Archive for July 27th, 2020

July 27 Energy News

July 27, 2020


¶ “Bolivia Is Ransacking Lithium From Its Indigenous People” • In earlier times, Native American workers in Potosí, Bolivia, were forced to work in the silver mines for silver that they never saw, when colonizers forced them into slavery to mine the silver. Today, for the natives in Potosí, lithium is the new silver, for which they can be exploited. [CleanTechnica]

Potosí (Victor Hugo Cazas Sarmiento, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “The Surprising Blue Chips Demanding A Green Energy Stimulus” • The Hill reported this week, “McDonald’s and Pepsi are calling on Congress to include green energy in the next Covid-19 relief package…” They are not alone in this, with over 30 companies signing the letter. They see the US falling behind on the a major opportunity. []

Science and Technology:

¶ “How The World’s Smelliest Fruit Could Power Your Phone” • The lithium-ion batteries in our devices degrade over time and come with a large environmental cost. Are there better ways to store and carry energy that are kinder to the planet? The answer is certainly yes. And there are many better ways to choose from, including making them from smelly fruit. [BBC]

Durian fruit, ready to be made into capacitors (Credit: Alamy)

¶ “A Solar Roof That Only Comes Out When The Sun Is Shining” • Two Swiss companies have partnered to create something more than just a typical solar roof over a parking lot, making electricity while keeping vehicles cool. The solar folding roof can come out when the sun is out, soak up the rays, then go to bed when it’s cloudy, nighttime, or raining. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “What The Heroin Industry Can Teach Us About Solar Power” • Afghan opium growers switched to solar power, and the world supply of heroin increased significantly. Diesel-powered pumps are costly and unreliable. Replacing them with solar panels has allowed increased profits and expanded poppy farms into what had been desert. [BBC]

Solar powered irrigation for illegal poppy farm

¶ “Volkswagen Inks $1.4 Billion Battery Deal With Wanxiang A123” • Ric Fulop, one of the original founders of A123, tweeted that Wanxiang A123 will supply Volkswagen with batteries worth about $1.4 billion for its electric car models in China. The A123 batteries use LiFePO₄ technology, which does not use cobalt and has other advantages. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “World’s Largest Solar Power Plant Moves Forward In Abu Dhabi With Contract Award” • Plans for developing the world’s largest solar power plant in the deserts of the Gulf have been given the go-ahead, with the authorities in the UAE awarding the project to a multinational consortium. The project had been bid at the historic low of 1.35¢/kWh. [Forbes]

Desert PVs (Godong | Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

¶ “UK Power Sector ‘Could Have Negative Emissions By 2033′” • Installing offshore wind capacity of 40 GW in the UK, together with the deployment of bioenergy and carbon capture and storage, could lead to negative emissions in the power sector by 2033, according to research by National Grid ESO. The report looked at several scenarios. [reNEWS]


¶ “Renewable Energy Provides More Than 25% Of US Electricity In May Of 2020” • Renewable energy produced significantly more electricity than either coal or nuclear power during the first five months of 2020, SUN DAY Campaign analysis shows. In May, renewable sources provided 25.3% of the nation’s electricity, an all-time high. [Renewables Now]

High Lonesome wind farm in Texas (Enel Green Power image)

¶ “Ford Reveals An Electric Mustang Mach-E SUV With 1,400 Horsepower” • Ford has created a one-of-a-kind demonstration version of its Mustang Mach-E SUV with seven electric motors that can produce a total of up to 1,400 horsepower. Next year, Ford will begin selling a street legal Mach-E GT SUV producing 459 horsepower from two electric motors. [CNN]

¶ “Standard Lithium Ramping Up Lithium From Brine Operations” • Standard Lithium, based in British Columbia, is one of the largest producers of bromine, which is extracted from groundwater. Now it has a process that captures lithium from its wastewater. It is developing that process at sites in Arkansas and California. [CleanTechnica]

Standard Lithium facility in Arkansas (Standard Lithium)

¶ “sPower Secures $700 Million In Financing For 620-MW Solar Project” • sPower announced that it closed on over $700 million of loan financing for Spotsylvania Solar Energy Center in Virginia. At 620 MW, this is the largest solar project east of the Rockies. The project is under construction, with phases coming online as they are finished. [Saurenergy]

¶ “How The Nuclear Industry Is Getting Past A Tough US Power Market” • Nuclear proponents are not ready to concede that nuclear power has been priced out of the US electricity market, but they look increasingly at other uses for reactors and other places to sell them. They have hopes for decarbonizing difficult processes, such as making aluminum. [Forbes]

Have a simply charming day.

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