sustainability


Pop the corks, light the fireworks and kick up your heels. Yah, but that is not what happened. Maybe they celebrated on the west coast, but here in the midwest, there was a huge yawn. People are just not excited about saving their own lives and the only planet we have. As dolt 45 would say, so SAD.

http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/State-breaks-another-renewable-energy-record-11156443.php

California grid sets record, with 67% of power from renewables

Updated 5:10 pm, Thursday, May 18, 2017

A stretch of sunny, windy days, combined with brimming reservoirs at hydroelectric plants across the state, helped California reach a renewable energy milestone last weekend.

Early Saturday afternoon, renewable sources produced a record 67.2 percent of the electricity on the portion of the state’s power grid controlled by the California Independent System Operator. That figure does not include large hydropower facilities, which added another 13.5 percent. Based in Folsom, the ISO runs 80 percent of the state’s grid.

More than half of the renewable energy flowing across the grid at that moment on Saturday came from large solar facilities and wind farms. The ISO’s numbers do not even account for electricity from rooftop solar arrays.

Overall, renewables accounted for 42 percent of the California grid’s power on Saturday, not counting the large hydropower plants.

“The fact that the grid can handle 67 percent renewable power from multiple sources — it’s a great moment, and it shows the potential we have,” said Sachu Constantine, the director of policy at the Center for Sustainable Energy, a nonprofit clean energy advisory firm in Berkeley.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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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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Norway has a very different approach to the environment then Donald Trump ( I prefer to call dolt 45). They are plunging headlong into a green energy future and I hope the rest of the world follows.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/norways-government-made-electric-cars-irresistible/

How Norway’s government made electric cars irresistible

May 29, 2017 at 6:35 PM EDT

In Scandinavia, which is a world leader in green technology, politicians and environmentalists want the president to follow their lead, and increase investment in environmentally friendly technologies like electric cars.

Special correspondent Malcolm Brabant reports from Norway, the world’s fastest growing electric car market.

MALCOLM BRABANT: Norway prides itself on being one of the world’s most pristine countries. Yet, amid the stunning scenery, there are reminders that its vast wealth comes from decades of gas and oil production.

But Norwegians are turning their backs on fossil fuels and embracing electric cars like nowhere else.

Ann Kunish, who moved from Wisconsin 30 years ago, is one of the new converts.

ANN KUNISH, Music Librarian: This car is a no-brainer. There’s no question about it. It’s very, very easy to choose electric cars. The Norwegian government has made it much more financially feasible to buy them. They don’t have the same fees, free parking in municipal spots. More and more charging stations are being built, lower yearly fee to use the roads, no tolls.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Then anybody can do it. Really, think about it. They are a really affluent society, who have never directly been involved in a war. They are Bankers to the world. They have no incentives what so ever. Yet here they are, for the good of the world. They deserve a postcard from the world that says, JOB WELL DONE!

https://www.thelocal.ch/20170521/swiss-vote-for-gradual-nuclear-phaseout-preliminary-results/

Swiss vote for gradual nuclear phaseout

15:10 CEST+02:00
The Swiss voted on Sunday in favour of a massive overhaul of the country’s energy system by gradually replacing the power from its ageing nuclear reactors with renewable sources.
A full 58.2 percent of Swiss voters supported the shift, according to a final tally after Sunday’s referendum, with only four of the country’s 26 cantons voting “no”.
“This is a historic day for the country,” Green Party parliamentarian Adele Thorens Goumaz told public broadcaster RTS.
“Switzerland will finally enter into the 21st century when it comes to energy.”
The move has been in the making since shortly after Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant was destroyed in the March 2011 tsunami disaster, when the Swiss government decided to gradually close its nuclear plants.
Instead, it aims to increase reliance on hydraulic power as well as renewables like solar, wind, geothermal and biomass.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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I was going to write about Germany making 85 percent of its power with renewables on a particular day. As fun as that is this is better. Egypt is going to invest billions of dollars in solar (and wind?). That is so exciting. I hope the rest of the countries of the Middle East follow suit.

http://www.upi.com/Energy-News/2017/05/15/Egypt-looks-to-the-future-with-renewable-energy-plan/3111494858225/

 

Egypt looks to the future with renewable energy plan

By Ahmed Megahid, The Arab Weekly   |   May 15, 2017 at 10:33 AM

CAIRO, May 15 (UPI) — The vista in the central province of Minya is as empty as far as the eye can see except for rows and rows of solar panels and the blue sky above.

The panels are helping Amr al-Saad’s 8-month-old power sta­tion address the worsening issue of brownouts and blackouts in the area.

“A few years ago, power supply was intermittent, which made the life of the residents of the province very tough,” he said. “That is why I decided to establish my project where it is most needed.”

After generating electricity, Saad’s station feeds it into the na­tional grid where it is used to power houses, farms and workshops in Minya’s villages.

Saad’s project, which cost $100,000 and produces 650 kilo­watts of electricity each month, is part of a national drive to reduce Egypt’s dependence on fossil fuels by shifting to renewable energy. Egypt plans to produce 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2022 and 37 percent by 2035. It is an ambitious plan given that just 3 percent of electricity produced annually in Egypt today is from renewable sources.

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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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Let me be clear here, the transition to clean energy sources will be painful because it is unplanned. Consider this: What if the Federal Government had a plan to move away from fossil fuels with clear benchmarks for the shift and training programs to move workers into that market. Well, plants would be closed on a schedule that everyone knows in advance, and there would be no pain. Only growth and prosperity. The way we are going about it now, Nuclear Power gets classified as “green”, plants are shuttered and workers are thrown out of their jobs. Brilliant.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-coal-closures-idUSKBN16R2D4

Two Ohio coal-fired plants to close, deepening industry decline

By Emily Flitter | NEW YORK

Electricity company Dayton Power & Light said on Monday it would shut down two coal-fired power plants in southern Ohio next year for economic reasons, a setback for the ailing coal industry but a victory for environmental activists.

Republican President Donald Trump promised in his election campaign to restore U.S. coal jobs that he said had been destroyed by environmental regulations put into effect by his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama.

Dayton Power & Light, a subsidiary of The AES Corporation, said in an emailed statement that it planned to close the J.M. Stuart and Killen plants by June 2018 because they would not be “economically viable beyond mid-2018.”

Coal demand has flagged in recent years due to competition from cheap and plentiful natural gas.

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Go there and jump for joy (I mean read). More next week.

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I have said for awhile that the US would survive the Trump Era. Apparently it is going to be expensive for us and the planet. Hopefully this will limit Trump to one term.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/energyinnovation/2017/03/06/rolling-back-fuel-efficiency-standards-would-cost-americans-800-billion-add-six-billion-tons-co2/#54beb2e33642

Rolling Back Fuel Efficiency Standards Would Cost Americans $800 Billion, Add Six Billion Tons CO2

The Trump Administration has signaled its intent to roll back existing federal fuel efficiency targets of 54.5 miles per gallon for model year 2022-2025 cars and light trucks, a move endorsed by U.S. auto dealers and auto manufacturers. But going in reverse on fuel efficiency would be a terrible deal for American drivers that would cost the economy approximately $800 billion while adding nearly six billion tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere by 2050.

Energy Innovation utilized the Energy Policy Simulator (EPS) to analyze the effects of lowering U.S. fuel efficiency standards. The open-source computer model estimates economic and emissions impacts of various energy and environmental policy combinations using non-partisan, published data. It is freely available for public use through a user-friendly web interface or by downloading the full model and input dataset.

Our analysis compared a business-as-usual (BAU) scenario (based on existing policies as of mid-to-late 2016, including the existing fuel efficiency standards) to a scenario that freezes fuel efficiency for new passenger cars at 2017 levels

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The Unitarian Church in Springfield Il. has invested in itself and its environment. I must add frustration here, as an accumulator type journalist, because I had the article in my hands. It did a great job of describing what they have done. I could not find so I had to use two sources that do it justice, but not as good as the first article. I am sorry.

http://www.aluuc.org/togetherweshare/wp-content/uploads/ALUUC-Newsletter-March-2017-web.pdf

Page
8
Green Sanctuary News
Notes from the ALUUC Prairie
The Green Sanctuary Committee burned the ALUUC prairie the
first Sunday in February. What a blaze! Flames over 5 feet tall
for
maybe 10 minutes. These burns have to be conducted with care using
equipment and training that have been developed over years of experi-
ence with prairie burning.
So why burn? Before Europeans arrived in the U.S., native people
routinely burned the prairies to stimulate growth of new plants for game
and to make hunting easier. Lightning also set prairies ablaze. Over thou-
sands of years, prairie plants adapted to these fires
sending roots deep
into the earth to protect against both drought and fires. Fires can kill less
adapted plants such as cool season grasses and some shrubby plants that
can take over the prairie. So we burn for the same reason
to rid the area of last year’s growth, stimu-
late new growth and rid the prairie of undesirable plants such as cool season grasses.
A common concern is that burning releases carbon
into the air adding to global warming. True, burning
does release carbon into the air
but this carbon is
“new” carbon that has been circulating in the air in the
last few years
not “old” carbon sequestered millions of
years ago in the coal and oil we now burn. Because of
their deep roots, prairie plants sequester more carbon in
their roots than released in a burn, even in prairies
burned every year. So in balance, prairie plants are a
carbon sink. (Chris Helzer, Nature Conservancy’s Direc-
tor of Science in Nebraska).
-trip-part-3-questions-about-frequent-prairie-burning/

http://www.sj-r.com/news/20160925/16-springfield-sites-part-of-saturdays-illinois-solar-tour

Springfield resident Bob Croteau has been involved in local solar projects since 1989 and played a major role in three of the local sites on the tour.

The Abraham Lincoln Unitarian Universalist Congregation held fundraisers and used members from the church who are contractors to purchase and install their solar array. It has been operational since early 2015, features a web-based remote monitoring system, and “faces southeast, toward the morning sun, so solar electricity is running the lights and sound during the morning services,” said Croteau, who spearheaded the effort.

The net metering program offered by CWLP means that “if we are producing power when we don’t need it, it allows the meter to spin backward,” he added.

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The news only gets better for renewables. Wind did not keep pace with Solar but wind had a huge head start. Coal is fading in the rear view mirror and natural gas is neck and neck. I think the US is finally catching on, but you can bet the first things Trump will go after will be subsidies and the EPA.

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1108084_more-solar-energy-was-added-in-2016-than-natural-gas-or-wind

More solar energy was added in 2016 than natural gas or wind

Renewable-energy growth has accelerated in 2016, but this may go down as a milestone year for one renewable-energy source in particular.

Together, all renewable-energy sources are expected to account for 8 percent of U.S. electricity-generation capacity in 2017, according to the Department of Energy, and solar energy is responsible for most of that growth.

For the first time ever, new solar-generating capacity is expected to exceed new generating capacity for wind and natural gas.

DON’T MISS: We’re there! Renewables now cheapest unsubsidized electricity in U.S.

The final tally won’t be available until March, but enough new solar installations were expected to be completed in 2016 to outpace wind and natural gas, according to Scientific American.

A total of 9.5 gigawatts of solar-generating capacity were expected to be built in 2016, tripling the amount installed in 2015, the magazine said, citing Energy Department data.

That amount would exceed the anticipated 8.0 GW of natural gas capacity, and 6.8 GW of wind capacity.

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Go there and cheer. More next week.

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