Beyond Coal Celebrates 200th Coal Plant Closure

Posted by Amy Guinan

Jul 17, 2015 3:00:00 PM

Beyond Coal Campaign

With the recent announcement that the 200th US coal plant is set to be retired, the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign has cause for celebration.  

Since 2010, Beyond Coal has worked with local communities to shut down old and outdated power plants. They are fast approaching their goal to secure replacement of half the nation’s coal fleet with clean energy by 2017. (There are 523 total US coal plants).

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Seattle Sees Benefits with Expanded Electric Vehicle Infrastructure

Posted by Amy Guinan

Jul 16, 2015 2:30:00 PM

Seattle Leading the Charge

Seattle's utility, Seattle City Light, is spearheading an electric vehicle smart-charging project that aims to be a win-win for consumers and the utility.  With an effective smart charging infrastructure, consumers are synced into utility pricing so they can charge when electricity rates are lowest, and utilities, in turn, can use the cars’ batteries as a reserve to draw upon during a peak demand event.   

The entire grid stands to benefit from this innovative plan.  

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Electric Vehicles: Opportunities for Consumers and Utilities

Posted by Amy Guinan

Jul 10, 2015 2:00:00 PM

Consumer Opportunities with EV's

The transportation sector is the second largest consumer of energy in the U.S. -- with 93 percent of the energy consumed coming from petroleum.  

And while electric vehicle interest is growing, if consumers are going to more rapidly make the transition, they need more exposure and more incentive.

A cooperative in Colorado of nonprofits, municipalities, 

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Pioneering Solar Airplanes

Posted by Amy Guinan

Jul 8, 2015 9:30:00 AM

Pioneering Spirit Like the Wright Brothers

Solar powered flight is not currently scalable for widespread, commercial purposes.  And wont be anytime soon.  But the writing is on the wall.  Much like the Wright Brothers, with a pioneering spirit, increasingly powerful technology, and an unwavering commitment to fulfilling the vision - solar powered commercial flights will one day be a reality

Planes Burn Massive Carbon

Today, the aviation industry burns the most carbon per passenger of any mode of mass-transport and, despite efforts to limit emissions, remains the fastest growing source of greenhouse gases. The sector is identified by the UK’s committee on climate change as the toughest major emissions source to decarbonise.

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Solar Industry Denied Subisidies that the Fossil Fuel Industry Enjoys

Posted by Amy Guinan

Jul 2, 2015 2:00:00 PM

An Unfair Game

An interesting thing is happening in the energy subsidy game. Oil and gas have long standing subsidies dating back to the 1800's. while renewable energy companies, new to the scene, do not receive such ingrained subsidies. Time for everyone to be playing by the same rule book.

Fossil Fuels Subsidies Written into the Tax Code

As part of the tax code, the fossil fuel industry gets significant tax advantages including land rental prices that are significantly undervalued.  In the last 30 years, the treasury has lost nearly $30 billion in revenue by undervaluing public lands in Wyoming and Montana where Powder River coal is mined.  

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Weather Channel's Climate 25

Posted by Amy Guinan

Jun 25, 2015 8:00:00 AM

The Weather Channel Says, "The Science is In"

Who better to weigh in on a changing climate than the professionals, journalists and experts who have made weather their life:  the folks from The Weather Channel. Starting last week, Climate 25 is a series of interviews on the Weather Channel with prominent people who believe climate change is happening.  The interesting part?  The interviewees aren't just environmentalists, they are folks from across the societal spectrum - heck, Al Gore isn’t even in the lineup.

Spoiler Alert: the Weather Channel isn’t interested in initiating a debate about whether climate change is happening through these interviews.  The science is already in they say. And as their website states, "[we have] adopted a position on climate change that can generally be summed up as follows: we report the science, and the science consistently says climate change is real, humans are causing it, and we must prepare for its effects."

Further, the network says its "The Climate 25" series is about science, not politics. 

Who are the Climate 25?

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The Pope Weighs In on Climate Change

Posted by Amy Guinan

Jun 23, 2015 8:00:00 AM

Pope Francis Speaks Out

Pope Francis is calling for an environmental revolution - a wake up call to not just the 1.2 billion Catholics across the globe, but to humanity as a whole.

In his encyclical address, an "authoritative teaching" document traditionally addressed from St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis makes his stance clear: climate change impacts us all, especially the poor. To prevent its catastrophic consequences we need an ethical and economic shift, a revolution in hearts and minds.   

Francis' encyclical address was more than a year in the making and drew from the work of dozens of scientists, theologians, scholars from various fields and previous popes.  It was published in at least five languages during a news conference at the Vatican. 

The Root of the Problem

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Batteries: A Key to Solving Peak Demand Issues

Posted by Amy Guinan

Jun 17, 2015 8:30:00 AM

Batteries Replacing Peakers?

During an extended summer heat wave, energy demands peak as consumers use air conditioners and powered fans - the demand on the grid is at its most intense.  Traditionally, utilities have relied on "peakers," power stations (typically natural gas) that provide power to electrical grids during the peak times of demand. These peakers must be ready to respond as quickly as possible when peak demands occur, therefore, they are always kept idling - even though most of time the energy they produce is not needed.  It's an inefficient model that raises electricity rates.

As an alternative to peakers, batteries can store power (from grid electricity or from intermittent sources such as solar and wind), then discharge it when peak demand occurs -- without burning natural gas and emitting carbon dioxide or other pollutants.  

Batteries Make Sense

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Tackling Climate Change: An Economic Imperative for CA

Posted by Amy Guinan

Jun 12, 2015 3:00:00 PM

California Adds To Climate Change Legislation

California continues to lead the charge on climate change, with the California Senate passing a comprehensive package of bills last week.  

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Renewable Portfolio Standards: Effectively Increasing Renewables

Posted by Amy Guinan

Jun 10, 2015 11:00:00 AM

Renewable Portfolio Standards - A good thing

Across the country, states have been proactive in adopting or increasing their renewable portfolio standards (RPS).  The RPS is an effective tool for spurring consumer demand as it mandates that utilities offer incentives for renewables and encourages a mix of energy options. Coupled with federal incentives such as the Investment Tax Credit, an RPS is a very powerful mechanism for increasing renewables.

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