February 11 Energy News

February 11, 2022


¶ “Gas Crunch Causes Electricity Crisis Despite Record Cheap Clean Energy. Time To Create A Green Energy Pool?” • In the UK and similar nations, the gas crisis is pushing up electricity prices because the wholesale electricity market uses the most expensive power to set the price. Renewables keep getting cheaper, and it’s time to change that old model. [Energy Post]

Offshore wind turbines (Martin Pettitt, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Engineers Battling To Stop Global Warming Ruining Roads” • Since the floods of 2010-2011, Queensland has used a process called foamed bitumen stabilization to protect its roads. Small amounts of air and water are injected into hot bitumen, the sticky dark substance often used for road surfaces. That does a lot to protect the roads. [BBC]

¶ “Direct Air Capture And The Climate Long Game” • Direct Air Capture is not a magic bullet. Engineered CO₂ capture, including such solutions as direct air carbon capture and sequestration, could nevertheless provide a critical backstop against worsening climate change. The Rocky Mountain Institute has a new insight brief on the subject. [CleanTechnica]

Direct Air Capture (Photo by Climeworks)

¶ “Rare Earth Elements Await In Waste” • Rare earth elements are often hard to get and hard to recycle, but a flash of intuition led Rice University scientists toward a possible solution. Chemist James Tour reported the lab successfully extracted valuable rare earth elements from waste at yields high enough to resolve issues for manufacturers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Wooden Batteries Are Hitting The Market – Is This The Future Of Clean Energy?” • Finnish designers Stora Enso have built a production facility costing €10 million that will create renewable bio-based carbon by turning trees into batteries. This will be done with lignin, which is commonly derived from wood but is abundant in all vascular plants. [Euronews]

Lignin to replace non-renewable graphite (Stora Enso image)


¶ “China To Focus On Gobi Desert For New Solar, Wind Power Bases” • China’s new renewable energy plans will focus on the Gobi Desert along with other desert regions, as it speeds up the construction of huge new wind farms and solar power bases and boosts its transmission capabilities, regulators said in a new policy document. [CNA]

¶ “Australia Lists Koala As Endangered Species” • Australia listed the koala as an endangered species across most of its east coast, after a dramatic decline in numbers with rapidly diminishing habitats and climate change. The federal government said the listing was for Queensland, New South Wales, and the Australian Capital Territory. [BBC]

Koala (Bob Walker, Unsplash)

¶ “Macron Calls For ‘French Nuclear Renaissance'” • The French president announced a plan to build at least six new plants by 2050, despite enormous cost overruns and decadelong delays in completing a prototype. He also touted massive investments in renewable energy. He is facing a presidential election in April, and he is campaigning. [DW]

¶ “Rajasthan Signs Pacts For Over 90 GW Of Renewable Energy Projects ” • State-owned power producers THDC India, NTPC, NHPC, and SJVN committed to building 10 GW of renewable energy capacity each. Among private firms, Reliance plans 20 GW, and Axis Energy Group plans 28 GW of solar projects and a 4-GW solar PV factory. [pv magazine India]


¶ “What’s A Gas Utility Without Gas?” • The Philadelphia City Council is holding a public hearing to discuss the future of Philadelphia Gas Works, the country’s largest municipally owned gas utility. The hearing seeks to find an answer to a question: How does Philadelphia successfully prepare PGW for a future that will not use fossil fuels? [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Winter Sports Are On Thin Ice – This Snowboarder Wants To Preserve Their Future” • If global greenhouse gas emissions remain on the current trajectory, by the end of the century, only one of 21 Winter Olympics locations used so far will have enough snow and ice to reliably host the Games. Jeremy Jones wants to do something about that. [CNN]

Jeremy Jones (Ming T Poon, Protect Our Winters)

¶ “33% Of Americans Exposed To Health-Threatening Weed Killer – New Study” • One out of three people in a large survey showed signs of exposure to a pesticide called 2,4-D, a study published by researchers at the George Washington University showed. Human exposure to the chemical has been rising as its agricultural use has increased. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Concentrating Solar Power Research Heats Up At NREL” • Concentrating solar power has long held promise as a renewable energy technology. CSP uses the power of the sun by heating and storing an inexpensive medium such as sand, rocks, or molten salt for on-demand energy. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is researching it. [CleanTechnica]

Employee working on heliostats (Dennis Schroeder, NREL)

¶ “Nine states have committed to 100% clean energy. Now Twelve states are vying to be next” • Twelve Environment America state groups have active campaigns for 100% renewable energy. The national network helped get nine states committed to 100% clean energy. Now, it’s urging more states to get on the road to 100% renewable. [Environment America]

¶ “TVA Unveils Major New Nuclear Program, First SMR At Clinch River Site” • The Tennessee Valley Authority will invest in a major program that will explore the construction of multiple advanced nuclear reactors. The utility will be starting with a GE-Hitachi BWRX-300 small modular reactor at its Clinch River site in Tennessee. [POWER Magazine]

Have a totally cool day.

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