August 7 Energy News

August 7, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “Signs That Gulf Stream Is At Risk Of Collapse” • Climate scientists have detected indications that the Gulf Stream might collapse, one of the most important potential tipping points in the climate crisis. Researchers found the currents had “an almost complete loss of stability over the last century.” They are at their slowest of at least 1,600 years. [The Guardian]

Gulf Stream and related currents (RedAndr, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Study Reveals An Increase In The Frequency Of Nuclear Power Outages Caused By Climate Change” • A paper published in Nature Energy explored the outages at nuclear nuclear power plants that were caused by climatic events. It showed that these outages have become increasingly more frequent in the past few decades. [Tech Xplore]

¶ “Lightning No Match For Wind Turbine Blade Protection System” • Lightning protection systems exist for conventional wind turbine blades. But protection was needed for blades made from more easily recycled thermoplastic resin composites, a technology recently developed by scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. [CleanTechnica]

Lightning simulation test (NREL image)

World:

¶ “Climate Change: New Report Will Highlight ‘Stark Reality’ Of Warming” • UN researchers are set to publish their strongest statement yet on climate change. Due out on August 9, the report that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has just compiled will be their first global assessment on the science of global warming since 2013. [BBC]

¶ “Project Symphony: Virtual Power Plant Project To Link Over 500 Homes And Businesses” • The Labor government of Western Australia is moving forward with Project Symphony, a plan to link over 500 homes and businesses equipped with rooftop solar and home batteries in a virtual power plant that manages the flow of electricity. [CleanTechnica]

Community in Western Australia (Calistemon, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “UK Plugin EV Share Almost Doubles To 17.1% In July, With Combustion At Record Low” • The UK, Europe’s third largest auto market, saw plugin electric vehicle market share hit 17.1% in July 2021, up from 8.9% in July 2020. Combustion powertrains hit a record low of 51.9%. Overall auto market volume was down over 22%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “ReNew Power Signs First ‘Round-The-Clock’ PPA In India” • The clean power outfit ReNew Power, based in India, has signed a power purchase agreement for a round-the-clock electricity supply, the first-of-its-kind in the country. The 25-year PPA is with the Solar Energy Corporation of India, which is owned by the Indian government. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Gabriel Xu, Unsplash)

¶ “Ontario’s Unfunded Nuclear Decommissioning Liability Is In The C$18 to C$27 Billion Range” • Ontario Power Generation operates eighteen ageing nuclear reactors. It has funds of about C$5 billion ($4 billion) for nuclear decommissioning. That is probably C$17.5 less than will be needed, and the reactors are still servicing $19.3 in debts. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶ “California Hydropower Plant Forced To Shut Down As Water Levels Fall At Lake Oroville” • The Edward Hyatt Power Plant at Lake Oroville, a major California hydroelectric facility, has been forced to shut down due to low water levels for the first time since it opened in 1967, officials said. The state is grappling with an unrelenting drought. [CNN]

Lake Oroville in May (© Frank Schulenburg, CC BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Summer Smoke Might Be The New Normal In Colorado” • Scratchy lungs and scorched earth. The West is not only battling raging wildfires, but poor air quality as well, caused by ash lofted thousands of feet in the air. Hundreds of miles away, that ash is settling in Colorado, something that has become all too familiar to its residents. [CNN]

¶ “Stellantis: First BEV Jeep Coming In 2023, But What Electric Jeep Will We Get?” • A recent Stellantis earnings presentation revealed that Jeep will release its first all-electric vehicle in 2023, and it also revealed various other approximate release dates for Stellantis EVs and PHEVs. Sadly, however, the information is still not very specific. [CleanTechnica]

Jeep Magneto concept (Jeep image)

¶ “Tampa Commits To 100% Clean, Renewable Energy By 2035” • The city council of Tampa, Florida, voted in favor of moving the city to 100% clean, renewable energy by 2035. It is the twelfth Florida city to pass such a resolution. This latest passage comes after Governor Ron DeSantis signed prohibitive energy bills into law this summer. [WJCT News

¶ “US Petroleum Consumption Decreased To 25-Year Low In 2020” • In 2020, 18.1 million barrels per day of petroleum products were consumed in the US, a 25-year low. From 2019 to 2020, petroleum consumption decreased in every sector of energy consumption, and it decreased a record 15% in the transportation sector. [CleanTechnica]

US petroleum consumption (EIA image)

¶ “Department Of The Interior Advances Three Solar Projects In California” • In support of the Biden-Harris administration’s goal to address climate change and promote production of renewable energy, the Department of the Interior announced August 6 it is advancing three solar projects on 4,700 acres of public lands in Riverside County, California. [YubaNet]

¶ “466 Groups Urge Biden to Fill FERC Seat With Champion For Environment, Energy Justice ” • 466 environmental and energy justice, racial justice, faith, and youth organizations from all across the US sent a letter urging President Joe Biden to appoint a nominee to FERC who will champion environmental and energy justice. [Center for Biological Diversity]

Have an amusingly consequential day.

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