No Pipelines- No Service: Con Ed Cuts Off New Gas Hookups – By Debra West – The New York Times

By Debra West
March 21, 2019

YONKERS — “Across the suburbs north of New York City, clusters of luxury towers are rising around commuter rail stations, designed to lure young workers seeking easy access to Manhattan. In all, 16,000 apartments and condominiums are in the works in more than a dozen towns, along with spaces for restaurants and shops.

But the boom unfolding in Westchester County is under threat — not from any not-in-my-backyard opposition or a slumping real estate market.

Instead, it is coming from something unexpected: a lack of natural gas.

Con Edison, the region’s main utility, says its existing network of pipelines cannot satisfy an increasing demand for the fuel.

As a result, the utility has taken the extreme step of imposing a moratorium on new gas hookups in a large swath of Westchester, including for residential buildings planned in Yonkers, White Plains and New Rochelle. The only other places in the country with similar restrictions are in Massachusetts, gas industry officials said.”

How PG&E Overlooked Wildfire Risks in Favor of Its Bottom Line – The New York Times

By IVAN PENN, PETER EAVIS and JAMES GLANZ MARCH 18, 2019

“Tower 27/222 looms almost 100 feet tall in the Sierra Nevada foothills, a hunk of steel that has endured through 18 United States presidents. The transmission lines that it supports keep electricity flowing to much of California.

On the morning of Nov. 8, a live wire broke free of its grip. A power failure occurred on the line, affecting a single customer. But 15 minutes later, a fire was observed nearby. Within hours, flames engulfed the region, ultimately killing 85 and destroying the town of Paradise.

The equipment belonged to the state’s biggest utility, Pacific Gas and Electric. To the company’s critics, the tower and its vulnerability reflect a broken safety culture.

Five of the 10 most destructive fires in California since 2015 have been linked to PG&E’s electrical network. Regulators have found that in many fires, PG&E violated state law or could have done more to make its equipment safer.

Long before the failure suspected in the Paradise fire, a company email had noted that some of PG&E’s structures in the area, known for fierce winds, were at risk of collapse. It reported corrosion of one tower so severe that it endangered crews trying to repair the tower. The company’s own guidelines put Tower 27/222 a quarter-century beyond its useful life — but the tower remained.”

Solo Energy

“at Solo, we’re creating the future of energy.
here’s how…
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Solo deploys and operates distributed energy storage systems such as home batteries and electric vehicle chargers to store excess renewable generation

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We use blockchain technology to create a shared peer-to-peer energy trading economy so consumers can share locally generated renewable energy across the grid

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Solo’s FlexiGrid software controls energy storage systems to operate as a Virtual Power Plant, shaping demand to follow renewable supply”

Source: Solo Energy

Buying Your First Home EV Charger | PluginCars.com

“It may surprise EV newbies to learn that an electric car’s charger is found on board the vehicle. It’s the equipment buried in the guts of the car that takes an AC source of juice from your house, and converts it to DC—so your car’s battery pack can be charged.

This fact doesn’t stop nearly everybody from calling the wall-mounted box that supplies 240 volts of electricity a “charger.” Actually, that box, cord, and plug has a technical name—Electric Vehicle Service Equipment or EVSE—and if you have an EV, you’re going to want to install one at home.

So, it’s slightly misleading to say we’re providing guidance about chargers because we’re really talking about buying an EVSE—which is essentially no more than an electrical device allowing drivers to safely connect an electric car to a 240-volt source of electricity. It’s not rocket science, and you should not overthink the selection and installation of an EVSE.That said, there are important differences between the various home chargers (uh, I mean EVSEs). And there are a few best practices to keep in mind.”

Source: Buying Your First Home EV Charger | PluginCars.com

How do Fuel Cells Work? – Fuel Cell Energy

“How do Fuel Cells Work?Fuel cells produce energy electrochemically — without combusting the fuelDFC-schematic_smFuel cells cleanly and efficiently convert chemical energy from hydrogen-rich fuels into electrical power and usable high quality heat in an electrochemical process that is virtually absent of pollutants.

Similar to a battery, a fuel cell is comprised of many individual cells that are grouped together to form a fuel cell stack. Each individual cell contains an anode, a cathode and an electrolyte layer. When a hydrogen-rich fuel such as clean natural gas or renewable biogas enters the fuel cell stack, it reacts electrochemically with oxygen (i.e. ambient air) to produce electric current, heat and water. While a typical battery has a fixed supply of energy, fuel cells continuously generate electricity as long as fuel is supplied.”

Source: How do Fuel Cells Work? – Fuel Cell Energy

Why Home Solar Panels No Longer Pay in Some States – The New York Times

“LAFAYETTE, Calif. — It was only two years ago that Elroy Holtmann spent about $20,000 on a home solar array to help cover the costs of charging his new electric car. With the savings on his monthly electric bills, he figured the investment would pay for itself in about a dozen years.But then the utilities regulators changed the equation.As a result, Pacific Gas & Electric recently did away with the rate schedule chosen by Mr. Holtmann, a retired electrical engineer, and many other solar customers in this part of California. The new schedule will make them pay much more for the electricity they draw from the grid in the evening, while paying those customers less for the excess power their solar panels send back to the grid on sunny summer days.As a result, Mr. Holtmann’s solar setup may never pay for itself.”

Source: Why Home Solar Panels No Longer Pay in Some States – The New York Times

I have installed 29 solar panels on the roof of my house. It covers 100% of my electrical usage at the time of installation. I hope that UI and the CT regulators don’t screw the first implementers in CT.

How Not to Deal With Climate Change, by  Michael Shellenberger – The New York Times

“Berkeley, Calif. — CALIFORNIA has a reputation as a leader in battling climate change, and so when Pacific Gas & Electric and environmental groups announced a plan last week to close the state’s last nuclear plant, Diablo Canyon, and replace much of the electricity it generates with power from renewable resources, the deal was widely applauded.It shouldn’t have been. If the proposal is approved by the state’s Public Utilities Commission, California’s carbon dioxide emissions will either increase or decline far less than if Diablo Canyon’s two reactors, which generated about 9 percent of the state’s electricity last year, remained in operation. If this deal goes through, California will become a model of how not to deal with climate change.

While Pacific Gas & Electric asserts Diablo Canyon would be replaced with other forms of clean, low-carbon power, nothing in the proposal would require the company to go that far. Instead, the plan, according to my organization’s calculations, would require the company only to invest in energy efficiency and renewables programs equivalent to about one-fifth of Diablo Canyon’s electricity output. Anything beyond that would be voluntary.” ”

Source: How Not to Deal With Climate Change – The New York Times

Here is an excellent comment from nyt comments that I support.
Publius
Bergen County, New Jersey 55 minutes ago

“Agree with this article. I used to be an anti-nuke, but the climate emergency takes precedence. We should at a minimum use all the carbon-free nuclear plants now in service and probably build more, at least to get us over our emissions hump over the coming century. Maybe then, if we have a better mousetrap to provide carbon free baseload electric generation, we can shut down the nukes.

Safety concerns over nuclear plants are legitimate, but do not trump the climate crisis. I am also influenced by the fact that apparently France and Japan have been doing something with their waste smarter than we are –leaving wast at operating plants, because of opposition to Yucca Mountain or other permanent repository. Opposition to Yucca is really just an anti-nuclear strategy of going after a vulnerable point in the nuclear production cycle.

Many environmentalists are constrained by their pre-standing policy and ideological opposition to nuclear energy. A more pragmatic outlook would recognize that nuclear energy, like all carbon-free sources, need to be called to duty to combat our greenhouse gas emissions. It’s all hands on deck and there is no single solution.”

Reply 28 Recommended

Rooftop Solar Providers Face a Cloudier Future – The New York Times

“Just two years ago, SolarCity and other rooftop solar providers were Wall Street darlings, and prospects for growth were flying high, as enthusiasm for solar power was seemingly boundless.After all, they had built a better mousetrap, allowing the masses to install environmentally minded solar power systems at little or no cost to them and to reduce their electricity bills at the same time.But in two years, the landscape has drastically shifted.Nevada recently rolled back the generous support it gave rooftop solar systems; 20 other states are rethinking their policies, as well. And despite the extension of an important federal tax credit last year, losses by rooftop solar companies have accelerated.”

Source: Rooftop Solar Providers Face a Cloudier Future – The New York Times

Stop Wasting America’s Hydropower Potential – The New York Times

Is this true, does it make sense. I have no idea.too bad it was not open for readers to comment. That is a red flag.

“PRESIDENT OBAMA has described climate change as one of the biggest challenges facing our country and has said he is open to new ideas to address it. He can start by supporting legislation to increase the nation’s hydropower capacity, one of our vital renewable energy resources.Hydropower harnesses the force of flowing water to generate electricity. It already produces about 6 percent of the nation’s electricity and nearly half of its renewable energy, more than wind and solar combined. This is enough electricity to power 30 million homes and, according to the Department of Energy, avoids some 200 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year. That amounts to taking about 40 million cars off the road for one year.”

Source: Stop Wasting America’s Hydropower Potential – The New York Times