May 12 Energy News

May 12, 2019


¶ “Life As We Know It” • Species of plants and animals are disappearing faster than at any time in human history. We know who is to blame. Our planet has suffered five mass extinctions, with the last about 66 million years ago, probably because of an asteroid hit the Earth. Now, the sixth extinction is here, and the asteroid is us. [The New York Times]

Threatening extinctions (Yann Kebbi)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Google Supports WattTime Power Plant Emissions Tracking Project” • WattTime intends to create a public database that will track carbon emissions from all the world’s large power plants using artificial intelligence, using AI and satellite technology in combination. The project will receive $1.7 million in funding from [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Elaphe Debuts New High-Torque In-Wheel Hub Motor” • Elaphe, a Tier One auto industry supplier, is a leader in designing in-wheel motors, with products for everything from small passenger cars to light trucks. At the Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo in Stuttgart, the company unveiled its new L1500 gearless in-wheel motor. [CleanTechnica]

Elaphe L1500 high-performance in-wheel motor

¶ “Just Add Water: Salt Battery Could Help Renewable Energy Use” • Vattenfall and Swedish start-up SaltX are working on a thermal battery. When calcium oxide reacts with water to make calcium hydroxide, it releases a lot of heat. When the water is removed, the material changes back into calcium oxide. The thermal battery stores heat. [Japan Today]


¶ “Tesla Model 3’s March Tsunami In Europe – CleanTechnica EV Sales Report” • The European passenger plug-in vehicle market had a record 60,000 registrations in March, with growth of 38% compared to the same period last year. Considering the 4% drop  in the stagnating mainstream market, this was really good performance. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 in Germany

¶ “China: BAIC EU-Series Hit 13,000 Sales In March, Tesla Model 3 Scored 5,000 – CleanTechnica EV Sales Report” • March saw the Chinese plug-in EV market surpass 110,000 units, up 86% year over year. Meanwhile, the mainstream market was down 7% in March, allowing the March plug-in vehicle share to reach 5.8% of total sales. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Aswan Solar Power Park Highlights Egypt’s Renewable Energy Strategy” • Egypt is preparing to open a huge solar PV park at the southern city of Aswan. The 1,600-MW Benban Solar Park has been under construction since 2017 by nearly two dozen major renewable energy companies. It will be fully operational later this year. [The Arab Weekly]

A cheaper alternative (AFP photo)

¶ “Proportion Of Renewable Energy Reaches A Record High Of 7% Of Total Power Generation In Q1” • In the first quarter this year, renewable energy made up a record-high proportion of South Korea’s total power generation at 7.5%, up from 5.5% the year before. Coal was at 40%, down 5%, and LNG was down 3% to 26% of the total. [Arirang News]

¶ “Rack ’em Up: Another Riverina Solar Farm Approved” • A large-scale ESCO Pacific-championed solar project received New South Wales Government approval, bringing to 26 the number of solar farms given the green light by the State since 2017. That’s another 100 MW towards the NSW goal of more than 10 GW of renewables by 2021. [pv magazine Australia]

Sunraysia Solar Farm (Maoneng image)

¶ “The UN Push On Climate Change Is Shaping Up Amid Geopolitical Shifts” • A major UN push for progress on climate change kicks off next week when UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Guterres travels to New Zealand and several Pacific islands, where rising sea levels are threatening the very existence of small countries. [The Asian Age]

¶ “Fukushima’s Mothers Became Radiation Experts To Protect Their Children After Nuclear Meltdown” • Inside a laboratory in Fukushima, sophisticated equipment clicks, beeps, and buzzes, tended by women in lab coats. But the lab workers are not typical scientists. They are ordinary mums who have built their own extraordinary laboratory. [ABC News]

Checking for radiation (Yumi Asada | ABC News)


¶ “Joe Biden looks to revive Obama’s climate plan. Scientists say that’s not good enough.” • Presidential candidate Joe Biden favors reinstating Obama-era regulations on emissions. “There may have been a chance for modest, ‘all of the above,’ ‘middle ground’ climate strategies 20 years ago but we’ve passed that point now,” said one climate scientist. [Grist]

¶ “Mount Diablo State Park Could Be Opened For Drilling Under Federal Proposal” • The Trump administration has proposed opening new stretches of San Francisco Bay Area land to oil and gas exploration. The Bureau of Land Management areas that could be opened to drilling includes land in and near Mount Diablo State Park. [KCBS]

Mount Diablo (Getty Images)

¶ “GOP Candidate Weld Talks Trump At Valley News-Sponsored Forum” • Former Massachusetts Gov Bill Weld, campaigning in the Republican primary against Pres Trump, visited towns in the Upper Valley region of Vermont and New Hampshire. Among the Trump’s positions he attacked were climate change, fossil fuels, and renewable energy. [Valley News]

¶ “Sanders To Join Ocasio-Cortez In Headlining Green New Deal Rally Monday” • Sen Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) will be joining Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) in headlining a rally on May 5 at Howard University in Washington, DC, to support the Green New Deal resolution, which calls for sweeping reforms to combat climate change. [The Hill]

Have a vastly contented day.

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