Archive for August, 2022

August 31 Energy News

August 31, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “Last-Minute Bill to Extend Operation of California’s Diablo Nuclear Plant is Misguided” • The Union of Concerned Scientists opposes a bill (SB 846) that would extend the operation of Diablo Canyon, California’s last remaining nuclear power plant. The Diablo Canyon plant should retire, as it was scheduled to do, in 2025. [Union of Concerned Scientists]

Diablo Canyon nuclear plant (Doc Searls, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

World:

¶ “Pakistan Causes Less Than 1% Of Planet-Warming Gases. It’s Now Drowning Under The Climate Crisis” • Less than 1% of the world’s planet-warming gases come from Pakistan, EU data shows, but it is paying a hefty price for the climate crisis, not only with lives but destroyed buildings and bridges. Officials estimate the total bill will be $10 billion. [CNN]

¶ “Pakistan Floods Caused By ‘Monsoon On Steroids,’ Says UN Chief In Urgent Appeal” • The world is “sleepwalking” into environmental destruction, UN Secretary General António Guterres warned, as he made an appeal for $160 million for flood-ravaged Pakistan. Over 1,100 people have been killed and 33 million others impacted by flooding. [CNN]

People gathering for relief supplies during flooding, 2010
(Sgt Jason Bushong, US Army, public domain)

¶ “The Rise In Extreme Heat Is Taking A Toll On Our Well-Being. It’s About To Get Worse” • An analysis by Gallup in collaboration with Citi found that people who experienced extreme heat also reported a decrease in their sense of well-being at the same time. Globally, people experienced three times as many extreme heat days in 2020 as they did in 2008. [CNN]

¶ “Russia Shuts Nord Stream 1, Major Gas Pipeline To Europe” • Russia has halted gas supplies to Europe via a major pipeline, saying repairs are needed. The Russian state-owned energy giant, Gazprom, said the restrictions on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline would last for the next three days. Russia has already greatly reduced gas exports through the pipeline. [BBC]

Route of Nord Stream 1 (Samuel Bailey, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “AEMO Warns Of Power ‘Gaps’ In Australia’s Biggest Grid Within Three Years As Coal Exodus Gathers Pace” • Electricity supplies are forecast to fall short of demand within three years across Australia’s eastern grid, unless new renewable energy and transmission capacity is urgently brought online, a report by the Australian Energy Market Operator says. [ABC]

¶ “Monthly Rail Pass In Germany Cuts Carbon Emissions By 1.8 Million Tons” • On June 1, Germany started a program allowing people one month of unlimited travel on trams, buses, and regional train networks for €9. An analysis shows a reduction in trips by automobile that resulted in 1.8 million fewer tons of CO₂ entering the atmosphere. [CleanTechnica]

Deutsche Bahn (Andreas Stutz, Unsplash)

¶ “VW Group And Canadian Government Team Up To Secure Battery Minerals” • Rare earths and other battery minerals are very important on the geopolitical stage. China has gained a grip on minerals that drive clean technologies, along with many other applications. Volkswagen and Canada reached an agreement to open up new sources. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Auckland Welcomes Sparky, World’s First Full-Size Electric Tug Boat” • The world’s first full-size electric tug boat is now in service in Auckland, New Zealand. It is called Sparky, which was the first choice in an online naming contest. Sparky can perform up to four shipping moves on a single charge of batteries and can be recharged in about two hours. [CleanTechnica]

Sparky (Courtesy of Ports of Auckland)

¶ “UN Team Heads To Assess Ukrainian Nuclear Power Plant” • A team of inspectors from the UN’s nuclear watchdog headed to Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant to assess safety and security issues at the Russian-controlled site. The team is to spend several days at the plant on a mission that is considered a “very complex operation.” [Voice of America]

US:

¶ “Kia EV6 Wins Winter Vehicle Award” • The New England Motor Press Association awarded the Kia EV6 “2022 Winter Vehicle Award For Best Electric Vehicle.” A Kia press release says, “EV6 was chosen by a cohort of more than 50 working journalists in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.” [CleanTechnica]

Kia EV6 (Hyundai Motor Group, Unsplash)

¶ “Tesla Won Big In California In 2nd Quarter” • In California, the Tesla Model Y and Tesla Model 3 were #1 and #2 in the second quarter, but with the Model 3 was just 999 units above the Toyota Camry. The mass-market Tesla vehicles will have to work to hold onto their places, especially the Model 3 and its shorter, more compact body. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Maine’s High Court Rules That Voter Referendum Blocking Power Corridor Was Likely Unconstitutional” • Maine’s highest court has struck a blow against the campaign to prevent Central Maine Power from building a high-voltage transmission line in western Maine, ruling that a November 2021 referendum was likely unconstitutional. [WBUR]

Maine forest (Mark Olsen, Unsplash)

¶ “Drake Power Plant In Downtown Colorado Springs To Shut Down This Week” • Colorado Springs Utilities announced the Martin Drake Power Plant will shut down for good on September 1. This is twelve years ahead of schedule, and only a year after it was converted to burn natural gas. The plant is in downtown Colorado Springs. [KKTV]

¶ “Comcast Signs Renewable Energy Deals With Michigan Utilities” • Comcast has entered into agreements with Consumers Energy and DTE Energy to buy renewable energy, including wind and solar electricity, for Comcast Cable’s operations in the state of Michigan. Comcast has a stated goal of being carbon neutral by 2035. [Telecompetitor]

Have an agreeably alluring day.

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August 30 Energy News

August 30, 2022

Science and Technology:

¶ “SWEL Promises Cleanest, Cheapest Energy Ever” • Sea Wave Energy Ltd spent the better part of the last decade developing a floating, wave-riding generator that the company claims will produce a whole lot of tidal energy for not a whole lot of money. They claim its electricity will have an LCOE (levelized cost of energy) of 1¢/kWh. [CleanTechnica]

SWEL generator (SWEL, via New Atlas)

¶ “Vision Marine Sets Electric Speed Record” • Five time UIM and current F1 H20 World champion pilot Shaun Torrente broke the 100 MPH speed barrier in a Vision Marine electric watercraft at Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, with a speed of more than 109 MPH! The previous record was 88.6 MPH, set by a Jaguar Vector V20E in 2018. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Greenland Ice Losses Set To Raise Global Sea Levels By Nearly A Foot, New Research Shows” • Widespread ice losses from Greenland have locked in nearly a foot of global sea level rise that’s set to come in the near future – and new research suggests there is no way to stop it, even if the world stopped releasing planet-heating emissions today. [CNN]

Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland (Annie Spratt, Unsplash)

¶ “Pakistan Flood Disaster To Cost More Than $10 Billion, Says Minister” • Pakistan’s planning minister says early estimates show the devastating floods that hit the country have caused at least $10 billion (£8.5 billion) of damage. His comment comes as another government minister said that one-third of the South Asian nation has been submerged. [BBC]

¶ “UK Looks To Sweden For A Solution To Nuclear Waste” • We have ways to store nuclear waste that work on a temporary basis. But there is little available for long-term storage, and 100,000-year storage is needed. Sweden is developing long-term storage, but not everyone agrees that it is a good idea. One said the plan is “unfortunately, a nuclear fig leaf.” [BBC]

Aerial view Sellafield, Cumbria (Simon Ledingham, CC BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Finally, South Africa Could Be Getting An EV With V2L, The Kia EV6!” • Kia’s EV6 that is reported to be on its way to South Africa in the near future. The EV6 comes with the option of a 54 kWh or 74 kWh battery pack (usable capacity). As supplied for Africa, the car can produce 3.6 kW of backup power, which will help in situations of load-shedding. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EV Charging Stations On The Up” • The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is providing funding of $871,000 to support a pilot project, run by Australian and New Zealand smart metering and data intelligence provider Intellihub. Chargers will be mounted on utility poles for families with no overnight parking facilities. [ARENA]

Charging station (Intellihub image)

¶ “China’s Clean Energy Investments Growing Rapidly In Africa” • Chinese investments in renewable energy are increasing rapidly in sub-Saharan Africa, with major projects set to help light vast areas of the continent while contributing to tackling climate change. Support has gone to hundreds of African clean energy development projects. [China Daily]

¶ “Solar Farm With Power For 16,000 Cork Homes Is First Big Irish Project For Global Green Energy Giant” • Construction of the Ballinrea Solar Farm in Cork is due to begin in 2024, and it is to be operational by 2025, producing enough power for 16,000 homes. It will add 65 MW of solar to Ørsted’s global goal of 17.5 GW of onshore renewables by 2030. [Cork Beo]

County Cork (Colin C Murphy, Unsplash)

¶ “US Urges ‘Controlled Shutdown’ Of Zaporizhzhia Plant” • The US government has urged a complete shutdown of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant as fighting intensifies in the area and international experts plan an inspection visit. A White House national security spokesman also reiterated calls to create a demilitarised zone around the facility. [RTE]

US:

¶ “California Plans To Add Solar Panels Over Irrigation Canals” • California has 4,000 miles of irrigation canals that distribute water to the state’s farmers. If all of them were covered with solar panels, they could produce 13 GW of renewable energy. Turlock Water & Power is planning to start Project Nexus, a pilot program putting PVs over the canals. [CleanTechnica]

PVs over the TID Main Canal (Turlock Water & Power)

¶ “California’s Advanced Clean Cars II Regulations Supported By Ford” • The California Advanced Clean Cars II plan for model years of 2026 through 2035 requires that by 2035, all new passenger cars, trucks, and SUVs sold in California will be zero-emission vehicles. Ford released a statement in support of California’s new rules. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “USPS Electric Vehicle Study Challenged By Analysis” • The Inflation Reduction Act includes $3 billion for the US Postal Service to reduce its emissions and shift to EVs. A University of Michigan study finds that the switch to all-electric mail-delivery vehicles would lead to far greater reductions in emissions than previously estimated by the USPS. [CleanTechnica]

Postal delivery EV concept (United States Postal Service)

¶ “Governor Laura Kelly Touts Kansas As A Wind Energy Leader” • Governor Laura Kelly touted Kansas as a leader in wind energy, citing the recently released Wind Energy Market Report from the US DOE. According to the report, land-based wind energy supplied 45.1% of Kansas’ electricity generation in 2021. Kansas is the number three state for windpower. [KRSL.com]

¶ “Clashes Brew Over Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant Extension Plan As 40% Of Expected Renewables Fail To Come Online” • Last year, the California PUC ordered the state’s power providers to procure 11.5 GW of new clean energy resources collectively. Regulators now worry that supply chain constraints and other factors could delay the projects. [Utility Dive]

Have a consummately delightful day.

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August 29 Energy News

August 29, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “Will Biden’s Big Clean Energy Bet Help The US Catch China?” • The US seems well on its path to green energy. President Joe Biden recently signed the biggest clean energy investment in US history into law. The package includes $370 billion in subsidies for renewable energy, EVs, etc. Nevertheless, compared to China, the US efforts look modest. [Oil Price]

Wind turbines (Tyler Casey, Unsplash)

¶ “Climate Change Hits Home” • One year, it rains so hard the farmers can’t bail their hay. The next, it barely rains at all, and crops fail. Here we are, exactly where scientists have warned for years we would be, scrambling to find ways to adapt to changes that might have been mitigated if governments had paid serious attention a few decades ago. [Times Union]

World:

¶ “Spain’s Olive Oil Producers Devastated By The Worst Ever Drought” • The fertile plains full of olive trees that stretch across southern Spain have made the country the world’s biggest producer of olive oil, accounting for around half of the global supply. This year’s yield is down by around a third already – and there’s still no sign of rain. [BBC]

Spanish olive trees (Vincent Eisfeld, Unsplash)

¶ “UN Team Leaves For Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant” • A team of inspectors from the UN nuclear watchdog is on its way to the embattled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the organisation’s head said. Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency said the team was expected to arrive at the Ukrainian plant this week. [BBC]

¶ “EU Faces Awful Winters Without Gas Cap – Minister” • The Belgian Energy Minister, Tinne Van der Straeten, has warned that EU countries will face “five to ten” “terrible” winters if nothing is done to reduce natural gas prices. Calls are mounting for an EU-wide cap on the price of gas and its decoupling from the price of electricity. [BBC]

Power blackout (Claudio Schwarz, Unsplash)

¶ “Peugeot Gives A Peek Behind The Scenes At EV And Hybrid Production” • In a recent press release, Peugeot gave us an inside look at its manufacturing facilities for electrified vehicles. By 2025, Peugeot says its whole model lineup will have an electric variant. This will necessitate a significant increase in battery production. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Australian Conservation Foundation Pushes For Clean Energy Export Strategy” • The ACF urged the federal government to take advantage of the global shift towards renewable energy to unlock hundreds of thousands of jobs and inject billions of dollars into the economy. About half of Australia’s exports may be exposed to world decarbonization efforts. [pv magazine Australia]

Dalrymple Bay coal terminal (DBI image)

¶ “Germany’s North-South Divide Flares Up Over Energy Crisis” • Germany’s north-south political divide has been virulent in the past few weeks, with the state premiers of Bavaria in the south and Lower Saxony in the north trading remarks about energy resources. The federal government, under pressure to replace the loss of Russian gas and oil, also weighed in. [DW]

¶ “Investors Register 17 GW Of Renewable Energy Projects For Illawarra REZ” • Renewable energy investors have proposed 44 clean energy projects totalling more than 17 GW of generation and storage capacity for a coordinated renewable energy zone to be established in the Illawarra region on the New South Wales south coast. [pv magazine Australia]

Australian solar farm (Soltec image)

¶ “Russia Doesn’t Acknowledge Radiological Risk At Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant, US Says” • The United States has said that Russia did not want to acknowledge the grave radiological risk at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, adding that was the reason it blocked a nuclear non-proliferation treaty deal’s final draft. [CNA]

US:

¶ “Vehicle-To-Grid Trials Taking Place In Massachusetts And New York” • Electric school buses are ideal candidates for use in V2G applications. They sit idle during the day when schools are in session, which allows them to soak up lots of excess electricity generated mid-day when the output from solar power plants is highest. [CleanTechnica]

Proterra school bus (Proterra image)

¶ “Cape Cod Offshore Wind Moves Ahead, Despite Controversy” • Fierce opponents of Cape Cod offshore wind have held their ground over decades. But, remarkably, the project is underway for a 35-mile offshore transmission cable serving Vineyard Wind. The change is attributed to an ongoing effort to talk with the residents one-on-one. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Lucid Sapphire Offers Wicked Performance” • Lucid says it has set standards with the longest-range, fastest-charging electric car on the market with the award-winning Lucid Air, and now the Sapphire. Lucid’s ultra-high-performance brand, led by the Lucid Air Sapphire, is designed for the company to reach new levels of performance and luxury. [CleanTechnica]

Lucid Sapphire (Lucid image)

¶ “Mayor Urges Residents To Flee Ahead Of Rising River Waters In Mississippi” • As record-setting rain and rising river waters threaten to seep into their homes, Jackson, Mississippi, residents are once again packing up their belongings and hoping for the best. Jackson, the state capitol, is still dealing with the toll of historic flooding of 2020. [CNN]

¶ “Public School Teachers In New Jersey Add Climate Change To Curriculum” • New Jersey will become the first state in the nation where all public schools are to teach climate change as part of their curriculum, for all grade levels. The aim is to help students understand the causes and impacts of climate change and what they can do to address it. [NPR]

Have an enjoyably perfect day.

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August 28 Energy News

August 28, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “Electric Vehicles Don’t Break The Grid, And They Can Help Boost It” • Australia has just come out of an energy crisis. Some people blamed it on the amount of renewable energy in the grid and the number of EVs that were plugged in. But real numbers show that is wrong, and the EVs can  actually provide power to the grid when it is needed. [CleanTechnica]

Backup power from a pickup (Courtesy of Ford)

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Botanic Matchmakers That Could Save Our Food Supply” • Among the vegetation at New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, in one of the most celebrated plant collections in North America, are the wild relatives of our most important food crops. They are genetically set up to meet challenges that might destroy domesticated plants. [Inside Climate News]

¶ “Dust To Downpour: US Weather Whiplash Shows Climate Change” • A series of “once-in-a-millennium” rainstorms have struck the US in recent weeks, flooding areas long parched by droughts, as human-caused climate change brings weather whiplash. Scientists warn that global warming means once-rare events are much more likely. [Business Recorder]

Hurrican Irma aftermath (Wade Austin Ellis, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Pakistan Appeals For Aid As 119 More Die In Floods In One Day” • Pakistan is appealing for further international assistance as floods devastate the country, leaving people searching for higher, drier ground. The death toll from the monsoon rains has reached 1,033. The US, UK, UAE and others have contributed to a disaster appeal, but more is needed, officials say. [BBC]

¶ “Avocados And Exotic Plants Grow In Hot UK Summer” • This summer’s record-breaking hot and dry weather has seen more exotic plants, including figs and avocadoes, growing in the UK, gardeners told BBC News. It’s part of a trend of Mediterranean and sub-tropical plants thriving in recent years, while traditional British garden varieties struggle. [BBC]

Figs growing on a tree (Martin Angelov, Unsplash)

¶ “China Plans To Double Renewable Energy Generation By Building More Wind Turbines, Solar Panels By 2025” • China’s usage of renewable energy sources will surpass 50% in the overall energy usage increments by 2025, and wind and solar energies will be doubled over 2020, according to a report by Shanghai Securities News. [Global Times]

¶ “Demand For Solar Explodes Everywhere In Europe Except The UK” • In April, Germany instituted new policies designed to accelerate the construction of wind and solar installations. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine made a problem clear: It is in the national interest of all countries to use local renewable energy for their own security. [CleanTechnica]

German railroad and solar power (Courtesy of TÜV Rheinland)

¶ “Renewables And Solar As Sources Of Reliable Power Increase On Australian Farms” • While data across the entire agricultural industry is not available, it is clear many are making the switch. A 2020 survey by the peak industry body found that 71% of the farms in Australia installed at least one type of renewable energy between 2015 and 2020. [ABC]

¶ “Radiation Leak Fears Grow Near Ukrainian Nuclear Plant Knocked Offline” • Authorities began distributing iodine tablets to residents near Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant Friday in case of a radiation leak, amid fears that the fighting around the complex could trigger a catastrophe. The plant had been knocked offline temporarily. [HuffPost]

Another Zaporizhzhia power plant (Anatoliy Volkov, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “With Disaster Looming, Inspectors Set To Visit Ukraine Nuclear Plant” • As renewed shelling intensified fears about a nuclear accident at the Zaporizhzhia power plant, Ukrainian authorities stepped up emergency drills. Ukraine is still haunted by the memory of the 1986 Chernobyl Disaster, and officials urged the public not to panic. [The Japan Times]

US:

¶ “The Fight Against Drought In California Has A New Tool: The Restrictor” • When customer service representatives California’s Las Virgenes Municipal Water District see any water restriction violations they take note. And for repeat offenders, officials are trying something new: adding water restrictors to the pipes, to reduce the home’s water supply. [CNN]

Development in Calabasas, CA (brewbooks, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “One In Three Americans Live In A State Committed To 100% Clean Electricity” • According to Environment America, ten states have 100% clean or renewable electricity commitments, since Rhode Island joined the crowd in June of this year. But some of these states have large populations, and together, they account for one in three Americans. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Ford Mustang Mach-E Pricing, Colors, EPA Range – And Orders Re-Open!” • If you want to join the 44,818 Ford Mustang Mach-E drivers on the road in the US (as of the end of Q2 2022) and buy a brand new Mustang Mach-E, there’s some news this week just for you. Ford has re-opened the order books for the Mustang Mach-E. [CleanTechnica]

Preproduction Mustang Mach-E (Courtesy of Ford)

¶ “Top 10 Cities For Solar Power Per Capita In USA” • Which US cities are leading in solar power adoption? Which are leading on a solar power installed per capita basis? We’ve got answers to both questions thanks to a report from Environment America. Many are in the Southwest. But on a per capita basis, one of the top ten is Burlington, Vermont. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Arkansas Farmers Harvesting Sunlight For Power” • The US has passed Inflation Reduction Act making renewable energy a priority, and it is growing in the Arkansas agriculture sector. More farmers are turning to energy sources like solar to power everything from fans in a poultry house to grain drying bins and well pumps. [The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette]

Have a consciencously carefree day.

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August 27 Energy News

August 27, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “Can The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant Avoid A Major Disaster?” • As the possibility of all-out military conflict at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine becomes more likely, the situation there is growing increasingly dire. Despite continued shelling, it does not appear that safety systems have suffered significant damage. But that could change quickly. [CleanTechnica]

City of Zaporizhzhia (Alexey Tolmachov, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

World:

¶ “China’s Worst Heat Wave On Record Is Crippling Power Supplies. How It Reacts Will Impact Us All” • For weeks now, a power crunch caused by a record heat wave and accompanying drought has wreaked havoc across Sichuan, a province home to 80 million people in southwestern China. Rolling blackouts have hurt businesses, farms, and households. [CNN]

¶ “Middle Earners Will Need Help With Rising Prices Too, Says Chancellor” • Middle earners, as well as low earners, are likely to need government help to pay their energy bills this winter, Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi has warned. Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Mr Zahawi said even those earning £45,000 ($52,800) a year may need support. [BBC]

Suburban UK home (Travel-Cents, Unsplash)

¶ “Russia To Build Two Nuclear Reactors In Hungary” • Russian nuclear power giant Rosatom will begin constructing two nuclear reactors in Hungary in the coming weeks, Hungary’s foreign minister said. The deal was reached in 2014. Russia’s nuclear industry has not been subjected to EU sanctions over its bloody invasion of Ukraine. [BBC]

¶ “Efforts To Pass Global Ocean Protection Treaty Fail” • A fifth effort to pass a global agreement to protect the world’s oceans and marine life failed. Talks for the UN High Seas Treaty went on for two weeks in New York, but governments could not agree on the terms. International waters represent nearly two-thirds of the world’s oceans, but only 1.2% is protected. [BBC]

Diving whale (Bart van meele, Unsplash)

¶ “The Yanks Are Coming! Ford Mustang Mach-E Heading Down Under” • The Ford Mustang Mach-E electric SUV is about to arrive in the Australian market. It’s unclear what variants will make the trip to Australia. Nevertheless, the Mustang Mach-E looks like it will be likely to give the Tesla Model Y and BYD Atto 3 a run for their money. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Used EV Market In Denmark Is Booming” • In Denmark, sales of EVs have risen sharply in the last two years, largely due to lower operating costs. During the first half of 2022, 12,000 new EVs and 18,000 used EVs were sold in the country, which has a population of about 6 million. There are clear reasons why used EVs would outsell new ones. [CleanTechnica]

Danish countryside (Adrien Hobbs, Unsplash)

¶ “Germany, Denmark Sign Deal To Ramp Up Renewable Energy” • German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock signed a deal with Denmark to boost investment in hydro and windpower, just as German electricity prices hit a record. Green electricity and hydrogen should be “central anchors for a more climate-neutral and sovereign Europe,” she said. [DW]

¶ “Russia Blocks UN Nuclear Treaty Agreement Over Clause On Zaporizhzhia” • After four weeks of debate and negotiation among 151 countries, Russia blocked an agreement at the UN that aimed to bolster the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. Moscow objected to a clause about control over the Zaporizhzhia power plant in Ukraine. [The Guardian]

Nuclear power plant (John McArthur, Unsplash)

¶ “Team Of United Nations Inspectors Will Visit Ukraine’s Threatened Nuclear Power Plant” • UN experts are expected to visit the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant next week, Ukrainian officials said. Fire damage to a transmission line at Europe’s largest nuclear plant caused a blackout across the region and heightened fears of a catastrophe. [Daily Mail]

US:

¶ “US Electric Vehicle Market Is Growing, And Yet Tesla Still Dominates” • With car makers rolling out new electric models, US EV sales reports are getting more interesting again. Tesla has long accounted for about 60–70% of the US electric car market. With the EV sales data we have, Tesla’s four models accounted for 67% of sales in Q2 of 2022. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model Y (Screen Post, Unsplash)

¶ “Quarterly US Auto Sales Down Nearly 1 Million While Tesla Sales Up 97% In 3 Years” • US auto sales continue to crash. In the 2nd quarter of 2022, US auto sales were down 20% compared to the 2nd quarter of 2021. They were down 22% compared to the 2nd quarter of 2019. Tesla’s sales in Q2 2022 were 30% higher than in Q2 2021. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Mercedes Begins Production Of EQS SUV In Tuscaloosa” • The Mercedes-Benz factory in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, has begun building the SUV version of the new EQS battery-electric car, the company’s standard bearer going forward. Every EQS SUV for both domestic and foreign customers will be built exclusively in Tuscaloosa, a press release says. [CleanTechnica]

Mercedes EQS SUV Interior (Courtesy of Mercedes)

¶ “Six US States Join Agreement Proposing Clean Hydrogen Hub” • Maine and Rhode Island signed on to a New York-led multi-state agreement, joining with Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Jersey to develop one of at least four regional clean hydrogen hubs named in the federal Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs program. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Renewable Energy Is Maligned By Misinformation. It’s A Distraction, Experts Say” • We are witnessing an ongoing misinformation campaign, says Dave Anderson of the Energy and Policy Institute, a watchdog group. He put together a 19-page timeline of how elected officials and advocacy groups have been publicly hammering wind power. [NPR]

Have a simply spectacular day.

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August 26 Energy News

August 26, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “Sterling: The Inflation Reduction Act Just Shattered The Ceiling For Clean Energy In Vermont” • Incredibly and finally, the Inflation Reduction Act has begun the shift to a clean energy America. What does this mean for Vermonters? A lot. For starters, if you are looking to go solar, you will now get 30% off through a tax credit. [Vermont Business Magazine]

Solar PVs at Middlebury College (PenelopeIsMe, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

World:

¶ “Record-Breaking Heat Wave In Europe Will Be The Norm By 2035, Analysis Shows” • The record-breaking heat wave that hit Europe this year will become the “average” summer by 2035, even if all countries reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by as much as they have pledged to, according to an analysis by the UK’s Met Office Hadley Centre. [CNN]

¶ “From Energy To Drinking Water, China Has Lots To Fix In Its Economy” • China has unveiled 19 new measures to shore up its economy and its water supply as the country struggles with its worst heatwave in 60 years and rigid Covld lockdowns. The new measures announced by China’s cabinet amount to more than C¥1 trillion ($146 billion) in funding. [CNN]

Great Wall (Bruce Röttgers, Unsplash)

¶ “Pakistan Floods Hit 33 Million People In Worst Disaster In A Decade” • At least 33 million people have been affected by deadly flooding in Pakistan, the country’s climate change minister said. Since mid-June, 937 people have died from heavy rain and flooding across the country, according to the country’s National Disaster Management Authority. [CNN]

¶ “World Narrowly Avoided Radiation Accident At Zaporizhzhia, Zelensky Said” • Europe faced the prospect of a radiation disaster when a Russian-occupied nuclear plant was disconnected from Ukraine’s power grid, President Volodomyr Zelensky has said. Fires had earlier damaged overhead power lines, so the plant had to run on backup power. [BBC]

President Zelensky (President Of Ukraine, Public Domain Mark 1)

¶ “Russia Burns Off Gas As Europe’s Energy Bills Rocket” • As Europe’s energy costs skyrocket, Russia is burning off large amounts of natural gas, analysis shared with BBC News shows. Experts say the gas would previously have been exported to Germany. They say the plant is burning an estimated $10 million (£8.4 million) worth of gas every day. [BBC]

¶ “Roam Launches First Electric Mass Transit Bus In Kenya” • Roam (previously Opibus) is a Swedish-Kenyan company founded in 2017. It develops, designs, and deploys EVs tailored for the African continent, and it wants to catalyze the adoption of high capacity electric buses across Africa. It just announced new electric bus, the Roam Rapid. [CleanTechnica]

Roam Rapid electric bus (Image courtesy of Roam)

¶ “Norway’s Vehicle Fleet Transitions To Electric – How Long Will It Take?” • As of the end of Q2 2022, 24.4% of Norway’s passenger vehicle fleet were plugin vehicles, up from 19.3%, year on year. And 18% were fully electric, up from 13.6%. In 2010, only 0.5% of the fleet were plugins. Internal combustion vehicles are on a steep decline. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant Still Disconnected From Grid, Ukraine’s Energoatom Says” • All six reactors of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in southern Ukraine are still disconnected from Ukraine’s electricity grid, state nuclear company Energoatom said, a day after nearby fires allegedly caused by shelling caused the plant to go offline. [Yahoo News]

Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant (Ігор Діклевич, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

US:

¶ “California Votes To Ban New Gas Car Sales By 2035” • The California Air Resourcess Board voted to approve stringent rules that would ban the sale of new gasoline cars by 2035 and phase the cars out with interim targets. The measure is historic for the US. It has major implications for the US car market, given the size of California’s economy. [CNN]

¶ “Amazon Strikes Green Hydrogen Deal With Fuel Cell Maker Plug Power” • According to Amazon, Plug Power will supply 10,950 tons of green hydrogen per year for its transportation and building operations starting in 2025. Amazon expects Plug Power to provide enough green hydrogen to power 30,000 forklifts or 800 long-haul trucks. [CNBC]

Plug Power hydrogen delivery truck (Plug Power image)

¶ “California Solar Property Tax Exclusion Extended” • The California State Legislature approved a two-year extension of a property tax exclusion for solar projects, providing stability to solar companies that have been facing significant uncertainty around project development as they work to help California meet its climate targets. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Rhode Island Announces Its First Electric Bus Fleet” • The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority received the first of 14 New Flyer Xcelsior CHARGE NG™ 40-foot battery-electric buses. The rest of the order is to be delivered in coming months. The effort advances the state’s climate goals, including reaching zero net emissions by 2050. [CleanTechnica]

Xcelsior electric bus (Photo by Xcelsior)

¶ “Renewable Energy Coming To Campus” • Over the next 25 years, the University of Arkansas is expected to save millions of dollars in electricity costs and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 8.8% due to a new solar services agreement that was signed by UA System President Donald Bobbit on July 18, 2022. Savings of over $200,000 are expected in its first year. [UARK News]

¶ “DOE Announces $540 Million For Technologies To Transform Energy Production And Cut Emissions” • The DOE announced over $540 million for research into clean energy technologies and low-carbon manufacturing led by universities and national laboratories. The research is to build scientific foundations for reducing emissions. [Department of Energy]

Have a categorically grand day.

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August 25 Energy News

August 25, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “California Can’t Count On Diablo Canyon’s Nuclear Power, So It Should Spend Now On Renewables” • Governor Newsom’s proposal to extend the life of California’s last nuclear plant would cost at least $1.4 billion. That money should be used to accelerate renewable energy, transmission, and storage projects, instead of nursing an old power plant. [Yahoo News]

Diablo Canyon nuclear plant (Tracey Adams, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Enhanced Geothermal Technology Cracks The 24/7 Energy Code” • The US DOE has been supporting R&D on a new type of 24/7 thermal energy called enhanced geothermal systems, and one of its private sector partners just pulled in $138 million in new funding to complete the construction of two geothermal power plants in the US. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The ‘Spongy’ Cities Of The Future” • Two parks in Auckland are designed to collect excess stormwater, soak it up like a sponge, and slowly release it back into a creek. The parks are flanked on both sides by public housing. The parks are “designed to flood so that the houses don’t,” says Julie Fairey, chair of the Puketāpapa local board. [BBC]

Park in Auckland, New Zealand (AR, Unsplash)

¶ “Rechargeable Aluminum Battery” • Considered as an energy storage medium in a battery, aluminum has an energy density 50 times that of lithium ion, and it is cheap. Swiss scientists believe the technology can be a storehouse of renewable energy for the cold European winters. The aluminum battery is claimed to be good for long-term storage. [Nation World News]

World:

¶ “The World’s First Hydrogen-Powered Passenger Trains Are Here” • The future of environmentally friendly travel might just be here – and it’s Germany that’s leading the charge, with the first ever rail line to run entirely on hydrogen-powered trains. Five are now running, and nine more are being manufactured by Alstom for use in Lower Saxony. [CNN]

Hydrogen-powered train (Alstom image)

¶ “UK Energy Crisis Is ‘Bigger Than The Pandemic’” • The UK will have to find an answer to soaring energy bills soon or risk a humanitarian crisis. But freezing gas and electricity prices over the next two winters could cost the government over £100 billion ($118 billion), more than it spent paying millions of people’s salaries during the pandemic. [CNN]

¶ “France’s Emmanuel Macron To Mend Algeria Ties As Energy Crisis Bites” • French President Emmanuel Macron is going to Algeria hoping to repair fractured relations with a nation whose oil and gas reserves have new strategic significance because of the energy crisis. The countries have had a tense relationship, but both have signalled a desire for a reset. [BBC]

Ahaggar National Park (Azzedine Rouichi, Unsplash)

¶ “Solar Power Is Booming In Germany As Russia Turns Down The Gas” • People on the frontlines of Europe’s gas crisis are scrambling to get solar panels for their homes and businesses as they confront a “perfect storm” that’s sending energy prices to record levels. The crisis results from pressure applied by Russia after its invasion of Ukraine. [CNN]

¶ “Great Wall Motors To Go 100% Electric!” • Great Wall Motors is a Chinese carmaker that has had a presence in Australasia for the past 13 years. GWM plans to have 80% of its Haval sub-brand become plug-ins, either as hybrids or full battery, by 2025. Not only that, but they will stop offering petrol and diesel completely by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

ORA Adora (Image courtesy of GWM)

¶ “Oil And Gas Powerhouse Norway To Invest In Indian Solar Project, Sees Country As Priority Market” • In Norway, pension company KLP and the Climate Investment Fund are set to invest in a 420-MW solar project under development in Rajasthan. Norway’s Indian Embassy said the fund is to allocate about $1 billion to projects over five years. [CNBC]

¶ “Octopus Energy Makes First Investment To Develop UK’s Largest Battery” • Octopus Energy Group just launched the Octopus Energy Development Partnership, and it made a €220 million debut investment in renewables developer Exagen to build new green energy and increase the UK’s energy storage capacity rapidly. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Workers on a wind turbine (Octopus Energy image)

¶ “Japan Turns Back To Nuclear Power In Significant Policy Shift As Fuel Prices Soar” • Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced that Japan will restart idled nuclear plants and will also consider developing next-generation reactors, in a policy reversal that will see the nation turn back toward atomic energy as fuel prices soar worldwide. [KRDO]

US:

¶ “Four Months Into ‘Danger Season,’ Here’s Our Extreme Heat, Flood, And Fire Tally” • The US is four months into Danger Season, and we have another two months or so to go before the season hopefully starts to wind down. Meteorologists did a study of the weather events that have taken place this year. Here is what they found. [CleanTechnica]

Fire fighter (Joe Bradshaw, Bureau of Land Management)

¶ “Tritium Completes US EV Charger Factory In Record Time” • Tritium, an Australian maker of DC fast charging equipment, announced the opening of a factory in Tennessee. The facility will have six production lines and employ 500 people. At full production, it will be able to manufacture up to 30,000 DC fast chargers per year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Toyota And NREL Partner To Develop MW-Scale Fuel Cell Systems” • Toyota Motor North America has announced it is partnering with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to construct, install, and test a 1-MW proton exchange membrane fuel cell power generation system at the NREL Flatirons campus in Arvada, Colorado. [pv magazine USA]

Have an endearingly helpful day.

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August 24 Energy News

August 24, 2022

World:

¶ “China Turns Back To Coal As Record Heatwave Causes Power Shortages” • China is mining and importing more coal as its worst heatwave and drought in six decades hits hydroelectricity, the nation’s second biggest source of power. The country’s crucial Yangtze River has dried up in parts because of extreme heat and scant rainfall. [CNN]

Coal barge in China (Rob Loftis, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Turmoil In The Natural Gas Market Spells Trouble Ahead” • The outlook for inflation and the global economy hinges in large part on where energy prices head next – which makes recent turbulence in natural gas markets a worrying development. Natural gas prices in Europe are almost 10 times where they stood this time last year. [CNN]

¶ “Europe’s Drought The Worst In 500 Years” • Two-thirds of Europe is under some sort of drought warning. It is likely the worst such event in 500 years. The latest report from the Global Drought Observatory says 47% of the continent is in “warning” conditions, meaning soil has dried up. Another 17% is on alert – meaning vegetation is stressed. [BBC]

Huveaune River, July 2022 (Ianaré Sévi, CC-BY-SA 4.0, cropped)

¶ “Up To 3 GW Of Offshore Wind Power Being Explored In The Philippines” • Aboitiz Power Corporation, a Philippine company, in partnership with Climate Capital Management and RMI, has launched a feasibility study to develop up to 3 GW of offshore wind projects in the Philippines. This work is funded by the US Trade and Development Agency. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Octopus Energy And National Grid ESO Demonstrate Future Role For EVs In First For Great Britain” • Octopus Energy and the National Grid Electricity System Operator demonstrated the UK’s first successful integration of vehicle-to-grid technology. It showed that EVs can receive a direct signal from the ESO to support system balancing. [CleanTechnica]

EV charging (Octopus Energy image)

¶ “Australia Gas Subsidized By Government Is Being Exported” • An Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis report suggests that Australia’s gas industry majors are acting like a cartel. Domestic users are expected to pay the same price as the countries to which Australia exports, even though gas is heavily subsidized by the government. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “IAEA May Visit Russian-Occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant In Ukraine” • If access negotiations are successful, the UN nuclear watchdog will travel to the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power facility in Ukraine within days, it was announced in a statement. The demilitarisation of the area has been demanded by the UN. [WION]

United Nations building (the blowup, Unsplash)

¶ “At UN, Russia, Ukraine Spar Over Nuclear Plant Dangers” • Russia and Ukraine traded accusations over who was imperiling the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, as the UN urged both sides to insulate the Ukrainian facility from the war. Russia had called the meeting at the UN Security Council to discuss the dangers posed to the power plant. [NDTV]

US:

¶ “Dinosaur Tracks From 113 Million Years Ago Exposed By Severe Drought” • A severe drought has exposed 113 million-year-old dinosaur tracks on a river bed in central Texas. The massive tracks, which belonged to a single acrocanthosaurus, hadn’t been seen since 2000, as they sat under water and several layers of sediment. [BBC]

Dinosaur tracks in 2011 (Dill Tom, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Hawaii Cancels Coal Culture” • Environmental groups are celebrating this week because the last coal-fired generating facility in Hawaii will be shut down by September 1. The AES facility on Oahu serves about 300,000 customers and has been in operation for 30 years. Annually, it spews about 1.5 billion tons of CO₂ into the atmosphere. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Policies Matter: Volkswagen, Mercedes, And Hyundai React To Inflation Reduction Act” • You can bet that Major corporations like Volkswagen, Mercedes, and Hyundai have read the Inflation Reduction Act. And they know that if they jump through the right hoops, their customers will be able to qualify for a $7,500 tax credit on their EVs. [CleanTechnica]

Mercedes-Benz EQS (Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz)

¶ “Fetterman Calls Out Big Oil For Gouging Consumers” • John Fetterman, lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania, is a candidate for the US Senate on the Democratic ticket. Among the many positions he’s taken to appeal to working people, none is more powerful or poignant than his condemnation of “big, price-gouging corporations.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Knoxville’s Demand For Renewable Energy Is Rising Like The Sun” • Are you ready to cut some ties with your local utility? The demand for solar energy is rising by the day, creating a big hiring boom in East Tennessee. Company Solar Titan USA has needed to expand its staff from some 20 people to several hundred in less than two years. [WVLT]

Solar farm (Michael Förtsch, Unsplash)

¶ “Georgia Communities Mobilize Against Expansion Of Foul-Smelling Wood-Burning Energy” • The Southern Environmental Law Center and Concerned Citizens of Cook County are asking a judge to revoke an air quality permit for the planned Adel plant. They say the state Environmental Protection Division did not properly consider its health risks. [Georgia Recorder]

¶ “Ohio Counties Ban Renewable Energy Projects” • At least ten Ohio counties have passed resolutions blocking development of new utility scale wind and solar projects within all or part of their jurisdictions. Their moves come after the enactment in October 2021 of a state law giving the locals veto power over renewable energy generation. [Columbus Underground]

Have a memorably superb day.

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August 23 Energy News

August 23, 2022

Science and Technology:

¶ “Agrivoltaics: Growing Plants, Power, And Partnerships” • Both solar developers and those in the local community who care for the land – whether as farmland, rangeland, or native habitats – can benefit from agrivoltaics. And when all sides understand how they can benefit each other, low-impact solar development becomes easier. [CleanTechnica]

Agrivoltaic farming (Werner Slocum, NREL)

World:

¶ “Wildfires Rage As China’s Chongqing Suffers Unrelenting Record Heat Wave” • Thousands of emergency responders are battling to contain fast-spreading wildfires in Chongqing, in China’s Southwest, amid a weeks-long, record heat wave in the region. An expert said the fires were the result of “spontaneous combustion” due to extreme heat. [CNN]

¶ “Scotland’s Biggest Offshore Wind Farm To Generate First Power” • Scotland’s biggest offshore wind farm has begun generating power. Seagreen, which is about 27 km (17 miles) off the Angus coast in the North Sea, has been in development for more than a decade. When fully operational, its 114 turbines will generate 1.1 GW of power. [BBC]

Seagreen wind farm (SSE Renewables image)

¶ “Report Details Two Major Air Pollutants And Related Health Impacts In More Than 7,000 Cities” • A report released by Health Effects Institute’s State of Global Air Initiative, provides detailed analysis of air pollution and global health impacts for more than 7,000 cities around the world. It focuses on PM2.5 particulates and nitrogen dioxide. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Europe Solaris Project Will Explore Space-Based Solar Power” • The brutal war of aggression in Ukraine has caused Europe to search for alternatives to fossil fuels from Russia. One option might be space-based solar power – a system of solar panels in geosynchronous orbit that would transit abundant electricity down to the Earth below. [CleanTechnica]

Space based solar power (NASA, public domain)

¶ “Energy Crunch In Belgium Drives Spike In Demand For Renewable Energy Cooperatives” • Belgian cooperatives, which rely on their own production rather than buying from volatile markets, have seen a huge spike in demand as the energy crunch has hit consumers. Household membership can mean paying half as much for electricity. [EURACTIV.com]

¶ “UK Green Lights €35 Billion Nuclear Plant” • The outgoing UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has given approval to construct two new nuclear reactors, known as Sizewell C, in England. The political green light will probably make it possible to raise private funding for the project, which is expected to cost as much as €35.5 billion. [Construction Europe]

Rendering of the Sizewell C nuclear plant (EDF image)

¶ “Russia To Convene UN Security Council Meeting On Tuesday To Discuss Situation At Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant” • The Office of the Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the UN reported that the Russian Federation has requested to convene an urgent UN Security Council meeting to discuss “the situation around the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.” [Yahoo]

US:

¶ “Dozens Of High-Water Rescues Are Underway As The Dallas Area Gets A Summer’s Worth Of Rain In One Day” • Parts of Dallas got an entire summer’s worth of rain between Sunday afternoon and Monday afternoon, NWS said. The rain came to an area in a state of exceptional drought. It is an example of “climate whiplash.” [CNN]

¶ “Americans Want Clean Energy Products Made In The USA. That Goal Is Now Within Reach” • Catalyzing American Solar Manufacturing, a whitepaper by the Solar Energy Industries Association, examines the various tools at our disposal to put the country on course to build the clean energy products we need in the US. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Updated Marine Energy Atlas” • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Renewable Energy Atlas and Marine Energy Atlas are publically available, free tools. They give people access to the data they need to start planning their clean energy future. New features make it easy for communities to learn how much electricity a device could produce. [CleanTechnica]

Marine energy potential of Hawaii (NREL image)

¶ “The Other IRA Provisions That Will Help Electric Car Buyers” • There are parts of the IRA that will help lower prices for all EVs, provided critical components that go into them are sourced from within the US. For example, according to Axios, the IRA provides a tax credit of $35 per kWh for each US-produced lithium-ion battery cell. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Oahu’s First Utility-Scale Solar-Plus-Storage Power Plant Complete” • Clearway Energy Group completed construction and reached commercial operations at its Mililani Solar I plant. It is Oahu’s first utility-scale solar and battery storage power plant. The facility advances Hawaii’s goal of 100% renewable energy by 2045. [pv magazine USA]

Solar and battery storage plant (Clearway Energy image)

¶ “Fourteen Renewable Energy Power Plants, Storage Facilities Set To Go Online In Hawaii Over Next Two Years” • If you look on Hawaiian Electric’s renewable status area of their website, you can see that fourteen power plants and storage facilities are set to go online in the next two years. While one is a geothermal plant, the rest are solar. [kitv.com]

¶ “Louisiana Regulators File Suit Against Federal Regulators Over Grand Gulf Nuclear Power Plant” • Alleging “inexcusable” delays in resolving its complaints against Entergy’s nuclear power plant in Mississippi, which it says charges excessive rates for electricity, the Louisiana Public Service Commission is suing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. [KPVI]

Have a commendably effective day.

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August 22 Energy News

August 22, 2022

World:

¶ “China’s July Russian Coal Imports Hit 5-Year High As West Shuns Moscow” • China’s coal imports from Russia jumped 14% in July from a year earlier to their highest in at least five years, as China bought discounted coal. Western countries have shunned Russian cargoes over its invasion of Ukraine, so China is buying Russian coal at a steep discount. [CNN]

Coal-burning plant in China (Hanno Böck, CC0)

¶ “Allies Seek More Security At Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant” • Britain, France, Germany, and the US have stressed the need to ensure the safety of nuclear installations threatened by the conflict in Ukraine. In a phone call on Sunday, the leaders of the four countries also reiterated their support for Ukraine against Russia’s invasion. [BBC]

¶ “In Pictures: Drought In Europe Exposes Sunken Ships, Lost Villages And Ominous ‘Hunger Stones’” • Europe has had weeks of drought, with persistent heatwaves leading to evacuations and deaths. Rivers and lakes have dried, causing major problems for shipping and other vessels. The receding water levels have also revealed some usually-buried treasures. [BBC]

‘Spanish Stonehenge’ revealed (Pleonr, CC-BY-SA 4.0, cropped)

¶ “State Of Alert Begins In Portugal Amid Wildfire Risk” • Mobile phones in Portugal have been sent a text warning of the extreme risk of wildfires as the country braces for its third heatwave of the summer. The country entered a state of alert, with temperatures expected to reach 38°C (100.4°F) and strong winds predicted in the coming days. [BBC]

¶ “A Fast Transition To Electric Mobility Can Help Reduce Kenya’s Widening Trade Deficit” • Renewables provided 89% of Kenya’s electricity generation in 2021 thanks to contributions from geothermal, wind, hydro, and some utility-scale solar. By installing more, it could reduce its trade deficit, which has grown because of increased fossil fuel prices. [CleanTechnica]

Unexpected visitor in Kenya (Jason Zhao, Unsplash)

¶ “Brits Face Substantial Energy Bill Increases” • An expected surge in UK energy prices this winter is being described as a national emergency, posing at least as great a financial threat as the coronavirus pandemic. Energy bills are predicted to push a majority of households into fuel poverty, which would strain the rest of the economy. [CNBC]

¶ “China Accounts For Nearly Half Of The World’s Renewable Energy Capacity” • With heavy investments in R&D, China has developed innovative technologies to support its rollout of renewables. Government subsidies have helped build a strong EV market. Now, China has nearly half of the world’s renewable energy capacity. [Yahoo Finance]

Wind farm (Master Wen, Unsplash)

¶ “South Africa’s Nuclear Sector Has Failed Its Test: The Koeberg Nuclear Plant Life Extension” • South Africa’s only nuclear power plant, Koeberg, has frequently been in the news in 2022, always for the wrong reasons. Its continued operation after 2024 will depend on critical refurbishments and upgrades. But work on these has run into difficulties. [Stuff]

¶ “Germany Rules Out Delay To Nuclear Phaseout” • German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said that allowing the last three nuclear power stations in Germany to remain operational would be of little help in solving the country’s energy crisis. He said, however, that he was open to extending the lifespan of one nuclear plant in Bavaria. [DW]

Isar nuclear plant (Felix König, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

Australia:

¶ “Australia Taking Bold Steps Toward Electric Car Future” • At the first ever Electric Vehicle Summit in Canberrra, Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen said the government will present a clean transportation position paper in September. The paper will outline strategies for reducing emissions from cars and trucks. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Sky News: No One In Australia Wants Electric Cars” • While Australia holds a summit to discuss car emissions standards, Sky News presenters say that no one wants electric cars. Meanwhile, ordinary citizens are fighting over what is available. Hyundai sold out a delivery of 100 EVs in minutes, and other companies are increasing imports dramatically. [CleanTechnica]

Hyundia Kona (Vauxford, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Unions Call For Energy Authority To Manage Transition” • The Australian Council of Trade Unions has urged the federal government to establish a national energy transition authority tasked with ensuring that workers and communities affected by the exit of coal-fired generation from Australia’s energy mix are fully supported. [pv magazine Australia]

US:

¶ “First Vehicle-To-Grid System On NYC Grid Launches” • The first vehicle-to-grid system on New York City’s grid has launched, coming from a collaboration between Revel rideshare, Fermata Energy, and NineDot Energy. Revel’s rideshare system includes only fully electric cars and will start with the rideshare network’s Nissan LEAFs. [CleanTechnica]

V2G project at a Revel facility (Image courtesy of Revel)

¶ “Want Lithium From USA? Galvanic Energy May Have Enough For 50 Million EVs” • Galvanic Energy said a third-party resource report “validated Galvanic Energy’s Smackover Formation prospect as one of the largest lithium brine resources in North America, with sufficient lithium to produce enough batteries for 50 million electric vehicles.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EDF Renewables Activates 620-MW Solar, 200-MWh Storage Project” • EDF Renewables North America achieved commercial operations for a series of four projects at its Palen Solar site in California. The projects combine for a total capacity of 620 MW of solar and 50 MW, 200 MWh of energy storage. Construction began in early 2020. [PV Magazine]

Have a pleasantly amazing day.

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August 21 Energy News

August 21, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “Chipmakers Cut Investments After Subsidies – Shame On You!” • Covid has been awful, leading to inflation, supply chain failures, and global political crises. As if all that hasn’t been bad enough, big chipmakers like Intel and Micron have reduced their manufacturing investments, just as major government subsidies are coming their way. [CleanTechnica]

Making chips (Intel image)

¶ “Electric Cars Will Soon Just Be Called Cars” • After an analysis of the 19 countries that have made the EV pivot, Bloomberg said, “Once 5% of new-car sales go fully electric, everything changes.” Everything is about to change, and electric cars will soon be everywhere, such that we won’t even call them electric cars anymore – just cars! [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Nova Scotia Power And Muskrat Falls: The Story Without An End?” • An alternative compliance plan gives Nova Scotia Power a degree of flexibility in meeting its minimum annual renewable energy targets. But delays caused by multiple issues have meant that meeting those goals may be difficult. NSP has a long way to go in very little time. [CBC]

Lower Churchill Project (Nalcor Energy)

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Agrivoltaics Plot Thickens: Energy Crisis, Farm Crisis, And Water Crisis All In Play” • CleanTechnica has been spilling much ink on the topic of agrivoltaics over the past several years, and the good news just keeps getting better. The main item of note is the preservation of land for agricultural use. And the combination increases farm income. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Some Of The World’s Rivers Are So Desiccated, They Have Become Virtually Impassable” • To be stuck “up a river without a paddle” is an expression for a sticky situation you can’t get out of. But if the river is in the northern hemisphere this summer, it’s likely the paddle won’t be helpful, anyway. River traffic has come to a halt in many places. [CNN]

Dry river bed (motomoto sc, Unsplash)

¶ “Indonesia Wants To Be A Manufacturing Super Power” • The government of Indonesia announced a long term agreement to supply $5 billion worth of nickel to Tesla over the next 5 years. It’s a major source of other metals, as well as coal and palm oil, and it’s willing to use taxes and export bans to coax companies to invest in its manufacturing base. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Volkswagen ID. Buzz Cargo Now Open For Orders In UK, £479/Month Starting Price” • The fully electric ID. Buzz is finally (almost) here. The Buzz may be an attractive model for people who want to live a new version of the 1970s in the 2020s, but it can also simply be a very useful commercial light vehicle for delivering goods around the city. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen ID. Buzz Cargo (Courtesy of Volkswagen)

¶ “International Interest Over Newfoundland’s Hydrogen Potential Worries Some Experts” • As Germany turns to Canada for energy, all eyes are on a cluster of small Newfoundland towns that could soon be home to two huge wind-powered hydrogen and ammonia projects. But some environmentalists worry that the province may be moving too fast. [Global News]

¶ “Zelenskyy, Putin Signal Support For International Inspection Of Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant” • Both Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Russian President Vladimir Putin have signaled support for international inspectors to visit the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. This comes after both nations claimed the other attacked it. [USA Today]

Casualty of the war (Julia Rekamie, Unsplash)

¶ “Russia-Ukraine War: Moscow Accuses Kyiv Of Poisoning Its Soldiers In Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant” • Russia accused Ukraine of poisoning some of its soldiers in the Zaporizhzhia area of the war-torn country in July. As per the Russian Defence Ministry, soldiers showed signs of poisoning on July 31. The poison seems to be botulinum toxin type B. [Times Now]

US:

¶ “Would You Rip Up Your Lawn For $6 A Square Foot? Welcome To Drought-Stricken California” • The megadrought affecting the American West has been record-breaking, with no tangible relief in sight. It’s forcing cities to crack down on lawn watering, and some are paying residents to replace their lawns with plants that can live with drought. [CNN]

Cholla Cactus Garden (Tyler Casey, Unsplash)

¶ “Asthma Deaths Rose During The Pandemic. Climate Change May Make It Worse” • An estimated 25 million people in the US have asthma, but for those who are Black, their condition can be dire. Asthma deaths across the country rose by more than 17% in 2020. Covid-19 and climate change have been factors in the increased rates of asthma. [NBC News]

¶ “Today’s Forecast For Tucson, Arizona” • Now it’s rain and floods for parts of Arizona, with nearly four inches of rain, and a lot of flooding. The flash flood watch will continue through Saturday night at 11 PM. Temperatures will be about five to eight degrees below normal because of the recent storms and increased cloud cover. [Today’s Forecast for Tucson Arizona]

Have an unequivocally prepossessing day.

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August 20 Energy News

August 20, 2022

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Tesla Survived The Semiconductor Chip Shortage By Reworking Its Software” • Tesla remained ahead of the ongoing semiconductor chip shortage, but it wasn’t easy. One reason the automaker did better than others to weather the shortage is that Tesla was able to rely on its software focus to make alternatives work. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla circuitry (Courtesy of Tesla)

World:

¶ “Russia To Allow Inspectors At Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant, Says Putin” • Russian leader Vladimir Putin has said UN officials will be granted permission to visit and inspect the Zaporizhzhia nuclear complex. The Kremlin made the announcement after a call between President Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron. [BBC]

¶ “Polysilicon Glut And Cheaper Solar Panels?” • According to Rethink Energy UK’s lead analyst, Andries Wantenaar, prices for polysilicon and hence solar modules will continue to rise during 2022 as supply continues to run short of demand. However, the supply will leap ahead again after that, as new factories go online and prices will drop. [CleanTechnica]

Solar panels (Anders J, Unsplash)

¶ “Australian Financial Institutions Join The REVolution” • In media releases this week, Pepper Money and Bank Australia announced that they would be putting their financial weight behind the switch from fossil fuel vehicles to EVs. Pepper Money is offering 12 months of free charging for drivers who take out a loan to buy an electric car. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Volkswagen – ID. Buzz Sales Surge, Norway All EV By 2024” • The Volkswagen ID. Buzz is sold out for 2022 in Germany and Norway, even though deliveries won’t begin until later this year. Harald A. Møller, the importer of VWs into Norway, announced that it will not import VW cars with internal combustion engines after January 1, 2024. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen ID. Buzz

¶ “Green Hydrogen Is Gaining Traction Across The Globe” • Green hydrogen operations are expanding as governments pump millions into the development of the sector. While the rise of green hydrogen production across Europe is documented, other projects are popping up in more unexpected regions, such as Latin America and Africa. [Nasdaq]

¶ “Solar Briefly Overtakes Coal In Australia As Number One Source Of Power Nationally” • For about half an hour on August 19, Australia’s energy market got a look at a future powered by renewables. Solar eclipsed coal as the lead source of power across the energy market, which includes all of Australia except Western Australia and the Northern Territory. [ABC]

Solar panels (SunEnergy image)

¶ “Uttar Pradesh Eyes To Develop 16,000 MW Renewable Energy Capacity By 2027” • Uttar Pradesh unveiled the draft of its Solar Energy Policy-2022. It indicates that the State will be targeting generation of 16,000 MW of renewable power by 2026-27. The policy was released by the Uttar Pradesh New and Renewable Energy Development Agency. [ApDirect]

¶ “Europe’s Largest Nuclear Plant Is Under Threat. But Experts Say A Chernobyl-Sized Disaster Is Unlikely” • Attacks at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear complex have sparked widespread fears. But nuclear experts would defuse some of the more alarmist warnings, saying the main threat is closest to the plant itself and doesn’t justify Europe-wide alerts. [CNN]

Russian tank (Kevin Schmid, Unsplash)

¶ “Russia Planning To Disconnect Nuclear Plant From Power Grid, Ukraine Warns” • Energoatom, the Ukrainian energy company, said that Russia is planning to switch off the power blocks at the Zaporizhzhia plant and disconnect them from Ukraine’s power grid, which would deny the country a major energy source. [MSN]

US:

¶ “Nearly 2,000 Zero-Emission Trucks And Buses On California Roads – New Data” • According to analysis by the staff of the California Energy Commission, there were 1,943 medium-duty and heavy-duty EVs on the roads of the state as of July 2022. These vehicles include 1,369 buses, 306 trucks, and 268 delivery vans. [CleanTechnica]

QCD Volvo VNR electric truck

¶ “EV Owners Enjoy Cost Savings, Reliability, Range, And More – Maine Survey” • A survey of EV owners in all 16 of Maine’s counties shows that Maine people value EVs for their reliability, performance, and the cost savings they provide. The survey found that 98% of EV owners would personally recommend them to their neighbors. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Jersey Is Ready For 100% Clean Electricity And Buildings” • New Jersey’s 2019 Energy Master Plan laid out the blueprint for how the state can achieve a 100% emissions-free economy by 2050. It envisions a future where a home powered by 100% clean electricity keeps its occupants cool in the summer and warm in the winter by using heat pumps. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image. (2019 New Jersey Energy Master Plan)

¶ “With Activation Of Solar Array, Town Of Bristol Returns To Its Renewable Roots” • A ribbon cutting Friday marked the start of operations of the solar array next to the Bristol, New Hampshire, water and sewer department. Renewable energy isn’t a new idea in Bristol. In the late 1800s, hydropower plants on Newfound River provided all the town’s energy. [WMUR]

¶ “California Nuke Extension Challenged In Legislative Proposal” • A proposal circulated by California Democratic legislators would reject Governor Gavin Newsom’s plan to keep the state’s last operating nuclear power plant open. Instead, it would spend over $1 billion to speed up the development of renewable energy, new transmission lines and storage. [AP News]

Have a really fabulous day.

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August 19 Energy News

August 19, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “A News Site With Ties To The Fossil Fuel Industry Claimed Scotland Axed 14 Million Trees To Make Way For Wind Farms. Is That Correct?” • News reports claim that 14 million trees were cut down in Scotland to make way for wind farms. What the reports miss is that this happened over a period of twenty years, during which 272 million trees were planted. [ABC]

Forest on the River Dee in Scotland (Chris Flexen, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Possible Breakthrough To Destroy Harmful PFAS ‘Forever Chemicals’” • Chemists have identified how to destroy “forever chemicals” in a low-cost way for the first time, new research says. Scientists at Northwestern University, in the US, claim to have done the “seemingly impossible” and destroyed PFAS using low temperature and cheap products. [BBC]

¶ “Clean Charging Solution To Enable Vessels To Use Renewable Power” • Maersk-owned Stillstrom is collaborating with Port of Aberdeen to reduce emissions from vessels on standby outside the port. The concept will give vessels access to the power grid or offshore windpower, eliminating the need to consume fossil fuels while idling. [Riviera Maritime Media]

Stillstrom’s offshore power system (Maersk image)

¶ “Proximity To Fracking Sites Associated With Risk Of Cancer In Children” • Pennsylvania children living near unconventional oil and gas developments at birth were two to three times more likely to be diagnosed with leukemia between the ages of 2 and 7 than those who did not live near such activity, a study from the Yale School of Public Health finds. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Lakes Are Drying Up Everywhere. Israel Will Pump Water From The Mediterranean” • Israel used to get nearly all of its drinking water from the Sea of Galilee. Now, plants desalinizing Mediterranean water provide nearly all the water. And because the Sea of Galilee is running low, Israel is planning to pump desalinized water to it. [CNN]

Sea of Galilee (Erez Gavish, Unsplash)

¶ “Extreme Heat Is Slamming The World’s Three Biggest Economies All At Once” • Estimating just how catastrophic climate change will be for the global economy has historically proven challenging. But the heat and drought battering the US, Europe, and China, show clearly how weather extremes of climate change hurt economies. [CNN]

¶ “Children Are Among The Dead Reported From Storms In France, Austria, And Italy” • Powerful storms, with heavy rain and wind, have battered areas of central and southern Europe, killing at least 12 people including three children. In Corsica, winds gusting up to 224 km/h (140 mph) uprooted trees and damaged mobile homes. [BBC]

Storm (Marc Wieland, Unsplash)

¶ “ACWA Power To Develop 1,500 MW Of Windpower In Uzbekistan” • ACWA Power has signed a set of agreements with Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Energy. One is to build a 1,500-MW onshore wind farm. There are also projects in gas-to-power, hydroelectric, and green hydrogen, with a value of $10 billion over a five-year period, starting in 2023. [reNews]

¶ “Russia To Stage ‘Provocation’ At Nuclear Plant, Warns Ukrainian Military” • Ukraine’s military intelligence has warned that Russian forces may be preparing to stage a “provocation” at a nuclear power plant they control, as the UN secretary general, António Guterres, called for an urgent withdrawal of military forces and equipment from the site. [The Guardian]

Zelenskyy in the Donetsk region in June 2021
(The Presidential Office of Ukraine, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Russia Allegedly Orders Personnel At Europe’s Largest Nuclear Power Plant To Stay Home On Friday” • Russian personnel working at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Enerhodar, Ukraine have reportedly been ordered not to show up on Friday according to Ukrainian military intelligence officials who spoke exclusively with NBC News. [MSN]

¶ “Russia Warns Radioactive Waste Could Hit Germany If Accident Occurs At Damaged Nuclear Power Plant” • Russia’s Ministry of Defense warned that if an accident occurs at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant it is occupying in southern Ukraine, radioactive material would cover Germany, Poland and Slovakia. [CNBC]

US:

¶ “Massachusetts Now All In Drought Amid Alarming Expansion Of Dry Conditions In Northeast” • Flash drought conditions have expanded and intensified in New England, according to the latest report from the US Drought Monitor. Extreme drought now covers parts of eastern Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the entire state of Rhode Island. [CNN]

¶ “Virginia Offshore Wind Project Could Power 600,000 Homes, Create Over 1,000 Jobs” • Virginia recently announced 2,600 MW offshore wind power project. When there is adequate wind, the new offshore wind farm will generate enough power for at least 600,000 homes in Virginia. The project will also create a large number of jobs. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore wind turbine (Courtesy of GE Renewables)

¶ “Hawaii’s Ancient Land Management System” • A ahupua’a starts high in Hawaii’s inland volcanic peaks, and widens, like a pie slice, to include a stretch of shore and the fishing grounds up to a mile out to sea. Stream water irrigates taro pond fields, going from pond to pond without stagnation. The per-acre yields are five times those of dryland farming. [CNN]

¶ “Rise Light & Power Proposes Renewable Project For New York City” • Energy asset manager Rise Light & Power has proposed a 3.9-GW offshore wind transmission project in Queens. The Queensboro Renewable Express would convert New York City’s largest fossil fuel power plant, Ravenswood Generating Station, into a renewable energy hub. [Power Technology]

Have a magnificently sensible day.

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August 18 Energy News

August 18, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “Peaking: A Theory Of Rapid Transition” • RMI’s “Peaking Series” report is intended to map past and current peaks in fossil fuel demand. In country after country, sector after sector, fossil fuel demand has peaked and now faces a future of decline. It develops a new framework, The Peak, Plateau, and Decline, to chart the shape of change. [CleanTechnica]

Peak in the Italian Alps (Marek Piwnicki, Unsplash)

¶ “How Scary Is Threat To Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant?” • The Kremlin’s use of nuclear power plants as part of its military tactics contradicts international humanitarian law. It is apparent that Russia has made the callous calculation that any counterattack at the site would be too dangerous. Moscow’s behaviour looks like that of a terrorist. [EUobserver]

¶ “China is beating the US in clean energy. Can America catch up?” • Despite its continued connection with coal, China has emerged in the last decade as a global clean energy champion. It is outperforming the US by a wide margin in almost every area of clean technology, from overall investment and manufacture to marketing across the world. [Grid News]

Wind turbines (Jason Blackeye, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “YASA Axial Flux Motor Coming Soon To Mercedes AMG Vehicles” • When Mercedes purchased UK-based YASA last year, it opened the door for axial flux electric motors to find a place in mass produced production vehicles. The axial flux motor is the brain child of Tim Woolmer, who came up with the idea while he was a PhD candidate at Oxford. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “China Inducing Rainfall To Combat Severe Drought” • Some provinces around the drought-stricken Yangtze river are turning to cloud seeding operations to combat the lack of rain. Hubei and a number of other provinces are launching rockets carrying chemicals into the sky, according to local media. But a lack of cloud cover is hampering efforts. [BBC]

Clouds (Ganapathy Kumar, Unsplash)

¶ “Hyundai Is Said To Be Developing Two Low-Priced EVs For Europe” • Hyundai is said to be developing two electric cars for Europe that will start at around €20,000. Many people in Europe are quite content to drive vehicles that Americans would never consider owning. It’s a cultural thing. America has always been in love with road locomotives. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ratch Ups Asia Pacific Renewables Ambitions With 2.7 GW Purchase” • Thai-owned power producer Ratch Group signed an agreement with US-based Denham Capital for Nexif Energy’s portfolio of renewable energy and storage assets in the Asia Pacific. Most of the portfolio’s 2,670 MW capacity is in stages of development. [pv magazine Australia]

Wind turbines and batteries (Nexif Energy image)

¶ “ReNew Power Claims India’s ‘Biggest Ever’ Finance Deal Made For Battery-Backed Renewable Energy Project” • ReNew Power said it secured $1 billion financing for the biggest single-project clean energy deal in India. It will include 900 MW of wind and 400 MW of solar power, along with storage capacity to provide dispatchable energy 24/7. [Energy Storage News]

US:

¶ “As Colorado River Crisis Grows, Some Officials Say It’s Time For Feds To Make A Move On Water Cuts” • The Colorado River system is spiraling toward its demise, stakeholder states failed to meet an August 15 deadline to devise a plan to reduce water useage themselves. Now the US government says it is stepping in to produce mandatory cuts. [CNN]

Colorado River in 2020 (Gabriel Tovar, Unsplash)

¶ “US Natural Gas Prices Spike To 14-Year High” • US natural gas prices have increased to levels unseen since 2008, even as prices for gasoline and oil are falling. The summer spike is being driven partly by high demand as scorching temperatures through much of the country force Americans to crank up the air conditioning. It is made worse by low inventory levels. [CNN]

¶ “American Farmers Are Killing Their Own Crops And Selling Cows Because Of Extreme Drought” • Of the farmers in the US, 37% of said they are plowing through and killing existing crops that won’t reach maturity because of dry conditions. In Texas, drought is forcing farmers to sell off their cattle, reducing the state’s herds by 50%. [CNN]

Beeves thinking it all over (Kait Herzog, Unsplash)

¶ “These Cars Are Eligible For New US EV Tax Credit” • Are you confused about what cars are eligible for the federal EV tax credit now that the Inflation Reduction Act has been signed into law? Don’t be. According to the Alternative Fuels Data Center at the DOE, this is the definitive list of models, though the VIN number is the final determinant. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Grants Of $1.6 Billion For Clean Transit Buses In Bipartisan Infrastructure Law” • The Federal Transit Administration announced $1.66 billion in grants to transit agencies, territories, and states to invest in bus fleets and facilities. This year’s funding alone will nearly double the number of no-emission transit buses on America’s roadways. [CleanTechnica]

Electric bus (Proterra image)

¶ “US DOE Finds Record Production And Job Growth In Wind Power Sector” • The DOE released three reports showing that wind power remains one of America’s fastest growing energy sources and a generator of high-quality jobs. Wind power accounted for 32% of US energy capacity growth in 2021, and it employs 120,000 Americans. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewables Will Total 22% Of US Electricity Generation In 2022, Says Government” • Renewable energy will account for 22% of electricity generated in the US this year, according to projections from the US Energy Information Administration. This is up from 20% in 2021. The EIA projects that the figure will grow to 24% in 2023. [The Hill]

Have a sublimely chipper day.

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August 17 Energy News

August 17, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “Can Renewable Energy Visions Of The Future Actually Be Within Reach?” • The passage of the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in the US has opened up hope that this is just a start, that other renewable energy and sustainability visions of the future might be within our grasps. Let’s imagine looking into an all-electric crystal ball … [CleanTechnica]

Hope (Marc-Olivier Jodoin, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “‘We’ve Got The Power’ – Sandia Technology Test Delivers Electricity To The Grid” • For the first time, Sandia National Laboratories researchers delivered electricity produced by a new power-generating system to an electrical grid. It is a closed-loop Brayton cycle system based on captured CO₂ instead of H₂O, and it is very efficient. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Car Tires Are Disastrous For The Environment. This Startup Wants To Be A Driving Force In Fixing The Problem” • As tires wear down, the material they lose becomes dust. Around 6.1 million metric tons of tire dust end up in our atmosphere and waterways annually. A startup in London, The Tyre Collective, says its technology can reduce the problem. [CNN]

Old tires (Markus Spiske, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “In France, 12% Of New Cars Now Fully Electric!” • In July, French full battery EV sales were up 69% year over year. At the same time, plugin hybrids were down a harsh 33%, for their steepest fall since the covid-hit month of April 2020. The overall car market was down 7% year over year, but that is down by 35% compared to 2019. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Finally, An Electric Pickup In Right-Hand Drive” • While some consumers in the US are now taking deliveries of the Rivian R1T pickups or Ford F-150 Lightnings, customers in the UK, a right-hand drive market, have had to watch from the sidelines. That is changing now, as the UK is getting the all new, all electric SAIC Maxus T90 EV! [CleanTechnica]

Maxus pickup (Image courtesy of Maxus)

¶ “BYD Partners With Nic Christiansen Group For New Energy Passenger Vehicles In Denmark” • BYD has appointed the Nic Christiansen Group as a national dealer for its passenger EVs in Denmark. BYD is ramping up production of its revolutionary Blade Battery and battery EVs, so it can enter more markets and take electric mobility to the world. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Lebanon Turns To Solar Power To Address Acute Energy Crisis” • Lebanon is currently battling one of its worst economic crises in decades. Facing a severe energy crunch, Lebanese are increasingly turning to the sun to meet their electricity needs. But high costs remain a barrier to widespread adoption of solar power systems. [DW]

Rooftop solar system (Watt A Lot, Unsplash)

¶ “Adani Green Energy Gets Provisional Approvals For Two Projects In Sri Lanka” • Adani Green Energy has provisional approvals for two wind power projects in northern Sri Lanka, Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekara has announced. For an investment of over $500 million, the wind projects will have a combined capacity of 520 MW. [India.com]

¶ “Total Eren Signs Green Hydrogen Project Deal In Australia” • Renewable energy company Total Eren signed an MOU with the Government of the Northern Territory of Australia to develop a new green hydrogen project in Darwin. Plans for the Darwin H2 Hub comprise of more than 2 GW of solar PV and a hydrogen electrolyzer with a capacity of 1 GW. [reNews]

Green hydrogen project (Westküste100 image)

¶ “Germany Says Undecided On Nuclear Plants Extension” • The German government denied a media report that it had decided to postpone the closure of its last three nuclear power plants. The country’s position is that it will make its final decision once it received the results of ongoing stress tests. The incorrect report was in the Wall Street Journal. [USNews.com]

US:

¶ “The West’s Historic Drought Is Threatening Hydropower At Hoover Dam” • The climate change-fueled drought and overuse of the Colorado River’s water is pushing Lake Mead lower and threatening the dam’s electricity production. Declining water flow has cut the dam’s power generation capacity almost in half, as of June. [CNN]

Hoover Dam (Ryan Thorpe, Unsplash)

¶ “Takeaways From Today’s Report On Lake Mead And The Colorado River” • The federal government announced that the Colorado River will operate in a Tier 2 shortage condition for the first time starting in January as the West’s historic drought has taken a severe toll on Lake Mead. States are facing mandatory cuts in water use. [CNN]

¶ “Oak Ridge National Lab Prepares Drones To Prevent And Fight Wildfires” • Researchers at the DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory are using sensors, drones, and machine learning to prevent fires while also minimizing their damage to the electric grid as a result of climate change. And they are doing it without burning fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

Drone (Image by ORNL, US DOE)

¶ “Biden Signs Climate, Tax And Health Bill Into Law” • US President Joe Biden has signed a $700 billion (£579 billion) bill that aims to fight climate change and healthcare costs while raising taxes, primarily on corporations and the rich. The final version is more modest in scope than the $3.5 tillion package first envisaged by Democrats. [BBC]

¶ “Governor Hochul Announces Third Competitive Opportunity To Support Existing Wind Energy And Hydropower Projects In New York State” • Governor Kathy Hochul announced the third solicitation under the renewable energy procurement program Competitive Tier 2, which is designed to retain New York State’s existing renewable energy resources. [NYSERDA]

Have a satisfactorily exquisite day.

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August 16 Energy News

August 16, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “Kentucky Disaster Shows How The US Is Ill-Prepared And Under-Insured For Devastating Floods” • About 1% of properties in the hardest-hit areas in Kentucky have federal flood insurance, government records show. And the flood maps used by insurance companies are incorrect because risks have increased due to the changing climate. [CNN]

¶ “Why I Expect Putin To Lose, And Why That Scares The Hell Out Of Me” • I believe Putin will lose the war in Ukraine because his strategy is to terrorize civilians while the Ukranian strategy is to destroy Russian military targets. The problem is that Putin seems to be willing to risk widespread nuclear chaos as part of his terrorism. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “One-Third Of The Food We Eat Is At Risk Because The Climate Crisis Is Endangering Butterflies And Bees” • Species of bees, butterflies, and bats are all pollinators. Without them, fruits, vegetables and other plants wouldn’t be pollinated, and that’s a major problem for our food supply. They are in decline because of climate change. [CNN]

Monarch butterfly (Gary Bendig, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “German Households Face Levy Of Hundreds Of Euros On Gas Bills” • German households will have to pay hundreds of Euros more a year for gas under a levy to help energy companies cover the cost of replacing Russian supplies. For an average family of four, the additional charge will amount €480 ($489; £404), according to Verivox. [BBC]

¶ “Mainstream Renewable Power To Create 100 Jobs At New Dublin HQ” • Dublin-based Mainstream Renewable Power announced plans to re-enter its home market and develop three offshore windfarms in Ireland. The company said it intends to create “significant” offshore energy farms to support Irish carbon emissions targets. [Silicon Republic]

Offshore windfarm (Nicholas Doherty, Unsplash)

¶ “Queensland Hydrogen Tilt Needs Big Renewable Push” • A huge increase in renewable energy is needed if Queensland is to realise its green hydrogen potential, with the labor pool required for construction compared to the mining boom, according to not-for-profit and industry-funded group Construction Skills Queensland. [PerthNow]

¶ “Coal Miner Seriti Buys Windlab In Shift To Renewable Energy” • Seriti Resources, a key coal supplier to South Africa’s power utility, will buy a majority stake in renewable energy developer Windlab Africa. The deal is worth $55 million, and it will give Seriti a 51% stake in the wind and solar power business, the coal company said.  [Mining.com]

Collgar wind farm, Western Australia (Windlab Africa image)

¶ “Israeli Companies To Launch Renewable Energy Projects In Seven Arab Countries” • Two Israeli energy companies, Enlight Renewable Energy and NewMed Energy, signed two memoranda of understanding to jointly set up, develop, and operate the projects in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, and Saudi Arabia. [Xinhua]

¶ “UN Can Facilitate IAEA Power Plant Visit, But Russia Puts Conditions” • The UN has the logistics and security capacity to support a visit by International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors to Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, a spokesman said, but a Russian diplomat imposed conditions, saying routing a mission through Kyiv was too dangerous. [Reuters]

Kyiv (Artem Zhukov, Unsplash)

¶ “Russia Defence Minister Discussed Ukraine Nuclear Plant With UN Chief” • Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and UN chief Antonio Guterres discussed the security situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine, which is currently under Moscow’s control and has been the target of fighting, Moscow said on Monday. [Kyiv Post]

US:

¶ “California Has BIG Plans For Offshore Floating Wind Power” • The state of California announced plans to add massive amounts of offshore floating wind power to its energy mix. The California Energy Commission adopted the recommendations of report that establishes planning goals for enough electricity to power 3.75 million homes by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

Floating wind turbines (Courtesy of GE, Glosten)

¶ “Massachusetts Enacts A Climate Law Of Its Own” • Last week, Massachusetts enacted a package of climate-related policies which was signed by outgoing governor Charlie Baker. Here’s a rundown of the provisions in that bill as provided by local news source WBUR. The legislation establishes Massachusetts as a climate leader. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vermont University And FEMA Provide Drone Training For Public Safety” • Here is a bit of news about “first responders” and drone programs that some might find useful. The University of Vermont’s Spatial Analysis Lab hosted a FEMA-funded initiative that provided drone training to fifteen emergency-response jobs in the state. [CleanTechnica]

Drone (DJI courtesy image)

¶ “Renewable Energy Growth Expected To Be 20-Times Greater Than Natural Gas Over Next Three Years” • According to a review by the SUN DAY Campaign of data recently released by FERC, 66,315 MW of projects in the solar pipeline have high probability of going forward. There are 17,383 of high probability windpower and just 4,319 of gas. [Solar Power World]

¶ “California Lawmakers Float Legislation To Keep Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant Open” • California lawmakers are looking at draft legislation to keep the state’s last operating nuclear plant, Diablo Canyon, open beyond its planned 2025 closure date. But there are still significant logistical and political challenges ahead before that could happen. [CNBC]

Have a transcendentally lovely day.

August 15 Energy News

August 15, 2022

Science and Technology:

¶ “XPeng Bringing Truly Ultrafast Charging To Town” • Chinese EV startup XPeng is on the verge of releasing an EV that will be able to charge at a wicked-fast pace. According to the company, the G9 will be able to gain 200 kilometers (124 miles) of driving range in just 5 minutes. The company is reportedly rolling out the chargers for the car, as well. [CleanTechnica]

Xpeng G9 (Xpeng image)

¶ “New Tesla LFP Megapack Is Big – Really Big!” • Until recently, each Megapack was listed as having 2.6 MWh of storage capacity. Now, with no fanfare, a Tesla web page says each Megapack is rated at 3.9 MWh of capacity, an increase of nearly 50%. A report at Tesmanian says the new Megapack units are bigger and heavier than before. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “World leaders Make Fifth Attempt To Pass UN Oceans Treaty” • World leaders will meet at the UN in New York for more talks to save the world’s oceans from overexploitation. The UN High Seas Treaty has been through 10 years of negotiations but has yet to be signed. If agreed, it would put 30% of the world’s oceans into conservation areas by 2030. [BBC]

Fishing boat (Knut Troim, Unsplash)

¶ “Saudi Aramco Tops Its Record With $48.4 Billion Quarterly Profit” • Saudi oil giant Aramco broke its own record with a $48.4 billion profit for the second quarter of 2022, on high oil prices after Russia’s invasion of Ukrain. The 90% year-on-year increase marks the biggest earnings since its public listing three years ago. Aramco is the world’s largest oil exporter. [BBC]

¶ “BEV Demand Increasing, ICEV Demand Decreasing Across Europe” • Compared to 2021, new car sales have dropped by 11% to 20% in Germany, France, Spain, Italy, and the UK. Full battery EV demand is increasing, while all types of internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEV), including hybrids, have falling demand throughout Europe. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 (Martin Katler, Unsplash)

¶ “CATL To Build $7.6 Billion, 100 GWh Battery Factory In Hungary” • At the end of last year, CATL, the world’s largest battery maker, had an annual production capacity of 170 GWh. It plans to increase that to 670 GWh by 2025, according to Reuters. A major part of the expansion will be from a $7.6 billion battery factory in Hungary. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Greens Propose Shutting Down All Victorian Coal-Fired Power Plants By 2030” • Victoria’s three remaining coal-fired power plants would be progressively shut down over the next eight years, under a Greens bill to be introduced to parliament this week. The bill is set to form a central pillar of the state’s Greens Party’s climate policy. [The Guardian]

Wind turbine (Kshithij Chandrashekar, Unsplash)

¶ “Ukraine Preparing For ‘Tragedy’ At Russian-Held Nuclear Plant” • Ukrainian Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky said the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant is under the control of unqualified specialists who could cause a tragedy. He said: “Of course, it’s hard to even imagine how terrible things could become if Russia continues their actions there.” [EU Reporter]

¶ “Dozens Of Countries Call On Russia To Withdraw Troops From Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Plant” • Forty-two countries have signed a statement urging Russia to withdraw its armed forces from Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, saying their presence poses “a great danger.” The statement was released on the EU website. [Radio Free Europe]

Nuclear plant in Cruas, France (Jametlene Reskp, Unsplash)

¶ “French Nuclear Plants Break A Sweat Over Heat Wave” • Like a number of other countries in Europe, France has been baking in temperatures of up to 40°C (104°F) for several weeks. That has been putting French nuclear reactors under stress, and half are temporarily closed. But it doesn’t seem to have called the French energy strategy into question. [DW]

US:

¶ “Volta And Hoboken, NJ, Partner To Install 25 New Public EV Chargers” • The city of Hoboken will get at least 25 new public EV chargers through its partnership with Volta in the next 18 months. This will double the number of the city’s public EV chargers. Volta and the city of Hoboken may work together in the future, as well. [CleanTechnica]

Volta charger in the UK (Volta image)

¶ “US Utility-Scale Solar Projects Report Delays” • Power plant developers plan to install 17.8 GW of solar PV capacity in 2022, the US EIA’s 2022 Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory shows. In January through June 2022, PV installations were delayed by an average of 4.4 GW each month, up from 2.6 GW for the same time last year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Pennsylvania School District Goes Solar In Big Way” • In Pennsylvania, the Central Columbia School District going solar in a big way. In February 2022, the school board approved plans for nearly 2 MW of solar power. Now they are in place. The panels in ground arrays can give students a close understanding of what solar power is about. [CleanTechnica]

Have a fantastically fun day.

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August 14 Energy News

August 14, 2022

Science and Technology:

¶ “Can Eating Fish Ever Be Sustainable?” • Seafood includes everything from farmed prawns to wild mackerel. It can have an array of environmental impacts, from high carbon emissions to the effects of overfishing, slaughtered bycatch, or antibiotic pollution. But some seafood can be a healthy source of food with low-carbon, low environmental impact. [BBC]

Mussels (Christopher Carson, Unsplash)

¶ “Study Explores Effect Of Climate Change On Economic Growth” • Research from the University of California examines the fundamental issue that underlies the costs and benefits of climate change policies. The study, published in Environmental Research Letters, found that economies are sensitive to persistent temperature shocks. [Devdiscourse]

¶ “Taming Tomorrow’s Wildfires” • Wildfires have been ravaging the Western US. Researchers at the US DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are tackling the problem of increasingly intense wildfires from scientific angles, ranging from predicting big blazes to preventing future fires. And they’re keeping our lights on in the process. [CleanTechnica]

Sensing the fire from space (NASA image)

World:

¶ “Evacuated Twice In A Summer As France’s Fires Burn” • Twice this summer, Christian Fostitschenko has been evacuated from his home. In July, he had to leave home because of a massive fire. Now, in August, he has had to leave for another fire. He lives in the town of Saint-Magne, in southwestern France, and he doesn’t know when he can go back home. [BBC]

¶ “Climate Activists Fill Golf Holes With Cement After Water Ban Exemption” • Climate activists in southern France have filled golf course holes with cement to protest against the exemption of golf greens from water bans amid the country’s severe drought. Golf greens are getting water while a hundred French villages are running short. [BBC]

Golf hole (Markus Spiske, Unsplash)

¶ “Fear In Bangladesh After Huge Fuel Price Rise” • Bangladesh, one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, has raised fuel prices by more than 50% in just a week. It blames rising oil prices in the wake of the war in Ukraine. Thousands of people have taken to the streets in protest, as another South Asian nation faces a growing financial crisis. [BBC]

¶ “Wind Blows Away Australian Records” • The wind farm road block is gone. It’s full steam ahead for Australian wind power now, and wind is blowing away Australian records. Under new management, wind power is being encouraged, every day seems to herald a new wind farm announcement, and power generation records being broken. [CleanTechnica]

Western Australia (Harry Cunningham, Unsplash)

¶ “Renewable Energy Projects Are Taking Off But Where Is The Workforce?” • The renewables industry has exploded in Victoria, with ambitious energy targets set by the state government. But in a job market crying out for people to fill 86,000 vacancies in rural and regional Australia, doubt remains on the ability to fill roles in the new industry. [ABC]

¶ “India To Miss Renewable Energy Goal, Officials And Experts Say” • India will miss its renewable energy target for the end of the year, with experts blaming “multiple challenges” including a lack of financial help and taxes on imported components. The country has installed just over half of its planned renewable energy capacity. [Morung Express]

Rooftop solar system in India (VD Photography, Unsplash)

¶ “Tesla Adds Model Y Variant With BYD Blade Batteries In Germany” • Germany’s TeslaMag says new structural battery packs from BYD are arriving at the Tesla factory in Grünheide, Germany. The packs have a capacity of 55 kWh and feature BYD’s LFP Blade battery cells. Cars will soon be available with the new battery packs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ukraine Targets Russian Soldiers Threatening Europe’s Largest Nuclear Power Plant” • Ukraine is targeting Russian soldiers who shoot at Europe’s largest nuclear power station or use it as a base to shoot from, as G-7 nations, fearing a nuclear catastrophe, called on Moscow to withdraw its forces from the Zaporizhzhia power plant. [CNBC]

Sniper (Dominik Sostmann, Unsplash)

¶ “Medvedev Says That The EU Also Has Nuclear Power Plants And ‘Accidents Are Possible’ There” • Dmitry Medvedev, the Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of Russia, blames Ukraine for the dangerous situation at the Zaporizhzhia plant. He pointed out that the EU has nuclear plants, and “accidental” incidents are also possible there. [Yahoo! Sports]

US:

¶ “Autonomy Orders 23,000 More Electric Vehicles” • After a lot of recent news about Autonomy, the biggest EV subscription company in the US, we have even more. The company has just ordered 23,000 EVs from 17 different automakers to expand and diversify its subscription fleet. Up till now, it has only offered the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y. [CleanTechnica]

Autonomy Tesla Model Y (Autonomy image)

¶ “First Tesla Megapack Deployed In NYC” • NineDot Energy has launched a community-scale battery energy storage site in the Bronx. It will be the first such site in New York City. The battery system has a 3.08-MW, 12.32-MWh Tesla Megapack system, a solar canopy, and the infrastructure needed for bi-directional EV chargers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Extreme Weather Is Only Getting Worse. Can Cities Protect Public Transit?” • Last September, in New York City, commuters waded through waist-deep water to leave a subway station due to Hurricane Ida. Heat melted streetcar power cables in Portland, Oregon. Now, in San Francisco, the heat is warping train tracks. Can cities cope? [CleanTechnica]

Have a maginficently encouraging day.

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August 13 Energy News

August 13, 2022

World:

¶ “Parts Of England Officially Fall Into Drought After Months Of Scant Rainfall” • Authorities have announced that large swaths of England officially passed into drought. They urged residents and businesses in those areas to conserve water in the driest summer in 50 years. The UK has had five consecutive months of below-average rainfall and back-to-back heat waves. [CNN]

Stonehenge (Brooke Bell, Unsplash)

¶ “Climate Change: Drought Highlights Dangers For Electricity Supplies” • The ongoing drought in the UK and Europe is putting electricity generation under pressure, say experts. Electricity from hydropower – which uses water to generate power – has dropped by 20% overall. And nuclear facilities, which are cooled using river water, have been restricted. [BBC]

¶ “Tesco Electrifies Deliveries To More Than 400 City Center Stores In Greater London” • Tesco has become the first retailer to launch a zero-emission electric lorry to make deliveries from its distribution sites in city centers in the UK. Electric trucks will help improve air quality in urban areas, and their use should be prioritized. [CleanTechnica]

Greener greens (Tesco image)

¶ “Drought Hits Germany’s Rhine River” • As Europe lives through a long, hot summer, one of the continent’s major rivers is getting drier – posing major problems for the people and businesses that rely on it. The current level hasn’t yet fallen below the lowest figure ever recorded here, in October of 2018. But the current level is still falling. [BBC]

¶ “Advice About Tires For Electric Cars From Michelin” • Russell Shepherd is the technical communications director for passenger car tires at Michelin, with twenty years of R&D experience. He told Canary Media that electric cars put different kinds of stress on tires, and drivers should take that into account when they choose and care for their tires. [CleanTechnica]

Michelin tires (Michelin image)

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Strikes Partnership With Azure Power ” • Siemens Gamesa has its first order in India with Azure Power India Private Limited to supply 96 SG 3.6-145 wind turbines for a 346-MW project in the state of Karnataka. Azure has a portfolio of over 7.4 GW of renewable energy assets operational or under construction in India. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Moscow Rejects Demand To Hand Over Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant” • Leading Russian politicians rejected the G7’s demand that Moscow hand control of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, which has been occupied by Russian troops since March, back to Ukraine. Russia also warned the US not to brand Moscow a state sponsor of terrorism. [DW]

Stop Putin (Markus Spiske, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “House Passes Democrats’ Health Care And Climate Bill, Clearing Measure For Biden’s Signature” • The House voted to pass Democrats’ $750 billion health care, energy, and climate bill. The final vote was 220-207, along party lines. Four Republicans did not vote. Now that the House approved the bill, it will go to President Biden to be signed into law. [CNN]

¶ “A Disastrous Megaflood Is Coming To California, Experts Say. It Could Be The Most Expensive Natural Disaster In History” • A study by Science Advances shows climate change has doubled the chances of a disastrous flood happening in California in the next four decades. Experts say it would be unlike anything anyone alive today has ever experienced. [CNN]

Los Angeles (izayah ramos, Unsplash)

¶ “How Local Governments And Communities Are Taking Action To Get Fossil Fuels Out Of Buildings” • Eighty US counties and cities have adopted policies that require or encourage the move off fossil fuels to all-electric homes and buildings. Nearly 28 million people live in local jurisdictions with policies that favor fossil fuel-free, healthy buildings. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ford Lightning: Orders Open Again, But Prices Are Up, Better Standard Range, New Hitch Assist Feature, Other News” • Ford is taking orders for the F-150 Lightning again, but prices are higher. That was expected, but there are two new reasons to make an order: There’s ten more miles of range, and an available feature to help with hauling. [CleanTechnica]

Ford Lightning pickups (Ford image)

¶ “Redwood Materials Plans Major Expansion In Nevada” • A statement at Redwood Material’s website says its mission is to “…build a circular supply chain to power a sustainable world and accelerate the reduction of fossil fuels.” A report by NBC News Channel 4 in Reno says the company acquired 74 acres of land in the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Because Climate Science ‘Does Not Grade On A Curve,’ Experts Says IRA Not Enough” • While welcoming US House lawmakers’ passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, climate campaigners and some progressive lawmakers said the $740 billion bill does not do nearly enough to address the worsening climate emergency. [Common Dreams]

Offshore wind turbines (insung yoon, Unsplash)

¶ “Wood-Burning Power Plants In Massachusetts Won’t Qualify For Renewable Energy Credits” • An Act Driving Clean Energy and Offshore Wind will expand clean energy development and end renewable energy subsidies for wood-burning power plants, according to a press release from Climate Action Now Western Massachusetts. [MassLive.com]

¶ “California Governor Proposes Extending Nuclear Plant’s Life” • California Governor Gavin Newsom proposed extending the life of the state’s last operating nuclear power plant by five to ten years to maintain reliable power supplies in the climate change era. Newsom’s draft proposal includes a potential forgivable loan for PG&E for up to $1.4 billion. [KGET.com]

Have a brilliantly planned day.

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August 12 Energy News

August 12, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “Problem Joe Manchin Highlighted Is Crucial For America’s Future” • It took just days for Senate Democrats to introduce and approve $370 billion of climate-change spending, part of the Inflation Reduction Act. But clearing the necessary red tape to spend a cent of that money on building some climate-related projects will take years. [CNN]

Wind farm (Thomas Galler, Unsplash)

¶ “Comparing The US And China On Climate, Economy, And Other Outcomes Should Be Deeply Humbling For America” • China has a sixth of the GDP per capita of the US at present, but, China is buying 6 times as many EVs as the US annually right now. China has 25,000 miles of high speed rail track. The US has none. Those two are just starters. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “World’s Largest Ice Sheet Crumbling Faster Than Previously Thought, Satellite Imagery Shows” • Antarctica’s coastal glaciers are shedding icebergs more rapidly than nature can replenish the crumbling ice, doubling previous estimates of losses from the world’s largest ice sheet over the past 25 years, a satellite analysis published in the journal Nature shows. [CNN]

Aurora over ice (Lightscape, Unsplash)

¶ “Arctic Is Warming Four Times Faster Than The Rest Of The Planet, New Research Shows” • As sea ice vanishes, Greenland melts and wildfires scorch the planet’s northernmost forests, new research confirms what scientists are sounding alarms about: the Arctic has warmed much faster than the rest of the world in the past several decades. [CNN]

¶ “France Firefighters Battle ‘Monster’ Wildfire Near Bordeaux” • More than 1,000 firefighters are battling a “monster” wildfire in south-western France. According to officials, it has destroyed about 7,400 hectares (18,286 acres) of forest already. The blaze about 30 km (19 miles) south-east of Bordeaux has gutted some homes and forced 10,000 residents to flee. [BBC]

Bordeaux vineyard (David Mazeau, Unsplash)

¶ “UN Alarm As Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant Shelled Again” • More shelling of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was reported. Ukraine and Russia blame each other for the attack. Both sides said there were 10 hits on the office and fire station of the power plant. UN Secretary General António Guterres said the shelling could “lead to disaster.” [BBC]

¶ “Goodbye, Diesel. Hello, Solar” • How do you make a difference and a profit in Australia’s dairy industry? The answer is shining in your face. Dairy farmers John and Rochelle Pekin have made the move from relying on a fragile grid and a smelly backup diesel generator to solar + batteries. Goodbye, diesel. Hello, solar and batteries. [CleanTechnica]

Australian beeves (Josh Withers, Unsplash)

¶ “In The Netherlands, 22% Of New Car Sales Now Electric!” • In the context of a continually falling overall auto market, down 18% year over year in July, the Dutch plugin vehicle market grew, even if only by slightly. Most of the growth of plugin cars is due to pure electrics (22% of all new vehicle sales), which grew 13% year over year last month. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Burning Imported Wood In Drax Power Plant ‘Doesn’t Make Sense’, Says Kwarteng” • The importing of wood to burn in Drax power station “is not sustainable” and “doesn’t make any sense”, the business and energy secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, told a private meeting of MPs this week. Scientists have held this position for a long time. [The Guardian]

Drax power plant (Martin Sepion, Unsplash)

¶ “Copenhagen Energy Unveils 3-GW Midtown Offshore Wind Farm” • Copenhagen Energy has submitted proposals for a 3-GW offshore wind project off the coast of Western Australia. The project would comprise up to 200 turbines and six substations from 10 to 70 km off Kalbarri, the developer said, covering a 700 square-kilometer area. [reNews]

US:

¶ “Aptera Reveals Gamma (Near-Production) Vehicle Interior” • A social media post by Aptera shows the great progress it is making toward its production vehicle. Not only is Aptera in the last phase before its production design, but they’ve kitted the EV out with a complete interior and exterior, something it didn’t do with the last phase of production. [CleanTechnica]

Aptera (Aptera)

¶ “Home Solar+Storage Will Get A Boost From The Recent Climate Bill, Claims Bloomberg” • EV tax credits get much of the attention in reports on the Inflation Reduction Act, largely due to controversies in how they’re structured. But the new law also offers a 30% federal tax credit for solar systems on homes, with no cap. That’s a big deal. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “NREL Releases Extensive Databases Of Local Ordinances On Solar And Wind Siting” • As the US targets 100% clean electricity by 2035 and a net-zero carbon economy by 2050, local siting constraints have become a critical topic. Now, data on state and local wind energy and solar power ordinances have been made publicly available in one place. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines (Yeon Choi, Unsplash)

¶ “Massachusetts Commits To Offshore Wind Procurement Reforms” • Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has signed a clean energy bill that will reform the state’s process for offshore wind procurement. The bill, passed by the legislature on 31 July, codifies Massachusetts’ commitment to procure 5.6 GW by 2030, enough to power two million homes. [reNews]

¶ “Governor Newsom Announces Water Strategy For A Hotter, Drier California” • Hotter and drier weather conditions spurred by climate change could reduce California’s water supply 10% by 2040. Governor Gavin Newsom announced California’s latest actions to increase water supply and adapt to more extreme weather patterns. [Gavin Newsom]

Have a delightfully comfy day.

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August 11 Energy News

August 11, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “Understanding The New Federal Tax Credit For Electric Cars: It’s Complicated” • The US government has become intent on speeding up the transition to clean energy and transportation. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 is meant to put some federal policy muscle into that process, but it has changed the incentive structure considerably. [CleanTechnica]

More efficient EVs (Image courtesy of Vitesco)

¶ “Researchers Agree: The World Can Reach A 100% Renewable Energy System By Or Before 2050” • An energy system 100% based on renewables has become the scientific mainstream. Hundreds of scientific studies have shown that 100% renewable energy systems can be achieved on global, regional, and national levels by or before 2050. [Innovation Origins]

¶ “Revisiting Degrowth For Sustainability – It’s Necessary, But Challenges Traditional Economics” • Coined in 1972, degrowth theory got attention after a MIT computer simulation showed a world destabilized by growing material consumption. Degrowth, however, will require business models that work in harmony with society and the environment. [CleanTechnica]

Garden path (Aniston Grace, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Giga Ontario May Be Next For Tesla” • During the recent Tesla stockholder meeting, Elon Musk suggested that Tesla might build 10 to 12 new factories in the coming years. When a member of the audience shouted out “Canada!” Musk answered, “I’m half Canadian. Maybe I should.” Just across from Detroit, Ontario is already a hub for making cars. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “970 Million People Do Not Have Access To Clean Cooking, 600 Million Do Not Have Access To Electricity In Africa” • The IEA’s Africa Energy Outlook 2022 says that 600 million Africans still lack access to electricity. It also says more than 970 million people still have no access to clean cooking and are exposed to dangerous amounts of smoke. [CleanTechnica]

Cooking on an open fire (Gasmeans, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Top Coal Firm In World Cashing In On Global Energy Crisis” • Glencore, the world’s largest coal shipper, is cashing in on the global energy crisis to the tune of nearly $9 billion in the first six months of 2022. Much of that is because of the war in Ukraine. It exemplifies what UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called “grotesque greed.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewable Energy For Treatment Plant” • In Queensland, the cost of running one of Livingstone Shire Council’s major power consuming utilities has been greatly reduced, with the transition to renewable energy. An array of PV solar panels with inverters and battery storage has been installed at the Yeppoon Sewage Treatment Plant. [CQ Today]

Sewage treatment plant with PVs (Livingstone Shire Council)

¶ “Federal Government Will Cover Cost Of Connecting Massive New Queensland Wind Farm To National Grid” • The Australian federal government has agreed to cover $160 million of the cost of connecting what will be one of the world’s biggest wind farm precincts, the Southern Renewable Energy Zone, to Australia’s power grid. [ABC]

¶ “UN Security Council To Discuss Ukraine Nuclear Plant Crisis” • The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting to address the crisis at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear complex. Kyiv and Moscow have accused each other of having bombed the power plant. A source in the Security Council presidency said that the meeting would be on 11 August. [RTE]

UN Building, New York (Mike Peel, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “G7 Demands Russia Return Control Of Zaporizhzhia Plant To Kyiv” • The foreign ministers of the Group of Seven nations demanded that Russia return control of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant and all other nuclear facilities within its borders to Kyiv to ensure their safe operation. Some 500 Russian soldiers are using the facility as a base. [UPI]

US:

¶ “IRA Puts Economic Muscle Behind Search For Sustainable Aviation Fuel” • There’s a lot yet to unpack in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. Some say the legislation torpedoed the EV revolution by placing so many restrictions on EV incentives that hardly any electric cars will qualify. But it does promote sustainable aviation fuel. [CleanTechnica]

Aviation (John McArthur, Unsplash)

¶ “Norwegian Battery Maker “Accelerating” US Development Due To Inflation Reduction Act” • The Inflation Reduction Act hasn’t even made it through Congress yet, hasn’t been signed into law by Joe Biden yet, is still in the “hot news” category, yet companies are already responding and accelerating business development plans! [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ohio Court Rules Icebreaker Can Proceed” • The proposed six-turbine Icebreaker offshore wind project in Lake Erie has received a favourable decision from the Ohio Supreme Court which has ruled the project may proceed. The court held the Ohio Power Siting Board properly issued a permit that allows the project to move ahead. [reNews]

Building a wind turbine in Lake Erie (LEEDco image)

¶ “CEC Adopts Historic California Offshore Wind Goals, Enough To Power Upwards Of 25 Million Homes” • The California Energy Commission adopted a report establishing offshore wind goals . Preliminary findings in the report set planning goals of 2,000-5,000 MW of offshore wind by 2030 and 25,000 MW by 2045. [California Energy Commission]

¶ “Ford Makes Largest Purchase Of Renewable Energy From A Utility In American History” • Ford Motor Company took a major step towards its renewable energy goal. It announced the largest renewable energy purchase ever made in the US from a utility, 650 MW of renewably generated electricity from DTE Energy, which is based in Michigan. [Jalopnik]

Have a spectacularly ducky day.

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August 10 Energy News

August 10, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “How Europe Can Cut A Third Of Its Oil Demand By 2030” • Two-thirds of the EU’s oil use is for transport. The EU is acting to eliminate oil imports from Russia, but to ensure that it does not simply shift oil purchases from one authoritative regime to another, member states should seize the opportunity to wean transport from fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

Reductions in million tons of oil equivalent (Mtoe)
Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “As Britain Gets Drier, We Don’t Talk About How Much Water Nuclear Power Uses” • In the middle of one of the worst droughts in British history, the Tory Energy Secretary has just authorised the consumption of more than 20 billion litres of water by a new nuclear plant. A campaign group has launched a legal challenge on that basis alone. [The Independent]

World:

¶ “How The Mediterranean Became The World’s Most Invaded Sea” • In Mediterranean waters, almost a thousand non-native species have been listed. Some of these pests have become a surprising source of opportunity. The invasive blue crab is prolific, and Tunesian fishermen did not know what to do with them. Now they are sold as a delicacy. [BBC]

Blue crab (Anne Laudisoit, public domain, cropped)

¶ “Loire Valley: Intense European Heatwave Parches France’s ‘Garden’” • The Loire Valley is known as “the Garden of France.” But the garden is withering. France is suffering its worst drought since records began, and the drought has turned lush vegetation into arid fields of brown crops, shrivelling under what is now the fourth heatwave of the year. [BBC]

¶ “Russia’s Natural Gas Pipeline Exports To Europe Down To Almost 40-Year Lows” • In mid-July 2022, exports declined to 1.2 billion cubic feet per day, the lowest level in nearly 40 years. This is a very big loss for Russia. The country’s natural gas exports to the EU and the UK averaged 16.0 Bcf/d in 2019, 12.4 Bcf/d in 2020, and 10.9 Bcf/d in 2021. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Pakistan floods: ‘I lost everything’” • The Pakistani province of Balochistan was devastated by flash floods that began in June. This year’s monsoons have brought 133% more rainfall than the annual average. Close to 50,000 houses have been either been damaged or flattened so far, displacing thousands of people. Over 500 have been killed. [BBC]

¶ “Network Rail And EDF Sign UK Solar PPA” • Network Rail is to offtake power from EDF Renewables’ recently consented Bloy’s Grove solar farm in the east of England. EDF will make 50 MW of capacity available to the operator through the power purchase agreement, which will cover 15% of its annual consumption for non-traction energy. [reNews]

Work on solar panels (EDF image)

¶ “Tesla And Indonesia Agree On Nickel Supply Deal Worth $5 Billion” • CNBC Indonesia reports that Tesla and the government of Indonesia have an agreement for that country to supply nickel worth $5 billion to Tesla over the next 5 years. The deal seems to mean that Tesla will not be relying primarily on iron phosphate batteries in the future.  [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ørsted First Energy Company To Set 100% Renewable Electricity Requirement For Suppliers” • Ørsted expects all its suppliers to use 100% renewable electricity by 2025, becoming the first energy company in the world to do so, the company said. In 2020, Ørsted committed to getting 100% of its energy from renewables by 2025. [Offshore Wind]

Block Island wind farm (Ionna22, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Shell Seals $1.55 Billion Acquisition Of Indian Renewable Energy Group” • Shell finalised its $1.55 billion acquisition of Indian renewable energy company Sprng Energy from Actis Solenergi. By doing so, Shell is acquiring solar and wind power assets that will triple the amount of renewable energy capacity it has in operation. [Energy Voice]

US:

¶ “Rivian Plans To Game The System, Get Buyers Tax Credit” • Rivian is none too happy about the Inflation Reduction Act, which puts an $80,000 cap on the price of vehicles eligible for the full $7,500 federal tax credit. Most of Rivian’s trucks are far above that figure, but the company thinks it has a way to get tax credits for pre-order holders. [CleanTechnica]

Rivian pickup (Jeff Johnson, courtesy of Rivian)

¶ “US Energy Production Declined By Record Amounts In Several States In 2020” • In 2020, energy production in the US fell by record amounts compared with 2019, mostly as a result of decreased economic activity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Seven states saw their largest annual energy production decline in at least 60 years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Electric School Buses Win Big In USA” • Electric school buses are growing rapidly in the US, with a nearly ten-fold increase in commitments by school districts and fleet operators in the past year. Thirty-eight states have now committed to procure more than 12,000 electric school buses. Several states have acted this year to transition to clean buses. [CleanTechnica]

Electric bus (Courtesy of GreenPower Motor Company)

¶ “BayWa RE To Build Hawaiian Solar + Storage Plant” • BayWa re will construct a 30-MW solar and 30-MW battery storage plant on Hawaii for AES Corporation. BayWa will build the Waikoloa Solar + Storage project, an integrated solar PV and battery energy storage system, with a 120-MWh capacity, in the South Kohala district on Hawaii island. [reNews]

¶ “Closure Of California’s Last Nuclear Power Plant Could Be Delayed” • California’s last operating nuclear power plant is scheduled to shut down by 2025, but concerns over a power grid stressed by heat, wildfires and drought may give it a second chance. The plant is owned by PG&E. It is currently scheduled to be shut down in 2025. [The Weather Channel]

Have a superbly serene day.

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August 9 Energy News

August 9, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “US Climate Bill Success Masks Scale Of Warming Challenge” • Taken together with measures to penalise methane leaks and $20 billion to cut emissions in agriculture, the whole package will likely reduce emissions from the US by 40% below 2005 levels, according to analysis. But is that enough? And how will other countries respond? [BBC]


Climate protestor (Mika Baumeister, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Facts Behind Hydropower And HydroSource” • To further the potential benefits of US hydropower resources, researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory developed a water energy digital platform called HydroSource. It informs key stakeholders of development and operational costs, environmental concerns, and licensing requirements. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Billionaires Are Funding Massive Treasure Hunt In Greenland As Ice Vanishes” • The climate crisis is melting Greenland down at an unprecedented rate, and this is an opportunity for investors and mining companies. They are searching for a trove of critical minerals to power the green energy transition. And some of the world’s richest people are investing. [CNN]

Nuuk, capital of Greenland (Visit Greenland, Unsplash)

¶ “Sixty Percent Of EU And UK Land Is Now Facing Drought Conditions” • Sixty percent of land in the EU and UK – an area bigger than Alaska and Texas combined – is under either drought warnings or alerts, the European Drought Observatory says. The findings were based on data from a ten-day period near the end of July. [CNN]

¶ “Panama Canal Grapples With The Climate Change Threat” • Global warming and changing weather patterns are affecting the water supply for one of the world’s most important waterways, the Panama Canal. It is also affecting access to drinking water for millions of Panamanians, reports journalist Grace Livingstone from Panama City. [BBC]

Container ship in the Panama Canal (Rikin Katyal, Unsplash)

¶ “Seoul Floods: At Least Seven Dead Amid Heaviest Rain In Decades” • At least eight people have died and fourteen others have been injured as flooding caused by torrential rain hit parts of South Korea’s capital Seoul. Some areas received the highest rate of rainfall in 80 years, Korea’s meteorological agency said. And the rain is still going on. [BBC]

¶ “14 Years In The Making, 20 GWh Pumped Hydro Storage Facility Comes To Switzerland” • Switzerland is about to bring one of the largest pumped hydro facilities in the world online. The Nant de Drance installation has a maximum energy storage capacity of 20 GWh, which it can theoretically store energy for months or even years. [CleanTechnica]

Nant de Drance dam (Sébastien Moret, Nant de Drance)

¶ “Canada’s Oil Province Will Soon Be A Renewable Energy Leader” • The Canadian province of Alberta, home of the country’s oil and gas sector for decades, is set to undergo a renewable energy capacity surge in the coming years, attracting investments given its vast natural resources and favorable regulatory landscape. [Yahoo Finance]

¶ “Russia Threatens To Blow Up Europe’s Largest Nuclear Power Plant If Ukraine Doesn’t Back Off” • Russian Major-General Valeriy Vasilyev, said in a since-deleted statement, “Here will be either Russian land or a desert. The nuclear power plant will be either Russian or no one’s.” He said explosives had be set up in the plant to blow it up. [LADbible]

Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant (Ralf1969, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “UN Chief Calls For Access To Ukraine Nuclear Plant After New Attack” • International inspectors should be given access to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant after Ukraine and Russia traded accusations over the shelling of the facility in recent days, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said. The plant is operated by captive Ukrainian employees. [Voice of America]

US:

¶ “Many Americans Still Don’t Think Climate Change Is Coming For Them” • A majority of Americans acknowledge that climate change is real and that humans contribute to it. But a lot of people in the areas of eastern Kentucky, who have been hit by massive floods, might not know that they’re feeling the effects of the climate crisis. [CNN]

Aerial view of Pikeville, Kentucky (Doc Searls, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Volkswagen Looks To Build Electric Pickup Trucks In US” • At a Management Briefing Seminar panel discussion of the Center for Automotive Research, Inga Von Seelen, senior vice president for purchasing at Volkswagen of America, told attendancees her company is evaluating sites in the US for an assembly plant to build electric pickup trucks. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Heat Pumps For Old Apartments” • Gradient, based in San Francisco, has created a novel solution to the problem. The unit hangs from the window sill and can be installed using hand tools. Plug it in to a standard 120-volt wall outlet and you’re good to go. It won Fast Company’s 2022 World Changing Ideas Award for consumer products. [CleanTechnica]

Window heat pump (Gradient image)

¶ “Chicago Announces Plan To Power City With 100% Renewable Energy” • Chicago’s public buildings could all be powered by renewable energy under a plan Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced. The city has an agreement with Chicago utility Constellation Energy and Massachusetts-based renewable energy developer Swift Current Energy. [POWER Magazine]

¶ “Virginia Regulators Approve $10 Billion Plan For Nation’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm” • Dominion Energy has reached a major milestone in the development of the 2.6-GW Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project. Construction of the project was approved by the Virginia State Corporation Commission. It will be 27 miles off Virginia Beach. [Offshore Magazine]

Have a graciously developing day.

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August 8 Energy News

August 8, 2022

World:

¶ “The Plans For Giant Seaweed Farms In European Waters” • At a testing site 12 km (7.5 miles) off the Dutch coast there was a breakthrough this summer. A converted fishing boat harvested a batch of farmed seaweed mechanically. North Sea Farmers, the consortium behind the test, says it was the first mechanical harvest seaweed farm far from shore. [BBC]

Kelp salad (Loyna, CC-BY-SA 2.5)

¶ “Extreme Drought: Dried-Up Italian River Reveals Unexploded WW II Bomb” • An unexploded WW II bomb submerged in an Italian river has been revealed due to Italy’s worst drought for 70 years. The 450 kg (1,000 lb) bomb was found by fishermen on the banks of the depleted River Po, in the village of Borgo Virgilio, in Lombardy. [BBC]

¶ “MG4 EV Costs Just £25,995” • The MG4 EV is a hot looking new electric SUV/crossover available in Europe. Pricing was just released in the UK, and it’s quite affordable for its class and considering its technology. The MG4 EV SE Standard Range starts at £25,995, the SE Long Range £28,495, and the Trophy Long Range £31,495. [CleanTechnica]

MG4 EV (MG image)

¶ “Germany’s EV Share Cold Comfort Against 34% Shortfall In Overall Auto Market” • Germany, Europe’s largest auto market, saw plugin electric vehicles take 25.5% share in July. This up from 22.6% year on year. Overall auto market volumes were down some 34% from seasonal norms, the worst July performance in many years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “China’s Latest Renewables Plan Could Bridge Global 1.5°C Energy Gap, Expert Says” • China’s fourteenth five-year plan shows the country could build enough wind and solar capacity to reach its emissions peak ahead of schedule, but continuing coal investments raise doubts. The plan requires that renewables produce 50% of the electricity. [The Energy Mix]

Tiananmen Square on a rare, clear day (zibik, Unsplash)

¶ “ReNew Commits $8 Billion For Egypt Renewable Hydrogen Facility” • ReNew Power announced signing a preliminary agreement to work with the Egyptian government on a new renewable hydrogen plant in that country. It will involve an investment of up to $8 billion for the production of the carbon-free fuel. [Hydrogen Fuel News]

¶ “‘Suicidal Act’: UN Warns Over Latest Shelling On Ukrainian Nuclear Power Plant” • Another shelling at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine raised concerns over nuclear threats, with the UN warning that any attack on a nuclear plant is “suicidal.” Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned of the risk of nuclear confrontation. [Press TV]

Russian missile system (Nickel nitride, public domain)

¶ “Rockets Fired At Ukrainian Nuclear Power Plant; Ukraine And Russia Blame Each Other” • Ukraine claimed that Russia fired rockets at a spent fuel storage area at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, risking what the country’s nuclear power company called a “nuclear disaster.” A Russian official claimed the attack had come from Ukraine. [Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists]

US:

¶ “Climate Hawks Breathe Sigh Of Relief After More Than A Decade Of Fighting For Climate Legislation” • Senator Ed Markey still remembers the raw anger he felt after the 2009 climate bill failed to advance in a Democrat-controlled Senate. Now, in a 50-50 Senate vote, more than a decade later, the Inflation Reduction Act passed. [CNN]

Senator Markey in 2019 (Senate Democrats, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “What’s In The Manchin-Schumer Deal On Climate, Health Care And Taxes” • The Democrats’ budget reconciliation package, which gained more heft after West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin agreed to add back several climate and tax provisions, was passed by the Senate on a party-line vote. Here are the provisions that made it in. [CNN]

¶ “Sunrun Now Offering Electric Vehicle Chargers” • Sunrun, the #1 home solar installation company in the US, is encouraging its customers to drive on sunshine. It has launched its own EV charger. The Level 2 charger can be installed and used at homes, workplaces, or anywhere else someone may want to park and charge for a while. [CleanTechnica]

Sunrun charger (Sunrun image)

¶ “Thousand-Year Floods And The Ford Lightning Come To Kentucky” • Kentucky has had two thousand year floods in two weeks, leaving over 37 dead, hundreds injured, and tens of thousands without power. Ford CEO Jim Farley decided to try to help, and he’s sent a pair of Ford F-150 Lightning pickups to help aid in the recovery efforts. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Death Valley Flooding, A 1,000-Year Event” • A three-hour rainstorm has dumped nearly 1.5 inches of rain on Death Valley National Park, causing widespread flooding that tore up roads, blew out water systems, and shut down the park. The flooding has been classified as a 1,000-year event by the National Weather Service. [National Parks Traveler]

Death Valley (Pietro De Grandi, Unsplash)

¶ “Silicon Valley Startup Plans 3D-Printed Solid-State Battery Gigafactories” • While plans in the tech world are as good as a contract written with disappearing ink, a pilot battery production facility opened in Silicon Valley by startup Sakuú a year ago is already producing 3D-printed solid-state batteries for real customers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Inflation Reduction Act’s $300 Billion Climate Spending Would Benefit Mostly Red Districts” • The Inflation Reduction Act cleared the Senate despite solid Republican opposition. It’s expected to pass in the House with little to no GOP support. But a study shows it delivers big benefits to mostly Republican rural congressional districts. [Texas Public Radio]

Have a refreshingly contemplative day.

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August 7 Energy News

August 7, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “30 Million EV Battery Packs In 2027?” • There are expected to be about 10 million EV battery packs shipped in 2022 globally, according to research firm Juniper Research. The company forecasts that number will rise to 30 million in 2027. A simple calculation shows that Juniper Research belives 25.8% of the global car market will be EVs in 2027. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla battery pack (Tesla image)

¶ “We Are Not Freaking Out Enough About Climate Change” • We could be facing a “climate endgame,” and the concept of climate change ending human existence is a “dangerously underexplored topic,” says a research paper. We know climate change will be really bad, but we’re completely unprepared for worst-case scenarios. [Gizmodo Australia]

Science and Technology:

¶ “New Way To Calculate Environmental Impact Of Ammonia Production” • Ammonia is a major ingredient in the production of fertilizers, and making it is a big part of global greenhouse gas emissions. A team at the US DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory modeled how much it would cost to produce ammonia in ways that have emissions reduced. [CleanTechnica]

Farm (Federico Respini, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Zaporizhzhia: Real Risk Of Nuclear Disaster In Ukraine – UN Watchdog” • The UN’s nuclear watchdog has called for a prompt end to any military action near Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, warning of a “very real risk of a nuclear disaster.” This comes as Ukraine said parts of the facility were “seriously damaged” by Russian military strikes. [BBC]

¶ “Why The International Climate Community Isn’t Popping Champagne Over The US Energy Bill” • While the energy bill is welcomed overseas, there’s an overarching feeling that the US is simply catching up to its allies after years of inaction. Pressure has also increased for the US to take financial responsibility for its historic role in the crisis. [CNN]

Microburst (NOAA, Unsplash)

¶ “All-New Electric Jeep Caught Undisguised In Europe” • There’s a lot we don’t know about Stellantis’ upcoming, all-electric Jeep that’s set to debut in 2023. We don’t know the specs, for example. We don’t know the price – heck, we don’t even know what they’re going to call it! But now, at least, we know exactly what it’s going to look like! [CleanTechnica]

¶ “BYD Electric Vehicle Launch A Massive Success In Australia” • Not since Tesla brought a Model 3 to Brisbane back in 2018 (prior to deliveries in 2019) have I seen such a crowd at the launch of an EV. BYD received 600 RSVPs to the launch of the BYD Atto 3 at Indooroopilly’s Auto Mall in Brisbane. I think all of them were there on August 2nd. [CleanTechnica]

BYD Yuan Plus (Anonymousfox36, CC-BY-SA 4.0, cropped)

¶ “Hundreds Of Victorian Renewable Energy Projects In Limbo After Program Funding Ceases” • The Victorian government has not re-funded the Community Power Hub program, which ran in six areas across the state for the past 12 months. That decision is leaving hundreds of renewable energy projects important for de-carbonisation targets in limbo. [ABC]

¶ “From Melting Glaciers To Cloudbursts – How Climate Change Is Impacting Kashmir” • Glaciers in the Kashmir area are melting at an unusual pace, posing a big threat to the environment as well as to the people in the region, a study shows. Heat records are being shattered, even as frequencies of rainfalls, hailstorms, and flashfloods are on rise. [Zee News]

Kashmir countryside (Praneet Kumar, Unsplash)

¶ “Russia Planning To Disconnect Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant From Ukraines Power Grid, Cutting Off Power In Southern Ukraine” • Energoatom has said that Russian occupying forces are attacking the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant to destroy its infrastructure, disconnect it from the Ukrainian power grid and cut off power in southern Ukraine. [Yahoo News]

US:

¶ “How The Climate Bill Could  Save You Money On Electricity, Cars And Appliances” • With nearly $370 billion for energy and incentives, the energy bill is the largest climate investment in US history. In addition to emissions reductions, there’s a lot in the bill that could change both how Americans power their homes and what kinds of vehicles they drive. [CNN]

Home in the mountains (Vidar Nordli-Mathisen, Unsplash)

¶ “Report: Clean Energy Jobs Benefitting Every State” • As the Congress prepares to vote on the Inflation Reduction Act and the biggest investments in clean energy in US history, a report shows that every state benefits from clean energy job growth, regardless of politics, geography, or geology. Some red states are among those with the biggest gains. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New BMW I4 EDrive35 Starts At $51,400” • BMW at long last brought another fully electric car to market, the i4. It is bringing a new version of the i4 to market in the US that offers a lower entry price. Instead of the previous low price of $55,300, the starting MSRP of the new trim is $51,400 (plus $995 destination and handling) in the US. [CleanTechnica]

BMW i4 eDrive35 (Courtesy of BMW)

¶ “Can ‘Green Banks’ Bring Clean Energy To The Masses? The US Is Betting $27 Billion On It” • With close to $370 billion on the table, one way that the Biden administration intends to distribute the billions of dollars that are meant to accelerate the adoption of solar, wind, geothermal, and the other forms of renewable energy is “Green banks.” [CBC]

¶ “Wrangling Over Renewables: Counties Push Back On Newsom Administration Usurping Local Control” • Many rural California counties have lots of land, sunshine and wind. That makes them focal points for renewable energy projects. Feeling a loss of local control over their local land, they are at the center of a statewide controversy, too. [Capital Public Radio]

Have a fully functional day.

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August 6 Energy News

August 6, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “The End Of Net Metering May Be Good For Community Resilience And National Security” • Net metering did a good job of getting people to adopt solar back when battery storage was prohibitively expensive, but the world has changed. We need more solar in most places, but we need the ability to store that energy for night-time. [CleanTechnica]

House with a rooftop solar system (Gus Ruballo, Unsplash)

¶ “LG Energy Solution Tapping Battery Startups To Try To Poach Their Goodies” • The LG Energy Solution Battery Challenge 2022 is now taking applications for startups to participate. LGES isn’t exactly coy about what it is trying to get out of it: “Through international competition, LGES aims to maintain leadership in battery industry.” [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Common Weed May Be ‘Super Plant’ That Holds Key To Drought-Resistant Crops” • Yale scientists describe how a weed, purslane, integrates two distinct metabolic pathways to create a novel type of photosynthesis that enables the weed to endure drought while remaining highly productive. Their paper was in the journal Science Advances. [Phys.org]

Purslane (ZooFari, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

World:

¶ “Russian Rockets Damaged Part Of Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant, Ukraine Says” • Ukraine’s nuclear agency says Russian rockets have damaged part of a giant Russian-controlled nuclear power plant, but there has been no radiation leak. Ukraine also accuses Russian forces of firing rockets at civilian areas from the site, employing “terror tactics.” [BBC]

¶ “E.ON And Alpitronic Team Up For 2,000 More Charging Stations” • Noting that the EV market is growing fast, E.ON is investing in thousands of new, ultra-fast charging stations across Europe. To install 2,000 of these charging sites by the end of 2024, E.ON has joined forces with alpitronic, a leading charger station manufacturer. [CleanTechnica]

E.ON charging station (E.ON press photo)

¶ “IKEA Aims For 1,000 EV Stations In Sweden” • IKEA has set a goal to “provide charging wherever the company offers parking.” So, unsurprisingly, the company recently announced plans to put 1,000 charging stations in the lots of its stores in Sweden, IKEA’s home country. They will be available for consumers, co-workers, and IKEA delivery vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “UK Boosts Renewable Target As Ukraine War Drives Up Prices For Energy” • With energy costs soaring, increased production of more cost-effective wind power is good news for consumers. It provides a potential to export excess UK energy to European countries, which are already struggling because of dependence on Russian energy supplies. [CGTN Europe]

Vacation home in Wales (ClwydianRanger, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Renewable Energy Generation Accounts For 25% To 29% Of Total Power Amid High Demand: RK Singh” • Renewable energy made up 25% To 29% of the total power generation recently amid high demand for electricity, Union Power Minister RK Singh announced during a meeting of a Parliamentary Consultative Committee. [Devdiscourse]

¶ “TotalEnergies Completes 2-GW Asia Solar Joint Venture” • TotalEnergies and Eneos have received final merger clearance and have completed a joint venture agreement to develop 2 GW of solar projects across Asia over the next five years. The new joint venture will be called TotalEnergies ENEOS Renewables Distributed Generation Asia Pte Ltd. [reNews]

Solar array (TotalEnergies image)

US:

¶ “GM To Double Miles Of Highway That Super Cruise Works On” • General Motors announced that Super Cruise, which it says is the industry’s first true hands-free driver assistance system, will be expanded to allow it to operate on more roads. Hundreds of thousands of additional miles of roads in the US and Canada may now be driven hands-free. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ford’s F-150 Lightning Now Delivered To Customers In All 50 States” • In only two months, Ford has delivered electric F-150 Lightning trucks to residents in all 50 states of the US, from the Kenai River in Alaska to Houston and even Hawaii. Though sales are greatest in California and Texas, people all over are looking to electrify their truck transport. [CleanTechnica]

F-150 Lightning in Alaska (Ford image)

¶ “Climate Activists Call On New Hampshire Officials To Invest In Renewable Energy, Divest From Fossil Fuels” • In response to recent electricity rate hikes, climate activists and organizers are demanding state officials expand New Hampshire’s renewable energy resources. The advocates met outside the State House at a press conference. [NHPR]

¶ “Revolve Renewable Power Gets Approval For 250-MW Solar-And-Storage Project From BLM” • The Canadian renewables company Revolve Renewable Power has received approval to build a 250-MW solar-and-storage project in La Paz County, Arizona, on land under management by the US Bureau of Land Management. [PV Tech]

Solar array in Arizona (Purina employee, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “CVS Health Advances Sustainability Efforts Through Purchase Of Renewable Energy” • CVS Health is closer to achieving its goal of using 50% renewable energy by 2040. The company signed a 15-year agreement with Constellation to purchase renewable energy equivalent to the energy use of 309 CVS Health locations in Illinois and Ohio. [Drug Store News]

¶ “Washington Sees Greener Energy Future For The Gulf Of Mexico” • As part of a push toward a green energy future for America, the Biden administration unveiled plans to develop wind farms in the Gulf of Mexico. Though still in their infancy, the initiatives could one day generate enough electricity to power over 3 million homes. [Voice of America]

Have a prodigiously splendid day.

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August 5 Energy News

August 5, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Five Ways The Inflation Reduction Act Will Help American Families” • We were excited when senators Chuck Schumer and Joe Manchin announced the Inflation Reduction Act. It will lead to lower energy costs for families, create more job opportunities and make health care more affordable. Here are five ways that will come about. [CNN]

Neighborhood (Tom Rumble, Unsplash)

¶ “This Summer Made Americans Get It: Yes, Climate Change Is A Thing” • The headlines this summer have summed it up: It’s hot as hell and we really don’t want to take it anymore. Even if many Americans still don’t want to acknowledge that climate change is real, many are noticing that something is up in the air, and it isn’t pretty. [TriplePundit]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Geothermal Heating And Cooling: Renewable Energy’s Hidden Gem” • Often described as a pile of Jenga blocks, Boston University’s Center for Computing and Data Sciences shows no outward signs of leading in sustainable energy design. But water circulating through 31 geothermal boreholes will supply 90% of its heating and cooling. [Yale Climate Connections]

¶ “Lithium Carbon Battery From Allotrope Energy Can Recharge In 90 Seconds” • Allotrope Energy, in the UK, has developed a lithium carbon battery for mopeds and scooters that recharges in as little as 90 seconds. The new battery is being supplied by Mahle Powertrain, a global Tier One supplier to the automotive and mobility market. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Great Barrier Reef Sees Record Coral Cover, But It Is Highly Vulnerable” • Coral has recovered from storms and bleaching events to record levels across much of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, a survey has found. But the new coral is of a particularly vulnerable type, so the progress could be quickly undone by climate change and other threats. [BBC]

Helicopter view of the reef (Sarah_Ackerman, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “France’s Auto Sales Crash 37%, BEVs Still Growing” • France, Europe’s second largest auto market, saw plugin electric vehicle share of 18.6% in July, up from 15.9% year on year. Battery EVs almost doubled in share, whilst plugin hybrids lost share. Overall auto volumes were 107, 548 units, down a big 37% from pre-2020 seasonal norms. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “VinFast’s Electric Scooters Are Enabling A Transportation Revolution In Southeast Asia” • VinFast produces four different models of electric scooters to meet the needs of Vietnam’s population, ranging from smaller Feliz S scooter up to the larger, more powerful Theon S. Scooters are the backbone of Vietnam’s transportation. [CleanTechnica]

Street in Hanoi (Elliot Andrews, Unsplash)

¶ “BMW Expands Battery Production, Tells Us About The Process” • BMW announced the start of production at Plant Leipzig’s second battery module facility. The new plant makes modules for the electric BMW i4, which is produced in Munich. The BMW Group’s goal for 2030 is to have fully electric vehicles account for at least half of sales. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Federal Government Declares Australia’s First Six Offshore Wind Energy Zones” • Federal Energy Minister Chris Bowen announced waters off the Gippsland coast, in Victoria’s south-east, would be the first offshore wind zone. Other areas will follow, with sites off the coasts of New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, and Western Australia. [ABC]

Offshore wind farm (Nicholas Doherty, Unsplash)

¶ “Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant Explosion Could Trigger ‘End For Europe’” • Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has warned a missile explosion at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant could spell the end for Europe. Western sources accuse Russian invaders of using the plant as a nuclear shield, after they began using the site for artillery. [Scottish Daily Express]

US:

¶ “Half The Country Is In Drought, And No Region Has Been Spared” • More than 50% of the country was in some level of drought for the fourth week in a row, the US Drought Monitor reported, as the combination of extreme heat and low rainfall is drawing the moisture out of plants and soil. And no region of the country has been spared. [CNN]

August 4 drought map (US Drought Monitor)

¶ “Sinema Says She Will ‘Move Forward’ On Economic Bill” • Senator Kyrsten Sinema offered critical support for President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda after party leaders agreed to change tax proposals at her request. She said she would “move forward” on the economic package that has been the product of intensive negotiations for over a year. [CNN]

¶ “As Lobstering Weakens With Climate Change, But Seaweed Farming Is Reviving An Industry” • The Maine marine economy has been almost entirely dependent on the nearshore landings of the American lobster. Now climate change has warmed Maine’s coastal waters dramatically, but lobster fishers have found a new source of income: Seaweed. [CleanTechnica]

Farming seaweed (NOAA image, public domain)

¶ “The US Power Grid Added 15 GW Of Capacity In 1st Half Of 2022” • According to the latest DOE inventory of generators, 15 GW of utility-scale electric generating capacity came online in the US during the first half of 2022. Based on the most recently reported plans, developers could add another 29 GW of capacity in the second half of the year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Revolve Gets Nod To Advance 250-MW US Solar Project” • Revolve Renewable Power has been given the green light to proceed with its application for the 250-MW Parker solar and storage project in Arizona. The 1,530-acre site is situated in a ‘solar variance area’ designated by the US Bureau of Land Management. [reNews]

Have a thoroughly advantageous day.

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August 4 Energy News

August 4, 2022

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Next Extreme Floods Could Be Even Worse, A New Study Shows. But There’s A Way To Prevent That” • The world is getting better at managing extreme weather risk and adapting to changes brought by the climate crisis. But a study published in the journal Nature found that climate change-fueled flooding and droughts are still getting deadlier and more expensive. [CNN]

Flood (Jonathan Ford, Unsplash)

¶ “This Company Is Turning Heaps Of Plastic Trash Into Construction Building Blocks” • Los Angeles-based startup ByFusion has a plan for that waste. In fact, the business has created a system to collect the most troublesome type of plastic trash – the stuff that can’t be recycled. ByFusion hopes to be able to recycle 100 million tons of plastic by 2030. [CNN]

¶ “Rechargeable Silicon Redox Battery For Renewable Energy Storage” • Israeli researchers developed a device that combines a reversible silicon anode with halide cathodes and uses hybrid electrolytes to enable cell recharging. Silicon is dissolved during the battery discharge process, and upon charging, elemental silicon is deposited. [pv magazine Australia]

Battery concept (Technion – Israel Institute of Technology)

World:

¶ “Shell Staff Get Profits Bonus As Energy Bills Soar” • Energy giant Shell is to give its workers a one-off 8% bonus after the company reported record profits from high oil and gas prices. Most of the 82,000 staff it employs worldwide will get the pay boost but not top executives. Shell reported Q2 profits of £9 billion due to high oil and gas prices. [BBC]

¶ “UN Chief Guterres Slams Oil And Gas Firms’ ‘Grotesque Greed'” • UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has called for oil and gas companies to face special taxes. His comments come as surging energy prices sparked by the war in Ukraine push industry profits to new highs. Mr Guterres said it was “immoral” for firms to be profiting from the crisis. [BBC]

¶ “Solaris Hits A Milestone With Its 2000th Electric Bus” • In 2012, only 15 electric buses were put into service throughout Europe’s urban areas. They are non-polluting, quiet, and very inexpensive to operate, so with falling prices of batteries, electric buses bus sales have boomed. Recently, Solaris signed a contract for its 2000th electric bus. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “VW China Unveils ‘Flying Tiger’ EVTOL Passenger Drone” • After thorough study, concept development, and prototyping, Volkswagen Group China completed its first EVTOL validation model. The initial prototype was unveiled in the Year of the Tiger, so it is the Flying Tiger, and was given a distinctive black and gold paint job. [CleanTechnica]

VW China drone (Volkswagen China image)

¶ “Spain To Hold 3.3 GW Renewables Auction In November” • Spain’s Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge revealed that it will hold a 3.3-GW renewable energy auction in November. The Spanish government expects to allocate 1.8 GW of solar and 1.5 GW of wind power, to be built within two years. [PV Magazine]

¶ “First Power Exported From Hollandse Kuist Zuid Wind Farm” • The Hollandse Kust Zuid wind farm in the Dutch North Sea has generated its first electricity. So far, 36 of its turbines have been installed. When fully operational in 2023, it will be the world’s largest subsidy-free offshore wind farm, with 140 turbines and an installed capacity of 1.5 GW. [Offshore Magazine]

Already completed wind turbines of Hollandse Kust Zuid

¶ “EDF Cuts Output At Nuclear Power Plants As French Rivers Get Too Warm” • The state-owned French energy supplier EDF is temporarily reducing output at its nuclear power stations on the Rhône and Garonne rivers as heatwaves have increased river temperatures, reducing its ability to use river water to cool the nuclear power plants. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ “Congress Considers First Purchase Incentive For Commercial EVs” • The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, the product of the agreement of Senators Manchin and Schumer, would establish a federal tax credit for businesses to purchase electric and plug-in hybrid trucks, buses, vans, shuttles, and other heavy-duty vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

Delivery vans (Courtesy of FedEx and GM)

¶ “Solar Tariffs Under Threat All Over The US” • Net metering helps solar customers by crediting them for the extra electricity their panels produce, and it’s a key reasons why solar has been able to grow so rapidly in the last few years. But now, utilities are starting to put up a fight against net metering, claiming that it’s unfair to non-solar customers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Jersey School District Gets 390 KW Of Solar Power On Two Schools” • Wanaque Public Schools and Greenskies Clean Focus, a national renewable energy company, have energized 390 kW of new solar projects on two of the district’s schools. The solar projects were installed at no cost to the schools and reduces their electricity bills. [CleanTechnica]

Rooftop solar system (Greenskies Clean Focus image)

¶ “Solar Facility Now Supplying Renewable Energy For Two-Thirds Of University’s Electricity Use” • With a commitment from Johns Hopkins University, a solar facility is now providing the university with two-thirds of its annual electricity needs. So Johns Hopkins has now achieved its goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions 51%, by 2025. [JHU Hub]

¶ “Georgia Nuclear Plant Gets OK To Load Fuel At New Reactor” • Federal regulators have given a nuclear power plant under construction in Georgia approval to begin loading radioactive fuel into one of its two new reactors. With this key step toward generating electricity, it will soon be the first new nuclear reactor built in decades in the US. [Now Habersham]

Have a relaxingly cool day.

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August 3 Energy News

August 3, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “The Hollow Promise Of Small Modular Nuclear Reactors” • Nuclear power offers a great example of what happens when hype, advertisement, and belief in impossible promises are very much the norm. And Small Modular Reactors are one class of nuclear reactors that have been extensively promoted in this vein during the last decade. [Counterpunch]

Nuscale Small Modular Reactor (Nuscale Power image)

World:

¶ “The Promise And Danger Of Scotland’s Bog” • The ancient blanket bog of northern Scotland is reaching a turning point in its long history – degrade or flourish. Which way it goes will have significant consequences for climate change. This is critically important, because globally, peatlands store twice as much carbon as all the world’s forests. [BBC]

¶ “Tsunami-Engulfed Fukushima Prefecture Is The Target Of An EV Transport Program” • Eleven years after the Fukushima Disaster, the prefecture government has shifted itself from hosting a nuclear power plant to leading in renewable energy development. This occurred as a lot of the areas within the town have remained abandoned. [CleanTechnica]

Aikawa Solar Power Plant (Σ64, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “BYD To Begin Selling Cars In Germany And Sweden” • Shortly after announcing it will sell 3 models of EVs in Japan, BYD let it be known that it will soon begin selling cars in Germany and Sweden also. According to CnEVPost, BYD has partnered with European dealer group Hedin Mobility to provide electric cars for customers in those countries. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Good Car Company” • Anthony Broese van Groenou is importing used Nissan Leafs from Japan to an unquenchable market in Australia. Last time we could chat, he had backorders for 300 vehicles and was also looking into importing the Peugeot e-Expert and Nissan e-NV200 from the UK. These are now available as a special order. [CleanTechnica]

Good Car Company at Noosa Electric Vehicle Expo (NEVE)

¶ “City Of Windsor Turning Twelve Facilities Green By Shifting To Renewable Energy Consumption” • In Ontario, the City of Windsor is shifting twelve facilities to renewable energy as part of a $2.4 million investment to make city-owned buildings more efficient. Mayor Drew Dilkens and others announced the launch of the $2.4 million investment. [CTV Windsor]

¶ “Neoen Inks 40-MW Offtake For Oz Wind Farm” • Neoen has signed a power purchase agreement with Australian energy retailer Flow Power covering 40 MW of capacity at its Goyder South Stage 1 wind farm in South Australia. Construction of Stage 1, comprising 75 wind turbines with a total capacity of 412 MW, is already underway. [reNews]

South Australia (Neoen image)

¶ “UN Nuclear Chief: Ukraine Nuclear Plant Is ‘Out Of Control’” • The UN nuclear chief, Rafael Grossi, warned that Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in Ukraine “is completely out of control” and issued an urgent plea to Russia and Ukraine to quickly allow experts to visit it to stabilize the situation and avoid a nuclear accident. [WIVB]

US:

¶ “Grid-Scale Battery Storage In US Tripled In 2021” • The US Energy Information Agency posted preliminary findings from its latest energy survey, with generator-level specific information about existing and planned generators and their environmental equipment at electric power plants with 1 MW or greater of combined nameplate capacity. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it. (EIA image)

¶ “Tesla Files To Expand Its Gigafactory In Texas As Production Ramps Up” • Tesla is planning to expand the Gigafactory Texas general assembly area by 500,000 square feet, as revealed in a permit filed by the automaker with the city of Austin, Texas. An online document also shows that Tesla has already chosen a plumbing contractor for the project. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “All 50 States, DC, And Puerto Rico Have Submitted Plans For National Electric Vehicle Charging Network” • The Departments of Transportation and Energy announced all 50 states, DC, and Puerto Rico have submitted their plans for EV infrastructure deployment as required under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program. [CleanTechnica]

EVolve chargers (EVolve NY, New York State)

¶ “Solar Technical Assistance Grants Available In Maryland” • The Maryland Energy Administration announced the opening of the Solar Technical Assistance Program. This program provides technical assistance to state and local government agencies to evaluate the potential for, and to site, solar arrays on or around government buildings. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “DOE Funds Research On Renewable Energy Resources For Grid Reliability” • The Biden-Harris administration, through the US DOE, is releasing $26 million to fund projects that will demonstrate that America’s electricity grid can reliably run with a mix of solar, wind, energy storage, and other clean distributed energy resources. [North American Windpower]

Wind farm (Anastasia Palagutina, Unsplash)

¶ “New Mexico To Get A Share Of $1 Billion In Energy Savings Via Federal Solar Power Program” • New Mexico has joined a six-state pilot community solar program created by the federal government as the state enacted its own state-level regulations to bring solar power and electric bill savings to low-income customers. [Carlsbad Current-Argus]

¶ “Louisiana Utility Regulators Blame Entergy For Creating Grid Dependent On Costly Gas” • With Louisiana residents receiving unprecedentedly high electricity bills, members of the Louisiana Public Service Commission blamed Entergy Louisiana for the “mess,” saying the utility ignored calls to diversify its sources of fuel for power generation. [Louisiana Illuminator]

Have an unimaginably perfect day.

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August 2 Energy News

August 2, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Landmark Deal In Congress Is A Great Renovation Of US Climate And Clean Energy Goals” • In Washington, a broad deal on clean energy and climate policy greatly improves the outlook for global efforts to stop dangerous global warming. With $369 billion involved, it would be the most ambitious clean energy investment in US history. [CleanTechnica]

Time to act (Markus Spiske, Unsplash)

¶ “Energy Insecurity And The Price Of Gasoline Are Promoting Renewable Energy” • One thing that may help cure our addiction to fossil fuel is that their prices are subject to wild gyrations. We should notice that while energy insecurity has damaged America, our global fossil fuel companies are emerging from the recent turmoil with their wallets full. [State of the Planet]

World:

¶ “This Giant ‘Water Battery’ Under The Alps Could Be A Game-Changer For Renewable Energy In Europe” • Switzerland has unveiled a giant water battery. Beginning operations last month, the water battery, called Nant de Drance, is a pumped storage hydropower plant. It is a closed-loop system, which means it has no impact on rivers. [CNN]

Lower reservoir, Lac d’Émosson (BECK François, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “For Asia’s Migrant Workers, Extreme Heat Is ‘A Matter Of Life And Death'” • For years, scientists warned that the climate crisis would amplify extreme weather, making it deadlier and more frequent. Now, many parts of the world have dangerous levels of heat, with little relief in sight. Scientists predict even higher temperatures to come. [CNN]

¶ “Record EV Sales Month Globally! 12% Share For BEVs!” • The EV disruption many of us have dreamed of is finally happening, and the proof is that despite all the stuff happening right now – pandemic(s), war, inflation, material shortages, etc, etc – global plugin vehicle registrations were up 54% in June 2022 compared to June 2021. [CleanTechnica]

BYD S7 (Mohammad Fathollahi, Unsplash)

¶ “Renewable Energy: 10 Most Attractive Countries” • The cost of new solar and wind projects is less than the cost of existing coal-fired plants, several studies have found. Economics is becoming favorable to renewable energy because of the twin threats of geopolitical insecurity and climate change. Here are the most attractive countries to invest in. [Prysmian Group]

¶ “Japanese Nuclear Power Plant Leaks 7 Tonnes Of Radioactive Water” • About seven tonnes of water containing radioactive elements leaked from a reactor of the Mihama nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture, central Japan, The Nikkei reported, citing the operator Kansai Electric Power Company. The reactor is currently out of service. [CGTN]

Mihama Nuclear Power Plant (Alpsdake, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Russia is firing artillery from a captured nuclear power plant, leaving Ukraine reluctant to shoot back” • Russian troops are firing artillery at Ukrainian targets from a nuclear power plant, The New York Times reported. Russia selected the Zaporizhzhia site because it made it difficult for Ukrainian troops to retaliate, Ukrainian officials said. [Yahoo]

¶ “US Accuses Russia Of Using Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Power Plant As ‘Nuclear Shield’” • The US accused Russia of using the Zaporizhzhia power plant as a “nuclear shield” by stationing troops there, preventing Ukrainian forces from returning fire, and risking a nuclear accident. The Zaporizhzhia plant is the largest such plant in Europe. [South China Morning Post]

Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant (Ігор Діклевич, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

US:

¶ “Two Ultra-Rare Floods In One Week; A Wildfire Generating Its Own Weather. Here’s The Connection” • Extreme weather of different sorts thrashed parts of the US over the past week. There were two ultra-rare floods, one in the St Louis area and one in eastern Kentucky, just as drought induced wildfires in California. Scientists say it’s all related to climate change. [CNN]

¶ “Manchin, Democratic Leadership Strike Deal To Advance Controversial Natural Gas Pipeline In Appalachia” • West Virginia Sen Joe Manchin and Democratic leadership agreed to advance a stalled natural gas pipeline in Manchin’s home region as part of a deal to reform federal environmental permitting, according to a summary Manchin’s office shared with CNN. [CNN]

Senator Manchin (MDGovpics, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “California Wildfire: Two Dead As Firefighters Battle Mckinney Blaze” • Two people have been found dead amid a huge wildfire that forced thousands of people from their homes in northern California. The bodies of the two dead were found inside a car in the driveway of a property caught in the blaze. They seem to have been trying to escape. [BBC]

¶ “Connecticut’s Largest Solar Power Plant Completed” • The renewable energy portfolio of Gibraltar Industries, Terrasmart, announced completion of Connecticut’s largest solar plant in Canterbury. The solar array has 150,000 modules for a capacity of 66.5-MW (AC). The project would normally have taken 130 weeks, but it was finished in just 33. [CleanTechnica]

Terrasmart project (Courtesy of Terrasmart)

¶ “Heavy Duty Electric Trucks May Be Eligible For $40,000 Federal Incentive” • The Inflation Reduction Act introduced in the Senate this week will include a sizable federal incentive for the purchase of heavy duty electric trucks that weigh more than 14,000 pounds. The incentive is limited to 30% of the purchase price or $40,000, whichever is less. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Small-Scale Solar Is Changing New England’s Hourly Utility Electricity Demand” • Despite New England’s less favorable solar resources, the area’s solar capacity has increased by 3.8 GW since 2016. Small-scale solar generation increases faster than demand in the morning and rapidly decreases in the evening, resulting in rising electricity demand at that time. [CleanTechnica]

Have a charmingly resplendent day.

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August 1 Energy News

August 1, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Is The Tesla Model Y The World’s Best Selling Vehicle Right Now?” • My answer is “maybe,” depending on how you measure sales and how sales of last year’s best sellers have increased or decreased. Since sales figures lag 3 to 6 months, we won’t know for sure until next year, but I’ll present the evidence I found and you can judge for yourself. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model Y (Daniel.Cardenas, CC-BY-SA 4.0, cropped)

¶ “Ten Ways Methane Gas Companies Are Misleading The Public” • Methane has been responsible for nearly half of global warming to date. Not only does methane gas use threaten to destabilize the climate, but burning gas in the home is bad for our health. Most Americans are unaware of this, and that is partly due to corporate greenwashing. [Environment Maine]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Mapping The Battery Data Genome For Better Batteries” • Energy storage is the key to electrified transportation and the rapidly evolving power grid, cornerstones of a decarbonized future. An open exchange of battery data is integral to meeting energy goals. An emerging collaboration between NREL and industry partners supports this effort. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla batteries (Tesla image)

¶ “Solar Is The Cheapest Power, And A Literal Light-Bulb Moment Showed Us We Can Cut Costs And Emissions Even Further” • We need to transition to renewable energy quickly. Newly published research points to a way we can drive down costs of the shift using cheaper forms of silicon for highly efficient solar panels. [The Conversation]

World:

¶ “The Rebellious Gardeners Defying Their Local Climate” • All over the world, rebellious gardeners have discovered that they can grow edibles generally considered unusual for their climate, upturning commonly held perceptions about what one can and cannot grow oneself. In the face of a changing climate, they grow unexpected crops. [BBC]

Calamondin grown in Virginia (David J Stang, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “India’s First Green Hydrogen Project Founded By PM” • In the Union Territory of Ladakh, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation for India’s first public use green hydrogen transportation project. The project will be built by National Thermal Power Corporation over the course of the following 18 months. [Northlines]

¶ “How Bangladesh Can Benefit From Japan’s Super Grid” • Japan has sped up efforts to materialize its decade-old plan to de-carbonize Asia by connecting some of the biggest economies and the power-hungry populations through a 36,000 km integrated grid of renewable energy. Bangladesh is part of the “Asia Super Grid” initiative. [Dhaka Tribune]

Asia Super Grid (Renewable Energy Institute, Japan)

¶ “Russia Transfers $20 Billion To Turkey For Nuclear Power Plant” • According to a Bloomberg report, senior Turkish officials said that the Russian state-owned company Rosatom sent around $5 billion last week to the Turkish company Akkuyu Nuclear JSC, which is building the plant in the city of Mersin. And $15 billion more will be sent soon. [Middle East Monitor]

¶ “Hinkley B: UK’s Most Productive Nuclear Power Plant To Close” • Hinkley Point B in Somerset has been making power since 1976 and currently contributes about 3% of the UK’s total power needs. Now, it is shutting down for good. The shutdown is expected to increase the cost of electricity on the short term, because it implies increased use of natural gas. [BBC]

Western End of Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Station
(Richard Baker, CC BY-SA 2.0)

US:

¶ “McKinney Fire Spreads Rapidly In North Of California” • The McKinney Fire, which started in the northern Siskiyou county on Friday, has already burnt 52,500 acres (21,000 hectares), the state fire service said. At least 2,000 residents and visitors have left the area, authorities say. Some homes have been destroyed. It was 0% contained as of Sunday. [BBC]

¶ “All Eyes Turn To Sinema As Democrats Face A Week That Could Transform Biden’s Presidency” • Democrats have a chance to accomplish something big. But to do that, they must push the Manchin-Schumer compromise climate and health care bill through the Senate. And to do that, they need to get the crucial vote of Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema. [CNN]

Senator Kyrsten Sinema (Gage Skidmore, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “What Does The Growing US EV Supply Chain Look Like? We Mapped It” • The deal between Senators Schumer and Manchin to extend and revise the incentives for EVs put the spotlight on the EV supply chain. It would require car makers to source a rapidly increasing share of battery materials and components domestically or from trade allies. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla Reveals Its Q2 Capital Expenditures And Expectations Moving Forward” • Tesla revealed that it focused intensely on its Gigafactories during the second quarter of 2022, to the tune of about $1 billion in capital expenditures. Tesla intends to continue to put an emphasis on battery development to solidify its corporate plan and mission. [CleanTechnica]

Home powered by Tesla (Tesla image)

¶ “EV Sales Are Growing, And More And More US Drivers Want To Go Electric” • A Consumer Reports survey found a record amount of interest in going electric for their transportation. The nationally representative survey of 8,027 American consumers found that 71% of respondents expressed some level of interest in buying or leasing an EV. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Installing Home EV Chargers Just Got Much Easier (And Cheaper)” • Of all the obstacles between the car-buying public and the EV revolution, the American home is one of the stickiest. EV charging at home can be expensive to get started or even impossible. Siemens and ConnectDER have come up with a solution to the problem. [CleanTechnica]

Have a truly beautiful day.

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