Energy Efficiency new from TreeZero

‘We are in trouble.’ Global carbon emissions reached a record high in 2018.

In 2017, global emissions grew 1.6 percent. The rise in 2018 is projected to be 2.7 percent. The expected increase, which would bring fossil fuel and industrial emissions to a record high of 37.1 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year, is being driven by a nearly 5 percent growth of emissions in China and more than 6 percent in India, researchers estimated, along with growth in many other nations. Emissions by the United States grew 2.5 percent, while those of the European Union declined by just under 1 percent.



David Attenborough’s Dire Climate Warning: ‘Our Greatest Threat In Thousands Of Years’

David Attenborough, the famed naturalist and conservation advocate, issued a dire warning for the world during a speech at the United Nations’ annual climate summit on Monday: Act now, or the natural world, humanity included, may soon collapse. “Right now we’re facing a manmade disaster of global scale, our greatest threat in thousands of years: climate change,” Attenborough, 92, said. “If we don’t take action, the collapse of our civilizations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.”



COP24: Clean Energy Highlights from the First Week of Climate Talks in Poland

by Emma Foehringer Merchant 

In 2018, scientists said emissions would rise 2.7 percent. This year’s levels hit a record high, driven mostly by energy use. Council of the European Union signed revised directives on renewable energy and energy efficiency. By 2030, the council said, renewables will account for 32 percent of energy use in the European Union (EU), an increase from its previous 27 percent target. At the same time, the EU said it would increase renewables in transport to 14 percent. Royal Dutch Shell also dropped an ambitious climate announcement this week, pledging to set short-term climate targets and tie the goals to executive salaries. Shell said the targets would help it “thrive through the energy transition.”


Low carbon shipping and air pollution control

In April 2018, International Maritime Organization (IMO’s) Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) adopted an initial strategy on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships, setting out a vision to reduce GHG emissions from international shipping and phase them out, as soon as possible in this century. The vision confirms IMO’s commitment to reducing GHG emissions from international shipping and, as a matter of urgency, to phasing them out as soon as possible. More specifically, under the identified “levels of ambition”, the initial strategy envisages for the first time a reduction in total GHG emissions from international shipping which, it says, should peak as soon as possible and to reduce the total annual GHG emissions by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008, while, at the same time, pursuing efforts towards phasing them out entirely.


Maersk sets net zero co2 emission target by 2050

To achieve this goal, carbon neutral vessels must be commercially viable by 2030, and an acceleration in new innovations and adaption of new technology is required. Climate is one of the most important issues in the world, and carrying around 80% of global trade, the shipping industry is vital to finding solutions. By now, Maersk´s relative CO2 emissions have been reduced by 46% (baseline 2007), approx. 9% more than the industry average. As world trade and thereby shipping volumes will continue to grow, efficiency improvements on the current fossil based technology can only keep shipping emissions at current levels but not reduce them significantly or eliminate them. “The only possible way to achieve the so-much-needed decarbonisation in our industry is by fully transforming to new carbon neutral fuels and supply chains,” says Søren Toft, Chief Operating Officer at A.P. Moller – Maersk.


atmosfair Airline Index 2018

The atmosfair Airline Index compares and ranks the carbon efficiency of the 200 largest airlines of the world. The objective of atmosfair is, to make climate efficiency a factor of competition among the airlines. In the index, every airline receives between 0 and 100 efficiency points, differentiated by flight length (short, medium and long). This tool enables passengers to compare airlines offering flights to particular destinations and choose the airline that produces the least CO₂ emissions. For corporate clients, atmosfair offers specific analyses of individual routes. It allows for climate-conscious enterprises to identify the CO₂ efficiency of different airlines on the routes that their employees fly regularly. Among the few economically growing airlines with constant CO2 emissions are Thai Airways (67 out of 100 CO2efficiency points, efficiency class C), Finnair (64 points, class D), American Airlines (59 points, class D) and All Nippon Airlines (58 points, Class D), varying in sizes and continent of origin. Globally, CO2 emissions from airlines grew by five percent, while the number of kilometers flown increased by 6 percent.


Volkswagen says last generation of combustion engines to be launched in 2026

Volkswagen’s (VOWG_p.DE) strategy chief said on Tuesday the German carmaker’s core brand will develop its final generation of vehicles using combustion engine technology in 2026. “In the year 2026 will be the last product start on a combustion engine platform,” Michael Jost told the Handelsblatt automotive summit conference at Volkswagen’s headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany.



Ray C. Anderson Foundation’s Grant to Emory University Supports Statewide Climate Consortium Co-Founded With the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech

The Ray C. Anderson Foundation has awarded a $650,000 grant to Emory University to advance the Georgia Climate Project, a state-wide consortium co-founded by Emory, the University of Georgia, and the Georgia Institute of Technology, and joined by Agnes Scott College, Georgia Southern University, Spelman College, and the University of North Georgia. This foundational grant will support efforts to build a network of experts who can improve understanding of climate impacts and solutions and better position Georgia to respond to a changing climate. Working with partners in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, the Georgia Climate Project recently released a 40-question Georgia Climate Research Roadmap. Planned upcoming activities include a Georgia Climate Information Portal, a collection of Georgia Climate Stories, expanded support for student-driven climate solutions, and a Georgia Climate Conference November 7-8, 2019. More information about the Georgia Climate Project is available at



The battery industry is exploding—here’s how it’s changing our world.

The battery industry is rapidly changing, in part because of growth in mobile devices and electric cars. The lithium-ion battery industry alone is expected to grow to $93 billion by 2025. But the energy sector could be disrupted by battery innovation as well. Here’s everything you need to know about the big business of batteries and how battery innovation is changing…



Whale songs in the ocean around Antarctica have transformed; climate change could be why

by Bopha Phorn 

Whales in the ocean around Antarctica are changing their tune, according to a new study. Publishing their findings in the Journal of Geophysical Research, scientists collected and analyzed more than 1 million songs from five populations of large whales in the southern Indian Ocean over the course of 7 years. They said that among other contributing factors, climate change and ocean acidification may have led to changes in the way that whales sing. “We measured precisely the frequency of the first tonal sound — called unit A — in each detected call. We observed that over the years, this frequency has decreased by about 0.14 hertz per year,” Jean-Yves Royer, one of the authors of the study, told ABC news. Royer explained that one of the reasons the whales have lowered their frequencies could be because an excess of carbon in the water as the oceans become more acidic. “This chemical change induces a change in the acoustic properties of the ocean, acidification favoring the propagation of low frequencies,” said Royer. “All large whales emit lowfrequency sounds, hardly discernible by a human ear. If the ocean carries better the sound waves, then no need to shout as loud as before to communicate with other whales.”


US Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, signed in February 2018, reinstated the tax credit for fuel cells, small wind, and geothermal heat pumps. The tax credit for all technologies now features a gradual step down in the credit value. A taxpayer may claim a credit of 30% of qualified expenditures for a system that serves a dwelling unit located in the United States that is owned and used as a residence by the taxpayer. Expenditures with respect to the equipment are treated as made when the installation is completed. If the installation is at a new home, the “placed in service” date is the date of occupancy by the homeowner. Expenditures include labor costs for on-site preparation, assembly or original system installation, and for piping or wiring to interconnect a system to the home. If the federal tax credit exceeds tax liability, the excess amount may be carried forward to the succeeding taxable year. The maximum allowable credit, equipment requirements and other details vary by technology, as outlined below. Solar-electric property

  • 30% for systems placed in service by 12/31/2019
  • 26% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2019 and before 01/01/2021
  • 22% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2020 and before 01/01/2022 • There is no maximum credit for systems placed in service after 2008.
  • Systems must be placed in service on or after January 1, 2006, and on or before December 31, 2021.
  • The home served by the system does not have to be the taxpayer’s principal residence.


Chronicling the End of Times on Tangier Island

by Mickie Meinhardt 

Once, this Virginia island was known mainly for its crab harvest and its people’s distinctive speech. These days, magazines and newspapers send reporters to Tangier because the island is predicted to be subsumed by the effects of global warming. You might get a “snapshot” of Tangier with a couple of days’ reporting, but to know it truly, you’d have to follow the example of Earl Swift, whose book “Chesapeake Requiem” takes a long look at life on this beautiful, vanishing island in Chesapeake Bay.



Stanford to go 100 percent solar by 2021

A second solar-generating plant, to be built in the next three years, will complete the university’s transition to clean power and further shrink campus greenhouse gas emissions.


Huge desert solar initiative to make Africa a renewables power-house

The Initiative aims to develop and provide 10 GW of solar energy by 2025 and supply 250 million people with green electricity including in some of the world’s poorest countries. At least 90 million people will be connected to electricity for the first time, lifting them out of energy poverty. Currently, 64% of the Sahel’s population – covering Senegal, Nigeria, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, Sudan, and Eritrea – lives without electricity, a major barrier to development, with consequences for education, health and business. By harnessing the exceptional solar resource in the region, AfDB and its partners hope to transform the region. The project has been launched in collaboration with the Green Climate Fund, a global pot of money created by the 194 countries who are party to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to support developing countries adapt to and mitigate climate change. The program is designed to combine private sector capital with blended finance.


In Mauritius, sugar cane means money, renewable energy

The leftover, crushed sugar cane stalks and tips — dry fibrous material known as “bagasse” — is burned to help power Mauritius and reduce its reliance on coal and oil. Electricity from sugar cane now accounts for 14 percent of the island’s needs and, when combined with other renewable sources such as solar, wind and hydro, provides nearly a quarter of daily consumption. Heavy trucks pulling huge trailers are lined up next to an immense warehouse to unload their cargo of fresh-cut sugarcane. During the harvest, 8,500 tonnes are sent daily to this facility — a total of around 900,000 tonnes for the year. The cane stalks are crushed to extract juice for sugar production. They are then soaked to extract the last juice and then heated to dry. Finally, squashed and dried, the stalks are fed into a thermal power station where they burn at 500 degrees Celsius, fuelling turbines that produce electricity for the plant and the national grid.


Research finds DERs, energy storage will overtake utility reliance on energy efficiency

by Kelsey Misbrener 

New systems for distributed energy resources and distributed generation, as well as energy storage will overtake utilities’ reliance on energy efficiency and demand response/demand side management to ease pressure on the grid and reduce dependence on fossil fuels over the next three to five years, according to new research from the Association of Energy Services Professionals. The research was conducted with Illume Advising and Grounded Research in Fall 2018.


BT Group reaches 96% reliance on renewables

by Harry Menear

Global telecommunications provider BT Group announced this week that it had signed two new energy deals, which will raise the company’s reliance on renewable energy sources from 81% to 96%.



Boston law firm creates national Renewable Energy Practice Group to serve renewables and energy storage

By Kelsey Misbrener

Boston law firm Sherin and Lodgen LLP announces that it has expanded its award-winning Solar Energy practice and created a national Renewable Energy Practice Group to meet the needs of the accelerating renewable energy and energy storage industries. Chaired by firm partner, Bethany A. Bartlett, the new group will represent lenders, developers, municipalities and companies committed to sustainability through solar, wind and energy storage and saving initiatives.