Archive for December, 2021

December 31 Energy News

December 31, 2021


¶ “Our Completely Impartial, Unbiased Review Of ‘Don’t Look Up'” • “Don’t Look Up” is a satirical movie that skewers climate deniers. The movie is simplistic in the extreme. Some will love it, and some will hate it. But one NASA scientist said it is “the most accurate film about society’s terrifying non-response to climate breakdown I’ve seen.” [CleanTechnica]

Meryl Streep in trailer (Netflix via YouTube)

¶ “Setting The Record Straight On Electric Car Fires” • General Motors all but ceased production of its Chevy Bolt electric car after sixteen of them were destroyed by battery fires. We should take battery fires in a wider context, comparing them with other vehicle fires. Battery fires get a lot of press, while more dangerous gasoline fires get ignored. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hydrogen Ships Are Easy, But Getting Hydrogen Is Hard” • recently shared the tale of a ship that could be powered by green hydrogen. The new ship, the REM Energy, is actually pretty cool. It has a 12 MW battery (that’s more battery storage than 120 Teslas). But it has an issue. There is no clean hydrogen for it in Germany. [CleanTechnica]

REM Energy (Siemens Gamesa image, cropped)

¶ “Implementing The Clean Energy Investments In Bipartisan Infrastructure Law” • Those following US Congressional climate policy in the US are seeing 2021 end after setbacks to the Build Back Better Act in its current form, as Senate Democrats have been unable to find sufficient votes for passage. But its provisions are necessary for US climate policy. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “High Gas Prices Lead To Conversion Of Ammonia Plant To Green Hydrogen” • Incitec Pivot Ltd, Australia’s largest supplier of fertilizers, produces around two million tonnes of ammonia each year. With a plant under threat of closure due to the high cost of gas, it is considering converting an ammonia plant to use green hydrogen. [CleanTechnica]

Plant at Brisbane, Queensland (Courtesy of Incitec Pivot Limited)

¶ “Of Auto Sales In Europe In November, 15% Were Fully Electric Vehicles” • More than 221,000 plugin vehicles were registered in Europe in November, up 33% year over year. This happened in an overall auto market that is falling off a cliff, down 18% last month, with the 864,000 units registered, which makes it the worst November in 30 years! [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hydrogen Scooters With Swappable Cans Power Forward In France” • The French government seems to think hydrogen can play a significant role in transportation, and the hydrogen-fueled Mob-ion TGT scooter, in particular, shows just how simple it can be to “swap” an empty can of hydrogen for a new one, providing a range of 150 miles. [CleanTechnica]

Mob-ion TGT (Mob-ion image)

¶ “Companies In Japan Must Set Renewable Energy Targets In As Early As 2023” • In Japan, about 12,000 companies will have to draw up targets regarding their adoption of renewable energy as soon as 2023, according to a new government policy. Companies required to create targets are those that use more than a specific amount of energy. [Asia News Network]

¶ “Spain To Hold 500 MW Renewables Auction On April 6” • Spain’s Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge submitted the draft of the country’s third renewable energy auction. It is set to be held on April 6 with an aim to allocate 500 MW of renewable energy capacity, including 200 MW of concentrating solar power. [PV Magazine]

CSP plant in Spain (Iberdrola image)

¶ “Germany To Close Nuclear Reactors Despite Energy Crisis” • Germany will shut down three nuclear power plants on Friday even as Europe is in a historic energy crises, following Angela Merkel’s timetable for phasing out atomic energy. The closure of the plants in Brokdorf, Grohnde, and Gundremmingen could well tighten the energy squeeze. [Yahoo News]

¶ “RWE Will Also Shut Down Three Lignite Plants At The End Of The Year” • In addition to a unit at the Gundremmingen nuclear power plant, the electricity company RWE will shut down three lignite plants at the end of this year. The company said the 300-MW units Neurath B, Niederaußem C, and Weisweiler E would be shut down. [Market Research Telecast]

Niederaußem power plant (Stodtmeister, CC-BY-SA 3.0)


¶ “Colorado Wildfires: Tens Of Thousands Evacuated As Blazes Spread” • Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated and hundreds of homes have been destroyed as wildfires spread through Colorado. The fast-moving fires are burning in Boulder County, north of Denver, and officials say deaths and injuries are likely as the blazes spread further. [BBC]

¶ “Hyundai Home: Electric Car, Rooftop Solar, Battery Storage, And An EV Charger All In One Package” • Hyundai is creating a complete concierge service for its EV customers. Called Hyundai Home, it will allow people to buy an electric car, get a charger at home, add rooftop solar panels, and get a residential battery storage, all in one purchase. [CleanTechnica]

Don’t ask me – I have no words for it. (Hyundai image)

¶ “Scout Acquires 369-MW Blue Sky Solar” • Colorado-based developer Scout Clean Energy acquired the consented 369-MW Blue Sky solar project in Illinois from RES. Scout said the facility is to begin commercial operations in 2024. The county taxing jurisdictions will receive an estimated $36.3 million in revenues over the project’s life. [reNews]

¶ “Major Energy Storage Project Coming To San Diego” • A portfolio of 44 battery storage systems across San Diego County, aimed at adding more emissions-free energy to California’s electric grid, is about to roll out, with one location in Chula Vista and another in El Cajon poised to break ground within the next month. [The San Diego Union-Tribune]

Have a gloriously rewarding day.

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December 30 Energy News

December 30, 2021


¶ “Neoen’s 204-MW, 34-MWh Bulgana Project Points To Co-Located Renewables Future” • The future of renewables is a combination of large-scale assets, some of which are co-located. At least, that can be inferred in markets such as Australia where developer Neoen is continuing to develop a mix of big wind, PVs, and batteries. [PV Magazine]

Wind farm in Victoria (John Englart, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Feeding This Seaweed To Cows Can Eliminate Their Methane Emissions” • In a single year, a cow can emit as much greenhouse gas as a small car, but the amount can be reduced by adding seaweed to the diet. Rob Kinley, chief scientist at Futurefeed, found that the red algae Asparagopsis can practically eliminate methane emissions from livestock. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Battery Recycling – A Fledgling Industry In Australia” • Some people raise a question about EVs: How fast can it go? But among people in environmental groups a different question always comes up: What happens to the batteries? The recent Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre report provides a very good overview. [CleanTechnica]

Large EV batteries (Proterra image)

¶ “Vauxhall’s Electric Hatchback And Crossover Get More Range Without Bigger Battery Packs” • Vauxhall’s Mokka-e, a crossover, has a range of 201 miles with a battery pack of only 50 kWh. That comes out to just over 4 miles per kWh, or about 25 kWh/100 miles. This is really good. The smaller Nissan LEAF Plus uses about 27 kWh/100 miles. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “South African Court Halts Shell’s Oil Exploration In Whale Breeding Grounds” • A South African court has stopped Shell’s seismic testing for oil and gas along the nation’s eastern coastline, the BBC has reported, adding that this is pending a final ruling. Now This News has shared that the Wild Coast is also an area where whales breed. [CleanTechnica]

Wild Coast, South Africa (Jon Rawlinson, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “How India Hit 2030 Non-Fossil Fuel Energy Target In 2021” • India has achieved its target of generating 40% of the total installed electricity capacity from non-fossil energy sources, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy said. The goal had been set under the 2015 Paris Agreement, and the target date was to achieve that level by 2030. [CNBC TV18]


¶ “The Beavers Returning To The Desert” • The Snake River runs through the middle of a shadeless desert land in Utah, at the bottom of a canyon. It could support a population of beavers, and researchers at Utah State University are working on a project to reintroduce them. Beavers can transform the land, as they build and maintain their dams. [BBC]

Mom and Pop Beaver (finchlake2000, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “67°F Day In Kodiak, Alaska, Sets New Statewide Temperature Record” • On Sunday, the Kodiak Tide Gauge station recorded an amazing 67°F, a new statewide temperature record for December. The Kodiak Airport recorded 65°F, breaking their record for the month by 9°F. One climatologist said, “I would not have thought such a thing possible.” [CNN]

¶ “Tesla Reaches Job Target For Buffalo Gigafactory” • In exchange for $950 million in subsidies, Tesla had to meet a mandate to employ 1,460 workers at its gigafactory in South Buffalo. When Covid-19 hit, everything was shut down. Tesla was able to get an extension on its employment goal, and now it has met that goal fully. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla employees (Tesla image)

¶ “Maine Getting High-Level Help With Electric Grid” • Huge solar farms are a vital part of Maine’s strategy for fighting climate change, but developers and regulators agree that the state’s electric grid can’t handle all the proposed projects. The US DOE approved Maine for a program to provide technical expertise to modernize the electric grid. [News Center Maine]

¶ “100,000 Diesel-Killing EVs For US Army, Eventually” • In a sign that the US Department of Defense is getting ready to expand its fleet of EVs, the 2022 Defense Authorization Act includes a provision that supports the Army’s Electric Light Reconnaissance Vehicles program, which reportedly had gone into limbo earlier this year. [CleanTechnica]

Gasmobile may be replaced by an EV (Oshkosh Defense image)

¶ “Apollo, NextEra Energy Partners Invest In 2.5-GW Renewable Energy Portfolio” • Funds managed by Apollo’s affiliates have made first close on $816 million in a convertible equity portfolio financing agreement with NextEra Energy Partners LP. This is for a 2.5-GW contracted renewable energy generation portfolio of thirteen assets in nine states. [Solar Industry]

¶ “Waymo To Partner With Geely To Build Autonomous Electric Ride-Hailing Vehicles” • Waymo is a self-driving spin-off of Alphabet intended to provide transportation as a service. Waymo says it will integrate its Waymo Driver autonomous technology into a new mobility-focused EV designed by Volvo, a Swedish company owned by Geely. [CleanTechnica]

Waymo EV (Waymo image)

¶ “Kentucky To Build State’s Largest Solar Project On Former Coal Mine” • The renewable energy firm, Savion, is building a 200-MW solar installation on a former coal mine on the border of Kentucky and West Virginia. When it is completed, it will be the largest solar project in Kentucky. It will generate enough electricity for over 33,000 homes. [Yale E360]

¶ “US Affirms New Interpretation For High-Level Nuclear Waste” • The Biden administration has affirmed a Trump administration interpretation of high-level radioactive waste that is based on the waste’s radioactivity rather than how it was produced. This means some waste from nuclear weapons could be stored with waste from power generation. [ABC News]

Have a genuinely lovely day.

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December 29 Energy News

December 29, 2021


¶ “A Ukraine Invasion Could Go Nuclear: Fifteen Reactors Would Be In War Zone” • As Russia’s buildup on the Ukrainian border continues, few observers note that an invasion of Ukraine could put nuclear reactors on the front line of military conflict. But a full-scale, no-holds-barred conventional warfare could spark a catastrophic reactor failure. [Forbes]

Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant (Ralf1969, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

Science and Technology:

¶ “CalStart Conducts Study On Commercial Vehicle Battery Cost Assessment” • YUNEV, CalStart, and the California Air Resources Board Hybrid and Zero-emission Truck and Bus Voucher Project teamed up to conduct a cost assessment on commercial vehicle batteries. The focus of the study was on the strategic sourcing challenges for commercial EVs. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Why Mauritius Is Losing Its Seashells” • Oceanographer Vassen Kauppaymuthoo says seashells on the island of Mauritius have decreased in number by 60% over the last three decades. He blames climate change along with overfishing, tourism, and pollution from wastewater and boats. It all has a knock-on effect, with devastating consequences. [BBC]

Money ring cowrie (Hectonichus, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Scotland Ends Coal Power With A Bang” • Scotland recently demolished its last coal-fired power station, ending coal’s reign in the country, literally with a bang, ending decades of reliance on the emissions-heavy fossil fuel. An explosion brought down the tallest part of the power plant, Longannet Chimney, which stood over 600 feet tall. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Huawei, Which Beat Apple At Making A Car, Announces New Range-Extended EV” • While Apple talked about EVs, Huawei actually delivered one in February. Now, there is a new one with extended range, the Aito M5. Huawei hopes it will compete with the Tesla Model Y, the second most popular electric vehicle in the Chinese market. [CleanTechnica]

Huawei Aito M5 (Image courtesy of Huawei)

¶ “CATL Signs Battery Swap Agreement With Guizhou Province” • There may not be any battery swapping stations in the US, but there are plenty of them in China, thanks to Nio. A few of them are popping up in Norway as well, and more of them may come to the EU before long. Now battery maker CATL is introducing stations of its own in China. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Reports Claim Hyundai Has Halted Internal Combustion Development” • There is no confirmation from Hyundai yet, but Korean Economic Daily and Business Korea both report that Hyundai Motor Group has closed its internal combustion engine development office and shifted all its attention to developing powertrains for electric cars. [CleanTechnica]

Hyundai Seven (Hyundai image)

¶ “Nissan Will Sell Renewable Energy Electricity To Employees In Japan” • Nissan Motor Company stated this week that as part of its carbon-neutral initiatives, it will sell power generated from practically 100% renewable energy sources to its own employees in Japan. Nissan said the energy program will begin in the fiscal year 2022. [Cleveland Sports Zone]

¶ “Neoen Toasts 224-MW Oz Wind-Plus-Storage Hub Success” • Neoen has achieved full-scale commercial operation of its Bulgana Green Power Hub at Stawell, Victoria. The hybrid power plant consists of a 204-MW wind farm, with 56 turbines, and a 20-MW, 34 MWh Tesla battery storage system. The project will power about 150,000 homes. [reNews]

Bulgana wind farm (Neoen image)

¶ “Germany’s Long Anti-Nuclear Protest Ends” • For 35 years, activists have been protesting in front of the nuclear power plant in Brokdorf. Their vigil is finally over as the plant is removed from the grid. The 425th vigil was the last. By the year’s end, the Brokdorf nuclear power plant will be shut down as part of Germany’s 2022 nuclear phase-out. [DW]


¶ “Nearly 17 Feet Of Snow In California’s Sierra Nevada Is Crushing Records. It’s Still Not Enough” • As of Tuesday, more than 202 inches of snow – nearly 17 feet (5.2 meters) – had fallen so far this month at the UC Berkeley’s Central Sierra Snow Laboratory, at Donner Pass. It’s enough to break records, but not enough to end the drought. [CNN]

Deep snow (Patrick T’Kindt, Unsplash)

¶ “US DOE: Almost 10,000 Workplace EV Chargers Were Installed In Q1 2021” • The US DOE announced earlier this month that during the first quarter of 2021, there were almost 10,000 workplace EV charging stations installed (that is, in place, not newly installed). This is up by almost 2,000 charging stations compared to one year prior. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “United Airlines Uses Jet Fuel Made From Plants In Passenger Flight” • United Airlines used jet fuel made from agricultural waste such as corncobs and corn stalks in a normal passenger flight. Virent, a Wisconsin startup, made the fuel. Virent is known for making bio-based plastics and other bio-based products, the Wisconsin State Journal reports. [CleanTechnica]

Prepping for flight using biofuel (United Airlines)

¶ “North Dakota State University Professor Leads Research Into New Types Of Solar Panels” • NDSU chemistry and biochemistry professor Philip Boudjouk, PhD, received a $2.5 million award from the US DOE. The award was made to fund research into the development of materials that can absorb solar energy in low light conditions. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Bureau Of Land Management Approves Arica And Victory Pass Solar Projects” • The BLM has approved the Arica and Victory Pass solar projects in Riverside County, California. These projects will result in investments of about $689 million, $5.9 million in annual economic benefit, and power about 132,000 homes. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Have an undisguisedly ecstatic day.

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December 28 Energy News

December 28, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “Autonomous Robot Killing Weeds Is More Eco-Friendly Than Herbicides” • A German consortium is developing AMU-Bot, a robot that will solve the problem of weeding without manual work or spraying with herbicides. Funding is from the German Federal Office of Agriculture and Food. The Fraunhofer Institute is coordinating the project. [CleanTechnica]

Robot (Federal Office of Agriculture and Food, Fraunhofer)

¶ “StoreDot Developed Batteries That Can Self-Heal” • StoreDot announced technology that enables battery cells to regenerate while they are in use via a background repair mechanism. The self-healing battery system can identify a cell or string of cells that are overheating or performing poorly. Repair is done by hardware under software control. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tidal Energy Has the Potential To Become Viable And Reliable Renewable Energy Source” • Bureau Veritas welcomed the UK Government’s plans to invest in the country’s tidal energy industry, suggesting that tidal stream electricity could become one of the most viable and reliable sources of renewable energy in the world. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Evopod turbine in 2008 (Courtesy of Ocean Flow Energy Ltd)


¶ “Thousands Are Left Homeless And Hungry At Christmas As The Philippines Faces Up To The Climate Crisis Reality Of A Super Typhoon” • The Philippines experiences several typhoons a year, but the climate crisis has caused storms to become more unpredictable and extreme. while leaving the nation’s poorest most vulnerable. [CNN]

¶ “The African Nation Aiming To Be A Hydrogen Superpower” • Lüderitz is a town in southern Namibia. It has seen boom times based on diamonds and fishing. Now, a green hydrogen project has been proposed to be “the third revolution of Lüderitz.” The project could ultimately produce around 300,000 tonnes of green hydrogen per year. [BBC]

Lüderitz, Namibia (SkyPixels, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Every 38–44 Seconds, A New Tesla Model Y Leaves Giga Shanghai’s Workshop” • Drive Tesla Canada reports that drone flyovers showed that a new Tesla Model Y leaves Giga Shanghai’s workshop every 38 seconds. The article noted that Tesla China’s November sales reflected an annual production rate of 683,000 cars per year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “UK Police Are Testing Tesla Model 3 With Promising Results” • British police have been testing Tesla Model 3 vehicles as part of its plan to electrify its fleet, The Guardian reports. According to the emergency services lead at Tesla, the early findings show great results for the suitability of Model 3 vehicles in emergency service operation. [CleanTechnica]

Brutally colored police car (Tesla UK image)

¶ “Solar And Wind Produce The Cheapest Electricity – Report” • The Australian Energy Market Operator and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation released a report that shows conclusively that solar and wind are the cheapest ways to generate electricity. The report includes carbon capture and hydrogen electrolysis. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Railroads And Solar Power: You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” • Renewable energy has been quietly seeping into the US railroad industry, but the pace has been achingly slow. Things could pick up if a new solar power research project in Germany pans out. It aims to leverage the built environment of railroads for direct electrification. [CleanTechnica]

Solar system and railroad (Courtesy of TÜV Rheinland)

¶ “Delegates At New Round Of Iran Nuclear Talks Strike Hopeful Note” • The eighth and possibly final round of talks in Vienna to restore Iran’s landmark 2015 nuclear deal with world powers has commenced on a cautiously hopeful note. The delegation from Iran said it is ready to remain in Vienna until a deal acceptable to Tehran is reached. [Al Jazeera]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Secures New Order From Ayana Renewable Power” • Siemens Gamesa has secured an order in India from Ayana Renewable Power Six to supply a 302-MW project. Ayana Renewable will install 84 of the SG 3.6-145 wind turbines for the project in Karnataka State. Ayana has 3 GW of renewable energy capacity at this time. [GreentechLead]

Wind turbines in India (Debasish1974, CC-BY-SA 4.0)


¶ “Wind And Solar Provided 86% Of New US Power Capacity In January Through October” • October 2021, was a rare month in which natural gas led the show for new US capacity with a 51.1% share. But in 2021, wind and solar power have dominated new power capacity additions, accounting for a whopping 85.9% of new US power capacity so far. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Air Force Taps Solar Energy, Wireless Transmission For Battlefield Deployment” • The US Air Force has seen the future, and it has solar energy written all over it. Last fall the Air Force Research Laboratory announced an eight-project lineup for its new Expeditionary Energy Campaign initiative focusing on clean tech and renewables. [CleanTechnica]

Solar system (Image by Corey Parrish, USAF)

¶ “Hoboken To Launch Renewable Energy Program” • A program revealed by the Hoboken mayor’s office will offer residents a baseline of 10% more electricity from renewable sources like wind or solar than the current state minimum levels, which is at roughly 23.5%. Residents can also choose to have 100% renewable electricity. [Hudson Reporter]

¶ “Shell Gets OK To Proceed With Offshore Wind Project Off New England” • A joint offshore wind venture spearheaded by Royal Dutch Shell and Ocean Winds North America has gained approval to build offshore wind turbines off the New England coast. The Mayflower offshore wind project is expected to generate 400 MW. [Houston Chronicle]

Have a sufficiently marvelous day.

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December 27 Energy News

December 27, 2021


¶ “Canada’s First New Nuclear Reactor In Decades Is A US Design. Will It Prompt A Rethink Of Government Support?” • Ontario Power Generation’s selection of GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy to help build a small modular reactor at its Darlington station set in motion events that could shape Canada’s nuclear industry for decades. [The Globe and Mail]

Darlington Nuclear GS (Felix König and DNGS, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Storing Energy Without Batteries Could Be Key To NS Giving Up Fossil Fuels” • In Nova Scotia, as much as 60% of the energy consumption comes from space heating, a figure that rises to 80% when hot water is included. Researchers say storing heat could help bring about the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. [CBC]

¶ “A Neglected Protein-Rich ‘Superfood'” • While the West might be squeamish about insects, people have been eating them for thousands of years, and in many parts of the world the practice is commonplace. Around 2,000 insect species are eaten worldwide. If half our meat were replaced by such things as crickets, it could cut our farmland use by a third. [BBC]

Chapulines (fried grasshoppers) and chili flavored peanuts for
sale in Mexico City (AlejandroLinaresGarcia, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Boston-Made Documentary Zeroes In On The Urgency Of Climate Feedback Loops” • The Boston-based team behind the climate documentary “Earth Emergency” has an urgent message. Feedbacks, or self-perpetuating loops found in nature, exist in many forms, on land, at sea, in ice and the atmosphere. They can speed up climate change. [WBUR]


¶ “Huge Toll Of Extreme Weather Disasters In 2021” • Weather events, linked to a changing climate, brought misery to millions in 2021 a report from the charity Christian Aid says. It lists 10 extreme events that each caused over $1.5 billion of damage. The costliest were the flooding in Europe in July and Hurricane Ida, which hit the US in August. [BBC]

Storm damage (Mick Haupt, Unsplash)

¶ “Wärtsilä To Set Up Netherlands’ Largest Energy Storage System” • Technology group Wärtsilä will supply a 25-MW, 48-MWh energy storage system to GIGA Storage BV to help stabilize the electric grid in the Netherlands. This will be Wärtsilä’s first energy storage project in the Netherlands and the country’s largest system so far. [Saur Energy International]

¶ “Australia Announces $100 Million Funding For Grid-Scale Battery Storage Projects” • The Australian Renewable Energy Agency announced a $100 million competitive funding round for grid-scale batteries with advanced inverters to support the grid. The funding program will provide for energy storage projects 70 MW or larger. [Mercom India]

Grid with storage (Wikichesterdit, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Bharat Petroleum To Scale Up Renewable Energy Portfolio; Collaborates With Solar Energy Corporation Of India Limited” • Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited is aiming at a portfolio of 1 GW of renewable energy by 2025. BPCL is eyeing a renewable energy portfolio of 10 GW by 2040. They signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate. [Headlines of Today]

¶ “Central Bank Of Iraq Backs Renewable Energy Initiative” • The Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq held a dialogue with the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Electricity, and local Iraqi banks on an initiative to reduce shortages of electricity in Iraq, reduce carbon emissions, and have a clean environment in the oil-dependent nation. [Iraqi News]

Erbil, Iraq (Saad Salim, Unsplash)

¶ “Nuclear Experts Allowed To Resume Research On Spent Nuclear Fuel Processing Technology” • South Korean nuclear experts were allowed to resume R&D on technologies for spent nuclear fuel processing. South Korea runs 24 nuclear reactors, and plant operators want solutions both to decommissioning and to piles of spent fuel rods. [AJU Business Daily]


¶ “US Snowstorms: California And Other Western States Battered” • Heavy storms have battered western regions of the US, leaving thousands without power. Almost 30 inches (76 cm) of snow fell in parts of northern California in 24 hours, causing blackouts and road closures, including a 70-mile (112 km) stretch of Interstate 80 into Nevada. [BBC]

Snow trouble (Truckee Meadows Fire Department via Twitter)

¶ “Wind And Solar Provided 14% Of US Electricity Generation In October” • In October 2019, solar and wind power accounted together for 11.3% of US electricity generation. In October 2020, they accounted for 12.4% of US electricity. And just a couple of months ago, in October 2021, they accounted for 14% of US electricity. That is steady growth. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “As Snow And Ice Disappear With Climate Change, Some Michigan Businesses Struggle” • Winter has long brought in big tourism dollars to Michigan. But warmer winters due to climate change are jeopardizing businesses that rely on cold-weather tourism and are threatening the state’s reputation as a Water-Winter Wonderland. [Michigan Advance]

Winter biking at Crystal Mountain (Crystal Mountain photo)

¶ “New York City To Invest $420 Million In Electric Vehicles And Infrastructure” • Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services announced a plan to address climate change and make the city green. They would reduce the city government’s climate emissions by nearly 70% by 2030, from 2006 levels. [Off Grid Energy Independence]

¶ “Montana’s Largest Wind Farm Underway Near Miles City” • NextEra Energy Resources says it is the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from wind and solar. Now, it is building a 750-MW project in Montana. For each turbine, it will lease 50 square yards from local farmers, paying a total of $226 million over the next 30 years. [The Billings Gazette]

Have a spectacularly relaxing day.

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December 26 Energy News

December 26, 2021


¶ “Can Cities Thrive In Turbulent Times? Three Questions For Cities In 2022” • There are at least three compounding crises facing cities today – the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, the worsening impacts of a changing climate, and growing urban inequality. The World Resources Institute looks at questions to consider and what needs to be done. [CleanTechnica]

Los Angeles (Devin Avery, Unsplash)

¶ “The Civil Beat Editorial Board Interview: UH Climate Expert Chip Fletcher” • The Civil Beat Editorial Board and reporters spoke with Chip Fletcher, associate dean for academic affairs at the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology at the University of Hawaii Manoa. He is also chairman of Honolulu’s Climate Change Commission. [Honolulu Civil Beat]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Earth Became A Less Hospitable Place In 2021” • Much of Earth got hotter in 2021, worldwide weather weirder, wildfires more devastating, the atmosphere more problematic, and soil less fertile. In arid expanses, animal and plant life became more precarious; forests diminished; the oceans warmed, rose, and got more acidic. [The Columbus Dispatch]

Fire in Tasmania (Matt Palmer, Unsplash)


¶ “How Can Asia Achieve A Clean Energy Transition? Examples From Five Countries” • Nowhere in the world is as critical for the clean energy transition as Asia, which accounts for almost half of global energy demand and is the world’s highest emitting region. Here, we look at five examples: China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Bangladesh. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Can Australia Supply The World With Rare Earth Minerals?” • Australian governments (national and state) are seeking new revenue streams, as coal exports look like they are diminishing in the long term. Demand is increasing for rare earth elements as EVs take over the highways, and Australia has a lot to offer. But the resources have to be developed. [CleanTechnica]

Australian outback (Jeremy Bezanger, Unsplash)

¶ “How Wind Power Is Transforming Communities In Viet Nam” • In two provinces of Viet Nam, a quiet transformation is taking place, driven by renewable energy. In both areas, wind farms are providing employment and electric energy to people who need them. In both places, they provide for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. [Modern Diplomacy]

¶ “Will A Nuclear Power Plant Be Rebuilt In Fessenheim?” • When French President Emmanuel Macron said in November that he wanted to build new nuclear power plants as part of his investment plan to revive the economy, the president of Alsace asked that Fessenheim, home of a recently closed reactor, be considered for hosting one. []

Closed Fessenheim nuclear plant (Florival fr, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Iran Atomic Chief Claims Country Won’t Enrich Uranium Over 60% If Nuclear Talks Fail” • The head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization said Iran will not exceed 60% enrichment of uranium, even if it cannot agree on a return to the 2015 nuclear deal. Iran has been openly breaching the deal since the US withdrew from it in 2018. [The Times of Israel]


¶ “US Federal Recommendations Support Monitoring For Offshore Wind” • Offshore wind energy is rapidly growing in the US. This is essential to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. But offshore wind must be environmentally sustainable. NOAA and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management have made some recommendations about that. [CleanTechnica]

Turbines and transformer platform (Dionysos1970, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Puerto Rico’s Shattered Power Grid Could Become A ‘Big Experiment’ For Biden” • FEMA has $9.4 billion allocated to restore and protect Puerto Rico’s power network from the type of disasters that have plagued it. It is the largest amount awarded in the agency’s history. But there are two radically different ways to use this money. [Politico]

¶ “Grand Coulee Dam Overhaul Project Ensures Another Thirty Years Of Renewable Hydropower In The Pacific Northwest” • The Bureau of Reclamation and the Bonneville Power Administration announced the completion of the major overhaul of generating units 22, 23, and 24 at Grand Coulee Dam, about 90 miles west of Spokane, Washington. [iFIBER One News]

Have an appreciably grand day.

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December 25 Energy News

December 25, 2021


¶ “Thinking Global, Acting Local: How To Get Clean Tech Into Every Community” • The Future is Now. We have all of the solutions we really need to fix the climate crisis. The tech, the economics, the “curb appeal” … it’s all there. So why isn’t it happening everywhere, all the time? One of the key obstacles is building community involvement. [CleanTechnica]

Screenshot from Dawn Lippert TED Talk

¶ “‘Chemical Recycling’ – A Summer Of Disillusionment” • I was thrilled to hear of a possible solution to the plastic waste crisis in the form of a seemingly miraculous technique that could give new life to hard-to-recycle plastics while promoting a circular economy. It sounded too good to be true. After a few weeks of research, I discovered it was. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Is Japan’s Nuclear Wastewater Dumping Reckless?” • Japan intends to release around 1.25 million tons of contaminated water from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea. There is no precedent for discharging such a volume of wastewater into the sea. Perplexingly, the US government seems to agree with the plan. [The ASEAN Post]

Water tanks at Fukushima (IAEA Imagebank, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Lying Liars And The Lies They Tell About Electric Cars” • The more EVs come to market, the more the people that EVs threaten (such as oil companies) are ramping up their attacks on them. The latest tactic claims the emissions from mining materials needed to make EV batteries is so gigantic that they cannot be environmentally friendly. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Climate Change: Lapland Reindeer Gone Astray In Search For Food” • Herders in Lapland are struggling to locate thousands of reindeer that ran away after warm weather left the food they graze on covered by a layer of ice. Some reindeer have travelled as far as 100 km to the south, in search of ice-free lichen they can access under the snow. [BCC]

Reindeer (Robert Kalinagil, Unsplash)

¶ “These Women Are Fighting For Their Indigenous Land And The Survival Of The Amazon” • Indigenous women in Brazil were traditionally excluded from leadership roles. Now, women are breaking down barriers, speaking out, and joining the battle against rampant deforestation, extractive activities and the ever growing climate catastrophe. [CNN]

¶ “Tesla Helped China Cut Carbon Emissions By 855,878 Tons From January To November 2021” • On Christmas Eve, Tesla China released its year-to-date new energy contribution report, Gasgoo reports. The report noted that Tesla helped China reduce carbon emission by 855,878 tons during the first eleven months of this year. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model Y vehicles in China (Courtesy of Tesla)

¶ “Indian Cities Struggling For Clean Air” • With dangerously high air pollution levels and continued respiratory threats from Covid-19, the need to protect public health in India is urgent. To fight air pollution, India’s environment minister Bhupendar Yadav announced plans to scale clean air programs to a national mission, “Clean Air for All.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Mitsubishi-Led Groups To Build 1.7 GW Of Offshore Wind In Japan” • The Japanese authorities have selected three offshore wind farms totaling over 1760 MW in Japan’s first auction for fixed bottom projects. Mitsubishi Corporation is involved in all of the projects. Turbine manufacturer GE will supply 139 of its 12.6-MW turbines for them. [reNews]

Haliade X wind turbine (GE image)

¶ “Brandenburg Coal Mine Uses 171 Times More Water Than Tesla’s Giga Berlin Will Need” • German environmental groups seem to really care about how much water Tesla will use at Tesla Giga Berlin. Let’s hope they have that same energy for the LEAG coal mine, which uses 171 times more water than Tesla needs for Giga Berlin. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “India Expects Renewable Energy Space To Boom Next Year” • In India, an investment of more than $15 billion (£11.1 billion, €13.2 billion) is expected next year as the government focuses on electric vehicles, green hydrogen, and manufacturing of solar equipment, as well as achieving the ambitious 175 GW renewable capacity target. [Eastern Eye]

Wind turbines in India (Iamvrt46, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Mallorca’s First Industrial Renewable Hydrogen Produced In Lloseta” • Renewable hydrogen is being produced at a facility in, Lloseta, Mallorca, Spain. It could produce at least 300 tonnes of the clean energy carrier annually. Production of the gas was confirmed on Thursday, Dec 23, after integrated environmental authorisation was received. [H2 View]


¶ “New Yorkers And Wildlife Are Finding Solace In The City’s Parks” • New York City’s wildlife is thriving, and that’s thanks to devoted scientists and activists who spent decades bolstering robust wildlife habitats in the city’s five boroughs. New York is one of the most densely populated metropolitan areas in the country, but 14% of the city is parks. [CNN]

Urban red-tailed hawk (Preston Keres, USDA, public domain)

¶ “New Clean Energy Office Targets Rural Areas: Heads Up, Joe Manchin” • The DOE’s $20 billion Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations is aimed at scaling up big solutions to climate problems with a focus on rural communities and environmental justice. Almost 90% of the electricity generated in West Virginia still comes from coal power plants. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Biden Administration Climate Actions This Week” • Interior Secretary Deb Haaland called project approvals in California part of an “all-of-government approach toward its ambitious renewable energy goals.” They include “historic investments in boosting climate resiliency, advancing clean energy projects, and replacing aging infrastructure.” [CleanTechnica]

Have a supremely merry day.

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December 24 Energy News

December 24, 2021


¶ “Massive 100+ Vehicle Accident Shows The Need For Self-Driving Cars” • NBC Chicago reported crashes involving over 100 vehicles along I-94 in Jackson County, Wisconsin. While some people fear automated vehicles, the NHTSA says that 94% of serious crashes are due to human error, and automated vehicles could prevent them. [CleanTechnica]

Pileup (Wisconsin State Patrol)

¶ “US Still Doesn’t Know How And Where It Will Store Its Growing Pile Of Nuclear Waste” • A year-and-a-half after a scathing GAO report revealed that the US DOE has no coherent plan to manage nuclear waste from weapons manufacturing piling up at more than 150 sites across the country there has been little progress. [Earth Island Institute]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Volkswagen Plans To Offer Plug And Charge Technology And V2G In 2022” • There is more to the EV revolution than building and selling electric cars. Charging infrastructure to meet the needs of all those EV drivers is important too. In a press release this week, Volkswagen outlined some of the advances it plans to offer customers in 2022. [CleanTechnica]

Charging a Volkswagen EV (Volkswagen image)


¶ “Climate Change: Small Army Of Volunteers Keeping Deniers Off Wikipedia” • Wikipedia has for so long been plagued by climate change denial. But a group of dedicated volunteers around the world is working tirelessly to keep the deniers at bay. In addition to human editors, the organisation also uses computer bots to fight vandalism. [BBC]

¶ “Power Wells For Remote Villages In Indonesia” • Substation33 is the training arm for YFF, an NGO. To address the reliance of people in isolated villages on kerosene and difficulty finding electricity to power cell phones, they developed the Power Well, a solar cell and a battery built into a bucket. Now they are installing Power Wells in Indonesia. [CleanTechnica]

Traditional house in Sumba (monica renata, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “QFleet Transitioning To New Energy Vehicles” • Under the Queensland Department of Energy and Public Works, QFleet manages the procurement and maintenance of state vehicles. Now, QFleet is eager to go electric. The QFleet EV Transition Strategy commits QFleet to doubling the number of EVs in its fleet annually for four years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Zealand Gets Its First Big Battery” • On a freezing cold night in New Zealand, fossil fuel generators couldn’t crank up fast enough and the grid failed. The event inspired a move towards big batteries. Meridian will build the first of these on the southern part of the northern island to support both north and south island grids. [CleanTechnica]

Future battery site (Follash, released to the public domain)

¶ “19% Plugin Vehicle Share In Chinese Auto Market!” • Plugin vehicles are all the rage in China. They scored a record 413,000 registrations in November, an increase of 106% year over year. The importance of the Chinese market can be seen in the fact that China, by itself, represented over half of global plugin registrations in November! [CleanTechnica]


¶ “A Look At Argonne’s Biggest Breakthroughs In 2021” • It was a big year for discoveries at the Argonne National Laboratory. From improving solar cells and brain imaging to combating Covid-19 and developing better nuclear reactor models, Argonne researchers accelerate science and technology to ensure our prosperity and security. [CleanTechnica]

Argonne National Laboratory (John Hill for ANL, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Tesla Halts Passenger Gaming In Moving Cars” • After Tesla started letting passengers play a few games on its infotainment system while the car was in motion, the NHTSA opened up a formal safety investigation. Now, the Associated Press reports that Tesla halted the access to these games on the screens while the car is in motion. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Scout Acquires 112-MW Missouri Solar” • Scout Clean Energy has acquired the 112-MW Stockton Lake solar farm in southwest Missouri from Azimuth Renewables for an undisclosed price. Azimuth will continue as an active partner, and Scout will procure equipment, construct, and operate the solar project once the project is operational in 2025. [reNews]

Solar panels (Asia Chang, Unsplash)

¶ “Renewables Became Second-Most Prevalent Electricity Source In 2020 – Analysis” • In 2020, renewable energy sources (wind, hydroelectric, solar, biomass, and geothermal energy) generated a record 834 billion kWh of electricity, or about 21% of all the electricity generated in the US. Only natural gas, at 1,617 billion kWh, produced more. [Eurasia Review]

¶ “Vestas Confirms 301-MW Oklahoma Order” • Vestas has confirmed a 301-MW turbine order from TransAlta Corporation for the White Rock East and West wind farms in Oklahoma. The contract is for 34 turbines at White Rock East and 17 at White Rock West. The two projects’ commissioning is scheduled for the third quarter of 2023. [reNews]

Wind turbine (Vestas image)

¶ “Microgrid-Powered Facility In Wisconsin Produces Renewable Natural Gas For California” • A newly commissioned plant in Wisconsin is turning organic waste from more than 4,000 dairy cows into renewable natural gas and injecting it into a natural gas pipeline for use as a transportation fuel in California. An EnTech microgrid is powering the plant. [Microgrid Knowledge]

¶ “Roaring Brook Wind Farm Increases New York’s Onshore Wind Power To 2,200 MW” • The 79.7-MW Roaring Brook Wind farm is operational in the North Country. It is the latest large-scale wind facility to enter commercial operation in New York and pushes the state’s installed land-based wind power to nearly 2,200 MW. [North American Windpower]

Have a perfectly harmonious day.

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December 23 Energy News

December 23, 2021


¶ “Electric Vehicle Batteries Aren’t Really ‘The New Oil'” • For years now, anti-EV campaigners have been claiming that lithium is “the new oil,” implying that, as lithium becomes a valuable commodity, the global economy will become hooked on it just as it currently is on oil, with similarly baleful effects. This is a flawed analogy for several reasons. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla battery pack (Tesla image)

¶ “The World Is Addicted To Natural Gas. Fossil Fuel Companies Are Lobbying Hard To Keep It That Way” • As governments around the world devise new energy strategies to rapidly remove the carbon from their economies, major fossil fuel companies are lobbying hard to keep “blue” hydrogen, made from natural gas with carbon capture, in the mix. [CNN]

¶ “Peak Oil & Coal Demand Means Peak Shipping Demand Too” • A look at the shipping industry produces many questions. For example, how much shipping is bound up in fossil fuels and commodities which are going to diminish in the future? I have a heterodox projection of shipping, including that it is likely to decline in time. [CleanTechnica]

Shipping (Andy Li, Unsplash)


¶ “Gotion Signs 200 GWh LFP Battery Deal With Major Publicly Traded US Automaker” • Gotion High-Tech, based in Shenzhen, announced it has signed a supply and localization agreement with a major US auto company to supply it with 200 GWh of lithium-iron-phosphate (LiFePO₄ or LFP) batteries between 2023 and 2028. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Enel builds solar apiary at La Loma” • Enel Green Power has completed construction of an apiary as part of a 187-MW (DC) solar project it is constructing in Columbia. Enel is aiming to promote the coexistence of bees, community, and clean energy in the same space, contributing to sustainable development. So far, 15 hives have been built. [reNews]

Solar array (Enel Green Power image)

¶ “Auctions Could Bring €1 Billion In Green Energy Investments For Croatia” • Upcoming auctions for premiums for renewable energy power plants in Croatia could secure more than €1 billion investments next year. About 200 projects totaling 13,000 MW are currently in the pipeline, with investments that are estimated at €10 billion. [Balkan Green Energy News]

¶ “World’s Biggest Offshore Wind Farm Starts Producing Power” • The Hornsea 2 wind power plant, located off the UK’s east coast, has started delivering electricity to the mainland. When it is fully operational, the facility will have a capacity of 1.3 GW. Together with Hornsea 1, currently the world’s biggest offshore wind farm, the figure will be 2.5 GW. [Balkan Green Energy News]

Wind turbine construction (Ørsted image)

¶ “Belgium To Close All Current Nuclear Reactors By 2025” • Belgium will shut down all seven of its nuclear reactors by 2025 but will not exclude new-generation nuclear technology, under a deal reached by the coalition government. A government source said agreements included “investments of around €100 million on small modular reactors.” [France 24]

¶ “European Energy Connects Danish PV To Grid” • European Energy has grid-connected a solar farm in northern Denmark. The 21.6-MW plant is at the tip of Northern Jutland, near the town of Aalbaek in Frederikshavn Municipality. The solar park has replaced crops that would have ultimately end up in biomass furnaces as so-called sustainable biomass. [reNews]

Solar array (European Energy image)


¶ “2021–2022 Tesla Model Y Earns IIHS Top Safety Pick+ Award After Dropping Radar” • The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the 2021–22 Tesla Model Y its top award, Top Safety Pick+, because it meets all the criteria for designation with the “plus.” The switch to visual from radar for crash prevention was credited as a safety improvement. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “NREL Wind Energy Program Demonstrates Innovation And Leadership Throughout 2021” • From advancing wind energy science, technologies, and materials to demonstrating thought leadership, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Wind Energy Program played a powerful role in maximizing the impact of wind energy during 2021. [CleanTechnica]

Renewable energy (Dennis Schroeder, NREL)

¶ “An Urban Tribe In Arizona Takes First Steps To Electric Transit” • The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community is next to Scottsdale, Mesa, and Tempe, Arizona. The community hired Zero Emission Vehicles, Inc to work out everything that needs to happen to make their bus system go from diesel and gas-powered to full electric. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Innergex To Co-Develop 30-MW Hawaii Solar” • Innergex, a Canadian firm, teamed up with Paniolo Power, a Parker Ranch subsidiary, to develop a 30-MW solar project on the island of Hawaii. Hale Kuawehi solar project has a 25-year power purchase agreement with Hawaiian Electric for electricity at 8¢/kWh, one of the lowest rates on the island. [reNews]

Solar array (Jose G Ortega Castro, Unsplash)

¶ “Connecticut Has ‘Many Offshore Assets In Place’” • A study of opportunities for offshore wind in Connecticut concluded that many of the assets required by the industry are already in place, but that other elements should be added quickly. The Ørsted-Eversource joint venture developing the state’s first offshore wind farm commissioned the study. [reNews]

¶ “NRC Proposes $150,000 Penalty For Holtec After Oyster Creek Inspection” • The NRC has proposed a $150,000 civil penalty for a unit of Holtec International that’s decommissioning the Oyster Creek nuclear power plant. The NRC said it is citing Holtec for apparent security-related violations at the complex in Ocean County, New Jersey. [The Daily Journal]

Have a categorically congenial day.

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December 22 Energy News

December 22, 2021


¶ “Doing The Right Thing For Wind And Solar Power In USA” • Solar and wind energy have grown tremendously in the US. But we have only started on the job of addressing climate change. That’s why NRDC is fighting to extend the federal tax credits for renewables in the Build Back Better bill. But to do this right, the siting has to be right. [CleanTechnica]

Solar panels (Dennis Schroeder, NREL)

¶ “Nuclear Power Has No Business Case And May Make Climate Change Worse” • In its pursuit of carbon reductions, the US must not allow itself to be misled by false promises of nuclear power, whether they be for continued use or illusory new programs. But Congress is already looking to award just two “advanced” reactor designs $3.2 billion in subsidies. [TheHill]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Plants Responding To More CO₂ In Atmosphere With More Photosynthesis – But Not Matching CO₂ Increase” • Research from Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley shows more photosynthesis by plants in response to increased atmospheric CO₂, SciTechDaily reported. That’s great, but it isn’t close to removing the amount of CO₂ that needs to be drawn down. [CleanTechnica]

Tree and Spanish moss (Dawn McDonald, Unsplash)


¶ “Anglo American And Aurizon Team Up For Hydrogen Heavy Haulage Feasibility Study” • How do you decarbonise the heavy rail freight industry? Aurizon and Anglo American are working together to do just that. Both companies are committed to be carbon neutral for freight operations, and the change is under way in Australia. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “High-Tech Mirrors Used In Solar Power Plants Get New International Consortium” • The US DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, joined by Sandia National Laboratories and the Australian Solar Thermal Research Institute, announced the launch of the Heliostat Consortium, an international effort to drive down the cost of heliostats. [CleanTechnica]

Heliostats (Courtesy of NREL and the Heliostat Consortium)

¶ “Greece Gets EU Nod For State Aid For Amfilochia Plant And Renewables In Islands” • Greece will support Terna Energy with €250 million for construction of the Amfilochia pumped storage hydropower plant, while the government earmarked €1.4 billion for the development of renewable electricity in islands that are not interconnected. [Balkan Green Energy News]

¶ “Ocean Winds And Aker Offshore Wind Announce Supply Chain Investment Package For Scotland” • Aker Offshore Wind and Ocean Winds announced a £235 million early investment package for a renewable energy supply chain in Scotland as part of their proposal to transform the country into a green industrial powerhouse. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Wind turbines (Courtesy of Ocean Winds)

¶ “Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Plans Seabed Tunnel To Discharge Treated Radioactive Water Into Ocean” • TEPCO has unveiled plans to build an underwater tunnel to release treated radioactive water from Fukushima Daiichi into the sea. TEPCO submitted the plans to the nuclear regulation authority for its approval. [South China Morning Post]


¶ “Coal Miners Want Joe Manchin To Reverse Opposition To Build Back Better” • Senator Joe Manchin is facing calls from a powerful group close to his heart to reconsider his opposition to the Build Back Better Act: Coal miners. America’s largest coal mining union praised the legislation’s provisions and pushed Manchin to take a do-over. [CNN]

Joe Manchin (MDGovpics, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Accelerating Progress On Clean Vehicles” • The US is getting back on the road to cleaning up transportation pollution. This year, multiple states enacted strong pollution standards for cars and freight trucks, helping to accelerate the shift to EVs. Those and new EPA standards will cut carbon emissions by 3.1 billion metric tons by 2050. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Karat Packaging Bought 10 Tesla Semi Trucks For Its Fleet” • Karat Packaging, with a focus on distributing and manufacturing environmentally friendly disposable foodservice products, has announced that it will be adding 10 Tesla Semi trucks to its fleet. The order is part of the company’s geographic expansion of its logistics services business. [CleanTechnica]

Elon Musk talking about Tesla’s Semi Truck (Tesla image)

¶ “Biden Administration Advances Two Large-Scale Solar Projects In California” • The Biden administration announced approval of two solar projects on public lands in California as part of a broader push to promote onshore renewable energy. The two projects will together have a capacity of 465 MW and have up to 400 MW of storage. [The Hill]

¶ “Enel Green Power Launches Operations At Oklahoma Wind Farm” • Enel Green Power North America is operating two new clean power plants in Texas and Oklahoma. Enel Green Power is accelerating its clean energy installations with 6.5 GW of new renewable capacity and 1.4 GW of energy storage over the next three years. [North American Windpower]

Rockhaven wind farm in Oklahoma

¶ “Energy Department Announces New Office For Renewable Demonstration Projects” • The DOE announced an office for energy demonstration projects, funded by the recent bipartisan infrastructure law. The law provides $20 billion for the creation of the office to fund demonstrations of such technologies as carbon capture and renewable hydrogen. [TheHill]

¶ “Bromley Ski Resort Powers Up New Solar Array At Sun Mountain” • Encore Renewable Energy and Bromley Mountain Ski Resort announced the completion of a 615-kW (DC) solar project on land owned by Bromley Mountain in Peru, Vermont. This project is the 6th collaborative effort between the two companies. [Vermont Business Magazine]

Have a simply magnificent day.

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December 21 Energy News

December 21, 2021


¶ “Small Generators Aren’t As Good As Solar For Emergency Preparedness” • This article series is to give you reasons that solar power is not only a good alternative, but a generally superior one for emergencies. It might start with a gloomy view, but in the end, it is pretty clear that clean energy gives us more hope than we have had. [CleanTechnica: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3]

Solar storm that could shut down the grid (NASA image)

¶ “COVID Drove Rise In Electricity Burden – RMI Reality Check” • Despite claims that the growth of clean energy has caused higher electric bills, utility data suggests that factors related to COVID, not the changing energy mix, drove 2020 increases in costs for US customers. In fact, customers benefited from more renewables. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Wright Electric Shares Details About Passenger Plane Retrofit And 2-MW Motor Testing” • The electrification of aviation is important because aviation is a source of air pollution, including climate change emissions. Also, the extraction, transportation and handling of fossil fuels is harmful and problematic. Here is an interview with its CEO, Jeff Engler. [CleanTechnica]

Electric plane (Wright Electric image)

¶ “Peter Sterling: Vermont’s Dirty Secret: State Government Is Anti-Eenewable Energy” • Talk to anyone who has tried to bring renewable energy to Vermonters and they will tell you the same thing: Despite our green reputation and our wish for climate action, our state government works every day to put the brakes on new solar and wind projects. [VTDigger]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Seagoing Energy Storage Ship Meets The Offshore Wind Transmission Challenge” • Japanese startup PowerX launched in March 2021 with the ambitious idea of offloading electricity from offshore wind turbines, without having to lay undersea cables. The company now aims for its new Power Ark vessel to hit the waves within the next three years. [CleanTechnica]

Power Ark (Screenshot via PowerX)


¶ “Freyr Battery Announces 31-GWh Lithium-Ion Deal” • Freyr Battery, a startup company based in Norway, is planning to build a battery factory in Mo i Rana, Norway that will have an annual capacity of 43 GWh. That may not be the biggest battery factory in the world, but it is in the running. And it already has an order for 31 GWh of batteries. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Fluence To Deliver Its First Energy Storage System In Taiwan” • Fluence said that it has been chosen by the renewable energy IPP, Ina Energy, a local subsidiary of the PJ Asset Management Group, as the provider for a 6-MW, 6-MWh energy storage battery system in Taoyuan, a municipality in the northwest of Taiwan. [Off Grid Energy Independence]

Solar system and batteries (Fluence Energy image)

¶ “Consortium Formed To Develop Geothermal In Northern Ireland” • A consortium of leading businesses and academics was formed to explore and develop deep geothermal energy projects in Northern Ireland. Geothermal NI will bring forward projects to provide 100% renewable energy to homes and businesses throughout the region. [ThinkGeoEnergy]


¶ “Walmart Sued For Allegedly Dumping Over A Million Items Of Hazardous Waste A Year” • California filed a lawsuit against Walmart alleging that it has illegally dumped 159,600 pounds of hazardous waste per year in California landfills that are not equipped to handle the materials. The waste includes lithium batteries, pesticides, and cleaning supplies. [CNN]

Walmart (Caique Morais, Unsplash)

¶ “Democrats Scramble To Salvage Climate Provisions After Manchin Sinks Build Back Better” • With Senator Joe Manchin confirming he’s a “no” on President Joe Biden’s social spending package, the fate of the bill’s $550 bill worth of climate and energy provisions – and the President’s climate agenda – are now on the line. [CNN]

¶ “Elon Musk Says He’ll Be Paying $11 Billion In Tax This Year” • Elon Musk, the world’s richest person, has tweeted he will pay $11 billion (£8.3 billion) in tax for this year, “more taxes than any American in history.” Musk has been caught up in a public debate on social media over how much he pays. Bloomberg Billionaires Index puts his wealth at $243 billion. [BBC]

Musk at Boring Company event (Steve Jurvetson, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Thirteen New Electric Vehicle Battery Factories Planned In USA Within Next Five Years” • In addition to EV battery plants now operating in the US, thirteen have been announced that are expected to be operational within five years. Of the thirteen planned plants, eight are joint ventures between automakers and battery manufacturers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Confirms 2.6-GW Coastal Virginia Deal” • Siemens Gamesa has reached an agreement with Dominion Energy to supply 176 of its SG 14-222 DD turbines for the 2600-MW Coastal Virginia commercial offshore wind project in the US, cementing an earlier deal between the two companies. Installation is set to begin in 2024. [reNews]

Wind turbine (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “Biden Raises Fuel-Economy Standards To Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions” • The EPA will issue a final rule to raise mileage standards starting in the 2023 model year, reaching a projected industry-wide target of 40 mpg by 2026. This is 25% higher than a rule finalized by the Trump administration last year and 5% higher than an EPA proposal in August. [WKYC]

¶ “To Access Low-Cost Renewables, A Colorado Co-Op Plans To Exit Tri-State Utility” • United Power intends to exit its contract with Tri-State Generation and Transmission. United Power’s costs for power from Tri-State are “disproportionately high,” said the co-op’s website, as Tri-State continues to relying heavily on fossil fuels. [pv magazine USA]

Have an appreciably untroubled day.

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December 20 Energy News

December 20, 2021


¶ “The Arctic Should Never Feel Like The Mediterranean” • A warming Arctic should alarm all of us. The BBC has reported that it’s been seeing Mediterranean-like temperatures in the summer. The UN’s World Meteorological Organization recently verified the record that was set on June 20, 2020, in the Siberian town of Verkhoyansk. [CleanTechnica]

Arctic Ocean (NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio)

¶ “The US Isn’t Prepared For Climate Disasters Like Hurricane Ida” • The United States isn’t prepared for the dramatic effects of climate change, and Louisiana is front and center in this battle. Hurricane Ida impacted Baton Rouge badly, but it got off lucky compared to the rest of southeastern Louisiana. And the storms just keep getting worse. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Selective Separation Could Help Alleviate Critical Metals Shortage” • Processing methods developed by MIT researchers could help ease looming shortages of the essential metals that power everything from phones to automotive batteries. They make it easier to separate rare-earth metals from mining ores and recycled materials. [CleanTechnica]

Rare-earth oxides (Peggy Greb, US Department of Agriculture)

¶ “NREL Experimental Effort Synthesizes A Material That Was Previously Theoretical” • Scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, in collaboration with researchers at the Colorado School of Mines, have experimentally synthesized a nitride perovskite that previously only existed in theory and measured its properties. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “TotalEnergies To Develop 160 MW Of New Caledonia PV” • TotalEnergies is to develop solar farms in New Caledonia totaling 160 MW and 340 MWh of energy storage to supply electricity under a 25-year renewable power purchase agreement for the industrial operations of mining and metallurgy consortium Prony Resources New Caledonia. [reNews]

Solar array (Total image)

¶ “Hitachi Energy Helps The Faroe Islands Aim For 100% Renewable Energy By 2030” • Hitachi Energy announced that SEV1, the Faroe Islands power company, selected an e-mesh™ PowerStore™ battery energy storage system as part of its efforts to achieve energy independence based on 100% renewable generation by 2030. [Process and Control Today]

¶ “BayWa RE Signs 135-MW Spanish VPPA” • The renewables arm of BayWa has signed a 135-MW virtual power purchase agreement with packaging provider Huhtamaki for electricity from two solar farms in Spain. The deal totaling 200 GWh per year is for 10 years and will cover about 80% of Huhtamaki’s electricity needs in Europe. [reNews]

Solar panels (BayWa image)

¶ “China Puts Pioneering ‘Pebble Bed’ Nuclear Reactor Into Operation” • China launched a high-temperature gas-cooled nuclear plant in the eastern coastal province of Shandong. It is the first to use ‘pebble bed reactor’ technology developed by state-run China National Nuclear Corporation. The reactor is now connected to the grid. [MarketScreener]

¶ “Rolls-Royce Receives Huge Boost As It Ties Up Required Funding To Start Supplying Parts For Mini Nuclear Reactors” • The Qatar Investment Authority, the country’s wealth fund, will pour £85 million into the Rolls-Royce nuclear offshoot, which now has total funding of £490 million. It means it can start scouting sites for factories. [This is Money]

Rolls-Royce small modular reactor (Rolls-Royce image)


¶ “Ford F-150 Lightning Battery Specs Revealed” • The Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck will come in two flavors. The entry level Pro will come with a 98 kWh (usable) batter only and an EPA range rating of 230 miles. The XLT will have a 98 kWh battery, but a larger 131 kWh (usable) battery will be an option with an EPA range of 300 miles. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hertz Begins Installing EV Chargers For Its First Tesla Model 3 Rentals” • Hertz is installing EV chargers for some Tesla Model 3 rental lots, Drive Tesla Canada reports. The company is getting set for increasing numbers of customers choosing EVs over vehicles with internal combustion engines. The Fort Myers International Airport is one lot getting chargers. [CleanTechnica]

Hertz lot with Teslas (Hertz photo)

¶ “One Man Behind The White House Effort To Convert Federal Fleet To Electric Vehicles” • Fuel and vehicle regulations expert Ted Sears of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has been tasked with supporting the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality in efforts to convert the federal fleet to zero-emission vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “SEA To Convert 10,000 US School Buses To Electricity” • SEA Electric, a provider of electric commercial vehicles originally from Australia and now based in Los Angeles, has stuck a deal with Midwest Transit Equipment to convert 10,000 existing school buses to electric vehicles over the next five years. Midwest will provide the buses. [CleanTechnica]

School bus (Courtesy of SEA Electric)

¶ “SWEPCO Plans For Coal Plant Retirements And Renewable Energy Capacity Additions” • Southwestern Electric Power Co, an American Electric Power utility, released its Integrated Resource Plan. It includes timelines for retiring coal plants and adding renewable energy capacity, but the Sierra Club says they aren’t happening soon enough. [UA Little Rock Public Radio]

¶ “Water Managers Grapple With A Smaller Colorado River As The Climate Changes” • For years, scientists have warned that climate change would have significant effects on the Colorado River. With two back-to-back dry years and dramatic declines in Lake Mead, the point is clear: The Southwest needs to plan for water scarcity. [The Nevada Independent]

Have a fascinatingly enjoyable day.

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December 19 Energy News

December 19, 2021


¶ “The Warning Shot The US Is Ignoring: Climate Change Impacts On California Central Valley” • California’s Central Valley is expected to suffer many effects of climate change. This will affect the whole country, because what happens in the valley doesn’t stay in the valley. The Union of Concerned Scientists is devoting a blog series to the region. [CleanTechnica]

Looking for water (Cynthia Mendoza, USDA, public domain)

¶ “The New Entrant To The Energy Sector” • Green hydrogen can play a vital role in enabling countries to reach their goals for net-zero emissions. Neoen hydrogen expert Sacha Lepoutre and Everoze partner Nicolas Chouleur discuss a case that shows how stacking different revenue streams could improve the economics of renewable energy. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “The Feds Have Collected More Than $44 Billion For A Permanent Nuclear Waste Dump – Here’s Why We Still Don’t Have One” • The federal government has a fund of $44.3 billion for a permanent nuclear waste disposal facility. With climate change, renewed interest in nuclear power has restored interest in nuclear waste storage. [CNBC]

Tunnel at Yucca Mountain (NRC image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Is nuclear energy ‘green’? France and Germany lead opposing camps” • The French government argues that investments in nuclear power will allow France to keep energy costs in check and meet its climate goals.The German government argues that nuclear plants are too risky, and too slow and costly to build, to be a solution to the climate crisis. [Stars and Stripes]


¶ “Nuclear Energy Scares People. The Climate Crisis Is Giving It Another Chance” • Nuclear plants are notoriously expensive to build. Construction tends to run over budget and time, and wind and solar energy has typically come out cheaper. How to safely store the radioactive waste it produces is another headache. But some people demonstrate in favor of it. [CNN]

Nuclear plant (Nicolas Hippert, Unsplash)

¶ “Philippines Super Typhoon Rai: Death Toll Reaches 75” • At least 75 people are now known to have died after a devastating storm struck the Philippines on Thursday. Super Typhoon Rai – which had winds of about 195 km/h (120 mph) – sent some 300,000 people running for safety when it hit the country’s south-eastern islands. [BBC]

¶ “Nigeria, China To Partner On Renewable Energy” • The Nigerian federal government says it will partner China on the development of a renewable energy research center that will boost renewable energy technology in selected universities, according to a statement by the ministry of science, technology, and innovation. [TheCable]

Wind turbines (Dan Meyers, Unsplash)

¶ “Resumption Of Fourth Nuclear Power Plant Rejected” • A majority of voters in Taiwan rejected a proposal to restart construction on the mothballed Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District. The vote was 4,262,451 to 3,804,755. The referendum was initiated by nuclear power advocate Huang Shih-hsiu. [Taipei Times]

¶ “Turkey To Scale-Up Renewable Geothermal Energy Generation” • The World Bank’s Board of Directors approved loans totaling $300 million for Turkey, to support geothermal energy development, to tap heat sources deep in the ground. The loans are additional to financing for two initial loans worth $250 million. [Modern Diplomacy]

Geothermal power plant (Tommy Kwak, Unsplash)


¶ “Top Rated 2021 EV Is Tesla Model 3, Edmunds Writes” • Edmunds announced that the 2021 Tesla Model 3 was its Top Rated EV of the year. It noted that Tesla’s lead was despite an influx of new EVs from other automakers coming to the market. The Tesla Model 3 sedan has held Edmunds‘ Top Rated EV title for three consecutive years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla’s Austin Gigafactory To Be $10 Billion Investment, Says Musk” • Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the company’s new all-electric vehicle factory in Texas will require an investment of more than $10 billion over time. The Austin gigafactory (Tesla Giga Texas), located close to the airport, is a central element of planned company development. [CleanTechnica]

Austin Gigafactory, six months ago and now (Tesla image)

¶ “Tesla Looks To Achieve Significant Growth In 2022” • This year has had many challenges for most of the auto industry. The pandemic continues, supply chain woes are not ending, and chip shortages are plaguing most automakers globally. Looking ahead, 2022 could continue to present challenges. But it looks like Elon Musk and Tesla may be ready. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “$5 Billion For Electric School Buses In US Infrastructure Investment And Jobs Act” • The Infrastructure Investment And Jobs Act, aka Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, includes $5 billion for EV charging, but – much less discussed – it also includes $5 billion for cleaner school buses, especially electric school buses! This is tranformative. [CleanTechnica]

Proterra electric bus plant (Proterra image)

¶ “‘Green’ Energy Project Leaves A Mississippi Town Gasping For Air” • In the US, federal incentives to build wood-burning power plants are much smaller than those in the UK and the EU, and their share of the country’s electricity generation has declined in recent years. But some states have lavished tax breaks on firms that harvest and process wood. [HuffPost]

¶ “Climate Change Is Reshaping The Lobster Industry In Maine” • The Maine lobster industry in Maine is worth $1.4 billion. It employs more than 4,100 people directly and thousands more in related businesses. But climate change is warming the chilly Atlantic water lobsters need to thrive, prompting a marine migration to the north. [Yahoo News]

Have a realistically encouraging day.

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December 18 Energy News

December 18, 2021


¶ “Fact Check: Did Jimmy Carter Stop A Nuclear Reactor From Destroying Ottawa?” • Some social media users and accounts have been reminiscing about the time that a young Jimmy Carter purportedly helped avoid a major nuclear disaster after heading a clean up operation at a nuclear reactor in Chalk River, Ontario, Canada. Spoiler: It’s true. [Newsweek]

Jimmy Carter after graduation from Annapolis (Public domain)

¶ “2021 Year In Review: 5 Stories Of Clean Energy Progress” • The end of the year can be a fine time for taking stock, whether in the energy space or in our personal lives. There were lots of stories of clean energy progress in 2021. Here are five about renewable energy technologies and markets that seem especially worthy of note and celebration. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “MIT Shares How Machine Learning Models Can Make Sense Of Nonsense And How This Could Be A Problem” • Scientists at MIT found an interesting problem with machine learning and image classification. A model could look at an image and make a prediction based on information that we humans can’t make sense of, and it could be wrong. [CleanTechnica]

Girl and machine (Andy Kelly, Unsplash)


¶ “The World Could Burn A Record Amount Of Coal Next Year Despite Efforts To Scrap The Dirtiest Fossil Fuel” • Increasing consumption in China, India, and the US could bring global demand for coal-fired power to a new all-time high this year, undermining efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the International Energy Agency said. [CNN]

¶ “Falck, BlueFloat Launch Giant Floating Wind Power Project In Ionian Sea” • Italy is experiencing a floating wind energy boom when it comes to project development. Among the expressions of interest, Falck Renewables and BlueFloat Energy, which set up a partnership in September, just announced a floating wind farm project of 675 MW. [Balkan Green Energy News]

Offshore wind farm (Zoltan Tasi, Unsplash)

¶ “China’s Installed Capacity Of Renewable Energy Expands In January Through November” • By the end of November, the country’s installed wind power capacity had soared 29% year on year to 300 GW, and its solar power capacity had reached 290 GW, up 24.1% from a year ago. China’s total installed capacity is 2.32 TW, up 9% year on year. [CGTN]

¶ “Enormous Potential: Britain’s Tidal Power Sector Gears Up For A Big Few Years” • The UK tidal power sector is growing. Scottish firm Nova Innovation said it had secured €2.5 million ($2.83 million) from the European Innovation Council Accelerator Fund to finance its Upscaling Tidal Energy Manufacturing and Production Output project. [CNBC]

Tidal turbine from Nova Innovation (Nova Innovation image)

¶ “French Front-Month Peakload Power Rises Above €1,000 Per MWh On Nuclear Woes” • Europe’s energy crisis deepened as French front-month peakload power prices traded as high as €1,200/MWh on nuclear outage concerns. The contract ended the session at €975/MWh after doubling in the previous session as gas hit a fresh record-high. [S&P Global]


¶ “A Rush To Mine Lithium In Nevada Is Pitting Climate Advocates And Environmental Groups Against Each Other” • In an ancient and now extinct supervolcano sitting in northern Nevada lies a treasure that its seekers call “white gold.” It is lithium, and its value lies in its role in potentially reducing the world’s carbon emissions. [CNN]

Lithium battery (Kumpan Electric, Unsplash)

¶ “National Audubon Society Sues Alameda County To Prevent Wind Project And Protect Golden Eagles” • In a stand against wind plants built in a specific area of California, the National Audubon Society announced that it is suing Alameda County over its approval of a new, 80-MW wind turbine facility at Altamont Pass. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Koch Industries Invests $150 Million Into Tracking Company GameChange Solar, Pair To Explore Strategic Partnerships” • Koch Strategic Platforms, a subsidiary of Koch Investments Group, has made a $150 million investment in racking and tracking company GameChange Solar to support its strategic development goals. [PV Tech]

GameChange Solar tracking (GameChange Solar image)

¶ “Putting Climate Into The Infrastructure Law” • Transportation investments from the bipartisan infrastructure bill could either be a boon for progress driven by sustainable mobility choices, or a driver of harmful carbon emissions paved by many miles of new highways, researchers at Georgetown University said in a report. Spending guidance is needed. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Massachusetts Picks Both Bidders for Next Round of Offshore Wind” • Baker administration officials have announced awards for offshore wind development to Vineyard Wind I, a 1,200-MW proposal from Vineyard Wind, and a 400-MW proposal from Mayflower Wind. They were selected to jointly form the third wave of offshore wind power. [NBC Boston]

Offshore wind turbines (Pontificalibus, CC0, public domain)

¶ “Maryland Commission Extends Offshore Wind Development” • Maryland’s Public Service Commission awarded offshore wind renewable energy credits to two developers, US Wind, Inc and Skipjack Offshore Energy, to build separate projects that would produce more than 1,600 MW of capacity, the PSC said in a news release. [CBS Baltimore]

¶ “National Grid Renewables’ Prairie Wolf Solar Project in Illinois Begins Commercial Operations” • National Grid Renewables has started commercial operations for its Prairie Wolf Solar Project in Coles County, Illinois. The project boasts 200 MW of clean solar power and is contracted through a virtual power purchase agreement with Cargill. [Solar Industry]

Have a preposterously delightful day.

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December 17 Energy News

December 17, 2021


¶ “2021 Brought Promise For Clean Air” • Though unwinding four years of Trump polluter giveaways is time consuming, we at the Natural Resources Defense Council hope for quick action from the EPA in 2022 that will bring with it cleaner air for all. Here’s what happened in the world of clean air this year, and what we’re expecting in 2022. [CleanTechnica]

Balloons in a clean sky (Allison Louise, Unsplash)


¶ “Volvo Cars And Northvolt Invest $3.3 Billion In R&D Center” • Volvo Cars and Northvolt are investing about $3.3 billion in a new R&D center for advanced battery development and more sustainable manufacturing. The deal will see the facility run as a joint venture between the two companies, following the signing of a binding agreement. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “World Security: Protecting The Whole Amazon Rainforest At 17.5% Of The US Military Budget” • It is estimated to cost $50 per hectare to protect the Amazon Rainforest effectively, while giving sustainable benefits and incentives to the inhabitants. This comes to $3.5 billion per year to protect the region, a figure that could be borne by many countries. [CleanTechnica]

Amazon Rainforest (Andre Deak, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “34% Plugin Vehicle Share In German Auto Market!” • The overall German car market is tanking (-32% year over year) and the perennial leader, the Volkswagen Golf, falling off a cliff (-70% YOY!). Amazingly, the two leading cars are both EVs, and both made outside Germany. And plugin sales are growing so fast that they have 34% of the market. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “IEA Warns Coal Rebound Threatens Net Zero” • The amount of electricity generated worldwide from coal is surging towards a new annual record in 2021, threatening net-zero goals, according to the International Energy Agency. After falling in 2019 and 2020, global power generation from coal is expected to jump by 9% in 2021 to an all-time high. [reNews]

IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol (IEA image)

¶ “Aalborg CSP Supplies Energy Storage Technology For Green Conversion Of Coal-Fired Plant” • Rather than demolishing all coal-fired power plants, Aalborg CSP expects a trend in coming years for conversions of existing coal-fired plants into profitable green and sustainable energy streams with such products as heat and electricity. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Eskom To Auction 36,000 Hectares Of Land To The Country’s Independent Renewable Energy Producers” • Eskom, the electric utility in South Africa, has decided to auction 36,000 hectares of land around its ageing coal-fired power plants to independent renewable energy producers, capped at 100 MW, for a minimum period of 20 years. [IOL]

Eskom wind project (Warren Rohner, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Iran Has Made Its Nuclear Threat Clear” • As talks to restart the 2015 Iran nuclear deal flounder in Vienna and Iran admits that it now enriches uranium up to 60% (an enrichment level of around 5% is sufficient for reactor fuel), many Western academics and analysts appear to have given up. The apparent reason for the high enrichment is to make bombs. [MSN]


¶ “Three Companies Charged With Negligence In Southern California Oil Spill” • Three companies have been accused of illegally discharging about 25,000 gallons of crude oil into the Pacific Ocean off the Southern California coast in October, federal prosecutors announced. Amplify Energy and two of its subsidiaries were charged with negligence. [CNN]

¶ “Volkswagen Will Spend $20 Million To Get Its US Dealers EV Ready” • Volkswagen announced that it will spend $20 million to make its 600 US dealers into “regional hubs of EV experience,” through its nationwide Network Readiness Co-Op Program. The company is training over 1200 service technicians and sales staff on the ins and outs of EVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “NYPD Considers $12.3 Million Deal For 250 Tesla Cars” • About a week ago, CleanTechnica reported that New York City was to talk with Tesla about an order for about 250 police cars. Now, Bloomberg has published a draft of the contract. It seems that things are moving ahead on the NYPD to have the largest fleet of police EVs around. [CleanTechnica]

New York police officer (Courtesy of NYPD)

¶ “Auto Execs Believe More Than Half Of US Car Sales Will Be Electric Vehicles By 2030” • How quickly will EVs replace gas-burners? Consulting firm KPMG surveyed 1,118 global executives in the automotive industry in August. Their estimates of what market share EVs would achieve by 2030 varied widely, from 20% to 90%, with an average of 52%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “NYC To Electrify All New Buildings” • New York City legislators passed a measure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollution, and Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign it. The city is the latest in a growing list of municipalities across the country moving to cut their climate pollution by electrifying new buildings. [CleanTechnica]

New York neighborhood (Rachel Martin, Unsplash)

¶ “Green Energy Becomes Critical For Manufacturing” • Access to renewable energy is becoming a more important factor in manufacturing plant construction and expansion. It is a trend economic development experts say has legs. Traditional metrics of production costs still drive site selection, but access to clean power is moving up the list. [IndustryWeek]

¶ “Platte River Power Authority Seeks Out Solar Contracts To Reach 54% Renewable Electricity” • Platte River Power Authority plans to add 250 MW of solar to its portfolio. PRPA is seeking projects that include battery storage and distributed energy. This addition, which could come online by 2025, would bring Platte River to 54% noncarbon electricity. [The Coloradoan]

Have a picture-perfect day.

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December 16 Energy News

December 16, 2021


¶ “The Buildings Made From Rubbish” • Roughly half of the raw materials we extract go into the built environment. Construction creates an estimated third of the world’s overall waste, and at least 40% of the world’s CO₂ emissions. “Why don’t we re-use what we’ve already extracted, rather than gouging the planet for ever more raw materials?” [BBC]

Recovering waste building materials (Rotor image)

¶ “California’s $8 Per KW Solar Proposal Would Punish Homeowners For Using Clean Energy” • California’s Public Utility Commission is proposing not only cutting the state’s rooftop solar energy incentive after several years of success, but it also wants to punish homeowners who use solar power to generate their electricity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Success Of The Mustang Mach-E Is Forcing Ford To Adjust Its Production Plans” • I know an engineer who works for the Blue Oval team who told me in 2019 that car was more or less an afterthought. Now, the number of Mustang Mach-Esales is forcing the company to rethink its plans for other electric cars it has in the pipeline. [CleanTechnica]

Mustang Mach-E (Adrian N, Unsplash)

¶ “Ford Has Been Working To Ramp Up Production Of The Mustang Mach-E For Months” • Steve Hanley wrote about Ford’s EV success, Ford’s initial EV caution, and the problems that have ensued from that combo. I wanted to jump into this topic as well, due to something I learned several months ago and also ongoing curiosity and enthusiasm. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Building Better Batteries: Architecture For Energy Storage” • A breakthrough by NREL and the University of Ulm advances the way researchers measure and analyze battery materials. The research made possible a first-of-its-kind, artificially generated electrode to allow researchers to evaluate opportunities for battery design improvements. [CleanTechnica]

NREL’s Donal Finegan at work (Dennis Schroeder, NREL)

¶ “To Make Wind Power Cheaper, Bigger Is Better” • Turbine sizes increased by nearly 59% between 1998 and 2020. Today, most land turbines are 90 meters tall, and offshore versions are 100 meters. Researchers predict the average offshore turbine height will reach 150 meters by 2035, as tall as the Washington Monument. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Westinghouse Prepares For US Licensing Of eVinci” • With a capacity of 5 MW, the Westinghouse eVinci microreactor is described as a “small battery” for decentralised generation markets. Westinghouse submitted a pre-application regulatory engagement plan with the US NRC for the microreactor, a company spokesman said. [World Nuclear News]

eVinci microreactor (Westinghouse image)


¶ “The Teenagers And The Nun Trying To Stop An Australian Coal Mine” • Eight teenagers and an elderly nun in Australia won a climate case in a historic judgement. Their case has now been appealed by the country’s government. If the final verdict swings in their favour, it will have ramifications not just for Australian law but for climate cases world-wide. [BBC]

¶ “Parking In New Buildings To Be Pre-Wired For EV Charging, EU Proposes” • Drivers making the switch to EVs would benefit from new EU requirements for parking spaces. The European Commission proposed pre-cabling for the installation of private chargers be required in new buildings and buildings undergoing extensive renovations. [CleanTechnica]

Charging station (Sophie Jonas, Unsplash)

¶ “‘Gas Can Wait,’ Says Energy Minister, Rejecting Panel’s Call For Further Exploration” • Israeli Energy minister Karine Elharrar announced that “gas can wait” and that she will not accept the recommendations of Ehud Adiri, the former ministry director-general, to continue exploring for natural gas in the Mediterranean Sea. [The Times of Israel]

¶ “Spanish Govt Approves Public-Private Funding Tool For Green Energy Transition” • The Spanish government approved a financing tool under its recovery and resilience facility aimed at supporting projects and initiatives in renewable energy, green hydrogen and energy storage in hopes of developing public and private investment together. [Renewables Now]

Cruz de Carrutero wind farm (Image by Iberdrola)

¶ “EDF Shuts Down Nuclear Reactors on Safety Concerns; Revises 2021 Target” • Electricite de France SA’s 2021 earnings could take a slight hit from the temporary closure of reactors at two nuclear plants on safety grounds, the French company said. Faults were detected on both reactors at the Civaux plant during routine safety checks. [MarketScreener]


¶ “28% Of US Coal Power Plants Plan To Retire By 2035” • Coal-fired power plants have no mandatory retirement age, but power plant owners and operators have reported to EIA that they plan to retire 28%, or 59 GW, of the operating US coal-fired capacity by 2035. As of September 2021, 212 GW of coal-fired capacity was operating in the US. [CleanTechnica]

Coal capacity history (US Energy Information Administration)

¶ “Study Finds Vehicle Emissions Decline Linked To Decreased Deaths, $270 Billion In Savings In USA” • The Associated Press reported that Harvard University researchers found that deaths dropped from 27,000 in 2008 to 19,800 in 2017 due to a decade of decline in vehicle emission. Adoption of EVs and increased fuel efficiency paid off. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Consumers Energy And Swisslane Farms Partner To Deliver Renewable Fuel for Michigan” • Consumers Energy announced an agreement with Swisslane Farms to build a biodigester facility that will convert agricultural waste into renewable natural gas, or RNG. Though RNG is renewable, it is interchangeable with fossil natural gas. [Yahoo Finance]

Have a notably successful day.

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December 15 Energy News

December 15, 2021


¶ “Solar Ammonia In A Climate Crisis: Bunker Fuel’s Final Days Can’t Come Soon Enough” • Even without any carbon pricing, within about a decade, solar ammonia will equal or even slightly undercut today’s bunker fuel for cost. There will be less and less of a reason not to switch to ammonia for ships and engines, both for newbuilds and retrofits. [CleanTechnica]

Ship and wind turbine (Public domain image)

¶ “Is California About To Give Up The Driver’s Seat On Electric Vehicles?” • The California Air Resources Board released draft regulations that reduce the Zero Emissions Vehicle requirements from those proposed earlier in the year, and these requirements fall well short of what is needed to limit damage from climate change and air pollution. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Arctic Fails Its Annual Health Check As Global Warming Brings More Ills To The Region” • The Arctic Report Card, which serves as an annual physical for the Arctic, found this vast and significant biome is changing profoundly. It continues to warm twice as fast as the rest of the Earth and is rapidly losing its ice cover, visibly changing in just a decade. [CNN]

Northern lights (Johannes Groll, Unsplash)

¶ “New SpaceX Program Will Focus On Converting Atmospheric CO₂ Into Rocket Fuel” • Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk have announced that SpaceX is starting a program that will take CO₂ out of the atmosphere and convert it into rocket fuel. He also added that anyone interested should join and noted this would also be important for Mars. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Surprise, Surprise! Toyota Previews 15 Electric Cars Coming By 2030” • CEO Akio Toyoda has belittled EVs for years, as he clung stubbornly to the hydrogen fuel cell technology. Now, it seems things have changed. “We need to reduce emissions as much as possible, as soon as possible,” he told the press. And with that, Toyota is going electric. [CleanTechnica]

Toyota concepts (Toyota image)

¶ “Heat Refuge For Avenel Elderly Powered By Solar And BYD Batteries” • In January 2019, much of South Australia and Victoria was baking. Then came the blackout. In the tiny rural town of Avenel, during twenty six hours without power, food and medicine spoiled, and elderly people suffered heat stress. Now, Avenel has a heat refuge. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Utrecht Wants To Be The First City To Use Its Electric Car Fleet As A Giant Battery” • Utrecht aims to be the first city in the world to be fully bidirectional, using EV batteries to help solve the challenge of intermittent renewable power. It is not necessary to buy batteries, because as people shift to EVs, the cars can be used as grid infrastructure. [Fast Company]

EV in Utrecht (Photo courtesy of We Drive Solar)

¶ “Winch Energy Opens Crowdfunding For Off-Grid Renewables In Africa” • Off-grid renewable energy provider, Winch Energy, has opened its crowdfunding campaign to fund solar off grid developments in Sierra Leone and Uganda. Individuals can invest in Africa’s growing clean energy market via Crowdcube from as little as £10. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Renewables Support ‘Must Be Tied To Local Content'” • British energy union GMB has urged for renewable energy support to be tied to domestic manufacturing. The union stated the UK’s large reliance on importing renewables infrastructure is a “missed opportunity to cut emissions and support UK manufacturing.” [reNews]

Manufacturing a wind turbine blade (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “Protesters Denounce French Push To Label Nuclear As Sustainable Energy” • Demonstrators unfurled a banner that declared, “Gas & nuclear are not green,” outside France’s foreign ministry to protest a government drive to label nuclear energy and fossil gas as climate-friendly investments. The EU is making up a list of such investments. [The Star]


¶ “Pre-Production Tesla Semi Tractors Emerge From Gigafactory 1” • According to Elon Musk, the company is waiting for its latest 4680 format batteries to be in production before going into high gear on making the Semi tractors. But now a story is emerging that the Tesla Semi may already be in limited production of units to release to certain customers. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Semi

¶ “Energy And Transportation Departments Team Up To Help States Develop Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure” • The Transportation and Energy departments are creating a joint EV charging infrastructure office to help states fast-track planning and construction of EV chargers along highways and in hard-to-reach communities. [CNN]

¶ “Grid Software Solution Could More Than Double Network Capacity For Renewables With No New Infrastructure” • A Smarter Grid Solutions pilot project in New York State was a resounding success. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory predicted it could unlock large amounts of network capacity with no need for new power lines. [PV Magazine]

Power lines (Jaël Vallée, Unsplash)

¶ “Shell Acquires US Solar And Energy Storage Firm” • Royal Dutch Shell announced the acquisition of the US developer of solar and energy storage projects Savion LLC from Macquarie’s Green Investment Group. The move aims to boost Shell’s solar portfolio with Savion’s current 18-GW project capacity of solar and battery storage. [Energy Live News]

¶ “Federal Inspector Falsified Safety Reports At North Anna Nuclear Plant” • A federal inspector who led safety efforts at the North Anna Nuclear Power Plant in Louisa County plead guilty this week to falsifying safety inspection reports. Croon worked at the power plant for four years and was its senior inspector, court documents say. [WRIC]

Have a firmly founded day.

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December 14 Energy News

December 14, 2021

Opinion and Interview: 

¶ “Who Will Pay For The Damage Caused By Climate Change?” • Damaged buildings and job losses aren’t the only victims of extreme weather events caused by climate change. From Fiji to Barbuda, entire cultures are at stake. But the final COP26 climate pact made no reference to climate finance to address the rising costs of their losses and damages. [BBC]

Kwajalein (Vance Berisford, Unsplash)

¶ “Voices Of 100%: Moab Anchors Utah Community Renewable Energy Program” • To preserve its unique natural environment and the regional economy, Utah cities created a pathway to 100% renewable power by 2030. For this podcast, host John Farrell talks with Moab Sustainability Director Mila Dunbar-Irwin and City Council Member Kalen Jones. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Antarctic Glacier Heading For Dramatic Change” • Scientists warn of dramatic changes at one of Antarctica’s biggest glaciers, potentially within five to ten years. They say a floating section at the front of Thwaites Glacier that had been relatively stable could “shatter like a car windscreen.” Thwaites is as big as Florida. Its outflow has doubled in the past 30 years. [BBC]

Thwaites Glacier (NASA image, public domain)

¶ “Ever Heard Of Synchroinverters? Grid-Stabilizing Devices Connecting Renewables To Distributed Energy Resources” • A Synchroinverter is a smart inverter that mimics a synchronous generator and can respond to grid demand changes extremely quickly. Israel’s Ministry of Energy and the US DOE announced support for some developers. [PV Magazine]

¶ “Cargo Ships Reclaim Wind Power With High Tech Rigid Sails” • The modern shipping industry is taking steps to be powered by the wind again, though with a high tech twist. Last week the French startup Zéphyr & Borée got validation for a container ship decked out with eight rigid sails engineered by the firm Computed Wing Sails. [CleanTechnica]

Ship powered by rigid sails (Computed Wing Sail image)

¶ “Release by Scatec to provide reliable and affordable clean power in Central Africa” • Release by Scatec entered into a lease agreement with Eneo, an electricity company in Cameroon, for two hybrid solar and storage plants totaling 36 MW solar and 20 MW, 19 MWh of storage. The first power is expected to be on by year end 2021. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Ayana Renewable Power Commissions 150 MW Of Solar In India” • Ayana Renewable Power commissioned part of its 300 MW solar project in Bikaner, in the Indian state of Rajasthan. With the addition, Ayana Renewable Power surpassed 1 GW of operational capacity. Its total management and developmental portfolio stands at 2.94 GW. [PV Magazine]

Solar array (Ayana Renewable Power image)

¶ “Renewables Become ‘Indispensable’ Part Of Egypt’s National Electricity Mix” • New and Renewable energy has become an indispensable part of the capacity of Egypt’s national electricity network, especially after the unprecedented boom that Egypt had in the implementation of projects to generate electricity from renewable energy. [Egypt Today]

¶ “French, German Ministers Say Nuclear Power A Difficult Subject” • The French and German finance ministers, during the first visit of new German Finance Minister Christian Lindner to Paris, said talks about the role of nuclear energy in European power markets will be difficult, even if they agreed on most of the other issues. [Reuters]

Cruas nuclear power plant (Yelkrokoyade, CC-BY-SA 3.0)


¶ “Atmospheric River Is Forecast To Deliver Up To A Foot Of Rain And Feet Of Snow To California” • An atmospheric river – a plume of moisture that streams in off the Pacific Ocean and brings extreme rains – is unleashing flooding rainfall of up to a foot and several feet of snow in some areas. San Francisco has had over 2 inches of rain. [CNN]

¶ “US Businesses To Lose A Collective 3.1 Million Days Of Operation From Flooding In 2022” • As climate change increases sea level, fuels more extreme rainfall, and powers hurricanes, American businesses are set to collectively lose millions of days of operation in coming years due to flood-related damages, according to a report. [CNN]

Nuisance flooding (B137, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Plugin Vehicle Market Share Reaches Record 5.6% In USA, Tesla Dominates” • According to Atlas EV Hub, plugin vehicles hit a record 5.6% share of the automotive market in September, their greatest share of the market ever. Tesla Model 3 sales have been booming, while Model Y sales have been consistently strong and stable for several quarters. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Biden Plan To Add 500,000 Electric Car Chargers Is Light On Details” • VP Kamala Harris announced that the administration is planning to add a half million EV chargers from sea to shining sea. Harris offered few details about the program, but she said many of those chargers would be designated for underserved and rural communities. [CleanTechnica]

EV charger (Sophie Jonas, Unsplash)

¶ “High Tech Recycling Mashup In The Works For US Military” • The DOD could be the world’s biggest institutional contributor to the global waste stream, but a change may be in the works. Earlier this year, the DOD launched a high tech recycling R&D program to mine its own trash for resources to sustain military operations in hostile environments. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Energy Firms Push States For Carbon Markets To Spur Renewable Fuel Growth” • US energy companies are pressing states to speed development of low-carbon fuel markets similar to California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard. They warn that numerous proposed projects to make renewable natural gas and other biofuels may fizzle. [Reuters]

Have a noticeably awesome day.

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December 13 Energy News

December 13, 2021


¶ “Geoengineering – First It Was About Messing With The Atmosphere. Now It’s About Hacking The Ocean” • A new 300-page report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine calls for scientific investigation into a number of ways of geoengineering the ocean so it can sequester more carbon dioxide. [CleanTechnica]

Report (National Academies of Science)

¶ “Nuclear Power’s Economic Failure” • Despite the abundance of evidence that nuclear power is economically uncompetitive compared to renewables, the nuclear industry and some of its supporters continue to claim otherwise. A report by Friends of the Earth Australia shows nuclear economic failures by detailing real-world nuclear projects. [The Ecologist]

¶ “No, California Shouldn’t Extend The Life Of Its Last Nuclear Plant” • Proponents of nuclear power say keeping the Diablo Canyon plant open would reduce climate pollution, bolster grid reliability, and buy time during a crucial period in the state’s transition toward solar, wind, and other renewable resources. That idea is misguided. [Los Angeles Times]

Diablo Canyon nuclear plant (Doc Searls, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

Science and Technology:

¶ “How The Climate Crisis Is Affecting Tornadoes” • In the wake of a deadly night of extreme weather, which meteorologists and climate scientists say is historic, questions of whether climate change is intensifying tornadoes are just beginning to emerge. Climate change may have played a part in the violent storms, but it’s not yet clear what that role was. [CNN]


¶ “The Iñupiat Brothers Watching Their Land Melt” • The Arctic is warming about twice as fast as any other place. Indigenous groups who live there, including Alaska’s Iñupiat and the Inuit people of Canada and Greenland, are experiencing profound changes in their environment, which in turn can shake their whole culture and way of life. [BBC]

¶ “China’s Decarbonisation Policy Fine-Tuning Lifts Shares Of Renewable Energy, Grid Solutions Providers” • Changes to China’s decarbonization policy, which were just put into place, will bolster demand for renewable energy and the infrastructure that support its growth, analysts say. Stocks of companies in related fields surged. [South China Morning Post]

¶ “Electric Airplanes To Start Taking Off In Australia” • The home of the koala, the kangaroo, and Qantas is about to launch the world’s first zero emissions, electric airline. “We believe there will be a revolution in aviation and we want to be at the forefront,” Aaron Shaw, chief executive of Sydney Seaplanes, said. “This is the way of the future.” [CleanTechnica]

Seaplane flying over Sydney (Lubo Minar, Unsplash)

¶ “UK Opens ‘Landmark’ 12-GW CFD Auction” • The fourth Contracts for Difference auction for renewable energy in the UK has opened for applications. The Energy Department put £285 million up to support projects. The lion’s share, £200 million, is available for offshore wind. The UK hopes to secure 12 GW of new capacity through the round [reNews]


¶ “More Than 100 Feared Dead After Tornadoes Tear Through Several States” • More than 100 people are feared dead after a series of tornadoes ripped through several states in the Midwest and South and transformed homes and businesses into piles of rubble late Friday into Saturday. It was the deadliest tornado event in Kentucky’s history. [CNN]

Collage of radar imagery of the supercell on Dec 10-11, 2021 (TheAustinMan, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “FEMA Chief Says Powerful Storms ‘New Normal’ In Era Of Climate Change” • Powerful storms like the ones that tore through parts of the central US this weekend are the “new normal” in an era of climate change, Deanne Criswell, the FEMA administrator said. Connecting increasing tornado activity to climate change is not easy, however. [CNN]

¶ “Chevy Electric Silverado Coming In 2023 As GM Amps Up EV Investments” • The Verge is reporting that the Chevy Silverado EV – a battery electric pickup truck designed to take on Ford’s wildly popular F-150 Lightning – will go into production in early 2023, with deliveries to customers expected to begin by the fall of that year. [CleanTechnica]

Hummer Ultium platform (GM image)

¶ “New Mexico EV Enthusiasts Successfully Expand Charging Network With GoFundMe” • A group in New Mexico is working to make the drive in the state’s eastern areas a little easier by adding publicly available Level 2 charging stations. The group is taking matters into their own hands to put in public stations, funded through GoFundMe. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Rural Arizona Communities To Receive Over $50 Million To Make Energy Efficient Improvements” • More than $50 million is being invested into rural Arizona communities in an effort to reduce the impacts of climate change, the USDA announced. The funds are going to a number of Arizona businesses through the Rural Energy for America Program. [KTAR News]

Have an excitingly advantageous day.

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December 12 Energy News

December 12, 2021


¶ “Would You Like Fumes With That? ” • As my grandsons and I watched a crew cut down a large tree that had been damaged in a storm, I was impressed by the attention to safety. The men had steel-toed boots, protective clothing, safety goggles, hard hats, and ear protection. Then I realized they were breathing fumes from a chain saw and a diesel truck. [CleanTechnica]

Worker and chain saw (Helena Jankovičov, Pexels)

¶ “Driving A Tesla Makes Life So Much Easier” • I’m a new Tesla (co)owner. I’ve been driving the shiny new white Model Y for two weeks, and, while I do have much to learn about the multitude of settings available through the touchscreen – that will likely be an ongoing process – I now know that driving a Tesla makes life so much easier. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “We Need To Keep Cleantech Companies From Being Used Against Democracy” • In this short series of articles, I’d like to explore the ways that the Chinese Communist Party extends its reach globally to control us, why its tactics work, and (most importantly to readers here) how it is working toward using the cleantech industry against us. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla ad in China (Image courtesy of Tesla)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Minnesota Lake Ice Shrinking As Climate Change Warms Winters” • Officials from Minnesota’s natural resources and pollution control agencies say climate change is diminishing Minnesota winters, with 10 to 14 fewer days of lake ice over the past 50 years. They say climate change is hurting local economies and the environment. []

¶ “How The Climate Crisis Is Crushing The Wine Business” • A changing climate is changing the wine industry as we know it and for some producers, who have noticed changes to weather since the 1990s, the change is not all good. Wine grapes usually need a special set of weather conditions to ripen properly and climate change is making that harder. [The Hill]

Grapevine (Sven Finger, Unsplash)


¶ “Pitched Solar Roof Options In Europe – The World Beyond Tesla” • On-roof mounting systems still have the largest share in the residential solar PV market. However, for new or refurbished pitched roofs, another option is more cost-effective. Integrated systems, once more expensive, are less costly in today’s market, especially in Europe. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EU Approves Renewable Energy Development Funding Scheme In Croatia” • Croatia notified the European Commission of its intention to introduce a new scheme to support electricity produced from renewable energy sources, namely wind, solar, hydro, biomass, biogas, and geothermal power plants. The EC has approved the scheme. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

Geothermal plant by Turboden in Croatia (Turboden image)

¶ “Renewable Energy Hotspot Grinds To A Halt Through Lack Of Transmission Infrastructure” • The 50-MW Kennedy Energy Park in North Queensland was Australia’s first to combine a solar farm, 12 wind turbines, and 2 MW of battery storage when it was completed in late 2018. But a lack of transmission infrastructure has kept it idle for three years. [ABC]

¶ “Renewables Already Generate Almost 50% Of Electricity … But Electricity Remains At Record Prices” • According to Red Elctrica de Espaa, renewables, including hydro, wind, and solar energy, have generated the 48.7% of electricity in Spain this year, more than double the 22.1% produced by nuclear. The high cost of gas kept electricity prices high, however. [CVBJ]

Andasol Solar Power Station (kallerna, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Zero Carbon Lithium Company Vulcan Acquires Geothermal Plant; Brine Offtake Agreement With geox” • Vulcan Energy Resources has agreed to acquire an operational geothermal renewable energy power plant in the Upper Rhine Valley at Insheim, Germany, through the acquisition of 100% of the shares in the owner. [Green Car Congress]


¶ “A White Christmas Is Less Likely For Many. The Grinch To Blame Is Climate Change” • Meteorologists refering to “normal” weather are mainly referring to a three decade data set, updated every ten years. The current data, from 1991 to 2020, is generally milder and less snowy due to the climate crisis. For many people, a White Christmas is less likely. [CNN]

Reindeer (Norman Tsui, Unsplash)

¶ “Biden Pledges Federal Support In Aftermath Of Deadly Storms” • President Joe Biden told reporters traveling with him in Wilmington, Delaware he’d been monitoring the situation “very closely since early this morning,” after what he called one of the “largest tornado outbreaks in our history” left at least 84 dead across six states. [CNN]

¶ “US Interior Secretary Haaland Touts Solar Energy In Desert Visit” • US Interior Secretary Deb Haaland visited the California desert to promote solar farms and other renewable projects on public lands in the West. She said the Interior Department is working with states, cities, and tribes to permit at least 25 GW of onshore renewable energy by 2025. [The Desert Sun]

Have a spectacularly worthwhile day.

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December 11 Energy News

December 11, 2021


¶ “Netherlands Reaches 28% BEV Share In November!” • Despite an artificially inflated November 2020 (resulting from CO₂ fleet mandates and fiscal changes), the Dutch plugin EV market managed to stay in positive territory last month, rising 7% year over year. In November, 10,613 plugin registrations were logged, a new year best. [CleanTechnica]

Ford Mustang Mach-E (Eduardo Arcos, Unsplash)

¶ “ANZU: Taking Chargers From Hard-To-Find Novelties To Ubiquitous Infrastructure In Oz” • Startup ANZU, named for a Sumerian mythical creature and a dinosaur, is aiming to put affordable AC chargers everywhere in Australia. ANZU is ready. It’s compliant with national standards and registered as a supplier of electrical equipment. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla China Sold Nearly 53,000 Made-In-China Vehicles In November, Crushing Claims Of Dropping Demand” • For the month of November, Tesla China sold 52,859 made-in-China vehicles, according to the China Passenger Car Association. This includes the export sales of 21,127 vehicles. So much for major media predictions of failure. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Shanghai gigafactory (courtesy of Tesla)

¶ “Volkswagen Ramps Up Its Electric Car Strategy” • Volkswagen recently made several announcements about how it plans to pick up the pace of its transition to manufacturing electric cars and trucks. On December 8, it reported three strategic partnerships to help it strengthen its battery technology know-how and cost management. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Electrolyzer Ramping From 0 To 50,000 Amperes In Less Than 10 Seconds” • Hydrogen Optimized, based in Toronto, said it had demonstrated that its RuggedCell high-current unipolar electrolysis system could ramp from 0 to 50,000 amperes in less than 10 seconds. This can be used to stabilize electrical grids and optimize renewable grid capacity. [PV Magazine]

Electrolyzer (DLR, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Rio Tinto Begins Construction Of Its Renewable Energy Project In Madagascar” • Rio Tinto reported that it and partner Crossboundary Energy started building a solar and wind project to power the QMM ilmenite mine operations in Fort Dauphin, Madagascar. Rio Tinto’s goal is for operations in Madagascar to be carbon neutral by 2023. [KITCO]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa 14-MW Prototype Delivers First Power” • Siemens Gamesa’s prototype 14-222 DD offshore wind turbine has started producing electricity at the test site at Østerild in Denmark. The turbine has a rotor diameter of 222 meters and features the company’s new B108 blades. Orders for the turbine have already been placed. [reNews]

Prototype 14-MW wind turbine (Siemens Gamesa image)


¶ “These Lawmakers’ Districts Are At Highest Risk Of Flooding. Here’s Where They Stand On The Climate Crisis” • An analysis found 25% of all critical infrastructure – things like hospitals, police stations and power plants – is at risk of being inoperable due to flooding. The risk is greater in some areas. A map shows risk levels and how lawmakers vote. [CNN]

¶ “Tornadoes Causing Chaos Across Several US States” • One person died in an Arkansas nursing home and a roof collapse at an Amazon warehouse in Illinois as tornadoes created havoc in several states. Twenty people were trapped inside the nursing home after it partly collapsed. Workers are also believed to be trapped in the Amazon warehouse. [BBC]

Tornado (Nikolas Noonan, Unsplash)

¶ “Navy Reports Contamination At A Second Water Shaft Servicing Hawaii Base” • The Navy reported dangerous levels of petroleum contamination in a second groundwater source at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, state health officials said, expanding the scope of a tainted water crisis that has already forced hundreds from their homes. [CNN]

¶ “Nebraska Just Voted To Go 100% Clean Electricity” • Nebraska is the 20th state to commit to 100% clean electricity by 2050. The Nebraska Public Power District approved net-zero carbon goal, joining the Omaha Public Power District and the Lincoln Electric System. The NPPD board of directors voted 9–2 to adopt the net-zero commitment. [CleanTechnica]

Omaha (John Matychuk, Unsplash)

¶ “NYC Is Planning To Buy Over $12 Million Worth Of Tesla Model 3s” • New York City will hold a Contract Public Hearing on December 16, 2021, via conference call, to discuss a proposed contract between its Department of Citywide Administrative Service and Tesla. The city wants to purchase $12,360,000 worth of Tesla Model 3 EVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ford Ends F-150 Lightning Reservations, Says It Needs More Batteries” • When Ford announced the Mustang Mach-E, it planned on making maybe 30,000 of them. It was sort of a “Let’s run it up the flagpole to see if anyone salutes” kind of deal. Now, Ford CEO Jim Farley says Ford is completely oversubscribed with its battery EVs. [CleanTechnica]

F-150 Lightning (Image courtesy of Ford Motor Company)

¶ “Transforming The Grid, The Supply Chain And The Economy With Offshore Wind” • Offshore wind is positioned to become an increasingly important source of energy in the US over the next decade. As the offshore wind industry grows in the US, it could mean more jobs, big investments, and the development of local economies. [T&D World]

¶ “Renewable Energy Company Moves Ahead With Massive Solar Farm On Bill Gates-Owned Land” • A renewable energy company aims to develop one of the largest solar farms in the US. It includes land owned by Bill Gates. The 10,000-acre solar farm would be built near Plumwood, Ohio, and would cost at least $1 billion to build. [Yahoo Autos]

Have a decidedly positive day.

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December 10 Energy News

December 10, 2021


¶ “Historic EU Finance Rules For EVs Undermined By Support For Gas” • EVs will be the only cars that can be classified as green investments as of 2026, under rules cleared by EU governments recently. But the historic, sustainable finance rules will be badly undermined by the European Commission’s decision to label gas investments as green. [CleanTechnica]

Money (Ibrahim Boran, Unsplash)

¶ “Rare Minerals In Batteries? Greener, Friendlier Alternatives Already In Use – RMI Reality Check” • There is a lot of anxiety about cobalt, which is needed for some EV batteries but has destructive extraction methods. It has been used to undermine the whole concept of EVs. One problem with this story is that we don’t need cobalt to power EVs. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “They Sailed Into A Hurricane, Now These Unmanned Saildrones Are Seeking Data On Our Carbon Uptake” • Six unmanned Saildrones are heading out on a six-month voyage to collect data about the Gulf Stream through the winter months, in hopes of learning more about carbon uptake – the process by which oceans absorb carbon. [CNN]

Saildrones (Saildrone image)


¶ “Australian Lawmakers Blast Murdoch’s ‘Troubling Media Monopoly’ In New Report” • An Australian Senate committee issued a scathing indictment of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, calling it the country’s “clearest example of a troubling media monopoly.” The government’s indecision on climate clearly shows the of News Corp’s control. [CNN]

¶ “Madagascar Food Crisis: How A Woman Helped Save Her Village From Starvation” • People are starving in the drought in southern Madagascar. But those who live in one village have enough food. One woman, with the help of a local charity, the Agro-ecological Centre of the South, has been teaching about the farming techniques to use in drought. [BBC]

Baobab trees in Madagascar (gemmmm, Unsplash)

¶ “VW’s Charging Arm Offers Intelligent Green Electricity Use In Germany” • Volkswagen Group has its own charging business, Volkswagen Group Charging GmbH. It is offering Volkswagen EV drivers more options for how they get their electricity. German EV owners can now get 100% of their electricity from green energy sources. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewables Critical As NEM Prepares For Step Change” • The Australian Energy Market Operator forecast utility-scale variable renewable energy capacity in the National Electricity Market will increase nine-fold by 2050 while smaller scale distributed energy resources will grow five-fold as grid demand soars and coal-fired generation withdraws. [pv magazine Australia]

Solar panels (BE Power image)

¶ “Seoul Aims To Source 71% Of Power From Renewables By Exiting From Coal And Nuclear” • South Korea is pushing ahead with a goal of raising renewable energy to over 70% with the help of not-yet commercialized green hydrogen technology while eliminating coal-fired power stations and reducing nuclear reactor sourcing to 6%. [Pulse News Korea]


¶ “Hyundai Ioniq 5 And Kia EV6 Both Get 300+ Mile EPA Range Rating” • The EPA released its range ratings for all three versions of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the Kia EV6. Both cars are expected to go on sale in the US soon, but final pricing details are pending. Long range, single motor, rear-wheel drive units of both models have range ratings of over 300 miles. [CleanTechnica]

Kia EV6 (Image courtesy of Kia)

¶ “New FEMA Plan Puts Climate Crisis Front And Center After Trump Administration Erased It” • President Joe Biden’s Federal Emergency Management Agency is putting climate front and center in its new four-year strategic planning document, after the Trump administration erased all mention of climate from its previous plan. [CNN]

¶ “52 Utility Companies Plus TVA Form EV Charging Coalition” • According to the Edison Electric Institute, 51 investor-owned utilities, one electric co-op, and the TVA have banded together to form the National Electric Highway Association, whose goal is to provide EV fast charging ports along major US travel corridors by the end of 2023. [CleanTechnica]

EEI national charging coalition map (Image from EEI)

¶ “US Mayors Are Working Diligently On Energy Efficiency And Renewable Energy” • A report, “Leveraging New Technologies to Modernize Infrastructure and Improve Energy Efficiency in America’s Cities,” provides timely information on how mayors are working in the US to incorporate energy technologies and infrastructure improvements. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ørsted Books Scottish Lift For US Offshore Trio” • Scottish engineering company Pict Offshore has signed a deal with Ørsted to deploy the ‘Get Up Safe’ motion-compensated lifting system at the 132-MW South Fork offshore wind farm off New York state, and at two further projects off the US north-east coast, Revolution Wind and Sunrise Wind. [reNews]

Worker at an offshore wind site (Pict Offshore image)

¶ “Swell Energy Working With California Utilities To Advance Virtual Power Plants” • Renewable energy and grid company Swell Energy Inc said that it is working with three California utilities on pilot projects to expand grid services use cases for residential solar+storage resources to meet local and regional energy needs. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Small Nuclear Reactor Might Be Built At Oyster Creek” • Holtec Decommissioning International, which is doing the work of decommissioning the aged Oyster Creek nuclear power plant, is now looking at developing the site for a prototype nuclear reactor. The mayor of Lacey Township, where the plant sits, is supportive of the idea. [Jersey Shore Online]

Have an easily superlative day.

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December 9 Energy News

December 9, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “Heavy Rain Triggered Indonesia’s Volcano Eruption. This Could Happen More” • Indonesians are used to dealing with natural disasters. But Mount Semeru’s eruption on the island of Java was different. Days of heavy rain had gradually eroded its lava dome, which acts as a plug. Scientists say the rain and the eruption are connected. [CNN]

Mount Semeru before the eruption (Wendy Winarno, Unsplash)

¶ “Golf Courses On Borrowed Time As Earth’s Weather Patterns Become Wilder” • The thirty or so golf courses in the Salt Lake County of Utah drink up around nine million gallons of water each day to stay pristine green. Golf courses have large carbon footprints, and a changing climate makes them even harder to keep in good condition. [CNN]

¶ “Solar Ammonia In A Climate Crisis: Almost Certainly The Most Affordable Of All Low-Carbon Shipping Fuels” • Shipping has a relatively small portion of total GHG emissions, but it will be hard to eliminate because large ships have long lifetimes and need a high specific energy storage medium. Green ammonia may be a fuel for that job. [CleanTechnica]

Container ship (Borderpolar Photographer, Unsplash)

¶ “It’s Extremely Rare For Teslas To Spontaneously Catch On Fire” • A Tesla hater website has listed every incident of a Tesla catching on fire. They listed a total of 60 fire-related Tesla incidents from 2013 through 2021. By contrast, The National Fire Protection Association found that 212,500 US vehicle fires caused 560 deaths in 2018 alone. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Grid Stability And 100% Renewables” • Research by Stanford University’s Mark Jacobson addresses doubts about grid stability in a world powered 100% by renewable energy. The study models 100% wind, water, and solar powered grids in the US, finding no risk of blackouts in any region. It also sees broad benefits in cost reduction, job creation, and land use. [PV Magazine]

Power lines at Grand Coulee Dam (Varistor60, CC-BY-SA 4.0)


¶ “South Australia Leads The World On Grid-Scale Renewables” • Rising from the ashes of a massive power blackout in 2016 with help of the Tesla Big Battery, South Australia is a world leader in shifting a grid from fossil fuels to renewable sources. Now the state finds itself very close to being able to operate a grid with no fossil fuel input at all. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Why climate lawsuits are surging” • The last few years have seen a snowballing of court rulings in favor of environmentalists around the world. The cumulative number of cases related to climate change has more than doubled since 2015, according to a report by Kaya Axelsson of Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute and colleagues. [BBC]

Climate protest (Markus Spiske, Unsplash)

¶ “Electrify Everything! Oslo Plans To Reduce Emissions 95% By 2030” • The city of Oslo plans to cut carbon emissions by 95% compared to 2009 levels in the next eight years. A major part of that plan is to electrify everything. The City Council plans a zero emissions zone in the center of the city that only EVs will be permitted to enter. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “VW Invests In 100-GWh Wind Farm As Part Of Investment In Renewable Energy For EVs” • Volkswagen announced that it has agreed to help fund a wind farm in northern Sweden as part of a commitment to spend €40 million ($45 million) on renewable energy projects through 2025. The wind farm is the largest single project so far taken on by the automaker. [Carscoops]

Wind and solar power in Austria (Thomas Galler, Unsplash)

¶ “Neoen Begins Operations At Victorian Big Battery” • Neoen, a renewable energy company based in France, put its 300-MW, 450-MWh Victorian Big Battery in Geelong, Australia, into operation. Claimed to be one of the world’s largest batteries, the storage facility is built next to the Moorabool Terminal Station in Geelong. [Power Technology]

¶ “Environment Minister Knows Nuclear Can’t Compete: Tom Rand” • Tom Rand, author of the book Climate Capitalism, says Canada’s Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault, whose past includes anti-nuclear activism, has been “clever” in suggesting a market-based, hands-off approach. Nuclear power is too big, expensive, and cumbersome. [Yahoo]

Nuclear unable to compete (Boudewijn Huysmans, Unsplash)


¶ “Biden Signs Order For Government To Achieve Net-Zero Emissions By 2050” • The US government will be a net zero contributor to the climate crisis by 2050 by transitioning to an all-electric fleet of cars and trucks and reducing planet-heating emissions from its operations, under to a new executive order signed by Joe Biden. [The Guardian]

¶ “Florida Enacts Climate Resiliency Plan That Is 100% Free Of ‘Left-Wing Stuff'” • The Florida legislature passed a $270 million climate resiliency plan to fund 76 projects that improve drainage, raise sea walls, and take other steps to fight flooding in the state, Yahoo! News reported. But seas are rising an inch every eight years in parts of the state. [CleanTechnica]

Downtown Jacksonville (Wade Austin Ellis, Unsplash)

¶ “Navy Says It Will Pause Operations At Hawaii Fuel Site Linked To Tap Water Contamination” • The health department ordered the Navy to halt operations at the fuel storage facility on Monday after a tainted water crisis forced more than 700 people from their homes. The Navy now says it is pausing all operations at its Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage facility. [CNN]

¶ “Solar Power System Guidance In Face Of Extreme Weather, Tech Innovation, Rock-Bottom Prices” • Scientists at the US DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory have laid out a cost-effective five-point plan to improve the reliability of solar panels for extreme weather, rapid innovation, and extremely competitive prices. [CleanTechnica]

Have an unfathomably pleasant day.

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December 8 Energy News

December 8, 2021


¶ “Insurmountable Green Hydrogen Barriers In Australia Or Just Minor Obstacles?” • Australia is known to be a dry continent. So a study decrying the huge amount of clean water that is needed to produce green hydrogen is going to get more than a few readers. I see it as another part of the fight to keep fossil fuel fracked gas in the energy mix. [CleanTechnica]

Australia’s Painted Desert (Thomas Kupper, Unsplash)

¶ “How To Teach Climate Science” • The big glitch in California’s new science education standards, which focus heavily on climate change, is that few schoolteachers have the background to give lessons on the subject, says Kelley Le, director of the UCI Science Project. Le organized climate change boot camps for educators to address the problem. []

Science and Technology:

¶ “This New 64-Foot Hydrogen-Powered Catamaran Uses Renewable Energy To Supply Unlimited Range” • Fraser Yachts has just unveiled a new catamaran powered by hydrogen. Aquon One combines innovative green technologies for sustainable cruising without noise and emissions but with modern comforts. It is set for delivery in 2023. [Robb Report]

Aquon One (Fraser Yachts image)

¶ “Passive Solar Energy Could Provide A Third Of Home Heating Needs” • Space heating is one of the largest contributors to climate change produced by industrialized nations, creating an urgent need for carbon-free heating. Recent advances suggest that passive solar energy as a heat source can and should be part of a sustainable solution. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Indonesia’s Biodiesel Drive Is Leading To Deforestation” • Indonesia pledged at the recent COP26 climate summit that its greenhouse gas emissions would peak by 2030. It also said that it will end deforestation by that date. But it is relying on using more biofuels for transportation, and that may mean loss of forested land. [BBC]

Rain forest (Atharva Tulsi, Unsplash)

¶ “Increasing Support For EV Uptake In New South Wales” • The New South Wales Liberal Government, unlike Australia’s Federal Liberal Government, is actively seeking hosts for EV chargers in tourist spots. Add this to the recently introduced subsidies and rebates and you get a recipe for massive and rapid expansion of the EV fleet in the state. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “IRENA Signs Decarbonisation Agreement With Costa Rica” • The Government of Costa Rica and the International Renewable Energy Agency signed an agreement to work together to boost renewable energy project financing and strengthen the country’s decarbonization plans. Costa Rica already has one of the cleanest power generation mixes in the world. [Energy Global]

Costa Rican red-eyed tree frog (Zdeněk Macháček, Unsplash)

¶ “Financing For Turkey’s Renewable Industry To Reach $2.5 Billion By End-2021” • Funding for Turkey’s renewable energy sector is estimated to be $2.5 billion this year, with more than half channeled to solar projects, according to a banking official. Turkey’s installed renewable capacity reached 52.5 GW at the end of October of this year. [Daily Sabah]

¶ “Power Prices Soar On French Nuclear Questions, Gas Worries” • European power prices hit highs as traders worry about French and German nuclear power and gas from Russia. Germany’s ongoing nuclear exit program takes 4.2 GW of capacity outline by Dec. 31. Traders are also concerned about low gas supplies from Russia this winter. [Nasdaq]

Nuclear power plant in France (Stefan Kühn, CC-BY-SA 3.0)


¶ “Finally Some Relief: Gasoline And Natural Gas Prices Are Falling” • After a relentless rise, prices at the pump are heading south. The national average price for a gallon of regular as fell to a seven-week low of $3.35 a gallon on Tuesday, according to AAA. The outlook for home heating costs this winter is also improving significantly. [CNN]

¶ “EPA Proposes Changes To Its Biofuels Program, Notching A Win For The Industry And Farmers” • The EPA has announced proposed changes to its biofuels program to spur more biofuel use and crack down on waivers issued to refineries by the Trump administration, notching a win for the biofuels industry and farmers and a blow to oil refineries. [CNN]

Streetcar running on biodiesel (brandonink2001, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Investigating Coal Ash Sites Near You” • Coal ash is one of the most important types of industrial waste in the US. Hundreds of coal ash ponds, filled with various solids from burning coal, dot the country, as shown by data federal regulations require pond operators to publish. The data was compiled by Earthjustice, an environmental nonprofit. [CNN]

¶ “Jersey City Receives Its Five BYD Battery-Electric Refuse Trucks” • Jersey City is taking delivery of its five battery-electric refuse trucks. BYD said they are the first battery-electric refuse trucks deployed in New Jersey and this is the largest deployment of them in the US to date. Delivery is expected to be completed by the end of this year. [CleanTechnica]

Refuse truck (Courtesy of BYD)

¶ “US Coal Stockpiles Hit Lowest Level Since 1978” • Stockpiles of coal at US electric power plants totaled 80 million tons at the end of September, the lowest monthly level since 1978. As coal plants retired and the remaining plants were used less, total coal stockpiles declined. Inventories also fell because of increased generating over the summer. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Canadian Developer Toasts 185-MW Illinois Onshore” • Canadian company Cordelio Power has started commercial operations at the 185-MW Glacier Sands wind farm in Illinois. The project in Mason County is comprised of 43 Vestas V150-4.3 turbines. It will sell 100% of the electricity it generates through a 15-year contract to Microsoft. [reNews]

Have a conveniently uncomplicated day.

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December 7 Energy News

December 7, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “In Tests, Cars Powered By E-Petrol Pollute The Air As Much As Petrol Cars” • E-fuels are chemically similar to petrol and diesel. The fossil fuel industry and car parts suppliers tout them as a way to prolong the life of the internal combustion engine with zero emissions. But they are costly, and testing shows they emit as much NOx as fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.


¶ “The EU Is Finally Putting Its Money Where Its Mouth Is On China” • The EU has wanted trade with China, but is unwilling to ignore human rights abuses and climate failures. A coherent strategy of the EU is now coming into focus, through a series of policies that have the clear ambition of countering China, regardless of investment and trade. [CNN]

¶ “The World’s Newest Nation Is Both Drying Up And Drowning” • While droughts and floods may seem like polar opposites, they are more related than what is obvious. To those dealing with this problem in South Sudan, the climate crisis is clearly here already and offers the rest of the world a glimpse of what complications it could bring. [CNN]

¶ “Shell Pulls Out Of Cambo Oil Field Project” • Things can change in a heartbeat in the oil business, it seems. The Guardian reports that Shell announced it won’t pursue the Cambo project after all. Its CEO said last week that it needed to develop such projects, but now it says the business case for the development is too weak to go ahead. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Amid Shortage, Canada Taps Into Emergency Maple Syrup Reserves” • The Quebec Maple Syrup Producers – the so-called OPEC of maple syrup – has released about 22 million kg from its emergency larder, nearly half the total in reserve. Demand for maple syrup is high, but a shorter and warmer season caused the supply to drop by nearly a quarter. [BBC]

Sugar house (Mike Petrucci, Unsplash)

¶ “Japanese Startup Building Ship With 220-MWh Battery Storage To Bring Offshore Renewable Power Home” • Startup PowerX has a concept of the Power ARK power transfer vessel. The company has announced a partnership with shipbuilding company Imabari Shipbuilding to develop a prototype by the end of 2025. [Energy Storage News]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Partners On Offshore Wind-To-Hydrogen” • Siemens Gamesa signed a memorandum of understanding with Strohm to collaboratively develop offshore wind-to-hydrogen infrastructure. They will focus on a decentralized concept, with each turbine generating green hydrogen and sending it to shore through a submarine pipe. [reNews]

Hydrogen generating station (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “Fukushima Evacuees Return Home For First Overnight Stay In Over 10 Years Since Nuclear Disaster” • Some residents of Japan’s Katsurao village spent their first night at home in over a decade since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident turned their village into a no-go zone. They hope to return full-time soon. (Very short video) [South China Morning Post]


¶ “Christmas Trees Burned By The Heat, Dwindling The Supply” • Oregon produces roughly 40% of the nation’s Christmas tree supply, according to the National Christmas Tree Association. Last summer’s heat waves have resulted in losses of Christmas tree crops. The Christmas tree growers are struggling, and the prices for consumers have increased. [CNN]

Christmas trees (Oliver Dumoulin, Unsplash)

¶ “SEC Probes Tesla On Whistleblower’s Claims About Solar Panel Defects” • Tesla is under regulatory investigation in a whistleblower case filed some years ago. He alleged the company failed to properly disclose fire risks associated with solar panel defects. The solar panel probe was revealed in a letter from the US Securities and Exchange Commission. [CNN]

¶ “Solid-State EV Battery Plot Thickens As GM Inks Deal With POSCO” • GM said it and the Korean firm POSCO Chemical joined to build a battery factory in the US. GM reminded us that its coming Ultium platform aims to deliver an EV battery cell that costs 40% less than the one used in its Chevy Bolt. And GM talked about what comes after that. [CleanTechnica]

GMC Hummer EVs (Screenshot courtesy of GM)

¶ “10,000 Workplace EV Chargers Now In USA – Boom In 2021” • We just have data through the first quarter of 2021 so far, but the first quarter did see a notable boom in workplace charging stations for employees’ EVs. The US DOE reported that around 1,000 chargers were installed in the US in the quarter, bringing the total to nearly 10,000. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Electrify America Adds 30 MWh Of Battery Storage To 140 EV Charging Sites” • Electrify America has been installing large behind-the-meter storage batteries from Tesla to 140 of its fast charging facilities, 90 of them in California. To date, the total installed battery capacity is 30 MWh and growing. It is the largest such system in North America. [CleanTechnica]

Charging station (Electrify America image)

¶ “California Energy Commission Pairs with US Navy on Microgrid And Clean Energy Projects” • The US Navy and the California Energy Commission signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on energy and water-related projects to improve the reliability, efficiency and resilience of Navy installations in California. [T&D World]

¶ “Con Edison Plans 2.4-GW Offshore Link To New Jersey” • Con Edison Transmission is proposing a grid network link to deliver electricity from offshore wind farms to New Jersey. The plans for the Clean Link New Jersey project would look to connect 2.4 GW of future offshore wind capacity to the grid’s high-voltage onshore network. [reNews]

Have a reflectively celebratory day.

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December 6 Energy News

December 6, 2021

Opinion and Review: 

¶ “All You Need To Know About Electric Campers” • Here is a view of one person’s personal selection of a number of electric campers that are noteworthy, existing, conceptual, or rendered. It is followed by a list of a few obstacles we’re obviously facing with electric campers – together with some of the solutions we might see put to use. [CleanTechnica]

Stella Vita Solar Camper (Solar Team Eindhoven)

¶ “Explaining The Exponential Growth Of Renewable Energy” • Understanding the exponential growth of renewable energy gives us reason to be more optimistic about how fast it can ramp up to meet climate goals. This article explains the reasons behind solar and wind’s growth, how much progress has already been made and what’s needed to go even further. [GreenBiz]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Scientists Discover Another Reason Why EV Batteries Can’t Charge In A Few Minutes” • At Argonne National Laboratory, scientists discovered that when lithium-ion batteries are charged too quickly, the lithium ions cover on the surface of the graphite anode, plating it, instead of inserting themselves into the anode’s graphite. This reduces battery life. [CleanTechnica]

Lithium ions in a graphite anode (ANL image)

¶ “3D Printing Could Be A Game Changer In The Renewable Energy Sector” • With the supply levels of fossil fuels reaching all-time lows and the effects of climate change running rampant, the need for change in the energy sector is clear. Creative and sustainable solutions must be put into action. And 3D printing is ready to answer that call. [Manufactur3D]

¶ “Climate Scientist Warns Countries Thinking About Starting Geoengineering Earth – Consequences Could Be Disastrous” • A climate scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Kate Ricke, told Wired geoengineering is actually so affordable that countries will inevitably choose to do it. But the effects of doing so might not be what they want. [MITechNews]

One proposed geoengineering project (Hughhunt, CC-BY-SA 3.0)


¶ “Is ‘Blue Hydrogen’ Japan’s Answer To Coal?” • Japan is turning for energy to “blue hydrogen,” which is made from natural gas or coal, with carbon capture and sequestration. One energy expert thinks the Japanese government chose blue hydrogen a decade ago when renewables were expensive, and they are now locked into a plan that no longer makes sense. [BBC]

¶ “Will This Solar Farm Blind New Zealand Pilots?” • New Zealand is installing its biggest solar farm at Christchurch Airport. The 150-MW system will almost double New Zealand’s installed capacity. There is no real fear that the PVs will reflect sunlight to blind pilots, but it’s a good bet anti-renewable scare mongers will push that idea. [CleanTechnica]

Typical New Zealand housing (Adrien Aletti, Unsplash)

¶ “Voltalia Inks Bundled PPA For 56-MW Solar Project In France” • France’s Voltalia SA has sealed a corporate power purchase agreement with French lender LCL, the retail banking unit of Credit Agricole SA, for the output of a 56-MW solar park. Ten French companies, along with LCL, will buy green electricity from the project for 20 years. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Renewables Account For Over 68% Of Brazil’s Year-To-Date Power Additions” • Brazil has switched on over 6,436 MW of new power plants since the beginning of the year, of which 47.41% comes from wind farms, 19.46% from solar and 1.39% from small hydropower plants. The year’s goal of 4,790 MW was surpassed in September. [Renewables Now]

Solar project in Brazil (CoyoteBR, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Renewable Electricity Growth Is Accelerating Faster Than Ever Worldwide” • The latest IEA report says growth of the world’s capacity to generate electricity from solar panels, wind turbines and other renewable technologies is on course to accelerate over the coming years, with 2021 expected to set a fresh record for new installations. [Modern Diplomacy]

¶ “World’s Largest Renewables Player Granted Retail License For Australia” • The world’s largest private renewable energy player, Enel, with 51 GW of renewable capacity, announced it has been granted a retail energy licence from the Australian Energy Regulator. Enel will offer its “greentailer” solution to Australia’s National Energy Market. [pv magazine Australia]

Cohuna Solar Farm (Enel image)


¶ “PUC To Give A Boost To Renewable Projects In Northern Maine” • Despite criticism of the New England Clean Energy Connect project, state regulators in Maine have begun the process of collecting proposals for a high-voltage transmission line to serve as a conduit for renewable energy projects in northern Maine. [The Portland Press Herald]

¶ “Lithium Brine Bummer Could Turn Into Bonanza Soon” • Geothermal power plants at the Salton Sea in California produce brine that is so extraordinarily high in lithium that the US could become to a leading producer of lithium for EV batteries. There are technical issues in the way, but it appears that the issues can be overcome. [CleanTechnica]

Hell’s Kitchen geothermal plant (Controlled Thermal Resources)

¶ “Six California Communities Move To 100% Renewable Energy” • East Bay Community Energy said six communities, Albany, Berkeley, Dublin, Hayward, Pleasanton, and San Leandro, have elected to transition to its Renewable 100 service, sourced entirely from California wind and solar resources, at a slight increase in cost. [The Independent]

¶ “Activists: Holtec Walks Back Plans To Dump Nuclear Water Into Cape Cod Bay” • The Director of Cape Downwinders, Diane Turco, said Holtec, the company decommissioning the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, is backing off potential plans to dump a million gallons of possibly radioactive water into Cape Cod Bay. [WBZ News Radio]

Have a marvelously agreeable day.

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December 5 Energy News

December 5, 2021


¶ “Q&A With Alberta “Birdie” Carpenter: How To Untangle Carbon From The Vast Web Of Manufacturing And Supply Chains” • Birdie Carpenter was born in Guam, spent a few years in Saipan, and grew up in many countries. Now, she studies big carbon footprints that are as complex, vast, and intertwined as her upbringing. [CleanTechnica]

Alberta “Birdie” Carpenter (NREL image)

¶ “Renewable Wind Energy Can Help Save The Planet And The Ocean’s Marine Life” • The ocean’s winds are about to play two new historical roles: helping to save us from fossil fuels and making habitats safe for marine life. As offshore wind turbines generate electricity, they also bring fish and shellfish and even crustaceans back to the seas. []

Science and Technology:

¶ “Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch Is Immense Plastic Habitat” • Scientists have discovered marine animals living on plastic debris in an area of the open Pacific ocean called “the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” Plants and animals, including anemones, tiny marine bugs, molluscs and crabs, were found on 90% of the debris, far from their usual habitats. [BBC]

Crab (upper right) and other life on plastic (Smithsonian)

¶ “What If We Could Turn Our Houses And Buildings Into Batteries?” • It is possible to build a battery out of iron and cement. It is not a battery that can store much energy in a small area, but considering that buildings are built of cement and iron, the cement battery can be built very, very large and also be a place to live and work. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “100% Of Renault Courtesy Cars (Loaners) In England And Wales Now 100% Electric” • The best way to convert someone to electric driving, whether they come in with a lot of interest or a lot of trepidation, is to get them to try to drive one. With that in mind, I’m thoroughly impressed with what Renault Group is now doing in England and Wales. [CleanTechnica]

Renault Zoe cars (Image courtesy of Renault Group)

¶ “Legacy Combustion Vehicles Drop Below 50% Share In Germany As Plugins Grab Over A Third Of The Market” • In Germany, Europe’s largest auto market, plugin electric vehicles took 34.4% share in November, up from 20.5% a year ago. And combined legacy combustion powertrains fell below 50% share for the first time. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Crisis In Australia: AdBlue Chemical Shortage Might Render Diesel Trucks Inoperable” • There’s a shortage of urea, which is used in the making of AdBlue, a product used to make diesel “safer” or more “anti-polluting.” ABC News Australia reported that this is a crisis. It could almost make the diesel trucking industry of Australia come to a halt. [CleanTechnica]

Diesel and AdBlue (myshoun, Pixabay)

¶ “Lithium Factory Announced Next To Tesla Giga Berlin” • Once Tesla’s new Berlin Gigafactory starts cranking out battery packs, it’s going to require plenty of lithium, among other raw materials. So, it’s probably not a coincidence that a lithium processing facility has been planned for a location very near the Berlin Gigafactory. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewable Energy And Sustainability: Stakeholders And Consumer Trends” • Reports released by Norwegian clean energy firm ECOHZ and US utility NRG Energy highlight the value of clean capacity. According to the report by ECOHZ, sustainability strategies are pushing large companies to embrace renewable energy. [Power Engineering International]

Wind turbines (Jason Blackeye, Unsplash)


¶ “Stuck Jet Stream, La Nina Causing Weird Weather” • America’s winter wonderland is starting out this season as anything but traditional. Umbrellas, if not arks, are needed in the Pacific Northwest, while in the Rockies snow shovels are gathering cobwebs. Meanwhile, there is a blizzard warning on Hawaii’s Big Island summits. [AP News]

¶ “South Lake Tahoe May Pass Most Ambitious Renewable Energy Plan In Country” • Next week, South Lake Tahoe’s City Council may pass the most ambitious renewable energy plan of any municipality in the US. If it approves resolution 100/24/7, it would commit the city to using 100% renewable, carbon-free electricity, 24/7, by 2030. [Tahoe Daily Tribune]

South Lake Tahoe (Mark Miller, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Could A Regional Western Transmission System Help Lower Your Electricity Rates?” • A Utah-led study funded by the US DOE took a look at how teaming up to form a shared energy transmission system in the region could benefit eleven Western states, and the savings look to be potentially huge. It could save the states $2 billion per year. [Deseret News]

¶ “BLM Seeks Public Input on Proposed Guidance For Renewable Energy On BLM Public Lands” • The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public input on draft guidance covering wind and solar energy on public lands. The proposed update is to reduce rental rates and capacity fees for existing and new wind and solar energy on public lands. [Sierra Sun Times]

Public land (Bureau of Land Management, public domain)

¶ “Bitcoin Miners Say They’re Helping To Fix The Broken Texas Electric Grid – And Ted Cruz Agrees” • The Texas power grid is struggling with fluctuating energy prices and sporadic service, but the state’s growing bitcoin mining community claims it can help fix it. Republican Senator Ted Cruz agrees. Grid operator ERCOT, however, might not. [CNBC]

¶ “Vogtle Monitors See More Delays, Extra $1 Billion For Nuclear Plant” • Don Grace, who is paid by the Georgia Public Service Commission to monitor the Vogtle plant construction,  says that the increased delay to get the reactors online could mean $1 billion more in spending on a project already set to cost $28.7 billion. [WSAV-TV] (Originally, it was to cost $14 billion)

Have an altogether amusing day.

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December 4 Energy News

December 4, 2021


¶ “Drag Race: Tesla Model S Plaid Crushes Fossil Fuel Powered Competitors (Video)” • Here is a drag race with a 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing, a 2022 BMW M5 CS, and a 2022 Tesla Model S Plaid. The sedans with internal combustion engines may have been among the fastest in their class, but in a drag race against the Plaid S, both were left far behind. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model S (Jp Valery, Unsplash)

¶ “The Miraculous Engineering Of Tesla: Two Teslas Fall Off Cliffs, Everyone Walks Away” • In recent weeks there were two incidents in which Teslas fell off cliffs. One took place in Puerto Rico and the other took place in Utah. Both happened during Thanksgiving week. All of the occupants in both vehicles survived the crashes. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Team Scholz promises a new Germany” • Social Democrats who champion fair society, the Free Democrats who champion business and industry, and the Greens are setting up Germany’s new government. While it seems odd that this group would band together, they are doing so, and their common agenda starts with addressing climate change. [BBC]

Green Party’s Annalena Baerbock (Bündnis 90, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Norway Over 90% Plugin EV Share In November – Legacy ICE At Record Low” • Norway, the world’s leading market in the EV transition, saw plugins take 91.2% share in November, up from 79.9% a year ago. Non-hybridized combustion vehicles saw a record low of under 5.1% share in November, with pure petrol at just 2.3% of the market. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Polestar Provides Preview Of Pre-Production SUV” • Polestar is following up the sneak peek of its upcoming 5 luxury sedan with something a little more accessible to most of us. It’s called the 3, and it will be the first Volvo Group car to use the Geely SEA architecture that underpins the high-end Zeekr in China. Not a bad thing, by any stretch! [CleanTechnica]

Polestar 3 (Polestar image – It is available in other colors.)

¶ “IEA Forecast On Renewable Electricity Capacity” • Renewables are set to account for almost 95% of the increase in global power capacity through 2026. Global renewable electricity capacity is forecast to rise over 60% from 2020 levels to over 4,800 GW by then, equivalent to the current global power capacity of fossil fuels and nuclear combined. [GreentechLead]

¶ “New Canadian Facility To Produce Renewable Fuel From Air” • In British Columbia, Canadian clean energy company Huron Clean Energy and its partner Carbon Engineering Ltd have plans to create a revolutionary fuel for cars, airplanes, and ships. They are engineering a commercial facility that they say will produce usable fuel out of air. [EcoWatch]

Carbon Engineering pilot plant (Carbon Engineering image)

¶ “Huge $2.6 Billion Green Hydrogen Project Planned For Europe” • Spanish power company Iberdrola and a Swedish company, H2 Green Steel, are to partner and develop a €2.3 billion ($2.6 billion) facility that will produce green hydrogen. This is yet another example of how companies are taking an interest in the sector. [CNBC]


¶ “Washington And Oregon Jack Up Their Electric Vehicle Leadership” • The transportation sector is the largest source of climate pollution in the US. Adopting the Clean Trucks Program in Oregon and the Advanced Clean Trucks and Zero Emission Vehicle Programs in Washington solidifies the West Coast as one of the world’s biggest EV markets. [CleanTechnica]

Cars and a beach (Shai Pal, Unsplash)

¶ “Banning US Oil Exports Would Be A ‘Gift To OPEC And Putin,’ Big Oil CEO Says” • President Joe Biden has already launched the biggest intervention into energy markets in a decade. But American Petroleum Institute CEO Mike Sommers told CNN that the powerful oil-and-gas trade group is “absolutely” taking the risk of an export ban seriously. [CNN]

¶ “Nevada To Power Clean Vehicles With Clean Electricity” • The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada approved a $100 million program to deploy charging stations for EVs along highways, in urban areas, at public buildings, in school and transit bus depots, and elsewhere. Increasingly, Nevada’s cars, trucks, buses, and boats will run on clean electricity. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Gigafactory 1 in Nevada (Tesla image)

¶ “Idaho Power Proposes New Clean Energy Options” • Sources of renewable energy keep showing up all across the Treasure Valley and the state of Idaho. To ensure customers know their requests are heard, Idaho Power proposed a new plan to expand its clean energy options. Idaho Power has a goal of providing 100% clean energy by 2045. [KTVB]

¶ “Plant Vogtle Project Hits Another Delay” • “Construction quality” issues mean the first of two new nuclear reactors being built in Georgia may not be completed before February 2023, according to Don Grace, vice president of engineering for the Vogtle Monitoring Group, wich was hired to evaluate project management. [Georgia Public Broadcasting]

Construction on the Vogtle plant (Georgia Power image)

¶ “Holtec Has Decided To Dump Radioactive Water Into Cape Cod Bay In Early 2022” • The company decommissioning the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station has told the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that it plans to start discharging radioactive water from the plant into Cape Cod Bay sometime within the first three months of 2022. [Cape Cod Times]

¶ “Biden Wants Diablo Canyon To Remain Open” • The Biden Administration is encouraging the state of California to consider keeping Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant open, rather than shutting it down by 2025, as planned. Diablo Canyon currently provides 10% of California’a electric power. PG&E is currently planning to close the plant. [Cal Coast News]

Have a rewardingly uncomplicated day.

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December 3 Energy News

December 3, 2021


¶ “Tough Politics Around Oil And Gas Are Preventing Joe Biden From Being A Climate Hero” • Both environmentalists and the oil industry are slamming Interior Department report on federal oil and gas leasing released last week, but for different reasons. The report didn’t stress climate change, but it said oil and gas should pay more for leases on public lands. [CNN]

Oil leak in Philadelphia (James Lewis, Unsplash)

¶ “Solar – 3% Of US Electricity In 2020, 5% Next Year, And 20% In 2050?” • A report by the US Energy Information Administration sees solar jumping from 3% in 2019 to 5% in 2022. Then it takes until 2050 to get to 20%. Historically, the EIA has been okay at short-term forecasting, excellent at looking backwards, but horrible on the long term. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Magic Math Of Solar Plus Storage” • “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” seems to be the perfect description for the magic math for storage plus solar. The effective load-carrying capability (ELCC) of solar with storage is actually higher than the ELCC of solar plus the ELCC of storage. But it’s not magic – it’s the way the numbers add up. [CleanTechnica]

Solar farm (American Public Power Association, Unsplash)

¶ “Landmark Demonstration Shows How Common Wind Turbine Can Provide Fundamental Grid Stability” • A milestone demonstration by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and partner General Electric showed that the popular type-3 turbine technology can supply fundamental stability to the bulk power grid. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Scientists Are Mapping Fungi To Combat Climate Change” • The Society for the Protection of Underground Networks, with scientists from six countries, is mapping underground networks of fungi to protect them from the threats of the climate crisis and improve their carbon-sink ability. It may be the first time such an effort has been undertaken. [NowThis News]

Winecap stropharia (Ann F Berger, CC-BY-SA 3.0)


¶ “Fossil Fuel Plant Outages Pose Main Threat To Summer Power Supply As Renewables Bolster Grid” • The addition of almost 5 GW of renewable energy capacity will improve the resilience of Australia’s main electricity grid this summer, with outages from fossil fuel plants the main threat to supplies, the Australian Energy Market Operator says. [The Guardian]

¶ “Shell Scraps Plans To Develop Cambo North Sea Oilfield” • Royal Dutch Shell announced that it had scrapped plans to develop the Cambo oilfield in the British North Sea. The oilfield had become a lightning rod for climate activists seeking to halt the development of new oil and gas resources. But Shell cited economic reasons to stop development. [CNN]

Oil platform in the North Sea (Richard Child, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “GE Hitachi Nuclear to build small reactor in Canada” • GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, an alliance between General Electric Co and Japan’s Hitachi Ltd will build a small modular nuclear reactor with Ontario Power Generation, the Canadian utility said. OPG will deploy the SMR at its site in Darlington. It expects to complete around 2028, the company said. [Reuters]

¶ “Mutenga Bamboo Introduces A New Range Of Bamboo Toothpicks, Pens, And Briquettes For Cooking And Heating In Zimbabwe” • Based in Nzvimbo Village, Mazowe, Zimbabwe, Rowen Meda’s Mutenga Bamboo uses bamboo, which matures much faster than indigenous trees, to make charcoal for cooking, heating, and curing tobacco. [CleanTechnica]

Bamboo (Clement Souchet, Unsplash)


¶ “It’s December And It Hasn’t Snowed In Denver Yet. That’s Never Been Recorded” • Denver just broke a record for the latest date for a first snowfall that has held since snowfall records began in 1882. In all that time, Denver has never entered December without measurable snow. It’s been 224 days since it snowed a measurable amount in Denver. [CNN]

¶ “Data-Informed Analysis Reveals Energy Impacts Of Shared Micromobility” • Results of an NREL study show that shared micromobility (bikes, ebikes, scoooters, etc) can reduce energy consumption for passenger travel by 1% at the national level and 2.6% in cities. Those small percentages could save 2.3 billion gallons of gasoline per year. [CleanTechnica]

Scooter (Okai Vehicles, Unsplash)

¶ “Condo Association Bans Owners From Parking EVs In The Garage” • CleanTechnica received an interesting tip from a reader who is the owner of a condo in Keystone, Colorado. Their condo association at Keystone Resort informed them that EVs are not allowed to be parked or charged in their garage. She forwarded the email. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Nordex Secures 300-MW Texas Job” • Nordex Group has secured a deal to supply 67 turbines for the 300-MW El Sauz onshore wind farm in Texas. The 4.5-MW turbines are due to be installed in summer 2022, with the agreement also including a premium service contract for the machines covering a period of five years, Nordex said. [reNews]

Wind turbine (Nordex image)

¶ “Microsoft, Schneider Electric, And LG Solar USA Come Together For The Footprint Project” • The Footprint Project formed to help residents of Louisiana after Hurricane Ida. It announced it is partnering with Microsoft and Schneider Electric to deploy cloud-connected mobile microgrids to communities affected by climate disasters. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “NRC Accepts Application For Kairos Pebble-Bed Reactor Construction Permit” • The NRC will review Kairos Power’s construction permit application for its Hermes non-power demonstration reactor. The firm proposed to build it at the East Tennessee Technology Park Heritage Center site, in Oak Ridge, and begin operating by 2026. [Power Magazine]

Have an exquisitely chucklesome day.

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December 2 Energy News

December 2, 2021


¶ “Anti-EV And Anti-Renewable Propaganda Keeps Evolving” • As Stella Levantesi and Giulio Corsi write in DeSmog, climate denial has been evolving into “a softer, more insidious type of misinformation. The new approach has its focus on denying urgency and action, and it targets the solutions more than anything else. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla’s EVs, solar, and batteries, targets of FUD (Image by Tesla)

¶ “Renewables Are Set To Soar” • New renewable electricity capacity will set another record this year, at 290 GW, a report from the International Energy Agency says. That’s equivalent to building hundreds of nuclear reactors, and it’s happening despite the global supply chain issues, the rising material costs, and the covid restrictions. [MIT Technology Review]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Mercedes-Benz And Stellantis Catch Solid-State EV Battery Fever” • A number of automakers have invested in solid-state EV battery R&D in recent months, including Daimler and Stellantis. This comes as the US startup Factorial Energy claims a 20 to 50% improvement in driving range over lithium-ion batteries along with safety improvements. [CleanTechnica]

Solid-state battery (Photo courtesy of Factorial Energy)

¶ “Zapping Cow Dung With Lightning Is Helping To Trap Climate-Warming Methane” • A Norwegian company found a way to stop livestock slurry from releasing methane – by zapping it with artificial lightning. A spokesman for N2 Applied said independent tests showed their technology reduces methane emissions from cow dung by 99%. [CNN]


¶ “Europe Unveils Its $340 Billion Answer To China’s Belt And Road Infrastructure Initiative” • The EU unveiled a €300 billion ($340 billion) alternative to China’s Belt and Road initiative. The EU claims their program will create “links, not dependencies.” The Global Gateway is aimed at helping the global recovery by mobilizing investments. [CNN]

Prague (Anthony Delanoix, Unspash)

¶ “Madagascar’s food crisis has been blamed on climate change. Scientists say that’s wrong” • A study by the World Weather Attribution initiative, an effort led by Imperial College London and the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, found that a natural variation in the climate was most likely the main reason for the drought in Madagascar. [CNN]

¶ “Volta Gets Order For 1470 Electric Trucks From DB Schenker” • DB Schenker has over 74,200 people working at 2,100 locations in over 130 countries around the world. It just placed an order for 1,470 fully electric trucks manufactured by Volta. It will be the first company to use prototypes of the Volta Zero, starting in the spring of next year. [CleanTechnica]

Volta bus (Volta image)

¶ “Top Electric Vehicles In The World For October 2021” • In October 2021, global plugin vehicle registrations were up 70% from October 2020, scoring 589,000 units (or 8.8% share of the overall auto market). Market disruption is already happening in Europe and China, and we should see consistent disruptive levels on a global scale next year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewable Energy Is Even Cheaper Than Previously Thought” • Researchers at Oxford showed that early models consistently underestimated both how quickly the costs of renewable energy would fall and the benefits of a rapid switch to clean energy. Costs of renewables are falling far faster than expected, even as costs of energy from coal and nuclear rise. [GreenBiz]

Costs (Institute of New Economic Thinking image)

¶ “Affordable Dacia Spring Takes Pole As France Hits Record 23.5% Plugin EV Share” • November saw France, Europe’s second largest auto market, hit a record 23.5% plugin EV share, up 63% from 14.8% a year ago. Legacy diesels and plugless hybrids were stagnant at below 20% share, with petrol at just under 37% share. The Dacia Spring was the leading EV. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “IEA Head: Gas Producers Are To Blame For Energy Crisis In Europe” • “The deliberate policies of energy producers” are to blame for the soaring gas and electricity prices in Europe, Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency, recently said at an industry event, in yet another lash-out at fossil fuel producers generally and Russia specifically. [Oil Price]

Natural gas flame (Kwon Junho, Unsplash)


¶ “Forecasting US Renewable Energy Adoption To 2050” • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has just made its 2021 Standard Scenarios Outlook available. The number of scenarios was expanded, with three levels of power sector decarbonization added this year due to increased interest in reducing power sector emissions. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “How California Hydropower Plants Navigate Intense Drought” • Although drought conditions in California reduced the water supply, hydroelectric generation during the period from April to September 2021 still increased. This was because hydro ramped up generating in response to higher average hourly electricity prices in the late afternoon. [CleanTechnica]

Hoover Dam in 2017 (Mariordo, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Hewlett Packard Enterprise Selected For New Supercomputer” • Hewlett Packard Enterprise announced that it was selected by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a world leader in advancing energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, to build a supercomputer to support ongoing R&D on energy from renewable sources. [Yahoo Finance]

¶ “Texas Farmers And Ranchers Are Embracing Renewable Energy” • Among the many things that are bigger in Texas is the number of reasons why farmers and ranchers are embracing renewable energy, the Financial Times reports. Also, interest in small-scale systems has increased following the failure of the grid and gas system last winter. [EcoWatch]

Have a supremely goodly day.

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December 1 Energy News

December 1, 2021


¶ “Amazon, Walmart And The World’s Biggest Retailers Are Making Port Congestion And Pollution Worse, New Report Finds” • The supply chain is facing major blockages. Container ships are heaping pollution into communities near the congested ports. The biggest offenders are, unsurprisingly, the world’s biggest retailers, a report says. [CNN]

Tanker sitting immobile (Shaah Shahidh, Unsplash)

¶ “Renewables Are Being Installed At Top Speed – But Still Far Too Slow To Fix The Planet, Energy Watchdog Says” • The growth of renewable energy is set to hit an all-time record this year, but is still falling “well short” of what is necessary to reduce planet-warming emissions in the way that is needed, according to the International Energy Agency. [CNN]

¶ “Air Quality: Delhi Records Worst November Air In Years” • Delhi recorded its worst November air in at least six years, according to official data. The city recorded 11 days of “severe” pollution, up from 10 days in November 2016. And the residents of Delhi didn’t experience even one “good” day of air quality in the entire month. [BBC]

Delhi (Mohd Aram, Unsplash, cropped)

¶ “13% Of Auto Sales In Europe Were Fully Electric Vehicles In October” • More than 184,000 plugin vehicles were registered in Europe in October, which is up 26% year over year. This is in an overall auto market that is falling off a cliff – down 29%. Last month, 800,000 units were registered overall, the lowest number for October since the ’90s! [CleanTechnica]

¶ “More Battery-Electric Trains Coming To Germany” • Swiss train manufacturer Stadler received an order from three German regional railway operators for 44 electric trains. The two-part vehicles will go into passenger service on eight Southern and Western Palatinate railway lines beginning in December 2025, replacing the diesels, Stadler said. [CleanTechnica]

Battery-electric train (Image courtesy of Stadler)

¶ “Teslas And Other Electric Cars Take Switzerland By Storm” • Europe is going to EVs much faster than the US, and Switzerland is no exception. In October, plug-in vehicles accounted for 14% of the auto market. On my latest trip, I saw dozens of different EV models, including several that aren’t sold in the US, such as the VW ID.3 and the Renault Zoe. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Kōwhai Park At Christchurch Airport To Generate Renewable Energy” • Christchurch Airport is committing 400 hectares to create a renewable energy park with a solar farm that will generate enough power for 30,000 New Zealand homes. The solar park will scale up over the next 30 years with the first phase having a 150-MW solar farm. [RNZ]

Concept rendering of Kōwhai Park (Supplied image)

¶ “Amazon Investing In 274 Renewable Energy Projects Globally, Adds Eighteen New Projects In Europe And US” • Amazon has announced eighteen new wind and solar energy projects in the US, Finland, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK, totaling 5.6 GW of capacity in 2021. Amazon is on a path to use 100% renewable energy by 2025. [Financial Post]

¶ “Majority Of World’s Oil And Gas Workers Want To Seek Employment In Renewable Energy Industry” • More than half of workers in the global oil and gas sector say they are interested in employment in the renewable energy industry. It is a promising development as experts say the pace of the worldwide transition to clean power must speed up. [Common Dreams]

Offshore oil rig (Jan-Rune Smenes Reite, Pexels)


¶ “US Offshore Wind: Three Key Opportunities To Advance Equity” • According to NREL, the offshore wind industry has over 35,000 MW in various stages of development, and the Biden administration has set a goal of deploying 30,000 MW of offshore wind by 2030. Here are three critical opportunities for equitable deployment. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Texas Railroad Commission Chair Blames Renewable Energy For Unreliable Electric Grid” • The Texas Railroad Commission passed new weatherization rules for natural gas facilities. The chairman defended the industry against what he called attacks “by the media and the far left,” blaming renewable energy for last winter’s energy failure. Here, he is fact checked. [KXAN]

Brazos wind farm (Leaflet, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Democrats Push Tax Credits To Bolster Clean Energy” • Industry groups and experts see Democrats’ proposed clean energy tax credits as a major boost for alternative energy and tackling climate change. Modeling showed that credits in the Build Back Better package could as much as double the current record rate of renewable deployment. [The Hill]

¶ “Contracts Approved For Transmission Lines To Bring Renewable Power Into New York City” • A New York State agency approved two contracts to deliver solar, wind, and hydropower into New York City via new transmission lines. Now, the New York Public Service Commission is considering approval, subject to a public comment period. [S&P Global]

Lake Champlain (Chris Jones, Unsplash)

¶ “Lucerne Inn Switching To Community Solar Power, Saving Money On Electric Bill” • Most Mainers will see a significant increase in their electricity bills next year primarily due to rising natural gas prices globally. The Lucerne Inn in Dedham is connecting to community solar power to counter those rising electricity prices. [News Center Maine]

¶ “DOE Revives Consent-Based Siting Process for Commercial Spent Nuclear Fuel Disposal” • After failed efforts to address federal management of spent nuclear fuel, the DOE issued a request for information that could determine where the agency will temporarily consolidate and store spent fuel from nuclear reactors across the nation. [Power Magazine]

Have a thumpin’ good day.

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