May 12 Energy News

May 12, 2023


¶ “Helion And Microsoft Lead World Down Nuclear Fusion Rabbit Hole” • The announcement of a 50-MW agreement between Helion and Microsoft is historic, but it raises a lot of thorny questions about fusion, the role of tech in promoting new energy sources, and whether all this talk about fusion is even doing any good for the planet. [Gizmodo]

Captionless image relating to nuclear fusion (Helion image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Australia’s Colossal Bushfires Likely Made La Niña Worse, Study Finds” • Smoke from Australia’s worst wildfires in decades may have contributed to the rare triple La Niña weather event that impacted continents thousands of miles away, research shows. The study, published in Science Advances, said the smoke may have shifted weather patterns. [CNN]

¶ “What Is Carbon Capture? Some Say It Will Help Save The World, For Others It’s A Dangerous Distraction” • The climate crisis is so urgent that scientists and governments are scrambling to find ways to remove some of the carbon pollution from the air, and to capture what’s still being produced by power plants and industrial facilities. [CNN]

Climeworks’ direct air capture plant (Climeworks image)


¶ “Which European Nations Are Winning The Heat Pump Race?” • About half of Germany’s 41 million homes use gas heating, and another quarter run on oil. In a bid to encourage homeowners to decarbonise their heating, Germany introduced a rebate scheme in January 2023 that offers up to 40% back on the cost of buying and installing a heat pump. [BBC]

¶ “Wildfire Smoke From Alberta And British Columbia Reaches US” • Much of Canada and parts of the US are blanketed by smoke as wildfires in Alberta rage. As of Thursday, there are 75 active wildfires in Alberta, 23 of which are considered out of control. Early May is typically the start of wildfire season in the region, but this level activity is unusual. [BBC]

Smoke from Canada (NOAA image)

¶ “Masdar, IRENA Agree On Renewables Roadmap Pact” • Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) and the International Renewable Energy Agency signed an agreement to create a roadmap that aims to triple global renewable energy capacity by 2030. They will focus on solar, wind, hydropower, geothermal, and such other technologies as battery storage. [reNews]

¶ “Hong Kong’s KMB Gets Next-Generation Enviro 500 EV Zero-Emission Double-Decker Buses” • Alexander Dennis, a subsidiary of NFI Group Inc, a leading independent global bus maker, delivered the first Enviro 500 EV zero-emission double-decker buses to the Kowloon Motor Bus Company in time for the operator’s 90th birthday. [CleanTechnica]

Double-decker bus (KMB image)

¶ “The Investment Differences Between Renewable And Coal-Fired Power” • In Vietnam, investment in renewable energy was 480% higher than planned, but for thermal power it was just 60% of the plan. Also, a total of 6.6 GW of thermal power was behind schedule for installations, but 14 GW of solar power was ahead of schedule. [Vietnamnet]

¶ “Territory Targets ‘Renewable Energy Hub’ With Budget Spend” • As part of a $26.4 million budget spend on renewable energy initiatives, the Northern Territory government will invest $12 million to undertake planning and headworks to develop the Middle Arm Sustainable Development Precinct proposed for Darwin Harbor. [pv magazine Australia]

Battery energy storage system (Territory Generation image)

¶ “Statkraft And CIP Win 500 MW in Dublin Auction” • Statkraft and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners have welcomed the provisional results from Ireland’s first offshore wind auction in which they secured 500 MW. Together, they will develop the landmark North Irish Sea Array offshore wind project off the east coast of Ireland. [reNews]


¶ “EPA Proposes New Rules That Would Dramatically Slash Planet-Warming Pollution From Power Plants” • The EPA has proposed one of its most highly anticipated climate rules to date, compelling nearly all US power plants that generate the nation’s electricity to capture or otherwise greatly reducue their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions. [CNN]

Power plants (Untitled Photo, Unsplash)

¶ “Sierra Club Survey Says 30% Of US Dealers REFUSE To Sell Electric Cars” • Every year, the Sierra Club conducts its Electric Vehicle Shopping Experience survey to find out more about the electric car shopping experience. Some of the results from the survey this year might surprise you. Some 30% of US dealers are unwilling to sell EVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “NextEra Blows Green Hydrogen Raspberry At Renewable Energy Foes” • The Florida energy firm NextEra Energy Partners has decided to ditch its natural gas pipelines and transform itself into a pure-play renewable energy investment opportunity. If all goes according to plan, green hydrogen will come to Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma, too. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Renewable Hydrogen Power Plant To Be Built In Clarksville, 100-Plus Jobs To Come” • The Syntex Hydrogen Power Plant will be the first “hydrogen hub” in Arkansas. It will create over 100 full-time positions. It is expected to break ground this year, with limited power production ramping up in 2025. It is expected  to be completed in 2026. [Talk Business & Politics]

¶ “Dow’s Seadrift, Texas Location Selected For X-Energy Advanced SMR Nuclear Project” • Dow, the materials science company, and X-Energy Reactor Company announced that Dow has selected its UCC1 Seadrift Operations manufacturing site in Texas for its proposed advanced small modular reactor nuclear project. [Dow Corporate]

Have a delightfully instructive day.

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