February 10 Energy News

February 10, 2022

Science and Technology:

¶ “Giant Donut-Shaped Machine Just Proved A Near-Limitless Clean Power Source Is Possible” • Scientists in the UK announced that they were able to generate a record 59 megajoules (16.4 kWh) of sustained fusion energy over five seconds. (The article says the fuel, deuterium and tritium, can be extracted from seawater, but that is not true. Tritium can’t be.) [CNN]

Torus Hall, where the JET tokamak machine lies (UKAEA image)

¶ “Scientists Discover A Surprising Structural Change In Metal Oxide” • Scientists from the Argonne National Laboratory, the University of Alabama, and UCLA made a surprising discovery about structural changes that occur when vanadium dioxide is cooled below its metal-to-insulator transition temperature. This has practical implications. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Building A Solar-Powered Future” • Technology costs for solar power are expected to continue their decline, but in the coming decades, the evolution of solar energy technologies could be defined more by how they interact with such energy technologies as wind and storage. This is a key finding in Solar Futures Study, published by the US DOE. [CleanTechnica]

Renewable energy (NREL image)


¶ “Oil Could ‘Easily’ Hit $120 If Russia-Ukraine Crisis Escalates, JPMorgan Warns” • Oil prices could soar to $120 a barrel or more if Russia’s crude exports are derailed by tensions with Ukraine, projections from JPMorgan say. The forecast underscores how a potential invasion of Ukraine would cause wide-ranging ripple effects throughout the world. [CNN]

¶ “Renewables Auctions To Be Held Annually In Green Energy Push” • The UK government re-stated its faith in green power with a decision it says will create a steady stream of renewable energy projects. Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng announced that auctions to supply low-carbon electricity will now happen every year, instead of every two. [BBC]

Offshore wind farm (Carl Raw, Unsplash)

¶ “Plugin Vehicles Have 23% Of New Car Sales In Netherlands In January” • In the context of a falling overall market (-11% YOY) in the Netherlands, battery EVs surged in January (+181% YOY, to 3,076 registrations, or 10% market share). They had their best January ever. Meanwhile, plugin hybrids had a 13% market share, at 4,052 registrations. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Electric Cars Experience ‘Breakthrough Moment’ Led By Tesla, According To New York Times” • The auto industry is poised for some big changes in 2022. Jack Ewing and Neal E. Boudette at The New York Times said, “Battery-powered cars are having a breakthrough moment.” They compared it to Ford’s introduction of the Model T. [CleanTechnica]

Model T Ford (Philip Schroeder, Unsplash)

¶ “Gas-Fired Power Falls To Lowest Level Since 2005 As The Coalition Pushes Ahead With Its ‘Gas-Fired Recovery’” • The exponential rise of renewable energy led to it providing over 30% of Australia’s electricity in 2021. Meanwhile, gas-fired power fell to its lowest level in 16 years, despite the funding it gets from the Morrison government. [The Guardian]

¶ “Radioactive Rockfish Caught Near Fukushima Nuclear Plant Prompts Japan To Suspend Shipments” • Japan has ordered the suspension of shipments of black rockfish caught off Fukushima prefecture after tests on a haul late last month showed radiation levels that measured fourteen times the legal limit for human consumption. [South China Morning Post]

Black rockfish (Chad King, public domain)


¶ “US Solar Funding Notice For Small Innovative Solar PV And CSP Projects” • The US DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office announced the Small Innovative Projects in Solar 2022. The funding program for PVs and Concentrating Solar-Thermal Power will award up to $5 million for projects that seek to fund innovative R&D. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Home Collapsed Into The Ocean As Rising Seas Eat Away At The North Carolina Coast” • Another beachfront home in North Carolina collapsed into the ocean, officials with the National Park Service said, as tides get higher and rising sea levels eat away at the coast. Recent windy weather has produced waves that are higher than normal. [CNN]

Wrecked home (Cape Hatteras National Seashore, NPS)

¶ “Environment North Carolina Kicks Off Statewide Renewable Energy Campaign” • Environment North Carolina announced a campaign for 100% renewable energy in the state: As “Governor (Roy) Cooper and state officials set priorities and plans for the new year, ENC sets sights on taking steps to transition the state to 100% renewable energy.” [Carolina Coast Online]

¶ “Electric Vehicles And Hybrids Surpass 10% Of US Light-Duty Vehicle Sales” • Hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and EV sales in the US have increased in recent months as sales of non-hybrid vehicles fueled by gasoline or diesel decreased. In the fourth quarter of 2021, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and EVs together accounted for 11% of US light-duty vehicle sales. [CleanTechnica]

Quarterly sales by powertrain (US EIA image)

¶ “Hawaiian Electric Says 38% Of Energy Used Last Year Came From Renewables” • Hawaiian Electric’s consolidated renewable portfolio standard refers to renewable energy used by customers as a percentage of total utility sales. In 2021, it was at 38.4%, up from 34.5% in 2020. The renewables come from Oahu, Hawaii island, and Maui County. [Honolulu Star-Advertiser]

¶ “US Senate Committee Holds Hearing On Nuclear Legislation” • The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing on two measures related to development of nuclear technologies and to regulation of facilities and waste sites. Sen Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), the ranking committee member, introduced one of the bills. [WV MetroNews]

Have a properly nifty day.

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