December 16 Energy News

December 16, 2021

Opinion: 

¶ “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)

World:

¶ “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]

US:

¶ “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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