Monthly Archives: December 2022

Weekly News Check-In 12/23/22

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Welcome back.

Climate activist have successfully influenced recent policy and legislative advances through a sustained focus on issues backed up by protests and actions. Inevitably, backlash has been building in numerous Republican-controlled state legislatures in the form of laws criminalizing peaceful protest. With the GOP having narrowly gained control of the House of Representatives, it looks like climate organizations will soon have to fend off investigations into baseless claims of collusion with foreign governments with the intent to hurt the American energy sector.

Undaunted by those political follies, climate groups notched another win when the Senate dropped West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin’s permitting ‘reform’ legislation from the current $1.7 trillioin spending bill. Does this harm American energy? It prevents reckless greenlighting of the controversial Mountain Valley Pipeline. But consider news that the Massachusetts iron-air battery startup Form Energy just announced it will locate its first manufacturing plant in Weirton, West Virginia. This plant will host 750 good full-time jobs and produce long-duration batteries – the infrastructure of the future that can help eliminate the need for gas power plants that the MVP was designed to serve. West Virginia is showing American energy a clear path forward.

For the past couple of years, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chair Richard Glick has attempted to move the agency toward considering downstream climate impacts caused by the fuel carried through pipelines, as part of the permitting process for that infrastructure. He wasn’t successful, and his tenure with FERC is drawing to a close. We consider downstream emissions critical to fossil infrastructure assessment – this is unfinished business.

All of the above underscores how impactful single decisions, events, or actions can be within the energy transition’s broad narrative. Berkshire County made its move this week, dedicating $3.1 million from the Baker administration’s Skills Capital Grants to build a brand new HVAC training program at the McCann Technical School in North Adams. As many as 100 students will enroll each year, learning critical technical skills for the green economy in heat pumps, mechanical ventilation, and modern building controls. The timing is perfect, and the young people who graduate from this program will find high demand for their skills as buildings everywhere need to convert from fossil fuel to efficient electric heat.

All that electrification requires some changes to the grid – how we produce energy, how we move it around, and also how we use and pay for it. Managing demand is an important tool in avoiding peaks, and smart meters allow customers to control utility costs by timing usage their efficiently. The U.S. now has over 100 million smart meters installed, and the number is growing rapidly.

Unfortunately, that good news on the usage side is being counterbalanced for now by sluggish uptake of renewable energy resources on the production side. Justin Gillis and Tyler H. Norris illuminate the role that outdated electric utility business models are playing in slowing the rate of wind and solar energy connections into local grids. In a New York Times opinion piece, they call out utilities for failing to make necessary investments to upgrade their distribution systems, and explain how this is slowing the uptake of clean energy resources.

Meanwhile, Massachusetts just published its plan to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 along with an online dashboard for tracking progress. Neighboring Connecticut followed in New Jersey’s recent footsteps by mandating climate studies in all of its K-12 school districts.

In other good news, big developments in clean transportation include word that the Inflation Reduction Act included funds that finally allowed the US Postal Service to put an ambitious fleet electrification plan together. Also, Amtrak is looking at a big investment to modernize its operations. With the rapid electrification of transportation, some are warning the fossil fuel industry of a looming crash in oil demand.

Because humans need to respond to climate change at a time of growing population, substantial resources are needed for new housing while also upgrading existing structures for better energy efficiency. Traditional building materials like steel and cement are massively carbon intensive to produce, so there’s growing interest in using timber products as greener alternatives. “Climate-smart forestry” is creating lots of buzz. It’s a nice concept, but in a world losing forest land at an alarming rate, we’ll be watching to see if the promises are real. Australia just did something very real for forests by removing the “renewable” classification from forest biomass. It’s the first major economy to do so, and presents a challenge to Europe and other economies that continue to drive global deforestation by clinging to the wood pellet industry’s convenient fictions of sustainability and carbon neutrality.

We’ll close with a reality check on green hydrogen – an undeniably useful fuel for hard-to-decarbonize industrial processes like steel making, and for some aviation and heavy transport applications. But it’s become an industry darling, hyped as the solution to everything from power generation to home heating – functions much better served by cheaper, safer, more efficient technologies. Several new studies warn that hydrogen poses its own climate risks when leaked unburned into the atmosphere – and it doesn’t take much to negate all of the climate benefits of this zero-carbon fuel.

button - BEAT News  For even more environmental news, info, and events, check out the latest newsletter from our colleagues at Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT)!

— The NFGiM Team

PROTESTS AND ACTIONS

GOP plans “collusion” probe into climate groups
House Republicans want to launch investigations into a baseless claim that China and Russia unduly influence U.S. climate activism.
By Jael Holzman, Axios

December 16, 2022


PIPELINES

Manchin’s Mountain Valley Pipeline provision fails in Senate vote
By CHUCK VIPPERMAN, Chatham Star Tribune
December 22, 2022


FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION

Glick departing

» More about FERC    

FERC climate reviews in limbo as Glick departs
By Miranda Willson, E&E News
December 15, 2022


GREENING THE ECONOMY

Justin Kratz

McCann School Committee Give Go-Ahead on New HVAC Program
By Brian Rhodes, iBerkshires
December 20, 2022

Maura Healey wants to go big on climate tech, housing, as she prepares to take office
By Matt Stout and Samantha J. Gross, Boston Globe
December 19, 2022


CLIMATE

‘Face it head on’: Connecticut makes climate change studies compulsory
Enshrining the curriculum in law insulates the subject from budget cuts and culture wars related to the climate crisis
By The Guardian
December 17, 2022


CLEAN ENERGY

Here Is What Is Really Strangling the Energy Transition
By Justin Gillis and Tyler H. Norris, New York Times | Opinion
December 16, 2022

Mr. Gillis is a director at Generation Investment Management, a co-author of “The Big Fix: 7 Practical Steps to Save Our Planet” and a former environmental reporter for The Times. Mr. Norris is a vice president for development at Cypress Creek Renewables, a national developer of solar farms.


BUILDING MATERIALS

How a climate-smart forest economy could help mitigate climate change and its worst impacts
By Daniel Zimmer, Director Sustainable Land Use, Climate-KIC, in World Economic Forum
December 19, 2022


LONG-DURATION ENERGY STORAGE


MODERNIZING THE GRID

US smart meter penetration continues steady growth, tops 100M in operation: FERC
For the fourth consecutive year the number of advanced meters installed on the United States electric grid increased by approximately 8 million.
By Robert Walton, Utility Dive
December 21, 2022


CLEAN TRANSPORTATION

Billions in Amtrak Funding Could Modernize Aging Rail System
The $1 trillion infrastructure bill that President Biden signed into law includes money that Amtrak hopes can fix crumbling bridges and tunnels along the Northeast Corridor.
By Madeleine Ngo, New York Times
December 20, 2021


QUESTIONABLE SOLUTIONS

Has green hydrogen sprung a leak?
By Sarah Mcfarlane and Ron Bousso, Reuters
December 22, 2022


FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY


BIOMASS


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Weekly News Check-In 12/16/22

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Welcome back.

When developers of Peabody’s controversial 55-megawatt gas peaker power plant presented their carbon management plan before the MA Department of Environmental Protection last week, they got an ear-full from roughly seventy community members and climate activists who delivered science- and public health-based arguments against this new piece of fossil infrastructure. This week, Eversource faced similar public pushback as they continued to pitch their redundant Longmeadow-Springfield pipeline project.

Public resistance to climate-busting business as usual is wide and deep. And new ways to engage in meaningful protests and actions are popping up all the time. This is good news for the planet, and provides relief from pervasive climate anxiety. Get busy – it feels good! Virginia Senator Tim Kaine did, delivering a straight-talk speech on the Senate floor objecting to fellow Senator Joe Manchin’s ongoing efforts to move legislation gutting permitting requirements for fossil fuel projects – especially Manchin’s pet project, Mountain Valley Pipeline. 

Before we move on from the fighting-business-as-usual theme, it’s important to note that big business and powerful politicians aren’t the only ones defending unsustainable practices. The current structure employs lots of people and supports local economies, which is a big reason trade groups have mounted stiff resistance to natural gas bans in new buildings. This is a public policy opportunity – create a viable and attractive pathway for workers to transition to well-paid work in sustainable fields, and you’ll flip them from obstructor to ally.

Of course, greening the economy is lumpy business, and to make real progress it’s critical that your local, state, or national improvements don’t simply shift polluting activities elsewhere. The European Union’s proposed Green Tarriff is meant to address this.

Our climate section features a stunning series of maps from satellite data, showing annual carbon dioxide emission all over the globe. It’s worth a close look. Big urban and industrial centers light up brightly as expected. But also notice the connecting highways, shipping lanes, and flight routes – the footprints of global commerce. Just as revealing: see how relatively few emissions are contributed by the global south.

This week’s big splash in clean energy was of course the U.S. Department of Energy’s fusion breakthrough. Researchers managed to ignite a reaction in a target the size of a peppercorn that generated more energy than it received by way of focused light from 192 lasers. That’s a truly big deal and proves the concept, and it means that fusion just might be ready for commercial application in several decades. Astute observers of climate science will recognize that we need to achieve a full clean energy transition and net-zero emissions well before that. So pop a cork in celebration of this amazing milestone, and then get back to pushing hard on solar, wind, and lots of storage.

By the way, the last paragraph of Utility Dive’s article touting recent big investments in long-duration energy storage was alarming. After making a good economic case for rapid development and deployment, it concluded that the promise of LDES is increasingly threatened by expensive and unproven technologies like carbon capture and storage, modular nukes, and green hydrogen fueled power plants. It’s no surprise that these technologies are darlings of the business-as-usual crowd currently at the helm of Big Oil and utilities with lots of political influence.

On the surface, California’s recent move to greatly reduce net metering payments for solar energy is counter-intuitive. We found an article that uncovers the logic behind the decision, and shows how the new incentive structure will help modernize the grid while encouraging much more commercial and residential battery storage – the foundation of “virtual power plants” that provide valuable services and reduce the need for fossil fueled peakers.

We caught a glimpse of the future in an article explaining how owners and managers of multifamily housing units are noticing skyrocketing demand for on-site electric vehicle charging stations. Also, the world’s biggest EV battery maker is aggressively developing new sodium-based chemistry for mass-market vehicles. Sodium is abundant and cheap, and the batteries contain no lithium, nickel, or cobalt. Furthermore, the new chemistry is exceptionally well suited for stationary battery storage and could upend a market currently dominated by lithium. All this has huge implications for future lithium demand, the cost of energy storage, and the (already very questionable) need to risk potential environmental catastrophe with deep-seabed mining.

On the topic of questionable solutions, we found an idea straight out of Texas to save costs on utility-scale solar by simply laying the panels on the ground….

And of course, we’re keeping an eye on the fossil fuel industry. While the article on greenwashing isn’t a surprise, the one predicting the end of the shale boom and looming domestic “peak oil” is cause for cautious optimism – but we’ve seen this movie before.

button - BEAT News  For even more environmental news, info, and events, check out the latest newsletter from our colleagues at Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT)!

— The NFGiM Team

PEAKING POWER PLANTS

Criticism grows on new Peabody peaker plant
By Caroline Enos, The Salem News
December 8, 2022


PIPELINES


PROTESTS AND ACTIONS

Finding the Antidote to Climate Anxiety in Stories About Taking Action
Launched in 2021, Pique Action is a media startup committed to telling stories about climate solutions.
By Kiley Bense, Inside Climate News
December 10, 2022


LEGISLATION

calling out MPV

‘A door that can lead to corruption’: Sen. Kaine delivers Mountain Valley Pipeline speech
By Robert Locklear, ABC News
December 15th 2022
» Watch the full speech here

How a new subsidy for ‘green hydrogen’ could set off a carbon bomb
Using electricity to make hydrogen could be an elegant climate solution — or it could prop up a dirty grid.
By Emily Pontecorvo, Grist
December 12, 2022


GAS BANS

important choice

» More about gas bans       

New England trade associations fight electrification with the help of some familiar climate foes
Small businesses are the backbone of the economy and the external appendages of climate delay
By Jon Lamson, New England Climate Dispatch
December 13, 2022


GREENING THE ECONOMY


CLIMATE

Mapped: Carbon Dioxide Emissions Around the World
By Adam Symington, Visual Capitalist
November 29, 2022


CLEAN ENERGY

What to know about DOE’s fusion ‘breakthrough’
By Peter Behr, E&E News
December 13, 2022


LONG-DURATION ENERGY STORAGE


MODERNIZING THE GRID

As California guts solar net metering, batteries emerge as a moneymaker
Rooftop solar alone will earn less under new California policy, but firms are developing programs to make it lucrative to add home batteries that help the grid.
By Jeff St. John, Canary Media
December 13, 2022


CLEAN TRANSPORTATION

table stakes

Demand soars for EV charging at multifamily properties
Infrastructure options and cost incentives have become more complex as the electric vehicle revolution gears up.
By Robyn Griggs Lawrence, Utility Dive
December 15, 2022


QUESTIONABLE SOLUTIONS

dirtbound

A 100MW solar farm in Texas will mount panels directly on the ground
Startup Erthos says its ​“earth-mount” approach can reduce utility-scale solar costs by up to 20% by eliminating steel racking.
By Eric Wesoff, Canary Media
December 8, 2022


FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY

maligned

New Fossil Investment Far Exceeds Paris Climate Goals: Carbon Tracker
By Mitchell Beer, The Energy Mix
December 12, 2022
» Read the report      

Peak US Oil Production Looms as the Domestic Shale Boom Ends
After a decade of losing hundreds of billions of dollars, the shale oil industry is finally making money — and running out of oil.
By Justin Mikulka, DeSmog Blog
December 7, 2022


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Weekly News Check-In 12/9/22

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Welcome back.

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin’s support for the game-changing climate legislation known as the Inflation Reduction Act came at a steep price. Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer agreed to a “side deal” – separate legislation that would green-light remaining permits for the troubled Mountain Valley Pipeline, along with other “permitting reforms” to open the flood gates for massive fossil infrastructure build-out. Those back room power maneuvers collided with intensive, organized popular revolt – resulting in a big win for the planet this week. Our featured story includes two articles and a press release to catch you up on the high-stakes action behind this nasty bill, which is down but not quite dead.

The war in Ukraine and resulting energy crisis has created an urgent and complicated problem that deserves serious attention and effort to solve. But it’s offered a big opportunity for the fossil fuel industry* – especially natural gas developers and transporters – to claim that they represent the only possible solution. This is false, but the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission finds itself swayed by relentless lobbying around this argument. It’s setting aside promises to consider climate impacts of new infrastructure projects and explore greener alternatives in favor of approving more Liquefied Natural Gas export capacity – the latest shiny object.

(*We’re featuring a Texas group lobbying against climate action. Come for the denial, but stay for the fashion!)

Meanwhile, there are new opportunities to expand the scope of gas bans in buildings. Activists are working to remove gas appliances from federally assisted housing – pointing to poor indoor air quality and attendant physical and mental health problems associated with leaks and emissions from these units. Environmental justice communities tend to be doubly burdened by air pollution – both indoors and out.

Climate news includes data from the real and virtual worlds. Actual scientific data shows that New England winters really are getting warmer, while climate misinformation is what’s heating up on Twitter. Good job, Elon – your little vanity project is super hardcore!

Fortunately, the real world is putting points on the board. Russian weaponization of fossil fuels has decisively tipped the scales in favor of clean energy, accelerating its rate of deployment well beyond previous projections. And energy efficiency, the cheapest, fastest, and greenest of energy sources, is pushing hard on the accelerator. At the same time, the future grid is coming closer – and studies show it will play nicely with the rapidly-growing fleet of electric vehicles. If you travel along highways, you’ll probably be driving past lots of solar arrays doing double duty along median strips and exit ramps interplanted with native wildflowers for pollinators.

For the second week in a row, we’re giving a shout-out to France! This time for officially banning a number of highly-polluting short-haul flights, like Paris to London, that can easily be accomplished on much-greener trains.

We’ll close with a reality check, because humans are still pretty fond of burning stuff. So even when electric utilities like Duke Energy work up plans to drastically reduce emissions, they still somehow include new gas generating plants as part of their “solution”.

Biomass is a similar issue – propped up in Europe and elsewhere by a carbon accounting trick that allows generators to ignore emissions and pretend it’s a clean renewable resource – all the while decimating forests that should instead be expanding to soak up carbon. But here in Western Massachusetts, finally, we’ve really nailed the lid on plans to put a biomass generating plant in Springfield. The many activists, neighbors, healthcare professionals, and elected officials who worked for years opposing this polluting boondoggle should be proud. Thank you!

button - BEAT News  For even more environmental news, info, and events, check out the latest newsletter from our colleagues at Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT)!

— The NFGiM Team

FEATURED STORY

schooled

Manchin’s last-gasp permitting effort fails
By Emma Dumain, E&E News
December 7, 2022

dirty dealer

Update, 2 p.m., Dec. 7:After yesterday’s defeat, today Sen. Manchin released a new bill, the Building American Security Act of 2022, which contains many of the same reckless measures as the failed Energy Independence and Security Act. Yet again, the bill lessens opportunities for community input, weakens essential protections and attempts to give the Mountain Valley Pipeline a bypass around environmental laws and the courts. Appalachian Voices continues to oppose these efforts.” (Appalachian Voices press release)

» More about legislation

Groups Warn Pelosi, Schumer Against Allowing Manchin ‘Dirty Deal’ in Pentagon Spending Bill
“This obvious fossil fuel giveaway would devastate communities and set back efforts to avoid a climate catastrophe,” said one campaigner.
By Jon Queally, Common Dreams
December 5, 2022
» Read the letter (BEAT and No Fracked Gas in Mass are signatories)   


GAS BANS

burners

» More about gas bans     

Citing Health and Climate Concerns, Activists Urge HUD To Remove Gas Stoves From Federally Assisted Housing
Gas stoves produce indoor pollution that “severely exceed indoor air quality standards” and increase health risks to children, older adults and people with underlying health concerns.
By Victoria St. Martin, Inside Climate News
December 2, 2022


FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION

this is sand

» More about FERC     

Sidestepping a New Climate Commitment, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Greenlights a Mammoth LNG Project in Louisiana
The agency contends that it lacks the means to assess the climate impact of the project’s greenhouse gas emissions—and that its decisions must hinge on “the public interest.”
By James Bruggers, Inside Climate News
December 2, 2022


GREENING THE ECONOMY

smog hazard

Air pollution increases suicide rate, new large-scale study finds
A one microgram per cubic meter increase in PM2.5 on each day over a year would likely lead to 153.8 additional suicides in that year.
By TZVI JOFFRE, Jerusalem Post
December 4, 2022
» Read the study       

Why wind energy isn’t living up to its pollution-preventing potential
Most of the health benefits from wind farms haven’t reached communities of color and low-income Americans, new research shows.
By Justine Calma, The Verge
December 2, 2022
» Read the study


CLIMATE

chill out

New England winters are getting much warmer, data show
Burlington, Vt. has seen more winter warming in the last 50 years than any other place in America, according to the analysis, by independent research organization Climate Central.
By Dharna Noor, Boston Globe
December 7, 2022

dumpster fire

» More about climate       

Climate misinformation explodes on Twitter
2022 has been the worst year yet for ‘climate-sceptic’ content on the social media platform, according to recent analysis.
By Justine Calma, The Verge
December 5, 2022


CLEAN ENERGY

things

» More about clean energy       

Ukraine war will make renewables top electricity source: IEA
Russian fossil fuel bans are propelling the world towards solar, wind and other renewable energy sources faster than predicted, says a new report.
By John Psaropoulos, Al Jazeera
December 6, 2022


ENERGY EFFICIENCY

landmark

BU finishes its ‘Jenga Building,’ the most environmentally friendly tower in the city
The new data science center on Commonwealth Ave. will be powered by wind and heated and cooled by geothermal wells that reach nearly one-third of a mile underground.
By Jon Chesto, Boston Globe
December 6, 2022

scorecard

Scorecard: Leading States Cutting Costs for Residents with Energy Efficiency, but More Progress Needed
California Ranks #1; Maine Is Most Improved; South Carolina and Ohio Fall Furthest
By ACEEE | Blog post
December 6, 2022
» Read the report        


MODERNIZING THE GRID


SITING IMPACTS OF RENEWABLE ENERGY RESOURCES

That empty space next to highways? Put solar panels on it.
Roadside solar fields across the country could power up to 12 million electric vehicles.
By Emily Jones, Grist
December 7, 2022


CLEAN TRANSPORTATION


ELECTRIC UTILITIES

In phasing out emissions, Duke Energy looks to lean on new natural gas plants
“You have a hammer, and everything looks like a nail.” Critics say Duke’s proposed path to net-zero leans too heavily on natural gas, an approach that ignores methane emissions and risks creating stranded assets.
By Elizabeth Ouzts, Energy News Network
December 7, 2022


FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY

The Texas Group Waging a National Crusade Against Climate Action
The Texas Public Policy Foundation is shaping laws, running influence campaigns and taking legal action in a bid to promote fossil fuels.
By David Gelles, New York Times
December 4, 2022


LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS

floater

» More about LNG     

A New Era for Germany’s Gas Industry Fuels Climate Fears
Emergency moves to end energy dependence on Russia represent a victory for the gas lobby’s plans to lock Europe’s biggest economy into the global market for liquefied natural gas, campaigners warn.
By Phoebe Cooke, DeSmog Blog
December 6, 2022


BIOMASS

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» Learn more about Pipeline projects
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Weekly News Check-In 12/2/22

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Welcome back.

We’re leading off with news about a group of activists who just won SIX(!) seats on the New England grid operator’s Consumer Liaison Group (CLG). It’s an exciting development that gives clean energy advocates a seat at the table, penetrating what has been a clubby culture dominated till now by industry players. Our featured story offers a look into the back room, and explains why a reconstituted CLG could motivate a faster, more equitable energy transition.

If that example of effective activism has you feeling revved up, take your energy to next Wednesday’s public hearing when MA Department of Environmental Protection considers the Peabody peaking power plant emissions control plan. Show up in person or online – your presence matters to the communities affected by this plant’s pollution.

Those two stories illustrate an ongoing tug-of-war, with the fossil fuel industry and utilities pulling one end of the rope to maintain the status quo of more pipelines and power plants while fogging up the field with a string of questionable solutions. They’re dug in against science, consumers, health, justice, and nature – all tugging on the other end. The act of banning gas hookups in new buildings provides a strong pull in the right direction, and a county in Maryland just became the first on the East coast to do that. More to come – keep pulling!

Unfortunately, NASA cancelled a planned satellite meant to monitor greenhouse gas pollutants over North and South America due to technical issues and cost overruns. On the bright side, other satellites are filling the gap, keeping an eye on pollutants driving climate change.

OK – here’s the good stuff. Researchers have determined that some Boston neighborhoods can reduce their “heat island” effect by simply applying white paint to the flat roofs of those iconic triple-deckers.  In Nova Scotia, clean energy from ocean tides is being demonstrated with an innovative, surface-mounted turbine. And we have lots of energy efficiency news, including a new report from the International Energy Agency detailing the importance and effectiveness of heat pumps as they replace fossil furnaces and boilers in buildings. In Europe, heat pump market share is growing most rapidly in the Scandinavian countries. That fact illustrates two points: cold weather isn’t an issue, and incentives are effective.

This is a good time to take a look at the many advantages long-duration energy storage offers over much-hyped solutions like green hydrogen, which lately have been dominating policy conversations. Alan Greenshields, director of iron flow battery pioneer ESS, puts it into perspective. Meanwhile, renewables and storage are being bundled into microgrids to enhance grid resiliency for isolated communities in places like rural Vermont.

Electric school buses are another potential source of stored energy. Right now, hundreds of school districts across the US are planning to introduce 2,500 of these to their communities, thanks to $1 billion in federal funding – the largest investment so far in the effort to replace the nationwide fleet of half a million dirty yellow diesels.

We’ll close with a hat-tip to France, for passing legislation requiring all parking lots with at least 80 spaces to be covered by solar panels. From our perch here in Western Massachusetts, having watched and opposed the destruction of many acres of forest for utility-scale solar installations, we hope the French example of prioritizing existing urban landscapes for siting renewable energy resources begins to resonate here as well.

button - BEAT News  For even more environmental news, info, and events, check out the latest newsletter from our colleagues at Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT)!

— The NFGiM Team

FEATURED STORY

Kreislogo-1

Ratepayers Stage a Ballroom Coup
By DONALD M. KREIS, InDepthNH.org | Blog
December 1, 2022

Power to the People is a column by Donald M. Kreis, New Hampshire’s Consumer Advocate.


PEAKING POWER PLANTS

solidarity

» More about peakers     

Planned Peabody Peak Generator Public Hearing Set For Next Week
A public hearing on the generator’s Carbon Dioxide Budget Emissions Control Plan will be on Dec. 7 at the Torigian Senior Center.
By Scott Souza, Patch
November 30, 2022

»  Join the 7pm hearing remotely here.


PIPELINES

Cheap natural gas is a thing of the past
Not investing in more pipeline capacity looks to be right choice
By Frederick Hewett, CommonWealth Magazine | Opinion
November 27, 2022


GAS BANS

extinguished

» More about gas bans        

East Coast’s first countywide gas ban passed in Md.
By David Iaconangelo, E&E News
November 30, 2022


UTILITIES

Massachusetts Utilities Hope Hydrogen and Biomethane Can Keep the State Cooking, and Heating, With Gas
State regulators are allowing [utilities] to plan how to decarbonize the power they supply, but environmentalists say the industry is presenting false solutions to lock in natural gas as a fuel source for decades.
By Jon Lamson, Inside Climate News
November 18, 2022


QUESTIONABLE SOLUTIONS


CLIMATE

GeoCarb

NASA cancels greenhouse gas monitoring satellite due to cost
By Seth Borenstein, AP, in The Washington Post
November 29, 2022

dash for gas

» More about climate     

Africa’s ‘Fossil Fallacy’ Will Devastate Climate, Wreck Communities, Report Says
By Christopher Bonasia, The Energy Mix
November 14, 2022
» Read the report     


GREENING THE ECONOMY


CLEAN ENERGY

turbine drop

» More about green energy        

Who Will Win the Race to Generate Electricity From Ocean Tides?
The Bay of Fundy, between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, has one of the world’s most powerful tides. Now, engineers and scientists hope to finally turn it into a clean energy source.
By Ian Austen, New York Times
November 14, 2022


ENERGY EFFICIENCY

HP-IEA

Heat pumps are the ‘central technology’ for low-carbon heating, concludes IEA
Heat pumps will provide one-fifth of the world’s heating needs by the end of the decade if nations follow through on their plans, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
By Josh Gabbatiss, CarbonBrief.org
December 2, 2022
» Read the IEA report         

sale pending

Montpelier leaders hope home energy reports will educate and inspire buyers
An ordinance that took effect July 1 requires home sellers to provide a report summarizing energy costs and opportunities for saving. City officials and real estate agents report few hiccups so far as most sellers are complying.
By Lisa Prevost, Energy News Network
November 15, 2022

Is Mass Save capable of phasing out natural gas?
By Larry Chretien, Green Energy Consumers Alliance | Blog Post
November 07, 2022

Beyond Mass Save: Legislators and advocates say it’s time for a change
By Sabrina Shankman, Boston Globe
November 6, 2022


LONG-DURATION ENERGY STORAGE

‘Long-duration energy storage can be deployed faster and more cheaply than green hydrogen’
H2 has grabbed plenty of attention, but policymakers need to understand the crucial role of LDES in the energy transition, says sector veteran Alan Greenshields
By Andrew Lee, Recharge
October 27, 2022


MODERNIZING THE GRID

Solar-powered microgrids add climate resilience in rural Vermont communities
Green Mountain Power’s new “resiliency zone” initiative is using outage and other data to pinpoint places in need of local grid upgrades. Its first projects consist of microgrids that will power remote villages during outages.
By Lisa Prevost, Energy News Network
November 30, 2022


SITING IMPACTS OF RENEWABLE ENERGY RESOURCES

car park shade

» More about siting impacts         

France to require all large parking lots to be covered by solar panels
The move could generate enough energy to power over 8 million homes.
By Alex Lawson, Grist
November 14, 2022


CLEAN TRANSPORTATION

Schools scramble to prepare for $1B in federal money for electric buses
From small rural districts to statewide fleets, schools are figuring out how to put to use the biggest electric school bus investment in U.S. history.
By Jeff St. John, Canary Media
November 28, 2022


FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY

starting line

Saudi Arabia has a new green agenda. Cutting oil production isn’t part of it.
The petrostate pitched a plan to cut carbon at COP27. And it’s covered in oil.
By Lylla Younes, Grist
November 18, 2022

Colombia Leads a New Latin American Left Into the Climate Fight
The country’s first leftist president says oil is his economy’s worst addiction. Phasing it out would be a global first for a major oil producer.
By Max Bearak, New York Times
November 15, 2022

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