July 20 Energy News

July 20, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Coronavirus, EVs Put Pressure On Dealer Sales Model” • Dealer franchise laws were originally created to protect dealers from unfair competition. Today, those dealer franchise laws have a new purpose – preventing car makers like Tesla from selling directly to the public. Now, with customer pressure, car makers are looking into new models. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen ID.3 test fleet (Volkswagen image)

¶ “German Coal Power Exit Deadline Already Looks Dated” • A German coal phase-out law that came into effect in July requires the country’s 40-GW fleet to close by 2038. It already looks dated given the currently-weak outlook for coal-fired generation in Europe, incentives for early plant closures, and political pressure building for a faster phase out. [ICIS]

¶ “Africa Can Become A Renewable Energy Superpower – If Climate Deniers Are Kept At Bay” • African prosperity will not come if it is shackled to the outdated dirty energy infrastructure of the past. Rather than following in the paths of European countries, Africa can leapfrog to the clean, cheap and renewable technologies of the future. [The Guardian]

Technicians in Rwanda (Tom Gilks | Alamy Stock Photo)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Road Microplastics Are Polluting The Oceans And Heating The Planet” • Those minuscule particles of plastics produced by car tires and brakes can’t do much damage, right? They’re so tiny and nearly imperceptible. Road microplastics produce more than 200,000 tons of minute plastic particles that blow into the oceans every year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Lithium Can Be Extracted From Groundwater At Geothermal Installations” • Scientists at the KIT Energy Center, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, say there is enough lithium dissolved in the groundwater extracted by German geothermal heating and electricity plants to meet the needs of most, or possibly all, of Germany’s battery manufacturers. [CleanTechnica]

Lithium chloride (Amadeus Bramsiepe | KIT)

¶ “Air Pollution Linked To More Covid-19 Cases – Study” • Research has shown that long term exposure to pollutants such as fine particulate matter, NO₂, and SO₂ can cause a persistent inflammatory response even in relatively young people. This leads to increases in the risks of infection by viruses, including the coronavirus that causes Covid-19. [Inverse]

World:

¶ “Coronavirus And Deforestation Rip Through Brazil’s People And The World’s Lungs” • Brazilian President Bolsonaro is a climate denier who ran on a promise not to protect indigenous land. The Amazon is one of Earth’s most vital carbon sinks and a keystone of biological diversity. Under his watch, the Amazon is being destroyed at record rates. [CNN]

Forest cleared for farms (Julian Quinones | CNN)

¶ “Gas Companies Dominate Shortlist For ARENA Green H₂ Funding” • Gas companies have dominated the shortlist of companies seeking a share of $70 million in federal government funding to expand Australia’s renewable H₂ production capacity. At least two will receive funding, with projects to be put under construction in 2022. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Uganda-Based Bodawerk’s Electric Tractors, Motorcycle Conversion Kits, Threshing And Milling Machines Look Set To Transform Lives” • Bodawerk is looking to transform lives in Africa, starting in Uganda with its electric products powered by upcycled old laptop batteries. Bodawerk has run pilot programs, including one for an electric plow. [CleanTechnica]

Bodawerk’s electric plow (Image courtesy of Bodawerk)

¶ “Choppy Water Ahead As Residents Battle Energy Giant Over Proposed Pump Storage Facility” • TC Energy announced a proposal in 2019 to build a hydroelectric pumped storage plant on the shore of Georgian Bay. Whether the plan is vital for Ontario’s power grid or a threat to the pristine bay depends on who you ask. [OrilliaMatters]

¶ “Campaigners Press For Full Testing Of Nuclear Plant Sediment In Effort To Halt Dumping Off Cardiff Coast” • There are plans to dump mud from the construction of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station into the sea off Cardiff Bay. Some campaigners say there is evidence of plutonium contamination. They say the plan should be halted. [Nation.Cymru]

Construction at Hinkley Point (Nick Chipchase | CC BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Blockchain Plays Leading Role In Germany’s Renewable Energy Evolution” • Germany is ending coal and nuclear-based energy generation in a switch to renewable energy.  Blockchain’s Distributed Ledger Technology is gradually becoming the foundation for several systems developed for the German switch to its renewable future. [Business Blockchain HQ]

US:

¶ “Leeward CC Becomes UH’s First Net-Zero Campus” • Hawaii’s Leeward Community College has become one of the first virtually net-zero campuses in the country. It is generating 97% of its energy through on-site PV systems, including solar shade canopies and energy storage. It has also implimented efficiency measures. [UH System Current News]

Leeward Community College

¶ “US Scientists Rebuke Trump Over Coronavirus Response And Other Affronts” • In an unusual move for a community that tends to avoid politics, more than 1,200 members of the US National Academy of Sciences rebuked Donald Trump’s “denigration of scientific expertise.” The open letter they signed seeks to “restore science-based policy in government.” [The Guardian]

¶ “In Utah, A Debate Stirs Over Estonian Radioactive Waste” • In southeast Utah, nerves are frayed over a pile of radioactive material parked 5,000 miles away in Estonia. Regulators are weighing whether a local uranium company can import the material for processing at a mill near the border of a Native American reservation. [Fiji Times]

Have a delightfully refreshing day.

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