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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