Geothermal Energy

Over the past few months, both the popular press and specialty publications in the renewable energy field have been abuzz with excitement about the commercialization of a new geothermal energy technology by a Houston-based startup company, Fervo Energy. The approach, called Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS), uses hydraulic fracturing (fracking) techniques developed by the oil and … Read more

Voluntary C Markets

Last week, the Swiss company Climeworks, a leading player in the nascent direct air capture industry, sponsored an informational webinar featuring speakers from The Nature Conservancy and JPMorgan Chase. TNC is among the world’s largest environmental nonprofit organizations, with a staff of hundreds of scientists deploying their expertise to conserve land and water resources around … Read more

Greens’ Dilemma

Five weeks ago, I wrote in Earthward about the beneficial impacts that two new US laws – the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) – are expected to have on reducing greenhouse gas emissions through the remainder of the 2020s. The Princeton Net Zero lab found that the reductions are quite … Read more

Hydrogen

This week, pv magazine USA, which offers daily updates on the solar industry, reported that the Biden administration is forming a Hydrogen Interagency Task Force to be jointly led by the Department of Energy and the White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy. According to Mary Frances Repko, the White House deputy national climate advisor, … Read more

Montana Climate Case

This week in Montana, a trial court judge delivered an important and decisive victory for young people. It ruled that the state constitution, which affirms that citizens have a right to a clean and healthful environment, is violated by laws that prevent considering climate change impacts from new fossil fuel projects. The plaintiffs in this … Read more

Offshore Wind

This week, the Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth, a nonpartisan think tank better known as MassINC, published a modest account of a boat ride in its journal, CommonWealth. Massachusetts state lawmakers, local officials from Martha’s Vineyard, and others on board were touring the construction site for the nation’s first commercial scale offshore wind farm, … Read more

Carbon Sequestration

Greenhouse gas emissions have to be sharply and rapidly cut, but some emissions are easier to cut than others, and some are going to persist for a long time. These are the basic facts behind the “net” of “net zero” – the mantra that has come to define the green energy transition. Electric cars are … Read more

Permitting

The Princeton Zero Lab (Zero-carbon Energy Systems Research and Optimization Laboratory) is well known for its Net-Zero America study, probably the most detailed roadmap for the US green energy transition. Published the month before President Biden took office, this comprehensive analysis describes five distinct technological pathways for the nation to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions … Read more

Natural Gas Ban

Last week, the Eugene, Oregon City Council unanimously voted to repeal an ordinance blocking installation of fossil fuel infrastructure in new one- to three-story residential buildings. The Council had adopted the ordinance only earlier this year, but it immediately became a target of the local natural gas utility, Northwest Natural, which funded an aggressive signature … Read more

Electricity Grid

Another spate of extreme weather has hit the US. This time we have a triple whammy consisting of last month’s smokeouts from Canadian wildfires (Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest), torrential rain and flooding in Vermont and upstate New York, and a record-breaking heat wave that continues to impact the South and Southwest. Since warmer air holds more … Read more