February 1 Energy News

February 1, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “The World’s Tiny Islands Inspiring Green Action” • Some say green islands or “eco-islands,” such as the Danish island of Samsø and the Greek island of Tilos, are shining examples of how we can live without fossil fuels. They demonstrate the power of small communities and act as beacons lighting the way towards a world less prone to carbon pollution. [BBC]

¶ “Are We Seeing The End Of Growth In Car Traffic?” • Last year the Dutch government published far lower projections for car growth than what it had predicted in 2017. Its upper projection for 2040 was halved, from 27% growth to 13%, while its lower projection even predicts a decline in car traffic per inhabitant of 11% between 2018 and 2040. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Earth Has More Tree Species Than We Thought” • There are 14% more tree species than have been discovered, according to what researchers call the first “scientifically credible” estimate. Of the 73,300 estimated species, the researchers say there are 9,200 yet to be found. Most rare species are in tropical forests under threat by climate change and deforestation. [BCC]

Forest (Luca Bravo, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Nissan Teases Teeny, Tiny Micra EV, And A Solid-State Battery Plan, Too” • Last week, Nissan came out swinging with a big bet on small-car electrification, in the form of a freshly restyled, 100% electric version of its subcompact Micra. Nissan is also in the Alliance partnership with Renault and Mitsubishi Motors, researching solid-state batteries. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Record 31.1 GW Of PPAs Signed In 2021” • Corporations bought over 31 GW of renewable electricity through power purchase agreements in 2021, BloombergNEF research shows. The figure set a new record, up nearly 24% on the previous year’s 25.1 GW. Almost two thirds (65%) or 20.3 GW of the PPAs were struck in the Americas. [reNews]

Wind farm (Andrea Junqueira, Unsplash)

¶ “Five Powerful Examples Of Clean Energy Transitions In Asia” • Here, we look at five important examples across Asia: the huge and emerging economies of China, India, and Indonesia, along with Vietnam and Bangladesh. Together, these countries are home to about 43% of the world’s population and over 35% of the its energy consumption. [GreenBiz]

¶ “Farmers Profiting From The Solar Power Boom” • Some 75% of the UK’s land is farmland. This typically flat, open land is also best suited to renewables. In 2019, around 40% of farmers were already generating, and profiting from, low-carbon energy, says the UK National Farmers’ Union. They produced around 10% of the UK’s electricity. [Energy Monitor]

Solar farm (Gunnar Ridderström, Unsplash)

¶ “Peru Wants To Tender 2 GW Of Renewables This Year” •The Peruvian government will offer around 2 GW of renewable energy capacity in two different auctions this year, the country’s minister of energy and mines, Eduardo González, announced. The two procurement exercises are expected to mobilize around $2 billion in new investments. [PV Magazine]

US:

¶ “Increasing Flood Costs Over Next Three Decades Will Mainly Impact People Of Color, Study Shows” • A study published in the journal Nature Climate Change found the cost of flooding in the US will likely rise from around $32 billion today to $43 billion in 2050. And like many aspects of the climate crisis, the change in flood risk won’t affect everyone equally. [CNN]

Bicycle in a flood (Mika Baumeister, Unsplash)

¶ “Biden Administration To Offer $1.2 Billion For States To Clean Up Planet-Warming Methane Leaks” • The Biden administration said it will make about $1.2 billion available for states to clean up and cap orphaned oil and gas wells, which can leak methane into the atmosphere. It’s the first round of federal funding for cleanup of old wells, which will eventually cost $4.7 billion. [CNN]

¶ “EPA To Bring Back Mercury Pollution Rules That Were Nixed Under Trump Administration” • The EPA announced it intends to reaffirm its authority to regulate toxic mercury from power plant smokestacks, undoing a Trump rollback. The EPA proposes to bring back the 2012 Mercury and Air Toxics Standards rules implemented under President Obama. [CNN]

Coal-burning plant in New York (Ale Alvarez, Unsplash)

¶ “US Clean Energy Corps To Pursue Climate Resilience” • The Clean Energy Corps, a new program launched by the Biden administration, will hire 1,000 people in the US to help expand the country’s clean energy infrastructure, a step the White House says is “critical to achieving the president’s goal of 100% carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ocean Energy Gets Its Galaxy Quest On: Never Give Up, Never Surrender” • Ocean energy has been an also-ran in the decarbonization race, but that could change in short order. Last week, the US Department of Energy threw down a cool $25 million in funding for eight new ocean-based energy projects at PacWave South. [CleanTechnica]

Ocean energy by PacWave South (Image by PacWave South)

¶ “Utility Issues Request For 2.3 GW Of Renewables” • Georgia Power has filed its 2022 Integrated Resource Plan which includes a request for approval of 2300 MW of renewables capacity, with a goal of 11,500 MW by 2035. The utility also requests approval to own and operate 1 GW of energy storage by 2030. (GP is part owner of the Vogtle nuclear plant.) [reNews]

¶ “West Virginia Lawmakers Vote To Repeal Ban On Nuclear Power Production” • West Virginia lawmakers have lifted a ban on nuclear energy production. The House of Delegates voted 76-18, with eight absences, to lift the ban. Senators already had voted to do away with the ban. Such issues as taxation, transportation, and safety are yet to be addressed. [WV MetroNews]

Have a resoundingly celebratory day.

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