If it’s not Sustainable, its Condition is Terminal.

January 17, 2022

3,517 regular daily posts, linking 46,803 articles

§ The most recent reported status of US nuclear power plants can be found at the US Nuclear Power Report, a distressingly dull account of NRC news, posted when the NRC gives us news to post. As of January 14, out of 93 US-licensed power reactors, 10 were at reduced output and 1 not operating.

§ Video: Energy Week #452 – 1/6/2022: It’s been warm in Alaska. A bad January wildfire hit Colorado. Electric car sales are growing fast, worldwide. New York City is buying electric garbage trucks. The EU wants to call natural gas and nuclear green energy sources, but Austria, Germany, and Spain will have none of it. Ford increased sales targets for the F-150 Lightning, again. And there is more.

§ You can get a copy of the latest Green Energy Times, the December 2021 edition, by downloading the pdf file HERE.

January 17 Energy News

January 17, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “From Asthma Alley To Renewable Row: Transform This Stretch Of Queens” • As a City Council member from Astoria, I worked to reduce New York City’s heavy dependence on fossil fuels because of the serious dangers of climate change. But for me, clean energy is personal. My son has been diagnosed with childhood asthma. [NY Daily News]

Ravenswood power plant (Rhododendrites, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “A 21st-Century Reinvention of the Electric Grid Is Crucial for Solving the Climate Change Crisis” • With the planet facing ever more intense heat waves, drought, wildfires, and storms, a path to tackle the climate crisis became clear: Transition the electric grid to carbon-free wind and solar and convert most other fossil fuel users to electricity. [Governing Magazine]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Is The Tesla Model Y Even Safer Than The Tesla Model 3?” • The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety revealed the results of its Tesla Model Y crash safety tests recently. Like all Teslas, the Model Y earned the highest possible rating for crash safety. Surprisingly, the Model Y electric SUV has proven even safer than the Model 3. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 and Model Y in crash testing (IIHS images)

¶ “Gas Car Fires Far More Common Than Electric Car Fires” • A study by Auto Insurance EZ analyzed data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics and the National Transportation Safety Board, along with data on recalls from recalls.gov. It shows that while EV fires can happen, they are rare compared to fires in cars powered by gasoline. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Where Is All The Rooftop Solar Power In Australia Going?” • Australia now has over 17 GW of installed rooftop solar power, after a scorching installation rate in 2021. Despite supply chain issues, and the solar coaster of rolling lockdowns across districts and whole states, 3 GW were put on Australian roofs over the past 12 months. [CleanTechnica]

Rooftop solar (Nuno Marques, Unsplash)

¶ “Oman Partners With BP For Multi-Gigawatt Renewables Capacity By 2030” • BP has formed a strategic partnership with the government of Oman’s Ministry of Energy and Minerals to exploit a potential multi-gigawatt renewable energy and green hydrogen by 2030. Among other things, BP will help Oman with data analysis. [Upstream Online]

¶ “Stelco Will Recycle EV Batteries At Its Ontario Factory” • A Canadian steel company, Stelco, has announced plans to recycle end-of-life EV and lithium-ion batteries at its factory in Ontario. Stelco will be using proprietary technology from a joint venture of German and Australian metal companies Primobius GmbH and Neometels Ltd. [CleanTechnica]

Battery recycling (Image courtesy of Primobius)

¶ “Renewable Energy To Meet Over 70% Of China’s Additional Power Needs In Next Three Years, Says IEA” • Renewable energy will meet over 70% of China’s additional electricity demand in the next three years as coal’s role in powering the country continues to decline, the International Energy Agency’s latest projection shows. [South China Morning Post]

¶ “South Australia Breaks Record By Running For A Week On Renewable Energy” • South Australia sourced an average of just over 100% of the electricity it needed from renewable power for a period of 6½ days leading up to December 29 last year. It is a record for the state and perhaps for comparable energy grids around the world. [Sydney Morning Herald]

Solar Car Park in South Australia (Flicker02, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Experts See Nuclear Energy As A Patch For Decarbonization” • Currently available renewable electricity sources are much cheaper, faster, and cleaner than nuclear power. “Investing in nuclear energy, which has been almost stopped for three decades, when we have a better alternative and doing so in the midst of a climate emergency is crazy.” [The Saxon]

US:

¶ “Battery Resourcers Recycling Facility Will Open In August” • Battery Resourcers is building a $43 million, 154,000 square foot recycling facility in Georgia. The company says it will be the largest in America when it opens in August. The new facility will be able to recycle 30,000 metric tons of discarded lithium-ion batteries and scrap per year. [CleanTechnica]

Batteries to recycle (Image courtesy of Battery Resources)

¶ “Electricity Regulation With Equity And Justice For All” • A report published by the US DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Advancing Equity in Utility Regulation, makes a unifying case that utilities, regulators, and stakeholders need to prioritize energy equity in the deployment of clean energy technologies and resources. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Court Rejects Tesla’s Request For Tougher Fuel Economy Penalties” • A US appeals court rejected Tesla’s request to reinstate higher civil penalties for automakers who fail to meet US fuel economy standards, Reuters has reported. The ruling is seen as a win for automakers that don’t meet US fuel economy standards. [CleanTechnica

Have an excitingly dignified day.

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January 16 Energy News

January 16, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Why Nuclear Power Can Never Be Green” • Calling nuclear power “green” or “sustainable,” attempting to equate a nuclear reactor with a solar panel or a wind turbine, is plain and simple fraud. Nuclear power does not lead to carbon emissions once production begins, but to give it the same treatment as a truly renewable source is a bare-faced lie. [Eurasia Review]

Nuclear power plant (Johannes Plenio, Pexels)

¶ “Climate Scientists On ‘Don’t Look Up’: It’s Infuriating, Soul-Sucking, And On-The-Nose” • I come from a team of climate scientists, analysts, and advocates. For us, Don’t Look Up was both like pulling teeth to watch and air-punchingly validating. We saw the futility of our work, and its necessity. We feel hopeful some people can be moved to action. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Tesla And Chinese EV Makers Putting Lot Of Weight On These Low-Cost EV Batteries” • Tesla first used lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP or LiFePO₄) batteries for its Model 3s that were made in China in 2020. The same technology is also being used by other Chinese manufacturers because of its low cost and low probability of catching fire. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 in Qinghai (Image: Tesla, Tesla Greater China)

World:

¶ “India Is Preparing Its Power Grid For A Major Renewable Energy Expansion” • In line with India’s commitment at the COP26 summit, the country aims to reach net-zero by 2070. India seeks to meet 50% of its energy needs by 2030 through renewable sources and expand non-fossil fuel power generation capacity to 500 GW in this decade. [Oil Price]

¶ “Renault Says It Will Sell Only Electric Cars In Europe By 2030” • At a press conference, Renault CEO Luca de Meo said his company plans to sell only battery EVs in Europe by 2030. He left the door open for Dacia, the low-priced brand in the Renault stable, to sell internal combustion cars after that date, calling it Renault’s Plan B. [CleanTechnica]

Renault Megane E-Tech Courtesy of Renault)

¶ “Econergy Enters UK Storage Market With 50-MW Project Acquisition” • Econergy Renewable Energy acquired Swangate Energy Storage Ltd, a 50-MW storage project in Yorkshire. The 50-MW Swangate project is part of a wider pipeline of projects consisting of more than 800 MW of storage and 900 MW of solar PV. [Power Engineering International]

¶ “Will ScotWind Auction Deliver A Renewables Revolution?” • The ScotWind auction is the first time in a decade that plots of seabed in Scottish waters have been up for grabs. The ScotWind auction, whose successful bidders are about to be announced, should see at least a further 10 GW added to the Scottish market and maybe more with new technology. [BBC]

SeaJack turbine installation vessel (Michael Parry, public domain)

¶ “Government Exploring Rooftop, Floating Solar Power For Scarcity Of Lands: Nasrul” • In Bangladesh, the State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, Nasrul Hamid, said that the government is exploring options like rooftop and floating solar power plants as alternatives to land-based sites due to scarcity of lands. [The Business Standard]

¶ “Australia To Get The Cupra Born” • Australians are keen to get into affordable electric cars. However, the EVs we keep getting offered are a little rich for our blood, a little expensive for our wallets. The latest is the Cupra Born, which I am sure will sell well at A$50,000 to $60,000 ($36,000 to $43,220) because it is a very exciting machine. [CleanTechnica]

Cupra Born (Image courtesy of Cupra)

¶ “Swedish Police Hunt For Drone Seen Flying Over Forsmark Nuclear Plant” • Police in Sweden deployed helicopters and patrols to the Forsmark nuclear plant to hunt for a large drone seen flying over the site late on Friday. They were unable to catch the unmanned vehicle, they said. Unconfirmed sightings took place at one other nuclear plant. [Reuters]

US:

¶ “What’s The Latest With Tesla’s Cybertruck?” • Tesla has been somewhat guarded about the Cybertruck. That said, an iteration of Tesla’s much-anticipated pickup was recently spotted at the Fremont factory test track. Hence, some clues were revealed. A few updated features were spied during a drone flyover of the factory area. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Cybertruck (u/Kruzat, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “US DOE Looks To Produce More Uranium For Cutting-Edge Nuclear Reactors” • The US government is looking to advance the country’s nuclear power capabilities in an effort to align with a less carbon-intensive future. With that, it is seeking to produce more high-assay low-enriched uranium fuel that would be used by reactors of new design. [The Deep Dive]

¶ “Military Seeks To Boost Tritium Output From TVA’s Watts Bar Nuclear Plant” • The military is seeking to boost the production of tritium, a key component of America’s nuclear arsenal, at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar Nuclear Plant. The move comes despite criticism that it violates international nuclear arms agreements. [Yahoo! Sports]

Have a classically pleasant day.

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January 15 Energy News

January 15, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “No One Surprised 2021 One Of The Hottest Years On Record – And That’s Terrifying” • NASA and NOAA released their data on 2021 climate trends. Climatologist Dr Kristina Dahl wrote, “What terrifies me about the latest data showing 2021 ranks as the sixth hottest year on record is that these facts and figures are no longer surprising or shocking.” [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it. (NOAA image)

¶ “Critics Slam USPS Failure To Pursue An Electrification Strategy” • The US postal service plans to saddle America with internal combustion technology until at least the middle of this century. That is simply insane. But a defense contractor will profit handsomely from this arrangement. And that’s business as usual in America. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Five Ways US States Can Get More Electric School Buses On The Road” • The enactment of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in the US is an important step on the path to cleaner school bus rides for more than 20 million children. Here are five specific ways that state leaders can lead in a transition to electric school buses. [CleanTechnica]

School buses charging (Nuvve Corporation, cropped)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Tesla Cold Weather Experiment In Temperatures Of -22°F And -31°F” • How long would a Tesla keep you warm if a blizzard kept you from moving? CleanTechnica readers reported on doing their own experiments with Teslas operating in the very cold temperatures. The results show that Teslas are really surprisingly good at keeping the heat on. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “1,000-Cycle Lithium-Sulfur Battery Could Quintuple Electric Vehicle Ranges” • A new biologically inspired battery membrane has enabled a battery with five times the capacity of the industry-standard lithium ion design to run for the thousand-plus cycles needed to power an electric car. The design came from a team at the University of Michigan. [CleanTechnica]

Lithium-sulfur battery (Ahmet Emre, Kotov Lab)

World:

¶ “Romanian Minister Says EU Funds To Drive Green Energy Surge” • EU support schemes will drive a surge in renewable energy projects in Romania to replace outdated coal-fired power plants and help the country meet its climate targets, Energy Minister Virgil Popescu said. He also gave a time scale on help from the US for nuclear plants. [Reuters]

¶ “Germany To Dedicate 2% Of Its Land To Development Of Wind Power” • Germany’s new Green Minister for Economics and Climate, Robert Habeck, presented a bold new plan for expanding onshore and offshore wind power. If successful, the plan would add up to 10 GW of new onshore wind capacity every year for the rest of the decade. [CleanTechnica]

Texas Wind Farm (Amazon image)

¶ “Huawei To Sell Large Capacity Battery For Renewable Energy In Japan” • With the growing demand for renewable energy, large-scale battery storage will be needed to maintain a stable supply. According to NikkeiAsia, Huawei will start selling the large-scale battery system for renewable energy storage in Japan in March 2022. [Huawei Central]

US:

¶ “Tesla Cybertruck Reportedly Delayed Until 1st Quarter Of 2023” • The Cybertruck page on the Tesla website used to say, “You will be able to complete your configuration as production nears in 2022.” But at the end of last year, the words “in 2022” were deleted. Why? It seems likely that Cybertruck production has been moved back into 2023. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Cybertruck (Image courtesy of Tesla)

¶ “The US Spent $1.1 Billion On Failed Carbon Capture Projects In A Decade” • The US Government Accountability Office said in a recent report that the US DOE had spent $1.1 billion on eleven carbon capture projects at coal-fired power plants and industrial facilities since 2009, most of which turned out to be failures and were never built. [Oil Price] (Thanks to Tad Montgomery)

¶ “Arizona Utility Signs Wind PPA With NextEra” • Arizona utility Salt River Project is contracting with a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources to buy the electricity from the 161-MW Babbitt Ranch wind farm in Coconino County, north of Flagstaff. It is scheduled to begin delivering electricity to SRP’s power grid by December 2023. [reNews]

NextEra wind farm (NextEra image)

¶ “Solar Power Could Boom In 2022, Depending On Supply Chains” • The US Energy Information Administration projects US solar companies will install 21.5 GW of utility-scale capacity this year, shattering the annual record of 15.5 GW set last year. But the Solar Energy Industries Association says growth could be limited by supply constraints. [Scientific American]

¶ “Permian Basin Solar Farm Green-Lit By State Of New Mexico. Will Power Oil And Gas Operations” • A New Mexico solar farm will support the needs of Chevron’s Permian Basin oil and gas operations after the fossil fuel giant won a bid for a section of State Trust land for the project. The Hayhurst project will have a capacity of 20 MW. [Yahoo News]

Pump jacks in the Permian Basin (Zorin09, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Targa To Source Solar Power For West Texas Assets” • Targa Resources Corp plans to source electricity from Concho Valley Solar to provide power to Targa’s natural gas processing infrastructure in the Permian Basin in West Texas. Concho Valley Solar has begun construction of a 160-MW project near San Angelo, Texas. [LP Gas magazine]

¶ “US Cross-Department Plan Inked To Greenlight 25 GW Of Renewables Plant On Federal Land By 2025” • Five US cabinet departments have signed a memorandum of understanding to improve government coordination and streamline reviews for development of a lead-off 25 GW of renewable energy projects on public lands by 2025. [RechargeNews]

Have an enchantingly delicious day.

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January 14 Energy News

January 14, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Some German Environmental Groups Overlook Coal’s Impact On Water While Focusing On Stopping Tesla” • Two groups are suing the German State Office for the Environment claiming that the tests for approval of the water supply for the gigafactory are not available. In my opinion, they are not pro-environment. They are just anti-Tesla. [CleanTechnica]

Berlin Gigafactory (Image courtesy of Tesla)

¶ “Why The Joint US-South Korean Research On Plutonium Separation Raises Nuclear Proliferation Danger” • South Korea, like the US, has long relied on nuclear power as a major source of electric power. Both countries have large stores of spent nuclear fuel. And South Korea has long had an interest in other nuclear technology. [Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists]

Science and Technology:

¶ “2021 Was 45th Year In A Row With A Warmer-Than-Normal Global Temperature” • The last 45 years have all been above the 20th century average for global temperature, new data shows, as Earth continues its relentless warming due to heat-trapping fossil fuel emissions. Earth’s average temperature is now around 1.1°C above average pre-industrial levels. [CNN]

Earth from space (NASA image)

World:

¶ “India’s Richest Man Is Pouring More Than $80 Billion Into Green Energy” • Reliance Industries, a conglomerate owned by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani, announced that it would allocate ₹6 trillion (about $80.6 billion) to renewable power projects in the western Indian state of Gujarat, where it hopes to help generate a million new jobs. [CNN]

¶ “The World’s Insatiable Appetite For Electricity Is Setting Up A Climate Disaster” • A report published by the International Energy Agency found that global demand for electricity surged 6% in 2021, fueled by a colder winter and the dramatic economic rebound from the pandemic. That drove both prices and carbon emissions to new records. [CNN]

Transmission lines (Matthew Henry, Unsplash)

¶ “Renewable PPA Prices Surge In Response To Gas Crisis” • A price rise of 7.8% quarter on quarter for renewable purchase price agreements means that the average cost has soared by 17.4% in the past nine months Corporations are looking to deliver on their climate goals and protect themselves against growing gas price volatility. [Business Green]

¶ “China Electric Vehicle Sales Growth Is Sparking Big Change” • China has emerged as a world leader in electric vehicle adoption in recent years. And it turns out 2021 was no exception. The Wall Street Journal recently reported, “China’s car market snapped a three-year decline last year, helped by strong sales of electric vehicles.” [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model Y vehicles in China (Courtesy of Tesla)

¶ “EU Gas And Nuclear Rules Derided As ‘Biggest Greenwash Ever'” • Experts and activists are commenting on the European Commission’s plan to include natural gas and nuclear power as eligible for sustainable finance. They warn that the plan will lead to further greenwashing, split financial markets, and undermine the bloc’s climate objectives. [EUobserver]

¶ “Shipping Carbon Price Loophole Lets Millions Of Tonnes Of CO₂ Off The Hook” • Over 25 million tonnes of CO₂ – equivalent to the CO₂ emissions of Denmark – are exempt from the EU’s proposed carbon price for shipping, a Transport & Environment study shows. The exemptions appear to be arbitrary, and they undermine the EU’s shipping law. [CleanTechnica]

Bridge of a ferry (Ibrahim Boran, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Energy Department Will Recruit 1,000 Additional Staffers For New Corps To Tackle The Climate Crisis” • The DOE is starting up a Clean Energy Corps to help implement the bipartisan infrastructure law and develop clean-energy solutions to the climate crisis, the agency said. It will hire 1,000 new employees through a newly launched hiring portal. [CNN]

¶ “The US ‘Megadrought’ Sets Another Stunning Record” • Despite several recent drenching rainstorms in the West and enough snow to top the second story of some buildings, the United States has tied an alarming drought record: At least 40% of the Lower 48 has gone 68 straight weeks – more than 17 months – in drought conditions. [CNN]

Drought (Ross Stone, Unsplash)

¶ “Palmetto Maps 107 Million Roofs In US While Opposition To Rooftop Solar Grows” • MIT researchers created Mapdwell, a tool that provides an instant assessment of any building’s rooftop potential for solar energy production and battery storage. The tool was sold to Palmetto and is ready for use. But there are those who want to stop rooftop solar. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US EPA To Evaluate Whether Lead Emissions From Piston-Engine Aircraft Endanger Human Health And Welfare” • The US EPA said it will evaluate emissions from piston-engine aircraft operating on leaded fuel and their potential threats to public health and welfare. The agency will issue a proposal for public review and comment in 2022. [CleanTechnica]

Airplane (Arie Wubben, Unsplash)

¶ “EDPR completes 200-MW Indiana Solar” • EDP Renewables has completed the construction of the 200MW Riverstart solar farm in the US state of Indiana. The project, located in Randolph County, is the largest solar farm by capacity in Indiana. It will generate electric energy equivalent to the average demand of over 36,000 homes each year. [reNews]

¶ “Manchin Wants Nuclear Tax Credit Extended In Biden’s Build Back Better Bill” • West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin (D) is seeking tax credits for nuclear power plants for 10 years instead of the six years as put in President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better bill. Manchin himself stalled the bill late last year with opposition to many of its provisions. [Oil Price]

Have an abundantly agreeable day.

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January 13 Energy News

January 13, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “The Answer Is Blowing In The Wind” • The US Interior Department’s offshore wind lease sales are important as they are necessary to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and mitigate warming levels. Unfortunately, as often happens with attempts to reduce US dependence on oil, opposition groups voice concerns about the wind lease sale. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore wind farm (Image from NOAA, public domain)

¶ “Debunking Three Myths About Renewable Energy And The Grid” • As wind and solar power have become far cheaper, and their share of electricity generation grows, skeptics of these technologies are propagating several myths about renewable energy and the electrical grid. Here, we take a look at why their message is simply wrong. [GreenBiz]

¶ “Why Is The Santa Susana Nuclear Accident Still Being Covered Up?” • In 1979, the year of Three Mile Island, I exposed another partial meltdown in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. It occurred at the Santa Susana Field Lab, a reactor and rocket-testing facility in the mountains between the San Fernando and Simi Valleys. [Zocalo Public Square]

SRE nuclear facility in 1958 (US DOE image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Happy Hours: Energy Storage Could Support The Grid Every Hour Of The Day, All Year Long” • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory modeled grid operations in high-storage power systems down to the hour in the latest phase of the Storage Futures Study. This is to help grid operators understand how to use energy storage of the future. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Gas-Powered Car Sales In China Down Around 4% While EV Sales Up About 145% In 2021” • Sam Korus of ARK Invest pointed out that gas-powered car sales in China were down 4% in 2021, while battery EV sales were up about 145%. China’s passenger auto sales were up about 4.4% last year and EVs were responsible for that growth. [CleanTechnica]

Teslas ready for sale (Image courtesy of Tesla China)

¶ “Denmark Crushes 50% EV Sales Barrier – Now What?” • I think Hans Christian Ørsted, who discovered electromagnetism in 1820, would be pleased. The association of Danish automobile importers reports that in December 2021 the share of electrified passenger vehicles, including both battery EVs and plug-in hybrids has passed 50%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “THOR And ZF Partner To Develop Battery-Powered Towable RVs” • THOR Industries, the Indiana-based parent company of Airstream, signed a memorandum of understanding with ZF, a Tier One supplier to the automotive industry based in Germany, for joint development of a high voltage electric drive system for towable recreational vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

E.Home Caravan (Image courtesy of Dethleffs)

¶ “Vedanta Aluminium Is India’s Largest Industrial Consumer Of Renewable Energy” • Vedanta Aluminium Business, Indias largest producer of aluminium and value-added products, has become the biggest industrial consumer of renewable energy in 2021. The company is powering an aluminum smelter entirely with renewable energy. [Daijiworld]

¶ “Global Renewable Power Installations Climb To New Record High In 2021 – IEA” • The amount of renewables added between 2021 and 2026 is expected to be 50% higher than from 2015 to 2020, driven by stronger support from government policies and more ambitious clean power goals announced for the Cop26 UN climate summit. [Yahoo News UK]

Solar array (American Public Power Association, Unsplash)

¶ “Thames Water Creates Enough Renewable Energy To Cook 112 Million Turkeys” • The UK’s largest water company created almost 140 million cubic meters of green biogas during the sewage treatment process. This was use to generate over 300 million kWh of electricity, enough to cook 112 million Christmas turkeys. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

US:

¶ “Biden Administration Announces Its First Offshore Wind Auction, With More To Come” • The White House unveiled several government initiatives to bolster US offshore wind production, streamline a review of public lands for clean energy and implement power grid improvements as part of the recently passed bipartisan infrastructure law. [CNN]

Block Island offshore windfarm (US DOE, public domain)

¶ “How To Grow US Offshore Wind Power” • The US DOE is releasing a report that outlines regional and national strategies to accelerate US offshore wind deployment and operation. By implementing the strategies discussed in the report, the country achieve the interagency goal to deploy 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Lightsource BP Closes On 345-MW Louisiana Solar Site” • Lightsource BP has closed on a $533 million (€467 million) multi-project financing package and started construction on its 345-MW Ventress Solar project 30 miles northwest of Baton Rouge. Lightsource BP will sell its energy to McDonald’s Corporation and eBay. [reNews]

Solar array with flowers (Lightsource BP image)

¶ “US DOE Awards $8.4 Million For Accessing Geothermal Potential From Abandoned Oil And Gas Wells” • The US DOE selected four projects to receive up to $8.4 million to establish geothermal energy from unused oil and gas wells. The funding will help existing well owners use unproductive wells to access geothermal potential. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Money Talks: ZeroAvia Nails Paine Field Site For Hydrogen Aircraft R&D” • The dream of zero emission flight is taking shape around electric aircraft, with batteries and hydrogen fuel cells running neck and neck to see who can take off first. So far it’s a toss-up, but ZeroAvia has a good shot at going mainstream within the next few years. [CleanTechnica]

Have a totally hunky-dory day.

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January 12 Energy News

January 12, 2022

Science and Technology:

¶ “A Year In Review: Advancing Energy Storage And Conversion Research” • Over the past year, researchers at NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) have pioneered innovative, interdisciplinary, and integrated R&D for advancements in electrochemical, molecular, thermal, and mechanical energy storage systems. [CleanTechnica]

Particle thermal energy storage built from retired thermal
plant (Jeffrey Gifford and Patrick Davenport, NREL)

¶ “Let’s Get Down And Dirty – Soil Needs Cleantech” • Soil is the foundation of the most basic of ecosystem functions. As a natural resource, it is indispensable. It provides essential nutrients to forests and crops and helps regulate the Earth’s temperature. The effects of the climate crisis make it clear: Soil needs cleantech and its innovation. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Oceans Were The Warmest On Record In 2021, For The Third Year In A Row” • Last year was the hottest on record for oceans for the third year in a row. An annual study, published in the journal Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, found the past five years have been the hottest five on record for the oceans. The records go back to the late 1950s. [CNN]

Sea waters (Joseph Barrientos, Unsplash)

¶ “French City Cancels Hydrogen Bus Contract, Opts For Electric Buses” • The public transit agency for the city of Montpellier, on the southern coast of France, has cancelled a contract for 51 new buses powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The city had calculated it would cost 95¢/km for the hydrogen fueled buses versus 15¢/km for battery-powered buses. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ineos Seals Belgian Offshore Wind Power Deal With Eneco” • London-based chemicals firm Ineos has agreed with Eneco on a long-term deal for renewable offshore wind power. Under the terms of the ten-year deal, which begins in 2022, Ineos will purchase 65.5 MW of power produced at the SeaMade offshore wind park in the Belgian North Sea. [Splash 247]

Offshore wind construction (Pontificalibus, CC 1.0, cropped)

¶ “Ingeteam Commissions The First PV Plant With Batteries In Spain” • The 40-MW Arañuelo III solar plant is now operational and is part of the Campo Arañuelo PV complex developed by Iberdrola. The new plant is the first in Spain to include battery storage. The Arañuelo I, II, and III solar plants have a combined capacity of 143 MW. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “RE100 Calls For Better Clean Energy Support For Business, As It Approaches 350 Member Mark” • RE100, a coalition of firms committed to move to 100% renewables, called on governments to remove barriers for companies to get clean power, warning that regulatory barriers hamper the business world’s transition to net zero emissions. [Business Green]

Solar panels (Dennis Schroeder, NREL)

¶ “Green EU Label For Nuclear: Federal Office Sees Inadequate Assessment” • Wolfram König, president of Germany’s Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management, commented on the proposal that nuclear power be classed as green. He said that from a technical point of view, the position nuclear power is sustainable is “not tenable.” [Market Research Telecast]

¶ “France’s New-Generation Nuclear Plant Delayed Again” • EDF announced there would be new delays and cost overruns for its troubled Flamanville nuclear plant in northern France, as the Covid-19 pandemic made the work more difficult. Projected costs were increased to €12.7 billion. Originally, the cost was projected to be €3.3 billion. [Digital Journal]

Flamanville NPP in 2010 (schoella, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

US:

¶ “EPA Begins Enforcement On Clean Up Of Toxic Coal-Ash Ponds” • The US EPA announced that it will begin enforcing regulations that require coal-fired power plants to clean up their coal-ash waste – the toxic byproduct of burning coal to generate electricity. There are approximately 500 unlined coal-ash ponds in the US, according to the EPA. [CNN]

¶ “US Saw Its Fourth-Hottest Year On Record In 2021, Fueled By Record-Warm December” • In the US, the year 2021 was marked by extremes, including exceptional heat and devastating severe weather. It had the second-highest number of climate disasters and billion-dollar weather on record. Here’s a recap of the year’s climate and extreme weather events. [CleanTechnica]

Fire in California (Joe Bradshaw, Bureau of Land Management)

¶ “Assessing The US Climate In 2021” • In 2021, there were twenty weather and climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each to affect the US. These events included two floods, one drought, four tropical cyclones, eleven other severe storms, one wildfire, and one winter storm. The annual average for 1980 to 2021 is 7.4 events. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “85% Of US Electric Generating Capacity Retirements In 2022 Will Be Coal” • Operators have scheduled 14.9 GW of generating capacity to retire in the US during 2022, according to the EIA’s latest inventory of electric generators. Most of the scheduled retirements are coal-fired power plants (85%), followed by natural gas (8%) and nuclear (5%). [CleanTechnica]

Expected plant retirements (Energy Information Administration)

¶ “US Contractor To Build 250-MW Illinois Wind” • Invenergy has contracted Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives subsidiary White Construction to build the planned 250-MW Sapphire Sky wind farm in Illinois. Work started on the project during the fourth quarter of 2021, with targeted completion by the fourth quarter of this year. [reNews]

¶ “Iberdrola, CIP JV Completes US offshore Rejig” • Iberdrola has agreed with joint venture partner Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners to take control of over 2 GW US offshore wind capacity. The capacity includes the 1232-MW Commonwealth Wind project in Massachusetts and the 804-MW Park City Wind project in Connecticut. [reNews]

Have a superlatively ideal day.

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January 11 Energy News

January 11, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “The Next Front In Fighting Climate Change: Your Home” • The Build Back Better bill, if it ever comes to pass, now seems unlikely to include major climate change provisions. But we can reduce our own carbon emissions, starting with our own homes. About 20% of US greenhouse gases come from homes; about 20% of the problem can be solved by home owners. [CNN]

Home (Jacques Bopp, Unsplash)

¶ “Astonishing Things You Never Knew About Fossil Fuels From Bill McKibben” • In a recent blog post, Bill McKibben celebrated something he discovered recently while surfing the internet: “Forty percent of the world’s shipping consists of just sending fossil fuels around the world to be burned.” We burn fossil fuels so we can move fossil fuels to burn. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Last Seven Years Have Been The Warmest On Record As The Planet Approaches Critical Threshold” • The last seven years are the seven warmest on record for the planet, data shows. Earth’s average temperature is around 1.1°C above average pre-industrial levels, Copernicus reports, 73% of the way to the 1.5° threshold to avoid the worst impacts. [CNN]

Bridge of NOAA Ship Bell Shimada (NOAA, Unsplash)

¶ “First Lithium Carbonate Produced From Mica” • All UK car manufacturing will convert to electric vehicles by 2030 and lithium carbonate is a key component in the batteries required to power them. It turns out that the lithium that is needed can be extracted from mica found in granite. Now there is a pilot plant operating, doing that. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Antarctica: Invasive Species ‘Hitchhiking’ On Ships” • Species from around the world that are “hitching a lift” on ships threaten Antarctica’s pristine marine ecosystem, according to a study tracking research, fishing, and tourist vessels that routinely visit the protected region. It revealed that ships from 1,500 ports around the globe visit Antarctica. [BBC]

Antarctica (Paul Carroll, Unsplash)

¶ “Vattenfall Is Unleashing A New Drop-In Heat Pump On Unsuspecting Gas Markets” • The humble electric heat pump is emerging as a climate action hero. Vattenfall has just teamed up with the firm Feenstra to introduce a new heat pump that can replace natural gas boilers on a drop-in basis, without the need for expensive retrofits. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hydrostor Inks $250 Million Investment For Energy Storage Growth” • Hydrostor is getting a boost for its long-term energy storage projects. Goldman Sachs is investing $250 million to help the company build more than 1 GW, 8.7 GWh of its Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) projects in California and Australia. [Power Engineering]

Gem A-CAES Project (Hydrostor image)

¶ “India May Add 12.5 GW Of Solar In 2022-23” • Ratings agency ICRA expects India to add 16.1 GW of renewable energy capacity in the next fiscal year. The analysts told pv magazine the additions in clean energy will be driven by solar, with 12.5 GW coming in PV projects. Wind projects are expected to contribute 2.2 GW and hybrid plants 1.4 GW. [PV Magazine]

¶ “Lancashire Nuclear Power Plant To Stop Generating Electricity Two Years Early” • The Heysham 2 nuclear power station in Lancashire is set to stop generating electricity two years earlier than expected. In 2016, its life was extended by seven years to 2030 as no new power station projects were in the pipeline, but the plan has changed. [Lancs Live]

Heysham 2 nuclear power station (Mr T, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

US:

¶ “Solar Power Will Account For Nearly Half Of New US Electric Generating Capacity In 2022” • In 2022, the Energy Information Administration expects 46.1 GW of new utility-scale electric generating capacity to be added to the US power grid. Almost half of the planned 2022 capacity additions are solar, followed by natural gas at 21% and wind at 17%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “‘Off The Charts’: Weather Disasters Have Cost The US $750 Billion Over Past Five Years” • A historic freeze that hit Texas, a deadly hurricane that wreaked havoc from the Gulf Coast to the Northeast, and a record-shattering heat wave and drought in the West are just three of twenty weather disasters that hit the US in 2021, each costing over $1 billion. [CNN]

Weather on the high planes (NOAA image, Unsplash)

¶ “Bill Filed To Crush Solar Choice In The Sunshine State” • Florida Power and Light, the state’s largest power company, has written an anti-rooftop solar bill and is pushing it at the Florida Legislature. If passed, the bill will decimate Florida rooftop solar adoption and take a sledgehammer to solar choice for customers, jobs, and economic development. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Amazon Will Buy Thousands Of Ram ProMaster Electric Delivery Vans Every Year” • The Ram ProMaster, a battery EV, will be the brand’s first ever all-electric model when it debuts in the second half of 2023 as a rival for the Ford E-Transit and the Rivian EDV. It has a ready market with Amazon, whose need for last-mile delivery vans is huge. [CleanTechnica]

Ram ProMaster (Image courtesy of Stellantis)

¶ “RFP Alert: 11.5 GW Of Renewables Mandated By CPUC” • The Diablo Canyon nuclear plant is set to retire in 2025, as California switches to renewable generation. Three community choice aggregators jointly issued a request for proposals as part of a state mandate for 11,500 MW of carbon-emissions-free energy and long-duration energy storage. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “Report: Taxpayers ‘Losing’ On Subsidies For Nuclear Industry” • Nuclear power is making the transition toward smaller reactors. But a report from Taxpayers for Common Sense claims federal subsidies to help that move are a losing bet. The group says the DOE has spent more than $1.2 billion on small modular reactors, and is set to spend more. [Kiowa County Press]

Have an irrepressibly exultant day.

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January 10 Energy News

January 10, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Here’s How To Solve The UK Energy Crisis For The Long Term – Store More Power” • The key to making sure there is enough affordable, low-carbon energy is more storage to make the most of the renewable energy available. A storage boom has been forecast over the coming decade as governments race to meet their climate targets. [The Guardian]

Highview Power’s CryoBattery (Highview Power image)

¶ “Taxonomy: Nuclear And Gas Energy Might Get Greenwashed, But With Little Impact ” • The EU Commission wants to classify nuclear and gas-fired power plants as “sustainable” generators. Activists are on fire, but as legitimate as their opinion is, the move is not actually all that significant. For one thing, nuclear power is too expensive. [Investigate Europe]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Scientists Develop Stable Sodium Battery Technology” • If the lithium and cobalt in lithium-ion batteries is replaced, it will result in technology that is more environmentally and socially conscious, scientists say. Toward that end, University of Texas at Austin researchers have developed an improved sodium-based battery material. [CleanTechnica]

Batteries and parts (Robin Glauser, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Tesla China Shares Video On How Safety Comes First At Tesla” • Tesla China shared a new video on its YouTube channel that highlights the important focus on safety that Tesla is well known for. The video led with a clip of CEO Elon Musk speaking on how important it is to put safety first. The video is in Chinese with English subtitles. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Delhi’s Smog Problem Is Rooted In India’s Water Crisis” • In the first week of November 2021, when Delhi’s air quality went beyond hazardous, stubble burning accounted for 42% of the city’s levels of PM2.5. The stubble is largely on farms where large amounts of ground water are used for paddy farming. And the ground water is getting scarce. [BBC]

Indian paddy fields (Sreehari Devadas, Unsplash)

¶ “Coal-Fired Power Is Not Flexible Enough For Negative Prices” • When the Australian Energy Regulator put the spotlight on the inability of coal-fired power stations to respond quickly to sudden changes supply and demand, it opened a discussion about dealing with the problem. The AER is asking whether coal plants can operate more flexibly. [AFR]

¶ “Adani Group Floats ANIL For Green Energy Projects, Aims To Become World’s Biggest Renewables Company” • Adani Group has set up a subsidiary, Adani New Industries Ltd, for low-carbon electricity and green hydrogen projects, and to manufacture wind turbines, solar PVs, and batteries. Its goal is to be the world’s largest renewable energy company. [Firstpost]

Gautam Adani (Image courtesy of Adani Group)

¶ “Aquila Takes 51% Stake In 421-MW Italian PV” • Aquila Capital has formalized the acquisition of 51% stakes in 421 MW of solar projects under development in Italy from Soltec Power Holdings’ subsidiary Powertis for an undisclosed price. The agreement also contemplates the co-development of an additional 90 MW for energy storage in the country. [reNews]

US:

¶ “World Economic Forum: Texas Could Experience Warmest Winter In 130 Years” • Texas is likely to experience its warmest winter in 130 years, according to the World Economic Forum. Considering last year’s deep freeze is still haunting those of us in the deep South, that may sound like a relief. But the warmer weather come with its cost. [CleanTechnica]

Drought conditions (US Drought Monitor image)

¶ “Gemilang To Deliver 140 Electric School Buses To California Schools” • Gemilang International Limited is planning to deliver 140 fully electric school buses to schools in California this year. The company, based in Johor, Malaysia, has been designing and manufacturing coaches and buses for over 30 years. It also makes bus bodies for EV producers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Blackstone Invests $3 Billion In Invenergy In Renewable Push” • The Blackstone Group injected $3 billion in Invenergy, a US multinational firm focused on power generation development and operations, in green push, Bloomberg reported. This follows the alternative asset manager giant’s $13 billion commitment in 2019 to back clean energy. [Arab News]

Solar array (Invenergy.com)

¶ “Work Starts On 100-MW Solar Project In Eastern Kern” • Construction has begun on a 100-MW solar PV project in Kern County, California. Rabbitbrush Sola will come with a battery storing 50 MWh of electricity. Developer Leeward Renewable Energy said it chose to build in Kern because of its consistent sunlight and flat land. [Yahoo News]

¶ “Edelman To ‘Part Ways’ With Clients That Do Not Meet New Climate Standards” • PR agency Edelman plans to “part ways” with clients that do not align with its climate principles. The agency reviewed them based on Carbon Disclosure Project reporting and scores, the latest IPCC reports, and industry emissions analysis. [Marketing Interactive]

Have a stupifyingly gorgeous day.

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January 9 Energy News

January 9, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Unpacking People’s Attitudes Toward Solar Power” • People in the US are increasingly concerned about the climate crisis, and eliminating fossil fuels from the global energy portfolio must take place. While the vast majority of the public supports the development of large-scale community-based solar installations, not everyone agrees. [CleanTechnica]

Mojave Desert concentrating solar system (US DOE)

¶ “Take It From Climate Scientists: ‘Don’t Look Up’ Is Damning – But Not Nearly Damning Enough” • I come from a team of climate scientists, analysts, and advocates. For us, “Don’t Look Up” was both like pulling teeth to watch and air-punchingly validating. It is a flawed movie about things we hate seeing, and then the world ENDS. [Common Dreams]

¶ “Maine Needs Policy Reforms, Truth In Advertising To Hasten Transition Off Fossil Fuels” • Maine is becoming a hub for clean energy, but its marketing remains muddy. Fossil fuel companies have spent billions of dollars lying to the American public about global warming, causing irreparable harm. So it should be no wonder that people are confused. [PenBay Pilot]

Solar array (Photo courtesy of ReVision Energy)

¶ “Why Is Support For Nuclear Power Noisiest Just As Its Failures Become Most Clear?” • During COP26, Nuclear Needs Net Zero laid on a pro-nuclear flash mob in central Glasgow, complete with young dancers wearing ‘we need to talk about nuclear’ T-shirts. They got media attention. But nuclear power costs three times as much as renewables. [openDemocracy]

Science and Technology:

¶ “New Study Shows Protecting Ecosystems Takes Priority Over Planting Trees For Carbon Storage” • Planting trees is a necessity to help remove carbon from the atmosphere. However, it’s not enough. Yes, there has been a lot of awareness around planting trees. However, a study has found that protecting ecosystems should be the first priority. [CleanTechnica]

View in the Cascades (Sergei A, Unsplash)

¶ “This Battery May Solve Renewables’ Energy Storage Problem” • Flow batteries are types of liquid batteries that potentially could provide large-scale, long-term energy storage. But, so far, the materials to make them have been too rare and too expensive. Researchers have found an alternative. It is a material that looks a lot like molasses. [Freethink]

¶ “The Metals Company Finishes Its Deep-Sea Research Campaign” • The Metals Company is focused on sourcing the critical metals and minerals needed for producing batteries for electric vehicles but in a unique way. TMC collects nodules that are just lying on the seafloor “like golf balls on a driving range and can be collected directly.” [CleanTechnica]

Remotely operated vehicle (TMC via Business Wire)

World:

¶ “Germany’s Plugin EV Share At Record 36% In December” • In Germany, Europe’s largest auto market and the 5th largest in the world, the plugin EV share hit a record of 35.7% in December, up from 26.6% year-on-year. Full battery electrics took 21.3% of the market. Overall auto sales were down to 227,630 units, the lowest December result in decades. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Northern Territory Of Australia Takes Baby Steps Into The Electric Future” • The Northern Territory, home of the iconic monolith Uluru, is not a state but a vast and sparsely populated territory. Up till now, there have been only 61 EVs registered in the Northern Territory (a penetration rate of 0.03%), but that is about to change. [CleanTechnica]

Uluru (Ondrej Machart, Unsplash)

¶ “Jordan Among Leading Arab Countries In Renewable Energy Transition” • Jordan is among leading Arab countries in the energy transition, which can be seen in the Kingdom’s use of renewable energy to meet more than 20% of its power needs, Secretary General of the Arab Renewable Energy Commission Mohammad Taani said. [menafn]

¶ “Global Sentiment On CO₂ Emissions Makes Energy PSUs Bet Big On Renewables” • Leading Indian energy companies like BPCL, ONGC, and NTPC are revising targets in a big renewable energy push to be future-ready to avoid stranded assets. The government is confident of having 450 GW of renewable energy installed by 2030. [Business Today]

Wind farm in Western Ghats (Rajavel vanaraj, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “EU: Nuclear Energy Will Require ‘€20 Billion Per Year’ Until 2050” • The EU commissioner for the internal market, Thierry Breton, said the bloc will need to invest €500 billion ($586 billion) in new nuclear energy facilities by 2050, €20 billion each year, according to an interview recently published by the French newspaper Journal du Dimanche. [DW]

US:

¶ “Ford To Greedy Dealers: No F-150 Lightnings For You!” • Lately, we have seen a lot of stories about car dealers tacking on outrageous “market adjustments” over the price on the window sticker for cars that are in high demand, for example adding $5,000 to $10,000 to the price of a Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning. Ford is acting on that. [CleanTechnica]

Ford F-150 Lightning (Image courtesy of Ford)

¶ “‘Mystery’ US Energy Storage Company Breaks Through Veil Of Silence” • The energy storage firm FlexGen has barely been noticed by the media, but apparently things have been quite busy over there. Recently, the North Carolina company has hooked up with its home state’s electric cooperatives in a new venture that adds 40 MW of punch. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Why Connexus Energy Won’t Raise Electric Rates For A Fifth Year” • At a time when big Minnesota utilities are raising retail electric rates, electricity provider Connexus Energy told its nearly 140,000 institutional and residential customers that it has frozen rates for a fifth year. A large part of the cost saving is from solar power and batteries. [Star Tribune]

Have an indubitably fruitful day.

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January 8 Energy News

January 8, 2022

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Latest Energy Storage Gizmo Is An ‘Ocean Battery’ With A Bladder” • The Dutch startup Ocean Grazer wowed the judges at CES 2022 with its contribution to the undersea storage field, garnering a CES 2022 “Best of Innovation” award. The ocean battery uses compressed air to store energy, but in some ways, it is similar to pumped hydro. [CleanTechnica]

Energy storage for offshore wind farms (Ocean Grazer)

¶ “Could Crushed Rocks Absorb Enough Carbon To Curb Global Warming?” • The goal of ocean alkalinity enhancement is to accelerate the carbon-absorbing weathering of rock, which naturally occurs as rainfall washes over land into waterways and eventually the ocean. If it works, it could provide a tool to draw down CO₂. [National Geographic]

World:

¶ “Sweden Pushes For Real Green Steel” • HYBRIT and H2 Green Steel launched projects in Sweden with a target to manufacture 10 million tonnes of fossil fuel-free crude (green) steel per year by 2030. Success, of course, depends on the numbers adding up, or rather, the numbers going down. One thing needed is wind power at a LCOE of $30/MWh. [CleanTechnica]

Abisko National Park, Sweden (David Becker, Unsplash)

¶ “VinFast VF 8 And VF 9 Electric SUV Prices Announced At CES 2022” • At CES 2022 this week, Vietnamese car maker VinFast made several important announcements. First, it said it will stop building gasoline-powered cars by the end of this year. Second, it confirmed pricing for the two electric SUVs it intends to start selling in the US this year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Slow-Walkers In The Green Steel Industry” • BHP is not just Australia’s largest miner but the world’s largest miner. It has a goal to reduce operational emissions by at least 30% by 2030, and to achieve net zero by 2050. BHP has invested almost $A200 million ($144 milliion) to develop a way to decarbonize the iron ore–to–steel process. [CleanTechnica]

Making steel (Image courtesy of SSAB Steel)

¶ “Algeria Tenders 1-GW Solar Scheme” • Algerian Renewable Energies Company has invited firms to bid by 30 April for the contracts to develop up to 1,000 MW of solar PV schemes in the North African country. The scheme will be split into batches with capacities of 50 MW to 300 MW each, operating under power purchase agreements. [Power Technology]

¶ “Companies Partner to Bring Energy Access To 20,000 People In Rural South Africa” • Three companies joined for financial closure on Africa’s second largest project-financed mini-grid. The investment will fund eleven mini-grids in Lesotho with a total capacity of 1.8 MW and provide first-time electricity access to 20,000 people. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Solar system (Courtesy of EDFI ElectriFI)

¶ “Paris, Berlin ‘Agree To Disagree’ On French Push To Label Nuclear Energy Green” • Germany and France have “agreed to disagree” on the EU’s move to label nuclear energy as green, German Europe Minister Anna Luehrmann said. She denied any conflict between two on the issue. France favors nuclear power; Germany is adamantly opposed to it. [France 24]

US:

¶ “US Wholesale Electricity Prices Higher In 2021 From Higher Natural Gas Prices” • Average wholesale prices for electricity at major trading hubs in the US were higher in 2021 than in 2020 as higher costs for fuels, especially natural gas, pushed electricity prices higher in the second half of 2021. Cold weather also raised costs in February 2021. [CleanTechnica]

Electricity prices (US EIA image)
Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “California Could See More EV Chargers In Fast Food Parking Lots Thanks To ChargeNet” • ChargeNet has raised $6.2 million from local investors to expand its network of EV charging stations at fast food restaurants across California, dot.LA reports. Deployment will start with a Taco Bell in South San Francisco sometime this month. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Offshore Wind Catches Fire In Empire State While Others Fiddle” • In the race for offshore wind energy, New York is not messing around. The Empire State launched a new $500 million investment program aimed at taking the title of Offshore Queen, as announced by Governor Kathy Hochul during her State of the State address this week. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore wind sites for New York (Courtesy of NYSERDA)
Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Circle Power Renewables continues push for wind farm in Houghton County” • Since 2018,Circle Power Renewables has been trying to install a wind farm in Adams Township, Michigan. Last year, the state’s energy department turned down the application over concerns about wildlife, but CPR has done research and is ready to try again. [WLUC]

¶ “Blackstone Infrastructure Invests $3 Billion In Invenergy For Renewable Energy Development” • Blackstone Infrastructure Partners entered into an agreement with Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Invenergy for an investment of about $3 billion in Invenergy Renewables Holdings LLC for renewables development. [North American Windpower]

Buffalo Mountain wind project (Invenergy image)

¶ “Energy Experts Say Renewable Energy Will Be Key In Making Texas’ Electricity More Reliable In 2022” • Experts watching Houston’s energy industry say the pandemic has accelerated the transition away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy. And that is key making the grid able to handle sharp increases in energy demand. [Houston Public Media]

¶ “US Policies Continue To Drive Solar PV And Wind Power Markets” • According to GlobalData’s recent report, ‘United States Power Market Outlook to 2030, Update 2021 – Market Trends, Regulations, and Competitive Landscape’, installed renewable capacity (excluding hydropower) increased from 2000 to 2020 at a CAGR of 14.3%. [pv magazine USA]

Have an endlessly endearing day.

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January 7 Energy News

January 7, 2022

World:

¶ “Volkswagen Is Finally Launching The ID Buzz!” • Without a doubt, an electric version of the iconic VW hippie bus was bound to attract interest. And it did, as Volkswagen dragged it out, over and over again. Now, it appears that Volkswagen will actually launch the ID. Buzz on March 9. So implies a tweet from Herbert Diess, the CEO of Volkswagen Group. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen ID Buzz concept electric van (Volkswagen image)

¶ “Sweden’s Plugin EV Share Breaks New Records” • Sweden saw a record high 60.7% plugin electric vehicle share in December, up from 49.4% share year-on-year. Full battery EVs took the largest share, with 36.4%. The combined share of internal combustion vehicles was 32.3%. The overall auto market saw the lowest result for December in recent years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Was 2nd Best Selling Car (Of Any Kind) In UK In 2021” • In December 2021, 36,041 new plug-in vehicles were registered (27,705 battery EVs) in the UK, reflecting a 33% increase from December of 2020. Notably, the Tesla Model 3 became the second best selling vehicle, regardless of powertrain, in the UK for the year 2021. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 (Image courtesy Tesla)

¶ “RWE And Northland Power Partner To Develop Offshore Wind Cluster ” • UK-based RWE Renewables, and Northland Power, based in Canada, formed a joint venture through which they plan to co-develop a 1.3-GW cluster of offshore wind farms in the German North Sea. It will feature three facilities that are to come online by 2028. [Power Technology]

¶ “Shell Turning London Petrol Station Into EV Hub” • Shell is continuing its transition into cleantech. In late 2019, Shell announced that it was going to transform a petrol station into a 100% EV charging station hub in Fulham, West London. Now, Shell has a webpage up indicating that it is getting ready to open this initial EV charging hub. [CleanTechnica]

Shell EV hub (Image courtesy of Shell)

¶ “BPCL To Build 10 GW Clean Energy Capacity By 2040 At ₹25,000 Crore Investment” • An Indian state-owned oil and gas company, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, plans to build 10 GW of clean energy capacity by 2040, at a cost of ₹25,000 crore ($3.36 billion), Mint reported. The first 1 GW will include 800 MW of solar power. [CNBC TV18]

¶ “Renewable Energy Output Of 4.8 GW Again Surpasses National Goal” • Korea’s total renewable energy output in 2021 was 4.8 GW, surpassing the national goal by 0.2 GW, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said. The year 2021 was the fourth consecutive year when the national renewable energy output surpassed annual goals. [The Korea Times]
(‘output’ may be a mistranslation of ‘capacity’ here)

Korean floating solar (Courtesy of the Ministry of Environment)

¶ “At Least Five Irish MEPs To Oppose Contentious ‘Green’ Label For Gas And Nuclear Power” • At least five Irish Members of the European Parliament plan to oppose a contentious EU proposal that would label nuclear power and natural gas as green energy sources. They are not alone. Austria has threatened to sue the Commission if it goes ahead. [TheJournal.ie]

¶ “EDF’s Scottish Nuclear Power Station Hunterston B To Close” • Electricite de France SA’s nuclear power station Hunterston B in Scotland is closing after operating for almost 46 years. EDF said reactors at the station will undergo a statutory outage to make sure they are ready for defueling, which is then expected to take around three years. [MarketWatch]

Hunterston Nuclear Power Station (Scotia, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

US:

¶ “Panasonic Will Begin Using Recycled Battery Components From Redwood Materials This Year” • According to TechCrunch, the first recycled material from batteries to be used to make new batteries will be copper foil. Panasonic will begin using copper foil from Redwood Materials to make new lithium-ion batteries later this year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Chevrolet Previews Electric Equinox And Blazer At CES 2022” • At CES 2022, General Motors CEO Mary Barra announced the coming of two Chevrolet EVs in addition to the Chevy Silverado EV, which took a lot of attention. They were an Equinox EV and a Blazer EV. The Blazer will be produced first, with the Equinox arriving later in the year. [CleanTechnica]

Chevy Equinox EV (Image courtesy of Chevrolet)

¶ “Power Your Maryland Home With Clean Energy – In Just Two Minutes” • One of the most impactful actions you can take to help fight climate change is also one of the easiest: powering your home with 100% clean, renewable energy. In Maryland, you can switch your electricity supplier to CleanChoice Energy, and get 100% renewable electricity. [Baltimore Magazine]

¶ “Pattern Unleashes 1-GW Onshore In New Mexico” • Pattern Energy has completed construction and begun commercial operation of its 1050-MW Western Spirit wind complex in New Mexico. Western Spirit is comprised of four wind farms, which together have a total of 377 GE turbines installed, ranging from 2.3 MW to 2.8 MW in size. [reNews]

Western Spirit wind farm (Pattern Energy image)

¶ “Evergy To Build Solar Array At Kansas City Coal Power Plant Site” • Evergy, a Kansas City, Missouri–headquartered energy provider serving about 1.6 million customers in Kansas and Missouri, announced plans to build a 10-MW solar array at the company’s Hawthorn power plant. The coal unit is still operating and gas units are being built. [Power Magazine]

¶ “NRC Denies License To Oklo’s Nuclear Reactor Project At INL” • The NRC denied a license to Oklo Inc, a California-based company, seeking to develop the first commercial reactor to generate power while reducing nuclear waste. The microreactor, known as the Oklo Aurora, is designed to run on recovered material from used nuclear fuel. [Post Register]

Have a conspicuously happy day.

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January 6 Energy News

January 6, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Fossil Gas No Longer Needed As Bridge To Clean Energy Future” • As of late 2021, utilities and investors are anticipating investing more than $50 billion in new gas power plants over the next decade. But we no longer need gas plants to tide us over until renewables are ready or affordable. Renewables are here, and often cheaper than gas. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines in a wheat field (Serge Le Strat, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Lithium Batteries’ Big Unanswered Question” • While use of lithium batteries may sound like the ideal path to sustainable power and road travel, there’s one big problem. Currently, lithium-ion batteries are those typically used in EVs and the megabatteries used to store energy from renewables, and lithium batteries are hard to recycle. [BBC]

¶ “Another Sign Things Are Getting Weird: Lightning Around The North Pole Increased Dramatically In 2021” • A network of sensors detected stunning weather change in the far northern Arctic. Lightning increased significantly in the region around the North Pole. Scientists say this is a clear sign of how the climate crisis is altering global weather. [CNN]

Lightning (Felix Mittermeier, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Exxon Refinery In Norway Closes Down” • An ExxonMobil refinery in Norway closed down in June 2021 due to the country’s stricter regulatory measures, Kaieteur News reported. It was not really reported in our press at the time, but it is worth knowing. Exxon was already considering closing the plant in 2020 because of economic challenges. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Volvo FH Electric Heavy Duty Truck Exceeds Expectations On Test Run” • Volvo Trucks expects to begin series production of its FH Electric heavy duty truck later this year. The company sent journalist Jan Burgdorf on a test drive recently. It followed the Green Truck Route, a 343-kilometer journey through the hills of southeastern Germany. [CleanTechnica]

Volvo Trucks FH Electric (Image courtesy of Volvo Trucks)

¶ “World Investment In Renewables ‘To Rise 25% In 2022’: SEB” • Investment bank SEB sees one benefit of the global gas shortage, as investors are spending over $400 billion this year on power generation from clean renewables. That will be a 25% rise on last year, the Stockholm-headquartered bank forecasts in its latest report on sustainable finance. [The Energyst]

¶ “Belgian Offshore Wind Fleet Delivers Production Record” • Belgium’s offshore wind fleet notched a new production record in 2021. The country’s 399 turbines, with a shave under 2.3 GW of capacity, exported almost 6.8 TWh of electricity, up from 6.7 TWh in 2020. This 2021 total corresponds to 8% of the total electricity demand in Belgium. [reNews]

Offshore wind turbine installation (DEME Offshore image)

¶ “Green Party: Government Lobbying On Nuclear Energy” • In Hungary, the opposition LMP party is calling on the government and MEPs to reject the European Commission’s draft taxonomy system in connection with the future use of natural gas and nuclear energy, Erzsébet Schmuck, the co-leader of the party, said on Wednesday. [Daily News Hungary]

US:

¶ “US Becomes World’s Top Exporter Of Liquified Natural Gas” • The US is now the world’s leading exporter of liquified natural gas, as the European energy crisis and shortages in China send demand for American shipments soaring. In December, LNG exports from the US topped 7 million tonnes (7.7 million tons), edging out Qatar and Australia. [CNN]

¶ “Separate Climate Bill Not Being Seriously Considered In Senate, Despite Manchin’s Support Of The Measures” • Senate climate hawks got more optimistic this week as West Virginia Sen Joe Manchin endorsed the climate change and clean energy portions of the Build Back Better package. But hope of dealing with those portions separately is slim. [CNN]

¶ “Airflow Concept Offers A Glimpse Of Chrysler’s Electric Future” • The Chrysler Airflow of the 1930s was the first US car with improved aerodynamics. This week at CES 2022, Chrysler dusted off the Airflow name and applied it to an electric SUV concept, amidst much ballyhoo saying the company intends to build only battery-EVs come 2028. [CleanTechnica]

Chrysler Airflow Concept (Chrysler image)

¶ “MassDEP Files New Regulations To Advance Clean Truck Market In Massachusetts” • The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection announced emergency regulations have been filed with the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office to adopt immediately California’s Advanced Clean Trucks regulation. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “NY Plans $500 Million Offshore Wind Supply Chain Spend” • New York Governor Kathy Hochul has pledged to spend $500 million to develop the state’s offshore wind supply chain and offshore grid. The $500 million will leverage private capital to deliver more than $2 billion in economic activity while creating more than 2000 jobs, said Hochul. [reNews]

New York Governor Kathy Hochul (Screengrab image)

¶ “Idaho Power’s Long-range Plan Focuses On Reliable, Affordable, Clean Energy” • Idaho Power’s latest long-term energy plan accelerates the company’s move away from coal-fired energy while looking to transmission, renewable energy, battery storage, and energy efficiency to providw customers reliable, affordable electricity. [T&D World]

¶ “Vesper Inks 57-MW Texas Virtual PPA” • US developer Vesper Energy entered into a 57-MW virtual power purchase agreement with marine market supplier Brunswick Corporation. The VPPA will offset a majority of expected electricity needs of Brunswick’s global operations. The electricity will come from the 500-MW Hornet solar farm in Texas. [reNews]

Have a plainly spectacular day.

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January 5 Energy News

January 5, 2022

World:

¶ “There Are Now 1,000 Electric Buses In Moscow!” • A little more than a year ago, I reported on Moscow getting its 500th electric bus. Just before Christmas, Moscow Transport got its 900th electric bus, and decorated it nicely with white and blue Christmas lights. Now, we’re barely into 2022 and the figure is up to 1,000. No joke. [CleanTechnica]

Thousandth electric bus in Moscow

¶ “Renewables Supplied 46% Of Net Public Power In Germany In 2021” • The share of renewables in net public power generation amounted to 46% in 2021, down from 50% the year before, figures released by research institute Fraunhofer ISE show. The decline was the result of reduced wind speeds, though windpower is still the major power supply. [Clean Energy Wire]

¶ “France Plugin EV Share Breaks Records In December” • In France, Europe’s second largest auto market, the plugin electric vehicle share of sales was 24.4% in December, a new record high, with pure electrics taking 14.6%. The overall auto market, at just under 160,000 units, was down some 15% from pre-pandemic seasonal averages. [CleanTechnica]

Dacia Spring (Image courtesy of Dacia)

China:

¶ “Tesla’s Important Role In Advancing EVs And Innovation In China” • Elon Musk had a vision for Tesla in China. And the Wall Street Journal said, “President Xi Jinping defiantly pledged to make China the world’s future innovation and industrial center. Key to his plan was Elon Musk.” And as Tesla’s succeeds in China, other Chinese EV makers are thriving. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Largest Pumped-Hydro Facility In World Turns On In China” • The State Grid Corporation of China, the largest grid operator and power utility in China, has put the largest pumped-hydro facility in the world into commission. It’s a 3.6-GW, 6,612-GWh system in the Hebei province. It is the Fengning Pumped Storage Power Station. [CleanTechnica]

Fengning Pumped Storage Power Station (SGCC image)

¶ “The World’s First Small Modular Nuclear Reactor Is Sending Power To The Grid” • China connected its first small modular nuclear reactor to its power grid, making it the first country in the world to draw power from such a machine, a report from Bloomberg reveals. A 200-MW China Huaneng Group reactor is now grid-connected. [Interesting Engineering]

Australia:

¶ “World’s Largest Coal Port To Be 100% Powered By Renewable Energy” • The world’s largest coal port announced it will now be powered 100% by renewable energy. Its CEO also said, “We get 84 cents a tonne for coal shipped through our port. We get between $6 and $8 for every other product. You can see where I’d rather have my money.” [The Guardian]

Port of Newcastle (Lynda Hinton, Unsplash)

¶ “Korea Zinc Backs Storage Developer Energy Vault In Green Push” • Korea Zinc has agreed to invest $50 million in energy storage developer Energy Vault and use its technology at its zinc refinery in Australia, the two companies said. Storage is key to bringing down the refinery’s energy costs, which are 30% of the plant’s total costs. [MarketScreener]

¶ “Looking Beyond The Grid To Power Australia” • Off-grid power company Pacific Energy is planning an industrial-scale expansion as it rolls out a hybrid future in some of the most rugged parts of Australia. Only 2% of Australia’s population lives in off-grid locations, but more than 6% of the nation’s electricity use is in these remote areas. [PerthNow]

Remote Australia (Tarryn Myburgh, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “GAF Energy Is Bringing New Solar Shingles To Selected Markets” • GAF Energy was created as a separate business entity a few years ago to develop solar roof products. Now it says it has created solar roof shingles that can be installed much like conventional shingles. And GAF has an enormous network of roofing contractors. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ford Increases F-150 Lightning Production Target From 80,000 To 150,000/Year!” • First, Ford’s production target for the F-150 Lightning was 40,000. Then 80,000. Now, Ford CEO Jim Farley tweeted that with strong customer demand for the F-150 Lightning, the target was raised significantly once again, this time to 150,000 sales a year! [CleanTechnica]

Ford F-150 Lightning in “Antimatter Blue” (Ford image)

¶ “50-MW Schuyler County Solar Facility Receives Final Permit From ORES” • The New York State Office of Renewable Energy Siting announced they have issued a final siting permit for a major solar facility, Watkins Glen Solar Energy Center, LLC. The project will have a capacity of 50-MW. It is to be built in the Town of Dix, New York. [WETM]

¶ “US Utility Files 500-MW Clean Energy Plan” • US utility Appalachian Power is seeking approval for almost 500 MW of clean power over the next three years as part of its long-range plan to meet the renewable energy targets under the Virginia Clean Economy Act. It is looking to acquire or contract 294 MW of solar and 204 MW of wind power. [reNews]

Wind farm (Johanna Montoya, Unsplash)

¶ “First US WAGABOX® Landfill Gas To RNG Project To Be In New York” • Waga Energy, a European expert in the production of Renewable Natural Gas from landfill gas, signed a contract with Steuben County, New York for the development of an RNG project at a municipal solid waste landfill, which is located in the town of Bath. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Renewable Energy Sources Are Now Adding More Than 2,250 MW Of New Generating Capacity Each Month” • According to a SUN DAY Campaign review of FERC data, solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources (biomass, geothermal, hydropower) are now adding more than 2,250 MW of new generating capacity each month. [Environment + Energy Leader]

Have a wonderfully funny day.

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January 4 Energy News

January 4, 2022

Science and Technology:

¶ “Why The Tiny House Is Perfect For Now” • The tiny house movement found its moment. The idea is that having less space and stuff can create room in our lives for more important things, and it has appeal. The roots of the tiny house movement can be traced to Henry David Thoreau, and its fans champion the dwellings’ green credentials. [BBC]

Tiny House (New Frontier Design image)

¶ “Stanford Researchers Bring “Dead” Lithium Back To Life” • Green Car Congress reports that the researchers might have found a way to bring rechargeable lithium batteries back to life with an increased boost to the range of battery life for both EVs and next-generation electronic devices. The study on the work has been published in Nature. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Researchers Pioneer New View Of Deep Rock Fractures For Geothermal Energy” • A team led by researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory demonstrated a way to monitor deep subsurface fractures. This is important because geothermal wells could provide an estimated 100 GW, enough power up to 100 million US homes. [CleanTechnica]

Experimental testbed in a mine tunnel (Hunter Knox, PNNL)

¶ “Climate Change Will Bring More Hurricanes To New York, Other Midlatitude Cities, Study Finds” • A study published in the journal Nature Geoscience projects that more hurricanes will be coming to midlatitude regions, which include major population centers such as New York, Boston, and Shanghai, because of climate change. [Yahoo News]

¶ “Fire And Ice: The Puzzling Link Between Western Wildfires And Arctic Sea Ice” • A study describes a link between dwindling sea ice and worsening wildfires. As the Arctic continues warming, it can sharpen the contrast between the two distantly connected systems, altering the jet stream, and exacerbating conditions in a fire-ravaged region. [CleanTechnica]

Wildfire (National Park Service, public domain)

¶ “Warming Lakes Are Losing Oxygen. Climate Change And Pollution Are To Blame” • Oxygen is disappearing in freshwater lakes at a rate nine times that of oceans due to a combination of pollution and warming waters, according to a study published in Nature earlier this year. And without oxygen, fish and other life in the ponds and lakes are dying. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Mercedes Says Its Electric Concept Has 620 Miles Of Range And Seats Made With Mushrooms” • Mercedes unveiled an all-electric concept car, the EQXX, that the company claims can go 620 miles on a single charge. The car is also made with such innovative recycled and sustainable materials as mushroom fibers and food scraps. [CNN]

Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX concept car (Mercedes-Benz AG)

¶ “Chile Races China For Global Green Hydrogen Boss Crown” • That was fast! No sooner does the firm Sinopec announce a massive new green hydrogen project in China to produce 20,000 tons per year, when along comes Chile with plans for a new project called H₂ Magallanes, which could pump out more than 880,000 tons per year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “European Energy Explores Power-To-X Potential At Danish Port” • European Energy signed a letter of intent with the Danish Port of Hanstholm to provide solar and wind capacity and a power-to-x project to produce green hydrogen and methanol. The letter of intent is part of the port’s plans to become Europe’s first CO₂-neutral fishing port. [reNews]

Boats in Hanstholm Harbor (Ragnar1904, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Germany Calls Nuclear Power ‘Dangerous’ After EU Proposal To Classify It As Renewable” • After the EU announced a plan on Sunday to classify some forms of nuclear energy as renewable, the German government reacted almost immediately. It said on Monday that it will reject the EU plan, calling nuclear power technology “dangerous.” [TheHill]

¶ “Nordex Scoops 380 MW Of Finnish Wind” • Nordex has received an order for a 380-MW cluster of wind projects in Finland. Finnish utility company Fortum signed and closed an agreement with Nordex to supply, install and commission 56 N163 wind turbines of the latest 6.X variant for the Pjelax-Bole-Kristinestad Norr wind farm cluster. [reNews]

Wind turbines (Nordex image)

US:

¶ “30-Year Oil Industry Veteran Horrified By Millions Of Uncapped Oil Wells, Dedicated To Sealing Them” • The oil and gas industry has left millions of abandoned wells in the US, and American taxpayers will have to pay to close them. Curtis Shuck Jr, a 30-year veteran of the oil industry, founded the Well Done Foundation to help with that. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Florida Transit Agency Buys 60 Electric Buses” • A Florida transit agency, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority of Pinellas County, recently ordered 60 full-electric buses. Pinellas County includes St Petersburg. The 60 electric buses will be delivered over the next 5 years, though 24 of them will be delivered before the end of this year. [CleanTechnica]

Gillig electric bus (Courtesy of Gillig)

¶ “TVA Attempts To Block Solar Cooperative” • The Tennessee Valley Authority opposes the Jackson Sustainability Cooperative, claiming that it would weaken TVA business, and its operation would violate the law. A different organization, Jackson Energy Authority, said it is working with the TVA and plans a 25-MW solar project in the region. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “Massachusetts Advances Dozens Of Solar Projects On Hold For Nearly Two Years” • The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities has issued an order expanding the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target program from 1,600 MW to 3,200 MW of capacity, allowing dozens of solar projects to move forward. The order will take effect on January 14. [Solar Industry]

Have a delightfully unique day.

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January 3 Energy News

January 3, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Prediction For 2022: Plant-Based Foods Will Surge” • A whole new range of consumers has discovered plant-based items, and selections can be appealing. So, let’s make a prediction for 2022: Plant-based foods will not only transcend their current path leading to mainstream acceptance – they’ll become preferred, for lots of reasons. [CleanTechnica]

Impossible™ burger (Image provided by Impossible™)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Scientist Says Climate Change Worsened Colorado Fire” • The destruction from a rare winter wildfire that ravaged towns in Colorado is believed by scientists to have been made worse by climate change. Swings in weather meant a lot of grass grew with heavy spring rains, then drought hit making all the grass into fuel for a wildfire. [Yahoo News UK]

World:

¶ “VinFast Delivers First Electric Cars To Customers In Vietnam” • VinFast, the Vietnamese automaker, has begun delivering its first battery-electric SUV – the VF-34 – to customers in its home market. The company already offers a full line of conventional automobiles in Asia, but the company does not plan to introduce the VF-34 in foreign markets. [CleanTechnica]

Vinfast VF-34 (Image courtesy of VinFast)

¶ “Polestar Plans To Be Bigger Than Porsche” • Polestar, the EV specialty brand of Volvo Cars, wants to outsell Porsche. It will release three battery EVs in the next three years, hoping to attract customers away from Porsche’s Cayenne, Macan, Panamera, and Taycan models. Polestar’s goal is to sell 290,000 cars by 2025, ten times its sales in 2021. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Morocco’s Al Boraq Trains To Start Using Clean Energy” • Morocco’s National Railways Office (ONCF) has announced that its Al Boraq lines of high speed trains will start using renewable energy, as part of the ONCF’s plan to transition to cleaner energy sources. The goal is to eventually cover all the ONCF’s operations with renewable energy. [Morocco World News]

Al Boraq high speed train (hakzelf, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Iran To Add 10 GW To Renewable Energy Capacity” • The Iranian Energy Ministry and a number of private contractors signed memorandums of understanding for cooperation in the construction of renewable power plants to generate 10 GW of electricity across the country. A recent call for proposals had 90 GW of submissions. [Modern Diplomacy]

¶ “VINCI Acquires Energy Business Of ACS For $5.5 Billion” • VINCI has concluded the previously announced acquisition of ACS energy business, Cobra IS, which comprises a 15-GW renewables pipeline, for a final purchase price of $5.5 billion (€4.9 billion). The projects are in the Iberian Peninsula and in Latin America. [Power Technology]

Solar array (VINCI image)

¶ “Germany And Austria Charge Against EC Draft For “Green Investment” In Nuclear And Gas Projects” • The Government of Austria and officials of the German Social Democratic Party, the core of the Government coalition in Germany, said they would file a complaint if the draft proposal to include nuclear and gas as green energy goes ahead. [CVBJ Biz]

¶ “Spain Rejects EU’s ‘Green’ Label For Nuclear And Natural Gas Energy” • The Spanish government has rejected the European Commission’s plans to include nuclear energy and natural gas in the EU’s classification table of green energies. Spain’s Minister for the Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, said the plan is a “step backwards.” [The Local – Spain’s]

Central nuclear Vandellòs II (Jorge Franganillo, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

China:

¶ “It’s A Green Hydrogen Drop In The Bucket, But It Could Still Make A Splash” • While skepticism abounds over sustainable hydrogen, some leading energy players seem willing to give it a whirl. Sinopec plans to have a proposed green hydrogen pilot project up and running by 2023. It will produce 20,000 tons of green hydrogen per year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “XPeng Delivered Almost 100,000 Vehicles In 2021” • XPeng is a mere 7 years old, and it put its first vehicle, the XPeng G3, on sale in December, 2018. Now, just a few years after launching its first vehicle, XPeng has wrapped up a year of sales totaling almost 100,000. In 2021, XPeng delivered 98,155 smart EVs, a 263% year-over-year increase. [CleanTechnica]

XPeng P5 (courtesy of XPeng)

¶ “World’s Largest Floating PV Plant Goes Online In China” • Huaneng Power International has completed the world’s largest floating PV project, a 320-MW facility in Dezhou, in China’s Shandong province. It deployed the floating array in two stages on a reservoir near Huaneng Power’s 2.65-GW Dezhou thermal power station. [PV Magazine]

US:

¶ “Tesla Delivered Over 300,000 EVs In Q4 2021 And Almost A Million In 2021” • Tesla announced another record quarter for vehicle deliveries, for a record-breaking year. In Q4 of 2021, Tesla delivered 308,000 vehicles, putting its total deliveries for 2021 at 936,000. And its two new gigafactories in Berlin and Austin aren’t even online yet. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Gigafactory 1 (Smnt, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Eolus Sells 120-MW US Battery” • Eolus has secured an agreement with Aypa Power for the sale of the Cald battery storage project in Los Angeles. The battery energy storage system will have a capacity of up to 120 MW. It is currently in its development stage and commercial operation is anticipated during the course of 2024. [reNews]

¶ “Midwest Lags, Though Madison And Minneapolis Shine In National Clean Energy Policy Ranking” • An analysis by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy of 100 major cities revealed that many cities cannot show they are on track to meet their own greenhouse gas reduction goals. Only a few cities in the Midwest stand out. [Wausau Pilot & Review]

Have an unfashionably opulent day.

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January 2 Energy News

January 2, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Sands Of Time Are Slipping Away For England’s Crumbling Coasts Amid Climate Crisis” • Norfolk is a real-time lesson in how weather and sea can drastically alter a landscape. One man said, “You hear about erosion, but you don’t know what it means, what it involves, until you witness it. And it’s a shock to see the physical transformation.” [The Guardian]

Happisburgh and eroding cliffs (Jim WhitesideCC BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “How Much Cheaper Is It To Own An Electric Car?” • Buying an electric car isn’t just about the much-needed transition to clean energy. As New Year’s resolutions come into sharp focus, it might be high time to save some cash. Buying an electric car, instead of another gas-guzzler, might be a powerful (and easy) way to reach that noble goal. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Denmark To Make Domestic Flights Fossil Fuel Free By 2030” • Denmark’s government announced a goal to make domestic flights fossil fuel free by 2030. In her New Year’s address, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said she wants to “make flying green.” However she acknowledged that the solutions to reach her target were not yet in place. [BBC]

Airplane at a small Danish airport (Peter Bakema, Gnu license)

¶ “EU Plans To Label Gas And Nuclear Energy ‘Green’ Prompt Row” • The European Commission proposes to label some gas and nuclear power as green, prompting criticism from Germany. The proposal argues that gas and nuclear are needed to help the transition to cleaner power. Germany’s environment minister called the plan “absolutely wrong.” [BBC]

¶ “China Cuts EV Incentives By 30% As Tesla Raises Prices” • On the last day of 2021, China’s Finance Ministry announced a 30% cut in its incentive for purchase of “new energy vehicles,” starting January 1, 2022. And Tesla, with surging sales in China, has raised its prices. Even so, the cost of a new Tesla Model 3 is 11% lower than it was two years ago. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 (Martin Katler, Unsplash)

¶ “China To Remain Renewable Energy Leader With Strong Capacity Growth In 2022” • China will continue to be the global leader in renewable energy capacity growth over the next five years, despite phasing out renewable subsidies and the country’s heavy reliance on coal, which will remain unchanged in 2022, according to analysts. [South China Morning Post]

¶ “Rwanda’s Transition To Electric Buses” • Vehicular emissions are the leading cause of the increasing air pollution in cities in Rwanda. The Government of Rwanda has introduced incentives for introducing electric vehicles across all vehicle types. Many types of EVs are appearing in Rwanda’s capital city, Kigali, but buses require extra effort. [CleanTechnica]

Residential area of Kigali (Zdegiulio, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Japan Pushes For Undersea Cables To Solve Wind Power Puzzle” • Hokkaido could supply Tokyo and other parts of Japan with offshore wind energy, but the lack of adequate transmission capacity has kept the northernmost prefecture from becoming a hub for the renewable resource. Submarine cables are being considered to solve that problem. [Nikkei Asia]

¶ “Wind And Solar: A Robust Forecast For Renewable Energy In Alberta” • The demise of coal-fired electricity plants in Alberta is happening a lot quicker than some people expected. The target to eliminate coal-powered electricity is expected to be met seven years ahead of its scheduled date of 2030. As that happens, wind and solar plants are being installed. [CBC]

Wind turbines (Karyatid, Unsplash)

¶ “Solar Energy In Blocks Of Flats Begins To Take Off In Spain” • More and more groups of people are organizing in Spain to share the electricity generated by rooftop PVs on their own roofs or on other buildings. There are already several autonomous communities that promote consumption of their own electricity, and more are coming. [CVBJ Biz]

¶ “Germany: One Year To Go For The Last Three Nuclear Power Plants” • While the European Commission is moving to declare nuclear power “green” energy, Germany is about to get rid of it entirely because of its dangers. On New Year’s Eve, the Federal Republic shut down three reactors. The last three will follow at the end of this year. [The Berlin Spectator]

Unfinished German nuclear reactor (Harald Rossa, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

US:

¶ “Obscure NYC Agency Plucks 184 Ford Mustang Mach-E Electric Vehicles From EV Pot” • A New York City agency, the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, put out a press release on December 29, saying that it is “placing an order” for 184 Ford Mustang Mach-E electric vehicles. The contract was registered on December 22. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New York Adopts ACT Rule Bringing Clean Trucks To The State” • New York is closing out 2021 with a big climate and clean air win, becoming the fifth state in the country to adopt the Advanced Clean Trucks rule. Adoption of the ACT rule ensures that over $19 billion in net societal benefits will come to New Yorkers through 2050. [CleanTechnica]

Mack Trucks electric garbage truck (Courtesy of Mack Trucks)

¶ “A Look Ahead At Advanced Nuclear In 2022” • As TerraPower sought a site for a nuclear plant in Wyoming, four communities said they wanted it. Kemmerer, home to 2,750 people and the 448-MW Naughton Coal Plant, was chosen.The DOE promised to fund half the project, up to $1.6 billion, as long as Natrium will be operational in 2028. [Casper Star-Tribune]

¶ “Yucca Mountain Remains In Debate Over Nuclear Waste Storage” • Mounting opposition to various proposed nuclear waste storage sites in Texas and New Mexico has kept Yucca Mountain in Nevada in the national debate over what to do with the growing stockpile of radioactive material scattered around the country. [Colorado Politics]

Have a clearly flawless day.

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January 1 Energy News

January 1, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Divestment Year In Review 2021” • The UN secretary general summed it up well this year: the collective global realization that carbon emissions must be dramatically reduced is becoming a “death knell” for the fossil fuel industry. And as fossil fuel stocks falter, what’s now often called impact investing funds are gaining our attention. [CleanTechnica]

Protest in London, 2019 (Matt Brown, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “That Inedible Dish Called The EU Taxonomy: Greenwashing Galore” • We can learn two lessons for 2022. First, greenwashing is not a problem for the green transition, it is THE problem. One that calls for appropriate measures. Second, we cannot expect institutions to address the transition by consulting the very same lobbyists that are fighting against it. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Vertical Axis Wind Turbines Not Dead Yet, Says ARPA-E” • Vertical axis wind turbines pretty much dropped from view a few years ago, because of cost and engineering obstacles. Suddenly they are back in the picture, thanks partly to the US DOE. If all goes according to plan, the offshore wind industry can also take credit for the revival. [CleanTechnica]

Vertical axis wind turbine (University of Texas, Dallas)

¶ “Scientists Build New Atlas Of Ocean’s Oxygen-Starved Waters: Track And Predict The Ocean’s Response To Climate Change” • There are desolate areas in the oceans, oxygen-deficient zones, where oxygen-dependent organisms cannot live. Now MIT scientists have generated the most detailed, 3-D “atlas” of the largest ODZs in the world. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “The Top Electric Vehicles In World During Record Sales Month” • Global plugin vehicle registrations were up 72% in November 2021 from November 2020. There were 721,000 registrations (11.5% share of the overall auto market), establishing a new global record for PEV sales. Internal combustion vehicles may already be past their peak. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model Y (Kevauto, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Scotland Missed 100% Clean Electricity Consumption In 2020 By Only 1.4%” •In 2011, Scotland set a target of reaching 100% clean electricity consumption in 2020. And last year, the country almost reached its target. Of gross electricity consumption, 98.6% came from renewables, the Scottish government’s December energy statement says. [Electrek]

¶ “Chinese Nuclear Power Operator Launches Offshore Wind Farm” • China General Nuclear Power Corporation announced that it had put an offshore wind farm into full operation off the coast of southeast China’s Fujian Province. The project, with 60 turbines, which give it a total installed power generating capacity of 240 MW. [CGTN]

Offshore wind turbines (Mary Ray, Unsplash)

¶ “Japan To Help Build Bill Gates’ High-Tech Nuclear Reactor In Wyoming” • The Japan Atomic Energy Agencyand Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd are set to cooperate with the US and Bill Gates’ venture company to build a high-tech nuclear reactor in Wyoming, the daily Yomiuri reported. They parties may sign an agreement as soon as January. [Investing.com]

US:

¶ “Colorado Residents Return Following Devastating Fire” • Residents of Boulder County, Colorado, have returned to scenes of devastation after snowfall helped extinguish the last of a raging wildfire. The fire swept through 6,000 acres in just a few hours, destroying hundreds of homes. At its peak, it was driven by winds of up to 105 mph. [CNN]

Wildfire (Pixabay, Pexels)

¶ “Tesla Semi Truck – The Latest Developments” • Tesla has been moving slowly towards its class-8 electric Semi truck production goals since the company’s official unveiling on November 16, 2017. The Tesla Semi program has now reportedly been moved into the “limited production” phase at a purpose-built building at Gigafactory Nevada. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EV Buyer Opts For Lucid Air After Mercedes Dealer Adds $50,000 Markup To EQS” • InsideEVs has shared the story of Jon Rettinger, who wanted to buy a Mercedes EQS 580. He reserved one, but the dealer told him there was an extra $50,000 markup on the car, so he opted for a Lucid Air instead. Unfortunately, this sort of story is not unique. [CleanTechnica]

Lucid Air (Lucid Motors image)

¶ “Tesla Recall Affects 475,000 Model 3 And Model S Cars” • Tesla is recalling every Model 3 sedan made between 2017 and the end of 2020 because of a defect in the wiring harness that may affect rearview camera operation. Also, 119,009 Model S sedans made from 2014 to 2021 are being recalled to fix a misalignment of the frunk locking mechanism. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vermont Nuclear Decommissioning Committee Drafting Advisory Opinion On Nuclear Waste Policy” • The DOE is taking suggestions on how to site facilities for temporary, consolidated storage of spent nuclear fuel based on local consent. A Vermont Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel committee is drafting an advisory opinion. [WAMC]

Vermont Yankee in a former time (NRC, Entergy Nuclear)

¶ “Tennessee Valley: Jackson Solar Farm Sparks Power Battle” • Nearly a century ago, the Tennessee Valley Authority was created to harness the power of the Tennessee River. Now, an upstart cooperative plans to build a solar plant in TVA service territory. Organizers of the Jackson Sustainability Cooperative are meeting some opposition. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]

¶ “How Georgia Nuclear Project’s Big Finish Went So Wrong” • Plant Vogtle has had setbacks almost since it began. But the 2021 revelations highlight how widespread the problems are. And there are fresh contentions that Georgia Power may have tried to hide the project’s rising costs so that work would be allowed to continue. [The Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

Have a superbly felicitous day.

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December 31 Energy News

December 31, 2021

Opinion: 

¶ “Our Completely Impartial, Unbiased Review Of ‘Don’t Look Up'” • “Don’t Look Up” is a satirical movie that skewers climate deniers. The movie is simplistic in the extreme. Some will love it, and some will hate it. But one NASA scientist said it is “the most accurate film about society’s terrifying non-response to climate breakdown I’ve seen.” [CleanTechnica]

Meryl Streep in trailer (Netflix via YouTube)

¶ “Setting The Record Straight On Electric Car Fires” • General Motors all but ceased production of its Chevy Bolt electric car after sixteen of them were destroyed by battery fires. We should take battery fires in a wider context, comparing them with other vehicle fires. Battery fires get a lot of press, while more dangerous gasoline fires get ignored. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hydrogen Ships Are Easy, But Getting Hydrogen Is Hard” • OffshoreWIND.biz recently shared the tale of a ship that could be powered by green hydrogen. The new ship, the REM Energy, is actually pretty cool. It has a 12 MW battery (that’s more battery storage than 120 Teslas). But it has an issue. There is no clean hydrogen for it in Germany. [CleanTechnica]

REM Energy (Siemens Gamesa image, cropped)

¶ “Implementing The Clean Energy Investments In Bipartisan Infrastructure Law” • Those following US Congressional climate policy in the US are seeing 2021 end after setbacks to the Build Back Better Act in its current form, as Senate Democrats have been unable to find sufficient votes for passage. But its provisions are necessary for US climate policy. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “High Gas Prices Lead To Conversion Of Ammonia Plant To Green Hydrogen” • Incitec Pivot Ltd, Australia’s largest supplier of fertilizers, produces around two million tonnes of ammonia each year. With a plant under threat of closure due to the high cost of gas, it is considering converting an ammonia plant to use green hydrogen. [CleanTechnica]

Plant at Brisbane, Queensland (Courtesy of Incitec Pivot Limited)

¶ “Of Auto Sales In Europe In November, 15% Were Fully Electric Vehicles” • More than 221,000 plugin vehicles were registered in Europe in November, up 33% year over year. This happened in an overall auto market that is falling off a cliff, down 18% last month, with the 864,000 units registered, which makes it the worst November in 30 years! [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hydrogen Scooters With Swappable Cans Power Forward In France” • The French government seems to think hydrogen can play a significant role in transportation, and the hydrogen-fueled Mob-ion TGT scooter, in particular, shows just how simple it can be to “swap” an empty can of hydrogen for a new one, providing a range of 150 miles. [CleanTechnica]

Mob-ion TGT (Mob-ion image)

¶ “Companies In Japan Must Set Renewable Energy Targets In As Early As 2023” • In Japan, about 12,000 companies will have to draw up targets regarding their adoption of renewable energy as soon as 2023, according to a new government policy. Companies required to create targets are those that use more than a specific amount of energy. [Asia News Network]

¶ “Spain To Hold 500 MW Renewables Auction On April 6” • Spain’s Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge submitted the draft of the country’s third renewable energy auction. It is set to be held on April 6 with an aim to allocate 500 MW of renewable energy capacity, including 200 MW of concentrating solar power. [PV Magazine]

CSP plant in Spain (Iberdrola image)

¶ “Germany To Close Nuclear Reactors Despite Energy Crisis” • Germany will shut down three nuclear power plants on Friday even as Europe is in a historic energy crises, following Angela Merkel’s timetable for phasing out atomic energy. The closure of the plants in Brokdorf, Grohnde, and Gundremmingen could well tighten the energy squeeze. [Yahoo News]

¶ “RWE Will Also Shut Down Three Lignite Plants At The End Of The Year” • In addition to a unit at the Gundremmingen nuclear power plant, the electricity company RWE will shut down three lignite plants at the end of this year. The company said the 300-MW units Neurath B, Niederaußem C, and Weisweiler E would be shut down. [Market Research Telecast]

Niederaußem power plant (Stodtmeister, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

US:

¶ “Colorado Wildfires: Tens Of Thousands Evacuated As Blazes Spread” • Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated and hundreds of homes have been destroyed as wildfires spread through Colorado. The fast-moving fires are burning in Boulder County, north of Denver, and officials say deaths and injuries are likely as the blazes spread further. [BBC]

¶ “Hyundai Home: Electric Car, Rooftop Solar, Battery Storage, And An EV Charger All In One Package” • Hyundai is creating a complete concierge service for its EV customers. Called Hyundai Home, it will allow people to buy an electric car, get a charger at home, add rooftop solar panels, and get a residential battery storage, all in one purchase. [CleanTechnica]

Don’t ask me – I have no words for it. (Hyundai image)

¶ “Scout Acquires 369-MW Blue Sky Solar” • Colorado-based developer Scout Clean Energy acquired the consented 369-MW Blue Sky solar project in Illinois from RES. Scout said the facility is to begin commercial operations in 2024. The county taxing jurisdictions will receive an estimated $36.3 million in revenues over the project’s life. [reNews]

¶ “Major Energy Storage Project Coming To San Diego” • A portfolio of 44 battery storage systems across San Diego County, aimed at adding more emissions-free energy to California’s electric grid, is about to roll out, with one location in Chula Vista and another in El Cajon poised to break ground within the next month. [The San Diego Union-Tribune]

Have a gloriously rewarding day.

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December 30 Energy News

December 30, 2021

Opinion: 

¶ “Neoen’s 204-MW, 34-MWh Bulgana Project Points To Co-Located Renewables Future” • The future of renewables is a combination of large-scale assets, some of which are co-located. At least, that can be inferred in markets such as Australia where developer Neoen is continuing to develop a mix of big wind, PVs, and batteries. [PV Magazine]

Wind farm in Victoria (John Englart, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Feeding This Seaweed To Cows Can Eliminate Their Methane Emissions” • In a single year, a cow can emit as much greenhouse gas as a small car, but the amount can be reduced by adding seaweed to the diet. Rob Kinley, chief scientist at Futurefeed, found that the red algae Asparagopsis can practically eliminate methane emissions from livestock. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Battery Recycling – A Fledgling Industry In Australia” • Some people raise a question about EVs: How fast can it go? But among people in environmental groups a different question always comes up: What happens to the batteries? The recent Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre report provides a very good overview. [CleanTechnica]

Large EV batteries (Proterra image)

¶ “Vauxhall’s Electric Hatchback And Crossover Get More Range Without Bigger Battery Packs” • Vauxhall’s Mokka-e, a crossover, has a range of 201 miles with a battery pack of only 50 kWh. That comes out to just over 4 miles per kWh, or about 25 kWh/100 miles. This is really good. The smaller Nissan LEAF Plus uses about 27 kWh/100 miles. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “South African Court Halts Shell’s Oil Exploration In Whale Breeding Grounds” • A South African court has stopped Shell’s seismic testing for oil and gas along the nation’s eastern coastline, the BBC has reported, adding that this is pending a final ruling. Now This News has shared that the Wild Coast is also an area where whales breed. [CleanTechnica]

Wild Coast, South Africa (Jon Rawlinson, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “How India Hit 2030 Non-Fossil Fuel Energy Target In 2021” • India has achieved its target of generating 40% of the total installed electricity capacity from non-fossil energy sources, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy said. The goal had been set under the 2015 Paris Agreement, and the target date was to achieve that level by 2030. [CNBC TV18]

US:

¶ “The Beavers Returning To The Desert” • The Snake River runs through the middle of a shadeless desert land in Utah, at the bottom of a canyon. It could support a population of beavers, and researchers at Utah State University are working on a project to reintroduce them. Beavers can transform the land, as they build and maintain their dams. [BBC]

Mom and Pop Beaver (finchlake2000, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “67°F Day In Kodiak, Alaska, Sets New Statewide Temperature Record” • On Sunday, the Kodiak Tide Gauge station recorded an amazing 67°F, a new statewide temperature record for December. The Kodiak Airport recorded 65°F, breaking their record for the month by 9°F. One climatologist said, “I would not have thought such a thing possible.” [CNN]

¶ “Tesla Reaches Job Target For Buffalo Gigafactory” • In exchange for $950 million in subsidies, Tesla had to meet a mandate to employ 1,460 workers at its gigafactory in South Buffalo. When Covid-19 hit, everything was shut down. Tesla was able to get an extension on its employment goal, and now it has met that goal fully. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla employees (Tesla image)

¶ “Maine Getting High-Level Help With Electric Grid” • Huge solar farms are a vital part of Maine’s strategy for fighting climate change, but developers and regulators agree that the state’s electric grid can’t handle all the proposed projects. The US DOE approved Maine for a program to provide technical expertise to modernize the electric grid. [News Center Maine]

¶ “100,000 Diesel-Killing EVs For US Army, Eventually” • In a sign that the US Department of Defense is getting ready to expand its fleet of EVs, the 2022 Defense Authorization Act includes a provision that supports the Army’s Electric Light Reconnaissance Vehicles program, which reportedly had gone into limbo earlier this year. [CleanTechnica]

Gasmobile may be replaced by an EV (Oshkosh Defense image)

¶ “Apollo, NextEra Energy Partners Invest In 2.5-GW Renewable Energy Portfolio” • Funds managed by Apollo’s affiliates have made first close on $816 million in a convertible equity portfolio financing agreement with NextEra Energy Partners LP. This is for a 2.5-GW contracted renewable energy generation portfolio of thirteen assets in nine states. [Solar Industry]

¶ “Waymo To Partner With Geely To Build Autonomous Electric Ride-Hailing Vehicles” • Waymo is a self-driving spin-off of Alphabet intended to provide transportation as a service. Waymo says it will integrate its Waymo Driver autonomous technology into a new mobility-focused EV designed by Volvo, a Swedish company owned by Geely. [CleanTechnica]

Waymo EV (Waymo image)

¶ “Kentucky To Build State’s Largest Solar Project On Former Coal Mine” • The renewable energy firm, Savion, is building a 200-MW solar installation on a former coal mine on the border of Kentucky and West Virginia. When it is completed, it will be the largest solar project in Kentucky. It will generate enough electricity for over 33,000 homes. [Yale E360]

¶ “US Affirms New Interpretation For High-Level Nuclear Waste” • The Biden administration has affirmed a Trump administration interpretation of high-level radioactive waste that is based on the waste’s radioactivity rather than how it was produced. This means some waste from nuclear weapons could be stored with waste from power generation. [ABC News]

Have a genuinely lovely day.

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December 29 Energy News

December 29, 2021

Opinion: 

¶ “A Ukraine Invasion Could Go Nuclear: Fifteen Reactors Would Be In War Zone” • As Russia’s buildup on the Ukrainian border continues, few observers note that an invasion of Ukraine could put nuclear reactors on the front line of military conflict. But a full-scale, no-holds-barred conventional warfare could spark a catastrophic reactor failure. [Forbes]

Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant (Ralf1969, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

Science and Technology:

¶ “CalStart Conducts Study On Commercial Vehicle Battery Cost Assessment” • YUNEV, CalStart, and the California Air Resources Board Hybrid and Zero-emission Truck and Bus Voucher Project teamed up to conduct a cost assessment on commercial vehicle batteries. The focus of the study was on the strategic sourcing challenges for commercial EVs. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Why Mauritius Is Losing Its Seashells” • Oceanographer Vassen Kauppaymuthoo says seashells on the island of Mauritius have decreased in number by 60% over the last three decades. He blames climate change along with overfishing, tourism, and pollution from wastewater and boats. It all has a knock-on effect, with devastating consequences. [BBC]

Money ring cowrie (Hectonichus, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Scotland Ends Coal Power With A Bang” • Scotland recently demolished its last coal-fired power station, ending coal’s reign in the country, literally with a bang, ending decades of reliance on the emissions-heavy fossil fuel. An explosion brought down the tallest part of the power plant, Longannet Chimney, which stood over 600 feet tall. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Huawei, Which Beat Apple At Making A Car, Announces New Range-Extended EV” • While Apple talked about EVs, Huawei actually delivered one in February. Now, there is a new one with extended range, the Aito M5. Huawei hopes it will compete with the Tesla Model Y, the second most popular electric vehicle in the Chinese market. [CleanTechnica]

Huawei Aito M5 (Image courtesy of Huawei)

¶ “CATL Signs Battery Swap Agreement With Guizhou Province” • There may not be any battery swapping stations in the US, but there are plenty of them in China, thanks to Nio. A few of them are popping up in Norway as well, and more of them may come to the EU before long. Now battery maker CATL is introducing stations of its own in China. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Reports Claim Hyundai Has Halted Internal Combustion Development” • There is no confirmation from Hyundai yet, but Korean Economic Daily and Business Korea both report that Hyundai Motor Group has closed its internal combustion engine development office and shifted all its attention to developing powertrains for electric cars. [CleanTechnica]

Hyundai Seven (Hyundai image)

¶ “Nissan Will Sell Renewable Energy Electricity To Employees In Japan” • Nissan Motor Company stated this week that as part of its carbon-neutral initiatives, it will sell power generated from practically 100% renewable energy sources to its own employees in Japan. Nissan said the energy program will begin in the fiscal year 2022. [Cleveland Sports Zone]

¶ “Neoen Toasts 224-MW Oz Wind-Plus-Storage Hub Success” • Neoen has achieved full-scale commercial operation of its Bulgana Green Power Hub at Stawell, Victoria. The hybrid power plant consists of a 204-MW wind farm, with 56 turbines, and a 20-MW, 34 MWh Tesla battery storage system. The project will power about 150,000 homes. [reNews]

Bulgana wind farm (Neoen image)

¶ “Germany’s Long Anti-Nuclear Protest Ends” • For 35 years, activists have been protesting in front of the nuclear power plant in Brokdorf. Their vigil is finally over as the plant is removed from the grid. The 425th vigil was the last. By the year’s end, the Brokdorf nuclear power plant will be shut down as part of Germany’s 2022 nuclear phase-out. [DW]

US:

¶ “Nearly 17 Feet Of Snow In California’s Sierra Nevada Is Crushing Records. It’s Still Not Enough” • As of Tuesday, more than 202 inches of snow – nearly 17 feet (5.2 meters) – had fallen so far this month at the UC Berkeley’s Central Sierra Snow Laboratory, at Donner Pass. It’s enough to break records, but not enough to end the drought. [CNN]

Deep snow (Patrick T’Kindt, Unsplash)

¶ “US DOE: Almost 10,000 Workplace EV Chargers Were Installed In Q1 2021” • The US DOE announced earlier this month that during the first quarter of 2021, there were almost 10,000 workplace EV charging stations installed (that is, in place, not newly installed). This is up by almost 2,000 charging stations compared to one year prior. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “United Airlines Uses Jet Fuel Made From Plants In Passenger Flight” • United Airlines used jet fuel made from agricultural waste such as corncobs and corn stalks in a normal passenger flight. Virent, a Wisconsin startup, made the fuel. Virent is known for making bio-based plastics and other bio-based products, the Wisconsin State Journal reports. [CleanTechnica]

Prepping for flight using biofuel (United Airlines)

¶ “North Dakota State University Professor Leads Research Into New Types Of Solar Panels” • NDSU chemistry and biochemistry professor Philip Boudjouk, PhD, received a $2.5 million award from the US DOE. The award was made to fund research into the development of materials that can absorb solar energy in low light conditions. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Bureau Of Land Management Approves Arica And Victory Pass Solar Projects” • The BLM has approved the Arica and Victory Pass solar projects in Riverside County, California. These projects will result in investments of about $689 million, $5.9 million in annual economic benefit, and power about 132,000 homes. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Have an undisguisedly ecstatic day.

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December 28 Energy News

December 28, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “Autonomous Robot Killing Weeds Is More Eco-Friendly Than Herbicides” • A German consortium is developing AMU-Bot, a robot that will solve the problem of weeding without manual work or spraying with herbicides. Funding is from the German Federal Office of Agriculture and Food. The Fraunhofer Institute is coordinating the project. [CleanTechnica]

Robot (Federal Office of Agriculture and Food, Fraunhofer)

¶ “StoreDot Developed Batteries That Can Self-Heal” • StoreDot announced technology that enables battery cells to regenerate while they are in use via a background repair mechanism. The self-healing battery system can identify a cell or string of cells that are overheating or performing poorly. Repair is done by hardware under software control. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tidal Energy Has the Potential To Become Viable And Reliable Renewable Energy Source” • Bureau Veritas welcomed the UK Government’s plans to invest in the country’s tidal energy industry, suggesting that tidal stream electricity could become one of the most viable and reliable sources of renewable energy in the world. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Evopod turbine in 2008 (Courtesy of Ocean Flow Energy Ltd)

World:

¶ “Thousands Are Left Homeless And Hungry At Christmas As The Philippines Faces Up To The Climate Crisis Reality Of A Super Typhoon” • The Philippines experiences several typhoons a year, but the climate crisis has caused storms to become more unpredictable and extreme. while leaving the nation’s poorest most vulnerable. [CNN]

¶ “The African Nation Aiming To Be A Hydrogen Superpower” • Lüderitz is a town in southern Namibia. It has seen boom times based on diamonds and fishing. Now, a green hydrogen project has been proposed to be “the third revolution of Lüderitz.” The project could ultimately produce around 300,000 tonnes of green hydrogen per year. [BBC]

Lüderitz, Namibia (SkyPixels, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Every 38–44 Seconds, A New Tesla Model Y Leaves Giga Shanghai’s Workshop” • Drive Tesla Canada reports that drone flyovers showed that a new Tesla Model Y leaves Giga Shanghai’s workshop every 38 seconds. The article noted that Tesla China’s November sales reflected an annual production rate of 683,000 cars per year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “UK Police Are Testing Tesla Model 3 With Promising Results” • British police have been testing Tesla Model 3 vehicles as part of its plan to electrify its fleet, The Guardian reports. According to the emergency services lead at Tesla, the early findings show great results for the suitability of Model 3 vehicles in emergency service operation. [CleanTechnica]

Brutally colored police car (Tesla UK image)

¶ “Solar And Wind Produce The Cheapest Electricity – Report” • The Australian Energy Market Operator and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation released a report that shows conclusively that solar and wind are the cheapest ways to generate electricity. The report includes carbon capture and hydrogen electrolysis. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Railroads And Solar Power: You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” • Renewable energy has been quietly seeping into the US railroad industry, but the pace has been achingly slow. Things could pick up if a new solar power research project in Germany pans out. It aims to leverage the built environment of railroads for direct electrification. [CleanTechnica]

Solar system and railroad (Courtesy of TÜV Rheinland)

¶ “Delegates At New Round Of Iran Nuclear Talks Strike Hopeful Note” • The eighth and possibly final round of talks in Vienna to restore Iran’s landmark 2015 nuclear deal with world powers has commenced on a cautiously hopeful note. The delegation from Iran said it is ready to remain in Vienna until a deal acceptable to Tehran is reached. [Al Jazeera]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Secures New Order From Ayana Renewable Power” • Siemens Gamesa has secured an order in India from Ayana Renewable Power Six to supply a 302-MW project. Ayana Renewable will install 84 of the SG 3.6-145 wind turbines for the project in Karnataka State. Ayana has 3 GW of renewable energy capacity at this time. [GreentechLead]

Wind turbines in India (Debasish1974, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

US:

¶ “Wind And Solar Provided 86% Of New US Power Capacity In January Through October” • October 2021, was a rare month in which natural gas led the show for new US capacity with a 51.1% share. But in 2021, wind and solar power have dominated new power capacity additions, accounting for a whopping 85.9% of new US power capacity so far. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Air Force Taps Solar Energy, Wireless Transmission For Battlefield Deployment” • The US Air Force has seen the future, and it has solar energy written all over it. Last fall the Air Force Research Laboratory announced an eight-project lineup for its new Expeditionary Energy Campaign initiative focusing on clean tech and renewables. [CleanTechnica]

Solar system (Image by Corey Parrish, USAF)

¶ “Hoboken To Launch Renewable Energy Program” • A program revealed by the Hoboken mayor’s office will offer residents a baseline of 10% more electricity from renewable sources like wind or solar than the current state minimum levels, which is at roughly 23.5%. Residents can also choose to have 100% renewable electricity. [Hudson Reporter]

¶ “Shell Gets OK To Proceed With Offshore Wind Project Off New England” • A joint offshore wind venture spearheaded by Royal Dutch Shell and Ocean Winds North America has gained approval to build offshore wind turbines off the New England coast. The Mayflower offshore wind project is expected to generate 400 MW. [Houston Chronicle]

Have a sufficiently marvelous day.

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December 27 Energy News

December 27, 2021

Opinion: 

¶ “Canada’s First New Nuclear Reactor In Decades Is A US Design. Will It Prompt A Rethink Of Government Support?” • Ontario Power Generation’s selection of GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy to help build a small modular reactor at its Darlington station set in motion events that could shape Canada’s nuclear industry for decades. [The Globe and Mail]

Darlington Nuclear GS (Felix König and DNGS, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Storing Energy Without Batteries Could Be Key To NS Giving Up Fossil Fuels” • In Nova Scotia, as much as 60% of the energy consumption comes from space heating, a figure that rises to 80% when hot water is included. Researchers say storing heat could help bring about the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. [CBC]

¶ “A Neglected Protein-Rich ‘Superfood'” • While the West might be squeamish about insects, people have been eating them for thousands of years, and in many parts of the world the practice is commonplace. Around 2,000 insect species are eaten worldwide. If half our meat were replaced by such things as crickets, it could cut our farmland use by a third. [BBC]

Chapulines (fried grasshoppers) and chili flavored peanuts for
sale in Mexico City (AlejandroLinaresGarcia, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Boston-Made Documentary Zeroes In On The Urgency Of Climate Feedback Loops” • The Boston-based team behind the climate documentary “Earth Emergency” has an urgent message. Feedbacks, or self-perpetuating loops found in nature, exist in many forms, on land, at sea, in ice and the atmosphere. They can speed up climate change. [WBUR]

World:

¶ “Huge Toll Of Extreme Weather Disasters In 2021” • Weather events, linked to a changing climate, brought misery to millions in 2021 a report from the charity Christian Aid says. It lists 10 extreme events that each caused over $1.5 billion of damage. The costliest were the flooding in Europe in July and Hurricane Ida, which hit the US in August. [BBC]

Storm damage (Mick Haupt, Unsplash)

¶ “Wärtsilä To Set Up Netherlands’ Largest Energy Storage System” • Technology group Wärtsilä will supply a 25-MW, 48-MWh energy storage system to GIGA Storage BV to help stabilize the electric grid in the Netherlands. This will be Wärtsilä’s first energy storage project in the Netherlands and the country’s largest system so far. [Saur Energy International]

¶ “Australia Announces $100 Million Funding For Grid-Scale Battery Storage Projects” • The Australian Renewable Energy Agency announced a $100 million competitive funding round for grid-scale batteries with advanced inverters to support the grid. The funding program will provide for energy storage projects 70 MW or larger. [Mercom India]

Grid with storage (Wikichesterdit, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Bharat Petroleum To Scale Up Renewable Energy Portfolio; Collaborates With Solar Energy Corporation Of India Limited” • Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited is aiming at a portfolio of 1 GW of renewable energy by 2025. BPCL is eyeing a renewable energy portfolio of 10 GW by 2040. They signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate. [Headlines of Today]

¶ “Central Bank Of Iraq Backs Renewable Energy Initiative” • The Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq held a dialogue with the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Electricity, and local Iraqi banks on an initiative to reduce shortages of electricity in Iraq, reduce carbon emissions, and have a clean environment in the oil-dependent nation. [Iraqi News]

Erbil, Iraq (Saad Salim, Unsplash)

¶ “Nuclear Experts Allowed To Resume Research On Spent Nuclear Fuel Processing Technology” • South Korean nuclear experts were allowed to resume R&D on technologies for spent nuclear fuel processing. South Korea runs 24 nuclear reactors, and plant operators want solutions both to decommissioning and to piles of spent fuel rods. [AJU Business Daily]

US:

¶ “US Snowstorms: California And Other Western States Battered” • Heavy storms have battered western regions of the US, leaving thousands without power. Almost 30 inches (76 cm) of snow fell in parts of northern California in 24 hours, causing blackouts and road closures, including a 70-mile (112 km) stretch of Interstate 80 into Nevada. [BBC]

Snow trouble (Truckee Meadows Fire Department via Twitter)

¶ “Wind And Solar Provided 14% Of US Electricity Generation In October” • In October 2019, solar and wind power accounted together for 11.3% of US electricity generation. In October 2020, they accounted for 12.4% of US electricity. And just a couple of months ago, in October 2021, they accounted for 14% of US electricity. That is steady growth. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “As Snow And Ice Disappear With Climate Change, Some Michigan Businesses Struggle” • Winter has long brought in big tourism dollars to Michigan. But warmer winters due to climate change are jeopardizing businesses that rely on cold-weather tourism and are threatening the state’s reputation as a Water-Winter Wonderland. [Michigan Advance]

Winter biking at Crystal Mountain (Crystal Mountain photo)

¶ “New York City To Invest $420 Million In Electric Vehicles And Infrastructure” • Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services announced a plan to address climate change and make the city green. They would reduce the city government’s climate emissions by nearly 70% by 2030, from 2006 levels. [Off Grid Energy Independence]

¶ “Montana’s Largest Wind Farm Underway Near Miles City” • NextEra Energy Resources says it is the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from wind and solar. Now, it is building a 750-MW project in Montana. For each turbine, it will lease 50 square yards from local farmers, paying a total of $226 million over the next 30 years. [The Billings Gazette]

Have a spectacularly relaxing day.

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December 26 Energy News

December 26, 2021

Opinion: 

¶ “Can Cities Thrive In Turbulent Times? Three Questions For Cities In 2022” • There are at least three compounding crises facing cities today – the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, the worsening impacts of a changing climate, and growing urban inequality. The World Resources Institute looks at questions to consider and what needs to be done. [CleanTechnica]

Los Angeles (Devin Avery, Unsplash)

¶ “The Civil Beat Editorial Board Interview: UH Climate Expert Chip Fletcher” • The Civil Beat Editorial Board and reporters spoke with Chip Fletcher, associate dean for academic affairs at the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology at the University of Hawaii Manoa. He is also chairman of Honolulu’s Climate Change Commission. [Honolulu Civil Beat]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Earth Became A Less Hospitable Place In 2021” • Much of Earth got hotter in 2021, worldwide weather weirder, wildfires more devastating, the atmosphere more problematic, and soil less fertile. In arid expanses, animal and plant life became more precarious; forests diminished; the oceans warmed, rose, and got more acidic. [The Columbus Dispatch]

Fire in Tasmania (Matt Palmer, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “How Can Asia Achieve A Clean Energy Transition? Examples From Five Countries” • Nowhere in the world is as critical for the clean energy transition as Asia, which accounts for almost half of global energy demand and is the world’s highest emitting region. Here, we look at five examples: China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Bangladesh. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Can Australia Supply The World With Rare Earth Minerals?” • Australian governments (national and state) are seeking new revenue streams, as coal exports look like they are diminishing in the long term. Demand is increasing for rare earth elements as EVs take over the highways, and Australia has a lot to offer. But the resources have to be developed. [CleanTechnica]

Australian outback (Jeremy Bezanger, Unsplash)

¶ “How Wind Power Is Transforming Communities In Viet Nam” • In two provinces of Viet Nam, a quiet transformation is taking place, driven by renewable energy. In both areas, wind farms are providing employment and electric energy to people who need them. In both places, they provide for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. [Modern Diplomacy]

¶ “Will A Nuclear Power Plant Be Rebuilt In Fessenheim?” • When French President Emmanuel Macron said in November that he wanted to build new nuclear power plants as part of his investment plan to revive the economy, the president of Alsace asked that Fessenheim, home of a recently closed reactor, be considered for hosting one. [D1SoftballNews.com]

Closed Fessenheim nuclear plant (Florival fr, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Iran Atomic Chief Claims Country Won’t Enrich Uranium Over 60% If Nuclear Talks Fail” • The head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization said Iran will not exceed 60% enrichment of uranium, even if it cannot agree on a return to the 2015 nuclear deal. Iran has been openly breaching the deal since the US withdrew from it in 2018. [The Times of Israel]

US:

¶ “US Federal Recommendations Support Monitoring For Offshore Wind” • Offshore wind energy is rapidly growing in the US. This is essential to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. But offshore wind must be environmentally sustainable. NOAA and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management have made some recommendations about that. [CleanTechnica]

Turbines and transformer platform (Dionysos1970, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Puerto Rico’s Shattered Power Grid Could Become A ‘Big Experiment’ For Biden” • FEMA has $9.4 billion allocated to restore and protect Puerto Rico’s power network from the type of disasters that have plagued it. It is the largest amount awarded in the agency’s history. But there are two radically different ways to use this money. [Politico]

¶ “Grand Coulee Dam Overhaul Project Ensures Another Thirty Years Of Renewable Hydropower In The Pacific Northwest” • The Bureau of Reclamation and the Bonneville Power Administration announced the completion of the major overhaul of generating units 22, 23, and 24 at Grand Coulee Dam, about 90 miles west of Spokane, Washington. [iFIBER One News]

Have an appreciably grand day.

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December 25 Energy News

December 25, 2021

Opinion: 

¶ “Thinking Global, Acting Local: How To Get Clean Tech Into Every Community” • The Future is Now. We have all of the solutions we really need to fix the climate crisis. The tech, the economics, the “curb appeal” … it’s all there. So why isn’t it happening everywhere, all the time? One of the key obstacles is building community involvement. [CleanTechnica]

Screenshot from Dawn Lippert TED Talk

¶ “‘Chemical Recycling’ – A Summer Of Disillusionment” • I was thrilled to hear of a possible solution to the plastic waste crisis in the form of a seemingly miraculous technique that could give new life to hard-to-recycle plastics while promoting a circular economy. It sounded too good to be true. After a few weeks of research, I discovered it was. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Is Japan’s Nuclear Wastewater Dumping Reckless?” • Japan intends to release around 1.25 million tons of contaminated water from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea. There is no precedent for discharging such a volume of wastewater into the sea. Perplexingly, the US government seems to agree with the plan. [The ASEAN Post]

Water tanks at Fukushima (IAEA Imagebank, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Lying Liars And The Lies They Tell About Electric Cars” • The more EVs come to market, the more the people that EVs threaten (such as oil companies) are ramping up their attacks on them. The latest tactic claims the emissions from mining materials needed to make EV batteries is so gigantic that they cannot be environmentally friendly. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Climate Change: Lapland Reindeer Gone Astray In Search For Food” • Herders in Lapland are struggling to locate thousands of reindeer that ran away after warm weather left the food they graze on covered by a layer of ice. Some reindeer have travelled as far as 100 km to the south, in search of ice-free lichen they can access under the snow. [BCC]

Reindeer (Robert Kalinagil, Unsplash)

¶ “These Women Are Fighting For Their Indigenous Land And The Survival Of The Amazon” • Indigenous women in Brazil were traditionally excluded from leadership roles. Now, women are breaking down barriers, speaking out, and joining the battle against rampant deforestation, extractive activities and the ever growing climate catastrophe. [CNN]

¶ “Tesla Helped China Cut Carbon Emissions By 855,878 Tons From January To November 2021” • On Christmas Eve, Tesla China released its year-to-date new energy contribution report, Gasgoo reports. The report noted that Tesla helped China reduce carbon emission by 855,878 tons during the first eleven months of this year. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model Y vehicles in China (Courtesy of Tesla)

¶ “Indian Cities Struggling For Clean Air” • With dangerously high air pollution levels and continued respiratory threats from Covid-19, the need to protect public health in India is urgent. To fight air pollution, India’s environment minister Bhupendar Yadav announced plans to scale clean air programs to a national mission, “Clean Air for All.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Mitsubishi-Led Groups To Build 1.7 GW Of Offshore Wind In Japan” • The Japanese authorities have selected three offshore wind farms totaling over 1760 MW in Japan’s first auction for fixed bottom projects. Mitsubishi Corporation is involved in all of the projects. Turbine manufacturer GE will supply 139 of its 12.6-MW turbines for them. [reNews]

Haliade X wind turbine (GE image)

¶ “Brandenburg Coal Mine Uses 171 Times More Water Than Tesla’s Giga Berlin Will Need” • German environmental groups seem to really care about how much water Tesla will use at Tesla Giga Berlin. Let’s hope they have that same energy for the LEAG coal mine, which uses 171 times more water than Tesla needs for Giga Berlin. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “India Expects Renewable Energy Space To Boom Next Year” • In India, an investment of more than $15 billion (£11.1 billion, €13.2 billion) is expected next year as the government focuses on electric vehicles, green hydrogen, and manufacturing of solar equipment, as well as achieving the ambitious 175 GW renewable capacity target. [Eastern Eye]

Wind turbines in India (Iamvrt46, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Mallorca’s First Industrial Renewable Hydrogen Produced In Lloseta” • Renewable hydrogen is being produced at a facility in, Lloseta, Mallorca, Spain. It could produce at least 300 tonnes of the clean energy carrier annually. Production of the gas was confirmed on Thursday, Dec 23, after integrated environmental authorisation was received. [H2 View]

US:

¶ “New Yorkers And Wildlife Are Finding Solace In The City’s Parks” • New York City’s wildlife is thriving, and that’s thanks to devoted scientists and activists who spent decades bolstering robust wildlife habitats in the city’s five boroughs. New York is one of the most densely populated metropolitan areas in the country, but 14% of the city is parks. [CNN]

Urban red-tailed hawk (Preston Keres, USDA, public domain)

¶ “New Clean Energy Office Targets Rural Areas: Heads Up, Joe Manchin” • The DOE’s $20 billion Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations is aimed at scaling up big solutions to climate problems with a focus on rural communities and environmental justice. Almost 90% of the electricity generated in West Virginia still comes from coal power plants. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Biden Administration Climate Actions This Week” • Interior Secretary Deb Haaland called project approvals in California part of an “all-of-government approach toward its ambitious renewable energy goals.” They include “historic investments in boosting climate resiliency, advancing clean energy projects, and replacing aging infrastructure.” [CleanTechnica]

Have a supremely merry day.

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December 24 Energy News

December 24, 2021

Opinion: 

¶ “Massive 100+ Vehicle Accident Shows The Need For Self-Driving Cars” • NBC Chicago reported crashes involving over 100 vehicles along I-94 in Jackson County, Wisconsin. While some people fear automated vehicles, the NHTSA says that 94% of serious crashes are due to human error, and automated vehicles could prevent them. [CleanTechnica]

Pileup (Wisconsin State Patrol)

¶ “US Still Doesn’t Know How And Where It Will Store Its Growing Pile Of Nuclear Waste” • A year-and-a-half after a scathing GAO report revealed that the US DOE has no coherent plan to manage nuclear waste from weapons manufacturing piling up at more than 150 sites across the country there has been little progress. [Earth Island Institute]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Volkswagen Plans To Offer Plug And Charge Technology And V2G In 2022” • There is more to the EV revolution than building and selling electric cars. Charging infrastructure to meet the needs of all those EV drivers is important too. In a press release this week, Volkswagen outlined some of the advances it plans to offer customers in 2022. [CleanTechnica]

Charging a Volkswagen EV (Volkswagen image)

World:

¶ “Climate Change: Small Army Of Volunteers Keeping Deniers Off Wikipedia” • Wikipedia has for so long been plagued by climate change denial. But a group of dedicated volunteers around the world is working tirelessly to keep the deniers at bay. In addition to human editors, the organisation also uses computer bots to fight vandalism. [BBC]

¶ “Power Wells For Remote Villages In Indonesia” • Substation33 is the training arm for YFF, an NGO. To address the reliance of people in isolated villages on kerosene and difficulty finding electricity to power cell phones, they developed the Power Well, a solar cell and a battery built into a bucket. Now they are installing Power Wells in Indonesia. [CleanTechnica]

Traditional house in Sumba (monica renata, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “QFleet Transitioning To New Energy Vehicles” • Under the Queensland Department of Energy and Public Works, QFleet manages the procurement and maintenance of state vehicles. Now, QFleet is eager to go electric. The QFleet EV Transition Strategy commits QFleet to doubling the number of EVs in its fleet annually for four years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Zealand Gets Its First Big Battery” • On a freezing cold night in New Zealand, fossil fuel generators couldn’t crank up fast enough and the grid failed. The event inspired a move towards big batteries. Meridian will build the first of these on the southern part of the northern island to support both north and south island grids. [CleanTechnica]

Future battery site (Follash, released to the public domain)

¶ “19% Plugin Vehicle Share In Chinese Auto Market!” • Plugin vehicles are all the rage in China. They scored a record 413,000 registrations in November, an increase of 106% year over year. The importance of the Chinese market can be seen in the fact that China, by itself, represented over half of global plugin registrations in November! [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶ “A Look At Argonne’s Biggest Breakthroughs In 2021” • It was a big year for discoveries at the Argonne National Laboratory. From improving solar cells and brain imaging to combating Covid-19 and developing better nuclear reactor models, Argonne researchers accelerate science and technology to ensure our prosperity and security. [CleanTechnica]

Argonne National Laboratory (John Hill for ANL, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Tesla Halts Passenger Gaming In Moving Cars” • After Tesla started letting passengers play a few games on its infotainment system while the car was in motion, the NHTSA opened up a formal safety investigation. Now, the Associated Press reports that Tesla halted the access to these games on the screens while the car is in motion. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Scout Acquires 112-MW Missouri Solar” • Scout Clean Energy has acquired the 112-MW Stockton Lake solar farm in southwest Missouri from Azimuth Renewables for an undisclosed price. Azimuth will continue as an active partner, and Scout will procure equipment, construct, and operate the solar project once the project is operational in 2025. [reNews]

Solar panels (Asia Chang, Unsplash)

¶ “Renewables Became Second-Most Prevalent Electricity Source In 2020 – Analysis” • In 2020, renewable energy sources (wind, hydroelectric, solar, biomass, and geothermal energy) generated a record 834 billion kWh of electricity, or about 21% of all the electricity generated in the US. Only natural gas, at 1,617 billion kWh, produced more. [Eurasia Review]

¶ “Vestas Confirms 301-MW Oklahoma Order” • Vestas has confirmed a 301-MW turbine order from TransAlta Corporation for the White Rock East and West wind farms in Oklahoma. The contract is for 34 turbines at White Rock East and 17 at White Rock West. The two projects’ commissioning is scheduled for the third quarter of 2023. [reNews]

Wind turbine (Vestas image)

¶ “Microgrid-Powered Facility In Wisconsin Produces Renewable Natural Gas For California” • A newly commissioned plant in Wisconsin is turning organic waste from more than 4,000 dairy cows into renewable natural gas and injecting it into a natural gas pipeline for use as a transportation fuel in California. An EnTech microgrid is powering the plant. [Microgrid Knowledge]

¶ “Roaring Brook Wind Farm Increases New York’s Onshore Wind Power To 2,200 MW” • The 79.7-MW Roaring Brook Wind farm is operational in the North Country. It is the latest large-scale wind facility to enter commercial operation in New York and pushes the state’s installed land-based wind power to nearly 2,200 MW. [North American Windpower]

Have a perfectly harmonious day.

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December 23 Energy News

December 23, 2021

Opinion: 

¶ “Electric Vehicle Batteries Aren’t Really ‘The New Oil'” • For years now, anti-EV campaigners have been claiming that lithium is “the new oil,” implying that, as lithium becomes a valuable commodity, the global economy will become hooked on it just as it currently is on oil, with similarly baleful effects. This is a flawed analogy for several reasons. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla battery pack (Tesla image)

¶ “The World Is Addicted To Natural Gas. Fossil Fuel Companies Are Lobbying Hard To Keep It That Way” • As governments around the world devise new energy strategies to rapidly remove the carbon from their economies, major fossil fuel companies are lobbying hard to keep “blue” hydrogen, made from natural gas with carbon capture, in the mix. [CNN]

¶ “Peak Oil & Coal Demand Means Peak Shipping Demand Too” • A look at the shipping industry produces many questions. For example, how much shipping is bound up in fossil fuels and commodities which are going to diminish in the future? I have a heterodox projection of shipping, including that it is likely to decline in time. [CleanTechnica]

Shipping (Andy Li, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Gotion Signs 200 GWh LFP Battery Deal With Major Publicly Traded US Automaker” • Gotion High-Tech, based in Shenzhen, announced it has signed a supply and localization agreement with a major US auto company to supply it with 200 GWh of lithium-iron-phosphate (LiFePO₄ or LFP) batteries between 2023 and 2028. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Enel builds solar apiary at La Loma” • Enel Green Power has completed construction of an apiary as part of a 187-MW (DC) solar project it is constructing in Columbia. Enel is aiming to promote the coexistence of bees, community, and clean energy in the same space, contributing to sustainable development. So far, 15 hives have been built. [reNews]

Solar array (Enel Green Power image)

¶ “Auctions Could Bring €1 Billion In Green Energy Investments For Croatia” • Upcoming auctions for premiums for renewable energy power plants in Croatia could secure more than €1 billion investments next year. About 200 projects totaling 13,000 MW are currently in the pipeline, with investments that are estimated at €10 billion. [Balkan Green Energy News]

¶ “World’s Biggest Offshore Wind Farm Starts Producing Power” • The Hornsea 2 wind power plant, located off the UK’s east coast, has started delivering electricity to the mainland. When it is fully operational, the facility will have a capacity of 1.3 GW. Together with Hornsea 1, currently the world’s biggest offshore wind farm, the figure will be 2.5 GW. [Balkan Green Energy News]

Wind turbine construction (Ørsted image)

¶ “Belgium To Close All Current Nuclear Reactors By 2025” • Belgium will shut down all seven of its nuclear reactors by 2025 but will not exclude new-generation nuclear technology, under a deal reached by the coalition government. A government source said agreements included “investments of around €100 million on small modular reactors.” [France 24]

¶ “European Energy Connects Danish PV To Grid” • European Energy has grid-connected a solar farm in northern Denmark. The 21.6-MW plant is at the tip of Northern Jutland, near the town of Aalbaek in Frederikshavn Municipality. The solar park has replaced crops that would have ultimately end up in biomass furnaces as so-called sustainable biomass. [reNews]

Solar array (European Energy image)

US:

¶ “2021–2022 Tesla Model Y Earns IIHS Top Safety Pick+ Award After Dropping Radar” • The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the 2021–22 Tesla Model Y its top award, Top Safety Pick+, because it meets all the criteria for designation with the “plus.” The switch to visual from radar for crash prevention was credited as a safety improvement. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “NREL Wind Energy Program Demonstrates Innovation And Leadership Throughout 2021” • From advancing wind energy science, technologies, and materials to demonstrating thought leadership, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Wind Energy Program played a powerful role in maximizing the impact of wind energy during 2021. [CleanTechnica]

Renewable energy (Dennis Schroeder, NREL)

¶ “An Urban Tribe In Arizona Takes First Steps To Electric Transit” • The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community is next to Scottsdale, Mesa, and Tempe, Arizona. The community hired Zero Emission Vehicles, Inc to work out everything that needs to happen to make their bus system go from diesel and gas-powered to full electric. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Innergex To Co-Develop 30-MW Hawaii Solar” • Innergex, a Canadian firm, teamed up with Paniolo Power, a Parker Ranch subsidiary, to develop a 30-MW solar project on the island of Hawaii. Hale Kuawehi solar project has a 25-year power purchase agreement with Hawaiian Electric for electricity at 8¢/kWh, one of the lowest rates on the island. [reNews]

Solar array (Jose G Ortega Castro, Unsplash)

¶ “Connecticut Has ‘Many Offshore Assets In Place’” • A study of opportunities for offshore wind in Connecticut concluded that many of the assets required by the industry are already in place, but that other elements should be added quickly. The Ørsted-Eversource joint venture developing the state’s first offshore wind farm commissioned the study. [reNews]

¶ “NRC Proposes $150,000 Penalty For Holtec After Oyster Creek Inspection” • The NRC has proposed a $150,000 civil penalty for a unit of Holtec International that’s decommissioning the Oyster Creek nuclear power plant. The NRC said it is citing Holtec for apparent security-related violations at the complex in Ocean County, New Jersey. [The Daily Journal]

Have a categorically congenial day.

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December 22 Energy News

December 22, 2021

Opinion: 

¶ “Doing The Right Thing For Wind And Solar Power In USA” • Solar and wind energy have grown tremendously in the US. But we have only started on the job of addressing climate change. That’s why NRDC is fighting to extend the federal tax credits for renewables in the Build Back Better bill. But to do this right, the siting has to be right. [CleanTechnica]

Solar panels (Dennis Schroeder, NREL)

¶ “Nuclear Power Has No Business Case And May Make Climate Change Worse” • In its pursuit of carbon reductions, the US must not allow itself to be misled by false promises of nuclear power, whether they be for continued use or illusory new programs. But Congress is already looking to award just two “advanced” reactor designs $3.2 billion in subsidies. [TheHill]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Plants Responding To More CO₂ In Atmosphere With More Photosynthesis – But Not Matching CO₂ Increase” • Research from Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley shows more photosynthesis by plants in response to increased atmospheric CO₂, SciTechDaily reported. That’s great, but it isn’t close to removing the amount of CO₂ that needs to be drawn down. [CleanTechnica]

Tree and Spanish moss (Dawn McDonald, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Anglo American And Aurizon Team Up For Hydrogen Heavy Haulage Feasibility Study” • How do you decarbonise the heavy rail freight industry? Aurizon and Anglo American are working together to do just that. Both companies are committed to be carbon neutral for freight operations, and the change is under way in Australia. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “High-Tech Mirrors Used In Solar Power Plants Get New International Consortium” • The US DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, joined by Sandia National Laboratories and the Australian Solar Thermal Research Institute, announced the launch of the Heliostat Consortium, an international effort to drive down the cost of heliostats. [CleanTechnica]

Heliostats (Courtesy of NREL and the Heliostat Consortium)

¶ “Greece Gets EU Nod For State Aid For Amfilochia Plant And Renewables In Islands” • Greece will support Terna Energy with €250 million for construction of the Amfilochia pumped storage hydropower plant, while the government earmarked €1.4 billion for the development of renewable electricity in islands that are not interconnected. [Balkan Green Energy News]

¶ “Ocean Winds And Aker Offshore Wind Announce Supply Chain Investment Package For Scotland” • Aker Offshore Wind and Ocean Winds announced a £235 million early investment package for a renewable energy supply chain in Scotland as part of their proposal to transform the country into a green industrial powerhouse. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Wind turbines (Courtesy of Ocean Winds)

¶ “Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Plans Seabed Tunnel To Discharge Treated Radioactive Water Into Ocean” • TEPCO has unveiled plans to build an underwater tunnel to release treated radioactive water from Fukushima Daiichi into the sea. TEPCO submitted the plans to the nuclear regulation authority for its approval. [South China Morning Post]

US:

¶ “Coal Miners Want Joe Manchin To Reverse Opposition To Build Back Better” • Senator Joe Manchin is facing calls from a powerful group close to his heart to reconsider his opposition to the Build Back Better Act: Coal miners. America’s largest coal mining union praised the legislation’s provisions and pushed Manchin to take a do-over. [CNN]

Joe Manchin (MDGovpics, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Accelerating Progress On Clean Vehicles” • The US is getting back on the road to cleaning up transportation pollution. This year, multiple states enacted strong pollution standards for cars and freight trucks, helping to accelerate the shift to EVs. Those and new EPA standards will cut carbon emissions by 3.1 billion metric tons by 2050. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Karat Packaging Bought 10 Tesla Semi Trucks For Its Fleet” • Karat Packaging, with a focus on distributing and manufacturing environmentally friendly disposable foodservice products, has announced that it will be adding 10 Tesla Semi trucks to its fleet. The order is part of the company’s geographic expansion of its logistics services business. [CleanTechnica]

Elon Musk talking about Tesla’s Semi Truck (Tesla image)

¶ “Biden Administration Advances Two Large-Scale Solar Projects In California” • The Biden administration announced approval of two solar projects on public lands in California as part of a broader push to promote onshore renewable energy. The two projects will together have a capacity of 465 MW and have up to 400 MW of storage. [The Hill]

¶ “Enel Green Power Launches Operations At Oklahoma Wind Farm” • Enel Green Power North America is operating two new clean power plants in Texas and Oklahoma. Enel Green Power is accelerating its clean energy installations with 6.5 GW of new renewable capacity and 1.4 GW of energy storage over the next three years. [North American Windpower]

Rockhaven wind farm in Oklahoma

¶ “Energy Department Announces New Office For Renewable Demonstration Projects” • The DOE announced an office for energy demonstration projects, funded by the recent bipartisan infrastructure law. The law provides $20 billion for the creation of the office to fund demonstrations of such technologies as carbon capture and renewable hydrogen. [TheHill]

¶ “Bromley Ski Resort Powers Up New Solar Array At Sun Mountain” • Encore Renewable Energy and Bromley Mountain Ski Resort announced the completion of a 615-kW (DC) solar project on land owned by Bromley Mountain in Peru, Vermont. This project is the 6th collaborative effort between the two companies. [Vermont Business Magazine]

Have a simply magnificent day.

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December 21 Energy News

December 21, 2021

Opinion: 

¶ “Small Generators Aren’t As Good As Solar For Emergency Preparedness” • This article series is to give you reasons that solar power is not only a good alternative, but a generally superior one for emergencies. It might start with a gloomy view, but in the end, it is pretty clear that clean energy gives us more hope than we have had. [CleanTechnica: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3]

Solar storm that could shut down the grid (NASA image)

¶ “COVID Drove Rise In Electricity Burden – RMI Reality Check” • Despite claims that the growth of clean energy has caused higher electric bills, utility data suggests that factors related to COVID, not the changing energy mix, drove 2020 increases in costs for US customers. In fact, customers benefited from more renewables. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Wright Electric Shares Details About Passenger Plane Retrofit And 2-MW Motor Testing” • The electrification of aviation is important because aviation is a source of air pollution, including climate change emissions. Also, the extraction, transportation and handling of fossil fuels is harmful and problematic. Here is an interview with its CEO, Jeff Engler. [CleanTechnica]

Electric plane (Wright Electric image)

¶ “Peter Sterling: Vermont’s Dirty Secret: State Government Is Anti-Eenewable Energy” • Talk to anyone who has tried to bring renewable energy to Vermonters and they will tell you the same thing: Despite our green reputation and our wish for climate action, our state government works every day to put the brakes on new solar and wind projects. [VTDigger]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Seagoing Energy Storage Ship Meets The Offshore Wind Transmission Challenge” • Japanese startup PowerX launched in March 2021 with the ambitious idea of offloading electricity from offshore wind turbines, without having to lay undersea cables. The company now aims for its new Power Ark vessel to hit the waves within the next three years. [CleanTechnica]

Power Ark (Screenshot via PowerX)

World:

¶ “Freyr Battery Announces 31-GWh Lithium-Ion Deal” • Freyr Battery, a startup company based in Norway, is planning to build a battery factory in Mo i Rana, Norway that will have an annual capacity of 43 GWh. That may not be the biggest battery factory in the world, but it is in the running. And it already has an order for 31 GWh of batteries. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Fluence To Deliver Its First Energy Storage System In Taiwan” • Fluence said that it has been chosen by the renewable energy IPP, Ina Energy, a local subsidiary of the PJ Asset Management Group, as the provider for a 6-MW, 6-MWh energy storage battery system in Taoyuan, a municipality in the northwest of Taiwan. [Off Grid Energy Independence]

Solar system and batteries (Fluence Energy image)

¶ “Consortium Formed To Develop Geothermal In Northern Ireland” • A consortium of leading businesses and academics was formed to explore and develop deep geothermal energy projects in Northern Ireland. Geothermal NI will bring forward projects to provide 100% renewable energy to homes and businesses throughout the region. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

US:

¶ “Walmart Sued For Allegedly Dumping Over A Million Items Of Hazardous Waste A Year” • California filed a lawsuit against Walmart alleging that it has illegally dumped 159,600 pounds of hazardous waste per year in California landfills that are not equipped to handle the materials. The waste includes lithium batteries, pesticides, and cleaning supplies. [CNN]

Walmart (Caique Morais, Unsplash)

¶ “Democrats Scramble To Salvage Climate Provisions After Manchin Sinks Build Back Better” • With Senator Joe Manchin confirming he’s a “no” on President Joe Biden’s social spending package, the fate of the bill’s $550 bill worth of climate and energy provisions – and the President’s climate agenda – are now on the line. [CNN]

¶ “Elon Musk Says He’ll Be Paying $11 Billion In Tax This Year” • Elon Musk, the world’s richest person, has tweeted he will pay $11 billion (£8.3 billion) in tax for this year, “more taxes than any American in history.” Musk has been caught up in a public debate on social media over how much he pays. Bloomberg Billionaires Index puts his wealth at $243 billion. [BBC]

Musk at Boring Company event (Steve Jurvetson, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Thirteen New Electric Vehicle Battery Factories Planned In USA Within Next Five Years” • In addition to EV battery plants now operating in the US, thirteen have been announced that are expected to be operational within five years. Of the thirteen planned plants, eight are joint ventures between automakers and battery manufacturers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Confirms 2.6-GW Coastal Virginia Deal” • Siemens Gamesa has reached an agreement with Dominion Energy to supply 176 of its SG 14-222 DD turbines for the 2600-MW Coastal Virginia commercial offshore wind project in the US, cementing an earlier deal between the two companies. Installation is set to begin in 2024. [reNews]

Wind turbine (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “Biden Raises Fuel-Economy Standards To Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions” • The EPA will issue a final rule to raise mileage standards starting in the 2023 model year, reaching a projected industry-wide target of 40 mpg by 2026. This is 25% higher than a rule finalized by the Trump administration last year and 5% higher than an EPA proposal in August. [WKYC]

¶ “To Access Low-Cost Renewables, A Colorado Co-Op Plans To Exit Tri-State Utility” • United Power intends to exit its contract with Tri-State Generation and Transmission. United Power’s costs for power from Tri-State are “disproportionately high,” said the co-op’s website, as Tri-State continues to relying heavily on fossil fuels. [pv magazine USA]

Have an appreciably untroubled day.

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December 20 Energy News

December 20, 2021

Opinion: 

¶ “The Arctic Should Never Feel Like The Mediterranean” • A warming Arctic should alarm all of us. The BBC has reported that it’s been seeing Mediterranean-like temperatures in the summer. The UN’s World Meteorological Organization recently verified the record that was set on June 20, 2020, in the Siberian town of Verkhoyansk. [CleanTechnica]

Arctic Ocean (NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio)

¶ “The US Isn’t Prepared For Climate Disasters Like Hurricane Ida” • The United States isn’t prepared for the dramatic effects of climate change, and Louisiana is front and center in this battle. Hurricane Ida impacted Baton Rouge badly, but it got off lucky compared to the rest of southeastern Louisiana. And the storms just keep getting worse. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Selective Separation Could Help Alleviate Critical Metals Shortage” • Processing methods developed by MIT researchers could help ease looming shortages of the essential metals that power everything from phones to automotive batteries. They make it easier to separate rare-earth metals from mining ores and recycled materials. [CleanTechnica]

Rare-earth oxides (Peggy Greb, US Department of Agriculture)

¶ “NREL Experimental Effort Synthesizes A Material That Was Previously Theoretical” • Scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, in collaboration with researchers at the Colorado School of Mines, have experimentally synthesized a nitride perovskite that previously only existed in theory and measured its properties. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “TotalEnergies To Develop 160 MW Of New Caledonia PV” • TotalEnergies is to develop solar farms in New Caledonia totaling 160 MW and 340 MWh of energy storage to supply electricity under a 25-year renewable power purchase agreement for the industrial operations of mining and metallurgy consortium Prony Resources New Caledonia. [reNews]

Solar array (Total image)

¶ “Hitachi Energy Helps The Faroe Islands Aim For 100% Renewable Energy By 2030” • Hitachi Energy announced that SEV1, the Faroe Islands power company, selected an e-mesh™ PowerStore™ battery energy storage system as part of its efforts to achieve energy independence based on 100% renewable generation by 2030. [Process and Control Today]

¶ “BayWa RE Signs 135-MW Spanish VPPA” • The renewables arm of BayWa has signed a 135-MW virtual power purchase agreement with packaging provider Huhtamaki for electricity from two solar farms in Spain. The deal totaling 200 GWh per year is for 10 years and will cover about 80% of Huhtamaki’s electricity needs in Europe. [reNews]

Solar panels (BayWa image)

¶ “China Puts Pioneering ‘Pebble Bed’ Nuclear Reactor Into Operation” • China launched a high-temperature gas-cooled nuclear plant in the eastern coastal province of Shandong. It is the first to use ‘pebble bed reactor’ technology developed by state-run China National Nuclear Corporation. The reactor is now connected to the grid. [MarketScreener]

¶ “Rolls-Royce Receives Huge Boost As It Ties Up Required Funding To Start Supplying Parts For Mini Nuclear Reactors” • The Qatar Investment Authority, the country’s wealth fund, will pour £85 million into the Rolls-Royce nuclear offshoot, which now has total funding of £490 million. It means it can start scouting sites for factories. [This is Money]

Rolls-Royce small modular reactor (Rolls-Royce image)

US:

¶ “Ford F-150 Lightning Battery Specs Revealed” • The Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck will come in two flavors. The entry level Pro will come with a 98 kWh (usable) batter only and an EPA range rating of 230 miles. The XLT will have a 98 kWh battery, but a larger 131 kWh (usable) battery will be an option with an EPA range of 300 miles. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hertz Begins Installing EV Chargers For Its First Tesla Model 3 Rentals” • Hertz is installing EV chargers for some Tesla Model 3 rental lots, Drive Tesla Canada reports. The company is getting set for increasing numbers of customers choosing EVs over vehicles with internal combustion engines. The Fort Myers International Airport is one lot getting chargers. [CleanTechnica]

Hertz lot with Teslas (Hertz photo)

¶ “One Man Behind The White House Effort To Convert Federal Fleet To Electric Vehicles” • Fuel and vehicle regulations expert Ted Sears of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has been tasked with supporting the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality in efforts to convert the federal fleet to zero-emission vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “SEA To Convert 10,000 US School Buses To Electricity” • SEA Electric, a provider of electric commercial vehicles originally from Australia and now based in Los Angeles, has stuck a deal with Midwest Transit Equipment to convert 10,000 existing school buses to electric vehicles over the next five years. Midwest will provide the buses. [CleanTechnica]

School bus (Courtesy of SEA Electric)

¶ “SWEPCO Plans For Coal Plant Retirements And Renewable Energy Capacity Additions” • Southwestern Electric Power Co, an American Electric Power utility, released its Integrated Resource Plan. It includes timelines for retiring coal plants and adding renewable energy capacity, but the Sierra Club says they aren’t happening soon enough. [UA Little Rock Public Radio]

¶ “Water Managers Grapple With A Smaller Colorado River As The Climate Changes” • For years, scientists have warned that climate change would have significant effects on the Colorado River. With two back-to-back dry years and dramatic declines in Lake Mead, the point is clear: The Southwest needs to plan for water scarcity. [The Nevada Independent]

Have a fascinatingly enjoyable day.

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December 19 Energy News

December 19, 2021

Opinion: 

¶ “The Warning Shot The US Is Ignoring: Climate Change Impacts On California Central Valley” • California’s Central Valley is expected to suffer many effects of climate change. This will affect the whole country, because what happens in the valley doesn’t stay in the valley. The Union of Concerned Scientists is devoting a blog series to the region. [CleanTechnica]

Looking for water (Cynthia Mendoza, USDA, public domain)

¶ “The New Entrant To The Energy Sector” • Green hydrogen can play a vital role in enabling countries to reach their goals for net-zero emissions. Neoen hydrogen expert Sacha Lepoutre and Everoze partner Nicolas Chouleur discuss a case that shows how stacking different revenue streams could improve the economics of renewable energy. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “The Feds Have Collected More Than $44 Billion For A Permanent Nuclear Waste Dump – Here’s Why We Still Don’t Have One” • The federal government has a fund of $44.3 billion for a permanent nuclear waste disposal facility. With climate change, renewed interest in nuclear power has restored interest in nuclear waste storage. [CNBC]

Tunnel at Yucca Mountain (NRC image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Is nuclear energy ‘green’? France and Germany lead opposing camps” • The French government argues that investments in nuclear power will allow France to keep energy costs in check and meet its climate goals.The German government argues that nuclear plants are too risky, and too slow and costly to build, to be a solution to the climate crisis. [Stars and Stripes]

World:

¶ “Nuclear Energy Scares People. The Climate Crisis Is Giving It Another Chance” • Nuclear plants are notoriously expensive to build. Construction tends to run over budget and time, and wind and solar energy has typically come out cheaper. How to safely store the radioactive waste it produces is another headache. But some people demonstrate in favor of it. [CNN]

Nuclear plant (Nicolas Hippert, Unsplash)

¶ “Philippines Super Typhoon Rai: Death Toll Reaches 75” • At least 75 people are now known to have died after a devastating storm struck the Philippines on Thursday. Super Typhoon Rai – which had winds of about 195 km/h (120 mph) – sent some 300,000 people running for safety when it hit the country’s south-eastern islands. [BBC]

¶ “Nigeria, China To Partner On Renewable Energy” • The Nigerian federal government says it will partner China on the development of a renewable energy research center that will boost renewable energy technology in selected universities, according to a statement by the ministry of science, technology, and innovation. [TheCable]

Wind turbines (Dan Meyers, Unsplash)

¶ “Resumption Of Fourth Nuclear Power Plant Rejected” • A majority of voters in Taiwan rejected a proposal to restart construction on the mothballed Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District. The vote was 4,262,451 to 3,804,755. The referendum was initiated by nuclear power advocate Huang Shih-hsiu. [Taipei Times]

¶ “Turkey To Scale-Up Renewable Geothermal Energy Generation” • The World Bank’s Board of Directors approved loans totaling $300 million for Turkey, to support geothermal energy development, to tap heat sources deep in the ground. The loans are additional to financing for two initial loans worth $250 million. [Modern Diplomacy]

Geothermal power plant (Tommy Kwak, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Top Rated 2021 EV Is Tesla Model 3, Edmunds Writes” • Edmunds announced that the 2021 Tesla Model 3 was its Top Rated EV of the year. It noted that Tesla’s lead was despite an influx of new EVs from other automakers coming to the market. The Tesla Model 3 sedan has held Edmunds‘ Top Rated EV title for three consecutive years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla’s Austin Gigafactory To Be $10 Billion Investment, Says Musk” • Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the company’s new all-electric vehicle factory in Texas will require an investment of more than $10 billion over time. The Austin gigafactory (Tesla Giga Texas), located close to the airport, is a central element of planned company development. [CleanTechnica]

Austin Gigafactory, six months ago and now (Tesla image)

¶ “Tesla Looks To Achieve Significant Growth In 2022” • This year has had many challenges for most of the auto industry. The pandemic continues, supply chain woes are not ending, and chip shortages are plaguing most automakers globally. Looking ahead, 2022 could continue to present challenges. But it looks like Elon Musk and Tesla may be ready. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “$5 Billion For Electric School Buses In US Infrastructure Investment And Jobs Act” • The Infrastructure Investment And Jobs Act, aka Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, includes $5 billion for EV charging, but – much less discussed – it also includes $5 billion for cleaner school buses, especially electric school buses! This is tranformative. [CleanTechnica]

Proterra electric bus plant (Proterra image)

¶ “‘Green’ Energy Project Leaves A Mississippi Town Gasping For Air” • In the US, federal incentives to build wood-burning power plants are much smaller than those in the UK and the EU, and their share of the country’s electricity generation has declined in recent years. But some states have lavished tax breaks on firms that harvest and process wood. [HuffPost]

¶ “Climate Change Is Reshaping The Lobster Industry In Maine” • The Maine lobster industry in Maine is worth $1.4 billion. It employs more than 4,100 people directly and thousands more in related businesses. But climate change is warming the chilly Atlantic water lobsters need to thrive, prompting a marine migration to the north. [Yahoo News]

Have a realistically encouraging day.

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December 18 Energy News

December 18, 2021

Opinion: 

¶ “Fact Check: Did Jimmy Carter Stop A Nuclear Reactor From Destroying Ottawa?” • Some social media users and accounts have been reminiscing about the time that a young Jimmy Carter purportedly helped avoid a major nuclear disaster after heading a clean up operation at a nuclear reactor in Chalk River, Ontario, Canada. Spoiler: It’s true. [Newsweek]

Jimmy Carter after graduation from Annapolis (Public domain)

¶ “2021 Year In Review: 5 Stories Of Clean Energy Progress” • The end of the year can be a fine time for taking stock, whether in the energy space or in our personal lives. There were lots of stories of clean energy progress in 2021. Here are five about renewable energy technologies and markets that seem especially worthy of note and celebration. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “MIT Shares How Machine Learning Models Can Make Sense Of Nonsense And How This Could Be A Problem” • Scientists at MIT found an interesting problem with machine learning and image classification. A model could look at an image and make a prediction based on information that we humans can’t make sense of, and it could be wrong. [CleanTechnica]

Girl and machine (Andy Kelly, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “The World Could Burn A Record Amount Of Coal Next Year Despite Efforts To Scrap The Dirtiest Fossil Fuel” • Increasing consumption in China, India, and the US could bring global demand for coal-fired power to a new all-time high this year, undermining efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the International Energy Agency said. [CNN]

¶ “Falck, BlueFloat Launch Giant Floating Wind Power Project In Ionian Sea” • Italy is experiencing a floating wind energy boom when it comes to project development. Among the expressions of interest, Falck Renewables and BlueFloat Energy, which set up a partnership in September, just announced a floating wind farm project of 675 MW. [Balkan Green Energy News]

Offshore wind farm (Zoltan Tasi, Unsplash)

¶ “China’s Installed Capacity Of Renewable Energy Expands In January Through November” • By the end of November, the country’s installed wind power capacity had soared 29% year on year to 300 GW, and its solar power capacity had reached 290 GW, up 24.1% from a year ago. China’s total installed capacity is 2.32 TW, up 9% year on year. [CGTN]

¶ “Enormous Potential: Britain’s Tidal Power Sector Gears Up For A Big Few Years” • The UK tidal power sector is growing. Scottish firm Nova Innovation said it had secured €2.5 million ($2.83 million) from the European Innovation Council Accelerator Fund to finance its Upscaling Tidal Energy Manufacturing and Production Output project. [CNBC]

Tidal turbine from Nova Innovation (Nova Innovation image)

¶ “French Front-Month Peakload Power Rises Above €1,000 Per MWh On Nuclear Woes” • Europe’s energy crisis deepened as French front-month peakload power prices traded as high as €1,200/MWh on nuclear outage concerns. The contract ended the session at €975/MWh after doubling in the previous session as gas hit a fresh record-high. [S&P Global]

US:

¶ “A Rush To Mine Lithium In Nevada Is Pitting Climate Advocates And Environmental Groups Against Each Other” • In an ancient and now extinct supervolcano sitting in northern Nevada lies a treasure that its seekers call “white gold.” It is lithium, and its value lies in its role in potentially reducing the world’s carbon emissions. [CNN]

Lithium battery (Kumpan Electric, Unsplash)

¶ “National Audubon Society Sues Alameda County To Prevent Wind Project And Protect Golden Eagles” • In a stand against wind plants built in a specific area of California, the National Audubon Society announced that it is suing Alameda County over its approval of a new, 80-MW wind turbine facility at Altamont Pass. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Koch Industries Invests $150 Million Into Tracking Company GameChange Solar, Pair To Explore Strategic Partnerships” • Koch Strategic Platforms, a subsidiary of Koch Investments Group, has made a $150 million investment in racking and tracking company GameChange Solar to support its strategic development goals. [PV Tech]

GameChange Solar tracking (GameChange Solar image)

¶ “Putting Climate Into The Infrastructure Law” • Transportation investments from the bipartisan infrastructure bill could either be a boon for progress driven by sustainable mobility choices, or a driver of harmful carbon emissions paved by many miles of new highways, researchers at Georgetown University said in a report. Spending guidance is needed. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Massachusetts Picks Both Bidders for Next Round of Offshore Wind” • Baker administration officials have announced awards for offshore wind development to Vineyard Wind I, a 1,200-MW proposal from Vineyard Wind, and a 400-MW proposal from Mayflower Wind. They were selected to jointly form the third wave of offshore wind power. [NBC Boston]

Offshore wind turbines (Pontificalibus, CC0, public domain)

¶ “Maryland Commission Extends Offshore Wind Development” • Maryland’s Public Service Commission awarded offshore wind renewable energy credits to two developers, US Wind, Inc and Skipjack Offshore Energy, to build separate projects that would produce more than 1,600 MW of capacity, the PSC said in a news release. [CBS Baltimore]

¶ “National Grid Renewables’ Prairie Wolf Solar Project in Illinois Begins Commercial Operations” • National Grid Renewables has started commercial operations for its Prairie Wolf Solar Project in Coles County, Illinois. The project boasts 200 MW of clean solar power and is contracted through a virtual power purchase agreement with Cargill. [Solar Industry]

Have a preposterously delightful day.

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