December 17 Energy News

December 17, 2021

Opinion: 

¶ “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)

World:

¶ “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]

US:

¶ “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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