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[1THING] Blog: Archive for October, 2016

[ Renewables Become Mobile: Redeployable Solar-Wind-Diesel Plus Storage Solutions For Mining Exploration ]

Mining or mineral exploration is the mining process of finding ores. Due to the remote locations, power generation for mineral exploration camps is particularly expensive. Typically, power is generated by gensets, and the diesel fuel needs to be transported over long distances by truck or sometimes even by helicopter.

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[ Good Jobs in the Climate-Friendly Economy ]

Good Jobs in the Climate-Friendly Economy

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PEO ACWA / Flickr

 Adapted from the Labor Network for Sustainability Report “Just Transition” – Just What Is It?

We are well into the greatest economic transition ever experienced — one that will dwarf all that came before. Creating a carbon-neutral economy will require us to retool all sectors of our economy, from manufacturing, transportation, and health care to waste management, communications, energy, and more.

Frontline communities — including workers and all those threatened or already devastated by climate change and the fossil fuel economy — must be leaders in this fight. A “just transition” is one that protects and prioritizes communities and workers’ livelihoods as we build this climate-friendly economy together.

We know that coal power is a significant driver of climate change, for instance. How can we ensure that the people who work for coal companies have good jobs in the clean economy of the future?

The Eastern Kentucky Clean Energy Collaborative has created an innovative and inspiring model.

A significant portion of electricity in eastern Kentucky is provided by the East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC), a rural electric co-op serving eighty-seven counties. In 2005, EKPC got the go-ahead to build a coal plant in Clark County.

In 2009, a public interest coalition, including the Sierra Club, contested the decision. They argued that changes in energy demand and the availability of renewables made the plant unnecessary.

The coalition also knew that the issue of jobs and economic impacts would be crucial in impoverished eastern Kentucky. So they commissioned a study showing that far more jobs would be created and electric rates would be lower if EKPC invested instead in energy efficiency, weatherization, hydropower, and wind power.

The report spawned lots of positive public discussion. Community leaders shared educational materials, held meetings and hearings, and met with EKPC board members to encourage them to support the alternative to the coal plant.

About a year later, in November 2010, EKPC agreed to immediately halt plans to build the coal plant.

Even more remarkably, EKPC committed $125,000 toward a collaboration between its member co-ops and public interest groups to evaluate and recommend new energy-efficiency programs and renewable energy options in Kentucky. The Clean Energy Collaborative meets quarterly and comprises a wide range of partners, including the EKPC and its member co-ops, the public interest coalition members, and housing and economic development groups.

In late 2016, Kentuckians reached another milestone with the launch of the Empower Kentucky Summit. The event brought together renewable energy and energy efficiency professionals, faith leaders, environmentalists, social justice advocates, electric cooperatives, and many more. Here was a roadmap for the future, from the very heart of coal country.

We can build an economy that saves the climate, creates good jobs, and contributes to community well-being. Labor and justice advocates, environmental organizations and others can come together for a common vision. A just transition is within reach if we work together.

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[ Early 20th Century Earthquakes May Have Been Caused By Calif. Oil Boom ]

A new study suggests a handful of earthquakes in the 1920s and 1930s were associated with increasingly deep and frequent drilling for oil near Los Angeles. Since then, drilling practices have changed.

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[ 300 Million Children Are Breathing ‘Extremely Toxic’ Air, UNICEF Says ]

Altogether, some 2 billion children worldwide are breathing air that has been deemed a “long term hazard,” a report finds. Pollution contributes to around 600,000 deaths annually of kids under age 5.

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[ Challenges in East Africa Hindering Independent Power Producers ]

Although a number of independent power producers have made a foray into East Africa’s renewable energy market, they still face challenges that governments in the region need to address to ensure the fast deployment of clean energy technologies.

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[ Converting Oregon Coal Plant to Biomass Stokes Controversy ]

Plans to convert a coal-fired power plant in Oregon into what would be the nation’s largest biomass facility will be tested before year’s end when 8,000 tons of toasted wood thinned from a national forest is burned to ensure compatibility with the power plant’s equipment.

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[ Elon Musk Reveals Solar Roof Made of Glass Tiles ]

Elon Musk showcased his ambitions to make Tesla Motors Inc. a clean-energy behemoth Friday, unveiling a new “solar-roof” product at Universal Studios in Los Angeles.

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[ China to Lower Feed-in-Tariff, Cut Subsidies for Solar PV Systems ]

China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the country’s top economic planner, has recently issued a draft document seeking opinions on adjusting the feed-in-tariff (FIT) for solar PV systems.

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[ Advanced Module Technologies Moving onto the Main Stage ]

Following a surge in demand for solar PV modules between 2012 and 2015, margins increased for top module manufacturers and the supply-demand balance was tightened for the coming years. Across the industry, this supply-demand rebalance gave manufacturers the opportunity to escape—at least temporarily—from the razor-sharp margins usual in commoditized markets.

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[ Being Black Still a Barrier to Rural Cooperative Board Membership ]

In 1984, the New York Times ran a story highlighting the almost universally white boards of directors among 300 Southern electric cooperatives serving populations with thousands of African American member-owners:

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