Native Activist Winona LaDuke: Pipeline Company Enbridge Has No Right to Destroy Our Future...

Aug 24, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   Indigenous Native American Natural Gas & Oil Drilling Environment Guests Winona LaDukeNative American activist and executive director of the group Honor the Earth. She lives and works on the White Earth Reservation in northern Minnesota. In North Dakota, more than a thousand indigenous activists from different tribes have converged at the Sacred Stone Spirit Camp, where protesters are blocking construction of the proposed $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline. Protesters say the pipeline would threaten to contaminate the Missouri River, which provides water not only for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, but for millions of people downstream. For more, we are joined by Winona LaDuke, Native American activist and executive director of the group Honor the Earth. She lives and works on the White Earth Reservation in northern Minnesota. TRANSCRIPT This is a...

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Solar Delivers Cheapest Electricity ‘Ever, Anywhere, By Any Technology’...

Aug 23, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Joe Romm Dr. Joe Romm is Founding Editor of Climate Progress, “the indispensable blog,” as NY Times columnist Tom Friedman describes it.   Half the price of coal! Chile exceeded 1000 Megawatts of solar this year. CREDIT: ACERA. Chile has just contracted for the cheapest unsubsidized power plant in the world, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) reports. In last week’s energy auction, Chile accepted a bid from Spanish developer Solarpack Corp. Tecnologica for 120 megawatts of solar at the stunning price of $29.10 per megawatt-hour (2.91 cents per kilowatt-hour or kwh). This beats the 2.99 cents/kwh bid Dubai received recently for 800 megawatts. For context, the average residential price for electricity in the United States is 12 cents per kilowatt-hour. “Solar power delivers cheapest unsubsidised electricity ever, anywhere, by any technology,” BNEF Chair...

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The First U.S. Offshore Wind Farm Is Complete...

Aug 23, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] The 30-megawatt project is set to be operational in November. Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffery Grybowski stands on a boat during a media tour of Deepwater Wind’s project off Block Island, R.I., Monday, Aug. 15, 2016. Deepwater Wind’s $300 million five-turbine wind farm off Block Island is expected to be operational this fall. CREDIT: AP PHOTO/MICHAEL DWYER The country’s first offshore wind farm is complete and set to start putting electricity on the grid by November, the developer announced last week. The five-turbine, 30-megawatt Block Island Wind Farm — providing enough electricity to power roughly 18,000 homes for a year — is not going to overhaul the state’s electricity supply, but it is a powerful step forward for Rhode Island and for the country. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) photographs the first foundation jacket installed by Deepwater Wind in...

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“A Bridge to Nowhere”: A Vision of Fracking Future in the US...

Aug 19, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] A natural gas well in Weld County, Colorado, in a photo taken on April 29, 2015. (Photo: Scott Branson; Edited: LW / TO) To understand just how deeply our lawmakers have drunk the Kool-Aid brewed by industry groups like the American Petroleum Institute, look no further than Colorado and Virginia, two states with Democratic governors who have pretty much sold out their contituents to the oil and gas industry. John Hickenlooper and Terry McAuliffe have pushed natural gas as a “bridge fuel” so hard, they are paraded by industry (and booed by activists) as poster boys for fracking. If McAuliffe has his way, his Virginia may soon be home to two gigantic pipelines transporting fracked natural gas across the state, seizing a 900-mile corridor from Virginians and potentially doubling his state’s current emissions through...

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5 Energy Victories That Have the Power to Transform Our Grid...

Aug 17, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] By Diana Tarrazo EARTHJUSTICE.ORG David Brosch stands in front of a 22 kilowatt solar electric array atop the roof of the University Park Church of the Brethren in Maryland. This year, Earthjustice has won a number of major victories that will pave the way for a cleaner, greener energy grid across the country. Matt Roth for Earthjustice Clean energy isn’t a wave of the future—it’s here, and it’s now. Earthjustice has been working to secure renewable energy victories that will usher in a number of critical clean energy advancements this year and beyond, helping to make clean energy even more accessible and affordable. Here are five recent successes that will make our energy grid greener and our futures brighter: 1. Hawai’i Blocks a Corporation’s Dirty, Outdated Energy Outlook Earthjustice staff attorney Isaac Moriwake...

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U.K. Approves World’s Largest Wind Farm...

Aug 17, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] CREDIT: SHUTTERSTOCK The U.K. government on Tuesday approved phase two of the world’s largest wind farm, adding 300 turbines to a project 55 miles off England’s shore, in the North Sea. The Hornsea Two project will provide 1.8 gigawatts of generating power, in addition to the first phase’s 1.2 gigawatts. In all, the 3 gigawatts provided by Hornsea is enough to power 2.5 million average (U.S.) households. At that size, the combined project is roughly equivalent to a nuclear power plant. CREDIT: DONG ENERGY “Offshore wind is already on course to meet 10 percent of the U.K.’s electricity demand by 2020,” said Huub den Rooijen, Director of Energy, Minerals and Infrastructure at The Crown Estate, the government’s asset management firm. “Major developments of Hornsea Project Two’s scale will pave the way for its...

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Elon Musk’s new solar roofing plan isn’t so new after all...

Aug 15, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Dow Powerhouse shingle and ready to mingle By Heather Smith GRIST Now that Tesla’s buyout of Solar City is looking like a done deal, the man who turned boring electric cars into sexy hot rods wants to shake up the staid world of roofing. Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk has a vision of a new kind of roof made of solar panels, and he wants to sell it you. “It’s not something on the roof — it is the roof,” Musk told a group of Wall Street analysts during a call last week to discuss quarterly earnings. “Which is a quite difficult engineering challenge and not something that is available anywhere else.” The fact is, solar roofs have been around for more than a decade. Witness this news report, from three years ago: But...

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Oregon Finds Switching From Coal to Renewable Energy Is a Bargain...

Aug 14, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Replacing coal-fired electricity with ever-cheaper wind and solar power will raise utility rates just 0.1 percent by 2030. A solar array installed at a winery near McMinnville, Oregon. (Photo: George Rose/Getty Images) TAKE PART DAILY John R. Platt covers the environment, technology, philanthropy, and more for Scientific American, Conservation, Lion, and other publications.   Oregon may have a reputation for rainy weather, but the outlook for the renewable energy there is definitely sunny. Earlier this year the state passed legislation that requires utilities to stop generating electricity from coal by 2030. At the time, one of Oregon’s two main energy utilities, Pacific Power, predicted that the switch to renewables would come with a fairly high cost, hitting customers with a rate increase of 0.8 percent per year through 2030. That’s a cumulative increase...

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The Government Quietly Just Approved This Enormous Oil Pipeline...

Aug 13, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Four reasons why people are outraged. Alexander Sammon ewg3D/Thinkstock The Bakken Pipeline is only seven miles shorter than Keystone XL would have been. It took seven years of protests, sit-ins, letter writing, and, finally, a presidential review to prevent the Keystone XL oil pipeline from being built. Now, in a matter of months, America’s newest mega-pipeline—the Dakota Access Pipeline Project (DAPL)—has quietly received full regulatory permission to begin construction. Known also as the Bakken Pipeline, the project is slated to run 1,172 miles of 30-inch diameter pipe from North Dakota’s northwest Bakken region down to a market hub outside Patoka, Illinois, where it will join extant pipelines and travel onward to refineries and markets in the Gulf and on the East Coast. If that description gives you déjà vu, it should: The Bakken...

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UTILITIES ARE LOBBYING AGAINST THE EXPANSION OF ROOFTOP SOLAR...

Aug 11, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   By Jill Richardson, OtherWords | Op-Ed In order for solar power to compete with other forms of energy, the conventional thinking goes, it needs to become way cheaper. Installing rooftop solar panels can be prohibitively expensive, after all, and it takes years before the resulting energy savings pay off. For the individual, it doesn’t matter whether solar panels will save you money in the long run if you can’t afford them in the short run. For those of us who are renters, the decision of whether to go solar is even more irrelevant. We don’t have the option to install panels ourselves. And unless your apartment comes with utilities included, your landlord has no incentive to install solar panels, because you would get all the savings. But while the average family may be unable to...

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Colorado could vote to limit fracking on November ballot...

Aug 9, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] REUTERS/Cooper Neill Fracktions By Katie Herzog   GRIST Colorado is one step closer to ditching fracking.Anti-fracking activists have collected 100,000 signatures, more than the 98,500 needed, to secure two measures on the November ballot. One measure would bring oil and gas drilling operations under local oversight while the other would add a no-fracking buffer zone 2,500 feet around any occupied buildings. Together these would, in essence, prevent drilling on 95 percent of the state’s most oil-rich land, according to the New York Times. The state has 30 days to review the signatures and submit any challenges. The industry, however, is already fighting back. Pro-fracking groups have raised $13 million to oppose the initiatives, and Yes for Health and Safety Over Fracking, the group that collected the signatures, reported that volunteer and contractor canvassers were “yelled at, and physically threatened” by people suspiciously spouting oil and gas industry’s...

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ABOUT FRACKOPOLY

Aug 7, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] FOOD AND WATER WATCH Learn more about Wenonah Hauter’s book, Frackopoly, which chronicles the rise of the fracking industry and the growing movement against fracking. Protect our drinking water from fracking. Don’t let Big Oil and Gas frack our public lands. “If Hauter had written this as a novel using the same characters, countries and global intrigue, it would quickly become an international bestseller and a miniseries would soon follow. She describes bigger-than-life captains of industry and colorful small-time scoundrels who play the system for their own gain. There are secret meetings and global conspiracies…a page turner.” — National Catholic Reporter A true tale of corruption and greed, Frackopoly: The Battle for the Future of Energy and the Environment exposes how more than 100 years of political influence peddling facilitated the control of our...

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Trump disagrees with fellow Republicans on local fracking bans...

Aug 2, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Frack-up   By Ben Adler GRIST Trump’s deeply held conservative principles are clashing with one another. After months of extolling the virtues of fossil fuel extraction, Trump deviated from GOP orthodoxy and told a Colorado TV station on Friday that local communities should be able to ban fracking. “I’m in favor of fracking, but I think that voters should have a big say in it,” said Trump, according to Politico. “I mean, there’s some areas, maybe, that don’t want to have fracking, and I think if the voters are voting for it that’s up to them.”His confusion about the right answer for the right wing is understandable — much like it was when Trump said that women who get abortions should be punished. If Republicans revere local control over land use, shouldn’t local...

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Solar powered floating farms: the new means of global food production?...

Jul 30, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] by J HERMAN While the sharp growth in global population that continues to occur in the 21st Century is an indicator of many technological, economical and medical advancements our civilization has made, it presents quite a few challenges that will only grow in coming years. The largest of these? Producing enough food to feed a population that is predicted to exceed 9 billion by 2050. But one viable, creative solution is already floating around thanks to Barcelona-based design firm Forward Thinking Architecture. The company proposes that we make use of Earth’s oceans as a means of harbouring the farms of the future. A fully automated, self-sustainable system The company’s Smart Floating Systems (SFF) are designed to be smart and fully automated to make use of technological advancements in areas such as solar-power, aquaculture and hydroponics...

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An Oil Pipeline Nearly As Long As Keystone XL Has Been Fully Approved...

Jul 28, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] by Alejandro Davila Fragoso CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: AP Photo/Nati Harnik Pipes for the proposed Dakota Access oil pipeline, that would stretch from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to Patoka, Ill., are stacked Saturday, May 9, 2015, at a staging area in Worthing, S.D. The proposed oil pipeline will traverse North and South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)   Despite several months of heavy opposition, an oil pipeline slated to cut through four Midwestern states has all the regulatory permits it needs for full build-out. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gave the final blessing to the Dakota Access pipeline on Tuesday. Developers now have the last set of permits they need to build through the small portion of federal land the line crosses, which includes major waterways like the...

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Are giant suction cups the key to cheap wind power?...

Jul 27, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Universal Foundation Suckers By Heather Smith The coolest new innovation in offshore wind energy right now is, essentially, a giant toilet plunger. Put enough of these plungers together and they could help power Detroit, Chicago, and the other metropolises of the Midwest.Lake Erie Energy Development and Fred Olsen Renewables, a European energy company, plan on building a wind installation with the help of these toilet plungers, aiming for six 50-foot high turbines in Lake Erie, seven miles off the coast of Cleveland. Putting wind turbines in the Great Lakes instead of on Midwestern farmland makes plenty of sense. Compared to farmland, underwater land is cheap. There’s also more wind on the water, because there are no inconvenient trees or buildings in the way. The Great Lakes are freshwater, so mechanical parts won’t wear down...

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Humanity’s Plunder of Nature’s Resources Is Intensifying...

Jul 25, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] By Alex Kirby / Climate News Network   VIA TRUTHDIG Landscape deeply scarred by an open-cut coal mine in Hunter Valley, Australia. (Max Phillips, Jeremy Buckingham MLC via Flickr) LONDON—Humans’ appetite for gnawing away at the fabric of the Earth itself is growing prodigiously. According to a new UN report, the amount of the planet’s natural resources extracted for human use has tripled in 40 years. A report produced by the International Resource Panel (IRP), part of the UN Environment Programme, says rising consumption driven by a growing middle class has seen resources extraction increase from 22 billion tonnes in 1970 to 70 billon tonnes in 2010. It refers to natural resources as primary materials, and includes under this heading biomass, fossil fuels, metal ores and non-metallic minerals. The increase in their use, the...

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Democratic Platform Calls For WWII-Scale Mobilization To Solve Climate Crisis...

Jul 25, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] by Joe Romm CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: Mark Stehle/Invision for NRG/AP Images Micro-wind turbines and solar panels installed at Lincoln Financial Field generate renewable energy during NRG Home’s 2nd Annual Media Charity Flag Football Game in Philadelphia Wednesday, November 19, 2014.   This month, the full Democratic Platform Committee approved the strongest statement about the urgent need for climate action ever issued by a major party in this country. The platform makes for the starkest possible contrast with a party that just nominated Donald Trump — a man who has called climate change a hoax invented by and for the Chinese, who has denied basic reality such as the drought in California, and who has vowed to (try to) scuttle the unanimous agreement by the world’s nations in Paris to take whatever measures are...

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New Gas Infrastructure Is Going To Completely Undermine U.S. Climate Goals...

Jul 22, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] by Samantha Page CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: AP Photo/Jim Cole A new report shows that with the proposed natural gas pipelines, the United States cannot meet its climate commitments.   The climate action movement has gotten a lot of wins during the Obama administration. The Keystone XL pipeline permit denial. The Clean Power Plan. The proposed methane rules. These things are all part of an effort to limit carbon emissions and avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change. But, as it turns out, these actions are not enough. The country is in the process of building hundreds of miles of natural gas pipeline that will tie the United States to fossil fuel production and consumption for decades — well past when most scientists predict we will have done irreparable harm to our human...

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Greenpeace reports jump in radioactive contamination in Fukushima waterways...

Jul 21, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Greenpeace Japan member Mai Suzuki removes sediment samples from a remotely operated grabber at Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture on March 22. | © CHRISTIAN ÅSLUND / GREENPEACE National by Eric Johnston Staff Writer OSAKA – Greenpeace Japan on Thursday said it has discovered radioactive contamination in Fukushima’s riverbanks, estuaries and coastal waters at a scale hundreds of times higher than pre-2011 levels. One sample of sediment taken along the Niida River, less than 30 km northwest of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 power plant, revealed the presence of cesium-134 and cesium-137 at levels of 29,800 becquerels per kilogram. That was just one of 19 samples of dried sediment and soil the environmental activist group took and analyzed from the banks of the Abukuma, Niida, and Ota rivers. The samples were collected by...

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This ‘Other’ Form Of Solar Energy Can Run At Night, And It Just Got A Big Backer...

Jul 17, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] by Joe Romm CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: PHOTO BY AMBLE VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS Nevada’s Crescent Dunes concentrating solar thermal plant went online last September. It is 110 Megawatt with 10 hours of built in storage.   Converting sunlight directly into electricity, the photovoltaic (PV) solar panel industry has dominated the solar generation market recently because of its astounding price drops. Prices have fallen 99 percent in the past quarter century and over 80 percent since 2008 alone. This has also helped to slow the growth of the “other” form of solar, concentrating solar thermal power (CSP), which uses sunlight to heat water and uses the steam to drive a turbine and generator. Fortunately, one country appears to be making a major bet on CSP — China. SolarReserve, the company that built the Crescent Dunes...

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Did An Entire Region Of The U.S. Just Disincentivize Renewables? This Lawsuit Says Yes....

Jul 17, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] by Samantha Page CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: Shutterstock During the 2014 polar vortex, wind generation saved consumers $1 billion, according to industry estimates.   During the polar vortex of 2014, power companies struggled. There wasn’t enough natural gas power in the pipeline (pun intended), and prices skyrocketed. The shortage was expensive for homeowners — some saw their monthly bill go up five-fold from January to February — but for utilities, it was expensive, dangerous, and scary. No one wants to be on the hook for a bunch of families losing power in the middle of a -7°F night. Following the prolonged cold snap, PJM, the entity that oversees utilities in the Mid-Atlantic and parts of Appalachia and the Midwest, put a plan into action: It would help the local utilities ensure that power was...

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WATCH: Bill Nye Answers the Looming Question About Juno...

Jul 5, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   Environment Here is what powers NASA’s Juno spacecraft. By Alexandra Rosenmann / AlterNet   The launch of NASA’s Juno spacecraft naturally has astrophysicists and other science aficionados cheering. It also has a lot of people scratching their heads wondering how such wonders are possible. Bill Nye has the answers about how NASA’s Juno spacecraft, which arrived at Jupiter today, uses light from the sun to keep running. “Three solar rays take light and convert it directly into electricity,” Nye, the “science guy” explained. “A little motor is powered by a solar panel also. When we turn it to the light, the motor starts to run.” As you might expect, Nye added, moving farther from the source of light means “less and less electricity to drive the motor.” And the energy required to...

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SOLAR ROADWAYS: 3 COUNTRIES, 3 SOLUTIONS...

Jun 30, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   UNDERSTANDSOLAR.COM We will all be driving on solar roadways soon if this global effort to build the most enduring and efficient solar roads starts to fall into place (or pace?).  After all, urban areas have miles of pavement covering them and cities are becoming urban heat islands without moisture and vegetation to absorb all of the heat. Adding more concrete, asphalt and pavement would boost night-time temperatures and make places like New York around 15 degrees hotter than locations only 60 miles outside of the city. #1 USA Solar Roadways Image credits: Solar Roadways Cries of “no more pavement” have been ongoing since the discovery of urban heat islands, and Scott and Julie Brusaw’s solution – impact resistant solar panels – could be a win-win for everyone. Currently, the Brusaw’s company, Solar Roadways has managed to shift a...

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SANDERS AND CLINTON TEAMS FIGHT OVER CLIMATE LANGUAGE IN DEMOCRATIC PLATFORM...

Jun 29, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] REUTERS/Jim Young Walking the plank By Ben Adler GRIST The Democratic Party’s platform drafting committee has written a stronger climate change section than the platform had in 2012, but it also rejected a series of more ambitious climate and energy amendments on Friday. That’s raised the ire of Bernie Sanders and his appointees to the drafting committee, like climate activist and author Bill McKibben. The first draft of the platform, voted on by the 15-member drafting committee, is now complete, though it hasn’t been made publicly available. On July 8 and 9, in Orlando, the full 187-member platform committee will meet and debate further changes before approving and sending its draft on to the party convention, to be held in Philadelphia the last week of July. Sanders slammed Hillary Clinton’s committee appointees for...

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THE NEXT SPACE RACE: FARMING SOLAR POWER IN THE COSMOS...

Jun 28, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] https://youtu.be/AB1VlSlLrgkhttps://youtu.be/AB1VlSlLrgkSPS-Alpha concept by John C. Mankins. (Illustration: Courtesy Artemis Innovations) Scientists are making the big push to send electricity to Earthlings from the final frontier. Anna Bitong FUTURISM   Aboard an imaginary space station surrounded by distant planets, an astronaut on the fringes of human life toiled to turn the sun’s rays into electricity and then zapped it through space and back to the planets to be used as a power source. “Our beams feed these worlds energy drawn from one of those huge incandescent globes that happens to be near us. We call that globe the Sun,” the spaceman says in one of Isaac Asimov’s earliest works, the 1941 science fiction short story “Reason.” Biochemist and science fiction novelist Isaac Asimov. (Photo: Bettmann Archive) What was then an implausible idea—collecting solar energy...

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A SOLAR POWERED PLANE JUST CROSSED THE ATLANTIC...

Jun 26, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Solar Impulse sunprecedented By Samantha Lee GRIST If you thought there was something solar power couldn’t do, think again, because the sun just carried an airplane across the Atlantic Ocean. Early Thursday morning, Swiss pilot Bertrand Piccard successfully landed the Solar Impulse 2 in Spain after a four-day journey that began in New York. All the while, the scrappy little plane, powered by 17,000 solar cells, emitted no pollution and guzzled no fuel. This flight was the latest leg in a round-the-world journey set to end in Abu Dhabi, and is particularly symbolic “because all the means of transportation have always tried to cross the Atlantic,” Piccard told the Guardian. With seating room for one, the Solar Impulse — which has a larger wingspan than a Boeing 747 but is lighter than a car...

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THE BATTERY MIRACLE WILL TRANSFORM BOTH TRANSPORTATION AND POWER GENERATION...

Jun 19, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] by Joe Romm CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: Shutterstock   Low-cost, high-performance electric batteries are a game changer for the two key clean energy sectors: power generation and transportation. They enable much greater adoption and penetration of both renewable energy and electric vehicles — not just electric cars but electric buses and electric planes. Since lithium-ion batteries have only just crossed the key price point for enabling widespread usage in both sectors — $300 per kilowatt-hour — we are really just at the beginning of the battery-driven clean energy revolution. Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) projects that over the next 25 years, small-scale battery storage will become a $250 billion market. They “expect total behind-the-meter energy storage to rise dramatically from around 400 MWh in today to nearly 760 GWh in 2040″ — nearly a...

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IT’S THE FIRST NEW U.S. NUCLEAR REACTOR IN DECADES. AND CLIMATE CHANGE HAS MADE THAT A VERY BIG DEAL...

Jun 18, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Energy and Environment By Chris Mooney THE WASHINGTON POST In this April 29, 2015 photo, a home sits within view of the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant cooling towers Unit 1, left, and Unit 2 near Spring City, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski) This story has been updated. SPRING CITY, Tenn. — In an immaculate control room at the Watts Bar nuclear plant, green bars flash on a large screen, signaling something that has not happened in the United States in two decades. As control rods lift from the water in the core, and neutrons go about the business of splitting uranium atoms, life comes to a new nuclear reactor — the first in the country since its sister reactor here was licensed in 1996. By summer’s end, authorities expect the new reactor at this...

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