americans have been camping out in North Dakota since April to protest against a pipeline that is meant to cross sacred burial grounds and the Missouri river – the main water source for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

Last week, some protesters moved their camp directly in the path of the proposed pipeline as construction nears the river, but on Thursday morning, police descended on the camp with a show of force not yet seen in the months of peaceful protests.

Clad in riot gear and backed by armoured vehicles, the police cleared the protest camp, using sound cannons, pepper spray, taser guns, and shotguns said to contain beanbags against the protesters.

More than 100 people were arrested, including elders praying peacefully in the roadway, according to the Morton County Sheriff Department.

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Go there and look at the ugly video and pictures. More next week.

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Most Americans don’t realize that controlling HFCs in the world is a big deal. That is because North America basically banned them a long time ago. For that matter most of the developed world has stopped using them but huge chunks of the planet still do, like China and India. So this accord is a very big deal.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/oct/15/climate-change-environmentalists-hail-deal-to-limit-use-of-hydrofluorocarbons

Climate change: global deal reached to limit use of hydrofluorocarbons

Global deal on HFC greenhouse gases set to bring about ‘largest temperature reduction ever achieved by single agreement’

A global deal to limit the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in the battle to combat climate change is a “monumental step forward”, John Kerry, the US secretary of state, has said.

The agreement, announced on Saturday morning after all-night negotiations in Kigali, Rwanda, caps and reduces the use of HFCs – a key contributor to greenhouse gases – in a gradual process beginning in 2019, with action by developed countries including the US, the world’s second worst polluter.

More than 100 developing countries, including China, the world’s top carbon dioxide emitter, will start taking action in 2024, sparking concern from some groups that the action would be implemented too slowly to make a difference. A small group of countries, including India, Pakistan and some Gulf states, also pushed for and secured a later start in 2028, saying their economies need more time to grow. That is three years earlier than India, the world’s third worst polluter, had first proposed.

Worldwide use of HFCs has soared in the past decade as rapidly growing countries like China and India have widely adopted air conditioning in homes, offices and cars. But HFC gases are thousands of times more destructive to the climate than carbon dioxide, and scientists say their growing use threatens to undermine the Paris accord by 195 countries, an agreement last year to reduce climate emissions.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Springfield’s coal fired power plant is not compliant with the Clean Air Act. Apparently it won’t be anytime soon.

http://www.sj-r.com/news/20160727/illinois-epa-seeks-comment-on-cwlp-clean-air-permit

Illinois EPA seeks comment on CWLP clean air permit

By Mary Hansen
Staff Writer

Posted Jul. 27, 2016 at 5:58 PM

Springfield residents can ask questions and comment on proposed updates to an air pollution permit for City Water, Light and Power’s generating station at a public hearing Aug 30.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is holding the 7 p.m. hearing at the University of Illinois Springfield’s Public Affairs Center.

The state agency is gathering comments in its process to update a Clean Air Act permit for CWLP. Under the Clean Air Act, the federal government sets limits for certain pollutants.

The changes to the permit include regulations for CWLP’s newest power plant unit, Dallman 4, which was not covered under the original permit. It also has requirements that were not law when the Illinois EPA issued the permit for Dallman 4, such as emission limits for mercury and other air toxins. The city-owned utility has been required to comply with these standards, but the permit allows the federal and state agencies, as well as the public, to monitor and enforce them.

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Go there and read. Google the topic too. More next week.

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Consider me upbeat and sunny about this article that has been reported widely. It has been a long time coming because of home owner protests. But the urgency has finally gotten to even them. Yippee!

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-16/deepwater-nearing-completion-on-first-u-s-offshore-wind-project

America’s First Offshore Wind Farm Is Nearly Ready

Updated on
  • The 30-megwawatt development to go into service in November
  • Europe has more than 10,000 megawatts of offshore wind

Deepwater Wind LLC is on the verge of completing the first offshore wind farm in U.S. waters, a milestone for an industry that has struggled for a more than decade to build in North America.

Workers have installed blades on four of the five 589-foot turbines at the site off the coast of Rhode Island and construction may be complete as early as this week, according to Chief Executive Officer Jeff Grybowski. The 30-megawatt, $300 million project is expected to begin commercial operation in early November.

“We will finish in advance of our original schedule,” Grybowski said in an interview at a dock on Block Island. “And we are in-line with our budget.”

After years of false starts, the offshore wind industry appears to be gaining momentum in the U.S. The federal government has awarded 11 leases to companies to develop projects along the East Coast, off New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maryland and Virginia. This month, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill requiring utilities to buy 1,600 megawatts of electricity from offshore wind farms over the next decade. And in the coming weeks, New York State plans to release a long-range plan to develop wind farms off the coast of Long Island.

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Go there and read the good news. More next week.

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