January 19 Energy News

January 19, 2023


¶ “The Nuclear Fallacy: Why Small Modular Reactors Can’t Compete With Renewable Energy” • Small modular reactors are the nuclear industry’s next big hope, because no government can gain a mandate to build dozens of big reactors any more. But SMRs don’t solve the problems of high cost and waste. They can’t compete with solar and wind. [CleanTechnica]

SMR under construction (Courtesy of NuScale Power)

Science and Technology:

¶ “New Generator Rolls Into Ocean Energy” • Most sensors that monitor tsunamis, hurricanes, and maritime weather run on battery power. But replacing batteries at sea is expensive and difficult. What if the replacement problem could be avoided by powering devices indefinitely from the energy in ocean waves? We may have a way to do that. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Temperatures On Greenland Haven’t Been This Warm In At Least 1,000 Years, Scientists Report” • After years of research on the Greenland ice sheet, scientists reported in the journal Nature that temperatures there have been the warmest in at least the last 1,000 years, which is the limit for the time they can analyze by examining ice cores. [CNN]

Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland (Annie Spratt, Unsplash)

¶ “South Africa’s Energy Crisis Deepens As Blackouts Hit Twelve Hours A Day” • South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa was forced this week to cancel a trip to Davos by an escalating energy crisis that is inflicting rolling blackouts on the continent’s most developed economy. The problem stems from failing old coal-fired plants and high cost of oil. [CNN]

¶ “UK Round 4 Offshore Projects Sign Lease Agreements” • The Crown Estate has signed lease agreements for six UK offshore wind projects around the coastlines of England and Wales, which were tendered under its Round 4 seabed auction. The milestone Agreements for Lease will allow developers to progress work on nearly 8 GW of sites. [reNews]

Offshore wind turbines (Crown Estate image)

¶ “France’s Engie Aims To Expand In Renewables Across The GCC” • France’s Engie is looking to boost its operations in the Gulf Cooperation Council’s renewables sector and make the most of opportunities, a senior executive has said. The UAE and Saudi Arabia, the Arab world’s two largest economies, both have net-zero emission targets. [The National]

¶ “Bristol City Leap Renewable Energy Deal Set To Be Worth £1 Billion To City” • A partnership is set to help Bristol reach net zero and bring £1 billion of investment to the city. The Bristol City Leap initiative, set up by the council and renewable energy company Ameresco, aims to transform the way Bristol generates, distributes, stores, and uses energy. [Business Live]

Bristol harborside (Mikey Harris, Unsplash, cropped)

¶ “IAEA Sends Staff To All Ukraine Nuclear Plants To Reduce Risk Of Accidents” • The International Atomic Energy Agency is placing teams of experts at all of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants to reduce the risk of severe accidents as Russia’s war against the country rages on, agency head Rafael Grossi said. The IAEA is affiliated with the UN. [PBS]


¶ “New Aircraft Design From NASA And Boeing Could Benefit Passengers In The 2030s” • NASA and Boeing will work together on the Sustainable Flight Demonstrator project to build, test and fly an emission-reducing single-aisle aircraft this decade, NASA announced. The first test flight of this experimental aircraft is set to take place in 2028. [CNN]

Rendering of new aircraft design (Boeing image)

¶ “The Federal Reserve Is Testing How Climate Change Could Hurt Big Banks” • The six largest US banks have until July to show the Fed what effects disastrous climate change scenarios could have on their bottom lines. The banks have to show how their finances fare under such climate stresses as heat waves, wildfires, floods, and droughts. [CNN]

¶ “US Races Ahead In EV Manufacturing Investments” • The US is poised to attract the most investments globally in EV and battery manufacturing, for the first time surpassing announced investments in China and closing in on Europe. Companies have announced $210 billion of investments in the EV industry, up from just over $50 billion in 2021. [CleanTechnica]

Proterra factory in South Carolina (Courtesy of Proterra)

¶ “USDA To Make $300 Million Available For Local Renewable Energy In Nevada” • The USDA will make available $300 million for the state of Nevada to invest in renewable energy for rural areas. The funding will include $250 million from the Inflation Reduction Act. The USDA is now seeking applications for the fiscal year 2023. [KOLO] (All states have funding available.)

¶ “Evergy Calls On Renewable Energy Projects To Help It Reach Carbon Emissions Goal” • Evergy, based in Kansas City, Missouri, issued a Request for Proposals for up to 1,240 MW of generation resources that can be in service by 2026. Evergy said it plans to add over 3,500 MW of renewable energy and retire over 1,900 MW of coal-based generation. [KCTV5]

Kansas City Scout (Darren Hibbs, Unsplash)

¶ “Gas-Fired Peaker Plants In California Are Adding Energy Storage To Their Facilities” • Four natural gas-fired plants in California will co-locate 420 MWh of storage from a North Carolina company that offers battery storage and software. The batteries would store extra solar energy produced during the daytime for use later. [Nature World News]

¶ “Nebraska Public Power District Launches Siting Study For SMRs” • Nebraska Public Power District is beginning the process of studying sites that could have the potential to host advanced small modular nuclear reactors. NPPD’s application for funding has been approved by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. [American Public Power Association]

Have an amazingly fortuitous day.

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