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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