Archive for October, 2020

October 31 Energy News

October 31, 2020


¶ “How Joe Biden May Have Outmaneuvered Donald Trump On Energy, Climate, And The Economic Recovery” • President Trump thought he had hit the jackpot during the debate when his opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, declared that he would “transition away from the oil industry.” His reaction points to a basic misunderstanding of the issue. [TIME]

Oil refinery (Patrick Hendry, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “New Satellites Can Pinpoint Methane Leaks To Help Us Beat Climate Change” • Dial down methane, and you’ll see results by the time Greta Thunberg can get a PhD. “Dramatically reducing or even zeroing industry CH₄ emissions should be a no-brainer,” says Gabrielle Pétron, a NOAA affiliate research scientist. New satellites can help with that. [Popular Science]

¶ “How Apple Tech Is Used In The Renewable Energy Industry” • During Apple’s Q4 earnings call, management mentioned iOS device deployment at Vestas. iPad and iPhone apps being used in manufacture and warehousing. Apple iPhone apps are being used by maintenance technicians in the field. They are even used by crane operators. [Computerworld]

Wind turbines (Anna Jiménez Calaf, Unsplash)


¶ “Minesto Advances Faroe Islands Tidal Kite” • Swedish marine energy developer Minesto is working to commission its DG100 tidal power project in the Faroe Islands, having verified the system’s most important operational functions. Minesto said it has also verified procedures for safely installing and recovering the power plant from the sea. [reNEWS]

¶ “Eco Wave Power Enters MOU Regarding Wave Energy Array In Vietnam” • Eco Wave Power announced that it had signed an agreement with MSMART Future Technology on development of a 50-MW wave energy array in Vietnam. After an in-depth feasibility study, the companies will work on a joint venture in Vietnam. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Wave energy array (Courtesy of Eco Wave Power)

¶ “Scots And UK governments Urged To Back BiFab” • Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown called on the Scottish and UK governments to work together to agree financial guarantees for fabricator BiFab to cover the supply of foundations to the 450-MW Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind farm. Brown said a failure to do so would be a “dereliction of duty.” [reNEWS]

¶ “Enel Commissions 140 MW Of South African Wind” • Enel Green Power has commissioned the 140-MW Nxuba wind farm in the Eastern Cape region of South Africa. Nxuba is one of five projects awarded to Enel Green Power South Africa in the fourth round of the country’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Enel Green Power image)


¶ “Chevrolet Electric Connect And Cruise Package To Debut At SEMA 360” • Do you have a great old car with a bad old engine? The performance people at Chevrolet see the value of engine swaps and created a whole new business unit called Connect and Cruise with its mission to make converting a gas-burner to EV as close to plug and play as possible. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Energy At Largest Air Force Base in US “Suddenly” Drops 35%” • The Commander-in-Chief has written off climate change, but the US Armed Services sure haven’t. In the latest development, the US Air Force is tooting its own horn for ripping the title of #1 energy consumer off the nameplate of the sprawling Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma. [CleanTechnica]

Tinker Air Force Base (credit: Paul Shirk | US Air Force)

¶ “LS Power Announces Investment In Renewable Gas Projects” • LS Power announced a major investment in renewable natural gas projects as part of its new renewable fuels platform. It is partnering with The Landfill Group, LLC to develop and operate a portfolio of landfill gas-to-renewable natural gas projects across the US. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Shakeup For 720-MW Nuclear SMR Project As More Cities Withdraw Participation” • Eight cities have dropped shares in the Carbon Free Power Project, a 720-MWe NuScale Power small modular reactor project proposed by Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems. Four cities dropped the project despite a DOE promise of $1.4 billion in support. [POWER magazine]

Have a uniquely restorative day.

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October 30 Energy News

October 30, 2020


¶ “Kids Get Parents To Buy Electric Cars” • Kids are quite often the reason their parents buy a Tesla. They are so enthusiastic about the cars that they strongly encourage their parents to go into a Tesla store, test drive a car, and then buy a car of course. What I didn’t realize is that kids are getting their parents to buy other electric cars as well. [CleanTechnica]

Peugeot sales kid (Image courtesy of Peugeot)


¶ “Europeans Bought More Electrified Vehicles Than Diesels In September For The First Time In History” • In Europe, people bought more EVs, including hybrids, than diesel vehicles in September, according to JATO Dynamics. JATO noted that new car sales dropped by 29% during the first 9 months of 2020 in Europe, and diesels were hit hard. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Bushfire Inquiry Says Australia Must Prepare For ‘Alarming Outlook'” • Australia must prepare for an “alarming” future of simultaneous and worsening natural disasters, says a long-awaited report into the country’s bushfires. A royal commission inquiry examined Australia’s Black Summer bushfires of 2019-20, along wiith other disasters. [BBC]

Observing a bushfire (Lucy Baranowski)

¶ “Renewables Dominate As Demand Shows Strong Recovery Across Europe” • In Europe, with demand increasing, renewable power was the largest source of electricity generation for the sixth quarter in a row. Renewables provided 40.3% of the total electricity generated in Q3 while fossil fuels produced 35.2% and nuclear 24.4%. [Power Engineering International]

¶ “Fully Electrifying Delivery Vehicles: Insights from Shenzhen” • To help find air pollution solutions, Rocky Mountain Institute is working in the City of Shenzhen, a world leader in the adoption of EVs. It has evaluated the policies and market dynamics that have led to the adoption of more than 70,000 electric logistics vehicles in the city. [CleanTechnica]

BYD electric buses in Shenzhen (Kyle Field | CleanTechnica)

¶ “World’s Biggest Power Producer Buys $750 Million Wind Project In NSW” • Engie, the world’s biggest independent power producer, is reviving its push into the Australia renewable energy market with the purchase of development rights to the Hills of Gold wind project in northern New South Wales. The wind farm will have a capacity of 420 MW. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Vattenfall To Start Klaverspoor Build” • Next month, Swedish developer Vattenfall will start building its 34-MW Klaverspoor wind farm in the Netherlands. The €45m project is one of five to be built along the country’s A16 motorway. The project was given the green light to proceed in July after a legal challenge against the development was overturned. [reNEWS]

Nordex wind turbine (Nordex image)


¶ “Zeta Leaves Over 2.1 Million Customers Without Power” • At least six people have died and more than 2.1 million customers are without power after former Hurricane Zeta hit the Gulf Coast and rushed inland. Zeta made landfall in Louisiana as a Category 2 storm before weakening to a post-tropical cyclone. It is the 27th storm of the Atlantic hurricane season. [CNN]

¶ “Trump Fires NOAA’s Chief Scientist In Fear Of 5th National Climate Assessment” • Craig McLean, NOAA’s chief scientist, has been forced out from the position by Erik Noble, a former White House policy adviser who had just been appointed NOAA’s chief of staff. At issue was NOAA policy banning manipulating research or presenting ideologically driven findings. [CleanTechnica]

Wildfire at Glacier National Park (NOAA image, public domain)

¶ “Tesla Expanding Into Solar Microgrids And Virtual Power Plants” • Elon Musk says he expects Tesla’s energy business will one day be equal to or exceed its automotive business. That day may be some time in the future but the company is certainly expanding its solar and battery operations rapidly, both for grid scale and residential applications. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Developer Greenlights 250-MW Texas Solar” • North American developer Skyline Renewables, backed by investment house Ardian, is to finance and manage the construction of a 250-MW solar project in Central West Texas. The Galloway solar project, acquired from 8minute Solar Energy, is scheduled for operation by end of 2021. [reNEWS]

Solar panels (Image: APPA | Unsplash)

¶ “Three US States Form Offshore Alliance” • The governors of Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia are making their states a hub for the offshore wind industry. They formed the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Regional Transformative Partnership for Offshore Wind Energy Resources (Smart-Power), to advance offshore wind projects in the region. [reNEWS]

¶ “America Wind Toasts Record Breaking Third Quarter” • The US wind industry installed nearly 2 GW of capacity in the third quarter of 2020, setting a record for third-quarter additions and bringing total capacity to nearly 112 GW, the American Wind Energy Association reported. Installations in 2020 so far are up 72% on the first nine months of 2019. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (AWEA image)

¶ “Arizona Power Must Come From 100% Carbon-Free Sources By 2050, Regulators Decide” • Arizona utility regulators, in a split vote, approved a plan for utilities to get all of their energy from carbon-free sources like solar and nuclear energy by 2050. The state’s electric utilities are to get half their power from renewable energyin 2035. []

¶ “Nearly 30 US States See Renewables Generate More Power Than Either Coal Or Nuclear” • Renewables generated 20.8% of US electricity during the first eight months of 2020, ahead of 19.4% from nuclear and 18.4% from coal. Nearly 30 US states have seen renewable energy resources generate more electricity than either coal or nuclear in that time. [Energy Live News]

Have an enchantingly beautiful day.

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October 29 Energy News

October 29, 2020


¶ “Memo To Trump, Biden And Political Pundits: Texas Is Not All About Oil And Gas Anymore” • When people think of Texas, they often picture “Big Oil.” But from demographics and politics to economics and culture, Texas is changing. If you think it’s still all about oil, you don’t know Texas. Increasingly, renewable energy has an important presence in the state. [USA TODAY]

Wind farm in Texas (Leaflet, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Tremendously Cheap Solar, Wind, And Batteries Are To Transform Society, RethinkX Forecasts” • The ongoing theme in the energy industry is a sharp drop in solar power, wind power, and battery prices. But we ain’t seen nothin’ yet, according to RethinkX. And cheap clean energy doesn’t just mean somewhat lower costs. It means disruption. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Investing In Nuclear Energy Over Renewable Source May Be Wrong: Here’s Why” • To the casual observer, nuclear power and renewables might appear to be equally desirable for cutting CO₂ emissions. But in fact, there are major differences. A recent paper in Nature Energy suggests that nuclear power is less effective than renewable energy. [Business Standard]

Hope Creek nuclear plant (Peretzp, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ “South Australia Got 100% Of Its Electricity From Solar For One Hour” • People used to think solar PVs could not provide more than 5% of our electricity. Now, South Australia gets more than 20% of its electricity from rooftop systems, and nearly 70% from all types of wind and solar. For one hour this month, 100% of its electricity came from solar PVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “China’s Forest Carbon Uptake Underestimated” • China’s aggressive policy of planting trees is likely playing a significant role in tempering its climate impacts. An international team identified two areas where the scale of CO₂ absorption by new forests was underestimated. They account for a little over 35% of China’s entire land carbon “sink”, the team says. [BBC]

Logs in China (SPL image)

¶ “The UK Is Spending 32 Times More On Fossil Fuels Than On Renewables: New Report” • The UK government is squandering an opportunity to move towards a zero carbon future by putting billions of stimulus cash into fossil fuels and all but neglecting renewable energy, according to a major report from the Finnish power firm Wärtsilä Energy. [Forbes]

¶ “Global Financial Institutions Plan For Major Oil And Gas Lending Exits” • Financial institutions have begun restricting oil and gas funding. A report by the Institute for Energy Economics & Financial Analysis says over 100 globally significant financial institutions have announced their divestment from coal, and 50 are limiting funding for oil and gas. [CleanTechnica]

Oil sands (NOAA image)

¶ “Bunnings Targets 100% Renewable Energy By 2025” • The Australian hardware and DIY product supplier, Bunnings, has pledged to power its stores with 100% renewable energy by 2025, as the Wesfarmers-owned retailer ramps up energy efficiencies. Nonprofits such as Greenpeace Australia have welcomed the news and praised the company. [ChannelNews]

¶ “Danish Solar Giant Gets Greenlight” • European Energy is to start construction of a 300-MW solar farm in Denmark. It will be the biggest facility of its kind in Northern Europe. Construction is expected to proceed in early 2021 and grid connection should take place before the end of that year. The facility will be located close to planned future data centers. [reNEWS]

Renewable energy (European Energy image)


¶ “Cleantech Creates Higher Paying Jobs – Millions Of Them” • One of the really great side benefits of climate action is that it creates a lot of well paying jobs. But how many jobs? And how well do they pay? E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs), the American Council on Renewable Energy, and the Clean Energy Leadership Institute have some answers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Third Hurricane Hitting Louisiana, Fifth Major Storm, Seventh Evacuation – As Election Day Nears” • In Louisiana, it’s another day, another hurricane. Now, it’s Zeta, bringing mostly rain to my neighborhood but much more damage to the New Orleans area. Tuesday is Election Day and hurricanes tend to knock out power for weeks. [CleanTechnica]

Hurricane Zeta (Reshaud, via Twitter)

¶ “USA Rare Earth Commits To A 100% Renewable Energy Plan For Round Top Mountain Project” • USA Rare Earth LLC will use the excellent solar resources of  West Texas in its committed plan to power its operations at its Round Top Heavy Rare Earth & Critical Mineral Project in Hudspeth County, Texas with 100% renewable energy. [Energy and Mines]

¶ “Iowa’s Largest Solar Power Plant Nearly Finished” • Iowa is getting its largest solar power park to date. Renewable energy company Clēnera and RES (Renewable Energy Systems) teamed up on the 127.5-MW Wapello Solar project. It will make enough electricity for about 45,000 homes. The electricity will be sold to the Central Iowa Power Cooperative. [CleanTechnica]

Building a PV array (Photo courtesy of Clēnera)

¶ “Ørsted Starts Construction Of 298-MW Nebraska Wind Project” • Ørsted is expanding its presence in the Southwest Power Pool by acquiring the 298-MW Haystack Wind project in Wayne County, Nebraska. Situated adjacent to Ørsted’s 230-MW Plum Creek wind farm, Haystack will connect to the existing SPP North system. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “New Report Shows ‘Explosive Growth’ of Renewable Energy Technologies Across the US” • Compared to 2010, in 2019 the US produced 30 times as much solar power and over three as much the wind energy, and it had 20 times as much utility scale battery storage, a report from the Environment New Jersey Research & Policy Center shows. [Environment + Energy Leader]

Have a tranfiguratively pleasant day.

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October 28 Energy News

October 28, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Fraunhofer To Develop Battery Inverter For Whole-Area UPS And Renewables Integration” • Fraunhofer and its industrial and academic partners are developing a battery inverter that can be grid connected under normal operation but can use renewables generators within its area to form an island grid, for whole-area uninterrupted power supply. [pv magazine Australia]

Renewable energy (Image: Kenueone | wikimedia)

¶ “Trapping Light Inside Solar Cells Can Boost Solar Panel Output By 125%” • Researchers at the University of York, working with the NOVA University of Lisbon, say they found a way to boost solar cell output by up to 125%. The research permits use of much thinner slices of PV silicon to produce the same amount of electricity as the thicker PVs used today. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Tel Aviv-Yafo Will Charge Electric Buses Invisibly From The Road” • Wireless electric vehicle keeps improving, and all of the concerns about efficiency and may drift away. The city of Tel Aviv-Yafo partnered with ElectReon and Dan Bus Company to implement an “electric road” pilot project. It will charge buses along 600 meters of a 2 km road. [CleanTechnica]

Wireless construction (Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality image, cropped)

¶ “Tesla Megapack Batteries Coming To New South Wales” • New South Wales has begun embracing renewable energy in a big way, having recently introduced two renewable energy zones, one north of Sydney and another to the west of it. The first of the state’s big batteries is scheduled to be installed at the Wallgrove substation in western Sydney. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “London’s Mayor Takes On Heavy Vehicle Scrappage To Fight Air Pollution” • The mayor of London is launching a heavy vehicle scrappage scheme to help reduce air pollution. It will give out grants of £15,000 to scrap a heavy vehicles and replace them with a compliant vehicles or to retrofit diesel vehicles up to the class’s Euro VI standards. [CleanTechnica]

Volta Zero delivery truck (Courtesy of Volta Zero)

¶ “Greenpeace Welcomes Philippine Moratorium On New Coal Plants, Urges Transition To Renewable Energy” • Greenpeace welcomed a Philippine moratorium on new coal plants but said it will only go well if the country transitions to renewable energy. A Greenpeace report shows the country can easily get 50% of its power from the sun and wind by 2030. [Manila Bulletin]

¶ “Global Offshore Wind Pipeline Has Grown 47% Since January” • The total pipeline of global offshore wind projects has grown by 47% since January despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according the latest RenewableUK report. Just over half of the pipeline is in Europe (99.6 GW). The UK retains its top spot with a pipeline of 41.3 GW, up 12% since January. [reNEWS]

Wind power on the ocean (Mark König, Unsplash)

¶ “South Korea Vows To Go Carbon Neutral By 2050 To Fight Climate Emergency” • South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-in, has declared that the country will achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, bringing it into line with other major economies. He vowed to end its dependence on coal and replace it with renewables as part of its Green New Deal. [The Guardian]


¶ “Three Tidal Turbines
 Pop Into New York City’s East River” • Marine energy company Verdant Power has plopped three tidal power turbines into New York City’s East River on one array. The Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy Project is the first US-licensed tidal power project. The project is a demonstration, and more turbines are on the way. [CleanTechnica]

Turbine installation (Verdant Power image)

¶ “How To Go Solar At Your School – Solar Schools Report Published” • Generation180 published a new edition of its report on solar in US schools. It includes “new data and trends on solar uptake at schools nationwide, how schools are saving millions in energy bills (with little-to-no upfront investment), and a national ranking of all states for solar on schools.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Army Gets $7.2 Million For 5 To 10 Year Plan For Better Energy Storage” • In its latest effort to tackle the energy storage problem, the Army announced that the University of Maryland has won $7.2 million in Army funding to lead a new alliance aimed at leaping over the hurdles in the way of next-generation rechargeable batteries. [CleanTechnica]

US soldiers in the field (Credit: Sgt Effie Mahugh)

¶ “Rhode Island Requests Proposals For 600 MW Of Offshore Wind Energy” • Rhode Island Gov Gina M Raimondo announced a competitive request for proposals to procure up to 600 MW of offshore wind energy. The request is in line with an executive order putting Rhode Island on a path toward 100% renewable electricity by 2030. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “Scout Completes 130-MW Indiana Wind Project” • Scout Clean Energy has completed construction and closed tax equity funding on a 130-MW wind farm in Indiana. The Bitter Ridge wind farm uses GE 2.82-MW wind turbines. The project will bring Scout’s operational portfolio of onshore wind energy generation to 843 MW. [reNEWS]

GE wind turbines (GE image)

¶ “MBTA Switches To 100% Renewable Energy Starting Jan 1” • The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has signed a contract to switch its electricity supply to 100% renewable energy starting January 1. The move will save an estimated $3.5 million dollars annually at a time the agency faces large budget cuts from Covid-19 ridership dips. [Cambridge Day]

¶ “NuScale Faces Questions On Nuclear Reactor Safety And Financing Its First Project” • NuScale Power wants to build the first US small modular nuclear reactor complex by decade’s end and has recent federal safety approvals. But its reactor design faces significant safety questions that were not resolved by an NRC review completed in August. [Greentech Media]

Have a sensationally gratifying day.

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October 27 Energy News

October 27, 2020


¶ “We Must Protect Coral Reefs With Conservation Innovation And Technology” • The coral reefs are dying, and they’re the world’s first ecosystems to become extinct because of human action. Conservation innovation and technology alone cannot save reefs, but over half a billion people depend on them for food, income, and protection. [CleanTechnica]

Coral (Image provided by Dr Brian LaPointe, FAU Harbor Branch)

¶ “Who Knows How To Get To Net Zero Emissions? Joe Biden Does.” • During an interview, Joe Biden said that global heating constitutes an existential threat to humanity. “It will bake the planet,” he said. That is diametrically opposed to the namby pamby drivel leaking from the lips of the incumbent and his weak kneed followers. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Elon Musk: Tiny Bit Of Sun’s Energy Could Power The World” • Elon Musk, a longtime solar power fan, responded to the IEA’s news that solar power is the cheapest energy source with a tweet about “that free fusion reactor in the sky,” and its ample energy. He said, “We just need to catch an extremely tiny amount of it to power all of civilization.” [CleanTechnica]

Tesla powered by Tesla PVs (Image by Tesla)


¶ “Toyota Brings The Hydrogen Fuel Cell To The Marine Industry” • Toyota is continuing its lonely crusade to make the oft-promised hydrogen future happen, this time expanding from trucks, cars, and Popemobiles into more … “liquid” arenas. And by that, I mean that Toyota is developing a hydrogen fuel cell for marine applications. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Thailand Gets Fleet Of Electric Ferries To Help Clean Up Bangkok” • With an electric powertrain developed by the electric marine experts at Danfoss Editron, 27 zero-emission passenger ferries will soon replace a hodgepodge of old diesels in Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River. It is part of an exploratory bid to improve air quality and clean up the water supply. [CleanTechnica]

Danfoss catamaran ferry (Danfoss image)

¶ “Rockefeller Launches ‘Catalytic’ $1 Billion Clean-Energy-Powered Covid Recovery Fund” • The Rockefeller Foundation committed $1 billion to a three-year plan to drive investment in a global grid-scale renewable energy build-out. It is to accelerate access to electricity in developing nations as the world emerges from the coronavirus pandemic. [Recharge]

¶ “‘Dangerous And Dirty’ Used Cars Sold To Africa” • Millions of polluting used cars from rich countries are being “dumped” on developing nations, a UN report says. Four out of five went to poorer countries, with more than half going to Africa. And up to 80% failed to meet the minimum safety and environmental standards in exporting countries. [BBC]

Traffic jam in Lagos (Getty Images)

¶ “Germany To Remain Key IAEA Member After Nuclear Power Exit” • Germany is demonstrating continued strong support for the International Atomic Energy Agency’s mission to foster global peace and development even as the country is shutting down its nuclear power plants, according to IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi. [Mirage News]


¶ “Silverado Wildfire Rages In California” • A wildfire has forced evacuation orders for 100,000 people in southern California. The Silverado Fire broke out just before sunrise on Monday in Orange County, south of Los Angeles. By late afternoon, the blaze had burned about 7,200 acres (2,915 hectares), California’s fire agency reported. [BBC]

Fire fighters (Reuters image)

¶ “Trump Administration Buries Dozens Of Clean Energy Studies” • The DOE has blocked reports for over 40 clean energy studies. It replaced them with mere presentations, buried them in scientific journals that the public cannot access, or left them paralyzed within the agency, according to emails and documents obtained by InvestigateWest. [InvestigateWest]

¶ “Nordex Scoops 240-MW Texas Turbine Deal” • Nordex has won a turbine order for a 240-MW wind farm in Texas, its first US agreement for the Delta4000 series. The manufacturer will supply 50 N155/4.X turbines, operating with a rated power of 4.8 MW. The machines will be installed in 2021 at the undisclosed wind project for an unnamed client. [reNEWS]

Nordex turbine (Nordex image)

¶ “Big Oil May Make US Taxpayers Take Care Of Its Orphaned Oil And Gas Wells” • A report by Carbon Tracker says the US has 2.6 million unplugged onshore oil and gas wells, with possibly 1.2 million more undocumented. Oil and gas companies have a legal obligation to plug the wells, but they haven’t set aside resources to do so, and many are going broke. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GM And Ford Knew About Climate Change 50 Years Ago” • Scientists at General Motors and Ford Motor Co knew as early as the 1960s that car emissions caused climate change, research by E&E News found. The car company’s discoveries were followed by decades of political lobbying by GM and Ford to undermine attempts to reduce emissions. [E&E News]

1969 Corvette Stingray (SG2012, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Key Player In War On Climate Change? The Pentagon” • The Department of Defense has both a critical role to play and a strong interest in the war on climate change. Higher storm surges, heat waves, and fires are already affecting operations. The military will have more frequent disaster relief missions along with more conflict and wars. [CNN]

¶ “US DOE And DOT Work On Improving Public Transportation Projects Using Data And Technology” • Recently, the US DOE announced project selections for $130 million in advanced vehicle technologies research. Included in the announcement were three transit-centric projects co-funded with  the US Department of Transportation. [CleanTechnica]

Have an intensely easy day.

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October 26 Energy News

October 26, 2020


¶ “Tesla Bears Prove Easy Q3 Math Is Hard” • Congrats to Elon and the workers at Tesla for a record setting Q3, by almost every measure. I’ll cover some of the financial highlights, but first, a royal roasting of Tesla bears is in order. Many of them say that regulatory credits are the sole reason for Tesla’s profit. But they ignore the facts. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model Y die casting at Tesla Gigafactory Shanghai

¶ “Solar Power Is The Cheapest Electricity In History” • The International Energy Agency has a long history in fossil fuels. It is not the first, second, or third organization that would come to mind when thinking of renewable energy bulls or fans. However, its latest report indicates that solar power is now the “cheapest electricity in history.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla’s One Core Advantage” • “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” That’s a maxim that I imagine could get you fired from Tesla. Tesla is constantly focused on “fixing” what is working fine but not working as well as it could be. Tesla constantly takes working products and systems apart, whittle them down to their core, and build them up again better.  [CleanTechnica]

Tesla dashboard (CleanTechnica image)

¶ “As Trump Dismisses Renewables, Energy Sector Doubles Down” • In the debate, President Trump argued that renewable energy is too expensive, wouldn’t power up America’s factories, and is bad for birds. This view is not just seriously outdated, it flies in the face of capital flows in the energy sector. Renewables are rising; fossil fuels and nuclear are in decline. [Forbes]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Batteries Made With … Vanilla?” • There’s a new type of battery storage technology that has an interesting spice added into the mix – vanillin, which is the primary component of the extract of the vanilla bean. Researchers at TU Graz have found a way to convert vanillin into a redox-active electrolyte material for liquid batteries. [CleanTechnica]

TU Graz researcher Stefan Spirk (© Lunghammer | TU Graz)


¶ “UK Developing New Renewable Energy Plans” • A new startup, Power Potential, is a UK government-launched parastatal that is a brainchild of the United Kingdom Power Networks teaming up with the National Grid Electricity System Operator. They created it to regulate renewable energy and facilitate distribution across the user base. [Cheshire Media]

¶ “Air Pollution A Major Driver of Ill Health Worldwide” • Air pollution is now the world’s fourth-leading risk factor for early death according the latest “State of Global Air Report.” The report comes annually from the Health Effects Institute and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation to sum up current scientific understanding. [CleanTechnica]

Canyon Creek fire, 2015 (Oregon Department of Forestry)

¶ “Japan To Set 2050 Net Zero Target” • Japan is to set a new 2050 net zero target, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said in his first policy speech to the Japanese Diet. The goal is an increase on a previous target of 80% emissions reductions by 2050. He said, “Responding to climate change is no longer a constraint on economic growth.” [reNEWS]


¶ “Energy Experts Back SA Renewable Target” • After the South Australian government published ‘Building on our Strengths – South Australia’s Energy and Mining Strategy,’ recommitting to a 100% net renewable target by 2030, energy experts backed the State Government’s target. But they are divided on whether such a goal can be achieved nationally. [InDaily]

Wind farm in SA (Tim phillips photos, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “CEP.Energy’s $1 Billion C&I Rooftop Rollout” • Within five years, CEP.Energy plans to have 1.5 GW of solar and 1 GW of battery energy storage, providing constant low-cost energy for tenants of ten property-portfolio partners via microgrids and virtual power plants distributed across commercial and industrial rooftops in Australia. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Neoen Completes 460-MW Solar Financing” • Neoen has completed financial close on the 460-MW Western Downs Green Power Hub in Southwest Queensland. Total project costs will amount to approximately A$600 million ($427 million). Western Downs will be the largest solar farm in Australia and entirely owned by Neoen, the company said. [reNEWS]

Neoen solar array (Neoen image)


¶ “Tropical Storm Zeta Forms, Could Reach US Gulf Coast By Midweek” • A tropical depression east of Mexico strengthened into Tropical Storm Zeta and could reach the US Gulf Coast by midweek. Zeta could be at or near hurricane strength when it approaches the northern Gulf Coast on Wednesday. It will be this year’s fifth named storm to impact Louisiana. [CNN]

¶ “Study: Climate Change Could Interrupt Yellowstone Geysers” • A team of scientists and storytellers will create murals to help Yellowstone National Park’s visitors understand what the park will look like late this century. They will show less forest, more meadow, new species, and an Old Faithful that may be dormant due to climate change. [Casper Star-Tribune Online]

Old Faithful (Jacob W Frank, NPS, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Renewables And Energy Storage Are Surging In Red States” • The two largest US coal-producing states, Wyoming and West Virginia, have emerged as leaders in renewable energy and energy storage, respectively, says Environment America’s report, “Renewables on the Rise 2020.” By one metric, seven “Red” states are among the top ten for wind and solar. [Forbes]

¶ “Oregon Wildfires: Is Climate Change The Culprit?” • This summer, many Oregonians lost their homes, neighborhoods, and lives as fires overtook the state. The question on everyone’s mind is why? Erica Fleishman, a professor at OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science, says climate change is partially to blame. [The Corvallis Advocate]

Have an instructively gorgeous day.

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October 25 Energy News

October 25, 2020


¶ “Biden Argues For Move To Renewable Energy; AM Stands At The Ready” • Joe Biden has endorsed renewable energy, arguing for a move away from fossil fuels while adopting wind and solar power. Such a policy would mean renewable energy companies will ramp up production. And that would mean more work in additive manufacturing. [3DPMN]

Wind turbines (Alex Eckermann, Unsplash)

¶ “The Bright Future Of Renewable Energy In The Middle East” • Thousands of oil rigs and refineries dot the Middle East’s desert landscape, each promising prosperity. Yet poverty and violence have long plagued the region. Surprisingly, the Middle East’s oil resources and its woes are linked. Renewable energy offers a green solution. [Borgen Project]

¶ “War On NOAA? A Climate Denier’s Arrival Raises Fears The Agency’s Climate Mission Is Under Attack” • Even as the Trump administration has denied climate change, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration continued to press on with its work measuring the breadth and pace of the climate crisis. David Legates could try to change that. [InsideClimate News]

NOAA ship Fairweather (NOAA image via Unsplash)


¶ “Climate Change: Technology No Silver Bullet, Experts Tell PM” • Can we trust the silver bullet of technology to fix climate change? The UK’s prime minister seems to think so. Soon, he is expected to pledge his faith in offshore wind power, solar, carbon capture, hydrogen, clean cars, and zero-emission aviation. But experts say we will need deeper action. [BBC News]

¶ “Transition One Will Convert Your Old Gasmobile To Electric Power In About 4 Hours” • If you own a conventional car but want an EV, your choices are to convert it to electric, or buy an EV. Now, if you live in France, there’s a third way. Transition One can replace your car’s internal combustion drive train with an electric system in about four hours. [CleanTechnica]

Conversion car (Transition One image)

¶ “Kenya’s Nuclear Energy Project Spills Over 2030” • Kenya’s plan to have a nuclear power plant will now wait beyond the original 2030 timeline. The Nuclear Power and Energy Agency says lengthy compliance procedures needed before setting up a nuclear power plant will only be ready in 2035, pushing the nuclear dream further away. []

¶ “Oil-Rich UAE Turning To Coal-Fired Power” • A new wonder is rising in the southern desert of Dubai against the backdrop of Persian Gulf beaches. It is the $3.4 billion Hassyan coal-burning power plant. Dubai saw a desperate need for electricity, and China made an offer it could not refuse. Would it start building the plant today? Probably not. [Arkansas Online]

Building the Hassyan power plant 
(Kamran Jebreili | AP)

¶ “Contaminated Water From Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Could Affect Human Dna If Released: Greenpeace” • The environmental rights organization Greenpeace warned that if contaminated water stored at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan is released into the ocean, it could potentially harm human DNA. [The Hill]


¶ “US Renewable Energy Lab Energizes Remote Communities” • In California, American Indian reservations risk being “islanded” from the larger electricity grid when wildfires break transmission lines. Many other sorts of communities have reasons to look to their own power supplies. The National Renewable Energy Lab can help meet that need. [Environment News Service]

Red Salmon Wildfire (InciWeb courtesy image)

¶ “Joe Biden Calls Climate Change The ‘Number One Issue Facing Humanity’” • In an interview by Dan Pfeiffer, Joe Biden declared, “Climate change is the existential threat to humanity,” the former vice president said. “Unchecked, it is going to actually bake this planet. This is not hyperbole. It’s real.” And Joe Biden has a plan to deal with it. [CNBC]

¶ “Tesla’s Piedmont Lithium Deal Stimulates More Investment” • Earlier this month, Tesla and Piedmont Lithium signed a five-year agreement. In this agreement, Tesla will buy spodumene concentrate, which is vital for making lithium-ion batteries. And with that, Piedmont set out to sell shares to raise money for mining in the US. [CleanTechnica]

Have tremendously successful day.

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October 24 Energy News

October 24, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Battery Recycling Researchers Develop New Electrochemical Process” •  To keep hazardous materials from entering the waste stream when EVs are producted and when batteries are retired, it is essential that batteries be recycled. Idaho National Laboratory aims to make recycling old lithium-ion batteries easier, more efficient, and potentially greener. [CleanTechnica]

INL laboratory (Idaho National Laboratory image)

¶ “Oil-Killing Bioeconomy Plan Catches Trump Administration Napping” • The US oil and gas industry boomed under Obama, and now, thanks partly to the Trump administration’s failure to keep the clean power revolution in check, it’s going bust. It’s not getting better: “Everything derived from oil, for example, can also be fashioned from wood.” [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Fiat New 500 Specs And Pricing Revealed” • The Fiat New 500 EV looks a lot like older models. But the latest entry features an all new EV chassis that allows it to be small on the outside with plenty of room on the inside with improved performance. Fiat says the price of the New 500 Action in the UK after incentives will be a tick under £20,000. [CleanTechnica]

Fiat New 500 (Image courtesy of Fiat)

¶ “Sunseap Leads Consortium For Singapore’s First Utility-Scale ESS” • Sunseap Group said it is leading a consortium comprising Nanyang Technological University and Wärtsilä, which provides technologies and solutions for the energy and marine markets worldwide, to participate in a test-bed for a utility-scale energy storage system. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Renewable Energy To Power 2024 Olympic Aquatic Center” • The architectural team of VenhoevenCS and Ateliers 2/3/4/ have revealed plans for a timber aquatic center in Paris. The aquatic center will use a smart energy system to provide 90% of needed energy from recovered or renewable energy sources for the 2024 Olympics. [Inhabitat]

Aquatics Centre by VenhoevenCS & Ateliers 2/3/4/

¶ “Shell Hires Ørsted’s Brostrom” • Anglo-Dutch energy giant Shell has hired former Ørsted US offshore wind chief executive Thomas Brostrom as a senior vice president of global renewable solutions, a Shell spokesperson has confirmed. Brostrom will be relocating to Europe for a renewable energy leadership role with the global energy company. [reNEWS]

¶ “Global Shipping’s UN Climate Talks Fail Amid Threats Of A Walkout” • After a week of talks, delegates at the International Maritime Organization failed to agree to targets that would meet the Paris Agreement, as they had originally agreed to do in 2018, a deal the shipping industry hailed as ‘historic’ and which 100 countries had voted on. [Forbes]

Ship under construction (Getty Images)

¶ “Over 8 GW Of UK Renewable Energy Capacity Currently In Construction: BEIS” • There are 8.055 GW of renewable energy projects in construction in the UK, according to data published by the Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy on October 23. Of the 8 GW in construction, 6.117 GW related to offshore wind capacity. [S&P Global]


¶ “Trump Seizes On Oil As A Cudgel Against Biden As New Coronavirus Cases Hit Daily Record” • As the US recorded the highest single day of new Covid-19 cases, Donald Trump looked to distract us by seizing on Joe Biden’s comment in Thursday night’s debate that America should shift its reliance on oil toward greater renewable energy use. [CNN]

Debate with Covid-19 data (screenshot of CNN broadcast)

¶ “ExxonMobil Claims It’s Shifting On Climate, But Still Funding Climate Science Deniers” • ExxonMobil now agrees that “the risk of climate change is real” and says it is “committed to being part of the solution,” at least according to the company’s website and statements. But the company’s grantmaking report shows it is  commited to climate denial. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Walmart Has A Grand Plan To Help Suppliers Club Together To Buy Green Energy” • Walmart has now made plans to become a “regenerative” company, it announced online at Climate Week NYC. Its environmental goals focus on decarbonization. It is now extending some buying power to its suppliers, who will be able to group together to buy renewable energy. [CNBC]

Roof of a Walmart store in California (Walmart image)

¶ “Vistra Selects First Solar For 869 MW Of Solar Panels” • Texas-based Vistra, an integrated retail electricity and power generation company, plans to build six utility-scale solar power plants across Texas. It will buy the solar modules for  these power plants from Arizona-based First Solar. The order is for a whopping 869 MW (DC) of power capacity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Choctaw Nation Invests In Renewable Energy” • The Choctaw Nation is now powering some of its homes with solar energy. OG&E started construction of two solar farms in Southeastern Oklahoma in February of this year. This week, they were online and fully operational for 4,600 customers, and households are already saving money. [KOSU]

Choctaw Nation solar farm (Image provided)

¶ “Renewable Energy At Center Of Race For Arizona Utility Board” • The little-watched race for control of Arizona’s utility regulatory commission could have big implications for power rates and the future of renewable energy. Democrats now have a shot at wresting control of the commission, which is currently controlled 4-1 by Republicans. [Your Valley]

¶ “Progress Slips Again At Vogtle Nuclear Plant” • Georgia Power has fallen months further behind on critical steps to start the first of two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle, despite having last revised its schedule only three months ago. The Vogtle project already is years behind schedule, and it is billions of dollars over budget. [Atlanta Journal Constitution]

Have an especially lovely day.

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October 23 Energy News

October 23, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “SAE International Publishes Two New Documents Enabling Commercialization of Wireless Charging for Electric Vehicles” • SAE International announced publication of two documents to enable a safe and efficient method for transferring power from a charging station to an EV. Wireless charging is done through a magnetic field. [CleanTechnica]

Charging pad (Courtesy of SAE International)

¶ “New Technologies Can Help Lower Carbon Emissions” • We will need new technologies to preserve the Earth as a place where those who come after us can thrive. Fortunately, those new ideas and technologies abound. Here are two of them. One would use ocean water to cool cities, and the other is a novel way to capture and sequester carbon. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “UBS Predicts EV Price Parity In 2024” • UBS analyst Tim Bush recently told The Guardian, “There are not many reasons left to buy an ICE car after 2025.” The key factor will be the reduction of battery prices below $100/kWh, which Bush expects to happen in 2022. And the price premium for a car powered by a battery will disappear completely by 2024. [CleanTechnica]

Charging a Honda (Courtesy of Honda)

¶ “Mizoram Invites Bids For Short-Term Sale Of Surplus Non-Solar Renewable Power” • The Power and Electricity Department of Mizoram, a state in northeastern India, issued a notice inviting bids for the short-term sale of the state electricity department’s surplus non-solar renewable power generated between January 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021. [Mercom India]

¶ “GE Turns Up Haliade-X Prototype To 13 MW” • GE Renewable Energy has begun operations of its Haliade-X turbine prototype optimised with a 13 MW power output. In the coming months the prototype will undergo a series of tests to perform different types of measurements and obtain its type certificate in the coming months. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (GE Renewable Energy image)


¶ “Huge $50 Billion Pilbara Green Hydrogen Hub Granted Major Project Status” • A plan to build a massive renewable energy hydrogen project of up to 26 GW of wind and solar capacity in Western Australia’s Pilbara region is set to enjoy a fast-tracked approvals process, after securing ‘major project status’ from the federal government. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Gas-Fuelled Energy Ambitions A ‘Risk To Taxpayers And Renewables’, Experts Warn” • Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s push for 1000 MW of new gas-fired capacity to Australia’s main energy grid could depress battery technology investment, inhibit clean energy, and risk financial losses for the taxpayer-supported Snowy Hydro scheme. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Gas infrastructure (Krisztian Bocsi | Bloomberg)

¶ “NSW To Get A New Big Battery As Renewable Power Surges” • A battery worth $62 million is being installed in western Sydney as governments work with industry to help stabilise the grid as the share of renewable energy grows. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency will contribute $11.5 million to the battery, which is to be built by Tesla. [The Sydney Morning Herald]


¶ “‘Pipe Dream That Kills Birds’ Or ‘Good-Paying Jobs’: Trump And Biden Clash Over Wind” • The policy chasm on renewable energy between Donald Trump and Joe Biden was clear, as the President labelled wind turbines “a pipe dream” that cause more emissions than gas, while Biden hailed the sector as America’s fastest-growing source of jobs. [Recharge]

Wind turbines in Wyoming (CGP Grey, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “UC System To Build Biomethane Plant, Solar Array For Renewable Energy” • The University of California system has partnered with two energy companies to build a solar array and a biomethane plant to help bring it closer to its carbon neutrality goal by 2025. The two are expected to reduce the UC system’s emissions by about 5%. [Daily Californian]

¶ “New Jersey: Need 100% Electric Car Sales By 2035” • New Jersey, the 11th most populated state in the country, isn’t quite ready to announce a plan to ban sales as California has done, but it also says that 100% of the state’s new car sales need to be electric by 2035, according to the state’s Global Warming Response Act 80×50 Report. [CleanTechnica]

States allowing charging stations at
multi-unit housing (PlugInSites via Twitter)

¶ “New Jersey’s Plan To Cut Global Warming Emissions 80% By 2050” • New Jersey’s Global Warming Response Act 80×50 Report starts with a focus on transportation, because that is the sector with the greatest greenhouse gas emissions. But it goes into action on the other sectors as well, presenting a set of strategies across seven emission sectors. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “NextEra Energy: Renewables Powering Q3 Growth” • NextEra Energy and its affiliate NextEra Energy Partners have announced Q3 results and delivered guidance. The common thread for both companies is they ignited robust underlying earnings growth by deploying new renewable energy generating capacity, despite pandemic-related pressures. [Forbes]

Wind farm in California (Getty Images)

¶ “NextEra Announces Record Renewables, World’s Largest Battery” • The competitive wholesale power unit of NextEra Energy Inc, the world’s largest renewable energy developer, says it is working on 15,000 MW of wind, solar, and storage projects. One  project would be the world’s biggest stand-alone battery storage system. [E&E News]

¶ “DOE Approves $1.35 Billion Cost Share Award For CFPP” • Electricity provided to Los Alamos County, New Mexico, could someday be generated with 12 small modular nuclear reactors. The probability of this happening increased recently after the DOE approved a $1.35 billion cost share award to the Carbon Free Power Project. [Los Alamos Daily Post]

Have a magically worthwhile day.

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October 22 Energy News

October 22, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Renewables Are Proven To Be A Smarter, More Efficient Investment Worldwide” • Recent analysis of the renewables landscape by BloombergNEF has determined that solar and wind power are on the verge of a tipping point: in five years, it will be more expensive to operate existing coal or natural gas plants than to build new solar or wind farms. [Triple Pundit]

Tulips and turbines (Martijn Baudoin | Unsplash)

¶ “New Approach To Li-Ion Battery Efficiency At Stanford Puts Out Fires” • Scientists at Stanford University and the US DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory reengineered the sheets of copper or aluminum foil that are used to collect currents in lithium ion batteries so they weigh 80% less. They also quench any fires that flare up immediately. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The World Needs To Ramp Up Solutions For Greener Cooling” • A study published in Nature Sustainability points out a “global blind spot” on air conditioning, which is projected to triple by 2050. The stark reality, the report warns, is that many cooling systems are carbon-intensive and contribute to global warming themselves. [Scientific American]

Air conditioners (David Wall | Getty Images)


¶ “Revov South Africa Goes Big On Second-Life Batteries For Stationary Storage Applications” • As millions of EV batteries age, they will come to a point when they are not useful in cars but are still in good shape to be repurposed for stationary storage. Revov South Africa is going big on second-life batteries for such energy storage applications. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “HS1 Aims To Be First UK Railway Run Entirely On Renewable Energy” • The High Speed 1 rail line is on track to become the first railway in the UK to be 100% powered by renewable energy. The operator of the high-speed line between London and the Channel Tunnel in Kent has ambitious plans to become 100% run on wind and solar energy. [New Civil Engineer]

Eurostar ( Joshua Veitch-Michaelis, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Indonesian Govt Finalizes New Rules For Renewable Electricity” • The Indonesian government is finalizing a draft regulation to simplify pricing for electricity from renewable sources and to encourage more investment in the sector. The government’s goal is to have 23% of its energy generated by renewable sources by 2025. [The Edge Markets MY]

¶ “Rooftop Solar And Covid Shutdown Lead To Record Lows In Australian Electricity Use” • Australian rooftop solar panels and the Covid-19 shutdown in Victoria have reduced the amount of power drawn from the national grid. Several states set record lows for daily electricity consumption, and wholesale prices were down 45% to 48% from last year. [The Guardian]

Rooftop solar (David Mariuz | AAP)

¶ “Interest In Tritium Grows With Fukushima Set To Release Contaminated Water” • As the Japanese government is set to confirm its decision about releasing contaminated water from the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea on October 27, interest is growing over what impact radioactive materials could have on the human body. [The Korea Bizwire]

¶ “Polish Wind Quartet Wins EIB Financing” • The European Investment Bank and Landesbank Baden-Wurttemberg are lending €42 million each to finance construction and operation of four wind farms in Poland with a combined capacity of 103 MW. The wind farms are all near Poznan in the Wielkopolskie region. They will be developed by WPD. [reNEWS]

Putting a turbine together. (Image: EIB)


¶ “Tesla Breaks Another Record – This Time For Energy Storage Installations” • Tesla has broken the record for energy storage, with 750 MWh installed in Q3. Tesla noted in its Q3 earnings update that the production continued to ramp up at Gigafactory Nevada. Production volumes more than doubled in Q3 2020 compared to Q3 2019. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GMC Hummer EV: Big, Bad, Pricey – But With Less Guilt” • The GMC Hummer is back – as an EV. And though the original might have been considered a consumer version of the Exxon Valdez, bringing back the Hummer as an EV is actually brilliant. It has a lot of appeal for those who want a vehicle that can be both cool and hot, but it is guilt-free. [CleanTechnica]

Hummer (Image Source: GMC)

¶ “Aggressive Push To 100% Renewable Energy Could Save Americans Billions – Study” • New analysis by Rewiring America finds that households would benefit financially from a complete switch to clean energy sources such as solar and wind. More than 40% of energy emissions are determined by appliances in and around the home, according to the report. [The Guardian]

¶ “Dust Bowl 2.0? Rising Great Plains Dust Levels Stir Concerns” • Earlier this month, a storm front swept across the Great Plains, plowing up a wall of dust that could be seen from space, from eastern Colorado into Nebraska and Kansas. It was like the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, when farmers regularly saw soil stripped from their fields and blown far away. [Science Magazine]

Dust storm (Keith Ladzinski | National Geographic)

¶ “Renewables On The Rise” • Wind and solar energy were just starting to take off 10 years ago; now, they are everyday parts of our energy landscape. Today, America generates nearly four times as much electricity from the sun and wind as it did in 2010. Wind, solar and geothermal power provide more than 10% of our nation’s electricity. [Environment Maine]

¶ “EPA Refuses To Reduce Pollutants Linked To Covid-19 Deaths” • In April, as Covid-19 cases multiplied, the head of the EPA rejected scientists’ advice to tighten air pollution standards for particulate matter. He likely to reaffirm that decision soon with a final ruling, despite emerging evidence that links particulate pollution to Covid-19 deaths. []

Have a singularly satisfying day.

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October 21 Energy News

October 21, 2020


¶ “The Epitome Of Stupidity: Oil Companies Chill The Ground In Alaska So They Can Keep Drilling” • The Guardian reports that ConocoPhillips and other oil companies operating on the North Slope in Alaska are facing a new challenge. As permafrost melts, their trucks can’t cross the land and rigs can destabilize. They are considering freezing Alaskan land. [CleanTechnica]

Thermosiphons in Alaska (Credit: Arctic Foundations)

Science and Technology:

¶ “The High-Performance All-Electric Home” • In the 1950s, when nuclear energy was booming and hydroelectric dams were proliferating, the all-electric home became a thing, and it didn’t matter that electric heating was inefficient. Now, we know that nuclear is not too cheap to meter, but electric heating is to cheap to ignore.  [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Levelized Cost Of Carbon Abatement – New Tool For Investors And Policy Makers” • At Columbia University’s Center for Global Energy Policy, a team of researchers devised a new method of calculating the economic impact investors and policy makers can expect as a result of a range of actions designed to reduce CO₂ emissions. [CleanTechnica]

Lightning  in New York (Hermann Luyken, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ “China Says Environment Still Grim Despite Five Years Of Progress” • China’s environment conditions are “grim,” falling short of public expectations even after five years of efforts to improve air quality, boost clean energy and curb greenhouse gas emissions, a senior official said. China is drawing up a new five-year plan for 2021-2025. [CNN]

¶ “Vietnam Faces Deadly Flooding Disaster – Red Cross” • In Vietnam, millions of people face a “deadly double disaster” as the country, already suffering from the impact of Covid-19, battles its worst floods for decades. According to the Red Cross, flooding and landslides have killed over 100 people this month, many of them soldiers, and left dozens more missing. [BBC]

Flooding in Quang Binh province (Vietnam Red Cross image)

¶ “Dacia Sprint May Be Least Expensive Electric Car In Europe” • Dacia expects its new compact SUV-style Sprint to sell for less $23,000. That means in Germany, where the current incentive is €9,000, the Dacia Sprint will cost consumers less than $13,000. It has room for four passengers, six airbags, LED headlights, and automatic emergency braking. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Leads September EV Surge In Italy As Market Triples Year On Year” • EV adoption in 2020 is growing fast in most European countries, with governments’ responses to the coronavirus pandemic focusing on a green recovery.  Italy is no exception to this trend, as the September figures for electric car registrations reach new heights. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3

¶ “Queensland 2030 Climate Target Would Be Scrapped If LNP Win Election As State’s Emissions Rise” • Rising greenhouse gas emissions mean Queensland could miss a 2030 climate target. And it will be scrapped entirely if the Liberal National party wins the upcoming election, experts say. The state accounts for 32% of Australia’s total GHG emissions. [The Guardian]

¶ “Swell Of Support For Welsh Renewables As Nuclear Plans Fall Through” • This month, after £2 billion ($2.5 billion) had been spent in development (taxpayers’ money and investment from Hitachi), the plug was pulled on the Wylfa B nuclear venture. This news comes on the back of a glowing Marine Energy Wales report. [Power Engineering International]

Wind turbine at the end of the rainbow!
(guto, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.0)


¶ “Wildfires Force Closure Of National Forests In Five Colorado Counties” • Due to “unprecedented and historic fire conditions,” National forest land in five Colorado counties will temporarily close, federal officials said. As of October 20, 442,000 acres of land were affected by wildfires in north central Colorado and southern Wyoming. [CNN]

¶ “Ørsted And Equinor Bid For New York Solicitation” • Two Equinor projects and Sunrise Wind 2, a joint venture of Ørsted and New England energy provider Eversource, have been put forward for New York state’s solicitation for up to 2500 MW of offshore wind, announced in July. The state plans on 9 GW of offshore wind by 2035. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (Ørsted image)

¶ “America Has Reached A ‘Tipping Point’ For Corporate Renewables Demand: Study” • US corporates and industrials will contract 4.4 GW to 7.2 GW of new solar and wind capacity each year through to 2030, according to a report from IHS Markit. This follows a national record of almost 8 GW this year, despite Covid-19 impacts. [Recharge]

¶ “Report: US Corporate Sector Emerges As Source Of Rapid Demand Growth For Renewables” • The United States, more than any other country, has a growing portion of new renewable energy projects being built to meet demand coming directly from corporations. That’s according to a new report published by IHS Markit. [Environment + Energy Leader]

Wind turbines (Pixabay image)

¶ “All New US Electricity Generation Capacity Came From Renewables This Summer” • A SUN DAY Campaign review of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission data shows renewable energy sources dominated additions of US electrical generating capacity in the first eight months of 2020. In fact, all capacity added last summer was renewable. [Solar Power World]

¶ “US Developer Secures 55 MW Of Maine Solar” • Borrego Solar will shortly begin constructing 55 MW of PV capacity in Maine. The capacity will be divided among projects in eight different communities. The Borrego portfolio represents the largest award from Portland-based Competitive Energy Services’ Distributed Generation Consortium initiative. [reNEWS]

Have an exhilaratingly merry day.

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October 20 Energy News

October 20, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “This Company Thinks Its Plastic Alternative Can Help Solve Climate Change” • Such global brands as Amazon, McDonald’s, Ikea and General Motors plan to eliminate single-use plastics, reduce CO₂ emissions, and otherwise shrink their environmental footprint. Newlight Technologies hopes to speed up that process with a biodegradable plastic-like material. [CNN]

Biodegradable bag (Newlight Technologies image)

¶ “Sorry, Coal: 66% Conversion Efficiency Eyeballed For Next-Gen ‘Hot Carrler’ Perovskite Solar Cells” • In a team effort with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee spearheaded a new perovskite PV study that shines a light, so to speak, on a new pathway for improving perovskite solar cell efficiency. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “India Must Cut Pollution To Avoid Covid Disaster” • India’s dreaded pollution season has returned, as the air quality in Delhi and other northern cities has rapidly deteriorated in the last two weeks. This is bad news for the country’s fight against Covid-19, as several studies have linked air pollution to higher pandemic case numbers and deaths. [BBC]

Burning rice residue (CIAT, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Shanghai Tesla Model 3 With Cobalt-Free LFP Battery Is Now Shipping To Europe” • Last month, a Bloomberg News report said Tesla planned to ship Shanghai-made Tesla Model 3s to Europe. Now, customer pre-order agreements in France and Germany are showing up for “Model 3 – China.” Some may have LFP (LiFePO₄) batteries in them. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Solar To Power To Drive 50% Surge In Asia-Pacific Renewable Energy Capacity By 2025” • Analysis from Rystad Energy found the installed capacity of renewable energy in the Asia-Pacific region is set to soar from 497 GW this year to 754 GW in 2025. The driving force behind the increase will be solar, with regional PV capacity nearly doubling. [pv magazine Australia]

Large scale PV in China (Photo: Jinko Solar)

¶ “Tesla Megapack-Powered Windcharger In Alberta Goes Online” • A massive “Windcharger” in Alberta has officially started operation, according to TransAlta, the company that manages the project. The massive project, which will have energy stored in Tesla Megapacks, has a nameplate capacity of 10 MW and a total storage capacity of 20 MWh. [Teslarati]

¶ “Countries Raise The Sails On Offshore Renewables Sector” • Projections by the International Renewable Energy Agency are that global offshore wind and ocean energy installed capacity will reach 228 GW and 10 GW respectively by 2030. Ocean energy includes wave, tidal, and ocean thermal. Oceanic floating solar PVs are also considered. [Modern Diplomacy]

Offshore wind power

¶ “Poland, US Sign Civil Nuclear Power Cooperation Agreement” • According to the US Embassy in Warsaw, Poland and the US have concluded an intergovernmental cooperation agreement on the development of a civil nuclear power program and the civil nuclear power sector in Poland. The documents were signed in a virtual ceremony in the two countries. [The First News]

¶ “‘Green Jobs Key’ To UK Economic Recovery” • Green jobs in renewable energy, among other sectors, should be at the heart of the Covid-19 recovery in the UK to ensure long-term growth, according to a report, “Jobs for a strong and sustainable recovery from Covid-19,”  from the London School of Economics and Political Science. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Seb Kennedy | reNEWS)


¶ “The Oil Industry Is In Crisis. ConocoPhillips Is Doubling Down” • Despite the gloom-and-doom in the oil industry and the specter of a blue wave in Washington, ConocoPhillips is doubling down on crude with a major acquisition. The company announced a $9.7 billion all-stock takeover of Concho Resources, a Permian Basin fracking company. [CNN]

¶ “Colorado’s Record-Breaking Wildfires Show ‘Climate Change Is Here And Now'” • The Cameron Peak fire, a few miles west of Fort Collins, Colorado, has engulfed over 200,000 acres and it’s still growing. It has now become the biggest wildlife in Colorado history. And it is the second fire in 2020 to set a record as largest wildfire in Colorado history. [CBS News]

Cameron Peak Fire (Loveland Fire Rescue Authority via Reuters)

¶ “New US Fuel Cell Alliance Blows Dark Green Hydrogen Cloud Over Natural Gas” • Companies in California are moving on fuel cell EVs, but the new Western State Hydrogen Alliance is aiming to promote fuel heavy duty fuel cell mobility all across the West, covering not just one but 13 states from the Rocky Mountains all the way over to Hawaii. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The United States Consumed Record Amount Of Renewable Energy In 2019” • According to the US Energy Information Administration’s Monthly Energy Review, in 2019, consumption of renewable energy in the US grew for the fourth year in a row, reaching a record 11.5 quadrillion BTUs, or 11% of total US energy consumption. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Windham County Sheriff Purchases Tesla To Add To fleet” • Electric vehicles are showing up all over the place – in your neighbor’s driveway, in the local public works department and in bus fleets around the nation. Now, in Vermont, the Windham County Sheriff’s office has one. And it will save the taxpayers a lot of money on fuel and repairs. [Brattleboro Reformer]

¶ “Canadian Solar Closes Supply Contract With Goldman Sachs Renewable Power” • Canadian Solar Inc has closed a supply contract and long term service agreement with Goldman Sachs Renewable Power LLC to deliver and integrate a 75 MW/300 MWh lithium-ion battery storage solution into the 100 MW AC Mustang solar plant in California. [Solar Industry]

Have an extraordinarily delightful day.

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October 19 Energy News

October 19, 2020


¶ “Why The US Election Could Decide Battle Against Climate Change” • Scientists studying climate change say that the re-election of Donald Trump could make it “impossible” to keep global temperatures in check. They’re worried another four years of Trump would “lock in” the use of fossil fuels in the US for decades to come. [BBC]

Trump digs coal (Getty Images)

¶ “World Energy Outlook From IEA Is Full Of Doublespeak” • The annual World Energy Outlook from the Internatinal Energy Agency reiterates a vision in which fossil fuels continue to dominate the energy mix far into the future. This provides investors and governments with a foundation to make financial decisions favoring fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Let Nature Design Your Renewable Energy Strategy” • It is time to redesign our energy strategy. And the very same nature that created an impressive energy palette with sun, wind, water and more can show us how to do it. Every point on the globe has multiple natural resources with unique synergies. All we need to do is balance them. [Renewables Now]

Tapping ocean power (Source: Seabased AB)

¶ “Big Banks Could Lose Billions In Global Energy Transition” • US banks began to grow reluctant to provide loan financing to oil and gas firms before this year’s price collapse and pandemic. Well productiveness was lower than forecast and borrowers were sinking deeper into debt. Banks had to protect themselves. The trend has intensified across the world. []

¶ “Texas Has A Big Lesson For Australia: Renewables Are Where The Money Is Flowing” • Australia is a lot like Texas. They have similar sized populations and economies and are hugely invested in resources extraction. Both have thriving renewable energy industries, powered by market investment, while gas is failing. But Australia plans to subsidize gas. [RenewEconomy]

Wind turbines in Texas (Drew Kolb | Flickr)

Science and Technology:

¶ “NREL Advances Thermochromic Window Technologies” • The US DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory reported a breakthrough in developing a next-generation thermochromic window. The NREL scientists say that a new solar cell not only reduces the need for air conditioning but generates electricity at the same time. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Sharks Have Killed 7 People In Australia This Year, The Most Since 1934. Climate Change Could Be A Factor” • Sharks have killed seven people in Australia this year. There were no shark attack deaths in Australia in 2019, and most years see one or two deaths. While this year’s large number could be simple bad luck, it could also result from the climate crisis. [CNN]

Bull shark (iStock photo)


¶ “Western Australia OKs Renewable Power Export Project” • The government of Western Australia approved development of a 15,000-MW solar and wind project, which will export electricity to Indonesia and supply the WA iron ore sector. It is the first stage of the proposed Asian Renewable Energy Hub that is targeted to expand to 26,000 MW. [Argus Media]

¶ “Solar, Storage, And Wind – Success Stories In Australia, US, And Vietnam” • Traditional power generators have a problem. It takes years to design, build, and activate any coal or gas powered facility. Building a nuclear power plant can take a decade or more. But renewables, especially solar, can come online quickly. Here are a few examples. [CleanTechnica]

Solar array in Vietnam (Courtesy of Trungnam Group)

¶ “New Zealand To Keep Oil Drilling Ban, Renewables Push” • New Zealand’s ruling Labour party has won an outright victory in national elections, after winning 64 of 120 seats in the October 17 election. It will maintain the country’s ban on new offshore oil and gas exploration, and the victory sets the scene for a further expansion of renewable energy. [Argus Media]

¶ “Australia Key Player In Global Power System Transformation Team” • The Australian Energy Market Operator has joined five power system operators around the world, each with have more than 50% renewables in its mix, in a new partnership. Its mission is “to foment a rapid clean-energy transition at unprecedented scope and scale.” [pv magazine Australia]

Floating solar system (Image: Hanwha Q Cells)

¶ “Egypt To Establish New Wind Power Complex With 2000-MW Capacity” • Egypt’s Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy announced that work is underway to construct a new wind power complex with a capacity of 2,000 MW in the Red Sea governorate. Of that, 500 MW will be generated by the German company Siemens. [Egypt Independent]


¶ “Penn State Now Purchasing Renewable Electricity From Solar Farms” • Penn State has recently begun purchasing renewable energy from three recently built solar farms in Franklin County, according to a university release. The purchase is part of a larger goal the university has to be more sustainable and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. [Onward State]

Solar farm (Courtesy of Lightsource BP)

¶ “Fisker Ocean Gets Real With Help From Magna” • This past week, Fisker announced that its upcoming Ocean electric SUV would be built by none other than automotive super-supplier Magna. It is a move that offers Fisker access to Magna’s global supply chain and gives the latest iteration of the Fisker EV brand real, instant street cred. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Offshore Wind Project Completes Final Step, Ready To Deliver Renewable Energy To Virginians” • Dominion Energy announced that final testing of the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind pilot is complete. It is ready to enter commercial service, providing clean energy to Virginians. As it runs, a technical review will be under way. [WJHL-TV]

Have an entertainingly glorious day.

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October 18 Energy News

October 18, 2020


¶ “My Personal History With Global Warming” • I served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bolivia from 1964–1966. While I was there, I tested my skills at the highest ski resort in the world, on the impressive glacier at Mount Chacaltaya, five feet of fresh snow on top of ten feet of glacier. Returning for a visit, I found  the snow and glacier had vanished. [CleanTechnica]

Chacaltaya Refuge (Joan Simon, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “How Should the Media Talk About Climate Change?” • Activist Genevieve Guenther says the media’s refusalt to speak the words naming the cause of the disasters we suffer from is as pernicious as denial. “There is a name for the unprecedented intensity and scale and relentlessness of extreme-weather disasters,” she said. “Climate change.” [The New Yorker]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Estimating Solar Energy Potential On House Roofs Virtually – Total And Google Cloud Team Up” • Total and Google Cloud are enthusiastically sharing that they have pooled their expertise and created a tool called Solar Mapper. With this tool, they aim to accelerate PV deployment of with quick and accurate estimates of solar energy potentials. [CleanTechnica]

Rooftop solar power (SunPower image)


¶ “Foxconn Unveils EV Platform; FCA To Build EVs In Canada” • In the EV era, new car companies are springing up faster than crabgrass. BYD, NIO, Xpeng, Faraday Future, Lucid, Tesla, Kandi, Fisker, Rivian – the list is long and growing. The reason is that electric drive trains can be easily supplied, and the Taiwanese company Foxconn plans to do just that. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewable Power To Spur Energy Transition” • BP Energy Outlook 2020 forecast that energy demand growth in China will slow dramatically, and the growth of industrial energy demand will be concentrated in the emerging world outside of China as industrial activities intensive in energy and labor are moving to lower-cost economies. [Chinadaily USA]

Wind turbine in Northwest China [Photo: Xinhua]

¶ “Nuclear Still Dominant As Renewables Gain Further Ground In Hungaryʼs Energy Mix” • In 2019, Hungary’s electricity mix had 49% nuclear, 23% gas, 15% coal, and 12% renewables. A report from the  International Atomic Energy Agency last year noted that green energy production is expected to rise “steeply” in the next few years. [Budapest Business Journal]


¶ “Offshore Wind: Latest News on Turbines, State Action, And Markets from Coast to Coast” • Other news may capturing the public attention, but there are some headline-worthy happenings in the world of offshore wind, including the first turbines in US federal waters. If you could use a splash of good news, here are a few updates. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore wind farm (Zach Shahan | CleanTechnica)

¶ “NRDC Sues US Department Of Energy Over Efficiency Standards Process Changes” • NRDC sued the DOE for altering its energy efficiency standards-setting process to make it more difficult to set rigorous energy-saving levels for appliances and equipment. They believe the change will harm consumers and increase climate-harming pollution. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Every State COULD Be Powered With 100% Renewable Energy” • If each US state took full advantage of its renewable resources, how much of its electricity needs would that cover? Would in-state renewable generation be enough to charge EVs and power electric heating, too? The answer, in almost every state, is a resounding yes. [Red, Green, and Blue]

Energy self-reliant states (ILSR image)

¶ “Amid Climate Crisis, Many Americans Still Don’t Know What The Green New Deal Is” • A poll by the Center for American Progress Action Fund showed confusion about policy proposals in the Green New Deal. A whopping 53% of Americans couldn’t say whether the Green New Deal was favorable or unfavorable. They simply don’t know what it is. [Truth Out]

¶ “Trump Is Delaying A Crucial Climate Report. Experts Say That’s Dangerous” • Environmental advocates want to know why NOAA hasn’t released a crucial climate report. The Center for Biological Diversity filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the agency, which oversees government research on climate change threats. [The American Independent]

Have an amusingly carefree day.

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October 17 Energy News

October 17, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Sweden’s New Car Carrier Is The World’s Largest Wind-Powered Vessel” • Oceanbird is a wind-powered transatlantic car carrier is being designed by a Swedish shipbuilder, Wallenius Marine, with support from the Swedish government and several research institutions. The 35,000 ton ship will be powered by five telescoping rigid sails. [CNN]

Oceanbird (Wallenius Marine image)

¶ “New Process Turns Plastic Waste Into Hydrogen And Carbon Nanotubes” • A group of researchers in the UK, China, and Saudi Arabia think they have discovered a partial solution to the plastic waste problem. Plastics are pulverized, mixed with catalysts, and heated with microwaves. The process produces hydrogen and carbon nanotubes. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Are Europe’s Night Trains Back In Fashion?” • Sweden has been expanding its long-distance rail offerings, but it is not alone. Over the past couple of years, countries from the UK to Austria have begun introducing or revamping sleeper routes that could potentially make rail travel a more efficient and attractive option for the tourist market in the longer term. [BBC]

Night train

¶ “Germany Must Push 2030 Renewables Target To 75% Or Even 80% Percent, Its Environment Minister Says” • The German environment minister called for a sharp increase in the country’s renewables targets. Svenja Schulze said the country will have to increase renewables’ share in power use to “at least 75%, maybe even 80%” by 2030. [Clean Energy Wire]

¶ “LeasePlan Asks Customers To Please Stop Leasing Plugin Hybrid Company Cars” • LeasePlan is a European auto leasing company whose main function is fleet management. It advises companies it does business with not to use plug-in hybrid cars because the way companies typically use them leads to greater fuel consumption than expected. [CleanTechnica]

Mitsubishi Outlander

¶ “Government Gives Climate-Wrecking Adani Millions To ‘Attract Investment'” • The Queensland Government gave Adani a mega-million dollar tax holiday for its Carmichael thermal coal mine. Treasurer Cameron Dick said its sole reason to do that is to encourage investment. The tax support seems not to have been needed otherwise. [Independent Australia]

¶ “GE And SoftBank Energy Partner On One Of India’s Largest Wind Projects” • GE Renewable Energy has been selected by SB Energy to supply, install and commission 121 of its onshore wind turbines, totaling 327 MW, to be installed at Pritam Nagar wind farm in Madhya Pradesh, India. Its ouput could power 250,000 households. [Power Engineering International]

GE turbine (GE image)


¶ “Leading Scientists Urge Voters to Dump Trump” • Science has long considered itself to be an apolitical enterprise. But in the midst of a global pandemic and with the 2020 election looming, some scientific institutions and elite journals have suddenly become willing to take a political stance against President Donald Trump and his allies. [Scientific American]

¶ “GM Rebrands Hamtramck Plant As Factory ZERO; Hummer Available Late 2021” • General Motors has committed to a future of zero-crashes, zero-emissions, and zero-congestion. Now, GM says it is rebranding the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center as Factory ZERO. It is being reconfigured for all-EV assembly, with a $2.2 billion investment. [CleanTechnica]

GM Factory ZERO Retooling (Photo: Jeffrey Sauger for GM)

¶ “Electrify America Adding 36 Ultrafast Chargers In 9 Meijer Parking Lots” • Electrify America continues its long march across the US. Most recently, it announced a partnership with Meijer, a major supercenter retail chain in the Midwest. It will be installing 36 ultrafast charging stations at nine stores. The stores are in the Chicago area and in Michigan. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tucson Electric Power Looks To Expand Renewables, Raise Customer Rates” • Earlier this year Tucson Electric Power announced it would dramatically increase its renewable energy generation, with plans to get 70% of its power from renewables by 2035. That big change from its previous plan to get 30% by 2030 was due to lower costs. [Arizona Public Media]

Tucson Electric Power solar array (Christopher Conover | AZPM)

¶ “ExxonMobil Misled The Public About The Climate Crisis. Now They’re Trying To Silence Critics” • Newly leaked documents, reported by Bloomberg News, show that ExxonMobil drew up plans to expand fossil fuel production, calculated how much this would increase their CO₂ emissions, then failed to disclose those estimates to investors. [The Guardian]

¶ “Texas Wind Power Growth 2010–2019: 6% to 18% of Texas Electricity” • In 2019, wind-powered generation contributed 84,400 GWh of electricity in Texas, an 11% increase from the 75,700 GWh generated in 2018. The generation increase was largely a result of growth in Texas wind capacity, which rose almost 17% in 2019 to 28.1 GW. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines in Texas (Leaflet, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “EDF Renewables Acquires 4.5-GW Solar Portfolio From Geenex Solar” • EDF Renewables North America and Geenex Solar announced the close of an agreement of up to 4.5-GW (AC) pipeline of solar development assets in the PJM transmission area in the eastern US. The transaction will accelerate EDFR growth in the PJM region. [Solar Power World]

¶ “Department Of Energy Picks Two Advanced Nuclear Reactors For Demonstration Projects” • Hoping to revive the moribund US nuclear power industry, the DOE announced that it will help build two radically new nuclear reactors within 7 years. One of them will be fueled with highly enriched uranium, reducing the number of refueling stops. [Science Magazine]

Have a pleasantly invigorating day.

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October 16 Energy News

October 16, 2020


¶ “The Hydrogen Boom Will Provide A $200 Billion Boost To Wind And Solar Energy” • The renewable energy sector has lately been sizzling with very bullish projections, and a few bearish ones, coming from Wall Street. However, one corner of the market has really been hogging the limelight, and that is the hydrogen sector. []

Hydrogen station (Dr Artur Braun, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Facebook Using AI To Enhance Renewable Energy Storage Amid Climate Crisis” • With the climate crisis, Facebook and Carnegie Mellon University are teaming up to use artificial intelligence to find electrocatalysts that can enhance storage for energy generated with renewable energy, according to a blog post from Facebook. [Interesting Engineering]

¶ “SpaceX To Launch Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich Satellite On November 10” • The Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite will be launched by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on November 10. Sentinel 6 will be capable of monitoring the level of 90% of the oceans with millimeter accuracy. It will also get data on atmospheric temperature and moisture. [CleanTechnica]

Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite (NASA image)

¶ “Global Warming Is Detectable Even At The Ocean Floor” • As the planet has warmed,  the surface of our oceans has absorbed much of the excess temperature in the atmosphere. Yet it isn’t just the water’s surface that has been warming, say scientists at NOAA. Global warming can now be measured that the bottom of the ocean. [Sustainability Times]


¶ “Russia’s ‘Slow-Motion Chernobyl’ At Sea” • A 2019 feasibility study looking at cleaning up nuclear waste lost or dumped at sea in Russian waters found 18,000 radioactive objects in the Arctic Ocean, among them 19 vessels and 14 reactors. Some 90% of the measurable radiation is from six objects that Rosatom will raise over the next 12 years. [BBC]

K-159 before sinking (©

¶ “The Loophole the Auto Industry Uses in the EU to Evade the Emission Rules” • The auto industry is not converting to all electric driving as fast as it could. Instead, it is converting some current dirty fossil fuel models to plugin hybrids to keep the investment in them returning a profit longer. Sadly, the data on their CO₂ emissions are wrong. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EU Lawmakers: Fossil Fuels Have No Place In EU Recovery Fund” • EU lawmakers are pushing to keep fossil fuels out of the €670 billion recovery pot the Union is handling. They’re also pushing for more of that money to be put into “green” projects. Transport & Environment reports that they voted to increase green spending from 37% to 47%. [CleanTechnica]

Pipeline (Transport & Environment via Twitter)

¶ “Major Step Forward For World-Leading Pilbara Renewable Energy Project” • The 15-GW first stage of the Asian Renewable Energy Hub, a large-scale wind and solar hybrid renewable energy project in Western Australia, could create thousands of jobs in the Pilbara region and would be one of the world’s largest renewable hydrogen projects [Mirage News]

¶ “Nova Expands Shetland Tidal Array” • Nova Innovation has celebrated its 10th birthday with the successful expansion of the world’s first tidal array in the Shetland Isles of Scotland. The company said it has installed its commercial direct-drive tidal turbine Eunice, which is now powering homes across Shetland. Two more similar turbines are coming. [reNEWS]

Eunice (Nova Innovation image)

¶ “Tasmania Liberal Government Tables 200% Renewables Bill” • Legislation to lock in Tasmania’s renewable energy target of 200% by 2040 has been introduced in the state’s Parliament, representing an ambitious plan to double the tiny island state’s hydro, wind and solar energy production and make it the “Battery of the Nation.” [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Japan To Release Over A Million Tonnes Of Contaminated Fukushima Water Into The Sea – Reports” • Japan’s government has reportedly decided to release into the sea over a million tonnes of contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Local fishermen say the move will destroy their industry. [The Guardian]

Fukushima Daiichi (Kazuhiro Nogi | AFP via Getty Images)


¶ “Elementary School District To Save $40 Million From Energy Efficiency And Solar” • According to Midstate Energy, it has a contract with Cartwright Elementary School District in Phoenix to come up with a guaranteed $40 million in energy savings with no upfront cost. I say again: $40 million in energy savings with no upfront cost. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Solar Saves Austin Central Library $100,000 A Year” • Austin, Texas, has a goal of reaching 100% carbon-free electricity by 2035. Now, that goal is saving it money. Austin Central Library has gone solar, and it’s saving a lot of money as a result of that. Specifically, from a 180-kW solar array on its roof, the library is saving $100,000 a year. [CleanTechnica]

Austin Central Library solar roof (PRNewsfoto | Apparent, Inc)

¶ “Governor Cuomo Announces PSC Approval Of Expanded Clean Energy Standard To Decarbonize New York’s Power Sector And Combat Climate Change” • Governor Andrew M Cuomo announced that the New York State Public Service Commission approved an expansion of the landmark Clean Energy Standard to achieve the state’s climate goals. []

¶ “More & More Bus Fleets Transition From Diesel To Battery-Electric” • Historically, most of the US public transit system has been powered by polluting fossil fuels. Now, as cities turn to zero emission transportation goals and bus fleets transition to battery-electric vehicles, quiet and sustainable public transportation is becoming more and more common. [CleanTechnica]

Have a gracefully ecstatic day.

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October 15 Energy News

October 15, 2020


¶ “Keep It Clean: How Renewables Can Lead The Recovery From Covid-19” • Despite the profound impact of the pandemic, most of the critical issues that were facing the Australian energy industry before the pandemic haven’t changed. Many of those issues will become even more important as we look to jumpstart the economy and replace lost jobs. [Utility Magazine]

Wind farm (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Amy Coney Barrett’s Climate Dodge Isn’t Just Unscientific. It’s At Odds With Most Americans” • Twice this week, Amy Coney Barrett refused to acknowledge the scientific reality that the climate is changing. The second time, she doubled down, saying that the very issue of climate change was “a very contentious matter of public debate.” [Huffpost]

Science and Technology:

¶ “ExaWind Supercharges Wind Power Plant Simulations On Land And At Sea” • ExaWind has groundbreaking simulation capabilities so engineers can create virtual environments where they can test their designs in real-time and move forward with confidence, minimizing industry risk and ensuring optimized performance down the road. [CleanTechnica]

Simulated flow structure of a 5-MW wind turbine
rotor (Graphic by Shreyas Ananthan, NREL)

¶ “Using Ammonia To Store And Transport Renewable Energy” • Although ammonia is a gas at room temperature, it is much more readily liquified than hydrogen, enabling large quantities of energy to be stored and transported. It can be directly in fuel cells, converted back into hydrogen, or burned in an internal combustion engine. []

¶ “‘Staggering’ Rise In The Number Of Natural Disasters” • A report from the UN Office on Disaster Risk Reduction says there were 7,348 disaster events recorded worldwide in 2000 to 2019, with 1.23 million fatalities and $2.97 trillion in losses. There were 4,212 reported disasters 1.19 million deaths and losses of $1.63 trillion in 1980 to 1999. [Environment Journal]

Storm over Bavaria (P Horálek, ESO, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ “11% Plugin Vehicle Share In France!” • While the overall French automotive market had a so so month (down 3% in September), plugin vehicle sales continued to be steaming hot (up 322%). Plugin hybrids (PHEVs) were up 486%, to 7,867 units, faring better than 100% electric vehicles (BEVs), which were up only 138%, to 10,011 registrations. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Audi And Volkswagen Both Amp Up Their Plug-In Hybrid Offerings” • In separate press releases, Audi and Volkswagen have announced two new plug-in hybrid variants for their largest SUV models – the Audi Q8 and Volkswagen Taureg. Make no mistake; both cars looks substantially different on the outside but they are virtually identical under the skin. [CleanTechnica]

Audi Q8 (Credit: Audi)

¶ “Total, Adani Expand India PV Portfolio To 2.3 GW” • Total’s joint venture with Indian renewables developer Adani is to expand its solar PV portfolio to 2,300 MW from 2,100 MW. The expansion comprises a 100-MW and a 30-MW facility in the north of India and a 75-MW installation in the west of the country. [reNEWS]

¶ “11-kW Bi-Directional ABB Chargers Coming To France, UK, Germany, Italy, Belgium” • ABB, one of the leaders of the EV charging industry, is taking a step toward bi-directional 11-kW charging. The charging station comes along with a vehicle-to-grid partnership in France with DREEV, which is to expand to the UK, Italy, Belgium, and Germany. [CleanTechnica]

V2G charging with a Nissan LEAF

¶ “Renewable Energy Investments Can Surge 35% Through FY23 In India: CRISIL” • By stimulating global investor interest and enabling regulations, India can fuel the addition of as much as 35 GW of renewable energy (solar and wind power) capacity, with ₹1.5 lakh crore ($13.6 billion) of investments through fiscal 2023, CRISIL analysis estimates. [Saurenergy]

¶ “Ikea Adelaide Constructing Unique Microgrid On Its Way To 100% Renewable Energy” • Ikea Adelaide and Planet Ark Power have come together to make good use of the vast expanse of an Ikea rooftop. They are constructing what Planet Art Power is calling Australia’s largest grid-connected commercial microgrid of its kind. [pv magazine Australia]

Rendering of Ikea Adelaide on completion (Image: Ikea Adelaide)


¶ “A Ground-Mounted Home Solar Power System For Less Than $13,700?” • Answering those who think solar systems are too expensive, GoGreenSolar has a 5-kW solar power kit for only $7,228.  Together with other parts needed for installation and the labor to get that done, the total system cost is $13,700. This figure is without incentives. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hundreds Of Electric Blue Bird Buses Across The USA – Got One Yet?” • While we don’t yet have the chance to celebrate thousands of electric school buses across the USA, Blue Bird has announced that it has already sold hundreds of electric buses, and there’s been “a surge in demand for their 100% electric school buses.” [CleanTechnica]

Blue Bird Electric School Bus Safety

¶ “Arizona regulators give OK to requiring more energy efficiency from utilities” • After four years of debate, workshops and multiple attempts, the Arizona Corporation Commission gave initial approval to a new requirement for electric utilities to boost their energy-efficiency programs. They voted 4 to 1 to increase the efficiency standard. []

¶ “DOE Awards $160 Million To TerraPower And X-Energy To Build Advanced Nuclear Plants By 2027” • The DOE awarded $160 million to X-energy and TerraPower, with the potential for billions more in federal funding, as the companies strive to build a working model of their smaller scale, more flexible advanced nuclear reactor designs by 2027. [Greentech Media]

Have a transcendentally uplifting day.

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October 14 Energy News

October 14, 2020


¶ “Mitch McConnell Leaves Kentucky Nearly Last In Everything While Drowning Democracy And US Progress In The Senate” • Kentucky is a coal state. What has happened to coal with Donald Trump in office is exactly what Hillary Clinton said. She had a plan. Donald Trump didn’t. He simply claimed that he would magically save the coal industry. [CleanTechnica]

McConnell’s successes (Risky Liberal 86.43 via Twitter)

¶ “Five Things Individuals Can Do To Fight Climate Change” • In a recent Yale poll, two-thirds of Americans said they felt personal responsibility to reduce global warming. While it is clear that “solving” climate change will require an unprecedented overhaul of the global energy system, there are things everyday people can do to reduce their carbon emissions. [Quartz]

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Great Barrier Reef Has Lost Half Its Corals Within Three Decades” • Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has lost 50% of its coral populations in the last three decades, with climate change a key driver of reef disturbance, a study has found. Between a quarter and a third of all marine species rely on reef systems at some point in their life cycle. [CNN]

Great Barrier Reef corals (CNN)

¶ “Exploring Eagle Hearing And Vision Capabilities To Reduce Risk At Wind Farms” • Purdue University and the University of Minnesota are studying the visual and auditory capabilities of bald and golden eagles to help improve the deterrents used for wind energy facilities. Their findings will be made at to eagle deterrent technology developers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Trump Administration Study Finds Climate Change, Oil Drilling Could Threaten Polar Bears” • A study examining polar bear habitats in Alaska found that upcoming large industrial activities could have an effect on polar bear populations. The bears are already fighting for survival due to climate change factors including rapid ice loss. [KTVU San Francisco]

Polar bears in Alaska (Getty Images)


¶ “Queensland Transition To Renewables Would Generate Almost 10,000 Jobs, Analysis Shows” • Queensland has the potential to draw all of its electricity from renewable sources in a 15-year transition away from fossil fuels that would generate almost 10,000 jobs, according to analysis commissioned by the Queensland Conservation Council. [The Guardian]

¶ “Mainstream Secures $280 Million Construction Finance” • Wind and solar developer Mainstream Renewable Power closed a $280 million construction finance facility with AMP Capital Infrastructure Debt Fund IV to support a 1,300-MW build out in Chile. The proceeds will be used to fund 951 MW of onshore wind and 350 MW solar PV construction. [reNEWS]

Windpower construction (Mainstream Renewable Power)

¶ “Solar Energy Reaches Historically Low Costs” • In some parts of the world, solar power is the cheapest source of electricity in history, thanks to policies encouraging renewable energy growth, according to a report by the International Energy Agency. In most countries, it’s consistently cheaper to build solar farms than new gas-fired power plants. [The Verge]

¶ “Hydropower Pushes For Greater Access To Green Finance” • Hydropower, the largest source of renewable electricity, could begin using environmental, social, and corporate governance measures to bolster project financing from the end of this year. Investors are increasingly scrutizing environmental, social, and ethical standards. [Greentech Media]

Hydropower dam in Norway (Photo: Statkraft)

¶ “Tsunami-Hit Onagawa Reactor To Get Restart OK By Year’s End” • A nuclear reactor that was damaged by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami is all but certain to resume operations after the governor of the prefecture hosting the facility decided to give his blessing to its targeted 2022 restart, according to local officials. [The Japan Times]


¶ “Tesla Cofounder JB Straubel Wants To Build The World’s Top Battery Recycling Company” • Tesla cofounder and longtime CTO JB Straubel has big plans for the battery industry. He is trying to turn his startup Redwood Materials into the world’s top battery recycling company. He also plans to create one of the largest battery materials companies. [CleanTechnica]

JB Straubel (Tesla Owners East Bay via Twitter)

¶ “The TVA’s Slower Pace Toward Renewable Energy Weakens Nashville’s Future, Report Finds” • A growing number of electric utilities in the US have made a pledge to reach “net-zero” CO₂ emissions by 2050. But not the Tennessee Valley Authority. And that, according to a report, puts the Music City at an economic disadvantage. [The Tennessean]

¶ “NREL And CharIN Test Out Megawatt Charging System In USA” • In September, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory joined forces with the Charging Interface Initiative to host a high-power EV charging connector test event. Results from the tests will help inform development of interoperable connector and inlet designs. [CleanTechnica]

Evaluating fit and ergonomics (Photo: Dennis Schroeder, NREL)

¶ “Hillsboro Harnesses Renewable Power From Water Pipes” • In Hillsboro, Oregon, the concession stands, EV charging stations, and stadium lights at Ron Tonkin field are being powered with renewable energy. It’s not solar or wind power, but hydropower generated by the water flowing through the pipes right below the stadium’s parking lot. []

¶ “Home Depot Will Buy Enough Power From A 284-MW Solar+Storage Project To Power 150 Stores” • Enel Green Power North America is building a 284-MW Azure Sky solar+storage project. The Home Depot will buy the electricity generated from a 75-MW portion of the Azure Sky solar project through a power purchase agreement. [Solar Power World]

Have a simply spectacular day.

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October 13 Energy News

October 13, 2020


¶ “How Green Energy Makes The Military Stronger” • As strange as it may sound to some, the defense sector is on the front line of the renewable-energy revolution. The military has always been good at innovation or adapting new technologies for its needs, and there is no need to go far for examples. The internet comes to mind. And there is cost savings. [Asia Times]

USS Ronald Reagan and others (Erwin Jacob | US Navy | AFP)

¶ “Exxon’s Latest Business Plan: Drill, Baby, Drill” • While many of the world’s largest oil companies are rushing ahead with plans to slash carbon emissions and transition to renewable energy, ExxonMobil is charting its own course, one that will help heat the Earth’s environment to the point where its customers will no longer be able to survive. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “How The UK’s Secret Defence Policy Is Driving Energy Policy – With The Public Kept In The Dark” • The UK government has for 15 years persistently backed new nuclear power. Given the problems of nuclear energy, it is hard to see why, aside from a commitment to being a nuclear military force. It is another reason to oppose its military use. [The Fifth Estate]

Nuclear plant (Frédéric Paulussen | Unsplash)


¶ “Electric Cars Will Treble Market Share This Year In Europe” • Despite the pandemic, European EV sales have surged since 1 January, just as the emissions standards kicked in. According to Transport & Environment, which analysed sales in the first half of 2020 as well as carmakers’ compliance strategies, they will reach 10% this year and 15% in 2021. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “German Ship Completes Historic Arctic Expedition” • The German Research Vessel Polarstern has sailed back into its home port. The ship spent a year in the polar north, much of it with its engines turned off so it could simply drift in the sea-ice. And expedition leader, Prof Markus Rex, returned with a warning. “The sea-ice is dying,” he said. [BBC]

RV Polarstern returning to Bremerhaven (Annika Meyer)

¶ “Vietnamese Firm Launches Country’s Largest Solar Farm Amid Renewables Drive” • Vietnam’s Trung Nam Group has launched a 450-MW solar farm, the largest of its kind in the country. Facing shortages of energy, Vietnam is seeking to boost the proportion of renewables while reducing dependence on coal in its power mix. [The Business Times]

¶ “WA’s Whole Of System Plan Forecasts Renewable Generation On The Rise” • The Western Australian Government launched the Whole of System Plan, which gives a 20-year forecast for the South West Interconnected System. It models four scenarios of demand, technology, and economy. And it shows a huge increase in renewable generation. [Energy Magazine]

Wind turbines (Shutterstock image)

¶ “IEA: Solar Growth To Lead Renewables Charge” • Solar power growth will lead the expansion of renewables in the next ten years, according to the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2020. The report’s “stated policies scenario” suggests that clean power is set to meet 80% of global electricity demand growth over the next decade. [reNEWS]

¶ “Stop CO₂ Emissions Bouncing Back After Covid Plunge, Says IEA” • CO₂ emissions from energy use are expected to fall to 33.4 gigatonnes in 2020, to the lowest level since 2011, and the biggest year on year fall since 1900, the International Energy Agency said in its annual world energy outlook. But governments are not doing enough to prevent a rapid rebound. [The Guardian]

Coal-fired power station (Ina Fassbender | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “WA Energy Utility Synergy To Receive More Than $700 Million In Taxpayer Subsidies As Revenue Slides” • In Western Australia, taxpayers will fork out almost three-quarters of a billion dollars to subsidise loss-making electricity utility Synergy. Synergy is being battered by low prices and an onslaught of renewable energy. [ABC News]

¶ “Mainstream JV Eyes 1-GW Vietnamese Offshore Boost” • Irish developer Mainstream Renewable Power and Vietnamese joint venture partner Phu Cuong Group applied to the authorities in Vietnam to add a 1-GW second phase to the planned 400-MW first stage of the Phu Cuoong Soc Trang offshore wind farm. Commercial operations should start in 2023. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (Nicholas Doherty | Unsplash)


¶ “US Tesla Sales Up 22% In 3rd Quarter, US Auto Sales Down 9%” • Overall, the US auto market saw its sales decrease 9% in the third quarter of 2020 compared to the third quarter of 2019. That’s much better than earlier in the year. Across the first three quarters of the year, US auto sales were down 19%. But Tesla and a few others were up. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Polling On Climate Change: Denial Is Out, Alarm Is In” • Americans are now nearly four times more likely to say they’re alarmed about the climate crisis than to be dismissive of it. That’s the highest ratio ever since the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication first began gathering data on American attitudes about climate change back in 2008. [Grist]

Dismissal vs Alarm (Grist | CSA Images | Getty Images)

¶ “Arrival Plans First US Microfactory In South Carolina” • In an e-mail to CleanTechnica, Arrival said its first US microfactory will open in Rock Hill, South Carolina in 2021. Production will first focus on electric buses with the first delivery expected before the end of next year. Arrival says its $46 million investment into the region will create 240 new jobs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Department Of Energy Announces Over $7 Million To Protect Electric Grid From Cyberattacks In Michigan” • The DOE announced over $7 million in funding for cybersecurity company, The Dream Team LLC, to develop a first-of-its-kind infrastructure that protects the electric grid from cyberattacks on EVs and EV charging systems. [CleanTechnica]

Have an outstandingly priceless day.

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October 12 Energy News

October 12, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “International Scientists Return From Arctic With Wealth Of Climate Data” • The RV Polarstern icebreaker, a ship carrying scientists on a year-long international effort to study the high Arctic, has returned to its home port in Germany carrying a wealth of data that will help researchers better predict climate change in the decades to come. [The Irish News]


¶ “25-Year Study Of Nuclear Vs Renewables Says One Is Clearly Better At Cutting Emissions” • Nuclear power is often promoted as one of the best ways to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels to generate the electricity we need, but new research suggests that going all-in on renewables such as wind and solar might be a better approach. [ScienceAlert]


¶ “Turkish Ship At Center Of Greece Row To Return To The Mediterranean” • The Turkish navy said a research ship at the center of an energy rights row will go back to disputed waters in the Mediterranean. Tensions flared with Greece in August when the Oruc Reis went to survey an area claimed by Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus for potentially rich oil and gas deposits. [BBC]

The Oruc Reis (Reuters image)

¶ “Norwegian Importer Expects EVs To Be 90% Of Volkswagen Sales In 2021” • The all new Volkswagen ID.3 was the best selling electric car in Norway in September, outpacing the vaunted Tesla Model 3. Volkswagen has always been one of the top sellers in the Norwegian market, and the government is still maintaining incentives for EVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Agrophotovoltaic News: Bifacial Panels In Germany, Grazing Sheep In Austria” • Next2Sun has an innovative PV system that combines agricultural use and solar power on the same area. It has a vertical arrangement of solar modules that use sunlight from both the front and the rear, facing east and west, while the area between is used for agriculture. [CleanTechnica]

Agrophotovoltaic array (Credit: Next2Sun)

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Secures 372-MW Björnberget Order” • Siemens Gamesa is to supply 60 of its 5.X platform turbines for Prime Capital and Enlight Energy’s 372-MW Björnberget wind farm in the municipality of Ånge, in central Sweden. The project will use the SG5.8-170 model, operating at 6.2 MW. The turbines are to be installed in 2022. [reNEWS]

¶ “NSW Pumped Hydro Project Fast-Tracked To Help Replace Ageing Coal-Fired Power Stations” • A billion dollar pumped hydro project planned for New South Wakes is being fast-tracked by the State Government, with hopes it will be ready ahead of upcoming coal-fired power station closures. The Oven Mountain project will have a capacity of 600 MW. [ABC News]

Pumped storage plant in Tasmania (ABC Rural: Tony Briscoe)

¶ “Joint Electricity Regulator Approves ₹2.83/kWh For 40 MW Of Wind Energy In Chandigarh” • India’s Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission approved a ₹2.83/kWh (3.9¢/kWh) tariff and a trading margin of ₹0.07/kWh for the procurement of 40 MW of wind power between Chandigarh and the Solar Energy Corporation of India. [Mercom India]

¶ “Statkraft Starts 519-MW Brazilian Project” • Statkraft is to start construction of its 519-MW Ventos de Santa Eugenia wind project in northeastern Brazil, after closing a turbine supply contract with German wind turbine manufacturer Nordex. Statkraft’s largest wind project in South America will more than double its renewable energy capacity in Brazil. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Statkraft image)

¶ “Hellenic Petroleum Will Build Greece’s Biggest Renewable Energy Project” • Greece is moving to tap its most available energy source: the sun. Greece is turning toward solar energy with the oil company Hellenic Petroleum getting €75 million ($88.62 million) in funding to build the country’s largest renewable energy project. [The National Herald]

¶ “Renewable Energy To Replace Coal In WA’s Biggest Power Grid As Solar Hollows Market, Report Predicts” • More than half of Western Australia’s remaining coal-fired electricity capacity could be phased out within five years, according to a landmark report that charts the extraordinary rise of renewable energy. It also predicts no new transmission lines. [ABC News]

Moving coal (ABC News | Tom Edwards)


¶ “USA’s $100 Million Green Hydrogen Fuel Cell Plan” • The US has just launched another sneak attack on coal, oil, and natural gas, with a new five-year, $100 million green hydrogen and fuel cell truck plan from the Energy Department. It is aimed squarely at pushing diesel out of the growing market for long-haul transportation. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Louisiana Has Been Hit By 3 Deadly Hurricanes This Season: Reflections While Riding Out Delta” • The Gulf Coast states face tropical storms and potentially hurricanes every year. However, 2020 takes the cake. Louisiana has had to brace itself six times this year. During Laura, the winds raged for about nine so hours, but Laura was silent compared to Delta. [CleanTechnica]

Lake Charles, Louisiana, after Laura, before Delta (Josiah Pugh, Louisiana National Guard, public domain, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “LafargeHolcim In The US Harnesses Solar Energy At Hagerstown Plant” • LafargeHolcim in the US announced the opening of a new solar field next to its Holcim Hagerstown Cement Plant in Maryland. The solar project will provide clean energy for the facility’s operations. It emphasized a boom in solar construction. [World Cement]

¶ “Question 6: Increasing Nevada’s Reliance On Renewable Energy To 50% By 2030” • Nevada’s Question 6 ballot initiative would create a constitutional guarantee that the state get at least 50% of its power from renewable sources. Although state law already mandates the 50% threshold, the constitution is much more difficult to change. [Reno Gazette-Journal]

Have an aesthetically pleasing day.

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October 11 Energy News

October 11, 2020


¶ “New York Pathways To Bus And Truck Electrification” • To achieve New York’s ambitious climate and clean energy goals outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York needs to aggressively reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector, the largest source of emissions in the state. [CleanTechnica]

New York City (Image by Robert Hoffmann via Unsplash)

¶ “Robert Redford: The Big Question I Want Answered” • After pointing out the importance of climate change, Covid-19, habitat destruction, and other complex issues, Robert Redford observes that while these issues threaten our way of life, they are being addressed neither by our federal leadership nor the press. He says the question is, “What do we do now?” [CNN]

¶ “Over The Water. Will Nuclear Power Plants Have To Adapt To Global Warming?” • Nuclear reactors need water to operate. There are around forty power plants in France, sited on rivers for water. These reactors represent almost half of the freshwater withdrawals carried out each year on French territory. It is four times more than agriculture. [Pledge Times]

Belleville nuclear plant (François GOGLINS, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “On Wednesday, Mike Pence Downplayed Hurricanes. Last Night, Delta Proved Him Wrong” • In the debate, Mike Pence minimized the extreme weather taking place across the the US this year, claiming, “there are no more hurricanes today than there were 100 years ago.” Then Delta arrived, just one of the record-breaking events of the year. [Mother Jones]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Tesla’s New Structural Battery Pack – It’s Not Cell-to-Pack, It’s Cell-to-Body” • Tesla’s Battery Day was not just full of surprises. When you read between the slides, Tesla made a lot of product announcements, many of which are still awaiting their discovery. The one this article is about is Tesla’s new battery pack, which is to replace its battery skateboard design. [CleanTechnica]

New Tesla battery pack

¶ “Electric Cars Cost Less To Own – Consumer Reports Agrees With Us” • For years, CleanTechnica has been publishing stories showing that as electric car technology has improved, the “total cost of ownership” comparisons have become increasingly compelling. Now, analysis published by Consumer Reports agrees. EVs save a lot of money. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Tesla And Fastned Join Forces To Build Germany’s Largest Fast Charging Station” • The Rhine–Ruhr region would be the second-largest metropolitan area in the USA if it were situated there. Some 13 million people live in its cities. But compared to the Netherlands or California, it is a charging desert. That is changing. [CleanTechnica]

Fastned charging station

¶ “SSE And Coilte Explore New €80 Million Wind Farm” • Coillte Renewable Energy and SSE Renewables are jointly exploring a 72-MW renewable energy project at Gortyrahilly, County Cork, which could involve an investment of over €80 million. The project is a proposed wind farm that could range from 60 MW to 72 MW. []

¶ “Investors And Graduates Flock To The UK’s Burgeoning Windfarms” • The UK is pursuing an ambitious plan for offshore wind power. It will require an average of one wind turbine to be installed every weekday for ten years, £50 billion of investment from the private-sector, and many workers. [The Guardian]

Hywind floating windfarm (Photograph: Equinor)

¶ “Graziers Join Calls For Queensland Government To Stop Spruiking Coal And Embrace Renewable Future” • Withersfield Station has been held by the Graham family since the 1950s, but persistent drought conditions have made it much harder to run cattle. Their call to act on climate change joins many others. But the government is stuck on coal. [ABC News]


¶ “New ACC Will Decide Major Moves On Clean Energy, Electric Choice” • A race for three out of the five seats on the Arizona Corporation Commission may shape the state’s move away from fossil fuels. The current commission is set to pass rules requiring “carbon-free” electricity by 2050, but the next commission will guide their application. [Arizona Daily Star]

Wind turbine blade (Chris English, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Climate Change Led To California’s Rolling Blackouts” • California energy officials said extreme heat fueled by climate change, along with poor planning, led to the rolling blackouts in August. They have repeatedly stressed that California’s efforts to increase its use of renewable energy did not cause the blackouts, and called for further increases. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “YCCD Achieves Net-Zero Energy Consumption From Renewable Energy Sources” • California’s Yuba Community College District reported on its efforts to use renewable energy on its campuses. The district said it has installed 4 MW of solar power and roughly half a megawatt of battery energy storage across five sites since 2012. [Lake County News]

Have a monumentally beneficial day.

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October 10 Energy News

October 10, 2020


¶ “A Nine-Point Plan For The UK To Achieve Net Zero Carbon Emissions” • The last six months have seen a growing realization that decarbonizing our societies is technically possible, relatively cheap, and potentially of major benefit to society, and especially to less prosperous sectors. Here is a sensible portfolio of nine actions for the UK. [The Guardian]

Boyndie Wind Farm (Anne Burgess, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia)

Science and Technology:

¶ “‘Real And Imminent’ Extinction Risk To Whales” • More than 350 scientists and conservationists from 40 countries have signed a letter calling for global action to protect whales, dolphins and porpoises from extinction. They say more than half of all species are of conservation concern, with two on the “knife-edge” of extinction. [BBC]


¶ “Police Scotland Buys 180 Hyundai Kona Electrics” • The Hyundai Kona Electric is a crossover type with relatively long range and a relatively low price. It’s one of the best selling electric vehicles in the world, and it’s also one of the top choices among police forces, particularly in Europe. Police Scotland has decided to buy 180 of them. [CleanTechnica]

Hyundai Kona Electric

¶ “Largest Rooftop Solar System In Europe Goes Online … On Audi Factory” • Audi Hungaria has just turned on the largest solar roof in Europe. The solar PV roof is the size of 22.4 football fields (soccer fields), includes 36,400 solar panels, and has a capacity of 12 MW.  It’s expected to generate 9.5 GWh of electricity per year, enough for 9,800 average homes. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Offshore Wind Grew 19% Globally In 2019” • Global installed offshore wind capacity reached 27,064 MW in 2019, which is a 19% increase from the previous year. This and other trends can be found in the 2019 Offshore Wind Technology Data Update, released by the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. [CleanTechnica]

Some types of floating platforms (Josh Bauer, NREL)

¶ “CSC Datacenter to be Powered by Vattenfall’s Renewable Energy” • Vattenfall and CSC – IT Center for Science Ltd have concluded an agreement on the supply of guarantee of origin-certified renewable energy generated at hydropower plants.  It will power the supercomputer environments of CSC’s data center in Kajaani, Finland. [HPCwire]

¶ “Farmers Can Now Avail Of A New Renewable Energy Crop” • Farmers and landowners in the UK are being urged to consider growing Miscanthus, a crop with a rising market demand. It is used for renewable power generation, domestic fuels, and livestock bedding, among other things. And it thrives on land that is unproductive. []

Miscanthus (Miya.m, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “World Bank Provides Funds For Sustainable Renewable Energy In Haiti” • The World Bank is providing $6.9 million in fresh funding for the Haiti Renewable Energy for All Project. The Bank aims to scale up renewable energy investments to expand access to electricity for health services, homes, businesses, and community services. []

¶ “Russia’s Rosatom Launches Energy Storage Business” • The Russian state-controlled nuclear energy corporation Rosatom set up a subsidiary, Renera, to pursue the energy storage business. Renera will make lithium-ion batteries for EVs, energy storage systems for emergency power, renewables, and smoothing of load demand. [Renewables Now]

Lithium-ion battery for EVs (Image by Rosatom)

¶ “Romania, US To Sign $8 Billion Financing Agreement For Cernavoda Nuclear Reactors” • Romanian and US authorities will sign cooperation and financing agreements for an $8 billion (€6.8 billion) project for the modernisation of the Cernavoda nuclear power plant unit 1 and the construction of units 3 and 4, the US ambassador in Romania said. [SeeNews]


¶ “Hurricane Delta Makes Landfall In Storm-Battered Louisiana” • Hurricane Delta hit land in Louisiana, which is still recovering from Hurricane Laura in August. Delta is the 10th named storm to make US landfall so far this year, breaking a record that has stood since 1916. Delta hit Creole, Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane, with winds of 100 mph. [BBC]

Track of Hurrican Delta (FleurDeOdile, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Five of California’s Six Largest Fires on Record are Burning Now” • Wildfires in this single year alone have burned more of California’s land than they did in the entire first decade of reliable recordkeeping (1984–1993). And nearly as much as the entire decade of the 1990s. And the year is not over. Here are some graphics that show their size. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Dominion Energy Virginia Issues RFP For Solar Projects Under 3 MW” • Dominion Energy Virginia is continuing its solar development in the Commonwealth with a request for proposals for distributed solar projects, no larger than 3 MW (AC), to help meet renewable energy goals set forth by the company and the Commonwealth. [Solar Power World]

Have a fabulously auspicious day.

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October 9 Energy News

October 9, 2020


¶ “Breathing Life Back Into Cities: Improving Air Quality And Equity Through Recovery Efforts” • Rocky Mountain Institute  released an analysis outlining four strategies for advancing both air quality and equity that cities can use to build back better from the pandemic, the economic downturn, and a growing reckoning with racial injustice. [CleanTechnica]

Path to a better city (RMI image, via Twitter)

¶ “Donald Trump And His Supposed Economic Success” • President Trump claims economic success based on the Dow Jones Industrial Index. But if we look at some of the other Dow Jones indices, picking some that might have profited or suffered from Trump policies, what we find is very different from what Trump might like us to believe. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Wind and Solar Installations Are Smashing Records, But the Trend May Not Last” • The US is on pace to set records for wind and solar installations this year, highlighting America’s capacity to build renewables at levels once thought impossible. But whether the pace can be kept up depends in large part on what policymakers do next. [Scientific American]

Smoky Hills wind farm (Drenaline, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Michael Mann Sets The Record Straight: It’s Now Or Never” • Michael Mann is the director the Earth Systems Science Center at Penn State. He may be best known for introducing the “hockey stick” graph showing a warming climate. There has been some good news and some bad for the climate. Mann said the time to act is right now. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Mercedes Says Six New Battery Electric Models Are Coming Soon” • Mercedes Benz has yet to embrace the EV revolution fully. Although it has some battery powered models, they are not built on a dedicated EV platform. That will change in 2021 when the company begins offering cars based on a new dedicated EV platform that is scalable in every aspect. [CleanTechnica]

Electric concept coupe (Courtesy of Mercedes Benz)

¶ “Mammoth Investments In Renewables Taking Shape In Port Augusta” • South Australia’s Marshall Government welcomed the starts of construction of two renewable energy projects near Port Augusta. DP Energy and Iberdrola are investing $500 million in a hybrid wind+solar plant, and Nexif has begun the $170 million stage 2 of its Lincoln Gap Wind Farm. [Mirage News]

¶ “Enel breaks ground on 204-MW Chilean PV plant” • Enel Green Power Chile has started construction on the 204-MW Domeyko solar farm in Chile’s Antofagasta region. The project is due to be completed by July next year, and will involve a total investment of $164 million. The plant will produce around 589 GWh of electricity each year. [reNEWS]

Solar panels (Enel image)

¶ “Global Green Hydrogen Pipeline ‘Tops 60 GW'” • There are over 60 GW in the pipeline of planned green hydrogen projects, Rystad Energy research shows. The analysts said 87% of the projects are GW-scale. Europe and Australia dominate the global pipeline, which includes 11 proposed electrolyser projects with a capacity of 1 GW or more. [reNEWS]


¶ “Waymo Goes Truly Public In Phoenix” • The Waymo One fully autonomous driving network is now open for everyone to use – in Phoenix. All you need is the Waymo app (available from App Store or Google Play). Additionally, Waymo has indicated that all 100% of its fleet in the Phoenix area is now being operated as fully electric robotaxis. [CleanTechnica]

Waymo app running

¶ “Icebreaker No Longer Subject To Night-Time Shutdown” • The Ohio Power Siting Board has adopted a motion removing a night-time shutdown requirement for the proposed 21-MW Icebreaker offshore wind farm on Lake Erie. It removed a clause that would have required turbines to be stopped during the night from March 1 to November 1. [reNEWS]

¶ “30% Of California Land Must Be Conserved Under Governor Newsom’s New Order” • Citing a need to tackle the problem of climate change, California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered state agencies to conserve 30% of state land and coastal water by no later than 2030. The move is a bid to sequester carbon in the state’s natural and working lands. [Phys.Org]

Wild land in California (Credit: CC0, Public domain)

¶ “Public-Private Partnership Working Toward Renewable Hydrogen Facility In Eugene” • In Eugene, Oregon, a team of Pacific Northwest public and private organizations have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the development of what would be one of the largest renewable hydrogen facilities in North America. [KVAL]

¶ “US DOE Provides Funding For $26 Million In Nuclear Plant Hydrogen Projects” • The US DOE has provided funding to two projects for $26 million seeking to advance hydrogen generation by nuclear reactors, starting with a facility at an Xcel Energy plant, DOE said in a statement. The recipients have to match DOE funding with an equal amount. [S&P Global]

Have a seriously amusing day.

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October 8 Energy News

October 8, 2020


¶ “BMW iX3 Production Has Started In China, Not USA” • BMW has begun production of the BMW iX3, its second fully electric vehicle, several years after the BMW i3 went into production in 2013. Interestingly, production of the first vehicles is in China, and there are reasons for that. US is in the midst of a sort of nonsensical cultural civil war. [CleanTechnica]

BMW iX3 battery plant in China

¶ “Mike Pence Lied BIG LEAGUE About Trump’s Environmental Record” • There were several gigantic lies that Vice President Mike Pence pushed out in the debate with Senator Kamala Harris, sometimes repeatedly, and he really should be called on them. Here is some fact checking of straight lies he told about the Trump environmental record. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Texas A&M Researchers Developing Clean Nuclear Fuel” • Researchers at Texas A&M and the US DOE’s Idaho National Laboratory have partnered with Clean Core Thorium Energy to make a proprietary thorium-based nuclear fuel. They claim it addresses such issues as cost, safety, proliferation, and managing waste. [Texas A&M University] (Not well enough – ghh.)

Research at Texas A&M (Justin Baetge | Texas A&M)

¶ “Fertiliser Use Threatens Global Climate Goals As Nitrous Oxide Emissions Soar” • The growing use of nitrogen fertilizers for farming is putting the world’s climate goals at risk, a study published in the leading scientific journal Nature has warned. The fertilizers emit nitrous oxide (N₂O), a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than CO₂. []


¶ “Electric Fire Trucks On The Way!” • We’re finally getting electric fire trucks! Volvo Penta has an electric powertrain to put into fire trucks produced by Rosenbauer. The name of the electrified fire truck is “Revolutionary Technology.” For now, there are just 3 test trucks. They are going into trial service in Berlin, Amsterdam, and Dubai. [CleanTechnica]

Volvo Penta RT (Volvo Group image)

¶ “EU Parliament Steps It Up: 60% Carbon Emissions Cut By 2030 Proposed” • The EU Parliament voted to improve its 2030 climate target. The proposal voted through was to cut carbon emissions by 60% by 2030 rather than 40% by 2030. Clearly, the majority of new cars would need to be EVs by the end of the decade to meet this target. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Finland Logs Its Largest Electric Bus Order Ever” • Electric buses are flowing across Europe, with record order after record order. Finland has a new record for electric bus orders within its borders, as transit agency Nobina ordered 106 from BYD. Of these, 64 will go to Helsinki, and the other 42 will go to Turku. All will be in service in 2021. [CleanTechnica]

BYD eBus (BYD image)

¶ “Transition To Renewable Energy Helps India See 6% Dip In SO₂ Emissions” • India witnessed 6% decline in its sulfur dioxide emissions in 2019. It was the steepest decline in SO₂ emissions in four years, and came with India’s shift towards renewable energy initiatives, a report by the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air and Greenpeace India says. [Livemint]

¶ “Aggreko Installs Hybrid Power System At Granny Smith Gold Mine” • Aggreko partnered with global gold miner Gold Fields to complete the installation of one of the world’s largest renewable energy microgrids at the Granny Smith gold mine in Western Australia. The hybrid power system is powered by over 20,000 solar panels and has a battery system. [ESI Africa]

Solar system at the Granny Smith mine (Image: Aggreko)

¶ “India Considers Replacing Retiring Coal Plants With Renewables” • India’s Power Minister said the government has considered retiring coal-fired power plants in favor of renewable generation. The move would help reduce the country’s carbon footprint. India is the world’s third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, after China and the US. [Power Technology]
Power plant (Andreas Felske | Unsplash)

¶ “EBRD To Support Largest Renewable Energy Project In Greece” • Supporting the largest renewable energy project in Greece and the largest solar project in south-eastern Europe, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is investing €75 million in the successful Eurobond tap issuance by Hellenic Petroleum, a leading Greek energy group. [Saurenergy]

Solar panels (EBRD image)


¶ “With Coal Dead, Department Of Energy Lobs Green Hydrogen Brick At Natural Gas” • With the US coal industry collapsing, we now turn to natural gas. The US DOE announced a major green hydrogen initiative with The Netherlands, which is building international collaborations aimed to squeeze natural gas out of the H₂ market. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “First All-Electric Vessels In USA Launch In New York – Maid of the Mist” • The Maid of the Mist; the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation; New York Power Authority; and ABB announced that the Maid of the Mist, the iconic Niagara Falls boat tour since 1846, launched the first two all-electric passenger vessels in the US. [CleanTechnica]

Maid of the Mist (ABB image)

¶ “JPMorgan Chase, World’s Biggest Funder of Fossil Fuels, Commits to ‘Paris-Aligned’ Financing” • JPMorgan Chase has reportedly committed to push clients to align with the Paris Agreement goals and work towards net-zero emissions by 2050. Chase, the world’s biggest fossil fuels banker, did not commit to phasing out its own fossil fuels funding.  [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Climate Denial Ads On Facebook Seen By Millions, Report Finds” • Advertisements on Facebook denying the reality of the climate crisis or the need for action were viewed by at least 8 million people in the US in the first half of 2020, a thinktank found. Some of the 51 climate disinformation ads said that climate change is a hoax. [The Guardian]

Have a stunningly rewarding day.

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October 7 Energy News

October 7, 2020


¶ “Nuclear Energy – The High Cost Of A Dying Industry” • Nuclear energy has had a seriously rough year. In an article by, the author asked a question: “Why is nuclear energy so expensive?” The nuclear sector, OilPrice says, simply can’t compete with the flood of low cost natural gas and renewables. It is struggling to stay alive. [CleanTechnica]

Click on the image to enlarge it (Brad Rouse, from Lazard data)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Hurricane Delta Is Intensifying Rapidly And Is Now A Category 4 Storm” • Hurricane Delta is an “extremely dangerous” major hurricane on a collision course with Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and the US Gulf Coast. It will directly impact Cancun as a dangerous Category 4 storm. At 145 mph, it’s just behind Hurricane Laura, which reached 150 mph. [CNN]

¶ “September Was The Warmest On Record, Scientists Say” • September was the warmest on record globally, according to the weather service Copernicus. It was 0.05°C hotter than September last year, which had the previous record high for the month. Scientists say it’s a clear indication of warming driven up by emissions from human society. [BBC]

Escaping heat at a British beach (PA Media)

¶”Generating Renewable Hydrogen Fuel From The Sea” • A team of researchers at Penn State funded by the US National Science Foundation integrated water purification technology into a new proof-of-concept design for a seawater electrolyzer. This method for what they call “seawater splitting” uses water that cannot serve many other purposes. [National Science Foundation]

¶ “Trillions Of Extra Economic Damages Predicted In New Study Of Climate Change Effects” • The world is underestimating the economic effects of climate change by trillions of dollars, a study published in Nature Communications shows. Current economic forecasting models fail to account for unpredictable variations in global temperatures. [Phys.Org]

Sands of time (Credit: CC0 Public Domain)


¶ “UK September EV Market Share Hits 10.5%, Up 3 Times Year-On-Year” • The UK’s September plugin electric vehicle market share hit 10.5%, the highest ever level in “normal” (non-lockdown) trading months, up from 3.7% in September of 2019. The overall auto market was down just 4.4% from September 2019. Diesels took a massive 38.4% hit. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Canadian Initiative Launched To Cut Electric Bus Charging Costs” • The Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium, which gives transit agencies technnology support, launched a $999,000 investment in an initiative to reduce costs for charging electric buses. Ontario energy storage company eCAMION, is leading the project. [CleanTechnica]

Charging station (Image courtesy of Solaris)

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Outsells All Other Cars In Switzerland In September” • In September, the Tesla Model 3 was the best selling car in Switzerland, beating every other vehicle, however powered. The Swiss Automobile Association reported that  Tesla sold 900 Model 3s in the month. The Skoda Octavia, which sold only 500 cars, was number two. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vietnam Aims Doubling Use Of Renewables By 2030 To Reduce CO₂” • Vietnam aims to double use of renewable energy and cut CO₂ emissions 15% by 2030, reducing reliance on coal in a country threatened by climate change and power outages. Renewables will supply 15% to 20% of the power within a decade, a government website said. [Nikkei Asian Review]

Floating solar system in Da Mi, Vietnam (© Sipa | AP)

¶ “Facebook Comes Closer To 100% Renewables Target With New Solar Deal In Singapore” • Facebook sealed a deal with the solar developer Sunseap to support Facebook’s 100% renewables target for its operations in Singapore. The energy will be generated on the rooftops of around 1,200 public residential blocks and 49 government buildings. [Energy Live News]

¶ “180-MW Onshore Site Completed In Western Australia” • Bright Energy Investments completed the Warradarge wind farm in Western Australia. The 51-turbine, 180-MW wind farm will power up to its full generating capacity by the end of October. Each turbine weighs 181 tonnes with 67 meter-long blades, has a hub height of 84 meters. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Master Wen | Unsplash)

¶ “‘Thrilled’: Next Generation Climate Modelling Gets Budget Kickstart” • Federal funding for the Australian Community Climate and Earth System Simulator has cheered scientists who say the investment of $7.6 million will help refine predictions for everything from fire-generated thunderstorms to worsening urban heat islands. [The Sydney Morning Herald]


¶ “New 100% Clean Electricity Contract Will Save MBTA $3 Million A Year In Electric Bills” • The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is working on a multi-year electricity contract to power its trains, trolleybuses, stations, and other facilities entirely on renewable power. The contract is expected to save $3 million a year. [Streetsblog MASS]

Solar roof at a transit shelter in Portland, Oregon (Trimet image)

¶ “Six Rockland County Communities Launch Cost-Cutting Renewable Energy Initiatives” • Six of the towns and villages in Rockland County, New York, are using community choice aggregation in a collective renewable energy buying effort. They were motivated partly by a potential to hasten reduced use of energy based on dirty fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tiffany & Co Joins Business For Nature’s Call To Action” • The jewelry firm Tiffany & Co joined Business For Nature’s Call To Action. Over 560 companies, with revenues of $4 trillion, have taken the stand with Business for Nature, calling on governments to adopt policies now to reverse the loss of nature that will occur this decade if no action is taken. [CleanTechnica]

Have an appropriately triumphant day.

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October 6 Energy News

October 6, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “2 Out Of 5 Of World’s Plants At Risk Of Extinction – But There’s Hope” • According to a new report from the UK’s Kew Royal Botanical Gardens, we have never before seen such threats to the biosphere. Although there is no single or easy way out of the ecological crisis, there are many reasons to save what we can find in nature. [CleanTechnica]

Wildflowers on public lands (Image retrieved from

¶ “DOE Says Combining Floating Solar With Hydroelectric Could Provide 40% Of The World’s Energy Needs” • A study by the US DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory suggests that if floating solar panels are deployed on the over 379,000 hydro reservoirs globally, the hybrid systems could supply 16% to 40% of the world’s electricity needs. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “So Long, Farewell – Honda To Leave Formula 1 To Focus On EVs” • Honda has announced that it will cease to participate as an engine provider for the Formula 1 racing series at the end of the 2021 season. The automaker has decided to turn its focus to zero emission vehicles. Honda made it a goal to electrify two-thirds of its global automobile sales in 2030. [CleanTechnica]

Honda McLaren (Image retrieved from

¶ “European Taxpayers Fork Out €32 Billion A Year To Subsidize Polluting Company Cars” • Subsidies for company cars cost European taxpayers €32 billion every year, a study shows, and almost all of it is spent on cars burning fossil fuels. The 10 largest leasing companies alone cause 8% of EU car CO₂ emissions, due to the amount they are driven. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Pope Francis Has A Message For Us – We Are All Brothers And Sisters” • Pope Francis has issued his third encyclical since he became the Pontiff to mark the anniversary of the death of St. Francis of Assisi. As he focuses on our being brothers and sisters, many may see his message a commentary on current US politics, but it is based on religion. [CleanTechnica]

Pope Francis signing the encyclical (Credit: Vatican Times)

¶ “New Plans To Make UK World-Leader In Green Energy” • The Prime Minister has set out new plans to Build Back Greener by making the UK the world leader in clean wind energy – creating jobs, cutting CO₂ emissions and boosting exports. £160 million will be made available to upgrade ports and infrastructure to increase our offshore wind capacity. [GOV.UK]

¶ “Boris Johnson To Unveil Plan To Power All UK Homes With Wind By 2030” • At a virtual Conservative party conference, Boris Johnson will promise that offshore wind energy will power every UK home within a decade, and Covid-19 will be a catalyst for green growth. “Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of jobs” will be created in the next decade. [The Guardian]

Seaton Carew beach (Photo: AJ D Foto Ltd | Alamy)

¶ “Renewables Deliver Over Half Of German Electricity In First Nine Months, Coal Plunges” • Renewable energy generated over half of German electricity across the nine months of 2020, with windpower the clear winner. Wind energy provided for nearly 27% of German electricity, followed by brown coal at 15%, and solar PV at 13%. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “GIG Invested $7 Billion In Renewables” • Macquarie’s Green Investment Group has committed or arranged just under $7 billion into various renewable energy projects over the past three years, according to its latest annual progress report. Between September 2019 to August 2020 GIG committed or arranged over £2.9 billion across a global portfolio. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbines (Swancor image)

¶ “Two Is A Crowd: Why Renewables And Nuclear Don’t Mix, Even To Cut Emissions” • Research published in Nature Energy warns that nuclear and renewables should not be combined in any recipes for effective energy system decarbonisation, with the two generation types likely to crowd each other out and limit their effectiveness when mixed. [RenewEconomy]


¶ “Newsom Signs Law to Clean California Air Inside And Out of School” • Governor Newsom signed into law a bill that will make the air safer to breathe and the water safer to drink in public schools, while reducing energy bills. It also accelerates the installation of charging infrastructure for EVs to combat the largest source of air pollution. [CleanTechnica]

Electric School Bus (Image courtesy of Proterra)

¶ “Leading Steel Maker In The US Pivots To Renewable Energy, Ditches Coal” • A gigantic steel mill in Pueblo, Colorado is getting a renewable energy makeover with a new 300-MW solar power plant. The EVRAZ North America facility is getting the new $285 million solar array. It is a move toward retiring Colorado’s largest remaining coal power plant.  [CleanTechnica]

¶ “RWE Toasts 220-MW Texas Wind” • RWE has started commercial operations at the 220-MW Cranell wind farm in Texas. The $250 million project features 100 Vestas 2.2-MW turbines and will generate enough electricity to power 66,000 homes. It brings RWE’s operational wind farms in the US to 25, with installed capacity of more than 4.2 GW. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Vestas image)

¶ “Exxon Briefly Dethroned As America’s Most Valuable Energy Company” • The clean energy revolution just hit another major milestone. Solar and wind company NextEra Energy dethroned ExxonMobil as America’s most valuable energy company. Exxon was the most valuable publicly-traded company on the planet as recently as 2013. [CNN]

¶ “US Developer Breaks Ground On Louisiana PV Duo” • DE Shaw Renewable Investments and Entergy New Orleans broke ground on two solar farms totalling 70 MW in Louisiana. The Iris project is in Washington Parish and the St James project in the parish of the same name. Both developments are expected to reach commercial operation in mid-2021. [reNEWS]

Have an appreciably superior day.

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October 5 Energy News

October 5, 2020

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¶ “A $100 Billion Big Oil Divestiture Plan Is Coming” • The largest oil & gas companies, including ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, and BP, are projected to sell a combined $100 billion in assets worldwide as they focus on top-performing regions, particularly the US shale, according to a new analysis from consulting firm Rystad Energy. [CNBC]

Oil platform (Agência Brasil, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Presidential Climate Policy Report Card: Obama, Trump, And Biden – A CleanTechnica Exclusive” • Here is a look at the CleanTechnica climate scorecard for US administrations, past, present, and future. Obama/Biden and Biden/Harris get much better grades than Trump/Pence, which is unsurprising given President Trump’s rhetoric on the subject. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Steam Generators For Koeberg: The Most Expensive Transport Of Scrap Metal In The History Of Humankind” • The first of six new steam generators to extend the life of South Africa’s Koeberg nuclear power station was delivered by Areva. But all has not gone well at Areva on the project, and it serves to reveal yet another scam at Eskom. [Citizen]

New Koeberg junk (Eskom courtesy image)


¶ “McDonald’s Among Food Firms Urging Tougher Rules On Deforestation” • UK food firms, including McDonald’s, are urging tougher rules to protect rainforests. Government ministers are planning a new law against big firms using produce from illegally deforested land. But the firms say the law should apply to all deforestation, legal or not, to slow climate change. [BBC]

¶ “Tech Unicorn’ Octopus Energy To Create 1,000 New UK Jobs” • Octopus Energy plans to create 1,000 new technology jobs at sites in London, Brighton, Warwick, and Leicester, and a new tech hub in Manchester. It looks to make the UK the “Silicon Valley of energy,” and it seeks graduates to work on a proprietary green energy technology platform. [The Guardian]

Wind turbines in Scotland (Murdo MacLeod | Guardian)

¶ “Tesla Purchases European Battery Assembly Company” • ATW Automation, a Canadian battery company, has fallen on hard times. Tesla agreed to acquire the company for an undisclosed sum according to Automotive News Europe. ATW Automation has about 120 employees and has over 20 production lines making batteries for international automakers. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Neoen Clinches 110-MW Wind PPA” • Neoen is set to build the 157-MW Kaban wind farm in Queensland, Australia, after signing a 110-MW power purchase agreement with CleanCo Queensland. The wind farm will consist of 28 turbines connected via a new substation into an existing 275 kV overhead transmission line. Operations are scheduled to begin in 2023. [reNEWS]

Windpower and storage (Neoen image)

¶ “Australia’s Largest Independent Oil & Gas Company Advances Renewable Hydrogen Plans, Hunts For Contractor” • Woodside Petroleum is pressing ahead with renewable hydrogen projects, with thoughts of large-scale export of hydrogen as ammonia. Woodside is looking for a contractor to design and build a plant in Tasmania. [Upstream Online]

¶ “Audi Australia commits to 100% renewable energy by 2021” • Audi Australia has pledged to obtain 100% of its electricity from renewable sources. A spokesperson told CarAdvice the pledge is for energy used in all local business operations, starting in 2021. Electricity will be sourced primarily from the Capital Wind Farm precinct in New South Wales. [CarAdvice]

Audis and wind turbines

¶ “Isolated Nursing Centre That Became A Bushfire Refuge Gets Renewable Energy Funding” • A health service in Victoria’s north-east that became a refuge during last summer’s bushfires will be able to run entirely on renewable energy after receiving funding from the state. The area around the remote Walwa Bush Nursing Centre lost power for ten days. [ABC News]


¶ “Seismic Blasting By Oil & Gas Industry In Atlantic Ocean Halting On November 30” • In rare good news, the federal permits that allow fossil fuel companies to use deafening airguns, which harm many marine species, will expire on November 30 and not be renewed. Fossil fuel companies use the airguns to search for oil and gas deposits. [CleanTechnica]

Right whale and her calf (Image: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, taken under NOAA permit 20556-01)

¶ “NASA, SpaceX to Launch First Commercial Crew Rotation Mission to International Space Station” • NASA and SpaceX are beginning a regular cadence of missions launching American rockets from American soil to the International Space Station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 is set for launch on October 31. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Top Solar Power States Per Capita – CleanTechnica Report” • Here is a ranking of states by total solar power capacity per capita and some commentary. Would you have guessed that Nevada was number 1? It might not be surprising that the five top states are in very sunny areas, but would you have guessed that the number six state is Vermont? [CleanTechnica]

Have a way cool day.

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October 4 Energy News

October 4, 2020


¶ “Trump’s Policies Indicate Love For Toxic And Deadly Pollution, Not Electric Vehicles” • When Trump claimed in the recent debate that “I think I’m all for electric cars, I’ve given big incentives for electric cars, but what they’ve done in California is just crazy,” I cracked up. Then I cried. That’s our president. He “thinks” he is all for electric cars. [CleanTechnica

Teslas (David Havasi | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Here We Go Again With This Nuclear Nonsense” • Promoting nuclear power anywhere at this point makes about as much sense as promoting zeppelins as a practical transportation option, and nowhere more so than in the Philippines. Reality and common sense, however, have never been much of an impediment to this country’s “nuclear advocacy.” [The Manila Times]

¶ “Tesla’s Future Is Not What We Thought” • I have gone through the technologies and numbers, and have come to a conclusion: what Tesla presented to us is exactly what we had hoped for and were expecting. And even though I wrote an article about Tesla needing a chain of terafactories all the way back in 2018, it seems I set the bar too low. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model Tiny Robotaxi Placeholder (CleanTechnica image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Why Is Battery Manufacturing So Hard? Tesla Battery Day For Dummies (Like Me)” • People might think the invention and the first prototype are the hardest part, and manufacturing a new product is just a question of capital and resources. Nothing could be more wrong. The key to any invention is inventing how to mass manufacture it. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Storm Alex: Heavy Rains Cause Severe Flooding In France And Italy” • At least two people have died and 25 are missing after a powerful storm hit southern France and north-western Italy. Named Alex, it brought fierce winds, torrential rains, and floods. Météo-France said that 450 mm (17.7 in) of rain fell in some areas over the course of just 24 hours. [BBC]

Washed out road (AFP image)

¶ “NIO Sets Quarterly And Monthly Sales Records” • While Tesla still rules when it comes to electric car sales in China, other EV manufacturers are also seeing sales gains there. NIO announced new quarterly and monthly sales records for its EVs. It has sold 26,375 all-electric vehicles in 2020, more than twice as many as at this time last year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewables Will Light Up The Darkness” • South Africa can look forward to less load-shedding once independent power producers supply Eskom with electricity. This should happen by March 2022, or earlier. Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe paved the way for Eskom to procure renewable energy from IPPs. [Mail and Guardian]

Wind turbines in South Africa (David Harrison | M&G)

¶ “Share Of Renewable Energy Rises 26% in April to August Period, Says Official” • The share of renewable energy in India’s power mix has increased from 23% to 26% in April-August period this fiscal, a senior official said. Green energy’s share increased at a time when the power sector witnessed sluggish demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic. [News18]

¶ “ADB Approves $110 Million Grant To Enhance Power Supply In Afghanistan” • The Asian Development Bank approved a $110 million grant to boost power supply and strengthen Afghanistan’s energy sector by improving its sustainability and promoting cross-border trade in energy. The project will facilitate 500,000 new connections to customers. [Modern Diplomacy]

Afghan countryside (Ninara, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ “Smoke Choking California Again As Dangerous Fire Conditions Continue” • The smoky haze in much of the West created hazardous conditions that public health officials believe will have an impact even after the smoke clears. Researchers at Stanford University attributed up to 3,000 deaths in California to just one month of the wildfire smoke. [The Guardian]

¶ “Rocky Mountain Institute Study Shows Renewables Are Kicking Natural Gas To The Curb” • After analyzing the most recent data from two of  the largest US electricity markets, the Rocky Mountain Institute has come to a startling conclusion. Renewables are muscling in on natural gas. What happened to coal is now happening to gas.  [CleanTechnica]

Click on the image to enlarge it (Credit: Rocky Mountain Institute)

¶ “New York and New England Need More Clean Energy. Is Hydropower From Canada the Best Way to Get it?” • Just as New England states rush to green their electric grids, they are getting offers of hydroelectric power from Canada. But some groups of environmentalists say it is time to seize the moment to develop local wind and solar power. [InsideClimate News]

¶ “Federal Bill Could Increase Prescribed Burns In California, Incentivize State To Burn At A Larger Scale” • Fire suppression, a lack of prescribed burns, and climate change are among the top reasons behind the scale and intensity of the fires in California, experts say. A federal bill could help address those issues, or at least be a starting point. [Capital Public Radio News]

Have an indescribably splendid day.

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October 3 Energy News

October 3, 2020


¶ “Can nature heal itself? What the pandemic has shown us” • In the early days of the pandemic, there was one bright spot: nature appeared to be healing. As we lived under lockdown, we heard of unusual animal sightings, like wild goats taking over a town in Wales. Was nature still capable of healing itself, if just given some alone time? It’s probably not that simple. [CNN]

Mountain goats in Wales (Christopher Furlong | Getty Images)

¶ “‘Green Hydrogen’ From Renewables Could Become Cheapest Transformative Fuel Within A Decade” • Hydrogen made with wind and solar energy could be the cheapest transformative fuel sooner than expected, analysts believe. Chinese companies claim to make hydrogen from renewable energy for up to 80% less than official Australian estimates of two years ago. [The Guardian]

¶ “Can Renewables Push Latin America Towards A Green Recovery?” • As Latin America grapples with the pandemic, renewable energy offers a possible route to economic recovery and emissions reductions. But many hurdles remain, with some governments still betting on fossil fuels and delaying projects that would boost the clean energy grid. [Diálogo Chino]

Genneia wind farm in Argentina (Image: Genneia)

¶ “How NextEra Overtook ExxonMobil As The Largest US Energy Company” • If you had invested in Florida-based utility NextEra Energy a decade ago, your total return would have been 600%, including dividends. By contrast, if you had invested in ExxonMobil a decade ago, you have seen a total 10-year return of -25%. There are reasons for those changes. [Forbes]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate Change Responsible For Record Sea Temperature Levels, Says Study” • An unprecedented rise in sea temperatures is being driven by global warming, a major report in the peer-reviewed Journal of Operational Oceanography reveals. It shows an overall trend globally of surface warming, with the largest rise in the Arctic Ocean. [Newswise]

Waterspout (Dr Joseph Golden, NOAA, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Extreme Events ‘Presage Worse To Come’ In A Warming Climate” • The list of extreme events resulting from climate change is truly mind-numbing, and understanding what it means is greatly aided by the meticulous record keeping of such federal agencies as NOAA. Clearly the number and scale of these events are on the increase. [Yale Climate Connections]


¶ “The Return Of Europe’s Largest Beasts” • Populations of bison and wolf are reviving in parts of Europe, with efforts to return some of the landscape to a more natural state. A new method of conservation aims to let large areas return to wilderness, to a state without human intervention. But it can be tricky to manage that. Large beasts are not always welcome. [BBC]

Bison (© Michael Gäbler, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Unique ~$25,000 Tesla Vehicles Planned For Europe And China” • For a few years now, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been briefly, occasionally, and somewhat mysteriously mentioning a potential low-cost Tesla vehicle that would have a starting price significantly below that of the Tesla Model 3. We now have a confirmation. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ulstein Unveils Second Hydrogen Offshore Wind Vessel” • Norwegian company Ulstein has unveiled a second hydrogen hybrid design for the offshore wind industry. The Ulstein J102 zero emission wind turbine installation vessel will be able to operate 75% of the time in zero emission mode. Ulstein said the extra cost is less than 5% of the total CAPEX. [reNEWS]

Ulstein jackup vessel (Ulstein image)

¶ “CEO Alliance Pledges Support To EU Net-Zero Goal” • Chief executives from 11 companies, including Iberdrola, Enel, and Siemens, pledged to help achieve net-zero emissions in Europe by 2050. The European CEO Alliance, which held its inaugural meeting on October 1, supports the European Commission’s goal of 55% reduction in emissions by 2030. [reNEWS]

¶ “Bureau Expecting Surge In Renewable Energy Program” • Certificates for over 500,000 MWh are likely to be sold through a Taiwan Renewable Energy Certification Center program by the end of this year, driven by intense corporate demand for green energy, according to the Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspections. [台北時報 – Taipei Times]

Iberdrola wind turbine (t.przechlewski, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ “Elon Musk: Tesla Aiming For 20 Million Vehicles/Year By 2030” • Just after Battery Day, Elon Musk tweeted that Tesla plans to reach sales of 20 million vehicles a year by 2030. He admits it’s an ambitious plan that “requires consistently excellent execution.” But that’s basically Tesla’s whole history. It is built on plans that many see as “impossible.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Trump Gives Polluting Mining Projects a Pass” • The Trump administration made an executive order to expand and fast-track polluting mining projects, posing real risks to critical water resources, nearby communities, and untouched public lands. The order impacts mining of 35 minerals that the Department of the Interior calls “critical.” [CleanTechnica]

Open pit mine (NRDC via Twitter)

¶ “Tesla Delivers Record 139,300 Vehicles In 3rd Quarter – New Graphs And Chart” • Tesla released its 3rd quarter production and delivery numbers. The total figures for both production and deliveries were new quarterly records for the company – and by far. The previous quarterly delivery record was 112,000 vehicles. Last quarter had 139,300. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Secretary Of Energy Sees Future In Colstrip Coal Plant” • Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette spoke highly of the future of coal ahead of his visit to Colstrip, Montana. He said he sees good things for the Colstrip coal-fired plant, which saw its two oldest units shut down earlier this year. Two others are still operating, but their future is uncertain. [Missoula Current]

Have a profoundly enjoyable day.

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October 2 Energy News

October 2, 2020

Of Special Note:

¶ “Coronavirus: Donald Trump And Melania Test Positive” • US President Donald Trump has said he and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for coronavirus and are now in quarantine. The president, aged 74 and therefore in a high-risk group, announced the news in a tweet. “We will get through this together,” he wrote. [BBC]

Donald and Melania (Anthony Quintano, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Rolls-Royce Thinks It’s Developing The Fastest Electric Airplane In The World” • Rolls-Royce has decided that it wants to produce the fastest electric airplane in the sky. It’s beyond the concept phase. Rolls-Royce has tested the technology for this on what’s called an “ionBird,” which it says is “a full-scale replica of the plane’s core.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hurricane Seasons Are Worsening Due To The Climate Crisis” • The warmer the water temperatures, the more heat energy is available, and the higher the potential is for devastating cyclonic storms to develop. As humans continue to release greenhouse gases, the likelihood of hurricane activity increases, with greater damage and loss of life. [CleanTechnica]

Hurricane Irene (NASA image)

¶ “Nuclear Fusion Reactor Could Be Producing Electricity Within A Decade” • A nuclear fusion reactor being developed in the US could be producing electricity within a decade, backers claim. It is hoped that SPARC will demonstrate energy gain from fusion by 2025, and be producing fusion energy to generate electricity to power nearby cities within 10 years. [The Streetjournal]

¶ “Principle Power-Led Team Launches Shallowfloat” • A consortium led by  Principle Power won a US grant to develop mooring technology for floating wind turbines in transitional waters. The consortium has been awarded a contract for the project by the government’s National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium. [reNEWS

Offshore support ship (Principle Power image)


¶ “China’s Largest Solar-Plus-Storage Project Goes Online” • China’s largest solar-plus-storage project has been connected to the grid. How big is it? It’s 2.2 GW. Sungrow, the #1 suppliers of inverters for renewable energy projects, shared the news of the new record. The project was developed by Huanghe Hydropower Development. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Coronavirus: How Pandemic Sparked European Cycling Revolution” • All across Europe, the coronavirus pandemic has triggered unprecedented investment in cycling. More than €1 billion (£907 billion, $1.1 billion) has been spent on cycling-related infrastructure and 2,300 km (1,400 miles) of new bike lanes have been rolled out. [BBC]

Bicyclists (Unsplash image)

¶ “September In Norway Goes Off The Charts – Record Plugin Vehicle Market Share Of 82%” • Electric vehicle pioneer Norway saw a massive 81.6% plugin electric vehicle market share of the overall market in September, with almost 62% being pure electric vehicles. Best sellers included the new VW ID.3, the Tesla Model 3, and Polestar 2. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “From Mountain High To Valley Low, Solar Power Plants Are Everywhere” • The world’s highest solar power plant plus battery storage facility is now operational in Tibet, delivering 40 MW, 193 MWh. And Half a world away, Duke Energy is set to embark on the construction of a 1.1 MW floating solar power plant at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. [CleanTechnica]

Floating solar array (Credit: Duke Energy)

¶ “US, Israel And UAE To Cooperate In Oil, Gas, Renewable Energy” • The US, Israel, and the UAE agreed to cooperate in the fields of oil, gas, and renewables among other energy sectors, following the signing of a peace agreement between Israel and the UAE in September. Specifically, water desalination and solar power may be areas of cooperation. [S&P Global]


¶ “Younger Workers Fleeing Oil Industry, Some May Work For Elon Musk” • These are sad days in the oil patch. US fossil fuel firms eliminated about 105,000 positions, roughly 20% of their workforce. The oilfield services sector lost almost 100,000 jobs so far. Some are optimistic that the oil jobs will return someday, but Tesla is on a hiring spree now. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla seat factory in California (CleanTechnica image)

¶ “Judge Kicks William Pendley Out Of Illegal Role As Trump’s Bureau Of Land Management Acting Director” • A federal judge ruled that the Bureau of Land Management’s acting director held his job illegally and had to be removed. The Interior Secretary kept him in charge by merely changing his title. But many things he has done could be challenged. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EDF Renewables North America Completes Solar Project For Providence Water” • EDF Renewables North America announced the 4.99 MW (AC), Pine Hill Solar Project in Johnston, Rhode Island, is now operational. EDF Renewables developed and built the project. Owner AEP OnSite Partners will supply its electricity to Providence Water. [Business Wire]

Pine Hill solar project

¶ “US Funds Maine Offshore Wind Roadmap” • The Secretary of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration awarded a grant of over $2 million to the Maine Governor’s Energy Office to develop a roadmap for establishing the state’s offshore wind power industry. The $2.166 million grant will be matched with $267,624 by the state and $112,457 locally. [reNEWS]

¶ “Researchers Use Satellite Imaging To Map Groundwater Use In California’s Central Valley” • Researchers at the University of California San Diego found a way to improve groundwater monitoring by using a remote sensing technology with climate and land cover data, to bridge gaps in the understanding of sustainable groundwater. [YubaNet]

Have a thumpin’ capital day.

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October 1 Energy News

October 1, 2020


¶ “Has The World Started To Take Climate Change Fight Seriously?” • The announcement by Chinese President, Xi Jinping that China would cut emissions to net zero by 2060 is enormously important. China, the biggest greenhouse gas emitter, may have fired the starting gun on what will become a global race to eliminate fossil fuels. [BBC]

Wind turbines in China (Public domain, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “What Happened To Coal Is Happening To Oil. Shell To Cut 9,000 Jobs” • Despite Trump’s best efforts, coal has continued its steady decline as a source of power in the US and around the world as the cost of renewable energy and grid scale storage continue to fall. Now the same slow slide into oblivion is beginning for oil as well. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hours Before Presidential Debate, Coal Sinks And Floating Solar Panels Soar” • First, gigantic energy firm Vistra announced it will shutter its entire Midwest coal fleet in favor of renewables and energy storage. Then, the US DOE  suggested that almost half of all global electricity could be supplied by floating solar panels on hydropower reservoirs. [CleanTechnica]

Rooftop solar panels (Courtesy of Vistra, “Vision Zero”)


¶ “Shell To Cut Up To 9,000 Jobs In Shift To Low-Carbon Energy” • Royal Dutch Shell will cut as many as 9,000 jobs as the oil giant accelerates a shift away from fossil fuels. Shell is going through an overhaul aimed to cut costs and simplify its structure as part of that shift. The company expects the overhaul to save up to $2.5 billion annually by 2022. [CNN]

¶ “Brazilian Court Blocks Government’s Decision To Revoke Key Mangrove Protections” • A Brazilian court blocked a move by the country’s government to revoke key regulations protecting its mangroves. Mangrove swamps are homes for many species of sea birds and safe havens for young fish, crabs, and shrimp. They prevent erosion and are carbon sinks. [CNN]

Mangroves (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Tesla Will Begin Selling Chinese Model 3 With LFP Batteries This Week” • Confidential sources tell Reuters that Tesla will begin selling Model 3 cars built in Shanghai and equipped with LFP (LiFePO₄) batteries to customers in China this week. Lithium iron phosphate batteries contain no nickel and no cobalt. Prices have not been announced. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Mazda Brings £25,545 Electric Crossover To Market” • The Mazda MX-30 has a fairly affordable price given that it’s a crossover and Mazda’s first EV. But that moderate price comes at the expense of quite a bit of range. It has 124 miles of range on a full charge, which would have been good 5 years ago, but is not really up to market norms today. [CleanTechnica]

Mazda MX-30

¶ “France’s Total Hikes Renewables Spending, Eyeing Big Power Growth” • Faced with oil’s gloomy long-term prospects, France’s Total said it would hike its annual investments in renewable energy and electricity by 50% as it cuts reliance on oil, emulating European rivals in a bid to become a major low-carbon power producer. [US News & World Report Money]

¶ “Shell: Liquid Hydrogen Will Be Dominant Future Fuel” • In a 26-page report, oil major Royal Dutch Shell suggested that shipping has a hydrogen-powered future as the sector moves to decarbonize its operations. While technical work on its use as a marine fuel is not yet complete, Shell believes that safe designs can be engineered. [The Maritime Executive]

Shell container ship

¶ “IRENA Presents $2 Trillion Plan To Drive 5.5 Million Renewables Jobs By 2023” • With its annual renewable energy jobs report, the International Renewable Energy Agency urged governments to more than double annual investment in energy transition technology to almost $2 trillion up to 2023 to drive the global Covid-19 recovery. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Vestas Closes Out Quarter With 415-MW Surge” • Vestas has ended the third quarter with turbine orders totalling 415 MW for wind projects in Russia, Chile, and Denmark. The biggest order is from Wind Energy Development Fund, a joint investment fund between Fortum and Rusnano, for 252 MW of turbines to go to five wind projects in Russia. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Vestas image)

¶ “Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Preventable, Court Rules, With More Damages Claims Likely” • A Japanese court found both the government and TEPCO, the operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant, negligent for failing to take measures to prevent the 2011 nuclear disaster. It ordered them to pay ¥1 billion ($9.5 million) in damages, but further action could come. [The Guardian]


¶ “General Motors To Achieve 60% Renewable Energy Thanks To Massive Arkansas Solar Deal” • GM announced a significant step towards achieving its goal of sourcing 100% of its energy from renewables by 2040. The company has signed a power purchase agreement for a 180 MW solar project that is set to be built in Arkansas. [pv magazine USA]

GM factory (GM image)

¶ “Smoke from California Wildfires Decreases Solar Generation in CAISO” • In the first two weeks of September 2020, average solar electricity generation in the California Independent System Operator declined nearly 30% from the July 2020 average, as wildfires burned across the state. CAISO covers 90% of utility-scale solar capacity in California. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Farmers And Ranchers In Action Group Commits To UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals” • US Farmers & Ranchers in Action issued a report spotlighting the key role US agriculture plays in reaching the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. They acknowledged a need for unmatched collaboration for climate-smart agriculture. [CleanTechnica]

Have an ineffably exquisite day.

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