Costa Rica has successfully ditched fossil fuels for over two months! 

The Latin American country of Costa Rica has achieved an impressive milestone in green energy production by generating 100 per cent of its energy from renewable resources, with a combination of hydropower and geothermal for 75 days in a row.

Thanks to the favorable rainy conditions in the first months of the year, four of Costa Rica’s hydropower plants — Arenal, Cachí, La Angostura and Pirrís — are generating nearly enough electricity to power the entire country. Using a mix of geothermal, solar, and wind energy sources, the nation of 5 million inhabitants hasn’t needed an ounce of coal or petroleum to keep the lights on since December of 2014.

What an extraordinary effort by a small nation! Way to go!

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Scientists figured out how to convert polluted air into clean energy

  • In an era of growing concern for the environment, scientists in Belgium have come up with the groundwork for one possible solution: converting air pollution into power.
  • The device that can do it currently fits into the palm of a hand. It relies on solar power to convert polluted air compounds into stored hydrogen, a source of clean energy.
  • It has two chambers separated by a membrane; one chamber cleans the air and the other generates the hydrogen gas. Air with a higher concentration of pollutants ultimately creates stronger electrical currents.
  • This could be good news for cities such as Beijing, Delhi, India and Los Angeles, among many others. Read more (5/8/17)

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independent.co.uk
Ireland just became the world's first country to stop investing in fossil fuels
Bill will drop coal, oil and gas investments from Ireland Strategic Investment Fund

Ireland has voted to be the world’s first country to fully divest public money from fossil fuels.

The Irish Parliament passed the historic legislation in a 90 to 53 vote in favour of dropping coal, oil and gas investments from the €8bn (£6.8bn) Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, part of the Republic’s National Treasury Management Agency.

The bill, introduced by Deputy Thomas Pringle, is likely to pass into law in the next few months after it is reviewed by the financial committee.

“This principle of ethical financing is a symbol to these global corporations that their continual manipulation of climate science, denial of the existence of climate change and their controversial lobbying practices of politicians around the world is no longer tolerated,” Mr Pringle said.

“We cannot accept their actions while millions of poor people in underdeveloped nations bear the brunt of climate change forces as they experience famine, mass emigration and civil unrest as a result.”

Once enacted, the bill would force the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund to sell its investment in fossil fuel industries over the next five years.

In 2015, Norway’s sovereign pension fund divested from some fossil fuel companies, but not all.

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The UK just had its first day without coal since the Industrial Revolution

  • Britain just had its first day without power generated from coal since the Industrial Revolution, the Guardian reported on Friday — marking a major turning point in the country’s transition away from coal and towards other energy sources, including renewables like wind and solar power.
  • An official tweet from the National Grid control room announced Friday’s milestone, saying that it was the “first ever working day in Britain without #coal since the Industrial Revolution!”
  • There have been other zero-coal periods before in the U.K., National Grid said, but this marked the first day-long period without relying on coal-generated power.  Read more (4/21/17)

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theguardian.com
South Australia to get $1bn solar farm and world's biggest battery
System will include 3.4m solar panels and 1.1m batteries, with operations set to begin by end of 2017

A huge $1bn solar farm and battery project will be built and ready to operate in South Australia’s Riverland region by the end of the year.

The battery storage developer Lyon Group says the system will be the biggest of its kind in the world, boasting 3.4m solar panels and 1.1m batteries.

The company says construction will start in months and the project will be built whatever the outcome of the SA government’s tender for a large battery to store renewable energy.

A Lyon Group partner, David Green, says the system, financed by investors and built on privately owned scrubland in Morgan, will be a “significant stimulus” for South Australia.

“The combination of the solar and the battery will significantly enhance the capacity available in the South Australian market,” he said.

Continue Reading.

Bill Nye on the importance of voting

As Bill Nye pointed out in Bill Nye Saves The World, perhaps one of the easiest things we can do to prevent further damage to our planet caused by climate change is to VOTE. Climate change deniers in office have got to go. We need to vote in folks who acknowledge climate change is real and caused by human activity. We have got to get people in office who understand the importance of turning away from nonrenewable energy to clean, renewable energy. Your vote matters—at the local, state, and federal level. The time is now.

independent.co.uk
Switzerland votes to make all of its energy renewable
Swiss voters have backed government plans to replace the power from ageing nuclear reactors with renewable energy. A total of 58.2 per cent of voters supported the phaseout of nuclear energy in a binding referendum on Sunday. Under the Swiss system of direct democracy, voters have the final say on major policy issues. The plan will provide billions of pounds in subsidies for renewable energy, ban the construction of nuclear plants and decommission the country’s five existing ones, which produce about a third of the country’s electricity.
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66% of Canada’s energy now comes from renewable sources. Things are different in the US.

  • About two-thirds of Canada’s electricity now comes from renewable sources, like hydropower, wind power and solar power, the Canadian Press reported, citing a new report released Tuesday by Canada’s National Energy Board.
  • Things are dramatically different on the U.S. side of the border, where renewable energy accounted for just 11% of energy produced domestically in the U.S. in 2015, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
  • Chris Barrington-Leigh, a professor at McGill University’s School of Environment, told the Canadian Press that 66% renewable is “a good start” but that the goal is to eventually reach 100%. Read more (5/4/17)

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