April 17 Energy News

April 17, 2020


¶ “Coronavirus And The Fragility Of Auto-Centric Cities” • The coronavirus has exposed the ills of continued automobile-centric urban planning practices that adversely impact equity, health, and the climate. Some of us can work at home and conveniently make grocery runs in our automobiles. But many in this country are not so lucky. [CleanTechnica]

Downtown traffic (RMI via Twitter)

¶ “With German Renewables At Over 50%, Is 100% Renewables On The Horizon?” • Renewable energy provided around 52% of all German power consumption in Q1 2020, an all time high. The EU’s Green New Deal is under debate, a renewables goal of 100% by 2050 could be within reach, and the EU’s political movement seems to be fixed in that direction. [Forbes]


¶ “Volvo Upgrades Hybrid Bus Line for More Speed And Range” • Volvo has been building its S-Charge hybrid and electric buses for a few years now, reducing diesel emissions compared to their ICE counterparts. Volvo has taken another step towards reducing emissions by upgrading S-Charge buses with more electric-only speed and range. [CleanTechnica]

Volvo S-Charge (Image courtesy of Volvo Buses)

¶ “Honda Is Giving Batteries From Old EVs A Second Life” • Proper disposal of the high-voltage batteries in vehicles is very important for sustainability. Honda is expanding its partnership with European recycling specialists SNAM. Used batteries from Honda dealers in 22 countries will be collected to be used for storage for homes or businesses. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Algeria: Towards An Agreement With Germany To Join Desertec Project” • Algeria’s Energy Minister said Algeria will sign an agreement to join the German Desertec project. The project aims to supply North Africa and Europe with renewable energy by use of a several types of renewable power plants in the Sahara region. [AFRIK 21]

Desert solar array (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Coronavirus Has Accelerated Energy Transition By A Decade: Wärtsilä” • European responses to the coronavirus have moved the electricity system transition forward by a decade, proving systems can cope with high levels of renewable electricity generation, according to analysis released by Finnish power engineering firm Wärtsilä. [S&P Global]

¶ “African Union And IRENA To Advance Renewables In Response To COVID-19” • The African Union Commission and the International Renewable Energy Agency agreed to work closely to advance renewable energy across Africa to bolster the response to Covid-19. They will focus on innovative solutions for development of renewable energy. [Modern Ghana]

African solar system

¶ “Entura Supporting Tonga And Tuvalu With Renewable Energy” • Over the years, Entura, based in Tasmania, has built numerous renewable energy projects across remote islands including the Cook Islands, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Samoa, and Micronesia. Now it is working on renewable energy in Tonga and Tuvalu. [Consultancy.com.au]


¶ “US Megadrought Already Under Way” • A drought, equal to the worst to have hit the western US in recorded history, is already under way, according to scientists. Researchers say the megadrought is a naturally occurring event that started in the year 2000 and is still ongoing. Climate change is having a major impact, making the drought more severe. [BBC]

Lake Mead (Getty Images)

¶ “Work Begins On GM/LG Chem GigaPower Battery Factory” • Tesla isn’t alone working toward an electric automobile future. Just one day after getting approval from the Army Corps of Engineers, work began to clear the land for what GM calls its “GigaPower factory,” a battery manufacturing facility on 158 acres in Mecca Township, Ohio. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “For First Time, Wind Energy Overtakes Coal In Kansas” • Wind energy has overtaken coal in Kansas for the first time. The American Wind Energy Association reports that wind accounted for the largest share of energy production in Kansas and Iowa in 2019. It is the first time that wind was the top source of electricity for any states. [Kansas City Star]

Wind turbines in Kansas (Chris Ochsner | The Star)

¶ “FERC Denies Rehearings On PJM Capacity Rulings, In A Blow To States’ Renewables Plans” • The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rejected requests to reconsider orders that will upend the $10-billion-per-year capacity market of mid-Atlantic grid operator PJM by forcing state-subsidized renewable energy resources to bid at higher prices. [Greentech Media]

¶ “US Passes 100-GW Wind Milestone” • The US now has more than 100 GW of wind installed after it connected some 9.1 GW of new projects to the grid last year. Total US capacity now stands at 105 GW, with 2019 additions representing 39% of all utility-scale power additions to the grid nationally, according to figures that were published by the AWEA. [reNEWS]

Farm and windfarm (Johanna Montoy | Unsplash)

¶ “Nuclear Watchdog Group Warns About NC Waste Storage During Crisis” • Nuclear power industry watchdog groups are concerned about the storage and transportation of radioactive waste from reactors that produce electricity during the Covid-19 pandemic. Potential staffing shortages during the health crisis may increase risks. [Carolina Public Press]

¶ “Coronavirus Forces Georgia Power To Cut Workforce On New Reactors” • Just a day after saying enhanced safety protocols were in place to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, Georgia Power Co announced it has reduced the workforce by 20% at the Plant Vogtle nuclear reactor construction site, where two reactors are being built. [Bond Buyer]

Have a remarkably productive day.

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