December 15 Energy News

December 15, 2021

Opinion: 

¶ “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]

World:

¶ “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]

US:

¶ “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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