Archive for March, 2022

March 31 Energy News

March 31, 2022


¶ “Ditching Fossil Fuels Makes Even More Sense Now” • The surging and volatile oil and gas prices created by the Russian war on Ukraine highlights the urgent need for the US to reduce its dependence on foreign oil and natural gas and accelerate its move to cleaner energy sources. Never before has it been this clear that fossil fuels threaten our economy. [CNN]

Break free (Eelco Böhtlingk, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Living In Wind Energy’s Shadow” • The moving shadows caused by wind turbines, called “shadow flicker,” are known to annoy some people. A study led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory examined the extent of shadow flicker exposure near US wind projects and identifies the key factors predicting shadow flicker perception and annoyance. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Germany Issues ‘Early Warning’ Of Possible Gas Shortages As Russia Threatens Supplies” • Germany issued an “early warning” of potential natural gas shortages as a payments dispute with Russia is developing. The German government said there are no supply shortages now, but it urged consumers to reduce their use as far as possible. [CNN]

Wind turbines (Fabian Wiktor, Unsplash, cropped)

¶ “Indian Government Plans To Raise $3.3 Billion Through Green Bonds” • Media reports say the Indian government is planning to raise $3.3 billion by issuing a series of green bonds over the next few months. At COP26 the Indian prime minister announced the target to have 500 GW of renewable energy capacity by the end of this decade. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Greenko Lands Two Deals For India Pumped Hydro Storage Project” • Renewable energy developer Greenko, based in India, signed two deals for pumped hydropower storage. Adani Group signed for around 6 GWh of storage capacity. And a joint venture of ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel wants 250 MW of renewable energy on an round-the-clock basis. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it. (NREL image)

¶ “Sharing The Benefits With A Dynamic Approach To Solar” • Australia’s booming solar industry is creating challenges for electricity network operators, but a new approach can increase solar exports and reduce costs for electricity customers. The Distributed Energy Integration Program has recently tackled the issue. [Australian Renewable Energy Agency]

¶ “XLCC Completes Concept Design For New Cable-Lay Ship” • XLCC, in a collaboration with Salt Ship Design, has completed the concept design of a cable-lay vessel, which it says will be delivered in the first half of 2025. The planned delivery of the XLCC CLV will support the Morocco-UK Power Project, the cable manufacturer said. [reNews]


¶ “Radical Shift To Renewable Energy Worldwide Needed To Hit Climate Goals” • The world must shift to take “radical action” by investing $5.7 trillion each year through 2030 to shift away from fossil fuels and ensure the planetary warming they cause doesn’t pass dangerous thresholds, the International Renewable Energy Agency says. [Canada’s National Observer]

¶ “World Bank In Philippines Partnership Studying Renewables As Baseload Energy” • The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation is taking part in a study to assess how technologies like solar-plus-storage hybrids can provide baseload power in the Philippines. It is working with AboitizPower Corporation to do the study jointly. [Energy Storage News]

Philippines’ first hybrid solar PV and battery plant (ACEN image)

¶ “Russian Troops Leaving Chernobyl Nuclear Site ‘Have Acute Radiation Sickness'” • Russian troops leaving the nuclear site at Chernobyl have ‘acute radiation sickness’, an employee at the Public Council at the State Agency of Ukraine for Exclusion Zone Management claimed. The Pentagon confirmed Russian troops were pulling out of the nuclear wasteland. [The Mirror]

¶ “Chinchilla Battery To Charge Up Queensland’s Renewable Energy Revolution” • Queensland government-owned utility CS Energy announced plans to build a 100-MW, 200-MWh battery near Chinchilla on the Western Downs. The state government has identified large-scale energy storage as fundamental in the state’s energy transition. [pv magazine Australia]

Artist’s impression of the Chinchilla battery (CS Energy image)


¶ “Renewables Provided 24% Of US Electricity In December” • In December 2021, renewable energy sources accounted for 23.8% of electricity generation across the US. Wind energy alone accounted for 11.9%, while grid-scale solar energy accounted for 2.7%. In December 2019, the US got 17.5% of its electricity from renewable capacity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Severe Drought And Mandatory Water Cuts Are Pitting Communities Against Each Other In Arizona” • As the climate crisis intensifies, battle lines are beginning to form over water amid a decades-long megadrought. Some Arizona communities are facing the very real possibility of losing access to the precious water that remains. [CNN]

No water, no crops (USDA, public domain)

¶ “Scientists To Biden: World Needs ‘Rapid Transition From Fossil Fuels To Renewable Energy'” • Five scientists sent an open letter to President Joe Biden, writing “with utmost urgency to advise [him] to halt recent moves towards increasing fossil fuel production and instead take bold action to rapidly reduce fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure.” [Common Dreams]

¶ “Vermont Panel Hears Strategies To Store Nuclear Waste In Boreholes” • The Vermont Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel’s Federal Nuclear Waste Policy Committee meets to review potential nuclear waste storage issues. This week the panel heard from a company that is proposing to use borehole technology to store such waste. [WAMC] ()

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March 30 Energy News

March 30, 2022


¶ “Great Video Explains Solar-Powered EVs” • A recent video at YouTube not only explains the math behind solar-powered EVs, but also gave plenty of nuance on the subject. More importantly, it’s made to be accessible for people who don’t follow EVs the way that many of our readers do. The video assesses how useful solar-powered EVs are. [CleanTechnica]

Aptera (Aptera image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Artificial Whale Poop Could Save The Planet – Here’s How” • We’ve known that whale feces is good for marine life for more than a decade. In 2010, German whale scientist Victor Smetacek discovered that whale poop is like agricultural dung, a fertilizer. Whale poop is turns out to be a vital part of a natural system that supports life of many types. [DW] Thanks to Tad Montgomery.


¶ “Will Russia Use Its Gas To ‘Blackmail’ Europe? We’re About To Find Out” • In the weeks since Russia invaded Ukraine, Moscow has continued to ship natural gas to Europe. That may be about to change. President Vladimir Putin demanded that “unfriendly” countries start paying for natural gas with rubles rather than US dollars or euros. [CNN]

Pipeline (Mike Benna, Unsplash)

¶ “Climate Change: Wind And Solar Reach Milestone As Demand Surges” • Wind and solar generated 10% of global electricity for the first time in 2021, an analysis shows. Fifty countries get more than a tenth of their electric power from wind and solar sources, according to the “Global Electricity Review” released by Ember, a climate and energy think tank. [BBC]

¶ “Oil Conglomerates Made Record Profits In 2021” • Surging gas prices hurt working people just as 25 of the world’s biggest fossil fuel companies reaped a total of $205 billion in profits in 2021. It’s no coincidence that the big profits came after shareholders pressured fossil fuel corporations to restrict supply in order to drive prices higher. [CleanTechnica]

Natural gas flare (Image retrieved from NASA, public domain)

¶ “Australian State Utility Picks Tesla Batteries To Back Up Renewable Energy” • Queensland’s CS Energy, a state-owned utility, has picked Tesla Inc’s Megapack batteries for a A$150 million ($113 million) energy storage project with capacities of 100-MW and 200-MWh to back up wind and solar power, the government of Queensland said. [Reuters]

¶ “Renewable-Energy Transition ‘Only True Path To Energy Security’” • The renewable energy transition “is the only true path to energy security,” UN secretary-general António Guterres asserted, adding that the current energy crisis, precipitated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, underlined the need to accelerate rather than slow the transition. [Engineering News]

¶ “Climate Goals Need ‘Radical Action’” • An IRENA report said investments of $5.7 trillion in renewable energy are needed each year globally to 2030. The world must take “radical action” to move from fossil fuels and keep global warming from passing dangerous thresholds, the head of the International Renewable Energy Agency said. [AP News]

¶ “Head Of UN’s Nuclear Watchdog Arrives In Ukraine” • The Chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, arrived in war-torn Ukraine to meet with government officials and discuss ways to ensure the security of the country’s nuclear facilities. The visit’s aim is to provide safety support guidance for Ukraine’s nuclear facilities. [Energy Live News]

Rafael Mariano Grossi (Rafael Mariano Grossi via Twitter)


¶ “Some Americans Are Going To Mexico For Cheaper Gas” • As gasoline prices across the US continue to rise, American drivers are looking for cheaper ways to fill their tanks. And some of them are even are seeking deals in another country. There are drivers in southern California who head across the US-Mexico border in search of savings. [BBC]

¶ “As Drought Pushes East, More Intense Wildfires Are Sparking In New Areas” • This year is already a dreadful year for wildfires. More than 14,781 separate wildfires have scorched over half a million acres so far, the largest number of fires year-to-date the National Interagency Fire Center has recorded in a decade. And they are popping up farther to the east. [CNN]

Fire-fighting airplane (Filippos Sdralias, Unsplash)

¶ “Washington Could Ban Internal Combustion Cars By 2030” • Washington Governor Jay Inslee has signed the Move Ahead Washington program, reducing emissions in the transportation sector in that state. The program bans private passenger vehicles powered by gasoline or diesel internal combustion engines starting with model year 2030. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Study Of The Permian Basin – US Oil-Drilling Hotspot Is Kicking Out Far More Methane Than We Thought” • A new study of the Permian Basin in New Mexico, one of the largest and fastest-growing oil production sites in the US, shows it leaked the greenhouse gas methane at double the expected rate from 2018 through 2020. [CleanTechnica]

Permian Basin landscape (Fortguy, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Stanford Now Runs On 100% Renewable Energy” • Stanford University now runs on 100% renewable energy, with its second solar generating plant running, the university announced online. Stanford’s Solar Generating Station #2, a 63-MW PV plant, began commercial operation in mid-March. It the final component of the Stanford Energy System Innovations. [Patch]

¶ “NRC Didn’t Properly Inspect Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant Equipment Ahead of Leak, Report Finds” • The US NRC didn’t properly inspect equipment at Diablo Canyon, just three months before a leak in its cooling system shut down the nuclear power plant, according to a report released by the US Office of the Inspector General. []

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Month 29 Energy News

March 29, 2022


¶ “What Is Biodiversity And How Are We Protecting It?” • World governments are meeting in China later this year, to discuss how to stop human activities from causing the extinction of animal and plant species. They hope to come up with a long-term plan to reverse the threat to life on Earth – in all its varieties – at the UN Biodiversity Conference. [BBC]

Mangrove forest (David Clode, Unsplash)

¶ “Misinformation Is Derailing Renewable Energy Projects Across The US” • Researchers say that misinformation is raising doubts about renewable energy and slowing or derailing projects. The opposition comes at a time when climate scientists say the world must shift quickly away from fossil fuels to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. [NPR]


¶ “Pressure Grows For Deal To Save Nature” • A global agreement to reverse the loss of nature and halt extinctions is inching closer, as talks in Geneva enter their final day. International negotiators are working on the text of a UN framework to safeguard nature ahead of a high-level summit in China. Observers slammed the “snail’s pace” of negotiations. [BBC]

Red leaf monkey in Borneo (Jeremy Bezanger, Unsplash)

¶ “Shanghai Covid: Oil Prices Fall After City Starts Lockdown” • Global oil prices fell as China implements a city-wide lockdown in Shanghai, an important manufacturing and financial hub. Brent crude lost more than $4.50 a barrel on concerns that the move would lead to reduced oil demand. The futures contract for Brent crude fell to $115.80 a barrel. [BBC]

¶ “Why India Is Buying More Russian Oil” • Russia is seeking new markets for its oil exports as Western sanctions tighten, and India has been taking advantage of discounted prices to ramp up imports from the country. The US has pointed out that although the oil imports do not violate sanctions, they do support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. [BBC]

Oil tanker (Fredrick Filix, Unsplash)

¶ “UK Plans To Add 300,000 New EV Chargers By 2030” • There are around 30,000 EV chargers in the UK. But a government program could increase that ten-fold by 2030. It has committed £1.6 billion ($2.1 billion) to its new EV Infrastructure Strategy to make that happen. The regulations will require a 99% reliability rate for chargers in the program. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Spotlight On Space Solar Power As EU Skitters Away From Russian Gas” • Russia’s murderous rampage through Ukraine has sent nations scrambling to cut energy ties with the rogue nation. The US Air Force is starting an update of research into orbiting solar power, and UK science minister George Freeman expressed support for it. [CleanTechnica]

Space power (US Air Force Research Laboratory)

¶ “AGL Plans Big Battery In The Desert” • AGL has announced plans to build a lithium-ion battery at the remote city of Broken Hill, in central west New South Wales. The 50 MW, 50 MWh system will provide electricity storage to power businesses and homes in Broken Hill and support growth of renewable energy in the region. [Australian Renewable Energy Agency]

¶ “Bountiful Wind, Sun Boost German Renewable Power This Year” • Germany had about 25% more electricity from renewable sources in the first three months of the year than in the same period last year thanks to windy and sunny weather. Renewable energy provided about 54% of Germany’s electricity in January and February, officials said. [The Mainichi]

Wind turbines (Bastian Pudill, Unsplash)

¶ “Unprotected Russian Soldiers Disturbed Radioactive Dust In Chornobyl’s ‘Red Forest’, Workers Say” • Russian soldiers who seized the site of the Chornobyl nuclear disaster drove their armored vehicles without radiation protection through a highly toxic zone called the “Red Forest,” exposing themselves to clouds of radioactive dust, workers at the site said. [CTV News]


¶ “Starbucks Wants To Woo Electric Car Drivers With More EV Chargers” • Most of the time, EV owners don’t have to worry about charging – they plug in their car at home in the evening and wake up with it charged. But Starbucks sees an opportunity to bring in customers who have to charge their cars when they are on longer trips. [CleanTechnica]

Starbucks charger (Courtesy of Starbucks via Fast Company)

¶ “83% Of New Power Capacity In 2021 Was Renewable” • In the US, renewable energy power plants continue to dominate new power capacity. In December, roughly 80% of new US capacity was renewable, following a month of November in which the split was 90% for renewables. For the full year, over 83% of new power capacity was renewable. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Odin And GoFor Partnership Will Bring StreetScooter To North America” • Odin Automotive purchased the StreetScooter manufacturing rights from Deutsche Post last month. Now it says it will partner with GoFor, a delivery service that specializes in same day deliveries of large items, to bring StreetScooter electric vehicles to North America. [CleanTechnica]

Delivery EVs (Image courtesy of GoFor)

¶ “Maersk And Einride Partner To Electric Semi Trucks To America” • Maersk is the world’s largest ocean freight company, with 738 ships. But Maersk doesn’t just drop cargo at ports and sail away. It also distributes it to freight terminals. It formed a partnership with Swedish startup Einride to add 300 electric trucks to its distribution fleet. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The City Of Sarasota Takes Next Step Toward 100% Renewable Energy Goal” • The City of Sarasota is moving toward a goal of 100% renewable energy by 2045. In collaboration with the Sierra Club, the Race to Zero campaign and local communities and partners, the city will be working toward a more affordable clean energy future. [WGCU Public Media]

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March 28 Energy News

March 28, 2022


¶ “More Power To The Women – Renewable Energy Leaders” • We might do better to say definitively, “Renewable energy needs women,” instead of asking, “Why do women need renewable energy?” In the meantime, let us not overlook the women who broke through barriers to get here. We asked three of NREL’s women in water power. [CleanTechnica]

NREL Scientist (NREL image, public domain)

Science and Technology:

¶ “New Ford Patent Shows Its Interest In Hydrogen” • Ford Motor Company recently filed a patent for a combustion engine that will run on hydrogen, Motor1 reports. The patent isn’t for a propulsion system that uses hydrogen to make electricity in a fuel cell. The patent Ford filed is for a turbocharged combustion engine that burns hydrogen. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Ukraine War: Chernobyl’s Vodka Producer Remains Defiant” • Scientists studying crops grown in the Chernobyl exclusion zone used leftover grain to make alcohol. That produced a spirit drink called, appropriately enough, Atomik. With all the radioactive dust stirred up by the Russian army there are questions about whether it is still safe to drink. [BBC]

Atomik spirits (Atomik image)

¶ “Canada Pledges To Help Countries Stop Using Russian Oil” • Canada says it can provide more oil, gas and uranium to help solve the global energy crisis. Prices have soared because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Canada’s natural resources minister said many countries are committed “to help as much as we can in terms of displacing Russian oil and gas.” [BBC]

¶ “20% Of New Cars In Europe Have A Plug!” • The European passenger plugin vehicle market is still in the fast lane. Some 160,000 plugin vehicles were registered in February, up 38% year over year. This growth in the EV market came as the overall auto market continued to fall, down 7% last month, to the lowest February in over 20 years. [CleanTechnica]

EV charging (Rick Govic, Unsplash)

¶ “Northland Councils Voice Strong Support For New Zealand’s First Renewable Energy Zone Pilot” • Local government in Northland is strongly in favor of Tai Tokerau becoming New Zealand’s first renewable energy zone pilot. Whangārei Mayor Sheryl Mai said Northland councils were sending a clear message that the pilot should be in the region. [RNZ]

¶ “Renewables’ Share In Austria Stands At About 60% In Feb” • Renewable energy covered around 60% of the electricity needs in Austria in February as windpower generation more than doubled in annual terms thanks to stormy weather, the Austrian Power Grid said. Wind turbines provided nearly 18.5% of the country’s electricity mix. [Renewables Now]

Fuerstkogel wind farm, Austria (Image by BayWa re)

¶ “Russia Must Be Removed From IAEA For ‘nuclear Terrorism’, Urges Ukraine’s Energy Ministry” • Ukraine’s Energy Ministry has urged that Russia must be removed from the International Atomic Energy Agency for ‘nuclear terrorism,’ after they attacked Ukrainian nuclear plants and occupied the Chernobyl and Zaporizhzhia plants. [Republic World]

¶ “Forest Fires Spread To 10,000 Hectares Around Chernobyl Nuclear Plant” • More than 10,000 hectares of forest are ablaze in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, posing a dangerous risk of nuclear wildfires, an Ukrainian official warned, according to the Interfax agency. The fires could cause increased levels of radioactive air pollution in nearby countries. [Republic World]

Deer near Chernobyl (Sergey Omelchenko, Unsplash)


¶ “Government plan to let renewable agency fund fossil fuels blocked after Liberal-led committee’s motion” • A Morrison government plan to change the Australian Renewable Energy Agency to allow it to fund a broader range of technologies, including some using fossil fuels, has been blocked by a Liberal-led committee. [The Guardian]

¶ “Oz Wind Developer To Boost Burrendong To 650 MW” • Australian developer Epuron has expanded the design of its Burrendong wind farm in New South Wales from 400 MW to 650 MW. The expansion is in response to WaterNSW, through its Renewable Energy and Storage Program, seeking investment in clean power generation and storage assets. [reNews]

Wind turbines (Peter Beukema, Unsplash)

¶ “Progressing World’s Largest Renewable Energy System” • The Northern Territory Labor Government will introduce legislation to facilitate the $30 billion Sun Cable Australia-Asia PowerLink project. The Sun Cable project is the world’s largest renewable energy transmission system. One part of it is the world’s largest solar farm and battery. [Mirage News]


¶ “Creativity And Exploration Drive Marine Energy Research” • There are vast marine energy resources in the US, and the National Renewable Energy Laboritory water power team is catalyzing its creativity and the full scope of the laboratory’s capabilities to make marine energy a viable and productive renewable energy source. [CleanTechnica]

Ocean Wave (Silas Baisch, Unsplash)

¶ “House Set To Debate Sweeping Climate Legislation, With Amendments To Senate Bill” • Two committees in Maryland’s House of Delegates voted to approve an amended version of a sweeping climate bill that would accelerate the statewide goal to achieve carbon neutral emissions by 2045. The bill was amended to include a role for nuclear power. [Maryland Matters]

¶ “Senator John Barrasso Calls For Banning Russian Uranium, Increasing US Production” • Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming called to shut down imports of Russian uranium and increase US production, arguing that the imports prop up the Russian attack on Ukraine. The ban would add to an earlier ban on imports of Russian oil and gas. [Washington Times]

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March 27 Energy News

March 27, 2022

Science and Technology:

¶ “Pivotal Battery Discovery Could Impact Transportation And The Grid: Overcoming Performance Decline” • One of the more promising candidates for new battery technology is sodium-ion. It is attractive in part because of sodium is so cheap, but battery performance declines rapidly. Researchers have found a cause of that problem, and a possible solution. [CleanTechnica]

Lithium ion batteries (Image from Argonne Laboratory)

¶ “Duration Of Utility-Scale Batteries Depends On How They’re Used” • The US Energy Information Administration’s Annual Electric Generator Report contains information on how energy storage is used by utilities. Utility-scale battery storage will primarily be used in two ways: serving grid applications and allowing electricity load shifting. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Moving Our Farms to Better Areas Could Help the Climate – But Should We Do It?” • Moving cropland to ‘better’ locations and allowing the old fields to move back to a natural state could decrease the carbon footprint of agriculture, a study shows. But it doesn’t account for different intensities of agriculture or social and cultural consequences. [The Wire Science]

Work in a field (aboodi vesakaran, Unsplash)


¶ “Nigeria – Where President Buhari Had To Say Sorry For A Power Cut” • A national scarcity of fuel coincided with the collapse of the national power grid that plunged parts of major cities across Nigeria, including Lagos and Abuja, into darkness for days on end. Even wealthy people with their own generators were in the dark. [BBC]

¶ “Video: Inside Look At Tesla’s Giga Berlin” • YouTuber StuffmasterBen has shared a four-minute video from inside Tesla’s Gigafactory in Berlin. Set against the backdrop of some energizing music, a drone provides a bird’s eye view of the factory from above and then flies inside, showing the factory’s machines making machines. [CleanTechnica]

Inside look at Tesla’s Gigafactory in Berlin (Screenshot)

¶ “CSIRO Releases Electricity Roadmap To Guide Australia’s Transition To Renewables” • When it comes to Australia’s renewable energy transition, the cost of renewable energy is no longer the challenge. The new challenge, the CSIRO says, is how to best integrate renewables into our existing electricity grid. The CCSIRO has a roadmap for that. [Energy Matters]

¶ “Plugin And Electric Car Market Reaches 8.4% In Italy – Dacia Spring #1” • The race of Italy’s electric car market shows signs of fatigue, as 2022 started off with mixed results. While other EU countries still saw exponential rises in January consistent with the exuberance of year-end, the same was not completely true in the continent’s fourth largest car market. [CleanTechnica]

Dacia Spring

¶ “PM Instructs To Remove Barriers To Renewable Energy Use” • Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed Anusha Pelpita, Secretary to the Ministry of Economic Policies and Plan Implementation, to take immediate action to remove obstacles to the use of renewable energy as a solution to the power crisis. [ColomboPage]

¶ “Mersey Tidal Project Could Be The Renewable Energy Answer The North Needs” • The Russian invasion in Ukraine is causing rising energy bills in the UK. A project in the River Mersey in Liverpool could be the energy source we need to become more self-reliant, reports the Liverpool Echo. Tidal power is more secure and a sustainable source of energy. [Cheshire Live]

River Mersey (Mitchell Orr, Unsplash)

¶ “India To Build Fleet Of 10 Nuclear Plants, Work On First Station To Begin In 2023” • India plans to build ten nuclear reactors in ‘fleet mode’ over the next three years, starting with a 700 MW nuclear plant in Karnataka slated in 2023. Building ten nuclear power reactors at once is expected to save costs and reduce construction time. [Republic World]

¶ “Russia Reported Firing At Kharkiv Nuclear Research Facility” • Russian forces are firing at a nuclear research facility in the city of Kharkiv, the Ukrainian parliament said in a Twitter post on Saturday. “It is currently impossible to estimate the extent of damage due to hostilities that do not stop in the area of the nuclear installation.” [The Jerusalem Post]

Demonstration in Poland (Eugene Tkachenko, Unsplash)


¶ “Shocking Poll: Tesla Owners Want Tesla To Have A Presence In Connecticut” • The Hartford Business Journal held a poll asking whether or not Tesla and other car companies should be allowed to sell directly to consumers in Connecticut. The majority of votes said “No.” Most votes said that if you want to buy a Tesla, you should to do it in some other state. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Climate Change Is Turning California’s Wildfire Season Into Wildfire Year” • There is no wildfire season any more. Like pay phones, typewriters, and VCRs, a wildfire “season” is a thing of the past. We are seeing serious wildfires in the West throughout the year. Earlier spring and drier weather mean that vegetation has more time to dry out. [CleanTechnica]

Fighting a fire (Joe Bradshaw, Bureau of Land Management)

¶ “White City Wood-Fire Power Plant To Repurpose Wood, Trees Burned In Past Wildfires” • Oregon’s White City power plant is using wood scorched in wildfires to make renewable energy and biochar, a form of carbon used as a soil supplement. The plant supplies 20,000 homes with energy and produces 50,000 cubic yards of biochar annually. [KTVL]

¶ “Offshore Wind Development Blows Closer To Reality In California” • The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which is tasked with regulating off-shore energy development, is planning its first lease auction for California’s first offshore wind farms for the fall of 2022. This starts a new drive for offshore renewable energy for the state. [National Law Review]

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March 26 Energy News

March 26, 2022

Science and Technology:

¶ “Birds Are Laying Eggs Earlier, A Study Shows. Scientists Blame The Climate Crisis” • Using collections of egg samples from the modern and Victorian eras, researchers found that several bird species in the Chicago area nest and lay eggs almost a full month earlier now than they did a century ago. Their study appeared in the Journal of Animal Ecology. [CNN]

Robin’s eggs (Solen Feyissa, Unsplash)

¶ “How Waste Food Can Reduce Our Reliance On Natural Gas” • At a large industrial facility not far south-west of Ireland’s capital Dublin, one man says old food waste and pig manure can help Europe fight climate change – and reduce its reliance on Russia for energy. Billy Costello directs Green Generation, which makes biomethane from food waste and other sources. [BBC]

¶ “Battery Research Tackles New Challenges For Behind-The-Meter Stationary Storage Systems” • The transition to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 will radically change the power grid. Stationary energy storage systems are critical to grid resiliency by ensuring that the power from renewable energy sources is available when it is needed. [CleanTechnica]

Stationary battery (Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL)


¶ “Antarctic Ice Shelf Nearly The Size Of Los Angeles Collapsed As Temperatures Soared To 40°C (70°F) Above Normal” • The Conger Ice Shelf, spanning approximately 460 square miles, collapsed around March 15. It was around the time temperatures soared to -12°C (10°F), more than 40°C warmer than normal, at the Concordia research station. [CNN]

¶ “Europe Can’t Live Without Russian Gas. Can This Tiny Middle East Country Help?” • Qatar is one of the world’s top suppliers of liquefied natural gas. As European states rush to find alternatives to the Russian gas that has powered their economies for decades, because of Moscow’s brutal war in Ukraine, Qatar has been thrust into the limelight. [CNN]

Doha, Qatar (Rowen Smith, Unsplash)

¶ “20% Plugin Vehicle Market Share In China! BYD Shining” • Plugin vehicles are all the rage in the Chinese auto market. Even in the slowest month of the year, plugins have scored 291,000 registrations, up 176% year over year. March looks like it could be another strong month, and China might see a million plugin registrations by the end of Q1. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “NSW Maps Out New Renewable Energy Zone As Shift From Coal Accelerates” • The NSW government has published a draft declaration of the South-West Renewable Energy Zone, as it prepares for a massive shift from coal to renewables. The draft details the potential boundaries, the required infrastructure and appointing a planner. [Renew Economy]

Blayney Wind Farm (Bren Barnes, CC-BY-SA 2.5)

¶ “Energy Bill Discounts For People Who Live Near Wind Farms Could Be Used To Boost Renewable Power” • Families living near windfarms may get discounts on their energy bills under plans to encourage more renewable electricity. Boris Johnson plans to publish the UK’s energy security strategy soon, in a bid to reduce dependence on Russian oil and gas. [iNews]

¶ “Chernobyl: Where Is Nuclear Power Plant, When Did Disaster Happen, How To Watch TV Documentary The Lost Tapes” • In the UK, Channel 4 is set to air a new documentary about the Chernobyl Disaster of 1986. Formerly secret KGB files have revealed the “astonishing truth” behind the explosion of the nuclear reactor in Ukraine. [NationalWorld]

Chernobyl (Mads Eneqvist, Unsplash)


¶ “Treasury Secretary Yellen: The US Should Have Moved Faster Toward Renewable Energy” • Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the United States should have moved faster toward renewable energy sources. She said that if we had done so, the country would be in a better position to address climate change and national security. [CNBC]

¶ “Manchin Engaging With Biden Administration On New Climate And Economic Bill But Timeline Unclear” • Sen Joe Manchin (D-WV), who torpedoed the Build Back Better bill in December, is in informal talks with White House officials about measures on energy, prescription drugs, tax changes, and deficit reduction he could potentially support. [CNN]

Sen Joe Manchin, 2021 (MDGovpics, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “America’s First 5G Connected Car Is Here – And It’s Electric!” • BMW is introducing America’s first 5G connected cars, the BMW i4 sports sedan and the all-electric BMW iX. The pair will be powered by T-Mobile’s “Magenta Drive for BMW” service plan as part of an agreement with T-Mobile to bring unlimited calling and 5G data to select BMWs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “100% Renewable Energy In Puerto Rico – How To Get There” • An analysis led by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory is underway to supply Puerto Rico with options for achieving a renewable, reliable, and equitable electric power system. A goal is to de-risk Puerto Rico’s investments in modern, intelligent, and affordable grid infrastructure. [CleanTechnica]

San Juan (Wei Zeng, Unsplash)

¶ “Wildfire Risk Remains High For Much Of Texas In The Days Ahead, Fire Officials Say” • Much of Texas is at an elevated risk of wildfires this weekend and early next week because of higher-than-usual temperatures and a worsening drought, according to Texas A&M Forest Service analysts and the state climatologist. Current conditions favor wildfires. [KERA News]

¶ “Americans Unsure About Increasing Nuclear Power Capacity, Poll Finds” • Advocates of nuclear power tout it as a cleaner energy source than coal or gas since nuclear fission can generate electricity without producing carbon. But Americans continue to have mixed feelings on whether to use nuclear power as a source of energy, a new poll found. [TheHill]

Have a noteworthily nifty day.

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March 25 Energy News

March 25, 2022


¶ “Russia’s Days As An Energy Superpower Are Coming To An End” • In a matter of weeks, the war in Ukraine has upended an energy relationship between Europe and Russia that goes back decades. Russia’s role in the European and global energy system has been shaken. This is a profound shift that will mark the end of Russia as an energy superpower. [CNN]

Zapolyarnoye gas field (, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Putin’s Leverage Shows The Danger Of Relying On Fossil Fuels” • In the wake of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, the world needs a massive international effort to free democracies from their dependence on oil produced by Moscow and other dictatorial regimes. It needs a green energy Manhattan Project, like the World War II effort on atomic power. [CNN]


¶ “Flights Are Taking Huge ‘Detours’ Around Russian Air Space. Here’s What That Means For The Climate Crisis” • In response to sanctions for its invasion of Ukraine, Russia closed its airspace to airlines from dozens of countries. About 400 flights per month are being forced to take a wider berth, each using significantly greater amounts of fuel. [CNN]

Airplane taking off (Quintin Soloviev, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “These Fossil Fuel Companies Sent More Than $15 Billion In Taxes To Russia Since It Annexed Crimea, NGOs Say” • Nine European and US fossil fuel companies have paid a collective $15.8 billion to Russia in various forms of taxes and fees since the country annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, according to a group of NGOs. [CNN]

¶ “Great Barrier Reef: Australia Confirms New Mass Bleaching Event” • Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is being devastated by another mass bleaching event, officials confirmed. It is the fourth time in six years that such severe and widespread damage has been detected. Prior to 2016, only two mass bleaching events had ever been recorded. [BBC]

Coral bleaching (Ahmed Areef, Unsplash)

¶ “Directed Technologies Will Test Arcimoto EVs In Australia” • Directed Technologies and Arcimoto announced the testing of Arcimoto’s Fun Utility Vehicle and Deliverator across Australia. “It’s staggering to think that you can build a hundred Mean Lean Machines with the same amount of extracted material that goes into one Hummer.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Stellantis Will Partner With LG To Build A Battery Factory In Canada” • Stellantis and LG Energy Solution have plans to build a battery factory together in Windsor, Ontario, directly across the Detroit River from the Motor City. According to Electrive, the annual production capacity of the new $4 billion factory will be 45 GWh. [CleanTechnica]

Bridge to Windsor (N Band, Unsplash)

¶ “China’s Green Hydrogen Message Spells Bad News For Russia” • China announced an ambitious plan to jack up its production of green hydrogen. The plan appears aimed at increasing the nation’s deployment of hydrogen without an equal increase in its dependence on natural gas or coal, which are the main sources of hydrogen today. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Alinta Says Court Wind Farm Ruling Will Have ‘Dramatic’ And Chilling Effect On Renewable Energy Investment” • One of Australia’s biggest renewable energy investors says a court’s decision to uphold complaints against a Victorian wind farm could have “dramatic” and chilling effects on the country’s transition away from fossil fuels. [ABC]

Wind turbine (APA image, supplied)

¶ “Russian Agents Charged With Targeting US Nuclear Plant, Saudi Oil Refinery” • US and British officials accused the Russian government of running a years-long campaign to hack into critical infrastructure, including an American nuclear plant and a Saudi oil refinery. The US unsealed criminal charges against four Russian government officials. [Yahoo Finance]


¶ “R&D Proves To Be The Right Investment For Tesla” • Tesla is proving that its R&D is a better investment than advertising. Last year, Visual Capitalist compared Tesla’s spending with that of legacy automakers such as GM, Toyota, and Ford. Tesla spent $0 on advertising but almost $3,000 per car on R&D. That idea has now been backed up by a study. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla (Vlad Tchompalov, Unsplash)

¶ “Governor Lamont Announces Connecticut Partners With Area States To Develop Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub Proposal” • Connecticut is joining New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts to develop a proposal to become one of at least four regional clean hydrogen hubs designated through the federal Clean Hydrogen Hubs program. [EIN News]

¶ “Meta Chooses Kansas City For Construction Of $800 Million Data Center” • Missouri economic development leaders gathered at Union Station to announce plans to build a giant data-storage facility for Meta in Kansas City, Missouri. Meta, formerly known as Facebook, selected the Kansas City region for a new hyper-scale data center. [KSHB]

Kansas City (Darren Hibbs, Unsplash)

¶ “The University of Michigan Moves Toward 100% Renewable Purchased Power” • The University of Michigan announced steps toward procuring 100% renewable purchased power, plans for new geothermal heating and cooling systems, and $10 million in funding for more LED lighting in roughly 100 buildings on all three campuses. [The University Record]

¶ “Federal Officials: Russian Spies Tried To Hack Into Wolf Creek Nuclear Power Plant” • A federal indictment accuses four men, with ties to Russian spy outfits, of trying to gain control of US nuclear power plants through cyber sabotage. One plant targeted was the Wolf Creek nuclear generating station near Burlington, Kansas. [Kansas Public Radio]

Have a radically flawless day.

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March 24 Energy News

March 24, 2022


¶ “Eliminating The UK’s Reliance On Russian Oil” • Almost a fifth of the diesel oil and 5% of the jet fuel used in the UK comes from Russia. This oil helps fund Putin’s war in Ukraine. There is now a moral and energy security imperative to stop Russian imports as quickly as possible. A briefing paper sets out steps as to how this can be done. [CleanTechnica]

Protesting the war (Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona, Unsplash)

¶ “A Dereliction Of Fuel Duty: Europe’s €9 Billion Gift To Putin And The Rich” • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has pushed fuel prices to recent highs. To appease drivers at the pump, 14 of the 27 EU member states have reacted by cutting fuel taxes. While simple, this approach is expensive and helps fund Russia’s war on the Ukraine. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “We Can Get To 30% Electric Heavy-Duty Trucks By 2030 – Here’s How” • Zero-emission trucks hardly seemed viable not long ago, but now heavy-duty electric trucks, such as semis and delivery vans, are beginning to hit the roads and are poised to bring with them significant benefits for clean air, climate change, and fleet operators. [CleanTechnica]

Electric truck charging (Image courtesy of ABB)


¶ “The Tesla Effect Is Happening In Germany” • The region of Brandenburg, Tesmanian noted, has been struggling with a job shortage. Tesla’s recent grand opening and its Phase 1 will help transform the area from one struggling with a job shortage into an economic powerhouse for Germany. That’s what might be called the “Tesla Effect.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Shell Is Offering Tesla & Other EV Subscriptions In Germany” • Shell oil company is offering Tesla and other EV subscriptions in Germany. Oil and gas companies need to evolve if they want to survive the eventual EV revolution, and Shell may be leading the way. This isn’t to say that Shell is 100% a good company, but it is making progress. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Renewable Power To Account For 20.6 GW Of Morocco’s Power Capacity By 2035” • GlobalData has issued its latest report on renewable energy in Morocco. The country is focusing on attracting international companies and easing financing to get to its target of 52% of power installed capacity being renewable energy by 2030. [Power Technology]

¶ “Eden Scoped For $10 Billion Floating Offshore Windfarm” • The Southeast of New South Wales is expected to see an influx of more green energy projects over the next two decades. A floating offshore wind farm has been proposed to be built near Eden, at an estimated cost of A$10 billion, while a large-scale solar farm has been touted for Rock Flat, near Cooma. [ABC]

Wind turbine (Supplied by Saitec Offshore)

¶ “Russia Destroys Chernobyl Lab, Gaining ‘Highly Active Samples'” • The State Agency of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management said the Russian military destroyed a laboratory near the decommissioned Chernobyl nuclear power plant that was working to improve the management of nuclear waste and contained “highly active samples.” [The Hill]

¶ “Johnson To Defy Cabinet Fears And Push For Onshore Wind Expansion” • Boris Johnson is expected to favor more onshore wind at next week’s energy strategy, despite lobbying by some cabinet ministers against relaxing planning laws. The cabinet has been split on windpower since officials drew up plans for a target of 30 GW by 2030. [The Guardian]

Wind farm at Lochgelly Loch (Alexnoel66, CC-BY-SA 4.0)


¶ “Jamie Dimon To Joe Biden: We Need A ‘Marshall Plan’ For US And European Energy Security” • JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon urged President Joe Biden in an off-the-record meeting this week to develop a “Marshall Plan” to fortify the energy security of the US and Europe, a person familiar with the matter confirmed to CNN. [CNN]

¶ “Mercedes Will Be Legally Responsible While Drive Pilot System Is Engaged” • Mercedes says its Drive Pilot system is the first Level 3 hands-free autonomous driving technology available on a production car. It says that means it assumes liability for mishaps – provided you are on an approved road, and you are going no faster than 40 mph. [CleanTechnica]

Mercedes drive pilot system (Image courtesy of Mercedes)

¶ “USPS Inspector General Study Favors Electric Vehicles” • The Office of Inspector General for the USPS has issued an extensive report on the purchase of new postal vehicles. It states nearly 99% of all postal delivery routes in the US could be served reliably by battery EVs that would cost less to buy, fuel, and maintain than conventional vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Electric Chevy Equinox: 300-Mile Range, $30,000, Coming In 2023” • Chevy introduced a new teaser video of the Equinox EV this week. It doesn’t offer many new details, other than the fact that is a battery-electric SUV that offers up to 300 miles of range and rapid charging (we presume) at a base price of “around $30,000.” Sweet! [CleanTechnica]

Chevy Equinox EV (Image courtesy of Chevrolet)

¶ “Veteran Officials Say Invoke Defense Production Act for Renewable Energy” • As gas prices across the country are at record levels due to the Russia-Ukraine war, elected officials who are also military veterans are calling on the Biden administration to invoke the Defense Production Act to accelerate the transition to clean energy. [Public News Service]

¶ “Wind, Solar Could Replace Coal Power In Texas” • Texas can be a model on how to replace coal with wind and solar for its energy needs while meeting environmental goals, according to research by Rice University engineers. Their report is based on modeling to determine the least-cost combinations of proposed wind and solar projects. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Have a perfectly jubilant day.

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March 23 Energy News

March 23, 2022


¶ “French Energy Giant TotalEnergies To Stop Buying Russian Oil By Year-End” • French energy giant TotalEnergies said it would stop buying Russian oil and oil products by the end of 2022 at the latest, according to a press release from the company. Due to European logistics capacities, it will take two to three years to end purchaces of natural gas. [CNN]

Demonstration (Markus Spiske, Unsplash)

¶ “Aging Oil Tanker Has Become A Floating Time Bomb. It’s An Environmental Disaster Waiting To Happen” • A decaying, old oil tanker, the FSO Safer, has been anchored five miles off the coast of Yemen since March 2015, when Houthi rebels took control of the Red Sea coastline near the port city of Al-Hudaydah. It holds over 40 million barrels of oil. [CNN]

¶ “Zendesk Signs Carbon Removal Agreement With Climeworks” • Climeworks signed a progressive deal with Zendesk to remove part of its unavoidable emissions permanently. This deal shows a clear sense of climate understanding by Zendesk and will enable Climeworks’ carbon-removal solution and also its necessary and sustainable mission. [CleanTechnica]

Climeworks Orca facility (Climeworks image)

¶ “Suzuki Will Invest $1.3 Billion To Manufacture EVs And Batteries In India” • Suzuki plans to invest nearly $1.3 billion in India to make EVs and the batteries needed to power them. It is safe to assume many of those vehicles will be scooters and mopeds designed for city operation. Production is expected to begin in 2025, sources claim. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Volkswagen Plans $7 Billion Investment To Build Electric Cars In North America” • Volkswagen Group announced it will invest $7.1 billion to produce battery-electric cars in North America, and offer 25 new EV models to customers in the US, Mexico, and Canada by 2030. Its goal is for 55% of its cars to run on electricity by the beginning of the next decade. [CleanTechnica]

Work in a Volkswagen plant (Volkswagen image)

¶ “India Has Installed Renewable Energy Projects Of 152 GW Capacity” • India has installed 152.90 GW of renewable energy projects, according to RK Singh, Union energy minister. This includes 50.78 GW from solar, 46.52 GW from large hydropower, 40.13 GW from wind, 10.63 GW from bio-power, and 4.84 GW from small hydropower. [Down To Earth]

¶ “Nordex Scores 314-MW Finnish Double” • Nordex Group is to supply 57 turbines totaling almost 314 MW to two wind farms in Finland for Valorem. The German manufacturer will deliver 30 N163/5.X turbines of the Delta4000 series to the Kalistanneva wind project and 27 machines of the same turbine type to the Matkussaari wind facility. [reNews]

Wind farm (Nordex image)

¶ “Forest Fires Erupt Around Chernobyl Nuclear Plant In Ukraine” • Several forest fires have erupted in the vicinity of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor, with Ukraine claiming that Russian control of the abandoned power plant is hampering efforts to control the flames. At least seven fires have been spotted within Chernobyl’s exclusion zone. [The Guardian]

¶ “Taiwan Looks To Renewables As Nuclear Phase-Out Advances” • As Taiwan phases out nuclear power by 2025, renewable energy is likely to gain traction to fill the power generation gap, data and analytics company GlobalData shows. The installed renewable capacity was 9.31 GW in 2021, up from 1.38 GW in 2010, for a CAGR of 19.0%. [Power Engineering International]

Taipei (Thomas Tucker, Unsplash)


¶ “Climate Groups Sue Interior Department Over Controversial Black Friday Report On Oil And Gas Leasing” • Several climate and conservation groups are suing the Interior Department to get more information about the department’s November review of its oil and gas leasing program, which was widely criticized for sidestepping the program’s climate impacts. [CNN]

¶ “Romeo Power And Wrightspeed Debut ‘Powertrain In A Crate’ For Buses And Heavy Trucks” • Romeo Power and Wrightspeed are working on what they call a “Powertrain In A Crate,” which can be installed in an existing large vehicle. Their system is intended for transit buses and trucks of medium or heavy duty, according to Romeo. [CleanTechnica]

Electric powertrain (Wrightspeed image)

¶ “Microsoft Partners With Carbonfuture On Carbon Removal Purchases” • Microsoft selected Carbonfuture to be an integral part of its carbon removal portfolio, an announcement says. Microsoft has pledged to be carbon negative by 2030. For the climate action supported by Microsoft, Carbonfuture is to work with Pacific Biochar. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GE, Bond To Deliver Empire Wind 1 Onshore Substation” • GE and Bond Civil & Utility Construction have been awarded an engineering, procurement and construction contract to provide the onshore substation for the 816-MW Empire Wind 1 offshore wind farm off New York. The onshore substation will be built in Brooklyn, New York City. [reNews]

Wind farm substations (GE-Bond image)

¶ “Mega Drought To Expand Amid Warmer Climate Conditions” • NOAA issued its US Spring Outlook, and for the second year in a row, forecasters predict prolonged, persistent drought in the West where below-average precipitation is most likely. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center forecasts above-average temperatures for most of the US. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Governor Hochul Announces New York As Top Community Solar Market In The US” • Governor Kathy Hochul announced New York is the top community solar market in the US, with more than 1 GW of community solar installed and operational, enough to serve 209,000 homes. New York also has the largest pipeline of solar projects. [Governor Kathy Hochul]

Have a comfortably triumphant day.

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March 22 Energy News

March 22, 2022


¶ “Virginia Governor Tilting At Windmills, Releases Bogus RGGI ‘Report’” • Incoming Virginia Gov Youngkin in January tasked his Special Advisor and former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler with producing an assessment of Virginia’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Somehow, the report lost about every good mention of renewable energy. [CleanTechnica]

Pollution (Ella Ivanescu, Unsplash)

¶ “Reliance On Nuclear Power Is The Last Thing Japan Needs” • A nuclear power state of emergency issued by the government on the day of the March 11, 2011, Fukushima nuclear disaster has yet to be lifted. Eleven years on, the nation is still reeling from the catastrophic damage to TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. [Asahi Shimbun]

¶ “Going Nuclear: Can Boris Johnson Really Ramp Up Nuclear Power?” • Prime Minister Boris Johnson is no stranger to eye-catching pledges and, in fairness, he occasionally achieves them. His latest media-friendly commitment for “big new bets” on nuclear is typical Johnsonian politics. It is brash and bold. It is also intentionally vague. [City AM]

Construction of new power station at Hinkley
Point, 2017 (Nick Chipchase, CC-BY-SA 2.0)


¶ “Climate Change: ‘Madness’ To Turn To Fossil Fuels Because Of Ukraine War” • The UN Secretary General says the rush to use fossil fuels due to the war in Ukraine is “madness” and threatens climate targets. Antonio Guterres warns that these short-term measures to get fossil fuels to replace those from Russia might “close the window” on the Paris climate goals. [BBC]

¶ “Taiga Begins Deliveries Of Its Electric Snowmobile” • Taiga has electrified one of the most challenging vehicles in the off-road segment. The Taiga Nomad was the world’s first electric snowmobile to reach production, and the first examples have begun to reach customers, as the company continues to ramp up production. [CleanTechnica]

Taiga electric snowmobiles (Taiga image)

¶ “IEA Ten-Point Plan To Cut Demand For Oil By 2.7 Million Barrels A Day” • The International Energy Agency foresees an energy crunch ahead, especially for summer travel times. This is due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the disruption to energy supplies that results. The IEA has a ten-point plan to reduce energy demand. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Revenge Of The Electric Truck Hydropower Scheme, Infinity Train Edition” • The idea behind the electric truck hydropower scheme is simple. Send an electric truck with a large container up to the top of a mountain, fill it with water from streams that are there, and send it down the mountain again. Fortescue is using the same idea for ore trains. [CleanTechnica]

Fortescue ore train (Fortescue image)

¶ “Crown Estate Invests In Welsh Tidal Demo Zone” • The Crown Estate to invest over £1 million in a Welsh tidal stream energy demonstration project site, located off the coast of Anglesey in north Wales. The Morlais tidal stream demonstration zone, being developed by Menter Mon, covers an area of 35 sq km in the Irish Sea. [reNews]


¶ “Severe Storms And Reported Tornadoes Tear Through Texas As Storm System Heads East” • There were 17 tornado reports across Texas and Oklahoma, a CNN meteorologist said, and over 800,000 people were under a flash-flood warning in the Austin area. The line of severe weather struck as the state was already dealing with more than 170 wildfires. [CNN]

Austin, Texas (Carlos Alfonso, Unsplash)

¶ “Electricity Prices Are Up, But An EV Is Still Much Cheaper Than A Conventional Car” • Based on calculations, CNBC says while oil prices are likely to fall in the coming months as output is increased, “it’s unlikely that the price of electricity will rise enough to make EVs less affordable over their life cycles than internal combustion alternatives.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GM Begins Production Of Electric Cadillac Lyriq” • GM celebrated the production of its first Ultium-powered electric Cadillac Lyriq rolling off the assembly line. It also announced plans to reopen its order books in May after selling out the entirety of its first production run within minutes of the vehicle’s announcement last year. [CleanTechnica]

Cadillac Lyriq (Nissangeniss, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Deep Red Alabama Dives Headlong Into Green Energy” • Renewable energy can make strange bedfellows along the political divide, and the latest example is Alabama, which has been wandering in the doldrums of the green energy revolution while others leap ahead. Alabama is now poised to kick its solar output into high gear. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “AEP Brings 998-MW Traverse Wind Online In Oklahoma” • American Electric Power brought online the 998-MW Traverse Wind Energy Center in Oklahoma. The project has 365 2-MW GE turbines. It provides electricity to customers of AEP’s Public Service Company of Oklahoma and Southwestern Electric Power Company in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana. [reNews]

Traverse wind farm (AEP image)

¶ “Sustainability Planners At ATL Draft Plan For 100% Renewable Energy By 2035” • Major efforts are underway to reduce carbon footprint at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The airport’s new sustainable management plan is a roadmap aimed at achieving 100% renewable energy by 2035 and net zero carbon emissions by 2050. [CBS46 News]

¶ “Governor Signs New Wyoming Nuclear Regulations Into Law” • Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon signed into law legislation to amend the state’s nuclear power and storage regulations. The law includes various provisions related to producing nuclear energy and storing nuclear waste. The state is anticipating construction of a TerraPower Natrium reactor. [Oil City News]

Have a simply splendid day.

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March 21 Energy News

March 21, 2022


¶ “Increasing Oil Drilling Won’t Solve High Gas Prices” • More oil drilling will not solve high gas prices, despite what the fossil fuel industry wants you to believe. US Rep Sean Casten (D-IL) pointed out that the oil industry and conservative politicians are both lying when they make the claim that increasing oil drilling will alleviate high gas prices. [CleanTechnica]

Oil rig (Worksite Ltd, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Scientists Show Large Impact Of Controlling Humidity On Greenhouse Gas Emissions” • Analysis by National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Xerox PARC scientists explores impacts on the environmental due to controlling humidity. It showed that humidity accounts for roughly half of the energy-related emissions from air conditioners. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Scientists Astonished By Heatwaves At North And South Poles” • Startling heatwaves at both of Earth’s poles are causing alarm among climate scientists, who have warned the “unprecedented” events could signal faster and abrupt climate breakdown. At both the North Pole and Antarctica, temperatures reached record high levels over the weekend. [The Irish Times]

Penguin (Ian Parker, Unsplash)

¶ “The Epic Attempts To Power Planes With Hydrogen” • During the Cold War, both the US and USSR researched liquid hydrogen as a way to fuel aircraft. Could this cleaner fuel finally be around the corner? Liquid hydrogen has advantages over the alternative, kerosene. But it also has some pretty significant disadvantages. A lack of support infrastructure is just a start. [BBC]


¶ “Tübingen: Europe’s Fiercely Vegan, Fairy-Tale City” • Located in a German region famed for its frugality, Tübingen is known for its fiercely green reputation, where the default setting is veganism and environmental friendliness. Now the city has passed a tax on packaging for single-use meals packaging. McDonalds is suing. [BBC]

Tübingen (David Hertle, Unsplash)

¶ “Saudi Aramco Ramps Up Investment To Boost Production” • State-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco plans to sharply increase the amount it invests in energy production and aims to boost output significantly over the next five years. It reported doubling profits in 2021, and energy prices have soared recently as demand has outstripped supplies of oil and gas. [BBC]

¶ “Porsche Ramps Up Its Electric Car Plans” • You know the EV revolution is moving forward when Porsche announces it expects 50% of the cars its sells to come with a plug by 2025, and 80% by 2030. Last year, the company sold a record 301,915 cars. In Europe, nearly 40% of them were either a plug-in hybrid or a battery-electric car. [CleanTechnica]

Porsche EV (Porsche image)

¶ “Academics Say Universities Must Reject Fossil Fuel Cash For Climate Research” • Universities must stop accepting funding from fossil fuel companies to conduct climate research, even if the research is aimed at developing green and low-carbon technology, an influential group of over 500 distinguished academics has said. [The Guardian]

¶ “NSW Announces Net Zero Shore Power Plan For Shipping Precinct” • The New South Wales government plans to build a fully renewable-energy shore-powered shipping precinct in Sydney. Shore power involves land-based infrastructure that can power ships while they are at berth, allowing crew to switch off engines and generators. [Government News]

Port area in Sydney (Dan Freeman, Unsplash)

¶ “Gladstone Hydrogen, Renewable Energy Transition Prompts Strategy For Change” • Charities and local advocacy groups in central Queensland are working together to ensure the transition to one of Australia’s green energy powerhouses doesn’t leave the Gladstone region behind. Dozens of renewable energy projects are proposed for the area. [ABC]

¶ “Ukraine Crisis: Staff Rotated At Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant” • The International Atomic Energy Agency has been notified by Ukraine that nearly half of the staff members working at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant, site of the meltdown of 2011, were rotated and allowed to go to their homes for the first time after nearly four weeks. [Power Technology]

Chernobyl confinement (Niels Nørløv Hansen, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “PM To Chair Roundtable On Boosting UK’s Nuclear Power Output” • Boris Johnson will chair a meeting on how to increase the UK’s nuclear power output, as he prepares to publish his energy security strategy this month amid soaring prices. The prime minister will discuss domestic nuclear projects with leaders from the nuclear industry. [The Guardian]


¶ “Sonoma County Airport Launches Solar Power Systems” • The Charles M Schulz Sonoma County Airport had two solar power systems installed put them on the grid in February. Challenged by climate change, Sonoma County’s government set a goal for the county to be carbon neutral by 2030. The airport solar power arrays fit that carbon-free plan. [CleanTechnica]

Sonoma County Airport (ForeFront Power image)

¶ “Tiny Cohoes To Floating Solar Wallflowers: Catch Me If You Can!” • Cohoes, New York, appears to have solved a big problem for PV in communities that don’t have enough open space for large solar arrays, and that could have broad implications for both urban and rural solar development. It is going for a floating solar array on a 10-acre reservoir. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Finally! Publicly Traded US Companies Will Have To Report GHG Emissions” • It is reported that the SEC will announce it is stepping up to require all publicly traded companies to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions and the climate risks they face. This announcement is expected to shake up hundreds of businesses. [CleanTechnica]

Have an overwhelmingly successful day.

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March 20 Energy News

March 20, 2022

Opinion and Interview: 

¶ “Could Russia’s Reckless Rampage Endanger Nuclear Power?” • Russia’s reckless rampage includes savage attacks on Ukrainian nuclear plants. Shelling the plants raises questions about Russia’s future role in the international energy picture. It also poses a dilemma about whether nuclear energy is safe in a world where a madman can unleash vengeance. [Forbes]

Rivne nuclear power plant (Tanya Dedyukhina, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “The Hydrogen Risks For Homeowners And Public Money” • The author talks with Paul Martin about the new Hydrogen Science Coalition, embrittlement of steel, and transmission leaks. Then they go to other leakage, especially in homes, the increased risks from hydrogen in buildings, shipping boil-off rate, global supply implications, and more. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Odd Car Designs Are Lacking In Today’s Auto Industry” • Is it just me, or has all the fun been sucked out of the auto industry? In previous decades, the unique design of a car was something to be celebrated. It used to be that cars had fins, and chances were taken. Some models succeeded and some didn’t. Quirky and odd were qualities to be celebrated. [CleanTechnica]

Really? Toyota concept (Maximalfocus, Unsplash)


¶ “Expos Proliferate As Queensland Introduces An EV Subsidy” • Queensland has finally joined the southern Australian states of New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia in offering a rebate for the purchase of an electric vehicle. The Queensland government is proposing a $3000 rebate for the purchase of vehicles under $58,000. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla Model 3 And Model Y Top EV Sales In Germany In February” • In Germany, the overall new car market had its first signs of relief (+3% year over year), but that was due to strong sales of battery EVs (+55% YoY). There were 28,306 battery EV registrations for the month, a 14% share of the market. The rest of the market was down. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model Y (Tyler Casey, Unsplash)

¶ “Cameron’s Decision To Cut ‘Green Crap’ Now Costs Each Household In England £150 A Year” • A study finds that ending onshore wind projects, solar subsidies, and schemes for energy efficiency has inflated bills. The decision by David Cameron’s government to ditch policies he called “green crap” will cost households £150 a year by fall. [The Guardian]

¶ “Anglo American To Build Huge Renewable Energy Plants” • Anglo and Électricité de France have agreed jointly to develop on-site and off-site solar and wind farms in South Africa with 3 GW to 5 GW of production capacity over the next decade, the companies said. The plan will bolster South Africa’s renewable electricity output greatly. [TechCentral]

Anglo American platinum mine (Anglo American image)

¶ “IAEA Director General Statement On Situation In Ukraine” • Ukraine informed the International Atomic Energy Agency that Ukrainian engineers had repaired and reconnected one of three previously disconnected power lines linking the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant to the electricity grid, the IAEA’s Director General said. [International Atomic Energy Agency]

¶ “Russia’s Energy Clout Doesn’t Just Come From Oil And Gas – It’s Also A Key Nuclear Supplier” • As Western nations look for ways to reduce their reliance on Russian oil and gas, another aspect of the Ukraine crisis has received less attention: Most of the 32 countries that use nuclear power rely on Russia for some part of their nuclear fuel supply chain. []

Yellow cake, processed uranium (US NRC image, public domain)


¶ “Can Tesla Meet 2022 Goals For In-House Battery Production?” • In late 2020, Musk announced that Tesla aimed to halve the costs of the most expensive part of an EV by producing its own batteries. With a smaller number of Tesla’s 4680 lithium-ion batteries, the car gets longer range. But Tesla faces a lot of work ramping up its battery factory. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “RI Plans To Buy More Offshore Wind Power To Help Meet Goal Of 100% Renewable Energy” • Governor Dan McKee is moving ahead with a plan to ramp up Rhode Island’s supply of power from offshore wind farms that would be developed off the coast of Southern New England. He asked for another 600 MW of offshore wind energy. [The Providence Journal]

Block Island wind farm (Ionna22, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Big-Box Stores Could Reduce Emissions And Save Millions By Putting Solar Panels On Roofs” • As the US attempts to wean itself off its heavy reliance on fossil fuels and shift to cleaner energy sources, many experts are eyeing a promising solution: your neighborhood big-box stores and shopping malls. But the solution could be used much more. [KESQ]

¶ “Drought Deepens In West, Flooding Ebbs” • There’s no relief in sight for the West’s record-shattering drought, which will likely keep deepening this spring, NOAA said. But central and eastern states should be mostly spared from significant flooding. Spring is likely to be hotter than normal in most states and drier in much of the West. [KSL News]

Have a completely auspicious day.

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March 19 Energy News

March 19, 2022


¶ “Happy With My Tesla Model 3, And Now I’m Thankful Too!” • When I bought my car, I went all in for the “Long Range” dual-motor option and the Full Self Driving option. I say, “Navigate to Brighton” and let my car drive me the 50 miles from my home in Lindon, Utah, to the Brighton Ski Resort, as I pass gas stations with regular gas at $4.29 per gallon. [CleanTechnica]

Snowy road (Bailey Zindel, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Climate Change Is Leading To Bigger Hailstones” • One result of climate change is bigger hailstorms. In Texas, Alabama, and Colorado, records for largest hailstone have been broken in the last three years, reaching sizes of up to 16cm (6.2 inches) in diameter. In 2020, Tripoli, the capital of Libya, was struck by hailstones nearly 18 cm (7.1 in) across. [BBC]

¶ “Fleetzero’s Container Ship Battery-Swapping Scheme May Help Electrify Shipping” • Fleetzero has developed a 2-MWh LiFePO₄ battery pack that fits in a shipping container. A ship can load enough containers onboard to complete a sea voyage, then swap them out when they are depleted for fully charged batteries while the ship is in port. [CleanTechnica]

Fleetzero ship (Fleetzero image)


¶ “Italy’s EV Market Doubled In 2021 – Any Growth In 2022?” • In Italy, petrol and diesel powertrains closed 2021 at 29.7% and 22.6% market share respectively (from 37.5% and 33.1% in 2020). Plugless hybrids reached 29% and are the leading powertrains in Italy’s monthly sales now. Plug-in options are lagging behind, but continue to break records. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Germany Gets On Board With EU ICE Ban” • The EU is in favor of banning sales of cars with internal combustion engines by 2035. Germany has been reluctant to make that commitment, but Politico reports that Germany has reluctantly signed on to the 2035 ICE ban and will ditch plans to lobby for key exemptions to EU CO₂ emissions targets. [CleanTechnica]

EV (Martin Katler, Unsplash)

¶ “Poland To Rethink Role Of Russian Gas In Green Energy Transition, As Nuclear Plans Go Ahead” • Poland is rethinking the role of natural gas in its transition away from coal-fired energy, as it seeks to avoid dependence on Russian fuels. Russia’s war on Ukraine has compelled the EU to attempt to reduce dependence on fossil fuels from Russia. [Euronews]

¶ “Fitch: Uncertainty Holding Up 4 GW In Mexico’s Renewable Pipeline” • A floor vote on the planned constitutional reforms to Mexico’s electric power sector is unlikely to come before “late 2022,” Fitch Ratings says. Meanwhile, sector-wide uncertainty is increasing as information on a timetable, potential changes, and implementation approaches is lacking. [BNamericas]

¶ “Belgium Delays Nuclear Energy Exit By Ten Years Due To Ukraine War” • Belgium has delayed by a decade a plan to scrap nuclear energy in 2025, as energy prices due to Russia’s war on Ukraine. “The federal government has decided to take the necessary steps to extend the life of two nuclear reactors by ten years,” the Belgian Prime Minister said. [RTL Today]

¶ “Capital Power Signs 126-MW PPA In Alberta” • Ethylene glycol manufacturer MEGlobal Canada is to buy 126 MW of electricity from Capital Power from the Whitla wind farm in Alberta. The 10-year power purchase agreement is expected to meet the electricity needs at MEGlobal’s Canadian manufacturing facilities starting on 1 April. [reNews]

Whitla wind farm (Capital Power image)


¶ “Estimating The Cost Of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations” • States getting EV charging station funds can count on new jobs. The country has about 47,000 public charging stations, but as the administration rolls out its plan to build a network of 500,000 electric charging stations by the end of the decade, that number will increase quickly. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Argonne Tools Helping Build Equitable Nationwide EV Charging: Electric Vehicle Charging Justice40 Map” • The US DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory contributed critical tools and expertise to a federal initiative aiming to help states build EV charging stations fairly and equitably. The network is to have 500,000 stations within ten years. [CleanTechnica]

Charging an EV (Jenny Ueberberg, Unsplash)

¶ “Ford F-150 Lightning EPA Range Ratings Leaked Online” • A Reddit user posted stickers for various Ford F-150 Lighting models. The source of the photos posted is not revealed, Jim Farley hasn’t returned our calls, and the accuracy of the photos cannot be independently verified (they sure look authentic, though), so take them accordingly. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Kansas Bill Targeting Property Tax Breaks For Wind Farms Fails In Committee Vote” • Another bill criticized as an effort to end development of wind farms in Kansas died in committee. It was introduced by Sen Mike Thompson, who keeps introducing bills critics say are attempts to stymie renewable energy dressed as efforts to protect rural Kansas. [Kansas Reflector]

Kansas wind farm (Daniel Thomas, Unsplash)

¶ “Federal legislation introduced to build renewable energy ‘superhighway'” • Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) introduced a bill, Connecting Hard-to-reach Areas with Renewable Energy (CHARGE), that is designed to make critical changes to energy transmission planning and operations in support of a future powered by renewable energy. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “US Developer Plots 800-MW Idaho Wind Farm Build” • LS Power affiliate Magic Valley Energy is planning to build an 800-MW wind farm called Salmon Falls in Idaho. The project is proposed to be built on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management in Twin Falls County. Construction could start as early as 2024. [reNews]

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March 18 Energy News

March 18, 2022


¶ “EU: Help Households, Take Socially Just Measures, Don’t Cut Taxes For Wealthy SUV Drivers” • As EU economics and finance ministers meet to discuss high energy costs and fuel taxes, T&E urges governments to avoid a blanket reductions in fuel taxes. In a letter to ministers, T&E says they should instead pursue more effective and socially just measures. [CleanTechnica]

Arc de Triomphe, Paris (Florian Wehde, Unsplash)

¶ “We Need Humans To Achieve A Just Energy Transition” • The energy transition is ultimately a human transition. Why do we pioneer technological, financial, and policy innovations? For people. Who drives these innovations? People. To truly achieve a just energy transition, we must ensure an inclusive human-centered approach. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Could The Energy Crisis Boost The Path To Renewables?” • The Oil & Gas price spike has reignited important conversations about the need to invest in alternative energy sources. Fossil fuels still provide around 85% of global energy and nearly half of the EU’s natural gas imports continue to come from Russia. Over-reliance on fossil fuels is not safe. [Energy Voice]

Offshore wind turbine (Grahame Jenkins, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Storing Renewable Electricity With Supercritical CO₂ Heat Pump” • Researchers in Spain have designed a pumped thermal energy storage system that uses supercritical carbon dioxide as a heat pump and a heat engine. The proposed system is claimed to achieve an efficiency of 80.26% and an LCOS of €0.116/kWh (13¢/KWh, A$0.18/KWh). [pv magazine Australia]


¶ “Airline Giant Delta Warns Oil Increases Mean Higher Ticket Prices” • Higher oil prices are set to lead to a 10% increase in air fares, according to Ed Bastian, head of Delta Air Lines. He told the BBC that the final impact “really depends where fuel prices settle.” Oil prices have reached 14-year highs after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. [BBC]

Delta jet (Miguel Ángel Sanz, Unsplash)

¶ “Which Gas Will Europe Import Now? The Choice Matters To The Climate” • A breakdown of emissions finds that transporting gas through Russian pipelines is three times as climate intensive as shipping it from the US. While LNG shipping accounts for 20% to 30% of transport emissions, pipeline transport dominates total shipping emissions. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Audi Shows Off A6 Avant Concept For Wagon Lovers” • The Audi A6 Avant is a pre-production concept, but it is scheduled to appear in showrooms a year after the Audi A6 Sportback. It is “a completely tangible look at future production models on our new PPE technology platform,” says technical development chief Oliver Hoffmann. [CleanTechnica]

Audi A6 Avant concept (Audi image)

¶ “Middle Eastern Oil Producers Worried More People Will Buy EVs As A Result Of High Oil Prices” • Some Middle Eastern oil producers are worried that more people will buy EVs in light of the high oil prices. Iraq’s oil minister, Ihsan Abdul Jabbar, shared these thoughts with the New York Times, noting that members of OPEC are concerned. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Acciona Completes 8.5-MW Spanish Solar Build” • Acciona Energia has completed an 8,500 kW solar plant as part of a green hydrogen project on the island of Mallorca. Spanish EPC outfit Colway Energia built the Lloseta PV plant for Acciona, which forms part of the Power to Green Hydrogen Mallorca project, led by Acciona Energia and Enagas. [reNews]

Solar power plant (Colway Energia image)

¶ “To Really Address Climate Change, Australia Could Make 27 Times As Much Electricity And Make It Renewable” • Australia’s electricity system is on the road to becoming 100% renewable as coal-fired power stations are replaced by wind and solar. But as a proportion of electricity consumed domestically, it’s on the road to more than 100% renewable. [The Conversation]

¶ “Japan Quake Revives Concerns Over Prime Minister Kishida’s Drive To Restart Idle Nuclear Plants” • A powerful quake that hit northeast of Japan has revived public concerns over the country’s nuclear energy. The earthquake serves as a challenge to anyone who argues to restart nuclear plants that have been idle since the 2011 Fukushima disaster. [The Fiji Times]

Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear plant (D a, CC-BY-SA 2.0)


¶ “Oregon And Virginia Next In Line For Tesla Insurance” • Tesla Insurance is expanding to two new states, Virginia and Oregon, Drive Tesla Canada reports. The article noted that the policies in both states will be underwritten by Tesla General Insurance for the first time. Tesla had expanded its insurance to Arizona and Ohio earlier this year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Big Oil Windfall Profits Tax Legislation Targets Price Gouging” • It may be time to ensure that corporations pay a penalty when they price gouge. A legislative proposal seeks to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and impose a windfall profits excise tax on crude oil and to rebate the tax collected back to individual taxpayers. [CleanTechnica]

Oil platform (Image retrieved from NOAA, public domain)

¶ “Tesla Raises Its Prices Across Its Lineup – No Surprise” • Tesla has raised its prices across its vehicle lineup, and this was pretty much expected. Inflation has pretty much everyone raising prices. The most affordable Model 3 in the US is now $46,990, Bloomberg reported, while noting that other Tesla models had price increases in the past week. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “San Diego Gas & Electric Orders Mitsubishi Power Emerald Storage Solution To Add Capacity For High Energy Demand” • San Diego Gas & Electric Company has awarded Mitsubishi Power an order for a 10-MW, 60-MWh battery energy storage system for its Pala-Gomez Creek Energy Storage Project in Pala, California. [Business Wire]

Have a scrupulously okay day.

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March 17 Energy News

March 17, 2022


¶ “Natural Gas Is Expensive, Dirty, And Financing War. Here Are Five Ways To Use Less Of It To Heat Your Home” • The cost of natural gas was already rising fast as the world emerged from repeated Covid lockdowns and demand for energy soared. Now the war in Ukraine is pushing prices even higher. Here are five ways to use less. [CNN]

Thermostat (Dan LeFebvre, Unsplash)

¶ “Why Ukraine-Russia War Does Not Mean We Should Produce More Oil And Gas And Build More Nuclear Power Plants – Dr Richard Dixon” • The terrible war in Ukraine is being used by opponents of green energy to promote more oil and gas, new nuclear, and even fracking. None of these makes even the slightest sense. [The Scotsman]

¶ “Ukraine Demonstrates The Problem With Nuclear Power” • Russia is in the third week of their invasion. Their willingness to risk nuclear catastrophe shows both recklessness and military inadequacy. Terrorizing civilians and threatening the ecological well-being of the planet is unusual, but sadly it is not a unique strategy of homicidal maniacs. [State of the Planet]

Another way (Sungrow EMEA, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Don’t Plant Just Any Tree To Save The Planet” • A mass tree planting can be used to start restoration of a damaged ecosystem. Adding tree planting to a renewable energy transition is a natural solution to carbon reduction. But done poorly, projects to plant trees can exacerbate issues like stormwater runoff, biodiversity loss, and soil depletion. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Wireless Sensors: Tiny Battery-Free Devices Float In The Wind Like Dandelion Seeds” • Inspired by dandelion seeds, a University of Washington team developed a sensor-carrying device that can travel up to 100 meters in a moderate breeze. Powered by solar cells, it can hold at least four sensors and share data up to 60 meters. [CleanTechnica]

Sensor (Mark Stone, University of Washington)

¶ “Solid-State Battery News From Samsung SDI And Sakuu” • According to Electrive, Samsung SDI has begun building a pilot production line for solid-state batteries at the company’s R&D center. It will test systems for the production of cathodes and solid electrolytes while trialing the new production processes for solid state battteries. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Saharan Dust Turns Skies Orange Over Europe” • Ski resorts that look like deserts, skies colored brilliant hues of orange, and air quality five times worse than ideal conditions all have one thing in common: Saharan dust , which is expected to worsen over Western and Central Europe and even bring “blood rain.” It was brought by the high winds of Storm Celia. [CNN]

Dust storm over Western Europe (NASA image)

¶ “Renewable Electricity + Electric Motors Will Decarbonize Transport In Europe” • Renewable electricity will do the heavy lifting to decarbonize transport, but we still need the policies to make this happen, T&E says in a submission to the UK Transport Select Committee. To do this will require as much electricity as the UK uses today. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Northvolt Will Build Its 3rd Battery Factory In Germany” • Sweden’s Northvolt announced it will build a third battery factory in the city of Heide in northern Germany. Northvolt Drei will be able to produce 60 GWh of batteries, enough for about a million electric cars, when it reaches full production. It is to begin operating in 2025. [CleanTechnica]

Battery factory (Image courtesy of Volvo Cars and Northvolt)

¶ “Plugin Vehicles Are 20% Of New Car Sales In France” • Plugins keep rising in France. Last month’s plugin vehicle registrations ended at 23,138 units, divided between 13,453 battery EVs (a 12% share of the overall auto market) and 9,685 plugin hybrids (an 8% share). Plugin hybrids grew slightly, but full battery EVs jumped 60% year over year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Red Alert For Fukushima Nuclear Plant After 7.3 Quake In Japan” • A series of earthquakes off the coast of Japan triggered a tsunami advisory for Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures, just over 11 years after the region endured a major nuclear disaster. The first two earthquakes, with magnitudes of 6.4 and 7.3, struck about two minutes apart. [Alaska Native News]

Typical Earthquake damage (Dave Goudreau,Unsplash,cropped)


¶ “Federal Appeals Court Rules Biden Administration Can Use Key Climate Metric” • The 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals stayed a Louisiana federal judge’s injunction that prevented the Biden administration from using a metric estimating the societal cost of carbon emissions in its federal environmental and climate regulations. [CNN]

¶ “Dominion Wins Approval For 1-GW Virginia PV Boost” • The Virginia State Corporation Commission approved expansion of almost 1 GW of solar and energy storage projects for Dominion Energy Virginia customers. The approved expansion includes 15 Dominion Energy Virginia projects as well as power purchase agreements with 24 other projects. [reNews]

Dominion Energy PV array (Dominion Energy image)

¶ “Wall Street Journal: Traditional Automakers Starting To Emulate Tesla’s Retail Strategy” • According to the Wall Street Journal, “As car companies go electric, some are trying to wrest control from dealers on how those vehicles will be priced and sold, aiming to make the experience closer to the direct-selling model used by Tesla.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Colorado Is About To Rapidly Expand Its Transmission Network. Should It Double As A Bike Highway System?” • Piep van Heuven, a lobbyist with Bicycle Colorado, sees the build-out of power lines as a unique opportunity to add new “power line trails” across the state. Her organization is now helping push state legislation on the issue. [Colorado Public Radio]

Have an enjoyably useful day.

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March 16 Energy News

March 16, 2022


¶ “Insanity Over Nuclear Energy: Inquirer” • The governments of the US and the Philippines have announced an agreement on the use of nuclear power. The Philippines tried to use nuclear power before, five decades ago. Generations of Filipinos were stuck with the bill for that white elephant. Now, the country is getting set to do the same thing all over again. [The Straits Times]

Near the Bataan nuclear plant (Ramon FVelasquez, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Wave-Powered Desalination Device Sets Sail” • Amid salty air and crashing waves, National Renewable Energy Laboratory researchers deployed a wave-powered desalination test device at Jennette’s Pier, on Nags Head beach in North Carolina, and anchored it to the nearby seabed. It is a long-awaited feat for the research team. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Cellular Tuna Coming Soon” • Finless Foods, a leading cellular agriculture company focused on seafood, announced the closing of a Series B raise of $34 million to expand its operations and produce cell-based tuna this year in the US. The goal is to grow tuna in a production facility using cellular culture, so the product comes from real tuna DNA. [CleanTechnica]

Tuna dinner (Image courtesy Finless Foods)


¶ “Why is turning to Saudi Arabia for oil so controversial?” • UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson defended a trip to Saudi Arabia, saying “the widest coalition” is needed to end reliance on Russian oil and gas. But maintaining close ties with the Gulf kingdom is an issue due to its human rights record. Human rights groups point to unfair trials and executions. [BBC]

¶ “Shell’s Directors Face Legal Action From Climate Group Shareholder” • Lawyers for ClientEarth, a Shell stockholder, said they were preparing legal action against the directors of Shell over the company’s climate transition plan. They say that under the UK Companies Act, Shell’s climate strategy must align with the 2015 Paris Agreement. [CNN]

Shell station (Krzysztof Hepner, Unsplash)

¶ “28% Of New Cars Sold In Netherlands Now Plugin Cars” • After a surprisingly good January, February doubled last year’s result, with the Dutch plugin EV market reaching 28% last month. That’s mostly thanks to pure electrics (16% of new vehicle sales), which surged 275%(!) year over year. In fact, battery EVs have surpassed plugin hybrids so far this year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Volkswagen Says EV Operations Will Be Profitable Earlier Than Expected” • Volkswagen Group told the press that several of its electric car models, including the Porsche Taycan, are sold out through the end of 2022. High demand is helping its electric car business become as profitable as its conventional car business more quickly than expected. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen EV lineup (Volkswagen via Inside Transportation)

¶ “MG Plans To Sell Mini EV In Global Markets, Starting With India” • A little EV that could change the world, the Wuling Mini EV, has been taking China by storm. Now MG is to introduce its MG 320, which will be on the same SAIC-GM-Wuling Global Small EV platform. The car will sell for 1 million, equivalent to €11,900 or $13,000. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Australian Researchers Claim ‘Giant Leap’ In Technology To Produce Affordable Renewable Hydrogen” • Hysata, a company using technology developed at the University of Wollongong, said its patented capillary-fed electrolysis cells achieve 95% efficiency. The achievement could mean hydrogen costing A$2 per kg ($1.45 per kg) by 2025. [The Guardian]

Work on Hysata electrolysis (Hysata image)

¶ “UK Can Eliminate Need For Russian Gas This Year, Research Shows” • The UK could eliminate all need for imports of Russian gas this year by combining energy efficiency and renewable power generation along with a campaign to help people change their behavior, research has found. Households can fight back against war in the Ukraine. [The Guardian]

¶ “Denmark Targets 6 GW Of Electrolyzer Capacity By 2030” • The Danish government has reached an agreement to accelerate the development of green fuels, through a tender to support the construction of 4 GW to 6 GW of power-to-x capacity by 2030. Denmark will support hydrogen production, better framework conditions for producers, and other measures. [reNews]

Denmark (Adrian Cuj, Unsplash)


¶ “How NREL Is Extending The Lifetime Of Solar Modules” • What makes for a good solar module? A few things are obvious: high energy yield, low cost, and reliable in the field. The Durable Module Materials Consortium is an effort led by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, seeking to improve PV reliability through its research. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Allergy Season Will Start Much Earlier And Be Far More Intense Because Of Climate Crisis, Study Suggests” • A study published in Nature Communications, found by the end of the century, pollen season could begin as much as 40 days earlier than it normally has in the US because of global warming. Pollen counts could climb by up to 250%. [CNN]

Pollen (Alex Jones, Unsplash)

¶ “AEP subsidiary seeks 1.3 GW for Indiana And Michigan” • AEP subsidiary Indiana Michigan Power issued a request for proposals for renewable energy consisting of 800 MW of wind power and 500 MW of solar. Indiana Michigan Power expects some of the resources to be online by as early as the end of 2024 and the full 1.3 GW operating by the end of 2025. [reNews]

¶ “Goldman Sachs Commissions 390-MW PV-Plus-Storage In California” • Goldman Sachs Renewable Power has brought its 390-MW Slate solar plus energy storage project in Kings County in California online. Slate, which was originally developed by Canadian Solar subsidiary Recurrent Energy, is backed up by 561 MWh of storage capacity. [reNews]

Have a transformatively fine day.

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March 15 Energy News

March 15, 2022


¶ “Are ICE Vehicles Heading The Way Of CRT TVs?” • New tech replaces old tech all the time, but rarely in history have we seen what was old become worthless in such a short span of time as happened with the old TVs with cathode ray tubes. There are several reasons to believe it could happen with old technology internal combustion vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

Old Portable TV (Hana Kirana, Public domain)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Scientists In The US Are Flying Planes Into Clouds To Make It Snow More” • With 61% of the contiguous US in drought, wouldn’t it be nice if we could just “make it rain” or just “make more snow?” Well, certain parts of the country are doing just that, sort of. It’s called cloud seeding, and it’s nothing new. It’s been around since the 1940s. [CNN]

¶ “Holes The Size Of City Blocks Are Forming In The Arctic Seafloor” • Marine scientists discovered deep sinkholes – one larger than a city block – and ice-filled hills that have formed “extraordinarily” rapidly on a remote part of Canada’s Beaufort Sea. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute published results of their study in the journal PNAS. [CNN]

Underwater vehicle (Charlie Paull © 2016 MBARI)


¶ “Australian Court Overturns Teenagers’ Landmark Climate Ruling” • The Australian government has successfully appealed a court ruling that ordered the federal environment minister to consider the impact of carbon emissions on children when approving new coal mining projects. The case was originally brought by eight children. [CNN]

¶ “EU Looks To Cut Reliance On Russian Gas With Investment In Heat Pumps” • The EU is seeking to reduce use of fossil fuels to stop financing Russian aggression. One pillar of the European Commission’s new REPowerEU plan is the increased deployment of electric heat pumps to displace fossil gas demand for heating in Europe. [CleanTechnica]

Heat pump guts (Oak Ridge National Laboratory image)

¶ “Diversifying The Rare Earth Value Chain For Europe’s Green Transition – Puławy Separation Plant In Poland” • To Secure critical raw materials for the European market, the European Raw Materials Alliance will support Mkango Resources Ltd. with getting financing for the development of a rare earth separation plant to be built in Puławy, Poland. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Subaru Planning For Life After STI” • Subaru says it is looking beyond internal combustion engines to electric powertrains. It just announced its first battery-EV model, the Solterra, which will be a high-performance car designed to be a successor of the STI. After Subaru announced the Solterra, the model was sold out for the year in the first 48 hours. [CleanTechnica]

Subaru STI (Image courtesy of Subaru)

¶ “Widespread Support In EU Parliament For 45% Renewable Energy Target” • There is growing support in the European Parliament to increase the EU’s 2030 renewable energy target. The European Commission is set to push for its 2030 target to be increased to 45%. Just over 22% of Europe’s energy comes from renewables currently. []

¶ “Strong Demand Prompted Increased Funds For Renewable Power Sources At Cabins” • The Government of Nunavut raised the funding available through its Renewable Energy Cabin Grant Program by $100,000 due to strong demand. There were 82 applications from Nunavummiut for financial assistance to install solar or wind systems on cabins. [NNSL Media]

Arctic cabin (Hendrik Morkel, Unsplash)

¶ “US To Help Philippines Develop Nuclear Power Program; Groups Push Renewable Energy Instead” • The Philippines and the US have signed a memorandum of understanding to work together to develop the Philippines’ nuclear power program. But a Manila-based climate and energy policy group said that nuclear is no better than coal. [Philippine Star]

¶ “Chernobyl Nuclear Plant Loses Power Hours After Being Turned Back On” • Ukraine’s Chernobyl nuclear plant has lost power just hours after it was restored. The decommissioned plant, the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster, was seized by Russian forces within days of the invasion. Its high-voltage power line was damaged by fighting. [Metro]

Chernobyl Confinement (Cls14, GNU License 1.2)


¶ “House Democrats To Biden: Use Climate Action To Restart Negotiations On Spending Bill” • A bloc of 89 House Democrats sent a letter to President Biden urging him to restart negotiations on a Democrat-only spending bill centered around climate action. The lawmakers stressed that Biden must not fail to act on climate change. [CNN]

¶ “Court Case In Hawaii Against Fossil Fuel Companies Passes Major Milestone” • In Hawaii, a state judge ruled that a lawsuit seeking damages from major oil and gas companies can move forward. The companies are accused of working for decades to deceive the public and policymakers about the devastating impacts of climate change. [CleanTechnica]

Hawaii (Luca Bravo, Unsplash)

¶ “Wood Mackenzie In Partnership With Puerto Rican Solar Foundation” • Wood Mackenzie is partnering with the Let’s Share The Sun Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity that focuses on helping the poorest get access to electricity. They sent a team of three analysts to Puerto Rico to help with installing solar PVs on off-grid housing. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Sarasota Takes Next Step Toward 100% Renewable Energy Target” • The City of Sarasota is moving forward to meet its goal of 100% renewable energy generation by 2045. In collaboration with the Sierra Club, the Race to Zero campaign and the US DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Sarasota is to embark on a deep energy analysis. [Sarasota Magazine]

Have an incontrovertibly lovely day.

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March 14 Energy News

March 14, 2022


¶ “Why Putin Is Hell-Bent On Capturing Ukraine’s Nuclear Reactors” • “Turning off the power nationwide, as [Russian force] have done on a smaller scale in Mariupol, in the middle of winter creates mass hardship and suffering for the Ukrainian people, and that is apparently a weapon Putin feels free to utilize,” one expert on warfare said. [Yahoo]

Khmelnitskiy nuclear plant (RLuts, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Will Russia’s War Spur Europe To Move On Green Energy?” • “Switching from Russia gas is possible, but make no mistake, it’s going to be expensive, especially if companies want to terminate their existing long-term contracts,” says Jonathan Stern, of the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. And some countries are entirely dependent on Russia for gas. [Yale E360]

Science and Technology:

¶ “It’s A New Dawn For Concentrating Solar Power” • When concentrating solar power first emerged on the renewable energy field just a few years ago, critics were quick to go on the attack. Nevertheless, fans of the technology forged ahead. Now all that hard work is about to pay off, and the EV battery supply chain could be a beneficiary. [CleanTechnica]

Concentrating solar power (Image courtesy of Heliogen)

¶ “NHTSA: Self-Driving Vehicles No Longer Need Human Controls” • The US National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has issued final rules that eliminate the need for automated vehicle manufacturers to equip fully autonomous vehicles with manual driving controls to meet crash standards, Reuters reports. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Electrifying Trains, Planes, And Dirty Big Mining Trucks” • Twiggy Forrest has all the big boy toys, and he is planning to electrify them all and run them on green hydrogen and gravity. He plans to use Williams Advanced Engineering’s battery tech in a push to electrify Fortescue’s mining equipment – trains, planes, and dirty big mining trucks. [CleanTechnica

Electric aircraft (Image: Airbus and Fortescue Future Industries)

¶ “Indian Data Center Operator Sify Signs PPAs For 231 MW Of Solar And Wind” • Reportedly, Sify and Vibrant Energy Holdings signed power purchase agreements. They cover a total of 231 MW, including 67 MW signed in March last year. Vibrant Energy is owned by Blue Leaf Energy Asia, part of Macquarie’s Green Investment Group. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Aker And Mainstream Confirm Japanese Offshore Wind Acquisition” • Aker Offshore Wind and Mainstream Renewable Power have closed a transaction to acquire a 50% stake in a Progression Energy 800-MW floating offshore wind farm in Japan. Japan aims to expand offshore wind energy capacity to 10 GW by 2030 and 30 to 45GW by 2040. [reNews]

Floatgen floating offshore wind turbine (Lo83, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Sun Cable’s Giant Northern Territory Solar Project Gets $210 Million Funding Boost” • The $30 billion plan to build a giant solar farm in northern Australia to power Darwin, Indonesia, and Singapore has moved a step closer to reality with billionaires Mike Cannon-Brookes and Andrew Forrest contributing to a $210 million capital raising. [The Guardian]

¶ “Adani Group Gets Two More Major Projects In Sri Lanka” • Highways Minister and Chairman of the cabinet subcommittee to expedite renewable energy projects Johnston Fernando said that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa issued instructions to arrange for 5000 MW of renewable energy sources and add them to the national grid within next six years. [NewsWire]

Sri Lanka (Hendrik Cornelissen, Unsplash)

¶ “$130 Trillion Investor Coalition Commits To End Support For Corporates That Block Climate Action” • Unveiled on 14 March, the ‘Global Standard on Responsible Climate Lobbying’ has been developed by investor networks that collectively represent more than 3,800 members with more than $130 trillion (£866 billion) of assets under management. [Edie]

¶ “The Boreal Forest Is On The Move. Here’s What That Means For Our Climate” • Canada’s boreal forest isn’t exactly where you were taught it was. As the planet warms, areas farther north are becoming hospitable to coniferous trees. But the trees on the southern edge are dying out because conditions there are now too hot and dry for them to survive. [CTV News]

Boreal forest (Milk-Tea, Unsplash)


¶ “An ‘Excruciating Year’: Climate Activists Reset With Biden’s Agenda On Life Support” • President Joe Biden “was supposed to show up with Build Back Better in his back pocket and slam it down on the table and say, ‘China, India, how do you like them apples?'” Bill McKibben said. “But he showed up with nothing. And had nothing really to say.” [CNN]

¶ “Stellantis CEO Certain Company Can Catch Tesla” • Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares told the world, “I am very confident – I am trying not to be arrogant, just confident – of the fact that we are going to catch up in the next couple of years with Tesla and it’s going to be a very healthy competition.” The company plans to double its revenues by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

Chrysler Airflow Concept (Chrysler image)

¶ “Ford, GM, And PG&E To Begin Vehicle-To-Grid Trials” • Pacific Gas & Electric, the principle supplier of electricity in northern California, announced it will begin working with Ford and General Motors to test how vehicle-to-grid and vehicle-to-home systems could benefit consumers and the utility company in the future, ArsTechnica reports. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Should You Pay The Trade Association Dues For Utility Companies?” • The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is engaged in an inquiry about whether it should change its accounting rules to prevent electric and gas utilities from recovering expenses related to contributions for political and lobbying from their customers. [CleanTechnica]

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March 13 Energy News

March 13, 2022


¶ “Will Russia’s Attack On Ukraine Help Thaw US-Venezuela Relations?” • These are desperate times, and desperate measures are needed. Oil helps make the world go round and Venezuela has a lot of it – and when the world is in crisis, such as with the ban on Russian oil exports causing prices to surge, leaders start revisiting those awkward friendships. [BBC]

¶ “CleanTechnica Tested: The EBL Portable Power Station” • Battery producer EBL is moving into providing portable power stations with the powerful new 1 kWh, 1,000-W EBL Portable Power Station Voyager 1000. EBL sent us one of their new power stations for us to run through the paces in the real world to see how it held up. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Traditional Automakers Could Face ‘Kodak Moment’ If They Fail To Catch Up With Tesla” • Legacy automakers are serious about EVs. But do they have what it takes to catch up with Tesla? According to Rob Hull at the UK’s This is Money media outlet, “Tesla’s ability to continue delivering EVs in 2022 could see it extend its stronghold over the market.” [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 (Vlad Tchompalov, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Lucid CEO Shares Details On Lucid’s Battery Pack In All New Series, “Tech Talks”” • Lucid Motors CEO Peter Rawlinson has opened up about Lucid’s battery pack. The automaker recently launched an all-new series called Tech Talks that will share some of the key details behind its EV technology. A video focuses on the battery pack. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Rusty Metal Could Be The Battery The Energy Grid Needs” • An electrochemistry professor at the MIT, Yet-Ming Chiang, with his colleagues are working on a low-cost iron-air battery that will provide multi-day storage for renewable energy by 2024. When the battery is charged rust turns to iron, and discharging returns the iron to the form of rust. [Popular Science]

How an iron air battery works (Form Energy Image)


¶ “Panasonic To Begin Mass Production Of Tesla 4680 Batteries In Fiscal Year April 2023” • Panasonic plans mass production of Tesla’s 4680 battery cells for fiscal year April 2023, reports say, with two more production lines and facilities at its Wakayama factory. There’s also a rumor that Panasonic is planning a major gigafactory somewhere in the US. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ayana Renewable Power And Maxeon Solar Technologies Announce Completion Of The 192-MW Indian Bikaner 1 Project” • Ayana Renewable Power and Maxeon Solar Technologies, Ltd, announced that the 192-MW Bikaner 1 Solar Farm is now in commercial operation. The power plant was built in the state of Rajasthan in the second half of 2021. [WFMZ]

Solar farm (Red Zeppelin, Unsplash)

¶ “DOE Pushes Dispatch Of Renewable Energy Plants In Spot Market” • The Philippine Department of Energy is pushing for the preferential dispatch of all renewable energy plants in the wholesale electricity spot market to lower electricity prices. The DOE has added geothermal and impounding hydro plants in the priority dispatch for the spot market. [Philippine Star]

¶ “WWEA And Global100RE Call For Renewable Energy Equipment For Immediate Humanitarian Relief In Ukraine” • The World Wind Energy Association and the Global 100% Renewable Energy Platform are calling for donations of equipment which can supply off-grid power to bring relief to civilians in the Ukraine. [Evwind]

Solar panels (Erik Karits, Unsplash)

¶ “Government Plans To Meet 85% Of Energy Demands Using Renewables” • A 25-year vision paper by India’s renewable energy ministry proposes that coal-fired capacity expand to 2030. That coal-based power capacity would be replaced by renewable energy generation base to 85% of total demand by the end of 25 years, officials said. [Krishi Jagran]

¶ “Finland Opens Nuclear Power Plant Amid Concerns Of European Energy War” • Europe’s first nuclear power plant to open in 15 years, Olkiluoto 3, began production in Finland, at a crucial moment for energy supply following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The plant is seen as possibly helping to reduce the need to import gas from Russia. [The Guardian]

Olkiluoto 3 construction, 2009 (kallerna, public domain)


¶ “Tesla Prioritizing Deliveries Of Cars With FSD” • Interest in electric cars is surging as the price of gasoline rises into the stratosphere because of Putin’s assault on Ukraine. There are reports that demand for Tesla EVs has increased by 100% since the invasion began. And why not? The economic case for EVs was strong; now it’s twice as strong. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “NM wind project creating the ‘Route 66 of renewable energy'” • Pattern Energy officially dedicated its Western Spirit wind project in late February. The project includes four sprawling wind farms with a total of 377 turbines scattered throughout the three counties. It will support the electricity needs of nearly 1 million people in central New Mexico. [Yahoo News]

Wind turbines in New Mexico (Deb Haaland, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Bill Would Require RI To Get All Electricity From Renewable Sources By 2030” • Experts say that when it comes to reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, as required by a landmark climate change law enacted last year, the conversion of Rhode Island’s electric system to a reliance on renewable sources is the logical first step. [The Providence Journal]

¶ “Dozens March To Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station To Protest Planned Nuclear Waste Dumping” • Dozens of people rallied outside Plymouth Town Hall and marched to the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station on Saturday to protest planned nuclear waste dumping into Cape Cod Bay off the Massachusetts coast. The plant is being decommissioned. [WCVB-TV]

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March 12 Energy News

March 12, 2022


¶ “Oil’s Absence From EU Security Strategy Leaves Europe Dependent On Despots” • The energy security strategy from the European Commission is intended to protect consumers from energy price rises. But it fails to address Europe’s oil dependence, despite oil’s importance for Putin’s war in Ukraine, says green group Transport & Environment. [CleanTechnica]

Tank truck (ALE SAT, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “US EIA Analysis Explores Energy Effects Of Low-Carbon Steelmaking” • Steelmaking accounted for around 7% of global CO₂ emissions in 2020. Producing a larger share of steel with electric arc furnaces, using renewable hydrogen instead of coal, and increasing the share of recycled steel are potential ways to decarbonize the industry. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Australia Floods: ‘I’m Angry It’s Happening Again'” • Sophia Walter is angry. In 2011, the hill she lives on in Brisbane was turned into an island by a 100-year flood. Now, it’s happened all over again, just as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was publishing its latest update saying there will be even more wildfires and more floods coming. [BBC]

Brisbane flood, 2022 (Kgbo, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “World’s Largest Electrolyzer Plant Now Under Construction” • Gladstone, Queensland will soon be home to the world’s largest electrolyzer plant. Fortescue Future Industries will also make wind turbines, solar panels, batteries, and cables there in a Green Energy Manufacturing Centre. This is all part of the green hydrogen update in Australia. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Nissan Qashqai E-Power Bows With Range Extending ICE” • The new Nissan Qashqai crossover was launched as an internal combustion affair, with “a new type of hybrid powertrain” only briefly mentioned – as if in passing. But the design has the internal combustion engine only for generating electricity, so it always runs at peak efficiency. [CleanTechnica]

Nissan Qashqai (Image from Nissan, via Motor 1)

¶ “Investment In Ocean Energy Increases 50% In 2021” • Ocean energy public and private investments totalled €70mn in 2021, a 50% increase on 2020, according to a new Ocean Energy report. Deployments are set to continue at a steady pace in 2022 with 2.4 MW of tidal energy and 3.9 MW of wave energy coming across the world. [Energy Digital]

¶ “Nova Scotia Says Ratepayers Guaranteed Cheaper Renewable Electricity In Historic Procurement” • Up to five projects are expected to be chosen later this summer with an aim of reducing Nova Scotia’s greenhouse gas emissions by more than a million tonnes annually. Ratepayers will not be saddled with expensive electricity, the government said. [CBC]

Wind farm in New Brunswick (Cjhoyle, public domain)

¶ “US Accuses Russia Of Violating Nuclear Safety Principles In Ukraine” • The US has accused Russia of violating nuclear safety principles in Ukraine and demanded its forces stop firing on nuclear power plants. But the US said there are no signs of any radiological release in Ukraine and radiation monitors in much of the country were still functioning. [ABC]

¶ “Half Of Ukraine Renewables Capacity ‘Under Threat'” • Half of Ukraine’s 9,500 MW of renewable capacity is threatened with complete or partial destruction due to the Russian war on the country. The Ukrainian Association of Renewable Energy said 47% of the installed renewable capacity is in the regions where active hostilities are taking place. [reNews]

Wind turbines in Ukraine (DTEK image)

¶ “Ukraine Says Russia’s Putin “Ordered The Preparation Of A Terrorist Attack” On Chernobyl Nuclear Plant” • Ukraine claims Russian President Vladimir Putin “ordered the preparation of a terrorist attack” on the Chernobyl nuclear plant. A Ukrainian national emergency services agency said safety requires power for the plant’s cooling systems. [CBS News]


¶ “EPA Wants To Cut Semi Emissions By 60%” • Earlier this week, the EPA said it would propose rules to reduce smog-forming and greenhouse gas emissions from heavy duty vehicles. The rules could require cuts of up to 60% in the NOₓ emissions by 2045. The Department of Transportation is to offer funding to help companies meet those goals. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Semi (Tesla image)

¶ “East Hartford To Tesla: You Can’t Sit With Us” • East Hartford has ruled in favor of local auto dealerships and pulled a move that feels petty and straight out of Mean Girls. After a permit was issued for Tesla to build a service center, it was revoked, thanks to the moves of Hoffman Auto, a local dealer group that doesn’t want Tesla in its city. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “San Antonio Power Company Pilots Pressurized Water Tech To Store Renewable Energy” • CPS Energy, San Antonio’s municipal power company, agreed to test technology that uses pressurized water underground to store renewable energy. The system was designed by a company called Quidnet. The test is small, but the technology can be scaled. []

Quidnet’s Castilleja site (Quidnet image)

¶ “Lion Energy Plans Several US Battery Factories” • Lion Energy manufactures a range of energy storage products, from backup generators to whole house battery storage systems. Now, a press release says, it has created a new division called American Battery Factory, which is to build a number of battery manufacturing facilities in the US. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EPA Plans Sweeping Regulatory Strategy For Power Plants Covering Air, Water And Land Pollution” • The EPA is preparing to issue a series of proposals covering pollution from power plants, especially coal-fired plants, EPA Administrator Michael Regan said. Power plants are the biggest stationary source of harmful pollution in the US. [Utility Dive]

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March 11 Energy News

March 11, 2022


¶ “Why Record-High Gas Prices Won’t Be Solved By Drilling More Oil In The US” • As US oil and gasoline prices set records, politicians in both parties called for a seemingly easy solution: Drill our way out of the problem. But the idea that the US can be fully energy independent, thereby keeping gas prices low, is a fantasy, numerous experts told CNN. [CNN]

High prices in Massachusetts (Yassine Khalfalli, Unsplash)

¶ “Ukraine Climate Scientist Says ‘This Is A Fossil Fuel War'” • Courage is grace under pressure, an adage goes. If so, climate scientist Svitlana Krakovska is the epitome of courage as she stands ready to oppose the madness of Vladimir Putin, alone if necessary. It would be refreshing if Americans showed the same commitment to what is right. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Why the retirement of a California nuclear plant should proceed as planned” • The orderly phase-out of Diablo Canyon is historic. Its life extension and retirement deal was conditioned on full replacement with lower cost zero-carbon resources, after PG&E found that baseload power is not needed for modern power grids. [Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists]

Diablo Canyon nuclear plant (Don Searles, CC-BY-SA 2.0)


¶ “Russia Hits Back At Western Sanctions With Export Bans” • After western countries set import limits on its oil and gas, Russia retaliated by imposing export bans on a string of products until the end of 2022. The ban covers exports of telecoms, medical, vehicle, agricultural, and electrical equipment, as well as some forestry products such as timber. [BBC]

¶ “Volkswagen ID. Buzz Is The Reborn Microbus You’ve Craved!” • After teasing us with microbus concept after concept for more than twenty years, Volkswagen has finally done it. The hotly anticipated ID. Buzz is here, and it’s a pitch-perfect redesign of the original Type II microbus – but, is it everything it needs to be to make you love it? Possibly.  [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen ID. Buzz (Volkswagen image)

¶ “Human Rights And Green Rules For Batteries Get Support In Europe” • Batteries produced or sold in the EU would need to comply with new environmental standards and checks to see if their raw materials are responsibly sourced, under a draft law in the EU. “This puts Europe firmly on the path to a sustainable zero-emissions future.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “‘Increase The Ambition Of EU’s Proposed Van CO₂ Targets'” • In a letter, cities, health organisations, companies, hauliers, and civil society call for decision-makers to put vans on a credible path to zero emission and increase the ambition of the proposed CO₂ reduction targets. The letter says vans are the fastest growing climate problem in transportation. [CleanTechnica]

Delivery van (Jin Cheng, Unsplash)

¶ “Australia Sets Renewable Energy Investment Record For Fifth Year” • ustralia set renewable energy records for the fifth year in a row with more than one in four households generating power from their roofs. In 2021, renewable energy delivered 32.2% of the electricity in the national electricity market. Generation from renewables is up 23% from 2020. [The Market Herald]

¶ “Renewable Energy Generation Needs To Be Accelerated, Says SAWEA” • South Africa’s energy availability factor is once again dipping below the 60% mark. As that happens, the South African Wind Energy Association is advocating that increased power generation from renewable energy sources clearly needs to be accelerated. [ESI Africa]

Jeffreys Bay wind farm (SAWEA image)

¶ “Origin Accelerates Delivery Of Large-Scale Renewable Energy Strategy” • Australia’s largest energy retailer, Origin Energy, has ramped up plans for the delivery of large-scale renewable energy projects as it prepares to replace the capacity set to be withdrawn from the grid with the impending closure of the nation’s biggest coal-fired power station. [pv magazine Australia]


¶ “Size Of Drought In US Increased By The Area Of California In The Past Month” • The West is not the only region with severely dry weather so far this year. According to Thursday’s report from the US Drought Monitor, more than 61% of the contiguous US is in some classification of drought. The figure is nearing the all-time record of 65%, set in 2012. [CNN]

Hoover Dam (Ryan Thorpe, Unsplash)

¶ “Scaling Clean: Assessing Market Options For Clean Energy And Capacity In PJM” • Spurred by state policy, strong customer demand, and rapidly improving technology, carbon-free energy is growing in PJM, the largest US wholesale electricity market. But the pace of PJM’s energy transition is much too slow to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ford Offers Six New EV Chargers, Considers Zero Inventory Dealer Model” • Ford has debuted a lineup of commercial EV chargers for customers in the US. According to Electrive, they range from an 11.5-kW model to a 180-kW DC fast charging station. And Ford Authority says the company is considering a “zero inventory” sales model for EVs. [CleanTechnica]

Ford commercial vehicle center (Ford image)

¶ “Gas Prices Reach Tipping Point With Record-Breaking Prices” • Gas may have passed a tipping point. Mark Schieldrop, AAA spokesperson, told 22News, “at $4.00 a gallon they are … forced to make decisions and find ways to save that may be pretty drastic like driving less or carpooling or combining trips and being really strategic about driving.” [WWLP

¶ “Ørsted Partners On 675-MW US e-Methanol Plant” • Ørsted and AP Møller Mærsk signed a letter of intent to partner on a 675-MW power-to-X plant supplied by 1200 MW of onshore wind and solar energy. The plant will produce about 300,000 tonnes of e-methanol per year, which Mærsk will use for its methanol-powered vessels, Ørsted said. [reNews]

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March 10 Energy News

March 10, 2022


¶ “Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine Highlights Vulnerability Of Nuclear Power Plants” • A series of Russian attacks near nuclear plants over the last two weeks are elevating fears of potential accidents and what they could trigger. John Yang reports on the latest and speaks to science correspondent Miles O’Brien, who covered the aftermath of Chernobyl. [PBS]

Rivne Nuclear Power Plant (Victor Korniyenko, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

Science and Technology:

¶ “New, New Solid-State Battery News From MIT” • For all the advantages promised by solid state batteries, nobody seems to know how to manufacture them outside of the laboratory. But scientists at MIT found a way to overcome one of the big hurdles, instabilities in the boundary between the solid electrolyte layer and the two electrodes. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Kites Seeking The World’s Surest Winds” • Look up over the white sand beaches of Mauritius and you may see a gigantic sail. It’s much like the kind used by paragliders or kite surfers but the size of a three-bedroom apartment, and it loops in figures-of-eight overhead. The sail isn’t a tourist attraction – it’s a generator, creating electricity. [BBC]

Kite (Image credit: SkySails Group)


¶ “Elon Musk Donates Starlink Kits To New South Wales” • Just as he did in past crises, Elon Musk has responded to pleas for help from flooded areas of New South Wales and donated Starlink resources to isolated communities. Some of the worst hit areas of the NSW Northern Rivers region have received more than ten Starlink Rapid Deployment Kits. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “War In Ukraine: Oil Prices Plunge As UAE Supports Supply Boost” • Oil prices have plunged after the UAE said it supported increasing production. The benchmark Brent crude fell more than 17% at one point after the statement. The fall follows weeks of escalating prices due to fears of supply disruptions sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. [BBC]

Oil rig (Worksite, Ltd, Unsplash)

¶ “Europe’s Dependence On Russian Oil – $285 Million A Day In Putin’s Pocket” • Europe is giving Putin $285 million a day to meet its dependence on imported oil, new data¹ shows. Transport & Environment, which carried out the study, has called for Europe to join a global embargo of Russian oil to stop funding Putin’s war in Ukraine. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “In 2021 Renewable Energy Use Reached An All-Time High, But So Did CO₂ Emissions” • Increases in global CO₂ emissions more than offset the previous year’s pandemic-induced decline, according to IEA analysis. Adverse weather conditions and increases in the price of natural gas both led to more coal being burned. [pv magazine USA]

Coal-burning power plant (Tony Webster, Xcel Energy)

¶ “CEMEX Philippines Inaugurates Renewable Power Facility” • CEMEX Philippines takes a significant step in its CO₂ reduction commitment with the commissioning of a 4.5-MW heat recovery facility in its APO Cement plant in Naga City, Cebu. The excess heat created by the plant’s machines is captured and used to generate electricity. []

¶ “India Targets 85% Of Energy Needs From Green Sources” • A 25-year vision document has proposed replacing coal-based power generation capacity by stepping up the installed capacity for renewable energy generation to 85% of the total requirement, said officials. This will require 1,125 GW of renewable energy capacity. [The Economic Times]

Solar plant in Gujarat (Citizenmj, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Saudi Arabia Awards 1 GW Of Solar Packages” • Saudi Arabia’s Energy Ministry has signed the power-purchase agreements with the developer teams that won contracts to develop two solar PV power projects in the Kingdom. Al-Rass solar PV IPP has won a contract for 700 MW. And a Jinko Power consortium has won a 300 MW contract. [Power Technology]

¶ “Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station Loses Electricity, IAEA Sees No Risk” • Ukrainian authorities have informed the International Atomic Energy Agency that there is a danger of a radiation leak at the Chernobyl nuclear power station, after electricity was cut off to the plant, but the UN nuclear watchdog says there is “no critical impact on security.” [Press TV]

Chernobyl nuclear plant (Jason Minshull, Public domain)


¶ “Chevron Phillips Will Pay Nearly $120 Million To Clean Up 3 Chemical Plants After Allegations It Violated Clean Air Act” • The Justice Department secured a settlement with the Chevron Phillips to make upgrades at three of its Texas petrochemical plants. Chevron Phillips is accused of failing to properly operate and monitor its industrial flares. [CNN]

¶ “EPA Officially Reinstates California’s Authority To Craft Its Own Vehicle Emissions Standards” • The EPA announced that it restored California’s authority to implement its own greenhouse gas emission standards and zero-emission sales mandates. The EPA is also allowing other states to adopt California’s stricter standards in lieu of the federal rules. [CNN]

Traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge (Saketh Garuda, Unsplash)

¶ “House Passes Ban On Russian Oil, Natural Gas And Coal” • The House of Representatives voted 414-17 to ban imports of Russian oil, natural gas and coal into the US. The bill will also take steps to revisit Russia’s role in the World Trade Organization and reauthorize the Magnitsky Act to strengthen sanctions on Russia for human rights violations. [CNN]

¶ “Nearly $1.5 Billion In Grants To Modernize US Bus Fleets And Facilities” • At an event with Vice President Kamala Harris, US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Federal Transit Administration Administrator Nuria Fernandez announced the availability of $1.47 billion in competitive grant funds to help bus fleets and facilities modernize. [CleanTechnica]

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March 9 Energy News

March 9, 2022


¶ “No Need To Be Freightened Of Electric Trucks” • Only 10% of vehicles on US roads are medium-to-large trucks, but they are responsible for the majority of hazardous air pollutants and nearly 25% of the greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. Some people have questions about electric trucks, but we can address their concerns. [CleanTechnica]

Volvo electric trucks (Image courtesy of Volvo Trucks)

¶ “Could The World Survive Without Russian Oil And Gas?” • The US, UK, and EU have announced that they will restrict Russian oil imports. The move came after Russia warned it could cut off gas supplies to European countries if an oil ban were to go ahead. Oil and gas prices have already risen sharply and could rise yet further if Russia halts exports. [BBC]


¶ “Europe Plans To Reduce Russian Gas Imports By 66% This Year” • Europe is planning to reduce consumption of Russian natural gas this year as it prepares for a complete break with its single biggest energy supplier over the war in Ukraine. EU officials outlined a plan to achieve energy independence from Moscow “well before 2030.” [CNN]

Gas meters (Doris Morgan, Unsplash)

¶ “War in Ukraine: Fitch Ratings warns Russian bond default ‘imminent'” • Fitch Ratings has warned Russia is likely to soon default on its debts, as it downgraded the country’s bonds further into “junk” territory, almost to the bottom grade. The warning came after the EU, US, and UK said they will reduce or ban imports of Russian oil or gas. [BBC]

¶ “Climate Change: EU Unveils Plan To End Reliance On Russian Gas” • Moving with a speed few thought possible, the EU laid out a strategy to cut reliance on this fuel source by two thirds within a year. The roadmap starts with finding alternative supplies, and goes to boosting energy efficiency and doubling down on greener sources of power. [BBC]

Wind turbines (Irina Iriser, Pexels)

¶ “Solar Stocks Are Soaring As Oil Price Spike Furthers Bets On Pivot To Renewable Energy” • Shares of renewable energy firms spiked higher Tuesday, highlighting moves by investors to capitalize on shortages of oil and other fossil fuels exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The S&P Global Clean Energy Index rose by 6% intraday. [Business Insider India]

¶ “Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Has Lost Contact With The UN Atomic Watchdog” • The UN’s atomic watchdog said Tuesday that the Chernobyl nuclear plant is no longer transmitting data, as remote data transmission from safeguards monitoring systems has been lost. The IAEA also expressed concern for workers held by Russians at the Ukrainian facility. [The Week]

Chernobyl sarcophagus and reactors (Clay Gilliland, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Russians Are Advancing On Another Nuclear Power Plant, Ukraine’s President Says” • President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of the Ukraine says Russian forces are advancing toward a third nuclear power plant. It was just last Friday that Russia seized control of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in Ukraine’s port city of Zaporizhzhia. [NPR]

¶ “Germany Rules Out Prolonging Its Nuclear Power Plants” • Berlin has ruled out extending the lifetime of its existing nuclear fleet, brushing aside energy security concerns after Moscow threatened to halt gas supplies to Germany in retaliation for Western sanctions in the Russia-Ukraine war. Closing the nuclear fleet is too far along to be reversed. []

Grafenrheinfeld nuclear plant (Rainer Lippert, public domain)


¶ “Solar Decathlon Design Challenge Teams Advance As Finalists” • Finalist teams in the DOE’s Solar Decathlon® 2022 Design Challenge have been chosen based on presentations and design submissions at the semifinal competition event. 55 teams representing 38 universities have advanced as finalists based on their unique building designs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “JISEA Sustainable Communities Catalyzer Advances Equitable Renewables Deployment” • Renewable energy development can bolster local economies in numerous ways. The Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis partnered with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to identify where deployment could have the biggest local impact. [CleanTechnica]

Solar powered houses (US DOE image)

¶ “Vice Admiral McGinn: Renewable Energy Will Save Us From Dictators Whose Power Comes From Fossil Fuels” • Vice Admiral Dennis V McGinn wrote a piece for The Hill responding to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He argued that renewable energy will save us from dictators powered by fossil fuels and called for the US to up its game on renewables. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hydrogen Truck Maker Nikola Leads EV Stock Rally As Biden Cuts Off Russian Oil” • Nikola, which aims to replace diesel-fueled semis with trucks powered by batteries and hydrogen, was one of the biggest stock market gainers among EV makers after President Biden said the US was cutting off imports of Russian oil because of its invasion of Ukraine. [Forbes]

Hydrogen-powered Nikola Tre (Anheuser-Busch and Nikola)

¶ “Oregon Energy Department To Offer $12 Million In Grants For Community Solar, Wind Projects” • The Oregon Department of Energy announced $12 million in grants for projects such as adding rural EV charging stations and adding solar panels to public buildings. Money will also go to energy resiliency projects, including microgrids. [Oregon Capital Chronicle]

¶ “Honeywell, Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions Will Help Improve Energy Resiliency In Select U.S. Communities” • Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions, a brand of Duke Energy, and Honeywell announced an agreement to develop and deliver comprehensive energy resiliency solutions to targeted markets across the US. [Duke Energy | News Center]

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March 8 Energy News

March 8, 2022


¶ “Amazon Near Tipping Point Of Shifting From Rainforest To Savannah, Study Suggests” • The Amazon rainforest may be nearing a critical tipping point that could see the biologically rich and diverse ecosystem transformed into a grassy savannah. The fate of the rainforest is crucial to the health of the planet for a number of reasons. [CNN]

Amazon rainforest (Neil Palmer, CIAT, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Iran’s Ally Russia May Spoil Nuclear Talks To Keep Oil Price High” • A revival of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal appeared to be imminent last week. The main parties to the talks indicated that an agreement was close, until an unlikely hurdle emerged. Russia said its national interests would have to be taken into account for a deal to go through. [CNN]

¶ “Bahrain’s First Solar Panel Manufacturer Is Blazing A Trail For Renewables” • Oil provides about 70% of the revenues of the government of Bahrain, but reserves are expected to run out within the next decade. This and the global transition away from dirty fuels mean the kingdom is looking for ways to diversify. This is good news for Solar One. [CNN]

Bahrain (Charles-Adrien Fournier, Unsplash)

¶ “Nicola Sturgeon Says Transition To Renewables Answer To Russian Oil And Gas Dependency” • Scotland’s First Minister said that ramping up the transition to renewable energy is the way to move away from relying on Russian oil and gas. She said to meet global demands in the short-term, North Sea oil and gas may have to ramp up production. [The National]

¶ “War In Ukraine: Russia Says It May Cut Gas Supplies If Oil Ban Goes Ahead” • Russia has said it may close its main gas pipeline to Germany if the West goes ahead with a ban on Russian oil. Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said a “rejection of Russian oil would lead to catastrophic consequences for the global market.” [BBC]

Working ships (Alexey Druzhinin,, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Germany Plugin EV Share 25% In February, Tesla Gigafactory Boosts Hiring” • Germany, Europe’s largest auto market, and the world’s second largest EV market, saw plugins take 24.9% share in February, modestly up from 20.7% year on year. Full electrics share grew 50% year on year. The overall market was up 3%, still well below pre-pandemic sales. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Volkswagen Decides To Build New $2.2 Billion EV Factory In Wolfsburg, Realigns Tech Department” • Volkswagen confirmed it will build a new $2.2 billion factory in Wolfsburg, home to its largest factory, to manufacture electric cars. Those vehicles will be built on the company’s new SSP platform developed as part of its Trinity program. [CleanTechnica]

Trinity Concept (Image courtesy of Volkswagen)

¶ “Danish Developer Files Plan For 3-GW Oz Offshore Giant” • Danish developer Copenhagen Energy submitted proposals for a 3-GW offshore wind project off the coast of Western Australia. The Leeuwin Offshore Wind proposal includes the installation of up to 200 wind turbines and associated substation, 15 km to 70 km from the coast. [reNews]

¶ “China Plans A Mammoth 450 GW Of Wind And Solar In Its Deserts” • China’s installed capacity of renewable capacity in 2020 was around 895 GW. This was more capacity than the EU, the USA, and Australia had, combined. According to a report in Reuters, China is now planning to add 450 GW of solar and wind capacity in the Gobi Desert. [New Atlas]

Gobi Desert, Inner Mongolia (me, CC-BY-SA 2.5)

¶ “Rolls-Royce’s Plans For Mini Nuclear Power Stations Take Significant Step Forward” • Rolls-Royce’s hopes for its mini nuclear power stations took a step forward after Kwasi Kwarteng, the Business Secretary, asked government regulators to assess its designs. Rolls wants to start making the plants in the early 2030s, charging about £1.8 billion for a 470-MW unit. [MSN]


¶ “Biden Administration Rolls Out Some New Regulations And Funding For Cleaner Trucks And Buses” • The US EPA is rolling out more stringent emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles like large trucks and buses. The administration also announced over $1.3 billion in funding to deploy cleaner transportation and school buses. [CNN]

School buses (Dan Dennis, Unsplash)

¶ “US Military To Close Fuel Storage Facility In Hawaii Where Water Was Contaminated By Leak” • The Department of Defense will permanently close the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility in Hawaii, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said. The facility was temporarily closed after water was contaminated by a petroleum leak from the facility. [CNN]

¶ “Nature Conservancy To Build Solar Farms At Abandoned Coal Mines In Virginia” • In 2019, the Nature Conservancy acquired 253,000 acres in the central Appalachian Mountains to create what it calls the Cumberland Forest Project. The forest includes several moutaintop removal mines that were abandoned. Some will become solar farms. [CleanTechnica]

Site of proposed solar farm (The Nature Conservancy)

¶ “DE Shaw Inks 200-MW California Solar-Storage Power Play” • US renewables developer DE Shaw Renewable Investments and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, in California, have signed a 200-MW, 400-MWh combined solar and energy storage power purchase agreement. It is the largest facility of its type announced for northern California. [reNews]

¶ “Northern Maine Energy Program Bids Include ConEd Power Line” • ConEd submitted its Maine Power Link proposal to the state Public Utilities Commission last week and plans to propose renewable energy projects that would supply the line, according to a press release. The PUC is to choose projects that should move forward by November. [Bay News 9

Have a tremendously beneficial day.

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March 7 Energy News

March 7, 2022


¶ “Did Shell Change Its Mind About Russia?” • Did Shell Oil Company change its mind about Russia? Well, it’s complicated – at least, according to Shell. Shell was one of three oil companies cutting ties with Russia. But it bought 100,000 metric tons of Russia’s Urals crude from a commodity trader at $28.50 a barrel below the price of Brent crude. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Shell Defends ‘Difficult’ Decision To Buy Russian Crude Oil” • Shell defended a decision to buy Russian crude oil despite the invasion and bombardment of Ukraine, saying in a statement that the decision to purchase the fuel at a discounted price was “difficult.” It confirmed that it had bought a cargo of Russian crude oil but said it had “no alternative.” [BBC]

¶ “Stocks Sink While Oil Soars After US And Allies Consider Banning Russian Oil” • Stocks are tumbling Monday as oil prices are soaring to the highest level in 13 years, raising fears about a further spike in inflation that could damage the global economy. Brent crude also rose to the highest level since 2008, up 8% to $127.66 a barrel. [CNN]

Shell Perdido offshore platform (BSEE, public domain)

¶ “Scatec Partners With ACME Group To Develop A Large-Scale Green Ammonia Facility In Oman” • Scatec ASA signed an agreement with ACME Group from India to create a 50/50 joint venture for a green ammonia facility in Oman. The first phase is expected to produce 100,000 tonnes of green ammonia per year, powered by 500 MW of solar. [GlobeNewswire]

¶ “Ireland Hits New Wind Power Record” • Wind provided 53% of Ireland’s electricity in February 2022, its highest-ever share. Wind energy was also the number one source of electricity for the month and on 5 February set a new All-Ireland record for the amount of wind energy on the system at 4.6 GW, according to a Wind Energy Ireland report. [reNews]

Tythegston Wind Turbines (Steve Barnes, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Australian Start-Up Allows EV Drivers To Charge Their Vehicles With Renewable Energy” • More Australians will be buying an electric vehicle in the years ahead. With incentives, sales of EVs is expected to grow 200% in 2022 from 2021. IonBlue makes it possible to ensure the electricity to power these EVs is sourced from renewable energy. [Tech Guide]

¶ “UK Renewable Energy Projects Should Be Accelerated To Mitigate Impact Of Ukraine Conflict” • Energy experts called for the UK to press on with its push to roll out renewables, with the need to bolster energy security highlighted by the impact of Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine. EU and UK gas prices have now risen close to the record highs. [New Civil Engineer]

Wind turbines (Sam Forson, Pexels)

¶ “Aston Martin Signs MOU With Britishvolt” • Luxury carmaker Aston Martin has signed an MOU with Britishvolt as it aims to launch its first battery electric vehicle in 2025. Aston Martin is developing alternatives to the internal combustion engine. By 2026, all new Aston Martin product lines will have an electrified powertrain option. [Energy Digital]

¶ “Daintree Rainforest Residents A Step Closer To Getting Power From Solar-To-Hydrogen Microgrid” • The Australian federal government will sign off on a multi-million-dollar deal to bring solar-powered microgrids to townships living among the World Heritage-listed Daintree rainforest in Far North Queensland. The area had been powered mostly by diesel. [ABC]

Daintree microgrid (Volt Advisory Group image)

¶ “World Fears ‘Catastrophic’ Nuclear Disaster As Putin ‘Attacks Neutron Source Facility’ In Ukraine” • There are reports that the Russian military fired missiles at the Kharkiv Institute of Physics and Technology, which houses a nuclear research reactor. Emine Dzheppar, deputy minister for foreign affairs, said destruction of the facility would lead to a “catastrophe.” [Irish Mirror]

¶ “UK To Launch Three ‘Green Inertia’ Schemes” • Three green inertia services, which mimic the effect of a power station but without fossil fuels, will go live by summer in the UK. They are part of a £336 million National Grid ESO investment program to measure and generate green inertia, which is needed to maintain frequency on the grid, keeping it stable. [reNews]

Grid control room (National Grid image)

¶ “IAEA Says It’s Concerned Now That The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant Is Under Russian Command” • The Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant is under Russian command and the International Atomic Energy Agency is concerned. Former US Under Secretary of Defense Michèle Flournoy said Russia, when it shelled the plant, was “extremely irresponsible.” [Business Insider]


¶ “NREL Issues Competitiveness Improvement Project Request For Proposals” • The US DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory issued an RFP for the Competitiveness Improvement Project. This is an opportunity for manufacturers of small and medium-sized wind turbines to propose solutions for developing markets for new products. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines (Thomas Reaubourg, Unsplash)

¶ “Elon Musk Backs More Oil Production And Expanded EU Nuclear Power To Combat Russia ” • Tesla CEO Elon Musk is calling for the expansion of nuclear power in Europe and greater oil production in the US as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine spikes prices and lays bare the EU’s energy vulnerabilities. Restarting nuclear plants is not easy, however. [Yahoo News]

¶ “Murphy Calls For Replacing Russian Oil With Renewable Energy In Case Of Potential Ban” • Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy (D) told Fox News Channel’s Shannon Bream that if the US decides to ban Russian energy imports, he would like to see the gap in energy production filled with renewable energy on top of domestic fossil fuel production. [TheHill]

Have a joyously exultant day.

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March 6 Energy News

March 6, 2022

Science and Technology:

¶ “With Regenerative Agriculture, Guinness Really Is Good For You!” • Regenerative agriculture improves yields by focusing on soil health, and a study indicates that it could also improve the nutritional quality of crops. That’s good news for Guinness beer fans. Guinness has just launched a new regenerative agriculture pilot project in Ireland. [CleanTechnica]

Guinness browing barley (Guinness image)

¶ “Worse Weather And More Floods: The IPCC Report Contains Warnings Australia Should Heed” • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued its new report just as Australia was hit by some of the worst floods and heaviest rainfalls in its history. Set against the backdrop of disaster, the report’s findings were both bleak, and shocking. [ABC]


¶ “Hyundai, Kia Reveal Electric Car Roadmap. Is Level 3 Driving Part Of The Plan?” • In its press release, Hyundai CEO Jaehoon Chang said his company plans to release 17 battery-electric car models by 2030. Chang said the company is investing over $16 billion in its electric car endeavors, which include more plants dedicated to producing EVs. [CleanTechnica]

Hyundai Ionijq 7 (Image courtesy of Hyundai)

¶ “UK Plugin EV Share Doubles To 26% As Tesla Model Y Debuts” • The UK, Europe’s second largest plugin market, saw EV share almost double year on year to 25.6% in February. Full electrics alone took a 17.7% share. Overall auto volume was down 28% over seasonal norms. Debuting in February after a long wait, the Tesla Model Y was the best selling EV. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Indigenous Communities Turning Away From Dirty Forms Of Energy Toward Solar” • After seeing the impact an oil spill had on her home community, Melina Laboucan-Massimo knew she had to do something. The land in Little Buffalo had always been dependent on oil and gas. But she and her team are turning it toward solar energy. [Calgary Journal]

Melina Laboucan-Massimo, a Lubicon Cree and founder of
Sacred Earth Solar (Supplied by the University of Victoria)

¶ “Scotland ‘Could Help End Europe’s Reliance On Russian Oil And Gas'” • A “green industrial revolution” could see renewable energy generated in Scotland cut other countries’ reliance on oil and gas from Russia, the Scottish Liberal Democrat leader said. Alex Cole-Hamilton urged ministers in Edinburgh to “maximise” the renewable energy produced. [STV News]

¶ “Montenegro To Introduce Renewable Energy Auctions” • The Ministry of Capital Investments of Montenegro announced that it will conduct auctions to raise the share of solar power plants and wind farms in the country’s energy mix. To do this, it will have technical support of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. [Balkan Green Energy News]

Montenegro (olga brajnovic, Unsplash)

¶ “Government Wants To Boost Renewable Energy Sector, Says Minister” • Punjab Minister for Energy Dr Muhammad Akhtar said that work is under way on projects in the Pakistani province to use alternative energy in line with international standards to tackle climate change and generate cheap electricity to meet local needs. [The News International]

¶ “Scaling Up Of Renewable Energy A Must For Sustainable Growth, Says PM” • India is the world’s third-largest energy consuming country, and in coming years, energy consumption is sure to go up. Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a special address, reiterating India’s commitment to climate action and energy transition. [NewsOnAIR]

Wind turbines in India (Vairavamoorthy, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Video Shows Ukrainian Nuclear Plant Workers Pleading With Russians To Stop Shooting” • Video taken from inside Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant during the Russian assault earlier this week shows workers pleading with their attackers over a loudspeaker system to stop in order to avoid catastrophe. The message is punctuated by gunfire. [HuffPost]


¶ “Shock! Awe! Americans Willing To Pay Higher Gas Prices To Defeat Putin” • Americans want low energy prices, but in a poll conducted last week by Reuters, 80% of respondents including solid majorities of Republicans and Democrats said they support the idea of not importing any oil from Russia, even if that leads to higher gas prices at the pump. [CleanTechnica]

Gas prices by state (AAA image)

¶ “Panasonic Planning Massive Electric Car Battery Factory In US” • Japanese news outlet NHK reports that Panasonic is looking for land in Oklahoma or Kansas to build a massive US battery factory that will manufacture 4680 battery cells for Tesla (and maybe others?) According to Reuters, the factory will cost several billion dollars to build. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Schenectady-Based DSD On Sharp Growth Path As Green Energy Expands” • Less than three years after its creation, GE spinoff DSD Renewables has nearly tripled its workforce as it adds solar electricity to the power grid and to its customers’ facilities. DSD’s headquarters at Mohawk Harbor hosts a small part of its nearly 170 employees. [The Daily Gazette]

Rotterdam solar array by DSD Renewables (Photo provided)

¶ “World’s Largest Green Hydrogen Project Unveiled In Texas, With Plan To Produce Clean Rocket Fuel For Elon Musk” • US start-up Green Hydrogen International announced a 60-GW rH₂ project in South Texas, to be powered by wind and solar, with its own salt cavern for storage and a plan to produce clean rocket fuel for Elon Musk’s SpaceX. [Recharge News]

¶ “Grid Operators’ ‘Seam’ Study Paves Way For Renewable Expansion” • A joint study by two regional grid operators with territories that span a wide swath of the central US reveals how strategically sited transmission projects along their boundaries could enable a wave of new renewable energy capacity that may not otherwise get built. [Energy News Network]

Have a captivatingly brilliant day.

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March 5 Energy News

March 5, 2022


¶ “Big Oil Profits Should Support The Green Transition In Europe” • Europe’s current energy crisis has led to a 54% increase in petrol, gas and electricity prices for its households compared to 2020 levels. BP had a profit of $12.8 billion, Shell’s profits were $19.3 billion, and Total Energies’ were $16 billion. Can Europe act to level the playing field? [CleanTechnica]

Shell charging hub (Shell image)


¶ “Ukraine Sanctions: UK Dockers Refuse Tanker Of Russian Gas” • Dockers in Kent have refused to unload two tankers of Russian gas, forcing them to go elsewhere, a union has said. Unison head of energy Matt Lay said staff were “determined to support the Ukrainian people and uphold the sanctions imposed against Russia.” [BBC]

¶ “Turn Down The Heat To Stop Putin? Europe Wrestles With Its Russian Gas Addiction” • You may not think much about where the energy that heats your home comes from, let alone where the money you pay for it goes. For many Europeans, there’s a good chance that money is flowing to the Russian state – much of it into Putin’s war chest. [CNN]

Russian tank (Kevin Schmid, Unsplash)

¶ “Tesla Model Y Orders Now Available For ‘Other Europe,’ Giga Berlin Gets Approved” • Tesla Giga Berlin has its environmental approval, according to a press release and news conference. And Tesla fans and customers are reporting that the Model Y can be ordered for some parts of “Other Europe,” including Slovakia, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Honda And Sony Will Build Electric Cars Together” • Honda and Sony signed a memorandum of understanding to form a new company to manufacture electric cars together, The Verge reports. The first cars are to go on sale in 2025, which is pretty quick, given that new car design and production typically takes five to seven years. [CleanTechnica]

Sony test car

¶ “China To Boost Coal Output, Reserves To Ensure Power Supply – NDRC” • China will boost the production of more modern coal mines and enhance coal reserve capacity, and aims to increase the government-deployable storage to 5% of local consumption, the country’s National Development and Reform Commission said. [Reuters]

¶ “Sweden Plugin EV Share 52% In February, Kia Niro Leads” • Sweden’s plugin EV share hit 51.6% in February 2022, up from 34.8% year on year. Full electrics took 25.6% share, dramatic growth from 6.1% year on year. Overall auto market volumes were down 7% from the last two years. The Kia Niro was Sweden’s best selling EV in February. [CleanTechnica]

Kia Niro EV (Hyundai Motor Group, Unsplash)

¶ “Russian Attacks Spur Debate About Nuclear Power As Climate Fix” • Russian forces seized the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine after heavy fighting sparked a huge blaze. Russia’s action should spur companies and policymakers to be more careful in plans to build reactors to fight climate change, nuclear safety experts said. [CNBC Tv18]

¶ “Himachal Aspires To Be Country’s First ‘Green State’” • With an aim to become the first green state in India, Himachal chief minister, Jai Ram Thakur, announced in his budget presentation that his government will make efforts to ensure that 100% of its energy requirement is met through renewable energy, with a goal of 50% by 2030. [Hindustan Times]

Himachal Pradesh landscape (Satyadeep Karnati, Unsplash)

¶ “Security Council Debates Russian Strike On Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant” • Heavy fighting at a nuclear power in Ukraine is unacceptable and “highly irresponsible,” the UN’s senior political affairs official told the Security Council during an emergency meeting. She said that radiation levels are normal and the plant’s cooling system was not affected. [UN News]


¶ “Lake Powell Is About To Drop Below A Critical Level Never Reached Before, As Drought Rages On” • Lake Powell, the country’s second-largest reservoir, is projected to dip past a critical threshold, threatening water supplies and putting a key source of hydropower generation at heightened risk of being forced offline, as the drought continues. [CNN]

Lake Powell dam (Luca Bravo, Unsplash)

¶ “Light-Duty Plug-In EV Sales In The US Nearly Doubled From 2020 To 2021” • Sales of new light-duty plug-in EVs, including all-electric EVs and plug-in hybrid EVs, nearly doubled from 308,000 in 2020 to 608,000 in 2021. Such rapid growth in EVs is remarkable, as overall light-duty vehicle sales increased by only 3% during the same period. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Small City Sets Example For Floating Solar, Empowered By NREL Data Set” • Two city employees of Cohoes, New York, were brainstorming how to power the city’s municipal buildings with renewable energy. Few options made sense as the city didn’t have a lot of cash or land. Then one of them thought of floating solar on the city reservoir. [CleanTechnica]

Cohoes municipal reservoir (Image from Google Earth)

¶ “Latest Climate Report Describes Devastating Impacts In Store For Southwestern US” • Climate change is causing widespread and irreversible impacts to nature and humanity far faster than scientists had anticipated, and the Southwestern US will be hit especially hard, according to a major new scientific report that the IPCC released this week. [Nevada Current]

¶ “Meijer Makes Headway Toward Sustainability Goals With New Solar Power Project” • Meijer, Inc, based in Grand Rapids, signed a renewable energy PPA with Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions for a solar project to help the retailer reach a goal it had already established, which is to reduce absolute carbon emissions by 50% by 2025. [Winsight Grocery Business]

Have a conspicuously peachy day.

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March 4 Energy News

March 4, 2022


¶ “Big Auto Had The Ultimate Barriers To Entry – Then Tesla Broke Through” • Conventional wisdom once held that it would be practically impossible for a startup company to challenge the Big Auto behemoths. When economics professors explained the concept of barriers to entry, the auto industry was usually example #1. Then Tesla came along. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model S (Tesla Fans Schweiz, Unsplash)

¶ “Russia’s Attack On Ukraine Is A Clear Warning To Us To Become Energy Independent With Renewables” • America and its allies have been thrust into yet another conflict linked to the world’s addiction to fossil fuels. If we heed the warning and decisively act now, it could be the last such global conflict. It would also address climate change. [The Hill]


¶ “Ukraine conflict: Shares fall after nuclear plant attack” • Share prices fell after a fire broke out at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine, after Russia troops shelled it. London’s FTSE 100 share index opened down 0.6%. Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 2.2%. Some investor concerns were eased after officials said the plant’s safety was “secured.” [BBC]

Zaporizhzhia reactors 1 and 2 (DENAMAX, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Ukraine Nuclear Plant: Russia In Control After Shelling” • Russia has taken control of a nuclear power station in Ukraine after it was hit by shelling. A fire broke out at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant – the largest in Europe – and Ukraine said it was shelled by Russian troops. Authorities say the facility is now safe and radiation levels are normal. [BBC]

¶ “End Imports Of Russian Oil To Stop Financing Putin’s War” • The EU should embargo all oil and gas imports from Russia in order to stop financing Putin’s war on Ukraine, 25 European NGOs say in a public appeal to leaders. The coalition is also demanding that the country of origin for oil products be made clear at petrol stations. [CleanTechnica]

Russian gas facility (Government of Russia, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Ukraine War Prompts European Reappraisal Of Its Energy Supplies” • Vladimir Putin is using Russia’s hold over fossil fuel supplies to Europe as “a political and economic weapon,” the executive director of the International Energy Agency said. EU governments have to deal with a threat to democracy while they head off climate disaster. [The Guardian]

¶ “Duterte OKs Use Of Nuclear Energy” • Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte issued an executive order adopting a nuclear energy program. It recommends reviving the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, among other measures. Released by Malacañang, EO 64 sets the government’s course to harnessing nuclear power as a source of electricity. [The Manila Times]

Rodrigo Duterte (Simeon Celi Jr, Philippine Government)

¶ “South Korea’s Moon Orders Protection Of Nuclear Power Plant Amid Wildfire” • South Korea President Moon Jae-in has ordered an all-out effort to be made to protect the Hanul Nuclear Power Plant from a wildfire that broke out in the eastern coastal county of Uljin, according to a statement from the presidential office. [CNA]


¶ “Castles & Cars – Cash Savings In The Suburbs” • Rewiring Australia just issued a report, with support from Mike Cannon-Brookes, that makes the case for electrifying everything in the Aussie home. Castles & Cars extends that even to transport. There are savings to be made in the suburbs if we electrify our castles and our cars. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Mike Cannon-Brookes Tries To Buy And Shut Down Worst Coal Plant In Australia” • Mike Cannon-Brookes, founder of Atlassian, teamed up with Canadian asset manager Brookfield to put in a bid for Australia’s most polluting power company. Green capital is trying to push out the old legacy coal barons, in a case of “if you can’t beat them, buy them.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Victoria Sets 9-GW Offshore Wind Goal In Australia” • The Australian state of Victoria plans to have 9 GW of offshore wind capacity installed of its coast by 2040. The Labor Government of the state has published the “Victorian Offshore Wind Policy Directions Paper”, which also set interim targets of 2 GW by 2032 and 4 GW by 2035. [reNews]

Offshore windpower (Stig Nygaard, CC-BY-SA 2.0)


¶ “President Biden Ignored Tesla’s $10 Billion Investment In EVs During SOTU” • President Biden, when he highlighted the EV transition and auto manufacturing in the US during his 2022 State of the Union address, once again ignored the contributions made by Tesla, which include a $10 billion investment in Texas toward EVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Climate Math Of Home Heating Electrification” • UC Davis researchers published a study in Energy Policy showing that a typical US home can cut its heating-related climate pollution by 45% to 72% by swapping out a gas-fired furnace for an efficient, all-electric heat pump. And it’s true right now, today, in every region in the country. [CleanTechnica]

Electric heat (Nate the House Whisperer, via Electrify Now)

¶ “TotalEnergies Seeks Foot In California Offshore Wind Door” • The windy waters of the California coast have tantalized offshore wind developers for years, and now the door is opening. Among those vying for a slot is the French firm TotalEnergies. The global energy producer’s continuing interest in Russian fossil fuels could be a stumbling block. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “South Brooklyn Marine Terminal To Turn Into Renewable Energy Hub Off Sunset Park” • Mayor Eric Adams announced that the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal will be transformed into a port facility for offshore wind energy. The project will turn the space into an operations and maintenance hub for offshore wind farms. [Brooklyn Paper]

Have a comprehensively hopeful day.

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March 3 Energy News

March 3, 2022


¶ “The State Of The Union Address About Climate We Wish We Had Heard” • As President Biden delivered the 2022 State of the Union address, many of us summoned our inner speechwriter selves and imagined a different presentation that more precisely confronted the looming climate crisis. So here is that wishful 2022 State of the Union address. [CleanTechnica]

Glacier National Park (Andrew S, Unsplash)

¶ “Could the Ukraine conflict cause one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters?” • The Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency said on March 2, “The situation in Ukraine is unprecedented … It is the first time a military conflict is happening amidst the facilities of a large, established nuclear power program.” [Renew Economy]

¶ “Heat Pumps For Freedom, And Other Thoughts From Bill McKibben” • Bill McKibben has a blog called The Crucial Years. His latest post, dated February 27, is entitled “Heat Pumps For Peace And Freedom.” It is worth going there and reading it (link provided in the article). Bill McKibben says heat pumps could help defeat Vladimir Putin. [CleanTechnica]

Heat pump technician (Photo courtesy of The Heat Pump Store)


¶ “Oil-Producing Nations Stick To Their Plan Despite Ukraine” • Even though oil prices have surged to seven-year highs, a cartel of oil-producing countries say they will increase their output only by a modest amount. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russia, known as Opec+, will not be turning on the taps. [BBC]

¶ “UN Agrees To Create World’s First-Ever Plastics Pollution Treaty In A Blow To Big Oil” • The UN approved an agreement to create the world’s first global plastic pollution treaty, describing it as the most significant environmental deal since the 2015 Paris climate accord. Member states agreed on the outline of a pact to rein in soaring plastic pollution. [CNN]

Plastic on a beach (Thobias Löfqvist, Unsplash)

¶ “Oil Price Rises Again As Buyers Shun Russian Crude” • The cost of oil continue their surge, as traders snap up non-Russian oil. Brent crude – the global benchmark for oil prices – passed $113 a barrel, its highest level since June 2014. But traders are struggling to sell Russian oil, even at a discount. Gas prices also doubled, which could raise energy bills. [BBC]

¶ “100% Electric Vehicles Are 10% Of New Car Sales In Europe In January” • The European passenger plug-in vehicle market scored 156,000 registrations in January (+39% year over year), with battery EVs (+78%) growing significantly faster than plugin hybrid EVs (+11%). The overall market (-2%) is languishing in the worst January in 30 years. [CleanTechnica]

Charging a BMW (Eren Goldman, Unsplash)

¶ “Largest Australian Renewable Energy Deal To Power Critical Infrastructure, Reducing Costs And Emissions ” • IFM Investors and QIC, two of Australia’s largest infrastructure fund managers, have jointly led a new renewable energy program to help reduce electricity costs and greenhouse gas emissions at key Australian infrastructure facilities. [Mirage News]

¶ “North East renewable energy projects await greenlight from council” • Dozens of ‘much needed’ North East renewable energy projects could be created if a county council’s local plan gets the green light later this month. The Northumberland Local Plan is expected to be adopted, laying out a range of proposals and planning policies. [Bdaily]

Wind turbines (Thomas Reaubourg, Unsplash)

¶ “Russian troops take control of Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine” • International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director-general Rafael Mariano Grossi has been notified that the Russian military has taken control of the area around Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant. With six reactors, it is the largest nuclear plant in Europe. [Power Technology]


¶ “Stellantis Takes The Wraps Off Its First Battery-Electric Jeep” • The first battery-electric Jeep should appeal to lots of people. Shown yesterday in brilliant yellow, it is an emotional vehicle that should have customers banging on the door to get one. Unfortunately, when the company showed off how the Jeep EV looks, it gave us few details. [CleanTechnica]

Jeep EV (Courtesy of Jeep)

¶ “All New Jeep, Chrysler, Ram Products Will Be Electric From 2026” • The big news from Stellantis’ (née Chrysler) big press conference wasn’t really the first-ever, all-new, all-electric Jeep model. It was an unsaid statistic that every new Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge, and Ram truck offering will be available as a battery-electric model from 2026. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Elon Musk’s Taxes Were Just About Enough To Cover GM’s Bailout” • Earlier this century, the US government bailed out GM. Last December, the Treasury Department sold the last remaining shares it had acquired from that, and Reuters reported that it lost $11.2 billion overall. In 2021, Elon Musk paid over $11 billion in taxes due to selling Tesla shares. [CleanTechnica]

Elon Musk, 2019 (Bill Ingalls, NASA)

¶ “Eco Wave Moves Pilot To Los Angeles” • Eco Wave Power Global is to relocate its energy conversion unit from the pilot site in Gibraltar to AltaSea’s premises in the Port of Los Angeles as it seeks to scale-up. Eco Wave Power’s increasing interest in the US market, emphasized by the company’s recent listing on Nasdaq Capital Market. [reNews]

¶ “Oyster Creek Generating Station Eyed as Small Nuclear Reactor Site” • Holtec International said it remains open to the possibility of making the decommissioning Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station the site of its first SMR-160, going so far as to designate it one of several reference sites for the small modular nuclear reactor. [The SandPaper]

Have an enchantingly pleasing day.

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March 2 Energy News

March 2, 2022


¶ “Five Takeaways From The UN’s Climate Report” • The UN’s climate science panel issued a report detailing both the impacts of climate change and potential adaptation measures society can take to mitigate the damage. The report warned of dire impacts from global warming. Here are five major takeaways from the newest report. [TheHill]

One cost of climate change (Mike Newbry, Unsplash)


¶ “Ukraine Conflict: ExxonMobil And Boeing Take Action Over Russia Ties” • ExxonMobil said it will exit a multi-billion dollar joint venture with Russian state-owned company Rosneft. It is the latest oil producer to cut business ties with the country, after similar moves by BP, Shell and Equinor. And Boeing said it is suspending operations in Russia. [BBC]

¶ “The Rise And Rise Of The Chinese EV Market – 17% Market Share In January” • In China, after the December sales peak, one would expect a sales hangover in January, only … it didn’t happen. The market had 372,000 new passenger EV registrations, for an impressive 115% jump year over year! Plugin vehicles had 17% of the market, up from 15% last year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Canada Provides $4.8 Billion In Annual Subsidies To Fossil Fuel Interests” • The Canada Climate Law Initiative published a report, Fossil Fuel Subsidies in Canada: Governance Implications in the Net-Zero Transition. One thing it describes is the impacts that various entities in Canada have had on sustaining fossil fuels through annual subsidies. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Car Of The Year In Europe 2022 Is Yet Again An EV, The Kia EV6” • The Kia EV6 won the Car of the Year 2022 award. The Korean EV won in a field with 6 out of 7 cars were pure electrics. It is the first time that the Korean carmaker has won the title. This is the 59th time that a jury of European car journalists made the Car of the Year award. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Acciona’s 923-MW Project Passes Environmental Test” • Acciona Energía has received environmental approval for the 932-MW MacIntyre Wind Farm, which will be the developer’s largest wind farm in Australia. Due to begin construction in Q2 2022, the site marks a major milestone in Queensland’s goal of 50% renewable energy by 2030. [reNews]

¶ “Isko: ‘Bataan Nuclear Power Plant not safe for people, Bataan'” • Manila Mayor Isko Moreno campaigned in Bataan province, where he expressed opposition to reopening the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. The presidential candidate told reporters he would keep the Bataan facility in Morong town closed if he’s elected president. [Politiko]

Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (Jiru27, CC-BY-SA 3.0)


¶ “Even Before Ukraine Crisis, Majority Of Americans Wanted Country To Prioritize Renewable Energy Development, Poll Shows” • A survey of 10,237 US adults, conducted weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine, shows 69% of American adults favor developing alternative energy, including wind and solar, over increasing production of fossil fuels. [CNN]

¶ “Barring A ‘Miracle,’ California Snowpack Will End The Season Below Average” • Winter is California’s wet season, but a snow survey is discouraging and an ominous record is being set for lack of precipitation in Sacramento. Statewide snow melt forecast is only about 66% of average. California reservoirs will likely not fill up again this year. [CNN]

California snow (Denys Nevozhai, Unsplash)

¶ “US Army Beats US Postal Service To Electric Vehicle Punch” • The US Postmaster General has blown off the EV revolution, but the US Army can show him how it’s done. The Army launched a net zero goal and the Army Reserve already has an electrification plan for its non-tactical vehicles with a zero emission goal by the end of FY 27. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Waymo To Start Charging Robotaxi Passengers In San Francisco” • After years operating only in a corner of Phoenix, Waymo branched out to San Francisco in 2021. It is hasn’t been charging for its robotaxi service there, but that’s about to change. Waymo will charge riders in the San Francisco area real-life money to get a ride. [CleanTechnica]

Waymo EV (Waymo image)

¶ “Elon Musk’s $5 Billion Tesla Stock Donation To Charity” • A recent Tesla filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission revealed that the company’s CEO Elon Musk made donations totaling more than $5 billion worth of Tesla stock to charity. The Ownership Disclosure filing was published earlier this month on the SEC website. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “SB Energy Places 1.5-GW PV Order With First Solar” • SB Energy Global, a subsidiary of SoftBank Group, has placed a multi-year order for 1500-MW of First Solar’s advanced, ultra-low carbon thin-film photovoltaic solar modules. SB Energy will deploy these PV modules across its 4-GW US solar and storage development pipeline. [reNews]

Solar panels (First Solar image)

¶ “Coal Producer Launches 4.9-GW Renewables Plan” • Coal producer Peabody has launched R3 Renewables to pursue the development of over 3300 MW of solar PV and 1600 MW of battery storage capacity over the next five years. R3 Renewables is a Joint Venture with Riverstone Credit Partners and Summit Partners Credit Advisors. [reNews]

¶ “US Nuclear Power Industry Pushing White House Against Ban On Russian Uranium” • Reuters reports that the US nuclear power industry is lobbying the Biden administration to permit continued import of uranium from Russia despite the invasion of Ukraine, citing the cheap supply of the fuel as key to keeping US electricity prices low. [Press TV]

Have an abundantly delightful day.

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March 1 Energy News

March 1, 2022


¶ “Bury It? Shoot It Into Space? Why Scientists Still Can’t Find A Place For Nuclear Waste” • Climate change is more urgent and leaves us with fewer options daily. This might make it tempting to rush to nuclear energy as a quick, low-carbon fix. But its faults are numerous, not least of which is that there is still no answer to the 80-year-old question of waste. [CNN]

Nuclear danger (Dan Meyers, Unsplash)

¶ “What If Moscow Turns Off The Gas As The Ukraine Conflict Deepens?” • If Russia halts its supply of gas to Europe to retaliate against the punishing sanctions for its invasion of Ukraine, the region should still be able to make it through next winter, according to Bruegel, a think tank based in Brussels. But it won’t be easy or cheap. [CNN]

¶ “Fight Back Against The Fossil Fuels Autocrats: Electrify And Decarbonize!” • From Venezuela to Nigeria to Saudi Arabia to most blatantly Russia, we’ve witnessed how the dynamics of fossil fuel dependency harm both the countries that possess them and other countries that are held hostage to the whims of despotic leaders. It’s time to fight back. [CleanTechnica]

Climate demonstration (Tom Seger, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Delay Means Death’: We’re Running Out Of Ways To Adapt To The Climate Crisis, New Report Shows” • Climate change is on course to transform life on Earth as we know it. Unless it is dramatically slowed, billions of people and other species will reach points where they can no longer adapt to the new normal, according to a major report. [CNN]

¶ “Novel Australian Project Examines If Renewable Energy Machines Can Be Used To Protect Coastlines” • What can wave energy converters do that no other form of renewable energy can? Well, they can remove waves’ energy. For a country where coastlines are ever more frequently battered by extreme weather, this is especially attractive. [pv magazine Australia]

Wave (Mark Harpur, Unsplash)


¶ “Canada To Ban Imports Of Crude Oil From Russia” • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced a ban on Russian oil imports following the country’s invasion of Ukraine. He said oil revenues have helped to prop up President Vladimir Putin and Russian oligarchs. Coordinated Western sanctions against Russia have targeted its banks. [BBC]

¶ “Shell Follows BP Out Of Russia As UK Oil Companies Abandon Putin” • Shell is getting out of Russia. The company said it would dump its 27.5% stake in the Sakhalin-2 liquified natural gas facility, its 50% stake in a project to develop the Salym fields in western Siberia and its 50% interest in an exploration project in the Gydan peninsula in Siberia. [CNN]

Tanker (Alexandr Popadin, Unsplash)

¶ “IPCC 6 Shows A ‘Criminal Abdication Of Leadership,’ Says UN Secretary General” • Bloomberg Green reports that UN Secretary General António Guterres said about the IPPC report, “With fact upon fact, this report reveals how people and the planet are getting clobbered by climate change.” He calls it an indictment of a “criminal abdication of leadership.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Plans Emerge For Another Renewable Energy Island To Power Europe” • The energy ministers from the UK and Belgium signed a memorandum of understanding, in which the two countries may work together to build another renewable energy island in the North Sea. The countries are already connected by the 1-GW Nemo Link interconnector. [Renew Economy]

Danish energy island (Danish Energy Agency image)

¶ “‘Putin Is Ready For Anything,’ Says Ukraine’s Ex-PM Yulia Tymoshenko” • A former Ukrainian prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, warned, “If Putin’s army intends to bomb our nuclear power plants, it will undoubtedly be a tragedy for the entire continent.” The Ukrainian nuclear fleet has of four power plants, with a total of fifteen reactors. [France 24]


¶ “Volvo Previews Its Future Electric Car Plans To Dealers” • At a conference in Miami last week, Volvo shared its plans for future electric cars with its North American dealers. Citing a report by Automotive News, CarBuzz says company executives told their audience about plans to launch seven electrified models in the coming few years. [CleanTechnica]

Volvo Recharge Concept (Image courtesy of Volvo Cars)

¶ “Unlimited EV Charging As Low As $19.99 Per Month!” • A new flat fee proposal for EV charging in the US could help convince more drivers to ditch their gasmobiles and go electric sooner rather than later. If all goes according to plan, the result would be less dependence on fossil fuels, and less of the really destructive baggage that goes with it. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Nissan Will Spend $500 Million On Mississippi Factory For EV Production” • Nissan said in a press release that it will spend $500 million to make a factory in Mississippi ready to produce EVs. The company plans to make 40% of its US sales battery EVs by 2030. The Canton, Mississippi, factory has been in operation for almost two decades. [CleanTechnica]

Nissan EVs (Nissan image)

¶ “Meta Plans Renewable-Powered Data Center In Idaho” • Meta, the parent company of Facebook, will invest $800 million in a data center being developed in Kuna, Idaho, southwest of Boise. The data center is planned to receive 100% of its electricity from renewable energy through an arrangement with the local utility, Idaho Power. [Argus Media]

¶ “Several Renewable Energy Projects Are Proposed In The Magic Valley” • A wind farm proposed for the Magic Valley would be Idaho’s largest, but it’s not the only renewable energy project developers want to build in the region. In the past year and a half, they submitted several proposals for solar and wind energy in south central Idaho. [Boise State Public Radio]

Have a prosperously fulfilling day.

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