FERC Order May Undermine Renewables, Energy Storage in New York’s Capacity Markets

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has rejected the latest proposal from New York's grid operator to allow renewable energy and batteries to compete against fossil fuels in its wholesale capacity market. That may give the state's regulators and policymakers more reason to consider alternatives to federally regulated energy markets. In a Friday order, FERC’s Republican majority denied grid operator NYISO’s proposal to restructure what it terms its “buyer-side market power mitigation rules” to allow wind, solar, batteries and other carbon-free resources to compete against

Terabase Raises $6M Series A to Lower Cost of Utility-Scale Solar

A year after launching, solar software startup Terabase Energy has raised $6 million to keep growing its team and services. The Berkeley-based company emerged when SunPower wound down its project development business. Several former SunPower employees built a software tool to manage costs at the kinds of massive solar plants they used to develop: everything from site selection and layout to shipping logistics for millions of panels and the movements of laborers onsite. The ultimate goal is to find enough incremental cost savings across the board to bring the price of solar below one cent per kilowatt-hour in the next five years, said co-founder and CEO Matt Campbell. That would unlock terawatts

Skeptical Science New Research for Week #35, 2020

121 Articles Physical science of global warming & effects Linearity of outgoing longwave radiation: From an atmospheric column to global climate models Observations of global warming & effects Antarctic Bottom Water Warming in the Brazil Basin: 1990s through 2020, from WOCE to Deep Argo Rapid worldwide growth of glacial lakes since 1990 Ice-sheet losses track high-end sea-level rise projections Trends and spatial variation in rain-on-snow events

Skeptical Science New Research for Week #36, 2020

Highlighted paper: Heat stored in the Earth system: where does the energy go? A deep roster of familiar names in climate research headed by Karina von Schuckmann have just published an updated and for the first time comprehensive accounting of energy being stored in the Earth system due to radiative imbalance caused by greenhouse gases added to the atmosphere by “us truly.” This is summarized as a single number called “Earth Energy Imbalance” (EEI), at slightly less than 0.5 Watts per square meter of Earth’s surface. When penciled out it’s an extremely large amount of energy

Climate Sensitivity: A new assessment

Not small enough to ignore, nor big enough to despair. There is a new review paper on climate sensitivity published today (Sherwood et al., 2020 (preprint) that is the most thorough and coherent picture of what we can infer about the sensitivity of climate to increasing CO2. The paper is exhaustive (and exhausting – coming in at 166 preprint pages!) and concludes that equilibrium climate sensitivity is likely between 2.3 and 4.5 K, and very likely to be between 2.0 and 5.7 K. For those looking for some context

Denial and Alarmism in the Near-Term Extinction and Collapse Debate

Guest article by Alastair McIntosh,  honorary professor in the College of Social Sciences at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. This is an excerpt from his new book, Riders on the Storm: The Climate Crisis and the Survival of Being Mostly, we only know what we think we know about climate science because of the climate science. I have had many run-ins with denialists, contrarians or climate change dismissives as they are variously called. Over the past two years especially, concern has also moved to the other end of the spectrum, to alarmism. Both ends, while the latter has been more thinly tapered, can represent forms of denial. In this

5 Tips for Dealing With Grief With Your Children

Death is difficult for everyone, and that includes children. Whether your child has lost someone they know from their own life, or you’ve all lost someone close to your family, grief is a different process with children. Kids sometimes don’t grasp the concept of death in the same way adults do, which can lead to all kinds of conversations and reactions you may not have expected. Grief is a set of stages, and there are many

How the Unkown Is Impacting Moms

Being a mom is hard enough without having to worry about a global pandemic. Yet, here you are, struggling through motherhood with millions of other women who have no idea what the future holds. Of course, this lack of knowing what might happen to you and your family can take a huge toll on your mental and physical health as well as your finances and

Best Natural Body Lotion To Nourish & Soften Skin Without Chemicals

A roundup of the best natural body lotion brands made with nourishing natural ingredients instead…Read the whole entry… » ; ; ; ; ; ; ;

How the MightyFix Helps Make Eco-Friendly Habit Changes Easy

Find out how the MightyFix helps me make eco-friendly habit changes – and get started with a…Read the whole entry… » ; ; ; ; ; ; ;

Gifts with a difference – children under 10

Children under 10 don’t want to be children under 10. They want to be older. They will still play with toys and they will still ask for their food to be cut up for them, but try buying a toy for a child aged 6 that has “age 5+” on the box and prepare for fireworks. They don’t want to be 5. They had a birthday that confirmed that they are now 6. Pictures were taken and everything. Cake was consumed in large quantities in celebration of looking at 5 in the rear-view mirror. And don’t

7 Ways You Can Bring a Bit of the Outdoors Into Your Home

If you think about the outdoors, it usually involves a lot of trees, plants, an ample amount of fresh air, and plenty of sunshine. There is actually more to it than that, such as being able to design a home that is relaxing and enjoyed by all family members and friends. Luckily for you, we are able to assist in providing great ideas that include the outdoors so that your indoors will have that natural feeling. Include a Country Style Barn Door The look of a country-style barn door gives off a country feel that you normally see on a barn. However, the look and feel of a barn door that is used indoors

Why We're Committed to Ensuring Access to Parks for All by 2050

If there’s one thing we know for sure — especially amid the challenges of today’s pandemic — it’s that people need parks. From Detroit’s 1,000-acre Belle Isle Conservancy to the tiny “parklets” of Oakland, CA, parks and nature have revealed themselves as critical to our ability to find respite, connect with others, and engage in civic discourse during this time of great stress and isolation. In response to the surging demand

Building Back Better Demands More Thoughtful Tourism

While every major industry in the world has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism — which represents 10 percent of world GDP — has been one of the hardest-hit economic sectors.   Even as national borders slowly reopen, the uncertainty associated with travel continues. According to the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) report on Related Travel Restrictions released in May, international tourism arrivals are expected to decline 58-78 percent compared to 2019.  As businesses focus on how to not only survive but recover from the impact of the pandemic, many are

FERC Unanimously Dismisses Effort to Undermine Solar Net Metering

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday unanimously rejected a plea to declare all state solar net-metering policies illegal, a victory for solar industry groups and state policymakers. All four FERC commissioners voted to dismiss the April petition from the New England Ratepayers Association (NERA), which argued that FERC, not states, should have jurisdiction over sales of electricity from customer-sited generators like rooftop solar. “We find that the petition does not identify a specific controversy or harm that the commission should address in a declaratory order,” FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee said in Thursday’s FERC open meeting. NERA, a New Hampshire-based 501

FERC’s New PURPA Rule Undermines Clean Energy Projects, Advocates Say

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has changed the rules for a federal law that allows independent energy projects to secure utility contracts for their power. Utility groups say the changes will reduce costs for customers, but clean-energy groups and independent power developers say they’ll stifle open competition. FERC’s new rule for the Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), which closely matches its proposal from last year, passed by a 3-1 vote Thursday over the objections of the commission’s sole Democrat, Richard Glick. In FERC’s Thursday meeting, Chairman Neil Chatterjee said the new rule represents a “wide-ranging and comprehensive set of reforms” to how the 1978 federal

2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #28

Story of the Week… Toon of the Week… Climate Feedback Article Review… Coming Soon on SkS… Climate Feedback Claim Review… SkS Week in Review… Poster of the Week… Story of the Week… Global temperatures could exceed crucial 1.5 C target in the next five years In this aerial view melting ice forms a lake on free-floating ice jammed into the Ilulissat Icefjord during unseasonably warm weather on July 30, 2019 near Ilulissat, Greenland. In 2020, the Arctic is likely

Saharan dust cloud was most intense in decades, and more, though milder, are coming

This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters The massive dust storm that formed over the Sahara Desert in mid-June invaded the southeastern U.S. June 25-28, bringing dangerous levels of air pollution, low visibility, and colorful sunsets. The air pollution event over parts of Texas and the Gulf Coast, composed of fine particulate pollution (PM2.5, particles less than 2.5 microns or 0.0001 inch in diameter) and PM10 (particles less than 10 microns in diameter) was one of the most widespread and intense observed in recent decades. According to FEMA meteorologist Michael Lowry, the intensity of the dust outbreak over the tropical Atlantic was by far the most extreme since the most detailed, continuous record of

The Best Backcountry Camping Gear for 2020

Original content owned & copyrighted by Green Global Travel. In this era of social distancing, quarantines, and travel restrictions even within the US, “getting away from it all” has never more vital for nature-lovers. But with national parks overcrowded by tourists and even some state and local parks being overwhelmed with visitors on weekends, it’s getting harder and harder to find personal space in the wilderness. But backcountry camping away from roads and developed areas offers an excellent opportunity to get away from the crowds of mass tourism. Backcountry hiking and camping gives you a chance to explore the most pristine parts of nature. It’s a rare chance to immerse yourself

Sunrun Buying Vivint: Unpacking the Biggest Distributed Solar Deal in History

Earlier this month, Sunrun, the largest residential solar company in the U.S., declared its intent to acquire Vivint Solar, the second largest installer. It’s an all-stock transaction that would value the combined entity at over $9 billion. It's a big deal — literally. The enterprise value attached to Vivint is $3.2 billion, which makes it the largest single transaction in the history of the distributed energy market. It’s also a big deal because of what it says about the state and future of distributed

Skeptical Science New Research for Week #27, 2020

79 Articles Observations & observational methods of global warming & effects Six hundred years of South American tree rings reveal an increase in severe hydroclimatic events since mid-20th century (open access) Late summer temperature variability for the Southern Rocky Mountains (USA) since 1735 CE: applying blue light intensity to low-latitude Picea engelmannii Parry ex Engelm Climate change impacts on the atmospheric circulation, ocean, and fisheries in the southwest South Atlantic Ocean: a review Occurrence and drivers of wintertime temperature extremes in Northern Europe during 1979–2016 (open access) Human influence on joint changes in temperature, rainfall and continental aridity

Skeptical Science New Research for Week #28, 2020

121 Articles Physical science of global warming & effects Aerosols enhance cloud lifetime and brightness along the stratus-to-cumulus transition (open access) The nature of ice-nucleating particles affects the radiative properties of tropical convective cloud systems (open access) Importance of boundary processes for heat uptake in the Subpolar North Atlantic Observations & observational methods of global warming & effects NOAA: 2019 State of U.S. High Tide Flooding with a 2020 Outlook (PDF) Observational evidence for a stability Iris effect in the Tropics Warming trends increasingly dominate global

Sensitive but unclassified: Part II

The discussion and analysis of the latest round of climate models continues – but not always sensibly. In a previous post, I discussed the preliminary results from the ongoing CMIP6 exercise – an international, multi-institutional, coordinated and massive suite of climate model simulations – and noted that they exhibited a wider range of equilibrium climate