sustainability


I have never been a fan of Southern Company. I ain’t gonna cry crocodile tears for them either. I mean this is some of the dumbest shit I have ever seen.  I mean it has already bankrupted a GE unit. Heh lets throw good money after bad, and more bad, and more bad.

https://www.eenews.net/stories/1060093003

NUCLEAR

Southern Co. to absorb $1.1B in added Vogtle costs

Southern Co. will absorb $1.1 billion in additional pre-tax costs for its Plant Vogtle nuclear expansion project, the company said in financial disclosures early today.

The costs include $700 million in additional subcontractor costs and an additional construction contingency estimate for nuclear reactors, which Southern’s Georgia Power Co. unit is building with a group of public power companies.

Georgia Power recorded the pre-tax charge of $1.1 billion, or $800 million after taxes, for the quarter, ending June 30.

Atlanta-based Southern released the information shortly after 6 a.m. as part of its quarterly report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company’s decision to eat millions of dollars in costs associated with a large power plant is a bitter reminder to investors of its next-generation coal project in Mississippi. Southern took back-to-back quarterly losses amounting to billions of dollars with the Kemper County energy facility because of a settlement with Mississippi utility regulators.

Unlike Kemper, Southern does not own the technology associated with Vogtle. This is also the first year that the company’s nuclear unit and Georgia Power are fully in control of the project.

This means the utilities can no longer point fingers at others if there are problems.

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Go there and read a really long articel. More next week.

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The Carbon Tax is long overdue nationally, though California’s seems to be chugging right along. But think how far we have come – worse yet, think how far down the tubes we must be that the Chicago Tribune, as an entity, is advocating for it. Read it and weep, either for joy or sadness.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-edit-carbon-tax-epa-climate-20180702-story.html

Editorial:

A carbon tax that could put money in your pocket

Editorial Board  Editorials reflect the opinion of the Editorial Board, as determined by the members of the board, the editorial page editor and the publisher.

The indications of a warming world are numerous and hard to miss. Last year was the third-warmest year on record for both the planet and the United States — exceeded only by 2015 and 2016. In June, scientists reported that Antarctica has lost 3 trillion tons of ice since 1992 — yielding “enough water to cover Texas to a depth of nearly 13 feet,” the Associated Press reported.

The indications of inaction on the subject are also abundant and visible. Last year, Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris agreement on greenhouse gas emissions. The Environmental Protection Agency has moved to ease regulations on power plants and motor vehicles that were integral to the Obama administration’s efforts to slow climate change.

Bipartisan action – once a normal response to environmental harms – is not on the agenda for Congress or the White House. But a growing group of farsighted pragmatists are nonetheless trying to find a middle ground between the entrenched adversaries.

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

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I have always said that methane was a much bigger problem than CO2 and thus to concentrate on CO2 was a mistake. It also means that natural gas is not a “Bridge” to the future, because it is so much more powerful as a green house gas. In fact if you look at the list,

  • Water vapor (H. 2O)
  • Carbon dioxide (CO. …
  • Methane (CH. …
  • Nitrous oxide (N. 2O)
  • Ozone (O. …
  • Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
  • Hydrofluorocarbons (incl. HCFCs and HFCs)

CO2 is pretty low on the list. I understand that coal is a REAL problem because of its cost and availability, but focusing on it makes it look like if we get rid of coal we are in the clear. No way that is true.

Oil and Gas Fields Leak Far More Methane than EPA Reports, Study Finds

Higher than expected levels of the potent short-lived climate pollutant raise questions about whether natural gas can be an effective bridge to lower emissions.

The amount of methane leaking from the nation’s oil and gas fields may be 60 percent higher than the official estimates of the Environmental Protection Agency, according to a new study in the journal Science.

The study, led by a group of scientists from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), presents some of the most compelling evidence to date that switching to gas from dirtier fuels like coal might not be as effective a climate strategy as its proponents suggest unless the gas industry improves how it controls leaks.

“It starts to have a material effect on just how clean a fuel natural gas really is,” said Ramon Alvarez of EDF, one of the authors of the study.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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But will it ever work out? I have no idea but there are still interesting things happening. I know this is kind of the back water from the Russian and the European efforts. Yes – God knows what China is doing. They have their own tokamak but they do not publish much about it. Still I thought this was interesting. How can you argue with Popular Mechanics.  They will probably one day get one to work. Plus it has a real cool animation. I am a sucker for those things.

https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/energy/a21945982/german-nuclear-fusion-experiment-sets-records-for-stellarator-reactor/

 

German Nuclear Fusion Experiment Sets Records

The stellarator was largely replaced by the tokamak in the 1960s, but Germany’s Wendelstein 7-X could be bringing the reactor back from the dead.

This Pope may be the best Pope I have ever lived through. I am not Catholic so I probably shouldn’t even be commenting on this or posting this BUT DAMN he is good. On sex abuse; On being gay; On capitalism and the poor; On so many issues he is right on. Now this. I am amazed.

https://thewest.com.au/business/energy/pope-francis-tells-big-oil-executives-clean-energy-is-an-epochal-challenge-ng-b88862527z

Pope Francis tells big oil executives clean energy is an ‘epochal’ challenge

AP

Pope Francis warned that climate change risked destroying humanity on Saturday (June, 9) and called on energy leaders to help the world to convert to clean fuels to avert catastrophe. Anna Bevan reports

Pope Francis has told world oil executives that the transition to less-polluting energy sources “is a challenge of epochal proportions”, and warned that satisfying the globe’s energy needs “must not destroy civilisation”.

The Vatican says the two-day conference with oil executives was meant as a follow-up to the Pope’s encyclical three years ago calling on people to save the planet from the ravages of climate change and other environmental ills.

Participants included the chief executives of Italian oil giant ENI, BP, ExxonMobil and Norway’s Statoil as well as scientists and managers of major investment funds. Their remarks on the first day of the closed-door conference were not released by the Vatican.

While Pope Francis lauded the oil executives for embedding an assessment of climate change risks into their planning strategies, he also put them on notice for their “continued search for fossil fuel reserves,” two years after the Paris climate accord “clearly urged keeping most fossil fuels underground”.

 

 

 

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Don’t get me wrong. I think this is really good and really good work as well. But housing as seems obvious is the solution to homelessness. So why not house all the homeless in small houses. Hell for that matter house all the poor people that want them in small houses.

http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article197241499.html

Thirteen homeless veterans got a look Monday at the furnished tiny houses they will call home for the next six to 12 months. The Veterans Community Project also got a chance to show the public the first phase of the “Veterans Village” taking shape. – Shelly Yang, The Kansas City Star
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‘Housing with dignity’: First 13 homeless veterans to move into tiny houses in KC

January 29, 2018 02:12 PM

Updated January 29, 2018 03:12 PM

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Go there and read. More next week.

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This is what it is like at the end of a power source. People can hardly wait to get away from coal and on to something else. I say, GOOD FOR THEM. Coal is no longer competitive. No matter how they try to stand in the way coal supporters, including Dotard in Chief, will always lose. Can you say, dust bin of history.

  • 7:30 am

Solar is starting to replace the largest coal plant in the western U.S.

On Navajo land in Arizona, a coal plant and coal mine that have devastated the environment are being replaced by solar–with both enormous benefits and local drawbacks that can serve as a lesson for how the rest of the country will need to manage the transition to renewables.

In the desert near Arizona’s border with Utah on the Navajo Nation, a massive solar array built in 2017 now provides power for around 18,000 Navajo homes. Nearby, construction will begin later this year on a second solar plant. And on another corner of Navajo land, the largest coal plant west of the Mississippi River is preparing to close 25 years ahead of schedule, despite some last-minute attempts to save it.

“Those two [solar] plants really are the beginning of an economic transition,” says Amanda Ormond, managing director of the Western Grid Group, an organization that promotes clean energy.

The coal plant, called the Navajo Generating Station, was built in the 1970s to provide power to growing populations in Southern California, Arizona, and Nevada. A nearby coal mine supplies the power plant with coal. As recently as 2014, the coal plant wasn’t expected to close until 2044–a date negotiated with the EPA to reduce air pollution. But reduced demand for coal, driven both by economics and climate action, means that the plant is scheduled to close in 2019 instead. The coal mine, run by Peabody Energy, will be forced to follow.

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Go there and celebrate. I mean read. More next week.

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This method of generation will only go up from here. But here is something most people don’t consider, at sea drilling for oil and wind farms are incompatible. You can not drill anywhere near wind turbines because of the possibility of oil spills. There is a good chance those spills would ignite. That is not the case with other spills or even explosions and fires. Because they are easily put out. But when you have an electrical source, those fires are guaranteed and would be difficult to extinguish. So all you have to do to stop off shore drilling is build wind farms. Mark my words, when some hotshot wind person builds a wind farm over a proven oil deposit, oil is dead.

https://e360.yale.edu/features/after-an-uncertain-start-u-s-offshore-wind-is-powering-up

After an Uncertain Start, U.S. Offshore Wind Is Powering Up

After years of delays, the U.S. offshore wind industry is finally gaining momentum, with new projects being planned along the Atlantic coast. So far, the Trump administration seems to be regarding offshore wind as one form of renewable energy it can support.

This summer, the Norwegian energy company, Statoil, will send a vessel to survey a triangular slice of federal waters about 15 miles south of Long Island, where the company is planning to construct a wind farm that could generate up to 1.5 gigawatts of electricity for New York City and Long Island — enough to power roughly 1 million homes. Construction on the “Empire Wind” project, with scores of wind turbines generating electricity across 79,000 acres of leased federal waters, is scheduled to begin in 2023, with construction completed in 2025.

Farther south, 27 miles off the coast of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Avangrid Renewables, an Oregon-based company, has already begun planning for a major wind energy farm on 122,000 acres of federal waters, a project that could eventually generate 1.5 gigawatts of electricity.

And about 10 miles off the New Jersey coast, between Atlantic City and Cape May, Danish clean-energy giant Ørsted, which has a large portfolio of offshore wind farms across Europe, is talking with local officials, securing state permits, and doing seafloor surveys on a 160,000-acre site, where it plans to build its 1–gigawatt Ocean Wind project. Company officials say they are hopeful that the wind farm will come online between 2020 and 2025.

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Go there and read. (Cheer too) More next week.

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I haven’t written or posted about environmentally sound cars, but this article caught my eye. Having robust Secondary and Tertiary markets means that EVs are here to stay and will eventually conquer the market.

https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1116722_nissan-begins-offering-rebuilt-leaf-battery-packs

Nissan begins offering rebuilt Leaf battery packs

Starting this month, Nissan has begun offering rebuilt battery packs for the older Leafs, filling a gap for drivers of older cars whose packs have begun to run down.

The company built a new facility in Japan to rebuild the packs, and will sell them for about $2,850 (based on the price in Japan), according to Inside EVs. A Nissan spokesman told Green Car Reports that the company is investigating offering the program in the United States, but has not yet made a decision.

Electric car repair trainer Craig Van Batenburg, of the Automotive Career Development Center in Worcester, Massachusetts, said the refurbished battery packs are new among electric carmakers. Previously, older battery packs had to be replaced with new ones, which cost more than $6,500 (minus a $1,000 trade-in, or core charge, on the old battery pack.)

The cost covers the 24-kwh battery pack in the original Leaf, which was rated at only 73 miles of range when new.

Owners of early Leafs had problems with the cars losing range after only a year or two in hot climates such as Phoenix, Arizona.

READ THIS: Nissan Buys Back Leaf Electric Cars Under Arizona Lemon Law [2012]

 

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Go there and read. More next week.

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I have been at a loss for words for the last month. Things are going so well. I know Dotard is still President and many things are seriously messed up. But on the alternative energy front things just keep getting better and better. Don Blankenship actually made a fool out of himself and lost a primary vote for the Senate in West Virginia. Next week I may even get to report that Yucca Mountain is open for business. But for now, California hits one out of the park.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-solar-panels-20180509-story.html

 

California regulators approve mandate for solar panels on new houses

California regulators on Wednesday mandated that all newly built single family houses have solar panels, part of the state’s aggressive push to combat climate change.

The California Energy Commission voted 5-0 to approve the measure, which also applies to multifamily buildings of three stories or fewer. The mandate is set to take effect in 2020 and does not need the approval of the Legislature.

The requirement is expected to save consumers money in the long run through reduced utility bills, but also make a new house more expensive to purchase at a time many families already struggle to afford a mortgage.

In addition to the solar mandate, the commission approved new insulation and air filter requirements for newly built homes. In all, the new residential requirements are expected to make a single-family house $9,500 more expensive to build on average, but save $19,000 in reduced utility bills over a 30-year period, according to the Energy Commission.

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Go there and do a happy dance – I mean read. More next week

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