Archive for March 16th, 2021

March 16 Energy News

March 16, 2021


¶ “Nuclear Power Has Become Irrelevant – Like It Or Not” • Ten years have gone by since the Fukushima Daiichi accident began. What has happened since that time? Dave Freeman, who has been called an “energy prophet” by The New York Times, once wrote, “The debate is over. Nuclear power has been eclipsed by the sun and the wind.” [Kyodo News Plus]

Nuclear power plant (Frédéric Paulussen, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “What Did Volkswagen Actually Present On Batteries Today?” • Volkswagen intends to reduce battery cell costs in low-cost EVs by 50%, much of the reduction coming from use of a chemistry that Tesla has made for some vehicles. Mainstream, high-volume electric vehicles will get a 30% battery cost reduction without much hit to their range. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Jet Fuel From Waste ‘Dramatically Lowers’ Emissions” • At present, most of the food scraps that are used for energy around the world are converted into methane gas. But researchers in the US found a way to turn this waste into a hydrocarbon that works in jet engines. The authors of the study say using the fuel greatly reduces greenhouse gas emissions. [BBC]

Contrails (William Hook, Unsplash)


¶ “Pandemic Lockdowns Improved Air Quality In 84% Of Countries Worldwide, Report Finds” • Coronavirus lockdowns led to air quality improvements in most countries, but the level of pollutants will likely rise as governments lift restrictions and economies swing back into gear, according to IQAir’s 2020 World Air Quality Report. [CNN]

¶ “Seven Big Electric Vehicle Announcements From Volkswagen” • Volkswagen has hosted a live “Power Day” event to talk about batteries and charging. I’m not going to rate the acting and script reading (you can thank me later), but I do want to highlight some of the big announcements. Here are the seven takeaways I think are most important. [CleanTechnica]

Thomas Schmall of Volkswagen (Courtesy of Volkswagen AG)

¶ “Volkswagen Orders $14 Billion Of Battery Cells From Northvolt” • As part of Volkswagen’s Power Day, news came out that Volkswagen Group has put in an order for $14 billion worth of battery cells from Northvolt, which will be supplied via Northvolt’s Swedish battery factory. The $14 billion order is for the coming ten years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Government Of Nunavut To Introduce Renewable Energy Rebate Program” • The government of the Canadian territory of Nunavut hopes to reduce its greenhouse gas footprint by creating a $345,000 fund to help people make improvements to provide their homes and cabins with renewable energy. Funding is in the territory’s 2021-22 budget. [Nunatsiaq News]

Nunavik, Qc (Damon On Road, Unsplash)

¶ “World Oil Demand May Have Peaked In 2019 Amid Energy Transition: IRENA” • Global oil demand may have hit the peak in 2019 and natural gas will follow suit around 2025, the director general of International Renewable Energy Agency said. “There is a structural change that is already there. The energy transition is already in place, it is unstoppable.” [S&P Global]

¶ “Bechtel Partners With Hexicon On UK Floater” • Bechtel is partnering with Hexicon to demonstrate technology at a floating offshore wind farm of up to 40 MW off the coast of the UK. The partnership will draw on Bechtel’s engineering, construction, and project financing expertise to develop the design of the offshore wind facility. [reNEWS]

Floating wind turbines (Hexicon image)

¶ “Renewable Energy Mix Over Summer Far Greater Than Gas: Report” • Renewable energy sources contributed six times more power to Australia’s electricity grid over the 2020-21 summer than gas, according to new research from the Climate Council. The report calls the federal government’s gas expansion plan into question as demand for gas has fallen. [InDaily]


¶ “Senate Confirms Deb Haaland As Biden’s Interior Secretary In Historic Vote” • The Senate voted to confirm Deb Haaland as President Joe Biden’s Interior secretary, a historic move that will make her the first Native American Cabinet secretary. Haaland will be important for Biden’s plan to tackle the climate crisis and reduce carbon emissions. [CNN]

Deb Haaland at a wind farm (Deb Haaland, via Twitter, cropped)

¶ “Wärtsilä Providing 200 MW, 214.5 MWh Battery Storage For Texas Grid” • Wärtsilä Energy has installed 72 GW of power plant capacity in 180 countries around the world. Now it is bringing its expertise to Texas to help stabilize that state’s utility grid with two 100 MW battery storage facilities with a combined capacity of 214.5 MWh. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Summit County Could Take Center Stage In Community Renewable Energy Effort” • Summit County and over 20 other Utah locales are partnering with Rocky Mountain Power to get their electricity from renewable sources. One councilor said that the county will get 100% renewable power for its government operations by 2023. [KPCW]

Solar farm (Sarah Swenty, USFWS, public domain)

¶ “New $98 Million Solar Farm Pitched In Louisiana As Utilities Look To Buy More Renewable Power” • With utilities such as Entergy, Cleco, and LUS looking to buy renewable energy, another solar farm is being proposed in Louisiana. A $98 million project in Morehouse Parish is seeking tax breaks for generating renewable power. [The Advocate]

¶ “Pipeline Giant Kinder Morgan Starts Energy Transition Ventures Group Looking Into Carbon Capture, Renewables” • Kinder Morgan Inc, one of the biggest companies in the oil and gas infrastructure sector, has formed a new Energy Transition Ventures group to identify and pursue commercial opportunities within the low-carbon sector. [Power Engineering]

Have a magnificently grand day.

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