October 26 Energy News

October 26, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “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 This view is not just seriously outdated, it flies in the face of capital flows in the energy sector.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)

World:

¶ “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]

Australia:

¶ “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)

US:

¶ “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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