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North America looking at a Trillion Dollar Renewable Energy Market


A Trillion Dollar Renewable Energy Market Might Have Just Opened Up in North America
An agreement between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico could open up new growth for the solar industry. The Motley Fool  Travis Hoium (TMFFlushDraw)
Jul 4, 2016  
Leaders of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico agreed this week to increase their renewable energy consumption in an effort to get half of North America’s energy from renewable sources by 2025. It’s a lofty goal, despite assertions that 37% of the region’s energy already comes from renewables. But it highlights just how much of a coordinated effort the countries are taking. And it may open a trillion dollar energy market for renewable energy companies. 

Cross-border transmission is big

One of the biggest things holding back renewable energy from an even larger market share is transmission lines. There’s not enough transmission that goes from the windy sections of Texas or Iowa or the sunny corners of Nevada and California to population centers. Part of the agreement will be to build cross-border transmission that will allow cheap renewable energy to flow more freely to where it’s needed.

To put the potential impact into perspective, the Brattle Group estimated that $130 billion in grid upgrades and transmission will be needed in the next decade to meet renewable standards in the U.S. And if those standards go up, we’re talking about billions, or hundreds of billions more.

The companies that could benefit from this are transmission line builders like Quanta Services (NYSE:PWR) and MYR Group (NASDAQ:MYRG), which have been talking about the upgrade cycle in transmission lines for years. Maybe this will help some of that come to fruition. On the ownership side, National Grid is a major infrastructure company with transmission lines all over the world……..

The two developers that would likely get a lot of business from a North America expansion of renewables are First Solar and SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR), which are the two largest solar developers in the U.S. For example, SunPower just won 500 megawatts out of 1,860 megawatts auctioned in Mexico, part of the country’s major expansion in renewables. If Mexico starts exporting solar or wind energy to Southern California it could expand that solar market……..

Maybe the renewable energy revolution has legs left in North America after all.


July 20, 2016 Posted by | NORTH AMERICA, renewable | Leave a comment

Socorro a national sacrifice area for depleted uranium

SOCORRO – The City of Depleted Uranium
by Norbert G. Suchanek, 20 July 16,   Depleted uranium contamination in the USA: Socorro in New Mexico was used for decades as testing range for depleted uranium (DU).   About this project

The mountain of Socorro in the South of New Mexico was used for decades as a testing range for depleted uranium weapons.

Socorro became a national sacrifice area. People in Socorro are suffering similar health effects as the local population in Iraq who were hit by DU-Weapons during the Gulf Wars. The film gives details of the abuses and transgressions on the people of Socorro who’s community was downwind and downgrade of the depleted uranium testing sites which had been active since 1972. Until today most of the population of Socorro are unaware about the testing on the Socorro mountain and the dangers of depleted uranium.

Main character of the film is Damacio A. Lopez, who was born in Socorro. He served the US-army during Cold war and Cuba Crisis and became later a professional golf player. When he found out about the horrible consequences of the use of depleted uranium on the battle fields during the Gulf wars in Iraq and in his native town, he became one of the first activists fighting for a global ban of these weapons.

Damacio studied the terrible health effects of DU Weapons in the battlefields of Iraq and the Balkans for many years.  He has founded the International Depleted Uranium Study Team (IDUST) and influenced and produced several important reports and films about Depleted Uranium like the film: “URANIUM 238: THE PENTAGON’S DIRTY POOL”. This film won the Jury Award as the Best Short Film of the first International Uranium Film Festival in 2011. Damacio is also the principle founder of the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW) and works at the UN on a treaty to ban uranium weapons.

SOCORRO – THE CITY OF DEPLETED URANIUM will be the first film that this testing of depleted uranium will be exposed to world public. It will make clear that not only the populations in Iraq or in the Balkans are suffering from DU but also US citizens across the US who live close to the military testing sites and firing ranges.

Damacio Lopez says: “I am from a family in Socorro in New Mexico and I have been working to create an International Treaty to ban Depleted Uranium Weapons for the past 30 years. In 1986 I discovered that depleted uranium testing was taking place on the Socorro Mountain just 2 miles away down wind from our family home. My father would spends hours in his garden while black clouds moved over head from the DU test site. He eventually died of various cancers.”

See also: Depleted Uranium: Metal of Dishonor

International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW) –

The Case for an Immediate Ban on the Military Use of Depleted

“Uranium 238: The Pentagon’s Dirty Pool”

Depleted uranium weapons have left behind a trail of human misery and vituperative debate. What’s not known about them is just as disturbing as what is..


July 20, 2016 Posted by | depleted uranium, Resources -audiovicual, USA | Leave a comment

Aging Pickering Nuclear Station that is well past its prime: time to shut it

flag-canadaLiberals Should Shutter Nuclear Plant Well Past Its Prime  Huff Post Mike Schreiner 
Leader of the Green Party of Ontario 07/18/2016  Ontario could save money, increase public safety and create jobs if it closes the Pickering Nuclear Station when its operating licence expires on Aug. 31, 2018. Yet, the Liberal government has approved plans to extend Pickering’s operating life to 2024.

Pickering is already 15 years past its best before date. It’s the fourth oldest nuclear station in North America and the seventh oldest nuclear station in the world. Given its age, it is not surprising that Pickering is one of the most unreliable and poorestperforming nuclear plants in North America. Or that is has the highest operating costs of any nuclear station in North America.

Best before dates are important — not only for the milk you drink but also for the nuclear plant you live by. Pickering is surrounded by over 2.2 million people who live within the 30-kilometre high-risk zone. The Liberals are rolling the dice on a nuclear station that is surrounded by more people than any nuclear plant in North America………

Ontario is currently selling excess electricity at a loss. Ontario’s total electricity exports (22.6 billion kWh) exceeded the total output of the Pickering Nuclear Station (22.6 billion kWh) in 2015. Ontario’s peak hour demand for electricity has declined by 17 per cent in the past decade.

Even if electricity demand goes up because of the Ontario’s efforts to electrify the transportation system, Ontario can purchase electricity from other sources at a lower cost.

We live next door to the world’s fourth largest producer of water power — Quebec. Quebec has a large and growing supply of water power available for export. On average, Quebec water power sells at one third the price of power from Pickering. Why not use this low cost source of clean power to meet possible increases in demand and to cover gaps from the anticipated temporary shut down of the Darlington Nuclear Station?

Ontario can also do more to stretch our energy dollars by investing in energy efficiency measures. The cheapest source of energy is the energy we save. According to the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), large industrial energy efficiency programs save electricity at an average cost of 1.5 cents per kWh. Residential, commercial and small industrial energy efficiency programs save electricity at an average cost of 3.5 cents per kWh — far below OPG’s estimate cost of power from Pickering of around nine cents per kWh.

The Liberals seem more interested in making the nuclear lobby happy than in making smart energy choices for the people of Ontario.

And while I understand why the nuclear lobby would fight to protect jobs at Pickering, I believe the Liberal government has a responsibility to make energy decisions that benefit all the people of Ontario even if it means cancelling their $100,000 dinners with the premier.

Moreover, what if we could convert operating jobs at Pickering into jobs decommissioning Pickering–making the area safer for residents while establishing Ontario’s expertise in the decommissioning of nuclear plants. Doing this would create 16,000 person years of employment according to a study by Torrie Smith Associates. This could establish Ontario’s global expertise in decommissioning nuclear plants. With a number of nuclear plants around the world reaching their best before dates, Ontario nuclear workers could benefit from becoming the global experts in shutting down nuclear plants.

The Liberals have a choice to make — give the nuclear lobby what it wants or provide the people of Ontario with an affordable, clean electricity supply; a supply that doesn’t include an old and aging Pickering Nuclear Station that is well past its best before date.

July 20, 2016 Posted by | Canada, politics | Leave a comment

Montreal Protocol to be amended to phase out climate damaging hydrofluorocarbons

climate-changeThe world is poised to take the strongest action of this year against climate change, WP, By Chris Mooney July 18 When the world moved to phase out ozone-destroying chlorofluorcarbons, or CFCs, it solved one enormous and urgent environmental problem — but it left behind another. CFCs were bad for the ozone layer and also caused a great deal of global warming to boot. But a key substitute — hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs — spare the ozone layer but are still powerful greenhouse warming agents.

That’s why diplomats and leading national ministers have assembled in Vienna this week for negotiations under the Montreal Protocol, the treaty that led to the phaseout of CFCs and is now aiming its sights at HFCs. If an amendment to the treaty can be adopted this year, advocates say, it could represent the single largest tangible piece of climate progress in all of 2016.

[The Antarctic ozone hole has finally started to ‘heal,’ scientists report]

HFCs are used in refrigerants in car and home air conditioners, as well as in foams, solvents and other products. They are being used more and more — in large part because they are the heirs to the CFC phaseout — and when they get into the atmosphere, they are far more powerful than carbon dioxide at warming the planet.

According to the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development, which focuses on the issue, the “most abundant and fastest growing” of these gases, HFC-134a, remains in the atmosphere for 13.4 years (not nearly as long as carbon dioxide) but causes 1,300 times as much warming as carbon dioxide does over a span of 100 years. One recent study noted that by 2050, if nothing is done, HFC-134a could add 9 to 19 percent to the warming caused by carbon dioxide.

For the broader group of HFCs, one recent study found that HFC emissions as a whole grew from 198 million tons (as measured in carbon-dioxide equivalents) in 2007, to 275 million tons by 2012.

“The HFCs effect now is very small. The problem with the HFCs is it’s the fastest-growing greenhouse gas,” said Veerabhadran Ramanathan, a climate scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. “So by banning HFCs, you prevent another disaster downstream. It could be as high as half to one degree [Celsius] by the end of the century.”

Data like these explain why diplomats and leading national ministers have assembled in Vienna this week for negotiations under the Montreal Protocol, the treaty that led to the phaseout of CFCs and is now aiming its sights at HFCs. And signs look positive that a phase-down amendment could happen this year, giving a key boost to climate-change momentum, said Durwood Zaelke, head of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development……….

Granted, an amendment to phase out HFCs is not expected to be formally adopted this month in Vienna. Rather, that is more likely to occur at a second meeting, in October, in Kigali, Rwanda, meeting observers say.

If it is successful, then when the parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change meet in Marrakesh, Morocco, in November to start the process of putting the Paris agreement into action, they will be riding a wave of accomplishment and be able to think rather optimistically about the work before them. Doniger wrote recently that achieving an HFC phaseout would represent “the biggest climate protection achievement of 2016.”

“The ozone treaty has been effectively a climate treaty also,” he said in an interview. “So it can be another win for the climate from the treaty that saved the ozone layer.”

Read more at Energy & Environment:

The world’s clouds are in different places than they were 30 years ago

Scientists think they’ve just pinpointed the key driver of ice loss in Antarctica

The diversity of life across much of Earth has plunged below ‘safe’ levels

July 20, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, Reference | Leave a comment

Offshore wind prices drop 30% below nuclear

The Walney wind farm, in the Irish Sea. Credit: WikimediaOffshore wind powers ahead as prices drop 30% below nuclear, Ecologist  Kieran Cooke 19th July 2016 The cost of offshore wind power in the North Sea is 30% lower than that of new nuclear, writes Kieran Cooke – helped along by low oil and steel prices, reduced maintenance and mass production. By 2030 the sector is expected to supply 7% of Europe’s electricity.

A building boom is underway offshore in Europe. Up to 400 giant wind turbines are due to be built off the northeast coast of the UK in what will be the world’s largest offshore wind development.

Output from theDogger Bank projectwill be 1.2 GW (gigawatts) – enough to power more than a million homes.

Next year, a 150-turbine wind farm off the coast of the Netherlands is due to start operating, and other schemes along the Dutch coast are in the works.

Denmark, Sweden and Portugal are major investors in offshore wind, and China has ambitious plans for the sector.

Wind farms – both onshore and offshore – are a key ingredient in renewable energy policy, and an important element in the battle against climate change.

WindEurope, an offshore wind industry group, says that at the present rate of installations it’s likely Europe will be producing about 7% of its electricity from offshore wind by 2030.

Ofshore wind developers benefit from falling costs……..

Offshore wind’s greatest renewable competitor is probably solar power, which has seen dramatic cost reductions in recent years. But the two technologies make a harmonious fit – the two together producing a smoother electricity supply curve, and one that more closely matches demand, than either alone.

July 20, 2016 Posted by | EUROPE, renewable | Leave a comment