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Regressive heat pump subsidies? The figure below shows how the percent of U.S. households with a heat pump varies by annual household income. Nationwide, 15% of U.S. households have a heat pump as their primary heating equipment, and this is essentially the same for all levels of household income, ranging from the bottom of the income distribution (less than $30,000 annually) to the top ($150,000+).
Are Heat Pump Subsidies Regressive?
— Lucas Davis | The Energy Institute Blog | June 05, 2023
2023 Updates: Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) from the EIA
Depending on the proposal the state ultimately adopts, Californians making more than $180,000 a year could end up paying an average of $500 more on their annual electricity bills, while the lowest-income residents would save around $300 per year.
Supporters argue that the plan will help the state electrify by lowering costs for residents that might not otherwise afford it. Critics, including many California residents, say that it will eat into progress on energy efficiency and that it is unfair to those who are conserving energy.
That’s where the new law, which passed last summer as part of a larger energy bill, comes in. First proposed by researchers at the University of California at Berkeley and the nonprofit Next 10, the plan would split utility costs into two buckets: Fixed charges, which everyone has to pay just to be connected to the grid, and variable charges, which depend on how much electricity you use. Proponents say that the creation of fixed charges would cover things like wildfire preparedness and grid updates — and would also lower electricity costs based on usage. In theory, that would make it easier to convince Californians to electrify.
But, in a twist from how many other utilities do it, the fixed charge would be based on how much money the electricity user makes.
If you live in California, your power bill will soon depend on your income
— Shannon Osaka | The Washington Post | June 01, 2023
…Tinia’s solution consists of two key components: data-collecting hardware that is mounted on every solar panel, and an IoT, AI and blockchain-based platform that takes data from the solar panel and makes transactions possible.
With this proprietary hardware-software, AI, and blockchain platform, Tinia gives all actors connected to the electrical grid the possibility to securely and transparently transact their surplus energy as well as maximize the efficiency of solar energy production. “We aim to become the operating system for distributed energy resources. From residential to solar farms, we help solar energy producers make money out of their unused energy with more efficient systems that speed up the transition to green energy and a sustainable future worldwide,” says Pichiu…
A Breakthrough Model For Solar: Meet The Startup Democratizing The Energy Revolution — Marianne Lehnis | Forbes | June 02, 2023
BIG NUMBERS FOR FLOATING SOLAR at the Canoe Brook reservoir:
16,510 solar panels covering 17 acres
8.9-megawatt (MW) generating capacity could power up to 1,400 homes, but will provide approximately 95% of the power needs for New Jersey American Water’s Canoe Brook Water Treatment Plant.
The largest floating solar farm in North America is officially online — Michelle Lewis | Elektrek | June 07, 2023
Up front costs, shade, latitude, clouds, panel size and solar irradiance all play a role in the energy produced by solar panels and their long-term LCOE (levelized cost of energy).
How Much Energy Does a Solar Panel Produce? — Chi Odogwu | CNET | May 25, 2023
Solar Is Cheapest Energy Source Says IEA — Irina Slav | OilPrice.com | May 28, 2023
How Low (& How Green) Can Solar Cells Go? The Magic Word Is Kerfless — Tina Casey | CleanTechnica | June 02, 2023
A big lesson the leaders and pioneers in this technology (like the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, Bonneville Power Administration, Ecotope, and Small Planet Supply) have learned is that successful installations of commercial heat pump water heaters need to happen as a system. This means putting all the parts together off-site and shipping a central heat pump water heater to a building in a fully packaged container rather than having lots of parts show up onsite and having them put together. To see what a central heat pump water heater system looks like, check out a virtual tour of a factory building packaged central heat pump water heaters.
Central Heat Pump Water Heaters Are A Crucial Technology To Decarbonize Multi-Family & Commercial Buildings
— Joe Wachunas | CleanTechnica | May 27, 2023
Giant heat pumps are ruthlessly efficient in their role with district heating.
The 'exploding' demand for giant heat pumps — Chris Baraniuk | BBC News | May 29, 2023
A barrage of measures in the Texas legislature had threatened wind and solar projects, but according to renewables-project developers, the worst of those weren’t enacted.
Proposals that fizzled included one that would have made renewables foot part of the bill for new natural-gas plants. Another would have mandated that wind farms be set back the distance of 10 football fields from property lines.
Renewable Energy Avoids Nightmare Scenario in Texas — Phred Dvorak and Jennifer Hiller | WSJ | June 04, 2023
Texas, a Clean-Energy Pioneer, Turns Against Renewables — Jennifer Hiller, Phred Dvorak and Katherine Blunt | WSJ | May 26, 2023
Washington Delays Requirements for Heat Pumps in New Buildings — Angely Marcado | Gizmodo | May 21, 2023
In an emergency meeting Wednesday, the Washington State Building Code Council delayed implementation of code changes until late October….
In the California case – California Restaurant Association v. City of Berkeley – the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded the federal Energy Policy and Conservation Act “expressly preempts state and local regulations concerning the energy use of many natural gas appliances, including those used in household and restaurant kitchens.”
WA council delays new building codes that would require heat pumps – Jerry Cornfield | Washington State Standard | May 25, 2023
The following article offers some practical insights about costs and considerations related to heat pump installations.
Oregonians’ experiences with heat pump installations — OregonLive| May 28, 2023
Ducted, mini-split, cold climate…you name it, this glossary has got the goods!
Heat pump glossary — OregonLive| May 28, 2023
DID YOU KNOW that up to 30% of urban water supply is used to flush human waste?
Earth has pushed past seven out of eight scientifically established safety limits and into “the danger zone,” not just for an overheating planet that’s losing its natural areas, but for the well-being of people living on it, according to a new study.
The study looks not just at guardrails for the planetary ecosystem but for the first time it includes measures of “justice,” which is mostly about preventing harm for countries, ethnicities and genders.
The study by the international scientist group Earth Commission published in Wednesday’s journal Nature looks at climate, air pollution, phosphorus and nitrogen contamination of water from fertilizer overuse, groundwater supplies, fresh surface water, the unbuilt natural environment and the overall natural and human-built environment. Only air pollution wasn’t quite at the danger point globally.
Earth is 'really quite sick now' and in danger zone in nearly all ecological ways, study says — Seth Borenstein | AP News | May 31, 2023
A just world on a safe planet: First study quantifying Earth system boundaries — Future Earth | Phys.org | May 31, 2023
Earth Commission: A just world on a safe planet: First study quantifying Earth System Boundaries
AP News Climate & Environment Page
“As long as they keep talking about global climate change, they are not gonna go anywhere. ‘Cause no one gives a s--- about that,” Schwarzenegger told CBS’ “Sunday Morning” correspondent Tracy Smith in a profile that aired Sunday.
“So my thing is, let’s go and rephrase this and communicate differently about it and really tell people — we’re talking about pollution. Pollution creates climate change, and pollution kills,” Schwarzenegger said.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: 'No one gives a s--- about' climate change… — Catherine Clifford Borenstein | CNBC News | May 31, 2023
A Persistent and Puzzling Problem: Plastic
VIDEO: Trashed: The Secret Life of Plastic Recycling — ABC News | May 24, 2023
Small town, big landfill: New York’s largest garbage dump could grow larger
— Jared Kofsky, Tonya Simpson, Cho Park, and Cindy Galli | ABC News | May 31, 2023
We put dozens of trackers in plastic bags for recycling. Many were trashed. — Matt Gutman, Evan Simon, Cho Park, Tonya Simpson, Jared Kofsky, Jon Schlosberg, Tommy Brooksbank, Seiji Yamashita, and Soo Rin Kim | ABC News | May 23, 2023
The list of plastic substitutes seems to be growing longer by the day as companies come up with novel products such as cling wrap made from potato waste, seaweed-based food wrappers and cassava starch bags.
Work is underway to create the first global treaty to reduce plastic pollution. But experts say achieving that goal will probably involve, in part, developing better substitutes — a challenge that has appeared to vex many environmentalists and sustainability researchers.
That’s because it hasn’t been easy to replace plastic, a ubiquitous material that’s inexpensive, robust and versatile.
“Plastics need to get fixed,” said Michael Shaver, director of the Sustainable Materials Innovation Hub at the University of Manchester. “But doing that by simply switching to another material without considering the consequences of that is where that’s dangerous.”
Why glass, paper and other options aren’t the simple alternative to plastic that they seem to be — Allyson Chiu | WaPo | June 07, 2023
Last month, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) submitted a comment about the Green Guides. According to the agency, the use of the resin identification code (RIC) with the recycling symbol—the familiar three chasing arrows—constitutes a misrepresentation of claims. Even though the RIC is meant to identify a product’s unique plastic resin type, consumers generally understand it to represent a universal recycling symbol. A 2019 report from the Consumer Brands Association found that 68 percent of Americans assume any product with the resin code and recycling symbol is recyclable.
The RIC system was not intended for consumers in the first place, but rather, for those who work in materials recovery and recycling facilities.
Why the recycling symbol is part of a 'misinformation campaign' — Carla Delgado | Popular Science | May 29, 2023
Reduce. Reuse. Confuse. — Consumer Brands Association | 2019
Fossil-Fuel Interests Try to Weaken Global Plastics Treaty — Sara Schonhardt | E&E News | June 1, 2023
VIDEO: The UN wants to drastically reduce plastic pollution by 2040. Here’s how — William Brangham | PBS | May 27, 2023
Turning Off the Tap — United Nations | 2023
RECYCLING NOT A CURE: “Hazardous chemicals can accumulate in recycled material and then migrate into foodstuffs, leading to chronic human exposure,” the study’s authors wrote, noting bottles made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic as a common example.
The study comes amid a debate over how to reduce the amount of plastic waste filling up the globe. The petrochemical industry, some governments and many environmental groups have pushed for improvements to the recyclability of plastic.
Though some types of the material can be recycled, most cannot, and the study highlights how improving recyclability of the material comes with risks: it identified 853 chemicals used in PET recycled plastic and many of those have been discovered during the last two years…
The data indicates chemicals are added or created during the recycling process. While 461 kinds of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were detected in virgin plastic, some 573 were found in recycled material. Geueke said it was difficult to say why that occurred, but it could stem from the addition of chemicals during the recycling process, the addition of chemicals from the contaminated recycling stream, reactions among chemicals, or from plastic taking up additional chemicals when used the first time.
Recycled and reused food contact plastics are ‘vectors’ for toxins – study — Tom Perkins | The Guardian | May 27, 2023
Plastic containers still distributed across the US are a potential health disaster: PFAS — Tom Perkins | The Guardian | June 01, 2023
BRING AN UMBRELLA?: This pioneering work by French scientists found that most plastic particles falling across Paris's 2,500-square-kilometer (965-square-mile) catchment area were nylon and polyester, probably from clothing. Other bits were cast off by tires, which shed them especially when vehicles brake.
Over an entire year, up to 10 tons of microplastic fibers settle over the Paris area, they estimated. The density of "plastic fall" can increase by an order of magnitude during heavy rain. Measurements taken by other teams have replicated these findings in half a dozen cities around the world…
1st Plastics Pollution Weather Forecast Predicts 88 Pounds of Microplastic Over Paris — Marlowe Hood | Science Alert | May 26, 2023
Despite a single-use bag ban in 2017, Nairobi and its waste collectors are still inundated with plastic. Can a new law pin responsibility on the manufacturers?
A sustainable waste management law, which will come into force in July, will require companies to reduce the pollution and environmental impacts of the products they introduce into the Kenyan market – either individually or through collective schemes. Previously, businesses were not obliged to take part in waste collection and recycling schemes such as Petco, an initiative created in 2018 after authorities threatened to ban the production and sale of plastic bottles. Only a few companies signed on, and its membership has remained dismal.
“We have over 1,000 companies that are producing bottled drinking water in the country, yet our membership … is [only] about 13 or 14 companies,” the Petco CEO, Joyce Gachungi, told the Guardian.
After a plastic bag ban, Kenya takes another shot at its pollution problem — Caroline Kimeu | The Guardian | May 30, 2023