Clean Technica reported on a study that took place in Chelsea, Massachusetts, a low-income immigrant community near Boston. The study, "Natural gas leaks and tree death: A first-look case-control study of urban trees in Chelsea, MA, USA" is detailed in ScienceDirect.
Clean Technica reported:
It is not just the process of drilling for natural gas — that unnatural process — that bares the land of trees. We know that drilling, gas extraction, and fracking are associated with huge amounts of water contamination (fracking wastewater can even be radioactive), explosion hazards, and corruption of the human health. Yet, it is worse than that. "Natural gas" is also deadly for the trees that line our city streets…Trees help oxygenate, provide shading, and help cool the heat waves of summer.
It also quoted InsideClimate News noting:
Dead or dying trees were 30 times more likely to have been exposed to methane in the soil surrounding their roots than healthy trees…suggesting that the gas had leaked from natural gas pipelines, which are typically buried beneath roadways.
View the Clean Technica article and video here. And read the entire study at Science Direct.
Thanks to Green Energy Times. (2020 05 23) for alerting us to this item.
On May 15th NYSERDA submitted its Investment Plan under the Clean Energy Fund. The Clean Heating and Cooling Chapter includes the following:
Heat Pumps Phase 2 (2020)
- Phase 2 – will launch in 2020 and supports the NYS Clean Heat Program goals established in the Public Service Commission January 2020 Order. These initiatives will seek to rapidly accelerate market capacity and adoption of heat pumps across New York
See the Clean Heating and Cooling Chapter, which includes a $230 Million Building Electrification Investment Plan.
From Politico New York & New Jersey Energy (2020 05 19):
—FILING: More than 160 organizations signed a letter opposing the petition from Multiple Intervenors [MI] pushing for a halt to surcharges and a refund of unused funds for clean energy and energy efficiency to provide rate relief. MI's petition says they don't want to impede any progress on the state's clean energy goals but sees the pot of money that's not imminently going out the door as one way to help customers in the short term. One concern raised by the 160 organizations is that MI does not have a public list of its members online. Here's a list of Multiple Intervenors members from 2019.
NY-GEO board member Jens Ponikau has produced an interesting PDF on the implications of the NYISO 2020 Gold Book projections showing a change from summer peak to winter peak in the 2030's. The projected change results from assuming the electrification of vehicles, stoves and buildings (for space conditioning and water heating) using cold climate air source heat pumps. Geothermal heat pumps are not considered in these projections, yet they will play an important role in addressing peak demand issues.
On Friday, May 15th NYSERDA President and CEO Alicia Barton sent this message to contractors and program participants, which included the following:
We are pleased to announce a new pre-recorded webinar, which will be available for viewing on NYSERDA's COVID-19 website on Tuesday, May 19. In the meantime, we are making the slides available for your review on our COVID-19 website so that you have an advanced resource prior to the posting of the webinar. This webinar will provide an overview of the re-opening and will walk through the DOH guidance on safe construction activities that we expect you to review, distribute to your employees, and attest that you have done so…We recognize the significant uncertainty and questions you are likely facing and thinking through now and as we reopen. We hope this webinar and these resources will be valuable as you develop your own company-specific plans and preparations for reopening.
The Huffington Post reports, in part:
Late Friday afternoon, the state Department of Environmental Conservation denied the Williams company's second application for a permit to extend a gas pipeline from New Jersey via Raritan Bay through the southern portion of New York Bay. In an 18-page letter, Daniel Whitehead, director of the agency's Division of Environmental Permits, cited the "apparent lack of need for the Project, as well as its increased impacts to water quality as compared to identified alternatives" to reject the proposal with prejudice, meaning the company cannot reapply.
…But the rejection could spur new challenges from the Trump administration, which last year sought to limit the state's ability to use the federal Clean Water Act to block projects like the pipeline.
…[This controversial pipeline] would lock the nation's largest city into decades of dependence on fracked gas when scientists say the world needs to rapidly wean off fossil fuels.
See the Renewable Heat Now statement
on the DEC's Williams decision.
NYSERDA has made some changes to the on-the-job training for Energy Efficiency and Clean Technology programs. Click here for a summary of the revisions, which includes this among others:
NEW: Eligible businesses seeking to hire workers related to heat pump installation, regardless of the number of employees, are eligible for OJT incentives at 75 percent of a new employee’s hourly wage for 16 weeks or 24 weeks if the employee is from a priority population.
Business will be required to provide a 25 percent cost share.
See the program opportunity notice. NYSERDA has also increased opportunities under their internship program.
New York's transition to beneficial electrification is taking hold and changing energy growth rate projections. Each year the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), the independent body that operates New York’s electric grid, publishes its Load & Capacity Data Gold Book, which projects energy usage and trends.
This year's Gold Book has begun integrating significant beneficial electrification in its projections! In the Overview it reports:
The energy growth rate over the thirty years in the 2020 baseline forecast is higher than the rate published in the 2019 Gold Book. The higher forecast growth in energy usage can be attributed in part to the increasing impact of electric vehicle usage and other electrification especially in the later years…Much of these impacts are due to New York State's energy policies and programs, including the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act ("CLCPA").
According to the Gold Book (see the diagram below) "baseline" equals expected, and it projects a transition from a NY statewide summer peak to a winter peak around 2039.
Bob Wyman has produced charts from this data that show the impact of different projected electrification scenarios in each of the 11 NYISO zones across the State. Because geothermal heat pumps are very efficient during peak demand periods, this technology will be a key tool in addressing these projected peaks and getting them under control.
The Renewable Heat Now (RHN) Campaign is inviting New Yorkers to participate in the Public Service Commission's recently announced gas planning proceeding, which has enormous potential to determine the future of gas in the State.
RHN has developed a sign-on letter for businesses and organizations. They are holding an online teach-in on the gas proceeding. Monday, May 18th from 1:00-2:00PM. They've also set up an easy comment submission page with a sample comment. We urge you to take a look and participate if you can!
Electrek's Michelle Lewis, in her article titled "Your gas-fueled home appliances aren't good for your health, study finds" (2020 -04 30) reports:
Replacing gas with electric appliances in California homes would prevent around 350 premature deaths each year and produce $3.5 Billion in annual health benefits from cleaner air. This is according to new research from UCLA's Fielding School of Public Health for the Sierra Club on gas-fueled home appliances and their effect on air quality.
…Gas appliances emit a wide range of air pollutants, such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and formaldehyde, which have been linked to various acute and chronic health effects, including respiratory illness, cardiovascular disease, and premature death.
Thanks to NY-GEO member Paul Coons for this tip.