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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