CPS Energy Grants UTSA $500,000 for Local Climate Research

A $500,000 grant from CPS Energy will allow researchers at University of Texas in San Antonio to dive into San Antonio’s climate inventory and, for the first time, develop the framework for a local climate action plan to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The project was announced Tuesday, moments before Mayor Ron Nirenberg signed a resolution in support of the Paris Climate Agreement.

“This Council, in resoundingly approving the resolution, made a clear statement that [climate action] is a priority. Now we are acting on it today,” Nirenberg said. The City’s comprehensive SA Tomorrow plan calls for a climate action initiative, but has yet to receive funding.

Source: CPS Energy Grants UTSA $500,000 for Local Climate ResearchRivard Report

San Antonio’s Potential Use of Cement Manufacturing Biomimicry Tech

With four major cement manufacturers in the area, is San Antonio ripe for using and developing carbon capture biomimicry tech to ward-off more than $1 billion in EPA non-attainment air quality and health costs? At least until these cement-making bacteria can build the cities of the future.

The Algoland Carbon Capture Project in Sweden Uses Algae to Help the Country Reach Zero Emissions

The green goo – in a corner of the factory, there are neatly lined, large, clear bags of green liquid with gas bubbling through them. This is part of the Algoland project, the brainchild of environmental scientist Catherine Legrand, executed by her team of researchers from Linnaeus University, and managed by Olofsson. The project has found a way to wield naturally occurring algae to capture carbon dioxide coming from the cement plant before it enters the atmosphere.

It’s elegant: Take water from the Baltic Sea’s Kalmar Strait next to the plant, pump it about 100 meters (110 feet, about the length of a soccer field) into bags that can hold about 3,000 liters (800 gallons) of liquid. Add key nutrients to multiply the naturally occurring algae, and then let them soak in the gases piped to it from the cement plant (what would otherwise be the factory’s waste product) while the sun shines…

Source: The Algoland carbon capture project in Sweden uses algae to help the country reach zero emissions — Quartz

Want to cut carbon emissions? Try growing cement bricks with bacteria

Draining the Swamp? Key EPA Appointee Was an Energy Lobbyist This Year, Senators Say

Even without conflicts of interest, is this Appointee really what we need in an already prone group of group thinkers?

Two senators are challenging a Trump EPA appointee, saying her lobbying record appears to prevent her, under Trump’s own ethics order, from doing most of her job.

Source: Draining the Swamp? Key EPA Appointee Was an Energy Lobbyist This Year, Senators Say | InsideClimate News

San Antonio Outshines Other Texas Cities In Solar Energy Capacity

San Antonio is the state's leader in solar energy capacity, according to a recent report assessing local "smart" policies across America.

Within the last decade, growth in the solar energy industry has brought numerous businesses and new initiatives to San Antonio.

CPS Energy, the city's municipal utility, for example, extended $15 million of funding to their solar photovoltaic rebate program in 2015 due to residential demand. Proposed changes to the solar rebate program could be in place as soon as June 1, affecting rules regarding installation, greater transparency for consumers, and a potential 10 cent increase per watt under the rebate.

How accessible are choices like solar panel roofs to citizens? Can solar energy be a viable, affordable alternative for San Antonio residents?


Source: San Antonio Outshines Other Texas Cities In Solar Energy Capacity | Texas Public Radio

The Electric-Car Boom Is So Real Even Oil Companies Say It’s Coming

  • Oil major Total SA says EVs will drive 30% of car sales
  • Outlook is more bullish on EVs than most forecasters

Electric cars are coming fast — and that’s not just the opinion of carmakers anymore. Total SA, one of the world’s biggest oil producers, is now saying EVs may constitute almost a third of new-car sales by the end of the next decade.

The surge in battery powered vehicles will cause demand for oil-based fuels to peak in the 2030s, Total Chief Energy Economist Joel Couse said at Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s conference in New York on Tuesday. EVs will make up 15 percent to 30 percent of new vehicles by 2030, after which fuel “demand will flatten out,” Couse said. “Maybe even decline.”

Couse’s projection for electric cars is the highest yet by a major oil company and exceeds BNEF’s own forecast, said Colin McKerracher, head of advanced transport analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

“That’s big,” McKerracher said. “That’s by far the most aggressive we’ve seen by any of the majors."

Source: The Electric-Car Boom Is So Real Even Oil Companies Say It’s Coming – Bloomberg

The Cult of Perma – Food and Farm Discussion Lab

Editor’s Note: I stumbled across this piece by Graham some time in 2013, not long after it was published, and it set off more than one lightbulb moment for me. Up to that time I’d considered permaculture an intriguing subculture. I had thought that it might be a place to look for ideas and innovations for building out a better food system, one that is more in sync with nature, treading more lightly on the planet. What I expected was design and engineering insights to more closed loop, steady state modes of living. As you’ll find from reading Graham’s seminal essay that is not what you’ll find on balance from the permaculture movement. – MB

Source: The Cult of Perma – Food and Farm Discussion Lab

Exxon’s Opposition to Climate Fraud Probes Gets Less Sympathy From NY Judge

It will be interesting to see how this all works out…

A New York judge has signaled to lawyers for ExxonMobil that she is skeptical of their arguments to derail climate fraud investigations by the attorneys general of New York and Massachusetts. Exxon's position had won the support of a judge in Texas whose rulings were heavily weighted in its favor.

Source: Exxon's Opposition to Climate Fraud Probes Gets Less Sympathy From NY Judge | InsideClimate News

Energy is the new new internet

At heart, the enernet is the foundation for smart-city tech, including the “Internet of Things,” distributed systems, interconnected backbones and networking technologies, EV-charging services and autonomous vehicles, to name a few. These technologies will drive dramatic change and force us to rethink our cities, municipal services and sectors like transportation, insurance, real estate and financial services. From the enernet evolution will come smart cities that are an order-of-magnitude smarter, healt

Source: Energy is the new new internet | TechCrunch

Architects Show Leadership in Addressing Climate Change

Architects have a big responsibility for the role the built environment plays in climate change. At the Grassroots 2017 Conference in Washington DC, the AIA, the country’s largest professional association and accrediting body of architects, released a commentary to reaffirm and clarify its existing position on climate change, showing how the Institute is doubling down on its commitment to address carbon emissions in the built environment.

Source: Architects Show Leadership in Addressing Climate Change

eLab Accelerator Projects Sustain Hope for Clean Energy Innovation

Starting yesterday, the 2017 eLab Accelerator teams has convened at the Sundance Mountain Resort in Utah to accelerate their initiatives with the support of nationally renowned expert faculty and eLab’s specially trained facilitators. At Accelerator and beyond, projects from across the country are continuing to develop solutions for a transformed electricity system that will grow the clean energy economy and grant access to clean energy technologies for untapped parts of the population.

Source: eLab Accelerator Projects Sustain Hope for Clean Energy Innovation

CPS Energy pursues clean energy plans despite Trump environmental order

President Donald Trump’s executive order Tuesday rolling back much of the Obama administration’s climate change policies won’t affect CPS Energy’s plans to reduce carbon emissions.

“We at CPS Energy have been on a steady path to diversify and reduce the carbon output of our generation fleet, which is specifically important for our growing metropolitan community,” CPS’ CEO and President Paula Gold-Williams said in an emailed statement. “It’s a plan that’s been set in motion for almost a decade and one that we believe is the right thing for our customers and our community.”

“The city and CPS are already way ahead of the requirements of the Clean Power Plan in terms of carbon reduction and CPS is still committed to shutting down the Deely plant early in 2018,” said Doug Melnick, chief sustainability officer for San Antonio.

The executive order comes after Trump proposed completely defunding the Clean Power Plan in his budget plan. Regardless of the Trump administration’s plans for environmental regulations Melnick says local governments like San Antonio will continue to act in the best interest of their citizens.

“From what I have seen historically, even during the Obama administration and before, it’s really been local governments that have led the way,” he said. “I don’t think anything has changed.”

Source: CPS Energy pursues clean energy plans despite Trump environmental order – San Antonio Express-News