Archive for December, 2022

December 31 Energy News

December 31, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “2024 Tesla Next-Generation Vehicle Should Sell For $12,500 After US Tax Credit” • Paul Fosse explains why Tesla’s the next generation car will be much less expensive than expected. His calculations show that Tesla can make a compact EV in Mexico or the US for $16,000 and sell in the US for $20,000, with people  getting a full $7,500 tax credit. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla factory (Tesla image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “NanoFlocell Wants To Sell Flow Battery Cars In The US” • In the past, flow batteries were too bulky and heavy to be of much use for EVs, but that’s changing. A new concept from nanoFlocell is a sports car called the Quantino 25. Its flow battery will take it from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 2.5 seconds. And it has a range 1,200 miles! [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Experts Push For Crop Diversification To Deal With Climate Change” • The need for crop diversification to deal with climate change and enhance the nutritional value of food was stressed by experts at a workshop at Dr Yashwant Singh Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry in India. They cited a need for broad agreement on climate change. [The Statesman]

Rice paddy (Pan Species, Unsplash)

¶ “Ocean Warming And Acidification Have Major Ramifications For Marine Food Web” • Ocean warming and acidification driven by climate change cause declines in nutritional quality of some marine organisms, disrupting the ocean food web, according to a study from an environmental science institute at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. [The Fish Site]

World:

¶ “Manchester To Double Its Double Decker Electric Bus Fleet” • In September Greater Manchester’s new Bee Network showed the first of fifty double decker buses it was getting for the region around Manchester. Now, Transport for Greater Manchester has the experience it needs to give Alexander Dennis Limited an order for fifty more. [CleanTechnica]

New Flyer double decker bus (New Flyer image)

¶ “Open The Floodgates! Record Electric Car Sales Month In Germany – 22% Of New Cars Fully Electric” • It seems the German automotive market has bottomed out and is back on a growth path. November brought a surprising 31% increase in sales. Much of this growth can be attributed to plugins, as sales of full EVs grew 44% year over year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “China Electric Car Sales: 25% Fully Electric, 35% Have A Plug!” • Despite a drop in the overall Chinese auto market, plugin vehicles continue to rise. They grew 50% year over year in November. They scored over 625,000 registrations last month, their second best month ever, only behind last September when they hit 636,000 registrations. [CleanTechnica]

BYD Song Plus (Zotyefan, CC-BY-SA 4.0, cropped)

¶ “Serbia Is To Launch Auctions For 1,400 MW Of Renewables” • Serbia intends to launch auctions for installation of renewable power plants of 1,400 MW in total, which will increase the country’s overall capacity to 2,000 MW. Minister of Mining and Energy Dubravka Đedović said the goal is to create a three-year plan for auctions. [Balkan Green Energy News]

¶ “Fresh German Turbine Order For Vestas” • Vestas received a 50-MW order to power an undisclosed wind project in Germany. The order includes a total of nine V150-6MW wind turbines at a hub height of 166 meters with some units delivered in 5.6-MW operating mode. Commissioning of the wind farm is scheduled in the fourth quarter of 2024. [reNews]

Wind turbine (Vestas image)

¶ “Enefit Green To Build Solar Farm At Estonian Mine” • Enefit Green plans to build a solar farm in an industrial area of Estonia. The project will have a capacity of nearly 3 MW and will be on a platform made of rocks. The 27-meter-high structure was built for the solar park on a mine site from waste rock left over from oil shale extraction. [reNews]

¶ “Green Power Energy Solar Energy Plant Commissioned In Myanmar” • Green Power Energy announced that Myanmar’s latest solar energy plant, the 20-MW Taungdaw Gwin project, has been officially opened. The project was developed by Green Power Energy Company Limited, a subsidiary of Gold Energy Company Limited. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Solar array (Green Power Energy image)

¶ “Shelling Damages Backup Power Line To Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant, IAEA Says” • A backup power line to Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant was disconnected due to damage caused by shelling, the International Atomic Energy Agency said. The plant is not operating, but it still needs power for cooling. [Radio Free Europe]

US:

¶ “Intel Committed To Greenhouse Gas Reduction And Circular Economy In 2022” • Earlier this year, we missed two news items from chip giant Intel. Taken alone, each sounds like a small news bite, a lot like what every large corporation is supposed to say these days. But, these two announcements fit together to be something bigger than that. [CleanTechnica]

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

¶ “‘The Brink Of Disaster’: 2023 Is A Critical Year For The Colorado River As Reservoirs Sink Toward ‘Dead Pool’” • After decades of overuse and human-caused climate change, demand for the Colorado River’s water vastly outpaces its supply. Officials must find a way to keep the largest manmade reservoirs in the US filled to at least minimum levels. [CNN]

¶ “How Ocean Wind Power Could Help The US Fossil Fuel Industry” • The Biden administration is proposing offshore wind farms in the Gulf of Mexico. They could provide electricity for 3.1 million homes in Texas and Louisiana. But industry is eyeing their potential to power oil refining, steel, fertilizer manufacture, and other industrial processes. [The Guardian]

Have an utterly delightful day.

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December 30 Energy News

December 30, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “The Looming Winter Problem The Biden Administration Must Fix” • This winter, Americans are facing the steepest home heating prices in more than 10 years. With many already struggling to afford basic necessities like food and rent, higher energy bills mean some will be facing service disconnection, and a winter without heat. [CNN]

Gas meter (Doris Morgan, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Waste Heat From Data Centers Can Bolster District Heat Systems” • Globally, data centers are estimated to account for 1% to 2% of electricity. In Europe, they consumed about 3% of all the electricity. Those data centers create a lot of waste heat. Some of it could be repurposed to help heat buildings, and high gas prices now make that economical. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “The Seychelles Public Transport Corporation Is Getting 22 Electric Buses!” • The Seychelles Public Transport Corporation operates a fleet of about 250 buses. Most of them are diesel, and up to 20% of the country’s import bill is for diesel oil. As part of a broader National Electric Mobility Project, 22 electric buses will soon join the SPTC fleet. [CleanTechnica]

Buses (Courtesy of Seychelles Transport Ministry)

¶ “Seychelles Switches On 5-MW Solar PV Plus 5-MW, 3.3-MWh Battery Plant Developed By Masdar” • One of the few African countries where the access to electricity is 100%, is the Republic of Seychelles. About 80% of this is from diesel generators. To reduce the oil bill and CO₂ emissions, Seychelles installed a 5-MW solar PV plant with battery storage. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewable Power’s Growth Is Being Accelerated As Countries Seek To Strengthen Energy Security” • An IEA report says the global energy crisis is causing a sharp acceleration of renewable energy installations. The total capacity growth is expected to almost double over the next five years, overtaking coal as the primary generating source. [CleanTechnica]

Solar array (Markus Spiske, Unsplash)

¶ “Britain Generates Record Volume Of Renewable Electricity” • Renewable power sources generated 40% of the UK’s electricity in 2022, up from 35% in 2021, helping to cut CO₂ emissions from the power sector by 2.7 million metric tons from the previous year. Generation from renewables has more than quadrupled over the last decade. [Biomass Magazine]

¶ “Vestas Prototype Turbine Produces First Power” • Vestas’ prototype V236-15MW turbine has successfully produced its first electricity at the Osterild National test center in Western Jutland, Denmark. The 15-MW prototype will undergo an extensive test and verification program to ensure reliability before certification and the beginning of serial production. [reNews]

Vestas turbines (Image courtesy of Vestas)

¶ “Alberta Builds Robust Renewable Energy Sector” • Alberta is expected to add enough solar and wind energy in the next few years to exceed expectations of renewable energy supporters. The projects include the 466-MW capacity Lone Pine wind project, the 360-MW Solar Krafte development, and some large battery storage projects. [The Western Producer]

¶ “Bangladesh Bans Russian Vessel Carrying Nuclear Plant Parts” • The government of Bangladesh has denied entry to a Russian ship carrying parts for the new Rooppur nuclear power plant, the first facility of its kind in the nation. Russian state nuclear agency Rosatom chose to ship nuclear power plant components aboard a sanctioned cargo ship. [The Maritime Executive]

Rooppur 2 reactor construction (Rosatom image)

¶ “Russia’s Lavrov Claims ‘Irreversible’ Arms Race With Iran If Nuclear Deal Not Reached” • Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov claimed that Moscow supports the US and its Western allies in finding a nuclear deal with Iran. Lavrov claimed not securing a deal would lead “to escalation, an arms race, an open conflict with irreversible consequences.” [Fox News]

US:

¶ “FedEx Expands Electric Cart Routes In New York City” • When we talk about the “last mile” in delivery, there’s a part of that last mile that we often leave out: the last few yards. Packages don’t magically get from the van to the door.  It turns out that GM was able not only to help electrify that last mile, but also to electrify and better manage the last few feet. [CleanTechnica]

FedEx delivery cart (FedEx image)

¶ “California Bans Deceptive Self-Driving Claims” • False self-driving claims have been outlawed in California by Senate Bill 1398, which was recently signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom. The California DMV already had rules banning the false advertisement of self-driving cars. The new law provides a way to enforce that. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “DOE To Propose Efficient Transformer Rules” • The national average for energy lost in US grid transmissions is about 6%. New rules proposed by the DOE would reduce that amount, bolster the resiliency of America’s power grid, lower utility bills, and significantly decrease domestic CO₂ emissions by diversifying transformer core technology. [CleanTechnica]

Transformer (Robert Linder, Unsplash)

¶ “Developer Sues To Build Biomass Power Plant In Springfield” • After nearly 15 years battling to build a wood-burning power plant in Springfield, Massachusetts, the owner of a proposed biomass facility is suing the state’s Department of Environmental Protection for revoking its air quality permit. The suit is asking a judge to reinstate the license. [WBUR]

¶ “Coverage Of Climate Change In College Textbooks Headed In Wrong Direction” • Evidence is mounting fast of the devastating consequences of climate change, but college textbooks aren’t keeping up. A study found that most college biology textbooks published in the 2010s have less content on climate change than textbooks from the 2000s. [Tucson Sentinel]

Have an invigoratingly untroubled day.

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December 29 Energy News

December 29, 2022

Science and Technology:

¶ “See-Through Solar Windows Turn Houses Into Powerhouses” • An ordinary solar cell blocks sunlight from passing through. It’s a tricky feat to engineer one that performs the sustainability twofer of harvesting renewable energy while also lighting up an interior space with zero emission sunlight. But Patagonia now has them at its headquarters. [CleanTechnica]

Solar window (Ubiquitous Energy image)

¶ “Invisible Solar Panels For Pompeii And Other Historic Locations” • The Invisible Solar tiles are made from a polymer compound which allows the sun’s rays to filter through. The PV cells are integrated into it by hand and covered with a layer of the polymer compound. “We can also give it the look of stone, wood, concrete, and brick.” [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Worst Drought ‘In Living Memory’ Threatens The World’s Olive Oil Supply” • Olive oil producers have been hit hard by this year’s heat and drought. Kyle Holland, a pricing analyst for oilseeds and grains at Mintec, a commodities data company, expects a “dramatic reduction” of between 33% and 38% in Spain’s olive oil harvest that begins in October. [CNN]

Olive grove (Kostas Morfiris, Unsplash)

¶ “Energy Giant ExxonMobil Sues EU To Block Energy Windfall Tax” • US energy giant ExxonMobil is suing the EU in a bid to force the bloc to scrap its new windfall tax on oil firms. A windfall tax is imposed on firms that benefitted from something they were not responsible for. ExxonMobil reported a quarterly profit of almost $20 billion in October. [BBC]

¶ “EU Market Outlook Says Solar Production Is Soaring” • Solar production has already made a real difference in the current EU energy crisis. Driven by dramatically reduced fossil fuel imports following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, solar production soared nearly 50% in the EU this year, after 27 EU nations added 41.4 GW of solar PV capacity. [CleanTechnica]

Solar array (GCL image)

¶ “BYD Atto 3 Voted Electric Family Car Of The Year 2023 By VAB” • The Flemish Automobile Club, VAB, holds a contest every year for the best family cars in different categories. It voted the BYD Atto 3 the Family Car of The Year 2023. Fifteen professional motoring reporters and 74 family jurors judged ten electric cars at the Zolder race circuit. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Neptune Energy, Ørsted, And Goal7 Are To Explore Powering Integrated Energy Hubs With Offshore Wind” • Neptune Energy announced it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ørsted and Goal7 to explore powering new integrated energy hubs in the UK North Sea with electricity generated by offshore wind plants. [Neptune Energy]

Offshore windpower (Cassie Boca, Unsplash, cropped)

¶ “UK Had Warmest Year On Record Due To ‘Human-Induced Climate Change,’ Met Office Says” • With just three days left, 2022 looks on course to break the record for the UK’s highest annual average temperature, breaking the previous record set in 2014. The top ten hottest years all occurred since 2002. Records have been kept since 1659. [iNews]

¶ “China Starts Work On Huge $11 Billion Desert Renewables Project” • China broke ground on an 80 billion yuan ($11 billion) renewables project in Inner Mongolia, part of a massive rollout of clean power to achieve the nation’s ambitious climate targets. The project, located in the Kubuqi Desert, will have 16 GW of capacity when completed. [Yahoo Finance]

Tourists in the Kubuqi Desert (Popolon, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Ukraine: 213 Attacks On Power Infrastructure By Russia Spark Disaster Fears” • As many as 213 incidents of military actions on energy infrastructure such as thermal power plants, nuclear power plants and electricity substations were reported in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion on February 24, 2022, a study found. Such attacks could cause disasters. [Down To Earth]

US:

¶ “Tax Credit Confusion Could Create A Rush For Electric Vehicles In Early 2023” • As the new year begins, a number of popular electric vehicles, specifically some Tesla and General Motors models, could be eligible for $7,500 worth of tax credits they weren’t eligible for in 2022. But that eligibility may last only last a few months. [CNN]

2022 Chevy Bolt (GM image)

¶ “US Winter Storm Death Toll Rises As Bad Weather Drags On” • A powerful winter storm that slammed North America has claimed more lives in New York state, local officials say. At least 34 people have died in Erie County, which includes the city of Buffalo. The holiday weekend storm has killed at least 60 people in eight states. [BBC]

¶ “US Government Plans 5-Year Geoengineering Study” • In accordance with requirements created by Congress, the Biden administration is undertaking a 5-year study of geoengineering techniques and has issued a call for input. The study will include scientific assessments of solar climate interventions to address near-term climate risks. [CleanTechnica]

Solar intervention (Chelsea Thompson, NOAA, CIRES)
Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Oregon’s Largest Electric Utilities Are Missing Climate Benchmarks” • Oregon’s largest private electricity providers are dragging their feet when it comes to transitioning to renewable energy sources, a Sierra Club report found. Only one of the three Oregon utilities was found to be on track to meeta a goal of 80% clean electricity by 2030. [Missoula Current]

¶ “New York Plans 6 GW Of Energy Storage By 2030” • The state of New York has a new framework to achieve 6 GW of energy storage by 2030, which represents at least 20% of the peak electricity load of New York, the governor’s office announced. If approved, the plan will support a buildout of about $2 billiion worth of storage deployments. [T&D World]

Have a sufficiently plentiful day.

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December 28 Energy News

December 28, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “Climate Change And Bomb Cyclones: What Do We Know?” • Inevitably, there will be politicians who use events like winter storms to argue that global warming is not happening. This worldview is wrong. Dangerously wrong. Falsely equating a ball of frozen water to “disproof” of global warming is a snowball of ignorance. [The Hill]

Winter weather (Marc Kleen, Unsplash)

¶ “Four Troubling Takeaways From New Massachusetts Climate Report” • The “Climate Change Assessment” is the first state-ordered, statewide study for Massachusetts. Four takeaways are summers like the South, premature deaths because of poor air quality, increased difficulty finding affordable housing, and loss of ecosystems. [Boston.com]

World:

¶ “Russia Bans Oil Sales To Countries Using Price Cap” • Russia has banned oil sales to countries and companies that comply with a price cap agreed by Western nations earlier this month. The price cap was taken up by the G7 group of nations, Australia and the EU. It prohibits countries from paying more than $60 (€56, £50) per barrel of Russian oil. [BBC]

Oil platform (Jan-Rune Smenes Reite, Pexels, cropped)

¶ “Divestment Year In Review 2022” • Environmental, social, and governance investments pose an existential challenge to the fossil fuel industry. 350.org explains the ways that the movement creates uncertainty about the long term financial viability of the industry and moves money away from dirty energy towards climate solutions. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “IKEA Adds SunRider’s Solar-Powered Cargo Bikes For Last Mile Deliveries To Reduce Home Delivery Climate Footprint” • IKEA says it’s challenging to keep last-mile services sustainable and cost-effective while meeting customers’ expectations. It had been using electric trucks for home delivery. Now it is also using solar-powered cargo bikes. [CleanTechnica]

SunRider solar-powered cargo bike (IKEA image)

¶ “Zimbabwe Wants To Fast-Track 27 Solar PV Projects Totaling 1,000 MW To Help Deal With Electricity Crisis” • Zimbabwe has an installed electricity generation capacity of about 2,300 MW, but there is a huge problem. The Zimbabwe Power Company’s thermal plants are very old and keep breaking down. It is taking up solar power as a remedy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Pakistan’s Foray Into Renewable Energy” • Climate-induced calamities are one of the biggest driving forces behind the move towards alternative energy sources. The recent floods that swept through Pakistan inflicted an estimated $40 billion in damages. Moving towards green energy isn’t just a healthier option – it is also cost-effective. [The Express Tribune]

Solar panels in Pakistan (Ab PrinceGabol, CC-BY-SA 4.0, cropped)

¶ “Japan’s First Commercial Offshore Wind Farm Is Now Live” • Japan’s first offshore wind farm is now running, Electrek reports. It is made up of two parts, with a total of 33 Vestas 4.2 MW wind turbines. The 138.6-MW wind farm is a major milestone for the country’s transition to renewables. Japan is aiming to have 10 GW of offshore windpower by 2030. [Tech Times]

¶ “Spain Faces €8 Billion In Renewable Legal Claims Over Past Solar Boom” • In Spain, the coalition government has made championing renewable energy a key policy, but it faces claims from investors over an earlier green energy boom. They say they are owed millions over state incentives that were later withdrawn by Madrid. [Euronews]

Wind farm in Spain (FJavier GómezL, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Kiev Calls For Sanctions Against Russian Nuclear Fuel” • Ukrainian Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko called for imposing sanctions against the Russian nuclear industry and avoiding its nuclear fuel, the Ukrainian Energy Ministry said. He stressed “the key role of solidarity of world leaders in countering Russian nuclear terrorism.” [UrduPoint]

US:

¶ “New Bill Promises $2500 Tax Credit For Off Road EVs” • Minnesota congressman Dean Phillips (D) has introduced a bipartisan bill co-sponsored by Rep Brian K Fitzpatrick (R) of Pennsylvania, to provide a $2500 tax credit for off-road EV purchases. It would provide a 10% federal tax credit on qualifying off-road EVs, capped at $2,500. [CleanTechnica]

Polaris off-road EV (Polaris image)

¶ “Micromobility Reduces Car Emissions More Than Previously Thought” • Research from Georgia Tech’s School of Public Policy shows that a scooter ban may ease sidewalk congestion and keep potential riders and pedestrians safer, but it has a price. The ban not only increased carbon emissions, but it increased travel times considerably. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “More Battery Storage Projects Coming To New York From JERA Americas And Zenobē” • Battery storage is growing fast. Both JERA Americas and Zenobē Americas, a leading EV fleet and battery storage specialist in the UK, have identified New York and New England as promising markets for the development of their battery business. [CleanTechnica]

Battery storage (Courtesy of Zenobē)

¶ “GM Keeps Its Promise As Cruise Arrives In Austin” • GM promised to have its Cruise self-driving taxi service running in three US cities by the end of 2022. This week, it has kept that promise with Cruise taxis operating in San Francisco, Phoenix, and (now) Austin. Tesla has promised to have self-driving taxis “next year” since 2016. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “JEA Eyes Solar Farms And New Natural Gas Plant In Coming Years” • The Sierra Club of Northeast Florida and the St Johns Riverkeeper were invitated by JEA to join discussions on how it will produce electricity in coming decades. They are urging use of more renewable energy and putting a stop on building power plant using fossil fuels. [Florida Times-Union]

Have a marvelously uncomplicated day.

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December 27 Energy News

December 27, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “Calling Nuclear Fusion A Potential ‘Climate Solution’ May Undermine Actual Solutions” • On a practical, near-term level, nuclear fusion and climate change have almost nothing to do with each other. One remains in more-or-less scientific infancy, many years away from even a hint of usable form; the other gets more urgent by the day. [Grid News]

Corona mass ejection (NASA, Unsplash)

¶ “The War In Ukraine May Help The World Save Itself From Climate Ruination” • Two positive developments have resulted from Putin’s monstrous war in Ukraine. He has awakened Western nations to the essential nature of NATO. Much more important is that the war has shown the necessity of weaning the world off of fossil fuels. [The Hill]

¶ “Tennessee Has Massive Wind Energy Potential. Why Isn’t Anybody Talking About It?” • Wind power accounts for nearly half of all renewable energy in the US, but virtually all of it comes from outside the Southeast. Tennessee could make wind its dominant source of power, according to data analysis by the National Renewable Energy Lab. [WPLN News]

Wind turbines (Arteum.ro, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Puerto Rico’s Agriculture Solution To Climate Change” • Agroecology is a low-impact agricultural method. It protects biodiversity and soil quality by working with nature to produce food sustainably. Agroecology, initially ridiculed and labeled a hippy movement by universities and government officials, has spread across the territory. [Pasquines]

World:

¶ “Carbon Tracker Report: ‘Slipped Gear’” • Carbon Tracker’s recent report “Slipped Gear” analysed how twenty passenger vehicle makers align to the Paris Agreement and what their positions are for the automotive energy transition. It seens either the car makers have no highly visible plans for the transition or they have no plans at all. [CleanTechnica]

GreenWay charging, VW ID.4 (Courtesy of WysokieNapiecie.pl)

¶ “Tanzania Starts Filling The Julius Nyerere Dam For 2,115-MW Hydropower Plant” • Tanzania is now filling the Julius Nyerere Dam for the new 2,115-MW hydropower plant. The project cost is said to be about $3 billion. Tanzania has an installed capacity of around 1,600 MW. The new plant will see its installed capacity jump to about 3,700 MW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Riga Soon Getting Its First Solaris E-Buses” • Rīgas Satiksme, a Latvian carrier, made another advancement toward e-mobility. The contract is for the delivery of 35 “Urbino 12” electric buses, with an option to add seventeen more. The basic contract has a total value of more than €19 million and should be completed within a year. [CleanTechnica]

Solaris e-bus (Courtesy of Solaris)

¶ “Britishvolt: Plans To Create 30-GWh Battery Gigaplant” • Electric vehicles will play an important role in establishing a sustainable future, but first, battery production must be updated so that it is environmentally friendly. Britishvolt provides an example of what this might look like with their new Gigaplant in Northumberland. [AZoM]

¶ “ESB Networks Connected 23 Renewable Projects This Year” • ESB Networks says it connected 23 large renewable energy projects to Ireland’s electricity network this year. The projects added 688 MW of green capacity to the network, enough to power around 350,000 homes. This, it said, is above all previous renewable energy connection records. [RTE]

Wind farm (Peggy Sue Zinn, Unsplash)

¶ “World Bank Group Financing West Africa Power Project” • The World Bank Group’s International Development Association is investing $311 million into an initiative designed to benefit electricity customers across West Africa. The project’s focus is to improve the pace of grid connections for renewable energy, and strengthen the regional power grid. [POWER Magazine]

US:

¶ “US Winter Storm Traps New York State Residents In Cars” • A New York state official said some people had been trapped in cars for more than two days during what was “probably” the worst storm of their lives. Up to 9 inches (23 cm) more of snow are expected in parts of the state through Tuesday, forecasts warn. Nationally, the storm has killed 56 people. [BBC]

Plowing snow (Sanne Knoops, Unsplash)

¶ “In Wisconsin, 49 Habitat For Humanity Homes To Be Solar Powered” • Thanks to their sustainable solar systems, 49 Habitat for Humanity homes in Wisconsin will have significant decreases in their energy costs. Cost-effective renewable energy is used in the initiative, which is to be run by the Midwest Renewable Energy Association. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Oregon Joins Other US States In Adopting The Life-Saving Advanced Clean Cars II Standards” • Oregon’s Environmental Quality Commission adopted rules to require all new passenger cars, trucks, and SUVs sold in Oregon to be zero emissions by 2035. The EQC is the rulemaking board for the Department of Environmental Quality. [CleanTechnica]

Charging an EV (Image courtesy of Forth)

¶ “Cities Begin To Question Minimum Parking Regulations” • According to The Guardian, Buffalo, New York, and Fayetteville, Arkansas, scaled back their minimum parking rules a few years ago and were astonished to find that developers rushed in to transform previously derelict buildings into shops, apartments, and restaurants. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Renewable Energy Facilities Underway In The Lone Star State” • Texas is known for its world-class oil and gas industry. While Texas Lt Governor Dan Patrick has set his goals for 2023 to build more natural gas facilities, Texas will also be getting several massive renewable energy facilities, some using using innovative technologies. [Brownwood News]

Have an abundantly remunerative day.

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December 26 Energy News

December 26, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “How To Keep The Lights On In Extreme Winter Weather” • Extreme weather events, including severe winter weather events, are projected to become more common due to climate change. And as the temperature drops, the heat increases from the fossil fuel industry. Building a reliable grid that performs in extreme winter weather is imperative. [CleanTechnica]

Snow day (Patino Jhon, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Health Benefits Of Wind Energy Could Quadruple By Dialing Down Fossil Fuels” • The IEA’s new report demonstrates that in the vast majority of nations, utility-scale solar PV and onshore wind are the least costly solutions for new generating capacity. As we move away from fossil fuels, our health benefits, but it could benefit more with planning. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Solar Panels Go Perfectly With Pickup Truck Tonneau Covers” • Worksport doesn’t make EVs, but it does make tonneau covers for pickup trucks. They are the flat covers that go over truck beds to protect against loss, theft, and weather. Worksport has been busily getting solar panels integrated into tonneau covers. Soon, they will be ready to go to market. [CleanTechnica]

Solar-enabled tornneau cover (Courtesy of Worksport)

World:

¶ “The Making Of A Pumped Hydro Water Storage Battery In Switzerland” • The Nant de Drace pumped hydro facility, with a capacity to store 20 GWh of electricity, is now in operation high in the Swiss Alps near the border with France. It has been under construction for 14 years, and uses 18 km of tunnels cut into the Valais Alps. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Nation’s PV Growth, Exports Chase Demand” • China’s new PV installations grew 98.7% year-on-year to 58.24 GW during the first 10 months this year, as the country has actively promoted solar power development for some years. Exports hit a record high amid surging demand overseas, hitting $44.03 billion, up 90.3% year-on-year. [China Economic Net]

Solar energy (Raphael Cruz, Unsplash)

¶ “SA Winery First To Power With Solar Energy Stored In EV” • Joseph Evans, owner of Ballycroft Vineyard, Barossa Valley in South Australia, made history as the first person in the country to power his business using solar energy stored in his EV. A Nissan Leaf vehicle-to-grid system stores excess solar energy in the car’s battery to be used after sundown. [Energy Matters]

¶ “Seven Offshore Wind Farms Awarded Marine Area Consents” • Maritime area consents have been issued by Ireland’s Minister for Environment for seven offshore renewable energy projects. The projects may participate in the Offshore Renewable Energy Support Scheme 1, which is expected to procure approximately 2.5 GW of generating capacity. [Afloat]

Offshore wind farm at sunset (Pete Godfrey, Unsplash)

¶ “Russia’s Nuclear Energy Giant Expects 2022 Exports To Rise By 15%” • Russia’s state nuclear energy company Rosatom expects its exports to have increased by 15% this year, chief executive Alexey Likhachev said, according to the Russian newspaper Izvestia. He said Rosatom’s portfolio of foreign orders is set to remain stable at $200 billion. [Oil Price]

US:

¶ “Winter Storm Leaves At Least 37 Dead In The US. Residents In Western New York Remain Trapped Under Feet Of Snow” • The massive winter storm is still blasting much of the US with brutal winter weather. It has caused at least 37 deaths. Parts of western New York were buried by 43 inches of snow, leading to eleven ambulances being abandoned. [CNN]

Snow (Ali Inay, Unsplash)

¶ “Around 14,000 Customers Impacted After Substations In Tacoma Area Vandalized By Burglars” • About 14,000 customers in Puyallup and Graham, Washington, were affected by vandals who damaged three power substations belonging to Tacoma Public Utilities and Puget Sound Energy, police said. They seem not to have stolen anything. [CNN]

¶ “Why Are Some Of Electrify America’s Stations Failing In The Cold?” • In some recent videos, Out of Spec tested Electrify America stations in the recent cold weather. What they found was that at some local stations charging units didn’t work in 0°F (-18°C) temperatures. However, the problem does not seem to have been universal. [CleanTechnica]

Have a transcendentally practical day.

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December 25 Energy News

December 25, 2022

Science and Technology:

¶ “A Startup Says It Has Begun Releasing Particles Into The Atmosphere, In An Effort To Tweak The Climate” • In a highly controvercial move, a startup claims it has launched weather balloons that may have released reflective sulfur particles in the stratosphere, potentially crossing a barrier in the field of solar geoengineering. [MIT Technology Review]

Release of a NASA weather balloon in 1994 (public domain)

¶ “New Method Addresses Problem With Perovskite Solar Cells” • A new approach to manufacturing perovskite solar cells has addressed previous problems and yielded devices with high efficiency and excellent stability, researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) report in the new issue of the journal Science. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “November Carbon Emissions In Europe Lowest In 30 Years” • The Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air, tracks carbon emissions in Europe. It says November 2022 saw the lowest values for the month in the EU in at least 30 years for total CO₂ emissions, gas consumption, power sector CO₂ emissions, and power generation from fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

November CO₂ Emissions (CREA image)

¶ “South Africa: Fuel Tanker Explosion Kills At Least Ten Near Hospital” • At least ten people have been killed, and about forty injured, by a huge fuel tanker explosion near a hospital east of Johannesburg. The tanker, which was carrying liquid petroleum gas, appeared to have got stuck under a low bridge. It exploded as firefighters were working. [BBC]

¶ “Tesla Model Y Leads Italy’s BEV Market In November” • In Italy, over 121,000 cars were registered in November, up almost 14% year on year. Sales of ICE powertrains were stable, with sales of petrol-powered cars at 26.9% and diesels at 18.2% market share. Plugless hybrids reached 33.6%, up from 31.3%, and full electrics reached 4.2% market share. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model Y (Tesla image)

¶ “ReNew Signs 150-MW Renewables Agreement With Microsoft India” • ReNew Power, a major renewable energy-independent power producer in India and globally, announced that it has signed an agreement to supply 150 MW of renewable energy agreement with Microsoft India. It is one of the largest deals of its type in India. [Energy Digital Magazine]

¶ “Canada’s Hudson Bay Polar Bear Population Plummets As Climate Change Warms Arctic” • Canada’s Western Hudson Bay polar bear population fell 27% in just five years, according to a government report released this week, suggesting climate change is impacting the animals. The Government of Nunavut found a drop of roughly 50% from the 1980s. [Fiji Times]

Polar bear (Hans-Jurgen Mager, Unsplash)

¶ “UN Watchdog Sees Deal ‘Soon’ On Securing Ukraine Nuclear Plant” • International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi has been trying for months to stop the shelling around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Now he says Russia and Ukraine are “making headway” on a deal, with an agreement expected “soon.” [POLITICO]

US:

¶ “How The US Dept Of Defense Is Shaping The Bioeconomy Of The Future” • Plastics and other synthetic materials made from coal, oil, and natural gas have been sidelining biobased products for decades, but the era of petrochemicals is coming to a close. A new, futuristic bioeconomy is beginning to take shape, and the US DOD is behind it. [CleanTechnica]

Crop in a greenhouse (Courtesy of the USAF)

¶ “US Winter Storm: Americans And Canadians Face Mass Outages On Christmas Day” • More than one million Americans and Canadians are facing Christmas Day without power as the massive winter storm continues. Nearly 250 million are affected. The storm that extends more than 2,000 miles (3,200km) from Quebec to Texas. [BBC]

¶ “Form Energy Picks Weirton, West Virginia, For Iron-Air Battery Factory” • Form Energy recently closed a $450 million funding round and said it would use some of that money to put up its first factory. It recently announced that it had chosen the former steel town of Weirton, West Virginia, as the site for what will be known as Form Factory One. [CleanTechnica]

Form Energy factory (Form Energy image)

¶ “Renewable Energy And Missed Connections – It’s All About The Electrical Grid” • The US has about 930 GW of clean energy capacity and 420 GW of storage waiting to be built. The problem is that most of the pending renewable energy and battery storage products can’t get connected to the electrical grid, so they aren’t getting built fast enough. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “In The End, Solar Power Opponents Prevail In Williamsport, Ohio” • Local opponents succeeded in killing plans for a solar array in rural Ohio. A 400-MW solar project of EDF Renewables is now one of the largest renewable energy projects in the US canceled because of resistance from nearby residents and their elected leaders. [ABC News]

Have an exceedingly jolly day.

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December 24 Energy News

December 24, 2022

Science and Technology:

¶ “Can Space-Based Solar Power Really Work?” • Solar power plants in space, exposed to constant sunshine with no clouds or air limiting the efficiency of their PV arrays, could have a place in future emissions-free infrastructure. But structures that beam energy to Earth in the form of microwaves would be difficult to build and maintain. [Space.com]

Concept of solar plant in space (International Electric Company)

¶ “NASA: Yes, It’s Freezing Cold. No, That Doesn’t Mean Climate Change Is A Hoax” • Temperatures in the US plummeted this week as a polar vortex descended across the country, but the National Aeronautics and Space Administration made sure to remind Americans that the Arctic outburst does not mean that climate change isn’t happening. [MSN]

World:

¶ “Giant LFP Battery Installed In Ningxia, China” • Enabling much more renewable energy to be added to the grid in high-wind and high-solar Ningxia, a giant energy storage system has been installed and connected to the grid. The 200-MW, 400-MWh is the “largest of its kind in China up to this moment,” Hithium Energy Storage says. [CleanTechnica]

Giant LFP battery (Courtesy of Hithium Energy Storage)

¶ “Canada Joins California, Oregon, Washington, And Vermont In Clean Transportation Push” • California started the push to phase out internal combustion vehicles in North America. Now, Canada has largely adopted the California regulatory model, as have the states of Oregon, Washington, and Vermont. Canada is launching a 75-day consultancy period. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EV Charging Pole Dance Heats Up In Newcastle, Australia” • In Australia, EVX has a mission to enable more people with EVs on the roads by increasing the number of accessible and reliable EV charging solutions powered 100% by renewable energy. They offer practical day-to-day charging based on typical consumer parking behaviour. [CleanTechnica]

Pole-mounted EV charger (Courtesy of EVX)

¶ “Christmas in the UK Could Be ‘Greenest Yet’ From Renewable Energy Boost” • The 3 GW of capacity installed in the first nine months of of this year is enough to cook 1 billion pigs in blankets in air fryers or 3 million turkeys, providing a bird for every home in Scotland, the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said in an email. [Yahoo Finance]

¶ “Ireland’s First Maritime Area Consents For Offshore Wind Energy projects” • The Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan TD, issued Maritime Area Consents to the first phase of seven offshore renewable energy projects, in what represents a significant milestone in the delivery of offshore wind in Ireland. [Government of Ireland]

Offshore wind farm (Nicholas Doherty, Unsplash)

¶ “The Only Nuclear Power Plant In Bulgaria Refused To Work On Russian Fuel” • In the tenth month of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, Bulgaria’s only nuclear power plant refused to operate on the fuel of the aggressor country. Westinghouse said it signed a 10-year contract for the supply of nuclear fuel for the power plant Kozloduy. [Odessa Journal]

US:

¶ “US Winter Storm Hits 200 Million Americans” • Some 200 million Americans are feeling the icy grip of a massive winter storm that has been linked to at least 12 deaths. On Friday, more than 1.5 million people lost power and thousands of flights were cancelled. The vast storm extends more than 2,000 miles (3,200 km) from Texas to Quebec. [BBC]

Stranded by snow (Todd Diemer, Unsplash)

¶ “Stranded Native Americans Burn Clothes For Warmth” • In South Dakota, Native American tribal leaders are appealing for urgent help as snowed-in communities run out of vital supplies in a winter storm. The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation has been buried in more than 30 inches (76 cm) of snow, but winds have stacked snow drifts 12 feet (3.6 meters) high. [BBC]

¶ “Mining Giant Albemarle Announces Advanced Lithium Tech Park In North Carolina” • The #1 provider in the world of lithium for EV batteries is Albemarle Corporation, based in Charlotte, North Carolina. In 2021, 41% of Albemarle’s revenue came from lithium. Now, Albemarle is doing more in the Tar Heel State to advance lithium production. [CleanTechnica]

Albemarle Technology Park (Albemarle Corp via PRNewsfoto)

¶ “Are Electric Cars Lowering Energy Bills In California?” • EVs have contributed $1.7 billion of revenue for just three utilities in California – Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and Sempra-owned San Diego Gas & Electric. And the $1.7 billion EVs provided over the past ten years have driven rates down for all customers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “California Utility Electrifies 20% Of Its Fleet” • The Southern California utility company SDG&E has a goal of electrifying 100% of its fleet of vehicles by 2030. It has provided an update that it has now reached 20% and is on track for that 2030 target. SDG&E also has a goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2045, in line with California’s own goal. [CleanTechnica]

Charging station (Courtesy of San Diego Gas & Electric)

¶ “Community Solar Landfill Project In New Jersey Is A Win Times Four” • Landfill solar projects are very popular because they use land with little other value. The latest such project to get under construction is a 10-MW community solar landfill project in Southampton, New Jersey. It has been called “the largest solar landfill project in North America.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Nebraska Farms, Businesses Receive Federal Funding For Renewable Energy Systems” • The US Department of Agriculture will provide $2 million to Nebraska to build renewable energy systems at businesses and farms across the state. A total of 36 projects in Nebraska received funding through the Rural Energy for America Program, or REAP. [KPVI]

Have a sensationally serene day.

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December 23 Energy News

December 23, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “We Need More Honesty On Nuclear Power’s Long Legacy Of Hazardous Waste” • We need more honesty about the fact that nuclear power inescapably generates large quantities of human-made, hazardous, radioactive waste, the worst of which will probably remain hazardous beyond the time that Homo sapiens has on the planet. [The Guardian]

Nuclear power plant (Lukáš Lehotský, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Solid Power And QuantumScape Begin Shipping Solid-State Batteries For Trials” • Solid Power has been chasing the solid-state battery dream for more than 5 years. It has relationships with BMW and Ford and said earlier this year it would begin supplying prototypes to manufacturers soon. Now that time has come, and automakers can test them. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Scientists Say 65% Of Antarctica’s Plants And Animals Could Disappear. Its Iconic Penguins Are Most At Risk” • It was only a matter of time before human-caused climate change and pollution reached Antarctica. Its pristine landscape is already changing, and new research shows most of the region’s plant and animal species are in trouble. [CNN]

Chinstrap penguins (Derek Oyen, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Lucid Begins Deliveries In Europe Of Lucid Air With A Record 883-km Range” • The Lucid Air may be the most luxurious EV on the market. It is about to be released in a number of EU countries, so it got its official WLTP range this week, and that range is a record 883 kilometers (549 miles) on a full charge. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Five More EV Battery Stories Out Of China” • Growing EV adoption is built on the back of growing EV battery production, and there are lots of stories dealing with battery news. There are enough that plenty of EV battery stories get put on our writer story sheet and are left there, untouched. Here are five recent Chinese EV battery stories. [CleanTechnica]

CATL battery factory (CATL image)

¶ “Renewable Power Generation Increases In Scotland” • In Scotland, generation of renewable electricity rose by more than 50% in the last quarter of 2022, according to an Energy Statistics for Scotland report. And over the first nine months of the year, renewable generation was up 34.7% compared to the same period the year before. [insider.co.uk]

¶ “How Volkswagen Transformed From A Climate Cheater To An EV Leader” • In 2015, the US EPA charged Volkswagen Group with installing software in its diesel cars to cheat on emissions tests. Volkswagen eventually payed some $30 billion in fines and damages. Now, just a few years later, the company is considered a clean vehicle leader. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen ID.4 (Courtesy of Volkswagen)

¶ “Egypt’s Renewable Power Deals Put At $118 Billion” • Egypt signed renewable energy production agreements with a number of foreign firms in November with a total value of nearly $118 billion, the Arabic language daily Addustour said. The accords, covering solar, hydrogen, and other renewables, will turn Egypt into a major renewable energy power. [ZAWYA]

¶ “Japan Flips Nuclear Policy, Proposes Building New Plants” • The Fukushima disaster of 2011 soured Japan on nuclear energy, leading the country to rely more on imported fossil fuels and less on nuclear. But aiming to hit net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, the government announced a reversal on its nuclear strategy, the country’s national broadcaster said. [CNET]

Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant (D a, CC-BY-SA 2.0, cropped)

US:

¶ “It’s Freezing. Cranking Up The Heat Is Going To Cost You” • Experts have warned home that heating costs would jump this winter to the highest level in more than a decade. Now, just as it gets increasingly expensive to keep a home warm, a “once-in-a-generation” winter storm sweeping across the nation will force Americans to crank up the heat. [CNN]

¶ “US Winter Storm Will Bring Frostbite Within Minutes” • In much of the US and Canada, plunging temperatures can lead to frostbite on bare skin in only five to 10 minutes, experts warn. The National Weather Service said temperatures of -50°F (-45°C) and -70°F were possible by the end of this week in some parts of the US (though not in the Northeast). [BBC]

Pug keeping warm with extra layers (Matthew Henry, Unsplash)

¶ “One Of The Largest Economic Development Stories In Georgia History” • South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Group and SK On finalized a site in Georgia for another EV battery factory. That may seem boring, but it turns out that this investment is expected to be one of the largest economic development stories in the history of Georgia. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla Offering $7500 Rebate And Free Supercharging” • Some of us who might buy a Tesla woke up to a surprise this morning – an email telling them about new features and announcing some new incentives if you take delivery of a new Model 3 or Model Y by December 31. Buyers do not need to wait until January to benefit from a federal incentive. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model Y (Moritz Kindler, Unsplash)

¶ “Huge Renewable Energy Purchase By Ford Ok’d By Michigan Utility Regulators” • Michigan utility regulators okayed Ford’s plans to make US history’s largest purchase of renewable energy from a utility. The state’s Public Service Commission approved a 35-year contract between DTE Energy and Ford for 650 MW of dedicated solar electricity. [MLive.com]

¶ “New Study Shows Benefits Of Added Renewable Energy Capacity In New England” • Adding renewable capacity in New England will lower energy market prices and give comsumers significant cost savings, a study showed. It analyzed market and environmental benefits of 1,200 MW of land-based renewable capacity for the region. [Daily Energy Insider]

Have a simply resplendent day.

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December 22 Energy News

December 22, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “The Best Solar Generators In 2022” • Solar generators are safer to store and use than gas generators and far simpler to maintain. People are increasingly conscious of the threat of emergencies, and solar makes sense for preparedness. CNN tested thirteen devices to see which device could reliably provide the most power with the least fuss. [CNN]

Bluetti EB70S (Bluetti image)

¶ “The EPA’s New Truck Rule Is A Modest Step. What’s Needed Is A Giant Leap” • While the rule will no doubt reduce emissions from the fossil-fuel-powered fleet, it is a missed opportunity. In punting to next year a rulemaking that could electrify the freight sector, EPA ignored the desperate requests of the communities burdened by freight pollution. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate Change Could Be Driving Bomb Cyclones And Unstable Polar Vortex” • Warming in the Arctic has disrupted the movement of air around the North Pole. Usually, cold air in the Arctic is contained in the Arctic circle by a ring of fast-moving air that circles the North Pole, called the stratospheric polar vortex. That has changed with the climate. [Newsweek]

World:

¶ “EU Solar Shines Bright In Stunning Year” • The EU has reportedly added a record 41.4 GW of solar power in 2022. The new capacity is equivalent to the power needs of 12.4 million European homes. In essence, the new solar capacity replaces 102 LNG tankers. Annual EU solar power growth has increased by 47% from 28.1 GW in 2021. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Porsche Begins Production Of E-Fuels In Chile” • Porsche announced that it is producing synthetic e-fuels in cooperation with Chile’s Highly Innovative Fuels at a facility near the Strait of Magellan. The synthetic e-fuel can be transported all over the world, just as traditional fuels are, and it can be distributed using the existing infrastructure. [CleanTechnica]

Porsche e-fuels facility in Chile (Courtesy of Porsche)

¶ “Star Of The South Moving Forward In Australia” • With a change in the federal government, we are finally seeing some decisions made about offshore wind. Ideally situated between Victoria and Tasmania, Star of the South has been discussed for years, as it has the potential to supply up to 20% of Victoria’s electricity while creating jobs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “50Hertz And Skyborn Award OST-6-1 Platform Job” • 50Hertz and Skyborn have awarded platform orders for the OST-6-1 grid connection for the 927-MW Gennaker offshore wind project in the German Baltic Sea. The cable route to the new transformer station will be around 90 km long, of which over 50 km will be submarine cables on the Baltic Sea floor. [reNews]

Platform (50Hertz image)

¶ “Low Carbon Energy ‘Generating Most UK Power This Winter’” • Low-carbon power is generating most of Britain’s electricity this winter, RenewableUK reports. Between 31 October and 18 December, renewables and nuclear combined provided 54% of the UK’s electricity. Renewables generated 40% and nuclear 14% during the seven-week period. [reNews]

¶ “Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners Buys Queensland Renewables-Plus-Storage Hub Development” • A renewable energy hub in Queensland with a 750-MW, 12-GWh pumped hydro plant, has been acquired by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners. It is claimed to be North Australia’s “largest renewable baseload energy project.” [Energy Storage News]

Genex pumped hydro site (Genex Power image)

¶ “IAEA’s Grossi To Visit Russia For Talks On Zaporizhzhya Safety Zone” • The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, is visiting Russia for discussions on the creation of a security zone around the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, the RIA Novosti news agency reported, citing Russia’s envoy in Vienna. [Radio Free Europe]

¶ “Japanese Panel Approves Return To Nuclear Power As Disaster Memories Fade” • Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s advisory panel approved a plan to extend the lifespans of nuclear reactors beyond 60 years and build new units to replace those that are decommissioned, reversing policies adopted after the Fukushima disaster in 2011. [The Japan Times]

Fukushima plant after disaster (Digital Globe, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

US:

¶ “Latest Federal Spending Bill Gives A Christmas Gift To Maine Lobster Industry” • A provision of the new budget bill appears to give the lobster industry back what a federal court took away. It would give the National Marine Fisheries Service until 2028 to issue new rules aimed at reducing right whale injuries and deaths associated with lobster gear. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “First Batch Of VinFast EVs Arrives In California And Are Cleared For Selling” • The first batch of 999 VinFast VF8s and VF9s has arrived in California. The VinFast plant in Hai Phong, where the cars were made, was built in just 21 months. It features its own paint and press shops, an assembly line with over 1,200 robots, and a testing facility. [CleanTechnica]

VinFast Vessel arrives in San Francisco (Courtesy of VinFast)

¶ “BOEM Releases Draft EIS For New England Wind” • The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has released the draft Environmental Impact Statement Avangrid’s Park City and Commonwealth Wind projects. Together called New England Wind, the projects are to be sited off Massachusetts and have a combined capacity of over 2000 MW. [reNews]

¶ “SDG&E Breaks Ground On New Clairemont Microgrid Project” • San Diego Gas & Electric hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate a microgrid project in Clairemont that will help store renewable energy for critical infrastructure in the local community. It is one of four microgrids being constructed in San Diego County. [The San Diego Union-Tribune]

Have a significanty splendid day.

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December 21 Energy News

December 21, 2022

World:

¶ “Gridworks To Invest $50 Million In Virunga Power To Ramp Up Run-Of-River Hydro Projects In African Countries” • A UK government-backed investor in Africa’s electricity networks, Gridworks, says that its focus is to create development impact by connecting Africa’s people and businesses to reliable, affordable, clean power. [CleanTechnica]

Small hydro project (Microhydro image)

¶ “25% Of New Car Sales Now Electric In The Netherlands!” • The Dutch auto market grew 2% in November, to almost 28,000 registrations, but the local plugin vehiclemarket was down by 8% year over year. Pure electrics, which were down 9% year over year, represented 25% of all new vehicle sales. Plugin hybrids were down 6% in November. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “It’s For Real: Wireless EV Charging For Germany’s Famous Autobahn” • Germany’s Autobahn public roadway system is to get its first wireless EV charging system. The first vehicle to use the system will be an electric bus ferrying passengers into the city of Balingen, in the southwest of Germany. The system is to reduce the need for large batteries. [CleanTechnica]

Embedding a wireless EV charging system (Courtesy of Electreon)

¶ “Egypt’s Renewable Energy Production Put At 10.08 GW” • The Egyptian renewable energy production peaked at nearly 10.08 GW in 2022, accounting for around 29.6% of the total energy mix, official data shows. Total electricity output is estimated at 33.8 GW and output is set to rise sharply as projects signed over the past months are completed. [Zawya]

¶ “Charting Singapore’s Energy Transition” • The surging prices for natural gas led to six electricity retailers exiting the Singapore market. To help tide over the volatile energy prices, the Energy Market Authority, a public agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, responsible for the energy supply of Singapore, was quick to intervene. [Earth.Org]

Singapore (Peter Nguyen, Unsplash)

¶ “Non-Fossil Energy Capacity To Touch 500 GW By 2030” • The installed electricity capacity of India includes 172.72 GW from non-fossil fuel sources as on October 31, 2022, according to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. It added that it is working towards achieving 500 GW of capacity from these sources by 2030. [The Financial Express]

¶ “Governments Strike $7.8 Billion Deal To Connect Snowy 2.0 And NSW Renewable Zones To The Grid” • New South Wales’s renewable energy zones and the Snowy 2.0 hydro project will be plugged into the grid under a A$7.8 billion agreement between the federal and NSW governments. The federal government has committed A$4.7 billion to the plan. [The Guardian]

Tumut Hydroelectric Power Station (Cmh, CC-BY-SA 3.0, cropped)

¶ “Developing Renewable Energy In Ukraine” • There are two principles that should guide efforts to rebuild Ukraine’s energy system: ensuring energy security and deepening the connection and economic relationship between Ukraine and the European Union. To accomplish both, Ukraine should develop its potential renewable energy resources. [SPE JPT]

¶ “Renewables To Overtake Coal As World’s Top Source Of Electricity, With Natural Gas To Endure, Says IEA” • Renewable sources of energy are collectively on track to eclipse coal as the world’s leading source of electricity, with growth forecast to nearly double in the next five years, the International Energy Agency said in a report. [Natural Gas Intelligence]

Wind turbines (Pixabay, Pexels)

US:

¶ “EPA Finalizes Tougher Pollution Standards For Large Vehicles Like Trucks And Buses” • The Biden administration finalized tougher pollution standards for large trucks, delivery vans and buses starting with model year 2027. It will cut down on the smog from heavy-duty trucks by requiring them to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides by nearly 50% by 2045. [CNN]

¶ “USPS Fulfills Top Biden Climate Goal With Deployment Of 66,000 Electric Delivery Trucks” • The US Postal Service has announced it plans to deploy at least 66,000 electric delivery trucks by 2028, meeting a key goal for the Biden administration’s climate agenda. By 2026, the USPS plans to buy zero-emissions delivery trucks almost exclusively. [CNN]

Electric postal delivery truck (USPS image)

¶ “Crunch Time For Colorado River As Federal Government Ponders Mandatory Cuts” • According to the Washington Post, state and federal authorities say that years of overconsumption of water are colliding with the stark realities of climate change. They may create a “complete doomsday scenario” for the Colorado River. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Putting The RICO In Puerto Rico” • Sixteen communities in Puerto Rico filed a lawsuit against ExxonMobil, Shell, Conoco, Chevron, Occidental, and other oil and coal companies. It claims, among other things, that they are no different than mobsters, so they are subject to the provisions of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. [CleanTechnica]

Puerto Rico National Guard (National Guard, CC BY 2.0)

¶ “Stellantis Strikes Big Solar Energy Deal In Michigan” • In an effort to go green without on-site renewables, Stellantis and DTE Energy have committed to adding 400 MW of new solar projects in Michigan. This will be enough clean energy to power annual needs of 130,000 homes and avoid over 670,000 metric tons of CO₂ emissions annually. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Nuclear Energy Chief Details Plans To Find Disposal Site For Spent Connecticut Nuclear Waste” • The top US nuclear energy regulator assured local industry and government that her office has reinvigorated its search for a storage solution for spent nuclear fuel, a daunting issue that threatens country’s near term energy goals. [Hartford Courant]

Have a majestically useful day.

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December 20 Energy News

December 20, 2022

Science and Technology:

¶ “Trees Store ‘Twice As Much Carbon’ As Once Thought” • A study weighed individual trees using a 3D scanning technique, so their mass could be understood without cutting them down. It revealed that UK forests store twice as much carbon as previously estimated. It provides an accurate estimate of the carbon value of forests across the UK. [BBC] (This is hard to believe. GHH)

Tree (niko photos, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “EU Agrees To The World’s Largest Carbon Border Tax” • EU governments reached a deal on the world’s first major carbon border tax, in an overhaul of the bloc’s carbon market. They aim to have a carbon-neutral economy by 2050. The measure will apply first to iron and steel, cement, aluminum, fertilizers, electricity production, and hydrogen. [CNN]

¶ “More Than 190 Countries Sign Landmark Agreement To Halt The Biodiversity Crisis” • An agreement with 23 targets aimed to halt the biodiversity crisis was reached at COP15 by more than 190 countries. It includes a pledge to protect 30% of land and oceans by 2030. Only 17% of land and 10% of oceans are currently considered protected. [CNN]

Flowers (Palle Knudsen, Unsplash)

¶ “Europe Finally Agrees To Cap Gas Prices” • Europe has agreed to a cap on natural gas prices, following months of debate over whether the measure will protect European households and businesses from extreme price spikes as temperatures plummet. It is planned to come into force as of February 15 of next year, with a set of rules to come into effect. [CNN]

¶ “Designwerk Unveils Megawatt Charging System For Electric Trucks” • Swiss-based Designwerk Technologies has announced a Megawatt Charging System for heavy duty trucks that can deliver up to 1 MW of power. The charging system will allow recharging up to 6 times faster than possible with the current fast charging standard for automobiles. [CleanTechnica]

Designwerk Megawatt Charging System (Courtesy of Designwerk)

¶ “Low Carbon To Build Two Romanian Onshore Wind Farms” • Low Carbon will build two onshore wind farms in Romania with a capacity of up to 600 MW. The two projects will share the same grid connection point. The sites will benefit from the region’s exceptional natural wind resources and flat terrain, as well as its energy interconnection. [reNews]

¶ “Restart Of Two French Nuclear Power Stations Pushed Back Until Summer” • Low nuclear power availability has been an issue for the French power system throughout this year as half of the country’s reactors were offline at one point in the fall due to repairs or maintenance. Now, dates for restarting two reactors have been pushed back by months. [Oil Price]

Golfech nuclear plant (Clicgauche, CC-BY-SA 3.0, cropped)

Australia:

¶ “Queensland’s Progress Towards A 100% EV Fleet” • Data from Energex and Ergon to September 2022 demonstrates progress being made in Queensland towards electrification of the vehicle fleet. There were 11,839 Battery EVs, 3,042 Plug-in Hybrids, and 1,084 electric motorcycles currently using Queensland’s roads, and the numbers are growing. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “WaterNSW Announces Hydro-Electric Plant Plans For Burrendong Dam In State’s Central West” • A once-dry lake stricken by drought is the proposed site for a big hydro-electric plant. The Phoenix Pumped Hydro station is in the planning stage and would be based at the Burrendong Dam, the largest dam in Central West New South Wales. [ABC]

Lake Burrendong (Shiftchange, public domain)

¶ “Danish Developer Acquires 3.6-GW Australian Project” • European Energy has acquired a majority stake in Australia-headquartered energy company Austrom Hydrogen with the intention of accelerating the formal development and grid connection processes for the proposed 3.6 GW Pacific Solar Hydrogen Project. [PV Magazine]

US:

¶ “Blue Bird Teams Up With Highland Electric Fleets To Provide Twelve Electric School Buses To Illinois School District” • The Hardin County Community Unit School District #1 in Illinois is getting set to upgrade twelve buses to an electric model, after Blue Bird Corporation and Highland Electric Fleets teamed up to offer electrified buses. [CleanTechnica]

Electric bus (Courtesy of Blue Bird)

¶ “Families Don’t Know About IRA Benefits – These Companies Want To Help” • A coalition has been formed to assist people in the US to avail themselves of the decarbonization advantages of the Inflation Reduction Act. They’re not businesses that usually compare notes, and they have very different clients. But they can make IRA benefits more personal. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hyundai–Kia Suppliers Employing Kids … In USA” • A Reuters investigation found extensive child labor working here in the USA for auto manufacturers. They worked for four Alabama parts suppliers to Hyundai and Kia. The PR firm doing the hiring for all four suppliers said it did not hire anyone below legal age “to the best of our knowledge.” [CleanTechnica]

Kia Soul EV SK3 EV (Damian B Oh, CC-BY-SA 4.0, cropped)

¶ “Large Indiana Employers Asking Utilities For ‘Green Tariffs’” • Several of Indiana’s major employers want their utilities to make it easier for them to buy power from by wind and solar farms so they can move closer to their renewable energy goals. Cummins, Salesforce, and Roche joined with the cities of Indianapolis and Bloomington in the push. [USNews.com]

¶ “Palisades Nuclear Plant Owners Will Try Again To Reopen Michigan Plant” • After the US DOE denied its request for money to reopen the Palisades nuclear plant, the facility’s owner said it will try again. Holtec International announced that it will reapply for a grant from the Department of Energy’s $6 billion Civil Nuclear Credit Program. [Bridge Michigan]

Have an enviably convivial day.

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December 19 Energy News

December 19, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “Think Climate Change Is Scary? Try Talking To Your Kids About It” • As an environmental reporter, I have written over and over about how the pollution we keep dumping into the air is hurting people, threatening ecosystems and endangering our future. But at home, I’ve struggled to explain this to my own daughters. [Yahoo News]

Talking with daughters (Josh Willink, Pexels)

World:

¶ “COP15: Summit On ‘Pact With Nature’ Enters Final Stretch” • With only hours left to secure a global agreement to stop the destruction of nature, delegates at COP15, the UN biodiversity summit in Montreal, are considering a new draft deal. There has been deep division over the strength of ambition and how to finance the plans. [BBC]

¶ “Canada’s Polar-Bear Capital Churchill Warms Too Fast For Bears” • As the polar bear becomes an icon of climate change, the bears’ plight in Churchill, Manitoba, embodies the inextricable link between preserving the natural world and fighting global warming. The polar-bear capital of the world is simply getting too warm for polar bears. [BBC]

Polar bear (Susi Miller, USFWS)

¶ “Toyota Is Shifting Its Electric Vehicle Plans To Become More Like Tesla” • Like many automakers in the EV market. Toyota is reportedly looking to shift its plans to become more like Tesla. The Japanese automaker is one of many hoping to reach Tesla’s level of profitability in the sector, and it’s now readying to unveil a new business model. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ford To Unveil First MEB-Based Vehicle This Spring” • At a media event at the Ford Europe Design Center, Martin Sander, head of the Model E electric vehicle division at Ford, lifted a part of the shroud on a car and said, “Can’t wait for 2023 to arrive, when we will pull off the cover of our first electric passenger vehicle coming from Cologne.” [CleanTechnica]

Ford teaser (Courtesy of Ford)

¶ “ReNew Power Signs 150-MW Agreement With Microsoft” • ReNew Power, a leading renewable energy company, announced that it has signed a renewable energy agreement with Microsoft India, in one of the largest such deals in the country. ReNew will produce 150 MW of clean energy from a recently commissioned solar site near Bikaner. [SolarQuarter]

¶ “SSE Begins Work On Hydrogen Storage Cavern On Yorkshire Coast” • The energy company SSE has begun work to develop a cavern in east Yorkshire for storing hydrogen. The company aims to stockpile the renewable source of power for times when the freezing, windless conditions like those experienced in the last week happen again. [The Guardian]

East Yorkshire (Ian S, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

Australia:

¶ “Renewable Energy Production Hits New Record In SA, As Expert Predicts More Milestones To Fall Soon” • South Australia has been effectively powered by green energy for a week. From December 12 to 19, National Energy Market data shows wind and solar contributed on average 103.5% towards the state’s energy demand. One expert predicts more growth. [ABC]

¶ “Victoria’s Gippsland Coast To Become Australia’s First Offshore Windfarm Zone” • Gippsland’s coast in south Victoria will be home to the turbines of Australia’s first offshore windfarm zone, with the heavy winds of the Bass Strait offering plenty of wild weather to power Australian homes. The zone is expected to drive renewable industry investment. [The Guardian]

Offshore wind turbines (Fxp42, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Could Queensland Export Sun And Wind To Japan?” • Exports of zero-emissions hydrogen, produced at a large green hydrogen project in the Gladstone Region in Central Queensland powered by renewable energy, are technically and commercially feasible, the Central Queensland Hydrogen Project Feasibility Study shows. [Australian Renewable Energy Agency]

US:

¶ “Agrivoltaics Goes Nuclear On California Prairie” • Interest in the emerging field of agrivoltaics has been exploding as farmers and researchers keep finding ways to combine solar panels with agricultural activity. Now, an agrivoltaic project in California is aimed at restoring native prairie at the site of a decommissioned nuclear power plant. [CleanTechnica]

Agrivoltaics and prairie restoration (Julia Fox, EPRI)

¶ “Michigan’s Clean Energy Transition Continues With Federal Laws, Utility Plans, State Political Shift” • The “2030 Report” examined progress for Michigan’s clean energy. It concluded that Whitmer’s MI Healthy Climate Plan would need to be bolder to collectively reduce emissions from the electricity generation, transportation, building and industrial sectors. [MiBiz]

¶ “NASA Cancels Climate Change Satellite” • NASA has canceled the GeoCarb mission, a collaboration with the University of Oklahoma and Lockheed Martin intended to put a greenhouse gas–monitoring satellite orbit. GeoCarb would have measured levels of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and methane in the atmosphere. [Space.com]

Have a fascinatingly fulfilling day.

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December 18 Energy News

December 18, 2022

Science and Technology:

¶ “Satellite Will Measure Most Water On The Planet” • The first mission to survey nearly all of the water on Earth has launched. It is a joint effort of NASA and the French space agency Centre National d’Études Spatiales. It will survey water on more than 90% of the world’s surface, measuring the height of water in fresh and ocean water. [CNN]

Surface Water and Ocean Topography satellite (CNES)

¶ “Winter Storms Are Back, And Scientists Say Climate Change Is Making Them A Lot Worse” • One big question for policymakers and the public is how much of our horrid winter weather can be definitively attributed to global warming. Climatologists say that it’s not merely a coincidence that storms seem so bad this year. Climate change is making them worse. [Salon]

World:

¶ “The Amazon Reef That May Be Threatened By Oil Drilling” • Scientists say a unique reef habitat near the mouth of the Amazon river is under threat from plans to drill for oil. The Amazon reef is not well known because it lies in deep water, and is sometimes hidden by the muddy waters flowing into the sea from the world’s largest river. [BBC]

Research ship RV Atlantis (Nsandel, public domain)

¶ “Russia Whiffs On Baltic Green Hydrogen Opportunity” • The EU has been scrambling to untangle itself from Russian gas, and the latest development is big. Six Baltic states are collaborating on a project called the Nordic-Baltic Hydrogen Corridor. If all goes according to plan, they will tap the Baltic sea for wind power to generate green hydrogen. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “China EV Exports Surge” • China has had ambitious plans to dominate the world auto industry through EV manufacturing. A recent Bloomberg report says it looks like China’s ambitions are being realised. And a top EV exporter from China is none other than American firm Tesla. It will export more than 200,000 EVs from China this year. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla showroom (Courtesy of Tesla China)

¶ “Power To The People: The Neighbours Turning Their London Street Into A Solar Power Station” • Lynmouth Road appears to be an unremarkable part of London largely made up of redbrick Victorian terraces. There are similar streets all through London. But Dan Edelstyn and Hilary Powell are working to make the road into a power station. [The Guardian]

¶ “Russia Starts Building ‘Protective Dome’ At Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant” • Russia is installing a “protective dome” over the nuclear waste storage at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, an official said. The plant has been under Russian control since March, and there have been fears of a nuclear catastrophe amid reports of shelling in the area. [Anadolu Agency]

Chernobyl sarcophagus in 2005 (IAEA Imagebank, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

Australia:

¶ “Forward Power Pricing Drops In Australia In Response To Government Action” • Legislation for a gas price cap passed in the Australian parliament. The action had immediate effect on forward power pricing. The average Australian household was expecting a 36% increase in power bills in 2023–2024, but now it should hold to 13%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Solar Citizens Electric Ute Roadshow” • An LDV et60, one of Australia’s first electric utes (pickups) will embark on a road trip in rural and regional Victoria and New South Wales in February and March 2023, and through Queensland, after Easter. It is on a campaign to take the EV transition beyond the capital cities of the Australian states. [CleanTechnica]

The eT60 (Courtesy of LDV Automotive)

¶ “Australia’s Largest Electric Bus Depot Is Fully Commissioned And Operational” • Zenobe, a specialist in EV fleet and battery storage, working with Transgrid and Transit Systems, finished construction of Australia’s largest electrified bus depot. Now, it is fully commissioned and operational, providing a blueprint for the future of clean transport. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Australia Vulnerable To Power Bill Shocks Until We Break Gas Habit” • Power bill shocks will remain a threat unless Australia quickly ramps up renewables to decouple from global coal and gas markets, said Daniel Westerman, CEO of the Australian Energy Market Operator. He said wind and solar power can protect against future shocks. [The Age]

Wind turbines (Anna Jiménez Calaf, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Recent Rain And Snow Brought Some Relief To California’s Historic Drought. It’s Still Not Enough” • In the past three years California residents have gone through back-to-back historically dry years that triggered unprecedented water shortages and landscape-altering wildfires. Now, a barrage of rain and snow have brought a tiny glimpse of hope [CNN]

¶ “Amazon Investing In Climate Innovation And Equity” • Amazon is teaming up with the US Agency for International Development to work on addressing gender inequity in the arean of climate finance as it relates to women. The partnership will work on supporting and funding female entrepreneurs focused on climate change innovation. [CleanTechnica]

Woman to innovate (Amazon image)

¶ “Third Largest Tesla Shareholder Suggests Elon Musk Should Step Aside As CEO” • Shares of Tesla are down 55% year to date and the stock has erased about $225 billion in market value since Musk closed his deal to buy Twitter in late October, according to Markets Insider. That has Tesla’s third largest shareholder, KoGuan Leo, disgusted with Elon Musk. [CleanTechnica]
***** Call for Help (Courtesy of Tesla Hunger Strike)

¶ “USDA Accepts Applications For Rural Energy For America Program” • The US Department of Agriculture is making $300 million available under the Rural Energy for America Program to support energy-efficiency projects for people who live in rural America. This funding includes $250 million provided by the Inflation Reduction Act. [DRGNews]

Have a certifiably charming day.

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December 17 Energy News

December 17, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “Review Of The Zendure SuperBase 2000 Pro, The Fastest Solar Power Station” • Whether you are looking for a solar charging station in particular or a general portable power supply to run power tools in the field, power your campsite, or provide backup for your home in a power outage, the Zendure SuperBase 2000 Pro is a good choice. [CleanTechnica]

Cat with a computer (Zendure image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Scientists Enhance Stability Of Perovskites For Solar Cells” • New materials that can both harvest and emit light offer exciting potential for technologies that range from solar cells to TV and display screens. Researchers have developed a way of enhancing the stability and performance of perovskites, a particular type of these materials. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Virgin To Fly ‘Net-Zero’ Transatlantic Boeing 787” • Virgin Atlantic plans to operate a Boeing 787 from London to New York, powered solely by waste oils and fats, a move hailed as a step toward reducing aviation’s significant environmental impact. Billed as the “world’s first” net zero transatlantic flight, the aircraft will hit the skies in 2023. [CNN]

Boeing 787 (Etienne Jong, Unsplash)

¶ “The World Is Burning More Coal Than Ever Before, New Report Shows” • The global energy crisis caused by Russia’s war on Ukraine has pushed global demand for coal to a record high in 2022, the International Energy Agency said. The growth is mostly down to a rapid rise in the prices of natural gas. Coal is the most polluting fossil fuel. [CNN]

¶ “BYD May Lead In EV Deliveries And Tesla Will Pass Toyota” • While BYD could threaten Tesla’s crown for the world’s largest EV maker, some argue that another metric matters far more. Analysts predict Tesla’s operating profit will surpass global leader Toyota’s. This could represent another industry-wide disruption from the US automaker. [CleanTechnica]

New Tesla Roadster (Tesla Fans Schweiz, Unsplash)

¶ “Europe’s Biggest Bank To Stop Funding New Oil And Gas” • After years of pressure, Europe’s largest bank says it will stop funding new oil and gas projects. London-based HSBC’s new policy bars new lending to projects “pertaining to new oil and gas fields and related infrastructure.” The bank will offer service  to customers with certain emissions goals. [Grist]

¶ “Eight Batteries To Be Built Around Australia To Increase Renewable Energy Storage Capacity” • Eight large batteries to store renewable energy will be built to support the Australian grid and help keep energy prices down, the federal government said. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency would provide $176 million in funding. [The Guardian]

Transmission lines (Brett Sayles, Pexels)

¶ “Renewables Provide 46.9% Of Electricity Used In Germany In 2022” • Renewable energy accounted for 46.9% of German power consumption 2022, up 4.9 percentage points from a year earlier thanks to favourable weather conditions, industry groups said. Both higher sunshine intensity and wind speeds were behind the trend. [Successful Farming]

¶ “Egypt’s New Energy Projects To Add 55 GW To Renewable Energy” • According to Egypt’s top renewable energy official, Egypt will soon be a major global energy hub. The country signed several projects in November that would add almost 55 GW to its existing solar and winds power capacity. The projects are to produce green hydrogen, [SolarQuarter]

Wind farm in Egypt (Hatem Moushir, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Austrian Parliament Opposes Czech Plan For Small Nuclear Reactors At Temelín” • Austria’s lower house of parliament unanimously passed a resolution rejecting Czechia’s plans to build small modular reactors, according to the APA news agency. Austria has been calling on Europe to abandon nuclear power since 2012. [Expats.cz]

US:

¶ “Apple Pushing For Deeper Decarbonization” • Amazon and Apple have announced more efforts toward climate stabilization, equity and inclusion, and deeper decarbonization in the past month and a half. The tech giants have plenty to clean up, but they’ve also been leaders in the adoption of clean renewable energy. [CleanTechnica]

Kenyan farmers benefitting from Apple (Courtesy of Apple)

¶ “Tesla Gigafactory In Texas Now Producing 3,000 Model Y EVs Per Week” • Tesla Gigafactory Texas has reached a production rate of 3,000 Model Y EVs per week. That’s 156,000 Model Y crossovers or SUVs per year from this new factory, but expect the number to keep climbing quickly and end well above that rate a year from now. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Siemens And EverCharge Announce New US EV Charger Factories” • More companies are setting up to make EV chargers in the US, due to incentives provided in the Inflation Reduction Act. Siemens and EverCharge have announced they are building factories in America to make chargers that qualify for the “Made In America” incentives. [CleanTechnica]

EVs Charging (EverCharge image)

¶ “Meta Turns To The Sun To Power Data Centers In Tennessee And Georgia” • Silicon Valley-based tech giant Meta Platforms, Inc, formerly Facebook, said it will purchase 720 MW of clean electricity from seven solar farms being built in Tennessee and Georgia to use 100% renewable power for all of its operations in the region. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]

¶ “Connecticut Makes Climate Change Studies Compulsory” • Starting next July, Connecticut will mandate climate change studies across its public schools as part of its science curriculum. New Jersey had enacted a similar mandate in 2020, to become the first state to require K-12 climate change education across its school districts. [The Guardian]

Have a soundly planned day.

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December 16 Energy News

December 16, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “The Top 12 Climate Developments Of 2022” • The past year might unfortunately be remembered as the year that Russia invaded Ukraine – or for some of its strange events. But 2022 should also be celebrated for amazing climate developments that will make a difference for years to come. Here we list our top 12, in no particular order. [CleanTechnica]

The ozone layer (Image courtesy of NASA)

¶ “The World Should Be 100% Powered By Renewable Energy Before Nuclear Fusion Is Commercially Competitive” • The US Department of Energy announced big nuclear fusion news this week. It’s a thrill that US scientists could produce net-positive fusion energy for a moment. It’s also important to view some broader clean energy context. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Crazy Power Wars Down Under” • The Australian federal parliament recalled to pass energy legislation, gas companies threatening to withhold supply, massive war profits, breakdowns at coal-fired power stations, government legislating a price cap, utilities jockeying for EV charging business – crazy power wars are normal now down under. [CleanTechnica]

Normal – Sydney opera house (Srikant Sahoo, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Whales Can Have An Important But Overlooked Role In Tackling The Climate Crisis, Researchers Say” • The world’s largest whales are more than just astonishing creatures. Much like the ocean, soil, and forests, whales can help save humanity from the climate crisis by sequestering planet-heating carbon emissions, researchers say. [CNN]

World:

¶ “Tokyo Will Require New Homes Built From 2025 To Have Solar Panels” • A regulation passed by Tokyo’s local assembly says houses built in the Japanese capital by large homebuilders after April 2025 must all have solar PV panels installed to reduce household carbon emissions. The action responds to both the climate crisis and the energy crisis. [CNN]

Tokyo (Takashi Miyazaki, Unsplash)

¶ “Australia Passes Law To Cap Energy Prices Against ‘Wartime Whims’” • Australians are facing a surge in utility bills this year, despite living in a top coal and natural gas producing nation. So the Australian parliament passed a law capping its domestic gas price and some states’ coal prices to protect consumers from the “wartime whims” of the world. [CNN]

¶ “VW ID Buzz Gets 5 Stars From Euro NCAP” • “The European test organisation Euro NCAP has announced its latest vehicle safety test results. With the ID Buzz, a new Volkswagen model has also been awarded a ‘very good’ rating and received the best possible score of five stars,” Volkswagen shares. The ID Buzz got a score of 92% overall. [CleanTechnica]

VW ID Buzz (Wikisympathisant, CC-BY-SA 4.0, cropped)

¶ “Vietnam, G7 Nations Reach $15.5 Billion Agreement To Quit Coal, Expand Renewable Energy” • Nine wealthy, developed nations will help Vietnam accelerate its transition from coal to renewable energy under a $15.5 billion agreement, which is intended to help Vietnam peak its greenhouse gas pollution in 2030 instead of 2035. [EcoWatch]

¶ “Electricity Generated By Burning Native Australian Timber No Longer Classified As Renewable Energy” • Electricity made by burning native forest wood waste will no longer be classified as renewable energy under a regulatory change made by Australia’s Labor government. The decision reverses a 2015 rule by Abbott’s Liberal-National government. [The Guardian]

Australian forest (Knödelbaum, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “UN Nuclear Watchdog To Visit Tehran As Iran Enriches Uranium At Its Highest Level Ever” • At the invitation of Iran, the UN‘s nuclear watchdog will send a delegation to the Iranian capital of Tehran on December 18 to clarify some outstanding ‘safeguards’ issues, linked to nuclear particles discovered at Iranian nuclear sites. [CNBC]

US:

¶ “California Regulators Approve Plan For Carbon Neutrality By 2045” • The California Air Resources Board approved a plan to reach carbon neutrality by 2045, in line with legislation signed by Governor Gavin Newsom earlier this year. It is to move one of the largest economies in the world to renewable energy and away from fossil fuels. [CNN]

Los Angeles (Sterling Davis, Unsplash)

¶ “California pulls the plug on rooftop solar” • The Public Utilities Commission approved Net Energy Metering 3.0, reducing payments for sending rooftop solar production to the grid. New rooftop solar projects are considered uneconomical without an attached battery. Adding batteries still allows a fair return on investment. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “Redwood Materials Will Build New Battery Recycling Facility In South Carolina” • South Carolina is getting to be a focal point of the EV revolution. Hyundai is building a $5 billion factory to make EVs in the state. BMW and Volvo have factories. Redwood Materials announced it will start construction of a $3.2 billion battery recycling facility. [CleanTechnica]

Artist’s concept of factory (Courtesy of Redwood Materials)

¶ “Power Cuts In Seven States As Deadly Winter Storm And Tornadoes Hit US” • A winter storm has left a trail of destruction in the southern US, devastating communities and killing three people in Louisiana. The weather has also left tens of thousands without power in six states. Several east coast states are forecast to be hit by snow and freezing rain. [BBC]

¶ “Solar Plant To Help Power Nevada’s Gold Mines” • More than 400,000 solar panels will provide energy to Nevada Gold Mines operations in northeastern Nevada, reducing the company’s carbon footprint. The project is part of a much wider effort by Barrick Gold Corp to reduce emissions 30% by 2030 and become carbon-neutral by 2050. [Elko Daily Free Press]

Have an unusually cheerful day.

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December 15 Energy News

December 15, 2022

Science and Technology:

¶ “How The Climate Crisis May Be Changing The Way That Tornadoes Behave” • Unlike heat waves, floods and hurricanes, scientific research about the connection between the climate crisis and tornadoes has not been as easy to do. Nevertheless, experts are already seeing certain changes in how recent tornado outbreaks are behaving. [CNN]

Tornado (Nikolas Noonan, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “UK Government Eyes Ban On Single-Use Plastic Plates And Cutlery” • Single-use plastic cutlery, plates, and other items are to be banned in the UK and replaced by biodegradable items as the government seeks to tackle the growing problem of plastic waste. 1.1 billion single-use plates and 4.25 billion items of single-use cutlery are used in England each year. [CNN]

¶ “Hungary’s Risky Bet On Russia’s Nuclear Power” • Despite the Hungarian government’s unswerving commitment to the Paks 2 project and the Russian commitment to supply the finance and technology, the Russian war in Ukraine makes the nuclear power station less likely by the day. Critics say it makes Hungary more dependent on Russia as a source of fuel. [BBC]

Paks nuclear plant in 2010 (Barna Rovács, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Global Solar Installs Erupt As Polysilicon Price Peaks” • The latest Rethink Energy report says that global solar installations are on track for 222 GW for 2022, and manufacturing output data shows that next year this will rise by even more. This demonstrates that the solar industry has shaken off the drag of high polysilicon pricing.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “At $7400, Honda’s Upcoming Electric N-Van Mini Van Can Be A Game-Changer In Japan’s Kei Car Segment” • Honda has set the starting price of the electric N-Van in Japan at ¥1,000,000 ($7,400), with the launch planned for the spring of 2024. Small city cars, which are highway-capable, known as Kei cars, are a big deal in Japan. [CleanTechnica]

Honda Electric N-Van (Honda image)

¶ “World To Expand Renewable Energy Capacity By 75% By 2027, Says IEA” • The International Energy Agency says the world will deploy as much renewable energy in the next five years as it did over the last two decades. Installed capacity of solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources is expected to grow by about 2,400 GW through 2027. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “GE Renewable Energy Installs First Turbines At 1.2-GW China Pumped Hydro Plant” • The hydropower subsidiary of General Electric’s renewables business has installed the first pair of 300-MW turbines at a pumped hydro storage site in Jinzhai County, Anhui Province, China. The company is to supply to more of the same turbines at the site. [Energy Storage News]

GE Hydro Solutions turbines installed (GE Renewable Energy)

¶ “Uzbekistan projects receive $520 million in financing” • The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development arranged two syndicated loans to help build and commission two wind plants in Uzbekistan. Their combined capacity is to be 1 GW. The $520 million of financing is the EBRD’s largest renewable energy project in the region. [reNews]

US:

¶ “Winter Storm Barrels East With Millions Under Weather Warnings” • A powerful winter storm is moving east across the US, bringing blizzard-like conditions to the Midwest. Roads and schools have been closed and some areas are reporting 4 feet (1.2 meters) of snow. The storm has spawned tornadoes in the South, and at least three people have died. [BBC]

Snowy road (Patino Jhon, Unsplash)

¶ “Record Year for EV Battery Supply Chains” • Over a quarter of a million EVs have been sold in the US so far in 2022. Consumer preferences and policies are driving historic demand for clean cars. With demand for EVs comes demand for batteries to power them. Supply chains for EV batteries are relatively new and rapidly evolving. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Volkswagen Plans To Manufacture More Vehicles In The US” • In an interview with Handelsblatt, Pablo Di Si, the new head of Volkswagen for North America, said Volkswagen Group plans to introduce 25 electric vehicle models to the American market by 2030 in order to increase its market share from a fairly dismal 4% to 8% or more. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen Atlas (Courtesy of Volkswagen)

¶ “$2.5 Billion Loan From DOE To Ultium Cells – Three Battery Cell Factories, 11,000 Jobs” • The US DOE announced closing a $2.5 billion loan to Ultium Cells to help finance construction of lithium-ion battery cell manufacturing plants in Ohio, Michigan, and Tennessee. Ultium Cells, a joint venture of General Motors and LG Energy Solution. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Orano Completes Dismantling Vermont Yankee’s Reactor Core” • In less than four years, the Orano group, based in France, completed cutting up and packaging the vessel and internal components of the boiling water reactor at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power station in Vernon. Vermont Yankee went offline in December 2014. [Vermont Business Magazine]

Vermont Yankee (NRC image)

¶ “Keystone Pipeline – Updates On Its Largest Leak Ever” • The US and Canada are collaborating to clean up oil from the largest US crude spill in nearly a decade. Roughly 14,000 barrels of Keystone Pipeline crude tar sands oil spewed into a northern Kansas creek that’s part of a watershed providing drinking water for 800,000 people. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Nuclear Watchdog Group Raises Concerns Over Concrete Cracks At Seabrook Plant” • The nuclear watchdog group C-10 Research and Education Foundation has petitioned the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to take more steps to ensure the safety of cracks in cement at the Seabrook plant. The plant is operated by NextEra Energy Resources. [WMUR]

Have a grandly congenial day.

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December 14 Energy News

December 14, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “Nuclear Power Is Just A Slow And Expensive Distraction” • The British and French governments can sign any deal they like, but if key financial investors don’t take up 60% of construction costs, the planned Sizewell C plant is going nowhere. The omens aren’t good for that. Solar and onshore wind power can be developed at about a quarter of the cost. [New Statesman]

Nuclear power plant (Petar Avramoski, Pexels)

¶ “CEO Of LG Chem Talks About The Challenges Posed By The Inflation Reduction Act” • In a recent interview with Bloomberg that was shared with CleanTechnica via e-mail, Shin Hak-Cheol, CEO of LG Chem, spoke about the challenges the South Korean company is facing as it tries to come to terms with the Inflation Reduction Act signed into law this year. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Counterintuitive: Large Wild Herbivores May Help Slow Climate Change” • In the battle to combat climate change, large herbivores like elephants – ambling about, stripping branches, chomping on tree seedlings or even uprooting full-grown trees – appear to be the enemy. But a paper published in the journal Current Biology begs to differ. [Mongabay]

Deer in Wyoming (nacho_c via Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0)

¶ “StoreDot Fast Charging Technology Validated In Independent Testing” • StoreDot, a battery manufacturing company based in Israel, announced that its fast charging claims were validated by an independent testing laboratory. The new StoreDot batteries  can be recharged more quickly than other batteries that are commercially available. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Tesla Sold Over 100,000 Shanghai-Built EVs In November” • The Chinese auto market slumped in November, with an overall drop in sales across the market. Nevertheless, Tesla Gigafactory Shanghai posted record numbers during the same month. Some say the news shows Tesla’s electric vehicle dominance in the world’s largest auto market. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla (Makara Heng, Pexels)

¶ “Converted Electric Semi Trucks Are Getting More And More Popular” • With 140 confirmed orders, Janus Electric is rolling to success. Its order book is full with Macks, Volvos, Kenworths, and Freightliners queuing up for conversion from diesel to battery electric. These trucks have similar chassis width, so Janus can use one design for batteries and drivetrains. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Taiwan Awards 8.7 GW Of Capacity In Round 3” • Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs has awarded tenders to more than 8700 MW of offshore wind farms in the country. Among those who entered bids, total of six developers and ten projects have qualified for the first round selection for the Phase III Zonal Development auction. [reNews]

Wind turbine (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “Siemens Gamesa And Capital Energy Sign New Contract For A 52-MW Wind Power Plant In Spain” • Siemens Gamesa and renewable energy developer Capital Energy strengthened their relationship following a new agreement for the installation of a 52-MW wind project in the province of Albacete, in the southeast of Spain. [Siemens Gamesa]

¶ “Concerns Raised Over UK Electricity Network” • Six trade bodies representing the UK energy sector, including Regen and the Electricity Storage Network, wrote the UK Energy Secretary Grant Schapps asking for leadership to address constraints on the electricity network. Energy projects are facing delays of up to fifteen years due to capacity constraints. [reNews]

Transmission lines (National Grid image)

¶ “AMEA Power Awarded Through Competitive Bidding 120-MW Solar Project In South Africa” • AMEA Power said it has been awarded a 120-MW PV project in South Africa under the Sixth Bid Submission Phase of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program. The Doornhoek project will sell electricity Eskom. [PV Magazine]

¶ “IAEA Missions To Be Dispatched To All Ukraine’s Nuclear Power Plants” • Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said an agreement on moving heavy weapons from the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant is still being worked out, but they said a decision had been made to send IAEA teams to all Ukrainian nuclear power plants. [Radio Free Europe]

Nuclear power plant (Victor Korniyenko, CC-BY-SA 3.0, cropped)

US:

¶ “US Battery Storage Growth To Boom Through 2025” • US Developers and power plant owners plan to significantly increase utility-scale battery storage capacity in the country over the next three years, reaching 30 GW by the end of 2025, according to the latest Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory, which was published by the DOE. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Wyoming Nuclear Plant Delayed, Tentative Start Date Pushed To 2030” • The advanced nuclear reactor proposed for Wyoming will likely be delayed at least two years, its developer announced. Fuel can’t be imported from Russia, the only source of the highly enriched fuel the plant requires, so TerraPower must wait for the US supply chain to catch up. [Casper Star-Tribune]

Kemmerer, Wyoming (Kenneth Hynek, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Colorado School Of Mines Is Big On Solar” • Every time the Orediggers’ Division II title contenders took the field this fall, they were surrounded by buildings and parking lots with newly installed solar panel arrays aimed at making the school’s campus far more self-sufficient in energy use. The campus has 8 MW of solar capacity. [The Colorado Sun]

¶ “New Jersey’s Last Operating Coal Plant Imploded” • A former coal-fired generating plant in New Jersey has been imploded. Starwood Energy demolished the former Logan Generating Plant and announced plans for a $1 billion venture on the site, where batteries will be deployed to store power from renewable energy sources. [Power Engineering]

Have a gorgeously composed day.

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December 13 Energy News

December 13, 2022

Science and Technology:

¶ “Nuclear Fusion: How Long Until This Breakthrough Discovery Can Power Your House” • The deuterium in a glass of water, with a little tritium, could power a house for a year, with practically no waste. But it could be decades before fusion is able to produce large amounts of energy, and scientists are on a race against the clock to fight climate change. [CNN]

NIF target chamber (Damien Jemison, LLNL)

World:

¶ “BYD Atto 3 Gets 10,000 Orders In Thailand In One Month” • News coming out of Thailand is that in just one month, 10,000 Atto 3s have been ordered and that new orders have been paused for a little bit in order avoid excessive customer lead times. The price of the Standard Range Atto 3 starts from the equivalent of $31,500 in Thailand. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Forty Tesla Megapacks Replace 70-Year-Old Generating Plant In Belgium” • The Tesla Megapack is bringing changes to the utility grid in the Belgian city of Lessines, which has depended on a gas-fired turbine for its electricity for 70 years. The plant was built in six months. It provides frequency regulation on the Belgian electricity network. [CleanTechnica]

Battery installation (Courtesy of Corsica Sole)

¶ “Fields Of Green Returning To Columboola” • The Chinchilla-Dulacca area of Queensland’s Darling Downs was once a sea of undulating green fields. Then came the coal mines, gas fracking, and polarization with the “Coal for Breakfast” and “Lock the Gate” campaigns. Now the area has turned to renewable energy, and green fields can return. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Denmark’s Potential Role In Nordic Hyperloop Solutions” • Hyperloop serves relatively small autonomous vehicles (called pods) that move in an almost airless tube on a magnetic track at high speed – up to 1,000 km/h (620 mph). Without air or track friction, it is very efficient. A hyperloop is being proposed for Denmark. [CleanTechnica]

Hyperloop (Image courtesy of TransPod)

¶ “Djibouti Inks Deal To Deploy 10 GW Of Renewables And Green Hydrogen” • Djibouti’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources has entered into an agreement with a renewable energy company, CWP Global, to develop 10 GW of renewable energy and green hydrogen capacity to meet the country’s energy demand. [Energy Capital & Power]

¶ “Renewable Energy Jobs Growing Four Times Faster Than Rest Of UK Market” • The number of jobs being created in the renewable energy industry is growing four times faster than the overall UK employment market, it has emerged. The number of green jobs advertised almost trebled in the last year, to 336,000 roles, altogether. [The Guardian]

Wind turbines (Irina Iriser, Unsplash)

¶ “H&M Signs Sweden’s Largest Renewable Power Deal” • Neoen and Swedish solar developer Alight have signed a power purchase agreement with Swedish fashion retailer H&M Group. The deal, which is for 90 MW of solar, is the largest solar PPA contracted in Sweden to date, Neoen and Alight stated. Commissioning is to take place in 2025. [reNews]

¶ “Germany Sets Renewable Power Record In 2022, But Is Off-Track For 2030 Target” • Germany is set to produce a record 256 TWh of electricity from renewable sources this year, but that is insufficient to put it on track to its 2030 targets, the Federal Environment Agency said. The goal for 2030 is 600 TWh, 80% of German demand. [Renew Economy]

Rooftop PV in Frankfurt (From BSW Solar)

¶ “Macron Says Talks Are Ongoing To Remove Heavy Weapons From Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Site” • French President Emmanuel Macron said that an agreement had been reached on removing heavy weapons from Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant and that talks were under way on the necessary procedures. [Radio Free Europe]

¶ “France Requests Emergency Cut In Electricity Exports To UK As Nuclear Crisis Deepens” • RTE asked the National Grid if it could halve its scheduled exports through an interconnector to the UK for an hour, as it wrestled with a spike in demand. A combination of the cold weather, strikes, and delayed reactor maintenance prompted the request. [MSN]

Cooling towers (Lukáš Lehotský, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “US Winter Storm To Bring Blizzard, Tornadoes, And Floods” • A coast-to-coast storm is bringing heavy snowfall, strong winds, the threat of thunderstorms, and other extreme weather. Some western states, including Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota, are expecting up to two feet (60 cm) of snow. Some states in the south, could face a tornado outbreak. [BBC]

¶ “US Forest Service Aims For Fleet Of 17,000 Battery-Electric Vehicles And Is Piloting Ford F-150 Lightning” • The US Forest Service is testing the Ford F-150 Lightning pickup as it begins to transition its 17,000 vehicles (fossil powered at the moment) to a rugged, sometimes off-road fleet of over 17,000 battery-electric vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

Ford F-150 Lightning (Courtesy of Ford)

¶ “Yotta Energy Speaks With CleanTechnica About New EV Chargers And A Microinverter” • Yotta Energy recently unveiled several products: commercial EV chargers, solar-powered EV charging stations, and a 3-phase commercial microinverter. The commercial EV chargers can be used with solar-plus-storage. Here is an iterview with the CEO. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Keystone Pipeline Dumped 14,000 Barrels Of Crude Oil Into A Kansas Stream” • About 14,000 barrels of crude oil escaped from the Keystone pipeline in northeast Kansas border last week. According to federal data, it is by far the largest oil spill from any pipeline in the past 9 years and the largest in the history of the Keystone pipeline. [CleanTechnica]

Have a gleefully creative day.

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December 12 Energy News

December 12, 2022

Picture:

¶ “Rare Wave Clouds Amaze Sky-Watchers In Wyoming” • A stunned sky-watcher in Wyoming snapped photos of a rare cloud formation that looked a lot like ocean surf. “This was special and I immediately knew I needed to capture it,” Rachel Gordon said. Kelvin-Helmholtz instability should remind us of how amazing nature can be. [BBC]

Kelvin-Helmholtz instability (Rachel Gordon via Facebook)
I don’t know of a conspiracy theory that explains this. Science does.

Science and Technology:

¶ “Ultra Thin Printed Solar Cells From MIT” • Researchers at MIT developed ultra thin, flexible solar cells that can be printed using semiconductor inks and scalable fabrication techniques. They are much thinner than a human hair, weigh 1% as much as a conventional solar panels, and generate 18 times more power per kilogram, an MIT blog post says. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “How Seagrass In Seychelles Is Helping The Fight Against Climate Change” • It might not look like much in photos, but the seagrass that lives in our oceans is actually a very effective natural climate change deterrent. These ocean plants used to be plentiful in places like Seychelles, but now they’re struggling to survive in seas that are rising with climate change. [BGR]

Seychelles (Datingscout, Unsplash)

¶ “US Officials Set to Announce Fusion Energy Breakthrough” • The pursuit of fusion reactors has gone on for decades. US scientists reportedly have carried out the first nuclear fusion experiment to achieve a net energy gain. The US Department of Energy is expected to announce the breakthrough on December 13, according to news reports. [POWER Magazine]

World:

¶ “Zimbabwe Power Outages Hit Businesses And Families” • In the last decade, Zimbabwe has sunk about $2 billion into power generation. But Zimbabwe still struggles with power outages. The country’s coal-burning plants break down often, and drought has limited hydro power. The result is that people can’t work, and poverty makes it all worse. [BBC]

Harare, with power on (Tatenda Mapigoti, Unsplash)

¶ “Swiss Re And Carbonfuture Sign Multi-Year Deal For More Than 17,000 Tonnes Of Carbon Removals” • Leading reinsurer Swiss Re signed a multi-year deal with carbon removal platform Carbonfuture. At more than 17,000 tonnes, it is one of the largest CDR deals of its kind to date. This move is seen as a real vote of confidence in carbon removal. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Humanity Is A Weapon Of Mass Extinction, Says António Guterres At COP 15” • UN chief António Guterres opened COP 15, the 15th UN Conference On Biodiversity, by saying humanity is a weapon of mass extinction and that governments must end the “orgy of destruction” associated with the extraction and burning of fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

Antonio Guterres (Image via YouTube)

¶ “Tesla Megapacks Help Power Battery Supplier To Generate Renewable Energy Manufacturing” • Tesla Megapacks are being used by Panasonic on the test side near Kyoto, Japan, to store power generated by renewable energy for manufacturing. The battery supplier used solar panels, Tesla Megapack batteries, and hydrogen fuel cells for power. [TechStory]

¶ “Lightsource bp, bp, and Shell Receive The Green Light For Trinidad And Tobago’s First Large-Scale Solar Project” • The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago agreed with bp Alternative Energy Trinidad and Tobago, Shell Renewables Caribbean, and Lightsource bp to a develop a 112- MW (AC) solar project. It is the country’s first large solar project. [Lightsource bp]

Trinidad and Tobago (Renaldo Matamoro, Unsplash)

¶ “Asia’s Richest Man Wants India To Lead A Green Energy Revolution” • India’s Gautam Adani, the richest man in Asia, made his fortune betting on coal. Now he is aiming to be the world’s top player in renewables by 2030 and to make India a clean energy superpower. Adani owns six coal-fired power plants and is India’s largest private player in power. [RFI]

¶ “Australia Already At ‘Worst Case’ Climate Scenarios For 2030” • Australia already appears to be experiencing the worst-case climate scenarios that were projected to occur eight years from now. The finding was revealed by world-renowned climatologist David Karoly’s analysis of how closely projections published in 2015 align to current conditions. [Cosmos Magazine]

Australia (Joeyy Lee, Unsplash)

¶ “Saudi Plans Ten New Renewable Energy Projects” • OPEC member Saudi Arabia is planning to execute ten new renewable energy projects as part of a strategy to boost reliance on solar and wind power and reduce oil use for generating electricity, reports say. The world’s largest oil exporter approved the ten projects in its 2023 budget. [ZAWYA]

US:

¶ “Lectron To Provide Tesla/NACS Connector And EVSE For Aptera” • We have known for a while that Aptera planned to use a Tesla charging connector for its vehicle. Here we have additional information about that. Tesla has announced that its plug is a standard for the automotive industry, making it available to Aptera and others. [CleanTechnica]

Aptera (Aptera image)

¶ “Tesla Semi’s 500-Mile Drive On One Charge” • Just days before Tesla delivered the first-production Semi trucks to PepsiCo, five years after the semi truck was first shown, the automaker tested the Tesla Semi for a 500-mile run on a single charge. It is the range that Tesla originally claimed at the Semi’s unveiling back in 2017. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Erthos Redefines The Meaning Of Ground Mount Solar” • Erthos has a better idea for how to install solar panels. It is to lay them flat on the ground. The installation method has drawbacks and advantages for installers to weigh. Encore Renewable Energy, a Vermont firm, signed an MOU with Erthos for a noteworthy project in their portfolio. [CleanTechnica]

Have an optimally functioning day.

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December 11 Energy News

December 11, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “How Pepsi’s Tesla Semis Will Change Hauling” • The Tesla Semi represents major changes to come in the hauling industry. It could help prove to consumers and commercial customers that batteries can support heavy-cargo vehicles over long distances. And that is an important shift to help reduce global supply chain emissions. [CleanTechnica]

Interior of a Tesla Semi (Photo courtesy of Tesla)

¶ “CleanTechnica Tested: The Generac G2000 Portable Power Station” • Generac dominates its sector of the home generator market, and it made a move into the residential energy storage space in 2019. This year, Generac is pushing the envelope further with a new line of portable power stations. CleanTechnica had an opportunity to review them. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Great Barrier Reef ‘Coral Nurseries’ Show Early Signs Of Success” • A UN report recommended that the reef be added to the World Heritage “in danger” list. Now, pieces of broken coral are being rescued and rehabilitated so they can be transplanted back onto the Great Barrier Reef. But marine scientists say it’s no substitute for action on climate change. [ABC]

Rescued pieces of coral (Reef Restoration Foundation)

World:

¶ “Ski Resorts Are Melting. Here’s What That Means For Winter Vacations” • Winter sports fans are drawn to the mountains for the pristine wild environments, energizing views, pure air, and hearty fun in the snow. But the energy mountain resorts need has a price, threatening the very premise of a pastime wedded to the natural world and winter bounty. [CNN]

¶ “SolarBotanic Trees – Charging Stations Of The Future?” • SolarBotanic Trees is moving closer towards full production. It agreed with the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre to develop a field prototype. And Raw Charging Group ordered 200 co-branded solar trees for a network of commercial EV charging sites. [CleanTechnica]

SolarBotanic Trees (SolarBotanic Trees image)

¶ “French Firm Starts Developing Renewable Energy Plant In Zambia” • Total Eren, a French company, secured a long-term strategic partnership with mining firm First Quantum Minerals, for a 400-MW project that will combine wind and solar energy. It will power not only the mining firm, but also its community in northwestern Zambia. [News Ghana]

¶ “NSW Declares First Renewable Energy Zone With Offshore Wind In Plan To Replace Coal” • New South Wales has declared its fourth renewable energy zone as it races to install new wind, solar, and storage infrastructure to replace the country’s biggest fleet of coal generators. It is the first zone that includes access to offshore windpower. [Renew Economy]

Wind turbine (Corio Generation image)

¶ “India Achieved 166 GW Of Renewable Energy Capacity In October” • India’s goal is to have 175 GW of installed Renewable Energy capacity in 2022. As of October, a total of 165.94 GW had been installed in the country, according to a written statement by Power and New & Renewable Energy Minister R K Singh. India’s goal for 2030 is 500 GW. [PSU Connect]

¶ “Solar Farm Will Allow Brewery To Produce Products With Renewable Energy” • Akuo, Cervecería Nacional Dominicana, and Altio confirmed that a solar park in María Trinidad Sánchez province, Dominican Republic, is expected to be operational by the first quarter of 2023, generating 550 direct jobs and more than 2,000 indirect jobs. [Dominican Today]

Street in Dominican Republic (AminTorres, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Uranium Price Hits 4-Month Low As Corrosion Problem In French Nuclear Plants Undermine Confidence” • After rallies on pledges by western nations to increase nuclear plant spending, uranium spot prices have fallen to $48.50 per pound. It seems confidence in the nuclear power sector has been hit by corrosion problems at EDF reactors. [The Deep Dive]

US:

¶ “GM Dealer Community Charging Program: Nearly 1,000 GM Dealers Enrolled To Date” • Since the official launch of its Dealer Community Charging Program in late 2021, GM has enrolled almost a quarter of all North American dealers in the program. The first community charging stations were installed in Michigan and Wisconsin. [CleanTechnica]

GM charging station (GM image)

¶ “Do Electric Vehicles Actually Cut Utility Costs?” • A common misperception is that widespread EV charging will strain the grid and require expensive upgrades that raise electricity prices. But a Synapse Energy Economics analysis of the three utility service territories that have the most EVs in the US found that exactly the opposite is true. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hourly Electric Grid Monitor For USA” • Large-scale events that affect normal routines, ranging from major holidays to the COVID-19 pandemic, planned or not, can change the pattern of electricity usage in the country. The DOE’s Hourly Electric Grid Monitor provides up-to-the-hour information on electricity demand across the US. [CleanTechnica]

Have a superbly restful day.

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December 10 Energy News

December 10, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “What is a mass extinction and are we causing one?” • No credible scientist disputes that we are in a crisis regarding the speed at which nature is being destroyed. Some are saying we could be entering a sixth mass extinction. Opening the COP15 conference in Montréal, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said a million species now “teeter on the brink.” [BBC]

Rhinoceros (Rachel Hannah Photo, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “How the IOT is Helping Drive Renewable Energy Innovation” • Environmentalists have always prioritized renewable energy, but it is only recently that technology could help us with cleaner, more sustainable power sources. The internet of things has a major role in this shift, offering new ways to connect devices and collect data. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Flameproofing Lithium-Ion Batteries With Salt” • Rachel Z Huang and others at Stanford University and the DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory developed a non-flammable electrolyte for lithium-ion batteries. Their work showed that batteries containing this electrolyte continue to function at high temperatures without igniting. [CleanTechnica]

Rachel Huang at work (Jian-Cheng Lai, Stanford University)

World:

¶ “A New Platinum Mine In Zimbabwe Gets 30 MW Of Solar PV From The Get-Go!” • Construction of a new platinum mine in Zimbabwe started at a Karo Platinum site. It includes a 30-MW solar PV array. The project’s 24-month design and construction schedule started on 1 July 2022, and the first ore in the mill is planned for July 2024. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ampersand Aims To Have 600,000 Electric Motorcycles Across East Africa By 2030” • Ampersand, one of the pioneers in the African electric motorcycle sector, is ramping up operations. The company has prototypes and test production runs on the road, and now it is introducing its first full production run of its commercial motorcycle. [CleanTechnica]

Ampersand electric motorcycles (Ampersand image)

¶ “Volkswagen Reveals Plans For Wolfsburg Factory” • VW says it will invest €460 million in its main factory in Wolfsburg by the beginning of 2025. That investment will be used primarily to make the necessary preparations to produce an updated ID.3 EV. Limited production will start in 2023, with full production slated to start in 2024. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “NIMBYs Warm To Renewables In Europe’s Most Polluting Economy” • The Bavarian town of Niederaichbach long opposed a high-voltage line crucial for transport of Germany’s renewable energy. It took a war and nationwide blackout warnings to soften the residents’ resistance. They recently dropped legal action that held the power line up for years. [Yahoo Finance]

View of the nuclear power plant in Niederaichbach
(Bjoern Schwarz, CC-BY-SA 2.0, cropped)

¶ “European Commission To Fund 600-MW Europe-Africa Renewable Energy Bridge” • The European Commission has announced that it will disburse €307.6 million ($323 million) to finance the construction of a 600-MW undersea interconnection facility between Italy and Tunisia, creating a renewable energy bridge between Europe and Africa. [IEEFA]

¶ “Kivalliq Wildlife Board Uses Inuit Knowledge And Western Science To Study The Impact Of Climate Change On Food Security” • Across Canada’s North, climate change is having a profound impact on ecosystems and food security, including risks to Inuit culture, social relations, health, well-being, and traditional way of life. [Yahoo Finance]

Baker Lake, Nunavut (E-90, public domain)

¶ “Russian Forces Abducted Two Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant Employees” • Two employees of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant have been abducted by Russian forces, the Ukrainian state power company Energoatom said. It also said Russian forces placed rocket launchers at the plant “violating all conditions for nuclear and radiation safety.” [UPI.com]

US:

¶ “Big Oil Has Engaged In A Long Climate Disinformation Campaign While Raking In Record Profits, Lawmakers Find” • Big Oil companies engaged in a “long-running greenwashing campaign” while raking in “record profits at the expense of American consumers,” the  House Oversight Committee has found after a year-long investigation. [CNN]

Refinery (Robin Sommer, Unsplash)

¶ “First Commercially Available Electric, Autonomous Smart Tractor Goes Into Production” • Monarch Tractor announced that its Founder Series MK-V tractor is coming off the production line at its manufacturing facility in Livermore, California. The Monarch MK-V is a fully electric, driver-optional, smart tractor with lots of bells and whistles. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The 2022 Standard Scenarios For US Electricity Sector Are Now Available” • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has released the 2022 Standard Scenarios. It offers a framework to explore the rapidly evolving US electricity sector, based in part on timely and transparent projections of technology cost and performance. [CleanTechnica]

Transmission lines (Dennis Schroeder, NREL)

¶ “Equinor Secures First West Coast Offshore Wind Leases” • The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management conducted the first ever sale of leases for offshore wind along the west coast of the US. Equinor secured a 2-GW lease in the Morro Bay area near San Luis Obisbo. It has the potential to generate enough electricity to power 750,000 US homes. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Governor Hochul Announces Start Of Construction on Smart Path Connect Transmission Line” • Governor Kathy Hochul announced the start of construction on Smart Path Connect, a transmission project to rebuild and strengthen approximately one hundred miles of transmission in the North Country and the Mohawk Valley. [Governor Kathy Hochul]

Have an instructively gorgeous day.

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December 9 Energy News

December 9, 2022

Science and Technology:

¶ “Low Cost Sodium Sulfur Battery Shows Promise” • At the University of Sydney, researchers are touting breakthroughs in the lab that they say may lead to new, low cost sodium sulfur batteries with four times the energy storage capacity of lithium-ion batteries. Their research has been published recently in the journal Advanced Materials. [CleanTechnica]

University of Sydney (Image by the University of Sydney)

¶ “Botanical Gardens Are ‘Hot Spots’ For Butterflies In Climate Change” • Many species of butterflies are in decline. Despite their relatively small footprint in urban areas, botanical gardens are important hotspots for butterfly biodiversity in the arid Southwest, a study by University of Arizona scientists shows. It was published in the journal Insects. [Phys.org]

World:

¶ “UK Condemned By Its Own Climate Advisers For Approving First New Coal Mine In Three Decades” • Environmentalists, scientists, and even the UK government climate advisers strongly criticized a decision to approve a plan to open the country’s first new coal mine in three decades, just over a year after pushing the world to abandon coal at COP26. [CNN]

Coal (Bence Balla-Schottner, Unsplash)

¶ “South Africa’s Eskom Starts Construction Of Its First Utility Scale Battery Energy Storage Project” • Eskom, the South African utility, and Hyosung Heavy Industries, a service provider for the Eskom Battery Energy Storage System, announced the start of construction of the first energy storage facility under Eskom’s flagship BESS project. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Volkswagen Pivots To MEB+ Platform” • A Volkswagen press release announced VW is prioritizing improvements to the MEB platform to give it more range and enable faster charging while increasing interior space. The new chassis is the MEB+ and it promises a range of up to 700 km WLTP (435 miles) and fast charging at up to 200 kW. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen MEB+ platform (Courtesy of Vollkswagen)

¶ “Solar Batteries Now Power 1 Million European Homes” • Solar battery-powered homes are increasingly popular, particularly in Germany. Total residential battery capacity in Europe is expected to reach 9.3 GWh by the end of 2022, powering over 1 million households, according to the most recent SolarPower Europe research. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Wind Wipeout In South Africa Auction” • Despite the South African commitment to build renewable capacity, none of the 23 wind projects recently submitted under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme was selected. Only six solar projects with a combined capacity of 1,000 MW were chosen. [reNews]

Wind farm (SAWEA image)

¶ “New Transmission System Plan To Meet 500 GW Renewable Energy Target” • India’s Union Ministry of Power launched a plan to support 500 GW of renewable energy capacity by the end of this decade. The plan calls for an investment of ₹2.44 trillion ($30 billion) in transmission projects to connect huge solar and wind parks to the grid. [Construction World]

¶ “Green Hydrogen Exports From Western Australia Seen As Possible Power Source For Europe” • Wind and solar power generated in WA’s Midwest could be helping to power Europe by the end of the decade. The plan for a huge green hydrogen facility in WA caught the attention of Europe’s largest importer of energy, the port of Rotterdam. [ABC]

Rotterdam (Stijn Hanegraaf, Unsplash)

¶ “India To Almost Double Its Renewable Power Capacity In Next 5 Years: IEA Report” • Renewable energy will comprise 90% of global electricity capacity expansion in the next five years, and much of it will be in India, according to a new study by the autonomous intergovernmental organisation, International Energy Agency. [Down To Earth]

¶ “Climate Change Is Driving Up Food Prices” • There is a strong link between climate change and the increasing food costs. A sixth of agricultural production is traded internationally, which means that what happens in highly climate-vulnerable countries will impact what Americans eat or drink. Damage from climate change is already happening. [WhoWhatWhy]

Farm (Timothy Eberly, Unsplash)

¶ “Ukraine Says Russia Put Rocket Launchers At Nuclear Power Plant” • Russian forces have installed multiple rocket launchers at Ukraine’s shut-down Zaporizhzhya nuclear plant, Ukrainian officials claimed, raising fears that Europe’s largest atomic power station could be used as a base to fire on Ukrainian territory and increasing radiation dangers. [Radio Free Europe]

US:

¶ “Solar Power And Farming: US DOE Providing $8 Million For Agrivoltaics” • The US DOE announced $8 million for six solar energy research projects that will provide opportunities for farmers, rural communities, and the solar industry. The funding is to support agrivoltaics, the co-location of agriculture and solar energy on the same land. [CleanTechnica]

Byron Kominek, Jack’s Solar Garden (Werner Slocum, NREL)

¶ “US Battery Storage Capacity To Increase Significantly By 2025” • Developers and power plant owners plan to increase utility-scale battery storage capacity in the US significantly over the next three years, reaching 30.0 GW by the end of 2025, based on a new US DOE report, Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Electrifying Federal Buildings And Cutting Pollution” • The Biden–Harris Administration, through the DOE, announced a proposal to reduce emissions from federal buildings. Starting 2025, new and renovated facilities will be required to have on-site emissions from energy consumption reduced by 90% from what they might have had in 2003. [CleanTechnica]

Have an impressively rewarding day.

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December 8 Energy News

December 8, 2022

World:

¶ “Czech Republic Says Hello To Hydrogen Trains, Buh-Bye To Russian Gas” • In another sign that Russia’s murderous rampage through Ukraine has done nothing to slow down the clean power revolution, the leading locomotive manufacturer Alstom made a deal with the Air Products to bring zero emission hydrogen trains to the Czech Republic. [CleanTechnica]

Prague (Ouael Ben Salah, Unsplash)

¶ “Janus Converts Cement Truck” • The last time I spoke with Lex Forsyth of Janus Trucks, he spoke of an ever-expanding backlog of trucks lining up for conversions from diesel power to electric. Now, Cement Australia has just delivered its first load in New South Wales with an electric Janus JE410, the latest addition to its fleet. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Germany’s EVs Near 40% Share – Tesla Model 3 Bestseller” • Germany’s plugin EV share set records in November, with 39.4% of the auto market, up from 34.4%, year on year. Overall auto sales were 260,512 units, up 31% YOY, though still down around 10% from pre-2020 seasonal norms. The Tesla Model 3 was the bestselling full electric. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 (Stefan Lehner, Unsplash)

¶ “Solar Demand Set To Soar In 2023” • Solar is likely to be fastest growing energy sub segment in 2023 with demand set to increase 20-30%, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. Growth in solar demand could surpass 20% in 2023-25 with industry-wide revenue for the companies in BI’s global solar theme basket on track to exceed $220 billion in 2023. [reNews]

¶ “Solar Power Will Beat Out Coal In Three Years, IEA Predicts” • An IEA report predicts that over the next five years, the world will increase its renewable power capacity by 75%, an amount equivalent to all of today’s installed power capacity in China. By 2027, the biggest source of the world’s electricity will be solar, followed by coal, natural gas and wind. [MSN]

Hauling coal ore (Dominik Vanyi, Unsplash)

¶ “Schneider Electric And ORPC Join To Advance Marine Energy As A Renewable Source Of Energy For Remote Communities” • Schneider Electric and ORPC have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on microgrid projects to advance marine energy as a commercially viable renewable energy source. [Yahoo Finance]

¶ “Vestas Wins 236-MW Finnish Turbine Order” • Vestas won a 236-MW turbine order from Suomen Hyotytuuli to power the Siikajoki wind project in North Ostrobothnia in Finland. The order consists of 38 V162-6.2MW wind turbines and includes supply, installation, and commissioning of the turbines, as well as Vestas’ Anti-Icing System. [reNews]

Wind farm (Vestas image)

¶ “India Announces Plans To Build More Nuclear Power Plants” • The Indian government has said it intends to build more nuclear power plants to boost the country’s clean energy generation. Ten pressurised heavy water reactors are planned to be built over the next three years, each with a capacity of 70 MW, so the total capacity will be 700 MW. [Power Technology]

¶ “Renewables Providers To Be Paid To Ensure Stable Electricity Supply” • In Australia, the Federal and state-level governments have unanimously signed on to developing an energy “capacity mechanism” to pay renewable energy providers to be available to increase electricity supply at a moment’s notice, providing dispatchable renewable power. [ABC]

Solar farm (Gunnar Ridderström, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Five Companies Will Pay $750 Million For The Opportunity To Build Huge Floating Wind Turbines Off The West Coast” • The Biden administration’s first offshore wind energy lease sale for federal waters off the West Coast generated over $750 million, as energy companies competed for five areas that could be made homes to massive floating wind turbines. [CNN]

¶ “More Americans Are Moving Into Harm’s Way As Climate Disasters Increase” • A study by researchers from the University of Vermont found that Americans have moved out of some areas prone to scorching summer heat waves and hurricanes in the last ten years. Yet many are migrating into regions hit by extreme wildfires, heat, and worsening drought. [CNN]

Calwood fire (Malachi Brooks, Unsplash)

¶ “GM And Flo Partner To Bring EV Charging To Rural Drivers” • GM has selected Flo as the supplier for its “Dealer Community Charging Program” coming to Chevrolet dealerships in Michigan and Wisconsin, an early step towards the company’s stated goal of putting 40,000 Level 2 chargers in the ground in underserved communities. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “BLM Announces Geothermal Lease Sale In Southwestern Utah” • The Bureau of Land Management proposes to offer two geothermal lease sale parcels in Millard County, Utah, totaling about 3,045 acres. The land is in the Fishlake National Forest, where the BLM Fillmore Field Office manages the subsurface minerals. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Fishlake National Forest (Robert Merrill, Unsplash, cropped)

¶ “GM To Invest $275 Million More, Create 400 New Jobs In Tennessee” • Ultium Cells LLC, the battery-making JV between LG Chem and GM, announced plans to invest $275 million more in a Tennessee plant. The cash infusion is expected to increase the plant’s battery production capacity by more than 40% and create more than 400 jobs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “State Farm Will Power Illinois Corporate Facilities With Renewable Energy” • As part of its broader decarbonization effort, insurance company State Farm announced signing an agreement with Constellation, a leading US power and natural gas supplier, to power the SF Illinois corporate facilities with renewable energy. [Live Insurance News]

Have an incontrovertibly relaxing day.

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December 7 Energy News

December 7, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “Macron’s French Nuclear Farce” • French President Macron is still trying to sell the EPR, a nuclear reactor that ended up mostly on paper. I’ve been searching for the equivalent word in French for ‘chutzpah,’ but ‘insolence’ or ‘audace’ just doesn’t quite cover President Macron’s renewed pitch to sell the French nuclear technology to the US. [Counterpunch]

EPR nuclear plant design (Framatome ANP, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Analysis: IEA’s Renewables Forecast Grows 76% In Two Years After ‘Largest Ever’ Revision” • The International Energy Agency raised its global forecast for renewables growth in what it calls its “largest ever upward revision” for the sector. The agency now forecasts 76% more growth than it did just two years ago, Carbon Brief analysis shows. [Carbon Brief]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Wind Power To Cut Cargo Ship Emissions 20%” • Here is one more threat to fossil energy stakeholders who plan to continue enjoying that “high-carbon lifestyle.” Seawing, a retrofit for cargo vessels that applies old-fashioned sailing ship technology to harvest energy from wind power, aims to cut emissions 20% by reducing fuel consumption. [CleanTechnica]

Good old fashioned wind power (Courtesy of Airseas)

¶ “Heat Pumps Getting Much More Popular Globally” • Heat pumps are a hyper-efficient and climate-friendly way to cut reliance on imported fossil fuels. Worldwide sales of heat pumps are set to soar to record levels in the coming years as the global energy crisis accelerates their adoption, the International Energy Agency says in a special report. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Co-Location Of Renewables Leads To ‘Significant Cost Savings’” • Using one grid connection for multiple renewable generation or storage assets could result in significant cost savings, according to a report from Cornwall Insight and law firm Weightmans. Co-location could include a number of sources, such as solar, wind, and batteries. [reNews]

Solar and wind (Pixabay, Pexels)

World:

¶ “Tesla Model S Tops Euro NCAP Safety Tests” • Just months after the Tesla Model Y earned the highest score in history on a European safety index, another Tesla model set another record. The luxury Model S sedan broke the record for the European New Car Assessment Program’s safety score ceiling, surpassing even the Model Y’s record. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Zimbabwe Only Gets Electricity Between Midnight And 4 AM” • While there are floods Pakistan and Nigeria, other places in East and Southern Africa have citizens bearing the brunt of prolonged dry spells and feeling the effects of low water levels in reservoirs. The Zambezi River Authority is only supplying electricity from midnight to 4:00 am. [CleanTechnica]

Kariba Dam (Image from ZRA)

¶ “BrightDrop Expands Into Canada With New DHL Deal” • BrightDrop, the General Motors subsidiary that manufactures battery-electric delivery vehicles, announced that it will begin supplying vehicles to DHL Express in Canada soon. Entering the Canadian market is BrightDrop’s latest action to address the $250 billion last mile delivery industry. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Billionaire Andrew Forrest Increases Exposure To Renewable Energy With Acquisition” • Mining billionaire Andrew Forrest has significantly increased his exposure to the renewables sector through an acquisition worth more than A$4 billion. One of his companies acquired CWP Renewables, which with solar, battery, and wind farms. [Sky News Australia]

CWP Renewables wind farm (Supplied)

¶ “Joe Biden And Rishi Sunak Agree To Increase Gas Exports From US To UK” • Joe Biden has agreed a deal to ramp up gas exports from the US to the UK as part of a joint effort to cut bills and limit Russia’s impact on western energy supplies. They also plan to further collaborate on nuclear, hydrogen and carbon capture projects. [The Guardian]

¶ “Maintaining The Future Of The World’s Energy With Smart Technology” • McKinsey & Co research projects that fossil fuel demand will peak between 2023 and 2025. The International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2022 report shows the global energy crisis can be a turning point towards a cleaner and more secure future. [Energy Magazine]

Solar panels (Markus Spiske, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Power May Be Back For Thousands On Wednesday Night As Authorities Are Going Through Tips On Electric Substation Attack” • The tens of thousands of customers in North Carolina who haven’t had power since weekend attacks on two utility substations should see the lights come on by late Wednesday, a spokesperson for Duke Energy said. [CNN]

¶ “65% Of Dealers Say Yes To Ford’s No Haggle EV Sales Policy” • In September, Ford CEO Jim Farley delivered an ultimatum to its dealers: If you want to sell our battery-electric cars and trucks, you will have to commit to making certain upgrades, and you will need to agree to a “no haggle” sales process. Two-thirds of dealers agreed. [CleanTechnica]

Ford F-150 Lightning (Ford image)

¶ “Biden And Harris: Here’s $80 Million for Energy Upgrades in Public Schools” • The Biden-Harris Administration announced that applications are open for the Renew America’s Schools grant program. This initial funding round of up to $80 million is available to public schools for energy improvements in the highest-need K-12 districts. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Farm Powered Strategic Alliance Grows, Turns Food Waste To Renewable Energy” • Great Lakes Cheese has joined the Farm Powered Strategic Alliance, which aims to boost food waste recycling and renewable energy production. The program commits to diverting organic food waste to on-farm anaerobic digesters. [Environment + Energy Leader]

Have a comprehesively copacetic day.

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December 6 Energy News

December 6, 2022

World:

¶ “Tesla China Sets Sales Record In November” • Tesla sold more electric cars made at its factory in Shanghai in November than in any previous month, 100,2921 to be exact. CnEVPost says that is up 90% from the 52,859 vehicles sold in November of last year and up 40% from the 71,704 vehicles sold in October. Many of the cars were for export. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 in Qinghai (Tesla and Tesla Greater China)

¶ “11% Of Global New Vehicle Sales Were 100% Electric Vehicles!” • Global plugin vehicle registrations were up 55% in October of 2022 compared to October of 2021. They reached 932,000 units, a result second only to the previous month. Plugins represented a 16% share of the overall auto market. Full electrics reached 11% share of the market! [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Global Renewables Capacity Is To Double In The Next Five Years” • Global renewable energy capacity is predicted to double in the next five years, driven by energy supply concerns due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the International Energy Agency said. Growth in renewables is also being driven by new policies in the US, China, and India. [Energy Live News]

Wind turbines (Narcisa Aciko, Pexels)

¶ “Renewables To Overtake Coal And Become World’s Biggest Source Of Electricity Generation By 2025” • Renewables are on course to overtake coal and become the planet’s biggest source of electricity generation by 2025, according to the International Energy Agency. The increased speed of transition is due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. [CNBC]

¶ “North Star Secures Financing For Offshore Wind Fleet” • North Star has secured a £140 million financing package to support the next phase of its offshore wind fleet growth plan. The firm entered the offshore wind market last year after winning all four long-term charter SOV awards for the highly competitive Dogger Bank Wind Farm. [reNews]

Offshore support ship (North Star image)

¶ “South Australia’s Premier, Peter Malinauskas, Is In ‘Furious Agreement’ With PM That Nuclear Power Would Not Work For Australia” • After a statement South Australia’s premier made was interpreted to support use of nuclear generators in Australia, he has comprehensively rejected the idea, saying nuclear power is “completely uneconomic.” [ABC]

¶ “Winds Of The North To Power Cairns To Net Zero” • In a leap towards achieving its commitment to net zero, Cairns Regional Council has signed an agreement with CleanCo Queensland that will see 80 of the Council’s largest facilities acquire 100 percent of their electricity requirements from renewable sources from July 2024. [Media Statements]

Cairns (Thomas Chen, Unsplash)

¶ “Russia Says Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant Is On Its ‘Territory.’ It Won’t Withdraw” • Russia says that it will never cede control of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, insisting that the occupied plant sits on “Russian territory.” Nuclear experts have safety concerns and Ukraine accused Russia of using the facility to store weapons and ammunition. [MSN]

US:

¶ “The Clean Energy Company Turning City Blocks Greener” • BlocPower, a Brooklyn-based clean energy company, is bringing all-electric heating and cooling systems to older buildings in lower income areas to reduce carbon footprints and energy bills. BlocPower saves building owners between 20% and 40% annually and increases property values. [CNN]

Brooklyn (Redd F, Unsplash)

¶ “FBI Investigates Gun Attack On Power Grid In Moore County, North Carolina” • The FBI is investigating after two power stations were damaged by gunfire in North Carolina, plunging tens of thousands into darkness. No motive or suspect has been announced since the attack on Saturday evening, but police said it was intentional. [BBC]

¶ “AAA Expanding Service, Now Offers Mobile EV Charging And Electrifying AAA Member Benefits” • AAA has been taking steps to make the transition to EVs more secure. It announced that it is expanding its services for EV owners across the US. And it is launching a pilot program to offer roadside charging for EVs in 16 metro areas. [CleanTechnica]

AAA van (AAA image)

¶ “Ford And SK Innovation Break Ground On EV Battery Factory In Kentucky, Create 5,000 New Jobs” • Ford and SK Innovation broke ground today in Glendale, Kentucky, on a battery factory that will create 5,000 new jobs. The battery factory will sit on about 1,500 acres and be able to produce more than 80 GWh of batteries per year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Rivian Makes Huge Investment Into Renewables To Power Operations” • Rivian signed a power purchase agreement with Apex Clean Energy to supply their manufacturing facility in Normal, Illinois, with wind power. Rivian will invest an unstated amount in 50 MW of wind energy that will supply the company’s operations at the factory. [Teslarati]

Wind farm (Rivian image)

¶ “As Land Washes Away, Native Tribes Start To Receive Funding To Relocate Inland” • The climate crisis is altering ecosystems, coastlines, and ways of life in the Northwest. Native villages in Alaska are particularly at risk. Their situation is untenable, and the US government is stepping in with federal funding so select tribes can relocate inland. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Secretary Haaland Announces New Steps To Accelerate Solar Energy Development On Public Lands In The West” • Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced efforts to support solar energy development on public lands across the West and help meet the Biden-Harris administration’s renewable energy and conservation goals. [US Department of the Interior]

Have a deeply appreciated day.

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December 5 Energy News

December 5, 2022

Science and Technology:

¶ “New Ultra-Fast Charging System With Integrated Battery Storage And Large Screens” • ADS-TEC Energy added a new battery-based charging system to its existing lineup of charging solutions. ChargePost uses an integrated battery to operate on existing power connections without the need to extend the existing grid. [CleanTechnica]

ChagePost (ADS-TEC Energy image)

¶ “Recycling To Close Synthetic Fabric Window On Fossil Energy Stakeholders” • As the decarbonization trend accelerates, fossil energy stakeholders have counted on petrochemicals to maintain a foothold in the global economy. Synthetic fabrics offer one such niche. But expansion opportunities are limited as recycling picks up steam. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “’Weather Whiplash’ Could Be a Disturbing New Normal in a Weird, Warming World” • In northern New Mexico, the year began with months of unseasonal heat, dryness and extreme wind that fueled the largest wildfire of the year in the lower 48 states. Then, the annual monsoon rains dumped nearly twice as much moisture as the previous year. [CNET]

Monsoon coming (Chaz McGregor, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “EU Must Act Over Distortions From US Climate Plan” • The EU must address “distortions” created by a $430 billion US plan to incentivise climate-friendly technologies, the bloc’s chief says. Some EU members criticised the US Inflation Reduction Act, raising fears of a trade war. There are concerns that tax breaks may lure away or disadvantage EU businesses. [BBC]

¶ “Oil Prices Rise As Cap On Russian Crude Looms” • Oil prices rose on Monday after an agreement by the G7 group of nations and its allies to cap the price of Russian oil at $60 (£49) a barrel. Brent crude added around 0.7% to above $86 in Asia trading. The move, which about to come into force, raises Western pressure on Russia over the invasion of Ukraine. [BBC]

Oil tanker (Fred, Unsplash)

¶ “Italy’s EV Slump Is Far From Over – Plugins Were At 8.3% In October” • October 2022 was another month of misery for Italy’s once promising EV market. In stark contrast with the rest of Europe’s main auto arenas, which keep making strides in electric mobility adoption, the Mediterranean country is still in the midst of an identity crisis. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EU Agrees To Include Shipping In Emissions Trading System” • The EU Emissions Trading System is the oldest and largest program of its type, but it has had a big weakness. It covered power stations and factories but did not cover emissions from shipping. In a landmark accord last week, negotiators agreed to correct that oversight. [CleanTechnica]

Container ship (Maersk image)

¶ “Major Businesses Urge Government To Power Wind And Solar Investment” • Tesco, Morrisons, M&S, the Co-op Group, Central Co-op, and Midcounties Co-operative, along with Community Energy England, have joined forces to call on the Government to “green the energy grid” by powering investment in renewable energy. [The Co-operative]

¶ “Airbus Looking At India For Green Hydrogen Supplies For Its Ambitious Zero-Emission Aircraft” • European aerospace major Airbus is looking to source green hydrogen from markets like India, Australia, and Latin America as part of its decarbonisation efforts, a senior company official said. Airbus will use the fuel for hydrogen-powered airplanes. [Zee News]

Airbus plane (Daniel Eledut, Unsplash)

¶ “Nuclear Off Table As States Seek Power Fix” • South Australia’s premier, Peter Malinauskas, left the door open to nuclear, as he seeks to advocate its safety. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek were quick to shoot their Labor colleague down, pointing out nuclear energy will not work out financially. [Great Lakes Advocate]

¶ “NSW Tops Renewable Energy Superpower Scorecard For First Time” • The winner of the Renewable Superpower Scorecard for this year is New South Wales. The state implemented Renewable Energy Zones and industrial precincts plans, issued First nations guidelines for energy projects, and allocated $1.2 billion to fast track transmission infrastructure. [Renew Economy]

Wind turbine blades (Acciona image)

¶ “Iran Starts Work On Second Nuclear Power Plant” • Iran has begun work on a 300-MW nuclear power project in the southern Khuzestan province. It will be the country’s second nuclear reactor project. The project is projected to take eight years and cost $2 billion to build, the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported. [The National]

US:

¶ “The Great Solar Panel Tariff Debate Heats Up” • The Biden administration is putting $37 billion into incentives to help US companies manufacture the products needed to fulfill the US renewable energy goal using American workers and materials wherever possible. But the US needs foreign PVs and does not want to get them from China. [CleanTechnica]

Solar PV array (Raphael Cruz, Unsplash)

¶ “Activists Say DTE’s Plan Won’t Meet Michigan’s Renewable Energy Goals” • Michigan regulators have set long-term targets for emission-reductions by the state’s power utilities. They are to have carbon neutral power in 2050. But clean-energy advocates are concerned that one company, DTE Energy, is not on track to meet its goals. [Public News Service]

¶ “Windar Renovables Transfers First Vineyard Transition Piece” • The first of the 62 transition pieces for the 800-MW Vineyard Wind project has been transferred from Windar Renovables’ offshore facilities to the port of Aviles in Spain. Avandgrid, a subsidiary of Iberdrola, is developing the wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts. [reNews]

Have a perfectly agreeable day.

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December 4 Energy News

December 4, 2022

World:

¶ “Endangered Seals Found Dead On Russia’s Caspian Shore” • Around 700 endangered seals have been found dead on Russia’s Caspian coast in the North Caucasus. Caspian seals are the only mammals found in the Caspian Sea. The cause of death is not known, but they are under pressure from over-hunting, habitat degradation and climate change. [CNN]

¶ “Cutting Energy Prices Will Take Years, Power Boss Says” • It “will take years” to get energy prices back to pre-Ukraine war levels, the boss of one of the world’s biggest energy firms has told the BBC. Francesco Starace, CEO of Enel, said bringing prices down depends on new sources of energy such as renewables and heat pumps. [BBC]

¶ “New Mercedes eSprinter Goes 475 Kilometers In Real-World Driving” • The Mercedes eSprinter has been for sale in Europe for some time, but its range of just under 100 miles is too short for most customers. Now, Mercedes is about to start production of the next-generation eSprinter, which was able to go over 475 km (295 miles) on a single charge. [CleanTechnica]

Mercedes eSprinter (Courtesy of Mercedes)

¶ “Lightyear 0 Solar-Powered Car Begins Production” • Lightyear now has a production successor to Lightyear 1, a prototype that introduced the possibility of an electric car powered by sunlight. The company announced this week that it has begun production of its first vehicle, the Lightyear 0, at the Valmet Automotive facility in Finland. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Italian Minister ‘Opens Doors Wide’ For Tesla, Musk” • Italian Minister of Infrastructure and Transport Matteo Salvini said that the country would “open [its] doors wide for” Tesla and CEO Elon Musk. Salvini noted Italy’s diminishing car industry during a webinar held by the Italian outlet Il Messaggero and detailed in a report from Teslarati. [CleanTechnica]

Tuscany (Amit Janco, Unsplash, cropped)

¶ “Norway BEVs Hit Record Volume In November – Tesla Model Y Leads” • Plugin electric vehicles took 89.3% share of Norwegian auto sales in November, down from 91.2% year on year. However, full battery EVs grew from 73.8% to 81.6%, YOY. Plugin hybrids continued to tail off, down to 7.7% from 17.4% YoY. Overall auto sales were up almost 28%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Parking Lots Are Becoming As Important As Cars In Climate Change Efforts” • A new law in France requires that parking lots with 80 or more spaces be covered by solar panels within five years. The biggest parking lots, those with over 400 spaces, have been given three years for at least half of the parking lot’s surface area covered by solar. [CNBC]

Solar parking lot, Disneyland, Paris (Jay Black, Unsplash)

¶ “It’s Possible To Power 10 Million Nigerian Homes With Renewable Energy By 2030 – Greenforce CEO” • The Chief Executive Officer of Greenforce Group, Chidera Ejiofor, believes it is possible to power 10 million Nigerian homes with renewable energy by 2030. He also said there are still not enough renewable energy companies in Nigeria. [Nairametrics]

¶ “Coalition MP’s ‘Grassroots’ Nuclear Power Survey Linked To Consulting Firm” • In Australia, a Coalition frontbencher doing a “grassroots” survey about nuclear power is using a website registered by a business that helps an American small modular reactor company, records reveal. Website owner Helixos lists NuScale Power as a client. [The Guardian]

NuScale plant design (NuScale image)

¶ “IAEA Says Deal Over Ukrainian Nuke Plant ‘Almost There’” • A deal aimed at safeguarding Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is close at hand, the head of the UN International Atomic Energy Agency said. The power plant, which was seized by Russia shortly after its invasion of Ukraine, has since come under repeated shelling. [KDAL 610]

US:

¶ “Restoring Observatory Access Key To Climate Science” • So far the Mauna Loa lava flow has been a spectacle and not a disaster, except for the Mauna Loa Observatory, which is the worldwide headquarters for collection of climate-change data. Lava from the volcano’s eruptions has cut off access and power for the foreseeable future. [KHON2]

Sensor domes on Mauna Loa (UCAR, public domain)

¶ “Northeast Iowa Coal-Fired Power Plant Nears End Of Long Run” • Alliant Energy’s coal-fired Lansing Generating Station has operated for nearly 75 years on the bank of the Mississippi River in Northeast Iowa. After this year, it will not produce electricity. A spokesman said closing the plant will “help to control long-term costs for customers.” [KTTC]

¶ “Oil And Gas Led New Mexico Land Use In 2022, As State Looked To Diversify” • The New Mexico State Land Office saw increases in revenue from both fossil fuels and renewables this year. New Mexico is the second-largest producer of crude oil in US, largely from the Permian Basin. Oil and gas provide about a third of its budget. [Carlsbad Current-Argus]

Have a sufficiently impeccable day.

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December 3 Energy News

December 3, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “How Green Schools Can Help Save Our Planet” • Local schools are our most powerful mechanism for shaping the future. They teach critical skills and knowledge. Many promote equity and, through free breakfast and lunch programs, ensure that no child goes hungry. Think what they might accomplish if we tapped them to combat climate change. [CleanTechnica]

School (Image courtesy of Zūm)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Field Testing Printed Solar Panels” • What is the best way to field test printed solar panels? After 20 years in development in the lab at the University of Newcastle, it was decided to invite Stuart McBain to drive 18,000 km around the coast of Australia for 3 months as a test. This made the point that there is no range anxiety when you plan well. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “PV Windows Cut Energy Use By 40% In Glazed Buildings, Says NREL” • The US DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory has shown that perovskite-based thin-film PV, transparent PV, and dynamic PV glazing technologies can reduce the energy use of glazed buildings by around 40% across eight regions in the United States. [PV Magazine]

How PV windows work in a building (NREL, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Impacts Of Wind Power On Air Quality, Premature Mortality, And Exposure Disparities In The US” • Wind power relating to renewable portfolio standards in 2014 resulted in $2.0 billion in health benefits from improved air quality. Health benefits could have been $8.4 billion if displacement of fossil fuel generators prioritized the most polluting. [Science]

World:

¶ “Ukraine War: G7 And Allies Approve Cap On Price Of Russian Oil” • The G7 group and its allies have officially approved a cap on the price of Russian oil. The price cap will come into force on 5 December or “very soon thereafter.” The plan, which stops countries paying more than $60 (€57, £48) a barrel, needed the agreement of all EU states. [BBC]

Oil pump (Zbynek Burival, Unsplash)

¶ “Europe Electric Car Sales Report: 13.6% Of New Cars Fully Electric” • The European automotive market is back in the black, with a 14% growth rate in October, its third growth month in a row. Plugin hybrids, which had been in the red, grew 10% in October. Full battery EVs grew 17% year over year in October to 124,000 registrations. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Electric Vehicle Leasing Firm Equator Mobility Ramping Up In Kenya” • Equator Mobility is ramping up leasing operations in Kenya to catalyze the transition to electric mobility. It launched its operations last year by introducing a program with the option of direct sales for commercial electric vehicles. The leases range from 6 months up. [CleanTechnica]

EVs in Kenya (Courtesy of Equator Mobility)

¶ “Industry Leaders Sound Alarm Over Need To Broaden Supply Chain Of Renewables” • The global energy crisis sparked by war in Ukraine shows how parts of the renewables supply chain might face similar struggles if not quickly diversified, energy executives told the Reuters NEXT conference. For one example, China dominates the PV market. [The National]

¶ “The UK Still Has Some Way To Go To Meet Its Renewable Electricity Target” • Some 39% of the UK’s electricity came from renewable sources in Q2 of 2022, the latest available data shows. The UK has steadily increased the amount of power generated from renewables. In 2015 just 25% of the UK’s electricity came from renewable sources. [New Statesman]

Wind farm in Wales (Alan Hughes, CC-BY-SA 2.0, cropped)

¶ “Macron Shamed As France Caught In ‘Scandalous’ Buying Of Russian Nuclear Fuel” • Russia is still selling uranium to Europe, filling Russian President Vladimir Putin’s pockets with cash despite his brutal invasion of Ukraine. Campaigners called out French President Emmanuel Macron after Russian nuclear fuel arrived at a French port. [Daily Express]

¶ “IAEA Gives Update On Demilitarising Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant As War Attacks Continue” • The International Atomic Energy Agency carried out a nuclear safety and security mission to the plant this week. The agency announced that it hopes for a deal on the demilitarized zone around Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant by the end of 2022. [Republic World]

IAEA inspectors (IAEA Imagebank, CC-BY-SA 2.0, cropped)

US:

¶ “Feds Find Four Chinese Solar Panel Companies Have Been Evading US Tariffs” • After a months-long investigation, US officials have preliminarily determined that four Chinese solar panel companies have been avoiding US tariff laws by routing their operations through Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. [CNN]

¶ “Tesla Semi Reveal – Huge Power, Huge Charging Ability” • Tesla held its long awaited ceremony to introduce its electric Class 8 tractor, known simply as the Tesla Semi, on December 1. You can watch a video of the event here. In it, you will see Elon Musk drive a white Semi on stage followed by two others decked out in Pepsi and Frito-Lay livery. [CleanTechnica]

Hardcore testing (Tesla image)

¶ “Earthshot Prize: Prince William Announces Five Winners” • Prince William announced the five winners of the Prince of Wales’s prestigious Earthshot Prize at an awards ceremony in Boston. The annual awards were created by Prince William to fund projects that aim to save the planet. Each £1 million ($1.2 million) prize is to develop innovation. [BBC]

¶ “Honda To Build Fuel Cell Car Based On CR-V In 2024” • Honda announced this week that it will begin manufacturing a fuel cell vehicle based on the popular CR-V at its Performance Manufacturing Center in Ohio in 2024. The car will be North America’s first production vehicle to combine a plug-in feature with fuel cell EV technology. [CleanTechnica]

Have a nicely ordered day.

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December 2 Energy News

December 2, 2022

Science and Technology:

¶ “Agrivoltaics: Solar Panels And Tomatoes May Be Perfect For Each Other” • Agrivoltaics can increase yields for farmers. A research paper published by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory surveyed agrivoltaic research all across America. It noted that, on average, yields of tomatoes doubled compared to non-agrivoltaic sites. [CleanTechnica]

Tomatoes growing under solar PVs (Asurnipal, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

World:

¶ “Philippines Will Explore For Oil In South China Sea Even Without A Deal With Beijing: Marcos” • The Philippines must find a way to explore for oil and gas in the South China Sea even without a deal with China, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr said. He emphasized his country’s right to exploit energy reserves in the contested waterway. [CNN]

¶ “Airbus Reveals Plans For Hydrogen Fuel Cell Aircraft” • Airbus announced it is developing a hydrogen-powered fuel cell engine, and it plans to test it on the largest commercial airplane ever to fly. It will mount the engine between the wings and the tail of a modified A380 superjumbo. Test flights are expected in 2026, and a zero-emission aircraft by 2035. [CNN]

Rendering of Airbus test aircraft (Airbus SAS 2022)

¶ “Modi Urges Unity On Climate Change, Terrorism, Pandemics As India Assumes G20 Presidency” • The world must cooperate to tackle the greatest challenges of climate change, terrorism, and pandemics, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, as India began its year-long presidency of the Group of 20. He said this is not a time for war, but for unity. [CNN]

¶ “5 Million More Londoners To Breathe Cleaner Air Thanks To ULEZ” • London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone will be expanded on 29 August 2023. It will operate London-wide across all London boroughs, up to the current Low Emission Zone boundary. To be clear, this means five million more Londoners will soon breathe cleaner air. [CleanTechnica]

BYD electric bus in the UK (Spsmiler, public domain)

¶ “Indian Coal Magnate Gautam Adani Goes Green” • Asia’s richest man, Gautam Adani, made his vast fortune betting on coal as an energy hungry India grew swiftly after liberalizing its economy in the 1990s. He’s now set his sights on becoming the world’s biggest renewable energy player by 2030, aligning his investments with India’s priorities. [MSN]

¶ “AEMO Rolls Out Its Roadmap To 100% Renewables” • The Australian Energy Market Operator has published its latest assessment of what will be required to ensure that the National Electricity Market can operate securely and reliably at 100% instantaneous renewable penetration for the first time by as early as 2025. [pv magazine Australia]

Wind farm in Western Australia (Michaeldolphin, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Cold Spell Could Lead To French Power Cuts Next Week” • As a cold spell arrives in north-western Europe this weekend, the situation could become critical. France could face power cuts because of cold weather and delays to the restart of nuclear power after repair work, which will lead to demand outstripping supply, analysts said. [The National]

US:

¶ “Insured Losses From Disasters Will Exceed $100 Billion For Second Year In A Row, Led By Hurricane Ian, New Data Shows” • Preliminary analysis by Swiss Re found that 2022 was the second year in a row in which insured losses are expected to exceed $100 billion. Swiss Re said losses trended up each year at a rate of 5 to 7% over the past decade. [CNN]

After Hurrican Ian (David Dellinger, NWS, public domain)

¶ “US Rail Strike: Senate Passes Bill To Avert Labour Stoppage” • The US Senate has overwhelmingly approved a measure to block a strike by railway workers that could have a devastating impact on the US economy. In an 80 to 15 vote, the Senate passed a bill that imposes a contract deal on a dozen unions representing railway workers. [BBC]

¶ “Canoo Delivers Modular Light Tactical Vehicle To US Army” • In July, the US Army signed a contract with Canoo in which it agreed to evaluate the company’s Light Tactical Vehicle for its uses. This week, Canoo announced that it has delivered the first LTV to the Army so it can be put through its paces in a real world combat environment. [CleanTechnica]

Canoo Light Tactical Vehicle (Courtesy of Canoo)

¶ “Corvette Plans To Follow Porsche Into The Electric Passenger Car And SUV Market” • The Corvette brand is set to expand to include a 4-door car and an SUV, a move that mirrors the pivot Porsche made to cars and SUVs many years ago. GM president Mark Reuss told investors the car would arrive in 2025 with “incredible performance.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ford To Bump Mustang Mach-E Production To 270,000 A Year” • Ford is the second bestselling electric car brand in the US. Now, it is accelerating Mustang Mach-E production and targeting global annual production rate of 270,000 as part of its plan to scale to a rate of 600,000 electric vehicles annually by the end of 2023 and 2 million by 2026. [CleanTechnica]

Ford Mustang Mach-E (Courtesy of Ford Motor Company)

¶ “Vermont Officials Seek To Engage Public In Renewable Energy Policy Review” • Vermont is reevaluating its renewable energy policies and want to engage the public in the process, especially disadvantaged people who may have been left out of the process in the past. The three-phased process will being with engaging Vermonters on the issue. [WCAX]

¶ “Entergy Texas Issues An RFP For 2,000 MW Of Renewable Resources” • Entergy Texas issued a request for proposals for 2,000 MW of solar and wind generating capacity. The solicitation for emissions-free renewables can provide cost-effective energy supply, capacity, fuel diversity and other benefits to customers for years to come. [Entergy Newsroom]

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December 1 Energy News

December 1, 2022

Science and Technology:

¶ “Underground Water Battery To Bust Energy Storage Dam Wide Open” • The Texas firm Quidnet Energy has won a $10 million grant from the US Department of Energy to put the finishing touches on a new type of pumped storage. Their “water battery” uses underground rock formations instead of having to rely on elevated reservoirs. [CleanTechnica]

Water battery (Courtesy of Quidnet Energy)

World:

¶ “Canadian Ambassador Tells EU That Deforestation Rules Are ‘Burdensome’” • Canada’s ambassador to the EU voiced concern with proposed EU rules to curb deforestation. The regulation is intended to limit the trade of products linked to deforestation worldwide. Climate campaigners have called Canada’s resistance to the rules “shocking.” [BBC]

¶ “Some 200 Irish Businesses Get To Try Out Electric Vehicles For Free” • As part of a goal to have roughly 1 million EVs on Irish roads by 2030, the Irish government is aiming to boost the electrification of commercial fleets. A new project will allow 200 Irish businesses to test out EVs for free as part of initiatives aimed at reducing pollution. [CleanTechnica]

Cobh, Ireland (Kristel Hayes, Unsplash)

¶ “The Semiconductor Shortage Could Soon Become A Glut Of Chips” • The shortage of chips needed for advanced technologies may soon turn into a surplus, ending the semiconductor shortage that has afflicted the automotive industry for almost two years. VNC Automobile, an in-vehicle networking specialist, believes recession could cause the change. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Volkswagen In Talks With Foxconn And Magna To Build Scout Vehicles” • Volkswagen seems to be moving ahead with a plan to build an electric SUV and pickup truck under the Scout brand it got when it bought the successor to International Harvester. According to media sources, Foxconn and Magna Steyer are both in talks with VW. [CleanTechnica]

Scout (Scout image)

¶ “AMEA Power Completes $1.1 Billion Deal To Deploy 1 GW Of Wind And Solar Energy In Egypt” • AMEA Power announced that it has achieved the financial close to deliver 1 GW of renewable energy projects in Egypt. The landmark 500-MW wind and 500-MW solar projects represent $1.1 billion of investment into the Egyptian economy. [Yahoo News NZ]

¶ “Brookfield Signs 600-MW Deal With Amazon” • Brookfield Renewable, a subsidiary of Brookfield Asset Management, will provide over 600 MW of clean wind and solar capacity to power Amazon’s operations in Europe, North America, and India. In total, these projects are expected to generate 1,370 GWh, a year’s power for 120,000 US homes. [reNews]

Wind turbine (Brookfield image)

¶ “Europe Embarks On Solar Power ‘Revolution’ To Solve Its Energy Crisis And Fight Climate Change” • Spurred by Russia’s war in Ukraine and its own pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030, the EU is aggressively ramping up its use of solar power, installing panels on everything from city rooftops to farmland. [Yahoo News]

¶ “Austria Loses EU Court Case Against Hungarian Nuclear Power Plant” • The General Court of the EU has dismissed an action brought by Austria in an attempt to annul the European Commission’s decision to approve the expansion of the Paks nuclear power plant in Hungary, the Luxembourg-based court announced. [Hungary Today]

Paks nuclear plant (Paksi Atomerőmű Zrt via Facebook)

US:

¶ “Biden Commits To Protect Nevada Sacred Tribal Lands” • President Joe Biden committed to protecting Spirit Mountain and the surrounding area in Nevada, a sacred site for Native American tribal nations. The anouncement is part of a process to make the site a national monument, to be klnown as the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument. [CNN]

¶ “More Than 70 Water Agencies In California Could Face Water Shortages In The Coming Months” • The California Department of Water Resources issued a report on its water supply. Nearly 20% of the urban water agencies said they could see significant water shortages in the coming months in the state’s potential fourth consecutive year of drought. [CNN]

California Aquaduct (Triddle, public domain)

¶ “North Carolina’s Governor Highlights Cleantech Progress In The State” • Governor Roy Cooper recently spoke at the North Carolina Medium- and Heavy-Duty Electric Vehicle State Policy Bootcamp to highlight how crucial it is for North Carolina to electrify the vehicles. He showcased the policies the state has put in place to make this happen. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “After A Long, Hard Road, Lordstown Endurance Truck Gets Regulatory Approvals, Shipping Out” • Lordstown announced that its Endurance pickup finally has regulatory approval. It said in a press release that 500 of the battery-electric pickup trucks have been homologated and are now leaving Foxconn EV’s Ohio plant for customer delivery. [CleanTechnica]

Lordstown Endurance (Courtesy of Lordstown)

¶ “Governor Hochul Announces The Start Of Construction On The 339-Mile Champlain Hudson Power Express Transmission Line” • New York Governor Kathy Hochul celebrated the start of construction of the 339-mile Champlain Hudson Power Express transmission line to deliver reliable clean energy from Hydro-Québec to New York City. [NYSERDA]

¶ “Bringing Nuclear Power To Montana More Expensive Than Originally Forecast” • The cost of power from a small nuclear reactor, which has been eyed by Montana legislators and utility commissioners as a potential lifeline for the Colstrip Power Plant, has nearly doubled according to reports from early adopters in Utah and Idaho. [The Billings Gazette]

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