March 10 Energy News

March 10, 2021


¶ “Who’s To Blame For A $17,000 Electric Bill In Texas?” • When the polar vortex hit Texas, demand for electricity increased as the supply collapsed, and wholesale prices shot up, increasing to hundreds of times above normal. Some customers had bills as high as $17,000. The cause of this was ultimately an utter lack of regulatory oversight. [CleanTechnica]

Residential choice customers (US EIA image)
Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Coal’s Retreat As Renewables Surge Is A Shock, But Not A Surprise” • When Energy Australia announced it would close the Yallourn Power Station four years early, in 2028, it was a shock, but hardly a surprise. Coal-fired power plants simply cannot compete with the amount of cheap renewable power that is being installed. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “The True Scale Of Solar PV Power Plants” • A decade ago, few believed that electricity from renewable energy resources alone could power the entire world. Experts in the energy sector and related industries now believe it is possible. Twelve countries have passed laws to reach 100% renewable electricity by 2030. Some are already there. [ESI Africa]

Akin Solar plant in Mexico (ENGIE image)


¶ “Romania Orders 123 E-Buses From Solaris” • The Romanian government placed an order for 123 Solaris electric buses. A mix of seven towns and cities will receive these buses. The tender is run by the Romanian Ministry for Public Works, Development, and Administration, and the total value of the contract is almost €65 million. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Sea Level Rise Is Increasing Fastest In Populous Coastal Areas, Study Says” • Coastal communities are experiencing sea level rise four times worse than global water rise, a study says. Sediment production, groundwater pumping, and extraction of materials from the ground all cause the land to sink, compounding the effects of a rising sea level. [CNN]

Venice (Egor Gordeev, Unsplash)

¶ “Vattenfall Starts Solar Build On German Hydro Site” • Vattenfall has started the construction of an open-space PV system at the Geesthacht pumped storage plant in Schleswig-Holstein. The company will install around 5,000 solar modules with a capacity of 2.4 MW on the dam of the upper basin at the pumped storage facility. [reNEWS]

¶ “Rolls-Royce Gets One Step Closer To The Fastest Electric Plane” • Rolls-Royce has a small propeller aircraft with a 400-kW electric power-train pulling juice from the latest batteries. It is called the Spirit of Innovation, and the company expects it to be able to exceed 300 MPH. If it pulls that off, it will be the fastest electric plane ever flown. [CleanTechnica]

Rolls-Royce Spirit of Innovation (Image courtesy of Rolls-Royce)

¶ “NRA Compiles Report On Fukushima Accident” • Japan’s nuclear regulators have compiled a report on the 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The Nuclear Regulation Authority had suspended its investigation into the cause of the accident due to high radiation levels. It resumed the probe two years ago. [NHK World]

¶ “Lightsource BP Picks Up Australian Solar PPA” • Lightsource BP’s Australian Snowy Hydro solar farm will supply renewable energy to 88 of BP’s service stations across New South Wales under a new PPA. The PPA will enable the construction of the 107-MW solar farm in West Wyalong, New South Wales through a 15-year agreement PPA. [reNEWS]

Solar farm (Lightsource BP image)


¶ “Dozens Of US Cities Are Banning Natural Gas Hookups In New Buildings” • A fight over legislation banning gas hookups in new buildings is exploding across the country, a Seattle Times and InsideClimate News joint investigation found. Starting in 2019, a move to ban natural gas hookups in new buildings is spreading widely, but it has opposition. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “A Tesla Big Battery Is Coming To Texas” • A Tesla subsidiary known as Gambit Energy Storage is constructing a 100-MW battery in Angleton, Texas, about 50 miles west of Galveston, according to TechCrunch. The Angleton battery is actually not very big compared to other Tesla projects, but it may be Tesla’s largest in the US outside of California. [CleanTechnica]

Renewable energy and storage (Tesla image)

¶ “Ample Announces Modular Battery Swapping Stations For Any EV” • A group of ridesharing, delivery, and municipal fleets in the Bay Area of California will soon be swapping batteries instead of fast charging. They’re working with Ample, a company that recently announced its technology publicly after 7 years of under-wraps development. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Invenergy Starts Operations At 250-MW Blooming Grove” • Invenergy’s 250-MW Blooming Grove Wind Energy Center, in Illinois, has commenced commercial operations. Output from Blooming Grove, in McLean County, will supply electricity to Verizon and Saint-Gobain North America under separate virtual power purchase agreements. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Invenergy image)

¶ “Chevron Updates Plans To Increase Renewable Energy And Carbon Offsets” • Chevron Corporation announced plans to increase return on capital employed and lower carbon intensity. The company has exceeded its 2023 upstream carbon intensity reduction targets three years ahead of schedule, and it set new lower targets. [Environment + Energy Leader]

¶ “Bezos Plans To Spend $10 Billion On Climate Change By 2030” • Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos plans to spend the $10 billion he invested in the Bezos Earth Fund by 2030, the fund’s new CEO Andrew Steer said. Since Bezos announced the fund in February 2020, little has been revealed about how it would be used combat the climate crisis. [KULR-TV]

Have an especially rewarding day.

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