December 17 Energy News

December 17, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Are Legacy Automakers Screwed?” • Are legacy automakers’ EVs screwed? Sean Mitchell from “All Things EV” asks a question that many EV followers ask often, and then tries to answer it. After driving a Porsche Taycan Turbo, he is concerned because legacy automakers have yet to create an electric vehicle that is truly competitive with a Tesla. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 (Mariordo, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “ExxonMobil Won A Case Brought By The State Of New York. Does That Mean It Is Off The Hook?” • In the ruling, the judge says: “Nothing in this opinion is intended to absolve ExxonMobil from responsibility for contributing to climate change in the production of its fossil fuel products. But … this is a securities fraud case, not a climate change case.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Should Nuclear Energy Be Part Of Climate Solutions?” • The latest UN Emissions Gap Report says global carbon emissions must fall at a rate of 7.6% each year from 2020 to 2030 to keep global warming below 1.5°C from pre-industrial temperatures. Some US politicians want to support the nuclear industry. But is that wise? [The Globe Post]

Windmill and nuclear plant (Trougnouf, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Latest Report Claims Emissions From Lithium-Ion Battery Production Much Lower Than Two Years Ago” • In 2017, the Swedish Environmental Research Institute published data that showed large CO₂ emissions from making lithium-ion batteries. Newer data shows very large reductions in emissions, as battery makers have switched to cleaner energy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Greenland Ice Melt Matches Worst IPCC Predictions” • New findings by an international team of researchers show the melting of Greenland’s ice sheet over the past 26 years are close to the most pessimistic predictions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The research appears in the journal Nature. [KJZZ]

Disko Bay, Greenland (Ian Joughin | University of Washington)

¶ “Carbon Capture On The Ropes At San Juan Coal Power Plant – Or Not” • The Los Alamos National Laboratory evaluated a carbon capture system proposed for San Juan coal-burning plant. It said the system would work, but showed it would reduce the plant’s rated capacity by 34% and would cost customers more than closing the plant. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “World Demand For Coal Falls Despite Growth In Asia” • Global demand for coal has fallen this year for the first time in two years as Europe and the US turn their backs on coal-fired power plants in favor of cheap gas and renewable energy, an International Energy Agency report found. The future of coal now rests largely in China. [The Guardian]

Coal power plant (Greg Baker | AFP via Getty Images)

¶ “London Has Spent Billions, But No One Can Escape Climate Change” • The stark reality of climate change is that even the cities that seem best defended against rising sea levels face the potential of catastrophic flooding. “Even if we reduce our emissions to negative now, we will see at least a meter of sea level rise,” the oceanographer Ivan Haigh told CNN. [CNN]

¶ “Top Tech Firms Sued Over DR Congo Cobalt Mining Deaths” • Apple, Google, Tesla and Microsoft are among firms named in a lawsuit seeking damages over deaths and injuries of child miners in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where 60% of the world’s supply of cobalt is produced. Cobalt is an important material for lithium-ion batteries. [BBC]

Artisanal mining in DR Congo (AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Madhya Pradesh to set up 2000 MW solar power parks” • To increase the state’s production of renewable energy, the Kamal Nath government will set up a 2,000 MW Solar Power Park in two regions of Madhya Pradesh, minister for renewable energy Harsh Yadav said. The solar park will go into an area that is not suitable for agriculture. [ELE Times]

¶ “West Sumatra’s First Geothermal Plant Kicks Off At 85 MW” • Supreme Energy, a renewable energy company based in Jakarta, commenced operation of its 85-MW Muara Laboh geothermal power plant in West Sumatra. It is the first electric generator of its kind in the province, official data says. The plant could power 340,000 homes. [Jakarta Post]

Muara Laboh geothermal plant (Engie | Engie)

US:

¶ “Oregon Nears Launch Of A Solid Community Solar Program” • Adopted by the legislature in 2016, it’s been a long wait for Oregon’s community solar program to launch. Technically, it hasn’t yet, but the program rules are final enough to show that this program scores well on the four principles for community renewable energy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Southern Cities’ Renewable Energy Push Could Be Stifled As Utility Locks Them Into Longer Contracts” • Some cities in the South could see plans to switch to renewables fall back decades. The TVA is pressuring them to lock in long-term contracts that critics say could leave the region relying on fossil fuels for years to come. [InsideClimate News]

Nashville (Credit: Derrick Brutel | CC-BY-SA-2.0)

¶ “Goldman Sachs Is First Big US Bank To Rule Out Loans For Arctic Drilling” • Goldman Sachs is the first big US bank to say it won’t finance new oil projects in the Arctic. The bank pledged not to finance projects that “significantly convert or degrade a natural habitat,” including drilling in the Arctic and new thermal coal mining and power plant development. [CNN]

¶ “Rapid Redesign Exercise Helping New Port Richey Prepare For Climate Change” • The Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council recently put together a rapid redesign exercise detailing steps New Port Richey can take in future development projects to make it more resilient in the event of sea-level rise, storm surge, and inland flooding. [Bay News 9]

Have a profoundly fun day.

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