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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