December 4 Energy News

December 4, 2016


¶ “EPA boss: Here’s the good news about climate change (yes, that exists)” • Climate change is happening now. We’re causing
it. And frankly, it can seem terrifying. But – and this is a critical “but” – there’s still room for hope. That’s the message we may take from an interview with the outgoing head of the EPA, Gina McCarthy. [CNN]

We still have hope. (US Fish and Wildlife Service photo)

Dawn (US Fish and Wildlife Service photo)


¶ Many Albertans have been left on edge, thanks to the federal and provincial plans to phase out coal power plants and mines by 2030. However, Kim Perrotta, executive director of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, believes phasing out coal will have many benefits for all Albertans, especially for their health. [660 News]

¶ The sun looks like it is setting on Japan’s clean energy boom, despite projects like a massive floating solar farm near Tokyo. Renewable energy investments have hit a plateau and are set to fall as Tokyo cuts back subsidies while fossil fuels remain cheap. Japan also has a shortage of land for new solar installations. [Taipei Times]

Solar panels with Mount Fuji in the background (Photo: AFP / Solar Frontier Company)

Solar panels with Mount Fuji in the background
(Photo: AFP / Solar Frontier Company)

¶ India is the world’s most attractive destination in the energy sector that has the potential to attract investments of a trillion dollars over the next few years, Union power minister Piyush Goyal said on Saturday. He said his optimism for the energy sector stemmed from the Narendra Modi government’s climate commitment. [Hindustan Times]

¶ As heavy rains pound some parts of Kenya, livestock are dying in other areas due to prolonged drought. The National Drought Management Authority says pastoralists in arid regions have suffered huge losses. Climate scientists say that pastoralists and livestock keepers are the people in the country most hurt by climate change. [Daily Nation]

Livestock in Kenya

Livestock in Kenya


¶ Columbia, Missouri could more than double the amount of wind energy it uses with a proposed contract coming before the city council Monday. The Columbia City Council will take under consideration a contract with Iowa-based Crystal Lake Wind III LLC to purchase wind energy for $19.55/MWh (1.955¢/kWh). [Columbia Daily Tribune]

¶ Senator Diane Feinstein has urged the US Department of Agriculture to revisit her request for federal aid to help crews clear over 100 million dead trees posing hazards throughout California’s forests. Dried out, free-standing timber throughout the state threatens nearby structures and increases the risk of forest fires. []

California forest in trouble

California forest in trouble

¶ The idea of deploying microgrids is gaining momentum throughout the US. A total of 124 microgrids with a combined capacity of 1,169 MW were operating across the nation as of July 2015, according to Pew Research. The group also predicted that microgrid capacity will grow to exceed 2,850 MW by 2020. [Satellite PR News]

¶ Rhode Island sits in the middle of one of the most wealthy and progressive regions of the world. But with 400 miles of coastline, it’s also one of the most susceptible areas to flooding and erosion. A committee, with a working name of the Civic Alliance for a Cooler Rhode Island is starting to meet to accelerate climate action. [The Westerly Sun]

Uniquely susceptible Rhode Island (Courtesy of ecoRI)

Uniquely susceptible Rhode Island (Courtesy of ecoRI)

¶ An energy overhaul pending in the Michigan legislature has Democrats focusing on solar net metering. It is only a small part of a big energy package, but it became a huge part of the debate when the Senate introduced bills that would require users to buy energy at a retail rate but sell it at what is essentially a wholesale rate. []

¶ About 360 people gathered at the State Capitol in Hartford, Connecticut to oppose natural gas pipelines like the Access Northeast Pipeline, and to demand a renewed commitment to renewable energy. The march was organized by the Connecticut Sierra Club, 350 Connecticut, and a broad coalition of other groups. [WTNH Connecticut News]

Connecticut State Capitol

Connecticut State Capitol

¶ New Mexico’s Kit Carson Electric Cooperative says it wants to serve all of its customers on sunny summer days with locally generated solar power by 2022. To hit that target, Reyes said, the co-op wants outside investors to build dozens of small solar arrays, of about 1 MW each, across its service territory. [Santa Fe New Mexican]

¶ Marquette, Michigan is on track to have its own community solar garden by next summer, offering city residents the chance to get their energy from the sun. The best part? The program will pay for itself. The Marquette Board of Light and Power adopted, in a 4-1 vote, a plan for its new community solar garden. [Marquette Mining Journal]

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