Archive for May, 2021

May 31 Energy News

May 31, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Rental Efficiency Standards: A Win For Equity And Climate” • Rental buildings use, on average, 20% more energy per square foot than owner-occupied homes. Landlords have little incentive to improve home efficiency when they do not pay energy bills, and tenants have little incentive to invest in their homes. But the problem can be addressed. [CleanTechnica]

Homes in San Francisco (Mark Boss, Unsplash)

¶ “We Don’t Need New Miracle Technologies To Reduce Emissions – We Need Action Now” • We need to cut carbon emissions and clean up the air we breathe. To do that, we need to replace vehicles and power plants that burn fossil fuels with EVs and renewable energy sources. The need is too urgent to wait for new technologies. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Using The International Space Station To Study Earth’s Climate And Keep Our Planet Safe” • On Earth, we often look toward the sky longing to know what resides in the rest of the universe; meanwhile, 250 miles above us, the International Space Station is looking back, helping to provide unique insights to keep our planet safe. [SciTechDaily]

International Space Station (NASA image)

¶ “Ford And Sunrun Team Up To Make V2H Technology A Reality. Is V2G Next?” • Ford has teamed up with Sunrun to make vehicle-to-home technology available to people who buy F-150 Lightning electric pickup trucks. Sunrun says it will “facilitate easy installation of the 80-amp Ford Charge Station Pro and home integration system.” [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “BMW Begins Drive Unit Production For IX And I4 Vehicles” • BMW started production of its fifth-generation drive units at a plant in Dingolfing, Bavaria. This is the beginning of a much larger push to produce drive units and battery packs at more and more BMW production facilities, with a goal of 50% electric drive production by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

Drive unit production (Image courtesy of BMW Group)

¶ “Paris Climate Accord And Net Zero By 2050 Goals In Jeopardy – Nations To Issue New Urgent Call To Action” • Recognizing that efforts to reach Paris Climate Accord goals are in jeopardy in part because of the recent boom in e-commerce and resulting transport sector growth, multiple nations will issue a collective urgent call to action. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Bee’ah And Chinook Sciences Announce Region’s First Waste-To-Hydrogen Project” • Bee’ah, the Middle East’s sustainability pioneer, announced that it will partner with UK-based Chinook Sciences to develop the region’s first waste-to-hydrogen project. The project includes a green hydrogen generating plant and a vehicle fueling station in the UAE. [PR Newswire]

Sharjah, UAE (Ainur Kamaev, Unsplash)

¶ “EDF Renewables Ireland Announces Plans For 100-MW Mayo Wind Farm” • EDF Renewables Ireland has announced plans to develop a 100-MW wind farm in Mayo. It could consist of up to 25 turbines and power more than 60,000 homes. EDF will hold a number of public consultation events as the Kilsallagh Wind Farm progresses. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “ADB Secures Financing For 144 MW In Vietnam” • The Asian Development Bank secured a $116 million (€95.1 million) green loan to build and operate three 48-MW wind farms, totaling 144 MW, in Quang Tri Province, Vietnam. The project is expected to increase Vietnam’s wind power capacity by 30%, helping to meet a growing demand for energy. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine, ready for blade installation (ADB image)

¶ “Australia’s Energy Storage Installed Base To Grow More Than Five Times By 2030” • In its latest report, IHS Markit predicts that energy storage installations in Australia will grow from 500 MW to more than 2,800 MW by 2030. Australia is forecast to have 7% of global installations and to become the third largest storage market by 2030. [PV Magazine]

¶ “Ørsted Lines Up Danish Offshore Wind Power Play” • Ørsted and Copenhagen utility HOFOR have entered into an agreement to secure green power for the 1300-MW green hydrogen project Green Fuels for Denmark. The developer will take power from the 250-MW Aflandshage offshore wind farm, which is in the Øresund Strait. [reNEWS]

Offshore windpower (Andrey Sharpilo, Unsplash)

¶ “Germany Plans To Invest Over €8 Billion In 62 Large-Scale Hydrogen Projects” • Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economics and the Federal Ministry of Transport selected 62 large-scale hydrogen projects, which are to be state-funded as part of a joint European hydrogen project. The funding, €8 billion, is made up of federal and state funds. [Green Car Congress]

US:

¶ “Three New Community Solar Projects In Colorado” • Pivot Energy, “Colorado’s largest community solar developer,” and Standard Solar are jointly developing three community solar projects in Colorado. Together, the power capacity of the three community solar farms will be 4 MW. They will produce enough electricity for 700 homes. [CleanTechnica]

Solar project (Courtesy of Clean Energy Economy for the Region)

¶ “Thacker Pass Lithium Mine Opposed By Four Conservation Groups” • Four conservation and public accountability groups have filed for a preliminary injunction in the Federal District Court in Reno alleging that the Bureau of Land Management violated federal laws when it approved the Thacker Pass Lithium Mine’s Plans of Operation. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “As Kansas, Missouri Keep Building Wind, Some Communities Look To Regulate” • Though wind farms are popular in some counties in Kansas and Missouri, others have moved to restrict or ban wind development. People are worried that the wind farms will dominate their view of the horizon and diminish the quality of their lives. [Missouri Independent]

Have a favorably advancing day.

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May 30 Energy News

May 30, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Seven Ways Ford Did Everything Right With The F-150 Lightning” • Zach Shahan of CleanTechica summed up the F-150 Lightning: “Thinking on it more after letting the enthusiasm from the opening week settle in, I thought it would be good to point out that I think Ford did basically everything right with the F-150 Lightning, and why.” [CleanTechnica]

Ford F-150 Lightning (Image courtesy of Ford)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Developer Of Aluminum-Ion Battery Claims It Charges 60 Times Faster Than Lithium-Ion – EV Range Breakthrough” • Graphene Manufacturing Group, based in Brisbane, claims its graphene aluminum-ion battery cells charge up to 60 times as fast as the best lithium-ion cells and hold three time the energy of the best aluminum-based cells. [Forbes
This is one I had missed, thanks to Tom Finnell for finding it.

World:

¶ “Coal Plant Explosion In Australia Shows Why Tesla Batteries And Renewables Are The Future Of Energy” • A Tesla Powerpack recently stepped in to save the day when a coal-fired plant in Queensland, Australia, exploded. Outages in Queensland spread to New South Wales, but the Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia stopped them. [CleanTechnica]

Hornsdale Power Reserve (Tesla image)

¶ “Six Global Banks Come Together To Decarbonize Steel” • Six of the top lenders to the steel sector – Citi, Goldman Sachs, ING, Societe Generale, Standard Chartered, and UniCredit – have come together to define common standards of action for steel sector decarbonization through a collective climate-aligned finance agreement. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Fisker To Build An Ocean Popemobile” • Pope Francis will probably beat every head of state to an all-electric jalopy to move him about his official functions in St Peter’s. He is getting the Fisker version of the Popemobile, a modified Fisker Ocean, which will have carpets made from recycled plastic bottles from the ocean. [CleanTechnica]

Sketch of a Fisker signed by the Pope (Image courtesy of Fisker)

¶ “Nissan Officially Electrifies Philippine Car Market With The LEAF” • Nissan Philippines Inc, the local sales distribution unit, introduced the LEAF to the Philippines, officially plugging the country into the electric vehicle era. The company is focused on an ecosystem approach to LEAF sales and support, prioritizing charging stations. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Kazakhstan Sets New ‘Green’ Energy Target For 2030” • Kazakhstani President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev set this week a steeper goal to boost the share of renewables in electricity generation to 15% by 2030. The government’s previous target was to reach a 10% share of renewable energy in the country’s energy mix by 2030. [Caspian News]

Road in Kazakhstan (Nessi Gileva, Unsplash)

¶ “Toyota To Recycle Batteries In Renewable Energy Push” • Toyota Motor agreed to partner with Jera in a bid to transform old batteries used for EVs and hybrid vehicles into power storage system for renewable energy, Nikkei has learned. Jera is a joint fuel-procurement venture between Tokyo Electric Power and Chubu Electric Power. [FMT]

¶ “Government Moving Ahead With Public Buildings’ Renewable Energy Switch” • The Government of Barbados made itself ready to flip the switch on a drive to power all public buildings with renewable energy, according to officials. The national technical school is the first ‘energy champion’ after extensive green energy retrofitting. [Barbados Today]

Barbados (Anthony Ingham, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “NRDC And Over 50 Organizations Send A Clear Message: It’s Time For FERC Reform” • NRDC, the Sustainable FERC Project, and more than 50 other organizations sent a clear message on May 26th to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission: FERC must reform how it reviews applications for new gas pipeline infrastructure. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Biden Budget: A Good Beginning, But We Need Even Bigger And Bolder” • The White House unveiled President Joe Biden’s $6 trillion proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2022. American progressives responded with fresh demands that Democrats advance a bold infrastructure package and other key priorities by whatever means necessary. [Red, Green, and Blue]

White House (David Everett Strickler, Unsplash)

¶ “Evergy Just Filed Its First Integrated Resource Plan With The KCC” • Regional utility Evergy filed its first integrated resource plan with the Kansas Corporation Commission since the merger that formed it in 2018. The plan commits the utility to speed up its carbon-reduction timeline and calls for retirement of some coal plants. [The Topeka Capital-Journal]

¶ “How Tesla Is Quietly Expanding Its Energy Storage Business” • Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced in 2015 that the EV company would be getting into the energy business. Now, that business is starting to take off. On its Q4 2020 earnings call, the company said its battery deployments increased 83% in 2020, largely due to interest from utilities. [CNBC]

Have an unapologetically enjoyable day.

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May 29 Energy News

May 29, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Siting Renewable Energy Responsibly On Public Lands” • Following the creation of a renewable energy permitting office within the Department of the Interior at the end of 2020 and the enactment of a renewable energy siting goal, the need for careful guidance of permitting decisions on federal public lands has never been greater. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines (Suganth, Unsplash)

¶ “‘Net Zero’ Is A Dangerous Illusion, Say Top Climate Scientists” • Net zero is a charade, a convenient smoke screen we hide behind so we can tell ourselves all is well. It’s not. To address global heating effectively, we must stop burning fossil fuels. Full stop. Anything else is just eye wash designed to protect the profits of the mega-corporations. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Mud Reveals Secrets Of When Humans Began To Change Planet” • A history of climate change scientists found in mud cores leads to new thinking. Many conservationists support the protection of forests, leaving them to stay as they are, we may have changed our planet so radically that forests will need some hands-on help simply to survive. [BBC]

Forest (Lukasz Szmigiel, Unsplash)

¶ “Earth’s Fiery Past Revealed In Ice Core Record” • Smoke particles preserved in the ice core record show that more fires were burning in the Southern Hemisphere during pre-industrial times than previously thought. The discovery modifies our understanding of the heat-trapping effects of greenhouse gas emissions and of future global warming. [Earth.com]

¶ “Climate Change-Resistant Corals Could Provide Lifeline To Battered Reefs” • Corals that withstood a severe bleaching event and were transplanted to a different reef maintained their resilient qualities, according to a study that was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The finding offers hope for recovery of reefs. [ScienceDaily]

Coral (Francesco Ungaro, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “EDP Renewables Enters Chile With 628-MW Wind Energy And Solar Portfolio” • EDP Renewables, the fourth largest renewable energy producer globally, has reached agreements to acquire a 628 MW wind and solar portfolio in Chile, with commercial operations expected to commence between 2023 and 2025. [Evwind]

¶ “Morocco’s Expertise In Renewable Energy Supports Sub-Saharan Development” • In Africa, the fast growth of social and economic developments calls for building a greener and more environmentally sustainable future across the region. Morocco’s expertise in renewable energy and existing efforts can support Sub-Saharan development. [Morocco World News]

Zimbabwe (Benjamin Van Der Merwe, Unsplash)

¶ “Turkey To Auction 4 GW Of Solar, Wind Power This Year” • Turkey will put 2 GW of wind power and 2 GW of solar power up for auction by the end of 2021 through the Renewable Energy Resources Area scheme. The average price of electricity from PVs landed at €21.46/MWh (2.617¢/kWh) before the end of this year’s first solar competition. [Balkan Green Energy News]

¶ “Ignitis Delivers First Power From 94-MW Polish Wind” • A Lithuanian company, Ignitis Group, has started generating electricity at the 94-MW Pomerania wind farm in Poland. It comprises 29 turbines with individual capacity ranging from 3 MW to 3.3 MW and will generate about 300 GWh of electricity when operational. [reNEWS]

Assembling wind turbines in Poland (Ignitis image)

US:

¶ “Electric Ford Mustang Mach-E Recreates Historic Ocean-To-Ocean Drive” • In 1909, a Model T Ford won the first coast-to-coast, transcontinental American road race. It took twenty-three days to cover 4,106 miles of road from New York to the Seattle World’s Fair. Last week, an all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E recreated that historic drive. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Rivian Deliveries Are To Begin In July, Test Drives In August, Equipment Upgrades And Changes” • Rivian announced that it is all set for deliveries to begin in July, and that all Launch Edition preorders will be in customers’ driveways by next summer. It also had news about standard equipment and upgrades that changed to benefit customers. [CleanTechnica]

Rivian truck (Rivian image)

¶ “The Texas Winter Storm And Power Outages Killed Hundreds More People Than The State Says” • The true number of people killed by the disastrous winter storm and power outages that devastated Texas in February is likely four or five times what the state has acknowledged so far, according to BuzzFeed News data analysis. [BuzzFeed News]

¶ “NYC Lawmakers Aim To Block Natural Gas Use In New Buildings, Major Renovations” • Lawmakers in New York City introduced legislation that would essentially prohibit use of fossil fuels in new buildings and major renovations, marking a new step in the most populous US city’s effort to decarbonize its building stock. [S&P Global]

New York City (Serge Pelletier, Unsplash)

¶ “US Energy Secretary Calls For More Cyber Standards On Oil, Gas Infrastructure” • In the wake of the ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline earlier this month, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said the US needs more comprehensive cybersecurity standards for oil and gas pipelines and infrastructure. The attack highlighted US vulnerability. [S&P Global]

¶ “Indian Point Turned Over To Holtec – Clears The Way For Decommissioning” • Entergy Corp completed the sale of the subsidiaries that own the Indian Point Energy Center to a Holtec International subsidiary. That clears the way for Holtec to take over the former nuclear power plant and proceed with its decommissioning. [Westfair Communications]

Have a simply grand day.

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May 28 Energy News

May 28, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Electric Vehicle Tax Credit Bill From US Senate Finance Committee Looks Great” • Let’s look at how the bill that has moved through the US Senate Finance Committee. It extends the tax credit until 50% of vehicles are electric. It opens the tax credit up so people who owe little or nothing can benefit. And it provides other benefits. [CleanTechnica]

Jenny Ueberberg in her Tesla (Jenny Ueberberg, Unsplash)

¶ “Biden Budget – Chance To Stop Paying Fossil Fuel Industry” • President Biden is set to release his first detailed budget proposal. This blueprint for government spending is a great opportunity to eliminate handouts to the fossil fuel industry through the new American Jobs Plan and Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Flow Batteries Keep The Energy Flowing” • Incubated in New York by a Stony Brook University program, StorEn Technologies aims to build upon the strengths of vanadium flow batteries to meet the needs for residential and industrial energy storage. StorEn Tech batteries fill market demand for more efficient and cost-effective energy storage. [CleanTechnica]

StorEn flow battery (Image by StorEn Technologies)

¶ “Researchers Take A Practical Look Beyond Short-Term Energy Storage” • With variable renewable energy expected to become a much larger share of the global energy mix, storage solutions are needed beyond short-duration timescales, such as standard commercial batteries, which are suitable for covering hourly differences in net load. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Burning Ship Coats Beaches In Oil And Debris” • Oil and debris from a burning container ship have coated beaches on the west coast of Sri Lanka. Images of the beach in Negombo, which has been a popular tourist destination, have generated outrage. The X-Press Pearl, carrying chemicals and cosmetics, has been on fire for eight days. [BBC]

Beach in Negombo in better times (rick judah, Unsplash)

¶ “Private Jet Use Rising, Sending CO₂ Emissions Soaring” • The CO₂ emissions from private jets in Europe increased by nearly a third (31%) between 2005 and 2019, a report from campaign group Transport & Environment says. Private jets average at 10 times more carbon intensive than airliners, and 50 times more polluting than trains, it says. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “DEME Forms Flemish Region Green Hydrogen Team” • DEME Group is part of a group of companies and research centers that are joining forces to invest in the production of green hydrogen in the Flemish region. They aim to deliver cost-efficient and sustainable production of green hydrogen at the gigawatt level. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (DEME Group image)

¶ “CSIRO On A Mission To Help Australia Become A Hydrogen Power Leader” • Australia’s national science agency says a new Hydrogen Industry Mission launched by CSIRO will help the world transition to clean energy, create new jobs, and boost the Australian economy. One goal of the mission is to reduce the price of hydrogen. [International Mining]

¶ “GE Bags 88-MW Vietnam Turbine Deal” • GE Renewable Energy has secured an 88-MW contract to supply its Cypress turbines for a wind project in Vietnam’s Ninh Thuan province. The project is expected to be commissioned and operational by the end of third quarter of 2021. The turbines will be supplied with a two-piece blade design. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Mary Ray, Unsplash)

¶ “Germany, Norway Flip Switch On $2.4 Billion Undersea Energy Link” • Germany and Norway inaugurated the €2 billion ($2.4 billion) Nordlink project, connecting the power grids of the two countries. The cable, which is 623 km (387 miles) long, runs under the North Sea. It can carry enough electricity to supply 3.6 million households. [Yahoo Finance]

US:

¶ “First-Ever Colorado River Water Shortage Is Now Almost Certain, New Projections Show” • Lake Mead is at 37% capacity, a level it has hit very few times. In the past, it recovered quickly, but the US Bureau of Reclamation forecasts the lake’s levels to continue to decline, without any sign of recovery through at least the end of 2022. [CNN]

Lake Mead (Ana Filipa Neves, Unsplash)

¶ “52 Solar-Powered EV Chargers Ordered By California” • The state of California recently ordered 52 solar-powered EV chargers from San Diego-based Beam Global. The off-grid clean energy chargers will provide electricity in emergency situations and charge zero-emissions state fleets. They will be paired with energy storage systems. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Arizona Regulators Revive Renewable Energy Plan But With Slower Timeline” • A 3-2 vote by the Arizona Corporation Commission moves the state toward boosting the renewable energy requirement for state-regulated utilities but under a slower timetable than a previous proposal that was rejected by the panel. [KTAR.com]

Solar farm (Arizona Public Service Photo)

¶ “Indoor Vertical Farming Startup Bowery Raises $300 Million In Series C Round” • The indoor vertical farming startup Bowery Farming has raised $300 million in a Series C funding round. Bowery Farming has been enjoying a period of rapid expansion in recent times. The increase in availability since January 2020 is a whopping 750%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US JV Targets Wind, Solar And Storage” • Circle Power and Amber Infrastructure Group have set up a clean power joint venture called Circle Power Renewables focused on solar, wind and battery projects in Michigan and other US power markets. Scotia Wind, the joint venture’s first project, is a 60-MW wind farm in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. [reNEWS]

Have a downright pretty day.

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May 27 Energy News

May 27, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “There’s No Compromising On Science When It Comes To Protecting Water Quality In The Nation’s Rivers And Streams” • Before EPA Administrator Regan tries to create a compromise between Obama and Trump approaches in the EPA’s new rules, he must remember one thing: Obama’s regulations for aquatic preservation were based on science. [CleanTechnica]

Bear Mountain Bridge (Clay Banks, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “World At Risk Of Hitting Temperature Limit Soon” • A report published by the World Meteorological Organization says by 2025 there’s a 40% chance of at least one year being 1.5°C hotter than the pre-industrial level. The analysis is based on modelling by the UK Met Office and climate researchers in 10 countries including the US and China. [BBC]

¶ “Flexible Loads And Renewable Energy Work Together In A Highly Electrified Future” • Demand flexibility offers high value in supporting a highly electrified, renewables-based US power system, according to the sixth and final report in the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Electrification Futures Study. It completes work begun in 2017. [CleanTechnica]

Charging a car (Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL)

¶ “Russia To Launch Nuclear-Powered Spaceship To The Moon, On To Venus, Then Jupiter” • It will take quite the spacecraft to travel from the Moon to Venus and then Jupiter over 50 months in space. Russia’s space agency thinks their nuclear-powered transport and energy module will do it in 2030, reported TASS, the Russian News Agency. [The Hill]

¶ “PNNL Invention Reduces Risk Of Battery Explosions” • Grid energy storage in cabinet-style battery enclosures is becoming increasingly common. IntelliVent is a sensor system that can respond to smoke, heat, or gas alarms in the battery enclosure by automatically opening cabinet doors to prevent any buildup of flammable gases. [CleanTechnica]

Firefighters learning about the IntelliVent system
(Allan Tuan, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

World:

¶ “Court Orders Shell To Reduce CO₂ Emissions In Landmark Climate Ruling” • A Dutch court has ruled that Royal Dutch Shell must dramatically reduce its carbon emissions in a landmark climate decision that could have far reaching consequences for oil companies. By 2030, Shell must reduce its CO₂ emissions by 45% from 2019 levels. [CNN]

¶ “10% Plugin Vehicle Share In China!” • It looks like following Europe, the #EVDisruption is now reaching China. Plugin vehicles are a hot item in China, having scored over 175,000 registrations last month. That was a 173% jump compared to the same month last year, with BEVs in particular growing at an amazing 204% rate. [CleanTechnica]

Wuling Hongguang Mini EV Cabrio
(JustAnotherCarDesigner, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Oman Plans To Build World’s Largest Green Hydrogen Plant” • Oman plans to build one of the world’s largest green hydrogen plants in a move to make the oil-producing nation a leader in renewable energy technology. Construction is scheduled to start in 2028, with the aim to be at full capacity by 2038, powered by 25 GW of wind and solar energy. [The Guardian]

¶ “EDF Renewables Unveils Plan For 100 MW Of Irish Wind” • EDF Renewables Ireland revealed plans to develop a 100-MW wind farm in County Mayo. The proposed project, which could consist of up to 25 turbines, will be located in a forested area to the north-east of Slieve Carr, approximately 8 km south-east of Bangor Erris. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (EDF Renewables image)

¶ “Scandinavian Energy Giant Statkraft To Seek Backing For Six Irish Wind Farms” • Scandinavian energy giant Statkraft will seek backing for six wind farms in the next round of Ireland’s green energy support scheme. The State is offering up to €2 billion in support to green generators over the next decade through the Renewable Energy Support Scheme. [The Irish Times]

¶ “RWE Launches Welsh Net Zero Center” • RWE has launched the Pembroke Net Zero Centre in Wales as a major initiative towards decarbonization. With Pembroke Power Station located at its heart, the PNZC will draw on the extensive knowledge and expertise from across RWE’s offshore wind, gas-fired generation, and hydrogen businesses. [reNEWS]

Pembroke Net Zero Centre (RWE image)

¶ “GE To Deliver Cypress Turbines For 88-MW Onshore Wind Farm In Finland” • GE will supply 16 of its 5.5-MW Cypress turbines, its largest onshore wind turbine in the field, for the 88-MW Puskakorpi wind farm in western Finland along with a 30-year Full Services Agreement. The project is in the Northern Ostrobothnia region. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

US:

¶ “Cook Inlet’s Extreme Tides Attract Tidal-Power Developer” • Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula may soon be home to an advanced tidal energy power project. Tidal-power developer ORPC has applied for a federal permit to install of a 5-MW pilot project near Nikiski, with plans for a phased development of a 100-MW tidal generating plant. [The Maritime Executive]

Riverine version of ORPC’s turbine technology (ORPC)

¶ “Activist Investor Ousts At Least Two Exxon Directors In Historic Win For Pro-Climate Campaign” • Engine No 1, a hedge fund that criticized ExxonMobil’s climate strategy, won enough shareholder support to get two board seats in a shareholder vote, ousting at least two directors from the oil giant’s board. It may gain two more seats that were too close to call. [CNN]

¶ “Electric Buses Get Solar Charging And Battery Backup On Martha’s Vineyard” • The Vineyard Transportation Authority announced it will add four electric buses to its fleet, bringing the total to 16, or 50% of its fleet. But what is most newsworthy about the VTA electric bus program is that it will use electricity from solar panels to charge them. [CleanTechnica]

Have a seriously rewarding day.

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May 26 Energy News

May 26, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “To Understand Its Energy Future, The US Should Look Down To Australia.” • One of the issues in the US regarding transition from fossil fuels to renewables has been whether the country accepts the loss of oil and gas and coal production, and the jobs associated with it. Americans might look at a prediction about the electricity changeover in Australia. [Forbes]

Wind turbines (Bastian Pudill, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Climate Change Could Push Temperatures At The Tokyo Olympics To The ‘Danger-Zone’ For Athletes, Report Warns” • A report published by the British Association for Sustainable Sport, details the concerns of leading athletes and scientists about the health impacts of soaring temperatures in Japan, which could pose a serious risk to athletes. [CNN]

¶ “BYD Receives One Of Largest Electric Bus Orders In Italy – 50 Electric Buses” • BYD secured the largest electric bus order in Turin, and one of the largest orders for electric buses in Italy. The company sold 50 more of its 40-foot low-floor model, a best seller, to public transport operator Gruppo Torinese Trasporti in the city of Turin. [CleanTechnica]

BYD bus (BYD image)

¶ “New Solar Technology That Can Withstand 180 MPH Hurricane Winds (Higher Than A Cat 5)” • Solar FlexRack’s Fixed Tilt FlexRack Series G3-X is now operational for a 1.1-MW solar project of Azimuth Energy in the Bahamas. The microgrid has the largest PV array operating in the Bahamas and was designed to withstand winds of 180 mph. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Pivot Power Brings Tesla And Fastned Together To Build Superhub In UK” • Pivot Power is a startup created to develop and operate grid-scale batteries and provide the required power infrastructure for EV fast charging throughout the UK. In some ways, it is like a private network operator, and it concentrates its infrastructure in hubs. [CleanTechnica]

Fastned Superhub (Fastned image)

¶ “Equinor, RWE Join Forces For Norway Bid” • Equinor, RWE Renewables, and Hydro REIN have signed an agreement to collaborate on an offshore wind farm in Norway. The partners will jointly prepare and submit an application to the Norwegian authorities to develop a large bottom-fixed project in the Sørlige Nordsjø 2 area in the North Sea. [reNews]

¶ “VW ID.4 Survives 1000 Mile Off-Road Race” • It turns out that the Volkswagen ID.4 is a lot tougher than the average crossover. It didn’t win any Baja races, but it did finish one, and without any repairs. That’s something most vehicles couldn’t do. The vehicle was modified, but not nearly as much as most vehicles at the NORRA Mexican 1000. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen ID.4 strutting its stuff

¶ “Spain To Launch 1.3-GW Aragon Renewables Tender” • The Spanish government announced plans to tender up to 1.3 GW of grid capacity to renewables projects in Aragon. After the closure of the Andorra-Teuler power plant last June, the 400-kV Mudejar node became vacant. It has been designated as a “node of the fair transition,” requiring special attention. [reNEWS]

¶ “Mining Giant To Build 766 MW Of PV In Brazil” • Mining conglomerate Vale is set to begin construction of a 766-MW PV project in Brazil later this year and has chosen Nextracker to supply smart solar trackers for it. The Sol de Cerrado solar project in Minas Gerais, will be one of the largest in the country when operational in 2022. [reNEWS]

Solar project (Nextracker image)

US:

¶ “Biden Administration Announces Plan To Bring Offshore Wind To California Coast For The First Time” • The Biden administration announced that it is moving to advance offshore wind power on the coast of California for the first time. The regions selected have the potential to generate enough green energy for up to 1.6 million homes. [CNN]

¶ “US To Lease California Offshore Wind Zone” • The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the ​Department of Defense have reached an agreement to lease 399-square miles off California’s central coast for offshore wind development. BOEM is working with other federal agencies on areas that would be impacted by leasing activities. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbines (Carl Raw, Unsplash)

¶ “NOLA To Entergy New Orleans: Go 100% Zero Emissions By 2050 Or Face Penalties” • The New Orleans City Council gave Entergy an ultimatum: Power the city’s homes and businesses with emission-free technologies by 2050 and go 100% carbon-free or face penalties. Entergy may choose its technologies, but they must be free of emissions. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Climate Drought Is Like Covering Land In Gasoline Ahead Of Fire Season – California At Risk” • Soil in the western US is drier than at any time since 1895. At the opening of the 2020 wildfire season, 3% of California was in extreme or exceptional drought and more than 4% burned. This year, more than 73% of the state faces similar drought conditions. [CleanTechnica]

Fire (Image courtesy of National Park Service, public domain)

¶ “Blackstone’s ClearGen Is Providing $500 Million for GreenStruxure Renewable Microgrid Development In US” • GreenStruxure is partnering with ClearGen to develop and operate up to 120 microgrids nationwide, bringing scale to their installation. GreenStruxure is a joint venture with Schneider Electric and Huck Capital. [Power Engineering]

¶ “Third Official To Plead Guilty In South Carolina Nuclear Debacle” • Court documents show a former official for the contractor hired to build two South Carolina nuclear reactors that were never completed will plead guilty to lying to federal authorities. Carl Churchman was the Westinghouse Electric Co project director for the failed plant. [WCBD]

Have a triumphantly temperate day.

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May 25 Energy News

May 25, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Ford CEO Jim Farley On The F-150 Lightning And The EV Revolution” • Ford says its F-150 Lightning will disrupt the automobile business in the same way the Model T did back in 1908. Is that an idle boast? To find out, The Verge sent Nilay Patel to interview Jim Farley, CEO of Ford Motor Company. Here is a condensed version of that story. [CleanTechnica]

Ford F-150 Lightning (Image courtesy of Ford)

¶ “Ford F-150 Lightning – Bold Move Or Too Little Too Late?” • One thing we can see from the range of headlines about the F-150 Lightning is that there is a lot of misinformation and controversy about electric vehicles swirling about because, for whatever reason, many industry actors have done a really poor job of educating consumers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Settled Enough: Climate Science, Skepticism, And Prudence” • The body of climate science has survived extraordinary vetting and yielded conclusions recognized by competent climate scientists around the world as true beyond any reasonable doubt. The possibility that they are true is too great to ignore with any level of prudence. [The Hill]

Fire in Tasmania (Matt Palmer, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Reason Wild Forests Beat Plantations” • Scientists at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in the UK warned that tree planting was often being presented as an easy answer to the climate crisis, and a way out for businesses to mitigate their carbon emissions. But it was not as simple as it seemed. Natural forest regeneration may be a better alternative. [BBC]

¶ “Create A 3D, Holistic View Of Earth – Help Address, Mitigate Climate Change” • NASA will design a new set of Earth-focused missions to provide key information to guide efforts on climate change, disaster mitigation, fighting forest fires, and improving real-time agricultural processes. They will create a 3D view of Earth, from bedrock to atmosphere. [ScienceDaily]

Imaging weather (NASA rendering)

¶ “Dartmouth Study Finds Renewable Energy Upgrades Make Grid More Resilient” • A Dartmouth study found for the first time that renewable energy upgrades will make the nation’s power grid more resilient. A grid was modeled with innovations, including distributed generation and energy storage. One lesson is “Buy local.” [New Hampshire Public Radio]

World:

¶ “Explosion At Australian Power Station Leaves Thousands Without Electricity” • Hundreds of thousands of people across the Australian state of Queensland were left without electricity after an explosion and fire at a power station. Energy companies are now scrambling to restore power while local officials have warned of traffic chaos. [BBC]

Substation (ETA+, Unsplash)

¶ “The North Sea Green Energy Can Possibly Overtake Oil And Gas By 2030” • The UK’s offshore wind sector is the world’s biggest and will support up to 90,000 jobs by 2030, under a new contract with the government to support a quadrupling of wind power production. It could provide nearly half of the jobs in the UK’s offshore energy industry. [Nature World News]

¶ “James Fisher Renewables Nets Offshore Wind UXO Survey Gig In France” • James Fisher Renewables has been selected by the French grid operator Réseau de Transport d’Electricité to identify unexploded ordnance along the export cable routes for the Fécamp offshore wind project. The 18-km cablewill be buried at depths of 5 to 35 meters. [Offshore Engineer]

Offshore wind farm (James Fisher Renewables image)

¶ “Tata Power ‘Goes Big On Renewable Energy’, Expects 10x Growth Of Sector In 5-7 Years” • “Tata Power is going very big on renewables,” Praveer Sinha, the company’s managing director and CEO, told CNBC-TV18. Sinha is confident of the space becoming the “very biggest” and asserted that it will grow very fast in the next four-five years. [CNBCTV18]

¶ “Forth Ports Plans £40 Million Offshore Upgrade For Leith” • Forth Ports has unveiled proposals for the creation of Scotland’s largest renewable energy hub on a 175-acre site at the Port of Leith. A £40 million investment will be used to create a riverside marine berth capable of accommodating the world’s largest offshore wind installation vessels. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbines (Insung Yoon, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Biden Bolsters Extreme Weather Preparation Funding During FEMA Visit” • President Joe Biden announced his administration would invest $1 billion in extreme weather preparation ahead of hurricane season. The president said the new funding would prepare the US for the upcoming hurricane and fire seasons across the country. [CNN]

¶ “Ford And UAW: Why Unions Are Threatened By The EV Transition, Want Battery Plant Work” • Various outlets report that Ford and UAW are at odds over battery production. Ford and SK Innovation, plan to build several plants to produce batteries for Ford’s EVs, and they aren’t sure that they want the plants to use union labor. [CleanTechnica]

Battery factory (Image courtesy of Volkswagen)

¶ “New Mexico’s Oil And Gas Regions Could Become Leaders In Hydrogen Power, Members of Congress Say” • As the federal government sought to shift toward less-carbon-intense forms of energy, New Mexico’s Democrat members of congress appealed to the US DOE to focus efforts to develop hydrogen power in their state. [Carlsbad Current-Argus]

¶ “Ohio Bills Would Let Township Boards Block Wind And Solar Power” • An Ohio Senate committee is set to take up a proposal that would give townships unprecedented control over wind and solar siting. The bill would prevent companies from applying to build wind or solar projects unless the township has an “energy development district.” [Energy News Network]

Have a remarkably wonderful day.

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May 24 Energy News

May 24, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Can You Charge An Electric Car With A Regular Outlet? Hell Yes!” • Can you charge an electric car with a regular outlet? This is actually a very common question. Many people even skip past asking this question and assume the answer is “no.” And you don’t even need special hardware to do it, though having it makes charging faster. [CleanTechnica]

Charging our Tesla Model 3 SR+ on a regular electricity outlet

Science and Technology:

¶ “NREL: About Achieving A National-Scale 100% Renewable Electric Grid” • In the United States, with its recently announced federal emissions-reduction targets, a push for decarbonization of the national power sector, and plummeting wind and solar costs, the US is poised to deploy major amounts of renewables, and they will come fast. [India Education Diary]

World:

¶ “Tesla’s First Made-In-China Supercharger Is Now Open” • There’s been more progress for Tesla in China. It just turned on its first made-in-China Supercharger station in Shenzhen. The V3 station has nine stalls produced in China. Twitter user “Jay in Shanghai” also called May 20th a historic day for Tesla China and tweeted a series of images. [CleanTechnica]

Tweet from Jay in Shanghai

¶ “Indonesia’s PLN To Stop Building Coal Plants By 2023” • PLN, Indonesia’s state-owned electricity distributor, pledged to stop building coal plants by 2023 after finishing the 35 GW of projects it has in its pipeline. The company said it will “commit to only adding renewable energy” in the future and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. [Pinsent Masons]

¶ “OX2 Kicks Off Merkkikallio Build” • OX2 and Renewable Power Capital kicked off construction of the Merkkikallio wind farm in Finland. The 66-MW project in South Ostrobothnia, featuring GE 5.5-MW turbines, is due to be completed in 2022. Merkkikallio is the third of three wind farms OX2 and RPC agreed to build last year. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine construction (OX2 image)

¶ “WWF Assists Vietnam On Renewable Energy Development” • According to Mr Nguyen Thanh Trung, a representative of World Wildlife Fund in Vietnam, WWF Vietnam, Vietnam Business Council for Sustainable Development, and Green Innovation and Development Center set up an alliance for a 100% renewable energy target. [SGGP English Edition]

¶ “Queensland’s First REZ Announced” • Queensland launched the Northern Queensland Renewable Energy Zone in Cairns, the state’s first REZ. Powerlink’s 132-kV transmission system running between Townsville and Cairns will be upgraded to 275-kV. It will also support the development of Neoen’s 157-MW Kaban Green Power Hub wind farm. [Energy Magazine]

Wind farm (Johanna Montoya, Unsplash)

¶ “Construction To Begin On Kidston Pumped Hydro” • Genex Power reached financial close on its $777 million Kidston Stage 2 pumped hydro energy storage project, so construction can begin. The project will be the first pumped hydro plant in Australia specifically built to support the integration of variable renewable energy generation. [Energy Magazine]

¶ “Wind Power Sets New Record In The UK” • UK wind energy set a record on 21 May meeting almost two-thirds of electricity demand, according to preliminary data from National Grid ESO. Between 2:00 am and 3:00 am on 21 May, wind power met 62.5% of UK demand at 16.3 GW, National Grid ESO said. The previous record was set in August 2020. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Alex Eckermann, Unsplash)

¶ “Pakistan’s Newest Nuclear Plant Boosts Grid By 1,100 MW” • Prime Minister Imran Khan formally inaugurated the 1,100-MW Karachi Nuclear Power Plant Unit-2, or K-2, set up with support from with China. The ceremony was held simultaneously via video-link between the K-2 nuclear power plant in Karachi and Beijing. [The News International]

US:

¶ “President Joe Biden Orders Agencies To ID And Mitigate Climate Risks” • President Biden ordered federal agencies to prepare for risks to the American economy posed by climate change. Some effects of global warming are already being felt in the form of rising sea levels, extreme weather, and wildfires, but other effects are still hidden. [CleanTechnica]

Storm damage (Mick Haupt, Unsplash)

¶ “FritoLay’s Tesla Semi Megacharger Installation Will Charge Up To 100 Tesla Semis” • FritoLay is reportedly installing the first Tesla Semi “Megacharger” at its delivery center in Modesto, California. The charging stations are being installed as part of the current facility’s expansion and will service up to a hundred Tesla Semi trucks. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ford F-150 Lightning Gets 44,500+ Reservations In Under 48 Hours!” • Ford CEO Jim Farley has announced that Ford pulled in more than 44,500 reservations for the F-150 Lightning in fewer than 48 hours! I think that, by many standards, that’s a great achievement and an indication that the F-150 Lightning is doing exactly as it should. [CleanTechnica]

Ford F-150 Lightning (Ford via screenshot)

¶ “Reports: Tesla Has Over 1 Million Cybertruck Reservations” • A crowdsourced reservation tracker shows that Tesla has a waitlist of over 1,000,000 Cybertruck orders, Drive Tesla Canada has reported. Wow! The article pointed out that reservations for the Cybertruck were being placed every two seconds during the weeks after its launch. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Luckless Lake Charles: Louisiana city battered by extreme weather – again” • Last week biblical rains again pounded Lake Charles, and residents could be forgiven for thinking they lived in the most unfortunate city in the US over the past 14 months. They had two hurricanes last summer, a long deep freeze last winter, and now a flood. [The Guardian]

Have an abundantly sufficient day.

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May 23 Energy News

May 23, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “How Wolves And Other Wildlife Help Us Fight For The Climate” • Amid the buzz over better stewardship of our planet’s greenery, a growing body of scientific research is examining another piece of the carbon puzzle: wildlife. It is increasingly clear that biodiversity is not an optional luxury, but integral to natural life support systems. [CleanTechnica]

Wolf (Federico Di Dio photography, Unsplash)

¶ “When Will Electric Cars Start To Outsell Fossil-Fuel Vehicles? Projections Are All Over The Map” • Different analysts make very different forecasts about the future of EVs. EV technology will keep up its rapid improvements, and prices will continue to fall. But other factors, such as governments, consumers, and auto makers, are not so predictable. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “NOAA Predicts Another Active Atlantic Hurricane Season” • NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center forecasts an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season, though not at historic levels. It puts the chance of an above-normal season at 60%, the chance of a near-normal season at 30%, and the chance of a below-normal season at 10%. [CleanTechnica]

Hurricane Katrina, August 28, 2005 (NOAA image)

¶ “For Seventh Straight Year, A Named Storm Forms In Atlantic Ahead Of Hurricane Season” • The National Hurricane Center early Saturday declared the arrival of Subtropical Storm Ana, making 2021 the seventh year in a row that a named storm has developed in the Atlantic Ocean ahead of the official June 1 start of hurricane season. [The Seattle Times]

World:

¶ “Largest Order Of Electric School Buses In North America Placed By First Student” • The largest student transportation provider in North America, First Student, placed the largest order of electric school buses with Lion Electric Company. First Student is ordering 260 all-electric LionC school buses. It is to operate them in Quebec. [CleanTechnica]

Lion Electric school bus (Screenshot via YouTube)

¶ “Another Key Solar PV Period In China Starts This Year” • This is the first year of the 14th five-year plan and the first calendar year after President Xi Jinping announced the nation’s carbon emissions commitment, and the forecast reflected strong growth. The 13th five-year plan showed a five-fold increase from the 12th, but China now has a carbon target. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vietnam Shines As Stunning Solar Champion As Banks Shun Coal” • In Vietnam, banks are shunning coal, enabling the nation to shine brightly as a solar champion. Vietnam saw a 100-fold increase in solar power over the last two years, BloombergNEF noted. In 2020, the only countries that installed more solar than Vietnam were the US and China! [CleanTechnica]

Growth of solar power in Vietnam

¶ “Renewable Technology Brings Power Swarming Through The World’s Poorest Villages” • Around 789 million people worldwide still have no access to electricity, seriously hampering their opportunities for development. But the installation of so-called “swarm grids” is demonstrating the effectiveness of low-cost renewable energy solutions. [news.un.org]

US:

¶ “Texas Blackout Reveal: Texas Republicans Knew Gas Was The Problem, Then Blamed Renewables” • The chair of the Texas PUC and other top officials were already worried about gas shortages days before the widespread blackouts that led to the deaths of at least 151 people, E&E News reports. But they blamed renewables anyway. [CleanTechnica]

Texas Governor Greg Abbott (Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Ford Gives Us The F-150 Lightning Lowdown – A Video Series With Much More Information About The Vehicle” • Ford has released a YouTube playlist with 10 videos that not only gives potential customers more information about the F-150 Lightning truck, but also gives us a look into the minds of the people who designed it. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ørsted Completes Permian Energy Center With Solar Power, Battery Storage Capacity” • Ørsted has completed the Permian Energy Center on 3,600 acres, in an area with well over 100,000 oil and gas wells. It has a solar capacity of 420 MW (AC), enough to power more than 80,000 households. It also has 40 MW (AC) of battery storage. [Midland Reporter-Telegram]

Ørsted’s Permian Energy Center (Image courtesy of Ørsted)

¶ “Louisiana’s SB 8 Is Hoping To End EV Tax Credits Early” • Louisiana’s Ways and Means will hear SB 8 on Monday, May 24. The bill proposes to accelerate the sunset date of alternative fueled vehicle (electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicle) tax credits in Louisiana. In essence, they want to end the tax credits earlier than planned. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Power Purchase Agreements Bill Encourages Solar Use In West Virginia” • West Virginia is now the 29th state to allow solar power purchase agreements, thanks to passage of House Bill 3310 during the 2020 legislative session. The bill passed 83-16 in the House of Delegates and 33-1 in the Senate. It signals a shift in the state’s energy policy. [WVNews]

Have a significantly successful day.

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May 22 Energy News

May 22, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Deadly Flooding. ‘Zombie Fires.’ A Massive Iceberg. It’s Been A Wild Week In Weather And Climate Change” • The headlines on weather read like science fiction. Many of them are about climate change in action. As the Earth warms and causes shifting weather patterns on land and sea, such effects will become even more visible and extreme, experts say. [CNN]

Sign in a flood (Kelly Sikkema, Unsplash)

¶ “Rooftop Solar Users Win With Precedent-Setting Ruling In Kentucky Power Net Metering Case” • Kentucky’s Public Service Commission released a precedent-setting ruling that changes net metering for Kentucky Power customers with solar PV systems. The new compensation credit is 9¢/kWh, and that is a powerful incentive for change. [Courier-Journal]

¶ “When Will America Protect Itself Against EMP, Cyber And Ransomware Attacks?” • Protecting critical infrastructure has been a priority for Homeland Security since it was founded. So why is Colonial Pipeline vulnerable to hackers, and the Texas grid vulnerable to ice storms, and critical US infrastructure vulnerable to EMP attacks? [The Hill]

Transmission infrastructure (Sigmund, Unsplash)

¶ “How Pay-To-Play Politics And An Uneasy Coalition Of Nuclear And Renewable Energy Led To A Flawed Illinois Law” • Just over five years ago, the Illinois Legislature passed a plan that aimed to build a solar power industry while saving thousands of jobs at two struggling nuclear plants. The result has only profited the nuclear industry. [Inside Climate News]

World:

¶ “G7 Ministers Agree On New Steps Against Fossil Fuels” • G7 environment ministers agreed to deliver climate targets in line with limiting the rise in global temperatures to 1.5°C. Among other things, they agreed to stop direct funding of coal-fired power stations in poorer nations this year. The G7 is the UK, US, Canada, Japan, France, Italy, and Germany. [BBC]

Coal-fired power plant in Alaska (NOAA, Unsplash)

¶ “Kerry Calls On G20 Nations To Join G7 Climate Pledges” • John Kerry, the US special envoy on climate change, urged members of the Group of 20 (G-20) to join agreements the Group of Seven (G-7) made to reduce emissions to combat rising temperatures. The G7 published a joint policy paper on phasing out fossil fuels. [The Hill]

¶ “RWE And BASF To Develop 2-GW Offshore Wind Farm Off Germany” • German companies RWE and BASF revealed plans for a 2-GW offshore wind farm to supply a BASF chemicals facility with electricity and provide power for a green hydrogen plant by 2030. The project could avoid around 3.8 million tonnes of CO₂ emissions per year. [reNEWS]

RWE offshore wind farm (RWE image)

¶ “The Renewables Revolution in Developing Countries” • The advanced nations historically have provided technological and educational aid to developing countries. Now, those roles are reversed, and emerging nations are leading in the renewable revolution. They are sourcing more clean energy than any other region. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Vattenfall Teams With Good Energy In The UK” • Vattenfall is expanding its UK business by teaming up with retailer Good Energy. Vattenfall will provide access to the wholesale electricity market through its Energy Trader tool, a platform for utilities, suppliers, industrial companies, and energy traders for long and short-term electricity and gas trading. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Good Energy image)

US:

¶ “Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Aftermath To Fund Louisiana’s Three Large-Scale Coastal Projects” • Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards announced three large-scale coastal restoration projects for over 2,900 acres of beach, dune, marsh, and ridge in Southeast Louisiana. Funding will be from the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Judge Allows Dakota Access Pipeline To Continue Operating During Environmental Review” • A federal judge allowed the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline to continue operating, concluding he did not have the authority to side with a tribal request to shut it down while the Biden administration works on an environmental review. [CNN]

Pipeline (Mike Benna, Unsplash)

¶ “Hurricane Season Raises North Carolina Fears Of … Pig Poo-lution” • North Carolina residents and local environmental groups are worried the coming hurricane season will once again unleash massive pollution from the state’s thousands of hog waste lagoons, 4,000 of which are within 100-year flood zones, Environmental Health News reports. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Beta Technologies Secures $368 Million In Funding, Reaches Electric Aviation Unicorn Status” • The Vermont-based electric aviation startup Beta Technologies has closed a Series A round of funding bringing it $368 million. The funding round was led by Fidelity Management & Research Company. One investor is the Amazon Climate Fund. [CleanTechnica]

Beta Technologies ALIA-250 electric aircraft (Beta Technologies)

¶ “Biden Administration Accelerates Efforts To Create Jobs Making American Buildings More Affordable, Cleaner, And Resilient” • The White House convened Administration leaders to announce new federal investments in building electrification and energy efficiency, as well as opportunities for modernization that create good union jobs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hecate Energy Commences Construction On 600-MW Solar Portfolio In Texas And Ohio” • Hecate Energy announced that construction started at two solar projects totaling 600 MW. One is Roseland Solar, a 500-MW project with battery storage in Falls County, Texas. The other is New Market Solar, a 100-MW project in Highland County, Ohio. [Solar Power World]

Have a relievingly relaxing day.

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May 21 Energy News

May 21, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Is The IEA Report A Tipping Point For Oil Investing?” • The demise of oil and thermal coal won’t come from eco-activism or even directly from renewable energy – it will come when big banks decide to stop financing it, rendering it ‘unbankable.’ And big financial companies like Goldman Sachs and BlackRock were already doing that before the IEA Report. [Oil Price]
Thanks to Tad Montgomery

Wall Street (Daniel Lloyd Blunk-Fernández, Unsplash)

¶ “No, We Don’t Need ‘Miracle Technologies’ To Slash Emissions – We Already Have 95%” • US Climate Envoy John Kerry and Bill Gates have indicated that solar, wind and batteries are not enough. But the facts do not support that argument. Solar power, wind power and batteries are already pushing coal an nuclear out of the market. [The Hill]

¶ “Ford, GM, And Volkswagen Help Elon Musk Realize His Secret Tesla Master Plan” • Ford, GM, Volkswagen are all starting to push EVs hard. That means competition for Tesla. So why is Elon Musk smiling? The reason is simple: an all-electric worldwide vehicle fleet is exactly what Elon Musk (and Tesla) had planned from the beginning. [CleanTechnica]

Elon Musk (Image courtesy of Tesla)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Zombie Fires Fuel And Are Fueled By Climate Change” • New research published in Nature found zombie fires – wildfires that continue to smolder under Arctic and sub-Arctic winter snows and reignite once the snow melts – are becoming more common as global temperatures rise due to humans’ extraction and use of fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Italy’s Exponential EV Market Growth Continues In April As Fiat 500e Reigns Supreme” • The official data for April show yet another month of exponential EV gains in the Italian market. The total market had 146,000 registrations, up from only 4,352 units amid strict lockdown. But now, pure internal combustion cars are only 54.7% of the market. [CleanTechnica]

Fiat 500e (Image courtesy of Fiat)

¶ “School Strike 4 Climate: Thousands Join Australia Protest” • Thousands of Australian children are walking out of school to go to protests, calling for action on climate change. Up to 50,000 students are expected at School Strike for Climate rallies across the country. Australia has long faced criticism for refusing to set more ambitious emissions targets. [BBC]

¶ “BMW Wants To Produce 10 Million Electric Vehicles By 2030” • BMW Group has set a goal of reducing its CO₂ emissions by over 200 million tonnes by the year 2030. BMW is focusing on reducing the CO₂ footprint of its vehicles throughout their lifecycle, starting with raw material extraction, in production, and on to use by the owner. [CleanTechnica]

Dr Nicolas Peter with the BMW i4 (Image courtesy of BMW)

¶ “Masdar Wins 400-MW Solar Double In Uzbekistan” • Masdar has won the rights to develop over 400 MW of solar power in Uzbekistan in a public-private partnership tender. According to the Uzbekistan Ministry of Energy, Masdar has secured deals for two solar PV plants in the Jizzakh and Samarkand regions of the country at rates near 1.8¢/kWh. [reNEWS]

¶ “Anglo-American JV Unveils 10-GW North Atlantic Offshore Plans” • Anglo-American company Hecate Independent Power has unveiled plans to build up to 10 GW of fixed and floating offshore wind in the North Atlantic to be connected to the UK grid. HIP said it made applications with National Grid for an initial 4 GW of grid connections. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbines (Herztier Kang, Unsplash)

¶ “Cornwall Council Sells Renewable Energy Site To Hexicon” • Cornwall Council has sold a renewable energy test site to a Swedish wind farm developer for an undisclosed sum. Hexicon, has bought the Wave Hub offshore renewable energy test site off Cornwall’s north coast. The Wave Hub site lies 16 km north of St Ives and Carbis Bay. [Falmouth Packet]

US:

¶ “Flooding From Climate Change Increased Superstorm Sandy Damage $8 Billion” • Human-caused climate change added $8 billion to the damage inflicted by Superstorm Sandy in 2012, new research published in Nature found. The additional flooding attributed to melting glaciers and ice sheets meant 71,000 more people were affected. [CleanTechnica]

Hurricane Sandy (GOES-13/NASA Earth Observatory)

¶ “Kuperberg Reinstated To Head Up US National Climate Assessment” • The Biden administration has reinstated climate scientist Michael Kuperberg to his old job coordinating the National Climate Assessment. The move came after he was exiled to the Energy Department by the previous administration just days after the 2020 election. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Canoo Electric Lifestyle Vehicle Now Available For Preorder” • Now is the first time that consumers will be able to buy Canoo’s Lifestyle Vehicle, which is pretty exciting news. It has a sleek, futuristic design, seven seats, and a range of around 250 miles. It’ll be available from 2022 and will cost between $34,750 and $49,950 depending on features. [CleanTechnica]

Canoo Lifestyle Vehicle (Image courtesy of Canoo)

¶ “New York Car Dealers Are Fighting Against Coalition Of 114 Environmental Groups To Keep Tesla, Rivian, And Lucid Out Of The State” • New York is considering legislation (S1763/A4614) that would remove the restriction on direct sales of electric vehicles. That is, if it can summon the political will to overcome the objection of car dealers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GE Renewable Energy Secures Turbine Supply Agreement For Illinois Wind Project” • GE Renewable Energy has been selected to provide 107 of its 2.82-127 onshore wind turbines, the most widely deployed in the US, for the 302-MW Lincoln Land Wind project in Morgan County, Illinois. The project is expected to be completed this year. [North American Windpower]

Have an outrageously funny day.

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May 20 Energy News

May 20, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “The Ford F-150 Lightning Is A BIG Win – Three Core Questions Remain” • The Ford F-150 Lightning is a major entrant into the US auto market. That’s right, not just the EV market, but the overall auto market. Clearly, Ford didn’t electrify its two biggest nameplates – the F-150 and the Mustang – to play softball or little league. [CleanTechnica]

Ford F-150 Lightning EV

¶ “Talking With Ford’s Head Of Electric Vehicles About Ford F-150 Lightning And Team Edison” • To dig further into the huge Ford F-150 Lightning news, I sat down for half an hour with Darren Palmer, General Manager of Battery Electric Vehicles at Ford Motor Company. Listen below, or read on for a summary of what we discussed. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Volocopter Unveils New 4-Seater EVTOL To Connect Suburbs To The City” • German eVTOL startup Volocopter has unveiled the VoloConnect. It differs from the existing VoloCity in a few key ways. While the VoloCity has a range of only 22 miles, the VoloConnect will have a range of around 60 miles. Also, the VoloConnect will have four seats. [CleanTechnica]

Volocopter eVTOL (Image courtesy of Volocopter)

¶ “Biden Waives US Sanctions On Russian Pipeline” • The Biden administration has waived sanctions on a company building a controversial gas pipeline between Russia and Germany. The move came in a report on Russian sanctions the Department of State delivered to Congress. It concludes that it is in the US national interest to waive the sanctions. [BBC]

¶ “Kia Unwraps The EV6” • Kia has officially unveiled its EV6 electric SUV, its first battery electric car. The vehicle is built on the E-GMP platform developed for use by both Hyundai and Kia going forward. So are the Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5 basically the same cars under the sheetmetal? Yup, they are. But they are very different outside. [CleanTechnica]

Kia EV6 (Image courtesy of Kia, cropped)

¶ “Adani Green Energy To Acquire SB Energy’s India Renewable Energy Portfolio For $625 Million” • Adani Green Energy has announced that it will acquire a 5-GW India renewable power portfolio from SB Energy. AGE said in an official statement that the purchase would be done for a fully-completed enterprise evaluation of $625 million. [CNBC TV18]

¶ “Johannesburg Aims For 35% Renewable Energy By 2030” • Johannesburg is South Africa’s biggest city, with a population of over 5 million people, and Africa’s dominant financial center. The city wants to meet 35% of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2030 and will seek proposals for privately supplied power by August. [MyBroadband]

Johannesburg (Keenan Constance, Unsplash)

¶ “GE Renewable Energy Secures Contracts For New Pumped Hydro Storage Power Plant In Austria” • GE Renewable Energy has secured contracts from Austrian National Railway Operator ÖBB to build two storage turbines for the new Tauernmoos Pumped Hydro Storage Power Plant. The 85-MW turbines will have fully-fed variable speed. [Energy Live News]

¶ “Victorian Councils Commit To Renewable Energy Future” • The Victorian Energy Collaboration will see 46 of Victoria’s 79 local councils powered by renewable energy. Red Energy, an offshoot of Snowy Hydro, signed an agreement to supply the councils with a combined 240 GWh of renewable energy each year until the end of 2030. [pv magazine Australia]

Wind turbines (Vestas image)

¶ “Almost 2 GW Of Renewable Energy Projects Apply For Grid Connection In Bulgaria” • The Electricity System Operator of Bulgaria received requests from 22 investors since the beginning of the year for connecting renewable energy plants they have under development to the grid. The combined capacity of their projects is 1.97 GW. [Balkan Green Energy News]

US:

¶ “Ford F-150 Lightning – One Big Shocker!” • $39,974! Yes, that’s just the base MSRP for a version of the truck with 230 miles of range, but that’s a shockingly low price for the entry Ford F-150 Lightning. I did not see a single person predicting the F-150 Lightning would come in at such a low price. But there is even more to say about this truck. [CleanTechnica]

Ford F-150 Lightning

¶ “Colonial Pipeline Boss Confirms Ransom Payment of $4.4 Million” • Colonial Pipeline has confirmed it paid a $4.4 million ransom to the cyber-criminal gang responsible for taking the US fuel pipeline offline. Its boss told the Wall Street Journal he had authorized the payment on 7 May because of uncertainty over how long the shutdown would continue. [BBC]

¶ “RWE Secures 150-MW Facebook US Solar Deal” • RWE Renewables has partnered with Facebook and the Tennessee Valley Authority to realize a 150-MW solar facility in Shelby County, Tennessee. Facebook will use 110 MW of the solar energy to support their data center operations in Gallatin, Tennessee, and the broader Tennessee Valley. [reNEWS]

Solar farm (RWE image)

¶ “New UCS Research: Utilities’ Uneconomic Coal Use Is Being Called Out In 25 States” • Coal self-commitment is a practice of running coal plants when cheaper resources are available. The Union of Concerned Scientists found that 25 states have taken up substantial discussion of the practice as an issue in state public utility proceedings. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Georgia Power Customers To Find Out New Tab For Vogtle Expansion This Fall” • In coming months, Georgia Power, with its parent company Southern Co, and consumer advocacy groups will make their cases before the Public Service Commission for how much of Vogtle’s ballooned unit 3 costs should be passed onto electric consumers’ bills. [Patch]

Have an agreeably ducky day

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May 19 Energy News

May 19, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Is The IEA Still Underestimating The Growth Of Renewable Energy?” • The new report from the International Energy Agency outlined a massive, rapid rise in renewable energy around the world to meet a target of net zero global emissions by 2050. But the EIA still seems to underestimate the potential for growth of renewable energy. [Renew Economy]

Wind turbines (Anna Jiménez Calaf, Unsplash)

¶ “Four Things To Know – And A Word Of Caution – About EPA’s Climate Change Indicators Website Reboot” • Last week, the EPA released the first updates it has made to its Climate Change Indicators website since 2016. Here are four things to know, and one word of caution, about EPA’s updated Climate Change Indicators resource. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “This Supplement Can Reduce Methane In Cows And Make Farmers Money” • Cattle farming accounts for nearly 10% of all greenhouse gases generated by human activity. Most of that is from methane they produce, but a new feed supplement based on garlic and citrus extracts could reduce those emissions by an average of 30%, its makers say. [CNN]

Yummy! (Colton Jones, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Analysis: To Tackle Climate Change, China Must Overhaul Its Vast Power Grid” • China pledged to cap carbon emissions this decade and pivot toward renewables. One of its most pressing challenges to meet that pledge is overhauling its electricity grid, officials and analysts say. Building new solar and wind plants is just the easy part of reducing emissions. [Reuters]

¶ “International Energy Agency Says Oil And Gas Exploration And Coal Plant Construction Must Stop Now” • The International Energy Agency said in a wide-ranging report that countries must immediately stop exploiting new oil and gas fields and building coal-fired power plants, if global temperatures are to be kept within safe limits. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore oil rig (Zukiman Mohamad, Pexels, public domain)

¶ “Google, Microsoft Back 24/7 Clean Energy Initiative” • Google, Microsoft, PwC, Vattenfall, Statkraft, and Engie are among more than 100 global companies participating in a new global initiative to enable 24/7 clean energy. The program is spearheaded by EnergyTag, the independent industry-led initiative to accelerate the shift to 24/7 clean power. [reNEWS]

¶ “The Future Of Lamborghini Is Electric – Hybrid And 100% EV Models Announced” • Rather than dismissing the advantages of electrification, Automobili Lamborghini is embracing it. The company has unveiled a vision for the future that includes gas/electric hybrid models in the near term as well as a 100% electric super sports car. [CleanTechnica]

CEO and Chairman Stephan Winkelmann
(Courtesy photo by Automobili Lamborghini)

¶ “World’s First Industrial-Scale Renewable Power-To-Fertiliser Plant” • Maire Tecnimont announced that its subsidiaries MET Development, Stamicarbon, and NextChem have started work on a renewable power–to-fertiliser plant in Kenya. This will be the world’s first industrial-scale plant powered by renewable energy to produce low-carbon-intensity nitrates. [ESI Africa]

¶ “Highview Power Developing 2 GWh Spanish Storage Project” • Highview Power is developing up to 2 GWh of long duration, liquid air energy storage projects across Spain. With an estimated investment of around $1 billion (€0.81 billion), these projects should enable several Spanish regions to move towards their net zero emissions target. [reNEWS]

Highview Power model (Highview Power image)

US:

¶ “‘What More Can You Do To Us?’: Flooding Swamps South Central USA” • The National Weather Service said more than 30 million people are threatened by flooding this week across parts of Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas. Accuweather called the event “historic.” Lake Charles, Louisiana, saw 12 to 15 inches of rain in a 12-hour period. [MSN]

¶ “‘Horrific’ Gas Explosion Rocks Neighborhood in Baltimore County” • A gas explosion injured several people, including one critically in Pikesville, Maryland. Baltimore Gas & Electric crews were working on the gas line when it exploded. The blast, which launched flames 60 feet into the air, ignited a fire that burned for three hours. [CleanTechnica]

Natural gas plant (Loïc Manegarium from Pexels)

¶ “Big Oil Scores Win In Supreme Court” • The Supreme Court has ruled for a case brought against 20 oil companies by the city of Baltimore to be moved to a federal court, the Wall Street Journal reports, in a potentially big win for the defendants. The oil companies were hoping to move the case to federal court, arguing it would be fairer. [Oil Price]

¶ “New Legislation Looks To Take Advantage Of Renewable Energy In Northern Maine” • Maine’s Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, introduced LD 1710, An Act To Require Prompt and Effective Use of the Renewable Energy Resources of Northern Maine. The bill supports renewable energy and grid connections in Aroostook County. [News Center Maine]

Transmission lines (Jaël Vallée, Unsplash)

¶ “Renewable Energy Jobs Are Booming In Texas” • Demand for entry-level workers to build out renewable energy projects is reaching a fever pitch in Texas, where wind and solar capacity is expected to be added at the country fastest rate, according to Ken Medlock III, director of the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University’s Baker Institute. [Houston Chronicle]

¶ “Georgia Power Says Vogtle Unit 3 Start Likely Delayed To 2022” • Georgia Power Co said that delays in completing testing means the first new unit at its Vogtle plant is now unlikely to start generating electricity before January at the earliest. The delay is to add $48 million to the cost, and the two reactors are projected to cost over $26 billion. [Power Engineering]

Have a reliably gorgeous day.

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May 18 Energy News

May 18, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “Melting Ice In Antarctica Could Trigger Chain Reactions, Bringing Monsoon Rains To The Ice Cap, Study Says” • A study published in Nature Geoscience said that as Earth warms, the land beneath the Antarctic ice sheet will become more exposed. As a result, wind patterns will shift and rainfall will increase over Antarctica, speeding ice loss. [CNN]

Aurora and ice (Nicolas J Leclercq, Unsplash)

¶ “Mahle Develops Magnet-Free Motor For Electric Vehicles” • Tier One automotive supplier Mahle has developed an electric motor for EVs that uses no permanent magnets. It is not the first to do so, but it is the first to create such a motor that is scalable to fit the needs of many sizes of vehicles, from subcompact cars to medium duty trucks. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “One Floating Wind Turbine Good, Two Floating Wind Turbines Better” • Here in the US, the offshore wind pipeline is already humming along the Atlantic coast, but the waters of the Pacific coast are too deep for regular old offshore wind turbines. Floating is the way to go, and a firm called Hexicon has a rather unusual way to keep costs down. [CleanTechnica]

Two wind turbines on one platform (image courtesy of Hexicon)

¶ “Lithium Hydroxide Extraction: A Feasibility Study From Vulcan Energy” • At CleanTechnica, we introduce new and often groundbreaking technologies that can move our world toward zero emissions. So we were intrigued by a chance to review a pre-feasibility study of a lithium hydroxide extraction process from Vulcan Energy Zero Carbon. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Cyclonic Storm Tauktae Batters Western India Ahead Of Landfall” • Fueled by the heat in waters warmed by climage change, Tropical Cyclone Tauktae is expected to be the worst storm to hit western India in more than two decades. Sadly, it is hitting just as the region struggles with a devastating wave of the novel coronavirus. [CleanTechnica]

Tauktae (NOAA image)

¶ “Ban all gas boilers from 2025 to reach net-zero” • No new fossil fuel boilers should be sold from 2025 if the world is to achieve net-zero emissions by mid century, the International Energy Agency says. It’s one of 400 steps to net-zero proposed by the agency in a special report. It said there is no place for new coal, oil, or gas exploration, or supplies. [BBC]

¶ “Iberdrola, 50Hertz Sign Baltic Eagle Platform Pact” • Iberdrola and Baltic Sea TSO 50Hertz have signed an agreement to build, install and commission the offshore substation former’s Baltic Eagle offshore wind farm. The substation is to be made up of a foundation and a topside housing the transformers as well as electrical equipment. [reNEWS]

Substation (Iberdrola image)

¶ “Ørsted Breaks Ground On First Green Hydrogen Plant” • Ørsted broke ground on its first renewable hydrogen project, in Copenhagen. The H2RES development will have a capacity of 2 MW. It will research how best to combine an efficient electrolyser with the fluctuating power supply from offshore wind, using two of Ørsted’s 3.6-MW turbines. [reNEWS]

¶ “Spain Bans New Oil And Gas Exploration As It Supercharges Renewables” • Spain has joined the growing number of European countries banning new oil and gas exploration with far-ranging legislation. It is also prohibiting the sale of fossil-fuel vehicles by 2040 and making it illegal to produce fossil fuels in the country from the start of 2043. [Upstream Online]

Madrid (Jorge Fernández Salas, Unsplash)

¶ “France’s Areva To Pay €600 Million More For Finnish Reactor” • A nuclear reactor under construction in Finland will cost a consortium led by French firm Areva another €600 million to complete, Finnish energy company TVO said. Sited in southeast Finland, the EPR plant has been under construction for almost 16 years. [Macau Business]

¶ “GE Finalizes Dogger Bank C Turbine Contracts” • Dogger Bank Wind Farm and GE Renewable Energy finalized contracts for the supply of turbines and a five-year service and warranty agreement for the 1200-MW Dogger Bank C. The contract covers a total of 87 of GE’s 14-MW Haliade-X turbines for the third and final phase of the wind farm. [reNEWS]

GE Haliade-X turbine (GE image)

US:

¶ “Refinery That Rained Oil Is Shut Down By EPA In St Croix” • Less than 48 hours after an EPA employee sent to the Virgin Islands to investigate the Limetree oil refinery told colleagues “there is oil on my windshield,” the agency took the remarkable action to shut down the entire refinery, citing an “imminent” threat to human health. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Impossible Foods To Reach New Generation Through US School Nutrition Programs” • The plant-based meat company Impossible Foods has taken another big step on the path to mass adoption of its products. It secured Child Nutrition Labels for its Impossible Burger. They can now be served in US schools as part of school nutrition programs. [CleanTechnica]

Impossible burgers (Impossible Foods image)

¶ “New York’s Community Solar Program” • New York enabled virtual net metering in 2011 for solar, wind, and farm-based biogas systems. This allowed informal community solar systems, with such systems formally allowed in 2015. More recent changes mean the systems now can include storage. The community solar program now has 449 MW online. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Green Hydrogen Venture Aims For $1.50/kg For LA By 2030” • The Green Hydrogen Coalition, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and other partners launched HyDeal LA, an initiative to achieve at-scale green hydrogen procurement at $1.50/kg in the Los Angeles Basin by 2030. It is to be available for fuel and energy storage. [pv magazine USA]

Have a superbly advantageous day.

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May 17 Energy News

May 17, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “The Stakes Couldn’t Be Higher For America’s First Major Offshore Wind Farm” • The stakes couldn’t be higher. America’s power system needs a serious makeover to meet President Biden’s emissions goals. Dirty coal must be replaced by much more solar and wind – including a series of offshore wind farms that begin with Vineyard Wind. [CNN]

Block Island wind farm (Ionna22, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Danish Duo Examine Hydrogen And Grid Balancing” • Danish transmission system operator Energinet is collaborating with Danish multinational Danfoss on a project to examine whether a plant that converts electricity to hydrogen can be used to help balance the power grid. They will work on a 0.5-MW electrolysis plant for green hydrogen. [reNEWS]

¶ “Save Our Oceans To Protect Our Health – Scientists Call For Global Action Plan” • The Seas Oceans and Public Health In Europe Project, an interdisciplinary collaboration led by the University of Exeter, outlined the initial steps that a wide range of organisations could take to work together to protect the largest connected ecosystem on Earth. [Phys.org]

Ocean (Dan Stark, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Peugeot Shines In Hot French Plugin Electric Vehicle Market – Charts” • The French plugin vehicle market continues in the fast lane, with April’s plugin share reaching 15% (6.8% Battery EV). That keeps the year-to-date share at a record 14% (6.9% BEV), which is a 3% increase over the 2020 result (11%). Peugeot’s EVs sold especially well. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Volkswagen And QuantumScape Sign Agreement To Pick A Location For Their Joint Venture Pilot-Line Facility” • A solid-state battery developer, QuantumScape, announced that it signed an agreement with Volkswagen Group of America to pick the site of the two companies’ joint-venture solid-state battery pilot-line facility by the end of this year. [CleanTechnica]

QuantumScape web site screenshot (QuantumScape)

¶ “Chinese Media Outlet Apologizes To Tesla For FUD” • Twitter user Ray4Tesla shared that an automobile social media outlet in China took responsibility for the fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) it spread against Tesla in China. The network publicly apologized to Tesla for spreading the rumors of brake failure without any evidence. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “A City Planning Model In Shanghai Reveals Land Reserved For Tesla Giga Shanghai” • Kelvin Yang has shared a photo on Twitter that may be of particular interest to Tesla/EV followers. He noted that Shanghai’s city planning office has a city model that reveals land that is reserved for Tesla Giga Shanghai. He also shared an article with more info. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla factory at work (Tesla image)

¶ “Volkswagen Group Is #1 – By Far – In Fully Electric Vehicle Sales In 10 European Countries” • Volkswagen Group set out some years ago to truly go electric and become the top selling company in the electric vehicle market as quickly as possible. Many have laughed and scoffed, but its European results show that it’s getting there. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “RES Secures Planning Approval For 100-MW UK Battery Storage Project” • A 99.9-MW energy storage project currently under development in northern England has secured planning permission. Renewable Energy Systems is developing the system. When it is commissioned in late 2023, RES will have 420 MW of storage operating. [Energy Storage News]

RES battery storage system (Image courtesy of RES and NREL)

¶ “France’s EDF Helping Saudi Arabia Achieve Renewable Energy Targets” • Saudi Arabia is aiming to generate 50% of its energy from renewables by 2030, with the remainder provided by gas. EDF Renewables has two big projects in the Kingdom to help it achieve that goal. Their total capacity is 700 MW, and they can provide electricity cheaply. [Arab News]

¶ “Coal Generators Bleeding Money As Renewables, Rooftop Solar Push Prices Down” • Revenue for the operators of coal burning power stations has plunged by $5.4 billion as coal use continues to decline. This is impetus for AGL, which burns more coal than any other company in Australia, to bring forward its coal closure timeline. [Mirage News]

Yallourn Power Station (Stephen Edmonds, CC BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Powercor Proposes 20 Big Batteries For Victoria Renewable Energy Zones” • Victoria electricity network operator Powercor put forward a plan to install up to 20 big batteries totaling more than 1.1 GW at key network centers to help strengthen the grid and deliver on the state’s renewable energy target. They would facilitate 10 GW of renewables. [Renew Economy]

US:

¶ “The Dam Has Broken And West Virginia Has Awoken To Solar Power” • The tight grip the coal industry has on West Virginia is loosening. Consider the case of Nitro Construction Services, a provider of electrical, mechanical, and technological services. Its roots are in the coal industry but it is now ramping up its new solar business. [Forbes]

West Virginia solar energy (Revolt Energy image)

¶ “Army Of Tesla’s Refreshed Model S Cars Spotted In A Flyover Of Fremont Factory” • Tesla is about to unleash an army of the newly refreshed Model S (Plaid) vehicles. They were spotted at the Tesla factory in Fremont in a drone flyover. Gabincal shared the video on YouTube and noted that the Refreshed vehicles were everywhere. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Air Compression To Be Used In The World’s Largest Non-Hydro Energy Storage System” • The world’s largest advanced compressed-air long-duration energy storage (A-CAES) system is set to be constructed in California. Canadian company Hydrostor has announced that it is developing two A-CAES projects, each of 500-MW / 5-GWh. [Energy Matters]

Have a blissfully inspiring day.

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May 16 Energy News

May 16, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Bringing Back Clean Air” • Indoor air pollution from burning gas is a important problem. RMI has made the clear economic case for all-electric homes in new construction, finding that they are cheaper than dual-fuel homes in every major region of the US. Throw in the safety advantages, and there is simply no reason to build for gas. [CleanTechnica]

Polluted air (Image retrieved from nps.gov)

¶ “Bitcoin Mining Imperils New York State’s Renewable Energy Goals” • The cryptocurrency business has crept into Western New York state almost unnoticed. Digihost’s bid to buy North Tonawanda’s nearly defunct Fortistar power plant, which is fueled by methane and oil, presents an imminent threat to our carbon footprint. [Buffalo News]

¶ “A Case For Wind Energy, And In Support Of Wildlife And Habitat” • New Mexico is in an important position to generate electricity, reaping the benefits that come from its abundant wind energy. Not only can renewable energy development and wildlife conservation coexist, they depend on each other for their futures. [Albuquerque Journal]

Wind turbines (Turn the page fault, placed into the public domain)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Extreme Heat Risks May Be Widely Underestimated And Are Sometimes Left Out of Major Climate Reports” • Recent research shows that the global death toll from extreme heat is rising. But “large parts of society don’t think of heat as a threat,” Oxford University climate scientist Fredi Otto said, commenting on a number of studies. [Inside Climate News]

¶ “May 15 Is The New ‘Unofficial’ Start To Hurricane Season” • Officially, the hurricane season starts on June 1. But named tropical systems have formed earlier than that in the Atlantic every year for the past six years. The National Hurricane Center is now issuing their routine ‘tropical weather outlook’ forecasts starting on May 15, rather than June 1. [CNN]

Heavy waves (Barth Bailey, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Ancient Swedish Hamlet Holds Lessons For Future Of Clean Power” • Simris, a thousand year old village with a population of about 200, has shown that operating independently from the national grid is technologically possible. Villagers use locally produced renewable energy stored in freezer-sized batteries in their homes. [HT Auto – Hindustan Times]

¶ “Flying Giant Returning To Ireland After 300 Years” • Giant birds that have been part of Irish folklore could be returning to the island after an absence of more than 300 years. There is a pair of cranes nesting on a rewetted peat bog owned by former peat producer Bord na Móna. The peat harvests had stopped at the site in January. [BBC]

Crane in Spain (Santiago Lacarta, Unsplash)

¶ “TEPCO Studying Where To Release Treated Water” • The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is studying details of a plan to release treated water that has been accumulating at the plant into the ocean. The company is said to be looking mainly at two options, release from outlets near the shore or through a submarine pipeline. [NKH]

US:

¶ “Rivian Shows Up To Support EV Owners Fighting For EV Freedom In Connecticut” • Connecticut EV owners are fighting for their right to buy EVs in their state, as local dealerships try to block the bill. Now Rivian is lending EVs owners support. The EV Club of Connecticut and the Tesla Owners Club of Connecticut shared their experiences. [CleanTechnica]

Rivian pickup truck (Rivian image)

¶ “California Governor Newsom Taps Budget Surplus For Clean Energy” • Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled his administration’s revised budget, known casually as the May Revise, culminating a weeklong tour to promote a “$100 billion California Comeback Plan.” The comeback includes a return to addressing the climate emergency. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Nevada Aims To Plug Vehicles Into Renewable Energy” • In Nevada, the legislature is considering a bill that would help the state drive on cleaner, cheaper electricity. SB 448 would speed approvals of transmission lines for low-cost, renewable electricity in the region and would accelerate the deployment of EVs fueled by that clean electricity. [CleanTechnica]

Rivian electric SUV (Rivian image)

¶ “GOP Representative Meijer: Republican Resistance To Climate Science Could Doom The Party” • Representative Peter Meijer, a young Republican congressman from Michigan, said he believes his party has to dramatically change their position on climate science. If they don’t, he says, they could doom themselves with younger voters. [Hill Reporter]

¶ “Exxon Mobil’s Messaging Shifted Blame For Warming To Consumers” • Exxon Mobil Corp has used language to systematically shift blame for climate change from fossil fuel companies and onto consumers, according to a paper by researchers at Harvard University. The paper was published in the journal One Earth. [Scientific American]

Have a happily arranged day.

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May 15 Energy News

May 15, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Clean Cars Minnesota: A Win For Public Health, Innovation, And The Environment” • A Minnesota administrative law judge ruled the state can proceed to finalize new clean car standards. The rules will increase the availability and number of clean car models. They also protect people’s health. It’s time for legislators to stop blocking them. [CleanTechnica]

Ford Mustang Mach-E GT (Image courtesy of Ford)

¶ “Europe Needs Over 30 Battery Gigafactories By 2025” • Many people are switching to all electric vehicles before price parity is reached for safety and low cost of ownership. With price parity, the market for vehicles with a tailpipe will almost vanish, faster than the legacy car managers’ worst nightmares. But that means lots of batteries are needed. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Does Nuclear Power Really Keep The Lights On?” • The nuclear industry is fond of telling us the sun does not always shine and the wind does not always blow. But things are a bit more complicated than that. Advances in renewable energy and storage mean that baseload power provided by nuclear reactors is no longer needed. [MSN]

Nuclear plant (Frédéric Paulussen, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Vestas V150 Wind Turbines Surpass Major Milestone: 5 GW In Orders” • Vestas, which designs, manufactures, installs, and services onshore and offshore wind turbines worldwide, scored a huge win in Brazil recently with a 212-MW order. That order means that Vestas is surpassing 5 GW in total order intakes of its V150-4.2 MW turbines. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “VW ID. Buzz With Level 4 Autonomy Scheduled To Begin Real-World Testing This Year” • Illustrations showing the VW ID. Buzz equipped with self-driving hardware have been around the internet for some months. This week the company released more details about its plans to tap the mobility-as-a-service market with that particular vehicle. [CleanTechnica]

VW ID. Buzz (Image courtesy Volkswagen)

¶ “TIM Strikes Deal With ERG For Renewable Energy” • ERG, through its subsidiary ERG Power Generation, and TIM, leading Group in Italy and Brazil in the ICT sector, through its subsidiary Telenergia, have signed a ten-year corporate Power Purchase Agreement for the supply of 3.4 TWh of green energy for the period 2022-2031. [Total Telecom]

US:

¶ “US West Likely To Have Tough 2021 Due To Drought” • US officials expect climate-fueled heat and drought to drive a fire season in the West at least as bad as last year. Projections are so bad that hatcheries in Northern California are trucking salmon to the ocean instead of releasing them into dangerously low rivers with unsafely warm waters. [CleanTechnica]

California (Vladimir Kudinov, Unsplash)

¶ “Pipeline Company Shut Down Its Own Pipeline, Paid Ransom” • The ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline did not actually affect its operations, but made the company afraid it wouldn’t be able to figure out how much to bill its customers, according to a CNN report. So it shut down, causing fuel panic in the Southeast, and paid ransom. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hyundai Commits To $7.4 Billion Program To Build Electric Cars In US” • The Biden administration is proposing an array of policy measures to encourage the sale of electric cars in the US, provided they are built in the US by American workers. Hyundai Group responded with an announcement that it plans to invest $7.4 billion in the US by 2025. [CleanTechnica]

Hyundai EV (Hyundai image)

¶ “Clean Energy Advocates Say Industry Will Slow If Lawmakers Fail To Increase Renewable Energy Goals” • Pennsylvania is set to meet its renewable energy goals, as utilities will meet the final goal of buying 8% of their electricity from renewable sources, with 0.5% coming from solar, by May 31. A slowdown will cost investments and jobs. [StateImpact – NPR]

¶ “Ravenswood Generating Station On Track To Become A Renewable Energy Hub” • Ravenswood Generating Station could be home to renewable energy transported from upstate New York by 2026, its owner announced. The proposed Catskills Renewable Program would supplying an estimated 15% of New York City’s energy. [Queens Daily Eagle]

Ravenswood Generating Station (King of Hearts, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Report: Transmission Tax Credit Could Unlock 30 GW Of Renewables, Spur Over $15 Billion In Private Capital” • Enabling a transmission investment tax credit could spur $15.3 billion in private capital investment, enable an additional 30 GW of renewables energy capacity and create 650,000 “good paying jobs,” in the near term, a report says. [Utility Dive]

¶ “EPA Issues First Climate Update Since 2016” • The five years since the EPA last updated its climate-science scorecard have been five of the six hottest years on record, in which California has endured three of its five most destructive wildfires. Now, the EPA published new data showing in greater detail how climate change is affecting the US. [NWI Times]

Have a radically nifty day.

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May 14 Energy News

May 14, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “‘An 8th-Grader Could Have Hacked’ The Colonial Pipeline” • Its owners should not be surprised that the Colonial Pipeline was hacked. An outside audit of its cyberattack defenses, delivered to the company more than three years ago, described “atrocious” information management practices and “a patchwork of poorly connected and secured systems.” [CleanTechnica]

Colonial Pipeline (Image by Colonial Pipeline Co, via BBC)

¶ “Why Japan’s Plan For Fukushima Wastewater Lacks Public Trust” • The Japanese government says the treated water at Fukushima Daiichi is safe to release. But it is not the same as other tritium water routinely released to the sea. The treated water at Fukushima may contain other radioactive materials that are highly toxic. [Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists]

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Most Intense Firestorms In The World” • When a wildfire reaches epic proportions, it changes everything around it – even creating its own weather. A pyrocumulmonimbus, or “pyroCb” is a thunderstorm generated by fire that creates positive feedback loops, with winds, lightning, and sometimes deadly downdrafts that spread the fire outwards. [BBC]

Smoke from a PyroCb (David Peterson, NASA Earth Observatory)

¶ “Dartmouth Study Shows Renewable Energy Enhances Power Grid’s Resilience” • Integrating renewable energy into the US electric power system would enhance the grid’s resilience, so a highly resilient and decarbonized energy system is possible, according to new research from Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering. [NH Business Review]

World:

¶ “Paris Seeks To Ban Through Traffic In City Center By 2022” • A plan to drastically reduce car traffic in the center of the French capital Paris by 2022 has been put forward by the city council. The scheme would ban through traffic in four central districts, giving priority instead to cyclists, pedestrians, and the public transportation system. [BBC]

Paris (John Towner, Unsplash)

¶ “COP26: Alok Sharma Urges Nations To Banish Coal” • Alok Sharma, former UK Business Secretary and now president of COP26, says his priority is to banish coal. Speaking ahead of the COP26 conference, which is to happen in November, he will urge rich countries to lead the way, helping poorer nations abandon coal power generation. [BBC]

¶ “Acciona Feeds Green Power To Spanish Biofuels Crew” • A Spanish company, Acciona, made a one-year deal to supply 100% renewable electricity to compatriot biofuels manufacturer Vertex Bioenergy. It will deliver 140,000 MWh of electricity to Vertex’s facilities and operations in Spain, including the bioethanol plants in Salamanca, La Coruna, and Murcia. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Acciona image)

¶ “Solar Panels Are Key To Biden’s Energy Plan. But The Global Supply Chain May Rely On Forced Labor From China” • China’s Xinjiang region is a major production hub for the parts needed to build solar panels. But new research suggests that much of that work could rely on the exploitation of the region’s Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minorities. [CNN]

¶ “Amazon Eyes Offshore Wind In Japan” • According to a report by financial news group Nikkei, Amazon is in discussions with Japanese power companies and trading houses to buy electricity from renewable energy projects in Japan, including offshore windpower. Amazon is looking at ways to buy green energy to supply to its Japanese data centers. [reNEWS]

Offshore windpower (Insung Yoon, Unsplash)

¶ “Renewable Energy Output Up Nearly 160% During January Through April” • Vietnam’s total production of electricity from renewable energies hit 9.5 billion kWh in the first four months of 2021. The figure is up 156.9% year-on-year. Renewable resources now account for 11.8% of the total electricity output, according to a report by Vietnam Electricity. [Nhan Dan]

US:

¶ “Eviation Is Closer To Launching Commercial Electric Airplane Service – Alice Gets An EPU” • Eviation Aircraft is developing efficient electric aircraft with the goal of making electric aviation competitive. It is a step closer to launching commercial electric flights, after taking delivery of its first electric propulsion unit for its first aircraft, Alice. [CleanTechnica]

Eviation Alice electric airplane (Courtesy of Eviation)

¶ “Exxon Uses Big Tobacco’s Playbook To Downplay The Climate Crisis, Harvard Study Finds” • For decades, ExxonMobil has used Big Tobacco-like propaganda to downplay the climate crisis, shift blame onto consumers, and protect its interests, a peer-reviewed Harvard University study found. One author said a central reason for our fossil fuels reliance is “disinformation.” [CNN]

¶ “The Transformation Of Appalachian Coalfields Into Solar Farms Is Starting” • Sun Tribe Development plans to be the first to generate large-scale renewable power on the coalfields of Central Appalachia, Energy News Network reports. It is developing up to 75 MW of solar power on deforested mine lands in Virginia and Tennessee. [CleanTechnica]

Solar farm (Image courtesy of Sun Tribe Development)

¶ “Texas Wants To Charge Tesla And Other EV Owners About $400 In Annual Fees For Owning An EV” • Recently, legislators in Texas took a pretty harsh stance against owners of EVs when they proposed Senate Bill 1728. The claim was that EV owners need to pay their fair share and they have to make up for fuel taxes that they don’t pay. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Line 5 Pipeline Continues Operation, Violating Michigan Order” • Enbridge continued operating its Line 5 oil pipeline through the environmentally ultra-sensitive Straits of Mackinac, defying an order by Michigan Gov Gretchen Whitmer to shut down the pipeline. Enbridge said it would halt operations if a court told it to do so. [CleanTechnica]

Have an amusingly perfect day.

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May 13 Energy News

May 13, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Now’s The Time For Bold Investments In Transportation” • President Biden has proposed an infrastructure measure that is historic in its ambition and the House of Representatives is at work to improve an ambitious proposal it passed last year. But the Senate committee is considering a measure that is, sadly, not up to the task. [CleanTechnica]

New Flyer Excelsior bus (Image courtesy of New Flyer)

¶ “No to Nukes” • All Canadians should be concerned that the Trudeau government is spending $50.5 million on small nuclear reactor research. The Union of Concerned Scientists says small nuclear power plants are no use in the climate crisis; they are unsafe, costly, unproven, and clearly linked to military weapons manufacturing. [National Observer]

¶ “Fusion: Ten Times More Expensive Than Nuclear Power” • The US and world fusion energy research programs are developing something that no one will want or can afford. The ITER tokamak experiment was originally envisioned to cost roughly $5 billion, but now is projected to be $22 billion, or possibly $65 billion. [RealClearEnergy]

Fusion reactor (US DOE image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “If Paris Goals Are Not Met, Sea Level Rise May Become Unstoppable By 2060” • A study published in the journal Nature examines what most likely will happen to global sea levels if the average global temperature increases 3ºC. They say that would cause the Antarctic ice sheet to melt entirely over time, raising sea levels 57.9 meters (190 feet). [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Want A Heart Attack? Move Closer To A Natural Gas Fracking Site” • Fracking might not be good for your heart. The Journal of Environmental Research published a study that found middle-aged men living near fracking sites in Pennsylvania were more than 5% more likely to die of a heart attack than their counterparts where fracking is banned. [CleanTechnica]

Fracking (Image courtesy of NASA, ClimateKids)

World:

¶ “BP Venture Plans Largest Renewables Hub Yet As Oil Giant Piles Into Green Power” • Lightsource BP secured the planning go-ahead to create its biggest solar complex globally to date at 600 MW. It is another step to meeting the oil supermajor’s ambitious renewable energy targets. The Wellington PV project is in New South Wales. [Upstream Online]

¶ “Renewables Permitting Reform Key To EU Green Goals” • Europe needs to improve permitting procedures for new, repowered, and hybrid renewables projects if it is to meet its Green Deal goals, WindEurope said. Its position paper said the bloc should not only mandate a permitting speedup but also show countries how to do it. [reNEWS]

Windfarm (WindEurope image)

¶ “North Rhine-Westphalia Informs Entrepreneurs On Renewable Energy” • The Ministry of Economy, Innovation, Digitisation, and Energy of North Rhine-Westphalia announced an information roadshow “More photovoltaics on commercial roofs – Campaign 2021+.” It is to expand rooftop PVs at industrial and commercial sites. [TheMayor.EU]

¶ “Statkraft To Build 234-MW Spanish Solar Plant” • Statkraft is to invest €200 million to construct four new solar plants in southern Spain totaling 234 MW. The projects are co-located within an eight-kilometre radius of each other in the Cadiz region. Three of the four plants have already received their construction permits. [reNEWS]

Solar plant (A Garcia, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “US Environmental Agency Releases Climate Report Delayed By Trump” • The US EPA said for the first time that climate change is being driven at least in part by humans. The agency made the acknowledgement in a new report that had been delayed by the Trump White House since 2017. Mr Trump called human-caused climate change a “hoax.” [BBC]

¶ “The Strange Deal That Created A Ghost Town” • The JM Gavin coal-burning power station is the seventh-largest emitter of CO₂ of all power stations in the US. In 2019 it emitted 12.9 million tonnes of CO₂ into the atmosphere. The power plant’s emissions are also responsible for the demise of the entire community of Cheshire, Ohio. [BBC]

Cheshire, Ohio in 2004 (Analogue Kid, CC-BY-SA 2.5)

¶ “Illinois To See Significant Public Health Benefits In A 100% Carbon-Free Future” • In Illinois, coal plants are closing earlier than previously expected. This not only makes sense from an economic standpoint, but also has health benefits as well, since burning less fossil fuel for energy means healthier air for all of us to breathe. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla Suspends Bitcoin Vehicle Purchases Due To Impacts Of Mining And Transactions On The Environment” • In the past, Tesla has accepted Bitcoin as payment for cars. But Elon Musk has tweeted that Tesla suspended use of Bitcoin for vehicle purchases. He said the reason was Bitcoin’s growing dependence on energy from nfossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

Representation of Bitcoin (André François McKenzie, Unsplash)
In fact, Bitcoin is a virtual currency – it has no physical reality.

¶ “Gas Stations Dry As Pipeline Shutdown Drives Panic, Chaos” • Long lines of drivers formed at gas stations across the South – except for the stations that had already run out of gas – as the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline caused panic buying and chaos. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said the pipeline will soon be operating. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Over 660 Groups Call On Democrats To ‘Reject Gas And Other False Climate Solutions’ For Clean Energy Standard” • Over 660 progressive groups demanded that top Democrats in Congress “reject gas and other false climate solutions” and push for a total transition to renewable energy to address the global climate emergency. [Common Dreams]

Have a monumentally comfy day.

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May 12 Energy News

May 12, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Hitting The EV Inflection Point In Europe” • Can the entire EU go to 100% electric car and van sales by 2035 in order to decarbonize road transport by 2050? Can a small business as well as an average family, whether living in a city or a village, make the switch? Bloomberg New Energy Finance did an analysis and gave a clear answer: Yes. [CleanTechnica]

Inflection point (T&E and Bloomberg)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Tesla Transitions To LFP Battery Cells For Megapack Battery Installations” • Multiple news sources are reporting that Tesla has begun using lithium-iron phosphate (aka LiFPO₄) battery cells in its Megapack grid-scale storage systems. LFP has advantages, and some disadvantages, when compared to other more commonly used lithium batteries. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EMEC Assesses New York Tidal Turbine Output” • EMEC delivered the world’s first internationally recognized power performance assessment to Verdant Power for its Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy array in New York. In a 39-day test, Verdant Power’s turbines had availability of over 99% and generated 187 kW at peak flood tide velocity. [reNEWS]

Tidal turbine installation (Verdant Power image)

¶ “Coral Reef Restorations Can Be Optimized To Reduce Flood Risk” • New guidelines for coral reef restoration aiming to reduce the risk of flooding were published in Frontiers in Marine Science. The guidelines aim to optimize restoration efforts not only for the benefit of the ecosystem, but also to protect the coast and people living on it. [EurekAlert!]

World:

¶ “Throwing Money At Schemes Ineffective – Charity” • A report by Third World Network says rich countries “throwing money” at enhancing biodiversity is ineffective. It calls for “a profound re-organisation of the global post-pandemic economy to prevent further harm to the planet,” and it recommends nothing less than a “change in our entire economic model.” [BBC]

New Zealand (Tomas Sobek, Unsplash)

¶ “Renewable Energy On Back Burner With Gas Confirmed As Budget Focus” • Australia’s treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, unveiled a big budget. Critics were quick to condemn it for a lack of money set aside for renewable energy. They called it a point of “national shame” and missed opportunity as Australia continues to pursue a gas-led philosophy. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Ilmatar Finds €42 Million In Funding For Two Finnish Projects” • Ilmatar Energy has secured €42 million of senior debt commitments for two onshore wind projects in Finland. Under the agreement, Ilmatar remains the sole owner of the 25.8-MW Voimamylly project and the 48-MW Rasakangas project. Work on the latter has already begun. [reNEWS]

Wind project (Image via Unsplash)

¶ “UNDP Extends Philippine Renewable Energy Program” • The United Nations Development Programme has extended the Development for Renewable Energy Applications Mainstreaming and Market Sustainability program to January 2023, according to the Philippine Department of Energy. The project had run into delays due to the pandemic. [BusinessWorld]

US:

¶ “Drought Emergency Declared In Most Of California Amid ‘Acute Water Supply Shortfalls'” • California Governor Gavin Newsom expanded a drought emergency across most of the parched state, covering a vast stretch of the central and northern regions of the state as it endures its second major drought in less than a decade. [CNN]

California highway (Peter Mizsak, Unsplash)

¶ “US Petrol Supplies Tighten After Colonial Pipeline Hack” • Motorists in the Southeast have been urged to not hoard fuel as supplies tighten due to a major pipeline remaining shut after a cyber-attack. North Carolina, Virginia and Florida have declared a state of emergency. The average price for gasoline rose to $2.98 per gallon. [BBC]

¶ “Navajo Nation Methane Pollution Rate Double National Average” • Methane pollution from oil and gas extraction on Navajo Nation lands harms the health of local residents and robs the tribe of critical income, writes Hannah Grover for the New Mexico Political Report. An EDF report found the leak rate is twice the US average. [CleanTechnica]

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park (Cayetano Gil, Unsplash)

¶ “Keene Passed Its Community Power Plan. What Comes Next?” • Keene became the first municipality in New Hampshire to pass a community power program, in a move to give the city more control over the local electricity supply. But there are still details that need to be addressed. One is to submit the plan to the NH Public Utilities Commission. [The Keene Sentinel]

¶ “Colorado Springs Utilities Pushes Ahead Toward Renewable Energy” • The migration away from fossil fuels to renewables requires new ways to deliver power to customers. Colorado Springs Utilities is all in on finding ways to wean the city off fossil fuels, such as microgrids. It is creating an Advanced Technologies Campus. [Colorado Springs Independent]

Advanced Technologies Campus (Colorado Springs Utilities)

¶ “Markey, Warren Ask NRC For Stricter Conditions At Seabrook Station” • Massachusetts Democratic Senators Edward Markey and Elizabeth Warren sent a letter to the NRC, in which they called for stronger safety standards at the Seabrook Station nuclear power plant. One of their main concerns is alkali-silica reaction degradation. [Gloucester Times]

¶ “US May Consider Nuclear Subsidies” • New subsidies, in the form of “production tax credits,” could be included in President Joe Biden’s multi-trillion-dollar legislative effort to invest in infrastructure and jobs, sources said. Wind and solar power already benefit from tax rebates based on the levels of energy they generate. [Nuclear Engineering International]

Have an outrageously uplifting day.

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May 11 Energy News

May 11, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Insular Areas Climate Change Act: Strengthen Territories’ Response To Climate Disasters And Protect Those Who Are Most Vulnerable” • The Insular Areas Climate Change Act is a bill now in a public comment process intended to reduce climate impacts in unincorporated US island territories. It is a good starting point to address their climate impacts. [CleanTechnica]

US Virgin Islands (Josh Duncan, Unsplash)

¶ “USA Falling Way, Way, Way Behind In Floating Offshore Wind Race” • South Korea only has 8,640 miles of coastline and it is already moving forward with plans to build the world’s largest floating offshore wind farm. Meanwhile the US weighs in at 95,471 miles of coast and it barely has any steel in the water. So what gives? [CleanTechnica]

¶ “How Big Utilities’ Climate Pledges Fall Short” • Can a utility company be carbon neutral by 2050 if it builds a gas plant now? Maybe if it shuts off the gas plant well before its 40 years of useful life are complete, leaving electric customers to pay off millions in debt. Here is an edition of the Local Energy Rules podcast that addresses this issue. [CleanTechnica]

Transmission lines (Matthew Henry, Unsplash)

¶ “Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull Fact-Checked” • In an opinion piece in The Guardian, former prime ministers Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull warned, “With more than 70% of Australia’s trade now with countries committed to net zero, the prospect of carbon-border taxes being introduced.” ABC’s fact-checking showed they were right. [ABC]

Science and Technology:

¶ “ASKA Flying Car Showroom Opens And Offers Pre-Orders” • The term ‘flying car’ is sometimes used to describe an eVTOL, but it’s usually inaccurate. Most eVTOLs are designed purely for flight and not for road transport. But NFT Inc has a mission to develop a vehicle that is capable of traversing both the roads and the sky – the ASKA flying car. [CleanTechnica]

ASKA flying car (ASKA image)

¶ “Mind-Boggling Magnets Could Unlock Plentiful Power” • A fusion reaction is what makes the sun hot. But to make fusion happen here on Earth, you have to heat hydrogen isotopes to hundreds of millions of degrees and hold them in a container that can deal with something that hot. A set of mind-bogglingly powerful magnets can do that. [BBC]

World:

¶ “Forests The Size Of France Regrown Since 2000, Study Suggests” • An area of forest the size of France has regrown naturally across the world in the last 20 years, a study suggests. The restored forests have the potential to soak up the equivalent of 5.9 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide – more than the annual emissions of the US. [BBC]

Forest (Milk-Tea, Unsplash)

¶ “Renewable Energy Sources Grew At Fastest Rate In Two Decades Last Year” • Renewable sources of electricity, including wind and solar, grew at their fastest rate in two decades in 2020 and are set to expand even more rapidly over the next two years, with high-capacity renewables likely to account for about 90% of new global power capacity. [The Globe and Mail]

¶ “BNEF Predicts Electric Cars Will Be Cheaper In Europe Than Conventional Cars By 2027” • Recently, Transport & Environment asked Bloomberg New Energy Finance to determine when EVs will become less expensive to manufacture than conventional cars with gasoline engines. The answer from BNEF is that will happen in 2027. [CleanTechnica]

Charging Porsches (Porsche image)

¶ “Construction Starts At South Africa’s Biggest Renewable Energy Project” • Construction of the Redstone Concentrated Solar Plant in the Northern Cape province has commenced. The Redstone plant will be equipped with a 12-hour thermal storage system that will deliver clean and reliable electricity to nearly 200,000 households round the clock. [ITWeb]

¶ “GE Renewable Energy And Toshiba Announce Strategic Partnership Agreement On Offshore Wind In Japan” • Toshiba Energy Systems and Solutions Corp and GE Renewable Energy announced that they signed a strategic partnership agreement. It will help GE’s offshore wind technology to be more competitive in Japan. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

GE wind turbine (Courtesy of GE Renewable Energy)

US:

¶ “California PV+Storage Project Inks Offtake” • Vesper Energy and Desert Community Energy have entered into a 20-year power purchase agreement for all of the energy produced from the Deer Creek 50-MW Solar plus 200-MWh storage project in California. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2022 and be completed in 2023. [reNEWS]

¶ “California Targets ‘Diesel Death Zones’ With New Rule” • Southern California air quality regulators approved a rule to reduce the air pollution related to the approximately 3,000 logistics warehouses that have proliferated in the region. New safeguards aim to decrease pollution that has concentrated in “diesel death zones.” [CleanTechnica]

Volvo electric trucks (Image courtesy of Volvo Trucks)

¶ “Looking At Wisconsin’s Renewable Energy Future” • More solar projects are coming to Wisconsin as it moves away from fossil fuels. On Earth Day, the state’s Public Service Commission approved Madison-based Alliant Energy’s plans to spend nearly $1 billion on new solar plants as part of its plans to phase out coal-fired generators. [WGLR]

¶ “Big Island On Pace To Meet Renewable Energy Goals In Two Years” • Three large solar projects in the works on Hawaii island are bolstering the island’s renewal energy supply. They are big enough that the island should hit 100% of its renewable energy standards by 2023, Hawaiian Electric Co says. By 2024, that rate could jump to 110%. [Honolulu Civil Beat]

Have an exquisitely fabulous day.

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May 10 Energy News

May 10, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Six Innovative Funding Methods To Achieve Climate Action And Equity In US Cities” • US city budgets are tighter than ever due to COVID-19. Nevertheless, as cities increasingly recognize that climate action can deliver multiple benefits, they are finding innovative funding methods to simultaneously address inequity and climate. [CleanTechnica]

Grand Rapids (Ben Zelenka, Unsplash)

¶ “Nuclear Plants A Big Security Risk” • As Taiwan’s August referendum on completing its Fourth Nuclear Power Plant approaches, there is one question that has not yet been fully considered. It is to what extent this and Taiwan’s other three plants are military liabilities. Could they be radioactive targets that China aims to attack? [Taipei Times]

¶ “Indonesia’s Coal Industry Is On Its Last Legs” • The pot of money for coal power is drying up. South Korea announced last month it will no longer provide financial support for overseas coal projects. Now China seems to be the only country willing to provide the immense financial aid that Indonesia’s bloated coal industry needs to keep going. [CNA]

Indonesia (Arto Marttinen, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Government Urged To Update 2030 Renewable Energy Targets” • A report by RenewableUK calls on the government to update its 2030 targets for renewable energy capacity. It suggests the recently announced target of 78% cut in CO₂ emissions will need new commitments for onshore wind, floating wind, green hydrogen, and marine energy. [Energy Live News]

¶ “Porsche Planning New Platforms For Electric Macan And Boxster/Cayman Twins” • Porsche is busy putting the finishing touches on its new Premium Performance Electric battery electric platform, which will form the basis of a battery electric version of the Macan. The electric Macan is expected to go on sale in 2023. [CleanTechnica]

Porsche Macan EV prototypes in Germany (Porsche image)

¶ “Asian Development Bank To End Financing Of Coal, Oil, And Gas” • The Asian Development Bank may stop financing new coal-fired power capacity, as well as oil and gas exploration and production, according to a draft policy statement. The draft will be deliberated by ADBs board of directors in October. Critics say the policy is already ten years late. [Energy Voice]

¶ “Inside Kenya’s Small-Scale Renewable Energy Revolution” • Demand for solar energy in Kenya has risen over the past few years as ratepayers turn to it to beat the high cost of electricity. Kenya Power said industrial customers accounting for nearly 55% of its sales revenues have begun generating their own electricity using solar power. [Construction Kenya]

Solar array (Nows92, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Leaked EU Report Reveals Ambitious Renewables Agenda” • The European Commission intends to ask EU Member States to make an additional effort to increase their share of renewable energy in the power mix, according to a leaked draft of an official document. Brussels wants to upgrade its current 32% renewable energy target for 2030 to at least 38%. [Oil Price]

¶ “More Than 350,000 Solar Panels To Lower Costs And Reduce Emissions” • In a major milestone for the $300 million project, 367,769 solar panels have been installed at 33 South Australian Water treatment plants and pump stations. This includes 30,000 solar panels at Happy Valley Reservoir, the world’s largest fully movable solar array. [Premier of South Australia]

US:

¶ “US Passes Emergency Waiver Over Fuel Pipeline Cyber-Attack” • The US government issued emergency legislation after the largest fuel pipeline in the US was completely shut down by a ransomware cyber-attack. The Colonial Pipeline carries 2.5 million barrels a day – 45% of the East Coast’s supply of diesel, gasoline, and jet fuel. [BBC]

¶ “Legacy Auto Paid To Advertise EVs On SNL Last Night, While Tesla’s Elon Musk Hosted” • In a move that proves that Tesla is the leader of the auto industry in at least one sense, legacy automakers – Ford, Audi, and VW scrambled to get some EV advertising on Saturday Night Live last night. And Lucid joined them in this endeavor. [CleanTechnica]

Screenshot of SNL show (Nyasha-mercy via Twitter)

¶ “Biden Administration Outlines The ‘America The Beautiful’ Initiative” • In a clean break from the anti-nature politics and policies of the previous administration, the new Biden-Harris administration has begun to outline a different vision for how the US can work collaboratively to conserve and restore public lands, waters and wildlife. [New American Journal]

¶ “UNFI’s Plan To Reduce Emissions: Adopting Zero-Emissions Emerging Transportation Technology” • United Natural Foods, Inc has a plan to reduce its greenhouse gas emission footprint in California. It is adding 53 all-electric transport refrigerated trail units to its fleet at the Riverside distribution center, complete with solar panels on the trailers. [CleanTechnica]

Have an eminently successful day.

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May 9 Energy News

May 9, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “California Energy Commission Proposal Makes Important Climate Progress, But Falls Short Of Widely Supported All-Electric Building Code” • The California Energy Commission released its official proposal for the 2022 California Energy Code, which, if finalized, will help advance the state toward pollution-free homes and buildings. [CleanTechnica]

San Francisco (Timo Strohmann, Unsplash)

¶ “Oil, Gas, And Chemical Companies Don’t Want Louisiana Residents To Know What’s In The Air” • A Louisiana legislative committee rejected a bill that would have required 473 plants to install real-time air monitoring systems. The bill was inspired by concerns of voters after last year’s explosion and fire at the ExxonMobile refinery. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Comparing The Best Electric Cars For 2021” • There are two ways to consider what the best electric cars on the market are. One way is to consider what the absolute best cars are, regardless of price. The other way is to consider what the best cars are when taking price into account. Or, as this article does, you can include a little bit of both. [CleanTechnica]

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV (Photo courtesy of Chevrolet)

World:

¶ “India Announces $600 Million Incentives Scheme For Solar Manufacturing” • The Indian government has announced a new incentive scheme to boost manufacturing in the solar power sector. Through this scheme, the government plans to disburse more than $600 million in production-linked incentives over the next five years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Volta Trucks Road-To-Zero Emissions Strategy” • Volta Trucks has laid out its Road-to-Zero Emissions strategy and is launching four full-electric commercial vehicles. The trucks will be range in size from 7.5 tonnes to 19 tonnes and manufactured at multiple facilities. The target is set to 27,000 vehicle sales annually across expanded markets. [CleanTechnica]

Volta truck in Madrid (Volta Trucks image)

¶ “Indonesia’s Electricity Body PLN Pledges Carbon Neutrality By 2050” • Indonesia’s state-owned electricity monopoly PLN has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2050 with a plan to phase out fossil fuel-fired power plants and use more renewable energy in its networks. PLN’s electricity production is expected to grow 4.7% annually to 2050. [The Star]

¶ “Ameresco Completes Wind Project in Kefalonia, Greece” • Ameresco, a cleantech integrator specializing in energy efficiency and renewable energy, announced its wind turbine project at Xerakia Dilinata of the Municipality of Kefalonia, Greece has completed construction and is in operation. The project has four 2.3-MW turbines. [Framingham SOURCE]

Kefalonia wind project (Ameresco image)

¶ “Azerbaijan Reveals Prices For Electricity To Be Produced By New Solar And Wind Power Plants” • The energy ministry of Azerbaijan revealed prices for the electricity to be generated by the country’s solar and wind power plants operated by the Arabic companies. The wholesale price of the electricity will be 0.06 Azerbaijani Manat (3.5¢/kWh). [Caspian News]

US:

¶ “99.7% Of New US Power Capacity Was Solar And Wind In January And February” • New US power capacity in the first two months of 2021 came almost exclusively from wind and solar power plants, data from the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission shows. Wind and solar power provided 99.7% of all new large-scale power capacity. [CleanTechnica]

Solar array (American Public Power Association, Unsplash)

¶ “EV Chargers At Ford’s Research Center To Be Powered By Rooftop Solar Array” • The onsite EV chargers at Ford’s Research & Engineering Center will be powered by 2,159 panels of a solar array on the roof of its parking structure. The solar array was installed by DTE Energy. Ford said its carbon benefits are equal to nearly 980 acres of forest. [HT Auto]

¶ “Legislature Votes To Reduce Government Regulation Of Renewable Energy” • The Alaska Legislature passed Senate Bill 69, encouraging private investment in renewable energy projects by extending an exemption from duplicative regulations for independent power producers. The bill passed the Senate 18-0 and the House 36-1. [Alaska Native News]

Wind farm on Kodiak Island (James Brooks, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “New Climate Data Show Spokane Summers Are Hotter And Drier” • It doesn’t take a climate science degree to sense that Spokane summers are getting hotter and drier, but science has confirmed that. A report shows that over the last three decades, average temperatures in Spokane have increased by 1.2°F in July compared to a decade ago. [The Spokesman-Review]

¶ “New Jersey Adopts Climate Change As A Part Of Its Core Curriculum In All Public Schools” • Chatham High School is one of more than 2,000 public schools in New Jersey implementing a curriculum including climate change in the fall. The school’s science supervisor says the new curriculum will be incorporated across every subject. [WNYC]

Have a coolly insightful day.

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May 8 Energy News

May 8, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Batteries Spark Biden’s Infrastructure And Jobs Promise” • President Biden’s infrastructure plan (The American Jobs Plan) aligns recovery stimulus and climate action. The green stimulus can create jobs. To date, stimulus hasn’t been that green overall globally but the US plan will make a positive difference for our nation and the planet. [CleanTechnica]

Proterra battery factory (Image courtesy of Proterra)

¶ “How FERC Transmission Reform Can End The Delay Of A Cleaner Future” • The electric utility industry was organized and dominated by monopolies for their own purposes. The logic of a monopoly does not support improving access to new, competing supplies that a neighboring region might develop and export. All that is starting to change. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Equinor Blazes A Renewable Path, But Can Other Oil Companies Follow?” • Up until 2018, the Norwegian company Statoil was one of the integrated supermajor oil companies. The company changed its name to Equinor in 2018, and shifted its direction in company strategy. Now it aims for net-zero by 2050. Can other oil companies do that? [Forbes]

Dudgeon offshore wind farm (Sonja Chirico Indrebø, Equinor)

¶ “Gasoline Shortages Could Ruin Summer Travel Plans And Sell EVs” • After being driven slowly insane by a year of isolation, Americans are ready to hit the open road this summer. There’s one problem: gas stations are already having trouble getting gas in, and people are going to need a lot more when travel season is in full swing. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Cut Methane Emissions To Avert Global Temperature Rise” • Methane emissions caused by human activity can be reduced by up to 45% over the course of this decade, thus helping to keep global temperature rise to 1.5°C in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a UN-backed report, the Global Methane Assessment. [Saudi Gazette]

Emissions (Daniel Moqvist, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “China’s Annual Emissions Surpass Those Of All Developed Nations Combined, Report Finds” • China’s annual emissions exceeded those of all developed nations combined in 2019, the first time this has happened since national greenhouse gas emissions have been measured, according to a report from the Rhodium Group. [CNN]

¶ “Tesla Director Of Energy On Transition To Renewables: ‘It’s Happening Quickly'” • Mark Twidell, Director of Energy at Tesla, was recently in Adelaide, South Australia, where he spoke at a Southstart entrepreneur’s conference, Financial Review reported. In his talk, he emphasized just how fast the renewables transition is happening. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm in South Australia (HikerJules, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “South Korea Unveils 6-GW Floating Ambitions” • South Korea has unveiled plans to build a 6-GW floating offshore wind farm off the coast of Ulsan by 2030. President Moon Jae-in said the project would require an investment totaling KRW36 trillion (€27 billion, $32.35 billion ), create 210,000 jobs and deliver enough electricity for 5.76 million homes. [reNEWS]

¶ “Atlas Renewable Energy Secures Loan For 359-MW Solar Plant In Brazil” • Latin America-focused solar developer Atlas Renewable Energy has obtained a $150 million loan to finance the construction of its 359-MW Lar do Sol – Casablanca PV project in Brazil. The project will supply power to mining company Anglo American. [PV Tech]

Atlas solar project in Brazil (Atlas Renewable Energy image)

¶ “Nearly 100% Renewables: Wind Leads Turkey’s Energy Installations” • Wind power plants accounted for 51.5% of the additional power capacity installations in Turkey from January through April. Looking at all types of installations, renewable resources accounted for 97.5% of new capacity during the first four months of the year. [Daily Sabah]

¶ “How An Oil Company Becomes A Renewables Company” • Norway’s state-owned oil producer, Equinor ASA, posted more than $2.6 billion of earnings in the first quarter of 2021, 49% of which was from renewable energy. Last quarter, Equinor earned more from renewables than it did from oil and gas exploration and production. [gCaptain]

Dudgeon offshore wind farm (Sonja Chirico Indrebø, Equinor)

US:

¶ “Minnesota To Become First Midwest Clean Cars State” • The proposal to adopt a Clean Cars Minnesota program has been given a green light. An Administrative Law Judge ruled that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency could move forward, after extensive process with thousands of public comments and filings by stakeholders. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “NASA Reboots Its Role In Fighting Climate Change” • NASA is best known for exploring other worlds, whether that’s sending astronauts to the Moon or flying helicopters on Mars. But under US President Joe Biden, the space agency intends to boost its reputation as a major player in studying Earth, especially to fight climate change. [Nature]

Earth (Carl Hostetter, NASA EPIC Team)

¶ “California Develops Proposal To Achieve Clean Vehicle Future” • Transportation now the largest US source of carbon pollution, but California, a global leader in EV deployment and policy innovation, is working on that. It presented plans for the next round of its Advanced Clean Cars program, which requires all new vehicles to be electric by 2035. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Green Ammonia Trickling Into Louisiana Like A Boss” • Louisiana has had a lot of jobs in natural gas. But now, some interesting news about green ammonia that just popped up on the old CleanTechnica radar could become important for the Pelican State, as it seeks firmer footing in the emerging green economy. [CleanTechnica]

Have a thoroughly delightful day.

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May 7 Energy News

May 7, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Rooftop Solar Power Comes With Huge “Soft” Benefit Over Utility-Scale Power – Oodles Of Jobs!” • Any policymaker should love creating jobs, and as John Farrell pointed out, rooftop solar power creates nearly 30 times more jobs than utility-scale solar power for the same money. That could be hundreds of thousands of more jobs in a region. [CleanTechnica]

Rooftop solar installer (Kate Costa, US DOE)

¶ “Small Cargo EVs For Cities Could Be A Game Changer” • When I ordered some groceries from a local supermarket, a very big lorry arrived to drop them off. I was surprised to see that my groceries were all that was in the back of that huge lorry. That is inefficient, to say the least. Small autonomous electric cargo vans could be a game changer. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “UK Developer Toasts 40-MW Ukraine Wind” • UK-based Elementum Energy has started commercial operations at the 40-MW Dnistrovska 1 wind farm in Ukraine. The project, which features 10 GE 137-4.0MW turbines on 131-meter towers, achieved mechanical completion in December 2020 and has now entered into production. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Elementum Energy image)

¶ “Volkswagen ID.4 Is Mopping Up In Europe – April Sales Chart” • The Volkswagen ID.3 seems like it just hit the market, but the attention has already shifted to the Volkswagen ID.4, and that’s because the ID.4 is mopping up in Europe. We might also note that it the ID.4 is the only fully electric Volkswagen available in the USA. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “China Leads In Renewable Energy Capacity At 895 GW” • The world’s total installed renewable energy amounted to almost 2,800 GW in 2020. China has an installed renewable energy capacity of 895 GW, the Warsaw Business Journal reports citing data by TradingPlatforms.com. The next on the list is the US with a distant 292 GW. [Budapest Business Journal]

Wind turbines (American Public Power Association, Unsplash)

¶ “Australia’s First Regional Renewable Hydrogen Plant” • Work has begun on Australia’s first community hydrogen power plant, providing an alternative to the use of diesel in Denham, a town in Western Australia’s Gascoyne region. Horizon Power is to install a 704-kW solar farm, 348-kW hydrogen electrolyzer and a 100-kW fuel cell there. [Media Statements]

¶ “Developers Advance 200-MW Korean Floater” • The developers of the 200-MW Donghae 1 floating offshore wind farm off South Korea, Korea National Oil Corporation, Korea East-West Power and Equinor, said the proposed project off Ulsan passed the preliminary feasibility study conducted by the Korea Development Institute. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbines (Equinor image)

¶ “EDF Renewables Starts Up 344-MW Brazil Wind” • EDF Renewables has begun operations at the 344-MW Folha Larga Norte wind farm complex in Brazil. The Folha Larga Norte wind farm consists of 82 wind turbines and is in the state of Bahia. There were 800 people, mostly local labor, involved in the wind farm’s construction. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Energy Production In USA Fell By More Than 5% In 2020” • In 2020, energy production in the US fell to just below 96 quads, down more than 5% from 2019’s record high, according to EIA’s Monthly Energy Review. In absolute terms, the drop that took place in 2020 marked the largest annual decrease in US energy production on record. [CleanTechnica]

US Energy production (US Energy Information Administration)

¶ “US Interior Department Takes Steps To Revoke Final Rule On Migratory Bird Treaty Act Incidental Take” • The US Fish and Wildlife Service announced a proposed rule to revoke the final regulation of January 7, 2021, which limited the scope of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. That regulation was challenged in court and opposed by treaty partners. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Wisk Aero And Blade Urban Air Mobility Join Forces To Make Electric Air Taxis A Reality” • In a further step towards making electric air taxis a reality, eVTOL startup Wisk Aero, which is backed by both Boeing and Kitty Hawk, formed a partnership with Blade Urban Air Mobility to send a fleet of 30 eVTOLs up into the air. [CleanTechnica]

Wisk Aero eVTOL (Image courtesy of Wisk Aero)

¶ “Reports: Tesla Has Already Sold Out Of Vehicles In Q2 2021” • There are reports that Tesla has already sold out of vehicles for the second quarter of 2021. The reports say Tesla informed its employees that production capacity for the second quarter is already sold out even though we still have two months left. So much for that “no demand” myth. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vermont Electric Plans For Carbon Neutrality By 2023, 100% Renewable Energy By 2030” • Vermont Electric Cooperative plans to reach carbon neutrality by 2023 and transition fully to renewable energy sources by 2030, it announced last month. Member enthusiasm and state climate goals were cited as reasons for change. [The Middlebury Campus]

Vermont Electric Cooperative (Courtesy photo)

¶ “Senate Passes Natural Gas Innovation Act To Increase Renewable Energy Resources” • In Minnesota, the Natural Gas Innovation Act passed in the Senate with bipartisan support, 53-14. It establishes a regulatory framework for the state’s natural gas utilities to provide customers with access to renewable energy resources. [Minnesota Senate Republican Caucus]

¶ “Crossing Trails Wind Farm Achieves Commercial Operation” • Commercial operations have commenced at EDP Renewables North America’s 104-MW Crossing Trails Wind Farm. The new wind farm is 20 miles south of Seibert, Colorado, in Kit Carson and Cheyenne counties, in the service area of a Tri-State co-op member. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Have an enthusiastically appreciated day.

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May 6 Energy News

May 6, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “What The Clean Energy For America Act Gets Right, And How It Can Improve” • The Clean Energy for America Act is a step in the right direction, but more can be done to improve on the proposal and existing clean energy tax credits. Doing so would ensure that tax credits reach their full potential as an essential part of US emissions reductions. [CleanTechnica]

Desert Research Institute (Manny Becerra, Unsplash)

¶ “Don’t Let Them Fool You: Disinformation Is Not An Accident” • The Oxford Reference defines disinformation as “A form of propaganda involving the dissemination of false information with the deliberate intent to deceive or mislead.” We see interest groups (such as oil companies) and elected officials engaged in it, often in organized campaigns. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Aldi And Other Big Grocers Threaten To Boycott Brazil Over Deforestation In The Amazon” • Some of Europe’s biggest supermarkets and food companies threaten to stop buying agricultural products from Brazil if a bill that would legalize the private occupation of public land that has taken place since 2012 becomes law. [CNN]

Destruction of the Amazon rain forest
(Alzenir Ferreira de Souza, placed into the public domain)

¶ “India’s Tata Power Wins 250-MW Solar Auction At 3.4¢/kWh” • Media reports say a subsidiary of Tata Power Renewable Energy secured the rights to develop 250 MW of solar power projects in Maharashtra. Other developers bid on parts of the tender, but the entire capacity was awarded to Tata Power Renewable Energy on its bid of ₹2.51/kWh (3.8¢/kWh) [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vestas Bags 212-MW Brazil Turbine Order” • Vestas has secured a 212-MW turbine order for a wind project in Brazil. Vestas will supply Omega Energia with turbines for the Assurua 4 project, located in Bahia. The order includes 47 V150-4.2MW wind turbines delivered in 4.5-MW power optimized mode and service for the turbines for 10 years. [reNEWS]

Vestas turbine (Vestas image)

¶ “UK April Plugin Electric Vehicle Share Over 13% Even After Grant Cuts” • The UK saw plugin electric vehicle market share at 13.25% in April, with full electrics at a healthy 6.5% despite recent cuts in the government plugin car grant. The overall auto market is recovering on showroom reopening, but is still down 13% from typical seasonal volume. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New $240 Million VC Fund 2150 Takes Aim At The Carbon Footprint Of Cities” • The energy consumption and carbon emissions of the world’s cities is astronomical. It is estimated that cities are responsible for 70% of all carbon emissions as they consume more than two-thirds of the world’s energy. The VC fund 2150 starts to addresses that. [CleanTechnica]

New cement technology (CarbonCure image)

¶ “Edify Seeks Approval For 10-MW Green Hydrogen Facility That Could Grow To 1 GW” • Edify Energy, one of Australia’s most successful renewable energy developers, has lodged planning applications for a 10-MW hydrogen facility at a “sustainable” industrial district being established just outside of Townsville, Queensland. [Renew Economy]

¶ “UBC To Build $23-Million Solar Farm And Hydrogen Fuel Station” • Construction has begun on a green energy hub at a University of British Columbia’s campus. A 1-MW solar array shading car parking will supply the electricity for high-voltage EV charging, a hydrogen production and refueling station, and battery-based energy storage. [Daily Hive]

Rendering of the hydrogen refueling station (DIALOG/UBC)

¶ “Equinor Lets Sun In On Polish Renewables Plans With 1.6-GW Swoop” • Norwegian energy giant Equinor completed a €91 million ($109.2 million) deal to take over the Polish solar energy developer Wento on the same day it was awarded contracts for difference for a combined 1.44 GW of Baltic Sea wind capacity off the Polish coast. [Upstream Online]

US:

¶ “Uncovering The Deadly Toll Of Air Pollution From Buildings” • Burning gas, wood, and biomass in buildings now has more negative health effects than burning coal in many states, a study says. It is the first to examine the effects of burning different fuels, quantifying impacts in terms of both early deaths and monetary cost in the US. [CleanTechnica]

New York City (Ale Alvarez, Unsplash)

¶ “UGI, Global Common Energy Partner To Develop Renewable Natural Gas” • Cayuga RNG Holdings LLC, owned jointly by UGI Corp and Global Common Energy LLC, announced that it has entered into definitive agreements to develop several dairy farm digester projects to produce renewable natural gas in upstate New York. [North American Oil & Gas Pipelines]

¶ “IHS Markit: Rankings Show The US Is Already World’s Most Attractive Renewables Investment Market” • As the Biden Administration aims to increase federal investment in renewable energy under the American Jobs Plan, the US already ranks as the most attractive market for renewables investment, according to a new ranking by IHS Markit. [World Oil]

Wind turbines (Chelsea, Unsplash)

¶ “California’s Grid Reliability Enhanced with Two Battery Energy Storage Projects” • Two new battery energy storage projects are coming to enhance California’s grid reliability. Southern Power awarded Mitsubishi Power Americas and Powin an order for two battery energy storage system projects totaling 640 MWh. [Environment + Energy Leader]

¶ “Whether To Sell Santee Cooper Splits Utility Reform In State” • The South Carolina House is insisting the state continue to accept offers to sell Santee Cooper, meaning the fate of a bill to overhaul the state-owned utility will go down to the wire at this year’s session. The utility had lost money on failed construction of two nuclear reactors. [The Sumter Item]

Have a gloriously magical day.

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May 5 Energy News

May 5, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “Increasing Extreme Heat And Power Failures Put City Residents At Risk” • The increasingly frequent power failures, combined with heatwaves fueled by climate change, pose severe, compounding threats to major American cities, new research suggests. The study was published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. [CleanTechnica]

Temperature anomaly (Image courtesy of Berkeley Earth)

¶ “A Shortage Of These Metals Could Make The Climate Crisis Worse” • The world will not be able to tackle the climate crisis unless there is a sharp increase in the supply of certain metals required to produce electric cars, solar panels, wind turbines and other clean energy technologies, according to the International Energy Agency. [CNN]

World:

¶ “Norway Plugin Electric Vehicles Take Over 80% Share In April” • April 2021 saw plugin EVs taking 80.1% market share in Norway, up from 69.6% in April 2020. Overall auto volume was back to seasonal norms, with 13,166 vehicles registered. The recent best selling full electric vehicle is the Audi e-tron, followed closely by the Volkswagen ID.4. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen ID.4 (Image courtesy of Volkswagen)

¶ “Uber And Arrival Partner To Build Electric Car For Ride-Hailing In UK” • According to a story published by Reuters, Arrival, a UK-based EV startup founded by Russian billionaire Denis Sverdlov, will partner with Uber in the UK to develop and manufacture a low cost electric car designed specifically as a ride-hailing vehicle. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Completes Hai Long Hat-Trick” • Siemens Gamesa has confirmed a deal to supply turbines to two further phases of the 1044-MW Hai Long offshore wind farm off Taiwan. It is the turbine supplier’s largest offshore agreement in Taiwan to date. The deal now covers the 232-MW Long 2B and 512-MW Long 3 projects. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbine (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “Vestas Wins 404-MW Mutkalampi Order” • Vestas has secured a 404-MW turbine order for the Mutkalampi project in western Finland. The project will use its EnVentus platform. Vestas will supply six V150-4.2MW turbines running in a 4.3-MW operating mode, in addition to 63 V162-6.0MW turbines from its EnVentus stable. [reNEWS]

¶ “Wind Sets New Record On Bank Holiday” • British wind farms set a new record on the May Bank Holiday of this year by hitting a new high generating output of 17,600 MW at 15.30 pm on May 3. The output, recorded by the National Grid, provided 48.4% of Britain’s electricity and beat an earlier record of 17,500 MW set earlier this year. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbines (Z Tasi, Unsplash)

¶ “Japan Was Wary Of The US Military Taking Control Over The Fukushima Crisis” • Key members of Japan’s Defense Ministry and troops were wary in 2011 that the US military would take control of the response to the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi complex, according to the former head of the Joint Staff and others involved. [Japan Today]

US:

¶ “US Department Of Energy Launches Initiatives To Accelerate Solar Deployment In Underserved Communities” • The DOE announced a slate of new efforts, including $15.5 million in new funding, to support solar energy deployment in underserved communities and build a diverse, skilled workforce, furthering a greener future for the US. [CleanTechnica]

Rooftop solar systems (Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL)

¶ “US EPA To Cut Hydrofluorocarbon Production And Use” • The EPA proposed a rule to reduce US production and use of HFCs by 85% over the next 15 years, beginning in 2022. HFCs are used widely in refrigeration and air conditioning and are thousands of times more powerful at trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “California Leads The Way On Conservation And Climate” • The PUBLIC Lands Act would protect nearly 600,000 acres of wilderness and more than 583 miles of wild and scenic rivers. It would expand an existing national monument by over 100,000 acres. The special places protected include Southern California’s San Gabriel Mountains. [CleanTechnica]

San Gabriel Mountains (Borishansen, placed in the public domain)

¶ “Renewables Hold Key For Future Of NWA’s Power Grid” • As Northwest Arkansas looks back on the lessons learned from power outages in February, and forward to the future of one of the fastest-growing areas in the country, this is clear: Power companies think the best way to keep our electric grid reliable is through renewables. [KNWA]

¶ “RAI Signs California Solar PPA For 100-MW Project” • San Diego Community Power signed a power purchase agreement with an affiliate of RAI Energy International, based in Silicon Valley. The project located in Imperial County, California is an integrated 100-MW solar PV energy project with up to 150-MW, 600-MWh of battery energy storage. [reNEWS]

Solar array (American Public Power Association, Unsplash)

¶ “Setting The Stage For An EV Future In Washington State” • Washington State legislators passed two leading bills on EVs! Governor Jay Inslee is expected to sign them in the coming days to ensure that people will be able to charge their EV as easily as buying gas and will be able to charge their EVs at home, at work, and on the road. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Avangrid Expects Offshore Vineyard Wind In 2023, Bullish On US Energy Transition” • Avangrid’s 8-GW offshore Vineyard Wind project appears on track to be the first large-scale US offshore wind farm. The developer expects a final investment decision in the second half of 2021 and start generation in 2023, executives said. [S&P Global]

Have a fabulously fruitful day.

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May 4 Energy News

May 4, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Green Hydrogen Project Warns Natural Gas Stakeholders: Get Out!” • The US utility Puget Sound Energy just pulled a double whammy by closing a deal on a new green hydrogen project that provides for energy storage and fuel production, while pushing natural gas out of the power generation market, too. It could be a trendsetting development. [CleanTechnica]

Gas-and-electric utility (Courtesy of Mitsubishi Power)
Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Small Modular Nuclear Reactors Are Mostly Bad Policy” • SMRs have many of the same problems of their big counterparts. The people asserting that SMRs are the primary or only answer to energy generation either don’t know what they are talking about, are actively dissembling, or are intentionally delaying climate action. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Ford And BMW Bank On Solid-State Batteries” • Lithium-ion batteries have introduced millions of drivers all over the world to the joys of zero emission mobility. But a more streamlined and simpler architecture could trim down weight and size, improve performance, and reduce costs all in one blow. Ford and BMW are pursuing that dream. [CleanTechnica]

Lithium-ion and solid state batteries (BMW image)

¶ “Storing Large Scale Renewables With Basalt Stones” • A Danish consortium is seeking to store electricity from large scale renewable energy plants in the form of thermal energy in big tanks of crushed, pea-sized pieces of basalt. The first 10-MWh demonstrator is planned to be developed in Denmark. It will be powered by a wind facility. [PV Magazine]

¶ “Solar Power + Bees = Extra Benefit For Massachusetts” • The solar power company Navisun has just added a couple of solar projects to a special new “pollinator-friendly” solar initiative it has launched in Massachusetts. Furthermore, the projects qualified as pollinator-friendly facilities in the Massachusetts SMART Program. [CleanTechnica]

Cosmos to attract bees and butterflies (Courtesy of Navisun)

World:

¶ “Indian State Issues 1.3-GW Solar Power Tender” • The Indian state of Maharashtra has issued a tender for the installation of 1.3 GW of solar power projects. The entire capacity will be used for supplying electricity to agricultural consumers, according to media reports. Project developers would be required to set up projects of 25 GW or 50 GW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Sweden’s April Plugin Vehicle Share Above 43% – Volkswagen ID.4 Overall Best Selling Vehicle” • Sweden saw plugin electric vehicle market share reach 43.1% in April 2021, up almost 2× year on year, with full electric vehicles alone at a record 22.2% share. The Swedish auto market volume as a whole was down 31% from pre-COVID norms. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen ID.4 (Image courtesy of Volkswagen)

¶ “Amp Power Australia To Establish Renewable Energy Hub” • Amp Power Australia is building a portfolio of integrated PV, wind, and battery energy storage assets. It is to invest over A$2 billion ($1.54 billion) in the Renewable Energy Hub of South Australia. Construction of three solar projects totaling 1.3 GW is set to begin next year. [Power Technology]

¶ “Dogger Bank Unveils Unmanned HVDC Platform” • The UK’s 3.6-GW Dogger Bank wind farm is to have the first unmanned offshore high voltage direct current offshore substation, with a 1200-MW capacity. It will be the first offshore wind farm in the UK to use HVDC technology to transmit its electricity back to shore, minimizing losses. [reNEWS]

Unmanned substation (Aibel image)

¶ “Electricity Supplier Inks UK Wind Offtake” • UK electricity supplier So Energy has signed power purchase agreements for output from two UK wind farms owned by Ventient Energy. The PPAs are for energy from the A’Chruach wind farm in Argyll and the Sisters wind farm in Northumberland with a combined total capacity of over 50 MW. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Half Of States Now Have At Least 1,000 Non-Residential Electric Vehicle Charging Units” • As of March 2021,25 states have at least 1,000 non-residential EV charging units (public and private). California has the greatest number of non-residential EV chargers by far, with nearly 37,000 units. New York, Florida, and Texas had well over 4,000 each. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it. (US DOE image)

¶ “Interior Department Approves $550 Million Solar Energy Project In California Desert” • The Bureau of Land Management has given final approval to a new solar energy project on public lands in California. The Crimson Solar Project, at an investment of roughly $550 million, will have 350 MW of solar and 350 MW of batteries. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “NextEra Brings Online 130 MW Of Arizona PV Plus Storage” • An affiliate of NextEra Energy Resources has brought online a project with 100 MW solar plus 30 MW of storage project at Tucson International Airport. The Wilmot Energy Center project covers 457 hectares and will supply electricity to Tucson Electric Power under a long-term agreement. [reNEWS]

Wilmot Energy Center (Tucson Electric image)

¶ “New York Advisory Panel Recommendations To Include Gas-Fired Plant Moratorium” • New York state’s Power Generation Advisory Panel will recommend to the state’s Climate Action Council a moratorium on construction of plants powered by fossil fuels, the panel’s chair said. The moratorium would include new and repowered gas facilities. [S&P Global]

¶ “Virginia Thumbs Up For Dominion 500-MW PV Spree” • Dominion Energy has received approval from the Virginia State Corporation Commission for nine solar farms totaling almost 500 MW. Six of the nine new solar projects relate to power purchase agreements that were selected following a competitive solicitation process. [reNEWS]

Have a reasonably lazy day. (You deserve it.)

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May 3 Energy News

May 3, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Biden’s Climate Push Promises ‘Jobs, Jobs, Jobs.’ Here’s What That Might Look Like” • In his first address to a joint session of Congress last week, President Joe Biden framed his climate change agenda as a once-in-a-generation economic opportunity. He promised an environmental focus resulting in “jobs, jobs, jobs.” Here are some of those jobs. [CNN]

Turbine Tower No 25 undergoing final testing
(Paul Anderson, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Are Traditional Automakers Still Investing In Gas And Diesel Engines?” • After analysis of legacy car makers, Jim Motovalli at Autoweek reported, “It’s plain that traditional gas and diesel cars – by far the majority of the market now – will have limited to zero shelf life in the near future. A battery-powered Corvette? Why not? We already have a plug-in Mustang.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Paying Australia’s Coal-Fired Power Stations To Stay Open Longer Is Bad For Consumers And The Planet” • In a misguided effort to ensure electricity supplies remain affordable and reliable, Australian governments are considering a move that would effectively pay Australia’s coal-fired power stations to stay open longer. [The Conversation]

Coal-fired power plant (Giorgio Galeotti, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Dangerous Decisions About Advanced Nuclear Reactors Could Lead To New Threats” • The US DOE’s new Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program is slipping by without close oversight from the Congress. This is unfortunate because there are some serious questions that should be answered, including ones related to national security. [The National Interest]

World:

¶ “How Calls For Climate Justice Are Shaking The World” • Young activists are breathing new life into the debate over climate justice – the framing of global warming as an ethical issue rather than a purely environmental one. The activists see the environmental transition needed for climate change as necessarily having a societal element. [BBC]

Children (Mohit Tomar, Unsplash)

¶ “Climate Change Could Cause Almost 132 Million People To Be In Extreme Poverty By 2030” • The World Bank estimates that climate change will cause as many as 132 million people to be in extreme poverty by 2030. For those who can’t visualize what this means, the organization defined extreme poverty, as “Living on $1.90 per day.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “France April Plugin Vehicle Registrations Hit 14.8% Share – Up 2× Year On Year” • France, Europe’s second largest auto market, saw 14.8% plugin electric vehicle share in April 2021, up 2× from 7.8% share in April 2020. Overall auto volumes were still subdued, down 25% from pre-COVID seasonal averages, with the weakness continuing from the first quarter. [CleanTechnica]

Peugeot e-208 (Image courtesy of Peugeot)

¶ “New Record Low For Renewable Energy Prices In South Australia” • The Australian Energy Market Operator reported record low daytime wholesale prices for the first three months of the year. Renewables drove power prices into negative territory many time, which bumped South Australia’s average quarterly price down by $10/MWh. [Energy Matters]

¶ “RWE Wins Rights To German Solar Plus Storage Project” • RWE has secured the rights in Germany’s innovation tender to build a solar farm combined with energy storage on the western edge of the Tagebau Inden open-cast mine. The solar system will have a capacity of 14.4 MW connected to a battery storage system storing 9.6 MWh. [reNEWS]

Solar system (RWE image)

¶ “Western Australian Households Installed A Record Amount Of Solar Power In 2020” • Around 300 MW in solar capacity was added to homes of Western Australia in 2020, much more than the project 200 MW the state was expecting. This addition was close to an annual record and lifts the state’s renewable energy total to 1.3 GW. [Energy Matters]

¶ “EDF Starts Construction On Irish PV Trio” • EDF Renewables Ireland is to start building three solar farms in counties Wexford and Kilkenny this month with a combined capacity of 17 MW. The 4-MW Curraghmartin project is at Carrigeen in Kilkenny, and the 5-MW Coolroe at Ballycullane and 8-MW Blusheens at Killinick are both in Wexford. [reNEWS]

Solar array (EDF image)

¶ “ENGIE To Develop 2-GW Renewable Energy Portfolio In Chile” • ENGIE will develop a 2-GW renewable energy portfolio in Chile. It includes an additional 1 GW capacity since the last announcement in 2019. The program is part of the company’s transformation plan to end its coal-fired power generation in the country by 2025. [Mercom India]

US:

¶ “Renewable Natural Gas Emerging As Serious Decarbonized Gas Contender” • When Dominion Energy and Smithfield Foods completed a novel renewable natural gas facility in Utah, it was just the first of four projects Align Renewable Natural Gas is building. Other such projects are moving ahead, suggesting that RNG is gaining ground. [POWER Magazine]

RNG facility (Align Renewable Natural Gas image)

¶ “Wyoming Creates $1.2 Million Fund To Protect Coal Industry By Suing Other States” • Most states are boosting renewables, but Wyoming is doing the opposite with a new program aimed at propping up the dwindling coal industry. It threatens to sue if states block exports of Wyoming coal or cause its coal-fired power plants to shut down. [Oregon Live]

¶ “Tucson Electric Turns On Its Biggest Renewable-Energy Plants To Date” • Over the weekend Tucson Electric Power Co planned to turn on its biggest solar generating resource, the 100-MW Wilmot Energy Center, with a 30-MW battery. The utility is also about to switch on the 250-MW Oso Grande Wind Project in New Mexico. [Arizona Daily Star]

Have an uncommonly amusing day.

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May 2 Energy News

May 2, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Why E-Fuels In Cars Make No Economic Or Environmental Sense” • With the review of the EU CO₂ emissions standards for cars and vans scheduled for June 2021, some are advocating CO₂ credits for advanced biofuels and synthetic fuels. Transport & Environment’s analysis shows why this is neither environmentally nor economically credible. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla in Amsterdam (Jannes Glas, Unsplash)

¶ “Time For India To Cancel Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project” • France remains desperate to sell its highly troubled EPR nuclear reactors to India, even though projects at home and outside of France have had severe cost and time overruns and continue to face safety issues. Prime Minister Modi should remember that history repeats itself. [Media India Group]

World:

¶ “When Silence Descended Over Victoria Falls” • In a drought described as the worst in a century, the flow of the Zambezi was reduced to a relative trickle and Victoria Falls ran dry. As one of the region’s biggest attractions for tourists, Victoria Falls is a valuable source of income for Zimbabwe and Zambia, but there has been a big drop in tourist numbers. [BBC]

Victoria Falls before it dried out (Datingjungle, Unsplash)

¶ “Over Two-Thirds Of Citizens Want Their Country’s Climate Target Raised” • Public opinion in the EU strongly supports more ambitious national climate targets, according to poll taken in 12 European countries. The poll for Transport & Environment reveals that 68% of respondents who gave opinions want their country’s climate targets increased. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla Siblings And Wuling Mini EV Shine In Hot EV Market – Global EV Sales Report” • Plugin vehicle registrations were up an impressive 173% last month, to some 531,000 units. The Model 3 set a big new all-time monthly record for a single EV model, with close to 76,000 units delivered. The Wuling Mini EV was second, with nearly 40,000 sold. [CleanTechnica]

Wuling Hongguang Mini EV Macaron (Image via Wikipedia)

¶ “Companies Begin Shift To Renewable Energy” • In the Philippines, more institutions and organizations are discovering how much better things can be when they use clean energy. Their increasing number is proof that not only is it the smart choice for the climate and the environment, it is also a wise business investment. [Manila Standard]

¶ “Study Seeks To Reinforce Renewable Energy In South Africa” • South Africa’s National Development Plan 2030 envisages the decommissioning of 35 GW of its 42 GW of coal-fired capacity and supplying at least 20 GW of the additional 29 GW needed by 2030 from renewables and natural gas. A study highlights the role of renewables. [Utilities Middle East]

Cooling towers for bungee jumping (Michael Schofield, Unsplash)

¶ “Victoria Makes Pledge To Halve Carbon Emissions By 2030” • Victoria aims to cut its greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 and all government operations, including metro trains, schools and hospitals, will be powered by renewable energy by 2025. The government said it will cut greenhouse pollution by 28% to 33% from 2005 levels by 2025. [The Age]

¶ “Vietnam Could Lead Southeast Asia In Renewable Energy Development” • Vietnam will soon be Southeast Asia’s leader in renewable energy development, Germany’s Energiezukunft said in a recent article. It described the country’s energy transition as very impressive. Vietnam is experiencing a solar boom, with 11.6 GW installed last year. [VietnamPlus]

Ninh Bình, Vietnam (Ruslan Bardash, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Evergy To Shutter Kansas Coal Plant, Speed Transition To Renewable Energy” • Evergy, an electric utility in Missouri with about 600,000 customers, said it will retire its coal-fired power plant in Lawrence, Kansas, by the end of 2023. Evergy filed an “integrated resource plan” showing it is adopting renewables with the Missouri Public Service Commission. [KTTN]

¶ “Louisiana To Develop A $700 Million Renewable Diesel Plant” • Louisiana Governor Edwards announced plans for a new $700 million renewable diesel refinery in Caldwell Parish. He, along with CEO Paul Schubert of Strategic Biofuels LLC, announced that the company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Louisiana Green Fuels, will develop the plant. [CleanTechnica]

Governor Edwards (Courtesy of Governor John Bel Edwards)

¶ “Solar Power Brings Energy To Quad Cities International Airport” • Solar energy is coming to Quad Cities International Airport, which is in Rock Island County, Illinois, serving cities in Illinois and Iowa. Solar panels will be installed on the terminal roof and on a carport structure over nearly 200 spots in the short-term lot. [OurQuadCities]

¶ “North County’s New Kid On The Energy Block: Three-City Community Choice Program Launches Saturday” • A new community choice energy program encompassing three cities north of San Diego begins enrolling the first of about 58,000 customers on May 1, offering an alternative to San Diego Gas & Electric for electricity. [Del Mar Times]

Have an impressively unhurried day.

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May 1 Energy News

May 1, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Cities Should Be At Heart Of America’s Infrastructure And Economic Recovery” • A report from Bloomberg Philanthropies and RMI found that placing local governments at the center of our recovery gives the US its best chance for our climate and economy. President Biden’s proposed $2 trillion infrastructure plan can accomplish that. [CleanTechnica]

Boston (todd kent, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “RMI Shows The ‘How To’ Of Limiting U.S. Warming To 1.5°C” • RMI is unveiling a series of resources that provide analysis and guidance for how the US can align its economy to limit warming to less than 1.5°C. The first two reports will help policymakers, corporations, and other stakeholders balance near-term actions and longer-term planning. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Climate Change Challenges Trout Industry In North Carolina” • North Carolina ranks second in trout production nationally, producing 5 million pounds of trout annually. The trout industry supports thousands of jobs in the state. But the trout need cold, clean, oxygen-rich water to survive, and the supply of that water is threatened by climate change. [The Mountaineer]

Trout (Sticker Mule, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “EV Sales Growing, But Need Support To Grow Even Faster, IEA Says” • Global EV sales grew 41% last year, but must accelerate even faster to meet climate and energy goals, the International Energy Agency said. Current trends would have 145 million EVs on the road by 2030, but the IEA points out that is only about 7% of the total fleet. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Volkswagen ID.4 GTX Is Here, ID.5 Coming Soon!” • Volkswagen is moving fast as it races into the electric car future. The ID.4 electric SUV is starting to arrive in dealer showrooms, and the GTX all-wheel drive version is about to follow. Also coming later this year is the ID.5, an ID.4 with a more stylish and aerodynamic roof line. [CleanTechnica]

VW ID.4 GTX (Image courtesy of Volkswagen)

¶ “European Demand For Renewable Energy Grows 8% Despite COVID” • Despite alarming predictions, the market demand for renewables has continued to grow at a steady pace during 2020. The impact of lower industrial activity as a result of Covid-19 has been limited, and the European thirst for renewable energy capacity seems unstoppable. [T&D World]

¶ “Study To Investigate Powering Platforms With Wave Energy” • Lundin Energy Norway is collaborating with Ocean Harvesting Technologies through an R&D study on how installation of wave energy converters could provide stable and cost-effective electricity to an offshore oil and gas platform. The project will run until February, 2022. [Offshore Mag]

Offshore oil platform (Zachary Theodore, Unsplash)

¶ “GE Haliade-X Wind Turbine Now Typhoon-Proof” • GE Renewable Energy secured Typhoon certification from DNV for Haliade-X offshore wind turbines, certifying that they can operate safely and efficiently under extreme wind conditions. The Haliade-X is the most powerful offshore wind turbine to have this certification, GE said. [Offshore Wind]

¶ “Enel Commissions Sicilian Wind” • Enel Green Power Italia has commissioned the Partanna wind farm on Sicily. The 14.4-MW project, which is in the province of Trapani, comprises six 2.4-MW turbines. It will produce around 40 GWh of electricity per year, while avoiding the annual emissions of about 18,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Enel image)

US:

¶ “NREL Joins Industry In Leading The Cybersecurity Threat Evaluation For The US Wind Fleet” • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory and six leading industry organizations joined forces to develop a national Wind Cybersecurity Consortium. The goal of the consortium is to improve the cybersecurity of the US wind fleet. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “After 59 Years Of Operation, New York’s Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant Closes” • The Indian Point nuclear power plant permanently stopped generating electricity on April 30, 2021, when it retired its last operating nuclear reactor, Unit 3. Indian Point is located in Buchanan, New York, about 25 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. [CleanTechnica]

New York’s nuclear power plants (EIA image)

¶ “Multnomah County, Oregon Bans ‘Natural’ Gas In New County Buildings” • Multnomah County, which encompasses much of the city of Portland, Oregon, unanimously approved a resolution last week that will make all new county buildings – libraries, courthouses and community centers – free of fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “AOC, Markey Introduce Civilian Climate Corps Bill To Revive New Deal Era Program” • A plan for a Civilian Climate Corps, to employ 1.5 million Americans through conservation projects, was introduced by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14) and Senator Ed Markey (MA). The Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps served as a model. [CleanTechnica]

CCC members plant a tree, 1939 (Forest Service, USDA, cropped)

¶ “We Energies, Wisconsin Public Service Aim To Purchase Wisconsin’s Largest Renewable Energy Project” • We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service propose to buy a planned solar and battery storage project in Dane County. The Koshkonong Solar Energy Center would feature 300 MW of solar generation and 165 MW of battery storage. [TMJ4]

¶ “Walmart Underscores Climate Goals Amid Corporate ‘Sustainability’ Push” • The retailer has teamed with energy services company ENGIE North America on wind projects to channel renewable energy to “hundreds of stores, clubs and distribution centers” in Texas, South Dakota, and Oklahoma, according to the companies. [WWD]

Have an admirably beautiful day.

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