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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