Positive Environmental news thread

N&P: Discuss governments, nations, politics and recent related news here.

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Re: Positive Environmental news thread

Post by Jub » 2019-02-06 06:04pm

FaxModem1 wrote:
2019-02-06 05:58pm
Associated Press
LG&E in Kentucky seeking renewable energy proposals
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The state’s largest electric utility is seeking proposals to generate renewable energy.

Louisville Gas and Electric says there is a growing interest and declining costs associated with renewable energy. The company is conducting a formal review and has issued a request for proposals from suppliers.

David Sinclair, the company’s vice president of Energy Supply and Analysis, says renewable energy options could help attract energy-conscious businesses.

LG&E’s request requires that the respondents be ready to supply a minimum of 10 megawatts and no more than 200 megawatts by 2022.

They also want the source to be in Kentucky or surrounding states.

LG&E says in a release that the company and its parent, PPL Corporation, are committed to cutting carbon dioxide emissions 70 percent from 2010 levels.
Can someone explain to me why they would require a maximum? I'd assume that more energy equals better. So what reasoning would they have behind it? Is it a cost issue, space issue, labor issue? Or something else?
My best guess is that more might disrupt the grid and renewable capacity is rarely static or reliable. Based on current needs going above 200MW of what they want to/can install might cause more issues than it's worth.

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Re: Positive Environmental news thread

Post by LaCroix » 2019-02-07 11:04am

A solar plant has pretty much no storage capacity (unless you specially incorporate one wia huge batteries, like that one project with Tesla), and apart from maybe putting blinds over the panels to shut some of them down, no method of limiting output. So what ever energy it produces, it has to put into the grid, immediately.

Therefore, you have to determine limits in order to make it somewhat planable - if you know it will never put out less than y and no more than X units, you can plan accordingly.
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Re: Positive Environmental news thread

Post by madd0ct0r » 2019-02-07 08:16pm

They might be looking to incubate multiple companies too. By limiting each project size yiu might let five different companies get a start. Two will go bust and two stagnate, but the last might develop as a local employer.
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Re: Positive Environmental news thread

Post by mr friendly guy » 2019-02-17 03:54am

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/02/13/worl ... index.html
China and India are making the planet greener, NASA says
By Emily Dixon, CNN

Updated 1840 GMT (0240 HKT) February 13, 2019

he Earth is facing a climate crisis, but it's also getting greener and leafier. According to new research, the rise is largely courtesy of China and India.

A study by NASA, based on extensive satellite imagery and published in the journal Nature Sustainability, has revealed that the two countries with the world's biggest populations are also responsible for the largest increase in green foliage.
Since the turn of the new millennium, the planet's green leaf area has increased by 5%, or over two million square miles. That's an area equivalent to the sum total of the Amazon rainforests, NASA says. But researchers stressed that the new greenery does not neutralize deforestation and its negative impacts on ecosystems elsewhere.
A third of the leaf increase is attributable to China and India, due to the implementation of major tree planting projects alongside a vast increase in agriculture.
"China and India account for one-third of the greening, but contain only 9% of the planet's land area covered in vegetation -- a surprising finding, considering the general notion of land degradation in populous countries from overexploitation," Chi Chen, the study's lead author and a graduate researcher at Boston University's Department of Earth and Environment, said in a statement.

Between 2000 and 2017, a NASA sensor known as the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) gathered high-resolution data of the Earth's surface from aboard two satellites, the Terra and the Aqua.
Using the MODIS data, researchers discovered that China is the source of a quarter of the increase in green leaf area, despite possessing only 6.6% of the world's vegetated area. Forests account for 42% of that increase, while croplands make up a further 32%.
China's increase in forest area is the result of forest conservation and expansion programs, NASA said, established to combat the impacts of climate change, air pollution and soil erosion.
India has contributed a further 6.8% rise in green leaf area, with 82% from croplands and 4.4% from forests.
Both countries have engineered a significant increase in food production, thanks to "multiple cropping practices," which see fields replanted and crops harvested multiple times each year. "Production of grains, vegetables, fruits and more have increased by about 35-40% since 2000 to feed their large populations," NASA said.

Rama Nemani, a co-author of the study and a researcher at NASA's Ames Research Center, said in a statement, "When the greening of the Earth was first observed, we thought it was due to a warmer, wetter climate and fertilization from the added carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, leading to more leaf growth in northern forests, for instance."
"Now, with the MODIS data that lets us understand the phenomenon at really small scales, we see that humans are also contributing," Nemani said. "This will help scientists make better predictions about the behavior of different Earth systems, which will help countries make better decisions about how and when to take action."
The researchers emphasized however that this phenomenon does not make up for negative impacts on environmental ecosystems elsewhere. "The gain in greenness, which mostly occurred in the Northern temperate and high latitudes, does not offset the damage from loss of leaf area in tropical natural vegetation," the study authors wrote, citing depleted areas in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Brazil and Indonesia.
Still, the researchers are optimistic about the results of the study. "Once people realize there's a problem, they tend to fix it," Nemani said. "In the '70s and '80s in India and China, the situation around vegetation loss wasn't good. In the '90s, people realized it. And today things have improved. Humans are incredibly resilient. That's what we see in the satellite data."

Thomas Pugh, an associate professor at the University of Birmingham's School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, said the NASA report expands scientists' understanding of the causes behind global greening. Previously, Pugh told CNN, the increase in green vegetation over the past two decades was attributed to higher levels of atmospheric CO2.
Global greening is a "tangible sign of how the biosphere is responding to human activities, whether through climate change or how we use the land," he said. "It generally implies an increase in vegetation coverage or productivity of that vegetation, or both, although neither of those relationships are unambiguous and universally consistent."
Pugh cautioned that a direct line cannot be drawn between an increase in global greening and a decrease in adverse impacts of climate change. "In some ecosystems, such as forests, greening may imply more net carbon removal from the atmosphere, but the relationship isn't direct," he explained. "In croplands the relation of greening to carbon storage is even less clear. Then there is the effect on the reflectivity of the Earth, which again can go in both warming and cooling directions depending on the local context."
"What green surfaces do less ambiguously is increase the fraction of energy that goes into evaporating water, rather than heating the surface, so they tend to cool the surrounding area, which can offset some of the impacts of climate change."
Man, NASA now become a Chinese puppet. :lol:
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Re: Positive Environmental news thread

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-02-17 01:58pm

Strait Times
Australia to plant 1 billion trees to help meet climate targets
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Regional Forestry Hubs plan would also support jobs in a sector that contributes more than A$23 billion (S$22.3 billion) to the national economy.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Regional Forestry Hubs plan would also support jobs in a sector that contributes more than A$23 billion (S$22.3 billion) to the national economy.PHOTO: DPA
PUBLISHEDFEB 16, 2019, 12:21 PM SGT
SYDNEY (BLOOMBERG) - Australia aims to plant a billion trees by 2050 as part of a new forestry plan the government says will help the country meet its Paris Agreement climate targets.

A sod-turning spree on that scale would contribute to the removal of 18 million tonnes of greenhouse gas per year by 2030 in a country currently producing in excess of 500 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent per year.

The Regional Forestry Hubs plan would also support jobs in a sector that contributes more than A$23 billion (S$22.3 billion) to the national economy, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a media statement.

Australia has the seventh-largest forested area in the world covering 17 per cent of its land area, according to the government's 2018 State of the Forests report.

Morrison has said Australia will comfortably meet its Paris-agreed goal to reduce carbon emissions by 26 to 28 per cent of 2005 levels by 2030, but has no specific policies in place to get there.

An OECD report last month said the country would miss the target unless it intensified its efforts to combat climate change.

The importance of coal to the Australian economy is an obstacle to serious efforts to lower carbon emissions, environmentalists say. The country still gets around two-thirds of its power from the fuel, which is also its biggest export earner.
So, what do the Australians in the room think about this?

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Re: Positive Environmental news thread

Post by madd0ct0r » 2019-02-18 01:29am

Its a beautifully sarcastic piece of writing.

Still, shit load of trees is always positive news i guess.
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Re: Positive Environmental news thread

Post by madd0ct0r » 2019-02-26 06:16am

Planting trees is too expensive, and most of them die anyway. But young trees sprout naturally every year. What farmers are doing is nurturing those sprouts, often by digging a shallow pit that concentrates scarce rainfall onto the roots...

Mixing trees and cropland is an ancient practice in West Africa, but it fell out of favor when colonial and corrupt African governments seized trees for their own purposes. Recent reforms have reduced such thefts. Now the mixing of trees and cropland is again spreading from farmer to farmer across vast areas of Burkina Faso, Mali and neighboring Niger.

Chris Reij, a Dutch geographer who’s been working in the region for thirty years, says farmers in Niger alone have grown an estimated 200 million trees.

“This is probably the largest environmental transformation in the Sahel, if not in Africa," said Reij. "There are fifteen to twenty times more trees than there were in 1975, which is completely opposite of what most people tend to believe.”
https://www.pri.org/stories/2009-08-20/ ... rkina-faso

edit. fixed quote tags.
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Re: Positive Environmental news thread

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-03-02 12:09pm

'No such animal as clean coal': Mayor of Texas city powered by solar and wind pokes the bear
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'In Georgetown, we make our decisions based on the facts,' says Dale Ross
David Bell · CBC News · Posted: Sep 26, 2018 12:59 PM MT | Last Updated: September 26, 2018

Dale Ross is the mayor of Georgetown, Texas. It runs on renewable energy and is the largest city in the state to do so. (Ellis Choe/CBC)
Despite being a Republican, the mayor of a Texas city that runs fully on renewable energy is taking on Donald Trump's pro-coal policies.

Georgetown, with a population of almost 70,000, is perhaps the largest city in the United States to look solely to wind and solar to keep the lights on and is the first city in the Lone Star State to do so.

Mayor Dale Ross is in Calgary speaking at the 2018 Alberta Climate Summit this week and stopped in to share the story with CBC's The Homestretch.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length. You can listen to the complete interview here.

Q: What kind of renewables are we talking about?

A: Wind and solar. We had a windmill farm up in the panhandle near Amarillo and a solar farm out in far, far West Texas.

Q: How is it that a red city in a red state is one of the first cities in the U.S. to be powered 100 per cent by renewable energy?

A: In Georgetown, we make our decisions based on the facts.

This was a decision between wind and solar and natural gas. Wind and solar would give us fixed rate pricing for 25 years. With natural gas, it's only seven years.

So we know, all the way through 2041, what we are going to pay for our electricity, which gives us cost certainty, which minimizes and mitigates volatility in the short-term market.

It also mitigates regulatory and governmental risk because those knuckleheads in Washington, D.C., they can screw up a good deal for you with over-regulating.

There is nothing to regulate with wind and solar. It's very clean energy, no pollutants go back into the air, so what can they possibly do?

Q: Do you get a lot of sun and a lot of wind in your area?

A: Actually, our wind farm is more than 600 miles (965 kilometres) away up in the panhandle and our solar farm is about 700 miles (1,125 kilometres) away, and so through the transmission lines, that's how we get the electricity.

Q: You are a Republican in a traditionally conservative state. Why are you such a strong supporter of this?

A: I am a fact-based decision maker.

My daytime job is being a Certified Public Accountant and we make our decisions based on facts. In Georgetown, we put silly national partisan politics to the side and we just do what's good for the voters and citizens that put us into office.

In our situation, you can't go wrong with renewable energy.

Q: You are in the heart of oil country. What kind of response or resistance have you received from this?

A: The fossil fuel industry doesn't like any more competition, so they like to point out all of the deficiencies of wind and solar, and I like to point out all the deficiencies when it comes to fossil fuels.

I am not saying it's going to work for every city, but we had to do what was right for our community.

Q: What about the cost to the consumer?

A: Right now, it is comparable to what you are paying for fossil fuels. But our strategy wasn't to be the lowest cost but to be one of the lowest costs and it was to create cost certainty over 25 years.

With normal inflation, what's it going to look like 10 years into the contract?

In Texas, it's $2.50 per gallon of gasoline. If I made you an offer that for 25 years I can guarantee you $2.50, would you take it? I would lock in, for sure.

Q: What about things like recycling?

A: We have had single-stream recycling for years. Last year, I was in Halifax and I learned about composting. Paper, plastic, composting and trash.

Right now, we are in the first portion of getting that implemented.

Q: What about scaling this up in the future, for population growth?

A: As long as you have plenty of sunshine and wind, you can scale it.

It has to be in close proximity. And even if you could only do 40 per cent renewables, wouldn't that be better than zero?

Q: You have been in four documentaries, including Al Gore's An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power. How did that come about?

A: We got a call from his people asking if we wanted to film with him.

I said, absolutely. We welcome anybody to Georgetown that wants to come and learn about our story.

Q: Have there been discussions with other larger Texas cities?

A: It's a little bit more complicated in Austin because they have pre-existing contracts and you can't just walk away from contracts.

We had to break our contract and we had to write a pretty good cheque, but we ran the numbers and it certainly made economic sense to get out that and go to wind and solar.

Houston and San Antonio have some renewables but not like Georgetown.

Q: A lot of Alberta's economy is based right now on fossil fuels. What kind of advice would you have for transitioning without too much economic hardship?

A: You have to do what's good for your community.

I don't think very many communities can do it like Georgetown did, in two years. I think it's a transition.

West Virginia is a state that has a lot of coal. They have been transitioning their workers into renewable energy and other sectors with government-provided job training.

It doesn't happen overnight. There has to be a smooth transition. It could take 30 years or longer to make that transition.

Q: Donald Trump has been supporting coal in the U.S. and making changes at the Environmental Protection Agency. What do you think about that?

A: I couldn't disagree with him more on environmental or energy policy.

Coal has reached its peak and we are at a tipping point with renewables. Coal is not going to be able to compete with wind and solar, price-wise.

He says it's clean coal. There is no such animal as clean coal.

If he would invite me to the White House, I could show him the art of the deal when it comes to energy.
So, even Republicans, Texas Republicans, are getting with the program.

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Re: Positive Environmental news thread

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-03-03 07:41am

Energetic City
Alberta government contract to result in three new solar power plants
FEBRUARY 15, 2019 2:32 PM
CALGARY, A.B. – The Alberta government is granting a 20-year contract to supply about half of its electric power needs to a partnership that plans to build three new solar power plants for more than $100 million.

Environment and Parks Minister Shannon Phillips says the contract to supply about 55 percent of the government’s annual power consumption will shave $3.9 million per year from the current expiring contracts.

She says the winning bid of 4.8 cents per kilowatt-hour by 50-50 partners Canadian Solar Solutions Inc. of Guelph, Ont., and Conklin Metis Local 193 of southern Alberta was selected from 19 companies through a competitive procurement process.

John Gorman, CEO of the Canadian Solar Industries Association, said during the announcement the power price is so low it’s “almost unbelievable,” adding it is less than the average cost of building natural gas-powered power generation.

Ryan Tourigny, director of development for Canadian Solar, says construction on the three plants at Hays, Jenner and Tilley in southern Alberta will begin in early 2020 and are expected to come on stream in 2021.

The plants are to produce about 94 megawatts at peak times, enough to power about 20,000 homes, and about 270 jobs will be created during construction.
Minor, but still it's progress.

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Re: Positive Environmental news thread

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-03-08 06:10pm

AP News
Nepal says its tiger population has almost doubled from 2009
October 7, 2018
Vladimir Putin, Madhav Kumar, Sheikh Hasina
FILE- In this Nov. 23, 2010 file photo, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, right, the then Prime Minister of Nepal Madhav Kumar, center, and, Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina attend the International Tiger Forum in St.Petersburg, Russia. The number of tigers roaming the jungles of Nepal has nearly doubled because of initiatives from the government, conservationists and local authorities who have worked for years to increase the tiger population in the Himalayan nation, an official said Sunday. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky, File)
KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — The number of tigers roaming the jungles of Nepal has nearly doubled because of initiatives from the government, conservationists and local authorities who have worked for years to increase the tiger population in the Himalayan nation, an official said Sunday.

Gopal Prakash Bhattarai of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation said that the latest tiger count showed there were 235 tigers in the jungles — almost twice as many as the 121 that were found in 2009.

“Even the nation’s prime minister is involved and he heads the National Tiger Conservation Committee,” Bhattarai said, adding that there has been better security in the conservation areas and awareness among the people living near these locations.

Leaders of nations with tiger populations had met in 2010 and pledged to double the number by 2022.

Bhattarai said Sunday that Nepal is already heading in that direction and could be among the first nations to meet the goal.
Here's hoping we see tigers grow in population as the years go on.

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Re: Positive Environmental news thread

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-05-16 07:07pm

Disclose TV
Amazon Tribe Wins Lawsuit Against Big Oil, Saving Millions Of Acres Of Rainforest
Amazon Tribe Wins Lawsuit Against Big Oil, Saving Millions Of Acres Of Rainforest
The Amazon Rainforest is well known across the world for being the largest and most dense area of woodland in the world. Spanning across nine countries, the Amazon is home to millions of different animal and plant species, as well as harboring some for the world's last remaining indigenous groups. The Waorani people of Pastaza are an indigenous tribe from the Ecuadorian Amazon and have lived in the Rainforest for many generations. However, there Home came under threat from a large oil company - they didn't take it lightly.

Ecuador Rainforest Amazon River
Legal Win
After a long legal battle with a number of organizations, the Waorani people successfully protected half a million acres of their ancestral territory in the Amazon rainforest from being mined for oil drilling by huge oil corporations. The auctioning off of Waorani lands to the oil companies was suspended indefinitely by a three-judge panel of the Pastaza Provincial Court. The panel simply trashed the consultation process the Ecuadorian government had undertaken with the tribe in 2012, which rendered the attempt at land purchase null and void.

This win for the indigenous tribe has now set an invaluable legal precedent for other indigenous nations across the Ecuadorian Amazon. After accepting a Waorani bid for court protection to stop an oil bidding process, the court also halted the potential auctioning off of 16 oil blocks that cover over 7 million acres of indigenous territory.

Government Corruption
While there is no evidence, some people believe that the Ecuadorian government may be accepting bribes in some roundabout way. The land in question is meant to be protected under Ecuador’s constitution that establishes the inalienable, unseizable and indivisible rights of indigenous people to maintain possession of their ancestral lands and obtain their free adjudication.

River Amazon Rainforest
Furthermore, the constitution also states that there is a need for prior consultation on any plans to exploit the underground resources, given the probable environmental and cultural impacts on tribal communities. The government claim they did do this in 2012, however, the tribe alleges that the agreement they came to was based upon fraudulent practices in favor of the oil companies and the government was favoring their bottom line over the people the actually still live on this valuable land. Due to this, the judges ordered the Ecuadorian government to conduct a new consultation, applying standards set by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights before anything else is agreed regarding the exploitation of the natural resources below the ground.

Nemonte Nenquimo, president of the Waorani Pastaza Organization and plaintiff in the lawsuit, remarked:

"The government tried to sell our lands to the oil companies without our permission. Our rainforest is our life. We decide what happens in our lands. We will never sell our rainforest to the oil companies. Today, the courts recognized that the Waorani people, and all indigenous peoples have rights over our territories that must be respected. The government’s interests in oil is not more valuable than our rights, our forests, our lives."

This is a major win for indigenous tribes all over the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest, and even perhaps the Amazon as a whole! This has definitely set a new precedent regarding indigenous peoples’ rights over the land they live in and offers them a glimmer of hope in protecting their cultural heritage. They'll definitely need plenty of support in the coming years as economical advances, such as this one will keep coming more and more as the world becomes ever growingly desperate for the natural resources that the beautiful land holds.
Good to know that some land will be preserved, no matter what.

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Re: Positive Environmental news thread

Post by bilateralrope » 2019-05-17 02:06am

Two articles from Ars Technica:

UK goes a whole week without using coal-fired electricity
The cradle of the Industrial Revolution is turning a corner away from pollution.
MEGAN GEUSS - 5/9/2019, 4:48 AM

On April 21 in 2017, the UK had its first coal-free day since the Industrial Revolution. Now, just two years later, the UK's National Grid confirmed that it had gone 168 hours, or seven days, without using any coal-fired power. The electricity system operator said that it expected coal-free stretches to become more frequent in the coming years.

In 2015, the UK pledged to remove coal from its grid by 2025. In a statement to the Financial Times on Thursday, the National Grid's director, Fintan Slye, said he expected the grid to be able to not only hit that target but to run with zero carbon emissions.

"As more and more renewables come on to our energy system, coal-free runs like this are going to be a regular occurrence," the director said. "We believe that by 2025 we will be able to fully operate Great Britain’s electricity system with zero carbon."

The UK is a leader in offshore wind, and it also has nuclear plants and natural gas-fired plants to feed power demand. Natural gas, of course, is still a fossil fuel, but it releases less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere when it's burned, compared to coal. Grids around the world tend to hit zero-carbon milestones in spring and autumn, when winds are high and daylight is still plentiful, and customers aren't demanding a lot of electricity to light and heat (or cool) their homes.

The BBC notes that currently only 10 percent of the country's electricity comes from coal-fired generators, and in 2019 the National Grid has logged more than 1,000 hours of coal-free electricity. In 2018, an application to proceed with a new UK coal mine was rejected on climate change grounds.

While other industrialized nations still struggle to leave coal completely, the UK's progress is also symbolic. As the BBC notes, coal-fired power originated in the UK, with the first such power station opened in London in 1882.
A full week where they didn't need coal.

Fourth-largest coal producer in the US files for bankruptcy

The company staved off bankruptcy for years but continued to face lean markets.
MEGAN GEUSS - 5/15/2019, 5:15 AM

Cloud Peak Energy, the US' fourth-largest coal mining company, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy late last week as the company missed an extension deadline to make a $1.8 million loan payment.

In a statement, Cloud Peak said it will continue to operate its three massive coal mines in Wyoming and Montana while it goes through the restructuring process. Colin Marshall, the president and CEO of the company, said that he believed a sale of the company's assets "will provide the best opportunity to maximize value for Cloud Peak Energy."
Cloud Peak was one of the few major coal producers who escaped the significant coal industry downturn between 2015 and 2016. That bought it a reputation for prudence and business acumen.

But thinning margins have strained the mining company as customers for thermal coal continue to dry up. Coal-fired electricity is expected to fall this summer, even though summer months are usually boom times for coal plants as air conditioning bolsters electricity demand. That's because cheap natural gas and a boost in renewable capacity have displaced dirtier, more expensive coal.

According to the Casper Star Tribune, Cloud Peak shipped 50 million tons of coal in 2018. The paper noted that after the bankruptcy filing, "speculation almost immediately began that Cloud Peak would sell its mines."

Similar mine sales have struggled in Wyoming's Powder River Basin. A deal to buy a struggling mine in Kemmerer, Wyoming, recently fell through due to bonding issues. Bonding is essentially insurance that covers the mine's clean up after closure.

According to the Star Tribune, a Wyoming landowner's group called the Powder River Resource Council echoed some concerns about Cloud Peak's ability to pay for mine reclamation after its bankruptcy. “We are gravely concerned that employees’ and retirees’ pensions and healthcare benefits will be taken away, and that millions of dollars of ad valorem taxes owed to Wyoming counties for coal already produced will be left unpaid,” wrote the council's vice chairman, Bob LeResche, in a statement. “Our greatest fear is that reclamation of Cloud Peak’s large mines will cease, and that financial assurances required by law will prove inadequate.”

Cloud Peak reportedly paid $700,000 in local land taxes just before it filed bankruptcy, but it left an additional $8.3 million production tax bill unpaid.

Correction: An earlier version of this story listed Cloud Peak as the third-largest coal producer in the United States. Cloud Peak slipped from third-largest coal producer in the US to fourth-largest coal producer in 2018.[/quote]

Looks like the market is turning against coal. Despite Trump's promise.

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Re: Positive Environmental news thread

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-05-18 12:13am

Let's add Ohio to the number of US states trying to go green: PV Magazine
Ohio approves two huge solar projects
Ohio Power Siting Board has approved 470 MWac of solar and 60 MWac of batteries in two separate projects, as another confirmation of the coming boom in the state and the Midwest.


Image: Swinerton Renewable Energy

The Midwest is getting ready for a major boom in large-scale solar, as evidenced by the activity in interconnection queues of the region’s grid operators. Today, two more very large solar projects got the green light by the state of Ohio, which is the tip of the spear for large-scale development in the region.

Specifically, the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) has approved Hecate Energy’s 300 MWac Highland Solar Farm in Highland County, as well as Invenergy’s 170 MWac Hardin Solar Energy Center 2 in Hardin County, which is paired with a 60 MWac battery. Developers plan to begin construction on both of these projects within the next five months, and to complete them in 2020 and 2021.

Either of these projects on their own would dramatically increase the capacity currently online, which Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) put at 202 MWdc as of the end of last year. However, we at pv magazine have found five other large-scale solar projects planned for the state which have been approved by the OPSB and/or hold interconnection agreements; together with the projects approved today these total 1.24 GWac.

These could be the first projects of this scale to come online not only in Ohio, but in the entire Midwest.

Chicago developer Invenergy’s Highland Solar Farm is technically the smaller of the two at 170 MWac, however it is planned to be built adjacent to the original 150 MWac Hardin Solar, and together the two plants will represent a whopping 320 MW. Hardin Solar 1 has already been approved by OPSB, and Invenergy secured long-term leases for the land for the Hardin Solar 2 in July.

The Hardin Solar 2 is notable in that it plans to incorporate a 60 MW lithium-ion battery system, as one of the first large-scale solar projects that pv magazine staff have seen in the Midwest to incorporate battery storage.

As of the filing of the project application Invenergy did not appear to have made a decision as to whether to utilize multicrystalline, monocrystalline or thin film modules. In any cases these modules will be mounted on single-axis trackers, which in turn will be affixed to piles sunk 10 to 15 feet below grade, which Invenergy notes is necessary “in areas with freeze thaw or loose soils, such as Hardin County.”

Like the Hardin 2, Hecate’s Highland Solar Farm initially applied for OPSB approval in October of last year. At that time the project was planned to deploy more than one million crystalline silicon PV modules mounted on single-axis trackers, which will cover 3,300 acres in Clay and Whiteoak townships in southern Ohio’s Highland County.

And while it appears that the Highland Solar Farm is still awaiting interconnection approval by the PJM Interconnection grid, Hecate reports that the project already holds a contract to sell the electricity which it generates.

We will be providing additional details on these projects as they meet more milestones, as well as on other projects. Overall, there are nearly 100 large-scale solar projects in Ohio which have applied to PJM for interconnection and which totaling over 10 GWac; however the organization lists only 750 MWac as having been granted interconnection and reaching the “engineering and procurement” stage.

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Re: Positive Environmental news thread

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-06-11 11:49pm

EGEB: Offshore wind is the new green frontier, China, India invest massively in solar power, new study debunks 100% renewable naysayers
Electrek Staff

- May. 22nd 2018 9:00 am ET

Electrek Green Energy Brief: A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

Today on EGEB, U.S. oceans are about to get a little more crowded by wind turbines. China and India are the main players behind the massive expansion of solar power production. Scientists publish a new study that rebukes a previous one that claimed that powering a country only with renewable energy is impossible.

Offshore wind power is coming, as long as federal leases do too. This new article by University of Massachusetts scholars details the key facts behind this coming expansion, including the improving technology and the falling prices.

In 2010, electricity generated through offshore wind off the European coastline cost around 17 cents per kilowatt hour, more than twice what utilities were paying for power derived from burning gas and coal. The price fell to around 13 cents by 2017. But when Germany and the Netherlands recently awarded some of the first unsubsidized offshore wind contracts, bids had fallen to as little as 6 cents.What’s driving this decline? A number of factors. Wind turbine blades keep getting longer, doubling in length since 2000. These blades are now nearly as long as football fields — about 270 feet — on 8-megawatt turbines. The extra length means they capture more power, generating more revenue from every turbine.In addition, offshore wind turbines have grown more reliable, and government subsidies and mandates have incubated and sped the development of Europe’s industry. While electricity from U.S. offshore wind farms will initially cost system operators more in the U.S. than in Europe — as is common with any breakthrough projects – we predict that prices will fall once the market gets bigger here.
The U.S. Energy department already projects that offshore wind power will account for 7% of U.S. energy production in 2050. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke publicly praised this power source as the key “to achieve American energy dominance”.

The largest solar projects in the world are now being built by China and India. An analysis by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis reports that China and India are the most ambitious players behind the massive expansion of solar power coming in the next few years.

Ranking Project Name Size MW Country Proponent
1 Tengger Desert Solar Park 1,547 China China National Grid Zhongwei Power Supply Co
2 Kurnool Ultra Mega Solar Park 1,000 India Andhra Pradesh Solar Power Corporation Pvt Ltd
3 Datong Solar Power Top Runner Base 1,000 China Multiple
4 Yanchi Ningxia Solar Park 1,000 China Huawei Technologies Co
5 Longyangxia Dam Solar Park 850 China State Power Investment Corporation (China)
6 Adani Kamuthi Solar Plant 648 India Adani Green
7 Solar Star 579 U.S. BHE Renewables
8 Topaz Solar Farm 550 U.S. First Solar
9 Desert Sunlight Solar Farm 550 U.S. NextEra Energy, GE Energy Financial & Sumitomo
10 Nova Olinda Solar Farm 292 Brazil Enel Green Power
Of the 98 gigawatts of solar power added last year, China was responsible for 53 of these according to the IEEFA.

A new study published by the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Review rebukes a previous article against going completely green. German, Dutch, Finnish and South Africans scientists cast a doubt on the viability of their colleagues’ methodology. Their proposed solution of nuclear power to bridge the curtailment problem of renewable energy is legitimately savaged.

Here we analyse the authors’ methodology and find it problematic. The feasibility criteria chosen by the authors are important, but are also easily addressed at low economic cost, while not affecting the main conclusions of the reviewed studies and certainly not affecting their technical feasibility. A more thorough review reveals that all of the issues have already been addressed in the engineering and modelling literature. Nuclear power, which the authors have evaluated positively elsewhere, faces other, genuine feasibility problems, such as the finiteness of uranium resources and a reliance on unproven technologies in the medium- to long-term. Energy systems based on renewables, on the other hand, are not only feasible, but already economically viable and decreasing in cost every year.

Exponentially increasing costs and dwindling resources is the hallmark of nuclear technology these days. Also, if it was impossible for a country to be powered only by renewable energy, Iceland wouldn’t exist.

Featured image is from the Department of Energy SunShot program. Crystal clear reflections of the sky can be seen in freshly cleaned heliostat glass at Solar Reserve’s Crescent Dunes facility in Tonopah, NV. Photo by Ivan Boden
Thoughts on the viability of this?

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Re: Positive Environmental news thread

Post by Dartzap » 2019-06-12 03:54am

Greenhouse gas emissions in the UK will be cut to almost zero by 2050, under the terms of a new government plan to tackle climate change.

Prime Minister Theresa May said reducing pollution would also benefit public health and cut NHS costs.

Britain is the first major nation to propose this target - and it has been widely praised by green groups.

But some say the phase-out is too late to protect the climate, and others fear that the task is impossible.

The UK already has a 2050 target - to reduce emissions by 80%. That was agreed by MPs under the Climate Change Act in 2008, but will now be amended to the new, much tougher, goal.

The actual terminology used by the government is "net zero" greenhouse gases by 2050.

That means emissions from homes, transport, farming and industry will have to be avoided completely or - in the most difficult examples - offset by planting trees or sucking CO2 out of the atmosphere.

The government's advisory Committee on Climate Change recommended the "net zero" target in May.

Its report said if other countries followed the UK, there was a 50-50 chance of staying below the recommended 1.5C temperature rise by 2100.

A 1.5C rise is considered the threshold for dangerous climate change.

Laurence Tubiana, an architect of the crucial Paris climate agreement, told the BBC: "This is a historic commitment that will reverberate right around the world.

"All eyes will now turn on the rest of the EU to match this pledge."

Theresa May said the UK led the world to wealth through fossil fuels in the industrial revolution, so it was appropriate for Britain to lead in the opposite direction.

"We have made huge progress in growing our economy and the jobs market while slashing emissions," she said.

"Now is the time to go further and faster to safeguard the environment for our children. We must lead the world to a cleaner, greener form of growth."

Number 10 said it was "imperative" other countries followed suit, so there would be a review within five years to ensure other nations were taking similarly ambitious action and British industries were not facing unfair competition.

How will it affect people?
If ministers decided to clamp down on meat-eating or on flying, that would meet serious opposition.

But the government will attempt to make the clean revolution as painless as possible. Technology improvements like LED light bulbs, for instance, save emissions without people noticing.

The same is true if people get hydrogen central heating instead of gas, or if they are obliged to drive electric cars rather than petrol vehicles.

But there will need to be a massive investment in clean energy generation - and that has to be funded by someone.

The government hasn't yet spelled out if the cost will fall on bill-payers, or tax-payers, or the fossil fuel firms that have caused climate change.
What will this cost?
Chancellor Philip Hammond has warned of a potential cost of £1 trillion by 2050.

The cash will have to come from somewhere, he said - maybe from schools, hospitals and the police.

However, Chris Skidmore, the acting energy minister, said the costs would amount to between 1 and 2% of the UK's GDP - which was the same amount factored in to reach the previous 80% reduction target. Therefore it would not be the case that there would be less money to spend elsewhere, he said.

He added that the green economy would generate jobs and the cost of green technologies was coming down all the time.

The climate change contrarian Bjorn Lomborg, author of Skeptical Environmentalist, said: "Mr Hammond is right to highlight the cost - and in fact, he is likely to be underestimating the real price tag."

Campaigners said Mr Hammond's sums did not take into account the benefits of cleaner air and a more stable climate.

Will the proposal stick?
Following the Committee on Climate Change's recommendations last month, scientists, campaigners and health professionals have been urging Mrs May to bring in a net zero target before she stands down.

The government will lay a "statutory instrument" in the Commons on Wednesday - a tactic that allows it to be fast-tracked through both houses of Parliament if other parties agree - which on this issue they generally do.

Like any government decision it could be overturned by future governments.

But the majority of Tory leadership candidates are backing it - and revoking the Act would need a majority Commons vote at a time when the public appear very concerned about the climate.

What other problems stand in the way?
The magnitude of the task is clear. The UK is already slipping away from its mid-term carbon targets of cutting emissions by 80% by 2050.

"Achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions is necessary, feasible and cost-effective," said professor Phil Taylor, head of engineering at Newcastle University.

"But UK policy is still way off the mark and the foundations are not in place to be able to meet this target.

"Even with all the evidence before us we are still opening new coal mines, extending Heathrow airport and pushing forward with fracking.

"We have unambitious building regulations, and our drive to phase out petrol and diesel cars by 2040 is too late."

Dr Shaun Fitzgerald, director of the Royal Institution, warned that the public might not support carbon-cutting measures such as turning down thermostats in the home.

And he questioned the ability of the government to insulate enough houses in time. "The prize for improving the efficiency of buildings is significant," he said.

"However, there is a practical challenge in terms of the number of sufficient skilled workers to undertake the work, and then of course the barrier of getting homeowners to get the work done."

There will be major difficulties, too, in supplying low-carbon heating to homes and industries as natural gas is phased out.

Doug Parr, Greenpeace UK's chief scientist, said it was a "big moment" for the climate but there were questions around plans to allow for international carbon credits which allow the UK to pay to offset its emissions elsewhere in the world.

Such off-setting had a history of failure, was not cost-efficient and shifting the burden to developing nations undermined t the commitment, he told the Guardian.

Chris Skidmore, the acting energy minister, said the government did not "intend" to use international carbon credits but had kept it "as an option". "We need to be able to decarbonise in the best possible way so we don't want to rule it out," he said.

Mrs May's announcement indicates that she has taken notice of potential industrial pitfalls.

To assuage Treasury fears about competitiveness, she has stipulated that the net zero policy should be reviewed in five years to see whether other nations were taking similar actions.

That might prove problematic if US President Donald Trump - who denigrates climate change - is still in the White House.

Meanwhile, the radical green group Extinction Rebellion is warning that the climate is changing so fast that 2050 is far too late to eliminate emissions in order to ensure that temperature rise stays well under 2C.
Perhaps the Maybot will have a positive legacy after all?

Also we recently went 18 days without using coal. Unfortunately due to the weather getting naff again, it has been needed to cover minute amounts in the last week or so.
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Re: Positive Environmental news thread

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-06-15 02:02pm

Dartzap wrote:
2019-06-12 03:54am
Perhaps the Maybot will have a positive legacy after all?

Also we recently went 18 days without using coal. Unfortunately due to the weather getting naff again, it has been needed to cover minute amounts in the last week or so.
It'd be very sad and ironic if the positive environment news is happening due to the economic destruction of Brexit.

Meanwhile in Nevada, Hawaii, and the North Sea....

EGEB: Plans for world’s largest battery in Nevada, clearing WWII-era bombs for wind, and more
Phil Dzikiy

- Jun. 12th 2019 9:05 am ET



In today’s EGEB:

A Nevada solar project has plans for what might be the world’s largest battery.
A company is locating live WWII-era explosives to clear the way for offshore wind farms.
Hawaii’s new program offers energy upgrades for renters.
Electrek Green Energy Brief: A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

The Bureau of Land Management recently released a draft environmental impact statement for the Gemini Solar Project, a huge 690-megawatt solar facility not far from Las Vegas. The statement contains a few details about the project, but most notably includes this tidbit on the plans:

Integrated, climate-controlled energy storage system (battery system) consisting of approximately 425, 5-megawatt-hour, 4-hour battery systems with approximately 53,550 individual batteries (may be lithium ion) enclosed in a container and installed adjacent to each inverter

According to pv magazine, this 531 MW/2125 MWh battery system would be the world’s largest planned for development, besting the likes of Florida Power & Light’s proposed 409 MW/900 MWh battery, and a planned 495 MW battery storage system in Texas.

With proper approvals, construction on the project could start as soon as this October.

Clearing The Way
PanGeo Subsea is a Canadian company that specializes “in high resolution 3D acoustic imaging solutions to mitigate risk in offshore installations by imaging and identifying geohazards in the seabed and providing detailed soil stratigraphy.” When the company opened, co-founder Moya Cahill only expected PanGeo Subsea’s tech to be used for offshore drilling operations. But times have changed.

The CBC reports on PanGeo Subsea’s work in the North Sea, where the company is helping locate live World War II-era explosives that have remained on the ocean floor all this time (it’s estimated that more than 50 million “bombs, shells and detonators” can be found on the bottom of the Baltic and North Seas). Those explosives are then dug up and detonated, to clear the way for offshore wind turbines.

Cahill can foresee offshore wind coming to Canada’s Atlantic coast in time. As she told the CBC,

“The oil and gas runs through my — well, used to run through my veins. And now I’m glad to say that we’ve really switched over to this offshore renewable sector.”

Aloha, Solar
Greentech Media takes a closer look at Hawaii’s Green Energy Money $aver (GEM$) On-Bill Program, which allows low-income households and renters to benefit from installing solar, with no upfront costs, with the repayment included on your monthly utility bill.

Gwen Yamamoto Lau, executive director of the Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority (HGIA), told Greentech Media that 43% of Hawaii’s households are renters. The state also has the highest average electricity price and highest average residential bill, so you can see the need for an energy transition.

The state, of course, has already recognized this need. In 2015, Hawaii became the first state to mandate a transition to 100% renewable electricity by 2045. So forward-thinking policies are helpful along the way, and a policy like this actually gives renters a reason to look into solar.

This particular initiative has been popular with landlords and renters alike thus far — it makes rental properties more attractive to renters, and the program was set up to avoid landlord-tenant obstacles. If a tenant leaves a property, the repayment obligation is transferred to the next tenant. There’s also a utility bill savings requirement of at least 10% — if the solar installation won’t cut a tenant’s bill by at least 10%, the financing won’t be approved.
While some of this has already been reported on this thread(Hawaii for instance), it's good to hear that Nevada is making steps towards renewables, and that we're cleaning the North Sea of munitions.

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Re: Positive Environmental news thread

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-06-18 11:24pm

Former President Jimmy Carter Just Made a Solar Farm to Power Half His City
This is one action taken by one man...and it's powering half a town.
Christianna ReedyJuly 11th 2017
Steady Solar Supporter
In 1979, in the throes of the U.S. energy crisis, then President Jimmy Carter addressed the nation as he installed 32 solar panels designed to use the Sun’s energy to heat water. He told the country, “A generation from now, this solar heater can either be a curiosity, a museum piece, an example of a road not taken, or it can be just a small part of one of the greatest and most exciting adventures ever undertaken by the American people.”

Former President Carter’s vision for clean, renewable energy proved to be far ahead of his time.

While his successor, former President Ronald Reagan, had the panels removed, Carter and his family have continued their work toward ensuring that those 32 panels became a part of a much bigger story.

Carter leased 10 acres of land in his hometown of Plains, Georgia, to be used as a solar farm. This February, the solar development firm SolAmerica finally completed the project, which will have the capacity to meet more than half of the town’s energy needs.

This is, in essence, one action taken by one man…and it is powering half a town.

Then, in June of this year, the Carter family had 324 solar panels installed on the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library, which will provide about seven percent of the library’s power.

The Power Of People
“Distributed, clean energy generation is critical to meeting growing energy needs around the world while fighting the effects of climate change,” Carter said in a SolAmerica press release. “I am encouraged by the tremendous progress that solar and other clean energy solutions have made in recent years and expect those trends to continue.”

Carter’s continued activism in support of renewables showcases the importance of local and individual efforts to reduce humanity’s reliance on fossil fuels, even in the absence of strong national initiatives.

We, the people, have power.

The solar farm in Plains is expected to generate 1.3 MW of power per year, which is equal to burning about 3,600 tons of coal. Over time, that will prevent a sizable amount of greenhouse gases from being emitted into our atmosphere.

Many individuals, communities, and even states are joining with Carter in working toward shifting to clean energy sources. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, has invested in developing technology and products that are making solar energy cheaper than ever before. The U.S. states of New York, California, and Washington have banded together to form the “United States Climate Alliance” after President Donald Trump announced the country would pull out of the Paris Climate Accord.

These are just a few examples of people and communities who are working towards a sustainable future. And their work is bearing fruit — the construction of coal power plants is declining worldwide, and a new report projects that the U.S. will exceed its Paris Accord goals despite the recent withdraw. Regardless of the opposition, people around the world are choosing to embark on exciting adventure to a bright, renewable (and clean) tomorrow.

The future is looking bright.
So, Carter proves what kind of person he is, by personally investing in his hometown to make it self sufficient with solar energy.

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Re: Positive Environmental news thread

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-08-04 10:35am

Ethiopia gets in on the action: Huffington Post
Ethiopia Planted A Record-Setting Number Of Trees To Fight Climate Change Effects
The country plans to plant a total of 4 billion trees by October as part of an effort to reverse decades of deforestation.

David Knowles

The government of Ethiopia announced Monday that its citizens had planted 353 million trees in a single day as part of an effort to reverse decades of deforestation and help fight climate change.

It is believed to be the largest one-day mass planting in history, exceeding an effort in 2017 in India in which 1.5 million volunteers planted 66 million trees in just over 12 hours.

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Ethiopia has joined 20 other African nations in a pledge to restore almost 400,000 square miles of forest on the continent. According to the United Nations, forest cover in Ethiopia has declined from 35 percent in the last century to just 4 percent today. The 426,000-square-mile country in the Horn of Africa plans to plant a total of 4 billion trees by the beginning of the rainy season in October. With a population of about 100 million people (including children), that goal would require every person in the country to plant at least 40 seedlings.

Government workers and students were given the day off to participate.

Earlier this month, a study published in the journal Science calculated that planting a forest nearly double the size of the United States could save the planet from the worst consequences of global warming. Those new forests would be capable of storing about 205 metric tons of carbon, which is roughly two-thirds of the excess carbon human beings have added to the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution.

Reforestation has increasingly come to be seen as a means for addressing what scientists have begun calling a climate crisis caused by human carbon emissions.

In the United Kingdom, for example, government officials have estimated that the country will need to plant 1.5 billion trees if it hopes to reach its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

But setbacks to reforestation goals abound. In Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro has reversed government protections of the Amazon rainforest, opening the region to development. Since Bolsonaro took office seven months ago, 1,330 square miles of forest cover have been lost, the New York Times reported.

Fifty years ago, the Amazon forest was itself as big in area as the lower 48 U.S. states. Since that time, it has been reduced by 16 percent, largely due to logging, PRI reported. Excess carbon in the atmosphere has also made equatorial forests less viable.

Whether tree planting can stay ahead of deforestation will help determine whether people can avert the worst consequences of global warming.
Here's hoping this actually does make a difference, and isn't rearranging chairs on the Titanic. But hey, more trees planted is always good news.

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Re: Positive Environmental news thread

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-08-24 02:41am

The United Kingdom make's the 'World's First Solar powered Rail line'

'World's first' solar-powered rail line opens in the UK
It could lead to trains running on solar energy in the country.

Kris Holt, @krisholt
12h ago in Green

Andrew Aitchison via Getty Images
Some trains in the UK are now running on a rail line powered entirely by a solar farm in what's said to be a world first. Around 100 panels are keeping the signaling and lights up and running on the track near Aldershot in Hampshire, and the project could be a precursor to solar-powered trains on the nation's network.

Several UK train stations already run on solar. Network Rail, which manages most of the railway infrastructure on the British mainland, has earmarked billions of pounds to electrify rail lines, and aims to do so with solar power if the pilot project is successful. The UK government aims to eliminate the use of diesel on the rail network by 2040.

Those behind the solar project told the Guardian the renewable energy could power 20 percent of the Liverpool Merseyrail network and 15 percent of commuter lines in Kent, Sussex and Wessex as well as solar trains in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Nottingham, London and Manchester. Along with being a greener form of power than diesel, the solar farms could supply cheaper power than electricity from the natural grid, which would reduce costs for railways.

The UK wouldn't be the first country to have solar-powered trains. More than 250 are in service in India with panels on their roofs. The subcontinent plans to establish trackside solar farms and Indian Railways hopes to have the first entirely green railway network in 10 years. Meanwhile, some UK trains are being refitted to run on hydrogen tanks and fuel cells.
So, I'm not really sure if this counts as the 'World's first solar powered train' or not, due to India making solar paneled trains beforehand, and don't really know what the difference is.

Either way, this is a solid gain for the world if other countries follow suit.

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Re: Positive Environmental news thread

Post by Gandalf » 2019-08-26 05:47pm

FaxModem1 wrote:
2019-08-24 02:41am
So, I'm not really sure if this counts as the 'World's first solar powered train' or not, due to India making solar paneled trains beforehand, and don't really know what the difference is.

Either way, this is a solid gain for the world if other countries follow suit.
The trains operate on the rail line. So while India has solar powered trains, the network is powered by something else. The inverse is happening in the UK it seems.
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Re: Positive Environmental news thread

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-08-27 01:15am

Gandalf wrote:
2019-08-26 05:47pm
FaxModem1 wrote:
2019-08-24 02:41am
So, I'm not really sure if this counts as the 'World's first solar powered train' or not, due to India making solar paneled trains beforehand, and don't really know what the difference is.

Either way, this is a solid gain for the world if other countries follow suit.
The trains operate on the rail line. So while India has solar powered trains, the network is powered by something else. The inverse is happening in the UK it seems.
Well hey, I'm willing to take the small step. It'll probably be seen as necessary due to Brexit and resource costs eventually. Though I have no idea how much they'd have to pay for more solar panels anyway.

I wonder how much this would cost to do nationwide for the UK.

Same with other nations.

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Re: Positive Environmental news thread

Post by EnterpriseSovereign » 2019-09-02 05:35pm

River Thames home to 138 seal pups, finds annual count.
English river’s ecosystem is thriving, 62 years after being declared biologically dead.

It has been a highway, a sewer and was declared biologically dead in the 1950s but the River Thames is now a nursery for 138 baby seals, according to the first comprehensive count of pups.

Scientists from ZSL analysed photographs taken from a specially-chartered light aircraft to identify and count harbour seal pups, which rest on sandbanks and creeks around the Thames estuary, downstream from London, during the summer, shortly after they are born.

“We were thrilled to count 138 pups born in a single season,” said conservation biologist Thea Cox. “The seals would not be able to pup here at all without a reliable food source, so this demonstrates that the Thames ecosystem is thriving and shows just how far we have come since the river was declared biologically dead in the 1950s.”

The Thames is home to both grey seals and harbour seals, although only the latter breed there. The seals can feed on more than 120 species of fish in the river, including two species of shark, short-snouted seahorses and the European eel, which is critically endangered. Marine mammals spotted in the Thames include porpoises, dolphins and “Benny” the beluga whale.
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Re: Positive Environmental news thread

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-09-02 07:58pm

That's good news to hear. I wonder what made that possible.

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Re: Positive Environmental news thread

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-10-29 11:52pm

He may be investigated for all sorts of things, but hey, at least we're getting more trees planted:

The Verge
Elon Musk donates $1 million to plant trees after testifying that he’s cash-poor
Musk admitted his illiquidity as part of an ongoing defamation suit

By Nick Statt on October 29, 2019 6:44 pm

Photo by Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Elon Musk has donated $1 million worth of trees ($1 per tree) to YouTuber Jimmy “MrBeast” Donaldson, who’s currently campaigning to raise $20 million from fellow YouTube celebrities for a climate change fundraising effort. That’s intriguing, because Musk said in sworn testimony recently that he’s financially illiquid.

Musk told the YouTuber he would make the donation on Twitter after some nudging by Marques “MKBHD” Brownlee, who has interviewed Musk in the past and is an avid Tesla fan. Musk initially showed interest yesterday, asking on Twitter about the type of trees being planted as part of MrBeast’s fundraising effort. MrBeast responded that the trees are being planted on every continent save Antarctica; the type of tree depends on where it goes.

The fundraising program has been successful even without a Musk donation; MrBeast has raised more than $6 million. The project is a partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation. When Brownlee told Musk that, Musk replied, “sounds legit,” and pledged to donate 1 million trees.

In the past, Musk has engaged in a playful back-and-forth with MrBeast, who’s become famous on YouTube for philanthropic stunts that largely involve giving away huge sums of money, sometimes to total strangers. The YouTuber promised to purchase a Tesla after telling Musk he would do so if the chief executive hosted an episode of “Meme Review” on the channel of Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg. After Musk hosted Meme Review, MrBeast followed through. MrBeast has since asked Musk if he would help him “vlog on the moon.”

But it appears Musk has indeed donated the money for the trees: as of 8:50 PM ET, he’s now listed in the top spot with 1 million tree donations according to the Team Trees page, which seems to require an actual donation (not just a pledge) to appear on the leaderboard.

Musk also followed through on a previous donation he promised to make on Twitter: one that helped schools in Flint, Michigan install UV water filtration systems for their water fountains after the Flint water crisis.

But Musk’s Twitter use isn’t all positives; he’s now embroiled in a Twitter-related defamation suit. Last year, Musk used his Twitter audience of nearly 30 million to call a British cave diver named Vernon Unsworth “pedo guy,” after Unsworth criticized Musk’s attempts to aid the rescue of a boys soccer team in Thailand that had become trapped in a cave. Musk later told BuzzFeed News that Unsworth was a “child rapist,” adding, “I fucking hope he sues me.” Unsworth filed a defamation suit against Musk, and the trial is now set to begin in Los Angeles on December 3rd.

How does this relate to a relatively benign donation of trees to the Arbor Day Foundation? Well, in a recent court filing, Musk told lawyers representing Unsworth that, despite his massive stock holdings in Tesla and SpaceX, he was financially illiquid, according to The Los Angeles Times. That means his insurer, American International Group Inc., may get involved in any potential court settlement or financial payout as a result of the case. It also means it’s surprising that Musk has the cash on hand to help MrBeast plant all those trees for charity.

Update, 8:58 PM ET: Added that Musk appears to have already followed through and donated the money for a million new trees.
So while his company may be sketchy, at least we got a few more absorbers of carbon out of it.

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Re: Positive Environmental news thread

Post by madd0ct0r » 2019-10-30 09:02am

FaxModem1 wrote:
2019-09-02 07:58pm
That's good news to hear. I wonder what made that possible.
The river cleanups?

from the same article:
Sixty years ago, however, the Thames was toxic. “The tidal reaches of the Thames constitute a badly managed open sewer,” the Guardian reported in 1959. “No oxygen is to be found in it for several miles above and below London Bridge.”

In 1957 the Natural History Museum declared the Thames to be biologically dead. The Victorian engineer Joseph Bazalgette’s brilliant sewer system, which saved London from the “great stink” of 1858, had been damaged during the second world war. Parts had fallen into disrepair. Heavy industry used the Thames as its free waste disposal service.
Not everyone was outraged. The Guardian reported in 1959 that a member of the House of Lords opined that cleaning the river was unnecessary: rivers were “natural channels for the disposal of waste” and allowing them to break up our waste gave them “something to do”.
Repairs to the sewers and tighter regulations, including to reduce fertilisers and pesticides from farmland draining into rivers, gradually cleaned up the Thames, as did broader economic changes. The decline of Thames-side industry removed pollution; toxic metals have reduced since 2000, helped by the switch to digital photography, which has reduced the photographic industry’s silver pollution.

1) change in society's opinion of how clean a river should be
2) generally speaking, far less discharge of heavy metals and toxic waste from industry
3) and, perhaps influenced by increasing waste cost (labour cost more likely), general deindustrialistion. Closing of the mines in wales solved a lot of dead rivers.
4) and the industrail areas now are less likely to be by a river then they were in 1900. Barge transport and river water for cooling/use are not needed as thye were in 1850. motorway access is more important so big sites are less likely to be by a river so accidnetal spills don't get as far either
5) gradual fixing of damage to victorian sewage system, and (linking back to 1) ), more sewage treatment and long shor outfalls rather then river discharge. EU rules and fines are helping maintin the investment momentum. It becomes cheaper to fix the system then get fined, hence stuff like Thames Tideway Tunnel, which is basically a huge tunnel/storage 'pond' for when storms and high tide means the sewer system fills with diluted sewage and no-where to discharge it.
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