+- +-


Welcome, Guest.
Please login or register.
Forgot your password?

+-Stats ezBlock

Total Members: 51
New This Month: 1
New This Week: 0
New Today: 0
Total Posts: 13719
Total Topics: 269
Most Online Today: 0
Most Online Ever: 137
(April 21, 2019, 04:54:01 am)
Users Online
Members: 0
Guests: 1
Total: 1

Post reply

Warning: this topic has not been posted in for at least 365 days.
Unless you're sure you want to reply, please consider starting a new topic.
Message icon:

Help (Clear Attachment)
(more attachments)
Allowed file types: doc, gif, jpg, jpeg, mpg, pdf, png, txt, zip, rar, csv, xls, xlsx, docx, xlsm, psd, cpp
Restrictions: 4 per post, maximum total size 1024KB, maximum individual size 512KB

shortcuts: hit alt+s to submit/post or alt+p to preview

Topic Summary

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 12, 2018, 11:52:36 am »

Support CleanTechnica’s work via donations on Patreon or PayPal!

Or just go buy a cool t-shirt, cup, baby outfit, bag, or hoodie.

5 Ways China’s Now A Global Climate Leader

July 11th, 2018 by Guest Contributor

Originally published on Climate Reality Project.

The world’s biggest emitter decided to take some serious climate action – and in the process renewed our hope that we will beat the climate crisis.

Ten years ago, the idea that China – the planet’s single biggest carbon polluter – would be a global leader on climate in 2018 would have sounded, well, a stretch.

But with terrifying levels of air pollution threatening to spark social unrests in earlier years and the US stepping back from the global stage under President Trump, that’s exactly what’s happened.

The story begins with a massive public health crisis, but how China responded – and five steps in particular – lays out a practical path to a low-carbon future for countries around the world.

Airpocalypse Now ☠️

How did the world’s biggest polluter become the world’s leader on climate?

It all goes back to the “Airpocalypse.”

Not too long ago, many in some of the Chinese cities were going about their business engulfed in a cloud of pollution. The gray haze could be so dense, that buildings and trees would quite literally disappear in front of your eyes. And stepping outside, even for just a minute, required wearing a facial mask to avoid directly breathing the toxic air.

How to Keep Climate Action on Track After the Paris Agreement

The source of much of that pollution wasn’t hard to find either: coal-fired power plants and vehicles on the road. Since the early 2000s, China’s economy had been growing rapidly, powered largely by coal.

The unchecked use of coal on such a huge scale didn’t take long to generate real problems. In 2005, China surpassed the United States to become the world’s biggest CO2 emitter (a title that the country has held since the 20th century). And in 2008, 16 of the 20 most polluted cities in the entire world were in China, according to the World Bank.

Enough Is Enough

In 2013, the Chinese government finally decided that enough was enough, introducing a national action plan to curb air pollution, including a set of coal consumption limits for key regions including Beijing and the Pearl River Delta.

In 2016, China released its national plan for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and committed to lowering the country’s carbon intensity of GDP by 60–65 percent (below 2005 levels) by 2030 in its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to Paris Agreement. As the world’s second-largest economy – and home to nearly 1.4 billion people – that’s a big deal to the world.

Growing Pains and Growing Progress

It hasn’t all been smooth sailing. Emissions are still rising as the country continues to grow. And although China has halt many coal projects over the past years, environmentalists have called it out for investing coal energy in other countries such as Turkey and Pakistan to satisfy its immense need for energy.

On the other hand, China has made real progress. Between 2013 and 2017, Chinese cities cut the amount of fine pollution particulates(PM2.5) in the air by an average of 32 percent. And the capital Beijing has seen a lot more sunny days as PM 2.5 concentration dropped 54 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017, in comparison to the same period of 2016.

On a global level, there’s also good news. China has been instrumental in keeping the Paris Agreement process going, continuing to curb emissions and expand renewables even as the US (another huge polluter) has dramatically backed down at the federal level.

So how’s China done it? There’ve been many steps, but five have been especially key.
1. Bye-Bye, Coal

China has been slowly (but surely) moving away from coal energy. Last year, the government announced plans to cancel 103 new plants and closed the very last coal plant located in the capital, Beijing.

From 2014 to 2015, coal consumption reduced after a decade of steady increase.

2. Putting a Price on Carbon

One of China’s most impressive moves was to launch the world’s largest national carbon trading market in 2017. The goal is to encourage companies to become greener by allowing them sell or buy excessive carbon emissions. The first phase of the project only covers the power generation sector, but the initiative is expected to expand across many other areas of the economy.

3. Clean Bus Rides

China is showing the world how to move many people around quickly and cleanly.   Around 17 percent of the country’s municipal buses are electric, and the city Shenzhen holds the record for the globe’s largest electric bus fleet, with all of its 16,359 buses had gone electric last year. The achievement was only possible due to government subsidies. But in the long run, operation and maintenance costs of electric buses are significantly lower than those fueled by diesel.

4. Making the Investment in Renewables

Moving away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy is not just an effective way to clean up the planet. It’s also a good investment.

In 2017, China invested a staggering US$ 126.6 billion in renewable energy – 45 percent of the total worldwide investment. The country has been using a whole lot of green technology internally  – nearly doubled its solar generation from 2016 to 2017. But it also has its eyes on a much larger international market.

5. New Forests

China is so keen on green that it’s deploying soldiers to plant trees across the country. The goal is to replant many of the forests that were cut down for industrialization and farmland, all with an eye to removing carbon from the atmosphere on a massive scale and doing it naturally.

Sowing seeds is actually one of the country’s Paris Agreement goals – China wants to increase forest stock volume by 4.5 billion cubic meters by 2030, from its 2005 level. China is also planting a different kind of forest on its buildings to help sequester carbon.

The Takeaway

The catalyst was the sight of millions choking on industrial and power sector pollution, but the result has been one of the most influential for emissions reduction and energy transformation the world’s ever seen.

Five steps in the process have been critical:

Cutting coal

Putting a price on carbon

Cleaning up public transit

Investing in renewables

Conserve and rebuild the forest

The good news is that it doesn’t take a public health crisis for countries to embrace these and other practical solutions. The world’s second-largest economy has already shown they work, and now it’s time for other nations to follow its lead.

Want to stay updated on climate action across the globe? Join our email activist list. We’ll deliver the latest on climate science and innovative ways you can get involved in the climate movement right to your inbox.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 09, 2018, 07:48:33 pm »

Sweden Will Reach Its 2030 Renewable Energy Target This Year
JULY 5, 2018

By Joe McCarthy

Renewable energy can now viably replace fossil fuels.  

Why Global Citizens Should Care

Sweden is showing that renewable energy can viably replace fossil fuels, a transition that is necessary to protect the planet from the worst consequences of climate change. You can join us in taking action on this issue here.

Sweden is on pace to reach its 2030 target for renewable energy more than a decade ahead of schedule, according to Bloomberg — and wind energy 💨 is the driving factor.

For the past several years, windmill installations have soared throughout the country because of government subsidies, Business Day reports.

Sweden will have 3,681 windmills operating throughout the country by the end of 2018, and enough windmill capacity by 2020 for 12 gigawatts of energy, according to the Swedish Wind Energy Association.

In 2011, the country was only producing around 3 gigawatts of energy, Bloomberg notes.

The US, by comparison, has more than 52,000 windmills, but a population that’s more than 30 times greater than Sweden’s.

The other main source of renewable energy in Sweden is hydropower, which accounts for around half of its electricity production. Nuclear energy accounts for the bulk of the country’s remaining electricity supply, which, while not renewable, doesn’t release greenhouse gas emissions.

Read More:
Fighting Climate Change Could Save the World $30 Trillion, Report Finds

If Sweden reaches its renewable energy target ahead of schedule, it may set more ambitious targets and pursue a wholly renewable electricity grid by 2030.

Other countries are reaching their renewable energy targets early, fulfilling the Paris climate agreement’s vision of countries being able to update their goals every few years.

China, for instance, reached its 2020 emissions target 600 days ahead of schedule earlier this year and is investing three times as much as the US on renewable sources of energy.

Nordic countries, meanwhile, are transcending fossil fuels altogether. Both Iceland and Denmark can produce all of their electricity through renewables, according to the Independent.

Read More: Germany Produced Enough Renewable Energy in 6 Months for the Rest of 2018

Elsewhere, Costa Rica gets nearly all of its electricity from hydropower, and Portugal generated 103% of its electricity from renewables in March.

These achievements show that renewable energy can viably replace fossil fuels 🦖.

If investments continue to increase in clean energy alternatives, then the Paris climate agreement’s goal of keeping global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels may be within reach.

TOPICS Environment Finance & innovation Current events Wind power Renewable energy Hydropower Paris climate agreement Wind Nuclear energy Wind energy

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 09, 2018, 04:33:59 pm »


In Germany, when demand for electricity is low, and weather conditions are right, consumers benefit.

Over the Christmas period in 2017, for example, when demand from major energy consumers was low and unseasonably sunny conditions fueled the country’s wind and solar power plants, the price of power actually dipped below zero  , The New York Times reported. Periods of negative pricing can lead to lower electricity bills over the course of a year.

The future of energy production:

֍ Germany has invested more than $200 billion USD in renewable energy sources over the past few decades. So when the weather is windy or sunny, German plants end up with excess electricity.

֍ Traditional power grids, typically powered by fossil fuels like coal, are designed to create enough energy to meet demand. Renewable energy sources produce power based on atmospheric conditions.

֍ The International Energy Agency predicts that by 2040, renewable sources will drive 40 percent of global power generation

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 27, 2018, 07:47:38 pm »

A Trump-supporting 🦀 Texas city runs on 100% renewable energy 🍃


Published on Jun 23, 2018

In Texas — the heart of Trump country — the city of Georgetown runs on 100% renewable energy.

Republican Mayor Dale Ross told Axios that the decision was “a no-brainer economically.”

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 22, 2018, 02:14:18 pm »

🍀Texas Cities, Businesses, and Schools Know the Economic Upside of Clean Energy 🌼

January 22, 2018

By Sarah Ryan

Sarah Ryan   is Project Manager, Clean Energy, for the Environmental Defense Fund. Sarah supports the Texas clean energy team and national clean energy technology efforts. She works to demonstrate the case for clean energy solutions through hard data and sound economics. She also assists in the implementation and execution of projects that accelerate innovation and market adoption of clean energy.
Recently, the message on Texas clean energy has been getting clearer — the market is driving the clean energy economy forward. And some of those spreading the message are making it loud and clear.

Case in point, the city of Georgetown, a predominately Republican city  :o  ;D, shifted to 100 percent renewable energy in 2015. Jim Briggs, the city’s General Manager-Utilities, clarified, “We didn’t do this to save the world — we did this to get a competitive rate and reduce the risk for our consumers. Additionally, Briggs notes that switching to renewables will hedge against future fuel and regulatory risks.

Even if reducing risk was the primary reason for Georgetown going 100 percent renewable, the move will also slash air pollution and contribute to a healthier Texas 🏵. This shift not only has brought about a significant price decline in electricity, but has also brought millions of dollars of new investment to the city — proving to be a great economic development tool.

And Georgetown isn’t the only example. More and more Texas voices — ranging from multimillion dollar corporations to universities and school districts — are speaking up about their investments in clean energy. And the motivating reason is the same: economics.

Texas Businesses

Central Texas’ leading grocery chain, H-E-B, has always prioritized being a good steward to the community. And H-E-B is now is the largest private owner of solar power systems in the region. George Presses, vice president of fuel and energy at H-E-B, states, “Part of H-E-B’s responsibility […] is to improve our use of natural resources, which we hope will also lower energy costs.”

The Kimberly-Clark Corporation, a multinational personal care company also headquarted in Texas, is focused on becoming more energy efficient and has an ambitious 2022 greenhouse gas reduction goal of 20 percent. As the first major step towards reaching this goal, the company will purchase 245 MW of electricity from wind facilities in Texas and Oklahoma. The renewable energy will allow for a 25 percent reduction in emissions as soon as this year, surpassing the goal four years ahead of schedule. This huge reduction of 550,000 tons of carbon annually is the equivalent of removing 116,178 passenger vehicles from the road.

"These two renewable energy projects … put Kimberly-Clark on track to deliver significant multimillion dollar cost savings from energy and climate projects by 2022," Lisa Morden, Global Head of Sustainability at Kimberly-Clark, said. "It's a powerful demonstration of sustainability initiatives having both great environmental and business benefits."

Texas Power Players

Texas’ largest power-generator, Luminant, is also taking advantage of clean energy’s promising economics. In 2016 the company added 116 MW of solar power to its energy mix, and just last year purchased a solar development project, through its parent company Vistra, in West Texas with the capacity of 180 MW. Luminant, which has traditionally produced most of its energy using coal, now sees solar as a wise option. Chief executive Mac McFarland explains, “Solar energy was once previously viewed as being an expensive alternative to fossil fuels. Those days are ancient history.” 

This shift toward renewable fuel sources was accentuated by the announcement that Luminant will be closing three of its coal plants, comprising over half of the generator’s total coal capacity. The decision was made based on challenging plant and market economics, as my colleague John Hall elaborates upon in his recent blog post.

Texas Education

Private entities and cities are not the only ones taking a seat at the clean energy table — increasingly, universities and school districts are realizing the importance of renewables.

Rice University in Houston has worked with power company MP2 Energy to fully integrate several energy management products that have helped curb energy use and costs. The university also has a first-of-its-kind off-site community solar power project, integrating 3 MW of solar into Rice University’s electricity portfolio (or enough to power approximately 600 homes during peak demand). MP2 Energy’s CEO, Jeff Starcher, states, “This deal demonstrates that solar is truly becoming competitive in the most competitive electricity market in the U.S.”

In 2015, Austin-based Huston-Tillotson University became the first private historically black college or university in the nation to power its university buildings using solar energy — 240kW of solar to be exact, which will provide as much as 10 percent of the power used by the school. The resulting clean electricity will cut carbon pollution by more than 260 tons annually, enough to take 32 cars off the road. It may seem small, but it’s a big start: The university has also signed a commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2048, increase renewable energy use, and expand energy and water efficiency programs. In addition to reaping the potential savings from reduced energy use and electric bills, Huston-Tillotson’s President and CEO, Colette Pierce Burnette, hopes investing in low-carbon clean energy will help “develop students into leaders prepared for a global future.”

And as for younger students, Austin Independent School District (ISD) made a commitment to purchase 30 percent of its electricity from renewables. Since then, the school district has been one of the largest subscribers to the Austin Energy GreenChoice program — Austin ISD currently gets 13 percent of its electricity from renewable energy and ranks second nationally among K-12 school purchases.

Solar and wind power are more common and affordable than ever, and Texas cities, businesses, and schools are spreading the message. With economics on our side, Texas can build a brighter, more affordable energy future.


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 10, 2018, 04:51:14 pm »

Xcel Attracts ‘Unprecedented’ Low Prices for Solar and Wind Paired With Storage

Bid attracts median PV-plus-battery price of $36 per megawatt-hour. Median wind-plus-storage bids came in even lower, at $21 per megawatt-hour.



The rate is 20 percent lower than the cheapest PV-plus-battery power-purchase agreement seen to date, which came in a NextEra Energy Resources contract for Tucson Electric Power signed in May last year, at $45 per megawatt-hour.

The NextEra deal, which included 4 hours of lithium-ion battery-based storage, saw flow battery maker ViZn Energy Systems promising to deliver solar-plus-storage at a cost of $40 per megawatt-hour, still 9 percent above the median rate seen in the Xcel bid.

GTM Research Advisor Shayle Kann said on Twitter that although the Xcel pricing came with “lots of caveats,” it is “incredible nonetheless.”

Vibrant Clean Energy CEO Dr. Christopher Clack, who last year tangled with Stanford University Professor Mark Jacobson over pathways to a 100 percent renewable energy system, tweeted: “What fabulous numbers!”   

The bids for wind-plus-storage were even lower, with a median price of $21 per megawatt-hour. The Xcel figures are also well below the unsubsidized levelized cost of energy (LCOE) for wind and solar published by Lazard last November.

The financial advisory firm estimated the current LCOE for utility-scale solar-plus-batteries to be $82 per megawatt-hour. Lazard did not calculate an LCOE for wind-plus-storage.

Lazard's estimates for wind LCOE alone were higher than Xcel’s wind-plus-storage median bid rate, with a range of $30 to $60 per megawatt-hour.

GTM Research’s director of energy storage, Ravi Manghani, said it is clear that Xcel’s bidders were expecting significant solar, wind and battery cost reductions between now and when the projects are due to go online, in 2023. 

Full article:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 05, 2018, 08:21:37 pm »

Renewable Energy Pays But You Won't Save a Penny or the Earth Because Of Money In Politics

In Germany the electric companies are paying people to take their energy but that can't happen here... because

Thom Hartmann  Jan. 3, 2018 2:30 pm

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 14, 2017, 07:10:14 pm »

Elon Musk Is Only Somewhat Right That Tesla’s Solar & Storage Can Scale To Rebuild Puerto Rico’s Grid

October 14th, 2017 by Michael Barnard

Full interesting article (he left some rather important advantages of Puerto Rico out, but I added them in a comment 8)):


I am willing to bet if PR could somehow swing an entirely new power grid from renewable energy that Tesla would focus on batteries and limited rooftop solar. I could see Tesla using the funding to quickly bring a second battery factory online and then accelerate their EV program once the grid was done.
At to power generation PR would get a better return with wind power the trade winds are right there perfect source of power.

agelbert Dan
You are correct in your assessment of what can be done in Puerto Rico.

I understand the situation down there rather well, so let me add something to Michael Barnard's article:

There are other advantages of the latitude (i.e. tropics) where Puerto Rico is located besides day length and lack of winter that I wish Michael had mentioned.

Humans need clean air, clean water, food and shelter to have a viable society. I will list ways that Puerto Rico can provide these basic needs affordably AND Renewably.

The main disadvantage of an island economy is the cost of transporting needed supplies from outside the island. And after said supplies get to the few ports, another cost of transporting from the ports to the homes and businesses is added.

Also, centralized water and electrical power systems further add to the cost of getting potable water and power to the homes and businesses.

Yes, the island is only is only 35 miles by 100 miles. But, it is mountainous. So the claim that a network of water pipes and electrical power lines within the island provides the most efficient way to provide those services is simply not true.

The goal must be to have as much distributed infrastructure as possible in order to reduce any and all costs of moving absolutely anything from point A to point B.

WHY? Because you want to have the smallest islandwide energy demand footprint.

WHY? Because the smaller the footprint, the cheaper it is to power with Renewable Energy. And there is less backup power that you need to store as well.

The procedure to set up this efficient Renewable Energy based system should go something like this:

1) The relative humidity is never below about 60%. That means that a solar power water generator in every home can cost effectively replace the entire water distribution pipe and pump system, which is costly to maintain. The island's water system would then be dedicated to the matter of collecting the sewage and possibly using it to manufacture fertilizer, instead of having a network of costly septic treatment plants using chemicals.

Water generators can, due to the relative humidity there, easily provide all the potable water that is, unlike the present system, not questionable for drinking. All the massive cost of energy now routinely paid by the average Puerto Rican to buy bottled water, plus the waste from bottle plastic, would not exist. Any tank the size of an 80 gallon water heater could hold the water cleanly. Of course people might want to have a large cistern for more water, but the average family would certainly not need one. No hurricane or earthquake would ever interrupt access to clean water anyone who's home was not utterly destroyed. Clean water from solar powered water generators is old technology. This is a must for an island subject to calamities like hurricanes and earthquaqes.

2) With the average family never suffering clean water shortages, the population becomes extremely resilient after a calamity. Disease vectors are stopped in their tracks because the people can bathe with, cook with and drink clean water 24/7. The next need is electrical energy. Since the island is relatively small, the promotion of 100% EV vehicles would mean billions (with a B) of dollars not spent on annually on fossil fuels. So, the best approach here is to solarize all the buildings.

Here, I wish to point something out that everybody seems to have missed. Puerto Rico is at around 18 degrees north latitude. Any solar installer will immediately realize that, for a large portion of the year, solar panels can be nearly flat against a flat roof, and still get nearly 100% efficiency. Beyond the fact that insolation values down there are superior to anywhere in the continental U.S., a flat solar panel, properly secured, will withstand category 5 hurricane winds, unlike a panel in Vermont that sits at about 40 degrees. There are periods of the year in Puerto Rico that the sun is directly above! That's right, you stand and your shadow is directly beneath you at noon. Most of the roofs in Puerto Rico are flat concrete so solarizing them and strongly securing the panels to them is easily done. After the island is solarized, even if 20% are damaged from a hurricane, most homes will have enough power to help their neighbors. This is what a resilient economy is like.

3) The centralized electrical grid should still exist for large cities like San Juan and Ponce, but the high voltage transmisssion lines and the towers vulnerable to hurricanes would no longer be needed over most of the island. That is one less part of the infrastructure to maintain.

4) Unlike the mainland USA, where the grid to EV network should be used as backup and smoothing and storage eventually, I think Puerto Rico should work to subsidize an EV for gasoline polluting clunkers program where a person's EV is charged mostly from their home. Remember, NO ROUND  TRIP to work in Puerto Rico exceeds the range of a Leaf, so the EV can become, for all practical purposes, a zero fuel cost vehicle for Puerto Ricans.

5) The powerwall systems will have their place too. The government should also subsidize them simply to provide resilience and grid smoothing on a 24/7 basis, plus a massive program to train the average Puerto Rican homeowner on how to best care for the system.

6) There is another HUGE advantage that Puerto Rico has that I wish to mention. Puerto Rico has the trade winds. They blow 5 to 15 mph 24/7 continuously (ALL YEAR).

NASA put an experimental wind turbine up on Culebra Island way back in the 1970's. It worked fine. It never stopped generating electricity. Do you know why it was dismantled?

I'm glad you asked. NASA wanted to give it to the power authority of Puerto Rico FREE on the condition that they maintain it. The power authority refused because their "business model" relied on fossil fuels. I'll give you a link to that story if you wish. The stranglehold of the fossil fuel interests in Puerto Rico has fostered tremendous costs, inefficency and pollution on that benighted island. It's time to stop that criminal stupidity by kicking fossil fuels off the island permanently.

7) The island, once it is running on over 50% Renewable Energy, can concentrate on using the advantage of not having winter to grow organic vegetables all year round. The greenhouses can be made to withstand hurricanes. Producing more of its own food will reduce the shipping costs for food coming to the island, which will, in turn, help the citizens prosper sustainably.

Puerto Rico needs fossil fuel powered infrastructure and vehicles like a hole in the head.

Puerto Rico has the geographic position and Renewable Energy resources that can make it the envy of the world. Even the ocean currents are a potential massive source of energy at the level of Japan and Scotland.

But with the Trump misadminstration acting so destructively, I do not see much hope for common sense to prevail in Puerto Rico.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 08, 2017, 05:11:34 pm »

5 Cities Reaping The Benefits Of Climate Action 

October 8th, 2017 by Guest Contributor

Originally published on The Climate Reality Project.


Global warming is a major threat to our planet, but particularly to our cities, in which two thirds of the world’s population are expected to live by 2050.

Even as national leaders make the headlines on climate, more and more, cities are the places turning big-picture objectives into practical steps forward to a sustainable future. In fact, the Trump Administration’s decision in June to withdraw from the Paris Agreement only strengthened the commitment of the world’s biggest cities to lower emissions for a low-carbon future.

This commitment is clear in the new Cities100 report, available now. For the third year in a row, Sustainia, C40, and Realdania have collected the 100 best urban solutions to climate change from cities around the world, and the 2017 edition of Cities100 presents some extraordinary cases of city climate action within the categories of energy, adaptation, transportation, mitigation, and waste.

This year’s Cities100 reveals how more cities are beginning to acknowledge the social, economic, and environmental benefits of climate action and adaptation. By taking climate action, cities can simultaneously future-proof against challenges such as overpopulation, air pollution, and extreme weather events, and save trillions of dollars on, for example, energy and health.

Let’s take a closer look at five cities from the new report that are creating greener, smarter, and healthier urban environments while reducing their carbon footprint.

Full article with nice pictures:   

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 06, 2017, 07:53:30 pm »


Elon Musk Wants to Rebuild Puerto Rico's Power Grid With Solar  

Ocrober 6, 2017 by Lorraine Chow

Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló responded positively  :o  to Tesla CEO Elon Musk's offer to help restore the island's hurricane-wrecked power grid with the company's batteries and solar panels.

"Let's talk," the governor tweeted to Musk Thursday evening. "Do you want to show the world the power and scalability of your #TeslaTechnologies? PR could be that flagship project." 

Musk tweeted back that he would be "happy to talk." 

Read more:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 04, 2017, 08:20:20 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: I lived in Humacao, Puerto Rico. I know what these learned writers are talking about. They are right to take umbrage at Trump's insensitive boorishness. But the article is mostly about viable solutions to the present infrastructure problems in Puerto Rico. Let us hope wise people listen to them. Their recomendations are, in fact, what should be done all over the world, not just in Puerto rico. 

It Is Time to Transform, Not Just Rebuild, in Puerto Rico

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

By Marisol LeBrón and Hilda Lloréns, Truthout | Op-Ed


Toward Energy Sovereignty

In Puerto Rico, "community efforts" -- to use Trump's own language -- to improve the quality of life for local communities have long preceded the current official top-down conversations about how to rebuild the hurricane-ravaged territory. For example, in the Bay of Jobos region, in southeastern Puerto Rico, a number of communities have been hard at work resisting environmental degradation and creating plans for sustainable environmental transformation for more than three decades. These are largely low-income communities that are disproportionately exposed to the toxic pollutants generated by two power plants that bookend Jobos Bay: the Aguirre Power Plant Complex and the AES coal power plant.

A fire that erupted at the Aguirre Power Plant Complex on September 21, 2016, plunged Puerto Rico into a three-day blackout, which foreshadowed the current power crisis and exposed the vulnerability of the power grid. The AES coal plant has been in the news lately as a result of the ongoing protests against the irresponsible disposal of toxic coal ash in the towns of Peñuelas and Humacao. Protesters are demanding that the AES plant be shut down because generating energy using coal inevitably leads to the production of toxic coal ash that is harmful to communities and the environment.

Despite its fertile terrain, Puerto Rico imports approximately 85 percent of its food. Hurricane Maria has revealed the intense vulnerability of Puerto Rico's food supply chain.
Almost all of the electricity generated in Puerto Rico comes from fossil fuels and is imported at a high cost to residents.

Puerto Ricans pay some of the highest energy costs within US jurisdiction. Presently, activists working with community-based environmental watchdog organizations, such as climate advocate and attorney Ruth Santiago of Comité Diálogo Ambiental and Alexis Massol Gonzalez of Casa Pueblo, argue that recovery efforts must entail a complete transformation of the grid itself. Building a resilient electric power grid will require ending the island's dependence on fossil fuels, opting instead for solar power, wind power and other clean energy resources. Additionally, the power grid must be decentralized from the current model   , which is based on large fossil-fuel dependent power plants with long-distance transmission.

Central Aguirre massively polluting Fossil Fuel Power Plant in Puerto Rico

The island should instead seek to develop a system of micro-grids, solar communities and other sustainable alternatives that allow residents to manage energy demand at a community level. Environmental justice communities, which have suffered the worst effects of the current model, want to play a central role in the management and production of photovoltaic and wind energy.

These are not people "who want everything to be done for them," these are people asking for the resources and commitments necessary to build a better Puerto Rico for themselves and future generations.

Punta de Lima wind farm (above before Hurricane Maria) has 13 Vestas 1.8 megawatt turbines. Many blades were destroyed. Pattern Energy developed and owned the Santa Isabel Wind Farm, with 44 turbines, where no damage occurred.

This video shows the destruction of Vestas turbines at the Punta de Lima project in Puerto Rico. The Punta de Lima Wind facility, developed by Gestamp Wind, began operation in April 2013 and includes 13 Vestas 1.8 megawatt turbines for a total capacity of 23.4 megawatts. Puerto Rico hosts a second, larger project, the Santa Isabel Wind Farm, developed and owned by Pattern Energy. Pattern has informed Windaction.org that its turbines did not sustain any damage from hurricaine Maria. The Santa Isabel site began operation in 2012 and consists of 44 wind turbines (each Siemens 2.3 megawatt turbines) for a total capacity of 101.2 megawatts.

Puerto Rico, Hurricanes Irma, Maria & Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum (October 2017) | Ililani Media

Full article:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 29, 2017, 02:56:59 pm »

Hybrid Office Building Cuts Cord to Electricity Grid  

August 29, 2017

By Andrew Spence, The Lead

 hybrid energy

A four-story office building powered by a combination of thermal and PV solar and wind energy in South Australia has cut its connection to the electricity grid in what its owners claim to be a world first.

The $8 million Fluid Solar headquarters in Adelaide, South Australia’s northern suburbs contains more than 2 MWh of energy storage capacity, comprising about 90 percent thermal storage with the remaining 10 percent provided by conventional battery storage.

Fluid Solar House has been operating without the use of the electricity grid since April to test its technologies before this afternoon’s cord-cutting ceremony. 

The building will be used as the small company’s headquarters but will also become a co-working space for other innovative northern suburbs’ startups.

Surplus electricity generated at the site will be used as part of Tesla’s car-charging network, with provision of 11 electric vehicle bays that will be charged completely by wind and solar power harvested from a 98 kWp array of 378 PV solar panels on the building’s roof.

A sustainable “tiny house” has also been built — in just three days — in the building’s car park to showcase the company’s low cost, low energy accommodation.

Fluid Solar Managing Director Roger Davies has been working on the technology since 2008 and said the solar thermal element was the key to the building’s success.

He said solar PV cells alone typically could not produce enough energy to run an air conditioning system.

“Even if you could, the cost of the battery pack becomes so large that it’s difficult to pay the battery pack off before it wears out,” he said.

“Storage of heat is dramatically cheaper than battery storage and because we’ve got the other end, which is the devices that use thermal energy directly for their heating and cooling it means that 60-70 per cent of the building’s energy requirements are met using solar thermal as opposed to solar PV technology.

“That allows us to use the rest of the roof — about 60 percent — to do a conventional PV.

So we have a hybrid model between a smaller battery pack running the lights, the lift, the fan systems and so on and the heavy lifting is done by the solar thermal.

Wind turbines on the roof are also in place to fill the void for about 20 days in winter when long stretches of cloudy weather reduce the effectiveness of solar. The surplus electricity will be used to power the car charging station.

The solar thermal collectors have been granted an Australian patent, and we’re in the process of getting an international patent in several jurisdictions including China, India, Japan, North America and Europe.

They work by heating rainwater collected at the site to between 60C and 90C and storing it in a 10,000-liter insulated box. The hot water can be used to directly heat the building in winter and indirectly in summer to dry air and run evaporative cooling.

The building also has a turbine that turns low pressure steam into electricity.

“If you collect solar energy as heat, you store it as heat and you use it as heat, the whole process is intrinsically efficient and cost-effective and that is the trick to moving to a much lower energy consumption society, Davies said.

The company is working on a system that can be retrofitted to existing office buildings.
“That’s certainly feasible from a technical point of view and once clients accept that it’s also economically attractive to them we see no reason why that technology couldn’t be rolled out across a large percentage of existing buildings.”

Fluid Solar has a 1200sq m factory in the nearby industrial suburb of Edinburgh. It has 24 orders for small houses, which range in size from 40sq m to 160sq m.

The houses are powered by similar renewable energy systems as the office building, can be run off-grid and can be built on site in a matter of days.

“Our order book is probably filled till Christmas but we’re certainly looking to have some projects moving into 2018 to keep the momentum going and build production,” Davies said.

“We’ve looked at 5000sq m as our next step up when demand picks up. I’ve got a joint arrangement with an existing manufacturing business to gear up and help build large volume if we can show the demand.”

Davies said the small modulated houses had a number of markets including as backyard flats, off-grid holiday homes and housing for people on fixed incomes.

He said the fast build times, low or no ongoing electricity costs and a price of about AU$1,000 per square meter compared with $1,200 – $1800sq m for traditional housing made them very affordable.

Fluid Solar has approval to build a 20-apartment complex in Munno Para, which Davies hopes to have installed before Christmas.

“One thing I would very much like to do is build these as medium density urban and suburban housing because we believe we can get the cost down to a point where people on low fixed incomes can afford to rent or buy over time,” he said.

“My belief is that our strategy of using a building that is intrinsically low energy consuming will ultimately become the dominant feature in architecture — we will move away from poorly insulated, glazed energy hot boxes and people will start to accept that the advantages of low consumption and low impact living are more important.”   

South Australia leads the nation in the uptake of wind energy and roof-top solar with renewable sources accounting for more than 40 percent of the electricity generated in the state. However, the closure of two coal-fired power stations in recent years has increased South Australia’s reliance on energy supplies from the eastern Australian states, particularly in times of peak demand.

Last month, tech billionaire Elon Musk announced his company Tesla would install the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery at a wind farm in South Australia. This month, SolarReserve announced it would construct a 150MW solar thermal power plant in the state’s north.

This article was originally published by The Lead South Australia under a creative commons license.


Agelbert NOTE: The above is admirable, but it is also common sense. I wish to bring your attention to the possibility, which I consider a fact, that the encouragement given the populace over the last century or so to use energy without absolutely any consideration for efficiency has been deliberate by the fossil fuel industry.

WHY? Because the more fossil fuels we burned, the more money they made. All that ubiquitous ego inflating advertizing about "freedom" and "independence" and "doing it your way" energy use bling was a clever appeal to human greed and "do BETTER than the Joneses" base human psychology.

They convinced an entire generation that the advantages of low consumption and low impact living is something to be scorned, despite the biosphere math FACT that low consumption and low impact living is the ideal all humans should strive to achieve in order to preserve and protect the environment for their children.

IOW, through clever ego inflating ubiquitous advertising propaganda, they made greedy suckers out of most of us.

At the same time, the mendacious crooks that push polluting energy sources claimed, and still claim, that they would be happy to incorporate 'efficiency increases' to reduce fossil lfuel use and would 'support' Renewable Energy sources too.   But alas, the fossil fuel product is the most "cost effective" and "competitive" product out there. 

This was a half truth at best. The petroleum pigs certainly do go all out to make oil and gas extraction machinery as efficient as possible to increase profits. But they are totally against more efficency at the consumer level. They are the ones responsible for the minimum furnace size requirements in all buildings and many other code requiring INEFFICIENCIES that guarantee MORE fossil fuel use. And that's just the tip of the mens rea fossil fuel industry turdberg out there.

So, when the FACT that intrinsically low energy consuming architecture has been vigorously shunned by the fossil fuel industry for over a century is exposed, the malice and forethought on their part in encouraging totally unnecessary and massively inefficient high energy use becomes clear.

They WANT us to use a lot of energy so they can turn around and say our "standard of living", if not our very lives, will suffer "grievous harm" without fossil fuels.

Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute wrote a peer reviewed scientifc paper (Reinventing Fire) making it crystal clear that we can run human civilization on 80% LESS energy than we now use by incorporating various transportation, machinery, building and housing energy efficiency increasing technologies along with Renewable Energy WITHOUT ANY lowering of our standard of living.

So when you hear a fossil fueler claim that intrinsically low energy consuming architecture 'isn't competitive or cost efficient' (i.e. not ready for 'prime time'  ;)) along with their standard crocodile tears about how our "standard of living will suffer grievous harm" (i.e. 'we are all gonna die without our loyal servant the Fossil Fuel Industry') without fossil fuels, please show them the following meter reading in regard to everything they said:

The Fossil Fuelers DID THE Clean Energy  Inventions suppressing, Climate Trashing, human health depleting CRIME,   but since they have ALWAYS BEEN liars and conscience free crooks, they are trying to AVOID   DOING THE TIME or     PAYING THE FINE!     Don't let them get away with it! Pass it on!   
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 28, 2017, 07:31:12 pm »

Jimmy Carter  Talks Solar Energy


I grew up on a farm outside of Plains, Georgia. It was the Great Depression years; we didn't have electricity or running water. The first appliance we had was a windmill, for piping water into our house.

In fact, we didn't have any gasoline or diesel motors for a number of decades; mules and horses did all the work. We got all our energy from growing corn—the animals that we worked, the animals that we ate, and all the human beings depended on corn as just about our only fuel. We were totally renewable back then.   

So when I became president, it was natural for me to want to extend this capability to people who were in danger of losing their energy supply. Because we had a good relationship with Israel—I tried to bring peace between Israel and Egypt—we had oil embargos. We lost our customary supply of oil, so I was very interested in seeing America be energy secure. It was a national security issue—all our tanks, our ships, our trains depended on oil back in those days.

Full article:
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 07, 2017, 06:53:05 pm »

Germany Breaks Record: 85% of Energy  :o  ;D Comes From Renewables Last Weekend 

ByLorraine Chow
May. 04, 2017 02:27PM EST


Germany's "Energiewende"—the country's low-carbon energy revolution
—turned another successful corner last weekend when renewable energy sources nearly stamped out coal and nuclear.

Thanks to a particularly breezy and sunny Sunday, renewables such as wind and solar, along with some biomass and hydropower, peaked at a record 85 percent, or 55.2 gigawatts, and even came along with negative prices for several hours at the electricity exchange.

Conversely, coal use was at an all-time minimum. According to DW, on April 30, coal-fired power stations were only operational between 3 and 4 p.m. and produced less than eight gigawatts of energy, well below the maximum output of about 50 gigawatts.

Full article with graphics:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 03, 2017, 08:37:11 pm »

03 May 2017 | Sören Amelang, Benjamin Wehrmann
Sun and wind squeeze coal power to record low / E.ON & Google team up

Tags: Energiewende ⦁   Fossil fuels ⦁ Renewables
Agora Energiewende

A Sunday almost without coal power

German coal plants on last Sunday contributed the lowest amount of electricity to the country’s power mix ever recorded in recent times, energy think tank Agora Energiewende* said in a press release. Power production from coal and lignite plants stood at just 8 gigawatt (GW) at the lowest point, while power production from renewables peaked at over 55 GW on the sunny and windy Sunday, according to the think tank. Nuclear plants reduced their production to 5 GW, it added. Solar, wind and other renewable power production on average stood at nearly 36 GW during the weekend, equaling about 64 percent of German power consumption, Agora Energiewende explained. “Constellations like this will be perfectly normal in 2030,” the think tank’s head Patrick Graichen said, adding that “inflexible power plants no longer will have a place in the power system as they only spoil the prices”.

Image showing Germany's power mix on 30 April 2017 (at article link)

Tags: Solar Technology Utilities

E.ON and Google are launching partnership to expand solar energy

Germany’s largest utility E.ON has struck a partnership with Google to expand its renewable energy business. E.ON will introduce Google’s solar platform Sunroof in Germany, the company said in a press release. The platform uses data from Google Earth to help homeowners to calculate savings from installing rooftop solar panels. Households can then directly order products such as PV modules from E.ON.
Find background on E.ON in the CLEW factsheet E.ON shareholders ratify energy giant's split.

Tags: Cars Transport
Spiegel Online

First city utters driving bans: Hamburg blocks two main thoroughfares for diesel cars 

Hamburg is the first German city to ban older diesel cars from main thoroughfares all year round to improve local air quality, reports Nils-Viktor Sorge for Spiegel Online. Even though only two roads are affected, the decision “has a highly symbolic significance. The discussion about possible driving bans has already sent shockwaves to the car industry”, writes Sorge.

A survey revealed this week that only two in five diesel car drivers plan to stick with the technology when buying their next car. Stuttgart, the home of carmakers Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, said earlier this year it would ban older diesel cars in the city centre when pollution is heavy from 2018.

Tags: Business & Jobs Cars Technology

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

https://www.cleanenergywire.org/news/sun-and-wind-squeeze-coal-power-record-low-eon-google-team .

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 02, 2017, 02:08:07 pm »

Thanks, Trump: ;D  US Army Cranks Up Yuuuuuge Solar + Wind Project

May 2nd, 2017 by Tina Casey


For a coal fan, President Trump sure did chalk up a lot of renewable energy credits during his first 100 days. Barely squeaking in under the wire is the US Army’s largest ever renewables project, a sprawling wind and solar power complex that is expected to fulfill more than half the yearly electricity needs of US Army Garrison Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas.

The official ribbon cutting ceremony isn’t until June 2 but the complex began commercial operation on April 7, so let’s take a look under the hood (so to speak) and see what’s going on.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 25, 2017, 08:50:44 pm »

Trump will NOT be able stop the Renewable Energy Revolution. 
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 30, 2017, 09:01:06 pm »

Is Berlin a Bike-Friendly City? 

In February 2017, the city of Berlin made good on its commitment to bicycle travel, approving 13 new two-wheel superhighways where bike commuters won’t have to dodge cars, trucks, or pedestrians.

The first two of these new routes will be more than 3.1 miles (5 km) in length and will allow Berliners to get in and out of the city center much faster and much more safely.

Like an interstate highway in the United States, or Germany’s famous Autobahn, cyclists will be encouraged to keep moving on these uber bike paths, which will be at least 13 feet (4 m) in width.

Get your "motor"  ;)  running:              

•There is already a similar thoroughfare dedicated to cyclists in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, and another is planned in Munich. These projects are credited with reducing commute times and traffic fatalities.

•Funding for a 64-mile-long (103 km) stretch of bicycle heaven, connecting Dallas and Fort Worth, has been approved in Texas, and a similar route is being considered between Raleigh and Durham in North Carolina.

•The idea of bike superhighways has been discussed since the late 19th century.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 10, 2017, 01:57:08 pm »

March 9, 2017 1:21 PM
Texas  :o   ;D city one of first to be powered solely by wind and solar energy

By Tom Uhler


Who would have thought that Georgetown in conservative red state Texas would be one of the first cities in America to be powered entirely by renewable energy?

It’s true, according to this report on NPR.

But it’s all about the Benjamins, Georgetown Mayor Dale Ross told NPR.

“It’s our love of green — green rectangles and green energy,” he said, the rectangles signifying dollars. “First and foremost it was a business decision.”

There was never any talk of global warming or climate change during the city’s deliberations in 2012 about its power source going forward.

“I don’t think they’re ever going to accuse Georgetown of being the next Berkeley,” Ross told NPR’s Ari Shapiro.

The city realized that there was enough wind and solar power available, that it was fairly predictable and that the prices wouldn’t fluctuate as much as oil and gas prices.

Texas has led the nation in wind energy for the past decade while under then-Gov. Rick Perry, now the nation’s energy secretary.

But Perry didn’t promote the industry because he was any kind of tree-hugger. As Texas Tribune reporter and former Star-Telegram Austin bureau chief Jay Root told NPR: “I don't think anyone would call Rick Perry an environmentalist, including Rick Perry. ... But the guy knows how to sniff out a dollar. Here's a guy from West Texas who saw that you can make money off of the wind blowing. Like, that's a no brainer."

Tom Kiernan, chief executive of the American Wind Energy Association, told the Star-Telegram last month that the outlook for wind energy under the Trump administration looks promising    , largely because it doesn’t cost much, adds jobs and is already being used by major companies such as GM in Arlington, Facebook, which is building a data center in north Fort Worth, Apple, Google, Amazon, Netflix and others.

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/news/state/texas/article137457553.html#storylink=cpy

Agelbert NOTE: This is, on the surface, good news. However, if Tom Kiernan thinks Trump gives a hoot about commons sense energy math, he is in for a lot of disappointment. Trump is PRO-DIRTY ENERGY. WHY? Because THEY bought and paid for him!

I have written, as have many others for nearly a decade, that Renewable Energy, when all the costs of burning fossil fuels (See: social Cost of Carbon - S.C.C.) are figured in, ALWAYS HAS BEEN cheaper than fossil fuels. But NOW, with the mass production of wind and solar having lowered the costs so much that they can even beat fossil fuels despite the massive welfare queen "subsidies" they continue to be handed 24/7 by our corrupted government, Trump has to ATTACK Renewables with a frontal attack.

That attack requires two main heinous profit over people and planet steps:

1)  Removing all pollution restrictions on the polluters in a desperate attempt to shore up fossil fuel industry bottom lines.   

2) Place all sorts costly hurdles like onerous "zoning" restrictions on Renewable Energy infrastructure: e.g. "aesthetic" taxes, "fire hazard" dangers along with "required inspections" (for very high fees, of course), etc. all to make life VERY difficult for those who want Renewable Energy in their homes.

Fossil fuels CANNOT compete on a level energy AND cost playing field with Renewables. The Texans have figured that out. Good for them.  But that won't stop Trump from trying to shove fossil fuels down American throats

I hope the Texans (and all other Americans, including the Trumpers who were fooled into voting for him) give Trump's welfare queen polices for the fossil fuel burning polluters the rejection they deserve.

The Fossil Fuelers   DID THE Climate Trashing, human health depleteing CRIME,   but since they have ALWAYS BEEN liars and conscience free crooks, they are trying to AVOID   DOING THE TIME or     PAYING THE FINE!     Don't let them get away with it! Pass it on!   
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 17, 2016, 04:01:21 pm »

Boone, NC Passes Historic Resolution: Ditch Fossil Fuels, Go 100% Clean Energy    

Lorraine Chow

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 23, 2016, 01:48:29 pm »

Energy| Nov. 22, 2016 01:40PM EST

Tesla, SolarCity Power Entire Island With Solar + Batteries 

Lorraine Chow
Ta'u, an island in American Samoa, has turned its nose at fossil fuels and is now almost 100 percent powered with solar panels and batteries thanks to technology from the newly combined Tesla and SolarCity. 

The microgrid is operated by American Samoa Power Authority and was funded by the American Samoa Economic Development Authority, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Interior.

Radio New Zealand reported that the $8 million project will significantly reduce fuel costs for the island, which is located more than 4,000 miles from the west coast of the U.S. Ta'u's 600 residents previously relied on shipments of diesel for power. At times, a shipment could not arrive on the island for months, meaning the island had to power ration and faced reoccurring outages.

But the new microgrid replaces this reliance on dirty fuels with more affordable solar energy, as Peter Rive, SolarCity co-founder and CTO, detailed in a blog post about the project, adding that the microgrid is designed to optimize system performance and maximize savings. 

"Factoring in the escalating cost of fuel, along with transporting such mass quantities to the small island, the financial impact is substantial," Rive wrote. He pointed out that the microgrid also eliminates "the hazards of power intermittency" and makes "outages a thing of the past."

The microgrid, which only took one year to build, features 1.4 megawatts of solar generation capacity (or 5,328 solar panels) and 6 megawatt hours of battery storage from 60 Tesla Powerpacks. An estimated 109,500 gallons of diesel will be offset per year.

"Before today, every time we turned on the light, turn on the television, turn on maybe the air conditioner, all of the cash registers in China, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia go 'cha-ching,' but not after today," SolarCity market development director Jon Yoshimura told Radio New Zealand. "We will keep more of that money here, where it belongs." 

With the Powerpacks, the island can store solar energy at night, allowing for around-the-clock use. The microgrid allows the island to stay fully powered for three days without sunlight and can recharge to full capacity in only seven hours.

A hospital, high school and elementary schools, fire and police stations and businesses will be using the new clean energy source.

"It's always sunny out here, and harvesting that energy from the sun will make me sleep a lot more comfortably at night, just knowing I'll be able to serve my customers," local resident and business owner Keith Ahsoon told SolarCity.

"This is part of making history," Ahsoon added. "This project will help lessen the carbon footprint of the world. Living on an island, you experience global warming firsthand. Beach erosions and other noticeable changes are a part of life here. It's a serious problem, and this project will hopefully set a good example for everyone else to follow."

Ta'u could be an example for other islands around the globe facing similar problems.

"Ta'u is not a postcard from the future, it's a snapshot of what is possible right now,"  Rive wrote. "Renewable power is an economical, practical solution for a growing number of locations and energy needs, and islands that have traditionally relied on fossil fuels can easily transition to microgrids powered by solar and storage today."

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 16, 2016, 01:39:19 pm »

Energy| Nov. 12, 2016 10:48AM EST

Aruba Commits to 100% Renewable Energy

Yale Climate Connections

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: September 29, 2016, 07:21:49 pm »

September 16, 2016 | 11:32 AM

Video: Costa Rica’s Last Green Mile 

Read the story of how Costa Rica became a clean energy leader and one of the greenest nations on Earth

Imagine an entire country powered by 100-percent renewable energy. For Costa Rica, that’s nearly a reality.

Costa Rica’s environmental minister, Edgar Gutiérrez, recently explained to us that "Costa Rica is on a path that seeks development, but only development in a healthy environment.” As part of this effort, the country has plans to go carbon neutral by 2021, and officials have stated that it has already reached 81 percent of this goal. If Costa Rica succeeds, it will be one of the few carbon-neutral countries in the world.

You don’t have to look far to see how Costa Rica is breaking all kinds of renewable energy records. In 2015, the nation achieved 99 percent renewable energy generation, with its grid powered by only renewable sources for a remarkable 285 days. And it’s on a similar track in 2016, powering its grid on 100 percent renewable energy for 150 days and counting.

But Costa Rica wasn’t always as focused on protecting its environment and the climate. In the mid-twentieth century, Costa Rica was losing its native woodlands – mostly tropical rainforests – to logging at an alarming rate, with the country’s  forest cover dropping from 75 percent in 1940 to 21 percent in 1987. In the 1980s and 1990s, Costa Rica’s leaders realized the nation needed to do something to reverse this process. So they developed a program that gave incentives to land owners to protect their environments. The result? By 2010, Costa Rica’s forest cover was back up to 52 percent.

The impulse to protect the country’s extraordinary natural environment has been complimented by a focus on clean energy. So what does Costa Rica use to power its grid? The answer is not as obvious as many people might think. Thanks to its river systems and generally plentiful rainfall, between 70–75 percent of the nation’s electricity comes from hydropower, with the rest of its renewables coming from geothermal, biomass, wind, and solar.

Costa Rica is also focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions through major changes with its transportation sector, which makes up 32 percent of the country’s emissions and 67 percent of its fuel consumption. In 2015, Costa Rica established a buy-back program for older cars and trucks in exchange for new, fuel-efficient vehicles. According to Gutiérrez, reducing emissions from the transportation sector is necessary to meet the country’s carbon neutrality goals by 2021.

Costa Rica is a leader in clean energy. Not only has the country reached 81 percent of its carbon-neutrality goal, but it’s done so while reducing overall power costs, which fell 12 percent in 2015 thanks to an abundance of renewables.

[/b]Costa Rica’s energy leaders don’t expect the country to slow down anytime soon when it comes to renewables – and we don’t either. And best of all, Costa Rica’s renewable energy progress shows the rest of the world that transitioning from fossil fuel-based electricity to renewables is possible – and that’s a reason a celebrate.

Help tell Costa Rica’s clean energy success story by sharing the graphic below (at article link) and networks. Then, be sure to sign up for our email activist list to stay updated with the latest on renewable energy and climate solutions.


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: September 17, 2016, 01:37:47 pm »


(Editor’s note: The following comes from the recent Vermont Folklife Center exhibit, Portraits in Action: Pioneers in Renewable Energy, Environmental Conservation, and Land Use Planning. For more, visit their website.)
Bob Klein, the first director of Vermont Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, makes an argument for thinking big and stretching beyond our comfort collective zone—listen below (at article link) —then read his response to the question: What will bring us to the next level in meeting the energy and environmental challenges we are facing today?

What will bring us to the next level in meeting the energy and environmental challenges we are facing today?

Whatever energy sources we utilize in Vermont inevitably will have cultural and environmental consequences. Whether we like it or not, with energy development there’s no free lunch. There have always been tradeoffs.
Having discovered that the environmental cost of burning fossil fuel is unacceptable, we’ll transition to other energy sources, and make new tradeoffs over the decades to come.
Meeting “the next level of environmental and energy challenges” should involve confronting these tradeoffs consciously. There’s room to decide what impacts we’re willing to accept. We can weigh the consequences of certain energy choices against things we value – local control, scenery and open space, prime ag soils, natural areas, and recreational access to land, for example. Some energy choices could even have an impact on Vermont’s rural character itself.

We may be facing a climate emergency, but this need not lead to a suspension of the rules. We do not have to leave the adoption and siting of alternative energy sources to chance. Like other kinds of development, state, regional, and local planning can steer renewable energy installations away from other things that we value. Geographic Information Systems and resource mapping tools have never been more widely available. We just need to use these tools, together with an enabling policy framework, to meet the challenges before us.

Portraits in Action: Pioneers in Renewable Energy, Environmental Conservation, and Land Use Planning brings together a diverse cross section of twenty-five pioneers, activists, and leaders in renewable energy, environmental conservation, and land use planning, and invites them to speak to the issues at hand. It is both an oral history and a call to action.

The Vermont Folklife Center’s mission is to broaden, strengthen, and deepen our understanding of Vermont and the surrounding region; to assure a repository for our collective cultural memory; and to strengthen communities by building connections among the diverse peoples of Vermont. For more, visit us.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 31, 2016, 03:39:17 pm »

Santiago’s Metro System to Become World’s First to Be Powered Largely by Solar and Wind

Lorraine Chow | May 31, 2016 10:49 am

The subway system in Chile’s capital will soon be the world’s first to run largely on renewable energy sources.

Santiago’s metro has 103 kilometers of tracks and 108 stations, making it the second-longest metro system in Latin America after Mexico City.

The Metro de Santiago, the second-longest metro system in Latin America after Mexico City, has signed two agreements, one with a solar energy provider and another with a wind power company, which will provide 60 percent of metro’s energy needs by 2018.

An announcement of the $500 million deal was made last week by Chilean President Michelle Bachelet during a visit to the National Stadium station that’s currently under construction.

“More than two and a half million passengers use the Metro daily,” she said. “[They] will not only be able to travel faster and safer; they will also be able to travel in a means of transport that cares for the planet, which reduces our carbon footprint and that makes possible a sustainable future for all.”

Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet announces on May 23 that the Metro de Santiago will become the world’s first metro to run mostly on renewables. Photo credit: SunPower Corp (graphic at article link)

California solar company SunPower, an affiliate of French oil company Total, will begin construction of the El Pelícano Solar Project, a 100-megawatt facility near the municipalities of La Higuera and Vallenar. The solar plant, expected to go live by the end of 2017, will supply 300 gigawatt hours per year of clean energy to Metro de Santiago, or 42 percent of its annual energy demands.

“SunPower is proud to serve Metro of Santiago’s growing energy demand with cost-competitive, renewable solar power,” Eduardo Medina, the executive vice president of SunPower’s global power plants, said. “Solar is an ideal energy source for Chile because of the country’s high solar resource and transparent energy policies. In partnership with Total, SunPower is committed to the continued growth of our business in Chile.”

As for wind power, the metro will receive 18 percent of its energy needs from a 185-megawatt San Juan wind project developed by Spain-based Elecnor and owned by Brazilian renewable energy firm Latin America Power, according to Quartz.

Quartz noted that both solar and wind projects will start service in 2018 and supply the metro for the next 15 years. The metro will receive its remaining 40 percent of its energy needs from the Chilean electric distribution company Chilectra.

The Natural Resources Defense Council noted that the amount of energy generated by the wind and solar projects for the metro will be equivalent to the energy needs of 104,000 homes. Not only that, the impressive initiative is expected to mitigate 130,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 17, 2016, 03:45:34 pm »

57% of Scotland’s energy came from renewables in 2015

The very clever (and penny pinching) people in Scotland have been making good use of all kinds of renewable energy, including tidal power.

Scotland closed its last coal burning power plant last month. They now generate more than 50% of their power from renewable sources. Scotland`s intermediate term goal is to obtain 100% of their power from renewable energy. Their longer term goal is to get 100%+ of their power from renewable energy with the excess power being exported to England and Wales. 

”Clean energy proponents are praising the success of the Scottish National Party’s renewable energy initiatives, and holding up the new statistics as proof that the nation could become the EU’s first fully renewable electricity nation by 2030. WWF Scotland’s director, Lang Banks, told Herald Scotland
Independent research has shown that it is possible for Scotland to have a secure, efficient electricity system, based on almost entirely renewable electricity generation,
by 2030. Embracing that vision would maximize the opportunities to create new jobs, empower communities and support local economic renewal    throughout the country.” 


Agelbert NOTE: There is NO WAY that the fossil fuel industry will EVER be able to recapture their lost energy use market share in ANY of the high Renewable Energy percentage countries like Scotland (and Portugal and Costa Rica and Spain and the Netherlands and Sweden and Norway and Germany - and so one, etc.), no matter how many politicians they BUY to make fossil fuels artificially cheap through hidden and not so hidden "subsidies" (free passes on pollution and government money coerced from we-the-people).

And smart people in the USA, England, France, Australia, south Africa, Italy, Japan (and so on - you get the idea) are certainly NOT going to go back to fossil fuels with a ZERO fuel cost on their current Renewable energy Infrastructure (which gets cheaper to manufacture and install every year). Even the "natural" gas fired power plants used for peak power grid demand balancing that now use Fracked gas can be run from TRULY NATURAL gas produced from methane harvesters on cattle and pig farms in these countries. Germany is already doing quite a bit of animal based methane harvesting with a nice side benefit that pumps out a NON-fossil fuel based NATURAL fertilizer product added profit stream.  ;D

Continually shrinking market share is a death sentence for an energy producer. That is why the fossil fuel industry is doomed to shrink into bankrupt welfare queen, has been irrelevance.            

Anybody that thinks we are in a repeat of the 1980's doesn't know their ass from a hole in the ground.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 17, 2016, 12:16:44 am »

Portugal powered for 4 days by 100% Renewable Electricity  ;D

from May 7th (6:45am) to May 11th (5:45pm)

Portugal was powered by 100% renewable electricity, according to the  National Energy Network (REN) and the Portuguese  Renewable Energy Association (APREN). (Associação Sistema Terrestre Sustentável em colaboração com a Associação Portuguesa de Energias Renováveis (APREN) -)
"the consumption of electricity in Portugal was fully covered by renewable sources" (ZERO)

António Sá Costa, President ASREN, points out that this milestone "is also a testament to what is possible for all the doubters ," adding that
" today , more than half of the electricity consumed in about half a year is from renewables

More information in Portuguese (ZERO)

& (Dinheiro)

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 07, 2016, 10:18:53 pm »

Bike Washing Machine Gives Whole New Meaning to ‘Spin Cycle’     

Cole Mellino | March 5, 2016 11:58 am

Want to get a good workout and get a mundane chore out of the way—all while not using electricity? Now you can, thanks to the Bike Washing Machine, designed by students at Dalian Nationalities University in China

The Bike Washing Machine allows you to wash your clothes while you work out. Photo credit: Bike Washing Machine

Colin Levitch of BikeRadar praised the concept:

“The Tuvie Washing Machine gives the term ‘spin cycle’ a whole new meaning. Targeted at the time-starved athlete or those wishing to cut down on their utility bills, it’s essentially a spin bike, where the front wheel has been replaced with a laundry drum. As you pedal, the drum spins and gets your clothing clean.

We’re dreaming of spin class rooms filled with these, where patrons get a workout and a clean basket of clothing after their 45 minute session. Got a stubborn stain? We’re sure someone will create ‘stain intervals’ to see those gone.”

According to the designers, any excess energy generated would power the display screen or be stored for later use.

Its small size would probably require multiple loads to complete your laundry, The Huffington Post pointed out. And Levitch noted there are a few key details missing: Do you need to run a water pipe to the bike or does it need to be manually filled? How do you drain the water?   

Still, the concept offers a promising way to combine exercise and a carbon-free energy source to clean your dirty clothes.

There are other pedal-powered washing machine designs, including one designed specifically for the billions around the world without access to running water or electricity. 

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 08, 2016, 09:45:08 pm »

400% Renewable Electricity
Community owned solar power plant Großbardorf, Photo credit: Agrokraft

Project: 100% Renewable Energy Goal Achieved - 400% Renewable Power

Bioenergy for Großbardorf: The new biogas plant with central heating and district heating network is a joint project with many participating farmers and citizens. 120 connected households are supplied with heat, the electricity will be fed into the grid, Photo credit: ReginaVossenkaul, joule.agrarheute.com


Location: Großbardorf, Germany


In the small Bavarian village of Großbardorf, local citizens invested and leveraged outside capital worth $19 million over four years to develop rooftop and larger scale solar systems, along with a biogas plant that feeds both a combined heat and power (CHP) plant and a district heating network. Combined, the projects generate 400% of the electricity the village’ needs and 50% of its heating demand. Großbardorf is considering expanding to new business opportunities that rely on its advanced heating network. One example is local fish farming tanks that use heat from the biogas plants to heat the water.   

Großbardorf has been clever at motivating citizens to pitch in. For instance, when the town’s home football team moved up in the ranks, regulations called for a new stadium roof. Rather than turn to a bank or big business to finance the project, the town solicited its citizens to invest in solar panels for the new roof, in exchange for season tickets to the popular football "soccer" games. The locals went for the deal, leaving the income from the electricity produced by the solar panels to pay off the expense of  the new roof.   

Solar grandstand roofing at the soccer stadium Großbardorf, Photo credit: Agrokraft

The village's renewable energy progress would not have been possible without the Renewable Sources Act (EEG), the German feed-in tariff (FIT) law that guarantees interconnection of renewables into the grid, payment of any needed grid upgrades by the utilities, and adequate, long term payment to renewable power generators for any electricity they feed in to the grid. 

Ground-breaking ceremony for the heating network Großbardorf 01/06/2011, Photo credit: Agrokraft


Agelbert NOTE: The feed-in tariff (FIT) that boosted Renewable energy infrastructure in Germany was frequently and vociferously OPPOSED by the "energy expert" Nicole Foss for allegedly "increasing energy costs"  . Of course, the FIT has actually helped REDUCE energy costs while it STOPPED the fossil fuel generated POLLUTION by helping to fund the switch to Renewable Energy. If you didn't know Nicole Foss is a SHILL for fossil fuels in general (and Fracking in particular), now you do know. Sorry Foss, Germany DOES understand energy and cost efficient thermodynamics, unlike YOU. 
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 18, 2015, 03:53:12 pm »

12/16/2015 01:24 PM   

San Diego Joins 100% Renewable Energy Club   

SustainableBusiness.com News

On the heels of the Paris Climate Agreement San Diego is following through, voting unanimously to run on 100% renewable energy by 2035.

And to cut greenhouse gas emissions 50% by then.

Other US cities have a 100% goal, but San Diego is the largest and the first to make it legally binding. San Francisco and San Jose, for example, plan to reach the same goal much faster - by 2020 and 2022, respectively.

Renewable Energy 100%   

Steps San Diego plans as part of its comprehensive Climate Action Plan include:

•aggressive build-out of renewables, attracting green corporations and jobs

•aggressive moves to net zero energy/water buildings

•advancing the "City of Villages" concept of walkable neighborhoods

•greater use of bicycles and public transit

•electric vehicles will comprise half the city's fleet by 2020 and 90% by 2035

•moving toward zero waste through more recycling and composing

•98% of methane produced by sewage and water treatment plants will be recycled instead of vented into the atmosphere

Many details have to be worked out, but the first step is done - to commit to the goal, says Mayor Faulconer. 

One of the great things about the vote is that it is non-partisan. While Democrats have a majority on the City Council, the Republican Mayor led the charge, calling it "the right thing to do." He sold the plan to conservative businesses by showing how it will improve the economy, create jobs and transform the electric grid, reports the NY Times. 

"100% clean energy is the new standard for climate leadership. On the heels of an historic climate agreement in Paris, we are about to see many American cities follow San Diego's leadership by going all-in on clean energy," says Michael Brune, Executive Director of Sierra Club.

Last year, San Diego Gas & Electric reached 33% renewable energy, six years before the state's 2020 deadline.

California's new goal is to reach 50% renewable energy by 2030, since it is on track to reach 33% by 2020. And the goal for emissions cuts is 40% by 2030 below 1990 levels, putting the ultimate goal of 80% cuts by 2050 within reach.   

Read our articles, Most Ambitious Climate Goals Lead to Greatest Economic Growth and

100% Renewable Energy Gaining Traction As Worldwide Goal.

Here is San Diego's Climate Action Plan:

Website: www.sandiego.gov/planning/genplan/cap/pdf/CAP%20Adoption%20Draft%202015.pdf


+-Recent Topics

20 Oct, 2019 22:48

Corporate Profits over Patient in the Health Care Field by AGelbert
20 Oct, 2019 22:35

BREXIT by AGelbert
20 Oct, 2019 18:22

Global Warming is WITH US by AGelbert
20 Oct, 2019 15:07

Doomstead Diner Daily by AGelbert
20 Oct, 2019 14:59

2020 Presidential Election by AGelbert
19 Oct, 2019 21:17

Apocalyptic Humor by AGelbert
19 Oct, 2019 20:27

War Provocations and Peace Actions by AGelbert
19 Oct, 2019 17:35

Corruption in Government by AGelbert
18 Oct, 2019 19:49

Key Historical Events ...THAT YOU MAY HAVE NEVER HEARD OF by AGelbert
18 Oct, 2019 19:09