February 6 Energy News

February 6, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Winter Olympics: Will The Beijing Games Be ‘Green And Clean’?” • China has promised to deliver a “green and clean” Winter Olympics. Organisers say they prioritized protecting native species, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and cutting down on resources used. Extraordinary as efforts have been, there have been criticisms. [BBC]

Two-man bobsled (Rowan Simpson, Unsplash)

¶ “Big Problems With Small Nuclear Reactor Proposals For Montana” • For the last 44 years a successful Citizens’ Initiative banned nuclear power in Montana unless approved by the voters. But Republican majorities in the 2021 Montana legislature repealed the initiative and Republican Governor Greg Gianforte signed the bill into law. [Daily Montanan]

Science and Technology:

¶ “MIT Scientists Create 2-Dimensional Polymers As Strong As Steel” • Scientists at MIT have been trying for two decades to make a 2-dimensional polymer, something that all their theories and models suggested was possible but could never be actually created in the lab. Now, it seems they have one. It is stronger than steel and as light as plastic. [CleanTechnica]

MIT 2-dimensional polymer (MIT image)

¶ “Aquamarine Solar Project – Smart From Start To Finish” • Among the many solar projects in the country, the Aquamarine project is notable for its innovative development model. It’s part of a 20,000-acre master-planned solar park on fallowed and salt-contaminated agricultural lands in the Westlands Water District in California’s Central Valley. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Can ‘Green’ Ammonia Be A Climate Fix?” • In Minnesota, there’s a research farm peppered with wind turbines that, when in full swing, boasts an astonishingly low carbon footprint. The wind powers a chemical plant that makes ammonia, which can not only be spread as fertilizer under the turbines, but also can be used for fuel, free of CO₂ emissions. [WIRED]

Farm (Randy Fath, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Saving The Night Sky: New Zealand’s Craziest Experiment Yet?” • Increasing light pollution has proven negative effects on human health and nocturnal wildlife. New Zealand has not only starry nights of exceptional quality but a growing appetite for dark sky conservation. Now, it also has a plan to become the world’s first dark sky nation. [BCC]

¶ “Iceland To End Whaling From 2024 Amid Controversy And Falling Demand” • Iceland says it will end whaling from 2024 amid dwindling demand and continuing controversy. Svandís Svavarsdóttir, Iceland’s Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, wrote that whale hunting had lost much of its economic significance in recent years. [CNN]

Humpback whale (Pixabay, Pexels)

¶ “Electric Cars Help Cut UK Transportation Emissions By 11.2%” • Sales of electric cars, including plug-in hybrids, surged in the UK last year, to 12% of the new car market. That’s good news, even if it is far behind the EV sales records being set by Norway. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders claims average new car emissions fell 11.2%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “This Renewable Energy Stock Has A Hidden Power Source” • Brookfield Renewable has invested heavily in expanding its portfolio of renewable energy resources over the years, especially to grow its wind and solar energy platforms. Brookfield doesn’t want investors to overlook the importance of its hydroelectric business, however. [The Motley Fool]

Water reservoir (Kelly L, Pexels)

US:

¶ “US DOE Announces $20 Million To Lower Costs Of Geothermal Drilling” • The US DOE announced up to $20 million in funding to lower the cost of developing geothermal energy by demonstrating faster drilling technologies to shorten the time it takes to develop projects overall. Geothermal drilling can exceed 50% of a project’s costs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Wisconsin Wants To Open Up Electricity Sales For EV Charging, But Restrict Solar-Powered EV Chargers” • Two bills that focus on solar-powered EV chargers are going through the Wisconsin state legislature. Both emphasize selling electricity by the kWh to EVs, but one bill would require that all the electricity come from an electric utility. [CleanTechnica]

Solar-powered EV charger (iSun image)

¶ “BMW Gilds Zero Emission Mobility Lily: Free EV Charging, Low-Carbon Steel” • BMW North America announced a free new EV charging program to sweeten the deal for EV buyers. And, as BMW customers may want to buy larger EVs, BMW has makes that more ecologically friendly by use of its new low carbon steel initiatives. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Bill Would Increase Rhode Island’s Renewable Energy Standard” • Rhode Island’s state lawmakers are eyeing increases in the Renewable Energy Standard, a move that could prove a windfall for renewable energy projects. Under H7277, the standard would be raised incrementally every year until it hits 100% after 10 years. [ecoRI News]

Have a good old-fashioned perfect day.

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