December 23 Energy News

December 23, 2020


¶ “Electrify Everything: The Cost Of Solar Cells Has Nowhere To Go But Down, Down, Down” • Silicon solar cells deserve a pat on the back for ushering in the renewable energy revolution, but now it’s time for more efficient, less expensive technology to take the wheel. If you guessed that means perovskites, run right out and buy yourself a cigar. [CleanTechnica]

Perovskites and silicon (Photo courtesy of Oxford PV)

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Tiny Forests Designed By Feng Shui” • Despite China’s grand environmental plans, its past reforestation efforts using non-native trees and fast-growing monoculture crops haven’t always been successful. Now, some scientists believe that forests based in feng shui, rich in biodiversity, could provide a blueprint for sustainable planting. [BBC]


¶ “Motorcycles Are A Big Deal In Kenya, And Fika’s Plan To Electrify Them Is Progressing Well” • Motorcycles are a big deal in Kenya, with 210,103 registered in 2019. Fika Mobility wants to electrify Kenya’s commercial motorcycles and is confident that the unit economics of its electric bikes will convince riders to transition to them. [CleanTechnica]

Fika electric bikes (Image by Katherine Keango)

¶ “Audi Plans To Electrify The 2022 Dakar Rally” • The Dakar Rally is one of the most challenging automotive events on the planet. The event was originally run in Europe and Africa, but now it is run in different places around the world. Audi, part of the Volkswagen Group, is planning on entering the 2022 rally with an electric drivetrain. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Picks Up 465-MW Contract In Brazil” • Siemens Gamesa has landed a 465-MW deal with asset managers Patria Investments, to supply 75 of its 5.8-170 turbines to the São Vitor wind farm in northeastern Brazil. The turbines will be equipped with  with OptimaFlex technology and optimized for operating at 6.2 MW. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “Alberta Rushes To Embrace Coal” • Alberta, the Canadian province famous for pushing the liquid death derived from its tar sands on the world, has seen the light. With oil prices so low and the market in turmoil, Alberta has shifted to Plan B: Alberta will mine more coal and ship it to global markets, just as the coal market is collapsing. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Enel Starts Spinning 140-MW South Africa Wind” • Enel Green Power’s 140-MW Nxuba wind farm in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province has started commercial operation. The €200 million wind farm has a 20-year power supply agreement with the South African energy utility Eskom, as part of a South African government tender. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Enel Green Power image)

¶ “Vestas Lands 360-MW Brazilian Contract” • Vestas signed an agreement with Casa dos Ventos for the 360-MW Babilônia project in Brazil. The delivery of wind turbines is planned for the second half of 2022, with commissioning to be in the second quarter of 2023. The project is the fourth contract between the companies in just two years. [reNEWS]

¶ “‘Disappointing’ Decision From Norway’s Supreme Court In Climate Lawsuit Challenging Arctic Offshore Oil Licenses” • Norway’s Supreme Court ruled not to overturn the Norwegian government’s approval of new licenses for offshore oil drilling in the fragile Arctic region. The ruling was a big disappointment for environmental and climate activists. [DeSmog]

Offshore oil rig (Carroll Muffett, Greenpeace, via Twitter)

¶ “Fukushima Nuclear Debris Removal To Be Delayed Due To Pandemic” • TEPCO, the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which suffered core meltdowns in 2011, has decided to delay the removal of nuclear debris by about one year from 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to sources. [The Japan Times]


¶ “Climate Change: Oregon’s Western Cascades Watershed To Experience Larger, More Frequent Fires” • The Clackamas Basin rarely experiences the intense fire activity that burned there during the Labor Day fires, but research out of Portland State University shows such wildfires could become more common under a warming climate. [SciTechDaily]

After the Riverside Fire (US Forest Service image)

¶ “Federal Stimulus Includes Wind, Solar Tax Credit Extensions, Adds First US Offshore Wind Tax Credit” • The stimulus package passed by congress includes extensions on the solar and wind production tax credit and investment tax credit, energy efficiency incentives, research and development “enhancements” for clean energy technologies, and more. [Utility Dive]

¶ “Long Island Eyes Program To Lower Energy Costs, Boost Renewable Energy” • Lawmakers in New York’s Suffolk County will look in the New Year into creating a digital platform to help town and village governments join and operate pacts to lower energy costs for consumers. The platform will be based on community choice aggregation. [WSHU]

Solar array (Pexels image)

¶ “State’s First Wind Farm In Madison County Celebrates 20th Anniversary” • New York state and local leaders are marking the 20th anniversary of EDP Renewables North America’s Madison Wind Farm, the first wind farm in the state. The 11.55-MW wind farm came online in 2000 and has provided clean energy since that time. [Rome Sentinel]

¶ “South Brunswick Passes Clean Energy Ordinance” • In New Jersey, the South Brunswick Township Council voted in favor of an ordinance backed by Food & Water Watch to create a new energy program. Passed unanimously, it will put the town on a path to offer 100% renewable electricity to all residents by the end of the decade. []

Have an inspiringly magical day.

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