sustainability


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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Solar and Wind Power are on a huge tear. This is both in price, where coal is dead and natural gas is getting iffy. But in terms of availability and cutting edge technology. I see a future where generating electricity through renewables may be a same day thing and cheap as dirt. I know I am a dreamer but I am not the only one.

By the way, some people say that size doesn’t matter. I ain’t one of those.

SOLAR BLANKET

What Saudi Arabia’s 200 GW solar power plant would look like—if placed in your neighborhood

Obsession

Energy Shocks

April 01, 2018

Saudi Arabia has a plan to wean its economy off oil. In the biggest sign of what the future of the Gulf state would look like, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Japanese multinational Softbank to build 200 GW of solar power by 2030 at a cost of $200 billion.

These are eye-popping numbers. If built, that solar-power plant will be about 200 times the size of the biggest solar plant operating today. It would more than triple Saudi Arabia’s capacity to produce electricity, from about 77 GW today.

With current technology, solar panels capable of generating 200 GW would likely cover 5,000 sq km—an area larger than the the world’s largest cities.

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No it is not an April’s Joke. Go there and read. More next week.

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In Florida no less. I could hype this piece up, but why? They do such a good job. The place even has its own website.

Home

So here is one version of the story.

https://www.planetizen.com/news/2018/01/96772-residents-move-americas-first-solar-powered-town

Residents Move Into America’s First Solar Powered Town

Residents will live in solar powered homes and ride around the community in self-driving, solar-powered shuttles. Babcock Ranch outside of Fort Myers, Florida, has been in the making since 2005. A city of 50,000 is forecast.
January 18, 2018, 1pm PST | Irvin Dawid

“Families are starting to move into what is being called America’s first solar-powered town,” announces John Dickerson for CBS This Morning on Jan. 16. “Babcock Ranch, about half an hour northeast of Fort Myers, Florida, is supposed to produce more energy than it consumes once it’s finished.”

Developer Syd Kitson is building 20,000 homes for a projected 50,000 people, states Dickerson in the newscast video accompanying the article.

There are more than 300,000 solar panels spread across 440 acres there, producing enough electricity not only for the town, but also the surrounding areas, reports CBS News’ Manuel Bojorquez.

One critical energy element lacking in the solar-powered community will be adequate energy storage to allow the city to be truly self-powered:

The town doesn’t run on solar power all the time. At night, when the sun is down, it has to draw from the traditional electrical grid. Kitson says the technology for storing all that surplus energy the solar cells generate during the day is still too costly.

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Go There. I mean literally go there if you can. If not go there and read. More next week.

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Once renewables get a bite of the apple eating it down to the core does not take long. I know that is a really bad metaphor, but right now besides doing my happy dance it is the best I can come up with.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/03/renewables-conservation-start-pushing-fossil-fuels-off-the-us-grid/?comments=1&post=35009197

US electricity use drops, renewables push fossil fuels out of the mix

2017 saw both coal and natural gas use decline.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney once said that “Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue, but it is not a sufficient basis for a sound, comprehensive energy policy.” But in the US, increased energy efficiency has helped drive a drop in total electricity use. That, combined with the rise of renewable power, caused the use of both coal and natural gas to decline last year.

The changes, according to the Energy Information Agency, are relatively small. Total electric generation last year was down 1.5 percent compared to the year before, a drop of 105,000 GigaWatt-hours. But both coal and natural gas saw declines that were even larger. Coal use was down by 2.5 percent, a smaller decline than it has seen in many recent years. But the numbers for its future aren’t promising; no new coal plants were opened, and 6.3 Gigawatts of coal capacity were retired in 2017.

Continuing recent trends, 9.3GW of natural gas capacity were brought online, although that was partly offset by the retirement of 4.0GW of older gas plants. Despite the additional capacity, however, natural gas use was also down, dropping by nearly 8 percent.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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The real important point from this article for me is that, ‘The die was cast around 1998, when GDP growth and electricity demand growth became “decoupled”’. In other words, for the last 2o years the utilities should have been investing in renewables and they did not. The point being that renewables are easier to turn “off” when you do not need them. If the utilities start investing heavily now in renewables they may survive. It is a horse race at this point.

https://www.vox.com/platform/amp/energy-and-environment/2018/2/27/17052488/electricity-demand-utilities

The US electricity sector is in a period of unprecedented change and turmoil. Renewable energy prices are falling like crazy. Natural gas production continues its extraordinary surge. Coal, the golden child of the current administration, is headed down the tubes.

In all that bedlam, it’s easy to lose sight of an equally important (if less sexy) trend: Demand for electricity is stagnant.

Thanks to a combination of greater energy efficiency, outsourcing of heavy industry, and customers generating their own power on site, demand for utility power has been flat for 10 years, and most forecasts expect it to stay that way. The die was cast around 1998, when GDP growth and electricity demand growth became “decoupled”:

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Go there and read gleefully. More next week.

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