Energy:

Britain went the entire Easter weekend without using coal power

This weekend, Britain showed that it’s possible in this day and age to live without coal —at least, when the conditions are right. For a stretch of time spanning more than 90 hours this Easter weekend, Britain generated no electricity at all from coal, marking the longest period since the industrial revolution. Thanks to sunny weather, the UK was able to generate a quarter of its energy from solar power while energy demand from consumers was low. Coal made up less than 10 percent of the country’s energy mix last year and will be less than that again in 2019.…

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  • BBC
  • Date:04/23/2019

NYC approves law that targets its biggest source of CO2 emissions: buildings

Since the building and construction sector is responsible for around 30 percent of global energy consumption and the greenhouse gas emissions that come with it, decarbonizing our buildings is an essential step for curbing climate change. On Thursday, the city of New York demonstrated that it’s well aware of the importance of such action by approving an ambitious plan that will force thousands of large buildings, including the Empire State Building and Trump Tower, to sharply reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The legislation will set emission caps for many different types of buildings, with the goal of achieving a 40…

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  • CleanTechnica
  • Date:04/22/2019

Powering the world through wave energy could soon become a reality

Generating energy from waves has long been somewhat of a pipe dream, but that could all change soon as Hawaii gets set to test a massive new energy generating device. The device comes from an Ireland-based company by the name of Ocean Energy, and its CEO believes that wave energy could supply 10 percent of the world’s electricity needs in the future. Basically, the massive 826-ton “Ocean Buoy” generates energy as water pushes air through a turbine, which causes it to spin and generate electricity. Even as wind and solar power continue to quickly grow and drop in cost, there…

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  • Fast Company
  • Date:04/18/2019

Scientists come up with device that generates electricity from snowfall

These days it seems scientists are finding ways to produce energy out of just about anything, from sunlight and wind to waves and cow manure. Generating electricity from falling snow can now be added to that list after scientists at UCLA developed a small device that does just that. Apparently, snow is positively charged and gives up electrons. Silicone, on the other hand, is negatively charged. When falling snow contacts the silicone surface of the device, it produces a charge that the device captures, creating electricity. Considering that 30 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by snow each winter,…

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  • UCLA Newsroom
  • Date:04/17/2019

Community solar projects are finally including low-income households

Although community solar projects are on the rise in America, there’s one major flaw: less than half of US community solar projects have any participation from low-income households, and of the projects that do include lower-earning families, only about 5 percent involved a sizable share above 10 percent. What this tells us is that community solar projects have yet to truly include the entire ‘community’. Recently, states and industry experts have been working to change these dynamics. A dozen States and the District of Columbia have developed, or are developing, a variety of mandates, financial incentives, and pilot programs to…

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  • Grist
  • Date:04/16/2019

Washington state commits to running entirely on carbon-free energy by 2045

What do Hawaii, California, New Mexico, and now Washington have in common? All four have made commitments to 100 percent clean energy. Last week, Washington’s state legislature officially passed one of the most ambitious clean energy bills in the nation. Washington is now committed to making the state’s electricity supply carbon neutral by 2030 and 100 percent carbon-free by 2045. The bill shuts the door on coal, saying it “is the policy of the state to eliminate coal-fired electricity.” By calling for energy to come from carbon-free sources by 2045, it leaves the door open for nuclear power. But with…

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  • Earther
  • Date:04/16/2019

Germany fancies turning coal plants into giant batteries that store clean energy

As clean energy continues to rise in Germany, the country’s massive coal plants are becoming increasingly idle. But instead of letting those coal plants sit there and rot, Germany wants to refashion the plants as giant batteries for storing wind and solar power. Germany aims to phase out coal completely by 2038, yet it also recognizes that the coal plants and mining operations support thousands of jobs around Germany. So to ensure a smooth transition to a clean-energy economy for traditional coal areas, the government wants to turn the coal plants into innovative, long-term power plants that store surplus wind…

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  • Bloomberg
  • Date:04/15/2019

The city council of Chicago just committed to 100% clean energy by 2040

The Windy City is going all-in on renewable energy. That’s right, the city of Chicago has just committed to 100 percent renewable energy by 2040, making it the largest US city to make such a commitment towards clean energy. The resolution, which was unanimously passed by the city council, points to the kind of extreme weather including catastrophic flooding that the region is already experiencing as a central reason for making this commitment. Under the resolution, Chicago aims to have all buildings run on 100 percent renewable energy by 2035 while electrifying the entire city’s bus fleet by 2040. The…

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  • EcoWatch
  • Date:04/12/2019

Norway pulls the plug on plans to drill massive oil reserve

Western Europe’s biggest petroleum producer is falling out of love with oil. To the dismay of the nation’s powerful oil industry and its worker unions, the opposition Labour Party over the weekend decided to withdraw its support for oil exploration offshore the sensitive Lofoten islands in Norway’s Arctic, creating a solid majority in parliament to keep the area off limits for drilling. Estimates suggest that 1 to 3 billion barrels could be hiding off the archipelago, but Norway’s government isn’t budging. This comes just a month after Norway’s $1 trillion wealth fund announced it will dump investments in firms that explore for oil…

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  • Bloomberg
  • Date:04/11/2019

Report: Clean energy now accounts for one-third of global power capacity

When the Optimist Daily was just getting started, powering the world via renewable energy was still somewhat of a pipe dream. In the last few years, we’ve witnessed rapid progress when it comes to renewables for a number of reasons. First, the cost of producing solar panels and wind turbines, as well as batteries have plummeted, encouraging more countries to bet on renewables. Second, China has sparked a green energy revolution in Asia. In 2018 alone, Asia accounted for 61 percent of total new renewable energy installations. These two things, along with the increasing use of geothermal energy, have led…

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  • Good News Network
  • Date:04/09/2019
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