March 8 Energy News

March 8, 2022

World:

¶ “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, Government.ru, 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]

US:

¶ “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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