October 1 Energy News

October 1, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “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”)

World:

¶ “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]

US:

¶ “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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