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Smithtown buys electric cars, offers free charges to public

Town purchases two Chevrolet Bolts and will install a charging station the public can use for free for at least two years. The Chevrolet Bolts reportedly go 238 miles per charge. Photo Credit: Bridget Fetsko Smithtown will take delivery of two all-electric cars in coming weeks and will install a vehicle charger behind Town Hall by early summer, providing free charges to electric vehicle drivers for at least two years, officials said. “The town plays a role in showcasing alternative technologies and showing the viability of some of these things,” said Russell Barnett, director of the town Department of Environment and Waterways. “This is part of a worldwide trend — things are going electric.

Under Trump's Tariffs, The US Lost 20,000 Solar Energy Jobs

U.S. Solar Jobs by Year Chart of the National Solar Jobs Census 2018SOLARJOBSCENSUS.ORG 2016 was the best year on record for solar energy in the United States. A report from the U.S. Department of Energy at the time showed that solar energy was responsible for a much larger share of employment in the electric power sector (43%) than the whole of the fossil fuel industry combined (22%). With such robust numbers, it seemed as though solar energy, and renewables more broadly, were about to revolutionize the energy sector in the United States and lead the push towards cleaner energy and lower carbon emissions. Trump Tariffs Challenge Growth However, solar energy jobs have stagnated and dipped fo

Plug Power expected to create 80 jobs with Eastman Business Park expansion

Rochester, N.Y. – Dozens of jobs are expected for our area as an Albany County-based business expands its presence to Eastman Business Park. Plug Power, Inc., which provides alternative energy technology, will invest $3.7 million to create a Membrane Electrode Assemblies facility at the business park. The state says this, in turn is expected to create about 80 jobs. The company acquired the Rochester-based American Fuel Cell last year. It has also announced a $2.8 million investment to create a fuel distribution center and manufacturing facility in Saratoga County. In a statement, Governor Andrew Cuomo said, “Plug Power is a key partner in New York State's nation-leading efforts to move away

Plummeting insect numbers 'threaten collapse of nature'

The rate of insect extinction is eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles. Photograph: Courtesy of Entomologisher Verein Krefeld The world’s insects are hurtling down the path to extinction, threatening a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems”, according to the first global scientific review. More than 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered, the analysis found. The rate of extinction is eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles. The total mass of insects is falling by a precipitous 2.5% a year, according to the best data available, suggesting they could vanish within a century. The planet is at the start of a sixth mass ext

The Tiny Swiss Company That Thinks It Can Help Stop Climate Change

Two European entrepreneurs want to remove carbon from the air at prices cheap enough to matter. Christoph Gebald, left, and Jan Wurzbacher, the founders of Climeworks, at their plant in Hinwil, Switzerland.Credit Luca Locatelli for The New York Times Just over a century ago in Ludwigshafen, Germany, a scientist named Carl Bosch assembled a team of engineers to exploit a new technique in chemistry. A year earlier, another German chemist, Fritz Haber, hit upon a process to pull nitrogen (N) from the air and combine it with hydrogen (H) to produce tiny amounts of ammonia (NH₃). But Haber’s process was delicate, requiring the maintenance of high temperatures and high pressure. Bosch wanted to fi

Emissions from the U.S. electric power sector projected to remain mostly flat through 2050

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Outlook 2019 EIA’s recently released Annual Energy Outlook 2019 projects that the U.S. electric power sector emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and carbon dioxide (CO2) will remain mostly flat through 2050, assuming no changes to current laws and regulations. SO2 and NOx emissions from the U.S. electric power sector have declined over the past several decades, largely because of the phased implementation of regulations under the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. For SO2, these regulations include acid rain cap-and-trade program deadlines in 1995 and 2000. One of the main regulations affecting NOx emissions w

Congress retains most energy programs in 2018 Farm Bill through fiscal year 2023

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008; Agricultural Act of 2014; Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 On December 20, 2018, the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) was signed into law, continuing federal support to a number of renewable electricity and bioenergy-related programs. Authorizations in the 2018 Farm Bill cover fiscal years (FY) 2019 through 2023, during which time energy programs will receive $375 million in mandatory funding, with up to an additional $860 million in discretionary funding. These spending levels represent a 46% decrease in mandatory funding and a 12% increase in discretionary funding c

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