“It was like a perfect storm. If the water goes away, land values go down,
agriculture goes away and everybody loses.
We all have to work together and model best practices, or we’re not going to be successful.
We needed to solve this together. “
Kelley Bell, VP of Social and Environmental Impact at Driscoll’s
- What a great example of diverse groups working together for a win-win result! We ALL need to join with others to face our local issues. Not so strange, really, because in New Mexico, indigenous peoples and Hispanics have shared water cooperatively for hundreds, if not thousands of years. – Edito
Community Water Dialogue- Growing A Solution To California’s Groundwater Crisis
Three years before the California drought became a national crisis, national berry giant Driscoll’s knew it had a major problem with water, in the valley’s $895 million a year agriculture industry. Driscoll’s didn’t just watch the water go down the drain. It (helped create) a consortium of strange bedfellows who are sometimes at each other’s throats –landowners, rival growers, academics, government agencies and nonprofit groups. Yet the group today is deploying a mixture of low-tech and high-tech strategies in its effort to replenish the depleted groundwater basin and protect the agricultural economy.
In 2010, it partnered with local landowners and growers, the Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County and other groups to launch a bold public/private partnership, the Community Water Dialogue, to solve the valley’s water problems.
- Gathering together even with rivals is a powerful tool! Here’s another example. – Editor
Why companies should buy more renewable energy
The World Wildlife Fund and World Resources Institute approached General Motors, along with 12 other companies, to collaborate on renewable energy, enabling us to stop reinventing the wheel every time we try to buy more renewable energy. Together, the group developed the Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles, a clear set of guidelines to help utilities, utility commissions and renewable energy providers understand how they can help make investments easier for companies and meet rising demand.
Powering Businesses on Renewable Energy- Increasing Access to Renewable Energy
The Buyers’ Principles frame the challenges and the needs of large renewable energy buyers. The principles are intended to help facilitate progress on these challenges and to add the corporate buyer perspective to discussions underway across the country on the future of our energy and electricity system.
- This international list includes Billy Parish of Mosaic whom we covered last week. Even small amounts add up with enough people! – Editor
TOP 5 Renewable Energy Crowdfunding Platforms
One of the biggest impediments to widespread change has always been finance. Now, the emerging finance method of “crowd funding” has provided a new way to leave out third parties, provide energy and monetary benefits to investors and democratize energy in the true sense. The five platforms listed are the top leaders in renewable energy crowd funding.
Energy storage solutions help match demand for electricity with supply by renewables
A company that is commercializing new technology for storing energy has won a contract to deliver a two Megawatts flywheel energy storage facility for Ontario. It will be the first commercial test in Canada of flywheel technology, a mechanical battery that stores electricity as kinetic motion in a spinning rotor levitated on magnetic bearings. Energy storage really allows the operator to take in more renewable energy.
For more information
- Summer means fabulous corn! Yet at my all-organic produce coop, there was none- ordered from California but none available. Drought! Here’s a concept to begin to rethink how and what we grow, for food and biofuels. This is part of the Green Transitions for ethical finances and the 2014 report emphasizes that big money- large institutional portfolios- need to invest in our Green Transition. Yes, large investors can move markets, and we, as possible small investors in various institutional plans such as retirement, etc. can help make this critical transition happen! – Editor
Saltwater Agriculture: A New Look at Water
Most of the world’s attention is focused on supply, conservation, pollution and recycling the 3 percent of fresh water on our planet. Yet, 97 percent of the water on Earth is saline! I have long followed unnoticed research on the 10,000 salt-loving halophyte plants, which can grow in deserts and thrive on seawater. The huge promise of seawater agriculture for making Earth’s advancing desert regions productive with abundant seawater is still overlooked.
- Why not 80%- always use “stretch” goals! – Editor
“The upward trend we’ve reported since 2009 aligns with our recommendation that investing at least
10% of institutional portfolios directly in companies driving the global Green Transition
appropriately updates strategic asset allocation models both as opportunities and as risk mitigation.”
- If humans were logical, we would have solved this climate mess long ago. So, how do we appeal to folks and get results? Here are some useful and charming ideas- and great pictures- for reaching the hearts of energy and water customers. – Editor
Be practical. Bring dollar savings to the forefront. But also, be a little sentimental. Emotion drives
behavior. Be multi-generational. Be topical. Be clever. A little humor goes a long way. But also, be quickly understandable. Be cute.
- If we really cared about the health of our citizens, we would not do fracking. Poisons will eventually end up in drinking water even if regulations are followed. – Editor
The owner of a small Ohio oil and gas drilling company who ordered his employees to dump tens of thousands of gallons of fracking waste into a tributary of the Mahoning River was sentenced to 28 months of prison. He admitted having his employees dump fracking wastewater into the Mahoning River tributary 33 times. The recurring pollution had a devastating effect on the creek’s ecosystem. The pollution ultimately flowed into the Mahoning River, which is a source of public drinking water for the cities.
Sowing Confusion About Renewable Energy
Readers of The Economist may have been surprised to read in its 26 July 2014 section the “clear” conclusion that solar and wind power are “the most expensive way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” while “nuclear plants…are cheaper,” so governments are foolish to boost renewables and mothball nuclear. As soon as The Economist featured his paper, their inboxes lit up with incredulity: could his conclusions possibly be true? They’re not. Dr. Frank’s conclusions don’t even pass the giggle test.
How does Dr. Frank reach his contrarian conclusions? By using, apparently unwittingly, obsolete data, and incorrect methods.
There are so many mistakes that just nine data points can carry the whole load. My colleague reconstructed Dr. Frank’s spreadsheets and simply updated the nine most egregiously outdated figures. Presto! The conclusions flipped. The new, correct, story: first hydro (on his purely economic assumptions), then wind, solar, gas, and last of all nuclear—still omitting efficiency, which beats them all.
For 6 minute video of Lovins’ talk Solar power’s rapid growth and the myth of storage breakthrough’s necessity
- Where is “away”? Since our planet isn’t air- tight compartmentalized, and we know that Fukushima radioactivity has even entered the U.S. food supply, “there is no away” reason alone should end toxic power plants. – Editor
Tepco Set to Miss Target for Fukushima Radioactive Water Cleanup
Tokyo Electric Power Co. looks likely to miss a deadline to filter out a cancer-causing radioactive isotope from water stored at its wrecked nuclear plant in Fukushima. Equipment delays and the failure to stop radiation contamination of groundwater indicates the utility’s president will be unable to meet a commitment he made to Prime Minister Abe last year to treat all water at the site by March 31, 2015. Levels of toxic water at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant are rising at a rate of 400 tons a day as groundwater seeping into basements mixes with water used to cool reactor cores that melted down in the accident. The site had more than 373,000 tons of radioactive water needing treatment as of July 29.
- Not only is this amount of money enough to change calculations about the expense of nuclear (and typically it’s far more than projected), but taking 20 years is quite disturbing because sea levels are rising, and procrastination of decommissioning coastal nuclear plants could be disastrous. – Editor
Southern California Edison facing $4.4B bill to decommission nuclear plant SONGS
Southern California Edison has requested that the San Onofre Community Engagement Panel review the formal decommissioning plan, environmental evaluation and updated cost estimate to decommission the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS). The work is estimated to cost $4.4 billion to safely complete the 20-year decommissioning of San Onofre.
- Wouldn’t people who are awake not want to own property in such risk-taking states? What was that definition of insanity? – Editor
Climate Change Law in New York Bridges Partisan Divide
Adapting for climate change is no longer just a recommendation in New York State. It is about to become the law. New York lawmakers passed a measure in June requiring that communities design projects to handle the impacts of climate change such as rising sea levels, heavy flooding and more intense storm surges. The legislation—known as the Community Risk and Resiliency Act (S06617)- affects infrastructure ranging from bridges and parks to wastewater management systems and covers projects that need government funding or permits. It is expected to be signed into law by Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo by the end of the summer.
New Jersey, rebuilding from Superstorm Sandy two years ago, hasn’t addressed the issue of climate change. At Republican Governor and presidential hopeful Chris Christie’s direction, boardwalks and seaside towns are going up just as they were before 2012. State officials have told scientists that climate change isn’t on the state’s agenda. Similarly, Republican-controlled Florida has ignored the issue, even though scientists warn it will be the state most impacted by climate change in the U.S.
For the law
Giant floating duck could provide solar energy for Copenhagen
While 100 wind turbines to be placed inside Copenhagen’s city limits may have upset some city dwellers concerned about their environmental impact, it’s easy to imagine that a solar-panel-covered duck floating about in the harbor would be an altogether more popular element of the government’s green energy strategy and
therefore be less likely to, ahem, ruffle the feathers of the local population.
- Yes! Make change charming! - Editor