June 4 Energy News

June 4, 2022


¶ “How China’s Lithium Leverage Affects Tesla And Other EV Makers” • China is aggressively trying to maintain its dominance in lithium and other minerals for EV batteries. China’s jump on the raw materials game will make it hard for other countries to compete at such a scale. That could mean a few things for Tesla and other EV makers. [CleanTechnica]

Spodumene lithium ore (Ivar Leidus, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “What’s Your Position On Carbon Capture For The Year 2100?” • Are carbon capture and other geoengineering technologies inevitable? The author of a new book argues that meeting those thresholds will not be the end of the climate struggle but only “the end of the beginning.” While we might well be skeptical, his argument is worth studying. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Turning High-Rise Buildings Into Batteries” • In a study published in the journal Energy, researchers at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis propose a gravity-based storage system that uses lifts and empty apartments in tall buildings to store energy by lifting wet sand containers or other high-density materials. [CleanTechnica]

New York skyline (Robert Bye, Unsplash)

¶ “More Than 40% Of Earth’s Land Surface Must Be Conserved To Stop The Biodiversity Crisis” • 44% of the Earth’s land surface must be protected to stop the biodiversity crisis, a report in the journal Science says. Some 64 million square kilometers (24.7 million square miles) needs “conservation attention” to prevent major biodiversity losses. [CNN]


¶ “Toyota Residential Battery Supports Vehicle-To-Home Operation” • Toyota is entering the residential battery storage market with its new O-Uchi Kyuden system, which consists of a battery with a rated capacity of 8.7 kWh and a rated output of 5.5 kWh. That much makes it seem like a competitor to the Tesla Powerwall, but there are differences. [CleanTechnica]

Toyota O-Uchi Kyuden (Toyota image)

¶ “Norway Continues To Grow EV Share In May” • Norway, the electric transport leader, saw plugin electric vehicle share of 85.1% in May 2022, up from 83.3% year-on-year. Full electrics grew their share by 1.2 times year-on-year to over 73%, whilst plugin hybrids halved their share. Overall auto volumes were down 18% year-on-year, at 11,537 units. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Autonomous Gold Coast Smart Shuttle” • The 6-seat EasyMile Smart Shuttle has been deployed in various places in southeast Queensland for the past 3 years. After two successful phases of trials, phase three of the trial has commenced in February 2022 on the Gold Coast, where traffic patterns are more complex than they had been in earlier phases. [CleanTechnica]

RACQ Gold Coast smart shuttle (Photo courtesy of RACQ)

¶ “Norwegian Startup Lighting The Way For Sea Change In Renewable Energy Solutions” • Norwegian startup Sunlit Sea believes it has solved the challenges for floating solar power. The company has created prefabricated floating solar panels that save time, reduce risk, and require fewer personnel to assemble the modules. [Sustainable Brands]

¶ “India To Replace 30 GW Of Thermal Power With Renewables” • India aims to replace 30 GW of thermal generating capacity with renewable energy by 2026, in a move aimed at reducing emissions from coal-fired power plants. Delhi has directed 81 thermal power plants to reduce coal-fired generation and offset the decline with solar power. [Argus Media]

Solar power in India (Vinaykumar8687, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Russian-Held Nuclear Plant Faces Critical Shortage Of Spare Parts, Says Ukraine” • Europe’s largest nuclear power plant lies in Russian-occupied Ukraine. But the Zaporizhzhia plant is still operated by Ukrainian technicians. It faces a critical shortage of spare parts, threatening the safety of its operations, Ukraine’s military intelligence agency said. [News18]

¶ “Ukraine Could Shut Europe’s Largest Nuclear Power Plant If It Loses Control” • If Ukraine loses operational control at the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, at Zaporizhzhia, which is currently occupied by Russian forces, Kyiv would consider shutting down the power plant, Yuriy Boyko, an adviser to the Ukrainian prime minister, said. [Oil Price]

Three Zaporizhzhia reactors (Maxim Gavrilyuk, GNU License)


¶ “Stellantis US Arm Pleads Guilty To Fraud And Conspiracy In Diesel Emissions Investigation” • The Michigan-based arm of the international automaker Stellantis has pleaded guilty and agreed to pay $300 million in penalties to settle an investigation into alleged cheating on emissions tests for diesel-powered vehicles of two models made in 2014 through 2016. [BBC]

¶ “Drought-Stricken US Warned Of Looming ‘Dead Pool'” • Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the US and provides water to 25 million people across three states and Mexico. If it continues to recede, it would reach what’s known as “dead pool,” a level so low the Hoover Dam would no longer be able to generate power or deliver water downstream. [BBC]

¶ “Ford Adds 6200 Manufacturing Jobs, CEO Sees EV Price Wars Ahead” • Ford Motor Company says it wants to be the Tesla of commercial EVs. To that end, it is building four new vehicle and battery manufacturing facilities in Tennessee and Kentucky. This week, it announced it will invest $3.7 billion to retool three of its factories in the Midwest. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Solar Power Is On A Roll In Minnesota” • Solar power still accounts for less than four percent of electricity generated in Minnesota, but it’s growing fast as a way to reduce carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels. Utility companies in the state are on track to get 10% of their electricity from this renewable source by 2030. [MPR News]

Have a prodigiously inspired day.

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