Archive for April, 2022

April 30 Energy News

April 30, 2022

Opinions of Various Authors: 

¶ “Electric Vehicle Misinformation: How Do You Deal With It?” • When I bought my first electric car in 2011, I didn’t plan on promoting them as a disruption to the auto industry. I also didn’t see a lot of attacks on EVs, because people I knew just looked at them as a joke and nobody really felt threatened by them. But I had to learn to deal with attacks. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model Y (Tyler Casey, Unsplash)

¶ “225 Reasons Why People Buy Electric Cars” • The reddit EV forum has a post, “Why Have You Gone Electric?” When I saw that it had 225 responses, I looked to see what all those people said. These folks were already driving electric and talking about the factors that motivated them move to EVs. Some of what they said is worth thinking about. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Ukraine War: Clean Energy Tipping Point?” • The US and its allies have also tried to sanction Russia as severely as possible for their aggression in Ukraine. To do that, it is necessary to greatly reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Solar and wind electricity generation are already less expensive than electricity from coal or fossil gas. [CleanTechnica]

Howitzer similar to 72 going to Ukraine (US Army photo)

¶ “Do-It-Yourself Electric Vehicles” • “I love Teslas,” says Graeme, owner of Oz-DIY Electric Vehicles, “they make great spare parts!” Graeme knows a lot about cars, both fossil fueled cars and EVs. Looking around his workshop, I see a number of cars in various stages of retrofit. He also makes and sells kits for those who want to do their own conversions. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Clorox Company Signs A 47-MW Virtual Power Purchase Agreement” • The Clorox Company said it signed a 12-year, 47-MW virtual power purchase agreement with Enel Green Power North America for renewable electricity. The deal should provide about half of the renewable electricity Clorox needs in the US and Canada. [Environment + Energy Leader]

Clorox products (Kelly Sikkema, Unsplash)

¶ “Azure Power Global Signs An Expression Of Interest With Government Of Karnataka To Develop 1700 MW Renewable Energy Projects” • Azure Power, an Indian power producer, signed an Expression of Interest with Government of Karnataka to develop solar, wind, and hybrid renewable energy projects aggregating to 1,700 MW capacity. [MarketScreener]

¶ “Solar Delivered 15% Of 201 GW Peak Demand On April 26” • Renewable energy has come to the rescue during the ongoing power crisis triggered by surging demand amid the heat wave condition in India, especially when the peak electricity supply hit the record level of 201.06 GW earlier this week, a senior official said. [Saur Energy International]

Solar parking canopy in India (Rsrikanth05, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “TC Energy Wants To Power The Oilsands With Small Nuclear Reactors” • The head of Canadian pipeline giant TC Energy Corp said he sees an opportunity to get involved in providing small-scale nuclear power for Alberta’s oilsands. TC Energy already has a 48.4% ownership stake in the nuclear generating company Bruce Power. [Canada’s National Observer]

US:

¶ “A Watershed Moment: Key Findings About Potential Drinking Water Contamination” • Every day, people across the US turn on their faucets for a glass of drinking water, but few of them ever think about where their water comes from. Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory found a wide range of potential contamination. [CleanTechnica]

Areas of contamination (Sean Turner, PNNL)
Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Approximately 5,000 More EV Chargers Coming To Southern California” • There was a time when there were no drive-in gas stations, but despite that, the number of gas-powered vehicles grew. Today, critics of EVs say there aren’t enough public EV chargers, which is true, but that situation is changing. California is acting to get them installed. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Time To Shine: Solar Power Poised To Surpass Wind As Michigan’s #1 Renewable Energy Source” • DTE, southeast Michigan’s largest energy provider, says it’s working to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2040, and net-zero carbon by 2050. Wind will continue to be important, but solar is likely going to be DTE’s driving force moving forward. [WXYZ]

Wind turbines in Michigan (NOAA via Flickr)

¶ “Video: Yes, Renewable Energy Plants Are Cheaper To Operate Than Non-Renewables” • In March, the US generated 18% of its electricity from renewable sources like wind and solar, according to a study from Ember, a global energy think tank. Some people wanted to know if renewable energy saves money as well as the environment. It does. [WCNC]

¶ “RFPs Solicited By Dominion For Renewable Energy Projects In Virginia” • Dominion Energy Virginia issued a request for proposals for up to 1,200 MW of new solar and onshore wind projects, as well as about 125 MW of energy storage. Another RFP, looking proposals for power purchase agreements, will be issued in September. [North American Windpower]

Solar panels in Virginia (USDA via Flickr)

¶ “South Carolina Companies Team Up For Renewable Energy Project At McCall Farms” • A new facility at the McCall Farms plant in South Carolina turns waste into usable natural gas. It filters natural gas gathered from nearby wastewater lagoons, which hold the parts of fruits and vegetables that don’t make their way into food. [WBTW]

¶ “California Governor Reconsidering The Future Of PG&E’s Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant” • Concerns about the power grid in California, especially with the shutdowns Californians have seen in the past two summers, have prompted Governor, Gavin Newsom to think again about shutting down the Diablo Canyon Power Plant. [KSBY]

Have a particularly enjoyable day.

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April 29 Energy News

April 29, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Should People Get Rid Of Their Garden Lawns?” • Many of us create or maintain lawns in our gardens without giving it a second thought. But could these innocent patches of greenery be a colossal waste of space? They are relatively easy and cheap to maintain, but there are many more environmentally friendly ways to use the space they take up. [BBC]

Lawn (Paul Moody, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Europe Has Bought $46 Billion Worth Of Russian Energy Since The Ukraine War Began” • Russian revenues from fossil fuel exports to the EU soared during the first two months of the Ukraine invasion, up by more than double from what it was last year, despite some buyers shunning Russian energy and finding alternative suppliers, a report shows. [CNN]

¶ “Soaring Costs And Shortages Push German Industry To The Brink” • Many of Germany’s manufacturing businesses, which provide almost a fifth of its GDP, are finding it difficult to buy raw materials and energy, according to the World Bank. The problem is acute for small and medium-sized businesses, which provide over half of the country’s output. [CNN]

Heavy industry (Ant Rozetsky, Unsplash)

¶ “Trillions In Unpaid Health And Environmental Costs” • The five biggest oil majors in Europe pocketed €47 billion – mostly in profit for shareholders and management – in 2021, taking their total profits to €850 billion since 1993, a study shows. The study also shows that their pollution, public health effects, and carbon emissions total €13 trillion. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Meet The 200 MPH Gen 3 Formula E Race Car” • Described as “a seriously quick and agile racing car” by the only driver to drive it thus far (three-time Le Mans winner Benoit Treluyer), the eagerly anticipated Gen 3 version of the Formula E race car made its debut in Monaco. The power, applied to both front and rear, comes to 800 hp. [CleanTechnica]

Gen 3 EV (Jaguar image)

¶ “Steel Company Shifts To Renewable Energy” • A steel manufacturer and property developer based in the Philippine province of Cebu is set to be a carbon-neutral firm by 2025, after shifting to renewable energy by tapping First Gen Corp as its power supplier. The power supply is coming from the EDC geothermal plant in Leyte. [The Manila Times]

¶ “Candela Opens Electric Boat Experience Center On The French Riviera” • Candela has announced it will open an electric boat experience center this September in Cannes on France’s Côte d’Azur, as a joint effort with the leading French recreational boat dealer, Sud Plaisance. Potential customers can get test drives during the Cannes Yachting Festival. [CleanTechnica]

Candela C-8 (Image courtesy of Candela, cropped)

¶ “Xlinks wants CFD support for UK-Morocco link” • Xlinks is in talks with the UK government about possible Contract for Difference support for a project that would link power generated at a solar and wind facility with storage in Morocco to the UK. The project aims to cover connect 3,800 km (2,361 mi) of HVDC subsea cables, the company said. [reNews]

¶ “Origin Bags 900-MW Oz Solar Project” • Australian energy retailer Origin has acquired a solar project of up to 900 MW in New South Wales as part of plans to boost renewables in its portfolio. The Yarrabee Solar Farm, in the Riverina district, consists of a 450-MW initial project. There is a potential to double its capacity. [reNews]

Solar array (Red Zeppelin, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “EV Conversions Are Awesome, But You’ll Have To Wait” • Some people with old cars they love would rather perform EV conversions, switch them over to electric power, and get the best of both worlds, than buy a new EV. The LA Times recently went out and talked to the owners of EV conversions and the shops that do the work. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Sixteen States, DC, And Environmental Groups Sue USPS Over Gas-Powered Trucks” • Attorneys general from sixteen states and the District of Columbia, along with a coalition of environmental groups, are suing the US Postal Service in an effort to stop the purchase of thousands of gasoline-powered trucks instead of electric trucks. [CNN]

USPS delivery trucks (Sam LaRussa, Unsplash)

¶ “In Atlantic City, Optimistic Offshore Wind Advocates Acknowledge Uncertainty” • To hear advocates tell it, prospects have never looked so good for the US offshore wind industry, after its record-setting $4.37 billion sale of wind power leases in the New York Bight. Some uncertainty does arise with concerns over inflation and supply issues. [WorkBoat]

¶ “FPL Package Deal – EV Charger, Installation, And Unlimited Off Peak Charging For $38 A Month” • Florida Power & Light has a deal for EV drivers that sounds rather tempting. For just $38 a month, it will install an EV charger at your home and provide unlimited off-peak electricity to charge your car for one low fee. A ten year contract is required. [CleanTechnica]

Dream of the future (FPL image)

¶ “Biden-Harris Administration Advances Three Transmission Projects To Connect More Clean Energy To The Grid” • The Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management announced significant milestones on three transmission projects that will potentially carry 10,000 MW of renewable energy across the West. [US Department of the Interior]

¶ “US Nuclear Power Agency Seeks Staff Documentation Of NuScale’s Quake Protection” • An official with the US NRC has ordered staff to supply documents that could lead to a review of a 2020 approval of a the NuScale nuclear reactor after an engineer raised concerns about its ability to withstand earthquakes, documents showed. [Financial Post]

Have a gloriously serene day.

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April 28 Energy News

April 28, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “How Can Urban Landscapes Modulate Their Carbon Footprint?” • What comes to mind when you think of a city? Is it concrete and urban sprawl? Or can you envision an exciting life filled with economic and cultural opportunities? Cities need to transcend their reliance on stifling, toxic, deadly fossil fuels and suppression of the natural world. [CleanTechnica]

Urban landscape (Photo retrieved from NOAA, public domain)

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Most Devastating Hurricanes Could Double By 2050 In Nearly All Regions Of World, Scientists Say” • Intense hurricanes and typhoons of category 3 or stronger, the most devastating storms on the planet, could more than double by 2050 in nearly all regions of the world because of climate change, according to a report in Science Advances. [CNN]

¶ “Some Experts Fear These Forests Could Shift From Absorbing Carbon Dioxide To Emitting It” • Wildfires burning in the vast and pristine forests of Canada, Europe, and the far Northern US could release an enormous amount of planet-warming emissions between now and 2050, putting the world’s climate goals in peril, scientists reported. [CNN]

Alaskan boreal forest (LB Brubaker, NOAA, public domain)

¶ “Korean Researchers Develop Battery Tech With Blistering Charge Speeds” • The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology say they did some battery development that is pretty astonishing. They claim to be able to make a hybrid lithium-ion battery that could theoretically reduce the charging time for an electric car to one minute. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Photovoltaics vs Nuclear Power On Mars” • Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have compared how PV or nuclear energy could power a crewed outpost for an extended period on Mars and have determined that solar offers the best performance. The team considered four scenarios, one with a nuclear reactor and three with PVs. [PV Magazine]

Mars colony (Davian Ho, University of California, Berkeley)

World:

¶ “India Has Seen Months Of Extreme Heat And This Week It Will Only Get Hotter” • Life-threatening heat waves arrived in India a month earlier than normal, shattering temperature records, with highs reaching over 100°F (38°C) – and it will only get hotter. Over one billion people will be subjected to excessive heat, one expert said. [CNN]

¶ “Ukraine War: Russia Gas Supply Cuts ‘Blackmail’, Says EU” • Russia’s decision to cut off gas exports to Poland and Bulgaria is an “instrument of blackmail”, the EU says. Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, said the move showed Russia’s “unreliability” as a supplier. Russia supplies over a third of the EU’s natural gas. [BBC]

Ursula von der Leyen (Kuhlmann, MSC, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “22% Of New Cars In Europe Have A Plug!” • Despite declining growth rates, the European passenger plugin vehicle market is still growing significantly, up 10% in March. This is especially significant, as the overall market continues to fall off a cliff, down 19% year over year last month, marking its ninth consecutive month on the red. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Caribbean Must Speed Renewable Energy Transition To Manage Oil Shocks” • Caribbean countries must transition to renewable energy quickly because of high costs of fossil fuels, the president of the Caribbean Development Bank said. Imported petroleum provides about 80% of the energy for the nineteen countries that borrow funds from the bank. [Reuters]

Antigua (Mark Jordan, Unsplash)

¶ “Russian Hackers Are Targeting Europe’s Renewable Energy Infrastructure” • A European wind power industry association says three cyberattacks on German wind farms may be linked to hackers sympathetic with Russia who aim to cause havoc on European renewable energy systems as Europe looks to cut its reliance on Russian fossil fuels. [Oil Price]

¶ “Safety warning at Europe’s largest nuclear plant held by Russian troops” • Safety at the largest nuclear power plant in Europe has been a “red light blinking” since Russia’s invasion, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency warned. He said the IAEA is struggling to get access to Zaporizhzhia plant, which is occupied by Russian troops. [Yahoo News]

Zaporizhzhia briefing, March 4 (IAEA Imagebank, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

US:

¶ “Southern Californians told to reduce outdoor watering in ‘unprecedented’ order amid historic drought” • Facing extreme drought conditions caused by a “changing climate,” Southern California officials are demanding businesses and residents in parts of Los Angeles, Ventura, and San Bernardino counties cut outdoor watering to one day a week. [CNN]

¶ “California Sets Standards For 100% EV Sales” • In just over a decade, all cars sold in California will be electric, based on new proposed standards from the state’s Air Resources Board. The proposed standards require about 35% of vehicles sold by car manufacturers to be EVs starting in model year 2026 and 100% in model year 2035. [CleanTechnica]

EV charging in California (Kindel Media, Pexels)

¶ “US DOE Launches $84 Million Enhanced Geothermal Energy Systems Program” • The DOE issued a request for information to support $84 million in geothermal systems pilot demonstration projects. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law authorizes the DOE to support four competitively selected pilot projects for different types of geology. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Purdue And Duke Energy To Explore Potential For SMR Nuclear Power Source For Campus” • Purdue University and Duke Energy plan to explore the feasibility of using advanced nuclear energy to meet the campus community’s long-term energy needs. They intend to study power produced through Small Modular Reactors. [Green Car Congress]

Have a wonderfully agreeable day.

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April 27 Energy News

April 27, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Green Jet Fuel Is Here – So Why Are Airlines Not Using It?” • The ingredients of Sustainable Aviation Fuel include used cooking oils or agricultural waste. The first commercial flights using SAF took off in 2011. And yet in 2019, SAF accounted for just 0.1% of all jet fuel used worldwide. There are reasons why the industry is not using much of it. [CNN]

Electric aircraft, another approach (Eviation image)

¶ “Lessons From Sweden’s Anti-Putin, Pro-Climate Energy Model” • Buyers of Russian gas created the conditions for the war and could not take economic steps to deter it. But there is a model not dependent on gas or so much oil. What it delivers is prosperity, an end to fossil fuel politics, and climate justice to future generations. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “A $6 Billion Bailout For US Nuclear Power Plants?” • The massive bipartisan infrastructure bill that was signed into law in mid-November included $6 billion for the DOE to establish a program to keep unprofitable nuclear reactors going. It might do that (which might not be safe), but it might even fail to save any reactors or jobs. [Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists]

Palisades nuclear plant (NRC image, public domain)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Capturing Carbon With Inspiration From Battery Chemistry” • Using seed money provided through the Laboratory Directed Research and Development Program, an initiative of the US DOE, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is working with an array of emerging technologies to draw down carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Ukraine War: Poland Says It Will Manage Without Russian Gas” • Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered “unfriendly” countries to pay for gas in rubles. Poland’s deputy foreign minister says Warsaw can cope without Gazprom’s gas. It has “options to get the gas from other partners,” according to a deputy foreign minister. [BBC]

Polish wind turbines (Przykuta, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Ukraine War To Cause Biggest Price Shock In 50 Years – World Bank” • The war in Ukraine is set to cause the “largest commodity shock” since the 1970s, the World Bank warned. In a new forecast, it said disruption caused by the conflict would contribute to huge price rises for goods ranging from natural gas to wheat and cotton. [BBC]

¶ “‘Vampire devices’ cost UK households £147 a year” • UK households could save an average of £147 per year by switching off so-called vampire devices, electronics that drain a surprising amount of power even when they are on standby. British Gas research shows that UK households spend £3.16 billion annually just to leave vampire devices on standby. [BBC]

Infrared led inside remote (Peter Hebels, public domain)

¶ “Turkey’s Karsan Is Building The Electric Buses Customers Want, Today” • Turkey has established itself as a key builder of commercial vehicles, with the majority of those flowing through export channels to Europe, thanks to the favorable customs agreements established in 1995. Karsan, a Turkish company, is now making electric buses. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Japan’s Main Railway Is Now Powered Solely By Renewable Energy” • Tokyu Railways trains switched to power generated solely by renewable sources. This means that carbon dioxide emissions from Tokyu’s sprawling network of seven train lines and a tram service are now zero, and green energy is being used at all its stations. [The Bharat Express News]

Tokyu Corporation railroad (MaedaAkihiko, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Carbon Removal Pioneer Climeworks Raises $650 Million To Grow Faster” • With new customers, Climeworks, a leading player in the field of carbon removal technology, announced an equity round of $650 million. This marks a milestone in the carbon removal industry and the future trajectory of Climeworks as a company. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Russian Capture Of Chernobyl Put World On “Brink Of Disaster”: Ukraine’s Zelensky” • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Russia’s capture of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant soon after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine had pushed the world towards the “brink of disaster” because Russia treated the area like a normal battle ground. [NDTV.com]

Red Forest, beyond buildings (Jorge Franganillo, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

US:

¶ “Biden Flips The Switch On Trump’s Incandescent Light Bulb Plan” • In yet another rollback of a Trump-era policy, President Joe Biden’s Department of Energy finalized a new efficiency rule to phase out older, high-energy incandescent light bulbs. The move is the culmination of a decades-long, bipartisan effort to phase out inefficient light bulbs. [CNN]

¶ “New Law Could Boost Labor Union Presence In Maine Renewable Energy Projects” • As Maine expands its investments in renewable energy, organized labor is winning policy victories aimed to boost union workers’ presence in the green economy. A new law will require developers to pay prevailing wages on many renewable energy projects. [Maine Public]

Mars Hill wind farm (Michael Surran, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Duke Energy Renewable Energy Growth Soars By 20% In 2021” • Duke Energy had its best year ever for adding renewable energy as the company posted a 20% jump in wind and solar power in 2021. This information was detailed in Duke Energy’s 16th annual disclosure on environment, social, and governance topics. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Nuclear Energy Generation Surpassed By Renewable Energy In 2021” • Electric power sector generation from renewable sources totaled 795 million MWh in the US during 2021. This surpassed nuclear generation, which totaled 778 million MWh, but it did not surpass coal, according the US Energy Information Administration. [Solar Industry]

Have a totally peachy day.

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April 26 Energy News

April 26, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Big Oil – PBS Frontline Series On An Industry That Lies To Get What It Wants” • A PBS Frontline three-part series goes into how Big Oil – led by ExxonMobil – used its money and influence to thwart attempts by federal and state officials to reduce carbon emissions. The first video is already available on PBS stations. It will be aired in the UK this summer. [CleanTechnica]

Pollution (Matteo Catanese, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Replacing NSW Coal Plant With Renewables Would Create Thousands More Jobs Than Gas” • Replacing the Eraring coal-fired power station in New South Wales with renewable energy would create tens of thousands more construction jobs than replacing it with gas, an analysis found. Eraring is Australia’s largest coal-fired power station. [The Guardian]

¶ “Slovenia’s Populist PM Loses Election To Environmentalist Party” • Slovenia’s populist Prime Minister, Janez Janša, lost a national election on Sunday as the environmentalist Freedom Movement party won more votes than his SDS party, according to preliminary figures from election authorities. Janša conceded that he had been defeated in the vote. [CNN]

Ljubljana, Slovenia (Zach Pickering, Unsplash)

¶ “Fifteen European Countries Have 15% Or More Plugin Vehicle Sales For New Cars” • There are now fifteen European countries that have 15% or more of new-car buyers buying plugin electric cars (full electric cars or plugin hybrids). There are twelve European countries that have 10% or more of new-car buyers buying full battery EVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “XPRIZE And Musk Foundation Award $15 Million To Carbon Removal Prize Winners” • On Earth Day, XPRIZE and the Musk Foundation announced that a total of fifteen teams from nine countries were awarded $1 million milestone awards each as part of the next stage of the $100 million XPRIZE carbon removal competition. [CleanTechnica]

Elon Musk (XPRIZE image)

¶ “The Demand For Green Skills Is Growing Globally” • Climate change, global warming, greenhouse gas emissions, economic instability, health, safety, waste, and energy in buildings are all changing environmental factors that point to the need for green jobs and skills. Green investments are most effective in where workers have green skills. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Aker Horizons And Statkraft Forge Green Hydrogen Tie-Up” • Aker Horizons and Statkraft are to partner for green hydrogen and ammonia production in India and Brazil. Statkraft is a renewable energy company with a presence in those countries, and Aker Clean Hydrogen is a global hydrogen, ammonia, and methanol producer. [reNews]

Renewable energy (Statkraft image)

¶ “LG Chem Becomes The First Korean Company To Sign A Long-Term Purchase Contract For RECs” • LG Chem announced that it signed a 20 year purchase contract of renewable energy certificates with Korea South-East Power Co. Doing this, LG Chem became the first Korean company to sign a long-term supply contract of RECs. [PV Magazine]

¶ “Europe Needs To Dramatically Increase Recycling Of Raw Metals Used In Electric Cars And Renewable Energy Sources If It Wants To Become ‘Carbon Neutral’ By 2050” • A study by the Belgian university KU Leuven found that the EU’s ‘Green Deal’ goal will need 35 times as much lithium and up to 26 times as much rare earth metals as are used today. [Daily Mail]

Metal objects (Pavel Neznanov, Unsplash)

¶ “Shell Closes In On $1.8 Billion Deal For Indian Renewable Power Developer Amid Low-Carbon Push” • Shell is closing in on a deal for Sprng [sic] Energy as it looks to speed up its shift to low-carbon energy and expand its presence in India. Shell is preparing to buy the Indian renewable power developer from private equity group Actis. [City AM]

¶ “Eighteen Chinese Drones Flew Over UK Nuclear Installations In Past Two Years – UK Report” • Defense officials believe that Beijing spies have been responsible for 18 drone sightings at military sites and power facilities around the UK in just two years, The Mirror reported. The drone sightings were reported between 2019 and 2021. [EurAsian Times]

Drone in flight (Aaron Burden, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Man Who Died After Self-Immolating In Front Of Supreme Court Was A Climate Activist” • Wynn Alan Bruce, 50, from Boulder, Colorado, died on Saturday after setting himself on fire in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC. He was a climate activist, according to social media posts from various people who claim to know him. [CNN]

¶ “Brightdrop Zevo 600 Sets Guinness World Record For Electric Delivery Vans” • The world world record for the distance an electric delivery van went on a single charge went to Brightdrop’s Zoev 600. The record, 258.85 miles, was set by Stephen Marlin, a client solutions account executive for BrightDrop, which is a division of GM. [CleanTechnica]

FedEx vans (Photo courtesy of FedEx and GM)

¶ “Meet The Power Plant Of The Future: Solar + Battery Hybrids Poised For Explosive Growth” • America’s electric power system is undergoing radical change. The first decade of the 2000s saw huge growth in natural gas generation, but the 2010s were the decade of wind and solar. Now, signs suggest the 2020s may see a boom in “hybrid” power plants. [Arizona Daily Star]

¶ “Texas Among State Leaders For Solar And Wind Renewable Energy Development” • A report from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory shows Texas is among the leading states in developing renewable energy. The study found many projects are forming a queue of initiatives, seeking to connect to power grids. [San Marcos Corridor News]

Have a quitely perfect day.

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April 25 Energy News

April 25, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “John Kerry Is Trying To Convince The World To Act On Climate Change. Russia’s War Made It That Much Harder” • John Kerry has a mission. It is To convince the rest of the world to embrace renewable energy and reduce their planet-warming emissions as much as possible. The US Climate Envoy’s job isn’t getting any easier in its second year. [CNN]

¶ “How Can We Help Kids Cope With ‘Eco-Anxiety’?” • Close to 60% of the young people who responded to the survey said that they felt “very” or “extremely” worried about climate change while 75% said that “the future is frightening”, 56% believe that “humanity is doomed,” and 58% felt that governments were betraying them or future generations. [BBC]

¶ “Video: Seven TV Meteorologists Discuss Their Coverage Of Climate Change And Weather” • Time was – and not so long ago, it seems – you might have had trouble rounding-up a half-dozen broadcast meteorologists to speak openly about how they address climate change as part of their weather forecasting. That time is changing. [Yale Climate Connections]

Microburst (NOAA, Unsplash)

¶ “Why Ukraine war should turbocharge US transition to renewable energy” • The war in Ukraine has laid bare the West’s overdependence on Russian oil and gas, which is squeezing many NATO nations. But trading Russian oil for that produced in Iran or Venezuela is self-defeating. It is simply storing up issues for later. [South China Morning Post]

Science and Technology:

¶ “NREL Tool Aims To Predict Interactions Between Soaring Eagles And Wind Turbines” • Understanding and minimizing the risks to raptors is critical to achieving the US renewable energy goals. Being able to visualize just how eagles might fly around wind power plants will help developers and operators consider how wind turbines can be safe for them. [CleanTechnica]

Release of a golden eagle (Dennis Schroeder, NREL)

World:

¶ “Entrepreneurs Have Solutions To SA’s Electricity Problems” • Loadshedding and ongoing electricity issues have forced South Africans to seek for renewable energy solutions. Owners of two small businesses in the province of Eastern Cape are helping people achieve energy independence and electricity security for households or businesses. [SowetanLIVE]

¶ “‘Positively Electrifying’ Renewable Power Buy Will Be Quebec’s Biggest Ever” • Quebec will issue two new requests for proposals for 2,300 MW of new wind and other renewable energy capacity, Premier François Legault announced. The RFPs are on top of three new wind farm contracts totaling 1,200 MW announced last week. [The Energy Mix]

Wind turbines in Quebec (Qcgag, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “New Generation Takes An Interest In Renewables” • As the urge to move towards a climate-friendly energy paradigm is increasingly felt every day, more solar power projects are being set up in Bangladesh. Spectra Solar Park Limited is one of the latest such projects. The 35-MW plant has 137,520 solar panels and 12 central inverters. [The Business Standard]

¶ “Can Flow Batteries Support India’s Renewable Energy Pivot?” • Prof Kothandaraman Ramanujam of IIT-Madras has developed a flow battery based on lead. Ramanujam tells Quantum that the battery has been found to work well and is market-ready. It has the advantage that its source materials are very inexpensive and available in India. [The Hindu Business Line]

Redox Flow Battery (Colintheone, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Power Minister Calls On Nations To Come Together For International Credit Guarantee Fund To Promote Renewable Energy” • In India, Union Power Minister Raj Kumar Singh called for the creation of an international credit guarantee fund and a renewable energy bank to facilitate development of renewable energy projects worldwide. [Moneycontrol]

¶ “A View From Outside The Onkalo Storage Facility On Olkiluoto Island” • In a few months, the Onkalo Storage Facility will turn the page to a new chapter of nuclear energy’s turbulent 80-year story, making history for the power plant just a short drive down the road. For the first time, high-level nuclear waste will be put into permanent storage. [EMEA Tribune]

Workers in the Onkal storage facility (kallerna, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

US:

¶ “EV Owners Join Supporters At Connecticut State Capital In Favor Of SB 214” • EV owners across all brands showed up in the Connecticut State Capital to show their support for Senate Bill 214. Paul Braren, writer at TinkerTry, shared his perspective in a recent post with several photos. Paul noted that Tesla, Rivian, and Lucid were all represented. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Dallas County Will Add 3 Tesla EVs To Its Fleet” • Dallas County will add three Tesla EVs to its fleet of vehicles, Fox4 has reported. Dallas county’s commissioners voted last week to approve the purchase of three Tesla Model 3s, which will be used at first as replacements for law enforcement agency cars that are in for service. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model Y police car in Fremont, California (City of Fremont)

¶ “NREL Explores The Dynamic Nature Of Wind Deployment And Land Use” • Through spatial analysis of US wind power facilities deployed over the past two decades, the NREL studied the intersection of wind energy siting and the environment. This advanced understanding how wind technology and plant design affect land use requirements. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Sees Drop In Gas-Fired Power Production” • Natural gas-fired power generation in the US peaked in 2020, and it will continue to fall as it competes with increasingly affordable wind and solar capacity, according to analysts who say renewables’ growth is being “supercharged” by rising fossil fuel costs and disruptions in energy security. [The Energy Mix]

Have a significantly edifying day.

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April 24 Energy News

April 24, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “A 100% Renewable Energy Future Is Possible, And We Need It” • We’re living in a time of high volatility in the price of gas that has hit close to all sectors of our economy. We’re also living in a time plagued with costly ”this is not normal” weather events. But how feasible is a transition to renewable energy? And can this transition benefit us all? [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it (© 2022 UCS)

¶ “Macron And Le Pen’s Nuclear Plans Torn Apart: ‘Waste Of Time And Money'” • French presidential hopefuls Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen have unveiled ambitious plans to boost France’s nuclear power capacity – already at 70% of its domestic electricity generation – but experts have questioned the feasibility of such plans. [Daily Express]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Magic Mushrooms: Scientist Says Fungi Could Revolutionize Climate Change Fight” • Visit any forest, and you’re bound to see mushrooms growing alongside trees and other plants. These fungi can play an important part in the health of that ecosystem and its ability to fight climate change. Some fungi benefit the trees they are with. [FOX 11 Los Angeles]

Alba white truffles, symbionts (Chuttersnap, Unsplash)

¶ “Tesla Considering 800 Volt Systems For Cybertruck And Semi” • Tesla is considering using 800 volt architecture for the Cybertruck and the Semi, Drew Baglino, senior vice president of powertrain and energy engineering said during the Q1 earning call lasts week. But the company probably will not adopt 800 volt architecture for existing models. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “HY4 Passenger Plane Sets Hydrogen Altitude Record” • H2FLY set a world altitude record with its four-seat HY4, as it is the first hydrogen-powered passenger aircraft to reach an altitude above 7,000 ft (2,135 m). This came less than a day after the HY4 made the first flight in a hydrogen-powered passenger aircraft between major European airports. [CleanTechnica]

H2FLY HY4 in Flight (H2FLY image, cropped)

¶ “China Electric Car Market Reaches 26% Plugin Market Share In March” • Plugin vehicles are all the rage in the Chinese auto market. Even with Covid-related lockdowns happening in some major cities, plugins scored 458,000 registrations, up 118% year over year, and the second best monthly result ever. And the Q1 growth was 130%, YOY. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “China’s Renewable Energy Capacity Expands In Q1” • In the January-March period, China’s windpower capacity jumped 17.4% YOY to 340 GW, the National Energy Administration said. Solar farms saw capacity reach 320 GW, with an increase of 22.9%. By the end of March, the country’s total installed power generation capacity hit about 2,400 GW. [China.org]

Solar power plant in China (そらみみ, CC-BY-SA 4.0, cropped)

¶ “Labor Outlines Plans To Shift Energy System To Renewables” • Labor is vowing to reduce Australian household power prices with a plan to shift towards renewable power. Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen told the 9News political editor Chris Uhlmann on Today that renewable energy is “the cheapest form of energy.” [9News]

¶ “Could Anglesey’s Tidal Energy Project Drive A New Energy Revolution?” • On the stunning and craggy coastline of Holy Island in north Wales, work has started on a construction project to generate energy from one of the world’s greatest untapped energy resources: tidal power. The tides at the site are among the highest in the world. [The Guardian]

Old breakwater at Holy Island (Reading Tom, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

US:

¶ “‘Environmental Extremist, Arsonist And Former Fugitive’ Pleads Guilty To Arson In Pacific Northwest” • Joseph Mahmoud Dibee, who is linked to environmental extremist acts in the mid 1990s and early 2000s, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit arson in California and Oregon, and arson in Oregon, according to the US Department of Justice. [CNN]

¶ “Rural Nevada Is At The Frontline Of Renewable Energy Development” • Greenlink Nevada is an NV Energy-led initiative that would put up power lines to transport renewable energy around Nevada. The proposal would have two main energy corridors supplying Las Vegas and Reno, along with three smaller transmission lines. [Sierra Nevada Ally]

Renewable energy in Nevada (Greenlink courtesy image)

¶ “Tesla Is Working With Manor ISD To Give High School Graduates Jobs At Giga Texas” • Tesla is working with Manor Independent School District to give high school graduates an opportunity to work full-time at Giga Texas while completing courses in Advanced Manufacturing Programming at Austin Community College. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Florida Seeks 100% Renewable Electricity By 2050” • Florida utilities would increase their electricity to 100% renewable by 2050 under a proposed rule. The rule is an result of a lengthy court battle in which dozens of young people claimed Florida is violating their constitutional rights by continuing to promote use of fossil fuels that drive climate change. [Bay News 9]

Have a sufficiently gorgeous day.

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April 23 Energy News

April 23, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Wind Energy Is Booming In Deep-Red Republican States” • Wind energy is thriving in America’s heartland, on the vast plains of Oklahoma, Texas, and Nebraska. Long an area devoted to oil and gas, Western Oklahoma is now home to one of the worlds’s largest wind farms. As the turbines turn, one mayor said, you can hear “the sound of money.” [CNN]

Oklahoma wind turbine (Raychel Sanner, Unsplash)

¶ “If We Want To Solve Climate Change, Businesses Need To Invest In Our Planet” • It will take a lot more than governments, environmentalists, and individuals can do to solve the climate problem. After decades of treating business leaders as the enemy, many environmentalists have come to realize that if we want to save the planet, we cannot do it without them. [CNN]

¶ “The Best Hybrid And Electric Vehicles For 2022, According To US News & World Report” • US News & World Report recently published its best hybrid and electric vehicles, after studying 82 models. Colin Aylesworth, Senior Editor on their Autos team, spoke with CleanTechnica about the models that were judged to be the best in their classes. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Can The Federal Government Require States To Allow Direct Sales Of Cars?” • With state legislatures in many states bought and paid for by dealers’ lobbyists, EV companies that do direct sales in a growing number of US states are finding that the remaining states are unlikely to budge. Congress can do something about that. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Instant Long Duration Energy Storage: Just Add Carbon Dioxide” • Carbon dioxide is getting a bad rap these days, but even a molecule that contributes to global warming can help in a climate crisis. A case in point is long duration energy storage, which is the key to shoehorning more wind and solar energy into the grid, more quickly. [CleanTechnica]

Long duration energy storage (Courtesy of Energy Dome)

World:

¶ “Europe’s Summer Of Floods And Fire Was Its Hottest On Record, Report Finds” • The fifth European State of the Climate report says Europe went from an unusually cold spring to its hottest summer on record last year, smashing records for heat and daily rain, and Mediterranean wildfires burned through land around the size of Cyprus. [CNN]

¶ “Small Electric Vehicles Powered By Microgrids” • In Rural Nigeria, renewable energy minigrids can power two- and three-wheeled EVs for the same cost as fossil-fueled alternatives. This offers rural Nigerians the benefits of clean, affordable transport; bolsters electricity sales for the rural utility; and reduces costs of electricity for all. [CleanTechnica]

Nigerian street (Muhammadtaha Ibrahim Ma’aji, Unsplash)

¶ “Greens Unveil $17 Billion Renewable Energy Plan To Support Solar Battery Uptake As Part Of 2022 Federal Election Pitch” • The Greens want to offer Australians grants of up to $10,000 and loans of $50,000 to install solar batteries. The position part of a $17 billion plan to help households and businesses transition from gas to clean energy. [ABC]

¶ “Smart Grids Could Help Nova Scotia Reach Renewable Energy Targets, Experts Say” • Nova Scotia is placing a greater emphasis on renewable energy sources in order to meet its target of 80% renewable energy by 2030. The province will need to better manage the balance between available supply and demand, and smart grids will help with that. [CBC]

Lunenburg, Nova Scotia (Livia Widjaja, Unsplash)

¶ “Luxembourg Worried About Problems At EDF Nuclear Plant Near Border” • Two Luxembourg government ministers have written to French nuclear authority ASN to request information about problems with corrosion at an EDF nuclear plant near the Luxembourg border, French daily Le Parisien reported, quoting energy news wire Montel. [Reuters]

US:

¶ “Rising Gas Prices Bring Biden To A Political Crossroads Over Climate Policy” • The White House has been pushing renewable energy, but with a war that caused fuel prices to soar, pinching Americans’ wallets, it has been forced to reexamine the balance of its economic approach with the President’s ambitious climate policy commitments. [CNN]

White House (Suzy Brooks, Unsplash)

¶ “California High School Students Race Solar Powered Cars” • Here’s another way to get kids involved in solar transportation so they can learn about STEM careers. It has a lot more in common with the first solar-powered car, which was built by GM for a 1955 car show, than with what college teams or companies like Aptera are into today. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “UMass Amherst Launches Ambitious Goal To Power Flagship Campus With Renewable Energy By 2032” • The University of Massachusetts Amherst has unveiled UMass Carbon Zero, a program to limit the dangers of climate change and power the university’s 1,500-acre flagship campus with 100% renewable energy by about 2032. [UMass Amherst]

Murray D Lincoln Campus Center (Ktr101, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Twitter Pledges To Remove Ads Skeptical Of Climate Change” • In an Earth Day blog post, Twitter’s sustainability team announced that it would begin blocking what the company called ”misleading information” about climate change. The company said the regulatory standard for information on the subject would be the IPCC and other scientific bodies. [Newsmax]

¶ “Catalyze Collaborates With Stream Realty Partners To Deploy 450 MW Of Renewable Energy On Stream Properties” • Power producer Catalyze said it has negotiated a Master Framework Agreement with Stream Realty Partners to develop on-site renewable energy systems on all of Stream’s industrial properties in the US. [pv magazine USA]

Have a perfectly lovely day.

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April 22 Energy News

April 22, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Is The US Stockpiling Dirty Oils? How Greater Transparency Can Reduce The Climate Impacts” • In response to Russia’s war in Ukraine, President Biden authorized the largest-ever Strategic Petroleum Reserve drawdown in March 2022. The economic benefits may seem clear, but the environmental impacts of SPR withdrawal are less certain. [CleanTechnica]

Strategic oil reserve (Energy.gov, public domain, cropped)

¶ “Elon Musk Wants To Build A Future Worth Getting Excited About” • Elon Musk wants to build a future worth getting excited about, and he elaborated more on this in a recent TED Talks interview at Tesla Giga Texas. One pre-recorded interview with TED Talks head Chris Anderson has recently been made available to watch online. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Why Nuclear Power Won’t Solve The Fuel Crisis” • There is a sudden spurt of nuclear optimism from Washington to London, but it is little more than a political feint. By the time proposed nuclear projects are developed, in a decade or more, we will be either well into a new chapter of solar and wind energy or in deep trouble. [Yahoo News UK]

Sailing into a dream (Johannes Plenio, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Taller Wind Turbines To Get TLC From 3D Printing” • Parts of the US have no wind turbines because of wind speed issues, so engineers and innovators are hammering away at that by finding ways to build taller wind turbine towers. That’s not as easy as it sounds, but GE Renewable Energy is banking on 3D printing to overcome the obstacles. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Australian Scientists To Fit Tesla With Printed Solar Panels In 15,000-Kilometer Test Ride” • Hoping to get people thinking about climate change, the Charge Around Australia project will power a Tesla with 18 printed plastic solar panels, each 18 meters (59 feet) long, rolling them out beside the vehicle to soak up sunlight when it needs a charge. [CNN]

Printed solar panels (Image from Charge Around Australia)

¶ “Ukraine War Forcing Europe To Tackle Its Dependency On Fossil Fuels” • As we mark Earth Day 2022, countries in Europe are grappling with how to transition from fossil fuels, especially oil and gas from Russia. Some environmentalists are cautiously optimistic that the war in Ukraine could push the west towards more renewables. [RTE]

¶ “Ørsted Toasts First Power At Greater Changhua 1&2a” • Ørsted has achieved successful delivery of first power from the 900-MW Greater Changhua 1&2a Offshore Wind Farm, in waters off Taiwan. The first power was delivered as scheduled with the installation and energization of the first batch of offshore wind turbines at the site. [reNews]

Jackup ship at work (Ørsted image)

¶ “World Earth Day – Need To Reduce People’s Reliance On Fossil Fuels: Dalai Lama” • His Holiness Dalai Lama said on the occasion of World Earth Day, “Let us remember that everyone wants to live a good life, Not just humans, but also animals, birds, and insects.” He added, “We should all be worried about our shared existence.” [News Track]

US:

¶ “Honolulu Is Leading The Way For Solar Power. Here’s How Other US Cities Rank” • Nine US cities have a combined solar capacity greater than the entire country had just ten years ago. Environment America and research firm Frontier Group found that 15 of the 56 cities surveyed reported a tenfold increase in their solar capacity between 2014 and 2022. [CNN]

Honolulu (Zetong Li, Unsplash)

¶ “Statevolt Plans 54-GWh Battery Factory In California” • Lars Carlsrom may be the Elon Musk of battery manufacturers. He is a serial entrepreneur founding battery companies. Now, Electrive reports that Carlstrom is behind a battery company that intends to build a 54-GWh battery factory in Southern California’s Imperial Valley. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla’s Revenue Grew To Over $18 Billion In Q1 2022” • Tesla reported its earnings for the first quarter of 2022, and beat the expectations of certain analysts. Tesla’s automotive revenue reached $16.86 billion, up 87% from Q1 last year. Tesla also said that its growth was impacted by growth in vehicle deliveries and other factors. [CleanTechnica]

Gigafactory (Tesla courtesy image)

¶ “Michigan Climate Plan Calls For 60% Renewable Power By 2030” • Michigan would get 60% of its electricity from renewable sources and build infrastructure to accommodate millions of electric vehicles within the next eight years if the state can reach goals in a climate plan put forth by the administration of Gov Gretchen Whitmer. [MLive.com]

¶ “New York City’s Central Park A ‘Lab’ To Study Climate Change” • Central Park is now a climate change laboratory that researchers hope will help many US parks more resilient. The Central Park Climate Lab team wants to use data from satellites and on the ground to study seasonal patterns and how plant and animal life respond to shifting weather. [WKZO]

Central Park (Jon Tyson, Unsplash)

¶ “Hormel On Track To Match 100% Of Domestic Energy Use With Renewable Sourcing” • Hormel Foods Corporation has announced that it anticipates matching 100% of its domestic energy use with renewable sourcing by the end of 2022. Hormel Foods is aiming to match 100% of its global energy use with renewable sourcing by 2030. [Austin Daily Herald]

¶ “Nuclear Power Industry Targets Alaska For Small Reactors” • Nuclear industry giant Westinghouse believes that their micro-reactors could dramatically change Alaska’s relationship with energy, and its representatives have been going to the state to talk to leaders. Not everyone is so certain of the economic and environmental benefits. [Governing]

Have a resoundingly triumphant day.

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April 21 Energy News

April 21, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “The Last Tepui: Biodiversity On The Earth’s Sky Islands” • For fans of toads, biodiversity, and rock climbing, “Explorer: The Last Tepui” from Disney+ is a must-see. It displays exploration of the unique “islands in the sky” that dot the Amazon, and it also provides an opportunity to review the importance of biodiversity on the clean tech field. [CleanTechnica]

Kukenan sky island (Veronidae, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Regenerative Agriculture Makes Farmers And Ranchers More Resilient To Climate Change” • Regenerative agriculture helps farmers and ranchers withstand the effects of climate change, according to a report released by the Natural Resources Defense Council. It comes at the heels of a UN report that paints the grim effects of global warming. [NRDC]

¶ “Parts Of The World Heading Toward An Insect Apocalypse, Study Suggests” • A study published in the journal Nature shows a clear and alarming link between the climate crisis and high-intensity agriculture and showed that insect abundance has already dropped by nearly 50%, in places where the impacts are particularly high. [CNN]

Bee on a flower (Diana Parkhouse, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Quebec Launches Wind And Renewable Energy Projects To Meet Growing Demand” • Hydro-Québec, a government-owned public utility, will be putting out two calls for tender for 2.3 GW of renewable energy projects in an effort to meet growing demands for electricity while maintaining the government’s environmental commitments. [Yahoo News Canada]

¶ “Many Protected Areas Do Not Benefit Wildlife, Study Says” • The largest ever study of protected areas – places “set aside” ostensibly for nature – has revealed that most do not actively benefit wildlife. In 1,500 protected areas of 68 countries, it found that success varied hugely around the world and depended a great deal on how an area was managed. [BBC]

Jacana walking on water lily (David Clode, Unsplash)

¶ “This Measure Of German Inflation Just Hit Its Highest Level Since 1949” • German annual producer price inflation topped 30% in March, the country’s Federal Statistics Office said. That’s its highest level since the agency began collecting data 73 years ago. The biggest culprit? Energy prices, which rose nearly 84% from the same month last year. [CNN]

¶ “Denmark Announces Aggressive Carbon Tax” • We have been waiting for the first draft of implementation since Denmark wrote GHG reductions into national law, in December of 2019. This week it was presented, and as usual some like it, and some do not. Danish national media outlet dr.dk reports a summary of some details: [CleanTechnica]

Copenhagen (Febiyan, Unsplash)

¶ “Amazon Extends Position As The World’s Largest Corporate Buyer Of Renewable Energy” • Amazon announced 37 new renewable energy projects around the world, marking some significant progress on its path to power 100% of its operations with renewable energy by 2025. That puts it five years ahead of its original target of 2030. [pv magazine India]

US:

¶ “Biden Administration Unveils New Rebate Programs To Replace Old Transformers And Upgrade Commercial Electric Motors” • The Biden administration unveiled two programs, established by the bipartisan infrastructure law, to provide $20 million worth of rebates to replace old transformers and upgrade electric motor systems. [CNN]

Transformer (ETA+, Unsplash)

¶ “Hollywood Barely Talks About The Climate Crisis. A Group Wants To Change That” • Leonardo DiCaprio has made the climate crisis and conservation his life’s work. Many others in Hollywood are environmentally conscious. But a study shows the industry isn’t doing nearly enough on screen to keep the climate crisis in everyday conversation. [CNN]

¶ “US Air Quality Report Finds A Sharp Uptick In Pollution, With The Hardest-Hit Cities In California” • In the US, the number of “very unhealthy” and “hazardous” air quality days was higher between 2018 and 2020 than it ever had before, according to a report released by the American Lung Association. This came after 23 years of declining levels of pollution. [CNN]

We could do better (Timothy Eberly, Unsplash)

¶ “Tesla Profits Soar As Customers Pay More” • Tesla has raised prices, but that hasn’t reduced demand for its cars. Despite the firm facing higher costs, profits at Elon Musk’s company soared to $3.3 billion in the first three months of the year, as customers proved willing to pay more. The firm’s deliveries were up 68%, despite supply chain shortages. [BBC]

¶ “Mercedes EQS SUV Will Be Manufactured In The US” • After a wait since it was announced, Mercedes has unveiled its EQS SUV. Despite its ungainly name, it is a sophisticated family hauler. Except for being taller than the sedan by 7.8 inches, and having a roof that goes back further, the SUV is mechanically identical to the EQS sedan. [CleanTechnica]

Mercedes EQS SUV (Image courtesy of Mercedes)

¶ “One Massachusetts Company Has A Big Sustainability Story To Tell On Earth Day” • Vanguard Renewables, a specialist in organics-to-energy, has a lot to celebrate this Earth Day. Having success with GHG reductions, it has partnered with Ben & Jerry’s, Cabot Creamery, and Polar Beverages, on biodigesters in Vermont and Massachusetts. [GlobeNewswire]

¶ “Governor Whitmer Wants Federal Aid To Keep Palisades Nuclear Plant Open” • Michigan’s Democratic governor wants a nuclear power plant on Lake Michigan to stay open and she’s asking the federal government to pay for it. But the owner of the Palisades Power Plant says it’s too late for that and that the plant will shut down in May as scheduled. [ABC57]

Have a gracefully spectacular day.

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April 20 Energy News

April 20, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “How Cars Can Help Us Undermine Putin’s Power” • But there is something that we can all do to weaken Putin’s very ability to wage war: Cut the quarter of a billion dollars that we send him daily for oil (at least twice the amount we send for gas even at current prices). And the weapon that most of us have to weaken Putin’s oil profits is the car. [CleanTechnica]

Volvo XC40 Recharge (George Sargiannidis, Unsplash)

¶ “You Might Be Paying For A Worthless Gas Plant” • Would you be willing to take out a 30-year mortgage on a house that will have to be demolished in twenty years? Utilities are building gas-fired power plants today for a future that may not have a use for them, potentially leaving ratepayers with bills for a gas plant long after it has closed. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Making The Invisible Visible: Methane Solutions Offer Down Payment On Our Climate Future” • The oil and gas sector is the second largest source of methane, accounting for an estimated 25% of global emissions. Operating leak-free is a priority and many tools are already at our disposal. And a growing array of satellites are spotting methane leaks. [CleanTechnica]

Methane Source, Carbon Mapper, 2021 (Screenshot, Youtube)

World:

¶ “How The African Rainforest Is Helping Fight Climate Change” • Companies and governments around the world are racing to reduce their emissions and develop innovative technology to capture carbon. But the African forest elephant is remarkably efficient at storing carbon with no technological aid at all by destroying vegetation dispersing nutrients. [BBC]

¶ “Footprint Project And New Use Energy Provide Ukraine With Solar Microgrids” • The Footprint Project and New Use Energy teamed up to quickly provide Ukraine with solar microgrids. Will Heegaard, CEO of Footprint Power, and Paul Shmotolokha, CEO of New Use Energy, have been helping Ukrainians since Russia launched its invasion in February.  [CleanTechnica]

Loading PVs (Image courtesy of the Footprint Project)

¶ “Greens: Nuclear Energy Threat To Security” • The council of the non-parliamentary Estonian Greens has sent a letter to the government of the country in which it describes nuclear energy as a serious security threat in light of the Ukraine conflict and asks the government to cease all relevant activities. “Nuclear energy is a serious security risk.” [ERR]

¶ “MOU Signed To Convert Coal Mine In Crowsnest Pass To Renewable Energy Complex” • Montem Resources announced plans to turn one of their historical coal mines in Alberta into a green energy facility. The complex will include a 320-MW pumped hydro facility, 100-MW green hydrogen electrolyser, and a 100-MW offsite wind farm. [rdnewsnow.com]

Tent Mountain (Image from Montem Resources)

¶ “Madhya Pradesh Renewable Energy Capacity Grew 32-Fold In 12 Year” • Madhya Pradesh, a state in India, has reached 5,152 MW of installed renewable energy capacity, compared to just 160 MW in the year 2010. This includes 2,444 MW of wind power, 2,490 MW solar power, 119 MW biomass power, and 99 MW small hydropower. [pv magazine India]

¶ “Equinor Publishes Energy Transition Plan” • Equinor will allocate more than half of its annual gross capital expenditure to renewables and low carbon solutions by 2030, as part of actions detailed in its first energy transition plan. The plan provides an overview of how the company is progressing towards its 2050 net zero ambition. [reNews]

Offshore wind service vessel (Equinor image)

¶ “Nuclear Reactor Linked With Trawsfynydd Site Could Be Approved By 2024” • Construction of a new nuclear power station in Wales appears to have moved a step closer with confirmation that a Rolls-Royce design for a small modular nuclear reactor is expected to receive UK regulatory approval by mid-2024. [Nation.Cymru]

US:

¶ “US Spring Snow Storm Leaves 300,000 In The Dark” • A spring storm caused power outages in states in the Northeast, with over a foot of snow falling in some places. Some 300,000 customers lost electricity, 200,000 of them in New York state. As far south as Virginia, residents who have been looking forward to spring were greeted by wintry blasts. [BBC]

Spring snow (Pedro Netto, Unsplash)

¶ “PG&E’s Tesla Megapack Is Now Operational” • Pacific Gas and Electric’s 182-MW Tesla Megapack Elkhorn battery is now in operation, the Associated Press has reported. Included in the system are a total of 256 Tesla Megapacks on 33 concrete slabs. These have the capacity to store and dispatch up to 730 megawatt-hours of energy to the grid. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Texas Solar Project Secures Financing” • Twain Financial Partners has closed on $42 million in financing to complete the Longbow solar project in Brazoria County, Texas. Twain’s $42 million financing is its largest solar loan to date, is part of its recent commitment to finance $1 billion of new renewable projects over the next three years. [reNews]

Solar project (APPA image, Unsplash)

¶ “Biden Administration Launches $6 Billion Nuclear Power Credit Program” • Twelve nuclear reactors in the US have closed since 2013 in the face of competition from renewable energy and plants that burn natural gas. The Biden administration opened up applications for a $6 billion program to help nuclear power plants struggling with rising costs. [Yahoo News]

¶ “Massachusetts Can Lead Equitable Transition To 100% Renewable Energy By 2035 ” • Massachusetts can show climate leadership and meet 100% of its electricity needs with renewable energy by 2035, according to an analysis released by GreenRoots and the Union of Concerned Scientists. The change would have huge economic benefits. [Union of Concerned Scientists]

Have an entirely upbeat day. 

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April 19 Energy News

April 19, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “EVs: The Rise Of The Electron Monsters. Do We Really Need 9000-Pound Electric Vehicles?” • Back in the ’70s, people made up the phrase “gas guzzler” to describe vehicles that consumed way too much gasoline. Now, we have some EVs that consume far more raw materials and electricity than is wise in a world that needs to transition quickly. [CleanTechnica]

Hummer EV SUV (Image from gmc.com)

¶ “Elon Musk Emphasizes An “Engineering-First” Approach At Tesla – Here’s Why” • Compared to legacy automakers, Tesla spends far more per vehicle on research and development costs, according to The Motley Fool. Tesla spent an average of $2,984 on R&D per car produced in 2020, and exactly $0 on advertising for each vehicle sold. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Volumetric Energy Density Of Lithium-Ion Batteries Increased By Over Eight Times Between 2008 And 2020” • The amount of energy contained in a given volume is the volumetric energy density. In 2008, lithium-ion batteries had a volumetric energy density of 55 watt-hours per liter; that increased to 450 watt-hours per liter by 2020. [CleanTechnica]

Lithium-ion batteries (Photo from NASA, public domain)

¶ “Wind Turbines Can Stabilize The Grid” • In a milestone for renewable energy integration, GE and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory operated a common class of wind turbines in grid-forming mode, which is when the generator can set grid voltage and frequency and, if necessary, operate without power from the electric grid. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Ukraine War: Can India Feed The World?” • Last week, Indian PM Narendra Modi told US President Joe Biden that India was ready to ship food to the rest of the world, as the war in Ukraine shocks supplies and raises prices. Mr Modi said India had enough for its 1.4 billion people, and it was “ready to supply food stocks to the world” if the WTO allowed. [BBC]

Indian agriculture (amol sonar, Unsplash)

¶ “Use England’s Plentiful Brownfield Sites For Windfarms, Urge Scientists” • Onshore windfarms need not blight England’s most beautiful parts, because there is plenty of room for them next to rail lines and on brownfield land, leading scientists have said. The government decided to keep the curbs on onshore wind farms in the recent energy strategy. [The Guardian]

¶ “Wuling Air EV Coming To China” • The Wuling Mini EV is getting a new brother, the Wuling Air ev. [sic] The Wuling Mini EV has been extremely popular in China, outselling every other EV in the home market, largely because the base model can be purchased for a little over $5,000. Wuling Air can be had in versions for two or four passengers. [CleanTechnica]

Wuling Air ev 4 passenger (Courtesy of SAIC-GM-Wuling)

¶ “Solar Power Market Size To Hit $293.18 Billion By 2028” • The global solar power market was $170.55 billion in 2020. According to report published by Fortune Business Insights, the global solar power market is projected to reach $293.18 billion by 2028, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate of 6.9% during the forecast period. [GlobeNewswire]

¶ “Jan De Nul To Install Greenlink Cables” • Jan De Nul signed a contract with Sumitomo Electric for installation of cables to link Irish and UK power grids enabling flows of low carbon electricity. The Greenlink subsea electricity interconnector is due to be commissioned in 2024 and has been awarded status as a Project of Common Interest by the EU. [reNews]

Cable-laying ship (Jan De Nul image)

¶ “Global 2021 Wind Additions Nudge 100 GW” • A surge in Chinese offshore installations has pushed global wind capacity additions to 92.5 GW in 2021, according to research from Rethink Energy.Overall, China accounted for a leading 51% share of global wind additions, followed by the US (15%), Brazil (4%), Sweden (2%), and Turkey (2%). [reNews]

US:

¶ “Natural Gas Spikes To Highest Level Since 2008 As Rare Nor’easter Looms” • Natural gas futures surged to levels unseen since 2008 as the Northeast braces for a rare April blast of heavy snow. Natural gas futures soared 9% to $7.96 per million BTU in recent trading, leaving natural gas prices up by a staggering 113% since the end of last year. [CNN]

Trees with snow (Kostiantyn Li, Unsplash)

¶ “National Grid Says By 2050 Heating Customers Could Go All Renewable” • National Grid, the dominant utility in New York’s Capital Region, says it will be able to heat and power upstate homes and businesses within 30 years using all-renewable fuel sources, a major step forward in complying with the state’s aggressive climate change law. [Times Union]

¶ “Shining Cities 2022” • Solar power continues to expand rapidly. The US has 121.4 GW of solar PV capacity, generating enough energy to power over 23 million homes. Millions of Americans have invested in solar energy and millions more are ready to join them. America’s major cities could reap great benefits from solar energy. [Environment Maine]

Rooftop solar array (University of Texas San Antonio)

¶ “CAISO Renewables Set All-Time Record 97.6% With More Records Possible In April: Operator” • CAISO, the California Independent System Operator, set an all-time peak record when renewables provided 97.6% of the grid’s electricity on April 3. There is a potential for more renewable records in April, according to the grid operator. [S&P Global]

¶ “Colorado Ignores Carbon-Free Nuclear Power As Utah Embraces It” • As Colorado seems to ignore nuclear energy’s potential, a set of Utah cities and towns is moving forward with building a 462-MW small modular reactor generating station in Idaho, at the US DOE’s Idaho National Laboratory near Idaho Falls. [Denver Gazette] (Some Utah cities have dropped out of the deal because of bad economics.)

Have a seriously amusing day.

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April 18 Energy News

April 18, 2022

Science and Technology:

¶ “This Bat Appreciation Day, NREL Shines Light (Literally) On Bat Interactions With Wind Energy” • Bat Appreciation Day was April 17. With the US DOE’s Wind Energy Technologies Office’s support, National Renewable Energy Laboratory researchers are working hard on solutions that protect bats and other creatures near wind installations. [CleanTechnica]

Bats in the evening (Paul Cryan, PhD, USGS, public domain)

¶ “How Climate Change Is Disrupting The Global Supply Chain” • The COVID pandemic has rightly received most of the blame for global supply chain upheavals in the last two years. But the less publicized threat to supply chains from climate change poses a far more serious threat and is already being felt, according to scholars and experts. [GreenBiz]

¶ “Climate Change Making Aspects Of Weather Forecasting Challenging” • Akshay Deoras is a researcher in the Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, UK. He is working on understanding how to predict Indian monsoon low-pressure systems. In an interview he explains various aspects of weather forecasting challenges. [The Indian Express]

Indian monsoon season (Sonika Agarwal, Unsplash)

¶ “1.5°C vs 2°C: What Difference Can A Lousy Half A Degree Of Global Warming Make?” • What started as quiet concern is growing much louder among climate scientists: without a very radical change of course within the next few years, we’re not going to stop the world from passing 1.5°C of warming. We should be looking at what that means. [ABC]

World:

¶ “The French Town Where The Lighting Is Alive” • French start-up Glowee is making bioluminescent lights. Unlike standard streetlamps, which emit a harsh glare and need to be hooked up to the electricity grid, these otherworldly lights are powered by living organisms. Their light has a very soft quality. They will be installed in public places as a test. [BBC]

Glowee grows marine bacteria for lights (Glowee image)

¶ “Pioneering Electric Buses In Pune” • Although the domestic electric bus market in India is nascent, projections indicate four out of ten buses sold in the country could be electric by 2030. As a leading early adopter of e-buses, the city of Pune, Maharashtra, represents a valuable case study on the country’s public transport electrification. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tidal Power Is Set For A Commercial Breakthrough In The UK” • Tidal energy has long been lurking in the UK’s renewable energy arsenal, outshone by its wind and solar counterparts due in part to early issues with technology readiness and high costs. But recent research shows it could provide 11% of the electricity needs of the UK. [The Maritime Executive]

Installing a tidal turbine (Glen Wallace, Flickr, CC BY-ND)

¶ “Greece Breaks One Renewable Energy Record After Another” • Greece is breaking one renewable energy record after another according to data from the Independent Power Transmission Operator. This is true both at investing and demand level with green technologies covering 67% and 68% of the country’s energy needs on April 1st and 2nd. [Greek City Times]

US:

¶ “Volkswagen Is Looking Into Developing An Electric Truck” • Volkswagen of America CEO Scott Keogh told Business Insider that Volkswagen might launch an electric pickup truck that would compete with Ford’s F-15 Lightning and Chevrolet’s Silverado EV here in the US. He said a battery-powered truck is a huge opportunity for Volkswagen. [CleanTechnica]

Ford’s F-15 Lightning (WMrapids, CC0 1.0)

¶ “Missouri Environmentalists Worry Bill Undermines Law Meant To Boost Renewable Energy” • Environmental advocates are raising concerns that a Missouri law enacted last year to speed up utilities’ transition to renewable energy may soon be changed to make it easier for companies to keep coal plants partially open. [The Joplin Globe]

¶ “US Firms Plan New Jersey Submarine Cable Site” • Rise Light & Power and Delaware River Partners are to develop a ‘shovel-ready’ site for a submarine cable manufacturing facility for the US offshore wind industry. The pair said the historic partnership would position New Jersey as a leading manufacturing hub in the growing offshore wind industry. [reNews]

Manufacturing facility (DRP image)

¶ “Climate Toll On US Military Bases: Damaged Roads, Sunken Runways” • US military bases in the Arctic and sub-Arctic are failing to prepare for long-term climate change as required, even as soaring temperatures and melting ice already are cracking base runways and roads and making flood risks worse, the Pentagon’s watchdog office said. [India Today]

¶ “The Pentagon Is Sending A New Nuclear Design To Idaho” • The Pentagon announced that a new nuclear design is going to be assembled in the Mountain West. It is to be a mobile nuclear microreactor that can travel in up to four shipping containers. The Pentagon is still deciding between designs from two separate East Coast teams. [Aspen Public Radio]

Have a profusely rewarding day.

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April 17 Energy News

April 17, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “‘Invisible Energy Highways’ Could Usher In A New Era Of Shared Power” • Undersea electricity cables could become more common as governments drive their energy strategies towards renewables. As countries develop wind and solar power, there will be a greater incentive to build undersea cables that can promote power-sharing across regions. [Oil Price]

Cable laying ship (Nsandel, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

Science and Technology:

¶ “EPA Releases Formaldehyde Study The Chemical Industry Tried To Suppress” • In a victory for scientific integrity, the EPA issued a long-delayed draft toxicological assessment on formaldehyde. Its conclusions affirm that breathing just small amounts of formaldehyde over time is associated with an increased cancer risk. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Ocean Comes To Colorado – Fast-Tracking Novel Marine Energy Technologies” • By 2050, our oceans could contain more plastic than fish. Equipment is being designed to help clean up the mess, but these sea sweepers need a power source. The ocean could be a power source, and the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory is working on that. [CleanTechnica]

NREL’s new wave tank (Photo by Joe DelNero, NREL)

World:

¶ “More Than Half Of American Commercial Vehicles Could Be Electrified Today” • Research by the North American Council for Freight Efficiency and RMI shows that vans and step vans in the US and Canada are 100% electrifiable today. The report says that electrifying vans and step vans would avoid about 43.5 million tons of CO₂e emissions annually. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “We’re Making Wine In Norway” • The fjords don’t freeze any more, and it rains when it used to snow. Norwegian winemaker Bjørn Bergum’s plants grow at 61° north of the equator, far outside the 30° to 50° degrees latitude traditionally considered optimum for wine production. But climate change is pushing vineyards farther from the equator. [BBC]

Bjørn Bergum in the vineyard (Slinde Vineyard image)

¶ “In A First, India Plans Standalone Renewable Battery Power Bank” • India is setting up its first standalone renewable battery bank, hoping for investments of ₹2,000 crore ($260 million) to make green energy available during peak demand, but high prices of lithium and disruptions due to Russian warmaking may weigh on response. [Times of India]

¶ “Tesla Hires A Geologist – Perhaps A First Step Toward Mining Its Own Lithium?” • A tweet shows that Tesla has already hired at least one geologist and implies that Tesla sees Canada as an ideal resource center for its factories in Fremont and Austin. This implies that Tesla isn’t shy about making sure it dots all of its “i’s” and crosses its “t’s” on these subjects. [CleanTechnica]

Geologists at work (Oregon DOT, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “The EU Is Considering Toughening Its Renewable Energy Targets” • In light of its hunt for replacements for Russian fossil fuels, the European Union may set its renewable energy capacity expansion ambitions even more compelling than they are now. The EU wants to “speed up the energy transition” and possibly reconsider its positions. [Cody News Company]

¶ “Le Pen Puts Fuel-Tax Cut, Wind Crackdown At Heart Of France Energy Plan” • French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen is campaigning on promises to cut taxes on gasoline, heating oil, natural gas, and electricity. She would crack down on wind turbines, build twenty new nuclear reactors, and exit from Europe’s electricity market. [Autoblog]

Marine Le Pen (Olaf Kosinsky, Wikipedia, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “‘We’ve Been Trying To Warn You’ – Fed-Up Scientists Get Arrested Demanding Climate Action” • Scientists in multiple countries protested to demand real government action on climate change, with some engaging in such civil disobedience as chaining themselves to a bank door or gluing their hands to a government building. [HuffPost]

US:

¶ “Texas Slaps Down Tesla Fast Charger Plan” • Texas recently put up $21 million to encourage folks to install DC fast chargers along its roadways. The grants were funded by the Texas Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Program, seemingly as part of its Dieselgate settlement. Tesla fast chargers, however, cannot be part of the program. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Super Charger (Z22, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Gravity Adds Tesla Model Y To Fleet Of NYC Yellow Taxi Cabs” • Gravity, which announced its all-electric vehicle fleet of New York City yellow cabs last year, is adding Tesla Model Y vehicles to its fleet, Inside EVs reports. The company’s existing fleet is comprised of Ford Mustang Mach-E crossovers, which have been deployed since December 2021. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “In Pennsylvania, Ukraine Invasion And Urgent Climate Report Drive New Interest In Renewables, Efficiency” • Analysts say that Pennsylvania’s renewables industry may sell more solar panels or wind turbines as prices of fossil fuel-powered energy spike in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and warnings of climate chaos intensify. [90.5 WESA]

Have an abundantly advantageous day.

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April 16 Energy News

April 16, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “E15 Is Not The Answer To High Gas Prices” • When drivers buy E15 fuel, they won’t save much, and they will sometimes get fooled into paying the same or even a little more. That doesn’t mean that it’s a breakeven proposition, however. A deep look at E15 shows there are enough good reasons to stay away from it that we can call it a non-fix. [CleanTechnica]

Gas pump (Cameron McPhee, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Growing Perennial Grasses Could Help Curb Climate Change” • Climate change is driving up temperatures and causing more frequent heatwaves in the American Midwest. But according to a study led by the University of Maryland, growing the perennial giant miscanthus could cut Midwest warming by one degree Celsius. [Earth.com]

¶ “Key UN Finding Widely Misinterpreted” • In the IPCC report, researchers wrote that greenhouse gases are projected to peak “at the latest before 2025.” This is seen to imply that carbon could increase for another three years and the world could still avoid dangerous warming, but scientists say that’s incorrect and we need to reduce emissions immediately. [BBC]

Melting glacier in Argentina (NOAA, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Save Energy And Annoy Putin, Germans Told” • German Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck has called on the public to cut energy use and stop using cars to help wean their country off Russian oil and gas. The EU is pressuring Germany to ban Russian oil, and Chancellor Olaf Scholz has indicated that Germany could do so by the end of this year. [BBC]

¶ “Were Durban Floods A Consequence Of Climate Change?” • A weather system that triggered floods in South Africa caused over 300 mm (11.8 in) of rainfall to be dumped in a 24-hour period on 11 April. That amount of rain is equal to about 75% of South Africa’s average annual precipitation. Such events are believed to be more likely because of climate change. [BBC]

Tropical storm Issa hits South Africa (NASA, public domain)

¶ “Solar, Wind Energy Demand Leads To Shortage, PPA Price Increases” • Renewable energy developers are having a difficult time keeping up with demand in North America, and that is increasing prices, according to a report from LevelTen Energy. Power purchase agreement prices increased nearly 10% in the first quarter of 2022. [Environment + Energy Leader]

¶ “Volkswagen MEB Upgrades Coming: 435 Mile Range, 200 KW Charging, Online Leasing” • Volkswagen says it wants to increase the range of its cars based on the MEB platform to 435 miles and boost charging capacity from 125 kW to 200 kW. It also said customers in Germany can now lease ID.4 and ID.5 vehicles built to their personal specifications online. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen drive system (Image courtesy of Volkswagen)

¶ “Mercedes-Benz To Supply 70% Of Its Energy Needs With Renewables And Halve Vehicle Emissions” • Mercedes-Benz plans to halve the CO₂ emissions per passenger car by the end of this decade. It will do this by electrifying its fleet, installing green charging infrastructure, improving battery technology, and other means. [Environment + Energy Leader]

US:

¶ “Biden Administration Announces It Will Resume Onshore Oil And Gas Lease Sales With Higher Royalty Rate” • The Interior Department announced it plans to resume onshore oil and gas lease sales on federal land. The royalty rate for companies to pay to the federal government will be higher. The Bureau of Land Management will issue sale notices on Monday. [CNN]

Pump jack (Pixabay, Pexels)

¶ “California Wants To Speed Up The EV Revolution” • California announced an initiative to move the EV revolution forward. Its Air Resources Board has a proposal to eliminate the sale of cars and light-duty trucks powered by gasoline and diesel oil by 2035. This is in line with policies similarly enacted by some of the most progressive nations. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Air Quality Concerns Arise As New Mexico Wildfires Spread” • Residents in New Mexico are being urged to be mindful of air quality safety because of the spread of wildfires throughout the state. There are five large wildfires burning in New Mexico. and they caused evacuations throughout the impacted areas. Most of the state was under a red flag warning. [CNN]

Red sunset (Chris Barbalis, Unsplash)

¶ “New York Green Lights Massive Renewable Energy Projects To Cut Fossil Fuel Reliance” • Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the State Public Service Commission approved contracts for the Clean Path New York project and the Champlain Hudson Power Express project. They are expected to reduce the city’s reliance on fossil fuels by over 50% in 2030. [The Hill]

¶ “New York Is To Have 10 GW Of Distributed Solar Energy By 2030” • New York Governor Kathy Hochul, in advance of Earth Week, announced that the State Public Service Commission has approved a framework for New York to achieve at least 10 GW of distributed solar by 2030. That would supply annual needs of nearly 700,000 average homes. [CleanTechnica]

Solar array in Brooklyn (US DOE, public domain, cropped)

¶ “Wind Power Surpasses Coal, Nuclear As Power Generation Source In US” • For the first time in recorded history, wind power was the second-largest source of electricity in the country for an entire day. The Energy Information Administration released data that shows wind energy surpassed both coal and nuclear power on March 29, 2022. [VICE]

¶ “Pentagon To Build Nuclear Microreactors To Power Far-Flung Bases” • Pentagon officials recently announced that the Defense Department will build a nuclear microreactor that can be flown to an austere site by a C-17 cargo plane and set up to power a military base. A number of nuclear scientists and watchdogs question the need for such a device. [Yahoo News]

Have a phenomenally delightful day.

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April 15 Energy News

April 15, 2022

Science and Technology:

¶ “Powerful ‘Rivers In The Sky’ Could Cause Biggest Ice Shelf In Antarctic Peninsula To Collapse” • When the temperatures in Antarctica soared to 38 degrees Celsius above normal, an ice shelf the size of Los Angeles collapsed. A study showed that the event resulted from an atmospheric river. The Larsen C ice shelf could collapse the same way. [CNN]

Antarctic ice (Jay Ruzesky, Unsplash)

¶ “Finding The Invisible Climate Killer, So-Called “Green” Ships” • LNG-powered ships look clean, but they have a dirty, invisible secret: methane. In fact, about 80% of Europe’s LNG used by ships today are worse for the climate than the fuels they replace, due to emissions of methane, which is roughly 80 times more warming than carbon dioxide. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Ukraine’s President Zelensky To BBC: Blood Money Being Paid For Russian Oil” • In an interview with the BBC, President Zelensky spoke to continued purchases of Russian oil. He singled out Germany and Hungary, accusing them of blocking efforts to embargo energy sales, from which Russia stands to make up to £250 billion ($326 billion) this year. [BBC]

Protest (Samuel Jerónimo, Unsplash)

¶ “Solar PV Energy Breaks Records And Together With Wind Energy Lowers European Electricity Markets Prices” • In the first week of April, the PV energy broke records in the Spanish, French, and Italian markets. This technology and the wind energy contributed to lower the prices of most European electricity markets. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Lilium Jet EVTOL Project Inches Towards EASA Certification” • German startup Lilium took a key step towards certifying its eVTOL aircraft when they submitted means of compliance proposals to the European Union Aviation Safety Agency. Lilium has already made a $1 billion deal to sell 220 of its electric VTOL aircraft to Brazilian airliner Azul. [CleanTechnica]

Lilium electric airplane (Lilium image)

¶ “Bermuda Electrifies 1/3 Of Its Public Bus Fleet” • Bermuda’s Department of Public Transportation launched the first of 30 electric buses into service, a third of its public bus fleet. The electric buses are replacing old diesel-powered buses, cutting capital, maintenance, and operations costs in half. This will save $10 million over their lifetime. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Blackrock, Mubadala To Invest $526 Million In Tata Power’s Renewable Energy Unit” • India’s Tata Power Company said that BlackRock Real Assets and Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company would invest ₹40 billion ($525.76 million) for a 10.53% stake in its renewable energy unit. The investment is expected to fund growth in renewable energy. [Nasdaq]

Tata Power office in Bengaluru (Ameyajkamat, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Luxembourg Calls On French Electricity Supplier To Release ‘All Details As Soon As Possible'” • Minister for the Environment Carole Dieschbourg and Minister for Energy Claude Turmes are demanding an emergency meeting and “full details” from EDF on cracks that have allegedly been detected in welds in a reactor at the Cattenom nuclear power plant. [RTL Today]

US:

¶ “Governor Youngkin Signs Energy Generation Property Tax Exemption Into Law, Strengthening Energy Freedom In Virginia” • Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin signed a bill into law which creates a property tax exemption for residential and mixed-use solar energy systems up to 25 kW. The law expands energy freedom for consumers. [CleanTechnica]

Rooftop solar systems (Dennis Schroeder, NREL)

¶ “Police Confused As They Pull Over Autonomous Chevy Bolt With No Driver” • Police were confused recently as they pulled over an autonomous EV in a viral TikTok video. The autonomous vehicle realized that it was being pulled over and stopped. You can hear the police officers saying, “Ain’t nobody in it,” and “This is crazy” in the video. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Oklahoma’s SB 512 Wants To Shut Tesla Down And Stop OTA Updates” • Oklahoma’s SB 512 would outlaw Tesla and other EV manufacturers from servicing customers in the state. It’s being considered by the state’s House of Representatives. If this bill becomes law, Tesla would have to close its existing locations in Oklahoma. [CleanTechnica]

Oklahoma State Capitol (Daniel Mayer, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “State Approves Massive Electricity Transmission Lines To Power Climate Goals” • The New York state Public Service Commission approved two transmission lines to bring electricity generated by hydroelectric, solar, and wind power to the New York City, where it can be difficult to tap such renewable sources of energy. [The City]

¶ “Vision Fellowships Expand To Host Renewable Energy Positions” • With a focus on environmentalism, agriculture, and sustainability, the Martha’s Vineyard Vision Fellowship has announced seven scholarships, and in a first for the organization two new fellowship positions aimed at encouraging renewable energy on the Island. [The Vineyard Gazette]

Houses in Martha’s Vineyard (Aubrey Odom-Mabey, Unsplash)

¶ “Hannaford’s Goal: Use Only Renewable Power By 2024” • At Hannaford, the newest environmental goal is to run its stores on 100% renewable electricity by 2024. Ahold Delhaize, Hannaford’s parent company, is striving to achieve net-zero carbon emissions across its operations by 2040, and for its entire supply chain by 2050. [Yahoo News]

¶ “Massachusetts Senate Debating Sweeping Climate Change Bill” • The steps Massachusetts needs to take to meet its goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 were debated by the state Senate as part of a sweeping climate bill. The bill sets out a range of strategies, which are distributed across a wide array of technologies. [AP News]

Have an incontrovertibly worthy day.

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April 14 Energy News

April 14, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Introducing Community Solar+, The Next Generation Of Community Solar” • In a new report, RMI introduces our vision for Community Solar+. The vision foresees community solar projects that are deliberately planned and strategically deployed to embrace added value streams and advance community-wide sustainability and equity goals. [CleanTechnica]

Parking lot solar (Sunpower Corporation image)

¶ “Tesla’s Six Factories Are A New Phase Of Its Future” • Tesla has opened its sixth factory, Giga Texas, which is also its new global headquarters. Tesla has grown enormously since it started out in 2003, and reaching six factories indicates the beginning of a new phase, one of tremendous growth on a scale that I think we have not yet seen from any company. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “COP26 Promises Will Hold Warming Under 2°C” • The carbon-cutting promises made at COP26 would see the world warm by just under 2°C by the end of this century, according to an analysis. The study finds that if all the pledges that countries made are implemented “in full and on time,” temperatures would rise by 1.9° to 2°C. [BBC]

Monk seal using a fishing net as a pillow (NASA, Unsplash)

¶ “These Plastic Batteries Could Help Store Renewable Energy On The Grid” • A new type of battery made from electrically conductive polymers could help make energy storage on the grid cheaper and more durable, enabling a greater use of renewable power. The batteries are made by the Boston-based startup company PolyJoule. [MIT Technology Review]

¶ “US Air Force Seeks Sustainable Dandelion Supply Chain To Thwart “Rubber Apocalypse”” • The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company is leaving no stone unturned as it seeks a sustainable supply chain. The iconic maker of car tires is zeroing in on the humble dandelion as an alternative to natural rubber from the Hevea tree. Yes, the dandelion. [CleanTechnica]

Dandelions (Viridi Green, Unsplash)

¶ “A New Heat Engine With No Moving Parts Is As Efficient As A Steam Turbine” • Engineers at MIT and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have designed a heat engine with no moving parts. Their new demonstrations show that it converts heat to electricity with over 40% efficiency, a performance better than that of traditional steam turbines. [MIT News]

World:

¶ “Over 300 Killed After Flooding Washed Away Roads And Destroyed Homes In South Africa” • Heavy rains and flooding battered the eastern coast of South Africa, killing at least 306 people, damaging roads and destroying homes. Scientists from the World Weather Attribution project found that climate change made such events more likely. [CNN]

Storm (Сергей Леденёв, Pexels)

¶ “Germany Faces $240 Billion Hit If Russian Gas Is Cut Off” • Germany would plunge into a deep recession if its supply of Russian natural gas was suddenly shut off, the country’s top forecasters warned. The country would lose €220 billion ($238 billion) in economic output over the next two years in the event of such a shock. [CNN]

¶ “World’s Renewable Electricity Capacity Surpassed 3 TW In 2021” • Renewables accounted for 38.3% of global electricity generation capacity at the end of last year, compared to 36.6% in 2020, the International Renewable Energy Agency said in its annual statistical report. Renewables grew by 9.1% overall and reached 3.06 TW. [Balkan Green Energy News]

Solar system (JoergGastmann, Pixabay)

¶ “Renewable Energy Is Providing Reliable Electricity” • The Clean Energy Council says that the update of the 2021 Electricity Statement of Opportunities from the Australian Energy Market Operator shows that timely investment in renewable energy, transmission, and storage will fill the gap left by retiring fossil fuel generators. [Clean Energy Council]

¶ “Renewable Future for Fukushima” • Many fields no longer suitable for farming are now covered with solar PVs due to a multibillion-yen investment in renewable energy. Government and industry financiers are developing 11 solar farms and 10 wind farms on abandoned or contaminated land near the Fukushima nuclear plant. [NASA Earth Observatory]

Farmland in Fukushima (zoo_monkey, Unsplash)

¶ “Renewable Energy Prices Soar 30%” • The price of electricity generated by renewable power sources in North America has gone up almost 30% over the past year due to fast-rising costs of development coupled with more robust demand, according to a report by LevelTen Energy, the operator of the world’s largest power purchase agreement marketplace. [Oil Price]

US:

¶ “Breaking News! With New Plant, Kentucky To Become The Nation’s Top Producer Of Electric Vehicle Batteries” • Kentucky Governor Beshear announced that Envision AESC, a Japanese EV battery company, will invest $2 billion in Bowling Green, to build a 30-GWh gigafactory. The project will supply enough batteries each year to power 300,000 EVs. [CleanTechnica]

Downtown Bowling Green (OPMaster, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Toyota BZ4X US Prices Revealed” • Toyota has announced the starting price for the Toyota bZ4X in the most basic XLT trim with a single front-mounted motor in the US will be $42,000. The Limited all-wheel drive dual motor version starts at $48,780. All versions of the bZ4X will also have a “Delivery, Processing and Handling” fee of $1,215. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Maui County Drew Half Of Its Energy From Renewable Sources In 2021” • Of the three counties Hawaiian Electric services, Hawaii island led the way with 60% renewable energy, followed by Maui County at 50.2% renewable energy and Oahu at 32.8% renewable energy, according to the company’s 2021-22 Sustainability Report. [Maui News]

Have a satisfactorily absurd day.

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April 13 Energy News

April 13, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Nuclear Energy Should Not Be Part Of The Global Solution To Climate Change” • Nuclear culture, skills, vendors, and prospects are shriveling, mostly due to bad economics. Sun and wind are now the cheapest bulk source for at least 91% of world electricity, says Bloomberg New Energy Finance, so they’re winning about 10–20 times more investment. [Utility Dive]

Old cooling towers (Johannes Plenio, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “You’ve Heard Of Water Droughts. Could ‘Energy’ Droughts Be Next?” • Renewable energy prices have fallen by more than 70% in the last decade, driving more Americans to abandon fossil fuels for greener, less-polluting energy. But as wind and solar power continue to grow, grid operators may have to plan for large swings in availability. [Columbia News]

¶ “The Climate Crisis Is Supercharging Rainfall In Hurricanes, Scientists Report” • A study, published in the journal Nature Communications, found global warming supercharged hourly rainfall rates in tropical storms and hurricanes by 5% to 10%. When they looked at only hurricanes – the strongest storms – the increase was 8% to 11%. [CNN]

Rain in a desert (Lucy Chian, Unsplash)

¶ “Storing Renewables With Brayton Pumped Thermal Energy Storage” • UK researchers have designed a pumped thermal energy storage system for large-scale grid electricity, stored as high-grade thermal energy. The system consists of two insulated containers filled with gravel, and hot and cold vessels operating at different pressure levels. [PV Magazine]

World:

¶ “Electric Truck Trials Down Under” • How will the Volvo FL Electric and the Janus Freightliner stack up to the distances, heat, and dust of Australian conditions in the electric truck trials Down Under? Here is a look at the results of tests of two heavy-duty trucks in the difficult conditions they will face driving through the Australian outback. [CleanTechnica]

Volvo FL Electric (Courtesy of Volvo)

¶ “The Climate Answer Is Blowing In The Wind” • UK energy forecasters Rethink Energy say that 2021 annual installations of 93 GW of global wind capacity (onshore and offshore) put the world on track with the targets defined by Global Wind Energy Council to reach the renewable energy capacity levels needed to limit climate change to below 1.5°C. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “RWE Plans €1.5 Billion Spend On Irish Renewable Projects” • German energy giant RWE is to spend up to €1.5 billion in Ireland on renewable energy projects between now and 2030. RWE envisions onshore wind, offshore wind, and battery storage projects. RWE is to invest €50 billion to expand its global green capacity to 50 GW by 2030. [The Irish Times]

Wind turbines (Nitin Sharma, Pexels)

¶ “South Korea To Make Nuclear Power U-Turn Under New Government” • The transition committee working for President Yoon Suk-yeol said the incoming government will embrace nuclear power in its decarbonization efforts, signaling a major shift in energy policy. The outgoing government policy had no place for nuclear power. [Asia News Network]

US:

¶ “Biden Announces Emergency Waiver On Summer Ethanol Ban” • President Joe Biden announced steps his administration is taking to address rising gasoline prices across the country. The steps include emergency measures permitting year-round sales of E15 gasoline, which is not normally sold during the summer because of air quality concerns. [CNN]

Joe Biden (Cameron Smith, White House, public domain)

¶ “Open For Applications: 2023 Hydropower And Marine Energy Collegiate Competitions” • The US Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office announced the launch of the inaugural Hydropower Collegiate Competition and the fourth annual Marine Energy Collegiate Competition: Powering the Blue Economy™. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “‘Electric Vehicle Master Plan’ – 10,000 EVs For Los Angeles” • The Los Angeles city council has unanimously passed a motion that calls for the electrification of the city’s entire vehicle fleet. The Electric Vehicle Master Plan would add over 10,000 electric vehicles to the city’s fleet and build the appropriate charging infrastructure, according to Electrive. [CleanTechnica]

Los Angeles (Image credit: City of Los Angeles)

¶ “New York Enacts First-In-Nation Plan To Electrify All State School Buses” • An agreement reached on New York’s annual state budget builds on Governor Kathy Hochul’s State of the State and Executive Budget proposals. It aims for all new school bus purchases to be zero emission by 2027 and all buses in operation are electric by 2035. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Maine Lawmakers Get Pressure To Pass Renewable Energy Expansion” • A decision by the Maine Legislature to order the Public Utilities Commission to expand the number of renewable energy projects in the state has born fruit. The average price of solar projects has fallen to 3.5¢/kWh, and now, the Legislature is being asked to do it again. [News Center Maine]

Solar panels in Maine (William Byers, US DOE, public domain)

¶ “Nevada Utility Seeks 20-MW-Plus Renewables Projects” • NV Energy issued a request for proposals to add new renewable energy projects to its portfolio. The company seeks solar, wind, biomass, hydroelectric, geothermal, and biogas projects that are a minimum of 20 MW in size and are compliant with Nevada’s renewable portfolio standards. [reNews]

¶ “Duke Energy’s First Solar Plant In Surry County, NC, Goes Online” • Duke Energy continues to expand solar power in North Carolina with its 22.6-MW Stony Knoll Solar power plant in Surry County now in operation. The solar plant has 76,600 panels with single-axis tracking. It will supply power equivalent to the needs of 5,000 homes. [Duke Energy]

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April 12 Energy News

April 12, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “The Global Sprint Away From Fossil Fuels” • With his barbaric war on Ukraine, Vladimir Putin has set in motion every outcome he dreaded, including shaking up global energy markets. Now, energy security is at the forefront of the minds of national and regional policymakers, investors, businesses, and consumers alike. Now is a time to act. [CleanTechnica]

Tanker at anchor (Ian Simmonds, Unsplash)

¶ “Energy-Rich Scotland Does Not Need New Nuclear Power Plants” • Nuclear is set in what it can supply. That’s why hydro is needed, especially pumped storage. Scotland has 90% of UK hydro. It produces at high loads, but in low-usage periods spare electricity is used to pump water up to the reservoir. Without hydro, nuclear energy is less useful. [The National]

¶ “The New Phenomenon Of Climate Migrants” • The effects of climate change, including heat waves, wildfires, floods, droughts, and sea level rise, are producing climate migrants. Countries around the world are struggling to reconcile political pressures to insulate borders with the pressing humanitarian need caused by the climate crisis. [CleanTechnica]

Refugee camp (Julie Ricard, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Biochar Has Potential To Enhance Agriculture In California And Mitigate Climate Change” • Human production of biochar has been going on for a long time. It has a rich history in places like the Amazon basin, where it was used to improve soil quality dramatically. It is relatively easy to make, and its benefits are pretty astounding. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Southern Africa Storms Fueled By Climate Change – Study” • Climate change fueled heavier rainfall during a series of storms that battered southern Africa earlier this year, scientists say in analysis from the World Weather Attribution group. The region of southern Africa was hit by three cyclones and two tropical storms in six weeks. [BBC]

Boy trying to get home (Menyea, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Call For Renewable Energy Revolution To Be At Heart Of Election Campaign” • The 2022 Australian federal election is officially underway. The Clean Energy Council has called on political leaders to put the industry at the heart of their election campaigns, given the massive economic opportunities that are created by the sector. [Renew Economy]

¶ “Nissan And NASA To Take On Solid-State Battery Challenge” • Solid-state battery is projected to cost less than traditional lithium-ion batteries, have higher energy density, charge faster, and last longer. A lot of research is being done to bring them to market. Nissan and NASA say they will team up to crack this particular nut. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Seoul To Develop Renewable Energy Technology Using Sewage Sludge For Green Hydrogen Production” • Seoul will develop technologies to utilize sewage sludge created in a water recycling center for the production of gas fuel. The sludge can be used for production of green hydrogen, which does not use any fossil fuel to generate. [AJU Business Daily]

¶ “Clean Power Capacity Grows Over 9% In 2021” • Global renewable generation capacity was 3,064 GW at the end of 2021, up over 9% on the previous year, according to an International Renewable Energy Agency report. Together, wind and solar technologies contributed 88% to the share of all new renewable capacity in 2021. [reNews]

Renewable energy (IRENA image)

¶ “Solar, Wind Surge In 2021 ‘Another Testament Of Renewable Energy’s Resilience'” • Solar and wind energy had another good year for global expansion, the International Renewable Energy Agency said. The agency declared, “the global shift to renewables is underway.” But the switch to renewable energy from fossil fuels must accelerate. [Common Dreams]

US:

¶ “Mattel Releases Its First Carbon Neutral Toys, Including A Matchbox Tesla” • Mattel has released its first-ever carbon neutral toys, including a Matchbox Tesla model made from recycled materials. Mattel has pledged to use “100% recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastic materials in all its products and packaging by 2030.” [CNN]

Earlier Matchbox Tesla Roadster (Mattel image)

¶ “Tesla Model 3 And Model Y Score About 100,000 US Sales In First Quarter Of 2022” • Based on well informed estimates of US Tesla sales, the Tesla Model Y and Tesla Model 3 dominated sales of electric cars in the US in the first quarter of 2022, just as in previous quarters. The Tesla Model S and Model X took the third and fourth spots in the ranking. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “One Year On, Ford Dealers Keep Playing Games” • A year ago, dealer markups on the Mustang Mach-E, represented about 10% of the price of the car. Today? Almost every new Ford carries a hefty dealer markup, and it’s got so bad that fed-up consumers have even started a website to track dealership markups called markups.org. [CleanTechnica]

Ford Mustang Mach-E (Courtesy of Ford)

¶ “Top Companies In The US Leading The Transition To Green Energy” • As evidence of a changing climate gets more clear, the business world is no longer ignoring sustainability. Companies are committing themselves to meeting bigger targets. Negative impacts of climate change have hit 97% of businesses, a Deloitte survey shows. [The CEO Magazine]

¶ “Wind Energy Company Pleads Guilty To Killing Eagles” • The wind energy company ESI Energy Inc must pay more than $8 million in fines and restitution and serve a five-year probation after pleading guilty to violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, according to a statement released by the US Department of Justice. [Smithsonian Magazine]

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April 11 Energy News

April 11, 2022

Science and Technology:

¶ “NREL Researchers Plot Energy Storage Under Our Feet” • US National Renewable Energy Laboratory scientists have been researching the use of depleted oil and gas wells as reservoirs for storing compressed natural gas. The wells can subsequently be used to hold other gases, such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen, or hydrogen, to store energy. [CleanTechnica]

Energy storage system using old wells (Al Hicks, NREL)

¶ “Berkeley Scientists Develop Prototype For Measuring Carbon In Soil” • Current methods for measuring carbon in the ground require digging holes to collect and burn soil samples. They are destructive, costly, and inefficient. But scientists are testing a unit that scans the ground and offers a 3D measurement of the soil’s distribution of elements. [The Daily Californian]

World:

¶ “Banks Say They’re Getting Tough On Coal, But They Keep Lending Trillions To Polluters” • Banks can’t seem to ditch coal. Over the last three years commercial banks have funneled $1.5 trillion into the industry, according to a recent report by green campaign groups Urgewald and Reclaim Finance, along with more than two dozen other NGOs. [CNN]

Coal-burning power plant (Pixabay, Pexels)

¶ “Stakeholders Rally For Renewable Energy, Efficiency” • In Nigeria, renewable energy and energy efficiency are vital ingredients for the new phase of power as the global focus is shifting from fossil fuel to cleaner energy use, stakeholders have said. They were speaking at “Energise,” the country’s first career fair for clean energy. [The Tide News Online]

¶ “Germany Unveils A New Renewable Energy Plan For Ukraine” • Robert Habeck, who serves as Germany’s vice-chancellor as well as minister in charge of the economic affairs and climate change, unveiled the Berlin coalition government’s “Easter Package” for renewable energy. The plan includes an ambitious plan for renewable energy. [Cody News Company]

Renewable energy (Jem Sanchez, Pexels)

¶ “The Linden Suites Switches To 100% Renewable Energy” • In Manilla, the Linden Suites shifted to geothermal energy for its power requirements, joining the government’s green energy option program. First Gen is delivering 480 kW of geothermal power to the hotel, eliminating 1,203 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. [Rappler]

¶ “Green Ice Cream: Mars Wrigley Unveils Plans For First Factory Powered Entirely By Renewable Energy” • Mars Wrigley unveiled plans to convert an ice cream plant in France to be the first 100% electrically powered industrial site in the Mars Group. The plant is already using 100% renewable power, but now it is switching to full electrification also. [Business Green]

Mars Wrigley plant (Mars Wrigley image)

¶ “IAEA Says Ukraine Carried Out First Staff Rotations At Chernobyl” • Ukraine informed the International Atomic Energy Agency that it carried out the first staff rotation at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in three weeks, the IAEA Director General said, adding the agency would send a mission there soon to assist in returning in to normality. [The Star]

¶ “Boskalis Is To Turn Bokalift Twins Into Hybrid Vessels” • Boskalis is to convert numerous vessels in its offshore energy division into hybrid vessels with retrofits of energy storage systems. The conversions entail a sizeable investment. They will reduce fuel consumption and associated emissions of CO₂ and NOₓ by an average of up to 20%. [reNews]

Windpower installation ship (Huisman image)

¶ “Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine Has Upset Uzbekistan’s Nuclear Plans” • Four years ago, Uzbekistan turned to nuclear energy to address its chronic energy shortages, relying on Russia to drive the projects forward. Today, with Russia facing sanctions due to its invasion of Ukraine, Uzbekistan’s nuclear future is suddenly looking very uncertain. [Oil Price]

¶ “Ukraine Says Russian Soldiers Stole Potentially Deadly Radioactive Substances From Chernobyl” • Russian occupiers at the Chernobyl nuclear plant stole potentially deadly radioactive substances from research laboratories, Ukraine’s State Agency for Managing the Exclusion Zone says. They stole 133 substances that were highly radioactive. [ABC]

Exclusion Zone (Oleksandra Bardash, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “US Auto Sales Down 18% In First Quarter Of 2022 Versus 2019, Tesla Sales Up 256%” • Compared to the first quarter of 2019, US sales in the first quarter of 2022 were down over 684,000. There are theories about why this happened. But compared to 2019’s first quarter sales, Tesla sales were up 256% in the first quarter of this year, 2022. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Power Has Been Restored To Much Of Puerto Rico Following An Island-Wide Outage” • Power has been restored to 99.7% of LUMA Energy customers in Puerto Rico, the utility said Sunday, after hundreds of thousands had been in the dark since a fire at a power plant Wednesday evening. The utility said the exact cause wasn’t immediately known. [CNN]

San Juan (Sonder Quest, Unsplash)

¶ “Climate Resilience Academy Ushers In New Era Of Research, Solutions” • The University of Miami’s Climate Resilience Academy will be launched on Earth Day, April 22. It is to be a novel functional academic program highlighting the University as a center to address issues of the climate crisis, sustainability, and resilience. [News@TheU]

¶ “Fruit Farmers Adopt New Strategies To Deal With Changing Climate” • The changing climate is affecting fruit farmers and forcing them to adapt. Science shows winters are getting warmer. This can cause buds to swell to open early. Fruit farmers feel the burn, especially when late season freezes, cold enough to kill the buds, are in the forecast. [WGAL]

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April 10 Energy News

April 10, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Britain Was Promised A Bold And Visionary Energy Plan. But We’ve Been Sold A Dud” • The double threat of climate crisis and war requires an urgent response. The government supplied its energy security strategy, which includes eye-catching headlines, especially on expanding nuclear power. But it fails on immediate, pressing problems. [The Guardian]

Delivery of a turbine blade (ShellAsp, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Power Outages Can Mean The Difference Between Life And Death – Rooftop Solar Can Help” • Puerto Rico is in the throes of an energy crisis. On Thursday, a fire at a power plant outside the southeastern town of Guayanilla caused an island-wide blackout. Blackouts are a feature of daily life, along with price increases. There is a better way. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EU Foreign Ministers Must Lead On Immediate Sanctions On Russian Oil” • EU foreign ministers will meet in Brussels, as the world looks on in horror at the suffering in Ukraine. Discoveries of atrocities makes clear the violent actions against the Ukraine’s people. But the EU still sends Putin $285 million a day to feed its dependence on imported oil. [CleanTechnica]

Russian natural gas facility (JukoFF, CC-BY-SA 4.0, cropped)

World:

¶ “Real Embargo On Russian Energy Could End Ukraine War” • A “real embargo” on Russian energy by Western countries could stop war in Ukraine, President Putin’s former chief economic advisor has suggested. Dr Andrei Illarionov said Russia “did not take seriously” the threats by other countries to reduce their energy usage. [BBC]

¶ “T&E Annual Report 2021 – Great Expectation” • From our growing national offices, T&E continues to influence national capitals across Europe and this year also saw the T&E-backed Clean Cities Campaign gather momentum. T&E’s report shows that European policymakers were more ambitious than ever before in 2021. [CleanTechnica]

T&E Annual Report 2021

¶ “Why Many Experts Aren’t Impressed With The UK’s Energy Plans” • Environmentalists and many energy experts reacted with dismay as the government’s energy security strategy fails to cut emissions and bills in the short term. They say it down-plays the fastest and cheapest ways to combat energy dependency, energy efficiency, onshore wind, and solar power. [BBC]

¶ “Volvo Cars Invests In Flax Fibers For Sustainable Interiors” • Volvo Cars is moving away from such “luxury” materials as leather in its car interiors. It recently made a strategic investment in Bcomp, a firm developing high-performance, lightweight materials based on natural flax fibers to replace conventional, petroleum-based plastics. [CleanTechnica]

Volvo interior (Volvo image)

¶ “Samsung Heavy And Seaborg To Develop Floating Nuclear Power Plant Combined With Hydrogen And Ammonia Plants” • Samsung Heavy Industries and Seaborg signed a partnership agreement to develop floating nuclear power plants based on Seaborg’s Compact Molten Salt Reactor. The reactor is claimed to be inherently safe. [Green Car Congress

¶ “Three-Quarters Of Britons Back Expansion Of Wind Power, Poll Reveals” • In an Opinium poll, 79% of Tory voters said they were strongly or somewhat in favor of windfarms being installed in the UK, compared with 83% of Labour voters and 88% of Lib Dems. Only 46% of all voters favored new nuclear power stations in principle. [The Guardian]

Wind turbines (Dan Meyers, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Over 100 NYC Streets Will Be Car-Free For Earth Day” • More than 100 streets in New York City’s five boroughs will go car-free to celebrate Earth Day, Saturday, April 23, from 11 AM to 5 PM. For the fifth year in a row, the city will mark the occasion by closing streets to vehicles, according to a news release from the NYC Department of Transportation. [CNN]

¶ “Frustrated And Anxious, Climate Advocates Are Turning To Legal Action. The Latest Petitioners: College Students” • College campuses have for years been at the center of climate change activism. But now, frustrated and anxious by what they see as slow action alongside growing climate damages, students are engaging a new tactic: legal action. [CNN]

Protest (Kate Ausburn, Unsplash)

¶ “US Auto Sales Declined 22–23% In 4th Quarter” • US auto sales declined in Q4 of 2021. Among car makers, Mitsubishi had the most growth on a percentage basis (68%), followed by Tesla (54%), Chrysler (18%), and Porsche (5%). But every other auto brand saw a decline in sales, including Cadillac (-48%), Infiniti (-47%), Audi (-47%), and Chevrolet (-45%). [CleanTechnica]

¶ “UW Madison, Alliant Energy Partner On A Renewable Energy Project” • University of Wisconsin Madison and Alliant Energy are using solar and agricultural research for a joint project that could make waves in the world of solar sustainability. The 2.25-MW solar project is set to begin in Spring 2023. It will be built on 15-acres on UW Madison land. [NBC15]

UW Madison (UW Madison image)

¶ “Georgia Power Presents Plan To Reduce Reliance On Coal, Boost Use Of Renewables” • Executives from Georgia Power Co outlined the utility’s planned mix of generating sources for the next 20 years in Public Service Commission hearings. Their plan is to close nine coal and three oil-burning plants and install 2.3 GW of renewables by 2029. [The Augusta Chronicle]

¶ “Hundreds Rally In Plymouth To Prevent Nuclear Wastewater Dumping Into Cape Cod Bay” • Hundreds of people are voicing their opposition to a proposal to dump a million gallons of processed radioactive water from Plymouth’s decommissioned Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station into the ocean off the coast of Massachusetts. [WCVB-TV]

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April 9 Energy News

April 9, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “IPCC: City Planners Face “Make-Or-Break” Moment For Climate Action” • Despite cities’ significant contribution to climate change, the IPCC finds that they also represent a huge opportunity for ambitious climate action – if they undertake swift and aggressive measures on the climate. The good news is cities are starting to mobilize. [CleanTechnica]

Seattle (Thom Milkovic, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Up, Up, And Away: Vertical Farms, The Pros And Cons” • The vertical farming market now is expected to expand from $3.1 billion in 2021 to $9.7 billion by 2026 with a compound annual growth rate of 25.0% during the forecast period. However, as with any growth industry, there are also obstacles to viable, large scale vertical farms. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Brazil’s Amazon Rainforest Has Reached A Deforestation Record This Year Already” • The portion of Amazon rainforest impacted by deforestation in the first three months of 2022 was the highest ever recorded, according to a new report by Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research. That is a 64% increase from the same time period last year. [CNN]

Deforested area of rainforest (Ibama, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Europe Turns Its Back On Russian Coal. Is Oil Next?” • The European leaders have agreed to phase out Russian coal imports as part of a new package of sanctions triggered by evidence of atrocities in Bucha, Ukraine. Europe plans to wind down imports over the next four months, an EU source told CNN Business. An oil embargo could be next. [CNN]

¶ “Federal Minister Of Transport Hands Over Funding Notices To Transport Companies From All Over Germany” • Around 1,700 buses will be procured by transport companies with new German funding, including around 1,400 battery, 150 fuel cell, 50 trolley, and 100 gas buses. Their maintenance and charging infrastructure are also funded. [CleanTechnica]

German trolley (Sasan, Unsplash)

¶ “At Chernobyl: We Stole Russian Fuel To Prevent Catastrophe” • After the Russians took over the Chernobyl nuclear plant, site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster, staff were anxious to keep control of the plant’s maintenance. A lot of radioactive waste is still stored at there. The staff had to steal Russian fuel to keep generators running. [BBC]

¶ “IPP Procurement: Renewable Sector Welcomes Opening Of Electricity Bid Window Six” • Stakeholders in the South African renewable sector have welcomed the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy’s opening of the long-awaited Bid Window Six in its Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme. [IOL]

Wind turbine in South Africa (AerialcamSA, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Ukrainians Shocked By ‘Crazy’ Scene At Chernobyl After Russian Pullout Reveals Radioactive Contamination” • Radiation monitors show that a room where Russian soldiers lived at the Chernobyl nuclear plant has higher than normal levels of radioactivity. The reason is that the Russian soldiers tracked in radioactive dust from the Red Forest. [CNN]

¶ “Alberta Company Mulls Dumping Coal Mine Proposal For Renewable Energy Project” • Montem Resources, a company hoping to develop coal in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, says it will decide by the end of June whether to convert its open-pit mine proposal into a renewable energy project, as the rules for energy are changing. [Canada’s National Observer]

Alberta (James Wheeler, Pexels)

US:

¶ “Hundreds Of Thousands Of Puerto Rico’s Homes And Businesses Still Without Power Two Days After Outage” • Nearly half of the homes and businesses in Puerto Rico were without power two days after an island-wide outage began with a fire at a power plant. Electric power has been restored for about 760,000 of the island’s utility customers. [CNN]

¶ “DeLorean Will Debut Four New Models In 2022″ • The official launch of the reborn DeLorean Motor Cars EVolved is 90 days away. But the bigger news isn’t about what the electric DeLorean sportscar will be like. Instead, it’s that the new electric DeLorean sportscar is only one of several DeLorean models that will be rolled out this year. [CleanTechnica]

DeLorean EV (Screenshot)

¶ “Encinitas Flips The Switch On 100% Renewable Energy” • The city of Encinitas is the latest in California to sign up with a new electricity provider. The San Diego Community Power program says it purchases renewable power and feeds it into the electricity grid. It then works with San Diego Gas & Electric to deliver it at competitive rates. [NBC 7 San Diego]

¶ “TVA Board Nominees Support Exploring Clean Energy Options As Federal Utility Plans Coal Retirements” • As the Tennessee Valley Authority considers options for replacing two coal-fired power plants, three nominees to the federal power utility’s board told a Senate panel they would explore adding more renewable energy. [Utility Dive]

Coal-burning power plant (Retrieved from TVA)

¶ “As US Looks To Nuclear Power, Uranium Sourcing A Concern” • As the Biden administration continues to push for green energy and nuclear power is increasingly seen as an attractive option, policy experts are warning that without a reliable, domestic supply of uranium, the US could find itself dependent on Russia for fuel. [Newsmax]

¶ “US Nuclear Electricity Generation Continues To Decline As More Reactors Retire” • Six nuclear reactors with a total capacity of 4,736 MW have retired since 2017. Three more reactors with a combined 3,009 MW of capacity are scheduled to retire in the coming years. Two nuclear generating units are being built in Georgia, each rated at 1,114 MW. [EIA]

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April 8 Energy News

April 8, 2022

World:

¶ “This Incredibly Potent Planet-Warming Gas Just Set Another Record For The Second Year In A Row” • Methane, the second largest contributor to the human-caused climate crisis after carbon dioxide, increased in the atmosphere by the largest amount in 2021 since measurements began nearly 40 years ago, according to NOAA. [CNN]

Liquified natural gas tanker (Joshua J Cotten, Unsplash)

¶ “NREL Identifies Abundant Renewable Energy Resources As Key To Mexico’s Clean Energy Ambitions” • The US DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory released an in-depth report on the potential for developing clean energy in Mexico. Mexico is replete with solar and wind resources and has some potential for new geothermal and hydropower. [NREL]

¶ “Pacific Institute Water Conflict Chronology Updated” • Over the past few years, severe droughts in India and Iran have led to a big increase in conflicts over access to irrigation and domestic water and to demonstrations against water diversions from one community to another. Violence over water resources continues to worsen. [CleanTechnica]

Water (Manki Kim, Unsplash)

¶ “Mitsui To Invest In $1.35 Billion Renewable Energy Project In India” • Japan’s Mitsui has agreed to make an investment in a large-scale 1.3-GW renewable energy project that India’s ReNew Power is developing. The project will consist of three newly built wind farms (900 MW in total) and one solar plus battery storage farm (400 MW plus up to 100 MWh). [Energy Voice]

¶ “Fortescue Buys Cattle Stations For 5-GW Renewable Energy Hub” • Fortescue Future Industries bought three cattle stations in Western Australia. It plans to use them for renewable energy to decarbonize its mining business and export green hydrogen and green ammonia. The stations will continue to run cattle, but their primary product will be renewable energy. [PV Magazine]

Homestead in Western Australia (Yewenyi, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

UK:

¶ “Boris Johnson Defends Plan Amid Cost Of Living Crisis” • UK consumers are facing huge increases in energy bills after the Russian invasion of Ukraine pushed gas prices even higher. The PM has defended the government’s new energy strategy, after criticism from his political foes that it does little to help people struggling with soaring bills. [BBC]

¶ “REA Slams UK Energy Strategy As ‘Wholly Inadequate’” • The Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA) has branded the UK Government’s Energy Security Strategy as “wholly inadequate.” The REA said that nuclear power is too expensive. Instead of nuclear, a focus should be put on onshore windpower and microgrids. [reNews]

Wind turbines and hay (William DeHoogh, Unsplash)

¶ “UK Energy Strategy: Here’s How New Nuclear Will Be Blocked In Scotland” • The SNP Government says it will halt any attempts to bring new nuclear power developments to Scotland. Scottish energy secretary Michael Matheson says the government in Holyrood remains firmly against nuclear power stations, and will use its planning powers to stop them. [Press and Journal]

US:

¶ “19 Named Storms Expected This Hurricane Season, Above Average But Becoming More Common” • After two consecutive years of exhausting the hurricane name list, forecasters predict 19 named storms this hurricane season, five more than normal. Nine are expected to become hurricanes, and four are expected to become major hurricanes. [CNN]

Eye of Hurricane Florence, 2018 (NASA image)

¶ “Puerto Rico Crews Scramble To Restore Power After Island-Wide Outage” • Electric service restoration efforts were still underway Thursday evening in Puerto Rico, a utility company said, a day after the start of an island-wide outage that left many people in the dark overnight and prompted school cancellations and other interruptions. [CNN]

¶ “Helping US Utilities Target Grid Resilience” • The US power grids are at the center of a digitalization transformation leading to decarbonizing all economic sectors, increasing distributed renewable generation, and electrifying consumption. The ultimate goal is to improve grid resilience, sustainability, and reliability in the US. [CleanTechnica]

Grid operations (Photo courtesy of Enel)

¶ “Proposed Law In New York Allows Customer-Generators To Donate Credit To Low-Income Families” • A proposed law in New York state aims to allow residential solar customers to donate energy credits to low-income families. The law would broaden the benefits of solar to provide for low income people who might not have solar panels. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Environmental Monitoring Priorities For Offshore Wind” • While the need for this transition is becoming only more urgent, for the full potential of offshore wind to be realized, we can and must ensure that all offshore windpower in the US is developed in a way that minimizes impacts on our vulnerable marine ecosystems. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore windfarm (Guillaume Baviere, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Electric Vehicles Could Save North Carolinians $92 Billion, Avoid 679 Hospital Visits” • North Carolina can save $92 billion and avoid 679 hospital visits by transitioning to zero-emission EVs and trucks, a report says. The report, “North Carolina Transportation Electrification Roadmap,” was commissioned by the NRDC and prepared by ERM. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “State Regulators Approve Construction Of Wisconsin’s Largest Renewable Energy Plant In Dane County” • The Public Service Commission has approved construction of the state’s largest renewable energy plant in Dane County. The Koshkonong Solar Energy Center would have 300 MW of solar capacity and 165 MW of battery storage. [Wisconsin Public Radio]

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April 7 Energy News

April 7, 2022

Science and Technology:

¶ “Yes, The Grid Can Handle EVs” • We’ve all seen it. Insufferable fanatics of fossil fuels, seeking to win an argument against EVs, pull out what they think is the ultimate argument against them: “Where does that power come from?” They have all of their facts from decades ago in order. Here is a video that looks at the data and does the math. [CleanTechnica]

Charging an EV (dcbel, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Germany Plugin Auto Sales Reach 26% Of Auto Market” • The German auto market saw plugin cars take 25.6% share in March, up modestly from 22.5% year on year. Against a declining auto market, full electrics grew in volume whilst plugin hybrids fell. Overall auto volumes were 241,330 units, down 31% from the 2017 to 2019 seasonal average. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Europe’s Dirtiest Airlines Received Millions In Free Pollution Permits In 2021” • Analysis by Transport & Environment shows that the ten most polluting airlines in Europe received €683 million worth of free CO₂ permits under the EU’s carbon market for aviation in 2021. Lufthansa, easyJet, Air France, and SAS were among the top ten polluters. [CleanTechnica]

Airport (Ashim D’Silva, Unsplash)

¶ “India Faces A Hard Choice: Eat Or Drive?” • India is rapidly approaching an existential choice: eat or drive. India decided years ago to use ethanol to reduce oil imports and to use its domestic resources more appropriately. But with the invasion of Ukraine, the global grain supply is reduced, meaning less food or less ethanol for India. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Germany Boosts Renewables With ‘Biggest Energy Policy Reform In Decades'” • In the “biggest energy policy reform in decades,” the coalition of Social Democrats, Greens, and Free Democrats proposes to lift the rollout of wind and solar power “to a completely new level” in a draft law aiming at getting near to 100% renewable power by 2035. [Renew Economy]

Wind turbine in Germany (Karsten Würth, Unsplash)

¶ “Cancelling Ninh Thuan Nuclear Power Project A Right Policy: NA Chairman” • Stopping implementation of the Ninh Thuan nuclear power project (in 2016) was a right policy of historical significance by the Party Central Committee and Politburo led by General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, said National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue. [Vietnam Plus]

¶ “UN: Africa A Possible Center For Renewable Energy” • The UN IPCC climate report brought attention to Africa’s potential for renewable kinds of energy production. It said renewable energy projects could reduce the effects of global warming and support African economic development. Africa’s renewable energy is already increasing. [VOA Learning English]

Wind turbines in South Africa (Charl Folscher, Unsplash)

UK:

¶ “UK Supercharges Renewables In New Energy Strategy” • The UK government pledged to accelerate deployment of renewables with a series of new sector targets and reduced permit approval timelines. The government increased the 2030 offshore wind goal from 40 GW to 50 GW in the long-awaited British Energy Security Strategy. [reNews]

¶ “Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng Orders Scientific Review Of Fracking Impact” • The UK government ordered a new report on the impact of fracking, days ahead of publishing an energy plan. Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has given the British Geological Survey three months to assess changes to the science around the controversial practice. [BBC]

Fracking protest in London (David Holt, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “UK Focuses On Nuclear Power Under Energy Security Strategy” • The UK Government published an energy security strategy that aims to boost the country’s energy independence. This follows rising power prices and market volatility due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Up to eight nuclear reactors could be built on existing locations. [Power Technology]

US:

¶ “US Wind Energy Just Hit A Major Milestone” • On April 5, wind power was the second-highest source of electricity for the first time since the Energy Information Administration began gathering the data. Wind turbines generated over 2,000 GWh of electricity, edging out electricity generated by nuclear and coal, only trailing behind natural gas. [CNN]

Wind farm in Washington State (Jeffrey G Katz, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Americans Are Far More Likely To Say Climate Crisis Is A Threat After Facing Recent Extreme Weather” • A Gallup poll found 1 in 3 Americans said they have been affected by some kind of extreme weather in the past two years, and those who had been affected by extreme weather were far more likely to say the climate crisis is a threat. [CNN]

¶ “From Florida To Alaska, Tribes Seek To Harness Energy From Sun, Wind And Water” • From Florida to Alaska, dozens of tribes are working to harness energy from wind, sun, and water to generate revenues, create jobs and reduce utility costs for citizens, while also helping combat climate change and boost energy independence. [InvestigateWest]

Installing solar PVs (Navajo Tribal Utility Authority/Navajo Nation)

¶ “Pinterest Bans Climate Change Misinformation” • Pinterest announced a policy prohibiting using its platform to share climate misinformation, making it the rare social platform to ban such content. Pinterest said it will remove content that denies the existence or impacts of climate change as well as the role of humans in causing climate change. [CNN]

¶ “Solectrac Launches Dealer Network For Electric Tractors, Adds New Facility” • Electric tractor manufacturer Solectrac recently announced two new developments: the launch of its certified dealer network and moving into a new 36,000-square-foot production facility in Windsor, California, which will be at full capacity in June 2022. [CleanTechnica]

Have an impressively jolly day.

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April 6 Energy News

April 6, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Who Cares About EV Fuel Efficiency? Drivers Don’t, But Investors Should” • Despite the daily disinformation from the oil industry and its enablers, driving electric is clearly cleaner than driving fossil, and if you do most of your charging at home, it’s substantially cheaper. But this doesn’t mean that the efficiency of an EV doesn’t matter. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.
(Image Courtesy of Transport & Environment)

¶ “Five Takeaways From The April IPCC 6 Report” • The latest IPCC 6 report released this week is 3000 pages long. Here, we can share some of the highlights, so you can fill in the spaces on your own. We can start with a tweet from Bill McKibben, who has just returned home after accepting the prestigious Congressional Medal of Distinction. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Fungi Cleaning New Delhi’s Air” • New Delhi is one of the world’s most polluted cities. Much of the pollution comes from burning agricultural waste. Pusa Decomposer, which is made up of seven different species of fungus naturally present in the soil, can be used to compost the waste in place, reducing pollution and improving the soil. [BBC]

¶ “Nature-Based Solutions Can Tap The Earth’s Powers to Sequester Carbon” • In the newest IPCC report, scientists argue that we should harness the planet’s own powers to sequester carbon. Natural solutions, such as reforestation and ecosystem restoration, pay for themselves as they sequester carbon, boost biodiversity, and aid in our well-being. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Getting Electric Off The Ground With R&D: Analysis On Battery-Powered Electric Aircraft And Seacraft” • With growing success of R&D in preparing EVs for the road, NREL researchers are applying their expertise to non-road transportation modes. Like EVs, battery-powered aircraft and seacraft can decrease emissions, noise, and costs. [CleanTechnica]

Electric airplane concept (Courtesy of Wright Electric/easyJet)

¶ “IPCC Report: Oil, Renewables And ‘Stranded Assets’” • The IPCC Report says that without carbon capture, coal and gas plants would need to retire about 23 years earlier than expected in order to hold global temperature rise to 1.5°C, and 17 years earlier in the case of the 2°C limit. Fossil fuels facilities will be stranded assets. [E&E News]

World:

¶ “Europe Proposes Ban On Russian Coal Imports” • The EU is planning a new round of sanctions that includes a ban on Russian coal imports, and it’s also working on sanctions on Russian oil. The measures were announced by President Ursula von der Leyen of the European Commission. They still need approval of all 27 EU member states. [CNN]

Coal on a barge (Tobias Reich, Unsplash)

¶ “Europe Is Finally Coming After Russia’s Energy” • The European Commission proposed a phased ban of €4 billion ($4.3 billion) worth of Russian coal imports per year as part of a fifth package of sanctions designed to further diminish Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war chest. Other proposals on Russian imports are worth another €10 billion. [CNN]

¶ “UK Plugin EVs Hit 23% In March, Full Electrics Up Over 100% YOY” • The UK auto market saw plugin electric vehicles take a 22.7% share in March, up strongly from 13.5% from 2021. Battery EVs’ 16.1% share is up from 7.7%, more than double. Overall auto volumes were 243,749, down some 45% from the seasonal norms of the pre-pandemic years. [CleanTechnica]

Vauxhall Corsa-e (Vauxford, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Australia’s Oldest University Goes 100% Renewable In Supply Deal With Snowy” • The University of Sydney will become the latest tertiary institution to make the switch to 100% renewables, after striking a deal with Snowy Hydro. The university, Australia’s oldest, signed a five-year agreement for power from renewable energy projects. [Renew Economy]

¶ “Australian Businesses Bypass Federal Politics As The Switch To Renewable Energy Gathers Steam” • “What’s happening is across Australia, across the whole economy, corporations are moving to decarbonise,” said Matthew Bowen, a partner at law firm Jackson McDonald specialising in energy. He sited the IPCC report as just one reason for the change. [ABC]

BHP nickel mine (Courtesy of BHP)

¶ “Investment In Renewable Energy Can Deliver More Jobs Than Fossil Fuels, Report Finds” • Renewable energy has the potential to create three times as many jobs per million pounds invested compared to gas or coal power, while investment in energy efficiency can create five times as many, according to a report by the UK Energy Research Centre. [MSN]

US:

¶ “ExxonMobil Shows Its Lobbying Hand, But Hides Some Cards” • After years of resolutions from shareholders, reports are starting to come from ExxonMobil. They provide some insight into the fossil fuel industry’s investment in political influence, but a sleight of hand is preventing investors from seeing the company’s full strategy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Green Mountain Power Announces New LMI Community Solar Subscription Software Pilot” • LO3 Energy’s developed Pando, software allowing clean energy operators to offer new compensation models to optimize renewable energy assets. Green Mountain Power will use the softwar for a new “Sun Match” pilot for customers. [Solar Power World]

¶ “Eastern New Mexico University Will Soon Be Implementing Renewable Energy Practices” • Eastern New Mexico University approved a solar project that will have over 10,000 solar panels and offset around 75% of the campuses’ yearly power needs. This project plans to maximize the universities’ energy efficiency and educational opportunities. [KVII]

Have an unrestrainedly wonderful day.

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April 5 Energy News

April 5, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “Can The Defense Production Act Jump-Start A Transition To Renewable Energy?” • Soon after Russia invaded Ukraine, Bill McKibben proposed a radically simple idea: President Joe Biden should invoke the Defense Production Act to undermine Russia’s economic power over the EU by having US manufacturers make millions of electric heat pumps. [Sierra Club]

Outdoor heatpump units (Kristoferb, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Accelerate Energy Transition To Protect National Security” • With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, an energy crisis has yet again brought home that our nation’s continued reliance on fossil fuels leaves us vulnerable to unfriendly foreign actors and unstable global markets. To secure our economy, we must transition to a clean-energy future. [pv magazine USA]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Ocean Energy? River Power? There’s A Toolkit For That” • Our water is a renewable energy resource. Called marine energy, it is equivalent to about 80% of the US annual electricity needs. Now, marine energy developers can start building this future faster and cheaper with the Marine and Hydrokinetic Toolkit, a huge, searchable knowledge hub. [CleanTechnica]

Coming ocean energy technology (US DOE image)

¶ “Suddenly, Heat Pump Clothes Dryers Are Having A Moment” • A heat pump is an energy efficient appliance that can do much more than heat a building. Heat pumps can also deliver AC, and now it turns out they can run clothes dryers, which is a big deal because laundry is one of the leading energy-sucking features of the modern household. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “UN Report On Climate Crisis Confirms The World Already Has Solutions – But Politics Are Getting In The Way” • The world is careening toward levels of global warming with irreversible impacts, a landmark report says. We have the solutions – the only thing preventing us from using them is political will and interests in fossil fuels. [CNN]

Coal-burning power plant (Jason Blackeye, Unsplash, cropped)

¶ “IPCC Scientists Report Five Ways To Save The Planet” • UN scientists have laid out a plan to avoid the worst impacts of rising temperatures. The IPCC report essentially calls for a revolution in how we produce energy and power our world. To avoid very dangerous warming, carbon emissions need to peak within three years, and fall rapidly after that. [BBC]

¶ “BYD Has Ended Production Of Conventional Cars Powered by Gasoline” • The last BYD passenger car without a plug rolled off the line in China at the end of February. Since then, every one built has been either a plug-in hybrid or a battery-electric car, according to Electrive, which cites several different Chinese sources for its report. [CleanTechnica]

BYD Han EV (Courtesy of BYD via Electrive)

¶ “Electric Vans Are 25% Cheaper To Own Than Diesels” • The European advocacy group Transport & Environment is on a mission to accelerate the transition to EVs. Their latest survey shows battery-electric vans average 25% cheaper to own than equivalent diesels, with a cost per kilometer of €0.15 for electrics and €0.20 for diesels. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “UPS Begins EQuad Electric Bike Trials In London” • The UPS vice president of fleet maintenance and engineering, told Reuters that UPS is about to begin trials in London of 100 eQuad electric cargo bikes designed and built by UK firm Fernhay. The eQuad is electric-assisted, has a top speed of about 25 km/h (15.5 mph) and carries a load of up to 200 kg (441 lb). [CleanTechnica]

UPS eQuad (Courtesy of Fernhay)

¶ “Enel Green Power To Build 3-GW Solar Panel Factory In Italy” • Italian renewable energy firm Enel Green Power signed a grant agreement with the European Commission to build a solar panel gigafactory in Italy. The facility will be built at EGP’s 3Sun solar PV plant in Catania, Sicily, increasing the PV-making capacity from 200 MW to 3 GW. [Power Technology]

¶ “Serious Setback For Renewable Energy Goals As Budget Backs Away From Transition Support” • The Australian federal budget was handed down last week, and among all the cost-of-living reliefs, fuel concessions, benefits to home buyers, and so on, there was notable silence on one major aspect – the transition to renewable energy. [Monash Lens]

Offshore wind turbine (Grahame Jenkins, Unsplash)

¶ “Boris Johnson Blows Cold On Onshore Wind Faced With 100-Plus Rebel MPs” • Pro-green cabinet ministers are frustrated by Boris Johnson’s decision to back away from ambitious onshore windfarm plans for England, as it emerged more than 100 Tory MPs are lobbying against the policy. He will focus on nuclear, offshore wind, and natural gas. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ “Volunteer State (Finally) Discovers Solar Power – And With A Regenerative Twist” • Tennessee is adding a 70-MW solar project to its stable of PV arrays. This particular project is also of interest because it sports a regenerative agriculture angle, and that could help spark more solar activity in a state where more than 40% of the land is farmland. [CleanTechnica]

Farming with PVs in Tennessee (Silicon Ranch via Cision)

¶ “Democrats To Big Oil: Suspend Buybacks And Dividends During Ukraine War” • Two top House Democrats are pushing the CEOs of ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, and Shell to scrap their stock buyback and dividends during the war in Ukraine and shift funding for those shareholder rewards towards lowering prices at the gas pump. [CNN]

¶ “Hertz Buys 65,000 New Electric Cars From Polestar” • Hertz is proving to be a major player in the switch to electrification, and is following up its 100,000 unit Tesla order with another massive electric car order. This time, from Swedish performance brand Polestar. The 65,000 order is more than double Polestar’s entire sales for last year (29,000 units). [CleanTechnica]

Have an immensely contented day.

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April 4 Energy News

April 4, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Tesla And German Auto Industry’s Varied Tech Paths” • Tesla manages its business very differently than its competitors. As a result, Tesla sales grew almost 90% in 2021, compared to a declines of 2% at Daimler and 3% at the VW Group. Tesla’s growth took place despite a world-wide shortage in chips, and some of the legacy car makers are noticing. [CleanTechnica]

Quality control at Giga Berlin (Tesla image)

¶ “It’s Time For Charles Koch To Testify About His Climate Change Disinformation Campaign” • The US House Oversight and Reform Committee is investigating the fossil fuel industry’s decades-long climate change disinformation campaign. The committee would be remiss if it doesn’t invite Charles Koch for questioning. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “First EV Road Trip For EV Veteran” • I’ve been driving an EV for some time, but my 2011 Nissan Leaf, while dependable and fun, is a first-generation EV with limited range. I planned to take my wife’s plug-in hybrid on a road trip from Kentucky, where I live, to visit my dad in Connecticut. Then a friend offered a loan of his Tesla Model 3. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 (Bram Van Oost, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Coalition Tries For Third Time To Let Renewable Energy Agency Fund Technologies Using Fossil Fuels” • The Morrison government launched a third attempt to change the Australian Renewable Energy Agency to allow it to fund a broader range of technologies than had been originally envisioned, including some using fossil fuels. [The Guardian]

¶ “France Plugin EV Share Hits 21.4% As Diesels Reach Record Low” • France, Europe’s second largest auto market, saw plugin electric vehicles take 21.4% market share in March 2022, up from 16.1% in 2021. Full electrics took 13.5%, their second highest result. Overall auto market volume was down by some 35% compared to pre-pandemic March 2019. [CleanTechnica]

Peugeot e-208 (Vauxford, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Indian Oil Corp, L&T, ReNew Power Form Joint Venture For Green Hydrogen Projects” • State-run Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, engineering major Larsen & Toubro, and clean energy firm ReNew Power signed an agreement to form a joint venture to collaborate for green hydrogen. The three companies will hold equal stake in the joint venture. [Moneycontrol]

¶ “Greencoat Renewables Enters Offshore With Riffgrund 1 Deal” • Irish investor Greencoat Renewables has reached an agreement to acquire 50% of the Borkum Riffgrund 1 offshore wind farm in Germany from Kirkbi A/S and William Demant Invest A/S for around €350 million. Ørsted, which developed and constructed the windfarm, owns the other 50%. [reNews]

Borkum Riffgrund 1 offshore wind farm (Ørsted image)

¶ “Energy Dome And Ansaldo Energia Sign Agreement To Bring Energy Storage Facilities To Europe, Middle East, and Africa” • Energy Dome, a global provider of energy storage, and Ansaldo Energia, an international power OEM and service provider, signed a non-exclusive license agreement to partner on storage in the EMEA region. [Business Wire]

¶ “Here’s How Master Group Is Producing Four Times More Renewable Energy Than It Consumes” • The fact that the world needs sustainable, clean forms energy is no secret. As technology advances, so do our choices of sustainable energy. Wind energy is one of the fastest-growing energy sources globally. And Master Group is bringing that to Pakistan. [Dawn]

Wind farm in Pakistan (Muzaffar Bukhari, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Boris Johnson Will Bow To Pressure From Conservative MPs To Block New Onshore Wind Farms” • Boris Johnson is poised to bow to pressure from Conservative MPs to block new onshore wind farms. The energy strategy to be published will focus on reviving nuclear power and expanding offshore wind, along with new North Sea oil and gas licenses. [MSN]

¶ “Ukraine Plans To Resume Regulatory Control At Chornobyl Nuclear Plant” • The International Atomic Energy Agency has been notified by Ukraine that it is examining the possibility to resume regulatory control of the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant, after the withdrawal of the Russian military from the site. Ukraine did not specify a date. [Power Technology]

Chernobyl plant, before it blew up (IAEA, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

US:

¶ “Climate Change Could Cost US Budget $2 Trillion A Year By End Century – White House” • Flood, fire, and drought fueled by climate change could take a massive bite out of the US federal budget per year by the end of the century, the White House said in its first ever such assessment. It could take up $2 trillion per year, the assessment said. [WKZO]

¶ “Could Tesla Soon Be Worth $4 Trillion? Some Analysts Think So” • Elon Musk’s electric vehicle company has been making waves in the wealth world in recent years. The automaker’s market capitalization creeping its way towards the trillion dollar mark, and some analysts believe it may someday quadruple its current levels. [CleanTechnica]

Charging an EV (Kindel Media, Pexels, cropped)

¶ “Tesla’s Model X SUV Takes On Some Sleek, Sexy Supercars – Drag Race!” • Have you ever seen a Porsche or Lamborghini drag racing a full-size luxury SUV? Probably not. YouTube channel DragTimes brings us the thrill and excitement of watching a 5,390 lb (2,445 kg) Tesla Model X Plaid routing the internal combustion engine superstars. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “More Than 800 Solar Projects In Bay States Stuck Waiting For Review” • The rollout of solar and other renewable energy projects in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia is caught up in a review bottleneck. So far, 807 utility-scale, commercial rooftop, community solar, and solar storage projects have been stuck in a growing regulatory traffic jam. [Bay Journal]

Have a consistently brilliant day.

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April 3 Energy News

April 3, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “The FUD Against Global Warming Lives On” • FUD – Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt – about global warming persists, despite the science being solid for decades. Whenever scientific evidence challenges the revenues of large corporations, a strategy has been cooked up and continually used to obscure the truth of the new evidence. It’s still happening. [CleanTechnica]

Atmospheric CO₂ at Mauna Loa Observatory (NOAA image)

¶ “Why ‘Bio’ And ‘Green’ Don’t Mean What You Think” • The rising public enthusiasm for climate action has led to a surge in corporate climate claims, making it increasingly difficult for consumers to distinguish between good environmental practices and misleading statements, including a practice now referred to as “greenwashing.” [BBC]

¶ “Creating A One-Stop Shop For Whole-Home Retrofits” • To decarbonize the US building stock, we must start by ensuring that low-income residents have easy access to healthy, safe, and climate-aligned housing. Funding from the US DOE, provides a momentous opportunity for communities in the US to deliver retrofits for low-income housing. [CleanTechnica]

Apartment building (Brandon Griggs, Unsplash)

¶ “Dire warning on climate change ‘is being ignored’ amid war and economic turmoil” • Scientists fear that their last-ditch climate warnings are going unheeded. The third segment of the scientific report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will be published. The fear is it will be ignored with the war in Ukraine and high energy prices. [The Guardian]

Science and Technology:

¶ “New Sulfur Battery Promises 300% More EV Range” • German startup Theion is promising a new sulfur battery technology that could help mainstream electric cars offer 900 miles of range on a single charge. The best part? Compared to lithium, sulfur uses much less energy to produce and costs just pennies on the dollar to source. [CleanTechnica]

Natural sulfur crystal (Didier Descouens, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

World:

¶ “Norway At New Record High 92% Plugin EV Share” • Norway’s combined plugin result of 91.9% was overwhelmingly comprised of full battery electrics at a record of 86.1% of sales. Plugin hybrid vehicles contributed just 5.8%. All other powertrains were less than half of that, with petrol-only internal combustion engines taking just 2.8%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “As Energy Prices Soar, UK Faces A Cucumber Crisis” • Growers of vegetables in UK greenhouses are facing a problem because of high energy costs due to the high price of natural gas. A year ago, paid 40 to 50 pence per therm for natural gas, or about 65¢. Last week, it was £2.25, or nearly $3. The costs of fertilizer and labor have also soared. [MarketScreener]

Cucumbers (Jonathan Pielmayer, Unsplash)

¶ “India Is Set To Miss Renewables Goal For 2022” • From curbing emissions to increasing forest cover, India has often boasted about making progress toward its pledges under the 2015 Paris climate change accord. But officials have kept quiet about renewable energy. That may be because India is on track to miss its goal for renewable energy. [Regina Leader Post]

¶ “Ukraine Hoists National Flag Above Chernobyl Nuclear Plant After Russian Troops’ Departure” • Amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, Energoatom, a nuclear power company in Ukraine, announced in a statement on Telegram, “Today, April 2, at 11:00, the Ukrainian flag was raised over the Chernobyl NPP and the anthem was sung,” CNN reported. [Republic World]

Chernobyl nuclear plant (Viktor Hesse, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Tesla Delivered Over 300,000 EVs In Q1 2022” • In Q1 2022, Tesla once again proved its naysayers and critics wrong. Tesla announced earlier today that it produced over 305,000 vehicles and delivered over 310,000 in the first quarter of 2022 while facing the challenges of the ongoing supply chain hurdles and factory shutdowns. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Five Grid Plans To Cut Fossil Fuel Dependence” • The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is in the midst of proposing new transmission planning rules. While these reforms are open for discussion, it would be useful to take a close look at the five regional US grid operators’ recent practices to see what FERC should include in its new rules. [CleanTechnica]

Solar array in California (Courtesy of Sempra Energy)

¶ “Buzz Solutions Takes Out 50% Of Grid Inspection Image Effort And Duration” • Buzz Solutions has a platform for utilities to analyze, store, and manage the increasing load of inspection images of transmission and distribution assets. Its CEO took interest in energy when she was involved in the fight to close the San Onofre nuclear plant. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Dangerous Combination of Intense Wildfires and Extreme Rainfall Likely to Happen More Often” • The dangers of extreme wildfires followed by torrential rainfall leading to deadly flooding and landslides will likely become more common in western US as the world becomes warmer, according to a study in the journal Science Advances. [The Weather Channel]

Deluge on the way (Jim Witkowski, Unsplash)

¶ “Can Texas Replace Coal With Wind And Solar Power?” • How likely is a scenario in which renewables overtake coal in the US, and where will all of that renewable energy come from? It could be coming sooner than you think. According to research from Rice University, Texas could replace nearly 100% of its coal output with wind and solar. [Oil Price]

¶ “Fossil Fuel Protest Held In Northampton Against Banks” • In Northampton, Massachusetts, local organizations held a protest to target TD and Bank of America over climate destruction. Area groups including Climate Action Now had members demanding that the banks stop funding, insuring, and investing in climate destruction. [Western Mass News]

Have a fondly memorable day.

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April 2 Energy News

April 2, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “Let’s ‘Finally, Formally, Categorically, And Irreversibly’ End Our Oil Obsession!” • Thomas Friedman says the US needs to “finally, formally, categorically, and irreversibly” end its oil addiction. That addiction has distorted US “foreign policy, our commitments to human rights, our national security, and, most of all, our environment.” [CleanTechnica]

Offshore oil (NOAA image, public domain)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Can Wind, Water, And Air Combine In A New Energy Revolution?” • Startup Highly Innovative Fuels’ “Haru Oni” project is a $55 million effort to display a viable commercial process for turning wind, water and air into synthetic fuels that can be used to power internal combustion engines while reducing carbon emissions. [CNN]

World:

¶ “Russia Says It Won’t Cut Off Gas Supplies Yet In Ruble Payment Row” • Russia has said it will not cut off gas exports to Europe yet in a standoff over its demand to be paid in rubles. Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a decree stating buyers must pay in rubles through Russian bank accounts. The contracts call for payment in dollars or euros. [BBC]

Rubles (Anna Tis, Pexels)

¶ “Russia Accuses Ukraine Of Attacking Oil Depot” • An oil depot was set on fire in a Russian city near Ukraine in what Russia said as an attack by two Ukrainian helicopters. A video on Twitter showed a blaze near apartment blocks in Belgorod, 40 km (25 miles) from the border. Ukraine’s top security official denied his country’s forces were behind the attack. [BBC]

¶ “SAFIRUN Launches Daily Lifestyle App And Marketplace In Rwanda” • A Rwandese company SAFIRUN, mostly known for pioneering eco-friendly delivery and logistics services in Kigali, has been working on various green-transport solutions for goods and services using electric scooters, electric bikes, and electric vans over the past four years. [CleanTechnica]

Green delivery (SAFIRUN image)

¶ “Ministers Go Cool On Fracking Plan – With More Onshore Wind Likely To Be Included In Energy Security Strategy” • New proposals to look at fracking may be put on the back burner even though the UK’s only shale gas wells have been given a year-long reprieve. More onshore wind could be in the plan despite some opposition from Tory MPs. [Daily Mail]

¶ “Noxious weed prickly acacia to be turned into ‘green coal’ by renewable energy company in outback Queensland” • Prickly acacia, originally from Africa, has been a multi-million-dollar problem across outback Queensland for decades, infesting prime grazing land, killing native grasslands and degrading soil health. Now it could become an energy source. [ABC]

Prickly acacia (Queensland government image)

¶ “Vedanta To Source 580 MW Of Renewable Energy For Its Operations Across India” • Vedanta announced that it signed a Power Delivery Agreement with affiliates of Sterlite Power Technologies – a company to supply hybrid-based power with solar, wind, and storage solutions. Vedanta is seeking 2.5 GW of constant power by 2030. [Construction Week India]

¶ “Portugal To Speed Up Switch To Renewable Power In Wake Of Ukraine War” • Portugal aims to accelerate its energy transition to have renewable sources supply 80% of its electricity output by 2026, the government said. That is four years earlier than had been planned. The transition is being accelerated in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. [Reuters]

Pelamis wave machine (P123, public domain)

¶ “Russian Soldier Was Killed By ‘Radiation From Damaged Chernobyl Nuclear Plant'” • A Russian soldier died of radiation from the damaged Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine after his unit camped in a toxic forest, reports say. His unit dug trenches into radioactive mud and their trucks kicked up radioactive dust as they drove along dirt roads. [The Mirror]

¶ “Johnson To ‘Bet Big’ On Nuclear Energy Despite Sunak’s Reservations” • Boris Johnson wants his promised energy security strategy to “bet big” on nuclear despite reservations of Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer. But he has cooled on more onshore wind turbines in England amid a Conservative backlash. [The Guardian]

To achieve security, bet big! (Michał Parzuchowski, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “California Snowpack Is Critically Low, Signaling Another Year Of Devastating Drought” • Snowpack in the California Sierra this winter is just 38% of normal, California water officials said, in the latest sign the state’s drought is growing more devastating by the month. Heavy snows in December were followed by months of basically no snow at all. [CNN]

¶ “New Yorkers And Wildlife Are Finding Solace In The City’s Parks” • New York City’s wildlife is thriving, and that’s thanks to devoted scientists and activists who have spent decades on work bolstering robust wildlife habitats in the city’s five boroughs. New York is densely populated, but much of it’s 30,000 acres of parkland is teeming with wildlife. [CNN]

Screech owl (Joshua J. Cotten, Unsplash)

¶ “Nevada Governor Signs Multi-State Medium And Heavy-Duty Zero Emission Vehicle MOU” • Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak signed a memorandum of understanding to join 16 other states, the District of Columbia, and Quebec to work toward a goal to have 100% of medium-duty and heavy-duty vehicle sales have zero emissions by 2050. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Red Hook Terminals Look To Reduce Fuel Costs And Carbon Emissions” • Red Hook Terminals is one of the largest cargo facilities on the east coast of the US. It recently acquired 10 battery-electric terminal tractors made by BYD to replace some of its diesel trucks. The resulting benefits included an 81% decline in fuel costs. [CleanTechnica]

Have an emphatically tranquil day.

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April 1 Energy News

April 1, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “The World Is Stuck Between Gas Prices And Climate Change” • The West needs more oil now. The world needs to get off oil and gas ASAP. It is an epic quandary of the oil addiction that runs the world economy. President Joe Biden announced a plan he said would address all of the above, with a large release from the strategic oil reserve. But will it work? [CNN]

Gas storage in Massachusetts (Fletcher6, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “These Are The 10 Most Efficient EVs You Can Buy In 2022” • Most EV buyers seem to understand that poor efficiency means a number of other problems, too, like limited towing range, more stops on road trips, and a higher cost of ownership. This list of the Top 10 Most Efficient EVs shows that interest in efficiency is hitting the mainstream. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “American Lung Association Says EVs Save Lives” • A report from the American Lung Association says that transitioning away from fossil fuels to battery-EVs would lead to important health and financial benefits. The US would see more than $1.2 trillion in health benefits if it goes electric for personal vehicles by 2040 and for trucks by 2035. [CleanTechnica]

Electric cement truck (Courtesy of Volvo Trucks)

World:

¶ “Russia Raises Stakes In Energy Standoff, Insisting On Rubles For Gas” • Russia has doubled down on its threat to cut off natural gas supplies to Western countries that refuse to pay in rubles, raising new concerns about rationing. Germany, Russia’s biggest energy customer in Europe, has described the plan as “blackmail” and a breach of contract. [CNN]

¶ “Mediterranean Sea Could Become A ‘Supergrid'” • Electric power could flow across the sea to Europe through the EuroAsia Interconnector. Instead of building gas pipelines so Europe can generate electricity and heat homes, the idea is to move solar energy from Israel, where it’s abundant, to places in Europe, where power is not so cheap. [CleanTechnica]

Mediterranean Sea (NASA image, public domain)

¶ “Mainstream PPA signals entry into Colombia” • Mainstream Renewable Power has commercialized its first development in Colombia by signing a deal to supply 180 GWh of electricity a year from the 100-MW Andromeda solar farm in a private power purchase agreement. The PPA has a tenure of 15 years, and will come into effect from 2024. [reNews]

¶ “Australia’s Renewables Boom Is Fading As Investors Lose Confidence, Energy Council Says” • After 6.3 GW of renewable energy were installed in 2021, Australia’s boom in rooftop solar and large-scale renewables is fading as investors lose confidence, with the lack of coordination by the Morrison government partly to blame, the Clean Energy Council says. [The Guardian]

Windy Hill Wind Farm (Lepidlizard, public domain)

¶ “Solar Cells Import Jumps To $3,447 Million In April Through January” • Indian solar cell imports rose to $3,447 million (about ₹26,000 crore) during April through January 2021-22, Parliament was informed. India has a goal of installing 100 GW of solar by December of this year. Projects of 108.91 GW have been put online or are in the pipeline. [Business Standard]

¶ “IAEA Investigates Claim Russians Fled Chernobyl With Radiation Sickness” • Russian troops have largely withdrawn from the Chernobyl nuclear power. The Ukrainian state power company Energoatom said the pullout came after soldiers received “significant doses” of radiation, a claim the UN’s nuclear watchdog has said it is investigating. [The Guardian]

Sarcophagus for destroyed reactor (Mick De Paola, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “America’s Home Builders Are Getting Squeezed By The War In Ukraine – Here’s How” • Supply chain disruptions from the pandemic have meant garage doors are on back order, floor tiles keep getting discontinued mid-construction, and appliances are marooned aboard waylaid shipping vessels. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has made things worse. [CNN]

¶ “Biden To Invoke Defense Production Act To Boost EV Mineral Production” • President Joe Biden is set invoke the use of Title III of the Korean War-era Defense Production Act to ramp up US production of minerals for electric vehicles and large energy storage batteries as the latest salvo in the ongoing economic battle with Russia. [CleanTechnica]

President Joe Biden (White House image)

¶ “Biden Orders ‘Unprecedented’ Release Of Oil Reserves” • US President Joe Biden ordered a major release from America’s oil reserves in an effort to bring down high fuel costs. The release of up to 180 million barrels of oil over six months is the largest in the reserve’s 48 year history. But it is unlikely to fully resolve the energy crisis, analysts say. [BBC]

¶ “Engie Finances 665-MW US Clean Power Trio” • Engie North America has successfully completed tax-equity financing and equity financing for renewables projects totaling 665 MW. The finance covers the Iron Star wind farm in Ford County, Kansas, the Priddy wind farm in Mills County, Texas, and the Hawtree solar park in Warren County, North Carolina. [reNews]

Live Oak wind farm (Engie image)

¶ “NHTSA Agrees With Tesla And Increases Fines For Auto Makers That Don’t Meet Fuel Economy Rules” • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has agreed with Tesla in a move that will increase the fines for automakers whose vehicles don’t meet fuel efficiency requirements for model years 2019 and up, Reuters reports. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Report Claims Northern California Wildfire Smoke Will Reach ‘Unbearable’ Levels Due To Climate Change” • A report from Princeton University and NOAA says wildfire smoke in Northern California will be worse than thought. “We are going to see a future full of more smoke,” said Dr Scott Stephens, Professor of Wildland Fire Science at UC Berkeley. [MSN]

Have a magnificently easy day.

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