January 8 Energy News

January 8, 2022

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Latest Energy Storage Gizmo Is An ‘Ocean Battery’ With A Bladder” • The Dutch startup Ocean Grazer wowed the judges at CES 2022 with its contribution to the undersea storage field, garnering a CES 2022 “Best of Innovation” award. The ocean battery uses compressed air to store energy, but in some ways, it is similar to pumped hydro. [CleanTechnica]

Energy storage for offshore wind farms (Ocean Grazer)

¶ “Could Crushed Rocks Absorb Enough Carbon To Curb Global Warming?” • The goal of ocean alkalinity enhancement is to accelerate the carbon-absorbing weathering of rock, which naturally occurs as rainfall washes over land into waterways and eventually the ocean. If it works, it could provide a tool to draw down CO₂. [National Geographic]

World:

¶ “Sweden Pushes For Real Green Steel” • HYBRIT and H2 Green Steel launched projects in Sweden with a target to manufacture 10 million tonnes of fossil fuel-free crude (green) steel per year by 2030. Success, of course, depends on the numbers adding up, or rather, the numbers going down. One thing needed is wind power at a LCOE of $30/MWh. [CleanTechnica]

Abisko National Park, Sweden (David Becker, Unsplash)

¶ “VinFast VF 8 And VF 9 Electric SUV Prices Announced At CES 2022” • At CES 2022 this week, Vietnamese car maker VinFast made several important announcements. First, it said it will stop building gasoline-powered cars by the end of this year. Second, it confirmed pricing for the two electric SUVs it intends to start selling in the US this year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Slow-Walkers In The Green Steel Industry” • BHP is not just Australia’s largest miner but the world’s largest miner. It has a goal to reduce operational emissions by at least 30% by 2030, and to achieve net zero by 2050. BHP has invested almost $A200 million ($144 milliion) to develop a way to decarbonize the iron ore–to–steel process. [CleanTechnica]

Making steel (Image courtesy of SSAB Steel)

¶ “Algeria Tenders 1-GW Solar Scheme” • Algerian Renewable Energies Company has invited firms to bid by 30 April for the contracts to develop up to 1,000 MW of solar PV schemes in the North African country. The scheme will be split into batches with capacities of 50 MW to 300 MW each, operating under power purchase agreements. [Power Technology]

¶ “Companies Partner to Bring Energy Access To 20,000 People In Rural South Africa” • Three companies joined for financial closure on Africa’s second largest project-financed mini-grid. The investment will fund eleven mini-grids in Lesotho with a total capacity of 1.8 MW and provide first-time electricity access to 20,000 people. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Solar system (Courtesy of EDFI ElectriFI)

¶ “Paris, Berlin ‘Agree To Disagree’ On French Push To Label Nuclear Energy Green” • Germany and France have “agreed to disagree” on the EU’s move to label nuclear energy as green, German Europe Minister Anna Luehrmann said. She denied any conflict between two on the issue. France favors nuclear power; Germany is adamantly opposed to it. [France 24]

US:

¶ “US Wholesale Electricity Prices Higher In 2021 From Higher Natural Gas Prices” • Average wholesale prices for electricity at major trading hubs in the US were higher in 2021 than in 2020 as higher costs for fuels, especially natural gas, pushed electricity prices higher in the second half of 2021. Cold weather also raised costs in February 2021. [CleanTechnica]

Electricity prices (US EIA image)
Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “California Could See More EV Chargers In Fast Food Parking Lots Thanks To ChargeNet” • ChargeNet has raised $6.2 million from local investors to expand its network of EV charging stations at fast food restaurants across California, dot.LA reports. Deployment will start with a Taco Bell in South San Francisco sometime this month. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Offshore Wind Catches Fire In Empire State While Others Fiddle” • In the race for offshore wind energy, New York is not messing around. The Empire State launched a new $500 million investment program aimed at taking the title of Offshore Queen, as announced by Governor Kathy Hochul during her State of the State address this week. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore wind sites for New York (Courtesy of NYSERDA)
Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Circle Power Renewables continues push for wind farm in Houghton County” • Since 2018,Circle Power Renewables has been trying to install a wind farm in Adams Township, Michigan. Last year, the state’s energy department turned down the application over concerns about wildlife, but CPR has done research and is ready to try again. [WLUC]

¶ “Blackstone Infrastructure Invests $3 Billion In Invenergy For Renewable Energy Development” • Blackstone Infrastructure Partners entered into an agreement with Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Invenergy for an investment of about $3 billion in Invenergy Renewables Holdings LLC for renewables development. [North American Windpower]

Buffalo Mountain wind project (Invenergy image)

¶ “Energy Experts Say Renewable Energy Will Be Key In Making Texas’ Electricity More Reliable In 2022” • Experts watching Houston’s energy industry say the pandemic has accelerated the transition away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy. And that is key making the grid able to handle sharp increases in energy demand. [Houston Public Media]

¶ “US Policies Continue To Drive Solar PV And Wind Power Markets” • According to GlobalData’s recent report, ‘United States Power Market Outlook to 2030, Update 2021 – Market Trends, Regulations, and Competitive Landscape’, installed renewable capacity (excluding hydropower) increased from 2000 to 2020 at a CAGR of 14.3%. [pv magazine USA]

Have an endlessly endearing day.

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