May 1 Energy News

May 1, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Vicious Climate-Wildfire Cycle” • While wildfire risk has increased with forest management and human development, climate change has exacerbated the trend of large fires and made the fire season longer. In some places wildfires are a year-round phenomenon. In the past 35 years, the area burned has nearly doubled. [Union of Concerned Scientists]

Alaska wildfire (BLM | Alaska Fire Service)

World:

¶ “Roundup Cancer Cases Could Cost Germany’s Bayer Billions” • Bayer is in the grip of a huge shareholder revolt after its $63 billion purchase of Roundup’s owner, Monsanto, put the German company at risk from thousands of US cancer lawsuits tied to the weed-killer. Bayer’s stock is down about 40% since it purchased Monsanto. [CNN]

¶ “VW Is Creating An Electric Future. This Is What It Looks Like” • The Volkswagen Group is pursuing a strategy to move strongly into electric vehicles. Over the next decade, the Volkswagen Group, the VW car brand’s parent company, intends to release seventy different electric models, including the Audi E-Tron and Porsche Taycan. [CNN]

The ID Roomz, a big SUV unveiled in Shanghai (VW image)

¶ “Battery Storage To Surpass $13 Billion By 2023” • The global battery energy storage market is forecast to grow to over $13 billion by 2023 according to new research by GlobalData. The report found that the Asia-Pacific will continue to be the largest market reaching over $6 billion in 2023. Demand is driven by falling prices of renewables. [reNEWS]

¶ “South Australian Pilot Program Uses Human Waste Biogas To Deliver Renewable Energy” • A pilot program in South Australia will use biogas from human waste to store and deliver clean energy. Biogas from a wastewater treatment plant will be used to heat silicon to 1,414°C, and the energy will be delivered back as heat or power. [ABC Local]

Wastewater treatment plant (Supplied: Peter Barnes)

¶ “100% Renewable Energy To Power Cutting-Edge Infill Estate” • East Village Knutsford, in Western Australia, will become an innovation hub for sustainable living; residents will use their own micro grid and battery storage to generate power. Energy bills will be cut by about 50%, and each home will be wired for electric vehicle chargers. [pv magazine Australia]

US:

¶ “Autonomous Drone Delivers Human Kidney Successfully” • In a first of its kind event, an unmanned aircraft delivered a human kidney to an operating room for a transplant to save a person’s life. An organ transplant requires rapid transportation between the donor and the recipient. The faster the journey, the higher the chance of success. [CleanTechnica]

Unmanned aircraft delivers kidney (See article for credit)

¶ “Governor’s Bill Moves Maine Toward 100% Renewable Energy By 2050” • Maine would take an ambitious turn to fight climate change with a new bill announced by Gov Janet Mills. The bill’s goals are to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions 45% by 2030 and 80% by 2050. And by 2050, 100% of electricity will come from renewable sources. [Public News Service]

¶ “Tesla Plans To Boost Solar Business By Slashing Costs” • The average cost of a residential rooftop solar system today is about $2.85 per watt, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. Sanjay Shah, the head of Tesla’s solar business, says Tesla expects to cut costs down to between $1.75 and $1.99 per watt. [CleanTechnica]

SolarCity PV installation

¶ “Pennsylvania Democrats Back Renewables Subsidy Expansion” • Pennsylvania Democrats want to nearly quadruple subsidies for renewable resources in the first tier of the state’s 2004 Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards mandate, hoping the expansion will push the state closer to its looming carbon-reduction goals. [RTO Insider]

¶ “Geothermal Making Inroads As Baseload Power” • The Earth can be its own sustainable and environmentally friendly source of energy. In some areas, geothermal systems can be easy; the recently restarted Puna Geothermal Venture supplies about 30% of the electricity on the island of Hawaii. But geothermal can be used in many places. [POWER Magazine]

Geothermal plant in Iceland (Courtesy: Gretar Ívarsson)

¶ “LA Announces A Green New Deal For The City, Including A 100% Renewable Electricity Goal” • As part of LA’s Green New Deal, Mayor Garcetti pledges to use carbon-free energy sources for the city’s electricity, buildings, and transportation by 2050. The plan makes LA the the biggest US city to set a goal of 100% renewable electricity. [Green Matters]

¶ “Eagle County Commits To 100% Renewable Electricity At All Facilities, Operations” • In Colorado, the Eagle County Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution committing to 100% renewable electricity for all county operations. The county could reach this goal through Holy Cross Energy’s Renewable Energy Purchase Program. [Vail Daily News]

Wind turbines (Shutterstock image)

¶ “NH House Committee Backs Suite Of Renewable Energy, Efficiency Reforms” • A set of renewable energy bills got bipartisan support in a state legislative committee. The House energy committee voted to advance bills expanding net energy metering in the state and setting a goal of 60% renewable energy by 2040. [New Hampshire Public Radio]

¶ “Nuclear Waste Piles Up, And Private Companies Want In On Storing It” • As the waste from nuclear power plants piles up, private companies are stepping in with their own solutions for the nation’s radioactive spent fuel. One is proposing a temporary storage site in New Mexico, and another is seeking a license for a site in Texas. [KQED]

Have an unimaginably fulfilling day.

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