February 26 Energy News

February 26, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “How The Race For Renewable Energy Is Reshaping Global Politics” • Andrew Forrest, chairman of Fortescue Metals Group, searched the world for five months to find sites for hydropower and geothermal energy. The experience told him that in fifteen years, energy will be completely changed.  And that will change politics globally. [InsideClimate News]

Wind turbines (Thomas Richter, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Ford Is Using Blockchain Technology To Improve Urban Air Quality” • Blockchain technology is already used to advance solar energy distribution and to ensure the ethical sourcing of the rare-earth minerals used in advanced electric powertrains. Now, Ford is using blockchain  to help reduce air pollution in European city centers. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Chinese £3,200 Budget Electric Car Takes On Tesla” • An EV selling in China for $4,500 (£3,200) is outselling Tesla’s more upmarket cars. The Hong Guang Mini EV is being built by a joint venture of state-owned SAIC Motor, China’s top automaker, with General Motors. January sales in China of the budget electric car were around double those of Tesla. [BBC]

Wuling Hong Guang Mini (Jengtingchen, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Asian Banks Are Failing On Climate By Channeling Billions Into Coal, Report Says” • Many of the world’s leading financial institutions have pledged sharp reductions in support for the coal and oil industries. But a report has found that hundreds of billions of dollars are still being channeled into fossil fuels. Much of that investment is by Asia’s banks. [CNN]

¶ “UK’s Largest Commercial EV Order Yet – British Gas Orders 2,000 Electric Vans” • British Gas, the largest energy and home services company in the UK, put in an order for 2,000 electric vans, which it says is a record number. The company has a fleet of 12,000 vehicles, and it intends to have every single one of its vehicles electric by 2025. [CleanTechnica]

British gas electric van (Image courtesy of Vauxhall)

¶ “8.4% Of Chinese Vehicle Sales In January Were Plugin Vehicle Sale” • After the December plugin vehicle sales peak in China, sales were still brisk in January. The market had some 173,000 passenger new energy vehicles registered, an impressive 223% jump year over year, and the highest growth rate this market has seen in 3 years! [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Madhya Pradesh: Ten-Fold Growth In Renewable Energy Capacity Since 2012 ” • The Indian State of Madhya Pradesh recorded a ten-fold growth in the renewable energy sector in the last nine years, its chief minister said. In 2012, the renewable energy capacity of the state was 491 MW. That has now increased to 5042 MW. [pv magazine India]

Rewa Solar Park (Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Limited)

¶ “Renewable Energy Boom Prompts Calls To Start Planning For Yallourn Coal Closure, Community Groups Say” • The Victorian government is facing calls to start planning for the closure of Yallourn power station after the release of analysis that predicts some coal plants could close as soon as 2025 because of the rapid growth in renewables. [ABC News]

¶ “Renewable Energy Listed For First Time As One Of Australia’s Top Infrastructure Priorities” • Renewable energy zones and dispatchable energy storage have been listed as “high priority initiatives” by Infrastructure Australia for the first time. The energy initiatives are among 44 new infrastructure proposals on the priority list. [The Guardian]

Solar powered radio telescope in Australia (ESA, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

US:

¶ “A Clean Energy Milestone: Renewables Pulled Ahead Of Coal In 2020” • The ongoing rise of wind and solar power, combined with the steady performance of hydroelectric power, was enough for renewable energy sources to surge ahead of coal, according to 2020 figures released this week by the US Energy Information Administration. [InsideClimate News]

¶ “GM Is Making Progress On Its Ultium Battery Plant” • Ultium Cells LLC is a joint venture between General Motors and LG Chem, a Korean company with expertise in batteries. They’re building their first battery plant in Lordstown, Ohio, and GM has issued a press release to tell us how pleased they are with their progress on plant construction. [CleanTechnica]

Construction in Lordstown (Roger Mastroianni for General Motors)

¶ “North Carolina Advances Its Clean Energy Transition” • 2020 did not go according to plan, to say the least. But that did not stall North Carolina’s drive forward on clean energy. Over the past year, state officials, utilities, and a broad set of stakeholders worked together to advance key portions of the state’s Clean Energy Plan. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Texas Natural Gas Production Fell ~45% During Cold Front” • Natural gas production in Texas fell almost 45% from 21.3 Bcf/d during the week ending February 13 to a daily low of 11.8 Bcf/d on February 17, according to IHS Markit estimates. Temperatures in the state averaged nearly 30°F lower than normal during the week of February 14. [CleanTechnica]

Texas natural gas graph (US EIA image)

¶ “Texas Weather: New Jersey Plumber Offers A Helping Hand” • Plumber Andrew Mitchell and his family drove from New Jersey to Texas in a truck loaded up with around $2,000 (£1,418) worth of materials to offer a helping hand. He and his brother-in-law, Isiah Pinnock, have worked long days to repair storm damage for families in the Houston area. [BBC]

¶ “Midwest Renewable Energy Association Files Lawsuit For Third-Party Solar Financing Access In Wisconsin” • The Midwest Renewable Energy Association filed a lawsuit in  Wisconsin to ensure that the Public Service Commission sticks to regulating utility companies and does not interfere with clean energy for families and businesses. [Solar Power World]

Have a majestically beautiful day.

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