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Glimpses of a Great Future


December 2016

The City Of Las Vegas Is Now Powered Entirely By Renewable Energy

Las Vegas just became the largest U.S. city to rely solely on green energy to power its municipal facilities.

All Las Vegas city facilities ― from government buildings to streetlights ― are now running entirely on renewable energy, city officials have announced.


“We can brag that the city, this city of Las Vegas, is one of the few cities in the entire world that can boast using all of its power from a green source,” Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said in a news conference Monday.


The achievement marks the completion of the city’s nearly decade-long goal to fully transition to clean energy only ― a project that was expedited after the city partnered with public utility company NV Energy almost a year ago. While all government facilities are now only powered by renewable energy, many residential and commercial buildings are not.


Officials were able to make the announcement after Boulder Solar 1, a massive solar array in the southeast corner of Nevada, went on line last week.


(Huffington Post 20.12 2016)

India plans nearly 60% of electricity capacity from non-fossil fuels by 2027

Expansion of solar and wind power will help exceed Paris targets by almost half and negate need for new coal-fired power stations

The Indian government has forecast that it will exceed the renewable energy targets set in Paris last year by nearly half and three years ahead of schedule.

A draft 10-year energy blueprint published this week predicts that 57% of India’s total electricity capacity will come from non-fossil fuel sources by 2027. The Paris climate accord target was 40% by 2030.

Number of vegans in Britain rises by 360% in 10 years

The number of vegans in Britain has risen by more than 360 per cent over the past decade, according to a new survey that shows record numbers of people are avoiding food derived from animals.

Some 542,000 people aged 15 or over – more than one per cent of the population – have adopted a plant-based diet, up from 150,000 in 2006. According to the Vegan Society, the survey proves that veganism is now one of Britain’s “fastest growing lifestyle movements”.

The poll of almost 10,000 people, carried out by Ipsos MORI in for the Vegan Society and Vegan Life magazine, is the largest ever aimed at quantifying the number of vegans in Britain.

(The Telegraph, 18. mai 2016)


Wind and Solar Are Crushing Fossil Fuels

Record clean energy investment outpaces gas and coal 2 to 1.

Wind and solar have grown seemingly unstoppable.

While two years of crashing prices for oil, natural gas, and coal triggered dramatic downsizing in those industries, renewables have been thriving. Clean energy investment broke new records in 2015 and is now seeing twice as much global funding as fossil fuels.

One reason is that renewable energy is becoming ever cheaper to produce. Recent solar and wind auctions in Mexico and Morocco ended with winning bids from companies that promised to produce electricity at the cheapest rate, from any source, anywhere in the world, said Michael Liebreich, chairman of the advisory board for Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

“We’re in a low-cost-of-oil environment for the foreseeable future,” Liebreich said during his keynote address at the BNEF Summit in New York on Tuesday. “Did that stop renewable energy investment? Not at all.”


(Bloomberg 6.4 2016)




World Energy Hits a Turning Point: Solar That’s Cheaper Than Wind

Emerging markets are leapfrogging the developed world thanks to cheap panels.


A transformation is happening in global energy markets that’s worth noting as 2016 comes to an end: Solar power, for the first time, is becoming the cheapest form of new electricity.

This has happened in isolated projects in the past: an especially competitive auction in the Middle East, for example, resulting in record-cheap solar costs. But now unsubsidized solar is beginning to outcompete coal and natural gas on a larger scale, and notably, new solar projects in emerging markets are costing less to build than wind projects, according to fresh data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

The chart below shows the average cost of new wind and solar from 58 emerging-market economies, including China, India, and Brazil. While solar was bound to fall below wind eventually, given its steeper price declines, few predicted it would happen this soon.

(Bloomberg 15.12 2016)


Visitors stampede to see bison on the Indiana prairie

KANKAKEE SANDS — The cold December wind whips across the Indiana prairie where several bison are gathered not far from a county road in Newton County.


The bison, commonly called buffalo, are uniquely designed to withstand these freezing temperatures with five times as many hair follicles as a domestic cow.


“Snow can fall on a bison and it doesn’t melt because they are so insulated,” says Ted Anchor, site manager at The Nature Conservancy’s 8,300-acre Kankakee Sands in Northwest Indiana.

The bison’s massive head acts as a plow to push snow out of the way so it can get to the prairie grass that they have been brought to the site to help control.

“We’ve spent the last 20 years building these prairies and now we’ve brought the bison here because we know they were here originally,” Anchor said.


( 19.12 2016)

Austria’s largest state now gets 100% of its electricity from renewables

The Danube is a mighty river. It flows through Austria’s largest state and with it brings power: so much that the state’s governor says they no longer need to use fossil fuels to generate electricity.

The state of Lower Austria, which encircles Vienna, now gets nearly two-thirds of its electricity from hydropower, Erwin Pröll said at a news conference yesterday (Nov. 5). Of the remainder, the state sources a quarter from from wind and the rest from biomass and solar. No fossil fuels have to be burned to make the state self-sufficient in power.

Lower Austria is home to 1.6 million of the country’s 8 million people, and is leading the rest of the country in renewable production. That in itself is quite an achievement. As a whole, Austria produces around 70% of its electricity via renewables, the highest share in the EU. It’s blessed by a mountainous geography that makes hydropower—usually produced by damming rivers at altitude and then letting the water flow downhill—possible.

(Quartz 6.11 2015)

Beavers given native species status after reintroduction to Scotland

Move hailed as first formal reintroduction of a once native mammal in the UK

Large populations of wild beavers living in the southern and western Highlands of Scotland are to be allowed to expand naturally after ministers granted them protected status.

For the first time since it was hunted to extinction about 300 years ago, the beaver will be officially designated as a native British species,the Scottish environment secretary announced on Thursday.

Rosesanna Cunningham said this was the first formal reintroduction of a once native mammal in the UK, a significant milestone in the slow process of rewilding parts of the British isles. Until now, official reintroductions have focused largely on birds of prey, though wild boar have colonised forests in southern England after escaping from farms and parks. The beavers were reintroduced to Scotland from Norway.

Jonathan Hughes, the SWT’s chief executive, said: “This is a major milestone for Scotland’s wildlife and the wider conservation movement. Beavers are one of the world’s best natural engineers. Their ability to create new wetlands and restore native woodland is remarkable and improves conditions for a wide range of species.”

(The Guardian 41.11 2016)

Ruter i støtet

Snart kan de reisende begynne å vinke farvel til stinkende og støyende Ruter-busser.

I august neste år tar Ruter i bruk sine aller første elektriske busser, som ikke bare er klima- og miljøvennlige, men også langt mer stillegående enn dagens busser. I første omgang er det snakk om ti minibusser av merket Iveco. De skal brukes til å frakte skoleelever på Romerike.

– Dette er de første elbussene i Norge. Kanskje er dette i tillegg det så langt største innkjøpet av elektriske minibusser i Europa, påpeker Marius Gjerset, teknologiansvarlig i miljøstiftelsen Zero.

– At vi nå kommer i gang med elektrifiseringen av busstrafikken, er kjempeviktig, understreker han.

– Dette vil gjøre en forskjell også internasjonalt. Nå skapes det en etterspørsel som også vil bety mye for utviklingen av elektriske varebiler. Store utslipp vil påvirkes av dette.

(Dagsavisen 15.12 2016)

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