March 17 Energy News

March 17, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “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]

World:

¶ “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)

US:

¶ “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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