EPA will try to reduce power plant carbon pollution by 30% by 2030

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Today, the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to release a draft proposal to cut carbon pollution from the nation’s power plants 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.

Expect the coal industry and fossil fuel lobby to vigorously attack the plan and file lawsuits to prevent or delay the pollution reductions.

Energy companies should give up their out-of-dare reliance on dirty fuels and join the inevitable transition to renewable energy by revising their business plans and adding more renewables to their portfolio.

New York State proposes shift toward decentralized electric power generation and greater use of renewables

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

On April 24, 2014, the New York State Public Service Commission staff released a report and proposal that calls for a shift away from the traditional utility model of centralized generation, toward more distributed electricity generation.

Distributed generation serves as an alternative to or an enhancement of the traditional electric power system.

Distributed generation is a method of generating electricity from systems — like solar systems– located close to where the electricity is being used, in contrast to the traditional model in the U.S. where electricity is generated at large power plants and then transmitted long distances to individual electricity users.

Distributed generation using renewable energy systems has many advantages: it promotes the generation of clean nonpolluting electricity; it saves utility companies and their ratepayers from the cost of having to build new power plants; and he can prevent the loss of power when the electric grid is down during a natural disaster or other emergency.

See staff report at: http://www3.dps.ny.gov/W/PSCWeb.nsf/96f0fec0b45a3c6485257688006a701a/26be8a93967e604785257cc40066b91a/$FILE/ATTK0J3L.pdf/Reforming%20The%20Energy%20Vision%20(REV)%20REPORT%204.25.%2014.pdf

For other analysis, see:

Synergy Between Solar and Batteries

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

If storage can be paid for by grid stabilization services, demand charge reduction, etc., then we can have emergency power at supermarkets, restaurants, food distribution centers, gas stations, police stations, hotels, YMCAs, etc. in every town… for little or no additional cost.

Great thing!

NJFREE discusses renewable energy transition ideas at legislative stakeholders meeting in Trenton NJ

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

Members of NJFREE met with other stakeholders to emphatically make the point that we need a renewable energy transition in New Jersey.  Key elements include:

a requirement of 80% of electricity generation by 2050 from renewable, non-polluting sources like solar and wind;

specific and measurable milestone requirements that will get us to the final requirement;

keeping the definition of renewable energy, non-polluting definition to sources that are truly renewable and non-polluting (not just less dirty fossil fuels for example).

Electric Energy Storage for Solar and Wind: Rapid progress in new technologies, commercial products, and new business models

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

In a hybrid PV/battery storage project in Denville/Hackettstown, NJ, stateoftheart lithium ion batteries work with a commercial PV system, simultaneously generating PV power, providing frequency regulation for PJM, and providing emergency power capability.

No government involvement, no grants…the revenue from the frequency regulation services not only paid for the additional cost of the batteries, but paid for the inverter, too, actually reducing the cost of the system.

US Supreme Court upholds EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution rule which protects downwind states from power plant emissions

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

On April 29, 2014, the Supreme Court upheld the U.S. EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, a clean air standard that requires 28 states in the East, Midwest, and South to cut emissions of pollutants from coal-fired power plants that cross state lines and degrade air quality in downwind states.

The American Lung Association said: “Millions of Americans will breathe easier, thanks to the decision today by the U.S. Supreme Court that will finally curtail second-hand smog – ozone smog and particle pollution blown across state borders far from their sources, threatening lives and health.”

The Environmental Defense Fund said: “The Supreme Court’s decision means that our nation can take the necessary steps to ensure healthier and longer lives for the 240 million Americans at risk from power plant smokestack pollution near and far.” 

Isn’t it time that we begin restructuring how we generate our electric power, and start transitioning to a renewable energy future?

Emergency Power – think solar!

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

New business models and grid management models can pay for the emergency power capacity –today.

This will only get easier and cheaper as technology progresses.

During SuperStorm Sandy, we learned that we need distributed emergency power for both traditional and new needs:  

  • Traditional: water pumping, sewage treatment, communications infrastructure, emergency shelters, fire & police, etc.
  • New: Supermarkets, restaurants, food distribution centers, gas stations, etc — highly distributed.

Secret fracking chemicals

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Why are gas companies able to get away with failing to disclose what they are injecting into the ground as part of the fracking process?  Currently, companies do not disclose all the fluids they use, and are not required to do so by law. 

Gas companies inject chemicals into the ground to extract gas and later often pump contaminated water back into the ground after the extraction is done, so that they do not have to pay to properly treat the water. 

Polluted water can make its way into drinking wells and public water bodies.  While the discharge of hazardous chemicals is ordinarily against the law, pro-gas groups have gotten exemptions written into the law. 

Do you or your family want to risk getting cancer from drinking polluted ground water?  Are you OK if your property value is diminished if you find out you now live near a toxic waste site?

Companies that make profits off extracting natural resources should have to disclose ALL the chemicals they use. 

Why expose yourself to all those chemicals?  If you start thinking about it, you may well start asking yourself “isn’t it time for a renewable energy transition?” 

Perry Ohio nuclear power plant leaking radioactive water:

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

The Perry Ohio nuclear power plant is leaking tritium, a radioactive form of water. The radioactive water has been found in groundwater at concentrations more than twice the federal drinking water limit outside of a building where the leak was discovered Monday. 

Thinking about dirty fuels made me recall a bumper sticker that said something like, “When there’s too much solar it’s just called a sunny day.”  Isn’t it time for a renewable energy transition?

Fukushima Disaster: three years later, reactor still white hot and leaking radioactive water

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Three years after the disaster, the ruptured core of the nuclear reactor is still giving off roughly one million watts worth of heat, according to Fairewinds Energy, a nuclear safety advocacy group based in Burlington, Vermont.  Soils in the surrounding area, and may food crops grown in Japan, have been poisoned with nuclear contamination.  And radioactive water continues to leak out from the crippled nuclear plant.  Can you believe that supporters still sometime trumpet nuclear as “clean power?!”