Tag: renewables

Biomass Industry Poses a Greater Threat Than the Coal Industry

Washington (GGM) Analysis | April 23, 2021 by Attorney Michael Wells, PodcastLegal Fact and Fiction

Biomass sounds like a living blob slithering its way towards New York City in a bad sci-fi movie. The reality may be worse. Proponents of the biomass industry will call this fearmongering and argue biomasses are carbon neutral and “green.” But the biomass industry involves chopping down vast swaths of trees, turning them into pellets, and shipping them to Europe where they are burned for energy. In other words, it is deforestation on a massive scale, and anyone who knows anything about climate change knows deforestation is one of the major causes of climate change. So how can a practice which is so harmful to the planet — more harmful than the coal industry which releases less carbon than burning trees — be at the same time beneficial? It cannot be whatever anyone claims to the contrary. 

Heart of the Matter 

If the U.S. Congress and other international lawmakers are to be believed, then it is through a metamodernist suspension of disbelief because the notion that deforestation and burning a source of energy more pollutive than coal is somehow “green”  is an absurd notion. 

The biomass industry is a relatively recent phenomenon, and it hails mainly from the American South where twenty-three wood mills devoted to biomass exist. Trees are grown, ground up, turned into wood pellets, and shipped to Europe to be burned for fuel under the auspices that this power is as clean as solar and wind power, which is as ridiculous as it sounds. While proponents of the biomass industry claim they plant trees to replace the felled trees, those trees cannot make up for the mature trees lost, trees that have absorbed carbon dioxide for decades. This is especially true considering the Paris Climate Accord cites deforestation as a major driver of climate change and a barrier to the ambitious emissions targets for 2050. 

Proponents of the biomass industry also ignore the desolate landscapes it leaves and tons of “waste wood” (wood that is left behind and cannot be used). While they claim to replant trees, this is often not done, and the saplings are not nearly as useful as trees that are decades old. 

How This Impacts You Personally

Whether the issue is nuclear waste, toxic water from chemical leaks, or  toxic algae from phosphate deposits, the way this impacts you personally is it is bad for the environment. And that is bad for you. In this instance, trees reduce carbon dioxide, which makes the air more breathable, the planet less hot, and the world cleaner. All of these things benefit everyone regardless of what people believe.

What You Can Do

It is important to learn as much as possible about this topic as it is not going anywhere. A multibillion dollar industry based in the United States, which supplies energy for Europe will not go away gently. Climate activist Greta Thunberg certainly sees the problem:

Think about what paper products you use and how to reduce that consumption. Recycling is not the answer as very little of what is recycled is reused. It is more important to not use paper or fuel sources that are derived from burning trees. 

Next Steps

  • Reduce your consumption for paper and paper products;
  • Stop using plastic bottles and other plastics; 
  • Do not burn wood; 
  • Learn about and try to use solar and wind power;
  • Find out what companies use wood as a source of energy and do not use them;
  • Contact your local, state, and federal representatives and tell them you oppose the biomass industry.

Energy is important for so many reasons, but there are better sources than the biomass industry. We need more —not less — trees in the world, and everything must be done to make sure the reckless and dangerous biomass industry does not continue. 

Adding composting worms to our home composting bins and/or directly to the soil in our yards will dramatically improve the amount of carbon we can store in the soil. Climate solutions are much easier than we realize. Act today! CLICK here.

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Glass Solar Bricks Coming Soon

Washington (GGM) Analysis | December 9, 2020 by Noreen Wise

There’s been some exciting climate news released during the tragic covid crisis, glass solar bricks will soon be here. According to Reuters, the new glass bricks will not only be able to produce sustainable energy, they will also serve as thermal insulation and allow sunlight in. Very advanced compared to the current solar panels that line roofs, farmers fields and desert land.

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Glass solar bricks won’t be able to replace solar panels, but new buildings will be constructed using futuristic bricks that will power the entire building. Now that’s brilliant, and a lot to cheer about when things seem so bleak right now. According to Bloomberg Green, solar installations have taken a nose dive while everyone is stuck at home trying to cope with their lives being turned upside down.

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The disruption may very well be a blessing for many many families and businesses, however. Solar power is an investment. We always want the most advanced technology when we put down our money. But, with solar power progressing in leaps and bounds, the advancements are happening much quicker than the 5-20 year solar loan payment schedules. I’m sure we’ve all had at least dreadful phone experience, where a few months after we upgrade, Apple releases it’s next iPhone iteration, letting all the air out of our tires as we’re forced to wait two years with our new old phones.

There’s nothing wrong with the current solar panels. They’re very effective, enabling families to save money, and in many cases make a significant amount  of money, all while lowering carbon emissions. But just as we saw with computers, smart phones, cameras… all technology really, the newer versions are always lighter, stronger, faster.

Best not to stress about dismal 2020 solar installations in the short term, we’ll definitely make up for it in the long term.🌱

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.

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What You Need to Know to Go Solar During Pandemic

Washington (GGM) Analysis | August 18, 2020 by Sarah J. Kings

While solar power has previously been thought to be a beacon of hope for the environment and the economy, the industry is currently in crisis.  Amid COVID 19, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) published a press release availing quarter two outcomes.  

Prior to the pandemic, it was projected that solar energy projects would offer 302,000 Americans jobs by June of 2020.  Instead, the industry saw a job loss of 114,000 workers. SEIA  states, “The Q2 solar deployment losses are equivalent to powering 288,000 homes and $3.2 billion in economic investment.”  This type of down-turn sets the solar workforce back to levels seen in 2014. 

In the same press release, SEIA blames a lack of “strategic government action” for this setback.  However, they also state, “with the right policies in place, the solar industry is poised to lead the U.S. out of this economic recession and create jobs for thousands of Americans.”

Just recently, the association published a COVID 19 resource guide for the solar industry.  Alongside this guide, they have launched a social media campaign, #RebuildBetter,  to build awareness and advocate for the necessary policies to support solar energy.

Now is the perfect time to jump in and switch to renewable energy for your household. It’s super simple to get started. Just click on EnergySage.com to get a free quote and learn about the incentives and rebates in your area. EnergySage will calculate the costs and benefits. Check it out today. It can’t hurt to find out more information about this critical technology. To take advantage of rare incentives, get a free quote today.

There are five main things you can do to support the solar industry in this time of need. 

  • Submit a Solar Power Testimonial to the SEIA
  • Make a personal or company-related donation to support solar-related COVID 19 relief efforts
  • Submit company project-level data to EIA
  • Support the campaign #RebuildBetter
  • Go to EnergySage.com for information and a free quote for installing solar panels to your house. 

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.

Major Cutback in Coal | Climate Action

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Analysis | September 2, 2019)
NoreenProfilePicHillReport-75 by Noreen Wise

The tides are turning. Coal has seen a steady decline for the past five years, with a double digit slide in 2019. State and local energy decision makers have finally begun to believe in the impressive advantages of green energy and are quickly strategizing about how to amp up “clean” energy for their communities.

Solar efficiency,  along with new battery technology for storing solar energy, has created a stars lining up effect, enabling the solar industry to take flight into unchartered territory, especially for those companies offering $0 down for the installation of solar panels. Get ready for this exciting wild ride of transition.

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South Carolina’s state-owned coal utility, Santee Cooper, will announce on Tuesday September 3, 2019 that it has completed their new business plan and will begin shutting down one of its two coal power plants. The company does not anticipate any layoffs, but rather expects downsizing will come from attrition and retirements.

Additionally, Santee Cooper has its long term sight on eliminating coal energy entirely, with the goal of reducing its carbon footprint once it completes it’s build out of solar power.

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One of the top coal producers in Kentucky,  Blackhawk Mining, LLC., filed for bankruptcy in July 2019. Blackhawk will continue to operate during its bankruptcy and does not plan on any layoffs.

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Two large Kentucky coal producers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcies in recent years, Alpha Natural Resources and Peabody Energy. Both have emerged from bankruptcy and are still producing coal, although the production levels are much lower than a decade ago.

Further complicating coal production in the Appalachians (Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Tennessee, Alabama), was the announcement in early July that Chubb would no longer insure coal producing companies. It’s expected that other insurance companies will do the same. The fossil fuel industry is facing major lawsuits related to climate change. Coal companies are unable to operate without insurance.

It’s very important that states support their coal communities by planning ahead, knowing that the transition to clean energy is only a matter of time. Dirty energy is dead. The sooner communities can transition to solar and wind and create new jobs, the better and healthier everyone will be.

© Copyright 2018 – 2019. ALL Rights Reserved.
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