February 9 Energy News

February 9, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “Monoculture Could Worsen Vulnerability To Climate Change” • Roughly two-fifths of the planet’s iceless terrestrial area has turned to farming and forestry, reducing biodiversity. The conversion of biodiverse landscapes to single-species farms alters the water cycle and makes the world more susceptible to ecological instability. [Food Tank]

Farming (Photo courtesy of Scott Goodwill, Unsplash)

¶ “Erratic Weather Slows Down The Economy” • A study in the journal Nature Climate Change shows that if temperatures vary strongly from day to day, the economy grows less. Comparing daily temperature changes with economic data, researchers found that seemingly small variations in temperatures may have strong effects on economic growth. [EurekAlert]

¶ “Sensitive Himalayan Glaciers And The Impact Of Their Rapid Shrinking Due To Climate Change” • Melting glaciers increase the risk of runoffs and floods, as we recently saw with the glacier disaster in Uttarakhand that claimed 26 lives and displaced many people. There 197 people still reported missing, and rescue operations are still underway. [The Weather Channel]

Himalayas (swapnil vithaldas, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Nigerian Startup BrightCloud Automotive Hopes To Start Making Electric SUVs And Pickups In The Near Future” • Legacy automakers fail to see what may become an EV leapfrog event similar Africa’s experience with cell phones and financial tech. African companies, such as BrightCloud, see opportunities for local EV manufacture. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Swedish Activists Oppose Geoengineering Experiment” • In June, Harvard researchers plan to launch a high altitude balloon from Lapland as part of an experiment to see whether particles in the Earth’s atmosphere can reflect sunlight and reduce climate change. Swedish environmental groups have written to voice their opposition. [CleanTechnica]

SCopEX balloon experiment (Keutsch Group image)

¶ “Global Plugin Vehicle Sales Up 43% In 2020, European Sales Up 137%” • Plugin electric vehicles had a sales increase of 43% in 2020 compared to 2019, worldwide, rising from a 2.5% market share in 2019 to 4.2%. But Europe delivered a 137% sales increase in 2020 compared to 2019. Several countries had increases over 200%, and India’s was 510%! [CleanTechnica]

¶ “RWE Inks 250-GWh Renewables Offtake” • RWE has signed a power purchase agreement with semiconductor tooling supplier ASML for 250 GWh of green electricity annually. The electricity will be delivered from two new RWE onshore wind farms and one solar plant in the Netherlands, as well as from an offshore wind farm in Belgium. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Kaiserwetter image)

¶ “Energy Storage Systems Must Be Charged Using Renewables For Round-the-Clock Power Bid” • India’s Ministry of Power has amended the guidelines for the tariff-based competitive bidding process for round-the-clock power from renewables projects. The amendments say the storage systems must be charged by solar or wind power. [Mercom India]

¶ “Oil Majors Outbid Green Energy Firms To Build Offshore UK Windfarms” • Oil majors have agreed to pay a hefty premium to develop the next generation of major British offshore wind farms after BP Plc and Total SE won contracts in an auction ahead of many of the utilities that have dominated the space until now. The auction awarded rights to develop 8 GW. [WorldOil]

Ørsted offshore wind farm (Ørsted image)

¶ “Global Offshore Wind Installations Hit 5.2 GW In 2020” • A record 5,206 MW of offshore wind capacity went into operation worldwide during 2020, compared to 5,194 MW installed in 2019, according to a new report from World Forum Offshore Wind. The new additions brought cumulative operational capacity of offshore windpower to 32.5 GW. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Chevron May Not Be An Oil-First Company In 2040, CEO Says” • Chevron has built a $170 billion fossil fuels empire that has made the 141-year-old company synonymous with the oil-and-gas industry. But the climate crisis is forcing Chevron and other oil companies large and small to rethink their once-reliable business models. [CNN]

Chevron oil tanker (Dreamyshade, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “2020 US Electric Vehicle Sales Report” • There is no official count of US EV sales, but we do have numbers or quite informed estimates for several major electric models. An estimate from EV Volumes that US plugin vehicle sales grew with a 4% increase over 2019 despite the fact that the overall light-duty auto market was down 15% in 2020. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Electrify America Rolls Out 30 Solar-Powered EV Charging Stations In Rural California — And They’re Free To Use” • As Electrify America builds out a large ultrafast charging network, rural areas offer the challenge of insufficient electricity capacity to power them. A solution? Good ol’ solar power. And in some areas, you can charge for free. [CleanTechnica]

Solar powered Electrify America charging station

¶ “100% Of New US Power Capacity Came From Solar & Wind In November” • Matching the result in October 2020, November 2020 saw 100% of new US power capacity coming from wind and solar power, according to data published by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. FERC data exclude rooftop solar power, but 100% is 100% either way. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “AES Closes Financing For 400-MWh US Battery” • AES Corporation has closed a $154 million  debt financing for a 400-MWh standalone grid battery storage in Los Angeles County. The transaction was closed by sPower, an independent power producer.  The Luna Storage project is expected to come online later this year. [reNEWS]

Have a terrifically relaxing day.

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