December 15 Energy News

December 15, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “UN COP25 Summit Ends With Anger With Global Warming’s ‘Window Of Escape’ Getting Harder” • Major economies have resisted calls for bolder commitments as a UN summit in Madrid limped towards a delayed conclusion, dimming any hopes that nation governments would act in time to mitigate the impacts of climate change. [ABC News]

Activists at COP25 (Bernat Armangue | AP)

¶ “Tokyo’s Soft Power Takes Hit In Madrid Over Coal” • Japanese Prime Minister Abe wanted to address the COP25 summit, but his request was rejected. With most of Japan’s nuclear reactors still closed since the Fukushima disaster, utilities have increased coal-burning capacity. What’s worse, Japan has been aggressively hawking coal around the globe. [MENAFN.com]

¶ “Activists Dump Manure At Madrid Climate Summit Venue” • Extinction Rebellion activists delivered a pile of “finest horse manure” as a present to delegates from 200 nations gathered in Madrid for COP 25 climate conference. The delegates have so far been unable to finalize the rulebook for the 2015 Paris climate accord. [Times of Oman]

Horse manure at COP25 (O del Pozo | AFP | Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “COP25 Got You Down? ‘Impossible’ Solar Cells To The Rescue!” • The ultra-efficient III-V solar cells, which have reached a record efficiency of 29.1%, are currently available only for space applications because they are too expensive for Earth-bound use. NREL researchers found a new way to make them at relatively low cost. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Four New Energy Storage Technologies To Power The EV Revolution” • The true cost of EV ownership is already close to that of comparable cars with internal combustion engines. The sticking point is the cost of the battery. With that in mind, let’s take a look at four emerging battery technologies that the DOE is eyeballing. [CleanTechnica]

Old technology electric truck (Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ “Why Australia’s PM Is Facing Climate Anger Amid Bushfires” • Fires have covered Australia’s populated areas in smoke, and the Bureau of Meteorology says climate change has exacerbated the conditions for dangerous fires in Australia. Many people say they are frustrated with government rhetoric on the climate crisis and its failure to act effectively. [BBC]

¶ “Australia Heatwave: Next Week Could See Hottest Day On Record” • Australia could experience its hottest day on record next week as a severe heatwave in the country’s west is set to make its way east, forecasters say. Temperatures are likely to exceed 40°C (104°F) in many areas from Wednesday, the Bureau of Meteorology says. [BBC]

Bushfire outside the Perth Stadium (AFP)

¶ “Solar Power In NS Is Cheaper And More Widespread Than Ever” • Renewable energy experts are looking for ways to move away from burning coal in Nova Scotia. Along with wind power and hydro electricity, solar energy is one of the useful ways that industries and homeowners can consider to start to be more eco-friendly. [HalifaxToday.ca]

¶ “After Decades In Darkness, This Entire Thai Village Is Now Powered By Solar Energy” • In 2018, solar panels were installed on the last of the 400 homes in Wong Wan, under a community-led initiative that finally solved a problem that authorities had not been able to fix in decades. The success led to a UN Public Service Award. [CNA]

Training on the use of solar panels (Photo: Jack Board)

¶ “‘If The Climate Stays Like This, We Won’t Make It’ Say Those On The Frontline Of Africa’s Drought” • Torrents of water once thundered over the precipice at Victoria Falls, on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia, shrouding the area in mist. But a multi-year drought has slowed large sections of the imposing falls to little more than a weak stream. [CNN]

US:

¶ “70% of Americans Support Solar Mandate on New Homes” • CITE Research recently conducted a survey for Vivint Solar and found 70% of Americans said they would support a nationwide mandate requiring that solar panels be installed on all newly built homes. The survey was conducted online, and 2,000 US adults age 25 and up participated. [CleanTechnica]

Installing solar panels (Vivint Solar)

¶ “How Coal Country Becomes Solar Country” • In Colorado’s North Fork Valley, solar energy, along with a strong organic-farm economy and recreation dollars, is helping to fill the economic hole left by the dying coal industry, which sustained the area for more than 120 years. Two of Delta County’s three mines have already closed. [The Atlantic]

¶ “Natural Gas Surpasses Coal In Carbon Emissions” • Recent estimates produced by the Global Carbon Project, an academic consortium, detailed an unexpected story regarding carbon dioxide emissions in the US. Carbon emissions from coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel, are on a steady decline, and carbon emissions from natural gas now surpass them. [Salon]

Have a superbly tranquil day.

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