January 31 Energy News

January 31, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Can Nuclear Fusion Power The Race To Net Zero?” • The IPCC’s landmark report in 2018 concluded that the world needs to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 to have a good chance of limiting global warming to 1.5°C. Estimates for when fusion might come into use range from 2030 to 2050, and beyond. That’s not soon enough. [Energy Monitor]

Tokamak reactor during maintenance (Rswilcox, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Are Auto-Dealership Protection Laws Holding Back Electric Vehicle Adoption?” • Bloomberg’s Liam Denning and The Atlantic’s, Robinson Meyer both argue that antiquated dealer-protecting state laws are delaying the transition to EVs by distorting the US auto market. They point out that EV sales are higher in the states that don’t restrict direct sales. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Nuclear Disaster In Japan Did Something Strange To Trees” • Trees outside Fukushima Daiichi are definitely acting weird, according to a study published recently in the journal Plants. Conifers in the area near the nuclear plant are showing unusual growth patterns, with the degree of irregularity in proportion to the distance from the plant. [Futurism]

Japanese Red Pine (David J. Stang, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

World:

¶ “Electric Car Market Grows To 29% In Europe As EV Sales Explode!” • While the overall car market continues falling off a cliff, at -22% YOY in December, Europe’s passenger plugin car market had a near-record month, with 280,200 registrations. The record was 281,000 registrations in December 2020, which was inflated by the CO₂ mandate rush. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla #1 In World EV Sales In 2021” • After a walk in the park in 2019 and 2020, Tesla had another comfortable win of its 4th consecutive Best Seller title in 2021. However, with its market share eroding (12% in 2018, 17% in 2019, 16% in 2020, and 14% in 2021), a competitor might challenge Tesla in 2022, and that would most likely be BYD. [CleanTechnica]

BYD S7 (Mohammad Fathollahi, Unsplash)

¶ “Bloomberg Predicts Massive Fall In Green Hydrogen Prices” • Although “blue” hydrogen, made from natural gas backed up by carbon capture and storage (a technology which struggles to be economically viable), is cheaper today than “green” hydrogen, made from water using renewable energy, according to a report by BloombergNEF. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Plugin Vehicles At Record 13.3% In Italy In December, But Car Market In Crisis” • In Italy, overall monthly registrations crashed near 27%, from almost 122,000 units in December 2020 to less than 89,000. Combustion engines continued their steep decline with a whopping 42% loss. With an end to incentives, EV sales fell too, though comparatively slightly. [CleanTechnica]

Fiat 500e (Robin Ooode, Unsplash)

¶ “Philippines DOE Opens Tender For 2 GW Of Renewable Capacity” • According to the Philippines Department of Energy’s notice of auction, the country is seeking to install new capacity on the islands of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The targets for the three regions are for 1,400 MW, 400 MW, and 200 MW, respectively. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Massive Blades For Australia’s Biggest Wind Turbines Arrive In Queensland” • The first shipment of massive wind turbine blades for Neoen’s 157-MW Kaban wind farm in north Queensland arrived at the Port of Cairns late last week, and it was a sight to behold. An image was captured and shared by state energy minister Mick de Brenni. [Renew Economy]

Wind turbine blade shipment (Mick de Brenni via LinkedIn)

¶ “NextEnergy Completes $900 Million Solar Funding Drive” • Solar company NextEnergy Capital has raised $896 million with the close of its NextPower III ESG fund. NPIII ESG will focus on the international solar infrastructure sector, principally targeting projects in selected OECD countries, including the US, Portugal, Spain, Chile, and Poland. [reNews]

¶ “Jan De Nul Launches New Jack-Up Voltaire” • Jan De Nul has launched its next-generation jack-up Voltaire. The milestone was reached at the COSCO Shipping Shipyard in Nantong, China. This vessel will be the second and largest jack-up vessel in Jan De Nul’s fleet. The main crane with a capacity of over 3000 tonnes will enable her to build wind turbines at sea. [reNews]

Voltaire (Jan De Nul image)

¶ “Solar Expansion At WA Mine To Deliver 100% Renewables In Daylight Hours” • Perth-based Zenith Energy announced it will install more solar PV and battery storage capacity at IGO’s Nova nickel-copper-cobalt facility in West Australia’s Goldfield region. It will allow the mine to be powered by on-site renewables for up to nine hours at a time. [pv magazine Australia]

US:

¶ “The Average Cost Of Building A Tesla Revealed In Year-End Earnings Report” • Tesla makes a habit of defying conventional wisdom, which, in the auto manufacturing business, says you can’t make money building electric cars. It turns out that Tesla is one of the most profitable car companies in the world. So much for conventional wisdom. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla (Mr Borys, Pexels)

¶ “Startup Eyes Major ‘Infrastructure Play’ With Renewable Energy-Powered Cell Towers” • Aradatum Inc, a Brighton, Michigan, startup led by Larry Leete, who also has had roles at such companies as Steelcase Inc and General Electric, is nearing a pilot phase to deploy self-powered telecommunication towers across the country. [MiBiz]

¶ “Department Of Energy Launches Plan To Jumpstart Interstate Power Transmission” • California could one day meet its energy needs with solar power from Arizona’s deserts or hydropower from the Pacific Northwest under a $20 billion federal project to improve long-distance power transmission that was launched this month. [The San Diego Union-Tribune]

Have a comfortably cozy day.

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