January 4 Energy News

January 4, 2023


¶ “Peter Sterling: A Vermont Solution To Fighting Climate Change: 100% Renewable Energy” • It’s 2023 and the question is no longer “is climate change here” but “what is Vermont going to do to stop it?” We already have a law in place, the 2015 Renewable Energy Standard, that takes us part way there. It’s time to take the next step. [Caledonian Record]

Vermont (Kevin Davison, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Promise Of Batteries That Come From Trees” • As demand for EVs soars, scientists are searching for materials to make sustainable batteries. Lignin, a constituent of wood, is shaping up to be a strong contender. Stora Enso, a forestry company in Finland, hired engineers to look into the possibility of using lignin to make batteries. [BBC]


¶ “Snow Shortage Threatens Alps With Wet Winter Season” • Across the Alps, unseasonably warm wet weather has put a real damper on the start of the ski season. Resorts around Salzburg last had snow a month ago. In Chamonix, France, a shortage of water idled snow cannons. Some Swiss resorts opened their summer biking trails. [BBC]

Alps (Ricardo Gomez Angel, Unsplash)

¶ “Now 13% Of New Vehicle Sales Globally Are 100% Electric Vehicles!” • Global plugin vehicle registrations were up 46% in November 2022 compared to November 2021, to 1,060,000 units, a new record, beating the 1,040,000 registrations of the month of September. Altogether, 18% of new vehicles sold across the world have a plug. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Top Five Automakers For Electric Vehicle Sales Globally” • BYD continued its rise in November, up to an 18.4% share of the plugin market. Tesla increased its share to 13%. Also in the top five were Volkswagen Group, SAIC, and Geely-Volvo. Tesla stood out among full battery EVs, with an 18.1% share, while BYD came in second with a 12.7% share. [CleanTechnica]

BYD Seal (GZrex, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “In Europe, 17.3% Of New Cars Are Fully Electric, 27.7% Have A Plug” • The European automotive market is back in the black, with a 17% growth rate in November. Things are even better for the plugin vehicle market. About 281,000 plugin vehicles were registered in November, 26% growth compared to the same month of 2021, setting a record. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Brazil Connects 6.5 GW Of Non-Hydro Renewables In 2022” • Brazil gave the go-ahead to 6,504.7 MW of wind, solar, and biomass power plants to operate in 2022, power sector regulator Aneel announced. Overall, the country added 8,235.1 MW of capacity last year. Wind parks accounted for 2,922.5 MW, while solar provide 2,677.3 MW. [Renewables Now]

Omega Energia Brazilian wind park (Omega Energia image)

¶ “Germany Delays Emissions Goals Despite Renewable Energy Boom” • Berlin aims to become carbon-neutral by 2045 and to cut 65% of emissions by 2030 compared with 1990, but short-term measures to ensure energy security following Russia’s attack against Ukraine left it behind schedule. Germany’s CO₂ emissions held steady last year. [TRT World]

¶ “Wind Power Sets Third Generation Record In A Year” • A new wind energy record was set last week in the UK, National Grid ESO confirmed. Wind power generated 20.918 GW of electricity over a half-hour period on 30 December 2022. Trade body RenewableUK said that wind energy provided 61.4% of the UK’s power that day. [reNews]

Wind turbines (Waldemar Brandt, Unsplash)


¶ “California Braces For More ‘Brutal’ Flooding And Mudslides As Experts Warn It Won’t Quench Historic Drought” • Parts of drought-plagued California are facing an onslaught of powerful storms, bringing flooding rainfall and even mud and debris flows to the state. The entire state will see impacts of the storm, but it won’t be enough to end the drought. [CNN]

¶ “Demand For Chevy Bolt EV/EUV Spikes, Dealers Salivate” • For many of us, an EV that starts under $30,000 is ideal because it’s what we can afford. Even people who can afford a Tesla at over $50,000 would rather keep their monthly budget open for other things. The Chevy Bolt may not be the best EV, but it fits what many people want. [CleanTechnica]

Chevrolet Bolt EV (Greg Gjerdingen, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “US Army Tests A New Flow Battery From Lockheed Martin” • The US Army is one step towards its goal of reducing fossil fuel use, as a new flow battery from Lockheed Martin is to be tested at Fort Carson in Colorado. If all goes according to plan, the new battery will be installed at Department of Defense facilities, both within the US and overseas. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Top 20 NREL Stories Of 2022” • Throughout 2022, researchers, staff, and leadership at the US DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory were hard at work. As the year draws to a close, we look back at some of the laboratory’s most impactful accomplishments from 2022 that are helping to build a clean energy future for the world. [CleanTechnica]

Energy Secretary Granholm speaking (Werner Slocum, NREL)

¶ “Massachusetts Approves Commonwealth And Mayflower PPAs” • The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities has approved the power purchase agreements for the Mayflower and Commonwealth Wind offshore wind farms. The decision comes despite concerns raised by both developers over the financial viability of the sites under the current terms. [reNews]

¶ “FirstEnergy Agrees To Pay $3.9 Million For Failing To Tell FERC About Energy Bill Bribery Payments” • FirstEnergy is working through issues related to bribes it doled out in support of HB 6, energy legislation in Ohio that provided about $1 billion to two nuclear power plants owned by a former subsidiary, now called Energy Harbor. [Utility Dive]

Have an altogether amusing day.

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