Archive for January 8th, 2021

January 8 Energy News

January 8, 2021


¶ “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)



¶ “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]


¶ “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. []

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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