Britain sees first coal-free day since the Industrial Revolution

April 24, 2017 by  
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For the first time since Thomas Edison opened the first power station in London in 1882, Great Britain functioned without any coal-fired power plants last Friday. The milestone marks the first continuous 24-hour period without coal since the Industrial Revolution. This isn’t the first time Britain has gone without coal for a significant chunk of the day, but before this, 19 hours was the longest continuous time that coal power was able to go offline. Instead of coal, National Grid relied on a mix of 50.3% gas, 21.2% nuclear, 12.2% wind, 8.3% imports, 6.7% biomass, and 3.6% solar on Friday. While natural gas still isn’t a completely clean power source, it’s nowhere near as polluting as coal , and nuclear power , while it has very real risks, doesn’t spew greenhouse gasses into the environment. In an ideal world, a larger portion of the nation’s energy would come from renewable sources, but for now, simply ditching coal for a day is an accomplishment to celebrate. Days like this will become more and more common as time goes on – in 2016, the UK relied on coal for just 9% of its electricity needs, down from 23% in 2015. By 2025, the country’s last coal power station is slated to close as part of the government’s promises to meet its climate change commitments. Related: European electricity sector pledges no new coal plants after 2020 However, it’s important to remember that eliminating coal is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to cutting greenhouse gas emissions: the UK government (and, indeed, other governments around the world) still need to tackle the huge amount of carbon generated by other infrastructure and the country’s transportation system. Via The Guardian Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )  

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Britain sees first coal-free day since the Industrial Revolution

Canada announces plan to kill coal power by 2030

November 23, 2016 by  
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Canada has just announced it will kill coal power 10 years sooner than previously planned, with a goal of shutting down all coal-fired plants by 2030. The CBC reports that the move is a key part of the Canadian government’s plan to meet its Paris climate summit commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 30 per cent less than 2005 levels by 2030. Getting rid of the country’s coal power plants means a reduction of about 66 tons per year of greenhouse gas emissions . It also means that by 2030, 90 per cent of Canada’s power will come from non-carbon-intensive sources, including hydroelectricity, nuclear, wind and solar power. Canada is also in the midst of introducing a nationwide carbon tax that can be imposed on provinces that don’t come up with their own plans for mitigating carbon emissions . Despite animosity from several provinces that held out up until a recent deadline, all provinces with the exception of Saskatchewan have now agreed to create their own carbon plans. Related: France will shut down all coal power plants by 2023 Yet, while the country is cutting out coal, it is looking favorably on other projects that will result in greenhouse gas emissions. This includes a major liquid natural gas (LNG) project in British Columbia, and the potential approval of more oil pipelines to move bitumen from the Alberta Tar Sands to market. Canada’s plan comes on the heels of recent announcements by France to shut down all coal power plants by 2023 , and Germany’s plan to cut carbon emissions by as much as 95 per cent by 2050. Via CBC Images via PDTillman and Sherco Generating Station , Wikimedia Commons

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Canada announces plan to kill coal power by 2030

Detailed flowchart shows the complete lifecycle of US energy use

August 16, 2016 by  
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San Francisco company Otherlab has created a massive interactive “ Energy Literacy ” flowchart that shows all of the energy used in America. The company debuted the chart at an event run by Reinvent , a company dedicated to bringing innovators together to address the world’s most pressing problems. Pulling data from the Department of Energy and other sources, the diagram is the first of its kind to depict the complete flow of energy throughout the US economy. While this was a massive undertaking, perhaps it’s not so surprising considering the source. Otherlab is run by serial entrepreneur and MacArthur genius Saul Griffith, who once famously calculated the carbon footprint of every single action in his life . When he presented the chart, he told his audience, “I think we may be the first three or four people to read every footnote in every energy agency document ever produced.” The left side of the diagram shows where our energy comes from – the majority from coal , less than 1 percent from solar . By highlighting a section, readers can track a single energy source to its various ends, seeing just how much energy ends up wasted along the way. For example: with natural gas the waste is substantial, with only half of the generated energy being used. Related: Americans used less energy in 2015, but more wind, solar, and geothermal power Some of the major uses of our energy should come as no surprise, such as that used for basic infrastructure. Other uses, like the energy used by US military jets, may raise questions readers didn’t even realize they had. By charting out the connections between all of these industries and our energy production, Griffith hopes it will be possible to better understand the economy and for policy decisions to be made with more accurate information. + Energy Literacy Via Co.Exist Images via Energy Literacy and Kevin Dooley

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Detailed flowchart shows the complete lifecycle of US energy use

INFOGRAPHIC: The greenest countries in the world and how they score on energy efficiency

January 5, 2016 by  
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In 2014, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy graded the largest countries in the world on their energy efficiency. Some countries, like Germany, knocked their scores out of the park, while others (we’re looking at you, Spain) didn’t do so well. This infographic shows how the top countries rated and what they can do to improve energy efficiency in the future so they can raise their scorecard. Read the rest of INFOGRAPHIC: The greenest countries in the world and how they score on energy efficiency

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INFOGRAPHIC: The greenest countries in the world and how they score on energy efficiency

U.K. announces plan to shut down all its coal power plants by 2025

November 20, 2015 by  
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In a big win for the environment, the British government announced this week that all coal power plants in the country will be shut down within the next 10 years . The decision comes less than two weeks in advance of the United Nations Climate Conference , where world leaders will convene to develop a global strategy for combatting global warming. Details about the proposal won’t be issued until spring, but this announcement sets the bar high for other world leaders. Read the rest of U.K. announces plan to shut down all its coal power plants by 2025

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U.K. announces plan to shut down all its coal power plants by 2025

Abandoned Spanish farmhouse will be completely powered by poo

November 20, 2015 by  
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An abandoned farmhouse in northern Spain is being renovated to be powered entirely by poo. Designed by Meghan Sapp and her startup renewable energy company Planet Energy , the Spanish House of Poo will be a completely self-sustaining eco-house that uses waste produced by from its human and animal inhabitants to generate renewable energy. Read the rest of Abandoned Spanish farmhouse will be completely powered by poo

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Abandoned Spanish farmhouse will be completely powered by poo

US and India reach a climate deal, but no agreement to curb emissions

January 26, 2015 by  
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In the first day of talks between President Barack Obama and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the two leaders agreed to some renewable energy policies in the developing nation, which is the world’s third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases. But the talks did not result in a clear-cut commitment by India to curb carbon emissions, such as the pact made between the U.S. and China late last year. Read the rest of US and India reach a climate deal, but no agreement to curb emissions Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: barack obama , Climate Change , coal power , developing nation , green energy , India , India nuclear energy , India PM , India US agreements , India US climate change agreements , India US renewable energy , India US talks , IPCC , modi , Narendra Modi , renewable energy , Solar Power , US , US India nuclear energy

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US and India reach a climate deal, but no agreement to curb emissions

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Nominee Ron Binz Struggles With Coal

September 27, 2013 by  
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President Obama’s nominee to chair the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission , Ron Binz, is in jeopardy after failing to win key supporters at a confirmation hearing this month and misleading the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee about his support for coal-powered energy plants. Binz is obviously feeling the heat from big coal groups which say he favors renewable energy. On September 17 he told the Senate Committee that he approved Colorado’s largest coal power plant, in an attempt to bolster the support of key senators who back fossil fuels . However, the statement was inaccurate. While Binz served as the chairman on the Colorado Public Utility Commission, he wasn’t a member in 2004 when the Comanche 3 power plant was approved. In fact, he wasn’t part of the state’s PUC until 2007, after construction on the plant had already begun. Read the rest of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Nominee Ron Binz Struggles With Coal Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: big coal , clean tech , coal power , dirty coal , environmental policy , Federal Energy Regulatory Commission , FERC , green energy , Policy , politics , renewable energy , Ron Binz , senate energy and natural resources committee , SENRC        

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Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Nominee Ron Binz Struggles With Coal

Amazing Infographic Shows Where the World’s Greenhouse Gases Come From

June 11, 2013 by  
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It’s hard to keep track of all the greenhouse gases that are steadily collecting in the atmosphere – from auto emissions and coal plants to methane emissions from cattle and landfills. Fortunately, Ecofys has created an easy-to-understand infographic that breaks down the source and sector of the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters. Read the rest of Amazing Infographic Shows Where the World’s Greenhouse Gases Come From Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: carbon emissions , coal , coal power , deforestation , global emissions , green transportation , greenhouse gases , methane emissions , Waste , waste storage        

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Amazing Infographic Shows Where the World’s Greenhouse Gases Come From

Thin-Film Solar Power to Be Sold For Less Than Coal Power in New Mexico

February 4, 2013 by  
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First Solar Inc ., the world’s largest maker of thin-film solar panels , will sell electricity at the rate of 5.8 cents per kWh in New Mexico, half the price of power from local coal plants . According to its Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with El Paso Electric Company, the local grid will be supplied with power from First Solar’s 50-megawatt Macho Springs project. Read the rest of Thin-Film Solar Power to Be Sold For Less Than Coal Power in New Mexico Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Agua Caliente Solar , Antelope Valley Solar Ranch , coal , coal power , El Paso Electric Company , First Solar Inc , Macho Springs Solar Farm , New Mexico solar power , renewable energy sources , Solar Power , thin-film solar panels , US clean energy

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