Tag Archives: Harvard

Divest Harvard is winning, and we all will win sun, wind, and water power

Changing the world is hard and takes courage, but that’s why we will win. Bill Sargent had given up on global projects and turned to smaller local problems where it seemed there was a greater change of making a real difference. He wrote for Harvard Heat Week 27 April 2015, Heat Week: Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks,

But then I met Divest Harvard. Here was a group of bright, eager, sleep-deprived young undergraduates and grad students — free of such skepticism and willing to take on both Big Oil and the richest University in the world in one fell swoop.

He listed a number of ways Divest Harvard is winning because they chose the biggest targets under adverse conditions. For example: Continue reading

Tesla opening market for home solar batteries

Elon Musk’s recent reminder that Tesla is working on a house-sized battery has caused quite a stir, but not enough. Tesla alone isn’t the significant part: Tesla opening a market for inexpensive home solar storage methods is. And not all those methods will be batteries: also coming are capacitors, organic vats, compressed air, and water pumped up towers, for storage to car- and house- size to municipal- and utility-scale, all of which will drive solar and wind deployment even faster.

John McDuling, QZ, 30 July 2014, How solar energy storage could make Tesla much more than an automaker,

How lucrative could the solar energy storage business be for Tesla? Almost as lucrative as selling cars.

That’s according to Morgan Stanley, which this week Continue reading

Fixing climate change is profitable

Batteries are just one of many reasons, including electric vehicles, smart grid, solar and wind power (including pass HB 57 and you can profit by getting financing for your own solar panels), plus massive savings on health care and electricity bills; batteries are one of many reasons that fixing climate change will save us all money, clean up our air and water, expand our forests, preserve property rights, and make some people rich:

In fact, a recent report suggests that revenue from the distributed energy storage market — meaning battery packs and other storage devices located directly at homes and businesses (many of which now generate electricity through solar) — could exceed $16.5 billion by 2024. Another report predicts $68 billion in revenue in the same time frame from the grid-scale storage market. This includes large-scale battery packs, hydro-storage systems that use cheap abundant electricity to pump water uphill to drive turbines later on, or even solar thermal systems that store energy as heat in molten salt.

And it’s all happening fast, so fast your jaw will drop if you’re not paying attention. So let’s stop talking about the costs of fixing climate change. It’s not just no-cost and free, not just in the future but right now; we’re all actually going to be better off through fixing climate change: healthier and more prosperous.

Sami Grover wrote Continue reading

MLK and pipeline opposition

The fossil fuel opposition is the child and grandchild of Mohandas K. Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. With their nonviolence, truth, and action as a model, we shall overcome.

Bill McKibben, The Guardian, 25 August 2011, Martin Luther King’s legacy and the power of nonviolent civil disobedience: In opposing the Keystone XL oil pipeline, demonstrators are getting a sense of the civil rights leader’s courage,

Preacher, speaker, writer under fire, but also tactician. He really understood the power of nonviolence, a power we’ve experienced in the last few days. When the police cracked down on us, the publicity it produced cemented two of the main purposes of our protest: First, it made Keystone XL “ the new, 1,700-mile-long pipeline we’re trying to block that will vastly increase the flow of “dirty” tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf of Mexico “ into a national issue. A few months ago, it was mainly people along the route of the prospective pipeline who were organising against it. (And with good reason: Continue reading

Solar boom charts

When a power source grows 66% a year on average people start taking notice. Few had heard of the Internet in 1993: now it’s in your pocket. In less than a decade, by 2023, solar power will generate more energy than any other U.S. source. To keep Georgia from being left behind, this is the year to change a 1973 law.

If charts like this one aren’t familiar yet, they will be in the next year or two:

Tim McDonnell, Mother Jones, 7 November 2014, Here Comes the Sun: America’s Solar Boom, in Charts: It’s been a bit player, but solar power is about to shine.

At 66% more per year, solar power’s current 1% of U.S. electricity next year will be 1.66%, then 2.76%, then Continue reading

Stanford beats Harvard; divests from coal

In the first big win for the fossil fuel divestment campaign, Stanford just did what campaign-founder Harvard has not yet: announced it would divest from coal-mining companies.

Here’s Stanford’s PR dated today, 7 May 2014, Stanford to divest from coal companies,

Acting on a recommendation of Stanford’s Advisory Panel on Investment Responsibility and Licensing, the Board of Trustees announced that Stanford will not make direct investments in coal mining companies. The move reflects the availability of alternate energy sources with lower greenhouse gas emissions than coal.

Who is this Advisory Panel? Continue reading

VSU up there with Harvard about fossil fuel divestment

VSU is with the big schools, leading the stigmatization of fossil fuel companies and the exodus from those stranded assets. Students are leading on that and related issues, more than our local elected bodies, but there’s an election going on.

Mary Schellentrager posted for PowerShift 29 April 2014, NATIONAL PHOTO ROUND-UP: BOLD ACTION FOR #BEYONDEARTHDAY: Continue reading

Maybe VSU should join this band of Fossil-Free Foundations

Maybe that’s what the VSU Foundation wants to tell SAVE when they dine Monday: VSU gets it (even if Harvard doesn’t) that fossil fuels are a bad investment and solar is where the profits, students, and investors are.

Diane Cardwell wrote for DealBook 30 January 2014, Foundations Band Together to Get Rid of Fossil-Fuel Investments,

Seventeen foundations controlling nearly $1.8 billion in investments have united to commit to pulling their money out of companies that do business in fossil fuels, the group announced on Thursday.

The move is a victory for a developing divestiture campaign that has found success largely among small colleges and environmentally conscious cities, but has not yet won over the wealthiest institutions like Harvard, Brown and Swarthmore.

But the participation of the foundations, including the Russell Family Foundation, the Educational Foundation of America and the John Merck Fund, is the largest commitment to the effort, and stems in part from a push among philanthropies to bring their investing in line with their missions.

“At a minimum, our grants should not be undercut by our investments,” Continue reading

Organic battery with no metals –Harvard SEAS

Solar already provides peak power at peak load, and through distribution is resilient, and that plus ever-decreasing prices will drive solar deployments up exponentially for a decade or so yet. If we add an inexpensive metal-free battery, solar will take over even faster. And that’s what Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences has just published as a discovery.

Harvard SEAS PR of 8 January 2014, Organic mega flow battery promises breakthrough for renewable energy: Harvard technology could economically store energy for use when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine,

The paper reports a metal-free flow battery that relies on the electrochemistry of naturally abundant, inexpensive, small organic (carbon-based) molecules called quinones, which are similar to molecules that store energy in plants and animals.

And much less expensive, reported CBC News 9 January 2014, Continue reading

Fossil fuel divestment fastest

Divestment to Financial Hardship to Change in Conduct Not just faster than apartheid divestment; faster than divestment from tobacco, armaments, and others: fossil fuel divestment. It’s not about direct reduction of market capitalization; it’s about making it socially unacceptable to buy from stigmatized companies, and it works, and it’s working faster than ever for fossil fuels. Oh, and fossil fuel companies are a tiny sliver of university endowments, so ditching them is pain free, especially now that fossil fuel stock prices are not rising while solar stocks skyrocket (and nuclear stocks don’t). Go fossil free, go VSU.

Stranded Assets and the Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign: What Does Divestment Mean for the Valuation of Fossil Fuel Assets? 8 October 2013 | Authors: Atif Ansar, Ben Caldecott, James Tilbury
Damian Carrington wrote for the Guardian Monday 7 October 2013 Campaign against fossil fuels growing, says study: Investors being persuaded to take their money out of fossil fuel sector, according to University of Oxford study,

A campaign to persuade investors to take their money out of the fossil fuel sector is growing faster than any previous divestment campaign and could cause significant damage to coal, oil and gas companies, according to a study from the University of Oxford.

The report compares the current fossil fuel divestment campaign, which has attracted 41 institutions since 2010, with those against tobacco, apartheid in South Africa, armaments, gambling and pornography. It concludes that the direct financial impact of such campaigns on share prices or the ability to raise funds is small but the reputational damage can still have major financial consequences.

Continue reading