May 14 Energy News

May 14, 2021


¶ “‘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]


¶ “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]


¶ “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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