Louisiana – I leave and they go for wind power

Of course Illinois has already gone for wind in a big way so I should not complain. Well I could complain about Sangamon County because of its stupid rules about wind turbines. That is for another time. For now, how glorious it would have been talking offshore wind farms in New Orleans? Over beignets no less.

Why Oil-Loving Louisiana Should Embrace America’s Coming Offshore Wind Boom

Why Oil-Loving Louisiana Should Embrace America’s Coming Offshore Wind Boom

The budding wind power industry is rich in jobs, and the people of south Louisiana are ready for clean energy.

Justin Nobel | Longreads | July 2017 | 16 minutes (4,000 words)

If you’re visiting New Orleans and want to see something truly amazing, take your beer or daiquiri to-go and walk a few blocks past the Superdome—you’ll find a school being constructed on an old waste dump.

“All the toxic chemicals from the landfill are still there,” says toxicologist Wilma Subra. This includes lead, mercury, and arsenic, exposure to which can lead to reproductive damage, and skin and lung cancer. Even more astonishing, Subra says hundreds of schools across Louisiana have been built on waste dumps. Why? Dumps represent cheap land often already owned by a cash-strapped town or city, plus serve as rare high ground in a flood-prone state. And this is just the beginning of Louisiana’s nightmare.

The risk of cancer in Reserve, a community founded by freed slaves, is 800 times the national average, making the community, by one EPA metric, the most carcinogenic census tract in America—the cause is a DuPont/Denka chemical plant adjacent to the town that annually spews 250,000 pounds of the likely carcinogen chloroprene into the air. If you think the situation in Flint is bad, there are approximately 400 public water systems in Louisiana with lead or other hazardous substances leaching into the drinking water. Meanwhile, hundreds of petrochemical plants peppered across the state’s lush swampy interior freely emit carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, and neurotoxins into the air and water, as well as inject them deep into the earth.

Perhaps it’s no surprise that Louisiana is ranked, according to different surveys, 47th in environmental quality, third in poverty, and 49th in education. Are you still gushing about your latest trip to New Orleans for Jazz Fest Presented by Shell, or French Quarter Festival presented by Chevron? “New Orleans is the best,” one visitor recently wrote to me, “you are so smart to live there!” But how smart is it to allow children to attend school built on toxin-laced waste? How smart is it to allow a community’s cancer rates to shoot off the charts? Louisiana is rich in culture, spirit, and faith, yet what type of state knowingly poisons its own people? What type of country stands by and allows it to happen?

While it is fashionable to critique President Trump for his scientific ignorance, science was misdirected long before Trump laid hands on it. It is time to open our eyes and see what is really going on in this world, to critique our society’s dinosaur methods, then step back and imagine what a new path forward might look like. It is with this aim that I begin a science column for Longreads. In my first story I’ll tour us through a land America should have never allowed to materialize—it’s what I’m calling the Louisiana Environmental Apocalypse Road Trip. As the Trump administration chucks environmental science out the window, evaporates industry regulations, and cripples agencies charged with protecting the environment, this tale is relevant for all Americans, because the poisoning happening in Louisiana could happen in your state too—in fact, it is probably already happening.


Go there and read. More next week.


Renewables Cheapest Downunder – Australia is in a good position to kick coal

This is actually happening all around the world. During one day last year the Germans got all the power they used from renewables. All the old bullshit it turning into compost and will be forgotten.


Renewables cheaper than coal in Australia — a preview of things to come


David Roberts

Energy, politics, and more

I’m morbidly fascinated by the way conventional wisdom lags behind evidence, like the notion that renewable energy is expensive and fossil fuels cheap. In fact, there is a tectonic shift underway. Renewable energy prices are declining as technology improves, economies of scale kick in, financing mechanisms mature, and public policy begins to take some (inadequate) account of the negative externalities of fossil fuels.

Meanwhile, the cost of coal-fired electricity is heading up. It’s getting harder to finance coal plants in the face of competition from clean(er) energy, activist opposition, and the inevitability of some kind of carbon policy. Construction costs are rising. Transportation costs are rising. It’s getting harder to reach the coal that’s left in the ground. Etc.

The two lines — falling renewable energy costs and rising coal costs — are going to cross. It’ll happen everywhere eventually. According to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) analysis, it’s already happened down under: “Renewable energy now cheaper than new fossil fuels in Australia.”


Go there and read. More later.


The Audubon Institute – Is old enough to be my great grandmother

Unlike some environmental groups, they first do no harm. And they do not support quackery. You go guys.


Because Conservation Doesn’t Have a Party

By Audubon President & CEO David Yarnold

Published: Oct 16, 2012

New York NY –

You have to get out of shouting range of the politicians in Washington to appreciate what’s really important to Americans.  Americans like Barbra from Arizona: “‘Environment’ is not a swear word, but too often it is treated like one in the halls of our legislatures.”

Barbra is one of thousands of Americans — Republicans, Democrats and independents — who have joined a national grassroots conversation aimed at taking the politics out of conservation and returning preservation of our wilderness land, waterways and wildlife to its original roots as a unifying, rather than divisive force in America.

Judging from responses from all across America, perhaps we are not a nation as divided as our political leaders would like us believe. We’ve heard from angry Republicans.  “Since when did breathing clean fresh air, drinking pure clean water and protecting our precious natural resources and environment become something that only Democrats should value?” wrote Lorrie from Pennsylvania.


Go there and read. More tomorrow.


Conservation International – An organization with a history

These type organizations when founded (1987) were founded for “the long haul”. The belief was then that Humans might damage the Earth but not destroy it. Well here we are,  when it looks like Humans may kill off themselves and maybe permanently in some respects changing the Earth, and these organizations sort of plod on. They need to pick up the pace. While I understand the desire to do good work in the 3rd world. They may want to change the minds help the 1st world countries first.


Two Conservation International Leaders Honored by World’s Top Conservationists

September 12, 2012
Conservation International Applauds its President Dr. Russell Mittermeier and Board Member President Ian Khama for receiving Honorary Membership of IUCN at World Conservation Congress

Jeju, South Korea – Conservation International’s long time President, Dr. Russell Mittermeier, a world-renowned  primatologist, herpetologist and conservationist, was granted Honorary Membership today by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the world’s largest international environmental organization. The award was presented at the World Conservation Congress taking place this week in South Korea, on the recommendation of the IUCN Council to individuals who have made exceptional contributions to conservation.

“Russ Mittermeier is an innovative, proactive and scientifically informed conservationist,” declared IUCN on its website.  “A renowned primatologist and herpetologist, he has undertaken extensive field work and made major contributions to the conservation of the fauna of Madagascar, the fauna of South America (especially in Brazil and the Guianas), primates in general, and freshwater turtles worldwide.”


go there and read. More tomorrow.


Barack Obama’s Energy Policies – They are great but have left me a bit disappointed

This election offers a clear choice if you are into the environment and advancing energy policies towards a clean energy future. Barack wants to go to clean energy and Mitt wants to go back to the past. I have been disappointed in some of Barack’s decisions or should I say his administration’s decisions. I was totally unhappy with his decision to back the two nuclear power plants in Georgia. I also thought that the Sylendra loan was totally political. Still his strong backing for Wind and Solar is deeply appreciated. More historic however, he has moved the military towards alternative energy. Like I tell people who are you gonna vote for? The other guy?


  • President Obama has made protecting the environment a priority, moving us toward energy independence, investing in clean energy jobs, and taking steps to improve the quality of our air and water. As of November 2010, the Obama administration’s policies have helped create hundreds of thousands of jobs in the clean energy industry.

  • President Obama enacted the largest expansion of land and water conservation and protected wilderness in a generation. He also created the America’s Great Outdoors initiative to develop a community-led conservation and recreation agenda for the 21st century.

  • President Obama is committed to putting in place an “all-of-the-above strategy” to develop every available source of American energy while making sure we never have to choose between protecting our environment and strengthening our economy.

In his most recent State of the Union address, President Obama reiterated his commitment to lessening America’s dependence on foreign oil and investing in clean energy to protect our environment and create jobs.


Go there and read. More tomorrow.


America 9th In The World – I am not sure whether I believe this or not

ACE3 rarely ever gets very much wrong.  But the idea that the UK was the most efficient country in the world and the USA was 9th? There is something very wrong about that.


U.S. Takes 9th Place in Energy Efficiency! (Out of 12).

By Will – August 15th, 2012

A new report from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) ranked the energy efficiency of the world’s 12 largest economies. The U.S., unfortunately, ranked 9 out of 12.

So while we were out dominating at the Olympics, we were quietly slipping behind on a metric that, if improved, would yield a substantial benefit  for our country — economically as well as environmentally.

So how did we do on the specifics?

  • 9th overall in energy efficiency
  • 9th in terms of “national effort” in energy efficiency
  • 6th in industrial energy efficiency
  • 4th in building energy efficiency
  • 12th in transportation efficiency

With our penchant for gas guzzlers and the unpopularity of public transportation over here, it’s easy to see how we came in dead last in transportation.

But a shimmer of hope there is the 4th place ranking we got in building energy efficiency — our best category, and not all that shabby really. (We would have almost gotten a medal if building energy efficiency were an Olympic event.) While we’ve previously lamented our slow progress in implementing energy efficiency in buildings, and have shaken our heads as federal tax credits have been cut and legislation aimed at improving energy efficiency has stalled, it looks like we’re actually doing okay in the field of building efficiency compared to the rest of the world’s developed countries.


Go there and read. More next week.


Solar Power In New Mexico – What better of a place to set up shop

Yes I know about the fire at the Chevron Plant in the Bay area and what that adds to the idea that the oil and gas industry is purposely taking gasoline processing capacity offline as demand for gasoline falls to keep prices high. But solar is so much more peaceful and zen like.

This type of progress is just stunning. We are on the way to becoming a renewable country. Now if the rest of the world will follow suit.


New Mexico’s largest solar plant opens in Carlsbad

Posted at: 09/22/2011 6:10 PM | Updated at: 09/22/2011 6:16 PM
By: Joe Bartels, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Carlsbad officials unveiled the largest solar power project in New Mexico on Thursday.

Three of the five solar power plants in Southeast New Mexico went online, feeding enough electricity over the next 20 years to power almost 200,000 homes.

Eddy and Lea counties added the additional energy source to their already impressive portfolio.

“We have, of course, nuclear, we have bio fuels being produced down here, a vibrant oil and gas industry that’s doing fantastic and now we have solar,” said John Waters of Eddy County Economic Development.

The 100 acres of photovoltaic panels will track the sun’s movement in the sky for the next 20 to 30 years.

It’s all part of a plan to create clean, renewable energy and jobs.

“What we have is a facility that employed people for a significant amount of time, and will continue to do so over the next 20 to 30 years,” said Robert Reichenberger, Sun Edison spokesperson. “These panels and this facility are expected to last that long so we will continue to need people on the jobsite to monitor the project.”

Out of the three power plants online, two of them are in Jal and one is in Carlsbad.

The two offline – in Eunice and Monument – are expected to be generating power by the end of 2011.

“It shows we’re ahead of the rest of the state in this type of energy production and we like to think of ourselves in Southeastern New Mexico, particularly Eddy County as being a major contributor to the energy industries across the country,” said Waters.


Go there and watch the video. More tomorrow.


Even In Botswana They Like Solar – Though this one is smaller than the first proposal

About 2 years earlier there is evidence in the literature that the Botswana government let bids for a 200 megawatt facility. So why this one is for a little over a meg., I got no idea. And there are no pretty pictures either.


Category Name BG News
News Name Solar plant boosts relations with Japan
Date 17-02-2012

BG correspondent The P85 million 1.3MW Photovoltaic Power station in Phakalane will not only serve to diversify the country’s energy sources but also boost the country’s economic relations with Japan. The Japan-sponsored clean energy plant is expected to be complete in September this year. The plant is part of government’s investment in the energy sector. Speaking during a progress tour of the Power Station on Wednesday, Mineral and Water Affairs minister, Ponatshego Kedikilwe said: “This arrangement will not only boost our economic relations with Japan but will be beneficial in the diversification of energy sources,” as it will lessen the pressures of rampant energy shortage. Phillimon Dhafana, the Manager of the Planning and Projects in Rural business unit from Botswana Power Corporation, explained that the power plant would generate uncultivated solar power. Dhafana told the Botswana Guardian that, “our country experiences plenty of heat that these power plant will harness and convert to solar energy that will benefit the whole country.”

Dhafana said the difference between Morupule power station and this new project is that the solar power plant produces clean energy while the Morupule plant emits coal gases, which destroy the greenhouse. The power station is expected to be complete in September.


More next week.


Solar Powered Fruits And Vegetables – Two facilities in a row, that is amazing

Yep, it is true. This company has an incredible commitment to the environment or is it cheap power. Maybe it is both. Who cares? Lets hope it spreads.


USA: 3.4 MW Conergy plants for largest carrot producer worldwide

31. July 2012 | By:  Conergy

Conergy is achieving additional successes in global solar growth markets. In the USA, the system supplier secured two major orders for three power plants with a first phase total capacity of 3.4 megawatts for the world’s largest carrot producer Grimmway Enterprises Inc.

Additional plants totaling 2.3 megawatts may follow at other Grimmway facilities in the future. In 2010, Conergy already helped Grimmway to produce ‘greener carrots’ by installing a 230 kilowatt plant in Arvin, California. At 3.4 megawatts, the new order is 14 times the size of the first Conergy power plant on the Grimmway farm.

30% of the power demand of the Grimmway farms covered by Conergy power plants

By the end of 2012, Conergy will have completed construction of the first three solar power plants with a total capacity of 3.4 megawatts on three carrot plantations in the Californian Central Valley, in Malaga, Bakersfield and Lamont. In a second phase, two other solar energy plants with a total capacity of 2.3 megawatts may follow at other Grimmway facilities. The 4,760 Conergy PM modules at the three power plants will be producing millions of kilowatt hours of clean power every year. This will allow the company to reduce its electricity costs, and it will cover 30% of the power demand at its carrot farms, including its 100% organic farm. In addition, the power plants will prevent the emission of more than 2,700 tonnes of damaging CO2. This makes for ‘greener carrots’ in two ways: through purely organic growing methods and through clean energy generation.


Go there and read. More tomorrow


Large Solar Facilities In China – As the green clean wars heat up


I have included a picture here because it is a small one and the plant will not be operational until next year.


eSolar’s Chinese partner makes a successful bid for solar thermal project in Fuxin City

Just three months ago, California CSP manufacturer eSolar licesed its power tower technology to China’s Pengai Electric – the partnership has born fruit. The partnership has announced its second CSP project in northern China.

 - eSolar's Sierra SunTower in Lancaster, CA has been delivering power to the grid since mid-2009
eSolar’s Sierra SunTower in Lancaster, CA has been delivering power to the grid since mid-2009
Source: eSolar

Shandong Penglai Electric Power Equipment Manufacturing (SPEPEMC), the Chinese partner company of Pasadena power tower developer eSolar, signed a cooperation agreement in mid-March with the City of Fuxin, Liaoning Province to build the Fuxin Solar Thermal Power Project. Pengai Electric will build the plant in three phases. When complete the solar thermal power station will have a generation capacity of 300 MW. The Fuxin project is the second for Penglai Electric since the privately-owned power company signed a licensing agreement with California company eSolar last January. Under the terms of the agreement, the Chinese company comitted to building 2 GW of solar thermal power stations in China by 2021 using eSolar’s power-tower technology. The first plant slated for construction is a 92 MW CSP plant to be located at the 66-square-mile Yulin Energy Park in the Mongolian desert.

In eSolar’s power towers, flat mirrors focused on two recievers at the top of a tower heat water directly to produce steam and drive the plant’s turbine. The Chinese plants will combine the eSolar technology with biomass-fired power plants to produce electricity in poor weather conditions and after sundown.


Go there and see. More tomorrow.