March 11 Energy News

March 11, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Japan’s Road To Renewables Post-Fukushima” • It has been 10 years since the Great East Japan Earthquake struck the Tohuku region. The triple disaster of the earthquake, the tsunami, and the subsequent meltdown at the TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant – posed one of the biggest challenges in Japan’s post-war history. [The Diplomat]

Solar panels in Yamagata Prefecture (藤川広平, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “EV Battery Recycling Heating Up – Volkswagen, Li-Cycle, And US Department Of Energy Prize Jumping In” • The EV battery recycling industry is just starting up, but Volkswagen provided an update on its efforts. In case you wonder if the materials in used batteries are still of a decent quality after all that use, Volkswagen is happy to tell us that they are. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Even In Frigid Temperatures In Alaska, Air-Source Heat Pumps Keep Homes Warm” • When the north wind blows into Dillingham, Alaska, it can be well past -15°F. On these days, the oil heaters in many of the homes have to run pretty much nonstop to keep people warm. But one house is kept warm by an air-source heat pump. [CleanTechnica]

House in Dillingham (NREL via Twitter)

¶ “Farming And Construction: Autonomous Is Going To Be More Than Vehicles” • There’s a whole world of autonomy going on both on farms and construction sites, and we could miss it while we tend to get focused on cars. Machine learning is going to transform not just the road, but how it’s built and how the food people eat is grown. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “LG Hopes To Make New Batteries With Tesla In The US Or Europe In 2023” • Tesla and LG Chem could partner up to build Tesla’s new 4680 battery in the US and Europe. Yahoo! Finance has reported that the two companies were in talks and LG Chem has been aiming at building the 4680 battery cells in 2023. Factory sites are under consideration. [CleanTechnica]

Battery manufacture (Tesla image, screenshot)

¶ “Tesla And Volkswagen Will Be The Top EV Makers According To UBS” • The Swiss bank UBS predicted that as the battle for dominance in EVs heats up over the next few years, Tesla will have Volkswagen joining it in the top ranks for global EV sales. UBS forecasts that EVs will penetrate all of the automobile markets by 2040. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GE To Build UK Haliade-X Blade Factory” • GE Renewable Energy is investing in a new blade factory in Teesside, north-east England. The factory, which will make blades for Haliade-X units, will directly create around 750 jobs at the Teesworks site on the River Tees as well as 1500 indirect roles. It will open and start production in 2023. [reNEWS]

Wind blade manufacture (GE image)

¶ “Neoen Sets Sights On 10 GW Of Renewables By 2025” • Neoen is targeting over 10 GW of capacity under construction or in operation by 2025. The French renewables and energy storage developer said it aims to “progressively accelerate” the pace at which it wins new projects to at least 2 GW per year in 2025, up from 1 GW in 2019 and in 2020. [reNEWS]

¶ “Coal Power Station Retires To Fond Farewell As Massive Battery Project Steps In To Take Its Place” • Australian energy retailer EnergyAustralia has said that it will build a 350-MW, four-hour standalone battery storage system project to enable one of its coal-fired power plants to be retired “after decades of faithful service.” [Energy Storage News]

Solar+storage in Australia (ARENA image)

¶ “Fukushima Daiichi Cleanup Plan Only Getting Tougher” • The decades-long challenge to scrap the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, crippled by the earthquake and tsunami that struck the area in 2011, is getting more complex as new probes highlight the damage. TEPCO wants to scrap the plant by 2051, but that may not be possible. [The Japan Times]

¶ “GE Claims Top Spot In 2020 Wind Rankings” • GE carved out the largest market share in 2020 in a record-breaking year for global wind capacity additions, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Developers commissioned 96.3 GW of wind turbines globally in 2020, compared with 60.7 GW the previous year, most of which (94%) were on land. [reNEWS]

GE wind turbine (GE Renewable Energy image)

US:

¶ “Senate Confirms Michael Regan As Head Of Environmental Protection Agency” • The Senate voted to confirm Michael Regan as President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the EPA, where he’ll join an administration that has pledged aggressive action on tackling the climate crisis. The vote on the issue was bipartisan, and Regan was confirmed on a vote of 66 to 34. [CNN]

¶ “Electric Pickup Truck And SUV News From Canoo And General Motors” • While Tesla is preparing to get its Cybertruck into production, other manufacturers are pushing ahead with their own electric pickup truck plans. Rivian, Ford, Bollinger, and General Motors are all in the mix. Now comes word there is a new player on the horizon. [CleanTechnica]

Canoo electric pickup (Image courtesy of Canoo)

¶ “Tesla Is Coming To Grand Rapids” • You may remember the struggle Tesla had to endure to be able to serve and sell to its customers in Michigan. Now, WoodTV has reported that Tesla is launching its first vehicle service center in West Michigan. Tesla’s signs are already up at what used to be Prestige Auto Imports in Grand Rapids. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “City Of White Plains Breaks Ground On 6.8-MW Community Solar Portfolio” • The City of White Plains, New York, and developer Distributed Solar Development broke ground on a nine-project, 6.8-MW community solar portfolio that will triple the amount of solar energy produced in Westchester County, New York. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Have an exuberantly cheery day.

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