Archive for February 17th, 2021

February 17 Energy News

February 17, 2021


¶ “What Would Planting 100 Million Trees Per Week Do In 5, 50, And 500 Years?” • A trillion trees, low-tillage agriculture, and a sustainable economy would mean that in about 500 years we would have the level of CO₂ about where we want to keep it, probably around 300 ppm. But simply planting a lot of trees will not be enough. [CleanTechnica]

Dead trees in California (Nathan Stephenson, USGS, cropped)

¶ “The Texas Power Disaster May Be The Strongest Case Yet For Renewable Energy” • During the ice storm, windpower met what is typically required of it at this time of year. The majority of the outages were at the portions of the Texas grid that rely on natural gas, coal, and nuclear, which make up more than two-thirds of power generation during winter. [MarketWatch]

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Icebergs Really Melt – And What This Could Mean For Climate Change” • Icebergs are melting faster than current models describe, according to a new study by mathematicians at the University of Sydney. The researchers there have proposed a new model to represent more accurately the speed of melting ice from icebergs into oceans. [Science Daily]

Antarctic iceberg (Long Ma, Unsplash)

¶ “Heating Arctic May Be To Blame For Snowstorms In Texas, Scientists Argue” • Associating climate change with the winter storm that crippled much of Texas seems counterintuitive. But scientists say there is evidence that the rapid heating of the Arctic can help push frigid air from the north pole much further south, possibly deep into Texas. [The Guardian]


¶ “Alstom Buys Bombardier” • Alstom, a major French rolling stock manufacturer, completed its acquisition of Bombardier Transportation. It seems that Bombardier rolled out the first hybrid trains in the world in 2007. Now it is starting to convert the hybrid trains to be fully electric. Alstom’s acquisition of it is based on sustainability goals. [CleanTechnica]

Electric train (Image courtesy of Bombardier)

¶ “Plugin Hybrids Surprise In The Netherlands In 2021 – EV Sales Report” • After the usual end-of-year sales rush in the last days of 2020, one would imagine January would bring a big hangover for the Dutch plugin market … but it turns out, it hasn’t, because sales in January grew 40% year over year! The overall market is still down 21%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Michelin Picks French Startup NEOLINE To Offer Carbon-Free Shipping” • The Michelin Group recently signed a transport commitment with NEOLINE, a French startup that provides decarbonized shipping services. This new commitment reflects Michelin’s goal for doing its part to reduce CO₂ emissions from its logistic operations. [CleanTechnica]

Wind-powered ship (© Mauric, via NEOLINE media kit)

¶ “India Could Get $500 Billion As Investments In Renewable Energy Sector By 2030: Report” • A report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis estimates that India may see investments of around $500 billion in the renewables sector for the country to achieve its target of 450 GW of capacity by 2030, MoneyControl reports. [Swarajya]

¶ “Statkraft And Aquila Sign Spanish Solar PPA” • Statkraft and Aquila Capital signed their first PPA in Spain. It is for a 50-MW solar plant in Andalusia, and it was signed on behalf of an Aquila client. The five-year PPA starts in 2022 with an innovative price structure in which Aquila Capital provides 100% green electricity to Statkraft at competitive prices. [reNEWS]

Solar array (American Public Power Association, Unsplash)


¶ “Texas Produces More Power Than Any Other State. Here’s Why It Went Dark Anyway” • A deep freeze this week in Texas, which relies on electricity to heat many homes, is causing power demand to rise greatly. At the same time, natural gas, coal, wind, and nuclear facilities in Texas have been knocked offline by the unthinkably low temperatures. [CNN]

¶ “US Conservatives Falsely Blame Renewables For Texas Storm Outages” • Conservative commentators  are blaming renewable power for the Texas power outages. While some wind turbines did freeze, failures in natural gas, coal and nuclear energy caused nearly twice as many outages as renewables, according to Ercot, the state’s grid operator. [The Guardian]

Dallas, 2021 (Matthew T Rader,, CC-BY-SA)

¶ “Hawaii Island At 43.4% Renewable Energy” • Hawaiian Electric says its renewable portfolio standard on Hawaiʻi island is up by nearly 10 percentage points this year. Hawaiʻi island hit 43.4% for the year 2020, compared to 34.7% in 2019. The company also says it has more than tripled clean energy in 10 years, primarily with solar and windpower. [Big Island Video News]

¶ “As Vermont Nears 75% Renewable Power, Advocates Question If It’s Clean Enough” • On paper, Vermont has one of the cleanest electric grids in the country. About 66% of the state’s electricity came from renewables in 2019, the most recent year for which final numbers are available. And yet, there are questions about whether it is good enough. [Energy News Network]

Hydro dam (Pexels image)

¶ “Area Sees Outages As Energy Supply Runs Short” • The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission says the demand for power this week is at an all-time high. As temperatures range from below zero to single digits, the supply of non-renewable power is running short. That’s why several South Dakotans saw their power go out on Tuesday. [Kotatv]

¶ “Fredericksburg Takes Steps Toward More Renewable Energy” • Fredericksburg officials have taken a significant step toward a goal of operating the city completely on renewable energy by 2035. They are requesting proposals and consulting with the Virginia state officials on how best to negotiate with an energy services company. []

Have an excitingly superior day.

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