Archive for January, 2021

January 31 Energy News

January 31, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Biden’s Climate Agenda: Is This The Beginning Of The End For Fossil Fuels?” • The author spoke to the man Joe Biden has tasked with drawing up his climate change battle plans – John Kerry. “It is one of his top priorities, without any question whatsoever,” Mr Kerry assured him. “He’ll make more progress on the issue than any previous president.” [BBC]

Pump jack (Jeff W, Unsplash)

¶ “Why Your Banking Habits Matter For The Climate” • The connection between investments and greenhouse gas emissions may not be intuitively clear. But your financial habits could be having a big impact on the environment. As a consumer with money to invest, the decisions you take about what to do with it can be surprisingly important. [BBC]

¶ “Big Oil Woos Big Corn To Fight Off Biden EV Push” • Like a deer in the headlights, Big Oil is watching the fast moving train wreck headed its way and trying everything it can think of to avoid the carnage a major market disruption will bring. And one thing that includes is likely to be cozying up to its longtime rival, the ethanol industry. [CleanTechnica]

Corn field under a cloud (Dave Hoefler, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Autonomous Vehicles Take To The Skies With Emergency Auto Landing” • Emergency Autoland (EAL) is coming. EAL would take over an airplane if it detects that the pilot is not able to fly it. It then handles all of the flying tasks, including sending out warnings to control towers and other aircraft. And it can land the plane, preventing loss of life. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Scania Ditches Fuel Cell Trucks To Focus On Full Electric” • Sweden’s Scania AB, one of the world’s largest heavy duty truck and bus manufacturers, is benching its fuel cell electric vehicle program and pushing ahead with full electric, powertrains built around batteries for its zero emission transport future. Scania is owned by Volkswagen AG. [CleanTechnica]

Scania electric truck (Scania image)

¶ “Climate Change Report ‘Incredibly Encouraging’, PM Says” • The first report of New Zealand’s Climate Change Commission shows that reaching the country’s emissions reduction goals is both achievable and affordable. The Prime Minister calls this incredibly encouraging. The report lays out a path to reducing greenhouse gas emissions drastically. [RNZ]

¶ “Open the Gates! 23% Plugin Vehicle Share in Europe!” • The overall automotive market still in the red in December (-4% YoY), but Europe’s passenger plugin vehicle market had an historic month, having registered a record 281,000 vehicles (+264% YoY!), adding an amazing 115,000 units to the previous record, which was set in the previous month. [CleanTechnica]

Renault Zoe (Renault Press Image)

 

¶ “First Nuclear Unit With Hualong One Reactor In Operation” • China’s first nuclear power unit using Hualong One, the country’s indigenous third-generation nuclear power technology, was put into commercial operation, China National Nuclear Corporation said. China is one of only four countries that have developed third-generation reactors. [Chinadaily USA]

¶ “China’s Renewable Energy Generation Maintains Growth In 2020” • China’s renewable energy generation rose 8.4% year on year to 2.21 trillion kWh in 2020, according to the National Energy Administration. By the end of last year, the national renewable energy capacity had hit 934 GW, up 17.5% from the year before. [Global Times]

Wind turbines in China (Chris Lim, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

US:

¶ “Ikea Bought 11,000 Acres Of Forest In Georgia To Protect It From Development ” • Ingka Group, which owns and operates most Ikea stores, acquired forestland in southeast Georgia to protect it and its diverse ecosystems from development. The company announced that it purchased 10,840 acres of land near the Altamaha River Basin. [CNN]

¶ “Tucson Electric Power’s Biggest Solar Farm Taking Shape South Of The City” • The Wilmot Energy Center, a 100-MW PV project with 30 MW of linked battery storage, is currently under construction south of Tucson. A spokesman for the developer, NextEra Energy Resources, said operations are scheduled to begin as early as April. [Arizona Daily Star]

Wilmot Energy Center (David Sanders, Tucson Electric Power)

¶ “US Transportation Emissions Expected To Shoot Up Again In 2021 And 2022” • With the Covid-19 pandemic, the Earth had a momentary pause from escalating CO₂ emissions. Unfortunately that was only a pause. Information from the Energy Information Administration implies that we will return to 2019 emissions levels from transportation in 2022. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Scientist Jobs Left Vacant By Previous Admin Need Filling As Biden Tackles Environmental Challenges” • The number of scientists who carry out environmental research, enforcement and other jobs fell in several agencies, and sharply in some, under former President Donald Trump, federal data shows. That is a challenge for President Joe Biden. [KTLA]

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January 30 Energy News

January 30, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Dizzying Pace Of Biden’s Climate Action Sounds Death Knell For Era Of Denialism” • The first ten days of Biden’s presidency have represented a startling handbrake turn from Donald Trump’s term, where climate science was routinely disparaged or sidelined and policies to cut planet-heating emissions were jettisoned. This is a new era. [The Guardian]

President Biden signing an executive order (White House photo)

Science and Technology:

¶ “This Is The Hydrogen Generator That Will Power The Extreme E Electric Off-Road Racers” • The upcoming Extreme E off-road series for electric race cars has brought up questions about where the fuel would come from in the remote deserts and jungles. Extreme E just revealed the portable, hydrogen-powered generator to make the fuel. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Why Is VW’s MEB Platform Being Used In Boats?” • The idea behind VW’s MEB platform is to have common electric drive components for a broad variety of electric vehicles. MEB is more about having common motors, controllers, modular battery packs, and related components than about a specific skateboard design. It can go into boats. [CleanTechnica]

Silent-Yachts Silent 55 (VW and Silent-Yachts image, cropped)

¶ “PowerX Energy Suite Aims To Help Upgrade Your House Into A More Efficient “Smart” Home” •  A crowdfunded “smart” home sensor system, PowerX, promises to give people insight into their home’s electricity, water consumption, and water heating usage on a very granular level. It claims to enable savings of “an average of $360/year per person.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Snowy Owl Spotted In New York’s Central Park For First Time In 130 Years” • A snowy owl was spotted in New York City’s Central Park Wednesday morning for the first time in 130 years, The New York Times reported. Snowy owls live in Arctic areas but are known to venture south during the winter, if they need to find something to eat. [EcoWatch]

Snowy owl (Kendra Young, Unsplash)

¶ “USA Wins Electric Vehicle Battery Battle With Assist From US Army” • The big energy storage news comes from Brookhaven National Laboratory, part of the US DOE’s sprawling network of A-list research facilities, and it’s a fine example of how science never sleeps. Brookhaven scientists have been working tirelessly, despite a president’s disapproval. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Meet CityQ, The 4-Wheeled Electric ‘Car-eBike’ That Can Carry Passengers And Cargo” • The CityQ is another approach to micromobility. It’s a 4-wheeled enclosed electric “Car-eBike” with a range of up to 43-62 miles (70-100 km) per charge and a 5-hour charge time. It can carry two adults (or one adult and two kids) and/or cargo. [CleanTechnica]

CityQ (Image via CityQ)

¶ “Corporates Buy A Record 23.7 GW Of Renewable Capacity In 2020” • Corporations purchased a record of 23.7 GW of clean energy in 2020, up from 20.1 GW in 2019 and 13.6 GW in 2018, BloombergNEF research shows. This came despite Covid-19, global recession, and uncertainty about US energy policy ahead of the presidential election. [Smart Energy]

¶ “S&P Warns Oil Majors A Downgrade Is Coming ‘Within Weeks'” •  According to The Guardian, the well-known financial ratings company S&P has warned thirteen of the largest oil and gas companies in the world that it may downgrade their credit rating within weeks because of increasing competition from renewable energy. [CleanTechnica]

Oil platform (NAFTA)

¶ “Maharashtra To Power Modi Govt’s Rooftop Solar Mission” • Targeting generation of 38,000 MW of power through rooftop solar by the end of 2022, India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has now tasked Maharashtra with setting up 500 MW of residential solar power under the centrally-sponsored Off Grid Rooftop Solar Program. [The Indian Express]

¶ “Better Energy Secures Power Deal For Danish PV” • Global pharmaceutical company Lundbeck has entered a seven-year PPA with Better Energy to ensure 100% renewable electricity consumption. As a result of the agreement, Better Energy will build a new 34-MW solar park and bring more new renewable electricity into the Danish grid. [reNEWS]

Solar array (Better Energy image)

US:

¶ “Minnesota Lawmakers Begin Work On Renewable Energy Bill” • Minnesota lawmakers are beginning work on clean energy legislation that would require utilities to generate 100% of their electricity from carbon-free resources by 2040, as a renewed focus on climate change ramps up with a new administration in the White House. [Finance and Commerce]

¶ “BP And Equinor Cement US Offshore Wind Partnership” • BP and Equinor completed the formation of their strategic US offshore wind partnership. This includes a $1.1 billion purchase by BP of 50% interest in two major lease areas off the US East Coast owned by Equinor. The new partnership will develop up to 4.4 GW through two projects. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind power (Equinor image)

¶ “EDF Renewables Switches On 214 MW Of Solar + Storage In Southern California” • EDF Renewables North America reached commercial operation of the 114-MW Desert Harvest 1 and 100-MW Desert Harvest 2 Solar Projects on land in Riverside County, California. Desert Harvest 2 includes a 35-MW, 4-hour energy storage system.  [Solar Power World]

¶ “Investors See Green Returns As Renewable Energy Rises” • FirstSolar, Enphase, and SunPower are among the renewable energy stocks that benefit from a friendly administration in the White House, whose agenda includes tackling climate change and bolstering green energy. Their stocks soared last year, far outpacing the wider market. [WIZM NEWS]

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January 29 Energy News

January 29, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Climate Crisis Gets Help From Millions Of Tiny Little Heat Pumps” • Just as President Biden unleashes a torrent of new climate crisis orders, the US DOE is out with a new roadmap for achieving a carbon neutral US by 2050. Decarbonizing the energy and industrial sectors would cost about $1.00 per person per day, the research shows. [CleanTechnica]

Eight steps toward net-zero emissions (image via Berkeley Lab) Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Governments Can Push EVs And Rooftop Solar To Tipping Points And Social Contagion” • The climate crisis may seem so vast and complex problem that mankind is simply incapable of addressing it. But a study offers hope that transformational change in just a couple of key sectors could bring about “tipping points” that have outsize effects. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Earth Is The Hottest It’s Been In 12,000 Years, A New Study Confirms” • A study published in the journal Nature this week revealed that the planet is hotter now than it has been in at least 12,000 years, and very well may be warmer than at any point in the last 125,000 years. The study is based on much improved models, which explain past trends. [Mic]

Greenland ice (Tina Rolf, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Ford To Start Building Electric Mustangs In China” • Ford is to start building its iconic Mustang cars in China for the first time. The US carmaker said its Mustang Mach-E will start being made there later this year as it looks to tap into China’s EV market. Western brands are aggressively targeting China, where EV sales are expected to grow strongly. [BBC]

¶ “LEF Is A Dutch E-Bike/Car Chimera Promising 66 Miles Of Range With No Pedaling Necessary” • For those looking for a micromobility with an enclosed cabin, a comfortable seated driving position, and space inside the vehicle to haul groceries, there have been a few fairly successful offerings. LEF is one you don’t even have to pedal. [CleanTechnica]

LEF (EV Mobility image)

¶ “Renewables Surge Past Fossil Fuels In UK Energy Mix” • In the UK, renewable resources overtook fossil fuels as the main source of electricity in 2020, new analysis by climate and energy think tank Ember has revealed. A record 42% of the UK’s electricity was generated by renewables in 2020, compared to a 41% share by fossil fuels. [reNEWS]

¶ “Ingka Group Exceeds Goal To Generate More Renewable Energy Than It Consumes” • The Ingka Group Annual Summary & Sustainability Report reveals that for the first time, Ingka Group produced more renewable energy than it consumed. The company operates hundreds of IKEA stores and aims to be climate positive by 2030. [Canada NewsWire]

IKEA Canada wind farm (CNW Group/IKEA Canada)

US:

¶ “Sen Whitehouse drops the mic after 279 speeches on one issue” • Every week since 2012, when the Senate refused to take up a House-passed climate bill, Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse has delivered a “wakeup speech.” Now that President Biden issued a veritable tsunami of executive orders on climate, Whitehouse has dropped his mic. [CNN]

¶ “GM Looks To Sell Only Emission-Free Vehicles By 2035” • General Motors said it plans to be carbon neutral by 2040 in its global operations and hopes to offer only zero-emissions vehicles by 2035. GM had previously announced that it was working towards an “all electric future,” but it had not set any target date for achieving that goal. [CNN]

Charging a Chevrolet (Chevrolet image)

¶ “VW Wants In On The Federal EV Goldrush” • The federal government uses at least 650,000 vehicles, but President Biden has a plan to work with GSA to convert most of the state, local, tribal, and even some non-profit and federal corporation fleets (like the US Postal Service) to electric. VW says it is ready to make the EVs we need in Chattanooga. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Lightsource BP Inks 152-MW US Solar Offtake” • Lightsource BP has entered into a virtual power purchase agreement with Verizon Communications that will support construction of a 152-MW solar project in Indiana. The Bellflower solar farm, which is east of Indianapolis in Henry and Rush Counties, is expected to become operational in 2022. [reNEWS]

Solar panels and flowers (Lightsource BP image)

¶ “US Wind Energy Production Tax Credit Extended Through 2021” • At the end of December 2020, Congress extended the PTC at 60% of the full credit amount, or 1.8¢/kWh, for another year through December 31, 2021. Under the new PTC legislation, qualifying wind projects must begin construction by December 31, 2021. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Verizon Signs A Further 845 MW Of US Renewables PPAs With Major Solar Developers” • Mobile communications giant Verizon has become one of the leading corporate buyers of renewable energy in the US. The company revealed that it has signed six new 15-year solar power-purchase agreements, adding up to 845 MW. [Recharge]

Solar array (Karsten Würth, Unsplash)

¶ “Berkshire East Operates From 100% On-Site Renewable Energy” • In Charlemont, Massachusetts, the Berkshire East ski area, owned and operated by the Schaefer family, runs on 100% renewable energy. The Schaefer’s also own Bosquet Mountain and Catamount ski areas, both of which use renewables for much of their energy. [WWLP]

¶ “House Passes Bill That Ups Renewable Electricity Mandate To 40% By 2035” • The Delaware House has approved legislation that would increase the state’s electricity generated by renewable sources from 25% to 40% by 2035. Delaware is currently on track to meet the existing goal of 25% renewable energy by 2025, one sponsor said. [delawarebusinessnow.com]

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January 28 Energy News

January 28, 2021

World:

¶ “Solar Yacht Manufacturer To Feature VW’s MEB Modular E-Drive System” • When thinking of Volkswagen, yachts probably don’t dome to mind, but that may be changing soon. VW entered a new partnership with a solar yacht manufacturer, Silent-Yachts, to incorporate VW’s MEB electric drive system into its newest model, the Silent Yacht 50. [CleanTechnica]

Solar Yacht (Image via Volkswagen)

¶ “Climate-Action Partnership Launched To Help Transform Heavy Industry And Transport” • The Rocky Mountain Institute, Energy Transitions Commission, We Mean Business, and World Economic Forum have founded the Mission Possible Partnership to accelerate decarbonization of global industries representing 30% of global emissions. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Avoiding Oceanic Disaster: Norsepower Installs First Tiltable Rotorsails” • Instead of relying on large cloth sails like an ancient sailing ship, Norsepower’s technology has rotating cylinder sails. Now there is a tiltable version of the spinning sail. This means vessels that must travel under bridges can still be able to take advantage of the technology. [CleanTechnica]

Ship with tiltable spinning sail (Photo by Norsepower)

¶ “UK, Germany, And Spain Reach Renewable Energy Milestone” • In 2020, renewables generated 38% of Europe’s electricity and overtook fossil-fuels for the first time, according to Ember and Agora Energiewende’s fifth annual report. The UK, Germany, and Spain achieved the milestone for the first time. But the report warns that the transition is too slow. [Energy Digital]

¶ “Foresight Solar Pivots To Grid Batteries” • Foresight Solar Fund is seeking shareholder approval to amend the company’s investment policy to invest in grid batteries that are co-located with solar plants. Since its launch, eight years ago, Foresight Solar Fund has acquired 58 ground based solar power plants, 50 of which are in the UK. [reNEWS]

Solar array (Foresight Solar Fund image)

¶ “Major Milestone For World’s Biggest Solar Project” • Plans to develop a 10-GW solar farm to export electricity to Singapore through a submarine transmission link continue to gather steam. The Northern Territory Government and Sun Cable signed the Project Development Agreement. The project will also have 30 GW of storage. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “BayWa RE Inks Polish Solar Offtake” • BayWa RE has signed a solar power purchase agreement with German construction materials company HeidelbergCement in Poland. The power purchase agreement is for output from Poland’s largest solar PV farm, which is a 65MW project near Witnica. The plant is due online in the first half of this year. [reNEWS]

Solar power at the end of a rainbow (BayWa RE image)

¶ “High Radiation Facilities Inside Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant May Delay Decommissioning Process” • The investigation of the nuclear disaster found that there were areas with extremely high radiation levels near the fifth floor of the reactor buildings of Units 2 and 3. This may lead to a delay in decommissioning the plant. [The Japan News]

¶ “Wind Wins 1 GW In Spanish Renewables Auction” • Almost 1 GW of wind power leases have been awarded to seven companies at a renewables auction in Spain. The Wind Business Association calculates investment of more than €1 billion by developers will be needed. According to Wind Europe, the lowest wind energy bid had a price of €20/MWh (2.4¢/kWh). [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Johanna Montoy, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Biden Signed Two Executive Orders And A Memorandum Wednesday. Here’s What They Do” • President Joe Biden issued an executive order directing a number of actions on the Climate Crisis and an executive order establishing a Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. In addition, he issued a memorandum designed to ensure scientific integrity. [CNN]

¶ “Biden Aims For Comprehensive Climate Approach As He Halts New Oil And Gas Leases On Federal Land” • President Joe Biden signed several executive actions related to the climate crisis on Wednesday, including one directing the secretary of the interior to pause on entering into new oil and natural gas leases on public lands or offshore waters. [CNN]

President Joe Biden (White House image)

¶ “Tesla Giga Texas: Three Months Ago And Today” • Last year was incredible, but for Tesla, it was especially so. Giga Texas is coming along at such a speed that Jeff Roberts, one of the drone operators who is part of the “Quad Squad” tracking progress of the Tesla gigafactory, believes that Giga Texas will surpass the speed of Giga Berlin. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla’s Had 83% Increase In Energy Storage Deployments In 2020” • In its most recent earnings report, Tesla noted that its energy storage deployments grew from 2019 to 2020. “For the first time, our total battery deployments surpassed 3 GWh in a single year, which is an 83% increase compared to the prior year,” Tesla’s report stated. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla energy storage (Tesla image)

¶ “Tesla To Start Deliveries Of The Semi This Year” • In Tesla’s Q4 2020 Earnings Report, Tesla announced that it is excited to ramp up the updated Model S and Model X as well as deliver its first Tesla Semi by the end of the year. If all goes to plan, Tesla will remain on track to start deliveries from Giga Berlin and Giga Texas this year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Nextera To Add Up To 30 GW Of New Renewables In Next 4 Years” • NextEra expects to build about 23-30 GW of renewables between 2021 and 2024, including 12.15 to 17.3 GW in 2023 to 2024. It is “by far the largest expected two-year development program in our history,” CEO Jim Robo said Tuesday during the company’s Q4 2020 earnings call. [Utility Dive]

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January 27 Energy News

January 27, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “The New Use For Abandoned Oil Rigs” • There are more than 12,000 offshore oil and gas platforms worldwide. As they drain their reservoirs of fossil fuels, they become unprofitable, and then they have to be decommissioned. One way to do that is to turn their submarine structures into artificial reefs, which are hosts to varied marine life. [BBC]

Oil platforms (Crescent Petroleum,  Icethorn, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Tesla Trying To Make Real Cars With Unibody Casting Like Toy Cars Are Made” • Tesla has not given up on its dream of making cars by casting the entire body in one piece. Elon Musk recently tweeted, “With our giant casting machines, we are literally trying to make full-size cars in the same way that toy cars are made.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Accounting For Value Of Nature Reinforces Paris Climate Targets” • The key finding in a study of climate-economics models is that they have been underestimating the cost of climate damages to society by a factor of more than five. The study, by researchers at UC Davis, was published in the journal Nature Sustainability. [Yale Climate Connections]

Spider web (Jan Huber, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Climate Change: The Biggest Global Poll Supports ‘Global Emergency'” • Results from the largest opinion poll yet taken on tackling global warming show that despite the pandemic, almost two thirds of people around the world now view climate change as a global emergency. Over a million people in fifty countries took part in the survey. [BBC]

¶ “Statkraft, Aker Offshore Join Forces On Norway Wind” • Statkraft, Aker Offshore Wind and Aker Horizons have signed a cooperation agreement to explore offshore wind project opportunities in Norway.  The cooperation will explore the opportunity for bottom-fixed offshore wind at the Norwegian Sørlige Nordsjø II development area. [reNEWS]

Offshore substation (Statkraft image)

¶ “Cumulative Corporate Commitments Drive Demand For 2.8 GW Of Renewable Electricity” • A report released by Greenpeace shows the cumulative commitments of Australia corporations surged in 2020 and accounted for 1.8 GW of the 2.8 GW total. The retail industry emerged as the clear leader in the corporate race to renewables. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Renewable Energy ‘Power House’ To Open In Highlands” • The Power House, a center for research and development in floating offshore wind and green hydrogen, is to be opened in the Highlands. In addition to R&D, it will provide re-training for people who have worked in other energy industry sectors, such as oil and gas and nuclear. [Energy Voice]

WindFloat 1 demonstration unit

¶ “Germany Adds 1.4 GW Of Onshore Windpower Capacity” • Germany installed 1,431 MW of additional onshore wind capacity in 2020, comprising 420 turbines, according to associations BWE and VDMA Power Systems. The figures for 2020 represent an increase of 46% compared to 2019. About 339 MW of the amount was repowering projects. [reNEWS]

¶ “Record 4.8 GW Of New Plants In 2020 Boosts The Turkish Renewables Capacity To 49 GW” • Turkey added a record 4.8 GW of renewable generating capacity last year. The new capacity brings the total for renewables to 49 GW out of Turkey’s 95 GW of installed power. Half of the new renewable energy capacity was hydropower. [Balkan Green Energy News]

Istanbul (Alirıza Çetİntürk, Pixabay)

¶ “Hinkley Point C Nuclear Power Station Delayed And Costs Rise” • The Hinkley Point C nuclear power station is set to be delayed, and costs are likely to be £500 million more than previously thought, according to the energy giant behind it. EDF said “significant progress” has been made, despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. [News & Star]

¶ “Cubico Invests In 300-MW Australian Wind Farm” • Cubico Sustainable Investments will be the the principal project investor for Australia’s 300-MW Delburn Wind Farm. The investor has joined OSMI Australia as joint development partner and will purchase 100% of the project before construction starts. The wind farm is in the state of Victoria. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Cubico image)

US:

¶ “Biden To Halt New Oil And Gas Leases On Federal Lands” • President Joe Biden is set to order a moratorium on new oil and gas leases on federal lands, a person familiar with his plans said. The move is expected to be the most prominent in a series of climate actions he will take today, including elevating the climate crisis as a national security issue. [CNN]

¶ “Lightsource BP Turns Sod On 316 MW Of Texas Solar” • Lightsource BP concluded a $380 million financing and has begun construction of two solar PV farms in Texas. The projects are the 163-MW Elm Branch solar array and the 153-MW Briar Creek project. Commercial operation of both of the projects is expected by late 2021. [reNEWS]

Solar array (Lightsource BP image)

¶ “Biden Plans All Electric US Government Fleet, Gas Tax Will Be Reexamined ” • While signing his Buy American executive order on January 25, President Biden said, “The federal government … owns an enormous fleet of vehicles, which we’re going to replace with clean electric vehicles made right here in America, by American workers.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Newark, Delaware Offering Residents Option To Purchase 100% Renewable Electricity” • Residents of Newark, Delaware soon will have the option to purchase electricity that is 100% renewable. The city council approved the plan Monday night, providing an option that city officials say some residents have been requesting for years. [Newark Post]

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January 26 Energy News

January 26, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Poking The Wind Power Dragon In Ohio, One Factory At A Time” • The state of Ohio has been slow to move on the wind power revolution, and last year’s passage of the notorious HB 6 energy bill didn’t help matters much. But CleanTechnica came across One Energy, a wind company has figured out how to keep the turbines coming. [CleanTechnica]

Workers installing a tower (Photo via One Energy)

¶ “Green A Building, Save The Planet” • In 2050, roughly half the US building stock will be buildings that are standing today. We need to reduce energy use and emissions from those buildings. Greening a building through energy and water efficiency is the fastest, most effective way to cut our pollution, and at the same time, it saves money. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “A Powerful Tool To Fight Climate Denialism And Conspiracy Theories” • Occam’s Razor is a well-known tool for addressing complex problems. It says that the simplest explanation is often the correct one. When you are dealing with denial of climate change and conspiracy theories, applying Occam’s Razor can simplify the descussion. [CleanTechnica]

Warming planet (NASA image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Coronavirus Ten Times More Deadly Than Covid” • Mers (Middle East respiratory syndrome) is a dangerous coronavirus that was discovered in Saudi Arabia in 2012. It spread to humans from camels. Climate change is making this a growing problem, because herders in Africa are raising camels instead of cattle as the supplies of water are declining. [BBC]

¶ “New Solar Arrays To Power NASA’s International Space Station Research” • Designed for a 15-year service life, some of the solar panels at the International Space Station have been operating continuously since December 2000. Other panels have been added over the years, and now more are to be set up to increase the stations power. [CleanTechnica]

Roll-Out Solar Array (NASA image)

¶ “Researchers Claim Redox Flow Battery Breakthrough Will Cost $25 Per kWh Or Less” • In the UK, researchers at Warwick University, in cooperation with colleagues at Imperial College London, say they have found a way to dramatically reduce the cost of redox flow batteries to £20 per kWh or less using very inexpensive materials. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Augwind To Build 120 MWh Of Compressed Air Energy Storage For Solar In Israel” • Israel’s second renewable energy tender was for solar-plus-storage projects, and Israel Electric Corporation awarded 609 MW of solar and 2.4 GWh of energy storage. Compressed air systems by Augwind will provide at least 120 MWh of the storage. [CleanTechnica]

Augwind’s AirBattery process (Screenshot)

¶ “South Africa To Seek 6.8 GW Of Renewable Energy In Next 12 Months” • South Africa plans for three procurement rounds for 6.8 GW of renewable energy over the next year, and a combined 5 GW of new coal, gas, and storage, an ANC presentation showed. South Africa is heavily dependent on coal for its electricity, and it suffers from frequent outages. [TechCentral]

¶ “Vattenfall Invests In In-Turbine Toilets” • Vattenfall has placed an order for the offshore wind industry’s “first” in-turbine toilet. The Swedish developer is spending more than a few pennies by installing the cubicles in every turbine on its Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm. The toilets are being installed for reasons of both safety and productivity. [reNEWS]

In-turbine toilet (PWS image)

¶ “India’s Aim Of Doubling Renewable Power By 2022 Gets Foreign Backers’ Boost” • India’s goal of doubling its renewable power by next year is getting a boost from international investors who see the market’s potential outweighing its significant risks. Total SA’s $2.5 billion investment in Adani Green Energy Ltd is one sign of interest. [Business Standard]

US:

¶ “Reader Tip And Pic Of SpaceX Phobos, Seconnd SpaceX Oil Rig” • CleanTechnica has covered the SpaceX purchase of two offshore oil rigs, with plans to modify them into floating launch and landing facilities for Starship. And we have been tracking progress of the rigs. Thanks to our readers, we now have pictures of the one called Phobos. [CleanTechnica]

Google Maps 3D view of the SpaceX rig, marked in red

¶ “Vineyard Wind Looks To Regain Spot In Project Pipeline” • With a new federal administration that is expected to be far more receptive to offshore wind projects, Vineyard Wind said it is ready to resubmit plans for a wind farm 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard that it yanked from federal review in early December. [Fall River Herald News]

¶ “Boone Town Council Approves Climate Resolution, Targets Town-Wide Renewable Energy By 2050” • In North Carolina, the Boone Town Council unanimously approved a climate resolution that aims to phase out the use of fossil fuels and reduce carbon emissions. A “climate and ecological emergency” declaration was also adopted. [The Appalachian Online]

Generating sources (Pixabay image)

¶ “America’s Largest Energy Buyers Call On Federal Government to Transition To Zero-Carbon Energy” • America’s largest energy customers are calling on the federal government to implement strong and specific national policies to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon power sector and expand access to clean energy for customers. [Business Wire]

¶ “Leeward To Acquire First Solar’s US Project Platform” • First Solar, Inc, based in Tempe, Arizona, announced its entry into a Sales and Purchase Agreement with Leeward Renewable Energy Development, LLC, based in Dallas. Leeward will acquire a solar project platform of approximately 10 GW. The transaction is expected to close in this quarter. [Energy Global]

Have a gratifyingly encouraging day.

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January 25 Energy News

January 25, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Do Auto Dealers Have A Future In New, Post-Pandemic World Of Electric Cars?” • As the auto industry goes electric, it’s getting harder to see a future for traditional auto dealerships, and the cracks appearing in the century-old edifice seem substantial. During the Covid-19 lockdown, some auto dealers have started looking into how to transition. [CleanTechnica]

Dealership, 2010 (Keene and Cheshire County Historical Photos)

¶ “How To Accelerate The Energy Transition In Developing Economies” • Each day that we exceed the earth’s capacity to absorb CO₂ requires even deeper cuts in subsequent years to keep warming below 1.5°C or 2°C. But outside Europe and the US, coal still dominates energy production. The transition away from coal is a huge opportunity. [World Economic Forum]

¶ “Wyoming Could Lead US Green Energy Push With Wind Power” • The area of Gillette, Wyoming was the self-declared “energy capital of the nation.” It used to supply some 40% of the country’s coal. That was a source of pride. Now, times have changed, and Wyoming offers some of the best areas in the country to develop windpower. [Deutsche Welle]

Wind turbines in Wyoming (CGP Grey, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Lynn Good, Duke Energy CEO, On How The New Biden Administration Will Push For A Greener Grid” • Lynn Good is the CEO of Duke Energy. She recently joined TIME for a video conversation to discuss the new Administration, the challenges of energy storage, and what it’s like when protesters build a fracking tower on your front lawn. [TIME]

¶ “Three Reasons Scientists Are Optimistic Under President Biden” • During the Trump Administration, there was a general feeling that science was under attack. Whether climate science, COVID-19, or the environment, a “fog” hung over the science community. Now, there seems to be a new optimism with the inauguration of President Biden. [Forbes]

Scientific survey lauch (NOAA, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “A Path To Fish-Friendly Hydropower” • A Europe-wide project called FIThydro, funded by the European Commission, has been working with research and industrial partners to study negative effects of existing hydroelectric power plants on fish populations and aquatic habitats to deliver new assessment and decision-making support tools. [Power Technology]

¶ “Will Airborne Wind Power Finally Fly In 2021?” • An energy technology that even Google parent company and Alphabet couldn’t get to work might finally achieve commercial takeoff this year. The German company SkySails Power announced that its energy kite concept would be taking to the skies in the Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius. [Greentech Media]

SkySails Power kite (SkySails Power image)

World:

¶ “Renewable Energy Surpassed Fossil Fuels For European Electricity In 2020” • Europeans got more of their electricity from renewable sources than fossil fuels for the first time last year, according to an annual report from Ember and Agora Energiewende. It found that 38% of electricity was generated by renewables last year, and 37% by fossil fuels. [CNN]

¶ “India’s Pravaig Dynamics Unveils Its Luxury EV, The Pravaig Extinction MK1” • Pravaig has a different approach to marketing. It also has a prototype of its vehicle, the Extinction MK1. It is a 2-door coupe with claimed specs of 504 km (313 miles) per charge, a top speed of 196 km/h (121 mph), and 150 kW of power (201 hp) under its hood. [CleanTechnica]

Pravaig Extinction MK1 (Screenshot)

¶ “Heatwave Sweeps Australian Cities And Raises Bushfire Danger” • A heatwave sweeping south-east Australia has sent temperatures soaring in the nation’s biggest cities and escalated the threat of bushfires. There was an emergency warning for Adelaide due to a large blaze in South Australia, and Victoria faced its worst fire risk in a year. [BBC]

¶ “MingYang Wins European Breakthrough Deal At Taranto” • Chinese turbine supplier MingYang has secured a deal to supply turbines to the 30-MW Taranto offshore wind farm off Italy, its first contract in Europe. The manufacturer will deliver 10 3.0-MW units to the project, which is in waters off the Apulia region. The project developer is Renexia. [reNEWS]

MingYang wind turbine (MingYang image)

¶ “BP Oil Exploration Team Swept Aside In Climate Revolution” • The geologists, engineers, and scientists of BP’s oil exploration team have been cut to less than 100 from a peak of more than 700 a few years ago, company sources told Reuters. The job cuts are part of a climate change-driven overhaul triggered last year by CEO Bernard Looney. [Reuters]

US:

¶ “Tesla To Host A Virtual Info Session For Energy Careers” • Tesla has announced that it is holding two virtual info sessions for those who are interested in learning about careers in Tesla Energy, solar roof, and solar panels. The first info session is for crew leads. The second session will be for licensed electricians and field service technicians. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla roof, Tesla battery, Tesla car (Tesla image)

¶ “US Rejoins Fight Against Climate Change At High Level Summit” • The US is returning to the global fight against climate change by joining talks on ways to better protect people and economies from the effects of global warming already taking place. Special Climate Envoy John Kerry will join world leaders at the Climate Adaptation Summit. [Devdiscourse]

¶ “Great Lakes Seeing Low Ice Cover Compared To This Time Last Year” • The Great Lakes have been slow to freeze this year, compared to years past. Around 2.4% of the Great Lakes are covered by ice, concentrated in the Green Bay region off Lake Michigan and Saginaw Bay in Lake Huron. That’s down from 11% cover at this time last year. [Michigan Radio]

Have an appropriately energized day.

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January 24 Energy News

January 24, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “US Offshore Wind Is Off To The Races (At Last!)” • The first two weeks of 2021 had big news for offshore windpower, and the inauguration of President Joe Biden will put a stiff wind into the industry’s sails. By the end of 2021, the Biden administration will likely have approved two projects and be reviewing up to a dozen more on the eastern seaboard. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore windpower (Reegan Fraser, Unsplash)

¶ “Fighting The ‘New Climate War’ With Michael Mann” • Well known atmospheric scientist Michael Mann has a new book titled The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet. It looks at how governments and corporations can make lasting impacts when it comes to climate change. The book especially targets those who say it is already too late. [KPCW]

¶ “Our Amazing Clean Energy Future Has Arrived” • Evidence of a great green wave is now overwhelming. In 2020 the world spent half a trillion dollars on renewables and clean technology, according to BloomergNEF. Prices are going down, and they will continue to fall with economies of scale, so the rate of renewable energy adoption will increase. [Foreign Policy]

Solar array in Japan (Mark Merner, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Corporate Solar Funding Increased 24% In 2020” • Global corporate funding in the solar power sector grew by $11.7 billion, or 24%, in 2020 compared to 2019, despite the pandemic. That figures covers a broad range of financing methods, including venture capital funding, private equity funding, debt financing, and public market financing. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Fiat 500e Dominates Italy’s EV Market In December, And BEVs Grow Eightfold!” • The year of coronavirus saw traditional car sales down all across Europe by double-digit percentages. Meanwhile electric cars have taken charge, offering a taste of things to come. In Italy, December’s EV sales were up by over eight times last year’s levels! [CleanTechnica]

Fiat 500e city car

¶ “In UK, 79% Of Drivers Could Charge An Electric Car Just Once Every Week Or Two” • A new study out of the UK points out that 79% of drivers in the country drive less than 150 miles per week, which could easily be met with one charge in most of the very popular EVs. If you get a longer range model, you might charge up just once every two weeks. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Saxon Church Prays For Deliverance From Nuclear Plant” • The Grade I-listed church St Peter-on-the-Wall was built in an abandoned Roman fort in about the year 660. Now the Bradwell B nuclear reactor is to be built threateningly close by. Members of the congregation question why nuclear power is needed when renewables are cheaper. [The Guardian]

St Peter-on-the-Wall (Mjrogers50, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “JinkoSolar Begins Construction On 20 Gigawatt Solar Cell Factory” • JinkoSolar, one of the largest solar module producers in the world, is building a 20-GW solar cell factory  it expects to be fully operational this year, with the first 10-GW half of the factory expected to be online by May. The plant is being built in Yunnan Province, China. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶ “New York Times: Electric Cars Are Cheaper And Cleaner” • A feature in the New York Times, citing a Massachusetts Institute of Technology study, definitively stated: “Electric vehicles are better for the climate than gas-powered cars … [and] despite the higher sticker price, electric cars may actually save drivers money in the long run.” [CleanTechnica]

Tesla (Matt Henry, Unsplash)

¶ “Two Former Trump Officials To Be Investigated For Posting Papers Denying Climate Change” • Two former Trump officials are to be investigated by the Commerce Department’s Office of Inspector General. They had posted dubious papers questioning man-made climate change using government logos but without the approval of the Trump administration. [BBC]

¶ “Panasonic Expands Home Solar Offerings In High-Growth Solar States” • Panasonic Corporation of North America has announced that it promoted 13 solar installers “to the Elite and Premium tiers of its Residential Solar Installer Program.” With higher demand, it appears that Panasonic is now selling solar panels in a bunch of new places. [CleanTechnica]

Have a completely successful day.

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January 23 Energy News

January 23, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Volkswagen’s Plan To ‘Kill Off Tesla’ Ain’t Happening – But We Need Volkswagen EVs To Succeed” • The Wall Street Journal published an article detailing how Volkswagen’s plan to beat Tesla “short-circuited.” The plan involved spending almost $50 billion up to the launch of the ID.3, but the technology VW promised just wasn’t there. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen ID.3

¶ “Tesla Model Y, KIA, Canoo – All The EV News That Fits, We Print” • 2021 is likely to be the year that the EV revolution goes mainstream. Tons of new models are coming to showrooms and investment in charging infrastructure is expanding rapidly. It was once that any EV news was turned into an article. But now our inbox is filled. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “What Is Green Hydrogen, How Is It Made And Will It Be The Fuel Of The Future?” • Abundant, cheap, and clean-burning hydrogen has long been described as the fuel of the future. And “green hydrogen,” which is made without fossil fuels, has been identified as a clean energy source that could help bring the world to net-zero emissions. [ABC News]

Green hydrogen (Rh2network, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Why Is Chevrolet Offering 0% Financing On Used EVs?” • Car and Driver confirmed with Chevrolet that it is offering financing at 0% not only for new Bolt EVs, but also for certified pre-owned Bolts and even Volts. There are obvious reasons to offer big incentives on the new Bolts, but reasons to stimulate the used market are worth a look. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Geothermal Energy Is Least Land-Use Intense Source Of The Renewable Energy Technologies” • It is important to understand how much land is required to build and operate electric power generating operations. A study says geothermal energy is by far the least land-use intensive source of electricity generation from renewable energy sources. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

Geothermal plant in Iceland (Tommy Kwak, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “UK Solar Capacity Grows By 545 MW In 2020” • An analysis by Solar Energy UK and Solar Media Ltd shows that last year, the first full subsidy-free calendar year, saw 545 MW of new solar PV capacity deployed in the UK. This is a 27% year-on-year increase from 2019. Of the new capacity, 60% was ground-mounted and 40% on rooftops. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “As Climate Change Push Grows, Japanese Firms Accelerate Shift To Renewable Energy” • With Japan announcing a goal to become carbon neutral by 2050 and the US getting back into the Paris Agreement, the momentum toward curtailing climate change is growing. And Japanese businesses are pushing plans to switch to renewables. [The Japan Times]

Cherry blossoms and Mt Fuji (Catriona Palo, Unsplash)

¶ “Renewable Energy Critical Driver Of Africa’s Post-COVID-19 Recovery And Prosperity” • The panelists in a 2021 UK Africa Investment Summit event said renewable energy will be a critical driver of Africa’s post-Covid-19 growth recovery and economic prosperity. They called for a stronger partnership between the United Kingdom and Africa. [Nairametrics]

¶ “‘Pushing For Nuclear Power In Ghana Is Wasteful And Ill-Advised’ – IES” • According to the Institute for Energy Security, the government of Ghana trying to introduce nuclear in the country is of concern, especially considering that countries like Italy, Spain, and Germany are moving away from nuclear power due to its complication. [Modern Ghana]

Nuclear power plant (Frédéric Paulussen, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Biden Revs The Executive Branch’s Climate Engine After Four Lost Years” • President Joe Biden gave an inaugural address that outlined the country’s many challenges he must face as the leader of its executive branch. The bulk of the speech carried a demand for unity and for truth as we tackle the “cascading crises of our era.” [National Audubon Society]

¶ “Elon Musk Contributing $100 Million To Discover Carbon Capture Technology That Works” • We had been relegating carbon capture to charlatans and sorcerers. But now Elon Musk, the wealthiest man in the known universe, says he is donating $100 million as a prize for whoever can come up with the best carbon capture technology. [CleanTechnica]

Elon Musk being himself (Credit: Elon Musk via Twitter)

¶ “In Switch, Chamber Of Commerce Endorses Climate Action, Possible Carbon Tax” • The Chamber of Commerce embraced tougher action to combat climate change through carbon taxes, emissions caps or other “market-based” policies. The nation’s biggest business lobbying group is pivoting to a Washington dominated by Democrats. [The Keene Sentinel]

¶ “Wedbush Believes Tesla Could Exceed 1 Million Deliveries In 2022” • Wedbush’s Tesla analyst, Daniel Ives, thinks that Tesla shares should have more charge left in the battery, Nasdaq reports. Ives raised the price target on TSLA from $715 to $950 and centered his thesis on China. Consumer demand for Tesla in China has grown exponentially. [CleanTechnica]

Telsa’s Fremont factory (Tesla press image)

¶ “Texans Can Save Hundreds of Dollars Annually With A Switch to Renewable Energy” • Texas Power Switch is working with cities to offer residents a no-cost, no-obligation way to lower their electricity bills through the power of group buying. Registration is free and Texas Power Switch negotiates the switch with no obligations by the customers. [Focusdailynews]

¶ “Huizenga Named Acting Secretary For Biden-Era DOE; Glick Chairing FERC” • David G Huizenga will be Acting Secretary of Energy. He is known as an expert on the issues of nuclear waste and nonproliferation. Also, commissioner Richard Glick replaces Trump appointee James Danly as chairman of FERC. Danly will stay on as a commissioner. [Power Engineering Magazine]

Have a notably splendid day.

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January 22 Energy News

January 22, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Secretary Pete: Transportation Dept Should Be A Climate Agency” • President Joe Biden’s decision to have Pete Buttigieg lead the Department of Transportation may be among the most consequential of his presidency. Secretary Buttigieg will inherit multiple simultaneous crises. The transition to emissions-free vehicles will be a major job. [CleanTechnica]

NASA electric aircraft design (NASA image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Forests Absorb Twice As Much Carbon As They Emit Each Year” • Research published in Nature Climate Change found that the world’s forests sequestered about twice as much carbon dioxide as they had emitted in 2001 through 2019. In other words, they provide a “carbon sink” that absorbs about 1.5 times as much CO₂ as the US emits. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Mammoet Team Unveils Turbine Installation System” • Three companies, Mammoet, Sumitomo Mitsui Construction, and FHECOR Ingenieros Consultores are jointly developing an innovative installation system for onshore wind turbines. The self-climbing installation system allows them to reach to greater heights and more reliable winds. [reNEWS]

New installation technology (Mammoet image)

World:

¶ “Shell, Vattenfall, And MHI Plan German Green Hydrogen Giant” • Shell, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Vattenfall and municipal company Warme Hamburg have signed a letter of intent to develop a green hydrogen project in Germany. The partners initially plan a 100-MW electrolyser at the Hamburg-Moorburg power plant site. [reNEWS]

¶ “How Africa’s Largest City Is Staying Afloat” • Lagos is Nigeria’s economic powerhouse, home to more than 24 million. The most populous city in Africa, it is also one of its most vulnerable to sea level rise and floods. Here is a look at how the city is adapting, as it faces threats of the  increased rainfall and rising seas that are expected to come with climate change. [BBC]

Lagos at high tide, 2010 (ISeeAfrica, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Morocco Aims For 50% Renewable Energy By 2030” • About 35% of the electricity demand of the Kingdom of Morocco is provided by renewable resources. Nevertheless, the country is aiming to do much better. Morocco wants to be at 50% renewable energy for electricity needs by 2030, and it aims to be 100% powered by renewables by 2050. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vattenfall Closes In On First Power At Kriegers Flak” • First power is expected from Vattenfall’s 605-MW Kriegers Flak offshore wind farm off Denmark by late this month or in early February, now that the company has secured the final permitting to have the project run. The wind farm will feature a total of 72 Siemens Gamesa 8.4-MW turbines. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (Vattenfall image)

¶ “Tesla Reduces Model 3 Prices In Europe, VW Misses EU Emissions Target” • Tesla posted new prices for the Model 3 in several EU countries and the UK. While the reductions are not uniform in all countries, they average around 8%. Meanwhile Volkswagen EV sales are up nearly four-fold, but it’s not enough to meet VW’s emissions targets. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “BYD Will Sell 1,002 More Electric Buses To Bogotá, Colombia” • We recently reported that a stunning 470 BYD electric buses were headed to Bogotá, Colombia. That was apparently the warmup act. BYD has now been selected to provide the city with 1,002 more electric buses. This comes from winning an open tender the city put out. [CleanTechnica]

BYD electric bus (Transmilenio image)

¶ “Rural Ireland Shows Support For Local Wind” • A new opinion poll, commissioned by the Irish Wind Energy Association, shows that a majority of people in rural Ireland would support a wind farm being built in their area. Around 52% would support a wind farm in their area, while those opposed to wind farms nearby came to only about 15%. [reNEWS]

¶ “China Adds 72 GW Of Wind In 2020” • China added just under 72 GW of wind power capacity in 2020, nearly tripling the amount of capacity added in 2019, according to data from the National Energy Administration. Installed capacity of solar power rose by 48.2 GW, returning that sector to growth after two years of lost momentum. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (MingYang image)

US:

¶ “Fleet Owners: For Big Savings, Plan Now For Electrification” • A new Rocky Mountain Institute report, “Steep Climb Ahead,” recommends that fleet managers develop long-terms plan that include how many vehicles and chargers (and what types of chargers) will be purchased annually as well as where and when vehicles will be charged. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Volta Charging Raises $125 Million” • Almost all EV charging station companies have one thing in common. Either a host company pays for them, or the EV drivers who use them have to pay for them. Volta does things differently. Its charging stations are free to use, while advertisers pay to get their product or story in front of you. [CleanTechnica]

Volta charging station (Volta image)

¶ “Tesla’s 4th Quarter Registrations In California Up Almost 63%” • Tesla’s vehicle registrations in California were up almost 63% during the 4th quarter of 2020 compared with the 4th quarter of 2019, according to an article published by Reuters. It noted that this was mostly due to the success of Tesla’s newest addition to its line, the Model Y. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “LA Seeking Public Input Getting To 100% Renewable Energy By 2030” • The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power needs the community’s help with ideas on how to achieve 100% renewable energy. The department is conducting a study to determine how the city can reach its objective and has asked for feedback. [CBS Los Angeles]

Have a consequentially superb day.

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January 21 Energy News

January 21, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Biden’s First Act Sets Tone For Ambitious Approach” • Make no mistake, returning to the Paris climate agreement is not mere symbolism. It is an act cloaked in powerful, political significance. While re-joining involves simply writing a letter and waiting 30 days, there could be no more profound signal of intention from this incoming administration. [BBC]

Joe Biden taking the oath of office (US Government photo)

Science and Technology:

¶ “‘Frozen Rainforest’ Of Microscopic Life Melting Greenland’s Ice Sheet” • Biodiversity is usually a good thing, but in this case a profusion of microbial life is speeding up the ice melt, and likely causing sea levels to rise faster than predicted. A recent study suggests the ice melt, accelerated by the climate crisis, may have already reached a point of no return. [CNN]

¶ “A Defiant Move To The Norwegian Arctic” • Two female polar explorers have been living in a tiny trappers’ cabin on the Arctic island of Svalbard in an effort to rouse a global dialogue on climate change and inspire action. Sunniva Sorby and Hilde Fåalun Strøom have been engaged in a singular conservation effort, Hearts in the Ice. [BBC]

Aurora borealis (David Becker, Unsplash)

¶ “StoreDot, Penn State Announce Batteries That Recharge In Under 10 Minutes” • StoreDot, an Israeli company, says it has batteries that will take a vehicle up to 250 miles and recharge in just 5 minutes. And researchers at the Penn State University say they have found a the key to fast charging LiFePO₄ batteries in just 10 minutes. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “A 27% Plugin Vehicle Share In Germany – Open The Plugin Gates!” • The German automotive market has opened the floodgates to plugin electric vehicles, with December setting yet another record. The month’s sales make Germany the largest plugin vehicles market outside China, beating the US by a wide margin (394,000 vs. 330,000). [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen ID.3

¶ “Saudi Arabia Aims To Generate 50% Of Its Electricity From Renewables By 2030” • Saudi Arabia aims to generate 50% of its power needs using renewable energy by 2030, with the rest provided by gas. The Saudi Ministry of Energy is working to transform the energy sector into a system that can harness the Kingdom’s energy capabilities. [Arab News]

¶ “Lightsource BP Acquires 1-GW Spanish PV Pipeline” • Solar developer Lightsource BP has acquired a 1000-MW solar project portfolio in Spain from RIC Energy. The two companies will work in partnership to develop 14 sites. The projects will enter operation in stages from 2022 to 2025. The first is expected to be construction-ready by the end of 2021. [reNEWS]

Solar array (Lightsource BP image)

¶ “UAE Fund To Invest $100 Million In Clean Energy In Israel” • Abu Dhabi-based Masdar and Israel’s EDF Renewables have signed a strategic cooperation agreement, which will see the renewable energy arm of the UAE investment fund Mubadala invest hundreds of millions of dollars in developing renewable energy projects in Israel. [Globes]

¶ “High Court Denies Government Responsibility For The Fukushima Nuclear Crisis” • The Tokyo High Court ordered TEPCO to pay damages to residents evacuated evacuated because of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, but it overturned a lower court ruling that had also acknowledged the central government’s responsibility. [The Japan Times]

Namie ghost town (Steven L Herman, Voice of America)

US:

¶ “From Keystone XL To Paris Agreement, Joe Biden Signals A Shift Away From Fossil Fuels” • President Joe Biden is wasting no time undoing Trump administration’s efforts to prop up fossil fuels and deny the existence of the climate crisis. His executive actions started by putting the US back in the Paris Agreement on climate change, and they went on from there. [CNN]

¶ “In Bid To Lead Autonomous Driving Revolution, Microsoft Invests $2 Billion In Cruise ” • With the nature of transportation changing, Microsoft is cozying up to GM to become its cloud computing partner of choice. In fact, Microsoft is kicking $2 billion into the pot to support the work in autonomous driving that the company is doing. [CleanTechnica]

Cruise vehicle (Courtesy of Cruise)

¶ “New York Wins Lawsuit Against EPA Over Clean Energy” • The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled to vacate the Trump Administration’s Affordable Clean Energy rule. New York Attorney General Letitia James lead a coalition against the ACE rule, which was Trump’s attempt to replace the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan. [WETM]

¶ “155-MW Tatanka Ridge Wind Farm Providing Power To South Dakota Electric Cooperative Customers” • Avangrid Renewables completed commissioning of the 56-turbine, 154.8-MW Tatanka Ridge Wind Farm in South Dakota. Dairyland Power Cooperative in Wisconsin has signed a 51.6-MW power purchase agreement with the wind farm.  [Windpower Engineering]

Tatanka wind farm (Dairyland Power photo)

¶ “BOEM To Explore Californian Offshore Wind Sites” • The US Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is to assess potential offshore wind lease areas off the Pacific coast. The agency filed a Notice of Intent to prepare two environmental studies on the Pacific Outer Continental Shelf off the coast of northern and central California. [reNEWS]

¶ “NRC To Discuss 100-Year Licenses For Nuclear Plants” • A daylong NRC meeting will revolve around discussion of any technical issues that could arise if nuclear power plants were licensed to operate for 100 years. The NRC has already awarded second renewals to plants in Florida and Pennsylvania, allowing operation for 80 years. [Gloucester Daily Times]

Have an effortlessly grand day.

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January 20 Energy News

January 20, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “SpaceX Will Repurpose Oil Rigs To Build Starship Spaceport At Sea” • SpaceX is planning to use Gulf oil rigs off South Texas to build a Starship Spaceport. This seems extremely symbolic. SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk, is going to take something old, which has caused a lot of environmental problems, and use it to empower humanity. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore oil platform (Divulgação Petrobras, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Clean Hydrogen Scale-Up Is Feasible” • A report on hydrogen decarbonisation pathways, published by the Hydrogen Council, shows that low-carbon hydrogen supply at scale is economically and environmentally feasible. The report also demonstrates that there is not one single hydrogen production pathway to achieve low lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions [reNEWS]

¶ “90% Of Earth’s Warming In 1971–2010 Happened In The Ocean” • The ocean mitigated the early effects of human emissions by absorbing CO₂ and heat from the atmosphere. As a result, more than 90% of the warming that happened between 1971 and 2010 was in the ocean. A selfless act by Mother Nature, but it’s catching up to us. [CleanTechnica]

Ocean (Dan Stark, Unsplash)

¶ “McKinsey: Continuous Fall In Battery Prices Is Enabling The Rapid Rise Of Renewable Energy” • Renewable energy uptake and the falling costs of battery energy storage are “inexorably linked” as the global economy faces a crucial decade ahead in its urgent need to decarbonise, according to work by McKinsey & Company. [Energy Storage News]

World:

¶ “Gothenburg Partners With Volvo To Create A Climate-Neutral City” • The Swedish city of Gothenburg is home to one of the largest and busiest ports in the world. Despite this, the city has set a rather ambitious climate goal for itself. Gothenburg plans to become a climate-neutral city by the year 2030. To accomplish this, they’ve enlisted Volvo to help. [CleanTechnica]

Volvo XC40 Recharge (Courtesy Volvo Cars)

¶ “Ireland Looking To Export Offshore Hydrogen In The Future” • According to Colum O’Connell of the Valentia Island Energy Co-operative, Ireland has the world’s greatest energy resource. Off its coasts there is enough renewable energy to power much of Europe. A consortium led by the co-operative plans to make green hydrogen. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa And Siemens Energy Green Hydrogen Initiative For Offshore Wind And Middle East” • Green hydrogen is clearly coming. To provide the hydrogen the world will need without carbon emissions, Siemens Energy and Siemens Gamesa are working to integrate electrolysis units into the platforms that support offshore wind turbines. [CleanTechnica]

Making green hydrogen at sea (Siemens Energy image)

¶ “Energy Transition Investment Hits $501 Billion” • A new, broad measure of “energy transition investment” shows that the world committed a record $501 billion to decarbonization in 2020. The analysis, compiled by BloombergNEF, reveals this investment beat the previous year by 9% despite the economic disruption caused by the pandemic. [reNEWS]

¶ “Ørsted To Press Ahead With Green Hydrogen Pilot” • Ørsted has taken final investment decision on the Danish demonstration project H2RES, which will use offshore wind energy to produce renewable hydrogen. The project is expected to produce its first hydrogen in late 2021 and will be Ørsted’s first renewable hydrogen project in operation. [reNEWS]

2-MW demonstration project (Ørsted image)

US:

¶ “5/3 Bank Achieves Carbon Neutrality” • CleanTechnica switched to Fifth Third Bank in 2019. Two big factors for us were (1) it had the most ambitious clean energy achievements and plans of any bank, and (2) it won’t invest in private prisons. In fact, it was even 100% solar powered already. Fifth Third Bank announced that it is now carbon neutral. [CleanTechnica] (1,154 branches)

¶ “Farming Green: Parma Hops Farmers Using 100% Renewable Energy Through Idaho Power Program” • Since 2020, Brock and Phil Obendorf have rightfully claimed that their hops farm in Parma, Idaho uses 100% clean, renewable energy. They have committed to purchase 3,000 MWh of Idaho Power energy efficiency credits per year. [Post Register]

Brock Obendorf and his hops (Courtesy of Idaho Power)

¶ “Tesla Hiring For 500 Positions In Florida” • Tesla is hiring for 500 positions in Florida, the Bradenton Herald reports. Tesla is partnering with CareerSource Tampa Bay to host a virtual hiring event on January 27, from 10 am through 2 pm, in hopes of filling positions available for both Tesla’s solar and automotive positions. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vermont Has The Highest Number Of Public EV Chargers Per Capita” • The number of public EV chargers across the country has been growing. As of November 2020, Vermont had 114 EV chargers per 100,000 people, the highest number for any state. Vermont was followed by the District of Columbia (81) and California (72).  [CleanTechnica]

EV charging stations (Ken Fields, CC-BY-SA-2.0)

¶ “Renewable Energy Incubator To Open At FSU” • A renewable energies incubator will soon open at Frostburg State University, allowing companies and students to collaborate in designing alternative power systems. The incubator and testing center will be located in the Allegany Business Center on the FSU campus in Frostburg, Maryland. [Cumberland Times-News]

¶ “What’s Next For Vermont Yankee Property?” • A new land inventory report offers a series of possibilities for the site of the retired Vermont Yankee nuclear plant to eventually be used for industry, recreation, preserving habitat, and recognizing the Abenaki relationship to the banks of the Connecticut River, past and present. [Commons]

Have a sparklingly spiffy day.

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January 19 Energy News

January 19, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “‘The Lost Years’: Climate Damage That Occurred On Trump’s Watch Will Endure Long After He Is Gone” • For four years, the Trump administration persistently weakened environmental and climate protections. The Biden’s administration will surely make progress on halting climate change, but the lost time of the last four years will still loom large. [CNN]

Surveyng the loss (Jeremy Yap, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Caravan Or Trailer On The Tow Hitch – How It Affects EV Range” • What happens to the overall range of an electric car when you tow a caravan or a trailer? Martin Messer Thomsen of the Electric Car Association’s test group tested the energy consumption and range with different types of trailers on a cold December day in Denmark. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Climate Change Plan: What Carbon Markets Mean For Farmers” • Regenerative farming not only has been proven to mitigate erosion and boost soil health. It may also be a huge opportunity to reduce carbon footprints. It is gaining popularity among environmentalists as a potential tool in the fight against climate change. [The Indianapolis Star]

Farm in Iowa (Kelcy Gatson, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Tesla’s First Deliveries Of Made-In-China Model Y, And Hot Market Potential” • Tesla has started delivering its made-in-China Model Y crossover in China. Tesla tweeted yesterday that Model Y deliveries in China had officially begun. For Tesla, this is important. Tesla’s sales numbers in China are already catching up with those in the US. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “600 Fuel Cell Buses To Be Powered With Green Hydrogen In Germany” • The latest development on green hydrogen comes from the global gas giant Linde Group. The company is building a water-to-hydrogen plant in Germany with the aim is to churn out enough renewable H₂ to drive 600 fuel cell buses a total of almost 250 million miles yearly. [CleanTechnica]

Adding hydrogen to a fuel cell bus (Linde Group image)

¶ “Aker Becomes Major Shareholder In Mainstream” • Aker Horizons will take a 75% equity stake in Mainstream Renewable Power under an agreement the two companies signed. The deal “paves the way” for a “rapid acceleration” of Mainstream’s global expansion plans to bring 5.5 GW of wind and solar assets to financial close by 2023. [reNEWS]

¶ “NBT And Partner To Deliver 800 MW Of Serbian Wind” • WV International and Norwegian wind developer NBT joined forces to construct an 800-MW portfolio of wind projects in Serbia. The partners, operating under the name WV-NBT Serbia, aim to have the wind farms in operation by 2026, with the first 168 MW coming online in 2023. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Nordex image)

¶ “China To Construct Hybrid Renewable Energy System On Delft Island” • China was awarded a contract to install hybrid renewable energy systems on three islands off the coast of Sri Lanka. The contract is part of the Supporting Electricity Supply Reliability Improvement Project, which the Ceylon Electricity Board is implementing. [Colombo Gazette]

¶ “More Renewable Energy Used In 2020 Than Fossil Fuels For The First Time In World’s 4th Largest Economy” • Last year, for the first time, a combination of wind, solar, and other renewables overtook Germany’s coal, oil, and gas, as its most important fuel source, according to data collected from the German think tank Agora Energiewende. [Good News Network]

Solar park (Mariana Proença, Unsplash)

¶ “En+ Group Commits To Net-Zero By 2050” • Aluminium and hydropower giant EN+ Group has announced its intention to become a net-zero business by 2050, with a target also in place to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 35% by 2030. The group will engage with the UN Global Compact to ensure that the targets are aligned to climate science. [edie.net]

¶ “Wind delivers 15% of European power in 2020” • Wind farms contributed 15% of total electricity generation in Europe in 2020, the sector’s highest ever contribution to the region’s power mix, according to new analysis by EnAppSys. Overall, renewables delivered 41% of Europe’s power last year, while nuclear provided 25% and fossil-fuels 33%. [reNEWS]

German wind turbines (Karsten Würth, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Keystone Pipeline: Biden ‘To Cancel It On His First Day'” • US President-elect Joe Biden is to cancel the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline on his first day in office, North American media report. The pipeline is projected to carry oil nearly 1,200 miles (1,900 km) from the Canadian province of Alberta down to Nebraska, to join an existing pipeline. [BBC]

¶ “Miami-Dade Starts Transition To Electric School Bus Fleet” • Miami-Dade County Public Schools have decided to convert its fleet from diesel buses into an electric fleet. Holly Thorpe, a middle school student, had used her science fair project to show the school board that diesel buses had levels of CO₂ in them that are ten times the EPA limit. [CleanTechnica]

Electric school buses (Lion Electric image)

¶ “Zero Electric Vehicles Announces Rolling EV Chassis For Passenger Vehicle” • In the lead-up to the production of its first electric car, the Trident, Arizona-based Zero Electric Vehicles, Inc unveiled its rolling electric passenger vehicle chassis, which it claims will have “proprietary energy capture technologies to maximize vehicle range.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GE Renewable Energy Finalizes Contracts For 1.1-GW Ocean Wind Energy Offshore Project In New Jersey” • GE Renewable Energy will supply Haliade-X wind turbines for Ørsted’s Ocean Wind offshore wind project off the coast of New Jersey. It could be the state’s first project to feature the 13-MW variant of GE Renewable Energy’s Haliade-X platform. [REVE]

Have an awesomely fulfilling day.

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January 18 Energy News

January 18, 2021

Science and Tecnology:

¶ “Weird Asymmetry: Nights Warming Faster Than Days Across Much Of The Planet” • University of Exeter scientists studied warming from 1983 to 2017 and found  that days and nights have not warmed at the same rate. Areas where night-time warming is greater are about twice as large as those where days have been warming faster. [SciTechDaily]

Southern US at night (NASA image)

¶ “2020 Climate Events Were Examples Of How Excess Heat Is Expressed On Earth” • 2020 was the warmest year on record, though less than a tenth of a degree warmer than 2016, NASA analysis shows. Its massive wildfires, heatwaves, drought, melting of Arctic ice, hurricanes, and other destructive weather events are precursors of things to come. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Acciona Leads Spanish Floating Green Hydrogen Study” • Acciona is to coordinate a project to design and validate Spain’s first offshore plant for generating, storing, and distributing green hydrogen. The OceanH2 project will study several scenarios for implementation, including use of floating wind and solar, for offshore hybrid power generation. [reNEWS]

Artist’s concept of floating system (Acciona image)

¶ “19% Plugin Vehicle Market Share In France In December!” • The overall French automotive market had a horrible 2020. Sales were down 26% year over year. Annual sales totaled 1.7 million, the lowest figure since 1975. But sales of plugin vehicles were steaming hot. In December, sales jumped fourfold compared to the same month of 2019. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Total Takes $2.5 Billion Slice Of Developer Adani” • French oil and gas giant Total has acquired a 20% stake in Indian renewables developer Adani Green Energy under the $2.5 billion deal. The partnership will be a key contributor to Total’s objective of reaching 35 GWp of gross production capacity from renewable sources by 2025. [reNEWS]

Solar array (Total image)

¶ “Shift To Renewables Eases Key Environmental Problems, EU Says” • Europe’s shift to renewable sources for electricity and away from fossil fuels reduces both environmental problems and greenhouse gas emissions, the European Environment Agency said. Renewable sources, produced 34% of EU electricity in 2019 while fossil fuels generated 38%. [OE Digital]

¶ “The Solar Allure Of WA’s New-Model Business Park” • Peel Renewable Energy is about to energize a 1.2-MW solar farm in Western Australia. It has a fresh approach to industrial-estate development based on a phased microgrid. The infrastructure is small, while the renewably powered microgrid grows to meet the needs of incoming businesses. [pv magazine Australia]

Peel Renewable Energy solar farm (PRE image)

¶ “Japanese Firms Call On Government To Raise 2030 Renewable Energy Goal To 40-50%” • A group of Japanese companies, including Toshiba Corp, Sony Corp and Nissan Motor Co Ltd, called on the government to raise its 2030 renewable energy goal to account for 40-50% of its electricity mix, from the current 22-24%. [Business Recorder]

US:

¶ “Science Moms On Climate Change – Now It’s Personal!” • Science Moms is a group of six mothers, all climate scientists concerned about leaving a sustainable planet to their kids. Led by Katharine Hayhoe, their mission is to educate other mothers and encourage them to promote a progressive climate agenda locally, nationally, and internationally. [CleanTechnica]

Katharine Hayhoe (Image from YouTube)

¶ “Toyota To Pay $180 Million For Decade-Long Noncompliance With Clean Air Act Reporting Requirements” • Toyota Motor Company just had its hand popped by the Department of Justice for decade-long noncompliance with the Clean Air Act reporting requirements. Toyota will have to pay a $180 million settlement according to the DOJ and the EPA. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Texas Wind Power Dominates Coal In Crossover Year” • Everything is bigger in Texas, and wind power is no exception. Wind power has been growing in Texas for years. Now, for the first time, wind power has beaten coal power in the Lone Star State. In 2020, Texas received 22% of its electricity from wind and only 18% from coal.  [CleanTechnica]

Texas wind turbines (Jason Dent, Unsplash)

¶ “Connecticut’s Bill 127 Would Allow Tesla To Sell Directly To Consumers” • The EV Freedom Bill proposes that manufacturers that produce only EVs and have no existing franchised dealer network be allowed to sell their vehicles directly to consumers. The proposed bill also allows for new ownership models such as subscriptions. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Nuclear Fusion Group Calls For Building A Pilot Plant By The 2040s” • The main criticism about nuclear fusion has been that its vast potential as a source of energy has always been just out of reach. But a group of top fusion scientists and researchers just issued a report to the DOE that calls for the US to build a fusion pilot plant by the 2040s. [The Star Online]

Have a resplendently glorious day.

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January 17 Energy News

January 17, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Worried About Earth’s Future? Well, The Outlook Is Worse Than Even Scientists Can Grasp” • A research paper published this week reviews over 150 studies to produce a stark summary of the state of the natural world. It says that future environmental conditions will be far more dangerous than experts currently believe. [Red, Green, and Blue]

Fire in Portugal, stoked by unseasonal heat (UN via Twitter)

¶ “Oil Industry Reconsiders Donations To Election Deniers – But Has Its Own Big Lie” • In the wake of last week’s rebellion, oil and gas companies are reviewing political donations. In many ways, they laid the groundwork for the widespread acceptance of lies big enough to cause an existential threat not only to democracy, but to humanity. [The Intercept]

¶ “Why Brookfield Renewable Will Thrive During a Recession” • Recessions can be brutal for investors, but some companies can better weather these economic storms than others. One company built to prosper during tough times is the renewable energy juggernaut Brookfield Renewable. Here’s why it can thrive during a recession. [Motley Fool]

Wind turbines (Romero Souza, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “BYD Zimbabwe Starts Delivering EVs To Customers” • The transition to electromobility is happening a lot faster than a lot of people think. Across Europe and China, EV sales are increasing to record levels while an overall car market suffers due to effects of Covid-19. Now, Chinese EV maker BYD is extending its market, delivering cars in Zimbabwe. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Long Road To “Tesla Motors India” For Indian Tesla Fans” • You may see Tesla and India in the news together more often as Tesla makes waves into its newest market. Tesla advocates pushed hard for the company to enter the Indian market, with a Twitter account and Tesla T-shirts. Amazingly, they were able to interact with Elon Musk himself. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Club India® T-shirts (Image via Twitter)

¶ “US $4.6 Million For Renewable Energy Projects In Seychelles” • Renewable energy projects in Seychelles are to receive a $4.6 million boost from the People’s Republic of China, as part of an agreement between the two countries. Seychelles Minister for Climate Change & Environment Flavien Joubert said off-grid projects will be included. [Construction Review]

¶ “The UK Is Considering Nuclear Propulsion In Space” • One option that NASA has been exploring for decades is spacecraft that rely on nuclear power. Recently, the UK Space Agency has signed a contract with the British automotive engineering firm Rolls-Royce, which is to investigate applications for nuclear power and propulsion. [Universe Today]

Rolls-Royce nuclear propulsion concept (Rolls-Royce image)

US:

¶ “Weddle & Sons Roofing Installed A Tesla Solar Roof In One Day!” • Weddle & Sons, a certified solar roof installer in the Midwest, has shared how they installed a Tesla Solar Roof in a single day in a new video on YouTube. With the original roof previously removed, they installed a new one with a 12-kW solar system in just one day. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Amazon’s Record Renewables Offtake” • Following its 3.4-GW buying spree, with 26 new wind and solar utility projects across the US and Europe, Amazon’s renewable energy supply portfolio now has a capacity of 6.5 GW. This eclipses Google, which stands in second place and currently reports a renewable energy supply portfolio of 5.5 GW. [Commercial Property Executive]

Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos (Amazon image)

¶ “US Auto Sales Down 2,592,185 (15%) In 2020, Tesla Up 9%” • With Covid-19, the US auto market took a whipping in 2020. Overall, US auto sales were down by 2,592,185, or 15%, last year. Only three automakers saw their year-over-year sales increase from 2019 to 2020 – Volvo and Alfa Romeo were each up 2%, while Tesla was up 9%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “More Than 8,000 GE Renewable Energy Onshore Wind Turbines” • In November, GE passed a milestone. Over 8,000 GE Renewable Energy onshore wind turbines stand in 23 US states and 10 other countries. The 2-MW turbines alone have 20 GW of installed capacity worldwide, enough to power the equivalent of 12.9 million homes around the world. [REVE]

Cypress 6.0 wind turbine (GE Renewable Energy image)

¶ “Renewable Energy Bills On Tap For The 2021 Session” • The New Mexico Legislature will consider a handful of renewable energy-related legislation in the upcoming session. The bills to watch include one for a clean fuel standard, a Local Choice Energy Act, two bills to amend the Energy Transition Act, and a try for EV tax credits. [New Mexico Political Report]

¶ “Biden Says His Advisers Will Lead With ‘Science And Truth'” • President-elect Joe Biden has introduced his slate of scientific advisers with the promise that they would summon “science and truth” to combat the coronavirus pandemic, climate crisis and other challenges. “Science is discovery. It’s not fiction,” Biden said. “It’s also about hope.” [Daily Herald]

Have a magnificently tranquil day.

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January 16 Energy News

January 16, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Cutting Emissions To Zero CAN Halt Climate Change In Our Lifetimes” • Buried under doomsday predictions on climate change, there is newer information from Michael Mann, the distinguished climate scientist. It turns out that if we cut to zero emissions, he tells us, the warming would continue, but only for a few years. [CleanTechnica]

Forest (Jay Mantri, Unsplash)

¶ “Oil Graduates Aren’t Finding Jobs” • “Did you ever hear of a solar panel?” That’s the question Sabrina Burns, a petroleum engineering student got from an Uber driver in 2018. She and some fellow students were headed to a petroleum industry banquet, and at the time it seemed a little silly. Now, they can’t find jobs in the industry. [CleanTechnica]

Science, Technology, and … :

¶ “Solar-Powered Amphibious Catamaran Concept Is A Literal Land Yacht” • No, you haven’t wandered into The Onion. This is CleanTechnica, and this is a real design put forward by an Italian design house, Lazzarini, which sometimes has fun with designs. It showed the Pagurus, an 82-ft. solar-powered “amphibious” catamaran, set to cruise on land. [CleanTechnica]

Pagurus on water (Courtesy of Lazzarini Design)

World:

¶ “African Renewable Installations Receive Financing” • In sub-Saharan Africa, fossil fuel sources dominate electricity supply. But the overall costs of wind and solar installations have fallen sharply, and investors are tapping into the potential for installing renewable energy capacity in African countries. A number of projects are lined up for 2021. [Argus Media]

¶ “Denmark, Luxembourg, And Netherlands Lead On Electric Buses In Europe” • Denmark leads the way putting zero-emission urban buses on the streets in Europe, with 78% of new vehicles being electric, data from green NGO Transport & Environment shows. In Luxembourg and the Netherlands about two-thirds of new buses are zero-emissions. [CleanTechnica]

BYD bus in the Netherlands (BYD image)

¶ “Renewable Energy ‘Village’ Earmarked For North-East Scotland” • Plans have been unveiled to construct a large-scale renewable energy park in the North-east of Scotland, designed to deliver between 150 and 200 MW of green energy to supply to the Scottish grid, with the capacity to power tens of thousands of homes across the region. [The Scottish Farmer]

¶ “Enel Grid-Connects 24 MW Of Spanish Wind” • Enel Green Power España has grid connected the 24-MW San Francisco de Borja wind farm in Spain. The €26 million project is the areas of Borja and Frescano in the province of Zaragoza. It comprises five 3.4-MW and two 3.3-MW turbines, and it is expected to generate 92.5 GWh of electricity per year. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Enel Green Power image)

¶ “Former US Regulator Questions Small Nuclear Reactor Technology” • In New Brunswick, Saint John’s Moltex Energy says its new reactor design can reuse nuclear waste. But Allison Macfarlane, former chairperson of the US NRC, said no one has proven that it’s viable to reprocess nuclear waste and lower the cost and risks of storage. [Yahoo News Canada]

US:

¶ “As NASA And NOAA Warn Of Climate Emergency, They Weather Last-Minute Denial By Trump Appointees” • The last seven years were the hottest seven years on record. For 50 years, Each decade was hotter than the decade before it. Trump appointees deny or downplay the crisis, in some cases pushing their misinformation as official, without review. [CNN]

Thunderstorm (NOAA, Unsplash)

¶ “Oil Giant Splits From Powerful Lobbying Group Over Climate Change” • The American Petroleum Institute, the largest and most powerful US oil lobby, is losing one of its biggest members over a disagreement about addressing the climate crisis. Total, the French oil giant announced that it is quitting the API because of the lobby’s stances on climate issues. [CNN]

¶ “US Air Force Decarbonizes On Wings Of Energy Efficiency” • Energy efficiency isn’t much of a headline-grabber, but it is front and center in the Air Force’s mission to decarbonize itself and the entire Department of Defense, to boot. The US Department of Defense has been plowing the big bucks into all sorts of clean tech for years. [CleanTechnica]

USAF jet in Japan (Staff Sgt Gabrielle Spalding, US Air Force)

¶ “Massachusetts Governor Vetoes Climate And Clean Energy Bill” • Gov Charlie Baker vetoed sweeping climate legislation, which would have set ambitious environmental, social, and clean energy goals. A bill summary of S.229, “An Act Creating a Next-Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy,” laid out several key provisions. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “New York’s $306 Billion 2021 Infrastructure Plan – Largest In Nation” • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his state’s 2021 infrastructure plan. It is the largest such plan in the nation, with an expected cost of $306 billion. It includes a lot of support for climate-friendly transportation solutions. Here is a quick look focusing on them. [CleanTechnica]

Moynahan Trail Hall (Courtesy of Gov Andrew Cuomo via Flickr)

¶ “Summit Ridge Energy Now Has 42 Community Solar Farms In Operation In Illinois” • Summit Ridge Energy put 25 Illinois community solar farms online in the 4th quarter of 2020. It now has 42 community solar farms in Illinois and more than 90 in operation in the US. Another 25 should be under construction by the 2nd quarter of 2021. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Allegheny County Adds Six More Xcelsior CHARGE Electric Buses” • In Pittsburgh, the Port Authority of Allegheny County just chose to add six more of New Flyer’s Xcelsior CHARGE electric buses to its fleet. These new zero-emissions heavy-duty transit buses that will help the community to lower its collective carbon footprint. [CleanTechnica]

Have a fully functional day.

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January 15 Energy News

January 15, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “2021: The Year the Rubber Meets the Road for Electric Trucks” • One challenge for trucking fleets looking to electrify is that only limited models of electric trucks have been available. That is changing. Manufacturers have been developing and road-testing vehicles recently, and many are slated to move into commercial production soon. [CleanTechnica]

GM BrightDrop delivery EV (Image courtesy of GM)

¶ “Demand Flexibility Is Critical – Use It When We Have It” • To ensure a smooth and cost-effective transition away from fossil fuels, it will be necessary to make our buildings and appliances “flexible” by shifting their electricity consumption to coincide with times where electricity is clean and cheap. This is known as “demand flexibility.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Trump Administration Is Launching One Last Assault On Climate Science” • President Donald Trump’s term in office will be remembered for many disastrous moments, but one of the most consequential might be its systematic degradation of environmental protections. His administration seems intent on doing more damage as he leaves office. [AOL]

Polluting factory (Patrick Hendry, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Swappable Container Waterborne Transport Battery” • The European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Program is funding a swappable container waterborne transport battery called Current Direct. Current Direct plans to cut the cost of today’s marine battery-electric drivetrains in half to eliminate the use of diesel engines for water transport. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Protecting Fragile Ecosystems From Lithium Mining” • The companies producing lithium have scrambled to meet increased demand for battery production, but critics say that traditional production methods damage the environment. Lilac Technology and Lake Resources are among the companies that have safer new techniques for extracting lithium. [BBC]

Drilling for lithium brine (Lake Resources image)

World:

¶ “Critics Denounce ‘Climate-Change Denialism’ Reports Commissioned By Alberta Inquiry” • A $3.5-million Alberta government public inquiry into alleged foreign-funded anti-energy campaigns has posted commissioned studies that experts say are based on junk climate-denial science, bizarre conspiracy theories, and oil-industry propaganda. [CBC.ca]

¶ “Shell Seals 300-MW Spanish Solar Power Play” • Shell Energy Europe is to buy 300 MW of power from Solaria solar farms in Spain under a long-term power purchase agreemen. The energy will be supplied from six solar projects that will produce around 570 GWh of electricity per year. The projects will be connected to the grid progressively through 2021. [reNEWS]

Solar array (Shell image)

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Secures 217-MW Vietnamese Double” • Siemens Gamesa secured two turbine orders with Hanbaram Wind Power JSC in Vietnam. The 117-MW Hanbaram project in Ninh Thuan province will feature 29 units of the 4.X platform. The 100-MW Hung Hai plant in Gia Lai province and will have 25 turbines of the same model. [reNEWS]

¶ “Equinor To Pilot Floating Solar Off Norway” • Equinor is working with Moss Maritime to start testing floating solar in the ocean off the island of Froya, off Trondheim in Norway. The partnership will build the floating solar pilot plant in the late summer of 2021, making it the first of its kind to be situated in rough waters. [reNEWS]

Solar array in rough waters (Moss Maritime image)

¶ “China On Track To Supplant US As Top Nuclear Energy Purveyor” • Experts say China is on a course to displace the United States as the global leader in the production and sale of nuclear power generation, providing yet another avenue for Beijing’s drive to become the world’s leading economic and diplomatic power. [New Delhi Times]

US:

¶ “Colorado Approves $110 Million Transportation Electrification Plan” • Xcel Energy will deploy about 20,000 charging stations for EVs at residential, commercial, and public sites in Colorado, under a $110 million plan approved by the Colorado PUC.  At least $20 million is to be invested to promote EV adoption in low-income areas. [CleanTechnica]

Colorado charging station (Image by Jessica Russo, NRDC)

¶ “US Defense Department Doubles Down On Renewable Energy, DERS” • For the Department of Defense, the renewables-plus-microgrid approach dovetails with a broader DOE grid modernization initiative that ditches large, centralized fossil power plants in favor of renewable energy and distributed energy resources, aka DERS. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “ZETA Publishes 100% Electric Vehicle Roadmap For 2030 For USA” • A couple of mid-term and long-term targets are often expressed by people who follow this industry closely: 50% EV market share by 2025 and 100% by 2030. One new organization, Zero Emission Transportation Association, is mapping out a way for the US to get there. [CleanTechnica]

Proterra electric bus battery factory (Courtesy of Proterra)

¶ “Midwest Renewable Energy Association: Eleven Wisconsin Schools Go Solar In The Program’s First Year” • More Wisconsin schools are going solar, thanks in part to the Solar on Schools initiative of the Midwest Renewable Energy Association. In the program’s first year alone, eleven grants were awarded to schools in the state. [Wisbusiness.com]

¶ “Total Forms 1.6-GW US Solar-Storage JV” • French energy giant Total is forming a 50:50 joint venture with 174 Power Global, a wholly-owned Hanwha Group affiliate, to develop 1600 MW of solar and energy storage projects in the US. The projects, which are in Texas, Nevada, Oregon, Wyoming, and Virginia, are all to be online by 2024. [reNEWS]

Have a deservedly merry day.

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January 14 Energy News

January 14, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Lies About Cleantech, Lies About Climate, Lies About Regulation And Taxes, Lies About Economics, Lies About Votes” • The author takes the position that a clear stream of lies has grown year after year. It is  an ecosystem of Big Lies from one cause that led to the sad, heartbreaking, almost unbelievable events of last week. [CleanTechnica]

Storming the Capitol (Tyler Merbler, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “‘Carbon-Neutrality Is A Fairy Tale’: How The Race For Renewables Is Burning Europe’s Forests” • A flaw in EU rules means that woody biomass is considered as renewable, even if it comes not just from wood residues or waste, but from whole trees. That led to a demand for wood pellets that grew so great that forests are being cut down. [The Guardian]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Panasonic Plans Low-Cost, Cobalt-Free Battery In Two To Three Years” • Panasonic is working on a low-cost and cobalt-free battery. The cobalt used in lithium-ion batteries is part of what contributes to the high upfront costs of EVs, with batteries accounting for 30% to 40% of the cars’ cost. The new battery will also have other benefits. [CleanTechnica]

Panasonic booth at the 2021 Consumer Electronics Show

¶ “Michael Mann Has A New Book About Climate Denial And How To Fight It” • Michael Mann, the scientist who first created the “hockey stick” graph, has a new book, “The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet.” He says that the scientific consensus on anthropgenic climate change is now on a par with the consensus on gravity. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Top Scientists Warn Of ‘Ghastly Future’ For Planet As Leaders Underestimate Ecological Threats” • A team of seventeen leading scientists cautioned that the future of the planet is “more dire and dangerous than is generally understood.”  They warned that unless world leaders face up to the challenge and act urgently our survival is threatened. [CNN]

San Francisco during the wildfires (Patrick Perkins, Unsplash)

¶ “Wake Up! Time To Recognize Our Enormous Environmental Problems!” • According to experts from Stanford University, UCLA, Flinders University, and others, loss of biodiversity and accelerating climate change in the coming decades, coupled with ignorance and inactions, is threatening the survival of all species, including our very own. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Engie Adds 3 GW In Renewables Surge” • French energy provider Engie said it commissioned 3 GW of renewable capacity in 2020. This included some 1.8 GW in North America, about 0.9 GW in Europe and about 0.3 GW in the rest of the world. Engie says it is on target to commission 9 GW of renewable capacity between 2019 and 2021. [reNEWS]

Texas wind farm (Engie image)

¶ “New Policies Aid 25-fold Jump in Rooftop Solar Installations in Vietnam: IEEFA” • A new research note from IEEFA shows a total of 9.3 GW (peak) of rooftop solar capacity had been connected to the national power system of Vietnam, and there are now over 101,000 rooftop solar systems deployed across the country. [Saurenergy]

US:

¶ “New York Governor Outlines Major Renewable Energy Plans” • New York Gov Andrew M Cuomo unveiled a host of initiatives to add renewable energy, build transmission, and boost the clean energy economy. He said the green energy program create more than 50,000 jobs, and spur $29 billion in private investment all across the state. [pv magazine USA]

Gov Cuomo speaking (Darren McGee, Gov Cuomo’s Office)

¶ “Solar And Wind Producers Back Tesla’s Direct Sales Push In New York” • In New York, traditional auto dealers have been fighting against both Tesla and other automakers from allowing their customers to buy directly from them. The dealers make a lot of money as middle men, and they want to maintain that river of cash. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Duke Energy, Firestone Walker Brewing Complete One Of The Largest On-Site Solar Arrays In Craft Beer Industry” • Duke Energy and Firestone Walker Brewing Company have completed one of the largest on-site solar arrays in the craft beer industry, a 2.1-MW solar array and 281-kW solar carport on 9.7 acres in Paso Robles, California [Duke Energy News Center]

Firestone Walker solar array

¶ “Report: Raimondo’s 2030 Renewables Goal Achievable” • Rhode Island Gov Gina Raimondo’s goal is to get all of the state’s power supply from wind, solar and other clean energy sources by the end of the decade. It may be the most aggressive goal in the nation, but it is achievable, a report by the state Office of Energy Resources concludes. [The Providence Journal]

¶ “Invenergy Completes Financing For Texan Solar Site” • Invenergy has completed construction financing for the first phase of the 1,310-MW Samson Solar Energy Center in northeast Texas. Located in Lamar, Red River, and Franklin Counties, the $1.6 billion project is under construction and will commence operation in five phases. [reNEWS]

Solar array (Invenergy image)

¶ “Equinor And BP To Deliver 2.5-G W Offshore Wind Power To New York State” • Equinor and partner BP have been selected to provide close to 2.5 GW of offshore wind power to the state of New York, in the latest renewables solicitation. Equinor and BP will develop 1,260-MW Empire Wind 2 project and the 1,230-MW Beacon Wind 1 project. [Power Technology]

¶ “Trump Orders DOD To Explore Use Of Nuclear Power For Space” • In the waning days of his administration, President Donald Trump has signed an executive order aimed at pushing the Department of Defense toward quickly developing and producing small nuclear reactors for military use, including in military space vehicles. [DefenseNews.com]

Have an expansively congenial day.

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January 13 Energy News

January 13, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “US Carbon Emissions Fell 10% In 2020, Because Of Covid-19. It’s Up To Biden To Stop Them From Bouncing Back” • US greenhouse gas emissions dropped a lot in 2020, helping the country meet one long-standing climate targets. But experts warn that unless climate action becomes a priority, emissions will bounce back quickly. [CNN]

Emissions (Martin Sepion, Unsplash)

¶ “Elon Musk Is Taking Tesla Beyond Other Automakers With Common Sense: Long-Term Thinking” • Elon Musk has worked tirelessly and methodically to reach goals he set a long time ago, a process that he knew would take years or decades. Tesla’s Master Plan is a three-part strategy to bring a mid-priced EV to the mass market. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Extreme Weather from the Stratosphere: Interview with ETH Climate Researcher Daniela Domeisen” • Daniela Domeisen has documented how the stratosphere influences extreme weather events. In an interview, she explains what the sheer range of these impacts implies for climate research and long-​term weather forecasts. [CleanTechnica]

Stratosphere (NASA image)

World:

¶ “Luxcara Forges Danish Deal For 415-MW Solar Push” • The German asset manager Luxcara and BeGreen have signed an investment agreement for four solar parks, with a total capacity of 415 MW, to be built in Denmark. The solar parks will become part of a portfolio of renewable energy assets that Luxcara will manage for institutional investors. [reNEWS]

¶ “Total And Engie To Develop Green Hydrogen In France” • Total and Engie have signed a cooperation agreement to design, develop, build, and operate the Masshylia project, the largest renewable hydrogen production site in France. The plant will produce 5 tonnes of green hydrogen per day, which is be used to produce biofuels. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Green hydrogen plant (Courtesy of Engie)

¶ “Eolus Picks Up 68 MW In Swedish PPAs” • Eolus signed three PPAs for energy from wind power projects with a total capacity of 68 MW. The agreement, with an unnamed global energy company, covers 100% of the electricity produced in three wind farms in southern Sweden, all of which are to be commissioned in the autumn of 2023. [reNEWS]

¶ “Russian Wind Giant Starts Generating Power” • Russia’s largest wind farm, the 210-MW Kochubeyevskaya, has begun supplying the wholesale power market. In December 2020, Russia-based developer Rosatom commissioned the wind farm. The facility will supply the electricity it generates to the Wholesale Electricity and Power Market. [reNEWS]

Wind farm in Russia (Rosatom image)

¶ “Fossil Fuels To Continue Dominating Africa’s Energy Mix Through 2030” • A study from the University of Oxford, which was published in Nature Energy, predicts that African electricity generation will double by 2030, with fossil fuels continuing to dominate the energy mix. This poses a risk to global climate change commitments. [Smart Energy]

¶ “Storage Could ‘Halve British Wind Curtailment'” • Ramping up investment in energy storage could cut curtailed wind output in Great Britain by as much as 50%, according to energy analysts at the investment outfit LCP. LCP estimates an extra 20 GWh of battery storage could reduce the amount of wind power wasted by up to 50%. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (SSE image)

US:

¶ “Tesla Model Y Aces NHTSA Safety Tests – Tesla Produces The Safest Vehicles” • The Tesla Model Y, 2020 CleanTechnica Car of the Year, has aced the NHTSA’s safety tests, scoring 5 stars in every category – like the Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model X, and Tesla Model S before it. Now, the Model Y joins those three vehicles as the safest cars on the road. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Albemarle Expanding Nevada Site to Increase Domestic Production of Lithium” • Albemarle Corporation has announced plans to expand capacity at its lithium production facility in Silver Peak, Nevada. The company will also start a program that evaluates clays and other local resources for the commercial production of lithium. [CleanTechnica]

Albemarle lithium plant (Albemarle courtesy image)

¶ “Minnesota Power Pledges No Carbon By 2050, Zero Coal By 2035” • Minnesota Power, which plans to eliminate coal from its system by 2035, is now the second privately owned electric utility in the state to pledge 100% carbon-free energy by 2050 after Xcel Energy did in 2018. Minnesota Power is planning to increase its solar and wind resources. [MinnPost]

¶ “MARTA Orders Six Xcelsior CHARGE Electric Buses” • The Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, lovingly known as MARTA in the Atlanta area, has made a purchase and a statement in favor of clean energy. MARTA ordered six Xcelsior CHARGE™ zero-emission, battery-electric 40-foot, heavy-duty transit buses from New Flyer. [CleanTechnica]

New Flyer Xcelsior CHARGE™ electric bus

¶ “Nuclear And Coal Will Account for Majority of US Generating Capacity Retirements in 2021” • According to the DOE’s Energy Information Administration, 9.1 GW of generating capacity is scheduled to retire in 2021. Nuclear generating capacity will account for the largest share of total capacity retirements (56%), followed by coal (30%). [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Georgia Power Extends Timeline For Upcoming Milestones At Plant Vogtle” • Setbacks due to Covid-19 along with “other productivity challenges” have slowed the pace of construction and testing on the two nuclear reactors being built at the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant near Waynesboro, Georgia Power announced. [Atlanta Business Chronicle]

Have an altogether untroubled day.

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January 12 Energy News

January 12, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Eco-Terrorism And Renewable Energy In Nebraska: The Two Faces Of Climate Policy” • Nebraska is a prime example of how theory and reality can be odds with one another. On one hand, the state is encouraging a surge in renewable energy. On the other, it is allowing some of its citizens to be poisoned by effluent from an ethanol factory. [CleanTechnica]

Corn fields (Taylor Siebert, Unsplash)

¶ “Failed Insurrection Fails To Stop US Solar Power Juggernaut” • The fallout from last week’s violent attack on members of Congress and the Vice President is still developing, but even so, it seems that the US DOE just can’t contain itself. The agency is showing off consequential renewable energy programs of the last four years. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Bank Of America And BP Are Backing Prince Charles’ New Climate Effort” • Prince Charles is leading a fresh effort to tackle the climate crisis, with the support of several major companies including Bank of America and BP. He is launching a “Terra Carta,” or Earth Charter, and urging other firms to commit to practical action toward sustainability. [CNN]

Prince Charles (Dan Marsh, CC-BY- SA 2.0)

¶ “Solar And Wind Power Growth In UK From 2012–2020 (Charts)” • A set of graphs shows how wind power and solar power grew in the UK as coal collapsed. The charts show the trends of different sources in terms of market share, and a table shows the trends in both absolute terms, by TWh of electricity generated, and in relative terms. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “McLaren Secures A Spot On The 2022 Formula E Grid” • Just as Formula 1 had in the past, its younger cousin Formula E is making big strides both technologically and commercially. Now, thanks to McLaren Racing, Formula E is getting yet another boost – this time the boost is to its credibility as a top-flight racing series. [CleanTechnica]

McLaren 2022 F1 Concept (Courtesy of McLaren Racing)

¶ “Heavy-Duty Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Pilot Launched By New Flyer And Li-Cycle” • With more EVs, we will need more batteries, and that makes it important to do battery recycling. Tesla cofounder and longtime CTO JB Straubel left Tesla to start up a battery recycling company. Now New Flyer And Li-Cycle are also starting projects. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Fastned Charging Stations Extend Into Switzerland And France” • Fastned is one of the largest EV fast charging networks in Europe, and might well be the network with the best designs in the world. Stations are solar powered. Multiple charging ports are offered. Even Tesla adapters are included so a Tesla can get a quick charge. [CleanTechnica]

Fastned charging station (Image courtesy of Fastned)

¶ “Engie And Neoen To Build 1-GW Solar Project, With Batteries And Green Hydrogen Included” • French utility Engie and developer Neoen plan to invest about €1 billion ($1.2 billion) to build a 1-GW solar-powered low carbon energy park in France. It will include green hydrogen production to supply transportation and energy needs. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Coal Power Plant Site In Australia Could Host 700-MW, 2,800-MWh Battery Energy Storage Project” • The integrated energy company Origin Energy Limited issued a call for qualified firms to supply and install a battery storage system of up to 700-MW, 2,800-MWh. It will be built at the site of a retiring coal-burner in New South Wales. [Energy Storage News]

Origin’s 2,880-MW coal power plant (CSIRO image)

¶ “UN Chief Calls For ‘Urgent Transition’ From Fossil Fuels To Renewable Energy” • UN Secretary-General António Guterres, addressed the virtual COP26 Roundtable on Clean Power Transition on Monday. He told the conference that building a global coalition for carbon neutrality by mid-century will be the UN’s “central objective.” [indiablooms]

¶ “Renewables To Be ‘Dominant Power Source By 2025′” • Renewables will be the dominant source of power generation by 2025 “at the latest”, ending decades of domination by coal, the International Energy Agency said. Renewables were the only the part of the energy sector showing growth in 2020, IEA executive director Fatih Birol added. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines in the mountains (Charl Folscher, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Climate Change Has Cost The US Billions Of Dollars In Flood Damage, Study Finds” • Intensifying rainfall fueled by climate change has caused nearly $75 billion in flood damage in the US in the past three decades, Stanford University researchers confirmed in a study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. [CNBC]

¶ “Renewables account for most new US electricity generating capacity in 2021” • The US Energy Information Administration’s latest data shows developers and power plant owners plan for 39.7 GW of new capacity to start commercial operation in 2021. Of that, 39% will be solar, 31% wind, 16% natural gas, 11% batteries, and 3% will be nuclear. [US EIA]

Expected new generating capacity (US EIA image)

¶ “Renewables And Unions: Biden Rounds Out Energy Cabinet” • President-elect Joe Biden has formed his Cabinet with people who have experience with energy issues and government, as he prepares to take office and enact an ambitious green energy plan. Biden will have to deal with a slim majority in Congress and deep political polarization. [E&E News]

¶ “Register Today for ‘Resilient Home 411’ – The Next Solar Decathlon Virtual Session” • Since 2002, the US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® has inspired more than 450 collegiate teams and 23,000 students worldwide. Now, the Solar Decathlon is being shown in a new series of virtual sessions, so it can be visited online. [CleanTechnica]

Have a totally great day.

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January 11 Energy News

January 11, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Climate Action Hawk Arnold Schwarzenegger Brings Conan Sword Down Upon Trump Enablers” • Everyone is buzzing about a video Arnold Schwarzenegger circulated. In it, Schwarzenegger, a lifelong Republican,  excoriates Trump and his enablers in Congress, identifying the insurrectionists and their supporters in Congress with the Nazis. [CleanTechnica]

Arnold Schwarzenegger (Screenshot via Twitter)

¶ “New Zealand And Others Set Example Of How To Fight Invasive Species” • New Zealand has adopted a project to rid the country of nonnative pests that have decimated much of its unique fauna. The plan can be a model for other nations how to combine scientific lessons and the enthusiasm of local citizens to manage invasives. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Trump Proved That Clean Energy Can’t Be Beat” • Thanks to Trump’s actions in office, we now know that clean energy is a force to be reckoned with. Here is a quick review of the ways Trump and other Republicans tried to stack the deck against renewables, electric vehicles, and other clean technologies, and a look at why they failed. [CleanTechnica]

Clean energy (Jing Guo, Unsplash)

¶ “Time To Repair Trump’s Damage To Science” • Biden’s administration now faces the task of making up for lost time, restoring the role of science in tackling the big problems facing the US and the world. Biden not only has to rebuild scientific capability, but restore public trust in science, which Trump’s attacks on science have undermined. [Stuff.co.nz]

¶ “Clean Energy Era Is Ahead” • With President-elect Joe Biden about to take office, New Mexico and other states are preparing for a tectonic shift in the battle against climate change. Most see it as a watershed moment – one that could fundamentally alter national and local economies through a flood of new climate-related policies and programs. [Albuquerque Journal]

Moving wind turbine components (Sagamore Wind Project image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “The State Of The Climate In 2021” • From unprecedented wildfires across the US to the extraordinary heat of Siberia, the impacts of climate change were felt in every corner of the world in 2020. BBC Future brings you our round-up of where we are on climate change at the start of 2021, according to five crucial measures of climate health. [BBC]

World:

¶ “Lightrock Power Unveils 49-MW UK Solar Play” • UK solar developer Lightrock Power has taken the wraps off the 49-MW Leeming solar in the north of England. A number of ecological and feasibility studies have been carried out and Lightrock is now consulting with local people in the north Yorkshire area about the proposal. [reNEWS]

Site of proposed solar array (Lightrock Power image)

¶ “CATL Putting $3 Billion Into 3 New Battery Factories, LG Chem Doubling Its China-Made Battery Production” • The two largest EV battery producers in the world are both expanding. CATL is investing $5.9 billion in three new battery factories in China. LG Energy Solution plans to more than double its battery cell production in China. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Australian Industrial Precinct To Host 28-MW, 56 MWh Grid-Balancing Battery” • Two Australian companies, Edify Energy and Precinct Capital, formed a joint venture to develop a battery at an industrial precinct in New South Wales. It will not be linked directly to solar or wind generation but will respond to market signals or disturbances. [pv magazine International]

Energy Storage System in Victoria (Edify Energy image)

 

¶ “Neoen Plans Massive 500-MW Big Battery West Of Sydney” • Australia’s largest battery storage project could be built just outside of Sydney. Planning documents submitted by renewable energy developer Neoen show that the company intends to kick-start the planning process for a 500-MW, 1,000-MWh big battery in New South Wales. [Renew Economy]

¶ “Esvagt Newbie Ready For MHI Vestas Charter” • Esvagt’s latest service operation vessel is ready to start work for MHI Vestas on the Borssele 3&4 and Northwester 2 offshore wind farms off the Netherlands and Belgium, respectively. The Danish shipper said the NHST-146 is the first of three new-built ships, with two more coming for the company. [reNEWS]

Esvagt service operation vessel (Esvagt image)

¶ “Vattenfall To Probe Powering Mine With Wind” • Swedish renewables developer Vattenfall and compatriot miner Kaunis Iron signed a letter of intent to develop fossil-free resources to power an iron ore site. Wind projects such as the Käymävaara and Selkävaara can play an “important role” in powering the Pajala project, said Vattenfall. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Nuro Gets California’s First Autonomous Vehicle Permit, Ouster Going Public” • On Thursday, November 19, 2020, the California Public Utilities Commissionapproved the ability to both launch robotaxi services and autonomous delivery services and to charge for them. The first company to get a permit to do so is Nuro. [CleanTechnica]

Nuro self driving car (Nuro image)

 

¶ “Consumers Energy’s Gratiot Farms Wind Project Now Producing Power” • Consumers Energy announced that the Gratiot Farms Wind Project is operational and contributing 150 MW of energy to customers in Michigan. Gratiot Farms Wind Project features 60 turbines. Its 150-MW capacity is enough to power about 58,000 residents. [PRNewswire]

¶ “Nuclear Fusion Group Calls For Building A Pilot Plant By The 2040s” • A group of the nation’s top fusion scientists just issued a report to the Department of Energy that calls for the US to build a fusion pilot plant by the 2040s. The 80-page report, written by the Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee, was two years in the making. [telegraphherald.com]

Have a happily composed day.

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January 10 Energy News

January 10, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Why I Would Buy A Used Tesla Model 3 Instead Of A New One – Free Full Self Driving!” • The author noticed that Tesla is enabling the $10,000 Full Self Driving capability on every Model 3 that it is selling used. He spoke to a couple of salespeople and verified that is the case and that you can’t get a lower price by having the option removed. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3s (Kick Gas 1, CleanTechnica)

¶ “New York Must Keep Up Climate And Environmental Wins in 2021” • Taking stock of 2020 isn’t easy. But the world continued to rotate, activists marched in the streets for justice, Americans voted in historic numbers for President-Elect Joe Biden, and hope persisted in New York in the form of mighty climate and environmental victories. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “What Would It Take To Run A City On 100% Clean Energy?” • Today, more than 170 US cities and towns have promised to shift their power supply from coal and natural gas to solar, wind, and hydropower. But can 100% renewable cities actually be 100% renewable? The reality is a bit complicated. And it reveals the challenges of decarbonization. [WIRED]

Fireworks in Burlington (Kevin Davison, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Downtown Denver Home To Vehicle-to-Building Technology Trial” • A vehicle-to-grid (V2G) project is going into operation in Denver, Colorado. The Alliance Center, whose mission is “to demonstrate sustainability in action and mobilize change agents to accelerate solutions,” is installing a V2G system from Fermata Energy at their Denver offices. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “NREL And Project Partners Team-Up To Advance Species Conservation And Wind Energy Deployment” • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Defenders of Wildlife have a nine-part webinar series to help familiarize stakeholders with the nuances of land-based wind energy development in the context of species conservation. [CleanTechnica]

Tree swallow (Photo by Werner Slocum, NREL)

World:

¶ “72% Plugin Vehicle Market Share in the Netherlands!” • The Netherlands had an amazing 30,860 plugin registrations in December, a 34% increase over the previous all-time record, set in the same month of last year. This amazing result translated into a 72% plugin vehicle market share last month, with 69% battery-electric vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Volkswagen Powers Transport Ships With Biodiesel From GoodFuels” • Volkswagen is continuing its push to lower carbon emissions from all its operations, including the ocean going ships that deliver is vehicles to foreign markets. As a partnership with Goodfuels begins, the car carrier Patara has been fueled with 100% GoodFuels Bio-Fuel Oil. [CleanTechnica]

Car carrier Patara (Volkswagen image)

¶ “Qatar Investment Authority Partners To Boost Renewables Adoption In Africa” • Enel Green Power and a Qatar Investment Authority subsidiary are partnering to finance, build, and operate renewable projects in sub-Saharan Africa. QIA will buy a 50% stake in EGP’s African holdings, which have a 500 MW capacity operating and under construction. [Smart Energy]

¶ “Ninh Thuan Working To Establish Itself As National Renewable Energy Center” • With highly favorable natural conditions, the south-central coastal province of Ninh Thuan is preparing a plan to become a renewable energy centre in Vietnam and to develop the sector into a pillar of the local economy. [en.vietnamplus.vn]

Wind and solar power plant in Vietnam (VNA photo)

¶ “Wiwynn And Mr Watt Work To Contract The First Renewable Power Purchase Agreement In Taiwan” • Wiwynn announced that it signed a renewable PPA with Mr Watt, the first renewable electricity retailer in Taiwan. With this PPA, Wiwynn is the first company in the information service industry to adopt renewable energy in Taiwan. [CTIMES]

US:

¶ “What Is GM’s New Logo And Ad Campaign Actually About?” • General Motors debuted its “Everybody In” marketing campaign and redesigned GM logo in a private briefing for automotive and advertising reporters. They want to convince stakeholders that the company is truly serious about accelerating mass adoption of electric vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

GM “Everybody In” ad featuring Malcom Gladwell (GM image)

¶ “The Much Rumored Tesla Model Y Standard Range Is Here” • There have been rumors for months that Tesla would offer a single-motor Standard Range version of the Model Y to go with its SR+ Model 3 sedan. Last week, Tesla introduced the Model Y Standard Range, which will sell for $41,990, $8,000 less than the dual-motor Model Y Long Range. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Advanced Energy Sector Continues Growth Trajectory” • The advanced energy sector expanded in 2020, and its growth is expected to continue into 2021 as the energy industry transitions to renewables. “You can’t put this genie back in the bottle,” said Stephanie Osborne, executive director for Arkansas Advanced Energy Association. [KATV]

Have an exceedingly ducky day.

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January 9 Energy News

January 9, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “New Report Sheds Light on America’s Monopolized Energy Sector … And How We Can Fix It” • A report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance shows that America’s monopoly problem is bigger than you might think. The monopoly problem has spread into many other sectors of the economy, including the electricity sector. [CleanTechnica]

Ways to generate power (Untitled Photo, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Standard Lithium Scores Points With Proof-of-Concept Lithium Extraction And Crystallization Tech” •  With success at a project extracting lithium from an Arkansas brine well, Standard Lithium is looking to go further. The startup has shown that its process can produce lithium carbonate that is over 99.9% pure. Now it is ready to commercialize it. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “2020 Was Tied For The Hottest Year Ever Recorded – But The Disasters Fueled By Climate Change Set It Apart” • Data from the Copernicus Climate Change Service made it official that 2020 tied 2016 as the hottest year on record, but it was abundantly clear throughout 2020 that the world is already seeing worsening disasters from climate change. [CNN]

2020 (Copernicus Climate Change Service and ECMWF)

¶ “A Sustainable Alternative To Portable Power Generators” • After four Ohio State University students noticed the emissions-heavy gas generators used to power tailgating parties, they came up with a sustainable alternative to portable power generators. It has a battery pack, delivery system, and mobile app. Now they have a startup to make it. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Climate Change Will Roast Cities More Than Anywhere Else” • Research shows that the average temperature within a city will rise well beyond the global average temperatures that climate initiatives tend to focus on, Wired reports. In fact, the new models show that metro areas could end up 4.4°C hotter by the year 2100. [Futurism]

Los Angeles (Andy Feliciotti, Unsplash)

¶ “Due To Climate Change, Only 5% Of US Rivers Are Still Blue” • Over the past few decades, fewer US rivers are actually blue. In fact, human activity and climate change have affected rivers so much that a whopping one-third of long rivers across the nation have changed color over the past few decades, leaving just 5% of the rivers blue. [Green Matters]

World:

¶ “Solar Sister: How 2020 Changed Things” • Solar Sister is a program that invests in women’s clean energy businesses within off-grid African communities. One year after their first chat, The Beam spoke again with its founder to see it did in 2020. Even in a difficult year, Solar Sister continued to grow and now has over 5,000 women entrepreneurs. [CleanTechnica]

Solar Sister working in a village near Moshi, Tanzania

¶ “Almost Nine Out Of Ten Germans Support ‘Greater Use Of Renewable Energy’” • Nearly nine out of ten German citizens support expanding the country’s renewable energy installations, research by the German Renewable Energy Agency found. And almost 57% agree that greater use of renewables could strengthen the regional economy. [Energy Live News]

¶ “Ofgem All Ears On Hornsea 1 OFTO Modifications” • Ofgem has launched a consultation on proposed modifications to the transmission licence for the grid assets of the 1200-MW Hornsea 1 offshore wind farm off the east coast of England. The proposed modifications include a pass-through mechanism known as the contingent event revenue adjustment. [reNEWS]

Offshore substation (Semco Maritime image)

US:

¶ “2020 Smashed The Record For Billion-Dollar Weather And Climate Disasters, NOAA Says” • An astonishing 22 separate weather and climate disasters costing over $1 billion each occurred in the US in 2020, the NOAA announced. This shatters the annual record of 16 costly disasters that was set in 2011 and then tied in 2017. [CNN]

¶ “Trump Admin Trying To Force Banks To Finance Fossil Fuel Projects” • Wall Street banks slammed a proposed rule that would force lenders to finance fossil fuel projects and other business they they deem to pose a reputational risk, Bloomberg reports. They question both its legal underpinnings and the fast-tracked process that created it. [CleanTechnica]

New York City (Photo by Josh jfisher on Unsplash)

¶ “In Boost For Renewables, Grid-Scale Battery Storage Is On The Rise” • The gas-fired Moss Landing Power Plant was once California’s largest electric power station. Now it is closed. Its connections to the electric power grid are to be used by huge batteries, with 300 MW nearly ready and more to come. And that is just one of several batteries coming. [Grist]

¶ “Oil Lobby Cheers Trump Policy That Lets Oil Companies Kill Birds” • With just two weeks left in office, the lame duck Trump administration published a rule to allow industries to kill migrating birds so long as they don’t intentionally kill them. The rule is based on a legal opinion rejected and vacated by a federal judge last August. [CleanTechnica]

Birds (Photo by Barth Bailey on Unsplash)

¶ “Pine Gate Renewables Completes Eight Solar Projects Across Michigan” • Five new solar energy projects in Genesee County and three in Saginaw County, Michigan are providing electricity for Consumers Energy customers. Pine Gate Renewables built and operates them, and they are owned by Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors. [Solar Power World]

¶ “Kauai To Hit 80% Renewable Power With Solar-Charged Hydro Storage” • The nonprofit Kauai Island Utility Cooperative signed a deal with AES to deliver power throughout the night from a solar-charged water pumping system. If approved, the project would bring KIUC’s electricity mix to 80% clean energy by the mid-2020s. [Greentech Media]

Have an objectively humorous day.

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May 20 Energy News

January 8, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “The Ford F-150 Lightning Is A BIG Win – Three Core Questions Remain” • The Ford F-150 Lightning is a major entrant into the US auto market. That’s right, not just the EV market, but the overall auto market. Clearly, Ford didn’t electrify its two biggest nameplates – the F-150 and the Mustang – to play softball or little league. [CleanTechnica]

Ford F-150 Lightning

¶ “Talking With Ford’s Head Of Electric Vehicles About Ford F-150 Lightning And Team Edison” • To dig further into the huge Ford F-150 Lightning news, I sat down for half an hour with Darren Palmer, General Manager of Battery Electric Vehicles at Ford Motor Company. Listen below, or read on for a summary of what we discussed. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Volocopter Unveils New 4-Seater EVTOL To Connect Suburbs To The City” • German eVTOL startup Volocopter has unveiled the VoloConnect. It differs from the existing VoloCity in a few key ways. While the VoloCity has a range of only 22 miles, the VoloConnect will have a range of around 60 miles. Also, the VoloConnect will have four seats. [CleanTechnica]

Volocopter eVTOL (Image courtesy of Volocopter)

¶ “Biden Waives US Sanctions On Russian Pipeline” • The Biden administration has waived sanctions on a company building a controversial gas pipeline between Russia and Germany. The move came in a report on Russian sanctions the Department of State delivered to Congress. It concludes that it is in the US national interest to waive the sanctions. [BBC]

¶ “Kia Unwraps The EV6” • Kia has officially unveiled its EV6 electric SUV, its first battery electric car. The vehicle is built on the E-GMP platform developed for use by both Hyundai and Kia going forward. So are the Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5 basically the same cars under the sheetmetal? Yup, they are. But they are very different outside. [CleanTechnica]

Kia EV6 (Image courtesy of Kia, cropped)

¶ “Adani Green Energy To Acquire SB Energy’s India Renewable Energy Portfolio For $625 Million” • Adani Green Energy has announced that it will acquire a 5-GW India renewable power portfolio from SB Energy. AGE said in an official statement that the purchase would be done for a fully-completed enterprise evaluation of $625 million. [CNBC TV18]

¶ “Johannesburg Aims For 35% Renewable Energy By 2030” • Johannesburg is South Africa’s biggest city, with a population of over 5 million people, and Africa’s dominant financial center. The city wants to meet 35% of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2030 and will seek proposals for privately supplied power by August. [MyBroadband]

Johannesburg (Keenan Constance, Unsplash)

¶ “GE Renewable Energy Secures Contracts For New Pumped Hydro Storage Power Plant In Austria” • GE Renewable Energy has secured contracts from Austrian National Railway Operator ÖBB to build two storage turbines for the new Tauernmoos Pumped Hydro Storage Power Plant. The 85-MW turbines will have fully-fed variable speed. [Energy Live News]

¶ “Victorian Councils Commit To Renewable Energy Future” • The Victorian Energy Collaboration will see 46 of Victoria’s 79 local councils powered by renewable energy. Red Energy, an offshoot of Snowy Hydro, signed an agreement to supply the councils with a combined 240 GWh of renewable energy each year until the end of 2030. [pv magazine Australia]

Wind turbines (Vestas image)

¶ “Almost 2 GW Of Renewable Energy Projects Apply For Grid Connection In Bulgaria” • The Electricity System Operator of Bulgaria received requests from 22 investors since the beginning of the year for connecting renewable energy plants they have under development to the grid. The combined capacity of their projects is 1.97 GW. [Balkan Green Energy News]

US:

¶ “Ford F-150 Lightning – One Big Shocker!” • $39,974! Yes, that’s just the base MSRP for a version of the truck with 230 miles of range, but that’s a shockingly low price for the entry Ford F-150 Lightning. I did not see a single person predicting the F-150 Lightning would come in at such a low price. But there is even more to say about this truck. [CleanTechnica]

Ford F-150 Lightning

¶ “Colonial Pipeline Boss Confirms Ransom Payment of $4.4 Million” • Colonial Pipeline has confirmed it paid a $4.4 million ransom to the cyber-criminal gang responsible for taking the US fuel pipeline offline. Its boss told the Wall Street Journal he had authorized the payment on 7 May because of uncertainty over how long the shutdown would continue. [BBC]

¶ “RWE Secures 150-MW Facebook US Solar Deal” • RWE Renewables has partnered with Facebook and the Tennessee Valley Authority to realize a 150-MW solar facility in Shelby County, Tennessee. Facebook will use 110 MW of the solar energy to support their data center operations in Gallatin, Tennessee, and the broader Tennessee Valley. [reNEWS]

Solar farm (RWE image)

¶ “New UCS Research: Utilities’ Uneconomic Coal Use Is Being Called Out In 25 States” • Coal self-commitment is a practice of running coal plants when cheaper resources are available. The Union of Concerned Scientists found that 25 states have taken up substantial discussion of the practice as an issue in state public utility proceedings. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Georgia Power Customers To Find Out New Tab For Vogtle Expansion This Fall” • In coming months, Georgia Power, with its parent company Southern Co, and consumer advocacy groups will make their cases before the Public Service Commission for how much of Vogtle’s ballooned unit 3 costs should be passed onto electric consumers’ bills. [Patch]

Have an agreeably ducky day.

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January 8 Energy News

January 8, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “What We Learned from 100 Million Miles of Ridehailing Data” • To limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C – something the Rocky Mountain Institute believes will take the electrification of well over 50 million EVs in the US by 2030 – we must exploit every opportunity possible, including electrifying transportation network company fleets. [CleanTechnica]

Uber ATG car in Toronto (PvOberstein, public domain)

¶ “Ten Compelling Reasons To Stay Away From Nuclear Power” • The South African government recently released an invitation for comments on its proposal to install 2.5 GW of new nuclear power. There are at least 10 compelling reasons not to. Described briefly, they are arranged in what the author considers to be a rough order of importance. [Daily Maverick]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Greener planes of the future … or just pretty plans?” • In traditional aircraft the fuselage is basically dead weight and needs big wings to keep it in the sky. But newer aircraft designs are being tested. In some, the whole airframe provides lift, so it can be lighter and smaller than current designs, but can potentially carry the same payload. [BBC]

Flying-V design (TU Delft image)

¶ “Quantum Wells Enable Record-Efficiency Two-Junction Solar Cell” • Researchers from the US DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the University of New South Wales achieved a new world-record efficiency for two-junction solar cells, creating a cell with two light-absorbing layers that converts 32.9% of sunlight into electricity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Cobalt Banished From New Lithium-Ion Electric Vehicle Batteries” • With millions of zero emission cars set to hit the streets over the next few years, the race is on to develop lithium-ion EV batteries that ditch cobalt in favor of more abundant, less expensive materials. A nice boost in performance would also help. But can it be made real? [CleanTechnica]

Cobalt-free EV battery (ORNL image)

¶ “2020 Ties 2016 As Hottest Year On Record” • 2020 has tied 2016 as the hottest year on record, the EU’s climate monitoring service said, keeping Earth on a global warming fast track that could devastate large swathes of humanity. The six years since 2015 are the six warmest on record, as are 20 of the last 21, the Copernicus Climate Change Service said. [Phys.Org]

¶ “The Future Is Autonomous: NREL’s Autonomous Energy Grids Research”  • In the few years that the National Renewable Energy Laboratory has studied autonomous control algorithms for energy systems, a variety of experimental and real-system successes have made the NREL vision of Autonomous Energy Grids a reality. [CleanTechnica]

Basalt Vista housing project (Photo by Scott Randall, NREL)

 

World:

¶ “EU Backs Ørsted Team On Green Hydrogen Initiative” • The EU is providing funding to the Oyster project, an initiative that includes Ørsted, Siemens Gamesa, and other companies aiming to investigate and demonstrate a combined wind turbine and electrolyser system for manufacturing green hydrogen in marine environments. [reNEWS]

¶ “The Bold Plan To Save Africa’s Largest Forest” • One of the historically significant drivers of deforestation of the DR Congo’s rainforest has been small-scale charcoal production and slash-and-burn agriculture. A new law in the Democratic Republic of Congo may bring that under control. It works by granting rights to the country’s indigenous villages. [BBC]

Forest in DR Congo (Forest Service, USDA, public domain)

¶ “Vattenfall Makes Room For Seabirds Off Norfolk” • Swedish developer Vattenfall will use taller turbines than initially planned at its 1800-MW Norfolk Vanguard and 1800-MW Norfolk Boreas projects. After consultations with ornithologists, the developer raised clearance heights to 30 metres from 22 to place rotors above the flight paths of birds. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Elon Musk Becomes World’s Richest Person As Wealth Tops $185 Billion” • Elon Musk became the world’s richest person, as his net worth rose past $185 billion. Musk was pushed into the top slot after Tesla’s hit a market value of $700 billion. That makes the car company worth more than Toyota, Volkswagen, Hyundai, GM, and Ford combined. [BBC]

Tesla in space (SpaceX image, public domain)

¶ “Elon Musk, Now The World’s Wealthiest Person, Is Focused On Helping Humanity” • Elon Musk passed Jeff Bezos as the richest person in the world. Musk created his companies to solve problems that otherwise would probably not be solved. Each of the problems is just one aspect of a much larger problem: the looming threat of climate change. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Black Hills Energy Joins Other Major Colorado Utilities In Plan To Reduce Air Pollution And Emissions” • Gov Jared Polis and Black Hills Energy announced that Black Hills has joined all other major utilities in Colorado in striving towards the goal of reducing air pollution and emissions by at least 80% by 2030 as part of its Electric Resource Plan. [KOAA.com]

Wind turbines in Colorado (Jeffrey Beall, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Plug Power CEO Expects ‘Great Time’ For Hydrogen Industry, After Democrats Win Senate” • Plug Power CEO Andrew Marsh applauded the Democratic sweep of the Georgia Senate runoffs earlier this week, expressing an optimistic outlook for the future of green energy. He noted that Senator Schumer, who is friendly to the fuel cell industry, will lead the Senate. [CNBC]

¶ “Renewable Energy Sources Dominated New US Electrical Generating Capacity In 2020” • Renewable energy sources dominated US electrical generating capacity additions in the first 11 months of 2020, according to a review of FERC data by the Sun Day Campaign. Almost 71% of new utility-scale capacity was renewable. [Environment + Energy Leader]

Have a charmingly lovely day.

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January 7 Energy News

January 7, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Elon Musk’s Guide To Getting Ahead In Business” • Elon Musk is the world’s second richest man, according to Forbes. So, what is the secret of his success? A few years back, the author interviewed him about just that. To mark his new milestone BBC decided to dust the interview off and share it with you. Musk’s rule number one: “It isn’t about the money.” [BBC]

SpaceX launch (Tim Mossholder, Unsplash)

¶ “The Significance Of The ‘People First’ Approach In Biden’s Transition To Net Zero” • The election of Joe Biden and vice-president Kamala Harris is the most positive news of the year for anyone concerned about climate change. For the first time since its adoption in 2015, the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature increase limit appears within reach. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “How India’s Renewable Energy Sector Survived And Thrived In A Turbulent 2020” • Last year was decisive for clean energy in India. Bids for new solar projects hit record lows, so coal is no longer the cheapest source of electricity. Cheap renewables were favored on the grid. But coal remains the dominant player in India’s electricity mix. [Greentech Media]

Coal-burning power plant (Suresh.A, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

World:

¶ “Norway Hits Record 87% Plug-in EV Share And 66% Pure Electrics In December” • Norway, the most advanced auto market for electromobility, saw records broken in December, with 87.1% market share for plugin electric vehicles. Of these, over two-thirds were pure EVs, and non-hybrid combustion vehicles fell to just 7.5% market share. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Building A Zero-Waste, Solar-Powered Brewery On An Off-Grid Island” • Caleb Clarke and Sarah Bowman opened New Zealand’s first off-grid, zero-waste, solar powered brewery, Aotea Brewing. Its home is the off-grid Great Barrier Island, whose 800 full-time residents share it with penguins, dolphins, banded rails, hammerhead sharks, and black petrels. [CleanTechnica]

Great Barrier Island, New Zealand (Douglas Bagg, Unsplash)

¶ “CityHawk eVTOL Gets Off The Ground Following Initial Orders” • Israeli tech firm Urban Aeronautics has encouraging news. It said it received a pre-order for four of its innovative hydrogen fuel-cell powered eVTOL vehicles from Hatzolah Air, a company that specializes in developing helicopters and other aircraft for EMS applications. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GE Renewable Energy Signs On To 400-MW Pumped Hydro Project” • The proposed 400-MW Big T project is on track to be the first pumped hydro storage to be completed in Queensland in more than three decades, now that GE Renewable Energy has signed an agreement to co-develop it with the Australian-based consortium BE Power. [pv magazine Australia]

Big T pumped hydro storage project (Snowy Hydro image)

US:

¶ “EPA Halts Efforts to Clean Up Unsafe Levels of Ozone Smog” • In defiance of science and the law, the EPA attempted to halt 50 years of progress delivered by the Clean Air Act. It delivered a gift to polluters, leaving the federal limit for ozone pollution at its current, inadequate, unsafe  level and putting the health of tens of millions of people at risk. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “States And Cities Are Driving Climate And Clean Energy Progress” • A third of the people in the US now live in states or cities that are committed to 100% clean electricity. And the role of states, cities, and communities as climate leaders will continue to be vital even as President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris take the helm. [CleanTechnica]

Installing solar panels (DOE image)

¶ “Vistra Switches On 300-MW California Battery” • The US developer Vistra has grid connected a 300-MW battery storage system in Monterey County, California. The 300-MW, 1200-MWh Moss Landing energy storage facility, which is co-located with Vistra’s Moss Landing power plant, is the largest of its kind in the world. [reNEWS]

¶ “East Bay Community Energy Aims For 100% Clean Energy By 2030” • East Bay Community Energy committed to providing nearly 1.7 million local customers with 100% renewable energy in the next decade, 15 years ahead of California’s target date. EBCE is one of the largest US electricity providers to commit to 100% renewables in ten years. [Pleasanton Weekly]

Wind farm (Matthew T Rader, Unsplash)

¶ “US Energy Consumption From Renewables Is Poised To Outpace Coal” • US energy generated from renewables could have outpaced that from coal in 2020, last month’s data from the Energy Information Administration last month shows. And US coal carloads dropped by nearly a quarter last year, according to Association of American Railroads data. [FreightWaves]

¶ “Florida PSC Approves Duke’s Clean Energy Connection Program” • The Florida Public Service Commission recently approved a stipulated agreement on Duke Energy Florida’s Clean Energy Connection program. Signatories to the stipulation are the DEF, Vote Solar, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, and Walmart, Inc. [Transmission & Distribution World]

Solar panels (Angie Warren, Unsplash)

¶ “Clearway Energy Group Begins Construction On 345-MW Texas Wind Farm” • Clearway Energy Group started construction on Mesquite Sky, a 345-MW wind farm in Callahan County, Texas. Clearway also closed $427 million in construction debt financing, for which Mizuho Bank, Ltd acted as the coordinating lead arranger. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Mississippi Plant Raises Concerns About Nuclear Power” • Chronic downtime at the Grand Gulf plant in Mississippi, which is the largest single-unit nuclear power station in the US,  is raising questions about the electric industry’s argument that aging reactors provide critical reliability and help decarbonize the grid. [E&E News]

Have a restoratively relaxing day.

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January 6 Energy News

January 6, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Congress Continues To Affirm That Climate Security Is National Security” • When the US Congress voted to override the president’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2021, it marked the fourth year in a row in which both sides of the aisle have come together to pass the climate change provisions in the act. [CleanTechnica]

National security (USMC Lance Cpl Brian Bolin Jr, US DOD)

¶ “Power Shift In Senate Could Bring Major Changes In US Science And Climate Policy” • Democrats appear to be likely to retake the US Senate after runoff elections in Georgia, with big implications for science and climate policy. Projections are that each party will have 50 seats, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris casting the deciding vote. [Science Magazine]

¶ “Elon Musk Is Now Disrupting Public Relations – For Tesla, At Least” • Elon Musk overhauls industries ripe for disruption. Automotive and aerospace sectors were, pre-Musk, getting a bit stagnant. So Musk came along with Tesla and SpaceX, changing everything. What’s next? He looks like he might be taking over PR, at least for Tesla. [CleanTechnica]

Elon Musk (Photo by Chanan Bos, CleanTechnica)

¶ “BP CEO And Climate Leader: We Can Only Fight Climate Change If Businesses Help” • We may look like we are strange bedfellows – a global leader on climate change and the CEO of a multinational oil company – but we share two characteristics that the world needs more than ever: stubborn optimism and a fierce commitment to inclusivity. [CNN]

¶ “Should Oil And Gas Companies Move Full-Speed Ahead With Energy Transition Plans?” • Oil and gas companies are finding themselves in a proverbial rut as they reassess existing profitable models with future energy transition plans. Here we ask whether oil and gas companies should be more aggressive in their energy transition plans. [Journal of Petroleum Technology]

Offshore wind turbine (Dogger Bank Wind Farm image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Gravity Energy Storage Will Show Its Potential in 2021” • Nearly all currently operational energy-storage facilities, which can generate a total of 174 GW, rely on gravity. Pumped hydro storage is the prime example. Now, other types of facilities are being developed by Energy Vault, Gravity Power, and others. And they are getting ready to go to market. [IEEE Spectrum]

¶ “BladeBUG Inspects, Resurfaces, And Repairs Wind Turbine Blades Remotely” • Wind turbine blades need to be inspected regularly to spot problems that may affect their efficiency. From his work as a turbine blade designer, Chris Cieslak came up with the idea of automating the inspection and maintenance process for better efficiency and safety. [CleanTechnica]

BladeBUG (BladeBUG image)

World:

¶ “ITC Aims To Meet Its Entire Energy Needs From Renewable Sources By 2030” • ITC, an Indian multi-business conglomerate, aims to meet 100% of its entire energy needs from renewable sources by 2030. It aims to achieve a 50% reduction in specific emissions and a 30% reduction in specific energy consumption by 2030 over a 2014-15 baseline. [Mercom India]

¶ “Last Diesels Gone By 2023 As Madrid Goes Green” • There are still 390 diesel-powered buses running on the streets of Madrid, but they represent the end of an era. That’s because Madrid’s City Council has placed fresh orders for 520 electric and natural gas powered buses, committing itself to mothball its remaining diesel fleet by 2023. [CleanTechnica]

Madrid (Jorge Fernández Salas, Unsplash)

¶ “New Electricity Pricing Triggers Rapid Growth For Renewable Energy Investment In Brazil” • The Brazilian energy sector took a huge step towards a greener, more efficient, and more investor-friendly energy market with its shift from weekly to hourly spot pricing of electricity. This comes amid ongoing reform for what may be a sleeping energy giant. [EIN News]

US:

¶ “2020’s Top Wind Energy R&D Achievements” • The US DOE Wind Energy Technologies Office provides global leadership in fundamental wind energy science research, development, and validation activities that enable low-cost wind energy. Here are some of the most notable wind energy R&D accomplishments from 2020. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines (Dennis Schroeder, NREL)

 

¶ “Tesla Just Zipped Past $700 Billion In Market Value” • It was bound to happen. After joining the S&P500 at the very end of last year, Tesla announced that it produced 500,000 electric vehicles for the year of 2020. Now, Tesla’s stock price has soared to higher heights, up 5% to a record high on January 4, and then it went higher the next day. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Massachusetts Raises Offshore Wind Procurement Goal” • The Massachusetts state legislature increased the state’s offshore wind goal to 5,600 MW. An Act Creating a Next-Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy authorizes procurement of 2,400 MW more offshore wind capacity and raises the renewable energy target to 40% by 2030. [reNEWS]

Block Island wind farm (Ionna22, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “EPA Finalizes ‘Secret Science’ Rule, Limiting Use Of Public Health Research” • The EPA finalized a highly controversial rule that limits the types of studies that the agency can weigh when crafting its policies. The rule restricts the EPA’s ability to consider landmark public health research and other studies that do not make their underlying data public. [The Hill]

¶ “US Storage Provider Scores Texas Double” • US energy storage outfit FlexGen is developing two energy storage projects, totaling 220 MWh of capacity, in Texas. The two 110-MWh standalone battery storage projects in Texas Hill Country will serve as dispatchable assets for an undisclosed leading independent power producer. [reNEWS]

Have a simply glorious day.

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January 5 Energy News

January 5, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Georgia On My Mind: Senate Runoffs And Renewables” • In the US state of Georgia, voters are casting ballots in Senate runoff elections, because no candidate won a majority in November. If both Democratic candidates win, the Senate will come under the control of Democrats by the thinnest of margins. There could be an effect for renewable energy. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines (Noah Hogue, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Net Zero Emissions Would Stabilize Climate Quickly Says UK Scientist” • Joeri Rogelj of Imperial College London is not some climate crackpot but lead author of the next major IPCC climate assessment. He said, “It is our best understanding that, if we bring down CO₂ to net zero, the warming will level off. The climate will stabilize within a decade or two.”  [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Tesla Now Has Commercial Import License In Israel – Online Sales To Start Within Days” • Tesla has received a commercial import license from Israel’s Ministry of Transport. The license, which enables the company to start a full import operation with no limit on volume. Globes reports that online sales are expected to start within days. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla store (Cynthia Shahan, CleanTechnica)

¶ “Tesla Coming To India This Year, Confirms Minister” • India’s minister for road transport and highways recently confirmed that Tesla will start offering its cars to Indian consumers this year. The car manufacturer will initially import the cars it sells in India, but it is expected to eventually start production locally, as the import duties are very high there. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Blistering Assessment Gives Australia ‘Just Months’ To Fix Nation’s Energy Security” • Australia has “just months” to fix problems with the electricity market, according to a blistering assessment of the state of the energy sector. Dr Kerry Schott, Chair of the Energy Security Board, blamed “years of insufficient action” and “band-aid solutions.” [ABC News]

Power lines in Australia (Victoria Kennedy, Unsplash)

¶ “Plans To Make Energy Greener As Singapore Rebounds From 2020 Electricity Demand Fall, Says Tan See Leng” • Singapore wants to green its energy mix as electricity demand recovers, but is also taking steps to ensure electricity supply remains stable and reliable, Second Minister for Trade and Industry Tan See Leng said in Parliament. [The Straits Times]

¶ “Encavis Connects 300 MW Of Spanish Solar” • Encavis has connected a 300-MW PV plant to the Spanish grid. Connection of the Talayuela array follows the connection of the 200-MW La Cabrera project in November 2020. The completion of the two solar projects takes Encavis’ portfolio of operational solar assets in Spain to 500 MW. [reNEWS]

Solar plant (Encavis image)

¶ “Sweden Closes Ringhals 1” • Unit 1 of Sweden’s Ringhals nuclear power plant was permanently shut down on December 31 after 44 years of operation, a year after Ringhals 2 was shut down, according to plant operator, Ringhals AB. The Ringhals 1 reactor was built by Asea atom between 1969 and 1975, and it was was put into operation in 1976. [Nuclear Engineering]

¶ “UK Government Greenlights Hornsea Three Offshore Wind Farm” • The UK’s Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma, has granted development consent to Ørsted for the 2.6-GW Hornsea Three offshore wind farm in the UK North Sea, about 121 km (75 mi) off the coast of Norfolk coast. [Offshore Oil and Gas Magazine]

Offshore wind farm (Courtesy of Ørsted)

US:

¶ “Wall Street Insiders Name Tesla Stock of the Year” • It’s been a tumultuous year on Wall Street. Many blue chip companies have experienced great volatility because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Some have thrived, others have dived. So, who has come out on top? A number of Wall Street insiders have crowned Tesla 2020’s stock of the year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EDPR Inks 275-MW US Solar Offtake” • EDP Renewables has signed power purchase agreements covering 275 MW of US PV capacity. The two PPAs are for two solar projects, one in Indiana and the other in Mississippi. Both are expected online in 2023. The latest PPAs take EDPR’s global solar capacity secured for the 2020-2023 period to 2 GW. [reNEWS]

Solar panels (EDPR image)

¶ “Nebraska Chemical, Hydrogen Company Looks To Power Operations With 100% RECs” • Chemical and hydrogen company Monolith Materials said it is seeking 2 million MWh annually of renewable energy through an agreement with the Nebraska Public Power District to supply its Olive Creek facility with 100% renewable energy. [S&P Global]

¶ “GE To Deliver 1-GW Western Spirit In New Mexico” • GE Renewable Energy won a 1050-MW turbine order for Pattern Energy’s Western Spirit wind farm in New Mexico. The 377 machines will range from 2.3 MW to 2.8 MW with various tower heights. The wind farm is planned to be operating commercially before the end of 2021. [reNEWS]

Turbine installation (GE image)

¶ “Eos Wins California Storage Deal” • US-based energy storage player Eos Energy Enterprises has secured an order for its zinc batteries from developer EnerSmart for projects in California. The order is for between 90 and 180 MWh of capacity over the next 24 months. The projects will be based on Eos’ Znyth battery storage technology. [reNEWS]

¶ “In ‘Remarkable Shift,’ Four Out Of Five Texans Say Climate Change Is Real. Now What?” • A study published last month by the University of Houston found that 81% of Texans agree that climate change is happening. That result now matches the views expressed by the majority of Americans. But now we need to make everything electric. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]

Have a fundamentally superior day.

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January 4 Energy News

January 4, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “This Company Is Making Building Tiles Out Of Polluted Air” • Carbon Craft Design mixes carbon particulates captured from emissions with cement and marble waste from quarries to make monochromatic tiles. The company’s founder, Indian architect Tejas Sidnal, says the it aims to ensure each tile contains at least 70% waste material. [CNN]

Carbon Craft Design tiles in use (Carbon Craft Design image)

¶ “Tesla Vehicles Could Be Enabled To Call 911 During An Emergency” • When one Tesla owner got into a scary situation in his car, he found his cell phone had no signal to place a call. His car had a signal, but he was unable to use it to dial 911. He sent a tweet asking that Tesla cars be enabled to make such calls. Elon Musk replied, “Absolutely.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Scientists Discover How Aerosols From Pollution, Desert Storms, and Forest Fires Can Intensify Thunderstorms” • A link between pollution aerosols and thunderstorms has been seen for decades, but the cause has not been well understood. Researchers have now found a way atmospheric aerosols can generate more frequent thunderstorms. [SciTechDaily]

Thunderstorm (NOAA image, Unsplash)

¶ “Nine Reasons Why Policymakers Should Tackle Climate Change With Small-Scale Solutions” • For a study published in the journal Science, we collected data on a wide variety of energy technologies along the granular-lumpy continuum. We found that more granular technologies, such as solar or windpower, have nine important advantages. [TNW]

World:

¶ “MingYang Units Deliver First Power At Haitan Strait” • The developer China Huadian Corporation has notched first power from its 154-MW Fuqing Haitan Strait offshore wind farm off Fujian province. The wind farm  features 22 MingYang Smart Energy 7-MW turbines. The turbines are all equipped with typhoon-proof capabilities. [reNEWS]

MingYang turbine under construction (MingYang image)

¶ “FRV secures financing for Metz Solar Farm in New South Wales” • Financing has been secured for Fotowatio Renewable Ventures’ 115-MW Metz Solar Farm, in the New England region of New South Wales, just east of Armidale. The Green Loan from Westpac and NORD/LB will support construction of this large-scale solar project. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Foresight Solar Agrees To €72 Million Deal For 99 MW In Spain” • Investor Foresight Solar has acquired a 99-MW portfolio of three greenfield solar projects in Andalusia in a deal worth up to €72 million. The UK-based company said construction on the “subsidy-free” developments will begin in the summer of 2021 with operations expected a year later. [reNEWS]

Solar array in Spain (Foresight Solar image)

¶ “Israel’s Second Tender For Solar-Plus-Storage Concludes With Final Price Of 5.44¢/kWh” • The Israeli government assigned 608.9 MW of PV capacity through its second tender, and it selected seven developers for 33 projects. A storage capacity of around 2,400 MWh will be linked to the selected solar power projects. [pv magazine International]

¶ “One Perfect 100% Renewable Day In South Australia” • South Australia got another glimpse of its 100% renewably powered future, when solar and wind generation made up 99.6% of electricity in the grid on December 27, as tracked by OpenNEM. The state got 59% of its electricity from renewable resources for the year 2020 as a whole. [pv magazine International]

Hornsdale Power Reserve, now 150-MW (Neoen image)

¶ “Japan’s Carbon Neutrality Dilemma: More Nuclear Power Or More Renewables?” • Japan is committed to carbon neutrality by 2050, and the Suga administration is grappling with questions over which near-term measures to take to reach the long-term goal. A debate has come up over how renewables and nuclear power should be balanced. [The Japan Times]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Seals 100-MW Ethiopia Debut” • Siemens Gamesa has secured its first turbine order in Ethiopia with state-owned utility Ethiopian Electric Power for the 100-MW Assela wind farm. The manufacturer will deliver 29 3.4-132 machines to be commissioned by the Spring of 2023. The Assela site is about 150 km south of Addis Ababa. [reNEWS]

Siemens Gamesa wind turbines (Siemens Gamesa image)

US:

¶ “Massachusetts Will Require All New Cars Sold Be Electric By 2035” • Governor Charlie Baker and his administration shared a plan that will deal a major blow to fossil fuel automakers while greatly cutting the state’s greenhouse-gas emissions. These changes include the mandate that all new cars sold in the state will be electric by 2035. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Million-Mile Zero Emissions Club” • BYD (Build Your Dreams) is a large EV and battery maker based in China. It has a factory in California, and it announced inaugural members of its “Million Mile Club,” which is made up of US transit services that have logged over one million miles in their zero-emissions BYD battery-electric buses. [CleanTechnica]

BYD electric bus

¶ “Global Heating Will Make Colorado River Basin Drought More Severe” • Climate research indicates that as average temperatures on Earth increase, hotter, drier conditions will constrain water supplies and reduce harvests. Without water from the Colorado River Basin Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Los Angeles simply would not exist. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Negotiators Reach Deal On Major Climate Bill” • After six months of private talks, legislative negotiators in Massachusetts reached an agreement on a major bill to accelerate the pace toward addressing the global problem of climate change. The bill (S 2995) would establish in state law a “net zero” greenhouse gas emissions limit for 2050. [WWLP.com]

Have a superlatively gratifying day.

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January 3 Energy News

January 3, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Dogger Bank’s Giant Turbines Herald A Wind Of Change In UK Industry” • Beyond the horizon off the coast of North Yorkshire, a quiet revolution is emerging from the waves of the North Sea. More than 80 miles from land, hundreds of the world’s most powerful wind turbines are being built in the biggest windfarm ever. [The Guardian]

Haliade-X wind turbine (SSE photograph)

¶ “Interview: ‘Energy needed a digital revolution – and we are it'” • Greg Jackson, chief executive of Octopus Energy, wears the unassuming combination of jeans and trainers one might expect from the founder of a wildly successful startup. He has the enthusiasm and world-changing idealism too. Octopus is a new breed of energy supplier. [The Guardian]

¶ “Pakistan’s Brighter Future Depends Upon Renewable Energy Generation Projects” • Pakistan needs to focus on projects that provide us with the cheapest electricity. Pakistan cannot afford expensive thermal power. All our industries need cheaper electricity so that they can flourish, and with falling costs, that means renewable energy. [Daily Times]

Wind farm in Pakistan (Muzaffar Bukhari, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Why We Can’t Just ‘Move On’: We Need Accountability For Donald Trump’s Misdeeds” • Donald Trump and his henchmen have made a concerted attack on American democracy, and they have done so much corrupting damage that giving them a pass would be dereliction. One thing that needs to be investigated is denial of climate science. [Salon]

World:

¶ “France Hits Record 19.2% EV Share In December – Up Almost Six Times Year On Year” • France’s plugin electric vehicle market share hit a new record of 19.2% in December 2020, up by a factor of 5.6 from December 2019. The full year result was 11.2% plugin share, with local favorite Renault ZOE once more the year’s top selling plugin. [CleanTechnica]

2019 – Essais presse Nouvelle Renault ZOE en Sardaigne

¶ “31 Countries, States, And Cities Have Gas/Diesel Car Bans In Place” • Much to the consternation of the free market crowd, at the start of 2021 there are 31 national and local governments that have announced bans on the sale of forms of transportation powered by internal combustion engines. Survival may finally be trumping theory. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GCC Chemical Producers Give Push To Renewable Energy In 2020: GPCA” • Gulf Cooperation Council chemical companies have begun to invest in renewable technologies and projects, such as wind and solar, as they look to move towards cleaner energy sources, according to the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association. [MENAFN.com]

Refineries (Chris Liverani, Unsplash)

¶ “EU’s ‘Climate Leader’ Explains Why 2020 Has Left Him Optimistic” • The author of one of the most ambitious climate plans in the European Union says 2020 was a turning point that’s left him optimistic about the future of the planet. There are many reasons for hope, and he believes that Denmark can be a model for others to follow. [The Japan Times]

¶ “One Billion Tonnes In Mining Emissions Approved Despite Landmark Case” • Coal and gas projects which could release more than 1 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases have been given the green light by the New South Wales government in the two years since a court ruling overturned a coal mine approval partly over climate impacts. [Brisbane Times]

Bushfire in New South Wales (Meganesia, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Ten Years On, Japan’s Fukushima Victims Worry They’ve Been Forgotten” • Nearly 10 years on, Fukushima evacuees remain scattered across Japan. Only 5% of the residents of the town of Namie have ventured to return to their homes near the plant amid persistent fears of radiation contamination. Many others fear their plight has been forgotten. [Korea Times]

US:

¶ “Tesla: 499,550 Vehicles Delivered in 2020, 509,737 Vehicles Produced (Charts)” • Tesla has published its official numbers for the 4th quarter 2020 and full-year 2020 vehicle production and delivery. Troy Teslike, whose projections CleanTechnica just published, was off by only 3,142 for the year. We might say Tesla confirmed his sales projections, [CleanTechnica]

Tesla in Florida (CleanTechnica)

¶ “Tesla Roaring Into 2021 As Short Sellers Lose Record $38 Billion” • Last year was disastrous for people who bet against Tesla on the stock market. On the last day of the year, Tesla’s stock set a new high of over $700. Yahoo! Finance said the Tesla short sellers lost over $38 billion in mark-to-market losses in 2020. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Warmer Winters May Attract More Pests” • The North Carolina Climate Science report shows that the state has warmed by about 1°F over the past 20 years which means warmer seasons, including winter. Experts in pest control say warmer weather could increase both the number and appetites of pests, posing greater threats. [Spectrum News]

Emerald ash borer, much enlarged image (USDA image)

¶ “A Look Ahead: It Was A Bruising Year For Wyoming Coal. What Could The New Year Bring?” • After a bruising year battling the one-two punch of the COVID-19 pandemic and collapse in energy markets, coal operators in Wyoming could receive a small boost in demand in 2021. But the long-term outlook is gloomy for coal mining. [Casper Star-Tribune Online]

¶ “Winona LaDuke Discusses Biodiversity And Renewable Energy At AUSG Women’s Initiative Event” • In November, at a virtual event that was hosted by the American University Student Government Women’s Initiative, activist Winona LaDuke spoke about renewable energy, the future of the economy, biodiversity, and sustainable food systems. [The Eagle]

Have a soothingly groovy day.

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January 2 Energy News

January 2, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Why Trump Failed To Derail National Climate Assessment” • The Trump administration’s failure to soften or bury the climate assessment shows the resilience of federal climate science despite Trump’s efforts to impede it. This article is based on interviews with current and former government officials and others familiar with the process. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

Scientist launching a balloon (NOAA image, Unsplash)

¶ “Why Shares Of Plug Power Jumped 29% In December” • The year is ending the year on a bullish note for Plug Power, as shares rose 29% in December, data from S&P Global Market Intelligence shows. Plug Power is a fuel cell leader, and it stayed red hot as it capped off 2020, a year in which shareholders saw an increase of 973% in the stock price. [Motley Fool]

World:

¶ “Tesla Opens World’s Largest Supercharging Station – 72 Stalls!” • Tesla China has one success after another,  blazing a path to sustainable transportation. There are now about 650 charging stations in China, with 150 added in December alone. And the largest of these is a Tesla Supercharger Station in Shanghai, with 72 stalls. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Charging Station in Florida (Michael Rivera, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Ecolohas Builds Smart And Green Homes In Taiwan” • Ecolohas Energy Technology is helping Taiwan to build sustainable homes by delivering smart energy storage systems, smart microgrid systems, and distributed microgrid energy storage systems that allow people to generate their own power and reduce their electricity bills. [Saurenergy]

¶ “Bird Charity Warns Of Harm From New Wind Farm” • Wind farms are not a straightforward subject for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. The RSPB supports the growth of renewable energy. But it has criticized a government decision to permit an offshore wind farm that it expects to harm birds feeding in the North Sea. [BBC]

Kittiwake (RSPB image)

¶ “Rules To Tie Heavy Electricity Use To Renewable Power” • Entities that require a lot of electricity are tied to a five-year “green” energy consumption plan with new “heavy electricity user” rules this year, Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs said. However, the new plan will not alter Taiwan’s goal to install 27 GW of renewables by 2025. [Taipei Times]

¶ “Scotland Banks On Hydrogen Fuel Cell Trains For Zero Emission Railway By 2035” • Scotland set a 2035 decarbonization goal for its passenger rail system last summer. Electrification may be the weapon of choice, but squeezing diesel out of the picture is not simple. Now they’re moving in for the kill with hydrogen powered fuel cell trains. [CleanTechnica]

Diesel engine to get over (Rob Johnson, Unsplash)

¶ “AGEL Bags LOA For 600-MW Wind-Solar Hybrid Power Project” • Adani Green Energy Limited has announced that its subsidiary Adani Renewable Energy Holding Eight Limited received Letter of Award to set-up a 600-MW hybrid wind-solar power project. The tariff for the project is fixed at ₹2.41/kWh (3.3¢/kWh) for 25 years. [The Hindu BusinessLine]

¶ “Aboitiz Power Expects To Open 1,336-MW Coal Plant In Bataan In Second Quarter” • Aboitiz Power Corp said it expects to complete the 1,336-MW GNPower Dinginin coal-fired power plant in Bataan by the second quarter this year. Aboitiz Power’s CEO said the company was also focused on executing renewable energy projects. [manilastandard.net]

Substation in Bataan (Judgefloro, public domain)

US:

¶ “Tesla Hiring Battery Engineers In North Carolina And Semi Truck Engineers In Nevada” • Job openings may not be product roadmaps, but recent Tesla job openings imply that Tesla may be preparing for battery production plans in North Carolina and Semi production plans in Nevada. We have some other clues on those matters, too. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Panasonic About To Start Producing Tesla’s 4680 Battery Cells” • Nikkei Asia reported that Panasonic will begin making prototypes of a cheaper type of battery, tabless 4680 battery cells, for Tesla’s electric vehicles. Retail News Asia noted that Tesla confirmed that Panasonic will make them in its dedicated facility at the Gigafactory in Nevada. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Battery Day announcement (Screenshot)

¶ “Renewable Energy Comes To Brighton” • In New York state, the town of Brighton has transitioned to using renewable energy, the first to do so in Monroe County. The switch lowers energy bills, and it reduces Brighton’s carbon footprint because it uses primarily hydropower and some windpower, according to town Supervisor Bill Moehle. [13WHAM-TV]

¶ “502,692 Estimated Tesla Sales In 2020” • “Troy Teslike” has a superb history when it comes to Tesla sales estimates at the end of each quarter. He has shared his 2020 Tesla delivery estimates and Zach Shahan digs into them to highlight the points that stand out to me, as well as create a couple of charts based on these figures. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Wisconsin Regulators To Update 17-Year-Old Rules On Customer-Owned Power Sources” • In a move that could make it easier for homeowners and businesses to generate their own electricity, Wisconsin regulators plan to update the state rules on customer-owned energy sources. The current rules are 17 years old and hopelessly out of date. [Madison.com]

¶ “Feds Allocate $75 Million To National Uranium Reserve ” • The US could establish a national strategic uranium reserve for the first time in the country’s history, thanks to funding of $75 million that was included in the federal spending bill. The bill had bipartisan support and was signed by President Donald Trump this week. [Scottsbluff Star Herald]

Have a gleefully guilt-free day.

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January 1 Energy News

January 1, 2021

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Opinion:

¶ “It Wasn’t Just The Pandemic: Oil’s Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Year” • It is not a surprise that the oil industry had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year. Oil powers the vast majority of the global transportation system, and the pandemic froze most of the world’s population in place. But oil has a lot more wrong, and a vaccine won’t fix it. [NPR]

Iceberg (Long Ma, Unsplash)

¶ “Signs of Hope for US Federal Climate Action in 2021” • As we enthusiastically bid 2020 farewell, 2021 is starting to feel like a year to be hopeful. Congress has passed what may be the most ambitious energy legislation in several years. Two other bills introduced tackle vastly different aspects of climate change and energy transition. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “21 Best E-Bikes And Electric Motorcycles You Can Buy in 2021” • If you’re one of the lucky few who don’t really need that money to, you know – survive – you get to help stimulate the economy by buying a brand-new e-bike, and 2021 has more offerings available than ever before! Here are 21 e-bikes to consider for ’21. [CleanTechnica]

Ducati Scrambler SCR-E Folding e-bike (Ducati image)

¶ “Why 2021 Could Be Turning Point For Tackling Climate Change” • Countries only have a limited time in which to act if the world is to stave off the worst effects of climate change. Here are five reasons why 2021 could be a crucial year in the fight against global warming. We are at a make or break moment, said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. [BBC]

¶ “Divestment Year In Review 2020 From CleanTechnica” • With evidence of climate change clear, more asset managers than ever are in agreement as they see a threat to the bottom line. The fossil fuel divestment campaign has captured global attention, with many high-profile institutional investors shedding fossil fuels investments. [CleanTechnica]

Sixteen billion-dollar weather disasters (NOAA image)
Please click on the image to enlarge it.

Science and Technology:

¶ “‘Bomb Cyclone’ Is Bringing Big Waves To Central Coast. What Caused This Weather Phenomenon?” • 2020 ends with another weather record. On New Year’s Eve, a storm with record-breaking low pressure formed near the Aleutian Islands. Its development is what meteorologists call bombogenesis. And it is what they call a “bomb cyclone.” [San Luis Obispo Tribune]

World:

¶ “Bogota Gets 470 New Electric Buses, Berlin Gets 90” • Electric bus adoption shows no signs of slowing down. We regularly share stories of transit authorities buying another batch of electric buses, and it’s happening all over the world. Most recently, we got some big orders. Berlin, Germany, added 90 electric buses and Bogota, Colombia, added 470. [CleanTechnica]

Solaris Urbino electric bus in Berlin (Solaris image)

¶ “Greece Approves 2.8 GW Of Renewable Energy Projects” • The Greek government has approved four investments into new renewable energy projects totaling 2.8 GW of wind and solar power capacity. More than €2 billion will be spent on the four investment projects, which will be primarily made up of solar power installations. [Greek City Times]

¶ “Volkswagen Expands Charging Infrastructure, Previews Mobile Charger” • Volkswagen is committed to transforming itself from a maker of conventional cars to a manufacturer of EVs. The company is beefing up charging networks and charging at locations of its own, and it is making better chargers for homes. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen’s mobile charging robot (Volkswagen image)

¶ “2020 ‘Greenest’ Year For UK Electricity” • 2020 is set to be the greenest on record for the UK in terms of electricity generation, according to National Grid ESO data. Its data shows that 2020 saw the lowest carbon emissions for electricity, with an average of 181gCO₂/KWh from January to November, a 66% drop from 2013’s figure of 529CO₂/KWh. [reNEWS]

¶ “Vestas Clinches 95-MW Brazilian Order For Two Sites” • Vestas got a 95-MW order from European Energy, in partnership with Eólica Tecnologia, for the Ouro Branco and Quatro Ventos wind projects in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco. The order comprises 21 V150-4.2 MW turbines delivered in 4.5MW Power Optimized Mod. [reNEWS]

Vestas wind turbines (Vestas image)

¶ “Radiation Levels At Fukushima Plant Far Worse Than Was Thought” • Exceedingly high radiation levels found inside crippled reactor buildings at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant were labeled by nuclear regulators as an “extremely serious” challenge to the shutdown process and overall site decommissioning. [Asahi Shimbun]

US:

¶ “US Renewable Energy Consumption Surpasses Coal For First Time In Over 130 Years” • US annual energy consumption from renewable sources exceeded coal consumption in 2019, for the first time since before 1885, according to the Energy Information Administration’s Monthly Energy Review. In 2019, Coal was down nearly 15% from 2018. [CleanTechnica]

Coal vs renewables (US EIA, “Monthly Energy Review”)

¶ “Biden Set To Supercharge Clean Energy Push With $40 Billion Stash” • President-elect Joe Biden, who oversaw the Obama administration’s stimulus work as vice president, unknowingly left himself a down-payment for the work ahead: $40 billion in unused DOE loan authority awarded under the 2009 stimulus. [Politico]

¶ “Climate’s Toll On The Colorado River: ‘We Can Weather Maybe A Couple Of Years'” • The warming climate is intensifying drought, drying out the river’s headwaters, and contributing to fires, sending consequences downstream, with stark implications for the entire region from the cattle ranches of Colorado to the suburbs of Phoenix. [AZCentral.com]

Have a joyously happy day,

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