Germany Ditches Coal – Is it a model for the rest of the world

It is one thing for Germans in power to say they are giving up using coal. It is another thing to do it. It is another thing to get people to go along with it. I saw nothing about massive retraining programs or massive building projects but still I have always said “Green is Good for the economy”. We shall see if that is true. I say HURRAY.

https://www.apnews.com/1e6872051a0649409e97d6ee6e1d71dd

AP Explains: How Germany hopes to quit using coal

January 25, 2019

BERLIN (AP) — Germany wants to stop using coal, a major source of the carbon emissions that drive climate change. But finding the least disruptive way to get there has been a challenge.

A big question is not only when the last mines and power plants will close down, but how quitting coal can be done without generating drawn-out protests or harming the German economy.

A government-appointed panel of experts is poised to offer recommendations. Despite months of deliberations, the panel remained undecided on key issues ahead of a key meeting on Friday .  A short guide to the stakes at play and some proposed solutions:

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Go Germany. Go there and read. More next week.

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50,000 Homes Powered By Solar In Texas – If we would have done this this 30 years ago

It really all comes down to the fossil fuel companies like Exxon. If they would have admitted that Global Warming was happening, like their research showed, then we could have been doing this in the 1980s. As it is now, we are in a horse race and we are losing. Still I try to be positive, this is happening in Texas, red of red states, so there is hope that this example will pick up the pace.

https://www.chron.com/business/energy/article/Construction-begins-on-largest-utility-scale-12507169.php

Construction begins on largest utility-scale solar project in Texas

Updated

California-based 174 Power Global is breaking ground Thursday on the largest utility-scale solar project in Texas, the company said.

The project is on 1,500 acres of private land in Pecos County, in West Texas, and area that has become a hub of utility-scale solar projects. It’s 236 megawatt capacity can power 50,000 homes a year, and all of its power will be sold to Austin Energy, a utility for the city of Austin. The project will cost $260 million.

174 Power Global is a subsidiary of South Korea’s Hanwha Energy.  174 Power Global has focused on developing solar projects on land without competing interests. The project in Pecos County, for instance, has not oil and gas development and the salinity of the property’s water prevents it from being used for livestock or agriculture.

RELATED: Solar power emerges where oil and gas once dominated

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Go there and read. More next week.

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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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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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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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Go there and read. More next week.

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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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Electricity In Illinois Can Be Progressive – But you gotta work at it

I got this email from Paul Berland about electricity and I thought i would post it in its entirety. I make no claims about it’s accuracy and I only know that it applies in Elgin, but still it is pretty cool. Way To Go Paul.

[Frack-FreeIL] Re: Illinois 100% Green Electricity Providers at Same Cost as Non-Green
Yahoo/Inbox
Paul Berland pnb3210@gmail.com [Frack-FreeIL] <Frack-FreeIL@yahoogroups.com>
To:ILClimateActivists Chat,ILClimateActivists_SOIL,frack free IL,chicagolandoilbyrail@googlegroups.com,Earl Silbar
Sep 19 at 12:49 PM
Hey all,

 
I just learned of a great new promotional offer from nrg (nrghomepower.com/service-areas) at around 6 cents per kilowatt hour for 100% wind electricity.  This promotion only lasts for another 2 weeks so you need to call Shay within the next 2 weeks if you want this offer.  The offer of 6 cents per kilowatt hour for 100% wind energy lasts for 3 months but the sales person said after 3 months you can call their main number (855-500-8703) and ask for a lower rate.  If you want to get on board with this promotion, call Shay at 630-965-4072.  
 
Paul


On Mon, Feb 5, 2018 at 10:53 AM Paul Berland <pnb3210@gmail.com> wrote:
On Google Docs in this folder:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1HxNONAmKNRz2R5zw2Y0W8n3ar9IIeowtThere is a spreadsheet that can be maintained by the environmentally progressive Illinois community (currently editable by IL Climate Activists members) which shows 100% renewable electricity providers that are below or at comparable costs to non-green electricity providers.
(Painful note: if you modify or edit this spreadsheet, it will immediately be saved to a file in the same folder with a different file name and link.  You will have to manually delete the old spreadsheet and rename the spreadsheet that was auto-created to the spreadsheet with the same name to maintain a single community spreadsheet. This little difficulty was gifted to us courtesy of mega-corporations Google and Microsoft who love to make our lives difficult so they can continue to make money off of IT jobs.  If your IT skills are low, then you can E-mail suggested changes to me and I could update the spreadsheet).
In Illinois, we all have the option of choosing our electricity provider and the freedom to choose a 100% green renewable energy provider (go to the link https://pluginillinois.org to review your options and potentially change your provider).  In fact, some of these providers are even honest enough to provide this electricity at below the regular rate that is provided for non-green energies (such as coal, nuclear, natural gas, etc.)  In particular, please make note of the following electricity providers that can offer rates below or equivalent to current rates provided by non-green suppliers:
1. Verde Energy USA (cheaper than market rate when you take into account rebate)
2. Oasis Energy (only spending about $1.50 more per month than current market rate for 100% renewable energy guaranteed for 18 months)
3. Clearview Energy (used to be the best deal but their prices are going up)
4. National Gas & Electric (flat out cheaper than ComEd for 3-6 months guaranteed)
Note that the market fluctuates month-to-month.  The hope is that we can maintain this spreadsheet as the market fluctuates.  This spreadsheet came about as the result of collaboration between Elgin Green Groups 350 members.
See also these links which prove that 100% renewable energy (wind, solar, hydro, and responsible bio-mass) is now cheaper than coal and nuclear and will also soon be cheaper than natural gas electricity production as well:

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Go to the sites and read the offers. More next week.  Oh never mind I will be on vacation for the next two weeks. Bye.

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Is Fusion The Future – It’s what we have been told

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.

Small Houses For Vets – Why not small houses for all the homeless

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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Native Americans Give Up On Coal – That is if Peabody will let them

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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