Fires IN The Arctic – Need I say more

Well. I would say, They’re Here! To paraphrase the famous movies.See when I started to talk about green house gases and then global warming a little later it was always in the future tense. Like 2050 or 2040 but the god awful truth is that, the ruinous effects are here. Now. They are escalating.

https://public.wmo.int/en/media/news/unprecedented-wildfires-arctic

Unprecedented wildfires in the Arctic

12

Published

12 July 2019

Unusually hot and dry conditions in parts of the northern hemisphere have been conducive to fires raging from the Mediterranean to – in particular – the Arctic. Climate change, with rising temperatures and shifts in precipitation patterns, is amplifying the risk of wildfires and prolonging the season.

WMO’s Global Atmosphere Watch Programme has released a short animation which highlights the risks and explains how advances in satellite technology make it possible to detect and monitor fire dangers. Improving forecasting systems is important for predictions and warnings around fire danger and related air pollution hazards.

In addition to the direct threat from burning, wildfires also release harmful pollutants including particulate matter and toxic gases such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and non-methane organic compounds into the atmosphere.

Particles and gases from burning biomass can be carried over long distances, affecting air quality in regions far away.

Heatwaves fuel fires

:}

Go there and read. More next week – if we are still here.

:}

Two Weeks Ago I Said Trees Would Beat Global Global Warming

This week’s articles says – Not Likely. I say the trees are a good start. The point is that some people argue for trees or solar panels in the desert for instance. But the desert is an ecosystem that trees or solar panels would disrupt. Deserts are not “throw away” ecosystems. So we can only deploy so much of each. This is why i think geothermal is the ultimate solution.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/crux/2019/07/10/reforestation-climate-change-plant-trees/#.XS870XtOnct

planting trees
Planting trees, while beneficial to the planet, is not an easy solution to climate change. (Credit: Janelle Lugge/Shutterstock)

Last week, a new study in the journal Science highlighted the role forests could play in tackling climate change. Researchers estimated that by restoring forests to their maximum potential, we could cut down atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) by 25 percent — a move that would take us back to levels not seen in over a century. Though the study brings hope in the fight against climate change, other experts warn the solution is not that simple.

The study, led by scientists at ETH-Zürich, Switzerland, determined the planet has 0.9 billion hectares of land available to hold more trees — an area the size of the continental U.S. Converting those areas into forests would be a game-changer for climate change, the authors suggested.

“[The study] is probably the best assessment we have to date of how much land could support tree cover on our planet,” says Robin Chazdon, a forest ecologist and professor emeritus at the University of Connecticut not involved in the study, But she is quick to point out that restoring forests is not as simple as it sounds.

:}

Go there and think. More next week.

:}

Xcel Dumps Coal – But where are the renewables

It is sad that a corporation bets on nukes and not renewables and alternatives. Corporations are dumb and if they refuse to react to market changes then they shall be slain on their nukes…So be it.

 

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/xcel-energy-accelerates-coal-plant-closures-to-meet-100-clean-energy-goal

Regulation & Policy

Xcel Energy Fast-Forwards Minnesota Coal Plant Closures but Extends Nuclear Window

The utility struck a deal with environmental and labor groups in the Upper Midwest that will allow it to reduce its carbon emissions while easing job losses related to coal plant retirements.

Xcel Energy plans to close its last two coal-fired power plants in Minnesota by 2030, a decade earlier than scheduled, while keeping its nuclear power plants running through at least 2040 — the latest step in the eight-state utility’s plan to reach 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2050.

The proposed early closures are part of its Upper Midwest Energy Plan, which Xcel expects to submit to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission in July. If approved, it will allow Xcel to cut its carbon emissions in the state by 80 percent compared to 2005 levels. That’s a key metric from Xcel’s companywide zero-carbon goals announced in December, up from its previous target of 60 percent reduction from 2005 levels by 2030.

Monday’s announcement comes as part of a settlement agreement with environmental and labor groups, meant both to boost clean energy alternatives and help ease the job and economic losses when the Allen S. King coal power plant in Bayport, Minnesota closes by 2028 and the Sherco 3 coal-fired generator in Becker, Minnesota closes by 2030.

Under the agreement, Xcel would proceed with plans to buy the Mankato Energy Center natural-gas plant. But its plans to build a new natural-gas power plant, as well as extend the operating license of its Monticello nuclear plant past its 2030 expiration until at least 2040, are being opposed by some environmental groups.

:}

 

 

 

:}

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.

:}

Go there and read. More next week.

:}

Death Is Near – UN releases a report that says by 2050 we are toast

That report said that the World had to shift to renewables by 2050 or face dramatic changes. The report says that Society as we know it will be destroyed. Everybody went wild. But I prefer to keep things positive. Even Utility Companies are trying to change and Duke is one of the worst.

https://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/news/2018/10/10/duke-energy-pegs-battery-investmentat-500m.html

Duke Energy pegs battery investment at $500M

By  – Senior Staff Writer, Charlotte Business Journal
Updated

Duke Energy Corp. expects to spend $500 million over the next 15 years installing more than 300 megawatts worth of storage batteries on its Carolinas grid.

Charlotte-based Duke (NYSE: DUK) released the estimate Wednesday morning, days after proposing its first microgrid project — including a two-megawatt solar farm and a four-megawatt storage battery — for residential and business customers. That will serve the remote mountain town of Hot Springs, on the North Carolina-Tennessee border north of Asheville.

Duke says it plans to expand the use of batteries beyond storing and dispatching of energy. Its long-range plan includes deploying batteries for other purposes such as system balancing, increasing reliability of “end of the line” power supplies and to defer other traditional grid upgrades.

:}

Go there and cheer up. More next week.

:}

Could We Have Stopped Global Warming – You decide

Did the New York Times greenwash the big fossil fuel companies contribution? I know they did. But it is an open question. You decide. What is clear is they accepted Global Warming in the early 70s and by the late 70s they were funding organizations that opposed it. Did they synically oppose Global Warming for 30 years to pump up profits? There is a lawsuit so I imagine the Supreme Court will ultimately decide.

I am going to quote the original story or a good representation of it and then list the site with the disagreement.

https://www.livescience.com/63229-losing-earth-climate-change.html

30 Years Ago, Humans Bungled the Best Chance to Stop Climate Change

NEW YORK — Could the current climate crisis have been averted? Humans may have squandered the best shot at doing so decades ago.

As the 1970s drew to a close, incontrovertible evidence already pointed to the dangers that accumulations of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) — resulting from the burning of fossil fuels — posed to the planet. During a pivotal 10-year period, from 1979 to 1989, scientists, activists and government officials worldwide took important first steps to address excessive CO2 emissions and to enact policies that would head off the worst of these emissions’ impact on the global climate, according to “Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change,” a single-article special issue of The New York Times Magazine, published online today (Aug. 1).

Over those 10 years, a window of opportunity opened that might have saved the planet. Efforts were launched on an international level to raise awareness of global warming, curb CO2 output and thereby stave off climate change’s most dire impacts. But those efforts stumbled and stalled, and we are witnessing the devastating consequences now, writer Nathaniel Rich reported in the article. [Images of Melt: Earth’s Vanishing Ice]

It almost worked. At the time, the topic of climate change was not heavily politicized in the U.S. as it is today, Rich said here at a launch event for the article yesterday (July 31). Members of the Republican and Democratic parties supported developing strategies to limit CO2, and advocating for the environment was not seen through the same political lens as it is now, Rich explained.

Scientists aren’t impressed with New York Times’ new story on climate change

Experts label 30,000 word piece “historically inaccurate” and “based on logical non sequiturs.”

Scientists aren’t impressed with New York Times’ new story on climate change

 

:}

Go there and read. More next week.

:}

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.

:}

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

:}

FirstEnergy Cries For Help – Oh Daddy big government please help little me

This is what happens in a transitional economy. All the big brave tough bullies, Captains of Industry, turn into silly whiny little sissies begging for handouts. Isn’t life interesting. And no, this is not an April Fools Joke.

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/04/coal-nuclear-plant-operator-files-for-bankruptcy-asks-trump-for-a-bailout/

business cycles —

Coal, nuclear plant operator files for bankruptcy, asks Trump for a bailout

FirstEnergy’s request comes after regulator struck down an industry-wide bailout plan.

On Saturday, power corporation FirstEnergy placed its coal and nuclear generation units under chapter 11 bankruptcy. Although coal and nuclear plants across the country have struggled to compete with the low prices of natural gas, FirstEnergy’s filing is unique because it stands to take on a political dimension. Just two days before FirstEnergy’s bankruptcy filing, the company petitioned the Department of Energy (DOE) for an emergency bailout, citing concerns about reliability.

The petition could reinvigorate a debate started by Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who proposed a rule last year to change how coal and nuclear plants are compensated for their power. The rule was denied by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which said that there was not enough evidence to justify changing how coal and nuclear are compensated.

FirstEnergy disparaged FERC’s decision in its Thursday petition (PDF), claiming that “as a result of FERC’s and the RTO’s [Regional Transmission Organization’s] failure to address this crisis, swift and decisive action is needed now to address this imminent loss of nuclear and coal-fired baseload generation and the threat to the electric grid that this loss poses” (emphasis FirstEnergy’s).

:}

Go there and laugh your asses off. More next week.

:}

Finally A Place To Put Nuclear Waste – Shut up environmentalists

I have said for 30 years, storing nuclear waste onsite is dumb and dangerous. Especially at nuclear power plants. Yes the waste is dangerous and proper precautions must be taken. YES accidents will happen. But how many Fukushimas do you want to see. Melt downs and other disasters are really really bad, but how much worse are they with 1000s of tons of radioactive waste present. Yes, I think they should open Yucca Mountain as well.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2018/03/06/will-we-actually-get-a-place-to-store-our-nuclear-waste/#283213a023a0

 

Will We Actually Get A Place To Store Our Nuclear Waste?

, I write about nuclear, energy and the environment

It certainly looks like it. At the end of February, the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission accepted Holtec International’s license application for its proposed consolidated interim storage facility for spent nuclear fuel, called HI-STORE CIS.

To be located in southeastern New Mexico near Carlsbad, the facility would store spent nuclear fuel, which is better referred to as slightly used nuclear fuel, until a final disposal facility is built or until we build our new fast reactors that will burn it, or we recycle it into new fuel.

Reactor fuel usually spends five years in the reactor, after which about 5% of the energy in the fuel is used, but fission products of the reactions have built-up to the point where the fuel must be replaced. After leaving the reactor, the spent fuel usually spends about 5 years in spent fuel pools of water, until heat and radiation have decreased sufficiently to allow the fuel to be passively cooled in a dry cask (see 1,2,3).

:}

Go there and read. More next week.

:}

Electric Utilities May Be Doomed – If they haven’t invested in renewables they better start

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”:

:}

Go there and read gleefully. More next week.

:}