December 29 Energy News

December 29, 2021


¶ “A Ukraine Invasion Could Go Nuclear: Fifteen Reactors Would Be In War Zone” • As Russia’s buildup on the Ukrainian border continues, few observers note that an invasion of Ukraine could put nuclear reactors on the front line of military conflict. But a full-scale, no-holds-barred conventional warfare could spark a catastrophic reactor failure. [Forbes]

Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant (Ralf1969, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

Science and Technology:

¶ “CalStart Conducts Study On Commercial Vehicle Battery Cost Assessment” • YUNEV, CalStart, and the California Air Resources Board Hybrid and Zero-emission Truck and Bus Voucher Project teamed up to conduct a cost assessment on commercial vehicle batteries. The focus of the study was on the strategic sourcing challenges for commercial EVs. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Why Mauritius Is Losing Its Seashells” • Oceanographer Vassen Kauppaymuthoo says seashells on the island of Mauritius have decreased in number by 60% over the last three decades. He blames climate change along with overfishing, tourism, and pollution from wastewater and boats. It all has a knock-on effect, with devastating consequences. [BBC]

Money ring cowrie (Hectonichus, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Scotland Ends Coal Power With A Bang” • Scotland recently demolished its last coal-fired power station, ending coal’s reign in the country, literally with a bang, ending decades of reliance on the emissions-heavy fossil fuel. An explosion brought down the tallest part of the power plant, Longannet Chimney, which stood over 600 feet tall. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Huawei, Which Beat Apple At Making A Car, Announces New Range-Extended EV” • While Apple talked about EVs, Huawei actually delivered one in February. Now, there is a new one with extended range, the Aito M5. Huawei hopes it will compete with the Tesla Model Y, the second most popular electric vehicle in the Chinese market. [CleanTechnica]

Huawei Aito M5 (Image courtesy of Huawei)

¶ “CATL Signs Battery Swap Agreement With Guizhou Province” • There may not be any battery swapping stations in the US, but there are plenty of them in China, thanks to Nio. A few of them are popping up in Norway as well, and more of them may come to the EU before long. Now battery maker CATL is introducing stations of its own in China. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Reports Claim Hyundai Has Halted Internal Combustion Development” • There is no confirmation from Hyundai yet, but Korean Economic Daily and Business Korea both report that Hyundai Motor Group has closed its internal combustion engine development office and shifted all its attention to developing powertrains for electric cars. [CleanTechnica]

Hyundai Seven (Hyundai image)

¶ “Nissan Will Sell Renewable Energy Electricity To Employees In Japan” • Nissan Motor Company stated this week that as part of its carbon-neutral initiatives, it will sell power generated from practically 100% renewable energy sources to its own employees in Japan. Nissan said the energy program will begin in the fiscal year 2022. [Cleveland Sports Zone]

¶ “Neoen Toasts 224-MW Oz Wind-Plus-Storage Hub Success” • Neoen has achieved full-scale commercial operation of its Bulgana Green Power Hub at Stawell, Victoria. The hybrid power plant consists of a 204-MW wind farm, with 56 turbines, and a 20-MW, 34 MWh Tesla battery storage system. The project will power about 150,000 homes. [reNews]

Bulgana wind farm (Neoen image)

¶ “Germany’s Long Anti-Nuclear Protest Ends” • For 35 years, activists have been protesting in front of the nuclear power plant in Brokdorf. Their vigil is finally over as the plant is removed from the grid. The 425th vigil was the last. By the year’s end, the Brokdorf nuclear power plant will be shut down as part of Germany’s 2022 nuclear phase-out. [DW]


¶ “Nearly 17 Feet Of Snow In California’s Sierra Nevada Is Crushing Records. It’s Still Not Enough” • As of Tuesday, more than 202 inches of snow – nearly 17 feet (5.2 meters) – had fallen so far this month at the UC Berkeley’s Central Sierra Snow Laboratory, at Donner Pass. It’s enough to break records, but not enough to end the drought. [CNN]

Deep snow (Patrick T’Kindt, Unsplash)

¶ “US DOE: Almost 10,000 Workplace EV Chargers Were Installed In Q1 2021” • The US DOE announced earlier this month that during the first quarter of 2021, there were almost 10,000 workplace EV charging stations installed (that is, in place, not newly installed). This is up by almost 2,000 charging stations compared to one year prior. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “United Airlines Uses Jet Fuel Made From Plants In Passenger Flight” • United Airlines used jet fuel made from agricultural waste such as corncobs and corn stalks in a normal passenger flight. Virent, a Wisconsin startup, made the fuel. Virent is known for making bio-based plastics and other bio-based products, the Wisconsin State Journal reports. [CleanTechnica]

Prepping for flight using biofuel (United Airlines)

¶ “North Dakota State University Professor Leads Research Into New Types Of Solar Panels” • NDSU chemistry and biochemistry professor Philip Boudjouk, PhD, received a $2.5 million award from the US DOE. The award was made to fund research into the development of materials that can absorb solar energy in low light conditions. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Bureau Of Land Management Approves Arica And Victory Pass Solar Projects” • The BLM has approved the Arica and Victory Pass solar projects in Riverside County, California. These projects will result in investments of about $689 million, $5.9 million in annual economic benefit, and power about 132,000 homes. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Have an undisguisedly ecstatic day.

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