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The Renewable Energy Renaissance

The real Renaissance is in renewable energy whose sources could meet 25% of the nation's energy needs by 2025. Renewable technologies can help restore political and economic stability as well as save money…and the planet.

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Friday
Feb022018

White House seeks 72 percent cut to clean energy research, underscoring administration’s preference for fossil fuels [and nuclear!]

As reported by Chris Mooney and Steven Mufson in the Washington Post.

The article reports that the Trump administration's proposed cuts this year, are significantly deeper than the ones last year, and that:

One person familiar with the negotiating process, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to freely describe what the person had learned, said that the budget request had been lowered after negotiations with the Office of Management and Budget, and may have been lowered further because of a desire to channel more funding toward nuclear energy, a favored subject for Energy Secretary Rick Perry (emphasis added)

The article concludes:

The renewable and efficiency programs represent about 7 percent of the Energy Department’s overall budget. The majority of the department’s budget goes to maintaining the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile and cleaning up sites contaminated by federal nuclear programs. (emphasis added)

Wednesday
Jan312018

Moapa tribal leader who led charge against coal plant, championed first large-scale solar plant on tribal land, dies at 44

As reported by the Las Vegas Sun.

As the article reports:

Anderson became one of the youngest chairmen ever when he took over at age 26. During his second term as chairman he helped change the energy and environmental landscape of the Southwest.

The Moapa Pauite reservation is near Las Vegas, NV.

Yucca Mountain, NV -- targeted for a national high-level radioactive waste dump -- is sacred to not only the Western Shoshone Indian Nation, but also to the Southern Paiute.

Friday
Jan262018

Trump's Assault on Solar Masks an Epic Crisis in the Nuclear Industry

Subtitled Like nearly everything else Trump does, the hike in duties makes no rational sense," this article by Harvey Wasserman was first published in The Progressive, and reprinted at Common Dreams.

Thursday
Jan252018

Trump tells America's solar workers "you're fired!"

Press startement from Beyond Nuclear on Trump decision to approve solar import tariffs.

January 24, 2018

“In signing off this week on a 30% tariff on imported solar cells and panels, mainly from China, President Trump has effectively told thousands of American solar industry workers ‘you’re fired!’ In doing so, he could seriously harm one of the country’s most successful and flourishing employers.

“In 2016, the US solar industry was responsible for one in 50 of all new jobs. It had become the most rapidly growing US industry, scaling up 17 times faster than the US economy. 

“Now, despite his professed but hollow commitment to American blue collar jobs, President Trump has instead likely eliminated at least 23,000 of them this year alone, with the possibility of that number eventually soaring to 88,000, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

“In his continued pattern of throwing his base under the bus, President Trump has decided to kowtow to two bankrupt foreign US-based companies — Suniva and SolarWorld Americas — who successfully petitioned the International Trade Commission last September to approve import tariffs on solar cells and panels that they claimed cut into their market.

“But far from providing a boost to the US solar industry, the removal of cheap Chinese panels from the market will slow growth and installation and increase costs to consumers, putting a dent in every area of the U.S. solar industry.

“Worse still, the Chinese are likely to retaliate by reinforcing their own import tariffs on polysilicone from the U.S., hitting that industry hard as well.” (Linda Pentz Gunter)

More here and here.

Thursday
Nov022017

Could be renewables are becoming “too cheap to meter”

Germany’s renewable energy transition continues to set new records with yet another for wind energy forecasted in early November 2017 to drive electricity prices below zero .  According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, negative pricing for too much electricity from the country’s wind turbines means that the power producers either have to shut down turbines down or pay customers “to take the electricity off the grid.” We are talking about a forecast for Germany’s wind energy production to generate 39,109 megawatts of electricity in one day, the equivalent of 40 nuclear power stations.  Germany is now licensing offshore wind farm development without government subsidies as the technology’s cost continues to plummet, now projected by 71% over the next 20 years. But Germany’s rapid deployment of innovation renewable energy is only a part of the global expansion picture for abundant wind and solar power.

The design for Doctors Without Borders new Geneva headquarters uses innovative transparent photovoltaic cells coating the colored glass building. The beautiful architecture incorporates energy efficiency and its own renewable energy production from the sun.  Transparent solar cells have only entered to commercially emerge in the last few years but according to the authors of a study published in Nature, light-harvesting materials are the new wave for an ever innovative solar power industry turning glass into an electricity producer. With more than 750 billion square feet of glass in the United States, a transparent solar laminate overlay on windows oriented to the sun’s arc could generate 40% of the nation’s energy according to researchers.  One project, led by energy researchers at Michigan State University, is using organic molecules fashioned into thin plastic-like transparent film that can capture ultraviolet and infrared wavelength in sunlight and convert it into electricity.