February 20 Energy News

February 20, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Why Bitcoin Truly Is Bad For The Climate And Environment, And Counter To Tesla’s Mission” • CleanTechnica has long praised Tesla’s sustainable energy mission. That makes it all the harder to admit that Elon Musk’s recent decision to back energy-intensive bitcoin is a massive mistake, and a sharp turn away from Tesla’s core mission. [CleanTechnica]

Computers (Photo by Massimo Botturi on Unsplash)

¶ “Power Outages In Texas And California Have Less In Common Than You Think” • Over the past few days, I have been glued to my screen reading about the Texas power outages to try to make sense of what went wrong. On the surface, the power outages in Texas and look like those last summer in California. But there are revealing differences. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Texas’s Energy System Failed. Here’s How It Could Succeed” • What happened in Texas should be a wake-up call for our entire nation. What happened in February 2021 in the Lone Star State must spur elected officials, regulators and utility companies across the country to build a better and more resilient energy system. [Environment Maine]

Failed natural gas plant (Image courtesy of Entergy, cropped)

Science and Technology:

¶ “NREL Advances In Battery Research With Physics-Based Machine Learning ” • Energy storage scientists at the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory are turning to cutting-edge machine-learning techniques to strengthen understanding of cell designs, advanced battery materials, and chemistries. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Tesla’s Complicated And Special History In China” • China has rolled out the proverbial red carpet for Tesla. For example, last February, every automaker was forced to shut down operations to stop the spread of the coronavirus, but Chinese authorities went to great lengths to help Tesla get back into production mode as quickly as it could. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model Y web page in China (Screenshot)

¶ “Morocco Invests $5.8 Billion In Renewable Energy” • Morocco announced that it will invest $5.8 billion in renewable energy. Major solar projects are underway in its cities, and the country is looking to meet over 52% of its electric energy needs through renewable resources by 2030, as well as to become self-sufficient in the long haul. [Brazil-Arab News Agency]

¶ “EDP Creates Units To Exploit Green Hydrogen And Energy Storage” • The EDP Group, Energias de Portugal, launched two new business units. The H2 Business Unit will be EDP’s new arm for developing green hydrogen projects, and a dedicated storage unit within EDPR aims to achieve a storage capacity of 1 GW in five years. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Wind turbine in Portugal (JCNazza, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Mainstream Renewable Power To Explore Green Hydrogen With Chilean Wind And Solar Projects” • Norway’s Acker Clean Hydrogen signed a letter of intent with Green energy group Mainstream Renewable Power to explore development of green hydrogen. The effort will use power from 1 GW of wind and solar projects Mainstream has in Chile. [PV-Tech]

¶ “Eni Targets 60 GW Of Renewables By 2050” • Eni has set out a strategy to increase its renewables capacity to 4 GW in 2024, 15 GW in 2030 and 60 GW in 2050. The move forms part of the Italian oil and gas producer’s target to be carbon neutral by 2050. It will merge its gas and power retail and renewable businesses as part of the plan. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Unsplash image)

¶ “Post-Quake Water Leaks Indicate Further Damage At the Fukushima nuclear power plant” • After the powerful earthquake that hit the area near Fukushima nuclear power plant last weekend, cooling water levels have fallen in two reactors at the wrecked plant, indicating possible additional damage, according to TEPCO, its operator. [Daily Sabah]

US:

¶ “GM Banks On Free Electric Vehicle Charging Stations To Sell New Chevy Bolt EUVs” • Earlier this week, GM slapped images of its splashy new 2022 Chevy Bolt EUV onto the digital displays of hundreds of free electric vehicle charging stations across the US. With ads like this, GM might just make the EV experience feel as American as apple pie. [CleanTechnica]

Volta EV charging station (photo via Volta)

¶ “Edmunds Says 2021 Will Have Record US EV Sales” • A couple weeks ago, Edmunds predicted that 2021 would be a record year for electric vehicle sales, rising from 1.9% of sales in 2020 to an estimated 2.5% this year. One of the big drivers of the bump in sales is the availability of more models to sell to a wider range of consumer tastes. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Abandoned Wells Are A Lingering Environmental Issue” • There are a huge number of abandoned oil and gas wells in the US. These wells, many of them uncapped, are potential sources of methane pollution. Pennsylvania has 300,000 to 760,000 of the abandoned wells, various estimates say, possibly 15% of the country’s total number. [Observer-Reporter]

Plugged gas well (Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association)

¶ “Indiana House Approves Bills Regulating Siting, Taxing of Renewables” • Two bills laying the groundwork for the future of renewable energy in Indiana are advancing in the Indiana state Legislature. If they become law, the bills will establish the first state regulations for siting and taxing solar and wind generating systems. [Indiana Environmental Reporter]

¶ “People’s United Forms Renewable Energy Lending Specialty” • People’s United Bank, which has branches in five New England states and New York, formed a corporate banking specialization that will focus in part on the renewable energy industry. One aim of the system will be promoting renewable energy, especially windpower. [Banker & Tradesman]

Have a downright ducky day.

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