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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