February 26 Energy News

February 26, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Scientists Warn Climate Change Is Destroying California Kelp Forests” • Kelp forests off the West Coast are being reduced at an alarming rate by marine heat waves linked to climate change, according to seven top marine scientists. They have written an open letter about the problem and had it published in Science magazine. [Public News Service]

Kelp (Bennilover | Flickr)

¶ “As California Forests Heat Up, Birds Are Flocking To Higher Ground” • Brett Furnas, senior environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, has studied climate change responses of migratory songbirds for over a decade. He reported a disturbing trend. Some species are leaving California’s low-lying forests altogether. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Fume Events: The Toxic Gases That May Be Harming Aircrew And Passengers” • An incident in January, when a pilot became unresponsive at the controls of a plane coming in to land at Heathrow, is just the latest in a string of potentially dangerous “fume events” going back decades. Airlines want to keep the problem out of the public’s view. [BBC]

Landing at Heathrow (Getty Images)

¶ “How Cutting Your Food Waste Can Help The Climate” • All food generates greenhouse gases to reach our plates, but then nearly a third of it is thrown away or wasted. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that if food waste was a country, it would be the third highest emitter of greenhouse gases after the US and China. [BBC]


¶ “London’s Route 94 Gets An Upgrade With 29 New Electric Double-Decker Buses From BYD” • An arterial bus route in West London is going fully electric. London United, a subsidiary of transit operator RATP Dev, took delivery of 29 fully electric BYD double-decker buses. They were built by BYD partner Alexander Dennis Limited. [CleanTechnica]

London United BYD double-decker bus (Courtesy BYD)

¶ “Volkswagen Is Planning Some Spicy Electric Cars Based On The MEB Chassis” • Volkswagen took its ID R race car to the Pikes Peak hill climb last year, where it set the all time elapsed time record. Now, reports say an internal proposal would see an all-wheel drive MEB-based coupe or roadster produced by VW go on sale by 2025. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Taiwan To Boost Renewable Energy To 20% By 2025” • The Taiwanese voted in a 2018 referendum to abolish a deadline of 2025 to denuclearize, but Taiwan’s plan for renewable energy remains, and the island nation is still marching toward a greener future. By 2025, Taiwan will generate 20% of its electricity from renewable energy sources. [Taiwan News]

Offshore wind turbines (AP photo)

¶ “Equinor Says Thanks But No Thanks To Deep Water Drilling Plan In Australia” • It’s happening. The economics that underpin the fossil fuel industry are crumbling. Just in the last 48 hours, a natural gas pipeline in upstate New York was cancelled, a huge tar sands project in Alberta ended, and now, Equinor cancelled its offshore oil drilling in Australia. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Pacifico Turns Sod On 111-MW Japanese Solar” • Pacifico Energy has begun construction of a 111-MW PV plant on the site of a golf course in Wakayama prefecture. Sharp Energy Solutions is the project’s engineering, procurement and construction contractor. Commercial operations are expected to begin in the spring of 2022. [reNEWS]

Pacifico Energy solar site (Pacifico Energy image)

¶ “Going Green: China Continues Massive Investment In Renewable Energy” • Chinese state-owned power company, China Three Gorges Corporation, announced it is developing more than two dozen of new green energy projects, requiring the total investment of $8.2 billion. The projects will have a total capacity of 3.92 GW. [Infosurhoy]


¶ “American Museum Of Natural History Parts Ways With Billionaire Climate-Change Denier Rebekah Mercer” • Rebekah Mercer, the chair of the Mercer Family Foundation, which routinely backs organizations that engage in climate change denial, is no longer on the board of the American Museum of Natural History in New York. [Artforum]

Hall of Ocean Life, American Museum of Natural History

¶ “A Georgia Town Gets Half Of Its Electricity From President Jimmy Carter’s Solar Farm” • President Jimmy Carter has long been passionate about clean energy, having grown up on a farm without electricity. He has had a solar array built on his farm in Plains, Georgia. The array’s 3,852 solar panels provide the town with over half of its electricity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GM To US: No 250 Mile, $23,000 Electric Car For You!” • General Motors introduced the Chevy Menlo, a battery electric SUV-type vehicle with 250 miles of range and a starting price below $23,000. It’s great news for people living in China, but if you live in North America or Europe? Fuhgedabowdit. No Chevy Menlo for you! [CleanTechnica]

Chevy Menlo (GM image)

¶ “Oregon Republicans Walk Out Again Over Environmental Bill” • Nearly a dozen Republicans in Oregon’s Democratically-controlled state Senate walked out during a floor vote on an environmental bill, the latest skirmish in a long-running inter-party fight that’s roiled the statehouse. The walkout leaves the Senate one vote short of a quorum. [CNN]

¶ “Tesla’s Battery Costs Have Been Dropping – Fast” • A report from consulting firm Cairn Energy Research Advisors (via CNBC) offers some details of Tesla’s rapidly declining battery costs. Cairn estimates that the company’s pack-level costs reached $158.27 per kWh in 2019, a decline of over $100 compared to 4 years ago. [CleanTechnica]

Have a gloriously gorgeous day.

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