Clean Energy For Anyone–Today!

GR: Renters and homeowners, here’s an opportunity to switch all your electrical energy to renewable sources. The offer below is from Arcadia Power. There are many other companies offering the same service, but sometimes we have to appreciate the companies that are trying harder and simplifying the process . Before you sign up, you can learn how it all works here.

Join the clean energy movement

“With a simple 2 minute sign up, you can start directing your monthly energy bill to 100% renewable sources. All without having to touch a thing on your property.

Available to renters and homeowners in all 50 states

“Arcadia Power isn’t just for homeowners, over half of our customers are renters. Since we’re available in all 50 states, you can seamlessly continue your clean energy service, even if you move.

Track your energy usage and find savings

“Monitor your energy usage on our dashboard and choose from a variety of our energy and money-saving programs: community solar, home efficiency products, low price bill alerts and more.

Earn points and put your power bill on worry-free mode

“Want to earn points paying your power bill? Arcadia’s let you use credit and debit cards as well as offering traditional direct debit. Never worry about paying your bill on time again with our On-time Payment Guarantee.

How It Works

“We built software across 450+ utility companies to bring clean energy choices directly to you online. All you have to do is sign up with your local utility account. No equipment, no contracts, no risk.

  • “Get started by linking your electric utility account to our platform in just 2 minutes
  • “We pay your bill automatically each month using the payment method of your choice
  • “Choose one of our clean energy programs—all seamlessly applied to your power bill.”  –Arcadia Power (Source: Arcadia Power | Clean Energy For Anyone)

How Utilities Are Trying to Slow Down Rooftop Solar

GR: Utility companies don’t want you to save money by adopting solar power. Utilities that should earn their public status by working for the common good, often behave just like any for-profit corporation. Their resistance to distributed solar power is a most egregious example. In my home state, Arizona, the utility lobby convinced the state legislature to lower the credit solar customers receive for the excess energy they generate with rooftop solar.

However, there has been backlash by utility customers who recognize the need to move away from conventional power. In June, Nevada citizens in reaction to NV Energy’s effort to limit rooftop solar, voted for a bill to restore utility payments for excess energy. Moreover, as the price of storage has fallen along with the cost of solar panels, it is becoming affordable for private citizens to completely disconnect from their utility company networks. There’s still a big investment. For those of us that don’t have the extra cash, there are national programs available that let us switch to renewable energy with no upfront cost.

Here, David Pomerantz reviews a New York Times report on the effort by utility lobbyists to block rooftop solar power.

“The New York Times reported earlier this month about how utilities around the country, and their trade group the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), have worked to weaken rooftop solar policies in an attempt to stave off the threat to their business model.

“The article featured some of Energy and Policy Institute’s reporting, including our expose of Brian McCormack, former EEI executive and current Chief of Staff to Energy Secretary Rick Perry, for his role in attacking rooftop solar while at EEI, as well as our uncovering of Florida utilities’ deceptive anti-solar ballot initiative in that state last year.

“Some important aspects of the story of utilities’ efforts did not make it into the Times coverage though:

Upset About EEI? There’s a Good Chance You’re Funding Them

“The Times exposed the central role played by the Edison Electric Institute in driving the utility industry’s anti-rooftop solar strategy:

“At a January 2016 board meeting of the Edison Institute, attended by chief executives of the country’s largest utilities, Thomas R. Kuhn, the group’s president, counseled against complacency.

“Years, ago, I think a lot of people said, ‘That’s not going to come to our area,'” he said, according to a recording of his remarks made available by a participant. “And now we see it in each and every state,” he said. “EEI is happy to come to any state at any time,” he added. “We have two dozen states we are working on.”

“If you’re angry about EEI, here’s some bad news for you: there’s a high chance that you’re paying the salaries of the trade association’s executives.

“Our report Paying for Politics detailed how the nation’s investor-owned electric utility customers are subsidizing EEI via their bills every month. Investor-owned utilities embed their EEI membership dues into rates, forcing their customers to pay for a policy agenda constructed primarily for the benefit of utilities’ shareholders, not their customers. Since most customers have no choice about their utility, there’s not much they can do about it.

Despite Efforts, Utilities Cannot Stop Distributed Solar Energy

“And here’s some better news:” –David Pomerantz, Energy and Policy Institute (Continue reading: How Utilities Are Trying to Slow Down Rooftop Solar).

India, Once a Coal Goliath, Is Fast Turning Green – The New York Times

GR:  Here’s some good news. In a surprising development, India has begun moving from coal to solar energy. The country’s air-pollution problems are part of the reason. The rapid decline in the price of solar power is also a factor.

Smog enveloping buildings on the outskirts of New Delhi in November 2014. Credit Roberto Schmidt/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The next bit of good news I would like to see is a decline in India’s population. In the words of Indian conservationist Dr. K. Ullas Karanth, “India is renowned as the land of the tiger and the elephant; many of our gods are depicted riding peacocks or tigers. But sadly, the equation that existed between people and wildlife centuries ago has vanished, and our protected areas, which comprise a mere 4 percent of India’s landscape, are now mere islands amidst a sea of people, with tremendous demands and pressures being put upon them.”

MUMBAI, India — “Just a few years ago, the world watched nervously as India went on a building spree of coal-fired power plants, more than doubling its capacity and claiming that more were needed. Coal output, officials said, would almost triple, to 1.5 billion tons, by 2020.

“India’s plans were cited by American critics of the Paris climate accord as proof of the futility of advanced nations trying to limit their carbon output. But now, even as President Trump pulls the United States out of the pact, India has undergone an astonishing turnaround, driven in great part by a steep fall in the cost of solar power.

“Experts now say that India not only has no need of any new coal-fired plants for at least a decade, given that existing plants are running below 60 percent of capacity, but that after that it could rely on renewable sources for all its additional power needs.

“Rather than building coal-fired plants, it is now canceling many in the early planning stages. And last month, the government lowered its annual production target for coal to 600 million tons from 660 million.

“The sharp reversal, welcome news to world leaders trying to avert the potentially deadly effects of global warming, is a reflection both of the changing economics of renewable energy and a growing environmental consciousness in a country with some of the worst air pollution in the world.

“What India does matters, because it is the world’s third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, behind China and the United States. And its energy needs are staggering — nearly one-quarter of its population has no electricity and many others get it only intermittently.

“With India’s power needs expected to grow substantially as its economy continues to expand, its energy use will heavily influence the world’s chances of containing the greenhouse gases that scientists believe are driving global warming.

“Much attention at the time of the signing of the Paris agreement was focused on the role President Barack Obama played in pushing India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, to sign. In doing so, Mr. Modi committed India to achieving 40 percent of its electricity capacity from nonfossil-fuel sources by 2030.” –Geeta Anand (Continue reading.)

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.)

India’s Air Pollution Rivals China’s as World’s Deadliest

GR: The smoke from burning coal, oil, diesel, and gasoline causes many health problems and deaths worldwide. According to the New York Times, the problem is so bad in India, that the country is going to make electric vehicles mandatory by 2030. The country is also switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. The article doesn’t mention the great loss of wildlife that is also occurring because of human burning of fossil fuels. The danger to humans and every other species from declining biodiversity and ecosystem disruption is immense. Follow this link to get an idea of  the broader context for the problem with air pollution and health.

Smog blanketed New Delhi in 2016. About 1.1 million people die prematurely in India every year from the effects of air pollution. Credit Roberto Schmidt/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

“NEW DELHI — India’s rapidly worsening air pollution is causing about 1.1 million people to die prematurely each year and is now surpassing China’s as the deadliest in the world, a new study of global air pollution shows.

“The number of premature deaths in China caused by dangerous air particles, known as PM2.5, has stabilized globally in recent years but has risen sharply in India, according to the report, issued jointly on Tuesday by the Health Effects Institute, a Boston research institute focused on the health impacts of air pollution, and the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, a population health research center in Seattle.

“India has registered an alarming increase of nearly 50 percent in premature deaths from particulate matter between 1990 and 2015, the report says.

“You can almost think of this as the perfect storm for India,” said Michael Brauer, a professor of environment and health relationships at the University of British Columbia and an author of the study, in a telephone interview. He cited the confluence of rapid industrialization, population growth and an aging populace in India that is more susceptible to air pollution.

An Indian farmer walked through his field after burning his crops. A court has ruled that farmers can no longer burn their crops near New Delhi, but many still do. Credit Saurabh Das/Associated Press

“Pollution levels are worsening in India as it tries to industrialize, but “the idea that policy making should be led by government is lacking,” Bhargav Krishna, manager for environmental health at the Public Health Foundation of India, a health policy research center in New Delhi, said in an interview.

“As air pollution worsened in parts of the world, including South Asia, it improved in the United States and Europe, the report said, crediting policies to curb emissions, among other things. The report’s website that provides country-by-country data on pollution levels and the health and mortality effects.

“Environmental regulations in the United States and actions by the European Commission have led to substantial progress in reducing fine particulate pollution since 1990, the report said. The United States has experienced a reduction of about 27 percent in the average annual exposure to fine particulate matter, with smaller declines in Europe. Yet, some 88,000 Americans and 258,000 Europeans still face increased risks of premature death because of particulate levels today, the report said.

“A fraction of the width of a human hair, these particles can be released from vehicles, particularly those with diesel engines, and by industry, as well as from natural sources like dust. They enter the bloodstream through the lungs, worsening cardiac disease and increasing the risk of stroke and heart failure, in addition to causing severe respiratory problems, like asthma and pneumonia.” –Geeta Anand, New York Times (Continue reading.)

Villagers near a newly built state-owned coal fired power plant in southern China. Credit Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

The Eiffel Tower seen through a haze of air pollution in Paris last month. The United States and Europe have made good progress in cutting fine particulate air pollution since 1990. Credit Philippe Wojazer/Reuters

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.)

Elon Musk Announces Solar Roof

GR:  After humans have consumed Earth’s resources and covered the land with concrete and pavement, global warming will be the coup de gras for wildlife. Distributed solar power–rooftop power–where people not corporations benefit is an excellent solution.  Musk’s new solar roof tiles give homeowners control over their energy production.  These extremely durable tiles will become a major option for those roofing contractors that wish to get involved.

“About 500,000 solar panels were installed every day last year as a record-shattering surge in green electricity saw renewables overtake coal as the world’s largest source of installed power capacity.

“Two wind turbines went up every hour in countries such as China, according to International Energy Agency officials who have sharply upgraded their forecasts of how fast renewable energy sources will keep growing.

“We are witnessing a transformation of global power markets led by renewables,” said Fatih Birol, executive director of the global energy advisory agency.

“Part of the growth was caused by falls in the cost of solar and onshore wind power that Mr Birol said would have been “unthinkable” only five years ago.”–Peter Sinclair (Elon Musk Announces Solar Roof | Climate Denial Crock of the Week)

In Defiance of Harmful Fuels — Is Tesla/Solar City the New Model For What an Energy Company Should Look Like?

GR.– CO2 continues to rise, a positive methane feedback loop may form, marine and terrestrial habitats are dying, and then there’s Elon Musk’s business enterprise with some good news.  Power your home with your car?  Read on:

RobertScribbler.– “It could well be said that we are subsidizing our own destruction. Despite centuries of use, fossil fuels around the world today receive about 500 billion dollars annually in the form of economic incentives from Earth’s various governing bodies. With alternatives to fossil fuels becoming less costly and more widely available, and with the impacts of human-forced climate change growing dramatically worse with each passing year, such wasteful and harmful misuse of public monies is starting to look actively suicidal.

Fossil Fuel Funding for Global Catastrophe

“Given so much money going into the hands of what are already the wealthiest corporations in existence, one would expect that the practice of providing these economic powerhouses with such a massive largess of public generosity would result in some kind of amazing overall benefit.

“Energy itself is certainly a benefit. It allows for the rapid and easy transportation of groups and individuals. It lights up homes, powers machinery, keeps us warm in the winter and cool in the increasingly hot summers. But despite what the industry would like you to believe, fossil fuels themselves only represent a small fraction of the global energy available to human civilizations. And the kinds of energy fossil fuels provide is often in its lowest efficiency and most highly externally destructive forms.”  Continue reading:  In Defiance of Harmful Fuels — Is Tesla/Solar City the New Model For What an Energy Company Should Look Like? | robertscribbler

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More than half of jobs in UK solar industry lost in wake of subsidy cuts | Environment | The Guardian

Change in government’s energy policy blamed for job losses just as solar power eclipses coal in electricity generation

Terry Macalister Energy editor:  The solar power industry says it has seen the loss of more than half its 35,000 jobs due to recent changes in government energy policy, just at a time when solar power has eclipsed coal as a major generator of Britain’s electricity.

Experts believe ministers had cut subsidies too far and too fast, praising the “seismic”, record-breaking growth of solar in recent years.

This month the Solar Cloth Company became the latest to be put into administration, following the liquidation and 170 job losses at Solarlec two weeks ago.

Source: More than half of jobs in UK solar industry lost in wake of subsidy cuts | Environment | The Guardian

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The week to June 4 in nuclear and climate news « Antinuclear

GR:  Production of solar energy certainly produces wastes.  Storage batteries last only seven years and solar panels last only 20-30 years.  Our mountains of trash will continue to grow with renewable energy,  BUT, solar-energy trash is cheaper to manage than nuclear trash, and it doesn’t stay deadly to all life for thousands of years.

Politicians love nuclear energy.  They receive support from the nuclear industry and its investors, and they can pretend they are offering a sensible alternative to fossil fuels.  Do not be tricked!  Taking the construction costs and the waste problems into account, rooftop solar energy is far cleaner and cheaper than nuclear energy, and it avoids corporate power over politicians and people.

Christina MacPherson:  “SOUTH AUSTRALIA again. You might all be getting sick of hearing about South Australia’s nuclear woes. But, spare a thought for the indigenous people of South Australia! They’ve been through all this before – and now again – the nuclear lobby planning to radioactively trash their homeland! And a thought for the decent, aware people of South Australia, who also fight to prevent their State, and their country being radioactively trashed.

“It’s Submission Time Yet Again. Submissions about nuclear waste dumping will be received up until 1st July by the new JOINT COMMITTEE ON FINDINGS OF THE NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE ROYAL COMMISSION , Parliament of South Australia. Great timing, just the day before the federal election – so they hope that nobody will notice. Except perhaps again for all those nuclear companies, who have already sent in their secret submissions to South Australia’s shonky Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission.”  Source: The week to June 4 in nuclear and climate news « Antinuclear

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