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]

Have an especially worthwhile day.

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