Nearly all new US energy capacity came from solar and wind in early 2018

April 25, 2018 by  
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In the first two months of 2018, the United States installed 1,568 megawatts of wind and 565 MW of solar — which accounted for a whopping 98 percent of all new power generation capacity. Meanwhile, only 40 MW of natural gas capacity was installed in the same time period. These findings are detailed in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) latest “ Energy Infrastructure Update ,” which arrives even as the Trump administration attempts to align federal policy with the interests of the fossil fuel industry. Despite administration resistance to renewable energy, several states that voted for Trump in the 2016 election are benefiting from the installation of major clean energy projects within their borders. This includes the 170 MW Beaver Creek Wind Project and the 168 MW Prairie Wind Project in Iowa , as well as the 81 MW Stuttgart Solar Project in Arkansas . As the cost of solar and wind energy continues to drop, the fundamental economics of the situation encourage further investments in clean energy. Related: Solar outshined all fossil-fuels sources combined in 2017 The recent FERC report projects that renewable energy will continue to dominate new power generation capacity installed over the next several years. FERC estimates that 147,000, or 69 percent, of the 212,000 MW power generation capacity expected to be installed between now and March 2021 will be from renewable energy sources. It also predicts that coal plants, despite a more industry-friendly administration, will continue to close without replacement, shrinking the number of active coal plants over time. Net coal power generation is expected to fall by 15,000 MW over the next several years. Via Think Progress Images via Depositphotos (1)

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Nearly all new US energy capacity came from solar and wind in early 2018

Arctic sea ice is filled with record levels of microplastics

April 25, 2018 by  
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Even the Arctic can’t escape plastic pollution . Scientists gathered ice samples from five distinct regions in the Arctic Ocean , and some of those samples contained over 12,000 microplastic particles per liter of ice – a record-breaking amount. All told, they uncovered 17 different kinds of plastic , including paints and packaging. A team of 9 scientists at Alfred Wegener Institute recorded record levels of microplastics, or plastic fragments between a few micrometers to under five millimeters big, in sea ice collected in the Arctic. They gathered these samples aboard the research icebreaker Polarstern in 2014 and 2015. They utilized a Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer to scrutinize the ice samples layer by layer to light up microparticles; particles reflect varying wavelengths depending on their ingredients so the scientists could determine their substances. Related: New study reveals plastic pollution in the Antarctic is 5x worse than expected Their methods helped them discover minuscule particles. Scientist Gunnar Gerdts, who runs the laboratory where the researchers carried out measurements, said in a statement , “In this way, we also discovered plastic particles that are tiny 11 microns in size. This is roughly a sixth of the diameter of human hair and was also the key reason why, with more than 12,000 particles per liter of sea ice, we were able to detect two to three times higher plastic concentrations than was the case in a previous study.” 67 percent of the particles in the ice samples fell in the 50 micrometers and below category: the smallest one. Biologist Ilka Peeken said, “We found out in our study that more than half of the microplastic particles trapped in the ice were smaller than one-twentieth of a millimeter and thus easily eaten by Arctic microorganisms such as crayfish, but also copepods.” This is concerning, she said, because “so far no one can say to what extent these tiny plastic particles harm the sea dwellers or end up even endangering humans.” The journal Nature Communications published the research this week. + Alfred Wegener Institute + Nature Communications Images via Tristan Vankaan , Mar Fernandez , and Stefan Hendricks

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Arctic sea ice is filled with record levels of microplastics

Mark Mykleby and Jon Wellinghoff: Rethinking security

September 14, 2015 by  
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If squirrels and people hopping fences can take down a city’s electric system for a few hours, imagine what an intentional attack by a real enemy can do.Grid security is a real issue. The U.S. electricity system of centralized grids is extremely vulnerable, said Jon Wellinghoff, former chief of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and now a lawyer at Stoel Rives LLP in San Francisco. But an answer is readily available.

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Mark Mykleby and Jon Wellinghoff: Rethinking security

Welcome to the next generation of sustainable development

September 14, 2015 by  
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COP 21, the administration’s Clean Power Plan, and the Pope’s Laudato Si, taken together, are creating new momentum for sustainability.

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Welcome to the next generation of sustainable development

DHL, Anheuser-Busch step up alternative fleet investments

September 14, 2015 by  
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It looks like an equal opportunity for electric, alternative fuel technologies.

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DHL, Anheuser-Busch step up alternative fleet investments

10 ways the circular economy is changing the way businesses think

September 14, 2015 by  
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Here’s how Dell, Patagonia, DHL and others have adapted to the circular economy.

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10 ways the circular economy is changing the way businesses think

5 ways to incorporate CSR into leadership development

September 14, 2015 by  
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Dow, IBM, Medtronic, PepsiCo and SAP have long known this tip: Social sabbaticals make leaders more flexible, intelligent and resilient.

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5 ways to incorporate CSR into leadership development

4 steps for getting the most out of utility rebates and incentives

January 10, 2013 by  
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How can your company obtain its share of local, state and federal energy benefits? Learn how here.

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4 steps for getting the most out of utility rebates and incentives

How to change the electric market in 8 words or less

March 16, 2012 by  
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The chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, along with leaders from utilities and green power buyers, talked about the state of the utility business, what needs to be done to make smart grids happen, and why Enron had the right idea (sort of).

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How to change the electric market in 8 words or less

Shaping supply chain sustainability with the Internet of things

March 16, 2012 by  
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The development the AMEE carbon measurement and management platform provides the narrative for a "One Great Idea" presentation at VERGE DC and illustrates several of the conference themes.

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Shaping supply chain sustainability with the Internet of things

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