July 6 Energy News

July 6, 2022


¶ “Supposed Benefits Of Biofuels Are A Dangerous Illusion” • Guardian columnist George Monbiot had a few things to say about biofuels recently, none of them complimentary. His latest opinion piece starts this way: “Modern biofuels are touted as a boon for the climate. But, used on a large scale, they are no more sustainable than whale oil.” [CleanTechnica]

Use of Virent biofuel (Courtesy of United Airlines)

Science and Technology:

¶ “These Energy-Packed Batteries Work Well In Extreme Cold And Heat” • Engineers at the University of California, San Diego have developed lithium-ion batteries that perform well at both freezing cold and scorching hot temperatures but still pack a lot of energy. The researchers accomplished this feat by developing a new electrolyte. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Sand Battery Trials Begin In Finland” • The sand battery is the idea of two Finnish engineers. It is simplicity itself. Make a really big pile of sand. Heat it with excess renewable electricity to around 500º C (932º F), then use that heat later to heat homes, factories, even swimming pools. They say the sand can stay hot for 3 months or more. [CleanTechnica]

Sand battery (Image courtesy of Polar Night Energy)

¶ “Tapping Into The Million-Year Energy Source Below Our Feet” • A startup called Quaise hopes to retrofit power plants using a new way to tap geothermal energy. The company plans to vaporize rock to create the world’s deepest wells and harvest geothermal energy at a scale that could satisfy human energy needs for millions of years. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Norway’s Government Steps In To End Oil And Gas Strike, Averting A New Energy Shock For Europe” • Natural gas prices spiked after Norwegian oil and gas workers went on strike over a pay dispute. The Norwegian government has intervened to end the strike, citing concerns about Europe’s energy crisis amid Russia’s war in Ukraine. [CNN]

Norwegian offshore oil rig (JanChr, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “EU To End Undercounting Of Plug-In Hybrid Emissions” • The climate ratings of plug-in hybrid vehicles are set to become a lot more realistic after the EU agreed to assess CO₂ emissions based on how much they actually emit on the road. Green group Transport & Environment campaigned for years to highlight the true impact of “fake” EVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “UK Plugin EV Share At 22%, Tesla Model Y Overall Runner Up” • June saw plugin electric vehicles take 21.6% market share in the UK, up from 17.2%, year-over-year. This despite a temporary availability shortfall, stemming from pauses at Tesla Shanghai. Overall new auto sales volumes were at 140,958 units, the weakest June since 1996. [CleanTechnica]

Vauxhall EV (Vauxhall image)

¶ “Shell To Build 200-MW Dutch Electrolyzer” • Subsidiaries of Shell have taken the final investment decision to build Holland Hydrogen 1, which will be Europe’s largest renewable hydrogen plant when it is operational in 2025. The 200-MW electrolyzer will be built in the port of Rotterdam and will produce up to 60 tonnes of hydrogen a day. [reNews]

¶ “UK Energy Bill Introduced To Parliament” • The UK’s Energy Security Bill, which will be introduced into Parliament today by Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, will speed up the transition to energy independence, according to RenewableUK. The government said the Energy Bill is most significant piece of energy legislation in a decade. [reNews]

Parliament (Free Images)

¶ “Renewables Supply Nearly Half Of German Power Demand In First Half 2022” • Renewable energy has supplied roughly half of Germany’s electricity demand for the first half of 2022, boosting the amount of renewables in the mix by six percentage points compared to the same period in 2021. The figure shows a notable increase in production. [Renew Economy]

¶ “Energia To Halve Carbon In Power Generation” • Ireland’s Energia Group unveiled a commitment to reducing the carbon intensity of its electricity generation by 50% by 2030, compared to 2019 to 2020. To achieve the target Energia will increase the volume of renewable electricity it generates from onshore wind and solar by a factor of three. [reNews]

Hollyford wind farm (Energia image)

¶ “MEPs Divided Over Vote On Environmentally Sustainable Energy Sources” • The European Parliament will decide later today whether to classify certain gas and nuclear energy activities as environmentally sustainable. A proposal would label them as sustainable sources of electricity, but there is a great deal of opposition to the move. [RTE]


¶ “Endangered Species Act Restored By Federal Judge After Trump-Era Weakening” • In a win for environmental groups, a federal judge in California overturned Trump administration move in 2019 to gut the landmark Endangered Species Act, vacating that administration’s changes and restoring protections for hundreds of species. [CNN]

Flying condor (Patrick Hendry, Unsplash)

¶ “Coal Mining In Extremo” • Surface mining is a particularly harmful way to get coal, as it leaves the land massively degraded. Mountaintop removal mining is one of the most destructives ways to do that, and it is still being practiced in Appalachia. An NGO based in West Virginia, Skytruth, published impressive footage showing how damaging it is. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Scottish Crew Makes 1.5-GW US Solar Move” • A Scottish company, Renewco Power, is expanding into the US by acquiring 1500-MW pipeline of early stage solar projects and 500 MW of battery projects from Beaufort Rosemary. Renewco is forming a partnership with Beaufort Rosemary also, to develop more sites for 3 GW of solar and storage projects. [reNews]

Have an enthralling lovely day.

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