August 25 Energy News

August 25, 2019


¶ “Way To Dump All The Good News About Wind Power On A Friday Afternoon, DOE” • Friday afternoon is a time to release information you want everyone to ignore. Last Friday afternoon, the US DOE released three annual reports on the state of US wind power in 2018. Together, they track the rise of wind power, and the fall of coal. [CleanTechnica]

2018 Wind Technologies Market Report (screenshot)

¶ “Can We Reach 100% Renewable Energy in Time to Avert Climate Catastrophe?” • Mark Jacobson is less depressed than he was a decade ago, when he and Mark Delluci wrote a road map for becoming 100% reliant on energy generated by water, wind and sun by 2030. And this is despite the precarious position that climate change puts us in. [Truthout]

¶ “We Know How To Build An All-Renewable Electric Grid” • The main solution to climate change is well known: stop burning fossil fuels. The complexity is how to do this. As a scholar who does energy modeling, I and others see the outlines of a post-fossil-fuel future: We make electricity with renewable sources and electrify almost everything. [Fast Company]

Transmission system (Photo: Max Lederer | Unsplash)

¶ “Geoengineering: ‘Plan B’ For Earth Moves Center Stage” • Dismissed a decade ago as far-fetched and dangerous, schemes to tame global warming by engineering the climate have migrated from the margins of policy debates closer toward center stage. Reducing carbon pollution won’t be enough to keep Earth from overheating. [The Manila Times]

Science and Technology:

¶ “New Design For Next Generation Organic Solar Cells Is A 2-For-1” • The next generation of low cost, high efficiency organic solar cells is close at hand, except for one stubborn problem that researchers have been hammering away at for years. Now, it looks like a team at Columbia University has finally come up with a solution. [CleanTechnica]

Excitons form and decay (A Asadpoor Darvish, McCamey Lab)


¶ “Greenpeace Study Reveals Highveld Is World’s Worst Sulphur Dioxide Hot Spot” • Greenpeace India released a study, using NASA satellite data, which found how the Kriel area of South Africa, with its high concentration of coal-fired power stations, ranks as the second-largest sulphur dioxide emission hotspot in the world. [Independent Online]

¶ “The US Says China Is Blocking $2.5 Trillion In South China Sea Oil And Gas” • China has been pushing its interests in the South China Sea, where there are large oil and natural gas reserves. This week the US State Department emphasized the value of the reserves, and the US’s interest in having its own oil companies develop them. [Quartz]

South China Sea (Maxim Shemetov | Reuters)


¶ “Amazon Rainforest Fires: Ten Readers’ Questions Answered” • Politicians and environmental activists are taking a stand against Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, blaming the Amazon fires on his policies. It’s a complex story, and online discussion of it has been full of misinformation, misleading photos, and errors. Here are answers to readers’ questions. [BBC]

¶ “Brazilian Protesters Rail Against Bolsonaro As Amazon Fires Rage On” • As fires burned across the Amazon and a worsening international and domestic crisis raged around Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, protesters took to the streets of cities in Brazil and abroad. The world’s richest countries are discussing the crisis at the G7. [The Guardian]

Brazilian protest (André Penner | AP)

¶ “Amazon Fires: Fines For Environmental Crimes Drop Under Bolsonaro” • The 84% increase in fires in the Amazon rainforest coincides with a sharp drop in fines for environmental violations, BBC analysis found. The Brazilian government’s official data shows fines so far this year dropped almost a third compared with the same period last year. [BBC]


¶ “Parts Of California Are Too Wildfire-Prone To Insure” • Yet another real estate-related crisis has come up in California, but we’re not talking about its sky-high home prices. According to newly released data, it’s simply become too risky to insure houses in big swaths of the wildfire-prone state. So homeowners have to turn to the state. [Salon]

California wildfire (Jae C Hong | AP)

¶ “Democratic National Committee Votes Against Allowing 2020 Candidates To Participate In Climate Change Debate” • Members of the Democratic National Committee voted down a resolution that would have resulted in single-issue candidate debates. The issue of the climate crisis has been a focus of proposals for such a debate. [CNN]

¶ “Energy Storage Developer Buys Texas Windfarms With Major Battery Retrofit Planned” • GlidePath Energy, a US-based energy storage developer, bought a portfolio of eight North Texas wind farms totaling 149 MW of capacity. The company sees “a unique opportunity to optimize the performance of the wind farms through the addition of battery storage.” [Forbes]

Wind farm in Texas (Getty Images)

¶ “New Ad Campaign Part Of $2 Billion Effort To Promote Electric Cars” • Volkswagen has launched its Electrify America “Normal Now” ad campaign as part of a $2 billion investment to encourage the adoption of zero-emission vehicles. The campaign looks to normalize the ownership of electric cars in an attempt to increase EV adoption. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “White House Overhauls Launch Approval Process For Nuclear Spacecraft” • The White House has announced a new launch authorization process for spacecraft that use nuclear-powered systems, instituting a tiered framework that delegates decision-making for less risky missions and provides explicit guidance on acceptable risk levels. [FYI: Science Policy News]

Have a jubilantly carefree day.

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