March 20 Energy News

March 20, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Federal Oil & Gas Leasing Needs Fixing” • President Biden’s executive order focused on climate change is forward-looking. Among many actions spanning the entire federal government, the order places a pause – not a ban – on new oil and gas leases. It applies to actions not yet taken, and in most cases, not even planned. [CleanTechnica]

Oil rig (WORKSITE Ltd, Unsplash)

¶ “Shocking Censorship Patterns Of Federal Environmental Agency Websites Under Trump” • The Environmental Data and Governance Initiative has documented and analyzed changes to federal environmental websites over the past four years. It found an alarming effort to censor or manipulate information about environmental issues and laws. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Global Renewables Investment Return Seven Times Higher Than Fossil Fuels” • Renewable power investment continues to outperform fossil fuel investment across the globe, the latest research shows. This signals a decline of fossil fuel investment. IRENA has projected achieving Paris targets will require $4.4 trillion a year into low carbon energy. [Forbes]

Solar array (American Public Power Association, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “NREL, NASA, And European Researchers Reveal Path To Even Safer Lithium-Ion Batteries” • Working with researchers at NASA and in Europe, National Renewable Energy Laboratory scientists found a way to prevent thermal runaway, a dangerous chain reaction in lithium-ion batteries. Their paper is in the journal Cell Reports Physical Science. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vanadium Flow Battery Benefits For Our Future (Interview)” • “Vanadium batteries will enable more efficient use of electricity by enabling better matching of supply and demand. This will enhance the efficiency and utilization of renewable generation such as solar and wind, as well as conventional generation from fossil fuels and nuclear power.” [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines (Denny Müller on Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Empowered By Light Recycles Old EV Batteries For Microgrid Applications” • Leilani Münter tweeted that she loved a Light Empowered battery installation showing possibilities for reusing old EV batteries for microgrids. Lithium-ion batteries from an electric bus in China are now helping power a school with solar PVs in Western Zambia. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “UK Distilleries Toast Government Green Support” • Whisky and spirit producers from Orkney to Cornwall could benefit from a share of almost £9 million in government support aimed at driving forward plans to create low-carbon distilleries. Twelve distilleries in Scotland and five in England will be able to bid for further grants up to £3 million. [reNEWS]

Whisky bottles (Paul Byrne, Unsplash)

¶ “Renewables: Promising Project Pipeline Amid Tepid Capacity Addition Brings Cheer” • Even though renewable sector may well fall short of India’s capacity addition target this fiscal, a robust pipeline of projects in implementation and bidding stages gives hope. Projects worth 50.15 GW capacity are at various stages of implementation. [The Hindu BusinessLine]

¶ “Amazon Announces First Renewable Energy Project In Singapore” • Amazon has announced its first renewable energy project in Singapore, buying energy from the solar provider Sunseap Group. The installation is noteworthy, as Sunseap will deploy mobile solar systems on temporarily vacant land and redeploy them as needed. [DatacenterDynamics]

Buildings in Singapore (Kelvin Zyteng, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Governor Cuomo Announces Construction Start Of $180 Million Transmission Line In Niagara And Erie Counties” • New York Governor Andrew M Cuomo announced that construction began on the Empire State Line, a $180 million upgrade for the energy transmission system in western New York with a new 20 mile, 345-kV transmission line. [ny.gov]

¶ “Schlumberger New Energy Is Launching A Lithium Extraction Pilot Plant In Nevada” • Schlumberger New Energy announced its plans to develop a lithium extraction pilot plant in Nevada. NeoLith Energy, a new SNE venture, uses a differentiated direct lithium extraction process to produce battery-grade lithium material comparatively quickly. [CleanTechnica]

Nevada site (Image courtesy of Schlumberger New Energy)

¶ “South Fork Wind Project Receives Critical Vote” • The New York State Public Service Commission has unanimously voted to grant the Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for New York’s South Fork Wind Farm. The South Fork Wind Farm, with 15 turbines, is to be New York’s first offshore wind farm. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “New Solar Farm Piles Even More Green Onto Green Energy” • Solar farms have become revenue lifelines for farmers. Now the biggest agrivoltaic research project in the US is taking shape in Boulder County, Colorado. Instead of a bed of gravel under the solar panels, Jack’s Solar Garden will have plants for people, animals, birds, and insects to eat. [CleanTechnica]

Byron Kominek of Jack’s Solar Garden (Werner Slocum, NREL)

¶ “Park City Could Be Years Ahead Of The 2030 Date For 100% Renewable Energy With State Renewable Program” • According to a report by city staff, Park City, Utah could be several years ahead of schedule for their goal of attaining 100% renewable energy city-wide by 2030. City council had an update on the Utah Renewable Energy Program. [KPCW]

¶ “Southern Announces Delay In Testing At Vogtle” • Southern Co has announced another delay in hot functional testing for the first unit of its two-unit expansion at the Vogtle nuclear plant in Georgia. Southern Nuclear, the nuclear power subsidiary of Southern Co, “continues to target a November 2021 in-service date for Unit 3.” [Power Magazine]

Have an unqualifiedly ducky day.

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