December 29 Energy News

December 29, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “With A Million Species At Risk, What Do We Save?” • A decade-long project to save one of the world’s most endangered birds has finally found success, as two chicks hatched. But with an estimated million species at risk worldwide and nothing like the money and resources to save them all, how do conservationists choose the few they can save? [BBC]

Spoon-billed sandpiper chick (WWT image)

¶ “The Future Of Energy Is Being Shaped In Asia” • A Frenchman is credited with being the first to discover the photovoltaic effect that produces electricity from sunlight. The first solar panel was built in the US. But when Abu Dhabi decided to build the world’s largest individual solar power project, they looked east for help, to China and Japan. [The European Sting]

¶ “UAE’s Nuclear Program Could Lead To Nuclear Arms Race, Disaster, Expert Says” • The nuclear program of the United Arab Emirates could lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, and its lack of crucial safety features could lead to a nuclear disaster, one expert told the British Telegraph. The plant is to begin operating in 2020. [The Times of Israel]

UAE nuclear reactor (Arun Girija | WAM via AP)

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Air Pollution Messes With Your Mind” • The air we breathe could be changing our behaviour in ways we are only just starting to understand. Emerging studies show that air pollution is linked to impaired judgement, mental health problems, poorer performance in school and most worryingly perhaps, increased levels of crime. [BBC]

World:

¶ “Thousands Sign Petition To Halt ‘traumatic’ Show” • Over a quarter of a million people have signed a petition calling for Sydney’s New Year’s Eve fireworks to be cancelled and the money spent on fighting fires that threaten the city. The display should also be cancelled as it people are dealing with “enough smoke in the air.” [BCC]

Sydney’s New Year fireworks in 2018 (Getty Images)

¶ “There’s A Texas-Size Area Of Hot Sea Water Off The Coast Of New Zealand” • Satellite imagery shows a massive area of ocean water at well-above-average temperatures in the South Pacific Ocean east of New Zealand. Driven by climate change, the water in the area is about 5°C (9°F) “warmer than average for the latitude and time of year.” [CNN]

¶ “BMW i4 Will Likely Have 330+ Miles Of EPA Range” • BMW has begun releasing details about the i4 sedan it intends to bring to market in 2021. According to CNET Road Show, its dual motors will be able to push it to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4 seconds. More impressively, it will come with a projected range of 600 km (373 miles). [CleanTechnica]

BMW iVision concept (Image courtesy of BMW)

¶ “Volkswagen Increases 2023 & 2025 EV Production Targets” • Volkswagen Group announced increased targets for its electric vehicle production and sales. Previously, it said its intention was to produce and sell 1 million fully electric vehicles in 2025. The target year for that is now 2023, while the 2025 target has increased to 1½ million. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Keppel Bay Tower To Be Fully Powered By Renewable Energy From 2020” • On January 1, Keppel Bay Tower will become the first commercial building in Singapore to be fully powered by renewable energy, Keppel Corporation has announced. Keppel’s property arm Keppel Land is the owner and operator of Keppel Bay Tower. [The Business Times]

Keppel Bay Tower (Keppel Corporation image)

¶ “REN21: Renewables In Cities Can Ignite Global Change” • Cities are responsible for 75% of emissions globally, yet according to the Renewables in Cities 2019 Global Status Report from REN21 they can resolve most of those emissions problems by switching to renewables. Doing so will bring a number of other benefits along the way. [Sustainability Times]

¶ “Danish Farmers Divided Over Plan To Flood Their Lands To Cut Emissions” • Peat may seem like a fringe issue in the battle against climate change, but according to a recent study by Aarhus University, flooding cultivated former peatlands could reduce Denmark’s emissions by 1.4 million tonnes of CO₂ per year. That is roughly what Copenhagen emits. [The Guardian]

Lille Vildmose bog in Jutland (Photo: Mona Frederiksen)

¶ “The Clean Energy Finance Corporation: Lazarus With A Triple Bypass” • Over the past two weeks, government agency reports have given a series of ringing endorsements to renewable energy and underscored its integral role in Australia’s future wellbeing. The Australian Energy Market Operator and the Department of Environment were two sources. [Michael West News]

US:

¶ “Atlis Shows Us How To Make A More Conventional Electric Truck” • Atlis Motors, based in Mesa, Arizona, is building electric trucks conventinally. Instead of building a unibody truck, the company started with a frame that includes the battery and drivetrain. Attached to this is everything else needed to carry nearly any body on the top. [CleanTechnica]

Atlis modular frame (Image by Atlis Motor Vehicles)

¶ “Training Sparks Economy With Linemen, Manufacturing Jobs” • Workforce development and training kicked into a higher gear in 2019 across Arkansas in recent months, and those efforts are beginning to pay dividends as we reach the end of the year. Some are getting work as utility linemen. Others in solar and wind energy development. [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette]

¶ “Turning Skiers Into Climate Voters With The Advocacy Potential Of The NRA” • With rising temperatures threatening to limit the skiing season and even put resorts out of existence, major ski companies are turning to their customers for help in the fight against climate change. Their goal is to turn millions of snow-lovers into climate voters. [InsideClimate News]

Have a gleefully rewarding day.

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