India’s renewable energy revolution is racing ahead, announces it will build no more coal plants for at least the next decade

 By Adam Wernick, Living on Earth, 14 June 2017 In 2015, at the climate talks in Paris, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi spearheaded the launch of an international solar alliance to raise $1 trillion to light up the developing world. Eighteen months later, Modi has turned promise into action. India, a country of 1.3 billion people, is becoming perhaps the world’s …

US utilities planning for deep decarbonization

Excerpt from The Utility Sector’s Business Case for Deep Decarbonization, by Gavin Bade, Utility Dive, June 13, 2017 A lot can happen in two years. At the Edison Electric Institute’s 2015 annual summit, executives from the nation’s largest investor-owned utility companies were skeptical of decarbonization. A board of CEOs told reporters that President Obama’s Clean Power Plan would raise costs and …

Swiss pilot of CO2 capture from air

A Swiss company on Wednesday is set to become the world’s first to commercially remove carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere and turn it into a useful product. Climeworks, which will begin operations at a facility near Zurich, Switzerland, plans to compress the CO2 it captures and use it as fertilizer to grow crops in greenhouses. The company wants to …

Putting people back to work in Coal Country

By Joe Ryan, Bloomberg, 24 May 2017 Ben Chafin sees the future of clean energy in abandoned coal shafts. The Virginia state senator, whose Appalachian district is pockmarked with empty mines, pushed through legislation in April that encourages companies to transform those tunnels into giant storage devices to hold vast amounts of renewable power. The idea, which Dominion Energy Inc. has been studying, …

CCS can’t compete with wind and solar

By Jeffrey Rissman, in Forbes, May 2017 Coal plants equipped with CCS are nearly three times more expensive than onshore wind power and more than twice as expensive as solar photovoltaics (PV) The electric power sector accounts for 29% of the U.S.’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and electricity demand is expected to increase between now and 2050, making GHG emissions …

Breathe less … or ban cars: cities have radically different responses to pollution

By Beth Gardiner, 15 December 2016 in The Guardian When a thick cloud of air pollution settled in over London last week, experts warned those with health problems to avoid strenuous exercise. The advice to Londoners essentially boiled down to this: breathe less. Meanwhile, as Paris suffered a similar pollution episode – its worst in a decade – officials swung into …

Coal workers could be fully retrained in solar professions for just 5% of the profits that coal companies make in a single year

Joshua M. Pearce, Harvard Business Review A study published in the Harvard Business Review found that growing solar-related employment could benefit coal workers, by easily absorbing the coal-industry layoffs over the next 15 years and offering full-time careers. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the researchers looked at all current coal industry positions (from engineers to mining and power plant …

Fossil fuel use could peak by 2020 as renewables become cheaper, if policy follows

According to fossil fuel companies, the world will continue to rely on their products for decades. They even have sophisticated scenarios, outlooks and modelling to prove it. What if they are wrong? New analysis published today by the Carbon Tracker Initiative and Imperial College’s Grantham Institute suggests global demand for fossil fuels could peak by 2020. The power sector would …

Exposure to fine particulates over EPA standard are 92% more likely to develop dementia, including Alzheimer’s. Air pollution could be responsible for 21% of dementia cases

By Zen Vuong, USC,  Air pollution may lead to dementia in women over 65: Tiny, dirty airborne particles called PM2.5 invade the brain and wreak havoc, study suggests. Originally published in ScienceDaily, 31 January 2017  Tiny air pollution particles — the type that mainly comes from power plants and automobiles — may greatly increase the chance of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, according …