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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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Tuesday
Mar202018

The Battle for Paradise: Puerto Rico Takes On the Disaster Capitalists, Naomi Klein

As posted at Naomi Klein's website:

The Battle for Paradise

Published in The Intercept

Like everywhere else in Puerto Rico, the small mountain city of Adjuntas was plunged into total darkness by Hurricane Maria. When residents left their homes to take stock of the damage, they found themselves not only without power and water, but also totally cut off from the rest of the island. Every single road was blocked, either by mounds of mud washed down from the surrounding peaks, or by fallen trees and branches. Yet amid this devastation, there was one bright spot.

A Solar Oasis

Just off the main square, a large, pink colonial-style house had light shining through every window. It glowed like a beacon in the terrifying darkness.

The pink house was Casa Pueblo, a community and ecology center with deep roots in this part of the island. Twenty years ago, its founders, a family of scientists and engineers, installed solar panels on the center’s roof, a move that seemed rather hippy-dippy at the time. Somehow, those panels (upgraded over the years) managed to survive Maria’s hurricane-force winds and falling debris. Which meant that in a sea of post-storm darkness, Casa Pueblo had the only sustained power for miles around.

And like moths to a flame, people from all over the hills of Adjuntas made their way to the warm and welcoming light.

Already a community hub before the storm, the pink house rapidly transformed into a nerve center for self-organized relief efforts. It would be weeks before the Federal Emergency Management Agency or any other agency would arrive with significant aid, so people flocked to Casa Pueblo to collect food, water, tarps, and chainsaws — and draw on its priceless power supply to charge up their electronics. Most critically, Casa Pueblo became a kind of makeshift field hospital, its airy rooms crowded with elderly people who needed to plug in oxygen machines.

Read the rest of the article in the New York Daily News

Tuesday
Mar062018

The U.S. just hit a major milestone for energy storage — which is also great news for solar

Thursday
Mar012018

Three US cities in 100 now powered 70% or more by renewables

More than 100 cities around the world now get at least 70% of their electricity from renewable sources such as hydro, geothermal, solar and wind, says a new report from CDP who "expect to see even more cities targeting a clean energy future. Cities not only want to transition to renewable energy but, most importantly - as our data shows - they can." There are three US cities on the list, Burlington, VT, Eugene, OR and Seattle, WA. Brazil had by far the highest representation with 47 cities.

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.