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. []


¶ “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]


¶ “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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