January 9 Energy News

January 9, 2023


¶ “Why Nuclear Fusion Is Not The Holy Grail” • Last month, scientists made a breakthrough in nuclear fusion energy. The reaction produced more energy than it consumed. But the numerous inefficiencies this statement ignores aren’t the only problem. A useful fusion reactor is still a long way off, and we don’t know how far off. [Foreign Policy]

Viewing port, 2011 (LLNS, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Three Reasons The World Is Seeing More Record-Breaking Deluges And Flash Floods” • Human-caused climate change is making severe flooding events like these more common. In mountainous regions, three effects of climate change are more intense precipitation, shifting snow and rain patterns, and the effects of wildfires on the landscape. [The Hindu]


¶ “German Coal Mine Stand Off Amid Ukraine War Energy Crunch” • Lützerath, in western Germany, is about to be swallowed up by a massive coal mine. Around 200 climate activists, who are now all that stand in the way of the diggers expanding the Garzweiler opencast mine, have been warned to leave or be forcibly evicted. [BBC]

Lützerath and mine (Alle Dörfer, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Single-Use Cutlery And Plates To Be Banned In England” • Single-use items like plastic cutlery, plates, and trays will be banned in England, the government said. It is not clear when the ban will come into effect, but it follows similar moves already made by Scotland and Wales. This latest measure does not cover items found in supermarkets or shops. [BBC]

¶ “UK’s EV Share Hits 40% In December – Tesla Model Y Overall Bestseller” • The UK’s auto market saw plugin EVs take 39.4% of new sales in December, a new record, up from 33.2% year on year. Full electrics took 32.9% of the market. The Tesla Model Y was the UK’s overall third best selling vehicle in 2022, and the top seller in December. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model Y (Damian B Oh, CC-BY-SA 4.0, cropped)

¶ “Virtual Power Plant Industry Driven By Rising Renewable Energy Production” • The virtual power plant market size was $3,367.7 million in 2022, and it will grow at a rate of 16.9% per year in the years to come, reaching $12,273.3 million by 2030, according to projections by a market research company, P&S Intelligence. [openPR.com]

¶ “Renewable Power Spreads To Remote Islands At Risk Of Being Cut Off In Disasters” • Generating renewable energy such as solar and wind power is becoming more common on remote islands across Japan. The aim in this trend is only partly to reduce greenhouse gas emissioins. It is also to secure electric power in case of disasters. [The Japan News]

Only traffic light on Kozo Island (Mkill, CC-BY-SA 3.0, cropped)

¶ “Novel Database On Existing, Planned Renewables, Solar Projects In Africa” • German researchers created a georeference database for large wind, solar, and hydropower projects in Africa. The Renewable Power Plant Database for Africa features 1,074 hydropower projects, 1,128 solar plants, and 276 wind power assets, providing data for each. [PV Magazine]

¶ “WA Land Allocation Advances Plans For 26-GW Renewable Energy Hub” • British energy giant BP’s plans to build one of the world’s largest renewable energy and green hydrogen hubs in Western Australia got a significant boost when the government of the state allocated land to support development of the proposed 26-GW project. [pv magazine Australia]

Boodarie industrial area (Pilbara Ports Authority image)

¶ “DOE Names 9 Chinese Firms With $13.7 Billion Investment Pledges” • In a press conference, Philippine Department of Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla has named the nine Chinese companies that committed to invest some $13.76 billion in the country following a recent visit of President Ferdinand R Marcos Jr to China. [Philippine News Agency]


¶ “Most Of California Could Experience Significant Flooding This Week” • Significant widespread flooding is possible across much of California as more heavy rain hits the state, forecasters say. Two major bouts of rain will impact the West Coast over the next few days. The concern is not just the rain, snow, and wind, but each event follows the last so quickly. [CNN]

Flood (Norm Hughes, California Department of Water Resources)

¶ “The IRS Answers All Your EV Tax Credit Questions – Sort Of” • People have a lot of questions about the new EV federal tax credit created by the Inflation Reduction Act. It’s little wonder. The rules are complex. In an attempt to clarify things, the IRS has released an FAQ document that attempts to answer the most common questions people have. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GM Disagrees With Treasury And IRS On What Is An SUV” • There was some consternation at Cadillac when they discovered Treasury and the IRS want to classify the Lyriq as a passenger car, not an SUV. The car starts at $62,990. If it’s an SUV, it is eligible for the full federal tax credit. But as a passenger car, Lyriq buyers will get nothing. [CleanTechnica]

Have an uncomplicatedly lighthearted day.

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