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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