Archive for April, 2021

April 30 Energy News

April 30, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Climate Migration” • Climate change is already displacing millions of people. And if countries fail to make sharp cuts to carbon pollution, it will displace hundreds of millions more. By one estimate, climate disasters could uproot upwards of 1 billion people by 2050, raising important questions about how the world will respond. [CleanTechnica]

“Broke, baby sick, and car trouble!” by Dorothea Lange

Science and Technology:

¶ “Methane Cuts Possible, And Necessary” • Aggressive action to reduce methane pollution could slow global warming by as much as 30%, new research shows. The study, in press at the journal Environmental Research Letters, comes ahead of a UN report that will call for “urgent steps [to] be taken to reduce methane emissions this decade.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Glaciers Are Melting Much Faster Than Expected, Study Finds” • A new study indicates that the speed of glacier melt has “doubled over the past two decades” – far faster than anticipated or previously measured. In the study, published in the journal Nature, the authors make use of multiple NASA satellite datasets dating back to 2000. [CNN]

Glacier and lake (Amar Adestiempo, Unsplash)

¶ “Lightning May Be An Important Source Of Air-Cleaning Chemicals” • Lightning could play an important role in flushing pollutants out of the atmosphere. Observations from a storm-chasing airplane reveal that lightning can forge lots of oxidants, which serve as air-cleansing chemicals, researchers reported online in the journal Science. [Science News]

¶ “Meet Dick, The Weed-Killing Robot With A Tesla Heart” • A UK startup called the Small Robot Company is about to change how farming is done. SRC uses two field units powered by Tesla batteries. One gathers detailed data about a field and transmits that to an AI unit. The AI unit gives the data to the second field unit, which zaps the weeds. [CleanTechnica]

Farm field (PA government image)

World:

¶ “Enel Cleared To Fire Up First Russian Wind Farm” • PJSC Enel Russia has obtained the right to put into commercial operation its first wind farm in Russia, a 90-MW project located at Azov in the Rostov region. The 26-turbine wind farm will start supplying electricity to the country’s wholesale electricity market, with operations beginning on 1 May. [reNEWS]

¶ “Carnegie Working On New Wave Device ” • Carnegie Clean Energy is working on a wave energy product based on its existing Ceto device. The Australian company said in its results for the first quarter of 2021 that the first market for the product would be aquaculture barges and other vessels that require electricity while operating offshore. [reNEWS]

New wave device (Carnegie Clean Energy image)

¶ “Ramboll To Support 10-GW Energy Island” • Engineering firm Ramboll will provide the VindØ consortium with high-level support for planning the world’s first energy island in the North Sea. The Danish company is doing detailed studies of possible activities on the island, which is slated to include windfarms with a combined generating capacity of 10 GW. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “All Green Hydrogen Roads Lead To…Wyoming!” • Wyoming, home of the mighty Powder River coal basin, also happens to be the place a company called Raven SR calls home, and Raven has just hooked up with a company based in New York State called Hyzon Motors to build 100 waste-to-hydrogen hubs in the US and around the world. [CleanTechnica]

Waste-to-hydrogen hub (Raven SR courtesy image)

¶ “President Biden Touts Climate Action And JOBS! In His First Joint Session Speech” • In his first address to a joint session of Congress, President Joe Biden highlighted his administration’s efforts to grow the US economy and create jobs by addressing the climate crisis. Biden said, “Jobs. Jobs. Jobs. For me, when I think about climate change, I think jobs.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GM Announces Ultium Charge 360 Partnership With Seven Electric Car Charging Companies” • General Motors and seven electric car charging networks are partnering to make sure the people who buy its EVs will be able to find places to plug them in no matter where they go. An updated GM owners app will show their charging locations. [CleanTechnica]

Charging locations (General Motors image)

¶ “Maryland County Sues Big Oil” • Anne Arundel County, Maryland, home to Maryland capital Annapolis, is suing more than two dozen oil and gas companies for covering up what they knew was the truth of their products’ impact on global warming. The county is seeking to hold them liable for the “costs and consequences” of climate change. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Dominion Seeks 1 GW In Virginia” • Dominion Energy is seeking proposals for 1 GW of solar and onshore wind projects in Virginia. Dominion issued the call in support of Virginia’s Clean Economy Act and to achieve its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. The projects must be in Virginia and have generating capacities greater than 3 MW. [reNEWS]

Solar site construction (Dominion Energy image)

¶ “California Just Hit 95% Renewable Energy. Will Other States Come Along For The Ride?” • For all the time we spend talking about how to reach 100% clean power, it sometimes seems like a faraway proposition. But on Saturday just before 2:30 pm, one of the world’s largest economies came within a stone’s throw of getting there. [Los Angeles Times]

¶ “Gone Fission: Controversial Nuke Plant Near NYC Shuts Down” • Indian Point is permanently stopping production of nuclear power, capping a decades-long battle over a key source of electricity in the heart of New York City’s suburbs. Opponents have called the nuclear plant a threat to millions living in its densely packed region. [FOX13 Memphis]

Have an indefatigably entertaining day.

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April 29 Energy News

April 29, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Indian Point Is Closing, But Clean Energy Is Here To Stay” • New York will mark a milestone in the state’s energy landscape when the Indian Point nuclear power plant, just north of New York City, permanently closes this week. The plant has a history of operational, safety, and environmental problems. The state is rapidly building renewable energy. [NRDC]

Indian Point nuclear plant (Peretz Partensky, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

Indian Point nuclear plant (Peretz Partensky, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Renewable Energy Is Suddenly Startlingly Cheap” • If you want real hope, the best place to look may be a little noted report from the London-based think tank Carbon Tracker Initiative. Solar and windpower can supply the world with 100 times its demand, using less of the surface than fossil fuels do. And the price is startlingly low. [The New Yorker]

¶ “Are Electric Pickup Trucks A Waste Of Valuable Resources?” • Here at CleanTechnica, we favor EVs, but we would be less than honest if we said huge electric pickup trucks with mega-MW of capacity don’t add some harmful emissions to the environment. But any EV is a good thing if it replaces a similar gasoline or diesel powered vehicle. [CleanTechnica]

Ford F-150 electric truck (Ford image)

Ford F-150 electric truck (Ford image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “A Very Simple Hybrid That Rivals The Cleanliness Of EVs Is Possible” • The Koenigsegg Gemera has two rear electric motors (one for each wheel) that run off the car’s battery pack. A very exotic 3-cylinder, twin-turbo, internal combustion engine with no valvetrain powers the front wheels without a transmission. The whole is very clean. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Tesla Model 3 New #1 In Hot European Market, And Plugin Vehicles Get 16% Market Share!” • The European plugin passenger vehicle market continues to rise, scoring over 227,000 registrations in March (up 169% year-over-year) and putting last month’s plugin vehicle share of the broader passenger vehicle market at 16% share. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 (Image courtesy of Tesla)

Tesla Model 3 (Image courtesy of Tesla)

¶ “BayWa Oz Solar Farm Hits First Power Milestone” • German developer BayWa RE confirmed its 106-MW Yatpool solar farm in northern Victoria is now connected to the grid. Construction at the site, which has 350,000 solar PV panels, was completed in late 2019 after a 10-month build, but connection to the grid was delayed by complications. [reNEWS]

¶ “RWE To Supply VW With German Solar” • RWE Supply & Trading will source electricity from Germany’s largest subsidy-free solar park from 2022 onwards and supply it to automaker VW under a 10 year power purchase agreement. The solar plant, operated by German asset manager Luxcara in Tramm-Gothen, is to be completed this year. [reNEWS]
Solar array (RWE image)

¶ “GWEC Predicts Millions Of New Wind Jobs By 2026” • New analysis by the Global Wind Energy Council shows that 3.3 million windpower jobs can be created globally over the next five years due to major industry expansion. The figure includes direct jobs in both onshore and offshore wind, and covers the entire value chain of the sector. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Senate Votes To Restore Obama-Era Rule Limiting Methane Leaks” • The Senate voted to restore an Obama-era rule that cracked down on methane emissions from oil and gas industries as the Biden administration looks to combat climate change. The vote was 52-42. Three Republican Senators joined Democrats to approve the resolution. [CNN]

Natural gas well (Antandrus, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

Natural gas well (Antandrus, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Attention, Climate-Aware Investors! Help Has Arrived” • A Chicago-based  investment firm, Morningstar, has released a 31-page report that assesses the landscape of climate-aware investment products. Climate-aware funds are those open-end funds and exchange-traded funds that have a branded, climate-related mandate. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “In A World Of Ever-Larger Trucks, Alpha’s Wolf Stands Out From The Pack” • Alpha Motor Company announced the Wolf+, an extended cab version of its Wolf EV truck. But what most sets these trucks aside is that they’re similar in size to the small trucks that were sold until the 90s. In a world of ever bigger trucks, they stand out from the pack. [CleanTechnica]

Wolf+ electric truck (Screenshot)

Wolf+ electric truck (Screenshot)

¶ “Auto And Traffic Safety Are The Focus Of 4 New US Senate Bills” • Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Edward Markey (D-MA) reintroduced a set of 4 bills designed to automotive and traffic safety. The bills cover auto manufacturing reporting standards, the speed of auto recalls, distracted driving rules, and seat back integrity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Wind Power A Smaller Contributor To Texas Electricity Crisis Than Initially Estimated, ERCOT Analysis Shows” • An updated analysis of February’s Texas power crisis by experts at ERCOT shows that lost wind generation played a small part of problems that blacked out much of the state during a lengthy period of severe cold weather. [The Texas Tribune]

Wind turbines in Texas (Leaflet, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

Wind turbines in Texas (Leaflet, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “New York State Launches Fifth Large-Scale Renewables Solicitation” • The state of New York has launched its fifth annual solicitation for large-scale renewable projects to accelerate clean energy development and fight climate change. The solicitation, its largest land-based procurement, calls for about 4.5 million MWh per year. [PV Magazine]

¶ “Duke Energy Sees Renewable Energy Growing To 23% By 2030” • Duke Energy says it expects to triple the amount of renewable energy it produces by 2030. That’s among the goals in the Charlotte-based company’s recently released annual sustainability report. It is to increase the share of renewables from 7% today to 23% by 2030. [WFAE]

Have a punctiliously copacetic day.

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April 28 Energy News

April 28, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Climate FUD Campaigns Change Tactics As More Accept Climate Science” • Despite climate denialists, Americans are beginning to accept the connection between human activity and global warming. In his book, The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet, Michael E Mann’s shows fear, uncertainty, and doubt are still being spread. [CleanTechnica]

Hockey stick graph (Image by Michael E. Mann, et al)

¶ “Five Key Takeaways From Tesla’s Q1 Earnings Call” • The first quarter is typically soft for most automakers. Not Tesla. This year, the Silicon Valley automaker displayed its production prowess against all odds. Al Root from Barron’s pointed out five key takeaways that explained the drama and excitement about Tesla in Q1 of 2021. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Rwanda Has Awesome New Incentives For EVs” • Rwanda is introducing a new set of incentives to catalyze the adoption of EVs. Rwanda’s updated Nationally Determined Contribution, outlines the importance of EVs and the enforcement of vehicle emission standards as key mitigation measures on the path to reduce greenhouse gases. [CleanTechnica]

Ampersand motorcycles (Image courtesy of Ampersand)

¶ “Egypt Signs $700 Renewable Energy Contracts In Kom Ombo Complex” • Egypt has signed $700 million worth of contracts for the Kom Ombo Solar Energy Complex, the chairman of the New and Renewable Energy Authority said. It includes 32 solar energy projects with total foreign direct investment exceeding $2 billion. It has helped to create 10,000 jobs. [Arab News]

¶ “Offshore Wind FIDs ‘To More Than Double’” • Offshore wind project final investment decisions, outside mainland China, will grow 57% in the next 18 months, compared to 2019-2020, an analysis from Westwood Global Energy Group shows. The growth represents an additional 20.4 GW of new power capacity, Westwood found. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbines (J Hunter, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Ford Ion Park: The Company Is Getting Very Serious About Battery R&D” • Ford announced that it is investing big money in a new battery research and development center called Ion Park. Its goal is to improve battery cells, pilot better manufacturing techniques, and work toward vertical integration of batteries for the company’s future EVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Charlotte Launches An Electric Bus Pilot Testing Eighteen Electric Buses From Three Companies” • Residents of Charlotte, North Carolina, can breathe easier knowing soon that the transit buses covering the region will be all-electric. The city is trialing eighteen electric buses made by three manufacturers over a period of at least a year. [CleanTechnica]

Electric bus in Charlotte (Courtesy of the City of Charlotte)

¶ “New Report Identifies 22 Shovel Ready Regional And Interregional Transmission Projects” • A report identifies 22 shovel ready, high-voltage transmission projects that could create about 1,240,000 jobs and lead to 60,000 MW of new renewable energy capacity, increasing the country’s wind and solar generation by nearly 50%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Pilot Program Sheds Light On E-Bike Use Patterns, Energy-Efficiency Benefits” • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Colorado Energy Office assessed the travel-behavior of low-income essential workers provided with e-bikes during the pandemic. Analysis showed e-bikes were the dominant travel mode for 30% of trips. [CleanTechnica]

Blix Packa Cargo E-Bike (Image courtesy of Blix)

¶ “Iowa Expected To See A Burst Of Solar Energy Development” • Already a leader in wind energy, Iowa could see an explosion of solar development. About a dozen projects are expected to come online in the months ahead, adding about nine times more solar energy than the state currently produces, according to filings with the Iowa Utilities Board. [Farm Forum]

¶ “Major New Facility In Oregon Could Help Transform The Prospects Of Wave Energy” • In waters off Oregon, a project known as PacWave is attempting to harness nature’s power by testing and analyzing wave energy converters, a technology which could have an important role to play in a transition to renewables. [CNBC]

Pacific Ocean (Glenn Villas, Unsplash)

¶ “DOE Offers Billions In Loans For Transmission Upgrades To Boost Renewable Energy Resources” • The US DOE announced up to $8.25 billion in loan availability from its Loan Programs Office and the Western Area Power Administration for efforts to expand and improve the transmission grid. It has two separate financing streams available. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “Entergy Arkansas Seeking Proposals For 300 MW Of Renewable Energy Projects” • Entergy Arkansas will accept proposals to add 300 MW of solar and wind capacity to its generating portfolio by 2026. An agreement to begin developing at least 400 MW of renewable energy capacity by the end of 2022 has already been settled. [KATV]

Wind turbines (Pexels image)

¶ “200-MW Mississippi Solar Project To Support Knoxville, Tennessee’s Renewable Energy Goals” • The Tennessee Valley Authority and the Knoxville Utilities Board have chosen Origis Energy to develop a 200-MW solar farm in Clay County, Mississippi, to support the Knoxville, Tennessee’s renewable energy goals. [Solar Power World]

¶ “New Jersey Regulators Extend Nuclear Subsidies For PSEG/Exelon Reactors” • New Jersey utility regulators voted to extend subsidies, of a type called Zero Emission Certificates, for the state’s three nuclear power reactors for an additional three years. The reactors are at Salem and Hope Creek. The vote was unanimous. [Reuters]

Have an unimaginably enjoyable day.

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April 27 Energy News

April 27, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “After Fukushima, A Fundamental Renewable Energy Shift In Japan Never Happened – Could Global Climate Concerns Bring It Today?” • The power of entrenched utilities kept electricity generated from coal and nuclear energy on the grid, but a sake brewer in Fukushima, hurt by the disaster, is pushing local renewable energy. [Inside Climate News]

Fukushima Prefecture (zoo_monkey, Unsplash)

¶ “Scared? Don’t Be. Divestment Is Actually A Good Financial Move! (Video)” • Bill McKibben outlined recently how new data affirm the solidity of fossil fuel divestmen, and data showing that portfolio divestment will gradually filter out into the world’s markets, “doubtless pushing more investors to divest.” Here is a video from Blackrock’s CEO. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate Change Is Altering Earth’s Axis And Will Cost $27 Trillion A Year, Says Swiss Re” • Conventional wisdom holds that nothing humans can do will affect something so enormous as the Earth. This research proves that conventional wisdom is wrong. Human activity is having an effect on the spin of the Earth, and it will have a huge cost. [CleanTechnica]

Global surface mass changes (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

¶ “Elon Musk Props Up Carbon Removal Research With $100 Million Competition” • Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is putting up $100 million for a new XPrize competition aimed at spurring the creation of new carbon removal technologies and helping to ease the climate crisis. The prize is the largest cash incentive ever, according to XPrize. [CNN]

¶ “Mechanical Stomachs Help Fix Campus Food Waste Issue” • The University of Nebraska is using a “mechanical stomach” to save 95 tons of CO₂ emissions per year by digesting the food and sending it down the drain instead of sending food waste on long (and emissions heavy) journeys to landfills. The biodigester can handle any food waste. [CleanTechnica]

Biodigester (Craig Chandler, University Communication)

¶ “Electric Cars: What Will Happen To All The Dead Batteries?” • “The rate at which we’re growing the industry is absolutely scary,” says Paul Anderson of Birmingham University. He’s concerned about what happens when they run out of road – in particular what happens to the batteries. They will have to be recycled, and that should be automated. [BBC]

World:

¶ “Lithium Systems Acquires 123 Ton eDumper Project” • The eDumper began life as a Komatsu HD605-7 diesel heavy duty dump. eMining AG converted it to “eDumper” spec using li-ion batteries and a kinetic energy recovering system sourced from Lithium Systems. It can carry 65 tons of ore and recovers a lot of energy going back into the mine. [CleanTechnica]

Fully electric eDumper (Lithium Systems image)

¶ “Saudi Arabia Says Focus On Renewable Energy Will Save Them $200 Billion” • Saudi Arabia is looking to expand beyond fossil fuels dependence. It believes it can save over $200 billion over the next decade by replacing liquid fuel used for domestic consumption with gas and renewable energy sources, its finance minister said. [Industry Leaders Magazine]

¶ “RP Global Supports Spanish Partner On 300 MW Of PV” • RP Global is working with Spanish project developer Tartessos to develop a 300-MW solar project in the Castilla-Leon region in Spain. The land for the project has already been secured and environmental impact assessments have not raised any red flags, according to Tartessos. [reNEWS]

Solar array (RP Global image)

¶ “Hamburg Hydrogen Initiative Unveils 100-MW Electrolyser Plan” • Potential offtakers in Hamburg are partnering with Shell and Vattenfall to deliver an ambitious green hydrogen network that includes plans for 100-MW electrolyser. The Hamburg Port Authority and eleven other companies have teamed up on the Hamburg Green Hydrogen Hub. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Clean-Energy Experts Predict Federal Dollars Will Spur Nevada Job Boom” • Experts forecast up to 400,000 new jobs in Nevada as a result of the Biden administration’s climate-change goals and infrastructure plan. President Joe Biden has pledged to cut U.S. carbon emissions in half in by 2030, and that means a lot of workers will be needed. [NewsService.org]

Transmission lines (Laura Musikanski, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Apple Doubles Down On The United States, Promising Another $80 Billion Investment” • Apple is doubling down on its manufacturing presence in the US. The company announced it’s bolstering a previously announced investment by an additional 20%, increasing the amount to $430 billion, and adding another 20,000 new jobs. [CNN]

¶ “Leeward Gets 580 MW Of Indiana Renewables” • Leeward Renewable Energy entered into an agreement with Tri Global Energy to acquire two renewables projects in Indiana totalling 580 MW. The deal comprises the acquisition of a 180-MW wind project and a 400-MW solar project. Both are planned to be operational as early as 2023. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (P Franken, Unsplash)

¶ “Elon Musk: Expect Tesla Model Y To Be Best Selling Car, SUV, Or Truck In World In 2022 Or 2023” • In the Q1 conference call, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he expects the Model Y to be the top selling light-duty passenger vehicle (car, truck, or SUV) in the world in 2022 or 2023. He said he expects that it’s more likely than not that it will be in 2022. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Federal Program To Help Remote Alaska Communities With Renewable Energy Infrastructure” • The DOE recently announced the awardees of a new program to help remote communities find clean energy solutions. The project will help five Alaska towns explore everything from hybrid fishing vessels to reducing reliance on diesel. [KCAW]

Have an exceptionally untrammeled day.

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April 26 Energy News

April 26, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “CNBC: How Tesla’s Battery Mastermind Is Tackling Electric Vehicles’ Biggest Problem” • JB Straubel, a Tesla co-founder and former CTO, started Redwood Materials, a recycling company, in 2017. CNBC interviewed him, and he talked about the importance of battery recycling. He said 95% to 98% of battery materials are recyclable and “good as new.” [CleanTechnica]

Lithium batteries (みはりん, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Could Ukraine’s Nuclear Industry Face Another Chernobyl?” • With Russia blocking coal production and keeping natural gas prices high, the Ukraine depends on nuclear power. But critics say the Ukraine faces a perennial crisis caused by corruption; safety issues that result from ageing, worn out reactors; and politicised decision-making. [Al Jazeera]

World:

¶ “Greenwashing EU Finance Law Sparks Walkout By Experts” • Environmental and consumer organizations are pulling out of an EU expert group in protest at an European Commission decision to classify destructive forestry practices and highly emitting types of biomass as sustainable investments. The new EC rules ignore the advice of scientists. [CleanTechnica]

European Commission (EmDee, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “China’s Biggest IPO This Year Looks To Be In Renewable Power” • China Three Gorges Renewables Group Co is set for an initial public offering that could be the biggest in the country this year after securing regulatory approval. The unit of China Three Gorges Corp plans to sell up to 8.57 billion shares in Shanghai, it said in a prospectus. [MSN]

¶ “Calls For Isle Of Man To ‘Move Forward On Renewable Energy'” • On the Isle of Man, 1% of the energy currently comes from renewable sources, with around 80% met by the gas turbine power station at Pulrose. The government aims to change that so that 75% of the island’s electricity is generated by renewable sources by 2035. [Manx Radio]

Isle of Man (oliver king, Unsplash)

¶ “Farmers Say They Want Renewables To Boost Income, Cut Costs” • Australian farmers are keen to send the message that the linkages between the agricultural and renewable energy sectors have the potential to be mutually beneficial for both, as the two industries are set to meet to share experiences and opportunities to work together. [Renew Economy]

¶ “Exus To Deliver 85-MW Portugal Wind-PV Hybrid” • Exus Management Partners, a sustainable investor, has been chosen to provide the complete end-to-end delivery of an 85-MW wind-solar hybrid project in northern Portugal. The company said it was chosen without a competitive bidding process because of its unique service package. [reNEWS]

Solar array (Chelsea, Unsplash)

¶ “How Renewables Could Kill Off Fossil Fuel Electricity By 2035: Report” • Solar and wind energy have the potential to meet global electricity demand 100 times over, and the costs of these renewables are falling so rapidly that fossil fuels could be pushed out of electricity generation entirely by 2035, according to a report by a UK think tank. [Forbes]

¶ “MPC Inks Columbia Solar Offtake” • MPC Energy Solutions has signed a power purchase agreement for solar project under development in Columbia. The 9.5-MW Parque Solar Los Girasoles will deliver around 23 GWh of clean energy a year over a 12-year period, starting in the second quarter of 2022, to Grupo Renovatio, an energy trader and supplier. [reNEWS]

Solar panels (G Ortega Castro, Unsplash)

¶ “EDPR Inks 40-MW Spanish Wind Offtake” • EDP Renewables signed a 15-year power purchase agreement with pharmaceutical company Merck for the output from a 40-MW wind farm in Spain. The project is expected to start operations in 2023. EDPR has secured 406 MW for projects in Spain that are expected to be operational from 2021. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Governor Newsom Takes Action To Phase Out Oil Extraction In California (Eventually)” • When Governor Gavin Newsom directed California authorities to initiate action to stop issuing new fracking permits for fracking by January 2024, he also asked the California Air Resources Board find pathways to phase out oil extraction by no later than 2045. [CleanTechnica]

California oil pumps, 2006 (CGP Grey, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “How To Get A Tesla Model 3 For $25,000 (In California)” • Even though the federal tax credit has already been phased out for Tesla, California still offers a good number of perks to significantly lower the price of a Tesla (or any other electric vehicle, for that matter). These include tax credit programs and cash rebates. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “A Third Of New US Utility-Scale Solar In Next 2 Years Will Be In Texas” • Texas, home to the most wind power capacity in the USA, is expected to add 10 GW of utility-scale solar generating capacity by the end of 2022. According to the EIA, that is a third of the utility-scale solar capacity planned to come online in the country in the next two years. [CleanTechnica]

Utility-scale solar capacity in five states (EIA image)

¶ “US Cities Bought More Renewable Energy Than Ever In 2020” • US local governments bought more renewable energy in 2020 than ever before, according to data from the Local Government Renewables Action Tracker. Nearly 100 cities and counties in 33 states added 3,683 MW of renewable generating capacity in 143 deals, a 23% increase from 2019. [GreenBiz]

¶ “Renewable Energy Industry Commits To Biden’s 50% GHG Reduction Target” • After President Joe Biden set a goal to reduce emissions 50% by 2030, major groups including the American Clean Power Association, American Gas Association, Edison Electric Institute, and Electric Power Research Institute all saw such goals within reach. [Daily Energy Insider]

Have an excitingly easy day.

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April 25 Energy News

April 25, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Battery Rush Is 21st Century’s New Gold Rush – And Tesla’s Big Future Revenue Source?” • I believe we are about to enter into another gold rush of a sorts. Batteries. In a recent article by Yahoo! Finance, the author pointed out that the real money may not lie in Tesla’s cars, but in its battery business. Tesla has a lead of serveral years in that market. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Megapack (Tesla image)

¶ “Biden Wants 50 By 30. We Can Do It!” • The simple math shows that if our emissions were to stay constant from 2018, the carbon budget associated with the 1.5° C goal would be entirely used up by 2030. On the other hand, if we can cut our global emissions in half by 2030 and completely by 2050, we will come close to staying within 1.5° C. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Fukushima Dumping Radioactive Wastewater In The Pacific Is An Easy, But Wrong, Solution” • The author understands difficult position Japan is in and why dumping wastewater may seem like its only option. But that doesn’t mean support for their decision. There are too many unknowns about the effects of tritium on the marine ecosystems. [The Johns Hopkins News-Letter]

Pre-disaster Fukushima Daiichi (IAEA Imagebank, CC BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “A Scientist’s Perspective On The Value Of Renewable Natural Gas” • Michigan has largely ignored one innovative opportunity to significantly reduce carbon: renewable natural gas. However, new legislation is set to change that. The new bill calls for a study of statewide feedstock to measure Michigan’s overall potential for renewable natural gas. [Lansing State Journal]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate-Friendly Microbes Chomp Dead Plants Without Releasing Heat-Trapping Methane” • Scientists from the US and China have identified an entirely new group of microbes that live in hot springs, geothermal systems, and hydrothermal sediments around the world. The microbes can break down decaying plants without producing methane. [ScienceDaily]

Hot spring at Yellowstone (Ashley Knedler, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “France Not Doing Enough To Tackle Climate Change, Court Rules” • A Paris court has found France legally responsible for its failure to meet targets intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The lawsuit was launched by four NGOs, including Greenpeace France and Oxfam France, after an online petition gathered 2.3 million signatures. [CNN]

¶ “Inside Alberta’s Wind And Solar Boom” • A renewable energy boom is building in the heart of oil country, as vast new projects harness Alberta’s wind and sun. They draw an increasingly eager and adaptable workforce. The oil industry has always operated in boom or bust cycle, and some people feel disillusioned with jobs in the oil and gas industry. [Global News]

Wind turbines in Alberta (Chuck Szmurlo, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “The Renewable Energy Plan That Netanyahu Announced Doesn’t Really Exist, Experts Say” • Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged that Israel will strive to generate all of its electricity from renewable sources by 2050, but environmental activists and experts lambasted him for failing to present a proposal to address the climate crisis. [Haaretz]

¶ “Renewable Electricity Can Sharply Reduce Cascadia Pollution And Ward Off Climate Change” • Research shows that renewable electricity can move Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia off of fossil fuels affordably, and create jobs as it does. Building a cleaner and more equitable economy is backed by a growing body of regional and international studies. [OPB]

British Columbia (Lucas Mitchell, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “NREL Research Illuminates Optimistic Future For Vehicle Electrification” • With falling prices, improved charging, cleaner electricity, and broad support, the future of EVs has never been brighter. National Renewable Energy Laboratory research and recent commitments from governments and industry point to increased EV adoption. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Rethinking Hydropower For Energy And Environmental Sustainability” • A California company, Natel Energy, is working on a low-head, low-impact hydropower approach that addresses one of the leading concerns of new deployment – impacts to natural stream flows. To address this challenge, NREL helped Natel rethink hydropower. [CleanTechnica]

Low-impact hydropower (Illustration courtesy of Natel Energy Inc)

¶ “More than 60 Groups Urge Biden Administration To Suspend Mountain Valley Pipeline Permits” • More than 60 conservation and environmental groups are calling on top Biden officials to suspend permits and approvals by the Trump administration for the controversial Mountain Valley Pipeline, contending it poses a grave environmental threats. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Samsung Unit Considers Developing $673 Million Solar Plants In Texas” • A Samsung C&T Corp unit is considering solar power plant development worth $673 million in Texas, documents that Reuters has reviewed show. The proposed site is near a Samsung Electronics Co Ltd chip factory, and that division is considering putting $17 billion into another. [Reuters]

Have a spellbindingly gorgeous day.

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April 24 Energy News

April 24, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “The 4D Chess Move Elon Musk And Tesla Just Made” • Under Elon Musk’s leadership, Tesla made a 4D chess move that Solving The Money Problem’s Steven Mark Ryan pointed out no one seems to have noticed. Under a new marketing system, Tesla will only sell its solar panels and roofs with batteries. This move could be disruptive to utilities. [CleanTechnica]

Roof, battery, car, and power by Tesla (Image by Tesla)

¶ “Biden’s Remarkable Success On Climate” • By every standard, President Joe Biden’s climate change summit was a remarkable success. The summit represents a tipping point. The world’s largest economies – the US, Canada, the EU, China, Japan, Korea, India, the UK, and Brazil – are finally aligning around the goal of deep decarbonization. [CNN]

¶ “How Quickly Will Electric School Buses Scale? An Interview With Blue Bird” • Trevor Rudderham, Senior Vice President of Product Planning and Electrification from school bus maker Blue Bird is interviewed and talks about electric school buses, all the ways communities can use them, and how fast the industry is headed towards electrification. [CleanTechnica]

Blue Bird electric bus (Image courtesy of Blue Bird)

World:

¶ “Biden Makes The Economic Case For Fighting Climate Change On Second Day Of Virtual Summit” • President Joe Biden thanked the world leaders who made new commitments to curb emissions. He also said, “Today’s final session is not about the threat that climate change poses, it’s about the opportunity that addressing climate change provides.” [CNN]

¶ “Honda Promises To Make Only Emissions-Free Vehicles In The Future” • In his first press conference as CEO of the Japanese automaker, Toshihiro Mibe said the company “will strive” to sell only battery-electric vehicles and fuel cell electric vehicles by 2040 in the three major markets where it primarily sells cars: North America, China and Japan. [CNN]

Honda e (Photo courtesy of Honda)

¶ “11% Plugin Vehicle Share In China!” • Plugin electric vehicles are a hot item in China right now, and they scored a near-record 211,000 registrations last month. That was a 244% jump from the same month last year, and the second best month ever. In fact the plugin vehicle share reached the two-digit mark for the first time, hitting 11%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Japan To Tackle Red Tape To Boost Renewable Energy” • Japan plans to cut approval times for wind projects, open up abandoned farmland, boost grid capacity, and do more to reduce red tape that has long impeded efforts to bring more renewable energy into the power mix. With Japan’s new climate goals, these actions will be accelerated. [Japan Today]

Yokohama wind farm (Angaurits, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Geelong Agrees On Need To Fast Track For Renewable Energy” • The Geelong Energy Futures Forum was held in response to proposals to build floating gas terminals in the Geelong area of New South Wales. Attendees at the sold-out forum were unanimous in calling for an urgent transition to renewable energy sources. [Mirage News]

¶ “Bangladesh To Cut Coal Consumption, Shift To Renewable Energy: Minister” • Bangladesh will phase down coal use in the power sector and place greater emphasis on renewable energy as part of the efforts to combat change, said Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen. He set the goal during US President Joe Biden’s summit on climate change. [bdnews24.com]

Solar powered irrigation (Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “India Closer To Building ‘World’s Biggest’ N-Plant” • French energy group EDF said it had filed a binding offer to supply the engineering studies and equipment to build six, third-generation EPR reactors in Jaitapur, western India. Once finished, the facility would provide 10 GW of electricity, enough for approximately 70 million households. [The News International]

US:

¶ “The Race To 52%: Little Old NJ Leaps Into US Offshore Wind Industry Lead” • New Jersey could be a centerpiece of President Biden’s plans for reducing carbon emissions up to 52% by 2030, not long from now. Shorter version: jobs, jobs, and more jobs. New Jersey has already been setting up manufacturing centers to support offshore wind development. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore wind turbine (Photo courtesy of GE Renewables)

¶ “California Governor Orders Fracking To Be Phased Out” • California will stop issuing new hydraulic fracturing permits by January 2024 as part of an effort to reach carbon-neutrality by 2045. Governor Gavin Newsom directed the state’s Department of Conservation’s Geologic Energy Management to implement rules to end issuance of fracking permits. [CNN]

¶ “Biden Fills Out Science Team With Picks For NOAA, DOE, And Diplomacy” • President Biden is rounding out his science team. The White House announced nominees to lead NOAA, the DOE’s Office of Science, and the State Department’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Science Affairs. The nominees need Senate confirmation. [Science]

Have an enjoyably astonishing day.

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April 23 Energy News

April 23, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Finally, The Wind Is At Our Back On The Climate Crisis” • History will remember this decade as the climate turning point, the moment we finally woke up to the fact that despite (and because of) shocks like Covid-19, decarbonization, the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions is now inevitable. The only question is how fast we will achieve it. [CNN]

Earth (NASA image, Unsplash)

¶ “The Latest Area Of Competition Between The US And China: Saving The World” • With Washington rejoining global efforts against climate change under President Joe Biden, the US and China now have a new area of competition – leading the world in staving off environmental catastrophe. It is a competition that allows room for agreement. [CNN]

World:

¶ “OX2 Makes 170-MW Swedish Wind Swoop” • OX2, a Swedish renewables developer, is to acquire the rights to a wind farm in Sweden, with a capacity of up to 170 MW, from Stora Enso for an undisclosed price. The Halsingeskogen wind farm is expected to produce about 380 GWh annually, covering the average yearly needs of about 72,000 households. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine in Sweden (OX2 image)

¶ “Japan Raises Emissions Cut Target To 46% By 2030” • Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Japan will strive by 2030 to cut its emissions by 46% from 2013 levels, up from its earlier goal of 26%. He promised to reduce Japan’s reliance on coal-fired energy by promoting conservation and maximizing renewables, while promoting nuclear energy. [CTV News]

¶ “Orbital Tidal Turbine Sets Sail For EMEC” • Orbital Marine Power, based in Scotland, shipped a 2-MW tidal turbine from the Port of Dundee to the Orkney Islands for installation. Osprey Heavy Lift oversaw the transfer of the 680-tonne tidal turbine from the Forth Ports quayside facility in Dundee into the River Tay using a submersible barge. [reNEWS]

Turbine on its submersible barge (Orbital Tidal Turbine image)

¶ “Coal India Forms Subsidiaries For Solar Manufacturing And Renewable Energy Projects” • Coal India Limited announced forming two subsidiaries, one for solar PV manufacturing and one for renewable energy projects. CIL had earlier announced it would invest ₹56.50 billion ($763 million) on solar projects to power mining operations. [Mercom India]

¶ “South Korean Students Shave Heads To Protest Against Japan’s Fukushima Water Release Plan” • Over 30 South Korean college students shaved their heads in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul to protest against plan to release over a million tonnes of treated radioactive water from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean. [Republic World]

South Korean students (Abdulsatar Bochnak via Twitter)

US:

¶ “Biden Announces US Will Aim To Cut Carbon Emissions By As Much As 52% By 2030 At Virtual Climate Summit” • President Joe Biden kicked off a virtual climate summit attended by 40 other world leaders by announcing an ambitious cut in emissions of greenhouse gases. He committed the US to reducing its GHG emissions by 50%-52% by 2030. [CNN]

¶ “Whitmer Celebrates Earth Day, Announces State Offices Will Be 100% Renewable Energy By 2025” • On Earth Day Thursday, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that all state-owned facilities would use 100% renewable energy by 2025. The state says this goal is made possible through partnerships with three major utilities. [WLUC]

Governor Gretchen Whitmer (State of Michigan)

¶ “New York City Is Suing Big Oil For Allegedly Misleading Consumers About Climate Change” • The City of New York filed a lawsuit in state court against Exxon Mobil, Shell, BP, and the American Petroleum Institute for allegedly misleading New York consumers about the role their products play in climate change and for “greenwashing” their practices. [CNN]

¶ “Cadillac Lyriq Will Be Available In Early 2022 Starting At $59,990” • This September, customers will be able to place an order for the new Cadillac Lyriq, the company’s first all electric car. Built in Spring Hill, Tennessee, Lyriq deliveries will begin in the first half of 2022. The Lyriq will start at $59,990, including the destination charge. [CleanTechnica]

Cadillac Lyriq (Image courtesy of Cadillac)

¶ “Tesla’s 62-Stall Supercharger Project In Santa Monica Is Given The Green Light” • The Santa Monica City Council has given Tesla’s 62-stall Supercharger project the green light to go ahead with construction, The Santa Monica Daily Press reports. Members of the city council unanimously amended an ordinance to give Tesla the green light on construction. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Disney Marks Earth Day By Unveiling Renewable Energy Plans For Theme Parks” • The Walt Disney Company marked Earth Day by unveiling a new list of renewable energy efforts aimed to reduce carbon footprint at its theme parks and resorts. Among other things, two large solar plants will be built at Walt Disney World in Florida. [HuffPost]

Mickey Mouse solar array in Florida (Disney image)

¶ “Local Municipalities Teaming Up To Get Cheapest Renewable Energy For Residents” • In New York, the town and village of Pittsford, the town of Irondequoit, and the city of Rochester are teaming up to buy renewable energy for their residents. The Community Choice Aggregation program is a way for residents to reduce costs and get clean energy. [WROC-TV]

¶ “On Earth Day 2021, Governor Cuomo Announces More Than 20 Large-Scale Renewable Energy Infrastructure Projects Will be Under Construction Across NYS This Year” • New York Governor Andrew M Cuomo announced that over 20 large-scale renewable energy infrastructure projects will be under construction across the state this year. [The New York State Senate]

Have a downright upbeat day.

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April 22 Energy News

April 22, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “A Stanford-Designed Tool That Could Guide Floodwater Management And Combat Ongoing Drought” • Floodwaters are not what most people consider a blessing. But they could help remedy California’s increasingly parched groundwater systems, according to a new Stanford-led study. The study was published in Science Advances. [Stanford News]

Flooded vineyard (Image courtesy of Terranova Ranch Inc)

World:

¶ “Companies Are Crucial To Solving The Climate Crisis. 75% Are Falling Short” • An analysis by sustainable finance firm Arabesque assigned scores to companies in 14 of the world’s largest stock indexes based on publicly reported emissions data between 2015 and 2019. It found that less than 25% are doing their part to address the climate crisis. [CNN]

¶ “Cutting Air Pollution Can Prevent Future Deaths Like Death Of Schoolgirl Ella” • Deaths like that of UK schoolgirl Ella Adoo Kissi Debrah can be prevented, says the coroner’s report. It recommends that legally binding targets match WHO guidelines for air pollution. The government has repeatedly opposed these, Transport & Environment says. [CleanTechnica]

London (Lucas Davies, Unsplash)

¶ “Biden Summit To Push For Immediate Action” • The US will attempt to regain leadership on climate change as President Joe Biden hosts world 40 leaders at a virtual summit in the White House. The US is expected to unveil an updated carbon pledge to have its emissions reduced nearly 50% by 2030. Many countries are being urged to show greater ambition. [BBC]

¶ “Volvo Snags Big Electric Truck Order” • QCD, a company that delivers food to various food service customers, put in an order last week for 14 of Volvo’s VNR electric trucks. The vehicles will be used on last-mile routes in southern California. The first of the Volvo’s VNR electric trucks has already been delivered. The rest will be delivered in the fall. [CleanTechnica]

Volvo electric truck (Image courtesy of Volvo Trucks)

¶ “Northern Territory Government To Transition Remote Indigenous Communities To Renewable Power By 2030” • About 70% of all indigenous people living in remote communities in Australia’s Northern Territory are set to gain access to renewable energy, following an infrastructure plan announced by the NT Government. [Energy Matters]

¶ “Gresham House Acquires 30-MW Scottish Battery” • Gresham House Energy Storage Fund has completed its acquisition of a 30-MW battery project in Scotland, its first operational facility in the country. The Byers Brae energy storage installation in West Lothian is a battery-only site with 30-MW capacities for both export and import. [reNEWS]

Energy storage battery (Gresham House image)

¶ “Ikea To Invest £3.4 Billion In Renewable Energy By 2030” • Ikea plans to invest more in renewable energy by spending an extra €4 billion (£3.4 billion, $4.8 billion) by the end of this decade to build wind and solar farms, while fitting its stores with electric vehicle charge points. Ikea has already spent €2.5 billion installing solar panels at its stores. [The Guardian]

¶ “Taiwan Seeks To Join UN Mission Monitoring Japan Wastewater Plan” • Taiwan will seek to join an international mission to be deployed by the UN’s nuclear watchdog to monitor Japan’s plans to dump treated radioactive water into the ocean, according to the Minister of the Atomic Energy Council, Hsieh Shou-shing. [Focus Taiwan]

Fukushima water storage (IAEA Imagebank, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

US:

¶ “Woodlands Fire Chief: A Lot Of Misinformation Out There About Tesla Crash And Fire” • There was a very unfortunate Tesla crash this week in which two men died. While there are still mysteries about what happened, the internet has been flooded by misinformation. The Fire Chief in Woodlands, Texas, exposed some of that as false. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Climate Change Clearly Visible As NOAA Prepares To Release New ‘Normals'” • As weather experts and climatologists discussed the new climate normals being released next month, they came to a conclusion. “Climate change is clearly seen in these new normals,” said Mike Palecki, a project manager for the NOAA 1991-2020 climate normals. [CNN]

Maps of showing climate change (NOAA image)
Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Secretary Granholm Announces Winners Of Solar Decathlon Design And Build Challenges” • Secretary of Energy Jennifer M Granholm joined college students from around the world to announce the winners of the Solar Decathlon, a DOE collegiate competition for design and construction of low-carbon buildings powered by renewable energy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ten States Leading The Charge On Renewable Energy” • The EPA says that renewable energy can increase grid reliability, improve air quality, and create more jobs. In Addition, renewable energy can lower fuel and electricity costs, reducing the total cost of homeownership. Here are the ten states that are in the lead on renewable energy. [Money Talks News]

North Carolina (Darrell Moore, Unsplash)

¶ “First Fully Electric Tugboat With Autonomous Technology Is Here” • Crowley Engineering Services has completed the design of the first ever electric US tugboat, and it even has autonomous technology. The new design is powered by the expertise of new subsidiary Jensen Maritime. It has a large electric battery system to operate in a fully electric mode. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Baltimore County Executive Makes Pledge To Use 100% Renewable Energy By 2026” • Baltimore County is making a pledge to move toward a more green Earth. Executive Johnny Olszewski signed an executive order setting a goal to generate 100% of the county’s electric demand with renewable energy sources. [CBS Baltimore]

Have a way cool day.
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April 21 Energy News

April 21, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Why Renewable Electricity Powers Decarbonization – And Pays Off” • For decades, big power utilities piled on with claims that fluctuating solar and wind power could black out the grid. Back in 2005, even the US DOE said renewables were “too rare, too diffuse, too distant, too uncertain, and too ill-timed.” Now we know that isn’t true. [Jefferson Public Radio]

Wind turbines (©Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Thinking Inside The Blade: NREL’s 3D-Printed Water Power Prototypes” • There may be benefits from applying 3-D printing techniques to create complex blade mold sections that can be bonded. The process shows some promise for overcoming transportation barriers by allowing on-site manufacture of large wind turbine blades. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Blue Nature Alliance Aims To Restore 7 Million Square Miles Of Ocean In Five Years” • The ocean covers more than 70% of our planet, a total of 139 million square miles. The newly formed Blue Nature Alliance aims to protect 5% of it in the next five years. A 5% area might sound small, but the area is larger than the entire continent of South America. [CNN]

Navatu Reef, Fiji (Ron Vave, Conservation International).

¶ “Dalai Lama And One Hundred Other Nobel Prize Laureates Call For Fossil Fuels To Be Phased Out” • As the most powerful leaders of the world prepare to come together for the President Joe Biden’s virtual climate summit, the Dalai Lama and one hundred other Nobel Prize winners have a clear message for them: Keep fossil fuels in the ground. [CNN]

¶ “UK Commits To 78% Emissions Cut By 2035” • The UK Government is planning to set the world’s most ambitious climate change target into law to reduce emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels, it announced. The Carbon Budget will even incorporate the UK’s share of international aviation and shipping emissions. [reNEWS]

Person with intentionally messy hair (UK government image)

¶ “Stanwell Flags Coal Exit As It Pivots To Renewables And Storage” • Queensland state-owned energy giant Stanwell Corporation says the company’s future must be in renewables and storage rather than coal, in a delicately-worded statement that rang an early death knell for the company’s two coal-fired power plants. [Renew Economy]

¶ “Wind Farms To Generate Power And Jobs For The Southern Downs” • Two windfarms and up to 400 jobs in the Southern Downs of Queensland are closer to reality with State Assessment and Referral Agency approval. Acciona’s MacIntyre Wind Farm, with up to 1026 MW capacity, was approved. Also approved was the 103-MW Karara Wind Farm. [Media Statements]

Ravenshoe Wind Farm (www.gondwananet.com, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Indonesia Banking On Solar Power To Boost Renewable Energy Generation” • Indonesia is planning to increase the share of renewable energy in its energy mix. To accomplish this it will employ several strategies, including halting imports of fossil fuels and liquified petroleum gas by 2030. In particular, it will expedite solar power projects. [ANTARA News]

¶ “Dumping Reactor Water ‘Extremely Irresponsible'” • Chinese experts have condemned Japan’s unilateral decision to discharge contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean, calling it “extremely irresponsible.” Dumping the contaminated water from the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster is not Japan’s only option, one said. [China Daily]

Water tanks at Fukushima, 2012 (Gill Tudor, IAEA, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

US:

¶ “Coal Miners Join Climate Activists To Back Biden’s $2 Trillion Infrastructure Plan” • Coal country is in free fall and is pleading for help from Washington. That’s why the largest union in one of the dirtiest industries is broadly backing President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion green infrastructure package – adding their efforts to the support from climate activists. [CNN]

¶ “Remote Communities Partner With DOE Experts And National Labs To Adopt Clean Energy Solutions That Reduce Energy Costs And Power Disruptions” • The US DOE announced it will provide federal assistance to eleven US remote and island communities to help with their clean energy options and economic outlook. [CleanTechnica]

Not remote enough to need help (Chris Boese, Unsplash)

¶ “Pegatron Will Build A Tesla Parts Plant In Texas” • Pegatron, a company based out of Taiwan, will build a plant in El Paso, Texas, to provide components for Tesla, Reuters reports. Company officials said that the details of the plant investments are still in planning stages. Pegatron is a key supplier for Apple, but it sees EVs as a major growth area. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hershey Signs Two US Solar PPAs” • The Hershey Company has signed two PPAs to develop solar projects as it moves its operations toward the use of clean and renewable energy. One PPA is for a 20-MW project in Camden, North Carolina. The other is for a 50-MW project currently under construction in Denton County, Texas. [reNEWS]

Solar array (American Public Power Association image)

¶ “Three Texas Bills Under Fire By Investors” • The Lone Star State leads the nation in wind energy, and renewable energy investment continues to grow. However three Texas bills are under fire by renewable energy investors for the effect they will have on the industry. One state senator said they aim to penalize renewables for no reason. [KVII]

¶ “NYC Mayor Announces Step Forward Toward Purchase Of Large-Scale Renewable Electricity” • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that New York City intends to partner with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to pursue a joint large-scale purchase of electricity generated by renewable resources. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Have a categorically superior day.

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April 20 Energy News

April 20, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “The End Of The World’s Capital Of Brown Coal” • Germany is slowly shuttering its prolific lignite mines, which produce the least efficient type of coal. The ghostly towns set to be destroyed to make way for mines may hold a lesson for how to move on. The effects on the people of closing mines, with jobs lost, also has to be considered. [BBC]

German lignite mine (C M, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “2020: Climate Indicators Reveal Worsening Climate” • A report from the World Meteorological Organization makes it clear that globally, 2020 was one of the three warmest years on record, despite a cooling La Niña event. The global average temperature was about 1.2° Celsius above the pre-industrial (1850-1900) level. [Met Office]

World:

¶ “Green Hydrogen Pokes At LNG, Hits A Nerve” • Last week, the global energy firm Uniper announced that it has scrapped plans for a massive liquefied natural gas terminal at Wilhelmshaven in Germany. Instead, the company will build an equally massive but less planet-killing green hydrogen hub at the site, with a green ammonia twist to boot. [CleanTechnica]

LNG ship (photo courtesy of Uniper)

¶ “Carbon ‘Surge’ Expected In Post-Covid Energy Boom” • The International Energy Agency predicts a major increase in CO₂ emissions from energy this year, as world economies rebound. The IEA says total energy emissions for 2021 will still be slightly lower than in 2019, and increased use of coal in Asia will push global demand up by 4.5%. [BBC]

¶ “Toyota Introduces Beyond Zero Electric SUV At Shanghai Auto Show” • At the Shanghai Auto Show this week, Toyota introduced its new bZ brand, which stands for Beyond Zero. The first offering will be the bZ4X, an electric SUV about the size of the hot selling RAV4. It appeared in concept form, and the specs are not known yet. [CleanTechnica]

Toyota Beyond Zero Electric SUV (Image courtesy of Toyota)

¶ “Amazon Becomes Europe’s Largest Corporate Buyer Of Renewable Energy” • Amazon announced nine new utility-scale wind and solar energy projects in the US, Canada, Spain, Sweden, and the UK. Amazon now has 206 renewable energy projects around the world. They have a total of 8.5 GW of electricity generating capacity. [Irish Tech News]

¶ “Luxcara Inks Swedish Wind Offtake With Amazon” • Wind plant operator Luxcara has signed a power purchase agreement with Amazon for what it says is a significant share of the power to be produced by a 374-MW wind farm in Sweden. It will begin providing power to Amazon in 2023. Amazon’s goal is to be 100% powered by renewable energy in 2025. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (W Hasselmann, Unsplash)

¶ “WA Green Hydrogen Project Grows From 1 GW To 8 GW, Following Commitment From French Powerhouse” • Province Resources has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with French giant Total Eren. Province now saying it plans to install 8 GW of renewable energy capacity. Earlier this year, it announced a project goal of 1 GW. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Capstone Soaks Up Alberta Sun” • Capstone Infrastructure Corporation and Obton have started commercial operations at the 132-MW Claresholm solar farm in southern Alberta. In addition to its electricity, Claresholm will provide on-going employment along with long-term property tax revenue to the local economy. [reNEWS]

Claresholm solar array (Capstone image)

¶ “Fourth Nuclear Power Plant ‘Outdated Technology’: Deputy Economics Minister” • The mothballed Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City is “outdated technology,” the Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs said. He said, “We cannot solve the problems we will face 10 years from now with technology that is already two decades old.” [Taipei Times]

US:

¶ “Blinken Warns US Is Falling Behind China In Race To Capitalize On Climate Opportunities” • US Secretary of State Tony Blinken said that “coming up short” in efforts to address climate change “will have major repercussions” for US national security and its economy, warning that the country is falling behind China on renewable energy. [CNN]

Wind turbines (Karsten Würth, Unsplash)

¶ “CNN To Host Climate Crisis Town Hall With Officials Of The Biden Administration ” • Senior Biden administration officials will answer questions on how President Joe Biden plans to remake US climate policy in a globally broadcast CNN town hall, the network announced. “CNN Town Hall: The Climate Crisis” will air Friday at 10 p.m. ET. [CNN]

¶ “Grim Colorado River Shows Future Of Water Restrictions Is Here” • The West is dry and getting drier. The US government predicts that Lake Mead’s water level will fall below 1,075 feet (328 meters) by June, the level that triggers official government water shortage procedures for the seven states that get their water from the Colorado River. [Earther | Gizmodo]

Lake Mead (Ricardo Frantz, Unsplash)

¶ “Miners’ Union Backs Shift From Coal In Exchange For Jobs” • The nation’s largest coal miners’ union said it would accept President Joe Biden’s plan to move away from coal and other fossil fuels in exchange for a “true energy transition” that includes thousands of jobs in renewable energy and spending on technology to make coal cleaner. [WITF]

¶ “US Developer Starts 79-MW Michigan Solar Build” • DE Shaw Renewable Investments has reached financial close and started building the 79-MW Assembly Solar 3 project in Michigan. It is part of the Assembly Solar project, which will total 239 MW once completed. Financing for the construction and operation was provided by a syndicate of lenders. [reNEWS]

Have a suitably enchanting day.

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April 19 Energy News

April 19, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Secretary Granholm Shows The Joe Biden Administration Is Focused On Electric Vehicle Matters That Matter” • Secretary Jennifer Granholm gets it. She went on a great rant about this in a recent MSNBC interview. She also touched on other cleantech and energy matters that are of critical importance. You can watch her in a video. [CleanTechnica]

Secretary Granholm (MSNBC via YouTube screenshot)

¶ “Man Who Predicted The Worst Nuclear Disaster Since Chernobyl Sees Another Coming” • “There is a very strong possibility that there will be another nuclear disaster in Japan, and the company running the biggest nuclear plant here cannot be trusted,” said a nuclear engineer who predicted Japan’s 2011 nuclear disaster. [Daily Beast]

¶ “How BlackRock And Vanguard Can Advance The Net-Zero Emissions Movement” • The movement towards net-zero GHG emissions, is gaining traction, especially in finance. But to avoid the worst impacts of global warming, every organization in the field must have robust plans for shifting investment portfolios to net-zero by 2050 or sooner. [CleanTechnica]

Wall Street (Photo by Josh jfisher on Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Oil Company Ads Should Carry A Climate Health Warning, Say Activists” • Environmental law non-profit ClientEarth has published research accusing some of the world’s biggest oil firms of misrepresenting their role in the climate crisis and the speed at which they are moving to clean energy. It wants oil company ads to have “tobacco-style health warnings.” [CNN]

¶ “Zero-Emission Trucks: Industry And Environmentalists Call For Binding Targets For Infrastructure” • In the EU, truck makers and environmentalists have joined forces, pushing to deploy of 11,000 charging points for electric trucks by 2025 and 42,000 by 2030. Two of them made a call to the European Commission in a joint letter last week. [CleanTechnica]

Electric truck (Image courtesy of Volta)

¶ “Coal Financing Costs Surge As Investors Opt For Renewable Energy” • Coal financing costs have surged over the last decade as investors demand returns four times as high as the payoff required from renewable energy projects to justify the risk of investing in fossil fuels, as the world moves towards cleaner energy sources. [The Guardian]

¶ “UK Developer Reveals 33-MW Solar Plans” • UK company Lightrock Power has revealed plans for a 33-MW solar farm in England. The proposed Whinfield development could provide enough electricity to power the equivalent of 9900 homes. Plans include installing bird and bat boxes planting seeds for local flora to attract bees and other insects. [reNEWS

Solar array (Gabriel, Unsplash)

¶ “Uzbekistan Signs Wind Energy Alliance With Siemens” • The Uzbekistan Ministry of Energy has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Siemens Energy to work together on power generation, including in wind. The MOU envisions cooperation going beyond new generating facilities to include hydrogen energy and training of personnel. [reNEWS]

¶ “CIP Closes €7 Billion Renewables Fund” • Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners has reached final close on its global greenfield renewables energy fund Copenhagen Infrastructure IV, securing €7 billion in investments. CIP said the fund was oversubscribed, with the target size of €5.5 billion achieved already in December 2020. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Cameron Venti, Unsplash)

¶ “NSW Coal Region Councils Join Forces For Huge Renewable Energy Mandate” • A group of local councils from the Upper Hunter region of New South Wales has joined forces to procure up to 200 GWh a year of renewable electricity supply for their combined operations. The region has strong ties to the coal industry. [Renew Economy]

¶ “Experts Predict Wind Costs Will Tumble” • Technology and commercial advancements are expected to continue to drive down the cost of wind energy, a survey indicated. The study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory of 140 global wind power experts found cost reductions of 17%-35% by 2035 and 37%-49% by 2050 are on the cards. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Eon image)

¶ “LG Energy Solution Commits To 100% Renewable Electricity” • South Korean battery manufacturer LG Energy Solution has announced it has joined the RE100. RE100 is an international campaign that was started by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP back in 2014 to encourage big companies to commit to 100% renewables-based electricity. [SolarQuotes]

US:

¶ “Ford Mustang Mach-E Tech And Cargo Space (Versus Tesla Model Y)” • With the coming of Ford Mustang Day, Zach Shahan at CleanTechnica finally got through video editing of some of the Ford Mustang Mach-E footage he took in February near his home in Florida. It shows off the car, and it compares it to the Tesla Model Y. [CleanTechnica]

Ford Mustang Mach-E (Zach Shahan,
CleanTechnica, via YouTube screenshot)

¶ “Consensus Appears To Be Taking Root In Corporate America: What’s Good For The Environment Can Be Good For Business.” • Ahead of Earth Day and Biden’s climate summit, corporations have increased sustainability drives and made trillion-dollar climate pledges. CNN Business has the news from Corporate America’s environmental enlightenment. [CNN]

¶ “State Land Commissioner Says The Office Is Nearing Her Goal For Renewable Energy Development” • When Stephanie Garcia Richard took the office of State Land Commissioner in New Mexico after the 2018 elections, her goal was to tripple renewable energy development on state lands. Two years later, the goal is nearly reached. [The NM Political Report]

Have a profoundly blithesome day.

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April 18 Energy News

April 18, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Rolling Back The Rollbacks: Putting Cars And Trucks Back On Track To Meet Climate Goals” • As the White House gets ready to release new climate targets, the Union Of Concerned Scientists calls for cutting GHG emissions at least a 50% by 2030, compared to 2005. Passenger cars and trucks, the biggest emissions sources, are critical to this effort. [CleanTechnica]

Rivian in New York City (Image courtesy of Rivian)

¶ “The Danger Of Japan Dumping Fukushima Wastewater Into The Ocean” • The Japanese government intends to release over 1.2 million tons of radioactive wastewater, and with it dangerous radionuclides, from Fukushima Daiichi into the Pacific Ocean. The Biden administration must urge Japan to abandon this unnecessary and dangerous plan. [The Hill]

¶ “Scotland Must Not Let Chance To Create World-Leading Renewable Energy Industry Slip Through Its Fingers” • Scotland has a long way to go to create a truly world-leading renewable energy industry. Two Scottish unions, jointly welcoming jobs building wind turbine jackets, called for an industrial plan for Scotland’s future. [The Scotsman]

Windfarm (Alessandro Stigliani, Unsplash)

¶ “For The Health Of Americans, A Dollar of Carbon Emissions Prevented Is Worth A Ton of Cure” • The Biden administration made an announcement in February that could affect the health of Americans for generations. It had nothing directly to do with COVID-19 or even health care reform. It is about the societal costs of fossil fuels. [Scientific American]

World:

¶ “US And China Agree To Cooperate On Climate Change After Talks In Shanghai” • The US and China have agreed to cooperate on “addressing the climate crisis” after two days of high-profile meetings in Shanghai, despite rising tensions between them. The two countries said the climate crisis “must be addressed with seriousness and urgency.” [CNN]

Special Envoys John Kerry and Xie Zhenhua
(Ministry of Ecology and Environment)

¶ “You Can Now Buy The New BYD E6 With Blade Battery In Zimbabwe” • BYD Zimbabwe recently launched the T3 electric van in the Zimbabwean market. This made it the first company to introduce brand new electric vehicles in Zimbabwe. Early adopters and EV enthusiasts had been importing some used EVs directly from the UK and Japan. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Lisbon Orders Ten Electric Ferries” • Electric ferries have been available for years. You don’t often see large orders for them, but Lisbon is shaking things up. It is getting ten electric ferries, with the internal muscle and brains coming from ABB. Public ferry company Transtejo will put the electric ferries into service between 2022 and 2024. [CleanTechnica]

Lisbon electric ferry (Image by Astilleros Gondan, ABB)

¶ “Renewable Energy Schemes For Homes Launched” • Malta’s Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Sustainable Development launched three schemes to encourage families to invest in renewable energy and to reduce their energy bills. The schemes allow consumers to switch from the conventional water heaters to efficient, clean heaters. [MaltaToday]

US:

¶ “California Approves $44 Million For San Diego EV Charging” • San Diego Gas & Electric will deploy roughly 2,000 new electric vehicle charging stations at apartment and workplaces across the San Diego region, where cars are parked for long periods. Funds are from a $44 million program approved by the California Public Utilities Commission. [CleanTechnica]

Solar-powered rural EV charging (Courtesy of Electrify America)

¶ “Time To Repeal New England’s Anti-Consumer Dirty Energy Rule” • For years, ISO New England, which operates the New England grid, has resisted reforms of Minimum Offer Price Rule, except to continue prioritizing fossil fuel generator profits over consumers. Now, the new FERC chairman is prioritizing reform or replacement of the rule. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “In Response To Outages, Texas Politicians Aim To Penalize Wind And Solar” • Though gas plants played a larger role in the February power crisis, Texas lawmakers are pushing bills to make wind and solar plant owners pay for replacement power that would be ready if their plants underperform, along with grid balancing services. [Inside Climate News]

Roscoe wind farm (Matthew T Rader, Unsplash)

¶ “The EPA Knows Tanks Holding Heavy Fuels Emit Harmful Chemicals. Why Are Americans Still At Risk?” • In an 18-month investigation, Inside Climate News found that emissions from heated tanks of asphalt and No 6 fuel oil pose a risk to the health of millions of Americans. Federal and state regulators have failed to address the risks adequately. [Inside Climate News]

¶ “North Carolina Panel Signs Off On Duke Energy Orders On Rates, Coal Ash” • The North Carolina Utilities Commission has signed off on orders involving two Duke Energy electric utility subsidiaries, over their 2019 rate increase requests and a plan for how the company will pay to get rid of coal ash stored in North Carolina. [Greensboro News and Record]

Have an advantageously effective day.

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April 17 Energy News

April 17, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Biden Offshore Wind Plan: Who Supports Ambition For Offshore Wind?” • The Biden administration’s bold, broad plan for offshore wind has attracted a lot of attention – and boatloads of support. Offshore wind is something that wind companies, labor unions, environmental and community groups, academics, and others agree on. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines (Gritte, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Satellites Planned To Monitor Methane Super-Emitters” • Under the umbrella of the newly formed group Carbon Mapper, two satellites are on track to launch in 2023. The satellites will target pollution, including methane emissions from oil and gas and agriculture operations that account for disproportionate amounts of pollution. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Brazil ‘Needs $10 Billion To Reach Zero Emissions’ Says Minister” • Ahead of US President Joe Biden’s climate summit, Brazil’s environment minister says the country needs $10 billion (£7.2 billion) a year in foreign aid to reach zero emissions by 2050. The move would mean that Brazil could achieve the figure ten years earlier than now planned. [BBC]

Rainforest (Mark, Unsplash)

¶ “Japan Is To Boost Its Greenhouse Gas Reduction Target, The Environment Minister Says” • The Japanese government will raise its greenhouse gas reduction target, Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi said in an interview. “The use of renewable energy sources is the most important key” to reduce emissions, he added. [The Japan Times]

¶ “The Wuling Hong Guang MINI EV Is Creating An Awesome New Market” • In the middle of last year, General Motors, SAIC, and Wuling partnership released the Hong Guang MINI EV, with a $4,200 starting price. In the second half of 2020, 119,255 MINI EVs were sold in China, second only to the Tesla Model 3, which sold 139,925 units for the year. [CleanTechnica]

Wuling Hong Guang MINI EV (GM image)

¶ “Paris Looks To Citizen Power To Speed Up Energy Transition” • French citizens’ cooperative EnerCit’if aims to install 14 solar power plants in Paris before the end of the year, a project that is being seen as an opportunity to boost citizen participation in the city’s energy transition. The solar plants will be 60% financed by the Paris City Council. [EURACTIV.com]

¶ “Renewables, Declining Costs Fuel The Global Energy Storage Market” • The continual expansion of intermittent renewables and declining technology costs are key factors fueling the global grid battery energy storage market, according to recent analysis by Frost & Sullivan. The market is expected to have a compound annual growth rate of 23%. [Solar Industry]

Battery supporting the grid (theslowlane, CC BY 2.0)

¶ “Climate Emergency Stymies Forecasts of Local Disaster Risks” • The insurance industry is dedicating a growing portion of its research to the challenge of understanding how global climate trends affect the frequency and intensity of weather disasters as it tries to estimate the smaller-scale impacts that threaten homes, businesses, and lives. [Scientific American]

US:

¶ “Three Hundred Business Leaders Ask Biden Administration To Double Emissions Cuts” • A group of 300 major businesses signed an open letter to President Biden asking him to double the carbon emissions reductions the Obama administration had proposed. If enacted, emissions would be reduced 50% by 2030 from 2005 levels. [CleanTechnica]

Pollution (Image retrieved from NOAA, public domain)

¶ “Apple’s $200 Million Fund Aims To Fight Climate Change And Boost Business” • Apple has announced the Restore Fund, a $200 million investment fund designed to remove a million metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year and support sustainable forestry – and to generate financial returns for the company. [CNN]

¶ “Massachusetts Backtracks On Renewable Energy Subsidies For Wood-Burning Biomass Plants” • After loud cries of opposition, the Baker administration says it no longer stands behind a plan it proposed last December to change state regulations to allow some wood-burning biomass power plants to qualify for renewable energy subsidies. [WBUR]

Waste wood chips from logging (Annie Ropeik, NHPR)

¶ “Secretary Deb Haaland Establishes Climate Task Force And Strengthens Scientific Integrity” • Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland issued two Secretarial Orders to prioritize action on climate change throughout the Department and to restore transparency and integrity in the Department’s decision-making processes. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Will Every New Car And Truck In US Be Electric By 2035?” • A report from UC Berkeley, it’s feasible for the US to make the shift to 100% electric car and truck sales by 2035. Doing so would save consumers $2.7 trillion, reduce air pollution, preventing 150,000 premature deaths and avoiding $1.3 trillion in environmental and health costs by 2050.” [CleanTechnica]

Electric car (Ed Harvey, Unsplash)

¶ “Washington Sets Most Aggressive Gas Car Ban Yet” • The Clean Cars 2030 bill just passed both houses of the Washington state legislature. If implemented (there are some catches), the bill would put Washington ahead of all other states and many other countries in terms of how fast they’ll require new light vehicles to be zero-emission. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Illinois May Have To Subsidize More Exelon Reactors To Keep Them Running: Study” • Illinois may have to subsidize more of Exelon’s nuclear plants if it wants to keep them going, according to a study. Illinois hired Synapse Energy Economics, a consulting firm, to conduct the study after Exelon said that it would retire “uneconomic” nuclear reactors. [Reuters]

Have a by-golly glorious day.

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April 16 Energy News

April 16, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “Rising From The Ashes, Alaska’s Forests Come Back Stronger” • Michelle Mack, an ecologist at Northern Arizona University, did a study of regrowth in Alaskan forest that burned in 2004. It was published in the journal Science, and was unexpectedly hopeful. The burned boreal forests are on track to hold a lot more carbon than they did before the fires. [Grist]

Alaska (McKayla Crump, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Bolsonaro Asks For Biden’s ‘Personal Engagement’ To Fight Amazon Deforestation” • Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro called for Joe Biden’s “personal engagement” in fighting deforestation in the Amazon rain forest, in a letter sent to the US President. He asked for support of the US government, its private sector, and American civil society. [CNN]

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Is #1 In France!” • In a red hot market in which fully electric vehicles jumped 183% year over year and plugin hybrids shot up 6-fold in March, plugin sales had their second best month ever in France. In total, 29,737 plugin vehicles were registered, allowing the plugin share to reach 16% last month. And Tesla was number 1. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 (Image courtesy of Tesla)

¶ “Peruvian Government Turns To Renewable Power As It Seeks To Reduce GHG Emission, Says GlobalData” • The Government of Peru plans to push growth of renewables, especially onshore wind power, to reduce its dependence on hydropower and cut GHG emissions. GlobalData expects Peru to reach 3.91 GW of renewable capacity by 2030. [MarketScreener]

¶ “Ørsted Makes European Onshore Move” • Ørsted has entered the European onshore market with an agreement to acquire a 100% equity interest in Brookfield Renewable’s existing Ireland and UK onshore wind business. The agreement to purchase Brookfield Renewable Ireland is based on an enterprise valuation €571 million as of 31 December 2020. [reNEWS]

Irish wind farm (Brookfield Renewable Ireland image)

¶ “CEO Of Poland’s PGE Says Coal Clearly Has To End As Power Source” • Coal has obviously to be scrapped as a power source, according to Wojciech Dabrowski, the CEO of the Polish group which owns the EU’s biggest carbon-emitting power plant. The statement underscores a policy shift in a country that has felt wedded to coal. [ETEnergyworld]

¶ “Energy Transition Through The Eyes Of Solo Atlantic Voyager Zirk Botha” • “It is possible to meet all energy and water needs in a completely sustainable and renewable way.” This was what Zirk Botha had to say after finishing a grueling 72 days’ transatlantic solo rowing voyage from Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro to raise awareness of climate change. [ESI Africa]

Zirk Botha (Image supplied by juwi South Africa)

¶ “Is Renewable Energy Mining’s New Normal?” • Adopting renewable energy as a hybrid or even primary energy source is rapidly becoming a widely accepted solution for the African mining sector. In fact, it is fast emerging as another new normal. And there are numerous projects in implementation phase to prove this. [Mining Review Africa]

¶ “US Renews Call For All Nations To Raise Climate Ambitions” • The US is renewing a call for all nations including the US and China to raise ambitions on carbon neutrality, as officials from the world’s two largest emitters held talks in Shanghai. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry is consulting with his Chinese counterparts this week. [Voice of America]

Glacier (Karsten Würth, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “You Can Now Buy An Electric Ambulance” • Electric police cars have popped up from time to time for years, as have electric taxis. However, an electric ambulance is a truly rare bird. REV Group, Inc and Lightning eMotors announced that they have partnered to change that. They will start electric ambulance deliveries by the end of 2021. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “JPMorgan Is Deploying $2.5 Trillion To Fight The Climate Crisis And Inequality” • JPMorgan Chase announced that it aims to finance or facilitate investments of $2.5 trillion over 10 years to support solutions that address climate change and contribute to sustainable development. The target includes $1 trillion for green initiatives, such as renewable energy. [CNN]

Scientist at NREL (Science in HD, Unsplash)

¶ “Indiana Bill On Renewable Energy Standards Dies After Pushback” • Efforts to send a message that Indiana is open for business to renewables have come to an abrupt stop. A bill to set some statewide standards for wind and solar projects, amended to grandfather in counties’ more restrictive ordinances, died on the Senate floor. [Courier & Press]

¶ “2.1 MW Of New Solar Now Operating in Boulder” • The City of Boulder, Colorado, in a unique partnership with Unico Solar and Madison Energy Investments, is now home to 2.1 MW of rooftop and ground-installed solar, marking the completion of the city’s Generation Solar project. Solar was installed on eleven city-owned sites. [City of Boulder, Colorado]

Boulder, Colorado

¶ “Campbell Applauds Start Of Largest Renewable Power Project In Louisiana History” • The transition to renewable energy for Louisiana electric customers leaped forward with the start-up of a large wind farm in Oklahoma. Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell said wind energy will save Louisiana customers $1 billion over 30 years. [Bossier Press-Tribune]

¶ “Iron Mountain Provides Renewable Energy In Pennsylvania And New Jersey, And Signs 6-MW Expansion In Phoenix ” • Data storage and co-location firm Iron Mountain signed deals for 6 MW more in its Phoenix data center, and announced it will buy renewable energy to match consumption at its Pennsylvania and New Jersey data centers. [Data Center Dynamics]

Have a providentially carefree day.

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April 15 Energy News

April 15, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “The poorly understood power of seaweed” • Pia Winberg, a marine ecologist at the University of Wollongong, spent decades studying seaweed. She believes seaweed’s fast growth rate and ability to absorb vast amounts of carbon dioxide can help fight climate change, deacidify the oceans, and change the way we farm, both in the oceans and on land. [BBC]

Seaweed (Paul Levesley, Unsplash)

¶ “Elon Musk Tweets Tesla ‘Trying To Get Probability Of No Injury Above 99.999999% Of Miles For City Driving’ With FSD” • Elon Musk tweeted, “Tesla AI/Autopilot engineering is awesome! Making excellent progress solving real-world AI.” He made clear that the May target for Full Self-Driving cars is aspirational. But it’s coming. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Changes In India’s Monsoon Rainfall Could Bring Serious Consequences To Over A Billion People” • Global warming is increasing the variability of India’s monsoons faster than had been projected, a study shows. One key point of the analysis is that for every one degree Celsius of global warming, monsoon rainfalls will likely increase by 5%. [CNN]

Planting rice in India (Deepak kumar, Unsplash)

¶ “Shell Submits Energy Transition Plan To Shareholders” • Shell published its Energy Transition Strategy for its shareholders for advisory vote at the company’s AGM. The publication sets out the company’s target to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, in step with the goal of the Paris Agreement on climate change. It also presented shorter term goals. [reNEWS]

¶ “Uruguay’s Remarkable Shift To Renewables Offers A Blueprint For Energy Progress” • Until 2007, Uruguay was strapped for energy resources that forced it to rely on importing energy from South American neighbors. That has changed. Today, 98% of the country’s electricity is delivered reliably and affordably from renewable sources. [Earth Island Institute]

Wind farm in Uruguay (Photo by Jimmy Baikovicius, Flickr)

¶ “Anglo American Secures 100% Renewables Across South American Operations” • Anglo American says it has delivered on its commitment to source 100% renewable energy for all of its operations in Brazil, Chile and Peru. It has iron ore, nickel, and copper operations in the three countries, and all will be powered renewably by 2022. [International Mining]

¶ “GE Picks Up 300-MW German Onshore Wind Order” • GE Renewable Energy has picked up a 300-MW order from EPH-owned EP New Energies. The 50 6-MW wind turbines will be installed at onshore farms being developed by EP New Energies in Germany, including the 100-MW project Forst-Briesnig 2 in the Federal State of Brandenburg. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (GE Renewable Energy image)

¶ “Kenney Signs Small-Scale Nuclear Reactor Agreement With Ontario, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick” • Alberta Premier Jason Kenney formally signed an MOU with Ontario, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick to support the development of small-scale nuclear power technology. The reactors would have capacities of 200 to 300 MW. [Edmonton Journal] (Not good – GHH )

US:

¶ “Sunrun Brings Home Solar And Batteries To Miami” • Sunrun arrived in Florida in 2017, and since then has made slow headway in that state against pressure from utilities. Now, it has arrived in Miami, and it can deliver its “Brightbox home solar and battery system from as little as zero dollars down and at a consistent, low monthly rate.” [CleanTechnica]

Power through (Image via Sunrun solar loan page)

¶ “The Electric Vehicle Sector Is Surging” • Ben Gorman relates some good news in Axios. Gorman spoke with iSeeCars.com analyst Karl Brauer who announced, “It’s clear EV sales, both in the US and globally, are increasing on a percentage basis faster than traditional internal combustion vehicles.” Sales in the US are still small, however. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “States Leading The Charge On Renewable Energy – 2021 Edition” • The EPA says renewable energy can increase power grid reliability, improve air quality and create more jobs. As Congress prepares to debate President Joe Biden’s sweeping $2 trillion American Jobs Plan, SmartAsset looked at data to rank the states that are already leaders. [Yahoo Finance]

Rhode Island (Rusty Watson, Unsplash)

¶ “30 GW US Offshore Wind Target To Support 77,000 Jobs” • Secretary of Energy Jennifer M Granholm joined the Secretaries of the Interior and Commerce at the White House to announce a goal to deploy 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030. About 77,000 jobs will be created, and the wind farms will generate electricity for over 10 million homes. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Wyoming Sets Aside Money To Sue States, Like Colorado, For Their Renewable Energy Policies” • A bill recently signed into law allocates $1.2 million to the Wyoming governor’s office to bring suits against states with laws and regulations that impede the state’s ability to export coal or force the early closures of coal-fired plants in the state. [The Fort Morgan Times]

Wyoming open pit mine (Carol M. Highsmith, Library of Congress)

¶ “65,000 Acre Wind Farm Could Transform Rural Community” • In Washington State, a potential wind farm could be making its appearance in the near future. Horse Heaven Hills, a privately owned agricultural area, is just outside of the state’s Tri-Cities area. With 65,000 acreas, and it has plenty of space for a wind farm. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Facebook Says It Hit Net Zero Emissions Target” • Facebook Inc said the group now uses 100% renewable energy for its data centers and buildings and has reached net-zero emissions by use of carbon offsets. The social media giant is a major buyer of clean energy and said it has contracts for more than 6 GW of wind and solar energy. [Proactive Investors]

Have an entertainingly lively day.

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April 14 Energy News

April 14, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “Microplastics In Our Air ‘Spiral The Globe’ In A Cycle Of Pollution, Study Finds” • A large amount of plastics get into the environment, where it breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces. Eventually, tiny bits can be swept up by the wind to travel the atmosphere across entire continents, a study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found. [CNN]

Clouds (Rafael Garcin, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “US Heads To China For Climate Talks Ahead Of Biden Summit” • US envoy John Kerry is heading to Shanghai ahead of a climate summit President Joe Biden will host. The US wants China to stop building coal-fired power plants. China wants the US to give more cash to developing countries to obtain clean technology and adapt to climate change. [BBC]

¶ “63% Of Europeans Living In Cities Support EU Ban On Petrol And Diesel Car Sales After 2030” • Almost two-thirds of urban residents support banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in Europe after 2030, according to a YouGov online poll in 15 European cities. A phase-out of fossil-fuel car sales is an option now before EU lawmakers. [CleanTechnica]

Opinion poll (By YouGov – Please click on the image.)

¶ “Ford Mustang Mach-E Preorders Open In China” • The Ford Mustang Mach-E made for the Chinese market will be made in China. Preorders just opened for this new electric crossover/SUV in 20 Chinese cities, reportedly priced at $40,000 to $58,000. Will it be a home run for Ford in China, or will it flop like a soggy noodle? We shall see. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New EU Emissions Rules Could Limit PHEV Market” • After Transport & Environment found that many plug-in hybrid cars offered in Europe actually pollute more than conventional cars, the blush is off the PHEV rose. New regulations may prohibit car makers from labeling them as “sustainable investments” and tighten nitrogen oxide rules. [CleanTechnica]

BMW X5 xDrive45e (BMW image)

¶ “Hyundai To Electrify Ubers In Europe” • Uber wants to lead the rest of the market in electrifying, and Europe is electrifying pretty darn fast. So, Uber’s got to get moving. Solution: Hyundai. Hyundai is apparently looking to move product, or just happy to help. It’s offering discounts to Uber drivers on the Kona Electric and IONIQ Electric. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vestas Secures Faroe Islands Order” • Vestas secured an order for the 25-MW Torshavn onshore wind project, just outside the capital of the Faroe Islands. The deal for six V117-4.2 MW Vestas turbines is from Vindrøkt Sp/f, which is owned by Røkt and Effo. The Torshavn project will more than double the wind energy capacity of the Faroe Islands. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Vestas image)

¶ “547 Energy Partners Up To Create Multi GW Platform” • An affiliate of 547 Energy is to partner with European clean energy industry veteran Andy Kinsella, to create a portfolio of onshore wind, solar, and energy storage projects in Europe. The new company, Aer Soléir, is to develop, construct, own, and operate a multi-gigawatt platform. [reNEWS]

¶ “Estonia, Denmark Sign Largest Renewable Energy Agreement In Baltics” • Estonia and Denmark have signed a 10-year power purchase agreement that secures the equivalent of about half of Estonia’s annual electricity consumption in renewable energy. The agreement is for 3.8 TWh of renewable energy over 10 years starting in 2023. [news | ERR]

Offshore wind (European Wind Energy Association via Flickr)

¶ “Japanese regulator bans restart at nuclear plant over safety breaches” • Japan’s nuclear regulator prevented TEPCO, operator of the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant, from restarting its only operable atomic facility, after a series of safety breaches. This deals a significant blow to Japanese attempts to resume nuclear power generation. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ “CEC Announces Nation’s First Incentive Project For Zero-Emission Truck And Bus Infrastructure” • During a virtual event, the  California Energy Commission  announced approval of a first-of-its-kind project to accelerate the deployment of the infrastructure needed to fuel zero-emission trucks, buses, and equipment. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Volkswagen ID.4 Pro: About $32,500 After Tax Credit, 260 Miles Of Range” • The Volkswagen ID.4 Pro (which has an 82 kWh battery) has received an EPA range estimate of 260 miles (418 km) on a single charge. Buyers also get unlimited charging at Electrify America’s ultrafast charging stations for 3 full years. The price is just $39,995. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “What The Dilly-O? Big Renewable Energy Bucks Head For Texas” • Word dropped that GS Group of Korea, the country’s 7th largest business group, is backing the new Energy Transition Ventures fund, which bills itself as the first such entity in Texas committed to disrupting the energy industry with seed money for promising clean tech startups. [CleanTechnica]

Houston (Courtesy of Energy Transition Ventures)

¶ “Vermont’s Lawson’s Finest Liquids Expands Renewable Energy Efforts With New Solar Canopy Project” • Lawson’s Finest Liquids unveiled plans for a 495-module solar canopy at its brewery and taproom in Waitsfield. Lawson’s Finest partnered with SunCommon on the project and expects it to be completed this summer. [Craft Brewing Business]

¶ “Capital Dynamics To Build 200-MW Indiana Solar” • Capital Dynamics and Northern Indiana Public Service Company, part of NiSource, have signed an agreement to bring 200 MW of solar energy to the state. Construction of the Elliot Solar project in Gibson County will begin in summer 2022 and commercial operations are to begin in summer 2023. [reNEWS]

Have a perfectly wonderful day.

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April 13 Energy News

April 13, 2021

World:

¶ “France To Ban Domestic Flights Where Trains Are Available, In Move To Cut Emissions” • France is set to ban short domestic flights in favor of train services, after lawmakers approved a plan that will see several air routes discontinued to reduce emissions. The bill has gone to the French Senate. Some other European countries are also banning short flights. [CNN]

ATR landing at Orly Airport (Daniel Eledut, Unsplash)

¶ “Japan Approves Releasing Wastewater Into Ocean” • Japan has approved a plan to release over a million tonnes of contaminated water from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea. The water will be treated and diluted to radiation levels allowed for drinking water. Work to release the water used to cool nuclear fuel will begin in about two years, Tokyo says. [BBC]

¶ “European Wind Investments Hit €43 Billion In 2020” • In 2020, Europe invested €43 billion in new wind farms, the second highest annual amount ever and enough for 20 GW of capacity, according to WindEurope. This is up about 70% on 2019. New investments included €17 billion for 13 GW of onshore capacity, and €26 billion for 7 GW of offshore. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (W Brandt, Unsplash)

¶ “Spain To Subsidize Electric Vehicle Sales With €800 Million To 2023” • To push electric car sales, the Spanish government will spend up to €800 million to 2023, Reuters reports. Private buyers will qualify for subsidies of up to €7,000 per vehicle. Authorities in small towns and companies purchasing fleets to use as taxis could get more. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “WA Mining Company Begins Journey Towards Renewable Power Station With Battery Install” • Western Australian gold miners, Wiluna Mining Corp, has announced it will work towards decarbonising its mining operations with its provider, Contract Power Group, a subsidiary of Pacific Energy. They will start by installing a 2-MW battery. [pv magazine Australia]

Wiluna gold mining operation in WA (Wiluna Mining)

¶ “ORPC Partners On New Marine Energy Turbine Initiative” • US company ORPC and its Irish subsidiary ORPC Ireland are partnering with a European consortium on a new generation of marine renewable energy turbines to increase performance and reliability while reducing manufacturing costs. The project is backed by the European Commission. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Army Corps Allows Dakota Access Pipeline To Operate Without Proper Authorization” • The Army Corps of Engineers will allow the Dakota Access pipeline to continue operating while it conducts an environmental review of the project, continuing the posture of the Trump administration. The pipeline was never granted a permanent easement. [CleanTechnica]

Protesting DAPL (Pax Ahimsa Gethen, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Biden Starts Infrastructure Push By Meeting Bipartisan Group Of Lawmakers Who Could Help Shape $2 Trillion Proposal” • President Joe Biden met with some lesser-known but influential lawmakers from both parties in a push to get Congress to back his infrastructure proposal. Those at the meeting have histories of working on infrastructure. [CNN]

¶ “Autonomous Electric Vehicle Olli Now On Roads In Knox County, Tennessee” • Olli is not a free-roaming autonomous vehicle. It can’t go from any odd spot to any other odd spot, even in one region. But it goes from point A to point B autonomously, and when that’s what’s needed many times a day, it can perform a really useful service. [CleanTechnica]

Olli outside the Local Motors Knoxville microfactory

¶ “Mastercard Launches Carbon Calculator In Its Latest Attempt To Go Green” • Mastercard wants consumers to understand how much their spending habits are contributing to carbon emissions and global warming. The credit card company has created a calculator that measures consumers’ carbon footprints based on what they purchase. [CNN]

¶ “Ørsted Completes Sale Of 25% Ocean Wind Stake” • Ørsted has completed the sale of a 25% equity interest in the 1100-MW Ocean Wind offshore wind project off the East Coast to PSEG, following approval from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. The project is moving toward New Jersey’s “groundbreaking investment” in offshore wind power. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (Ørsted image)

¶ “Coca-Cola Amatil Commits To Renewable Energy Intiative” • Coca-Cola Amatil has announced it has joined the global RE100 renewable energy initiative and committed to power its entire operations, in six countries, with 100% renewable electricity by 2030. The company plans for its branches in Australia and New Zealand to lead the way. [FoodProcessing]

¶ “Group Installing Solar On Its NYC Properties” • A New York realty company is providing a model of solar power’s continued growth as it works to complete a project to install solar panels on all the buildings it owns in the borough of Queens. The $6.5 million project has about 3,000 solar panels installed. By the end of the year, that will rise to 6,500. [Power Magazine]

Zara Realty rooftop solar system (Courtesy of Zara Realty)

¶ “Cook Inlet Slated To Have One Of The First Tidal Power Generators In The Country” • Alaska’s Cook Inlet has long been a hotbed of oil and gas development. But the inlet has some of the world’s greatest tides, and Maine’s Ocean Renewable Power Company wants to put them to work. Its turbines will predictably generate power most of the time. [KTOO]

¶ “Former NRC Chair Questions Economic Feasibility Of New Nuclear In US” • Without further aid from Congress and the White House, the prospects for the US nuclear industry will dwindle in the face of cheaper resources that are getting built faster than new nuclear generators, according to a former NRC Chairman Allison Macfarlane. [Utility Dive]

Have a neatly organized day.

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April 12 Energy News

April 12, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Transportation Policies For New York To Achieve Its Climate Goals” • To achieve it’s zero emissions goals equitably by 2050, it’s vital that New York develop goals, policies, and programs for the transportation sector. To do that, the state must remove barriers for widespread transportation electrification and expand access to mass transit. [CleanTechnica]

Electric transit in Memphis, Tennessee (Nico Smit, Unsplash)

¶ “Fracking Lies And Greed Lead To Oil And Gas Spills On Native Lands” • In the last decade alone, the US EPA stripped nearly 40 tribes of their ability to make fundamental decisions regarding fracking, agricultural pollution, and toxic waste dumping on their lands. We are at a pivotal moment. Will the Biden administration step up? [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Electric Drag Race: Kia EV6 GT Versus Lots Of ICE Supercars” • Kia recently revealed a new electric crossover called the EV6. While the car’s official specs were initially withheld, the company also released some staggering numbers – 500 km of range, 800V charging, and a claimed 3-second 0-60 MPH time. Remember, we’re talking about a Kia. [CleanTechnica]

Kia drag-race (Screenshot)

World:

¶ “French Nuclear Scheme Behind Green Hydrogen Theme Of Michelin’s Le Mans Fuel Cell Dream” • Michelin Group has announced that it is doubling down on its fuel cell commitment as part of a diversification strategy. Michelin anticipates rapid growth of the green hydrogen field. But in France, this may mean relying on nuclear power. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Patent Filing Reveals High-Tech, Electric Honda Grom” • Recent patent filings in Japan reveal that Honda is working on what seems to be a high-tech, electric Honda Grom with a slick, single-sided rear swingarm suspension and 3D-printed mesh seat. If the guys at Cycle World are to be believed, the bike could debut as early as next year! [CleanTechnica]

Electric Grom

¶ “ScottishPower Files To Build Whitelee Clean Energy Hub” • ScottishPower has filed a planning application to create a clean energy and hydrogen production hub at its 539-MW Whitelee wind farm in Scotland. The consent paperwork seeks approval for a 20-MW electrolyser powered by up to 40 MW of solar and 50 MW of battery energy storage. [reNEWS]

¶ “Zimbabwean E-Commerce Startup Kuva Local Lets You Add A Tree On Checkout” • Kuva Local, a Zimbabwean e-commerce startup, plants a tree for every bottle of sparkling wine or case of beer they sell and lets you add a tree on checkout. Kuva Local also provides a platform for local businesses and farmers to sell their products. [CleanTechnica]

Kuva Local Asambe e-bike delivery (Kuva Local, Asambe image)

¶ “For Mexico’s President, The Future Isn’t Renewable Energy – It’s Coal” • Mexican President Obrador has halted renewable projects, mocked wind farms, and poured money into state oil company. Last month, he pushed legislation that requires the grid to prioritize power from state-run plants, powered by oil and coal, over cheaper renewables. [Yahoo News]

¶ “Enercon Launches European Onshore Wind Fund” • German turbine maker Enercon has launched an investment platform for institutional investors looking to invest in European onshore wind. The Enercon Wind Onshore Deutschland I facility is Enercon’s first investment product. It is a closed-ended reserved alternative investment fund. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Enercon image)

¶ “Renewable Watts Up 36% On Same Time Last Year” • The total for utility-scale PV generation in Australia’s National Electricity Market for March 2021 is in. Rystad Energy’s Watts Generating report says large-scale PV generated 550 GWh in March of 2020, and this year solar farms cranked out 746 GWh of electricity, an increase of 36%. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Michael Mann Slams Murdoch Press For Its ‘Horrifying” Misinformation On Climate And Bushfires'” • A world-leading climate scientist told a senate hearing into Australian media diversity that the Murdoch press served as a “megaphone” for climate disinformation, aiding the agendas of Donald Trump and Scott Morrison. [Renew Economy]

Michael Mann in 2013 (Reason4Reason, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Iran Atomic Agency Says Nuclear Facility Hit By Act Of ‘Terrorism'” • Iran’s atomic energy organisation said the Natanz nuclear facility was hit by a terrorist act, hours after it said an “accident” had caused a power failure there. The episode came a day after Iran said it had begun advanced uranium enrichment at the site. [Jordan Times]

US:

¶ “LG Energy And SK Innovation Settle, Promising To Work Together In Harmony” • With just hours left for the Biden administration to act on an US International Trade Commission ruling barring SK Innovation from building batteries in the US for 10 years, LG Energy Solution and SK Innovation agreed to settle their differences. [CleanTechnica]

Proposed battery factory (SK Innovation image)

¶ “Segway Is Building A Hydrogen Powered Motorcycle” • Segway Ninebot has revealed plans for an all-new, full-sized electric sportbike promising a 0–60 MPH time of about 4 seconds and a 90+ MPH top speed. That might not sound like anything all that different, but Segway’s upcoming motorcycle will be powered by hydrogen. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Progress In US Initiatives To Demonstrate And Investigate Long-Duration Energy Storage Tech” • A zinc-air energy storage system offering 10 hours of storage is being trialed in a New York Power Authority project, and a DOD-funded investigation into flow batteries moved into a physical validation and evaluation phase in Colorado. [Energy Storage News]

Have an admirably successful day.

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April 11 Energy News

April 11, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “Offshore Wind Data Release Propels Wind Prospecting” • In July 2020, NREL published an article about novel techniques and tools to produce offshore wind-speed data. Now those tools have borne fruit. NREL made data available for the outer continental shelf of California, the Mid-Atlantic, the Pacific Northwest, and Hawaii. More is on the way. [CleanTechnica]

Floating lidars (Photo by AXYS Technologies)

¶ “47 Scientists: World Should Go 100% Renewable Electricity By 2030” • An article in the journal Nature recommended clarifying scope and a long-term roadmap to reduce emissions. But 47 other scientists say that countries and companies should aim for 100% renewable electricity by 2030 at the latest, and for 100% renewable energy by 2035. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Colorado River Basin Due For More Frequent And Intense Hydroclimate Events” • In the vast Colorado River basin, climate change is driving extreme, interconnected events among earth-system elements. These events are becoming both more frequent and more intense. They are best studied together, rather than in isolation, new research shows. [ScienceDaily]

Colorado River (Gabriel Tovar, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “BYD Targets Low- And Middle-Income Drivers, Goes All In On LFP Battery Technology” • BYD recently introduced two new low-cost models. The Qin Plus sedan starts at ¥129,800 ($19,820). The Song Plus an SUV starts at ¥169,800 ($25,911). The BYD e2 compact, starting at ¥99,800 ($15,230), is already popular. BYD uses LFP (LiFePO₄) batteries for these EVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Back To The Future With The MG Cyberster” • The former British car company MG, now owned by SAIC, is introducing the Cyberster, an electric car that reinterprets the roadster legacy that began with the MG TA in 1936 and ended with the last MGB in 1980. The company unveiled the concept car in advance of the Shanghai Auto Show. [CleanTechnica]

MG’s new roadster (MG courtesy image)

¶ “Maharashtra Govt Plans Pumped Hydro Storage Plants To Support Renewables” • In what is called a gamechanger for grid stability, the government of Maharashtra is focusing on Pumped Hydro Storage plants. With the expected growth in the share of renewable energy, the state government is setting up PHSs to bring balance to the grid. [Energy News India]

¶ “Gale Winds, Flash Flooding Forecast From Unique Cyclone Event Off WA Coast” • A unique cyclone event off the coast of Western Australia, as two tropical cyclones, Seroja and Odette, formed off the West Australian coast. The Fujiwhara effect, where two systems swirl around each other, is rare. Seroja is set to hit the coast as a category 2 hurricane. [PerthNow]

Satellite image of Seroja and Odette (Bureau of Meteorology)

¶ “Acwa Power Inaugurates KSA’s First Utility-Scale Renewable Energy Project” • ACWA Power, based in Saudi Arabia, is a developer, investor, and operator of power generation and water desalination plants. It commissioned the 300-MW Sakaka PV IPP, which is worth $320 million and touted as KSA’s first utility scale renewable energy project. [MEP Middle East]

US:

¶ “Elon Musk Shares A Bit More Detail About Tesla FSD’s Pure Vision” • Elon Musk tweeted that Tesla’s Full Self Driving Beta V9.0 would soon be live, and that this new update would switch to pure vision with no radar. In a followup reply to a bloger’s request for more information about “pure vision,” Elon shared some nuggets of information. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 dashboard

¶ “Adam Jonas Of Morgan Stanley: Tesla [TSLA] Is A Must Own. But What About Legacy Auto?” • Adam Jonas has said some interesting things recently on Tesla and legacy auto. Among other things, he said that Tesla is a must-own for auto investors, and, “You run the risk of not owning a company that makes the stuff you do own obsolete.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GM’s ICE Business Is Worthless, Adam Jonas Confirms” • Referring to legacy auto makers and their internal combustion engines, Jones said, “[We’re] running scenarios where the value of ICE is massively negative, so these auto companies have the burden of managing out this asbestos-like, toxic tort-like, tobacco-like liability…” [CleanTechnica]

Have a superbly delectable day.

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April 10 Energy News

April 10, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “If All You Want For Earth Day Is A Tesla, Enter This Tesla Raffle” • Earth Day is approaching! The Illinois Solar Education Association, which has been advancing the solar movement for over 40 years, is running its annual fundraising raffle by offering a Tesla Model X as a prize. Now you help its work and, maybe, get the Tesla you wanted. [CleanTechnica]

Good Green Fun

¶ “328,000 Estimated US Accidents A Year From Sleepy Drivers – How Many Lives Will Tesla Full Self Driving Save?” • A study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says nearly 330,000 car accidents a year occur in the US due to sleepy drivers, causing 109,000 injuries and 6,400 fatalities. Tesla FSD will not eliminate all accidents, but it will reduce those. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “NopeaRide Is Launching SolarHub EV Charging Stations In Kenya” • EkoRent Africa’s NopeaRide, Africa’s first all-electric ride-hailing taxi firm, with its Nopea Xpress delivery service, has received funding from EEP Africa for piloting solar EV charging stations in Kenya. The first hub built will be a 160 kWp rooftop installation in Nairobi. [CleanTechnica]

NopeaRide car (NopeaRide image)

¶ “Toyota Applies Diesel-Killing Hydrogen Fuel Cell Muscle To EU Railways” • Toyota has taken plenty of lumps for persisting in development of hydrogen fuel cell cars. But Toyota is applying the technology to larger EVs, as well. Toyota joined forces with the €14 million FCH2RAIL project to push diesel locomotives out of the EU railway market. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Audi E-Tron Supports Solar Nanogrid” • Used Audi e-tron batteries are getting another life in India. A German-Indian startup has turned two Audi e-tron battery modules into energy storage for a solar nanogrid. The prototype system can keep about 50 shopkeepers and small businesses working after dark when the grid goes down. [CleanTechnica]

Solar nanogrid operating (Copyright: AUDI AG)

¶ “Korean Duo Forge Floating Wind Pact” • Two South Korean companies, SK E&C and Posco, will collaborate on development of a new floating offshore wind facility. The aim is carry out the demo test in 2023 at a 136-MW project site off Ulsan. SK E&C acquired a power generation licence for offshore wind power generation at the site in 2018. [reNEWS]

¶ “Danish Port Targets A 70% Carbon Reduction Using Wind Energy” • A Danish port is on track for a 70% reduction in carbon emissions by use of an energy management system and offshore wind energy. Port Esbjerg, on the southwest coast of Denmark, is working with Honeywell on a comprehensive carbon and energy management program. [The Maritime Executive]

Port facility (Port Esbjerg)

¶ “Uzbekistan Reveals Hydrogen And Renewables Strategy” • Uzbekistan has approved a presidential decree to establishing a strategy to boost development of renewable and hydrogen energy. This follows an agreement signed earlier by the Ministry of Energy, ACWA Power from Saudi Arabia, and Air Products, which is based in the US. [reNEWS]

¶ “Evidence Mounts In P&G’s Role In Degrading Intact Forests” • A new NRDC analysis of Canadian logging companies supplying wood pulp to the US marketplace looks at Procter & Gamble’s sustainability claims. Mills supplying P&G allow forest sourcing to come at the cost of Indigenous rights, threatened species, and the global climate. [CleanTechnica]

Jordan River, British Columbia (Image © River Jordan for NRDC)

¶ “Government To Release Fukushima Nuclear Plant Water Into Sea Despite Fishermen’s Objection” • The Japanese government is poised to release treated radioactive water accumulated at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea despite opposition from fishermen, sources familiar with the matter. The plan will be formalized by the cabinet. [Japan Today]

US:

¶ “City Of Cleveland Commits To Solar Panels, Electric Vehicle Stations For Clean Energy Conversion” • The City of Cleveland announced commitments with a goal to use 100% clean energy by 2050 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The sustainability manager for the city discussed both a clean energy supply and demand reduced by efficiency. [News 5 Cleveland]

Cleveland, Ohio (DJ Johnson, Unsplash)

¶ “Biden Administration Will Not Shut Down Dakota Access Pipeline During Environmental Review, DOJ Lawyer Tells Court” • Government attorney Ben Schifman told a federal judge that the Army Corps of Engineers, which handles permits for the pipeline, “is essentially in a continuous process of evaluating” and gathering information. [CNN]

¶ “Durham Company Provides Renewable Source For Big Energy Consumers” • Windlift, a company based in Durham, North Carolina, seeks to combat climate change and set the US on a path towards a sustainable future. Windlift’s Airborne Power Generator is like a traditional wind turbine, but it uses only 5% of the materials. [Duke Chronicle]

Airborne Power Generator (Courtesy of Windlift)

¶ “Biden Budget Seeks Major Investments In Energy And Environment” • President Biden offered a first look at his fiscal 2022 budget. It is a sharp break from the Trump era, with major new spending for fighting climate change and promoting clean energy. The EPA would be among the biggest winners, with its funding proposed to increase 21%. [E&E News]

¶ “Texas House Panel Weighs Anti-Renewable Energy Bills Fueled By Winter Storm” • A package of bills debated by a House panel this week aims to attack the state’s burgeoning renewable energy industry by adding charges and requirements. Opponents of the anti-renewable legislation say GOP leaders are covering up the causes of the blackouts. [Dallas Morning News]

Have a magically fortuitous day.

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April 9 Energy News

April 9, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Yes, Industrial Waste Disasters Are More Likely From Climate Change” • The threat of a catastrophic failure in Piney Point, Florida, sending a 20-foot wall of industrial wastewater over homes and businesses illustrates the danger of our reliance on industrial waste ponds. The risk they pose is greater because of climate change. [CleanTechnica]

Five named storms (Image courtesy of NOAA)

¶ “Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Critical In Low-Income Areas And Communities Of Colors” • States and utilities need to take intentional steps to ensure that everyone has access to the coming wave of vehicle electrification, especially households with low and medium incomes and communities of color, a report shows. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Why Investments In Clean, Renewable Energy Will Avoid Blackouts At A Low Cost” • Many people are concerned about whether the grid can stay stable with only clean, renewable energy running through it, especially after recent blackouts in California and Texas. This article, by Mark Z Jacobson, explains why the system will work. [The Hill]

Blackout (Claudio Schwarz, Unsplash)

¶ “Signs of Hope for Scientific Integrity and Public Health” • The Biden administration and Congress have both taken important steps to safeguard scientific integrity and speed up COVID-19 vaccinations. Executive orders directed agencies to regulate based on evidence, while House committees considered the Scientific Integrity Act. [UCS blog]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Forecasters Expect Another Overactive Hurricane Season With 17 Named Storms” • Colorado State University released its 2021 Atlantic hurricane season forecast. It predicts above-average activity this year with 17 named storms, 8 hurricanes and 4 major hurricanes. An average year has 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes. [CNN]

Storm (Torsten Dederichs, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Ampersand Secures Sub-Saharan Africa’s Largest-Ever Private Investment In Electric Mobility” • Ampersand Rwanda Ltd, is Africa’s first electric motorcycle company. It has secured a $3.5 million investment from the Ecosystem Integrity Fund. The deal is the largest ever e-mobility investment by a venture capital fund in sub-Saharan Africa. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Zeekr – Geely Launches New Premium EV Brand In China” • Geely has made some wild business moves in recent years. Since buying Volvo from Ford back in 2010, the company has snapped up iconic industry brands like Daimler and Lotus Cars. Geely has now launched an all-new brand in China that’s being positioned as a luxury EV brand. [CleanTechnica]

Lynk & Co Zero EV (Image from Geely, via Paul Tan)

¶ “Four Wind Farms, A Solar Farm And Battery Storage Complex Proposed For Rockhampton Region” • In Queensland, the town of Rockhampton has emerged as a national leader for renewable energy development. The region has been named as the possible home to four wind farms, a solar farm, and a battery storage complex. [Queensland Country Life]

¶ “Germany Plugin Electric Share Hits 22.5% In March – 2.4× Year-On-Year Share Growth” • Germany, Europe’s largest auto market, saw plugin electric vehicles reach 22.5% share in March 2021, a growth of over 2.4× from March 2020. Overall auto sales, at 292,349, recovered year on year, but were still down about 15% from their March 2019 result. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen e-Up! (Volkswagen image)

¶ “Renewable Power Generation Rises 181%” • In Vietnam, Solar and wind power generation in the first quarter rose 181% year-on-year to 7.79 billion kWh. Combined, they accounted for 13% of total power generation, behind coal-fired power at nearly 50% and hydropower at 23%, according to a report by national utility Vietnam Electricity. [VnExpress International]

¶ “SSE Achieves First Power At Gordonbush Extension” • A few weeks after the delivery of the 38-MW Gordonbush Extension’s eleven Siemens Gamesa turbines, SSE Renewables has achieved first power. The first four turbines at the facility are operating, and all the rest are scheduled to be operational in mid-2021. The wind farm is in the Scottish Highlands. [reNEWS]

Wind farm in Scotland (SSE Renewables image)

¶ “OVO Energy And Ørsted Sign Barrow Offtake” • OVO Energy has entered into a power purchase agreement with Ørsted to buy green power from the 90-MW Barrow offshore wind farm. OVO Energy will purchase 100% of the power from the wind farm, which helps to increase the share of renewable electricity it supplies to almost 40%. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Wells Fargo Joins Duke Energy’s GSA Program With Solar Buy” • Wells Fargo has become the latest large energy customer to enter into a renewable power agreement under Duke Energy’s Green Source Advantage program. The bank is set to buy more than 58 MW of solar capacity from the Blackburn Solar project in North Carolina. [pv magazine USA]

Wells Fargo bank sign (Tony Webster, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “All Hail The Mighty Heat Pump, Hero Of The American Jobs Plan” • When The American Jobs Plan talks about upgrading buildings, it doesn’t mean replacing dirty old oil heaters with new gas heaters, or old gas appliances with efficient gas upgrades. What it means is ditching fossils entirely. That’s where heat pumps come in. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “BlackRock Raises $4.8 Billion To Invest In Renewable Power” • BlackRock Inc has raised $4.8 billion for a new fund to invest in renewable power assets around the world – almost double its initial target. With 100 institutional investors, it’s the latest sign of increasing interest from investors to buy into the surging green power sector. [Yahoo Finance]

Have a consequentially fortunate day.

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April 8 Energy News

April 8, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “What It Takes To Realize A Circular Economy For Solar PV System Materials” • Taylor Curtis, sustainability analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and a team of NREL researchers have been leading ongoing analysis of how to manage retiring PV modules in a circular economy for energy materials. [CleanTechnica]

Solar array (NREL image, public domain)

¶ “Atmospheric CO₂ And Methane Levels Soar To Record Highs Despite Pandemic” • Scientists have recorded a surprising rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide and methane levels in 2020, which seems to contradict predictions that the pandemic would see a temporary slowdown in the build up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. [Renew Economy]

World:

¶ “Polestar 0: A Truly Carbon-Neutral Car By 2030” • Polestar is a brand of Volvo, which is based in Sweden but a Chinese asset. This week, Polestar announced “Project 0,” a plan to deliver a truly carbon-neutral car driven by a “design towards zero” focus that aims to eliminate emissions, not just offset them by planting trees or buying credits. [CleanTechnica]

Polestar Place in Oslo (Image courtesy of Polestar)

¶ “Should Biden And Bolsonaro Partner To Protect The Amazon? Some Brazilian Activists Say No” • When then-presidential candidate Joe Biden offered Brazil $20 billion last year to protect the Amazon, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro rejected it with scorn. Now, Brazilian activists worry that the two leaders could actually end up striking a deal. [CNN]

¶ “Neoen Secures Financing For 404-MW Finnish Giant” • The French developer Neoen has reached financial close for financing the 404-MW Mutkalampi wind project in Finland. When fully operational in 2023, the wind farm in Central and Northern Ostrobothnia in western Finland will be the largest onshore wind farm in the country. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Wolfgang Hasselmann, Unsplash)

¶ “British Adventurer Will Drive Electric Vehicle From South Pole To North Pole” • Chris Ramsey, a British adventurer and the holder of a Guinness World Record for longest distance traveled on an e-bike in 12 hours, will be the first person to drive from the South Pole to the magnetic North Pole. His journey is to raise awareness about climate change. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund Makes First Investment In Renewable Energy Infrastructure” • Norway’s sovereign wealth fund – at $1.3 trillion the largest in the world – announced its first investment in renewable energy infrastructure as part of a diversification away from bonds, equities, and real estate amid a global push to fight climate change. [Forbes]

Borssele offshore wind farm (Image from Ørsted.com)

¶ “Danish Q1 EV Sales Prove The Electric Race Is On: Brands Have To Get Their Act Together To Not Miss Out” • Volkswagen is the corporate winner for EVs in Denmark for the first quarter of 2021. This is fantastic, but not for the reasons you might think. It means competition is heating up in the EV space, with more than one EV winner. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ørsted Wins Polish CfDs With 2.5-GW Double Act” • The Polish Energy Regulatory Office has awarded a Contract for Difference to the Baltica 3 and Baltica 2 offshore wind farms with a total capacity of up to 2500 MW. The CfD was awarded at a maximum of zł319.60/MWh ($83.31/MWh). Ørsted is developing the wind farm with PGE. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (Reegan Fraser, Unsplash)

¶ “Facebook Signs Maiden Floating Solar Deal” • Facebook has signed a multi-year virtual power purchase agreement with Sunseap for power from a floating solar project in Singapore, its first deal for power from a floating solar array. The terms of the deal say Facebook will receive all power generated by the 5-MW installation in the Straits of Johor. [PV Tech]

US:

¶ “The Water Fight Over The Shrinking Colorado River” • For years, scientists have predicted that the Colorado River would continue to decline due to global warming and increased water demands. New studies say it looks worse than they thought. The head of Colorado’s biggest water utility says using less water is the only solution. Many people agree. [BBC]

Ranchers relying on water (Colorado water trust)

¶ “Electric Hummer SUV And Silverado Pickup Coming From General Motors” • Stodgy General Motors, the same company we often criticize for its “kick the can down the road” approach to the EV revolution, made two announcements that make us think the arc of its corporate path may actually be bending towards EVs after all. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “UPS Orders 10 Electric Vertical Takeoff & Landing Aircraft” • Through a subsidiary, UPS is jumping into the future a bit faster. UPS Flight Forward ordered electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft from Beta Technologies. The eVTOL aircraft will be used in small and midsize markets, and will land directly at the UPS facilities themselves. [CleanTechnica]

Beta Technologies eVTOL in UPS livery

¶ “Biden Tax Overhaul Calls for Removing Fossil Fuel Subsidies, Incentivizing Renewable Energy” • The Biden administration called for overhauling the corporate tax code that, among other things, would replace fossil fuel subsidies, some in the form of externalities, with incentives to promote renewable energy production. [Natural Gas Intelligence]

¶ “Rosendin Kicks Off Construction On 500-MW Texas Solar Project” • In southeastern Texas, Rosendin’s Renewable Energy Group has undertaken building the largest solar power project in the state. The Aktina Renewable Power Project calls for the installation of 1.4 million solar modules across 4,000 acres in Wharton County. [Solar Power World]

Have an altogether groovy day.

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April 7 Energy News

April 7, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “2020 Set A New Record For Renewable Energy. What’s The Catch?” • More than 80% of all new electricity generating projects built last year were renewable, leading to a 10.3% rise in total installed zero carbon electricity generation globally. But in spite of reduced energy demand in 2020 due to Covid-19, fossil fuels also grew, as did carbon emissions. [Forbes]

Smoke (veeterzy, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Tops Sweden, Spain, And Denmark In 1st Quarter; Nissan LEAF #1 In Ireland” • Sales numbers are in for electric vehicles in Sweden, Spain, Denmark, and Ireland for the month of March, and so for the first quarter. The takeaway is clear: the Tesla Model 3 won, though the Nissan LEAF did take the top spot in Ireland. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Volta Trucks Is On A Roll” • News that Volta Trucks was rolling its Volta Zero through Spain for show & tell came as a reminder that there have been a number of announcements from the startup lately, so here is a look at recent press releases. There was more there than one might expect, with the news basically falling into a few different buckets. [CleanTechnica]

Volta Trucks delivery vehicle (Volta Trucks courtesy image)

¶ “UK Hits 13.9% Plugin Share In March – Up Almost 2x Year-On-Year” • The UK auto market saw plugin EVs take 13.9% share in March 2021, nearly double the 7.27% share of March 2020. Plugin volumes were up 112% year-on-year, against the backdrop of overall auto volumes growing 11.5%. Non-hybridized diesels continued their decline. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “All Volkswagen MEB-Based Electric Cars Will Be V2G Capable Beginning In 2022” • From January, 2022, every electric car from the Volkswagen Group with the MEB electrical platform, which includes cars from Audi, Skoda, and Seat-Cupra, will be able to not only charge from the grid but also able to return electricity to the grid on demand. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen V2G technology (Image courtesy of Volkswagen)

¶ “Thermal Power Slumps As Renewable Energy Soars 180%” • According to Vietnam Electricity, in the first quarter of this year, electricity generated by gas-fired and coal-fired thermal power plants had to be cut by 12% to 21% compared to last year because renewable energy from solar power plants increased rapidly, by nearly 180%. [SGGP English Edition]

¶ “Vattenfall JV Starts Work On Hydrogen Cave Storage” • SSAB, LKAB, and Vattenfall have commenced building a rock cavern storage facility for fossil-free hydrogen gas on a pilot scale. As part a joint initiative, Hybrit Development AB is starting the construction of a hydrogen storage facility in Svartöberget to develop the technology. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines and battery storage (Steve Pope, Vattenfall)

¶ “Great Britain’s Electricity System Has Greenest Day Ever Over Easter” • On Easter Monday, the wind and sun supplied 60% of all the UK’s electricity as households enjoyed a bank holiday lunch. At the same time the UK’s nuclear reactors provided 16% of the electricity mix, meaning almost 80% of the grid was powered from low-carbon sources. [The Guardian]

¶ “Outstanding PPAs Halting India’s Renewable Energy Growth” • Delays in signing power purchase agreements are halting the growth of India’s renewable energy capacity, jeopardizing the government’s renewable energy target of 175 GW by 2022, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis and JMK Research noted. [pv magazine India]

Tata Power Solar plant in Andhra Pradesh (Tata Power Solar image)

¶ “UAE Plugs In First Nuclear Power Plant” • The UAE connected the Barakah nuclear power plant, the first nuclear power plant in the Arab world, to its grid. The plant’s four nuclear reactors are expected to supply up to 25% of the UAE’s electricity needs and save the UAE up to 21 million tonnes of their carbon dioxide emissions every year. [Energy Live News]

US:

¶ “Volkswagen Launches 3 Superb ID.4 Commercials In USA” • Volkswagen’s new EV commercials communicate the benefits of electric vehicles for normal people superbly, wonderfully. The Volkswagen ads dissolve myths, highlight strong points (some being places where gas cars can’t compete), and couch it all in attractive, familiar daily lives. [CleanTechnica]

Image from Volkswagen ad

¶ “Charts And Graphs: US Electric Vehicle Deliveries By Quarter (2018–2021)” • In the comments for a CleanTechnica article, a reader requested a historical US EV sales chart to compare the different models historically. Here is a set of charts that show the story graphically. Flipping through models one by one tells a tale that is clear when we get to Tesla. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Kansas Wind Farms To Power Vaccine Manufacturing” • Animal health business Boehringer Ingelheim has signed power purchase agreements so a wind farm can power its largest US manufacturing site, where nearly 1,000 people make animal vaccines. Enel’s 400-MW Cimarron Bend Wind Farm in Kansas will supply the energy. [reNEWS]

Cimarron Bend Wind Farm (Boehringer Ingelheim image)

¶ “Pueblo Creates Energy Advisory Commission As Region Prepares For Transition Away From Coal” • Pueblo is forming a citizen commission to consider energy-related issues, including the city’s progress in becoming 100% renewably powered by 2035. City Council approved the Energy Advisory Commission, revitalizing an inactive body. [Pueblo Chieftain]

¶ “RWE Renewables Awards Wärtsilä US Storage” • Wärtsilä won a contract to supply a 40-MW, 80-MWh storage system for the Hickory Park solar project in Georgia, being developed by RWE Renewables. Delivery of the storage system is scheduled for September 2021, and the plant is expected to begin commercial operations in November. [reNEWS]

Eat slowly and chew your food well.

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April 6 Energy News

April 6, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “How Biden’s Zero-Carbon Revolution Would Broaden The Energy Map” • President Joe Biden’s push for a green power revolution could expand the economic benefits of producing energy more broadly across America. One provision would require every state to generate all of its electricity without carbon emissions by 2035. [CNN]

Wind turbines (Christian V, Unsplash)

¶ “US Targets 30,000 MW Of Offshore Wind, And How We Get There” • The Biden administration set a goal of 30,000 MW of US offshore wind by 2030, and that’s got me thinking about the pieces that need to come together to make that possible. The good news is that there’s positive movement with a whole lot of those pieces. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Final Chapter In The Volkswagen Diesel Cheating Saga Is Being Written” • The Volkswagen cheating scandal has cost the company more than €31 billion, with $10 billion going to fund clean air initiatives in the US. Electrify America, the EV charging network, was created as part of that settlement. Now, there are lawsuits aimed at the real culprits. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen ID Buzz (Image courtesy of Volkswagen)

Science and Technology:

¶ “The First Fusion Power Plant To Generate Net Electricity” • Could the future of nuclear fusion be a much smaller tokamak reactor? Researchers at the General Atomics DIII-D National Fusion Facility, the largest US nuclear fusion research facility, think so. But it is still years away; fusion reactors have generally been years away for decades. [Popular Mechanics]

¶ “Tropical Cyclones Are Growing Stronger, And Climate Change Is Probably To Blame” • A new study published ahead of the next global climate summit has found a definite increase in tropical cyclone intensity over the past four decades. According to the researchers, the most likely culprit for this intensification is climate change. [Yahoo News Canada]

Hurricane Laura (GOES-16 GeoColor satellite, NOAA)

World:

¶ “World Adds Record New Renewable Energy Capacity In 2020: IRENA” • In an annual report, International Renewable Energy Agency says the world added more than 260 GW of renewable energy capacity last year, exceeding expansion in 2019 by close to 50%. More than 80% of all new electricity capacity added last year was renewable. [Saur Energy]

¶ “Infinite Mobility And Its Solar Electric Vehicle Are Partnering With TukTuk Life For Record-Breaking Trip” • Tuk Tuk Life, with support of the Norwegian electric vehicle company Infinite Mobility, will attempt to break several world records by driving a solar electric tuk tuk (also known as an auto rickshaw or tricycle) around the world. [CleanTechnica]

Solar electric tuk tuk (Infinite Mobility image)

¶ “Nigeria Powering Its Schools Through Renewable Energy Resources” • The Nigerian federal government plans to ramp up deployment of renewable energy to power critical infrastructure including schools, hospitals, and homes. It has become obvious that renewable energy is critical for accelerating energy access, the Minister of State for Power said. [ESI Africa]

¶ “Statkraft Wraps Up Second Irish Battery Project” • Statkraft completed construction of its second large-scale battery project in Ireland, a 26-MW plant in County Kerry. Similar to Statkraft’s 11-MW Kilathmoy project which began operation in April 2020, Kelwin-2 is also a hybrid site where the battery shares a grid connection with a wind farm. [reNEWS]

Kelwin-2 battery site (Statkraft image)

¶ “‘We Are Sitting On A Goldmine Of Renewable Energy’: SFU Policy Expert” • A political science professor at Simon Fraser University, believes geothermal energy is being overlooked in British Columbia and even Alberta. He argues in a working paper that the geothermal industry is still in its infancy and will need significant support. [ConstructConnect]

US:

¶ “Records Reveal Entergy’s Role In Stalling MISO Transmission Planning” • Entergy coordinated with Mississippi Public Service Commission staff and consultants to stall regional transmission projects, potentially blocking its customers’ access to lower-cost wind energy and increasing their risk of power outages like the one that hit Texas. [Energy and Policy Institute]

MISO service area (From misoenergy.org)

¶ “Connecticut’s Transportation Committee Passes SB 217” • SB 127, if passed, will allow Tesla and other automakers to bypass the outdated dealer franchise system and sell directly to consumers, bringing EV makers to Connecticut. The latest update is that it has advanced out of committee and is now being debated by members of the Senate. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Stevens To Become More Sustainable” • Starting in October, Stevens Institute of Technology will source 100% of its electricity from a local renewable energy source formalizing a three-year agreement with ENGIE North America, facilitated by energy consultant Gotham 360. This is locally produced power, not renewable energy credits.  [Hudson Reporter]

¶ “A Group Of Lithium Companies Complete The Recycling Loop” • Anti-EV and cleantech skeptics are always asking what will be done with used batteries, implying that they can’t be recycled. A group of companies in Nevada just made some big investments that prove the skeptics wrong. They are building up battery recycling technology. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “J-POWER USA Converting Retired Coal Facility Into New Solar And Storage Facilities” • J-POWER USA Development and affiliates of Fortress Investment Group agreed to develop a 50-MW solar plant and 190 MW of energy storage on the site of the 25-year-old coal-burning Birchwood Power plant in King George County, Virginia. [Environment + Energy Leader]

Have a gorgeously comfy day.

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April 5 Energy News

April 5, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “ARIES: Advanced Research On Integrated Energy Systems” • Advanced Research on Integrated Energy Systems is a research platform for understanding the impacts of the millions of new devices – such as EVs, renewable generation, hydrogen, energy storage, and grid-interactive buildings – that get connected to the grid each day. [CleanTechnica]

Solar panels (Macau Photo Agency, Unsplash)

¶ “Digital Substations Learn How To Reliably Work With Variable Renewables” • Hitachi ABB launched its Smart Digital Substation. It combines digital technology with Hitachi’s own management software, to provide money-saving predictive management of substation assets, such as more variable renewable assets, energy storage, and power loads. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Curing Earth’s Diseases Through Renewable Energy” • “The earth is suffering from several ‘diseases’: global warming, ocean acidification, habitat loss, etc. If any of these diseases remains uncured, other diseases will accelerate and cause new ones to appear, hence putting humanity’s well-being in danger,” said Associate Professor Masahiko Fujii. [Mirage News]

Roadmap to 100% Renewable Energy of Hokkaido’s Electricity
(Hokkaido Energy Changes 100 – please click on the image)

¶ “Storing Solar Power In Salt” • A team from the Institute for Superconducting and Electronic Materials at the University of Wollongong is leading an international consortium in an A$10.5 million ($8 million) project funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency develop sodium-ion batteries for renewable energy storage applications. [The Star]

World:

¶ “Record 260 GW Of Clean Power Added In 2020” • A record of over 260 GW of new renewable energy capacity was installed in 2020, despite the impact of Covid-19, according to data from the International Renewable Energy Agency. IRENA said in its “Renewable Capacity Statistics 2021” report that new capacity in 2020 was nearly 50% more than in 2019. [reNEWS]

Renewable energy (IRENA image)

¶ “The Dutch Plan To Install A Million Chargers By 2030” • The Dutch discovered that they need an extra 1,500,000 chargers by the end of this decade. Part of the National Climate Agreement, the National Charging Infrastructure Agenda has five goals for the charging infrastructure to support the country’s transition to emission-free transport. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed And John Kerry Discuss Renewable Energy Projects” • The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, discussed the UAE’s efforts on climate change and renewable energy with US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, during the first Regional Climate Dialogue. [MEP Middle East]

Meeting (Mohamed Al Hammadi Ministry of Presidential Affairs)

¶ “Canada Launches Electric Vehicle Awareness Campaign” • The Zero-Emission Vehicle Awareness Initiative is part of a broader $600 million investment the government of Canada has made to advance EV adoption. One function it has is to invest amounts of up to $50,000 in individual programs or projects, such as one to the Pollution Probe Foundation. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Japanese JV Accelerates 160 MW Of Offshore Plans” • A joint venture of Wind Power Group, Tokyo Gas, and Vena Energy Holdings is to speed development of the Kashima Port offshore wind farm off Japan. The project, with a capacity of nearly 160 MW, is to be located in Kashima Port in Ibaraki Prefecture. Its construction is to begin in 2024. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbines (Insung Yoon, Unsplash)

¶ “Abu Dhabi Generated Some 2.16 Million MWh Of Renewable Electricity With $2.45 Billion Investments In 2020” • In 2020, the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi, produced 2.16 million MWh of electric energy from renewable sources and invested over $2.45 billion in renewable energy projects, including the 2-GW Al Dhafra Solar Power project. [MEP Middle East]

¶ “TechnipFMC, Bombora Partner On Wind-Wave Hybrid Floater” • A partnership of TechnipFMC and Bombora combines Bombora’s multi-megawatt mWave wave energy technology with TechnipFMC’s technologies and experience delivering integrated engineering, procurement, construction, and installation projects offshore. [reNEWS]

Hybrid floater (TechnipFMC technology)

¶ “DISCOMs’ Outstanding Payments to Renewable Generators Cross ₹123 Billion in February” • Distribution companies owed ₹123.45 billion ($1.68 billion) to renewable energy generators (excluding disputed amounts) in overdue payments across 206 pending invoices at the end of February 2021, data released by India’s Ministry of Power shows. [Mercom India]

US:

¶ “Renewable Energy In The US Military: Creating A Lean Mean Green War-Fighting Machine” • The US military has been one of the greatest tech innovators on Earth. It won’t be different with energy. In addition to improved security with increased military use of renewables, the public stands to gain from the military’s downstream applications. [The National Interest]

All in a day’s work (US Army image via Flickr)

¶ “Some In California Want To Slow Rooftop Solar Adoption – Does That Make Sense?” • Considering that rooftop solar power now costs considerably less than California retail electricity on a system’s lifetime basis, net metering on top of the federal solar tax credit encourages a lot of homeowners to go solar. There are utilities pushing to change that. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Berkeley Urges Residents To Opt For 100% Renewable Electricity” • A city of Berkeley press release urged Berkeley residents to opt in to a 100% renewable electricity plan, as the city recently did. “Switching to 100% renewable energy at home is one of the easiest ways all of us can help fight climate change,” the press release states. [The Daily Californian]

Have an appreciably priceless day.

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April 4 Energy News

April 4, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Strong Winds Off The Coast Could Power A Clean Energy Economy In North Carolina” • To learn the direction of energy production in North Carolina, look to a weather vane. Last year, Duke Energy and Dominion Energy of Virginia called off the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Now the weather vane points toward the wind. [Raleigh News & Observer]

Offshore wind turbines (Ragnar1904, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “How Long Does It Take To Charge An Electric Car? A Few Seconds” • This is nothing new to millions of electric car owners, but it’s something that should be shared, emphasized, and repeated every day for the many, many, many more people who don’t have an electric car. Charging the car at home takes up almost none of your time. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “New Diamond Battery Will Last 28,000 Years, Powered By Nuclear Waste” • A US-based startup uses radioactive isotopes from nuclear waste with ultra-slim layers of nanodiamonds to make a battery that will last up to 28,000 years. The Nano Diamond Battery hopes to start selling the batteries within the next two years. [Indiatimes.com]

NDB Battery

World:

¶ “France Pushes To Make Nuclear Power Mainstream In Europe” • Together with Eastern European leaders, French President Emmanuel Macron co-signed a letter calling on the European Commission to include nuclear energy in its Green taxonomy. The European taxonomy establishes an extensive list of “sustainable” activities. [Oil Price]

¶ “Plot to Manipulate Weather/Climate Backed by Bill Gates Scrubbed” • A plan to manipulate the weather/climate in an ambitious experiment went public last month. Now it appears plan has been scrubbed, after getting push-back from people around the world and in Sweden, where the initial experiment was to unfold. [Weatherboy]

Balloon to carry test equipment aloft (Harvard image)

India:

¶ “India’s biggest solar power plant coming up in Telangana in May” • India’s biggest floating solar power plant, which belongs to the National Thermal Power Corporation, is expected to become operational in Telangana next month. The 100-MW project has been set up in the reservoir of an NTPC thermal power plant. [Moneycontrol]

¶ “India Pushes Back Deadline For Coal-Fired Utilities To Adopt New Emission Norms” • India has pushed back deadlines for coal-fired power plants to adopt new emission norms by up to three years, and allowed utilities that miss the new target to continue operating after paying a penalty, according to a government notice. [The Daily Star]

Coal mine in India (Via Flickr, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “India Can Boost Clean Energy While Doubling Its Power Supply by 2030” • India has set ambitious targets for renewable power. But a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences from researchers at Berkeley Lab, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Berkeley shows India can aim even higher with its renewable energy goals. [SciTechDaily]

US:

¶ “How To Electrify Entire US Federal Vehicle Fleet” • NREL’s Federal Fleet Project helps agencies plan their vehicle buying with data-driven decision-making. The decision making process entails categorizing vehicles by application, comparing how the vehicle is used in the real world, and identifying which vehicles would optimally go electric first. [CleanTechnica]

Solar charging system (Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL)

¶ “Ford Mustang Mach-E Scored 6,614 US Sales In Opening Quarter” • The Ford Mustang Mach-E arrived with a bang, in terms of PR and consumer enthusiasm. We now have sales data from Ford on the Mustang Mach-E’s delivery total for the first quarter of 2021. The number isn’t high, but the Tesla Model 3 started with a low number, too. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Chevy Bolt Sales Jump 53.7%” • The Chevy Bolt is not the most exciting or flamboyant electric car on the market. It’s not a Tesla or the Ford Mustang Mach-E. But it is the electric vehicle I see most often on the roads around me, aside from all of Tesla’s models. It’s exciting and uplifting to see them, even if the car itself never thrills me. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Audi E-Tron Scores New Quarterly Sales Record In USA” • The Audi e-tron just scored a new quarterly sales record in the United States. But before you get too excited about the news, recognize that the US market is nothing like the European market for the electric SUV from Germany. This new quarterly record comes to 3,474 units. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Coal Company Agrees To Fix Environmental Violations, Resume Operations In Perry County” • Perry County Resources, a Kentucky coal company, agreed to pay fines of over $200,000 and fix environmental violations. It had failed to reclaim land as required and allowed polluted water to drain from mines, so its mines were not allowed to operate. [WKYT]

Have a fabulously lovely day.

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April 3 Energy News

April 3, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Renewables Can Power The Economy Of An Independent Scotland – Lorna Slater” • Nicola Sturgeon was right to point out in debate that 97% of our electricity came from renewables last year. But Scotland’s potential is great enough to provide 25% of Europe’s renewable energy, and renewables can be a driver for an independent Scotland. [The Scotsman]

Wind turbines and Ailsa Craig (John R, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

Science and Technology:

¶ “‘World’s Fastest, Most Sensitive Drone-Based Leak Detection And Greenhouse Gas Measuring System’ Launched By ABB” • ABB claims it has the best solution for finding methane leaks. It says its “ABB Ability™ Mobile Gas Leak Detection System, HoverGuard, provides the solution by finding leaks faster and more reliably than ever before.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Climate Change Cut Global Farming Productivity 21% Since 1960s” • Despite important agricultural advancements to feed the world in the last 60 years, a new study shows that global farming productivity is 21% lower than it could have been without climate change. The study was published in the journal Nature Climate Change. [The Tribune]

Farm (Gozha Net, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Sweden Hits 37% Plugin Share In March, New Policy Boost For Full Electrics” • Sweden saw a plugin electric vehicle market share of 37% in March 2021, up from 27.2% in March 2020. Plugin hybrids gained share from a last minute pull-forward in March, ahead of a policy change from April 1st which now more strongly favors full electric vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “India’s Tata Power Launches SOLAROOF Campaign” • Tata Power is India’s largest integrated power utility, and it is putting more of its weight behind rooftop solar power. It is running a nationwide ad campaign titled SOLAROOF, and the campaign is not just for residential buyers; it’s also for commercial, industrial, and institutional buyers. [CleanTechnica]

Tata Power SOLAROOF ad

¶ “Mingyang Hails Turbine Triumph At Zhanjiang Xuwen” • The turbine manufacturer MingYang Smart Energy has installed the first offshore unit at the Zhanjiang Xuwen wind farm off China. MingYang Smart Energy said the machine will be the first of 47 MySE6.45-180 hybrid drive turbines to be installed at the project this year. [reNEWS]

¶ “Mumbai Railways Getting EV Charging Stations With Help From UNEP And Tata Power” • Mumbai railway stations will be getting EV charging stations as part of a new initiative to advance e-mobility in the Mumbai region. The program is a collaboration between UN Environment Programme, Tata Power, and Central Railway. [CleanTechnica]

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (Image by PDPics from Pixabay)

¶ “Thai New Renewable Energy Landmark Will Boost Power Supply And Tourism” • The Provincial Electricity Authority will promote a hydro-floating solar hybrid project at Sirindhorn Dam in Ubon Ratchathani province as a new landmark for renewable energy and also stimulate the province’s economy by the end of this year. [Pattaya Mail]

US:

¶ “Tulane University Buys 5 Vicinity Electric Shuttle Buses” • Tulane University has received $737,500 from the US DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy for the purchase of five electric Grand West Vicinity buses and the installation of private charging stations, New Orleans City Business reports. [CleanTechnica]

Shuttle bus (Paula Burch-Celentano, courtesy of Tulane University)

¶ “The Fossil Fuel Industry Used Deception To Conceal Damage To BIPOC – NAACP Report” • The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People just published a report that identified ten tactics that the fossil fuel industry used to excuse not accepting accountability for its impacts on the environment and human health. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla Delivered 184,800 Electric Vehicles In Q1 2021, Blowing Away Expectations” • Tesla has reported its vehicle production for the first quarter of 2021. Those numbers were well past what many were speculating, even including well known Tesla delivery tracker Troy Teslike. Tesla delivered 184,800 EVs and produced 180,338 in the first quarter. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 (Bram Van Oost, Unsplash)

¶ “Energy Transition To Renewables Likely To Accelerate Over Next Two To Three Years” • The energy transition to renewables in the US is “likely to accelerate” over the next two to three years, says a report. The analysis by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis claims that coal and gas are set to become the “biggest losers.” [nsenergybusiness.com]

¶ “Long Reliant On Oil And Gas, Oklahoma Is Emerging As A Leader In Renewable Energy” • Oklahoma has been developing a fair amount of windpower, but that is not all. About 11 GW of solar and storage projects being developed in Oklahoma have applied for approval from the Southwest Power Pool to feed power onto the grid. [The Oklahoman]

Oklahoma wind turbines (USGS image, public domain)

¶ “Apple Investing In Major Energy Storage Project In California” • Apple is constructing one of the largest battery projects in the country. California Flats is an industry-leading, grid-scale energy storage project capable of storing 240 MWh of energy, enough to power over 7,000 homes for one day. It is together with Apple’s 130-MW solar farm. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “A Reshaped Battlefield For Climate Policy” • Like former President Barack Obama, Biden made climate an early focus in his administration. But unlike Obama, Biden may find mildly friendly allies for his climate agenda in corporate America and diminished corporate forces fighting against his environmental proposals. [Ponca City News]

Have an extraordinarily okay day.

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April 2 Energy News

April 2, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “How Joe Biden’s Ambitious Infrastructure Bill Will Impact Renewable Energy” • Rob Gramlich, Grid Strategies President, joins Yahoo Finance Live to break down President Joe Biden’s ambitious infrastructure bill and its impact on renewable energy. The discussion starts with the initiatives that are included in the American Jobs Act. [Yahoo Finance]

Solar array (Jason Blackeye, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Evidence Of Antarctic Glacier’s Tipping Point Confirmed For First Time” • Researchers at Northumbria University have confirmed for the first time that Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica could cross tipping points, leading to a rapid and irreversible retreat which would have significant consequences for global sea level. [EurekAlert!]

World:

¶ “Volkswagen’s European Factories Up To 95% Powered By Renewables” • In 2020, Volkswagen Group increased the share of renewables powering its European factories from 80% to 95%, and ten of its factories became 100% renewably powered. The target is for Volkswagen’s factories to reach 100% renewable power by 2023. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines (Volkswagen image)

¶ “Tesla Is Leading The Global EV Market Again (Charts!)” • Tesla is leading the global market again with sales of its Model 3 and Model Y EVs. The Model 3’s sales exceeded those of the Wuling Mini EV in February, which held the top spot in January. And the Tesla Model 3 is sure to pass it for the quarter when the March sales figures come in. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “UK Labour Party Pushes For Electric Vehicle Revolution” • The UK EV market has been hot, but it could be much hotter, and the Labour Party wants to make it so. Party leadership want to increase access to EVs, increase charging infrastructure, and speed up EV adoption. Incentives include interest-free loans and credits for scrapping polluting cars. [CleanTechnica]

Citroën e-C4 (© Citroën Communication / DR)

¶ “Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corp Commissions Farm-Based Solar Power Unit In Jaipur” • Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Ltd commissioned a farm-based solar power project under the PM-KUSUM scheme. The system is the first in a 722-MW project to help the farmers earn additional income through their unused land. [Devdiscourse]

¶ “Investor Ardian Goes Digital Across 3.5-G W Portfolio” • The renewables investor Ardian has partnered with Greenbyte and Pexapark for a “major upgrade” to the digital asset management systems for its 3500-MW portfolio. Their goal is to implement an end-to-end renewable energy online platform to monitor technical and market risks. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Cameron Venti, Unsplash)

¶ “Experts Threaten To Quit Over New EU ‘Green Finance’ Rules” • Nine experts in a European Commission advisor group on sustainable finance rules threatened to step down if Brussels continues to uphold rules they see as “a clear contradiction to climate science.” One rule they object to would classify some gas-fired plants as sustainable. [EUobserver]

US:

¶ “Energy Secretary Granholm: Focus On Renewable Energy Will Protect US ‘Manufacturing Backbone’” • President Biden’s infrastructure proposal includes hundreds of billions of dollars to address climate change by cutting emissions and increasing the use of clean energy. Energy secretary Jennifer Granholm is with PBS to discuss the matter. [PBS]

Secretary Jennifer Granholm (US DOE, public domain, cropped)

¶ “Latest FERC Reports Show Renewables Significantly Out-Performed Nuclear Power In 2020” • Several reports by the Energy Information Administration and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission show that the mix of renewable energy sources significantly out-performed and expanded their lead over nuclear power in 2020. [Solar Power World]

¶ “RIPTA To Tap Solar Energy With New Collaboration” • The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority estimates that it will save a quarter of a million dollars in electricity costs annually through a remote net energy agreement with Kearsarge Energy. The 2,807-kW solar array is on the brownfield site of a former tank farm in East Providence. [Mass Transit]

RIPTA solar array (RIPTA image)

¶ “In A Record Year For Clean Energy Purchases, Southeast Cities Stand Out” • Cities around the country bought more renewable energy last year than ever before, data from the Rocky Mountain Institute and World Resources Institute shows. About half of the “most noteworthy” of the cities are in the area stretching from Texas to Washington, DC. [Energy News Network]

¶ “GE Renewable Energy To Provide Turbines For Invenergy Wind Farms” • GE Renewable Energy has signed a wind turbines supply contract with power generation company Invenergy for three wind farms in Oklahoma. The farms, with a combined capacity of 1485 MW, will be owned by American Electric Power once completed. [Power Technology]

Wind turbines in Oklahoma (General Electric image, cropped)

¶ “PNM’s Plans For The Future Include Reduced Baseload Power And Increased Renewable Energy” • New Mexico’s largest electric utility is planning to reduce its baseload power while increasing power generated by renewable resources and possibly adding natural gas generation with turbines capable of producing power from hydrogen. [The NM Political Report]

¶ “Advanced Nuclear Reactor Planned North Of Richland” • Energy Northwest, Grant County PUD, and X-energy announced a partnership to see through the development and commercial demonstration of the first advanced nuclear reactor in the US. The power plant will be built on an existing Energy Northwest site, north of Richland, Washington. [KXLY]

Have an indubitably delightful day.

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April 1 Energy News

April 1, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Former BlackRock Exec Explains Why ‘Green’ Investment Strategies Won’t Work” • In the so-called Free Market, companies are built primarily to extract profit. If we really want to save the planet, we should demand polluters pay for the damage they do. That’s what a carbon tax would do and the only way that is going to happen. [CleanTechnica]

Pollution (Daniel Moqvist, Unsplash)

¶ “Biden Energy Plan Boosts Renewables Outlook, Puts Oil And Gas On Notice” • President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure and energy plan would dramatically reshape the nation’s energy landscape by offering new tax incentives for clean energy, electric transmission projects, and carbon capture and storage technology. [S&P Global]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Why Kyoto’s Cherry Blossoms Have Bloomed Unusually Early” • Warmer weather has meant that blossoms in the city of Kyoto peaked on 26 March, which is the earliest date recorded since records began in 812 AD in imperial court documents and diaries. Part of the reason for the early date is climate change. Part is the urban heat island effect. [Lonely Planet]

Cherry blossoms in Tokyo (ajari, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Why The Sun Isn’t Causing Today’s Climate Change” • Yes, the sun is a profoundly important factor in Earth’s climate. It always will be. But scientists, like those at NASA, know the sun isn’t causing the current, rapid rise in global temperatures. Here’s how they know human-created greenhouse gases, not the sun, are driving these changes. [Mashable India]

World:

¶ “Drive An EV Without A Long-Term Commitment With A Subscription” • If you want to drive an EV, a subscription may be your answer. You’d have a late model without a substantial down payment. You’d be free of a long-term commitment. Steer, Elmo, Canoo, Porsche, and Volvo are just some of the companies that are working on subscriptions. [CleanTechnica]

Charging EVs (Image courtesy of EVAEngland)

¶ “$5.4 Billion Project Aims To Be World’s Largest Green H₂ Producer In 2025” • Enegix Energy is pursuing plans to build Base One, a $5.4 billion facility off the coast of Brazil. Energix Energy claims that Base One will be the world’s biggest single CO₂ reducer by generating more than 600 million kg of green hydrogen per year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Enercon Scores 305 M W In Canada Wind Treble” • Enercon has won a 305-MW turbine order from Potentia Renewables for three wind projects in Canada. Enercon will supply 55 E-160 EP5 E3 turbines with 114 meter hybrid steel towers, each capable of producing up to 5.56 MW, for three projects in Canada over a period of two years. [reNEWS]

Installing a turbine blade (Enercon image)

¶ “More Than 100 Of Apple’s Global Suppliers Are Moving To 100% Renewable Energy” • Apple announced that over 110 of its manufacturing partners globally are moving to 100% renewable energy for their Apple production, with nearly 8 GW of clean energy planned. They will avoid over 15 million metric tons of CO₂e annually. [Environment + Energy Leader]

¶ “Oil And Gas Majors Focus On Renewable Energy, Hydrogen, And Carbon Capture” • You’d be hard-pressed to find an expert who believes oil and gas companies will abandon exploration and production operations anytime soon, but several oil and gas majors are expanding their businesses into the renewable energy sector, and some in a big way. [Power Magazine]

WindFloat Atlantic floating wind farm (Repsol courtesy image)

¶ “Saudi Arabia Aims For 50% Renewable Energy By 2030, Backs Huge Tree Planting Initiative” • Saudi Arabia will generate 50% of its energy from renewables by 2030 and plant 10 billion trees, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced. The climate crisis increased desertification, dust storms, and air pollution, to damage both health and economy. [Climate Home News]

US:

¶ “Here’s What’s In Biden’s Infrastructure Proposal” • Now that his massive coronavirus relief package is law, President Joe Biden is laying out his next big proposal: A roughly $2 trillion plan for improving the nation’s infrastructure and shifting to greener energy over the next 8 years. He is set to unveil the effort today at an event in Pittsburgh. [CNN]

Joe Biden signing things (White House photo, public domain)

¶ “DOE Geothermal Competitions Heat Up: New Lithium Extraction Prize And Teams Advance In Manufacturing Prize” • The DOE announced the American-Made Geothermal Lithium Extraction Prize. The prize is to advance technologies improving the economics and lessening environmental impacts of lithium mining from geothermal brines. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hydrogen Fuel Cell Flight Backed By A-List Green Hydrogen Backer” • When Bill Gates launched Breakthrough Energy Ventures back in 2016, the clean tech investor group leaned toward nuclear energy. Now, it seems H₂ is becoming its primary interest. BEV has chipped in a share of funding for the US fuel cell aircraft startup ZeroAvia. [CleanTechnica]

ZeroAvian fuel cell plane (photo courtesy of ZeroAvia)

¶ “Volvo Electric Semi Trucks Now Eligible For $120,000 In Rebates” • Volvo VNR electric semis offer plenty of good reasons for fleet owners to buy them. Now, there’s another reason. The Volvo VNR is now officially eligible for California’s Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project, with up to $120,000 of rebates per truck. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Biden Proposes Energy Tax Credit Extension” • President Biden has proposed a ten-year extension and phase down of an expanded direct-pay investment tax credit and production tax credit for clean energy generation and storage. These credits will be paired with strong labor standards to ensure the jobs created are of good-quality. [reNEWS]

Have an unambiguously great day.

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