McAuliffe: Virginia will regulate carbon emissions; ‘the threat of climate change is real’

GR: Some U. S. cities and states are finding ways around the denials and bribery of the fossil-fuel industry. They are joining the majority of American citizens who believe that we must treat human-caused global warming is a serious threat. Of course, this is not happening in Republican controlled states such as Tennessee.

Nathan Frost, talks about Dominion’s solar array at the Philip Morris facility in Chesterfield. The company is developing hundreds of megawatts of solar power in Virginia (Photo: Robert Zullo).

“Gov. Terry McAuliffe today directed the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to begin assembling regulations to reduce carbon emissions from Virginia power plants, a move that was celebrated by environmentalists and renewable energy businesses who see the state as a laggard when it comes to solar and wind capacity and energy-efficiency programs.

“Virginia Republicans, however, condemned the Democratic governor’s carbon directive as overreach that would raise electric prices and hamper economic growth.

“The threat of climate change is real, and we have a shared responsibility to confront it. Once approved, this regulation will reduce carbon-dioxide emissions from the commonwealth’s power plants and give rise to the next generation of energy jobs,” the governor said in a statement. “As the federal government abdicates its role on this important issue, it is critical for states to fill the void. Beginning today, Virginia will lead the way to cut carbon and lean in on the clean-energy future.”

“Though it does not lay out the 30 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 that environmental groups wanted, McAuliffe’s executive directive instructs the DEQ to develop a proposed regulation for the State Air Pollution Control Board to abate, control or limit carbon dioxide from power plants that will “allow for the use of market-based mechanisms and the trading of carbon dioxide allowances through a multi-state trading program.” The proposed regulation is due to be presented to the board by Dec. 31, just before McAuliffe leaves office.

“Last summer, McAuliffe convened by executive order a working group consisting of cabinet officials and leaders of the state Department of Environmental Quality and Department Mines, Minerals and Energy to develop recommendations on cutting carbon from power plants. The market-based carbon trading aspect was a key component of the group’s report, which was sent to the governor last week.” –Robert Zullo (More: McAuliffe: Virginia will regulate carbon emissions; ‘the threat of climate change is real’ | News | richmond.com.)

Merkley, Sanders goal: U.S. on all renewables by 2050

GR:  The U. S. has begun adopting renewable energy. For instance, the number of us solar jobs (not even counting wind) surpassed coal, oil, and gas jobs officially in late 2015 (https://www.bloomberg.com). This story shows some of the powerful support behind the 100 by ’50 Act (100% by 2050). It also includes links to background information as well as the bill and the bill summary.

People in my community are switching to rooftop solar power. The switch stabilizes their costs and gives them independence from power failures of all kinds. Those that live in shaded homes like mine or in multi-family apartments are switching using the Green-e Program.

Look at the list of seven core components of the transition plan and see if you agree that it is sensible. The story from KTVZ.com reporting from Senator Merkley’s home state lists the component near the end:

“Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), along with Senators Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), introduced landmark climate legislation Thursday that would transition the United States to 100 percent clean and renewable energy by no later than 2050.

“The “100 by ’50 Act” lays out a roadmap for a transition to 100% clean and renewable energy by 2050. It is the first bill introduced in Congress that will fully envision a transition off of fossil fuels for the United States.

“America is home to innovative entrepreneurs and scientists who have tackled many challenges in our nation’s history — from harnessing electricity, to putting a man on the moon, to curing disease,” said Merkley. “The power to end the use of fossil fuels and completely transition to clean and renewable energy is within our hands, but just as with the moon landing, we need a roadmap, a goal, and a passionate, shared national commitment to get us there.

“If an asteroid were hurtling its way through space towards our planet, we would do everything in our power to stop that asteroid. Our commitment to fighting climate change should be no less. Starting at a local, grassroots level and working toward the bold and comprehensive national vision laid out in this legislation, now is the time to commit to 100% by 2050.”

“The good news is that despite President Trump, we are winning this battle,” said Sanders. “In Vermont and all over this country, we are seeing communities moving toward energy efficiency and we are seeing the price of renewable energy plummet. Our job is to think big, not small. We can win the war against climate change. We can win the war in transforming our energy system and put millions of people to work doing that. We can create a planet that will be healthy and habitable for our children. There is no issue more important.”

“It is no longer a question of if we can power our country with 100 percent renewable energy, it is a question of when,” said Markey. “We know that we have 100 percent of the clean energy resource potential in the United States. And we have 100 percent of the technological capability to achieve this goal. As President Trump launches attacks on investments in climate science and energy innovation, now, more than ever, we need to stand up and fight for our clean energy future. I thank Senators Merkley and Sanders for their help leading this historic clean energy revolution.” –KTVZ.com (Continue reading: Merkley, Sanders goal: U.S. on all renewables by 2050 – KTVZ

Lithium-Ion Battery Inventor Introduces New Technology for Fast-Charging, Noncombustible Batteries

GR: I missed this story earlier, but it is worth repeating. Batteries that cost less, store more energy, charge faster, last longer, and safer when exhausted. OKAY! Solar energy collection and storage in existing batteries is already competitive with polluting fossil fuels. With better batteries, fossil fuel becomes obsolete. And like the batteries, John Goodenough just keeps going. (Thanks to Climatecrocks for bringing this story to my attention.)

“A team of engineers led by 94-year-old John Goodenough, professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin and co-inventor of the lithium-ion battery, has developed the first all-solid-state battery cells that could lead to safer, faster-charging, longer-lasting rechargeable batteries for handheld mobile devices, electric cars and stationary energy storage.

Pictured: Maria Helena Braga.

“Goodenough’s latest breakthrough, completed with Cockrell School senior research fellow Maria Helena Braga, is a low-cost all-solid-state battery that is noncombustible and has a long cycle life (battery life) with a high volumetric energy density and fast rates of charge and discharge. The engineers describe their new technology in a recent paper published in the journal Energy & Environmental Science.“

“Cost, safety, energy density, rates of charge and discharge and cycle life are critical for battery-driven cars to be more widely adopted. We believe our discovery solves many of the problems that are inherent in today’s batteries,” Goodenough said.

“The researchers demonstrated that their new battery cells have at least three times as much energy density as today’s lithium-ion batteries. A battery cell’s energy density gives an electric vehicle its driving range, so a higher energy density means that a car can drive more miles between charges. The UT Austin battery formulation also allows for a greater number of charging and discharging cycles, which equates to longer-lasting batteries, as well as a faster rate of recharge (minutes rather than hours).” –Sandra Zaragoza (Continue: Lithium-Ion Battery Inventor Introduces New Technology for Fast-Charging, Noncombustible Batteries | UT News | The University of Texas at Austin.)

Batteries on a Game Changing Curve

GR.–What lovely curves ;-).

Joe Romm at ClimateProgress.–“Low-cost, high-performance electric batteries are a game changer for the two key clean energy sectors: power generation and transportation. They enable much greater adoption and penetration of both renewable energy and electric vehicles — not just electric cars but electric buses and electric planes.

“Since lithium-ion batteries have only just crossed the key price point for enabling widespread usage in both sectors — $300 per kilowatt-hour — we are really just at the beginning of the battery-driven clean energy revolution.

“Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) projects that over the next 25 years, small-scale battery storage will become a $250 billion market. They “expect total behind-the-meter energy storage to rise dramatically from around 400 MWh in today to nearly 760 GWh in 2040″ — nearly a 2,000-fold increase!

“BNEF makes the case we’ve crossed a similar tipping point for electric car batteries in this new chart, above.”  Continue reading:  Batteries on a Game Changing Curve | Climate Denial Crock of the Week

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