Showing posts with label Renewable energy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Renewable energy. Show all posts

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Report: "Massachusetts Cities and Towns Leading the Way to 100% Renewable Energy"

"Cities and towns are taking ambitious steps to increase renewable electricity generation, reduce energy use, and shift to clean heating technologies, according to a new report from the Environment Massachusetts Research & Policy Center.

“The best ideas for clean energy often start at the local level,” said Ben Hellerstein, state director for the center. “If we want to have cleaner air, healthier communities, and a safer future for our children, we need to move rapidly toward 100% renewable energy from sources like the sun and the wind. These communities are showing how to make it happen.”

The report, Renewable Communities 2021, features the following seven case studies of Massachusetts cities, towns and regional agencies that are leading the way to 100% renewable energy. "

Continue reading the article online


Visit Environmental Massachusetts for more information ->   https://environmentmassachusettscenter.org/

Report:  "Massachusetts Cities and Towns Leading the Way to 100% Renewable Energy"
Report:  "Massachusetts Cities and Towns Leading the Way to 100% Renewable Energy"


Saturday, June 5, 2021

"the aggregation rate is often lower than the utility rate"

"AROUND THE WORLD, in the White House, and at our State House, leaders are finally beginning to respond to the climate challenge. Here in Massachusetts, we can take pride in bold new legislation to curb greenhouse gas emissions. And the nation’s first large-scale off-shore wind project, Vineyard Wind, has been given the go ahead by the federal government. Those are exciting developments, but there’s something happening at the local level that deserves our attention as well.

In Massachusetts, cities and towns are increasingly taking advantage of a process known as green municipal aggregation or community choice electricity, which allows municipalities to purchase electricity directly from suppliers (rather than relying on the utilities to do it for us). Through aggregation, communities can offer options that include more wind and solar than required by state law at affordable rates. Today about 50 cities and towns in Massachusetts have done so and dozens more are at various stages of the approval process. Communities that have been doing this for some time keep renewing and usually add more renewable energy as time goes on."
Continue reading the article online

Municipal aggregation was approved by Franklin in 2016 and in 2020 they finally implemented a contract with good pricing. Town Administrator Jamie Hellen provides the update and background to the Town Council in this audio segment. The link also contains link to the steps along the process from the archives.

Municipal aggregation is reported on quarterly and you can find those reports on the Town page  https://www.franklinma.gov/administrator/pages/municipal-aggregation

FM #208 - Jamie Hellen on Municipal Aggregation
FM #208 - Jamie Hellen on Municipal Aggregation

Friday, March 19, 2021

"Oil firms knew decades ago fossil fuels posed grave health risks, files reveal"

"The oil industry knew at least 50 years ago that air pollution from burning fossil fuels posed serious risks to human health, only to spend decades aggressively lobbying against clean air regulations, a trove of internal documents seen by the Guardian reveal.

The documents, which include internal memos and reports, show the industry was long aware that it created large amounts of air pollution, that pollutants could lodge deep in the lungs and be “real villains in health effects”, and even that its own workers may be experiencing birth defects among their children.

But these concerns did little to stop oil and gas companies, and their proxies, spreading doubt about the growing body of science linking the burning of fossil fuels to an array of health problems that kill millions of people around the world each year. Echoing the fossil-fuel industry’s history of undermining of climate science, oil and gas interests released a torrent of material aimed at raising uncertainty over the harm caused by air pollution and used this to deter US lawmakers from placing further limits on pollutants."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Monday, August 3, 2020

FM #320 Town Council - PACE Program - 7/29/20 (audio)

FM #320 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 320 in the series.

This session shares a key segment of the Franklin, MA Town Council meeting held on Wednesday, July 29, 2020. The meeting was conducted via conference bridge to adhere to the ‘social distancing’ requirements of this pandemic period.

Chair Tom Mercer opened the meeting on schedule. The agenda eventually gets to the second item for presentation, the PACE Program. Wendy Lee O’Malley, Vice-President of MassDevelopment provides the overview of this newly released program. This is an opportunity for business and nonprofit property owners to get advantageous financing for energy improvements.

The show notes contain links to the meeting agenda and to the individual documents referenced.

This meeting segment runs just about 21 minutes, so let’s listen to the presentation and discussion on the PACE Program.

Audio file:   https://www.hipcast.com/podcast/HXv4XmdK





--------------

Town Council agenda
https://www.franklinmatters.org/2020/07/franklin-ma-town-council-agenda-july-29.html

PACE Program doc and presentation
https://www.franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif591/f/mai/files/8b._pace_program_presentation_-_massdevelopment.pdf

My notes from the meeting
https://www.franklinmatters.org/2020/07/town-council-recap-reluctantly-approves.html

--------------
We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio (wfpr.fm) or 102.9 on the Franklin area radio dial.

This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but we can't do it alone. We can always use your help.

How can you help?
  • If you can use the information that you find here, please tell your friends and neighbors
  • If you don't like something here, please let me know

Through this feedback loop we can continue to make improvements. I thank you for listening.

For additional information, please visit Franklinmatters.org/
If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com

The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana" c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.

I hope you enjoy!
------------------

You can also subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters audio on iTunes or your favorite podcast app; search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"


FM #320 Town Council - PACE Program - 7/29/20 (audio)
FM #320 Town Council - PACE Program - 7/29/20 (audio)

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Proposal on Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Massachusetts for Franklin

TO:                Jamie Hellen, Town Administrator
FROM:         Bryan W. Taberner, AICP, Director
RE:               Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Massachusetts
CC:               Mark G. Cerel, Town Attorney; Christopher Sandini, Finance Director; Kerri Bertone, Collector/Treasurer; Kevin W. Doyle, Director Of Assessing; Amy Love, Town Planner; Chrissy Whelton, Assistant To The Town Administrator
DATE:           JULY 14, 2020

As you know on April 10, 2020 representatives from the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency (MassDevelopment) met with Town of Franklin staff to introduce the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Massachusetts program, and discuss potential benefits to property owners, and requirements of the Town.

PACE is a tax based financing mechanism that enables low-cost, long-term funding for energy improvements, such as energy-efficiency projects and renewable systems, on existing Commercial and Industrial properties in Massachusetts. To finance the improvements, a property owner agrees to a betterment assessment on their property, enabling property owners to undertake more comprehensive energy upgrades with longer payback periods (up to 20 years). At property sale the lien stays with the property and is transferred to subsequent property owners.

MassDevelopment’s PACE Program Manager Wendy Lee O’Malley will be attending the July 22nd Town Council Meeting remotely to outline the PACE program and its benefits, and answer questions. MassDevelopment acts as the Lead Program Administrator for PACE Massachusetts. In order for the community to participate in PACE Massachusetts it must opt-in through passage of a Town Council Resolution.

Attached for review and consideration is Resolution 20-42, a two page PACE Massachusetts flyer, a short presentation, and a couple examples of PACE projects in other communities.

PACE is an economic development tool for Massachusetts communities that help to create a more competitive environment for attracting and retaining businesses through lower energy costs. DPCD highly recommends the Town participate in this new economic development incentive program. I look forward to discussing PACE at the July 22nd Town Council meeting.

The memo and associated documents can be found at the Town of Franklin page
https://www.franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif591/f/mai/files/8b._pace_program_presentation_-_massdevelopment.pdf

The full agenda and documents released for the Town Council meeting July 22, 2020   https://www.franklinma.gov/town-council/agenda/july-22-town-council-meeting





Proposal on Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Massachusetts for Franklin
Proposal on Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Massachusetts for Franklin

Monday, August 6, 2018

Advocates share agenda for 100% renewable energy as election season heats up

With election season just around the corner, environmental advocates and local leaders gathered at Franklin’s town common to share ideas for accelerating Massachusetts’ transition to 100 percent renewable energy.

The 100% Renewable Energy Agenda, developed by the Environment Massachusetts Research & Policy Center, includes more than 30 policies that the winner of this fall’s gubernatorial election can implement to reduce energy consumption and rapidly repower all sectors of the economy with clean energy.

“For decades, the Commonwealth has led the nation in preserving the environment, protecting public health, and reducing global warming pollution,” said Ben Hellerstein, State Director for the Environment Massachusetts Research and Policy Center. “Now more than ever, Massachusetts must lead the way. With support from our state’s top leaders, we can power our homes, our businesses, and our transportation system with clean, renewable energy.”

Advocates described how Massachusetts’ solar and wind resources, combined with emerging technologies like electric vehicles, air source heat pumps, and battery storage, will enable us to meet our energy needs with clean, renewable power at all times of the day and night.

After discussing the recommendations in the 100% Renewable Energy Agenda, local leaders discussed the ways that clean energy is supported at the local level, and what more needs to be done.

“Franklin has done a lot to ensure that our town exemplifies what a Green Community should be,” said former city councilor, and renewable energy advocate, Brett Feldman. “Our electricity load for our municipal and school buildings is 95 percent covered by our town solar farm on the Mount St. Mary’s Abbey. On top of that, we have upgraded all of our buildings to maximum efficiency, and by the end of the year will convert of our town lights to LED. We are doing all we can, and we want the state to be able to say the same.”

Speakers also pointed to the urgent need for action before the end of the legislative session.

In June, the Massachusetts Senate passed a bill that would eliminate caps on solar net metering and increase renewable energy to 50 percent of Massachusetts’ electricity consumption by 2030 and 100 percent by 2047. The House has passed a bill for 35 percent renewable electricity by 2030. Legislators must reach an agreement before July 31, or start from scratch next year.

A report by the Applied Economics Clinic found that increasing the renewable portfolio standard by 3 percent per year, along with other clean energy policies, would result in 600,000 fewer metric tons of greenhouse gases per year by 2030 (equivalent to taking 128,000 cars off the road) at little to no additional cost to the public.

Since 2007, Massachusetts has seen a 246-fold increase in the amount of electricity it gets from the sun. Wind energy generation in Massachusetts is set to increase dramatically in the coming years, with a commitment to install 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind capacity.

Massachusetts’ offshore wind potential is equivalent to more than 19 times the state’s annual electricity consumption. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, rooftop solar installations alone could provide 47 percent of Massachusetts’ electricity.

“Even beyond rooftop solar, community solar projects, like the one we installed in Holliston, expand the possibility of who can benefit from the solar boom,” said Jeff Lord, senior Vice President of Project Development at the Clean Energy Collective. “ There are dozens of community solar projects in the Commonwealth, including one in nearby Holliston, but many more are needed if we’re to truly provide equal access to the benefits of renewable energy to all of our states homes, businesses, towns, and organizations.”

Last week, 16 academics, researchers, and clean energy industry leaders sent a letter to state officials affirming that “there are no insurmountable technological or economic barriers to achieving 100 percent renewable energy.”

“Now is the time for us to go big on clean energy,” said Hellerstein. “Come January, we’re ready to work with whoever occupies the corner office on Beacon Hill to help Massachusetts go 100 percent renewable.”

###

The Environment Massachusetts Research and Policy Center is dedicated to protecting Massachusetts’ air, water and open spaces. We investigate problems, craft solutions, educate the public and decision-makers, and help Bay Staters make their voices heard in local, state and national debates over the quality of our environment and our lives.

Advocates share agenda for 100% renewable energy
Advocates share agenda for 100% renewable energy

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Changes to MassCEC's Woodstove Changeout and Air-Source Heat Pump Programs





Changes to MassCEC's Woodstove Changeout and Air-Source Heat Pump Programs

Dear Friends of MassCEC's Clean Heating and Cooling Programs,


We have updates for you regarding our Woodstove Change-Out and Air-Source Heat Pump Programs. Enclosed are details on making the move to low-emission stoves as well as information about new ASHP rebate levels.

Woodstove Change-Out Extended!

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) is extending the 2018 Woodstove Change-Out Program deadline to September 25, 2018.

Any Massachusetts resident or business currently operating a non-EPA-certified wood stove or fireplace insert is eligible for a rebate of up to $1,750 when replacing an existing stove with an eligible model. Those that meet certain income requirements are eligible for rebates of up to $3,000. To date, 114 woodstoves have been changed out with our program and we've awarded $193,500 in rebates.

If you own an old wood stove and would like to replace it with a new, low-emission EPA-certified wood or pellet stove, visit MassCEC's website to find out more. You will need to contact a local stove professional who can determine the eligibility of your old stove and submit a rebate application on your behalf after installing your new stove. Act now to make sure you don't miss this newly extended application deadline!

MassCEC webpage                           
https://masscec.us10.list-manage.com/track/click?u=cfa86dfbf4982660c6328daa0&id=b97e9e9f13&e=952cc7b7a1

local stove professionals
https://masscec.us10.list-manage.com/track/click?u=cfa86dfbf4982660c6328daa0&id=81d573c207&e=952cc7b7a1

Air-Source Heat Pump Updates


The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) is making some changes to our Residential Air-Source Heat Pump Program. This program provides rebates for the installation of qualifying air source heat pump systems at homes and small businesses in Massachusetts.

The new standard rebate levels will range from $500 to $2,500. Homeowners that meet certain income requirements will be eligible for rebates of up to $4,000. Those replacing electric resistance heating with heat pumps are eligible for additional funds.

The changes to the program can be found in our 
Program Manual. Any applications submitted after November 1 will be subject to the new rebate amounts.

If you would like to install a heat pump in your home, visit
MassCEC's website to find out more. You will need to contact an eligible installer who will discuss with you what heat pumps will satisfy your needs and complete the install.


Thank you for your interest in our Commonwealth Woodstove Change-Out and Air-Source Programs!
The MassCEC Woodstove Change-Out Team
Massachusetts Clean Energy Center
63 Franklin St, 3rd Floor  Boston, MA 02110
Telephone:  617-712-1109

The MassCEC Air-Source Heat Pump Team
Massachusetts Clean Energy Center
63 Franklin St, 3rd Floor  Boston, MA 02110
Telephone:  617-712-1109


Massachusetts Clean Energy Center  
Grow the state's clean energy industry while helping to meet the Commonwealth's clean energy and climate goals.

Copyright © 2018 Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
63 Franklin Street, 3rd Floor
Boston, MA 02110

Phone: 617-315-9300
Fax: 617-315-9356


Massachusetts Clean Energy Center · 63 Franklin Street · 3rd Floor · Boston, MA 02110 · USA




Tuesday, December 6, 2016

“Is the fuel delivery infrastructure as constrained as it may appear or not? Prices may suggest it’s not.”

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"New England has undergone a profound shift in how it produces electricity over the past decade and a half, phasing out coal and oil plants while becoming more reliant on natural gas. 
Following passage of a state energy law this summer, Massachusetts will see wind, solar and imported hydropower become increasingly important sources of energy in the coming years, but many in the energy industry expect natural gas to remain a crucial resource for the foreseeable future. 
“We’re not going to likely see any new coal built in the region,” said Anne George, vice president of external affairs and corporate communications for grid operator ISO New England. “Oil is very limited in this region … There’s unlikely to be any new nuclear in the region. So you’re left with natural gas, and we do see the increasing desire to develop renewables.” 
Back in 2000, just 15 percent of New England’s power was produced by burning natural gas. Last year, natural gas accounted for 49 percent of all electricity generated in the region."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)
http://www.milforddailynews.com/news/20161205/energy-landscape-undergoes-major-changes



About us page for ISO New England
About us page for ISO New England

ISO New England - screen grab of real time chart showing fuel mix (non-renewables)
ISO New England - screen grab of real time chart showing fuel mix (non-renewables)

ISO New England - screen grab of real time chart showing fuel mix (renewables)
ISO New England - screen grab of real time chart showing fuel mix (renewables)


Download these brief explanation documents from ISO New England:


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Attorney General says "electric ratepayers shouldn’t foot the bill for additional pipelines"


Attorney General Maura Healey today announced that a study commissioned by her office has determined that the region is unlikely to face electric reliability issues in the next 15 years and additional energy needs can be met more cheaply and cleanly through energy efficiency and demand response. 
The study was designed to, first, determine whether the region is facing electric reliability challenges through 2030 and, second, identify the most cost-effective and clean solutions for addressing any of those challenges. 
“As we make long-term decisions about our energy future, it’s imperative we have the facts,” said AG Healey. “This study demonstrates that we do not need increased gas capacity to meet electric reliability needs, and that electric ratepayers shouldn’t foot the bill for additional pipelines. This study demonstrates that a much more cost-effective solution is to embrace energy efficiency and demand response programs that protect ratepayers and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
image from Attorney General webpage
image from Attorney General webpage


Additional info on the Attorney General study can be found here
http://www.mass.gov/ago/news-and-updates/press-releases/2015/2015-11-18-electric-reliability-study.html



Thursday, April 9, 2015

Franklin, Medway, Millis, Norfolk, Walpole Atlantic Bridge Pipeline Meeting


There is a second meeting scheduled for Thursday, April 16, at 7:30 PM at the First Universalist Society in Franklin, 262 Chestnut St, Franklin. 
This is for those who are concerned about a proposed gas line that would run through our towns. This proposal has lots of problems and we can discuss many of them. 
For more information call Jim Hill at 508-528-4888.


Related post
http://www.franklinmatters.org/2015/04/10-miles-of-pipeline-through-towns-like.html

Monday, March 16, 2015

What is the story about a pipeline coming through Franklin?

Come to the Helen Keller Elementary School Monday night to find out.

Spectra Energy is holding a series of Open House events to share information and gather feedback on the proposed Atlantic Bridge pipeline.


March 16, 2015
5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Helen Keller Elementary School Cafeteria
500 Lincoln Street
Franklin, MA 02038

You can find information about the pipeline project here
http://www.spectraenergy.com/Operations/New-Projects-and-Our-Process/New-Projects-in-US/Atlantic-Bridge/

The PDF of the Atlantic Bridge map can be viewed here (7 MB file size)
http://www.spectraenergy.com/content/documents/Projects/AtlanticBridge-map-12-18-14.pdf


WBUR did a piece on the overall supply situation and alternatives
http://www.wbur.org/2015/03/11/natural-gas-lng-everett-terminal


Governor Baker wants us to pay for the construction of the pipeline through our electricity bills?  

Thursday, May 14, 2009

FREE SOLAR ENERGY PRESENTATIONS

FREE SOLAR ENERGY PRESENTATIONS FOR MA HOMEOWNERS

  • May 16th in Natick
  • May 19th in Newton

Hosted by Alteris Renewables, the Northeast’s leading solar energy company (www.alterisinc.com)

Come find out how solar power can affordably and effectively power your home. Photovoltaic (solar electric) technology is going mainstream as it continually becomes less expensive.

To learn about the myths and realities of solar power, including system cost and return on investment, attend a free seminar in Natick or Newton:


  • May 16, 9:30am Crowne Plaza Hotel 1360 Worcester Street, Natick, MA 01760 (Rte 9, across from Natick Mall)
  • May 19, 7:00pm Marriott Hotel 2345 Commonwealth Ave., Newton, MA 02466 (Near intersection of Rt. 30 & I-95)


Advance registration is requested by calling 800-955-1548

You can save money and the environment at the same time. Come learn how!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Google has a powermeter?


How much does it cost to leave your TV on all day? What about turning your air conditioning 1 degree cooler? Which uses more power every month — your fridge or your dishwasher? Is your household more or less energy efficient than similar homes in your neighborhood?

Our lack of knowledge about our own energy usage is a huge problem, but also a huge opportunity for us all to save money and fight global warming by reducing our power usage. Studies show that access to your household's personal energy information is likely to save you between 5–15% on your monthly bill, and the potential impact of large numbers of people achieving similar efficiencies is even more exciting. For every six households that save 10% on electricity, for instance, we reduce carbon emissions as much as taking one conventional car off the road (see sources and calculation).

Read more on the Google Energy Information site here.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

350 on October 24th!

This is an invitation to help build a movement--to take one day and use it to stop the climate crisis.

On October 24, we will stand together as one planet and call for a fair global climate treaty. United by a common call to action, we'll make it clear: the world needs an international plan that meets the latest science and gets us back to safety.

This movement has just begun, and it needs your help.

Here's the plan: we're asking you, and people in every country on earth, to organize an action in your community on October 24.

http://www.350.org/oct24

There are no limits here--imagine bike rides, rallies, concerts, hikes, festivals, tree-plantings, protests, and more. Imagine your action linking up with thousands of others around the globe. Imagine the world waking up.

If we can pull it off, we'll send a powerful message on October 24: the world needs the climate solutions that science and justice demand.

It's often said that the only thing preventing us from tackling the climate crisis quickly and equitably is a lack of political will. Well, the only thing that can create that political will is a unified global movement--and no one is going to build that movement for us. It's up to regular people all over the world. That's you.

So register an event in your community for October 24, and then enlist the help of your friends. Get together with your co-workers or your local environmental group or human rights campaign, your church or synagogue or mosque or temple; enlist bike riders and local farmers and young people. All over the planet we'll start to organize ourselves.

With your help, there will be an event at every iconic place on the planet on October 24-from America's Great Lakes to Australia's Great Barrier Reef--and also in all the places that matter to you in your daily lives: a beach or park or village green or town hall.

If there was ever a time for you to get involved, it's right now.

There are two reasons this year is so crucial.

The first reason is that the science of climate change is getting darker by the day. The Arctic is melting away with astonishing speed, decades ahead of schedule. Everything on the planet seems to be melting or burning, rising or parched.

And we now now have a number to express our peril: 350.

NASA's James Hansen and a team of other scientists recently published a series of papers showing that we need to cut the amount of carbon in the atmosphere from its current 387 parts per million to below 350 if we wish to "maintain a planet similar to that on which civilization developed."

No one knew that number a year ago-but now it's clear that 350 might well be the most important number for the future of the planet, a north star to guide our efforts as we remake the world. If we can swiftly get the planet on track to get back below 350, we can still avert the worst effects of climate change.

The second reason 2009 is so important is that the political opportunity to influence our governments has never been greater. The world's leaders will meet in Copenhagen this December to craft a new global treaty on cutting carbon emissions.

If that meeting were held now, it would produce a treaty would be woefully inadequate. In fact, it would lock us into a future where we'd never get back to 350 parts per million-where the rise of the sea would accelerate, where rainfall patterns would start to shift and deserts to grow. A future where first the poorest people, and then all of us, and then all the people that come after us, would find the only planet we have damaged and degraded.

October 24 comes six weeks before those crucial UN meetings in Copenhagen. If we all do our job, every nation will know the question they'll be asked when they put forth a plan: will this get the planet back on the path below 350?

This will only work with the help of a global movement-and it's starting to bubble up everywhere. Farmers in Cameroon, students in China, even World Cup skiers have already helped spread the word about 350. Churches have rung their bells 350 times; Buddhist monks have formed a huge 350 with their bodies against the backdrop of Himalayas. 350 translates across every boundary of language and culture. It's clear and direct, cutting through the static and it lays down a firm scientific line.

On October 24, we'll all stand behind 350--a universal symbol of climate safety and of the world we need to create. And at the end of the day, we'll all upload photos from our events to the 350.org website and send these pictures around the world. This cascade of images will drive climate change into the public debate--and hold our leaders accountable to a unified global citizenry.

We need your help-the world is a big place and our team is small. Our crew at 350.org will do everything we can to support you, providing templates for banners and press releases, resources to spread the word, and tools to help you build a strong local climate action group. And our core team is always just a phone call or e-mail away if you need some support.

This is like a final exam for human beings. Can we muster the courage, the commitment, and the creativity to set this earth on a steady course before it's too late? October 24 will be the joyful, powerful day when we prove it's possible.

Please join us and register your local event today.

Onwards,

Bill McKibben - Author and Activist- USA
Vandana Shiva - Physicist, Activist, Author - India
David Suzuki - Scientist, Author, Activist - Canada
Bianca Jagger - Chair of the World Future Council - UK
Tim Flannery - Scientist, Author, Explorer -Australia
Bittu Sahgal - Co-convener, Climate Challenge India - India
Andrew Simmons - Environmental Advocate, St. Vincent & The Grenadines
Christine Loh - Environmental Advocate and Legislator - Hong Kong

This is the full text of the letter received via email from Bill McKibben.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Let's go fly a kite

One fun summer and spring activity of youth was to fly a kite. Here is a brief 5 minute video on how the next generation of kites can provide electricity.

Ben, are you listening?



Enjoy!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

"Local renewable energy businesses are optimistic"


"Depending on who you talk to, there's something like 19 provisions in total that could benefit solar energy," Chleboski said.

One provision would lift a cap on federal tax credits for solar-powered hot water heaters, Artner said. Heat-Flo of Hopedale manufactures these devices, and Jay Santello, a Franklin contractor who installs solar equipment, said he uses a sun-powered hot water heater at his own home year-round.

"My hot water is fantastic and my gas bills have gone down substantially," Santello said.

The stimulus plan also would make it possible to convert certain commercial tax credits for solar grants. These credits might have been attractive to companies in the past, but they became less so as companies saw tax bills drop anyway because of diminishing profits, Chleboski said.

Read the full article on renewable energy in the Milford Daily News here


Sunday, March 15, 2009

ENERGY BOARD VOTES TO APPROVE CAPE WIND ‘COMPOSITE CERTIFICATE’

On the renewable energy front, we find this press release:

MASSACHUSETTS ENERGY BOARD VOTES TO APPROVE CAPE WIND ‘COMPOSITE CERTIFICATE’
Friday, March 13, 2009
Cape Wind News Release

MASSACHUSETTS ENERGY BOARD VOTES TO APPROVE CAPE WIND ‘COMPOSITE CERTIFICATE’

MARCH 13, 2009, BOSTON, MA – In a unanimous vote, the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board (Siting Board), the agency created by the Legislature to ensure the siting of needed and least environmental impact energy facilities, voted yesterday to grant Cape Wind a Certificate of Environmental Impact and Public Interest (Certificate) that effectively rolls up all nine state and local permits related to the electric cables into one ‘composite certificate’.

Note: The official transcript of the Siting Board's Hearing yesterday is available for download at:
http://www.capewind.org/transcript.pdf

Cape Wind President Jim Gordon said, “This decision represents a major victory for the people of Massachusetts who are waiting for the clean energy jobs from Cape Wind which will help us become more energy independent and make Massachusetts a global leader in clean offshore wind energy production.” “I am grateful for the assistance that the attorneys representing Clean Power Now and the Conservation Law Foundation provided as participants in the Siting Board process”, Gordon continued.

The Siting Board instructed Cape Wind to work with the Towns of Yarmouth and Barnstable to reach an agreement on reasonable and customary conditions for town permits related to Cape Wind’s buried electric cables and to present this agreement to the Siting Board. In the event parties cannot agree on conditions, the Siting Board will decide on what conditions are reasonable to include. The Siting Board expects to complete this process and take its final vote within 60-days which will conclude Cape Wind’s permitting at the state and local level.

Cape Wind was compelled to file for this Certificate following a denial by the Cape Cod Commission in 2007. The Siting Board also has the statutory authority to grant a comprehensive approval to an energy facility it has previously approved, where that facility has been denied a permit by any other state or local agency in the Commonwealth.

In 2005, the Siting Board approved Cape Wind’s electrical interconnection at the conclusion of a 32-month review of unprecedented length that included 2,900 pages of transcripts, 923 exhibits and 50,000 pages of documentary evidence. The Siting Board found that Cape Wind would meet an identified need for electricity and would provide a reliable energy supply for Massachusetts, with a minimum impact on the environment. The Siting Board’s approval of Cape Wind’s electrical interconnection was upheld by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

Cape Wind’s proposal to build America’s first offshore wind farm on Horseshoe Shoal would provide three-quarters of the electricity used on Cape Cod and the Islands from clean, renewable energy - reducing this region’s need to import oil, coal and gas. Cape Wind will create new jobs, stable electric costs, contribute to a healthier environment, increase energy independence and establish Massachusetts as a leader in offshore wind power. For more information visit www.capewind.org.

Monday, March 2, 2009

"If you don't take care of it, you won't have it"

"We're trying to chip away, slowly but surely, to make ourselves greener and reduce our carbon footprint," Kane said.

Solar panels, as well as electrical inverters that change the direct current from the roof to alternating current that can be fed into his NStar electrical system, cost Kane $149,817.

But a $67,568 rebate from the Mass. Technology Collaborative, a $44,945 federal tax credit, a $7,221 state tax credit and other incentives brought the price down to $45,312, he said.

He will pay that amount off over six to seven years.

The solar power system is expected to generate about 18,900 kilowatt/hours a year, which should add up to an annual savings of about $3,800 on utility bills at today's rates, he said.

Kane also shopped locally, getting the Devens-manufactured panels from Marlborough-based Evergreen Solar. His electrical inverters were built by Solectria Renewables of Lawrence.

Kane, who lives in Framingham, said he is now researching whether it would make financial sense to expand his solar array and sell electricity back to his utility company. If so, he sees bigger potential in his industry.

"There are millions of square feet of storage roofs around the country," he said.

Read more about the solar electric installation in the Milford Daily News here

For additional information on solar energy, check out the series held by the Franklin Area Climate Team here


Monday, February 9, 2009

"This is good news for the state's economy"

Go green, get green.

Local residents and businesses have taken the message to heart, installed solar energy systems and received rebates from the Commonwealth Solar program, an initiative launched last year to encourage renewable energy use.

CommSolar, an offshoot of the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust, has approved nearly $22 million in rebates for 539 solar photovoltaic projects since its inception in January 2008.

Read the full article on the opportunities to save money by converting to solar electricity in the Milford Daily News here

The Franklin Area Climate Team (FACT) had sponsored several evenings on renewable energy at the library. You can review the notes and presentations here.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Failure to pay attention


Pay attention to what you ask?

There were approx. 30 in the Attleboro hall to view the movie “Escape from Suburbia” and the discussion that followed versus millions in front of their TV to watch the Super Bowl.

How much oil/coal was consumed to power the Super Bowl and all the TVs to watch the spectacle?

Oil that a short while ago had risen to historic prices generating lots of talk but now that the prices have returned to lower levels, the issue seems to have passed.

It hasn’t.

What can I do? The problem is so huge.

“Conservation is one answer… conservation is economically more sustainable.”


Reduce your household energy use. Change out regular light bulbs for the energy saving kind. Take one small step at a time but keep at it.

“Action encourages optimism”

Take the 2 Mile Challenge!

Walk or use a bike (in the warmer New England weather) to the store for those small item errands rather than take the family vehicle.

“Community is our solution. We need to help one another.”

Get active in your community. There are a number of groups in the area that are working to address this issue. The Franklin Area Climate Team is one. Check out the sponsor listing for the Green Reel series for other groups in our area.

Talk with your neighbors, share the tips and tricks you pick up with each other.

Do something today!

Note: this was also posted today at Steve's 2 Cents

Note: The quotations in Bold were from the movie "Escape from Suburbia" as I took notes Sunday night.